The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 308, titled:
Herbalism and Astrology: Connecting Plants and Planets
With Chris Brennan and guests Diana Rose Harper and Sarah Corbett
Episode originally released on July 21, 2021
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: email@example.com
Transcribed by Kate Hill
Transcription released August 4, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m going to be talking about astrology and herbalism with Diana Rose Harper, and Sarah Corbett, so hey! Welcome to the show.
DIANA ROSE HARPER: Hey Chris! Nice to be back.
SARAH CORBETT: Hey, it’s good to be here.
CB: Yeah, thanks for joining me today. I’m excited about this episode because this is a topic that people have been asking me to do for a while, but I hadn’t found the right combination of experts yet to do it with, so when I heard that the two of you were launching a course on astrology and herbalism next month it sounded like a really good time to do this topic, so thanks a lot for joining me. Today, just to give the data, is Wednesday June 16th, 2021, starting at 12:25 PM in Denver, Colorado, and this is the 308th episode of the show. I wanted to start first by just talking a little bit about your backgrounds, both in astrology and herbalism, and how the two of you have kind of combined your knowledge into doing what you’ve been doing with that subject. What are your backgrounds?
SC: Well, I’m primarily a practicing herbalist. I am a clinical herbalist, so I maintain my own clinical practice where I see clients, make products and teach, and other things like that. I initially started studying both herbalism and astrology at about the same time, so I wasn’t necessarily studying them together, they just happened to be both part of my world view at the time that I was developing both of those skill sets, and then later on I really started focusing on traditional astrology, and getting really curious about the seasonal rhythms, and the aspects of astrology that really aligned up extremely well with what I was seeing in the natural world, and then later went on to begin studying medical astrology, and now I bring that into my work on a clinical level, but also on just a spending time with plants and getting to know them from an astrological perspective as well.
CB: Brilliant. Alright, and what about you, Diana?
DRH: Well, you know, astrology has been the more primary thing for me for a while, but I grew up in a context where hanging out with plants was honestly one of the most comforting aspects of my day to day life. I grew up with woods for my backyard. I spent a lot of time with trees and a lot of the native plants in southeast Missouri, and when it comes to bridging herbalism, like engaging plants with astrology, that’s something that came more recently in like the past five years or so, and then in the past two years I’ve been developing a friendship with Sarah, which has brought me even more intentionally into relationships with plants, particularly for my own health. Going beyond just hanging out with them because plants, as people, are often more enjoyable to hang out with than human people [Laughs] and engaging directly with how plants align with both human systems on a physical level, and then meaning making systems on a more metaphysical level.
CB: Awesome. Maybe we should start by just defining our topic. What is herbalism? Or how do you define that?
SC: Yeah, basically herbalism is the study and practice of the medicinal and therapeutic use of plants. Historically, it was the primary mode of healing until extremely recently, like the last 150 years type of recently, and still, a lot of people practice herbalism, and so they’re engaging with plants primarily for healing, but also just studying and observing them. Herbalism is going to intercept with things like botany, and other naturalist-type studies as well.
CB: Right. It’s, then, more traditional or more holistic form of medicine in different places around the world?
SC: Yeah, every single culture is going to have its own tradition of herbal medicine that’s going to be kind of dependent on what types of issues they tend to experience in their culture. Different people are predisposed to different things, and different environments are going to have different plants growing in them. Different spiritual contexts tend to intersect with herbalism, so a lot of different cultures will have an approach to herbalism that is much more spiritual, or some people might consider esoteric, than what we see in modern herbal practice today. The first written record we have of herbal medicine is over 5,000 years old, it’s on Sumerian clay tablets, and then you look throughout history and you see that people have always had some type of relationship with plants, and if we hadn’t had them for medicine we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species, so we really did truly coevolve alongside them.
CB: Right, that makes sense, and it’s interesting in terms of different plants that are indigenous to different areas and the extent to which those get incorporated into indigenous medical and sometimes religious practices, and other things like that.
SC: Yeah, definitely. People are going to use what they have. Until we had a large trade system, you know, our ancestors and people around the world could only access what was in their backyard, or in the surrounding area, so, you know, as we see later on especially when we’re thinking about how herbalism kind of intersects with astrology, and in the Hellenistic era, at that point, you start seeing in all these different herbals, people sharing plants from other cultures because of trade.
CB: Okay, yeah, and to the extent that today I guess a lot of the herbs that are used are pretty much available worldwide, so there must be a blending of different traditions to some extent that were separate. Although, I know that there’s still indigenous herbal traditions like Ayurveda from India, or Chinese medicine, traditional Chinese medicine in China. What branch, or approach, of herbalism do you practice?
SC: Yeah, I tend to practice what is these days called traditional western herbalism, which is basically, you know, it’s a lot of Greco-Arabic medicine. It draws on concepts that appear in Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine, which predates the concept of traditional western herbalism by a lot. It takes concepts from that, and then it kind of throws in a smattering of European folk herbalism, and that has become the new name for modern western herbalism as we know it, so a lot of what I practice is influenced by my teachers in that tradition, and then also I try to maintain a strong connection to my ancestral plants from southwest Asia, and North Africa, so I have a little bit of a mix of folk herbalism, and modern clinical western herbalism.
DRH: Mhm, and modern western herbalism also draws upon a lot of indigenous North American herbal practices, and the herbal practices that came to this country through chattel slavery, and through other modes of both forced and optional migration patterns into North America, so traditional western herbalism ends up being extremely multifaceted, and not always super linear in terms of being able to determine lineage when it comes to particular practices or particular understandings of how specific plants can be used medicinally and for other purposes beyond just, you know, pretty ornamentals in your yard.
CB: Okay. Maybe this would be a good time to talk about what is the relationship, and especially Diana, how you’ve approached the relationship between astrology and herbalism, and to what extent does herbalism depend on astrology or vice versa?
DRH: Mhm, yeah. Herbalism and astrology are not inherently– like if you’re an astrologer you don’t have to know anything about herbalism, and if you’re an herbalist you don’t have to know anything about astrology, but one of the things that we get from astrology is this idea that planets, in particular, are responsible for different spheres of life, and different aspects of existence, and so along with that, planets take purview over specific plants and specific actions that plants incite whenever humans are in direct engagement with them. The example I like to use because my name is involved is roses. Roses, which culturally speaking have a lot of associations with love, and beauty, and gifting, and luxury, they’re used in cosmetics, there’s all of these different ways that roses embody the sphere of Venus, right? Through astrology, we can understand a plant like roses in a way that then can apply that plant, both medicinally and aesthetically, to that planetary sphere. My own personal practice, when it comes to blending astrology with herbalism, is more along those lines. I am not personally a clinical herbalist. There’s a lot of training that Sarah has done and didn’t mention that, you know, like hours and hours. Thousands of hours of training when it comes to understanding how plants interact with human physiology, as well as human psychology, in order to comprehend safe uses of those plants interacting with the human body. My own practice is much more about the psycho-spiritual component of plants, which for me as an astrologer, I’m constantly thinking about how the language of astrology intersects with psycho-spiritual movement for humans in the world, and so plants add dimensionality and depth to that interaction, and also as somebody who’s coming from the astrological planetary zodiacal perspective, if someone I trust tells me nettles are Martial for example, then that tells me a lot about that plant because I have a depth of understanding of what Mars is about, even if I don’t have the most PhD level botany comprehension of nettles as a spiky green thing that can create rashes, but is also highly nutritious.
CB: Yeah, so that reminds me of in ancient hermetic astrology there was a chain of correspondences where each planet had an archetype, and that archetype was like this core overarching, almost transcendent, idea that could manifest in many different ways in the world in general, and one of those ways is in certain types of plants that might really resonate with that specific planet, and it seems like that’s really the core access point for the crossover between astrology and herbalism is the archetypal connection between certain planets and certain plants.
DRH: Yeah, absolutely. It’s like that old adage of “as above so below, and as below so above.” We can understand plants because of planets. We can also understand planets because of plants. If we engage with a plant, specifically because we understand it to connect to a planet that can actually open up a broader comprehension of that planet, especially when it comes to applying that planet’s significations beyond the hyperpersonal. I think natal astrology is wonderful and amazing and gives us a lot of insight, and also astrology can help us perceive the world differently, and plants I think do a really good job at assisting with not necessarily universalizing or globalizing, but taking planetary significations and making them more broadly applicable beyond the hyper-personal.
CB: Right, so astrology is not just psychological or character traits, but sometimes can manifest in very literal ways in like the properties of plants, and the impact that that can have upon you by having it in your life, or consuming it, or what have you?
CB: What are some good instances, just obvious ones, you mentioned Venus as a planet that is associated with the rose, so what are some other good examples like that of specific planetary correspondences between a planet and certain herbs?
SC: Well, this is where things get a little tricky because, throughout every single piece of literature for, I mean every source that I’ve ever pulled on this, they all contradict each other. While certain people will say other things, Culpepper will say another, another herbalist will say another thing. It’s really hard to find a reliable resource out there that’s just like hey, here are the correspondences, this is what we know to be true. Our correspondences that we have arrived to with our work together are very much influenced by our own embodied experience. So Venus and roses totally make sense, but then some herbals will say only red roses are under Venus, and white roses are under Jupiter, and yellow roses, who knows? So there seems to be a bit of a breakdown in different types of plants as well, and different variations of the same plant. One plant that everyone seems to agree on is St. John’s Wort as being ruled by the Sun, and sure it’s got some of those aspects of it’s got really beautiful sunshine yellow disc-shaped, or not quite disc-shaped, flowers, but they look like little sunbursts. They tend to grow on south-facing slopes. They tend to grow in full Sun, they like the sunshine, they prefer to be soaking up the Sun all day long. When you squeeze the flowers there is a compound, a constituent in St. John’s Wort that actually is blood red, so if you squeeze the flowers between your fingers you’ll have this little blood red paste on your fingertips. That’s how you know you have the medicinal type of St. John’s Wort because there’s another type of St. John’s Wort that tends to grow on landscapes, which doesn’t have that compound that’s responsible for so many of its healing benefits. St. John’s Wort, it has these solar qualities, and also, how much of its association with the Sun comes from the fact that it always blooms during Summer Solstice, or that it always blooms right around St. John’s Day, there’s a lot of astro-herbal thought that exists that either is contradictory, or we just don’t know why or how they got to the correspondence that they got to.
