Integrating Astrological & Bach Flower Remedies Counselling:
Dr. Edward Bach (1886-1936) was a physician, bacteriologist, homeopath who developed a complementary treatment known as Bach Flower Remedies, based on the holistic conviction that mind-body-spirit are all related the one to the other. According to him, disease was a manifestation of Soul-Personality conflicts, that is to say, we need not neglect our individual spiritual path if we want to be healthy in body and mind.
To fulfil this purpose, according to Dr. Bach, the physician’s main task should be the one of helping his patients understand their mission in life in order to conform with it and consequently be free from dis-ease. In his practice, he had in fact noticed that people who were happy in life were free from disease, as a natural consequence of their complying with their own individual mission.
But how can we possibly understand our own mission, when it occurs to us that we feel astray, missing the point of our life’s meaning? Astrology is one tool among others which enables us to understand ourselves in-depth by answering questions that open up our eyes to a new vision of life, by making us realise the oneness of each individual and the reason beyond each one’s presence on earth.
Astrology may thus help detect those faults that hinder us from pursuing our personal and unique tasks. The latter can be accomplished first of all by looking at our natal charts as we look at a portrait of ourselves: of course, what we see portrayed is our inner self.
The aspects between our planets’ position at birth represent the conflicts as well as the peaceful relations between the different features that make up our character. The fields of life (i.e. the zodiacal houses) where our planets are placed will then give us a better picture about how the latter interact among each other. However, our natal chart does not only picture our character and the way our emotions relate to our rational mind: it has a deeper meaning, which is to be found in the interpretation of the Lunar Nodes’ Axis.
The Lunar Nodes’ Axis mirror Soul-Personality conflicts
The Lunar Nodes (Rahu and Ketu) are not planets, but points where the Moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic: when the Moon moves north and crosses the Earth’s orbit, the point of crossing is known as the North Node (Rahu), whereas when it moves south the crossing point is called the South Node (Ketu). Conflict produced by the South Node (Ketu) and the North Node (Rahu), if not solved, may even trigger physical diseases, mirroring the Soul-Personality conflicts in Dr. Edward Bach’s medical thought: our South Node (Ketu) may thus be compared to our Personality and the North Node (Rahu) to our Soul.
Through an in-depth study of the Lunar Nodes’ Axis, we may better understand what actually has to be changed within ourselves, what attitudes and virtues we have to acquire in order to grow spiritually, by preventing Soul-Personality conflicts and therefore diseases.
Experience shows that the South Node’s (Ketu’s) astrological sign in the natal chart represents the way in which we best accomplish our duties in life, whereas by its house position, it represents the area of life we feel confident with. On the other hand, the North Node (Rahu) shows us the virtues as well as the area of life for which we should put all our efforts to know better in order to “move forward”. As the two Nodes (Rahu and Ketu) oppose each other, it is easily understood how difficult it may be to balance these inborn conflicting aspects within ourselves.
In other words, the North Node (Rahu) may represent the unknown, our mission in life, our inner or spiritual path towards which we should direct our resources and abilities (which are depicted in our natal chart) in order to truly feel fulfilled; whereas the South Node (Ketu) may represent what is already known by us, our inborn tendency not to change and therefore stay where we are for fear of the unknown. It would thus be easily inferred that by balancing the known with the unknown -i.e. the earthly-bound mind with the spiritual mind- the conflict as shown by the Lunar Nodes (Rahu and Ketu) in the natal chart would cease, resulting in peace of mind and an overall well-being.
What would happen if we were unable to find a balance? The same life experiences, whose lessons we instinctively try to avoid, would present themselves over and over again, until we will be in a position to understand what problems we have to solve within ourselves, what habits we should give up, finally facing them, recognising them as not fit for the mission we have to fulfil. To understand this point even better, we may imagine ourselves pulled from one extreme to the other (from South to North Node and vice versa) during the course of our lifetime, stopping from time to time in order to focus on our goals.
Understanding our mission by interpreting the Lunar Nodes (Rahu and Ketu)
If our mission is depicted in the North Lunar Node’s (Rahu’s) sign and house position, its aspects with the other planets would then show the conflicting as well as the easy-going experiences we will have to face while moving towards the North Lunar Node (Rahu). Contrary to what it may be thought, as a matter of fact, “good” aspects with the Nodes’ Axis could make our inner growth slow down as compared to the “bad” aspects, because when we are forced to be confronted with our experiences, then it is more likely that we get the energy to move forward, as we need to get rid of all the obstacles we find on our way in order to feel free and fulfilled. But when we easily glide through life, we hardly have the chance to stop and think in order to understand the importance of what we are doing, the beauty of life itself and the peace of mind which leads us to happiness.
Therefore, although it is possible that those people having stressful aspects to their Lunar Nodes (Rahu and Ketu) are more prone to fall ill – because they need to get their path clean of all the obstacles -, it is equally possible that they are the ones who will more easily understand what they are standing for and where their path is leading to. In a way, disease here becomes a means to understanding: the strong relationship between mind-body-spirit here is very clear, as it is the importance of detecting our own individual Mission.
