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Astrological Elections for Herbal Medicine
Christopher Warnock, Esq.
Astrological Elections
for Herbal Medicine
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Herbal Medicines




Medicines...are by certain dispositions of the Heaven increased.

Book I, ch. 52

Three Books of Occult Philosophy

Cornelius Agrippa


Traditional medicine was very closely intertwined with astrology. Astrology was used in the theory and philosophy of traditional medicine, in diagnosis and in treatment.
Zodiacal Man
One of the most important concepts was that of the sympathy and connection of the Macrocosm, the Greater World of the Cosmos, and the microcosm, the little world of each individual human. Paracelsus says,

"What is the difference between the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter in Heaven and the same planets in man? The difference is only one of form. That is why there are not four arcana, but only one arcanum; however, it has four aspects, just as tower has four sides...And just as a tower cannot be lacking in one side, so a physician must not lack any of these aspects."

Paracelsus: Selected Writing (Bollingen, 1988). page 61.
The harmonic arrangement of the operations of the Heavens and their relationship to man is graphically illustrated in the Zodiacal Man, as seen to right, which assigns each sign to a part of the body. While a beautiful symbol of harmony, the Zodiacal Man, was also quite useful. For example, traditional electional astrology advised that surgery for a particular part of the body should be avoided when the Moon was in the sign that ruled the part. See, e.g. Aphorism 20 of the Centiloquim Ptolemie, the hundred aphorisms attributed to Ptolemy.
Medical astrology was a very highly developed form of traditional astrology. William Lilly devotes more pages to discussions of rules of the sixth house, which dealt with medical diagnosis, than any other house in his magnum opus, Christian Astrology. A number of specialized books dealing just with medical astrology, were printed in the 17th century, including Richard Saunders, Astrological Judgment and Practice of Physick [1677], Nicholas Culpepper, Astrological Judgment of Diseases [1655] and Joseph Blagrave, Astrological Practice of Physick [1671].
Not only the diagnosis, but also the cure of diseases can be determined astrologically. Traditional astrology classified each disease as being under the rule of one or more planets. Each plant and herb were also classified as being under the rule of a particular planet and thus as having the virtues of that planet.
Frontispiece
In the Mysterium Sigillorum, "Mysteries of Sigils, Herbs and Stones" Israel Hibner explains, for example, that if one takes an herb ruled by Saturn and gathered when Saturn is afflicted, it will contains the "Antipathetick" influences of that planet and causes the diseases ruled by Saturn. If however, the herb is gathered when Saturn is strong and dignified, it has the "Sympathetick" influences of Saturn and cures Saturnine diseases. Mysterium Sigillorum at 68.
Therefore, understanding the planetary rulership of diseases and of herbs and plants, and knowing how to make an astrological election to pick the proper time to gather the herbs, is key to traditional astrological medicine. I am pleased to offer Mysterium Sigillorum as the first book in the Renaissance Astrology Facsimile Series. It offers a complete guide to the planetary rulership of diseases, as well as plants and herbs, a history of the medicinal use of herbs as well as a fascinating section on planetary talismans. Just follow the Mysterium Sigillorum link to order.
It is also important to elect times for the proper taking and application of herbal medicines. Here is a very interesting extract from the 1656 Medicina Magnetica of de Iryngio, which gives extensive rules for gathering and applying herbal medicines.
Here is further information on Astrological Talismans and Astrological Magic. If you wish to delve even deeper into this fascinating area I offer an Astrological Magic Full Course, a Planetary Magic Mini-Course and a Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course as well Astrology and Magic Books and my discussion group Spiritus Mundi.




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Copyright 2003 Christopher Warnock, All Rights Reserved.