CB: Right, it seems like with that one, for example, one of the access points is, what is the appearance of the plant? And what then does that connect with in terms of certain planetary archetypes? For this, the flower is literally like this bright yellow blooming solar-looking flower, and so that’s probably one of the access points I would assume for connecting it with the Sun in some traditions.
SC: Definitely. I think Culpeper specifically said it’s under Leo, and the dominion of the Sun, so he even makes that specific distinction likely because it was probably growing during Leo season in England, and really shining its flowers at that time. So there is that element of where is it growing? What does it look like? What kind of habitat is it in? Does it like to be in moist areas, or does it like to be in dry areas? What kind of other plants does it like to hang out with? Is it growing on its own? Is it growing like climbing up another plant? Is it relying on interdependence to survive? Then how does it work in the body? What are its actions, what are its virtues? There are so many different pieces that come into drawing a correspondence, and you have to look at it all holistically because you can’t just say every bright sun-shiny plant is ruled by the Sun because they’re not. There’s a lot of nuance that’s required.
CB: Sure, so sometimes it’s the plant’s appearance, other times it can have to do with the effect. What would be a good example of a planetary correspondence with a specific plant that has more to do with the effect that it has on a person, like when it’s used, or when it’s consumed?
DRH: St. John’s Wort is actually a good example of this because it’s been extremely studied for the alleviation of depression and when I say the alleviation of depression, it’s a brightening, right? So different sorts of depression have different causes and symptoms and impacts, right? But with St. John’s Wort, it’s used for seasonal affective disorder, especially wintertime seasonal affective disorder, because it brings in a lightening of the body. When it’s applied topically it’s also very warming if you use it as an oil. It brings warmth to your tissues. It speeds up detoxification processes in the liver, which is why it can be really important to make sure you’re not taking any medications that need to stay in the body longer if you are also engaging with St. John’s Wort because St. John’s Wort will push it out of your body more quickly, but that purification process, that movement process, literally is a lightening of, for lack of a better word, sludge, which when we think about the Sun, and how the Sun dries mud into dirt, that’s kind of one of the things that St. John’s Wort does in the body, and in the psychosomatic system. does so it’s not just the appearance and the growth habit, but it’s also the impact that it has on the human person.
CB: That makes me think of the Sun and its domicile Leo being opposite to Saturn and Aquarius, which is sort of setting up this light/dark contrast, and then that’s also the contrast with the exaltation of the Sun in Aries on the spring equinox when the day and the light is increasing, vs. Saturn having its exaltation in Libra during the fall equinox when the nights are getting longer, and so the concept of darkness is increasing or is being raised up, but that’s interesting thinking about that in terms of St. John’s Wort’s effect on depression, and just lightening a person’s mood or helping to clear some internal sense of darkness or something like that.
SC: Yeah, literally bringing the sunshine back into their life. Bringing that sense of warmth, that sense of radiance, that sense of feeling safe in your body, feeling okay, feeling open and happy. St. John’s Wort is incredible at that. Now in some cases, you know, it’s not a cure-all for everyone’s depression, it’s actually really contraindicated with certain things, so definitely look it up if you’re curious about St. John’s Wort. It can be so solar and energizing and brightening that it can actually induce episodes of mania for people who are predisposed to that, so St. John’s Wort, like all herbs, to our ancestors and to herbalists of old, and even herbalists now, herbs were drugs, you know? Until we had standardized medications all we had was herbs, so that’s another thing to think about in the context of how astrology and herbalism intersect. In the past astrologers might’ve been physicians. Herbalists would’ve been considered physicians and a lot of them were astrologers, so the ways in which these two things intersect too kind of depends on the cultural context, and the time period that you’re looking at, but often times all herbalists were practicing astrology, and so that was obviously a language that they were going to be using to influence the way they thought about and worked with plants.
DRH: Including, you know, how do we harvest plants? How do we prepare medicines with plants? And then which plant medicines are appropriate for which people based on astrological factors, and so this is kind of getting more into medical astrology as it intersects with herbalism, which astrology and herbalism together do not have to be medicinal in their orientation, like treating physical or psycho-spiritual ailments, but that is one component of astro-herbalism is using astrology to know which herbs are appropriate for which people, and which symptoms which causes of disease, based on a variety of factors that can be discerned through astrological means.
CB: Okay. Yeah, that seems like a really important component in terms of the overlap with traditional medicine and how doctors in the middle ages, and early Renaissance, used to be trained in astrology as a diagnostic tool in order to figure out, you know, before we had all this technology, using a way to figure out what’s going on with a person, and what is their constitution, and what sort of things are going to resonate well with them vs. what things might make certain problems worse, and that might tie us into an important discussion topic in terms of the general concept of a person’s constitution or temperament, and it seems like a lot of this gets tied into ideas of hot and cold, and other temperament theories that become important in terms of figuring out which plants are doing what to a person’s body.
SC: Yeah, and throughout the history, you’re absolutely right, Astrologers and physicians were having to learn astrology in order to make that diagnosis, and that became a really big thing in the Renaissance period, and throughout the Medieval period, and then it kind of fell away as astrology was suppressed, but in terms of those connections to understanding the chart, and understanding what might be good for the person in front of you through looking at their chart. The natal chart can tell so much about a person as we know as astrologers, but from a physical perspective, it can help us to understand things like temperament, which ultimately the idea of temperament is– some people refer to it as temperament, some people will refer to it as constitution, or some people will refer to it as body types. They all pretty much mean the same thing, but the temperament scheme kind of evolved from the humoral doctrine, which the Hippocratic school of thought around the humors, the four humors, which then Galen refined into the temperaments, and at that point when Galen was doing that work, it wasn’t really intersecting with astrology. The concept of understanding temperament through the chart was grafted into astrology later on, so these concepts in medicine and philosophy, and astrology were evolving at the same time, but temperament didn’t exclusively come from astrology. You can calculate someone’s temperament through their astrological chart, you can observe transits and progressions to see how their temperament might be influenced and might be changed by external factors, but understanding temperament through the chart can be super helpful especially if you don’t know that person. Because ideally a physician would be able to look at someone and get a feel for their predispositions and do some narrative interviewing with them to figure out their temperament, but if you’ve never seen someone ever before, and they’re just walking into your practice for the first time, having their chart as a baseline can give you a lot of information to then guide that interview process with them, so you can really refine their temperament, and figure out which herbs, or lifestyle or dietary treatments might really exacerbate their condition, or which ones they might feel really akin to, and might help them to resolve whatever is going on with them either more gracefully or easily or quicker.
DRH: Mhm, and just to clarify, because I think maybe it’s important for us to even define what temperament is when we’re talking about these things for listeners who maybe are unaware. It’s this basic idea that we have the qualities of hot, dry, cold, and moist, and if there is a predominance of one of those in your chart, which you can discern via planetary placement, your Ascendant, that kind of thing, then that indicates a predisposition towards that particular direction, towards those polarities. And plants themselves carry these qualities as well, so certain plants are more moist, certain plants are more drying, certain plants are hot like peppers, and certain plants are cooling like milky oats or something like that. If we understand what someone’s baseline temperament is, and how that temperament is being influenced by factors like Sarah was just saying like transits, progressions, other aspects of timing techniques that can influence how the body and the being is feeling, then we can also understand which plants including food plants and spice plants that we’re incorporating into our meals, will exacerbate or alleviate particular conditions, and so what’s interesting about this is that it kind of ties in with other aspects of astro-herbalism that are less again physically/medically oriented, but thinking about remedies and remediation, like I know remediation is a topic that you touched on Chris I think in the podcast episode with Austin on astrological magic, right?
DRH: And so, you know, this idea of remedy of making something better for someone, astro-herbalism can be incorporated into that with care and expertise, both for physical systems but also for life experiences like if you have a really intense Mars situation, you can incorporate astro-herbalism to be like I need a stronger Mars, so I’m going to eat more spicy food, or I need to not be so choleric, which is one of the temperaments, and so I’m going to deliberately not eat spicy food, and maybe focus on more Venusian or Lunar herbs and foods. There’s this balancing of existing that is available through incorporating astrology and herbalism and plant understandings.
CB: Yeah. That reminds me, that’s one of the things that seems to cross a lot of different boundaries in terms of the different astro-medical traditions was the notion of this holistic notion of health that excesses or imbalances in certain areas of a person’s life or constitution is sometimes what can lead to ailments or sickness, and that a lot of the focus seems to be on trying to balance out or counteract things that get too extreme, or too out of whack, in order to bring them more into a moderate level, and that that’s the goal for health and wellness in both some of the traditional western traditions, as well as in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition where they have a different temperament system, but their goal is to balance out those temperaments so that you don’t have an excess of something.
SC: Well, and even in the Ayurvedic system their temperaments that the doshas use is still based off of an elemental paradigm, which is what the western– if you want to call it western, I mean it’s really Greek and Arabic, but we’ll say what the western notion of temperament looks like. The four temperaments, the four main ones: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic correspond to air, fire, earth, and water, and air is a combination of hot and moist. Fire is a combination of hot and dry. Earth is cold and dry. Water is cold and moist. Different writers throughout the ages would look at these different temperaments and would say, okay, well you know spring corresponds with the sanguine temperament because spring is hot and moist, so if someone has a sanguine temperament, and they’re being influenced by this excess of hot and moist energy that’s happening in the springtime, they might start to have these types of hot and moist issues. How can we counterbalance that? Well, we can do that antipathy, by doing the opposite, giving them the opposite of what hot and moist types of things look like, or if maybe they need a little bit of help having a little bit of hot and moistness, maybe we’re in the middle of fall, and that heat and moisture is fading away, now we’re going to want to do something sympathetic to their constitution to help them to stay in balance. It’s kind of, you know, it’s this fine line of finding a set point of baseline. There really is no such thing as true balance when it comes to your health, but with the temperaments, we’re consistently trying to help people get there and stay in the condition that they feel most vital and alive and vibrant in.