Carl is now in his seventies. Since very young he was drawn to work actively, as he felt he wanted to be of use to society as well as independent. During his lifetime he changed job quite often; he has an inborn knowledge of what organisation and responsibility are and has been suffering from many psychosomatic illnesses, forced to focus on his well-being throughout his life. Although he has had a religious education, only at mid-age life experiences brought him to be interested in the mysteries of creation and to feel that there is something beyond the material world. He then started to be interested in subjects like psychology and astrology, wishing to understand more about himself and the people around him. He became very knowledgeable, his empathy and compassion towards others grew, until he started studying holistic healing, aware of the fact that he needed to balance his material needs with his spiritual interests in order to feel fulfilled. He has now become a holistic practitioner, integrating spirituality and healing skills.
Birthchart Lunar Nodes’ (Rahu and Ketu’s) interpretation: Carl’s inborn tendencies to be of service to others and his working skills are surely to be found in his South Node (Ketu) in the 6th house, while his lack to focus on only one activity and his mental unrest have to be ascribed to his South Node (Ketu) in the Gemini sign. Life experiences have led him towards higher knowledge and a religious outlook (North Node/Rahu in Sagittarius) and the need to live a more spiritual life with long periods of loneliness (North Node/Rahu in the 12th house). His inborn healing abilities can be detected in his South Node (Ketu) in the 6th house, whereas the choice of healing by use of holistic/alternative medicine is a feature pertaining to his North Node (Rahu) in the 12th house. Difficult aspects to his Lunar Nodes (Rahu and Ketu) show the hardships as well as the many obstacles that he found on his way to the discovery of his individual mission.
Bach Flower Remedies: Carl started taking the Remedies in 2006, one year after he ended his studies to become a holistic practitioner. He was doubting whether he was too old to start a new job, that he would love to do. He was once again confused about his life-path, and as a consequence he again suffered from old psychosomatic illnesses.
Carl asked me for a consultation, after which I prescribed the following mix of Remedies in a treatment bottle. (That is, two drops of each flower essence were added into a 30ml bottle of spring water. The dosage to be taken from the bottle was: four drops four times a day for 3 weeks, as this is the time a treatment bottle usually lasts).
Wild Oat (which in this case can be related to his 6th house meanings) has helped Carl understand the path he had to walk through in order to reach his goals. During his lifetime he changed many jobs without being completely satisfied by them, although his inborn responsibility, organising abilities and working skills helped him to succeed in all of them.
Crab Apple (6th house meanings) was also an important remedy for Carl at this time, as it helped him “clean” his mind and body from his past psychosomatic illnesses and all sorts of mental contamination.
When I met Carl again for the follow-up, he told me that after a couple of weeks that he started taking the remedies, clients came to him, and his confidence about his new job grew. His psychosomatic illnesses disappeared but, probably because his life had changed, he looked a little restless. A treatment bottle was again prescribed for another three weeks with the following mix of Remedies:
Impatiens (6th and 12th houses meanings) for his need to be alone, mixed with his working skills and inborn organisational abilities, were excessive, making him feel very lonely at times, mainly because of his impatient temperament.
Rock Water (12th house meanings) was an important remedy at this time too, and probably his “typological” remedy, as Carl used to experience times during which his pull towards a more spiritual life, rich with values to adhere to, was making himself deny many pleasures in order to be an example to others.
These Bach Flower Remedies helped Carl clear up his Soul-Personality conflicts. In his new practice he was able to merge both the 6th and the 12th houses meanings, together with the Gemini and the Sagittarius signs meanings, that is, the houses and the signs where the Lunar Nodes’ Axis is found in his natal chart. It is interesting to notice that Carl’s psychosomatic illnesses have ended as soon as his mission became clearer to him, and since then he has always tried to keep a balance between his South Node (Ketu) and his North Node (Rahu) needs.
Dr. Bach’s work was all about emotions. He studied the human mind in-depth, and came to the conclusion that negative and/or overwhelming emotions are responsible for ill-health, and their cause must be found in conflicts between different features pertaining to Personality and Soul – i.e. inner Self and Higher Self -, which hinder from achieving the true individual life Mission. By interpreting the Lunar Nodes (Rahu and Ketu) in the client’s birth chart it would then be possible to detect where the client is heading to, what his/her mission in life could be, and use these insights in our counselling with him/her. Moreover, the Lunar Nodes’ (Rahu and Ketu’s) interpretation may also confirm the choice of those Bach Flower Remedies that we deem will further help the client understand what his/her Soul-Personality conflicts are, so that he/she could finally start elaborating them, slowly finding a solution from within, thus balancing Ego needs with Soul needs, the material and the spiritual aspects of life.
Edward Bach, Heal Thyself, C.W.Daniel, 2003
Edward Bach, The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, C.W.Daniel, 1999
Nora Weeks, The Medical Discoveries of Edward Bach Physician, C.W.Daniel, 1997
P.M. Chancellor, Illustrated Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies, C.W.Daniel, 2000
T.W. Hyne Jones, Dictionary of the Bach Flower Remedies, C.W.Daniel, 2004
F.J. Wheeler, The Bach Remedies Repertory, C.W.Daniel, 2001
Dane Rudhyar, The Astrological Houses, Doubleday, 1972
Irène Andrieu, Initiation à l’Astrologie d’Evolution, Editions Dangles, 1982
Martin Schulman, Karmic Astrology, Samuel Weiser, 1975