Astrology and Health:
an introduction to decumbiture
In marked contrast to the prevailing conception of astrology as solely being based upon the time of a person's birth – the so-called natal astrology – the astrology of health is traditionally based upon the physical event of a person becoming
ill. The time is taken from when a patient falls ill or decides to go to bed.
The name for this branch of astrology is decumbiture, which comes
from the Latin word decumbo meaning 'to lie down or to fall'. It
was through using such times that herbal physicians, such as Nicholas Culpeper,
made their judgements of diagnosis, prognosis and choice of herbs.
The Moment of Illness
There are a number of possible
moments to base a decumbiture. Firstly the moment when the patient feels
so overcome by their illness that they have got to lie down. This is the
truest moment in time to judge a decumbiture, however not everyone takes
to their bed when unwell, even if they would like to.
a disease starts suddenly following an accident or some other specific
event, this moment in time can also be used. Frequently patients have totally forgotten when they first felt unwell, in which case the time of first
visiting the doctor, therapist or counsellor can be used instead. This
is essentially the moment in time when a patient is prompted by their illness
to seek help and advice. This is by far the most available time for basing
the decumbiture, particularly when many have difficulty recalling the year
in which they first felt unwell, yet alone the time and day of their illness
First Moment of Contact
A phone call often means that the time of first contact between
a therapist and patient is quite separate from the time of the first consultation.
When known, the time of the telephone conversation is to be preferred over
the time of the first consultation, since this is when the patient is prompted
into doing something about their state of health, as opposed to when the
therapist has a free space available for consultation.
However in the absence of a preliminary conversation the time of the first appointment can be used with impressive results. Early or late arrivals for their appointments can also be significant in this respect. Another useful time may be when blood or urine tests are done in order to find out what is happening in the body.
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