HYGEIA THE SYMBOL OF THE HOLISTIC HEALER IN YOUR HOROSCOPE by Hilary Bond PhD © Copyright. All Rights Reserved.
INTRODUCTION TO HYGEIA
Jung believed that we become self -aware and heal our soul through rediscovering and connecting with the archetypal world. He also believed that through interacting with the world of archetypes (the anima, animus, the shadow and our particular goddess and god archetypes) we cleanse and evolve our soul. We interact with this archetypal world through symbols. According to Jung, our soul speaks to us in this language of images through dreams and through archetypal symbols. Astrological planets are archetypal symbols and our birth charts are a unique “map of our soul” that can illuminate the relationship between our conscious and unconscious mind.
Consequently, Hygeia is a goddess of and symbol of holistic wellbeing, self-empowerment, purification and healing if she is in positive placements in one’s horoscope. When physicians become qualified they must swear to be ethical according to the Hippocratic Oath (Greek physician C5th to C4th B.C.) which states:
“I swear by Apollo the physician, and Asclepius (Asclepius), and Hygeia, and Panacea (Panacea), and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation . . .”
Hygeia is the personification of physical health and mental health (or sanity) in your chart. If she shows up in your chart conjuncting your Ascendant, Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Mercury, chart ruler, IC or MC you will be attracted by the holistic approach to health. The spiritual side of us melds with our mind and body to create holistic health.
Her symbol is the serpent twining around the staff of Mercury, the psychopomp; the one god who could rescue people from death. As Apollo was Hygeia’s grandfather the serpent was also the serpent of Delphi: the python who represented the healing power of his matriarchal side; that of the Great Mother.
Hygeia exactly conjuncts my Moon, sextiles my Midheaven and trines my Mercury and serves as an inspiration and a symbol of my counseling and shamanic health practice. Hygeia can be viewed as a spiritual framework or as a convenient classical analogy depending upon your own orientation.
HYGIEA: SYMBOLS, SLEEP, DREAMS, SHAMANIC HEALING AND HYPNOTHERAPY
Hygeia’s cult in ancient Greece depended on healing dreams and dream oracles. Those who practice in the realms of the unconscious strive to bring awareness to their clients. Traumas buried deep in the past can effect current life situations (and dreams). Hypnosis, like dreams, induces a different state of consciousness that is in some situations an appropriate mechanism for healing. Meditation can lead to important life insights and greater peace in one’s life.
Just as I see Chiron as the astrological symbol of holistic healing and the Rainbow Bridge which links earthly reality and the transcendent realms leading to a healthy whole; Hygeia is the feminine symbol of holistic health. Hygeia is named for the classical goddess of hygiene, health, sanitation, wisdom, purity, soundness of mentality and spirituality and holistic well-being. Sanitation comes from the Latin root ‘sanare’ to heal and includes the ideas of sanity and the sanitarium. Hygeia’s symbol is the caduceus- two snakes winding around the staff of the magician healer. We see here a link to Hermes in his alchemical aspect. The asteroid Hygeia’s placement in an astrological chart signifies purification, as well as meanings associated with health issues, sickness, cure, and the moral and physical wholeness that are implicit in ideas of good health or good order. This is similar to the rune Ansuz which also means good order as a manifestation of pure “spirit.” Thus she is the opposite or polarity of Eris in your chart. Eris brings chaos and often retribution, but wherever Hygeia goes in the horoscope, she has a way of cleaning up things, bringing them into a very pure, even ideal, state of being.
Hygeia intensifies and cleanses any other planetary energy with which she links, and assists it to express in a cleaner, stronger, truer form. Sometimes this poses real challenges and problems, making circumstances appear worse before they get better. Then Hygeia seems to act like the force behind a fever, which can rise to dangerous heights before it breaks, and the healing occurs. It’s all about getting the poison out first, so that wholeness can be restored, or aided to form. The poison is more often metaphorical than literal, of course. Hygeia always helps you to scrub up, or purge. She’s a catalyst for action as well as a force for intensifying and purifying other energies. However testing a time you have whilst she’s busy, you’re always left in much better shape when she has finished with you.
Hygeia’s healing in ancient Greece was held in sleep temples. The priestesses used healing dreams and dream oracles. So they realised that traumas buried deep in the past can effect current life situations and reveal themselves dreams. Hypnosis, like dreams, induces a different state of consciousness that is in some situations an appropriate mechanism for healing. Meditation can lead to important life insights and greater peace in one’s life.