CB: Okay, so let’s say for somebody that has, for example, an excessively fiery, or let’s say Mars-like temperament, what would be an example of an herb that would be cooling, or that would be the opposite of that, that would perhaps counteract if somebody was having a strong Mars transit, or something, and having an excess of a fiery type of energy that needs to be moderated to some extent?
SC: Yes, so there’s an excess of Mars going on, which Mars transits can be pretty uncomfortable. They often are. My autoimmune disease coincides with the pretty intense Mars transit, but with Mars if we’re wanting to do something antipathical to that we’re looking at things that are cold and moist, right? Or we’re looking at things that are slightly cooling, so we might consider Venusian remedies, and we might consider Lunar remedies. We wouldn’t necessarily want to bring in Saturn even though Saturn is definitely cold and dry. We would instead want to soothe that Mars, so from a Lunar perspective maybe we would consider something like milky oats, which I know a lot of people consider to be ruled by Mercury, but I firmly disagree, and from a Venusian perspective we might consider really soft soothing things. Things like roses, of course that we already mentioned, but also different activities that feel more Venusian, or feel more Lunar. It doesn’t always have to be about what we’re imbibing. It can be about maybe taking some more cool baths, or engaging in a soothing skin care routine. Maybe you’re having a Mars issue that’s showing up as hot inflamed tissues. Things like that. It doesn’t have to be super like, we’re having this going on, we’re going to use x herb to help that, it can be more of, you can even just spend some time with a plant. Just sit with a plant.
CB: Right, so that really gets us– go ahead sorry.
DRH: Oh, I was just going to say even just observing how a plant exists in the world can be really helpful, so for example I grow roses myself here. One of the galaxy brain moments that I’ve had about roses in the past, this was actually several years ago, but I was just thinking about the balance between Venus and Mars that is actually embodied by some of the worlds most fragrant roses. This is not true across the board, but generally speaking roses that are super fragrant, and so therefore very attractive to bees and human noses and things like that, they’ll have really really intense thorns, and thorns as a plant part are Martial because they’re sharp and poky and they literally draw blood, and so if you’re having Mars issues, or even Venus issues, like if you’re over connecting, you’re over concerned with creating harmony with other people, you’re over concerned with relationships to the point where you are being over consumed, understanding that literally the rose plant itself carries a Martial balance to it through the thorns, so you don’t necessarily even have to go all the way to, you know, for examples like nettles or brambles, or I don’t know, what’s another example of a super harsh Mars plant?
SC: Garlic, and peppers, basically anything with sharp stabby edges is probably ruled by Mars.
DRH: Yeah, you don’t have to go all the way to the point of being really sharp and stabby in order to balance your Venus, you can just cultivate an understanding that certain aspects of Martial virtues actually support the Venusian. That kind of ties into aspects of astro-herbalism that are less directly medicinal in terms of consuming as drugs, as medicines, which is engaging with the virtues of the planets through plants, and the virtues of the plants through planets in a way that facilitates deeper understanding of how planetary influences are in constant searching towards homeostasis I guess, and that can be reflected through vegetation.
CB: Okay. This is kind of making me think of just the general concept of sympathetic magic, and the notion of trying to invoke the archetype of a planet, or a thing that you want to bring into your life more by surrounding yourself with different forms of that, and one of those that we’re talking about is specific plants, but also doing certain types of activities, or listening to certain types of music or what have you in order to really invoke that. It seems like that’s part of the underlying theory that you’re working with here as well.
SC: Definitely, and I mean throughout sympathetic magic traditions you’ll see plants show up like that, where you can use certain plants that are of a certain planet to make a talisman, or I know a blacksmith who produces different things, or he’ll quench the product that he’s making, depending on the planetary signature he’s trying to imbue that with, he’ll quench it in a liquid that was made with certain herbs to help fortify that planetary character. And even in herbalism, we have a practice of sympathy. It’s called homeopathy. Homeopathy is a practice of taking a very very very microdilution of a plant that would be sympathetic to an issue you’re having, for example, if you’re having poison ivy you would take a really really tiny dilution of poison ivy, so homeopathy is a practice that also uses this like-cures-like type of sentiment for treatment.
CB: Okay. It’s a really interesting concept just putting my astrologer’s hat on that I’ve always been interested and curious about, but just that notion of sympathetic magic. It’s kind of like cheat codes for reality, and for human existence where sometimes if you have something– it goes back to that old Mesopotamia tradition of propitiation rituals where in some instances when they would see a bad omen, an astrological omen coming up, they would substitute it or deliberately try to take on the energy proactively in their life in some way in order to allow it to manifest in their life because it was almost like they were acknowledging that the manifestation was inevitable in some way, but that if they could channel it deliberately then they might be able to have more control over it than just having it as something that comes out of nowhere and sort of happens, and sweeps them away.
SC: When we apply that to something like herbalism, or medical astrology, that can give us a really beautiful lens to work through to actually practice true preventative care, which is more healing, and going to be more beneficial for the individual, than waiting until something happens. I know I’m going to have a pretty big Mars transit next year. I’m already thinking about what I need to do to pacify my Mars, and to direct that energy towards something that’s going to be more beneficial, and hopefully not something that’s going to cause me to have a physical response that I’ve had in the past when I have this Mars return every couple of years. Medical astrology can be used in that way. You can watch someone’s chart to identify when something might come up, and then you can give them the proper support herbally or otherwise from a magical perspective, whatever way you’re approaching that, you can give that person true support to help improve their experience of being human, and in that way, astro-herbalism is absolutely a cheat code to having a better experience in a human body.
DRH: One hundred percent, and it’s interesting to consider too how, as astrologers, and tracking transits, tracking cycles, you know like, I don’t know I’m thinking for example about the upcoming Venus retrograde in Capricorn later this year.
CB: In December.
DRH: Yeah, starting in December, and how that retrograde is a continuation of experiences that I had in 2013, yeah, getting my years correct, like end of 2013 there was a Venus retrograde in Capricorn, and remembering what that particular winter experience was like, and then using what I learned then, and what I’ve learned since then, to prepare myself for this particular retrograde that’s coming up, which will have a lot of differences because the skies are very different in other ways, but will also have repetitions, so it’s like, to use astrology and to be able to comprehend Venus specifically, Capricorn specifically, Venus in Capricorn together as it stands for me as an individual human person, and then with astro-herbalism I can think in terms of what would’ve been really helpful for me at that time? But I didn’t have the knowledge or resources in order to apply that to that experience back then. What do I know now that I can apply and mitigate, alleviate, create ease there, and part of that has been a process, and you know this is kind of delving and moving more towards an aspect of astro-herbalism that we haven’t touched on yet, which is creating relationships, vs. just this equals this, so I’m going to do this, right? Part of why this relevant, I natally have Venus in Capricorn in the first house, and so when Venus is retrograding in my first house it’s more personal, and understanding what happened back then, and understanding what is coming up, and understanding everything that has happened since then that has actually deepened my relationship with Venus, and the sphere of the Venusian, as well as the relationships that I have built with beings that fall under Venus’s purview. All of that relational building contributes to a deepened understanding, which then contributes to a deepened ease because there are relationships that have been built if that makes any sense. I don’t know if how I’m explaining is as sensical outside of my mouth, as it is inside of my head, but that is I think a core part of astro-herbalism that we haven’t talked about yet, which is the relationship component of getting to know plants, getting to know planets, not just because of what they do, but as a part of understanding planetary virtues as balancers to planetary vices, could maybe be one way of putting that.
CB: Okay, and it sounds like part of what you’re also alluding to a little bit is a view of the cosmos in a sense of animism, or being alive in some way.
DRH: Yeah, one hundred percent. If you can engage with a planet, a plant, a being, an animal, whatever, from a standpoint of you have intelligence, you have knowledge, you have things that you teach, and that is part of your existence is to be an embodiment of the things that you, like by existing that you default teach the world, and then be like I want to get to know what it is that you teach, what it is that you represent, what it is that you’re responsible for, and through that getting to know be in a place where you can, I don’t know, reciprocate is strange to think about in terms of the planets because the planets don’t need anything from us. They’re not, you know, shoving hands in our faces demanding alms or something, but to understand that there is a level of paying it forward could maybe be one way of thinking about it, where it’s just like if I understand the virtues of Venus, through the virtues of the rose plant, how can I be a spreader of those virtues through my embodiment.
SC: An emissary.
DRH: An emissary, yeah, an ambassador almost, in a way that helps to propagate, to use a plant term, right? To propagate those virtues in positive and constructive ways, like in my personal life, and then outside my personal life, and especially when we think about reciprocity with plants, which can be weird to think about, reciprocity with plants is facilitating that plant’s survival, so berries have a baked in reciprocity structure in that if you eat berries, and you’re a bear or a bird, the next time you take a poo you are spreading the seeds of that plant, and that’s like your reciprocity. I eat you and then thank you by making more of you out in the world, and I think that’s one of the things that we can consider whenever we’re even thinking about planets, getting to know planets, understanding the meanings of the planets, and then being like, cool, I would like to contribute to an increase of Jupiterian virtues because Jupiter is amazing, and so what does it mean for me to embody Jupiterian virtues in general, also maybe in my life according to my chart, and also understanding Jupiterian virtues through a plant like burdock can facilitate a broader and more pragmatic and actionable way to embody Jupiterian virtues than just thinking about like philosophy, and magnanimity, gregariousness. What does it mean to be supportive of systems on a physical level, which is what burdock does?
SC: And engaging with a plant like burdock is going to help you have a felt sense of what Jupiter is like. Astrology can feel really up in the air and out there, and you’re reading book after book after book, and it’s like, wait, what does that mean? I don’t really know. And if you engage with one of these plants you can actually have this physical sensation of what that planet feels like, and for me as an herbalist who’s primarily approaching the world as an herbalist, I love astrology, I practice astrology, it’s great, but I’m not first and foremost an astrologer. When I was able to make that link of when I’m engaging with a plant like burdock I’m engaging with Jupiter. That helped me actually solidify the knowledge that I had learned through years of study and reading all these different books into something that was truly felt, which for me makes it so much easier for me to articulate what Jupiter is like vs. just repeating some correspondences in some books.
