Guide to Natural Health: Using the Horoscope as a Key to Ancient Healing Practices

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Harmonize your health through nature and your horoscope

The ancient art of medical astrology is only beginning to re-emerge as a powerful system for understanding health and how to heal illness. Guide to Natural Health describes a world in which human beings, the natural world, and the stars are part of the same fabric. Through the study of astrology and by working with herbs, diet, and the spiritual properties of stones, birds, and animals, ...

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Overview

Harmonize your health through nature and your horoscope

The ancient art of medical astrology is only beginning to re-emerge as a powerful system for understanding health and how to heal illness. Guide to Natural Health describes a world in which human beings, the natural world, and the stars are part of the same fabric. Through the study of astrology and by working with herbs, diet, and the spiritual properties of stones, birds, and animals, you will learn to harmonize your own health and nourish body, mind, and spirit.

Astrology enthusiasts, and spiritual eclecticsFocuses on the "four element medicine tradition," a holistic healing system rooted in the cycles of the planets and natural worldThe only book to work with animal and bird totems as tools for healingThe only book to focus on ritual as the core of healing work

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738702247
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Keyes (Oregon) is an astrologer, certified herbalist, and healer. With a focus on health and spiritual growth, he provides practical and down-to-earth advice for nourishing one's self optimally according to one's astrological chart.

Besides his work in the astrology field, Keyes has studied health sciences at The Evergreen State College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He has also learned to practice Plant Spirit Medicine, a blend of shamanism, herbalism, and Chinese medicine.
Keyes has lived in Mexico and Ecuador where he worked with indigenous healers and shamans to learn native healing practices and to speak and write Spanish. He is a longtime student of yoga and Chinese medicine and incorporates these ideas into his work.
Jonathan Keyes is a contributor to StarIQ.com and Llewellyn almanacs.
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Read an Excerpt

