Tree of Life images take many different forms, but the essence is always the same. Roots deep underground mirror branches with leaves, blossoms and seeds. The seeds fall into the rich soil and the eternal cycle is renewed. There are many, many forms of prediction but they all require a knowledge of seeds.
If you hadn’t learned by direct observation or learned from another source, it is unlikely you would recognize an acorn as the seed of the oak tree. The essence of the tree must enter the darkness of the earth to grown towards the light. Both the Sun and Moon affect the growth of the tree by their own cycles. All elements are required, including the Quintessence.
C. J. Jung summed this principle up in the simplest possible terms when he wrote :”We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else.”
Astrology has a great deal in common with Agriculture, Medicine and other sciences. If we want to know how to judge a nativity, there are core principles that need to be understood. We are indeed fools if we think it doesn’t matter a great deal what kind of seed we have and don’t know whether or not the seed has the environment to cause it to flourish or languish. It is no less foolish to attempt a judgment of a nativity without due considerations
The Hippocratic School gave importance to the clinical doctrines of observation and documentation. These doctrines dictate that physicians record their findings and their medicinal methods in a very clear and objective manner, so that these records may be passed down and employed by other physicians. This is what astrologers have done throughout the millenia. Claiming to have developed a new astrology independent of the great astrologers of the past is a modern phenomenon and act of considerable hubris
“Hippocrates made careful, regular note of many symptoms including complexion, pulse, fever, pains, movement, and excretions. He is said to have measured a patient’s pulse when taking a case history to know if the patient lied. Hippocrates extended clinical observations into family history and environment.”To him medicine owes the art of clinical inspection and observation.” For this reason, he may more properly be termed as the “Father of Medicine”. From Margotta, Roberto (1968), The Story of Medicine, New York: Golden Press
Hippocrates doesn’t begin to treat the patient until all of these considerations have been satisfied. Neither is the astrologer prepared if key elements have yet to be considered. These include social status and context in most cases. This doesn’t mean the astrologer is confined to these perimeters, but they set a point of departure grounded in reality. Consideration of the humours should be among the first considerations because a Phlegmatic temperament goes about things very differently than a Choleric temperament .
You now have a much clearer idea of what kind of seed this nativity embodies and a better idea of the soil in which it might develop..
We have the famous quote attributed to Hippocrates : “a physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician .” The was held to be true by physicians throughout the 17th Century in the West and in many parts of the world, such as India, it was never forgotten. The reverse was also true. Every astrologer was expected to know something about Physic because astrology deals with body, mind and soul. Various plants were used in relation to their planetary natures to bring about the desired result.
Albrecht Durer refers to the four elements in his engraving “Adam and Eve” We find a hare, an oxen, a cat and an elk, associated with Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholy respectively. Tradition has it that the humours were held in balance in Paradise, but not in the post lapsarian world. Note that Eve is holding the fruit.
Intrinsic to the doctrine of the humours is the belief that basic elements of the earth are transformed into food for humans. The nature of the element contained in the food will then create four different bodily fluids which become the Temperaments. It is therefore a fairly simple matter to prescribe remedies which were primarily plants with different astrological and humoural qualities.
For example, Nicolas Culpepper writes “”Lily of the valley…is under the dominion of Mercury, and there-fore strengthens the brain, recruits a weak memory and makes it strong again.” [Culpeper, 1652, p.149]
This plant therefore works on the central nervous system and the brain itself. A solar plant such as St. John’s Wart may be prescribed for an excess of black bile. Valerian or Black Cohosh is used as a balance to excess of choler and sleeping difficulties
Culpepper was a friend and student of William Lilly. He set about cataloging and publishing a vast pharmacopoeia with planetary and other associations.
As can be seen, the traditional system works with the natural world and astrology as one. Moreover, the medicinal plants needed to be harvested at appropriate Planetary Hours and of course administered at the right time.
The knowledge of what a human will need to balance or ameliorate humours is therefore one of the first consideration of medicine and astrology, but this also applies to traditional form of agriculture to this day. Planting and harvesting by the Moon is core to such publications as The Farmer’s Almanac.
Whether we are judging a nativity, making a prediction or using astrology as an aid to balanced humours, it’s always the seed that need to be identified and considered
to be continued …