CB: Yeah. It’s more tangible, or to give a more accessible example like eating a ghost pepper, or something like that, and feeling what Mars tastes like internally when you eat it, that’s a very tangible and memorable experience of a Mars type experience or archetype.
SC: Yeah. Definitely a ghost pepper. That’ll make you feel hot and spicy.
DRH: Very hot and spicy, extremely uncomfortable, and kind of like you want to die.
SC: Or fight someone.
DRH: Or both.
CB: Yeah. That links back to and reminds me of, it’s really interesting in Ptolemy’s model of the planets in like the second century Alexandria is he associated Mars, especially with hot type archetypes, and heating, like an excess of hot type things, vs. he associated Saturn with an excess of cold things, like extreme cold, and those are like two ends of a spectrum, and that was part of the reason why he qualified them as malefics because he said that they tended towards those extremes of hot and cold, whereas his definition of benefic was that which is more moderate, and doesn’t tend towards extremes as much, so that might be a good access point as well just thinking about extremes of hot and cold as like an easily accessible access point for understanding certain plants, and how some of us natally, if we have a prominent Mars we might have an excessively hot constitution, whereas if we have Saturn prominent we might have an excessively cold constitution or what have you.
SC: Yeah, and depending on the houses, you know, if you have something in the first, sixth, eighth, or twelfth it might be a little bit more impactful on your constitution. There are a lot of things that go into calculating temperament, but that aspect of those four qualities is definitely a big part of that. Mars is hot and dry in an excess way, while the Sun is hot and dry and it can become excessive, but not nearly to the extent of what Mars can create. Mars is like an uncomfortable heat. The Sun is like a really pleasant middle of summer day in the sunshine. It’s balmy, not blistering.
DRH: Right, and it’s even fun to think about the extremes as like is it life promoting, or is it life negating? Warmth and coolness are both facilitative of comfort until you get to their extremes and then it’s like, yeah, Antarctica with no clothes? Death. Death Valley with no clothes or water? Death. Those extremes also then have their import and their uses, where it’s like we’ve talked about the importance of balance, and homeostasis, and things like that, but these more extreme plants and planets also have functions and lessons inherent to them, where it’s like if you’re in an extreme environment, you also maybe need extreme measures to survive that environment.
SC: A plant good example of this is actually thinking about, you know, extreme conditions. Aloe vera is a Lunar plant, and it grows in the hot desert. It has adapted to create more Lunar virtues and to cultivate what it needs by storing moisture and mucilage in itself, even though it’s in a total Martial environment, and so plants do that too.
DRH: Aloe vera is like the Moon in Aries. We can use astrological language to explicate plants in a way that, if you are astrologically fluent, supports your comprehension of plants, and then if you’re plant fluent, you can use plant language to comprehend astrological concepts, so I think aloe vera is a perfect example of that where it’s like the fleshiness of the plant, and the fact that it is literally cooling and very moistening, and extremely soothing especially to hot dry conditions, it’s like, what does it mean to understand the Moon as a mitigator to Mars?
CB: Right, because if you have a Mars transit, and you get a sunburn, that’s an excessively heating thing on your skin then aloe, which is more of a cooling plant, is a great antidote as a counteraction to that.
CB: That actually makes me think of one time, just giving anecdotes to ground this in some astrological transits, but I had, several years ago, secondary progressed Mars square my Sun for like a couple years, as it does when it’s passing by, and I developed this skin condition where I would go outside and get sunburns within like ten minutes, so it was a very specific very literal manifestation of secondary progressed Mars squaring my Sun, and having sunburns just constantly, so I couldn’t go outside. Have either of you had things like that, that were medical conditions, or something like that that came up that were just obvious manifestations of some transit or some placement that you’ve had?
SC: Yeah, actually this is how I got into medical astrology. [Laughs] I had come across medical astrology in my reading over the years, you know, you’ll see a little blurb on it. I think you have a little blurb on it in your book Chris, just very briefly or someone does. People will talk about it and then no one will go into depth with it, but the time I got into herbalism and astrology was when I was a teenager and I was going through a major chronic illness, and no one one knew what was wrong with me, and I couldn’t get a diagnosis, and I was just sick all the time. I later ended up being diagnosed with celiac disease, but a few years ago I had a reading with a medical astrologer. I was having some health issues coming up again, didn’t know what was going on, had a reading with Claire Gallagher, who’s an incredible medical astrologer, has a book coming out on it next year I believe, and she was going through my past transits, and she pulled up my chart of around the time that I got sick with celiac, which was in like March of 2017, and I had just had Mars go past my Mars, which is conjunct Mercury in Aquarius in the seventh, and then Mars pinged my Saturn and my Sun and Venus in Pisces, and then Neptune just nestled right into Pisces forever, and I can’t wait till it just moves right along, so I had this experience that lined up perfectly of developing an autoimmune which is an excess of Mars basically, you know, developing this major inflammatory condition that then when Neptune settled in no one could get a diagnosis, no one could figure out what was going on. I was like the mystery case, and it took almost two years. I would be curious actually to look back at-
DRH: A Mars cycle.
DRH: It took a Mars cycle to discern.
CB: Yeah. I hate Neptune-type afflictions because it’s those things that are mysterious, and you have a hard time figuring out, but it’s something, but no one can identify it, at least not for a long time.
DRH: Did you mean 2007, and not 2017?
SC: Oh my gosh I actually got those dates totally wrong. It was 2011. 2010 and 2011. My bad.
DRH: Yeah, I was like it was longer ago than that, haha.
SC: Yeah, I had that medical astrology reading in 2017, or like 2018. That was the timeline I was thinking of, thank you for correcting me. Then ever since, whenever I have a Mars return, it goes back that same thing, and I tend to have an autoimmune flare, and now that I’ve observed this for a decade I’ve become acutely aware of what my body needs during that time, which is why I’m already thinking about the next time Mars decides to go past all that again, because until Neptune moves out of Pisces it has a firm, well, loose and nebulous and sometimes confusing hold on my eighth house, which is the house that tends to be associated with chronic health conditions if you have a chronic health condition.
CB: What about you, Diana? Have you had any medical experiences that have been very literal manifestations in relation to transits or chart things?
DRH: Yeah. I mean most recently my progressed Moon moved through Capricorn, which is also my first house, like my natal first house it is currently my progressed twelfth house. Super cute. That transit came with a lot of… the progressed Moon moving through Capricorn was also at the beginning of my progressed Balsamic Moon, my progressed New Moon, and my progressed like I’m almost to waxing, I’m at crescent now, solidly waxing crescent now, thank god. But that coincided with really extreme burnout, and a discovery that my body was not absorbing sufficient nutrients, and was not processing nutrients and toxins sufficiently, and that manifested as a skin condition. It’s a skin condition that I’ve had since childhood, but has cycle of flare, and this has been the, it was the most significant flare that I’ve had since I was a child, and the Moon is responsible for digestion processes and the absorption of nutrients and how we nourish, like how we do receive nourishment, and so it’s in fall in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, is my first house, my skin, which is a combination of Saturnian and Venusian. It’s Saturnian in terms of it being a structure that is a boundary, and Venusian in terms of beauty and radiance, but that progressed Moon through Capricorn came with this skin condition that is connected to insufficient absorption of nutrients, and insufficient processing of toxins, and along with that, the Saturn Pluto conjunction forever ago, last year, occurred on my Venus which is in my Capricorn first house. That combination of factors was just very not cute.
SC: We were doing a lot of things at the time for Diana.
DRH: Like milky oats, I was consuming milky oats as part of a blended infusion, or like a combination infusion every single day. I was also drinking a lot of celery juice, and celery is Lunar, and that was helpful, but also just really adjusting my diet and lifestyle to be more nourishing, so like more rest, and more nutrient-dense foods, and the elimination of foods that can contribute to malabsorption of nutrients. Also supplementation, right, because food was not sufficient for my body to be getting what it needed.
CB: Right. This is just reminding me just how much I love secondary progressions, and the secondary progressed lunation cycle, and I actually just noticed on Twitter the other day that Peter from Astro-seek.com just announced that he integrated a new secondary progressed lunation calculator that’ll just calculate all of your phases for you.
DRH: Peter is such a gift.
CB: I know, he’s really amazing. He’s been programming things like crazy. I think Demetra George asked him if he could program this for a workshop she’s doing because that’s a big technique that she focuses on, but it actually made me glance at my own secondary progressed phase, and I just realized I’m literally at the exact secondary progressed full Moon, that literally just went exact in the past week, which is kind of striking, because I was thinking back and actually posted something the other day about back at my time at Project Hindsight when I was a twenty-two-year-old astrologer, fourteen years ago, and that’s exactly when my secondary progressed new Moon took place, starting that cycle.
DRH: Wow, that’s incredible, I love that. Question for you if you want to share, have you noticed anything, like can you think of anything that would be related to nourishment in your body related to that progressed full Moon?
CB: I mean it’s hard because just a sense of having a lot going on like it feels like I’ve reached a high point in my career, but also activity, and Demetra was telling me the other night that I need to take it easy more after podcasts so as to not burn myself out, perhaps? I don’t know if that answers your question.
DRH: Yeah. A little bit.
DRH: Are you craving cheese? This is me being funny, haha.
CB: Yeah, I mean I’m always craving cheese, so that’s different, but, okay, other things that we need to touch on, one of them for medical astrology. I know this is verging into just a whole thing on medical astrology, which is a whole thing in and of itself.
SC: Yeah, that’d be three episodes.
