"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied."
- Herophilus, some 3rd/4th century doctor dude who fancied himself a philosopher
I read this quote recently on the back of a $13 package of smug hippie cereal that comes from the Canadian West Coast. There are a lot of smug hippies out there. The thing is, though, a lot of times, the smug hippies get it wrong.
I've been ill (though improving) for almost three years now. The military industrial complex disguised as Big Pharma disguised as an inexperienced doctor in a walk-in clinic slipped me poison in the form of an antibiotic called Cipro, and it devastated my system.
That said, I have to refute the quote by the good doctor up there. The best astrological work I've done has come during the time since I was poisoned. Since then, wisdom has revealed itself more fully, art has been expressed more richly. Not only was I able to fight, I was Plutonically strengthened to fight. Fighting those to-the-roots Plutonic fights gave me almost otherworldly strength at times, even as my body and physical system were weakened. Even as I was picking out words on the keyboard with a pencil in my mouth because my arms and wrists were not fully functional. Intelligence was most certainly applied. I don't think there can be any doubt that cosmic intelligence is coming through loud and clear.
People often say, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything." I really wish people would stop saying that. It's kind of an assholish thing to say, especially to people who have compromised health.
Illness takes you far from the mainstream and from the mainstream ideals. You become what people are afraid of. Illness and pain isolate you, forcing you to fall back on yourself and on your faith and spiritual connection (if there are any to be had). They change and often deepen your perspective.
And it's from this perspective that people are able to bring forth some of their very, very best.
Some of the best writers, artists, activists, creatives, and people, period, on this planet live and have lived with illness and pain. They've worked under duress and wrested their contributions from the depths of despair and isolation. They've spoken from that very potent point at the edge between life and death, concentrated into the current moment by the withdrawal of the promise of a long and healthy life.
So Herophilus, your words certainly hold some of that Old Male Philosopher weight. They really do sound as if we should pay attention to them. But as per usual, the exalted and oft-quoted philosophical thinkers (mostly men) miss the real root truth.
Changing your diet, improving the water you drink, eating organic, exercising, spending time in nature, taking vitamins and supplements - these all help greatly. They're our responsibility. And as we move through a two-year Virgo-infused Mars cycle, refining and perfecting these things is a constant theme and focus.
But we're dealing with multi-layered and intentional attacks on our health and energetic systems on this planet. We're dealing with straw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back environmental pollution, electromagnetic pollution, psychic pollution, radioactivity. We're dealing with toxic corporate lifestyles packaged and sold to "the consumer." We're dealing with the absolute disconnection that is car culture. Work that is exploitative soul slavery. A planet kept in a state of perpetual war. Degraded food, degraded water, degraded air, degraded life. People aren't getting the basic nutrition they need - either because they do not have access to food or because the food they do have access to is genetically modified, chemical-ridden, or heavily processed.
In corporate capitalist society, people aren't trained to be healthy. They're trained to be unhealthy because they buy more that way.
There's only so much that can be done by the individual to maintain health within systems and structures that are inherently sick. Unless willing to look at the broader scenarios and the broader reasons why people are getting sick, we're just treating symptoms, not eradicating the illness.
Looking at the big picture like this scares people. They like to think their health is in their control, in their own hands, that it's their decisions and their decisions alone that determine their health or lack of it. This allows them to continue living without looking at the deeper causes of illness and pain on this planet. It keeps them from examining the roots, and it reinforces both their smugness and their ignorance about what is really going on.
There is a strong "survival of the fittest and most able-bodied" ethic in Western culture. There's a real desire to divide people into the healthy and the unhealthy, the winners and the losers. If you're too sick or have too much pain to work in the toxic mainstream workforce, you're often considered a low-life degenerate.
Often, the underlying idea is: if you're ill or in pain, you're doing something wrong. You're living wrong. Your thoughts are wrong. You're holding onto emotion. You have bad karma. You're genetically flawed. You're unenlightened.
This is a view of illness and injury created, reinforced, and furthered by the New Age paradigm, and it is one that's taken all the way to the bank.
With wounded healer Chiron transiting Pisces, though, it's plain to see how all this misses the point. Pisces deals with the whole, with the full, inter-related situation. Chiron in Pisces relates to the understanding of the whole in relation to sickness and pain in order to heal. On this planet at this time, more people are dealing with illness and pain - of one variety or another - than are not. If an individual is not dealing with it him or herself, a family member or close friend is. The idea of a mainstream society in tip-top, glowing health with a small minority of unfortunates who are ill and weak is just not reality. People in a state of optimal health are, in actuality, not the norm.
The truth is, each sick individual is part of a larger whole that is also sick. Sick individuals do not live in a vacuum - though the solipsistic "creating your own reality" meme would lead people to believe that. Sick people are symptomatic of sick human relations, sick cultures, sick environments, sick systems, sick power dynamics.
From a previous post: "The intense levels of psychic pain held at this point in human history,
collectively left denied and unvoiced, truly have the potential to do us in. The
psychic backwash drops over us in waves, often without warning, threatening to
drag us under. The homeless, the alcoholics, the addicts, the mentally ill, the
depressed, the prostituted, the murdered, the missing are symbols of this
unaddressed psychic pain and the resulting dysfunction, symptomatic of deeper
roots. They've done all they can, said all they can, and still most don't see
It seeps into suburbia, into condo buildings, into
schools and offices, and still people won't put their fingers on it."
At this point in the game, heading out of the astrological Piscean era, most of us are the walking wounded - whether the wounds are visible or not. We're pretty much all playing hurt. The wounded Pisces themes, brought freshly into perspective at last February's Pisces New Moon conjunct Chiron, come to a point of illuminated culmination here.
The Sun entered Virgo August 22 and opposed Neptune in Pisces - the prime symbol of 'Pisces for the Aquarian era' - August 24. The Sun now moves to an opposition to Chiron at 7 degrees Pisces on August 30, leading into the Pisces Full Moon that night (exact August 31 at 7:58 a.m. CST).
Mercury enters Virgo in the evening of August 31, opposing Neptune in Pisces September 1 and Chiron in Pisces September 4. There is a strong theme of pinpointing, of applying Virgoan antiseptic sting, of removing fallacy and bloat and changing ideas around healing, health, service, and work.
As we gradually move out of the astrological Piscean era, we're entrusted with the responsibility of shifting consensus reality to something closer to the truth. At this time, with the influence of nitty gritty, reality-based Virgo opposing, the Piscean era denials, delusions, escapism, scapegoating, and smoke-and-mirrors effects can be removed with precision.
The pain and damage done during the Piscean era are still here to be resolved. Part of the resolution comes from a much more keen analysis than has previously been offered, with a more precise accounting of cause and effect.
As the Moon grows full over the next week and touches Chiron, we can pinpoint fallacies around health, illness, and pain that keep us divided into the healthy and the unhealthy on this planet. We can stretch out into a full, illuminated understanding of our shared responsibility for changing things.
Under the Aquarian era umbrella, illness, injury, disability, and pain do not have to separate us from the "normal" people and from mainstream society. (There really is no "normal" with Aquarius.) Under the Aquarian umbrella, these things do not define us, and they do not have to sentence us to lives of isolation. The pain and illness we endure living in these human bodies are not shameful secrets. They're badges of honour. And the way we heal from here is to bring it all into the fold, into the wide-open Pisces heart.
Enjoy this healing moon.
More on Chiron in Pisces