The History and Practice
of Four Element Medicine
This fall a few friends and I drove out along the Columbia River gorge in Oregon to go stargazing about thirty miles east of Portland. The wind was strong and the night was bitterly cold, but that didn''t stop a number of us amateur astronomers from setting up a base camp near the side of the river. With telescopes, I was able to make out the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. A few meteors shot overhead as I watched the panorama of stars stretch out through the night sky. I had never seen the moons of Jupiter before, and this event thrilled me with a sense of discovery and joy. Almost 400 years ago, the famous Italian scientist Galileo looked up in the night sky to spot these same moons. In his texts, he wrote:
"Accordingly, on the seventh day of January of the present year 1610, at the first hour of the night, when I inspected the celestial constellations through a spyglass, Jupiter presented himself. And since I had prepared for myself a superlative instrument, I saw that three little stars were positioned near him--small but very bright. Although I believed them to be among the number of fixed stars, they nevertheless intrigued me because they appeared to be arranged along a straight line . . . but when, on the eighth, I returned to the same observation, guided by I know not what fate, I found a very different arrangement. For all three little stars were to the west of Jupiter and closer to each other than the previous night, and separated by equal intervals."1
Galileo used a new, little-known piece of technology known as the telescope, a tool that would revolutionize the field of astronomy and would herald the demise of astrology over the next 100 years. Prior to the discovery of the telescope, people had used the naked eye to view the stars and planets and infuse the heavens with meaning, mythology, and spiritual reverence. By the end of the 1600s, a new view of the cosmos had emerged, one based on rational principles and mathematics and without the traditional astrological and religious associations that had been integrated with astronomy since antiquity. In his book Conversing with the Planets, astronomer and anthropologist Anthony Aveni writes:
"Within a generation of Galileo, Sir Francis Bacon would produce the Great Instauration, a manifesto that called for human action in nothing less than an all-out assault on nature . . . Bacon''s program reads almost like a set of traffic rules telling what each discipline should contain, what data should be acquired, what ought to be diminished as foolish. The greatest promise of all, he argues, lay in technology, for only by extending the senses could we unmask nature''s deeper and darker submerged secrets. The new philosophy, framed in a mechanistic way of thinking, would be driven by an aggressive optimism that everything from music to morals could be cast under the umbrella of natural law. The new science would be spread about the literate and educable public via demonstrations, popular lectures, magazines, and libraries. It was the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment and of the demise of planetary astrology."2
This radical change in perception, thought, and philosophy affects us to this day, and although there has been a reemergence of astrology, the scientific community by and large vehemently abhors the practice. This differs markedly from the community of scientists and astronomers in the Renaissance period who often integrated occult concepts such as astrology and alchemy into their scientific practice. Scientists such as Newton, Copernicus, and Kepler saw the importance of linking facts and figures with myth and meaning. This practice predated them by thousands of years through Greek scholars such as Plato and Pythagoras. It was only after the Age of Enlightenment that spiritual meaning was divorced from the natural world.
Before this massive change in perception, medicine was also integrated into the study of the stars, and physicians often consulted the horoscope to help understand health, the etiology of illness, and the proper curative measures. Many learned men followed the edict of "As above, so below," and determined that man''s physical constitution was related to the planetary configurations as the microcosm is related to the macrocosm. This notion that all of creation was related and integrated came under sharp attack during the Enlightenment, as a slow shift toward a mechanical and reductionist model of health emerged.
In this new scientific model, each human could be viewed as a separate, distinct entity composed of component parts and certain physiological processes. By applying chemicals and drugs, any necrotic tissue, disease, or malformation could be battled and conquered, and returned to normalcy. This new vision of health replaced earlier healing philosophies that posited natural cures, and balancing and harmonizing one''s nature with the environment and the cosmos to achieve strength and vitality. Astrological medicine came to be viewed as superstition, unscientific and irrational. The four elements that made up the ancient practice of medicine were discarded for the new mechanistic models that arose. In China and India, the early models of medicine formulated thousands of years ago continue to thrive to this day. It is only in the West that we have ignored and disregarded our ancient medical traditions. To understand how these traditions arose and how they evolved, we need to look to the past into the world of our ancestors.
A Brief History of Four Element Medicine
The Early Days
In our most ancient records of early man, researchers discovered notches left on reindeer bones and mammoth ivory that dated back to the last Ice Age. It is believed that these marks signify the recording of lunar cycles.3 It is likely that these early carvings had to do with understanding time and making the rudiments of a calendar. We know little of...(Continues)


About the Author:

Jonathan Keyes (Oregon) is an astrologer, certified herbalist, and healer. With a focus on health and spiritual growth, he provides practical and down-to-earth advice for nourishing one's self optimally according to one's astrological chart.
Besides his work in the astrology field, Keyes has studied health sciences at The Evergreen State College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He has also learned to practice Plant Spirit Medicine, a blend of shamanism, herbalism, and Chinese medicine.
Keyes has lived in Mexico and Ecuador where he worked with indigenous healers and shamans to learn native healing practices and to speak and write Spanish. He is a longtime student of yoga and Chinese medicine and incorporates these ideas into his work.
Jonathan Keyes is a contributor to StarIQ.com and Llewellyn almanacs.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
1 The History and Practice of Four Element Medicine 1
Part 1 Diagnostics
2 Techniques of Balancing and Nourishing 29
3 Elements and Modalities 47
4 Planets and Signs 59
Part 2 Foundations of Practice
5 Groundwork: Ritual and the Cycles of the Moon and the Seasons 85
6 Connecting with the Natural World 117
Part 3 Therapeutics
7 The Healing Power of Herbs, Plants, and Trees 137
8 The Energetics of Food 183
9 Animals and Other Creatures 221
10 Birds and Other Winged Creatures 247
11 The Magic of Stones and Metals 269
12 Lifestyle Choices and Conclusion 293
Appendix Practicing Four Element Medicine 301
Bibliography 313
Index 317
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