CB: Right, yeah, and I did do one early on with Lee Lehman on medical astrology that people can check out for sort of a broad overview of that topic from a traditional standpoint, but it does seem like maybe the sixth house and the twelfth house are a little bit relevant here, and I was just curious if or to what extent you take that into account sometimes when you’re trying to think about either temporary herbal regimens or ongoing ones that might be useful for a person. The sixth and twelfth house traditionally are these sometimes afflictions or illnesses that a person might be predisposed to in their life, and I was wondering if that comes into play, or if other first house things maybe come into play in terms of the body, and the physical and mental constitution. I know Marsilio Ficino famously wrote a whole book on Saturn, and how he had Saturn as the ruler of his chart, and the different things that he had to do in order to sort of offset and work with that more Saturnian constitution. Here’s his chart really quickly. He had Aquarius Rising with Saturn in Aquarius in the first house, and so his thing was feeling like he had an excess of Saturn-type things, and how to offset and deal with that in different ways.
SC: Yeah, I bet he had pretty terrible circulation. He was probably cold all the time. When I’m looking at a chart from a medical astrology perspective to then identify herbs that are going to be the most supportive for that person on a physical, emotional, mental, you know, every spectrum, I look at every single house, so I was taught to see physical astrology in every single house, so I’ll use traditional significations as well, but I’ll also think about how those traditional significations may intersect with their physical experience, but the sixth house, the eighth house, the twelfth and the first are definitely really important. My kind of process is, you know, what are their big three, thinking of the Sun, Moon, rising, really focusing on the Ascendant to get an idea of what their experience is in this meat suit, and then considering looking at the houses and saying, well, do they have anything in the sixth or the eighth house, if not where are the rulers of that house? There are so many different things that you can break down to try to discern the source of maybe a medical issue that’s going on but to use a grounded example, I’m a Leo rising, and I have the Sun conjunct Saturn in the eighth, so my Sun is not absolutely thrilled with it’s life, so my health concerns tend to be more related to my first house and to my eighth house, while the sixth house I have in Capricorn, I have nothing there.
DRH: Except the generational planets.
SC: Yeah, so there’s no traditional planets that are there, so when I’m thinking about how the sixth house Capricorn manifests for me, I’m thinking about what are the routines and structures that I have in my life that help to break or make my health? How can I build structures, how can I do the things that Capricorn is really good at to help to ensure the health of my overall body? So that’s how I’ll think about that house for my own chart, or for other houses that are traditionally associated with medical astrology. If there’s nothing really going on there then I’ll consider the associations of that house, and how that’s going to impact the individual.
DRH: Whereas for me it’s like I have the ruler of the Ascendant in the first conjoined Neptune, and then I have my two lamps in the twelfth house, right? My Sun and Moon in the twelfth, and at least for me when it comes to navigating my health a lot of it is actually the support of others helping me to perceive me because of how challenging it can be for me to perceive me, right? When I say I have Neptune conjoined the ruler of my Ascendant it’s less than a degree, you know, it’s not a really wide orb here, so it can be hard for me to fully self-perceive. Add on the luminaries in the twelfth house, understanding what it is that I’m doing or not doing, that is supportive for me, can be really challenging because I kind of just end up like, I’m just going to check out and I’ll be over here in fantasy land pretending that I live in an ashram, like please nobody talk to me, but it’s through actually the ruler of my twelfth house, Jupiter, in my seventh house in Cancer, opposite my Neptune-Saturn conjunction. It’s the wisdom of other people that actually supports me, and understanding what I might need to do for my health. The ruler of my sixth house also happens to be in the twelfth house, so I have a Gemini sixth house, and I have Mercury in Sagittarius in the twelfth, and so there again, it’s hard for me to fully access independently in a conscious mind way, but if I am doing twelfth house activities to support the rest of my system, so meditation and things like that, that’s really helpful. It’s hard for me to build those habits because I have a Gemini sixth house, and the ruler is in the twelfth, so again, working with people in like a partnership kind of way, ruler of those things in the seventh, ends up being really supportive for my health in the long run, and that relationship building isn’t just about other human people for me, right? Where it’s like developing direct relationships with the planets themselves, actually, is super supportive and helpful. Like literally spending time meditating, twelfth house, on planetary virtues as a way to build relationships, seventh house, really supports me in terms of being able to feel concrete in my incarnational suit. Obviously, plants are part of that experience for me.
CB: That makes me think of the mind-body distinction sometimes in the chart, and when something is affecting the physical body, or when it’s affecting the mental body, or whatever you want to call it, but sometimes the interchange, or the relationship between the two.
DRH: Mhm, yeah, absolutely.
SC: Well, and another thing about medical astrology too is that just because you’re having a transit, or just because you have a natal placement doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always going to manifest as something really tangible, or uncomfortable. Like when you showed the chart of that guy who has Saturn in Aquarius in the first house, my first instinct is well he probably has really bad circulation, but if I looked at the rest of the chart there might be something else there that stands out or something that mitigates that, so one of the beautiful things about understanding your chart, and understanding some plants that are associated with the really strong for better or for worse planets in your chart, you can help to understand when maybe certain predispositions might come out, and how to mitigate them. You can understand your own cycles and patterns, and how they’re mirrored in the cycles and patterns of the plants you have a special affinity to. There’s so many different ways that you can combine this work. Like Diana I love how we talk a lot about Jupiter being in the seventh for you, and how you need support from other people, and how so much of the work that Diana and I are doing now is as a result of us being in relationship with each other, to care for each other. I was one of Diana’s astrology clients, she was one of my herbal clients, and now we’re bringing that together in a collaborative capacity, but so much of the work that I was doing with Diana as an herbalist was helping her find relational support with specific plants. Like burdock was a big one that you were working with last year.
DRH: Yeah. Agrimony, too, which is another Jupiterian herb, which supports the liver.
CB: What is red clover good for?
SC: Red clover is typically associated with Venus because it’s slightly moistening, I mean it’s not really mucilaginous or anything, but it’s often used for the lungs and the respiratory tract. It has a slightly moistening effect on the respiratory tract. It’s also an alterative, so it helps with metabolic wastes, and it’s a lymphatic herb, so it’s helping to move the waters of the body which is very Venusian, sometimes Lunar.
CB: Okay. There’s a local apothecary that I go to in Denver called Apothecary Tinctura, and one of the people there recommended red clover for some acne issues that I was suddenly having as an adult, which is weird because I was fine in my twenties, and for some reasons red clover has been a really great sort of medicinal herb to take as a supplement occasionally, or as a tea for that, and so I was curious what the properties of it were, and why it seemed to work so well for my constitution.
SC: Yeah, well that’s that alterative lymphatic aspect of it helping to move impurities and waste out of the body. Typically when something is showing up on the skin it means that there’s something going on internally, so that would be that red clover action. It’d be interesting to look at your chart to see if there’s something in there that points to it or a particular transit that brought that up, or also sometimes we just love plants, haha, I love plants.
DRH: Red clover is amazing. That’s actually one that I’ve been using for my own skin condition as tea as well, but this is actually bringing up something, you know, if you want to if you feel comfortable Chris, we could maybe take a glance at your chart? But I actually posted something on Instagram recently about relationships with plants, and there were so many really incredible comments that people were leaving, and there was one in particular that someone was like, I’ve been obsessed with lavender, the plant and the color, for basically my entire life. I find it very calming and soothing, I have a lot of anxiety, that kind of thing, and she didn’t know what lavender is associated with, like how could this relate astrologically? So I commented, well, lavender is a Mercury plant. I didn’t say this in the comment, but lavender is Mercurial in part because it helps clarify the nervous system, which can be really mind-clarifying, and then that clarification of the nervous system then allows the nervous system to calm down, so if you’re having the kind of anxiety that’s just too much, there’s too much, there’s too much, there’s too much, lavender’s like let’s get some of this out of the way so that we can just be here with what we actually need to be concerned with. That particular person had like four things in Virgo, including Jupiter.
CB: Okay, interesting.
SC: Which lavender has also been associated with Virgo by certain astro-herbalists throughout the ages.
DRH: She has a relationship with a plant that supports those aspects of her chart that can lead to disbalance, without having to have had intentionally done that, so if there’s something in your chart that’s like, yeah, red clover, or Venusian things for your skin, then that can be an interesting way to see planetary influence reflected in the fact that we live our charts even if we don’t mean to.
CB: Right, that makes sense. I mean, it’s also reminding me of something that was mentioned by Claire Moon in the last episode that I did earlier this month where I asked what was the first thing she looks at in a chart delineation, and one of the things she mentioned which was a good answer, was just that little box on the Astrodienst charts which shows you your modalities, and your elemental makeup, and if you have an excess of planets, so I kind of pulled that up quickly with mine to make that point, but here’s my chart in Placidus, but in the bottom left you can see that little box that has the, you know, it shows what planets are in fire signs, which ones are in air signs, which are in earth, and which are in water, and you can kind of get a quick, especially if a person has a real emphasis on certain elements, at a quick glance you can sort of see that. Yeah, so that’s it. It also brings up another related point, which we were going to get into, and Sarah actually sent me an image of, but that is the zodiacal zodiac man, or there’s different names for it in different eras of astrology, or different cultures, but it’s the association between certain parts of the body, and certain zodiac signs, starting with the first sign of the zodiac, Aries assigning it to the head, and then Taurus is the second sign assigning it to the neck, and then Gemini the arms and the shoulders, and just going all the way down the body until you get to Pisces and the feet. This is a very old association, but I think we’ve recently traced back, or scholars have traced back to the Mesopotamian astrological tradition, but it’s one that’s also kind of interesting, and I”ve occasionally seen as really strikingly compelling in some instances. For example, one of the things I always felt was compelling about that was I have Cancer on the sixth house, which is associated with illness, and the ruler is the Moon, which is in Aquarius, and as a kid growing up I always had stomach issues, and issues with my stomach, and Cancer and the Moon are the two primary areas that you look to for issues related to the stomach, so I always thought that was a very interesting literal manifestation of those zodiacal assignments and planetary assignments to the body, and medical astrology working out pretty well for me. Or, not well, but working out very literally.
DRH: Working out astrologer well. [Laughs]
CB: Astrologer good, [Laugh] yeah. Have either of you, is that something that comes up in terms of herbalism with the zodiacal assignments to different body parts?
