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Capricorn: The Astroherbology Profile

It's time to get things done.

It's time to explore the sign of Capricorn! You're getting a snapshot into the ever expanding astroherbology magick of the Lunar Apothecary - amazing! 

I will be exploring all twelve signs from a medical astrology perspective with an emphasis on herbal healing. To learn more about the series and what all the correspondences mean check out the introduction to The Introduction to Astroherbology Series. Looking for the other signs of the Zodiac? Find out about the astroherbology wisdom of AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces.

AstroherbologyCapricornTitle.png

Element: Earth
Mode: Cardinal
Guardian Planet: Saturn
Direction: North
Season: Winter
House: 10th House / Angular
Lunar Mansions: 22nd Mansion, 23rd Mansion + 24th Mansion
Solar Gemstone: Lapis Lazuli
Tarot: The Devil, the World, 2 of Pentacles (12/22 - 12/30), 3 of Pentacles (12/31 - 1/9), 4 of Pentacles (1/10 - 1/19), Queen of Pentacles
Tissue State: Cold/Depression Tissue State

Body Systems: Skin, hair, and knees. Teeth. Joints, especially the knees. Bones and the skeletal system. Anterior pituitary gland. Gall bladder. Processing and maintaining energy reserves. Regulation of body systems, especially through the hormonal system. Antiperistaltic movement.

Imbalances + Diseases: Excess of cold, constriction, and lack of moisture. Slow metabolism and slow-acting wasting diseases. Skin complaints. Joint pain and damage, as well as knee injuries such as strains and fractures. Bone disorders including broken, fractured, and brittle bones. Tooth and dental disease. Chronic tissue infection. Poor digestion stemming from lack of digestive fire. Lack of absorption of calcium. Colic, fussy, and low-vitality babies (that grow into vitality with age). Imbalances of hormones secreted by the anterior pituitary gland including growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, gonadotropic hormones, luteinising hormone, prolactin, and melanin stimulating hormone. Pituitary tumors. Deafness. Parkinson’s disease. Diseases arising from tension and lack of moisture in the body. Rheumatism and arthritis. Gangrene and gout. Scabies and lice. Impetigo. Conjunctivitis. Parasitic diseases. Depression and melancholy. Feeling unsupported. Very body-conscious, manifesting as vanity, insecurity, self-doubt, and preoccupation with being “right” in dress and appearance. Being rigid, restrictive, and controlling. Cynicism. Too much emphasis on “correctness,” including in appearance, and adhering to tradition. Lacking imagination and prone to pessimism and arrogance.

Disease Degrees: 1 degree: right patella; 2 degrees: left patella; 3 degrees: cutaneous nerves of thigh, eyesight; 4 degrees: cutaneous nerves of lower leg; 5 degrees: cutaneous nerves of knee; 6 degrees: right adductor muscle; 7 degrees: left adductor muscle; 8 degrees: lymph vessels, knee, paralysis; 9 degrees: nerves of knee; 10 degrees: right cruciate ligaments; 11 degrees: left cruciate ligaments; 12 degrees: right knee joint; 13 degrees: left knee joint; 14 degrees: right knee cartilage; 15 degrees: left knee cartilage; 16 degrees: condyle of right tibia; 17 degrees: condyle of left tibia; 18 degrees: ligaments of right knee; 19 degrees: ligaments of left knee; 20 degrees: tendons of right knee; 21 degrees: tendons of left knee; 22 degrees: muscle insertions of upper to lower legs; 23 degrees: muscle insertions of upper to lower legs; 24 degrees: muscle insertions of upper to lower legs; 25 degrees: connections between femur and tibia; 26 degrees: connections between femur and tibia, azimene; 27 degrees: deep nerves, azimene; 28 degrees: right genicular arteries, azimene; 29 degrees: left genicular arteries, azimene; 30 degrees: adductor muscle.

Remedies for Imbalanced and/or Weakened Capricorn: Digestive tonics, such as bitters, liver and gall bladder tonics and cleansers, as well as herbs that are nutritive, warming, and oily in nature. Learning to manage your own world, not everyone else’s experience. Recognizing the merit of other’s ideas. Understanding the difference between asking for accountability and enforcing conformity. Laugh!

Gifts of Capricorn: Self-preservation, self-determination, self-control, traditional, hard-working, grounded, compassion, trust, accountability, systematic ways of thinking, dependability, patience, humor, social justice awakenings.

Rituals of Capricorn: Healing rites – especially for long-term and chronic illnesses, web-weaving rituals for support, community, and security, rituals for careers, long-term goals and ambitions, medicine-blessing rituals, home blessings, and grounding rites of self-determination and social justice.

Capricorn Guardian Herbs: Mullein (Thapsus verbascum), Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), Goatweed (Epimedium spp.), Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), Plantain (Plantago major), Blessed Thistle (Cnicus bendictus), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis).