Her gift of medicine can be taken literally too. Sometimes certain psychological conditions require medication, but only maybe. Is there an alternative? Can we use hypnotherapy or soul retrieval for psychological conditions? Medication, if carefully considered, can be the best option for some people. But what medication? Good, healthy fresh food (grown at home if we can), free of genetic engineering and of poisons and raw or cooked at home; and herbs, maybe grown in our garden are good medication. I would rather a combination of bloodroot, aloe vera, zinc chloride and chaparral any day to get rid of skin cancers than having invasive surgery under an aesthetic. “Medicine” is also being true to our “totems or spirit guides” Indigenous people always ask; what is your medicine or sometimes what is your “skin” or what is your Dreaming? These mean the same thing. For example they may mean are you a Rock person, Rainbow person, a Bear person, Star woman or a saltwater person? Also do we use homeopathy instead of medical drugs. The Sun and the wind and the negative ions from waterfalls are medication and so are flower remedies.
Hygeia is health personified and confident mastery of one’s self. Hygeia used in the positive sense in our chart indicates that we become our own Master and take control of our destiny. Hygeia is health personified. The ancient Greeks worked hard at maintaining their own health. Taking personal responsibility and internal control of our problems instead of being helplessly battered about by external forces is vital, but I also have compassion. If a person was born prematurely and has been emotionally, physically and mentally abused or tortured and traumatised in wars or cults and bullied in the work place or at school or battered by domestic violence so they don’t know who they are and they bob around like a cork in the ocean it is lacking in compassion to say, “Pull yourself together; have a spine and a stiff upper lip!” If you say that to a person who has only emptiness inside and post-traumatic stress disorder or some such problem you are a fool. They need to learn self-empowerment. With our soul out to dinner we may not be able to do that.
As a Holographic Kinetics energy healing practitioner and shamanic practitioner I can isolate planetary energies and cleanse the offending parts of them for they are Middle World beings and these beings are without morals and ethics. So I am a channel to heal the planets and energies in your chart and have had significant successes in this area to bring clients who are diagnosed as having Autism or Asperger’s syndrome back to a state of not having autistic spectrum disorder. Many of these people have been priests in past lives or are stuck in Saturnian time warps. (The world of theta vibrations- the collective unconscious and the Dreamtime have no time, so when I enter that vibration we can work without the constraints of time. ) To be stuck in another time is very disturbing to the body and etheric energy and this state of timelessness will make people very ill. This is where my Sun conjunct Chiron in Capricorn aspect works well because I can work with the Lords of time and karma. Chiros time is an all-dimensional time, whereas Saturn time is the dimension we are in now. As a shamanic practitioner and medium one can move from beta vibrations where we are now through to alpha brainwaves which is a mediation state through to theta brainwaves which is the state where we can access the Askashic Records or the collective unconscious.
The cult of Hygeia began in Classical Athens in the 600s B[efore] C[hrist], in connection with the cult of Athena, goddess of wisdom and purity. Statues of Athena and Hygeia stood at the entrance to the Acropolis temple in Athens. Hygeia was a young goddess, daughter and chief attendant to Asclepius, the god of medicine. She was in charge of cleanliness and how to live a long life (preventive medicine). She also had two other medical sisters: Panacea (‘Cure-All’) and Iaso (‘Remedy’). The Romans named her Salus. As a sculpture she held or fed a large snake (the symbol of Asklepion medicine) in her arms. This snake also was reminiscent of the Python, the symbol of the old Earth Mother and matriarchal culture which was toppled by the Dorians and Achaeans. Hygeia’s symbol was a large water basin and a snake. Hippocratic doctors from the 300s onwards gradually formulated a philosophy of hygiene that covered every possible aspect of health – mind, body and environment. Statues of Hygeia were erected in all the major healing centers sited in the temples of Asclepius: in Epidaurus, Corinth, Cos and Pergamum.
However, as a pupil of Chiron her history no doubt goes back to before 13,000 years ago when Atlantis existed.
While her father Ascelepius was more directly associated with healing, Hygeia was associated with the prevention of sickness and the continuation of good health. Her name is the source of the word “hygiene”. Hygeia became Salus, the Roman goddess of health, social welfare and prosperity. Thus we see so many offshoots in present day holistic health which promote hygienic thinking: mindfulness, mindfulness based cognitive therapy, mediation, yoga, deep breathing (pranayama), awareness of toxic thinking, Louise Hay’s affirmations, shamanic counselling, wholistic counselling, all sorts of psychotherapy (minus medications) and shamanic journeying (minus plant enhancing drugs- no, I do not approve of them.)