SC: Yeah, and I mean the zodiacal man is a really great beginning reference point for understanding different rulerships, and it has been around for a really long time. That image was just from the mid-1800s from a newspaper in the US, but you can check out other books to see all of the other associations, because Pisces rules the feet, but it also has a relationship with the lymphatic system, and aspects of the stomach with Virgo, while Cancer, like aspects of the intestines rather than Cancer which more rules the stomach, and aspects of the lungs, things like that, so there are a lot of delineations for body parts associated with signs. Judith Hill’s books go through that. The Encyclopedia of Medical Astrology by Cornell has a lot of information like that. My teacher Claire Gallagher has a book coming out that I’m sure she’s going through all of that next year as well, which will have more recent up to date medical information in it because Cornell’s book is pretty old, but I will definitely look at someone’s chart and notate the body areas that are associated with some of the placements that I see, and then follow up with them and ask them some questions about that because like I said before you might see a predisposition in the chart, and it might not actually be coming to fruition, so I like to use the chart as a guiding light to help direct the types of questions that I ask to see if that’s actually showing up for them, or if it’s ever shown up for them in the past before. Like I’m thinking about a client that I had last year, who had the Sun in Aquarius. I can’t remember what his rising was, but he also had Venus in Pisces, and he was experiencing a lot of digestive discomfort, and a lot of digestive issues that really sounded like dysbiosis, which is an overgrowth or an improper balance of bacteria in the microbiome, which is something very Venus in Pisces in that Pisces has a relationship with the digestive system, and Venus is very moist and warm, and lacks tone, and likes sweet things, and all of these things can lead to dysbiosis, and so when I saw this in this person’s chart I was instantly guided to note that down in my margins of this is something that I need to ask this client about, and low and behold that was the primary issue that this person was having. We needed to remediate that very lovely Venus in Pisces that was manifesting into something that was something that was really uncomfortable for them.
CB: Okay, that makes sense. In terms of different sign assignments, and different also planetary assignments of different planets with different parts of the body and the relationship there, are there anything– I mentioned in passing an apothecary, but an apothecary is maybe a good local resource for people to think about if they’re interested in not just learning more about herbs, but also getting access to local herbs, and finding people who are knowledgeable about that, right?
SC: Yeah, most places have an herb shop, most major cities at least will have one or two, and an apothecary will have normally a stock of single herbs in bulk bins, and then prepared medicines and tinctures, ideally from local medicine makers, but that’s not always the case. In the United States at least, I can’t really speak for other countries, the majority of what you’ll see in commerce are like western herbs, so it can actually be really difficult to find access to bioregional plants.
CB: Okay, and so are there any other major points that we want to touch on, or that we meant to touch on when it comes to the relationship between astrology and herbalism, and it’s funny I forgot to mention the zodiac associations until so late, so I think there might be more basic things that we could be forgetting, but is there anything else that comes to mind?
DRH: I do think it’s important to emphasize that just because something is natural, or comes from the earth, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to consume, and so if you were choosing to engage with any kind of practices that would involve the consumption of preparations of plants, or the direct consumption of plants themselves, it is always, always, always, always a good idea to do your research in terms of relative safety and any contraindications that particular herbs might have. Like we were talking about earlier with St. John’s Wort. I think it’s, especially SSRIs, that you don’t want to combine SSRIs and St. John’s Wort if you would like your SSRIs to continue doing their job in your body. There are other contraindications that aren’t necessarily direct to medications that you’re consuming, but maybe other physical predispositions or ailments that you carry, so it’s not like all herbs are for all people at all times in all doses, so that’s one thing that I think is responsible to say as we’re talking about these things.
SC: Thank you for mentioning safety, and also just because something might be well-indicated for your chart doesn’t mean you should go imbibe it. You don’t have to take herbal medicine to engage with herbal medicine, which I know we’ve talked about a couple times throughout this. You might see something in your chart that maybe you really really need to fortify your Sun, and maybe you want to go spend some time with St. John’s Wort, but you can’t take it because you’re on medication, you could just spend time with that plant, you could engage with it topically, there’s so many different ways to do this. Ultimately to have a really good grasp of astro-herbalism you have to have solid foundations in astrology, and you have to have solid foundations in herbalism. Historically you’ll see a lot of texts, especially in the 16 and 1700s in England, where there was a big movement of astro-herbal writing being done by people like Culpepper primarily, and some other people around then, they’ll just kind of say, this plant is for the Sun in Leo, or this plant is for Venus in Taurus, xyz, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should absolutely engage with it in that way. When they’re saying things like that it’s kind of more like they’re using astrological language to describe that plant, they’re not necessarily this is always what you should be using. Astro-herbalism can be kind of complex in that it really does require time and dedication, and a commitment to cultivating relationships with the plants that you want to work with. You might spend ten years learning ten plants, and that’s great.
DRH: Mhm. I think slowness is good, you know, thinking about developing friendships instead of extractions I think can be really useful if you’re wanting to have really comprehensive and deep understandings of specific plants as they relate to planets, as well as specific planets as they relate to plants. I just generally at this point have a really strong orientation of encouraging people to study and observe virtues, and then cultivate virtues as they relate to whatever it is that you’re engaging with, whether that’s a plant, a planet, a landscape, etc., a color, whatever, just really to be deliberate and intentional and not rushing. I think it can be, you know this is my Saturn popping out absolutely, it can be really easy to be like, oh my god, there’s this new thing that I can add onto this thing that I’m already completely obsessed with, let me consume every bit of information that I can. You’re actually going to end up with a better understanding if you slowed down enough to feel what you’re learning in your physical system, particularly when it comes to plants and planets because the plant/planet link is that as above so below, link and the so below is the incarnational embodiment component within this particular perspective, at least that Sarah and I share, and are trying to disseminate out into the world. You’re going to learn more about Venus through plants by, you know, deliberately engaging with say, rose glycerite, slowly and intentionally on Venus day during Venus hour, then you will if you are creating an entirely intellectual compendium of the uses of rose.
SC: Yeah, definitely. With the practice of slowness, you might experience moments where you just really think that a plant is ruled by a certain planet, and this was true for me. I didn’t have a really strong language in astrology for many years. I just knew enough to influence my personal life, but not really have a practice, and I would look at a plant and I would say, oh my god, I think you’re ruled by this planet, and that would feel so true for me, but then I wouldn’t have any of the language to describe why, so taking that time for slowness and to really cultivate the foundations will help you actually be able to form a robust idea of what it is that you’re trying to articulate about a certain plant or planet, and then what ends up happening, is when you’re trying to make a correspondence, you basically come up with a hypothesis and then you test it against what you know to be true about that plant, and what you know to be true about that planet. Combine that with a bit of intuition, combine it with embodied experience, and then you can come to a final result. If you’re like I think mullein is ruled by Saturn, but some people say it’s ruled by Mercury, some people might say it’s ruled by the Moon, well, let’s look at all the facts and see which planet does it share the most– I don’t want to say similarity because rulership isn’t quite the same as affinity, but which planet has something really to say about mullein, and for me that’s Saturn, but it takes a lot of time to be able to recognize that, and you’ve got to know a lot about the plant. You have to research a lot about that plant to arrive at that planetary correspondence.
CB: That makes sense, and I think that’s a really good point that also sometimes it seems like there’s a spectrum where there can be gentler herbs versus there can be much more potent herbs so that maybe there’s some that are easier to experiment with without potentially too many side effects, but there’s others that might be more serious where you might want to be much more careful with or use in lower doses, and also in addition to that that the effects of a new herbal regimen can sometimes be subtle, or can only develop over an extended period of time, and sometimes there can occasionally be unintended side effects of the primary thing that you’re trying to do so that you do have to be careful and do that with some advice or some overview from an expert.
SC: Well, and you even just have to have a really good knowledge of your constitution. Nettles are extremely nourishing and generally applicable for most people, but if you have a really hot and dry constitution, or a really even cold and dry, if you just have a really dry constitution, nettles is probably going to exacerbate that dryness, so working with nettles for a really long time might not actually feel good for your body. You might benefit from something like oat straw, which is also high in minerals, or some of our other mineral-rich herbs like even red clover, things like that. There is this spectrum of, sure, we have low-dose botanicals, we have botanicals that, you know, as Paracelsus said “the dose determines the poison,” right? Where you can take a small amount and it’s fine, and it’s actually going to have a really therapeutic benefit, but some of these low-dose botanicals have small therapeutic windows. If you take too much they might cause something as uncomfortable as throwing up a lot, like if you take too much lobelia, it’ll make you vomit. If you take too much zinc, if you take it on an empty stomach, it’ll make you vomit, it’s not just plants, to them actually having major consequences, which is where we’re thinking more about poison plants, and their relationship to Mars and Saturn, and how they actually deliver their unpleasant effects, so there’s those botanicals that you have to be careful of. You just generally want to be mindful of your constitution, and the plants that you use. Whenever I’m in practice and people come to me and people say, “well, herbs don’t work,” it’s either because they’re taking an herb that’s actually not well suited for their constitution, or they haven’t been taking it long enough. Most of the herbs you find in commerce, especially things like nettles, red clover, milky oats, these nutritive herbs, they’re tonic plants. They need to be taken for long periods of time to see benefit, and this can be really difficult for people when they’re first approaching herbalism because it’s kind of weird to make a big tea every day and drink it, but this is where I try to encourage people to remember that historically and ancestrally herbalism was just part of our foodways, so you can get benefits from taking milky oats, you could also have a bowl of oatmeal.
DRH: This is making me think about one perspective that can sometimes be useful with thinking about the green world, like the vegetative world, is that it’s entirely ruled by Venus. Individual plants will then have more maybe direct managers of the planetary spheres, but as a whole, it’s Venusian, but to engage with planets, or to engage with plants in a way that facilitates health and longevity, that’s Saturn.
CB: That’s a really good point.
