Wednesday, May 18, 2011
By Shellie Enteen, BA, RA, LMT
One of the first things I encountered on my personal journey into the field of holistic health was astrology. That may seem like a strange statement but actually, it is not a big leap from astrology to health matters and, in fact, there is a whole branch of this art called Medical Astrology. When astrology crossed my path in NYC in the late 1970's I quickly realized that because the birth chart could indicate health and the root of medical conditions, my clients would want to have some idea of what to do with the information I conveyed. Certain clients would have Aquarius on the 6th house cusp or some other indication indicating the need for more unusual forms of healthcare to solve their problems. I decided to become familiar with alternatives (Aquarius is on my own 6th house of health) and this lead me from nutrition to massage and that was how aromatherapy came into my life.
Back in those days, I was still a bit concerned about the acceptability of both studying and practicing something considered 'occult'. But all that concern left for me when I attended a workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY on Tibetan medicine. The monk answered my question about astrology with the idea that every astrologer was a physician, and every physician had to be an astrologer. But why?
The short answer to this is that, in a manner similar to Oriental Medicine, astrology follows element theory. We have twelve astrological signs, separated into 4 groups: earth, air, fire and water signs. And those are further subdivided into 3 qualities, fixed, mutable and cardinal. If you are an Aries, you are a cardinal fire sign. If you are a Taurus, you are a fixed earth sign...and so on. The planets are said to 'rule' signs and so they partake of these elements as well. Mars, ruler of Aries, is a cardinal fire planet. Venus, when ruling Taurus, is a fixed earth planet. So it is a short jump from looking at the planets and signs in a chart and what a person's elemental makeup is, along with any stresses indicated by other chart placements or those planets, to discover what 'ails' a client or one's self.
Astrology was widely practiced in China, India, the Middle East and Europe in the day of the famous herbalist William Culpepper. Culpepper's writings give us both planet and sign indications for different plants. And from this and our own observations of how these plants work, and what systems and issues they affect, we can draw some conclusions as to which planets and signs are indicated by certain essential oils. Just as with 'note' designations, there is some difference of opinion in this realm and certain essential oils will be given to more than one planet or sign. But astrological indication is as valid as any other subtle aromatherapy 'signature' method for selection...and often as valid as any pharmacokinetic selection as well....perhaps, as it encompasses both, it is even the most effective but that idea is certainly going to cause a lot of debate! The work of Aromatherapists like David Crow and Farida Irani expands understanding on the use of essential oils through element correspondences in Aryuvedic medicine. Dr. Bruce Berkowsky also uses astrological information in his Kabalistic approach to the application essential oils.
In our current world and personal atmosphere, knowing which essential oils augment or balance a particular energy at work can be a very helpful tool. I hope you'll join us for the tele-conference in May, "Celestial Aromatherapy", to learn how you can apply essential oils to planetary trends and your own or others' birth chart to create a blend that will promote harmony and wellness on the physical and the mental, emotional and spiritual levels.
To learn more about Shellie visit her website at www.astralessence.com
Sign up for her free e-newsletter at website. Email Shellie at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in future classes on this topic.
Click here to purchase Shellie's NAHA tele-conference presentation recording: 'Celestial Aromatherapy'.
Would you like to contribute an article for a future NAHA E-newsletter? Click here to download the Writers Guidelines.