Since ancient times, those who worked in the medical or healing field have noticed the close relationship between cleanliness and health. Pestilence and disease flourish where filth, darkness and impurities accumulate. If you cleanse your body, (your house, your car and your career) both inwardly and outwardly, through diet, exercise, lifestyle and physical regimen, and most diseases are greatly ameliorated, or vanish of their own accord. No cancer can take hold where our body is alkaline. In her personifying the value of diet and hygiene in health maintenance and disease prevention, Hygeia is the antithesis and complement to Asclepius. We look to Asclepius for medical miracles in times of crisis, but in the Chinese model as well, first let us do all we can to maintain our health and prevent disease ourselves. Our body has amazing powers of self-healing if we keep it clean and live in accordance with Nature’s laws.
In later Classical Greek times Athena took Hygiea as part of her persona. Hygiea was one of Chrion’s pupils so we know she is very old and goes back to before 13,000 years ago. Athena is relatively new in the Greek pantheon. Hygiaea as Athena is a significator of creative intelligence in your chart. She denotes our type of intelligence and style of perception, our capacity for inspired vision, intuition, curiosity, genius. Because Tiresias was blinded by the beauty of Athena bathing naked she gave him miraculous powers of insight, or prophecy. If you have stressful aspects to Athena you may have auditory or visual perceptual problems, colour blindness, dyslexia, autism, poor hand-eye coordination, poor problem solving ability, limited vision or hearing, learning difficulties or disabilities or at the very worst mental retardation (which also can be tied in with an abusive childhood environment which can lower the IQ by 30 points.) We must realise that our outer world is shaped by our thoughts so guided imagery and daily meditation and affirmations will restore not just calm and lower anxiety but benefit greatly Athena issues. Athena people have a capacity for whole pattern perception (mine is in the top 99% of the world population) and the ability to conceive and coordinate schema and paradigms for systems. They have the wisdom of strategy, foresight, planning, rational thought and determination which lead to academic careers, artistic and advertising careers, careers as systems analysts, military strategists, political, academic and scientific careers.
Hygeia holds a medicine bowl or alchemical mixing bowl in most of her statues. It also could symbol; the cup of tarot, where if our emotions, soul and heart are brimming over with love our health is perfect. (I see here Divine love as much as Eros and Psyche.) Hence if we see her as an aspect of the multi-dimensional Great Mother or Mother Earth, this we can see her bowl as a symbol of sustenance; the cornucopia of Amalthea or the importance of living in harmony with the earth and daily in the spirit of gratefulness of acknowledging where our gifts come from. I have always seen Mother Earth as a sacred place and I believe that it’s possible to build a joyful, full life in the here-and-now state of being regardless of your beliefs in an after-life.
So now you have a vision of the ultimate Hygeia as very strong and self-assured. She handles the snake (and no doubt other fears and burdens) in her life with practiced ease and success. So whatever health practioner we are, we aim for this vision as a pure intention with our clients. We aim for them to be self-empowered like Hygeia. The intention of honoring and emulating one archetypal energy of feminine divinity suggests that all people (women, minorities, and anyone other people) are equally sacred and inestimately precious. Hygeia, as an archetype symbolizes with her bowl of water and Kundalini staff, the fresh cleansing nurturing waters of the world. Her temples were frequently located upon the sites of sacred wells which had healing properties, just as Mother Mary’s wells are full of healing waters on the Michael Mary leylines in Britain and the Athena wells on the Apollo-Athena line which stretches from Skellig off Ireland through Mont Saint Michel through Italy, the Holy Land and Greece are also healing places. I would hope that my healing practice brings fresh cleansing ideas and practices that stir the imagination and help to find new answers and perspectives.
The serpent that Hygeia holds symbolizes the soul, deep wisdom, and healing. It is also a symbol of transformation, deep understanding of the deepest levels of oneself (including any trauma and power: self-empowerment. The snake is the symbol of Scorpio the sign of the transformation healer and all that is secret. Hence Hygeia in your chart hints that you know deep within yourself the secret to your own improvement. As therapists we can help a client self-actualize that inner truth or as the client we can see that shining diamond of truth when our Hygeia is progressed or transitted strongly. Although Hygeia holds the medicine bowl the snake that chooses whether or not to help itself by partaking. So she symbolizes the choice taking internal control and making the choice for wellness or maybe giving away one’s power to others or the medical fraternity. To go deep within yourself is to get in touch with the unconscious older reptilian parts of your brain that hold great wisdom. The link of snakes to wisdom and healing flows from the ancient idea that the dead went into the ground to dwell in Hades which in the Greek world was a dreamlike land neither good nor bad. (Hell was a rubbish dump outside Jerusalem and was a Christian idea.) Snakes, as ground-dwelling creatures, had contact with the dead and might even carry the souls of ancestors returning to help you. (Look at the 8th house symbolism here.) So they could bring great wisdom. Diseases in ancient times and in Indigenous societies and indeed in shamanism were sometimes thought caused by evil spirits. So, one way of affecting a cure would be to get a really strong good spirit to come help you. Thus snakes were also associated with healing. So Hygeia can send us into 8th house thinking where with we can with therapy can find events in the “dead” past that explain and help cure the behaviors and sorrows of today. It’s possible to access strong lost abilities that can turn around problems in your life.
Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning “serpent power”. It refers to the rising of the life force energy within you. While representative of a spiritual awakening, it’s also very physical, health-oriented, and here-and-now. Snakes are very “grounded” creatures and entirely practical in their approach to life. Hygeia displays a fully active and arisen Kundalini power with her calm approach, her large snake and healing alchemical bowl, as she embodies perfect health. In today’s frenetic pace and myriad negative energies whatever healing you seek- psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, dream therapy, shamanic journeys, herbs, kinesiology, yoga, diet, exercise we need to be holistic and be practical, and here-and-now in our intention. Consequently, Hygeia seems to symbolize health energies within the self, the mastery of one’s self and problems, internal locus of control and self-esteem necessary to face challenges, and clear communication with the dreamy, “dead” parts of self that lie in the unconscious and in the past (which include this life, past life and ancestral past. In this regard Hygeia as symbolic of therapy and a healing modality echoes Chiron.
HYGEIA IN ASTROLOGY
My Moon is exactly conjunct Hygiea. I have friends who have Hygeia prominent in their charts. A friend who is a medical intuitive has Moon conjunct Hygeia (in the second house) conjunct Sun in Aquarius conjunct Venus in Pisces in the 3rd house. She also uses herbs. I have another friend, a shamanic practitioner who has Hygeia in his first house conjunct Mars conjunct Ascendant in Gemini. He is a gifted healer who uses hands on healing. He also is a great networker with his construction world friends who use alternative health therapies.
Another dear friend of mine who is a famous astrologers told me: “Hygiea is conjunct my Uranus in Gemini in the second house. Uranian energy has been a great resource for me. Over the years, the practice of astrology has helped me to subsist, often putting bread on the table. The only time before this during which I read about Hygiea is in a book called “A Spiritual Bouquet from the Ascended Lady Masters”, copyright 1978 by White Dove and Samuel George Partridge, published by Samuel George Partridge. The book consists of channeled messages from Lady Masters, and a message from Hygiea is one of them.”
Astrologer Kim Falconer in her wonderful book:” Astrology and Aptitude: How to become what you were meant to become” writes” “When Hygeia is strongly placed with an inner planet (which would include the luminaries- the Sun and Moon) and angle (IC, MC, Ascendant or Descendant) there is a strong link to the medical professions, health concerns, research, and study in these areas and in general health care. There may be high physical fitness or need to be physically fit. Louis Pasteur had his Hygeia in Aquarius conjunct his IC. ”
Another friend has Hygeia in the 8th house in Gemini, midpoint Saturn Mercury. He told me: “My Hygeia makes a near exact air grand trine with my Moon and NN. Whatever I do or happen, it’s very important that for me that I cognitively understand the reason or motivation behind, or I couldn’t take thing in and process it. Though I am quite good at ‘holding the space’ until it reveals itself at a later time. In recent years, I become interested in herbal remedies. I qualified as a counsellor instead and I learned biodynamic therapy, am learning bioenergetics (postural/structural integration), and plan to learn more about bodynamics. My aim is to integrate these three separate body psych orientations into one stream.
If we see Hygeia as the Roman Hygeia of social welfare Karl Marx had Hygeia in the second house in militaristic Aries midpoint his Sun in compassionate Pisces and Eris in socially minded Aquarius in the 12th house of the collective mind. Hygiea is also opposite Vesta the asteroid of the Sate in the 8th house of politics. It is noteworthy that the first subject all social work students have to learn is a whole subject on Karl Marx and Marxian theory as a backbone of sociology and social work. Our present day society’s shadow or our unhygienic side is the presence of millions of homeless people who mostly live in our sewage system under our cities . I tutored in Introductory Social Work and lectured in Human Welfare at university.
Louis Pasteur the father of modern hygiene has Hygeia conjunct his IC conjunct his North Node in Aquarius. His Hygeia is the apex of a T Square configuration between Saturn on his Taurus DESC and his Libran Ascendant. He very well could have been an artist with his ASC ruler, Venus conjunct his Mercury, Sun, Neptune and Uranus in his third house.