DRH: So, thinking about the beauty, the attraction, the interconnectivity, the interrelationships between plants, and then between plants and humans, requires Saturnian patience in order to really cultivate knowledge and health. I was thinking about Saturn too when we were talking about doses, and intensities of plants, right? Where it’s like if mullein is a Saturn plant, mullein is fairly safe for a lot of people in a lot of contexts, hellebore, which is also a Saturn plant, is poison. Some of these plants, too, it’s like thinking about even about magical uses, right, where it’s like astro-herbalism absolutely gets wrapped into different kinds of magical practices, and one of the things that has been very aesthetically popular lately, especially when it comes to poison plants, is these ideas of flying ointments, or preparations of plants that facilitate hallucinogenic or journeying experiences. Those are often plants that are poisonous when consumed or engaged with in particular ways, and it’s the poison that actually facilitates certain kinds of experiences, and it also requires really strong levels of respect and boundaries. That’s Saturn. It’s not your boundaries, it’s the boundaries of the plant itself, like what does it mean to engage with a plant, understanding that it has its own ideas about what kind of engagement is acceptable, and then the consequences of unacceptable engagement can be death if you are approaching plants disrespectfully.
CB: You’re talking about things like ayahuasca, or like mushrooms, and things like that?
DRH: Yeah, but also datura, henbane, wolfsbane. There are plants that are not as near to the equator and associated with cultures that have been colonized. There are these sorts of more, or even ergot in Greece, where as part of the Elysian mysteries, I think, where it’s like these are plants or plant-like if we’re talking about fungi and molds, substances that facilitate non-normal consciousness, and also can be toxic if approached disrespectfully, and without sufficient boundaries and preparation.
CB: Right, that makes sense. I mentioned in the last episode that someone on Twitter had posted the first time– this is only vaguely related, maybe related, but the first time that the scientist that first synthesized LSD took it deliberately, and Neptune was right on the Ascendant at that moment. It just makes me think of that when it comes to some of these plants that might have a similar effect or would be in the same territory in terms of the psychoactive properties that they have.
DRH: Mhm, and that actually brings up another thing that astrology can assist with is understanding like natally, for example, I have, again, Neptune conjoined the ruler of my Ascendant, I have a sensitivity to specific kinds of substances that mean I’m functionally a lightweight, and I have to be very cautious about how much I consume of something because what would otherwise be extremely strong Saturnian boundaries are eroded by Neptunian influence, so there’s the natal concern in terms of increased sensitivity, and then there’s also transiting concern. I believe it was how Richard Tarnas got into astrology was paying attention to how different people consuming the same doses of psychoactive substances at different times would have wildly different experiences and so then, looking at astrology both natally and by transit in order to better comprehend why there might be increased or decreased sensitivity, or more or less pleasant experiences whenever engaging with substances that lead to alterations of consciousness, and just alterations to the body, alterations to physical chemistry. That is another way that astro-herbalism becomes functional, like applying astrology to engaging with plants, and their substances, and the chemicals that come from plants.
SC: Yeah, you can use the chart to understand if someone is going to be receptive to… I mean, entheogens and psychoactive plants are sexy, but going back to the baseline of just average plants we’re giving people you can assess their chart to see how receptive to a protocol they may be. You can assess the chart to see how receptive to you as their practitioner they might be, this is why Diana and I work so well together, it’s because of her seventh house stuff and because Jupiter is the functional ruler of my chart since my Sun is in Pisces. You can use astrology for so many different things, you know in all of life, but of course, we can also use it in the world of herbalism, and people have been doing it forever. Some of the first original documents we have connecting plants and planets I think is at least first century BCE, so people have always been drawing these conclusions in making these connections.
CB: Yeah. What you mentioned about Tarnas and his experiments with I think Stanislav Groff about that their claim was that there was no better diagnostic tool than paying attention to the transits that a person was having at the time that they took certain psychoactive substances that would tell them what they would end up having a good experience or a bad experience, and that makes me think of electional astrology and applying that as like what is the current astrology weather for starting a new treatment of some sort or even just paying attention to your transits, and whether you’re having good transits or whether you’re having tough ones in terms of starting a new healthcare regimen, whether that involves herbs or other things that could be good to know about just as an additional piece of information for whether that’s going to go well, or whether you might run into some unexpected difficulties.
DRH: Right, and one way to think about that relationally is, for example, if you’re in a time period where there’s a significant heaviness in terms of Saturnian transits, or Saturnian influence upon your chart, what does it mean to think about that as a time period where Saturn is like I need you to learn about me, and it will be painful unless you do it on purpose, or like it’ll be extra painful if you aren’t doing it on purpose. It’ll be less painful, but probably still not your favorite, but I need you to learn about me. And so if we turn towards a planet that is really active for us at a period of time, in that relational way, instead of just a context creating way, I feel like that can, you know, if that feels good to know, not everybody will find this interesting or illuminative, but if that’s interesting to you that can really open up a new way to engage with that time period. Going back to last year’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction happening within a degree of my Venus, it’s like, what really deep restructurings and grindings and smeltings have been necessary for me in terms of how I relate with Venus. That was co-occurring with my progressed Venus stationing retrograde, right, and so it’s like my obsession with roses is a real thing in terms of the deepening, strengthening, restructuring, reconfiguring, just completely altering through Saturnian and Plutonian lenses how I understand Venus.
CB: When was that? During the course of the year, do you know when it stationed?
CB: August, okay, so over the summer. Because I was also like you’re becoming more prominent like you gave that talk at NORWAC, and that was when I saw your talk, and I really liked it, then you came on the podcast after that, and it seemed like you also just tied into the Venus stationing thing.
DRH: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: Yeah. Alright, so that’s taking us down a specific thread. Did we need to mention any sort of medical proviso, or anything like that in terms of having given advice, since we’re not necessarily giving advice, and that’s very specific to each individual person and their medical practitioner?
SC: None of this has been evaluated by the FDA, we are not diagnosing, treating, or prescribing. We’re speaking of the historical context of medical astrology, and how it was historically used for treatment.
DRH: And we’re talking about our own personal choices as we have engaged with these things, and anybody who decides to engage with these things should do it in a way that is maximally responsible for their own health and wellness. Understanding that, again, just because a plant is natural doesn’t mean that it’s safe to consume in general, or for use specifically, and we can’t know that actually from here. We can get hints at these things, again, from the chart, from someone’s temperament, from someone’s constitution, but the most scientifically and medically responsible thing is to make sure that you are checking with your healthcare providers before you start engaging with any kind of consumption of a plant that means that it is coming into your physical body, so even topically, like topical plant application is absorbed into the skin, which then comes into your body. Sitting by a plant, not touching it–
SC: Probably pretty cool. You could do that.
DRH: Yeah, as long as you’re not sitting on a rattlesnake or something, you know?
CB: Like a cactus or something.
SC: Yeah. Also, if you are going to relate with plants, and you are just going to spend time with plants, get a positive ID.
DRH: Yeah. Know that you’re actually engaging with that plant, actually actually.
SC: Yeah, like poison hemlock is not the same thing as Queen Anne’s lace.
CB: So people can misidentify plants sometimes.
DRH: It’s really easy to.
SC: Just like astrology, the herbal path is a lifelong one. I’ve been practicing herbalism for ten years, and I know a lot about what I know, and there’s still so much to learn. If you spend just the first couple of years of your plant path with a guide book, getting really familiar with some of the plants in your bioregion, learning about them, it’s definitely better to know five plants really really well than it is to know a general idea of about fifty plants. If you’re going to relate with plants, you want to make sure that you know them really really well. If you’re going out into the world, you’re going to the woods, and you’re just trying to get to know the plants around you, and something really sparks your eye, go get a guide book, try to ID it, find an herbalist in your area, or a horticulturist, or a naturalist, who does guided plant walks who could maybe tell you about that plant, and just be sure that you’re interfacing with what you think you’re interfacing. I mean, poison hemlock is one that gets talked a lot about in the foraging world. A lot of plants in the carrot family can kind of look like it. Even recently I saw in an herbalist group of someone getting poisoned by eating hemlock roots thinking that it was carrot roots, and that’ll kill you, you know? It’s an avoidable mistake. We just need to spend time getting to know our plants.
DRH: I feel like people are aware of this when it comes to mycology, like mushroom hunting.
CB: Right. That’s what I was just thinking of like dopey teenagers picking mushrooms and eating them thinking it’ll get you high, but instead it just poisons you or something.
DRH: Yeah they can literally kill you. In the same way that there are a lot of mushrooms that look alike, where one of them will be extraordinarily toxic, and one of them will just be extraordinarily delicious, that happens to maybe a slightly less extreme degree in the green plant world too.
SC: There’s typically easier-to-spot clues. Mushrooms look alike. It’s sometimes really hard to identify. You could have a whole genus of particular mushrooms, and half of them are really poisonous, and the other half of the species in that genus are totally fine, so mushrooms can be really really difficult to learn. Plants you can usually spot something different. They’ll have a slightly different leaf shape, or they’ll have different spots, or colors on their stems, or some will have hairs and the other won’t. Like queen anne’s lace has a little red dot in the middle of its flowers, and so it’s really easy to recognize that compared to something like hogweed, or poison hemlock and water hemlock and things like that, so there are usually clues, you just have to really really pay attention, and have a basic grasp of botany. There are so many people teaching herbalism. There are in-person classes you can take. I have an online school where I teach herbalism throughout the seasons each month. People do plant walks. You could probably go to any thrift store, or antique store near you, and find some vintage local guidebook that’s going to show you pictures of plants and flowers and things like that that are going to grow in the season near you. If you’re listening to the podcast right when it comes out, this is the perfect time to get outside and start learning about plants. The easiest way to identify plants is when they’re in flower, and we’re in the middle of summer here, so it’s a really great time to get out there and just see what’s around you, and embark on a year-long journey of observing that plant through the seasons, and even maybe observing its life cycle in relationship to transits, in relationship to the Moon, the Moon can be a great planet to connect with when you’re trying to observe natural cycles in your body, and in the world, because it’s really tangible and it’s changing frequently so you can get a lot of information in a short period of time, rather than watching, you know, a year-long or two-year long transit. There’s so much you can do, you just have to step out there, and start collecting information, and build a passion for wanting to engage with this stuff, because it’s not as easy as pulling up Culpepper’s Complete Herbal and saying, well, this plant is ruled by this planet. That’s how I’m going to think about it forever because someone is going to disagree with him. I disagree with him all the time, and you might find that you disagree with him when you actually come into relationship with that plant.
