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      Weight: Thin or not so Thin?  










In my system of medical astrology, one that is heavily based on the elements and the inherited wisdom from Greece and India, basic constitutional type is determined by the balance of the elements. The elements are the building blocks of the material realm, and they differ one from the other according to vibration—which, in turn, affects density. Air is the lightest and hence the least dense and least substantive. Ergo, air types tend, all other things equal, to be thinner than the other types. Air is also closely linked to the nervous system so people who are more anxious and fearful tend also to be thinner.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the earth and water types. Earth types tend to have heavy bone structures but less fat. Water types have the most trouble with weight, fluctuations in weight, and water retention. Ultimately, however, weight depends on two main factors: metabolism and stress. Basic metabolism is essentially a fire-water issue. We might say water saves and fire spends. This leads to the assumption that exercise will, in fact, burn off calories since athletic pursuits are by and large fiery, competitive, and catabolic. The problem is that fire types generally like fiery activities whereas water types like watery activities. Fire types like using their muscles, but water types like conserving energy so they are more docile. Likewise, they tend towards more drowsiness, dreaminess, and languor. You might even say that fire types are more diurnal and water types more nocturnal. Even this is not 100% true, it is true that fire is more solar and water more lunar. Together fire and water constitute a system of checks and balances.

The astrological configurations most tending towards overweight are afflictions among what I call the docile planets: Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune. These are all peace loving planets, and they are also magnetic, except for Jupiter since the way Jupiter functions may be said to depend on the company He keeps. In other words, Jupiter square the Moon and Venus has more inertia than Jupiter square Sun and Mars. Jupiter, however, tends towards self-satisfaction and indulgence so even without encouragement tends more towards Falstaff than the other planets.

To understand this better, we have to underscore what feels good. It feels good to those dominated by the docile planets to have abundance, reserve, and a buffer to the outer world . . . and this fact is reflected in the physiognomy.

All Other Things Equal

Of course, we all know people who were once thin and then started to gain weight as well as those who went the opposite direction from heavy to light. Often, these changes are associated with specific life style changes that include diet and exercise, but sometimes, they are associated with shifts that are less obvious.

For instance, I knew a woman who lost 65 pounds during a time that she was "on fire" with enthusiasm. This person was sexually abused and felt powerless. Therefore, even though she had a fire Moon, she did not have adequate means for expressing her fire. When she took up the cause of the underdog, she lost weight even though she was really only using her pen, not whacking tennis balls.

What happens in these types of situations is that repressed fire energy is released from hiding and the mere fact of allowing fire to act in a more fiery way restores balance to metabolism.

We also know people who changed in more obvious ways. One woman used to compete athletically but gave it up for a relationship that was more domestic and less sporty. She began to put on weight immediately, but when we see such dramatic changes, we have to surmise that the potential for anabolism was there all along even though we had been accustomed to seeing the catabolism. For example, one might have a strong Sun-Mars configuration and a Moon-Venus longing. When the Moon finds the nurturing and comfort it craves, it may not surrender the comfort to the Sun. Besides changes in weight, we would expect changes in fat metabolism, blood sugar, iron-copper ratios, and probably even bone density because calcium that was in the bones would move into the blood stream when the individual is more placid and less physically competitive. This very same shift could also be associated with higher fertility and many other less frequently understood changes.

Yet Another Possibility

There is a variation that goes frequently unnoticed. When someone is very anxious, the adrenals are on alert. During the earlier stages of this stress, the individual passes more water because the adrenal commotion stimulates the kidneys in such a way as to squeeze more water out of the system. The body is, as we know, about two-thirds water. It therefore takes small changes in the actual percentage to produce big changes in appearance. So long as the kidneys respond to the adrenals, the individual will be thin and probably also trace mineral deficient and at risk of serious problems stemming from electrolyte imbalance.

However, at some point, the kidneys tire and cease to respond. It is at this time that the individual starts to retain water, not fat, but water. The obvious indication of this is when elastic waist bands, socks, and jewelry leave marks on the skin showing where the pressure was. When these people take herbs to augment their stamina, they lose weight effortlessly.

I see this pattern a lot with air Moons, particularly Aquarius Moon opposite Pluto, but one sees it also with Uranus oppositions and many other configurations. Here, the issue is less with metabolism than stress . . . even though adrenaline does suppress gastric secretions and thereby causes poor metabolism.

In Sum

It is not possible in the short scope of a single web page to cover all possibilities, but these issues are covered very well on my tapes dealing with the elements (four-tape set) and more specifically in the lecture on the fire-water axis. The remedies are discussed on the Kitchen Doctor tapes. For astrologers, the point to keep in mind is that while individuals favor certain elements or planets over others, health depends on balance. Therefore, if the metabolism is weak, it is important not to aggravate the tendency towards poor fat metabolism and blood sugar by eating greasy foods and desserts. In this instance, bitter and spicy foods make an enormous difference in terms of overall physiological function.




Psychology and Spirituality || Venus-Mars
Acute vs. Chronic Diseases || Monastic Moon || Fire: The Power to Change
Laboratory vs. Clinical Medicine || Weight || Lunar Herbs
Constitutional Type || Soaring Spirit with Tears
Sleeping Woman || Ego Light and Loving Light
|| Medicine Name


Poulsbo, Washington