Capricorn Remedy Herbs: Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Cayenne (Capsicum annuum), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Goat’s Rue (Galega officinalis), Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis), Solomon Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum), Oats (Avena sativa), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis).

Flower + Gem Essences: Rock Water, Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Larch (Larix decidua), Birch (Betula alba), Elm (Ulmus procera), Garnet, Agate, Turquoise.

The Sun in Capricorn

The mighty goatfish is one of the hardest working signs of the zodiac. They are known for their self-determination, authoritative expression, and self-control. A core value of many Capricorn folk is responsibility - their sense of self is often shaped by what they perceive their responsibilities (especially to others) to be. They appreciate the usefulness of tradition and then sometimes get lost in preserving tradition for tradition’s sake instead of evolving customs to meet changing needs. Sometimes their sense of responsibility and frustration that the world is not ordered in the “right” way can lead to a deep sense of pessimism and depression. They can easily become stagnant and unmoving in their cynicism. Capricorns can get so caught up in what is “acceptable” that they forget their own needs and desires. Yet, while Capricorn is so often described as a very serious sign they have a surprising trickster element becoming the old wise one with the strange and illuminating jokes once they learn to ease up on their self-imposed constraints.

Within astroherbology, Capricorn is the sign of regulation, reflecting the power of their Guardian Planet, Saturn. The sign guards the pituitary gland which secretes important regulatory hormones throughout the body. When Capricorn gets into trouble is when they attempt to live an over-regulated life, seeking to exert control over every aspect of living, often leading to restriction of movement and stagnation. A common trait I see with a lot of Capricorn folk that leads to a number of health imbalances is unexpressed anger which then builds up in the liver and gall bladder. Problems with the liver leads to problems with the digestion and Capricorn folk, who tend to run cold and dry, can often have a weakened digestive system to begin with. Painful gall stones, too, can build up. They are a sign known for a build-up of tension, so learning a variety of self-relaxation techniques is key to longevity. It is also very important for Capricorn folk to pay attention to the foods they eat, discovering and addressing any food allergies they may have, and being mindful of restricting calories unnecessarily (which can start as an attempt to alleviate an underperforming digestive system that feels unable to digest food properly). Food allergies and other imbalances often make themselves known through skin irritations such as eczema and other rashes. Another aspect of Capricorns is that they are often more sick earlier in life and grow in strength as they age (remember the old wise one with the illuminating jokes I mentioned?).

Capricorn folk need their space to make plans, find inspiration, and cultivate peace in quiet. They are not the most collaborative of signs, preferring more hierarchical structures to collectives, but having clear definitions of roles in any of their relationships helps them to lighten up and work better in groups. Remember, even if Capricorn folks may sometimes come off as strict and judgmental, they are often far more restricting and judging of themselves on a level that most of us will never (thankfully) attain. Be kind to your grumpy neighborhood goatfish because their magick is so very worth it. When they are dwelling confidently in their wisdom, Capricorn folks bring the gift of unexpected homecomings. They can open up ways of feeling at home that lost souls never thought possible again. Capricorn folks can be sturdy powerhouses of social change once they learn that taking care of and cultivating self-worth within themselves first will allow them to better help others to do the same.

Capricorn Guardian Herbs

Mullein via  wikipedia

Mullein via wikipedia

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Mullein is described by Nicholas Culpeper as being under the guardianship of Saturn, which is in part why the herb is considered a Guardian of Capricorn. The herb is a great ally during the winter months, helping to clear phlegm from the system, reduce inflammation, and protect against infection. It is excellent for clearing out chronic, long-standing coughs, especially dry and spasmodic coughs, and can help with a number of respiratory complaints including bronchitis, asthma, and general lung weakness. Add the herb to your cold and flu blends with Elder (Sambucus nigra) and Peppermint (Mentha piperita) for a lung-opening, immunomodulating blend. Mullein is useful, too, for Capricorn folk who tend towards stagnant cold states which lead to swellings and cysts as the herb helps to dissolve such manifestations of buildup. In her Physica, Hildegard von Bingen recommended Mullein for “one who is hoarse or has a pain in his chest” recommending that they combine the herb with Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) in a medicinal wine.

Topically, the mucilaginous Mullein is excellent for dry skin conditions but also as a healing compress for boils, bruises, inflammation, hemorrhoids, and joint pain. Mullein and garlic ear oil is a trusted remedy for ear infections helping to relieve pain and infection. I always keep a small bottle of Mullein and Garlic oil in my home care kit just for this reason. The long thick stems are sometimes referred to as Hag’s Tapers (the dried stalks dipped in wax will burn as a somewhat messy candle) as they are associated with the magickal workings of Witchfolk. You can also tuck the leaves into your shoe for added comfort and protection on your journeys.