The famous doyen of nutrition and dietetics, Adelle Davis had Hygeia in her 7th house in Cancer (the masses). The ruler of Cancer, the Moon is in her sixth house conjunct Pluto. Her Hygeia trines harmoniously Jupiter in Pisces in the 3rd house of communication and sextiles her North Node in Virgo (health) in the 9th house of publishing.
Carl Jung, father of modern transpersonal psychotherapy and dream therapy had Hygeia at 3 degrees Cancer quincunx his Aquarian Ascendant and sextile his Neptune conjunct IC and trine his MC. Through his Hygeian aspects to his MC and IC we can see his holistic approach to spiritual- mental psychotherapy.
Well known shamanic practitioner, homeopath and nutritionist Eileen Nauman is a well grounded person who practices an holistic way of living and has taught many shamanic practitioners world wide. Her Hygeia is in the 8th house of ancesters and she often talks of her Irish-Cherokee background as an enormous influence on her life. Her Hygeia is trine her Mars in the 12th house of the collective unconscious and sextile her Uranus conjunct North Node in Gemini in the 10th house. Hygeia opposes her Chiron conjunct Jupiter in the second. She writes for an income.
Anton Mesmer is the father of modern hypnotism. His Hygiaea is exactly midpoint his Sun and Moon conjunct Athena conjunct Mars. His Hygiea is in the 9th house of spirituality. His Hygiea also trines Jupiter in the 5th house of fun.
If you work in an area of wholistic healing I would be very interested in hearing where your Hygeia lies in your chart.
ASTRONOMY & HYGEIA
I have had Demetra George’s book the asteroid Goddesses since it came out here in 1985. I met her in 1997 at a conference where I had a reading with her and sat with her at her table quite a lot. We became friends and I was so sorry I couldn’t go on her Greek tour last year in October. Like me she combines astrology with mystical experiences. I was puzzled though that she did not include Hygeia in her “Asteroid Goddess” book as it is, along with Ceres, Pallas Athena, Vesta and Juno one of the five biggest asteroids in the 100,000 asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. So I have decided to write a book on Hygeia.
When I joined the Federation of Australian Astrologers in 1984 I decided to sit for their exams. (Surprise!) The first certificate comprises quite a lot of astronomy and a large amount of mathematical calculations as no one had computers in those days, let alone computer programs. I have been interested in astronomy since I was a child.
Most asteroids only measure a few miles in diameter. Ceres is 620 miles across. Pallas Athena measures 350 miles, Vesta 310 and Juno 140 miles. Hygeia is large with a somewhat oblong diameter of 350–500 km, and a mass estimated to be 2.9% of the total mass of the belt, it is the fourth largest asteroid by volume and mass. Hygeia’s properties are the most poorly known out of the “big four” objects (Vesta, Juno and Athena as well as Hygeia) in the asteroid belt. Ceres is the largest and has just been upgraded to a “dwarf planet.” Hygeia, like Ceres, has a relatively low density, which is more comparable to the icy satellites of Jupiter or Saturn than to the terrestrial planets or the stony asteroids. Hygeia is an unusually slow rotator, taking 27 hours and 37 minutes for a revolution, whereas 6 to 12 hours are more typical for large asteroids. Despite its size, due to its dark surface and larger-than-average distance from the Sun, it appears very dim when observed from Earth. For this reason several smaller asteroids were observed before Annibale de Gasparis discovered Hygeia on April 12, 1849. At most oppositions, Hygeia has a magnitude that is four orders lower than Vesta’s, and observing it will require at least a 100 mm (4-inch) telescope, while at a perihelic opposition, it may be observable with 10×50 binoculars. Vesta can be seen with the naked eye because it is metallic (volcanic basalt) rather than icy.
Recent evidence amazes astronomers. As the solar system began to form about 4.5 billion years ago, planets were born from collisions of dust and rock. The numerous chunks that stayed relatively small formed asteroids, while others eventually grew through accretion to the size of planets. It seems that they have discovered that these worlds once were extraordinarily hot, but they eventually cooled from the outside, forming a crust around a molten core.
Asteroids with molten cores could help explain mysteriously magnetic meteorites seen on Earth. Weiss and his colleagues have suggested that such magnetization most likely occurred in asteroids with a molten metallic core — a big shift from the traditional picture of an asteroid as a primordial, unmelted objects.
I hope you enjoy this article. I would love to hear your stories about Hygiea works in your chart. May you walk in beauty.