CB: Yeah, so it’s a whole field unto itself, herbalism is, and it has several overlapping specialties, which are things that people, you know, dedicate their entire life to.
SC: Yeah, I mean some herbalists practice clinically. Some just work with their communities. Some just focus on one thing in particular, like I’ve decided to really focus on astro-herbalism because it’s so fascinating to me, and I love it, and I also have a really sweet Venus/Jupiter trine which makes it really easy for me to interface with the outside world than the human so it makes sense for me. I know herbalists that just focus on digestive issues, or just focus on specific body systems.
DRH: Like fertility, or circulation, or nervous system stuff, like there’s so many different avenues to go down, just like with astrology.
SC: So if you go out and you try to find an herbalist and you’re like, I heard about this thing called astro-herbalism, and they have no idea what you’re talking about. Yeah, there’s not many of us out here, but Diana and I are hoping that we can bring this work to more people, and bring this language to astrologers and to herbalists so they can deepen their relationships with their disciplines, and cultivate a more embodied, felt understanding of them.
CB: How are you going to do that? Or, what’s your program? The two of you are getting ready to start teaching some classes soon, right?
CB: Alright, well tell me a little bit about that. What’s going on?
DRH: Yeah, so this idea, it’s like a year and a half in the making, maybe even longer.
SC: The whole time we’ve known each other I’ve basically been very irritated. I would send Diana memes of images on Instagram of people being like ‘plants for x sign!’ and I would just be rattling off in her DMs on how angry I was because they’re wrong.
DRH: Or because they were not fully considered. I think maybe that’s a better way to say it.
SC: Yeah. There was no reasoning behind it, so I was like, well maybe I could see how you got there, but could you explain it to me? Because this is not how I would think, and so, after me being quite angry about it for a while I said to Diana, we’ve been relating with plants and planets for a really long time. Diana has the deeper language of astrology. I have the deeper language of herbalism. We should make something about this! So we’ve spent the last eight months creating a course all about relational embodied astro-herbalism.
DRH: It’s called Caelestis Naturae, which means the ‘celestial nature,’ and we’ve designed it to be as amenable as possible to people who are new to either astrology or herbalism, so it’s like herbalism for astrologers, and astrology for herbalists, but instead of it being oriented around creating a practitioner of astro-herbalism in terms of seeing clients, like giving you all of this information, it’s actually about facilitating the development of embodied relationship with plants through planets, and with planets through plants. I’m so excited about it!
SC: Yeah, we’ve been working extremely hard on it. As we’ve been working on it, it’s been testing what we know of plants and planets, testing the language that we have around plants and planets, forcing us to really acknowledge some of the relationships we have with plants and planets, and other ones that we need to cultivate. It’s been a really transformative experience for both of us. That has just been born out of this desire to help people understand the intersections of astrology and herbalism by way of the body. This program is not a medical astrology course. It’s not how to learn delineations, and learn how to read a chart. This program is dedicated to helping you come into relationship, and the way that we’re doing that is through a combination of experiential live lectures, a bunch of supplemental materials to help actually support your relationship building with plants and planets, and a lot of community support, so each week we basically meet for two hours for ten weeks. The program is actually thirteen weeks long. The first two weeks we’re going over basic info like basic foundational traditional astrology things you need to know for the purpose of this work, basic herbal things you need to know, and then each week we’ll be going into the planets, and we’ll be exploring things like meditations, and planetary prayer, and the characteristics of these planets, and the characteristics of their plants, and then giving you exercises to go out and do so that you can actually start interfacing with those planets and plants. It’s giving you that intellectual, grounded learning that you really need to have, and then also helping you actually do the thing, rather than just fill another notebook of correspondences that you might never use or even understand.
DRH: Yeah, so part of this too is about developing the, not just the brain knowledge, but the body knowledge, that contributes to being able to reason through a correspondence. One of the issues that comes up with plant/planet correspondences whenever you are only referencing texts that have been around for several centuries is that newer plants, “newer” plants, or plants that are specific to your bioregion that were not known by ancient authors won’t have correspondence lists even though they do have histories of being used medicinally by indigenous populations, or they’re are plants that for whatever reason were ignored by ancient authors, and so to be able to actually understand on both an intellectual and an embodied level how a correspondence operates facilitates the capacity to then create your own correspondences for plants that are in your own bioregion, which is an important part of developing a relationship with where you live on Earth, and not just with the abstraction, the abstracted idea of plants, but the specific ones that, you know, like what planet is responsible for Salvia leucantha, also known as Mexican sage, which was not at all part of Culpepper’s herbal because Culpepper didn’t have access.
SC: He was in England, yeah.
DRH: So, you know, what does it mean to engage with these things more intentionally?
SC: And then how does that engage with actually increasing your capacity for relationship with others as well, you know, relationship with yourself, relationship with the wider world, and how does it help you to understand your place in the world?
DRH: Like the cosmos, not just the world, but the cosmos itself.
SC: The universe, which is a big idea! A big expansive idea, but it’s back to that as above so below, if you really want to understand your place in the world you can look to nature and see how you interface with it, and see how you are a part of it, and this is just an extension of doing that that also happens to support personal healing, also happens to support healing of the world. If more people were into plants we’d probably have less environmental destruction happening all the time, and it can improve your practice as an herbalist if you’re already seeing people and same with astrology.
CB: Well, that sounds great! So, you’re launching this next month?
SC: We’ll be teaching a webinar for the program to kind of introduce people to the way that we engage with plants and planets on July 3rd, so I think if you’re listening to the podcast right now, you should be able to go on our websites, which I know Chris you’ll link in the show notes, and access the webinar sign up, so there we’ll be going through a guided meditation with a plant and a planet, we’ll be going over some more of the basic information you need to know about astro-herbalism, and then at the end of that webinar we’ll be launching the course, so the course will be open for enrollment between July 3rd and July 11th of 2021. During those dates, when you go on the website, you’ll be able to access that, and if you listen to this podcast in the future if you’re catching us from six months from now, we’ll have the site up with a waitlist, so if you miss this enrollment you’ll be able to add your information for the next time we run it because we do intend on running this again, so if you can’t join us this time around.
DRH: And what are the exact dates of the course itself, Sarah?
SC: The course begins on July 14th, so it’s, what, thirteen weeks from that I think it’s going to end the second week of October, so we’ll be meeting every Wednesday night for our live lectures, and then we’ll also have office hours for one hour on Saturdays, and we’ll have replays for everyone, so if you miss a week, there will be replays and transcriptions, and all the stuff in our school dashboard.
CB: Cool, so what’s the URL for those that are listening to the audio version?
SC: So it’s caelestenatura.com, C-A-E-L-E-S-T-E-N-A-T-U-R-A.COM, and if that’s hard to remember you’ll be able to access it from both Diana and I’s Instagram accounts.
CB: Yeah, and I’ll put a link to it in the show notes either below in the description on the video on Youtube, or on The Astrology Podcast website in the entry for this episode. What are your Instagrams or social media accounts by the way?
SC: I’m @rowanandsage, and that’s my website as well, rowanandsage.com.
DRH: And I am @ddamascenaa, which I at some point I will probably change it to something that is easier to spell out loud, but if you search Diana Rose at this point there’s a high likelihood that I’ll be pretty high on the list as you search on Instagram and Twitter, and what’s interesting is both of our handles are about plants, like Sarah’s is very obvious, rowan and sage, and rosa damascena is a specific varietal of rose that has been around for millennia, and that is extremely useful medicinally.
CB: Nice. You’re climbing the search rankings for Diana Rose, to be the primary Diana Rose.
DRH: I think I might be! Especially for people who are already kind of following other people that you would follow if you listen to this podcast. There’s a high likelihood that you won’t have to dig very far to find me.
CB: Okay. I’m still battling Chris “the west side strangler” Brennan MMA fighter for my top search results on Google, but I’ve been winning out lately after a decade and a half long battle with this guy. I can relate.
DRH: At some point, his career will end because it’s body-based. Your career is just going to keep that solid, upward Saturnian trajectory of just legacy building.
CB: Maybe, we’ll see. I mean, I wish him the best, he’s cool, but yeah I have to beat him in that search ranking results, so we’ll see what happens. Thank you both for joining me today for this. This has been really interesting, and we’ve covered a surprising amount of ground in terms of time and history, and different areas, and there’s so many little sub-sections of this that could have been entire episodes on their own, so maybe we’ll have to follow up at some point to go more deeply into some of those areas, but I think in the meantime I think people should definitely check out your website and your course because it sounds like that’s going to go into everything in much greater depth than we were able to get to today. So yeah, thanks for joining me today!
DRH: Thanks for having us, Chris!
SC: Yeah, thanks so much. It was great to talk about this thing that we love so much, and just want to share with so many people!
DRH: Spreading the good word of relational astro-herbalism. That’s really the MO here.
CB: Nice, I love it. Well, keep up the good work. Thanks a lot for joining me. Thanks, everyone for listening to or watching this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and I think that’s it, so thanks for watching and we’ll see you again next time.
CB: Special thanks to all the patrons that supported the production of this episode of The Astrology Podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular thanks to the patrons on our producer’s tier including Nate Craddock, Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Sumo Coppock, Nadia Habhab, Issa Sabah, Morgan MacKenzie, and Jake Otero. For more information about how to become a patron, and get access to exclusive subscriber benefits such as early access to new episodes go to www.Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.
Special thanks also to our sponsors including the Mountain Astrologer Magazine, available at MountainAstrologer.com, the Honeycomb Collective Personal Astrological Almanacs available at Honeycomb.co, Astro Gold Astrology Software for the Mac OS, which is available at Astrogold.io, and you can use the promo code ASTROPODCAST15 for a 15% discount, the Portland School of Astrology available at PortlandAstrology.org, Astro Gold Astrology App for iPhone and Android, which is also available at Astrogold.io, and finally the Solar Fire Astrology Software Program for Windows, which you can get from Alabe.com, and you can use the promo code AP15 for a 15% discount.