Capricorn Remedy Herbs

Cayenne via  wikipedia

Cayenne via wikipedia

Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)

Cayenne is a traditional remedy for states of excess cold and moistness. The hot and drying herb is an excellent remedy for a stomach weakened by cold - a common ailment of out-of-balance Capricorn folk. American herbalist and founder of the Thompsonian system of medicine, Samuel Thompson, used Cayenne as a primary remedy in his practice as it was so effective at clearing out a congested gut and stimulating the digestive fire. Cayenne helps to relieve pain by stimulating the release of endorphins in the brain to whatever area it is applied to. The herb is a great ally in times of colds and ‘flus, clearing congestion, relieving aches and pain, and warming cold body systems. Mix together 1 quart of water with half a lemon, a 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne powder, some maple syrup to taste, for an effective and hydrating cold remedy brew (I used this on more than one occasion during my college years when ingredients for my remedies consisted of what I could find in the dining hall). The herb stimulates circulation and warms the blood, which can be great during the winter, in helping to recover from a period of illness, dissipating pain caused from the cold and stagnation, as well as stimulate the libido.  

Topically, it is used in compresses and oils for arthritis, sprains, strains, bruises, inflammation, and to warm under-stimulated parts of the body. Use in a foot bath for colds and the ‘flu or in a gargle for sore throats. The herb also stops bleeding quickly. A little Cayenne goes a long way internally or externally to be effective - too much can invite an irritating bite. 

Sun in Capricorn Flower Essence

Elm (Ulmus procera) Flower Essence is for Capricorn folk who have been going, going, going, and now they can’t go anymore. They have been so focused on getting it done that they have taxed their limits, often ignoring their own basic needs (like eating enough food and getting enough sleep) because of their overwhelming sense of responsibility. Elm helps Capricorn folk to realize that they are responsible to their needs, too, and it is not responsible to work themselves to the point of a nervous and physical breakdown. The essence helps Capricorn folk to slow-down and restore the spirit, learning how shift their sense of self-worth from being based solely on their ability to complete their perceived responsibilities, to understanding that they don’t have to prove themselves worthy - they already are and always will be.

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Virgo: The Astroherbology Profile

You missed a spot in that galaxy over there...

It's time to explore the sign of Virgo! You're getting a snapshot into the ever expanding astroherbology magick of the Lunar Apothecary - amazing! 

I will be exploring all twelve signs from a medical astrology perspective with an emphasis on herbal healing. Learn more about the series and what all the correspondences mean check out the introduction to The Introduction to Astroherbology Zodiac Series. Missed the other signs of the Zodiac? Find out about the astroherbology wisdom of AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquariusPisces.

Element: Earth
Mode: Mutable
Guardian Planet: Mercury
Direction: West
Season: Autumn
House: 6th House / Cadent
Lunar Mansions: 12th Mansion, 13th Mansion, + 14th Mansion
Solar Gemstone: Moss Agate
Tarot: The Hermit, the Magician, 8 of Pentacles (8/23 - 9/1), 9 of Pentacles (9/2 - 9/11), 10 of Pentacles (9/12 - 9/22), King of Pentacles
Tissue State: Tense Tissue State

Body Systems: Abdomen. Gut brain and intelligence. Intestines, lower liver (especially the purifying functions), alimentary canal, spleen. Digestive enzymes. Absorption and assimilation. The nervous system as related to digestion. Diaphragm. Spleen. Pancreas.

Imbalances + Diseases: Indigestion, malnutrition, intestinal weakness and disease, colic, constipation and diarrhea, flatulence, colitis, ulcers, acidity and reflux. Nervous stomach and indigestion caused by emotional upset. Irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. Intestinal parasites, worms, and dysentery. Hernias and ulcers. Dysfunctional liver. Pancreatic diseases including pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis. Diabetes, hypoglycemia, and blood sugar issues. Thymus and immune system dysfunction. Hernias of the diaphragm. Melancholy, anxiety, and depression. Premature gray hair. Hepatitis. High-strung energy. Overly critical, picky, and trivial. Selfish and difficulty feeling sympathetic. Workaholic, neurotic, self-denying, and lack self-confidence. Obsession with “cleanliness” from germs to deep feelings of being “dirty” or what is labeled “disgusting.” Too fastidious and feeling confused. Not listening to their gut.

Disease Degrees: 1 degree: duodenum; 2 degrees: small intestine; 3 degrees: appendix, caecum, appendicitis; 4 degrees: ascending colon, appendicitis, asthma; 5 degrees: transverse colon, asthma; 6 degrees: descending colon; 7 degrees: rectum; 8 degrees: abdominal cavity; 9 degrees: right hepatic lobe, rheumatic fever; 10 degrees: left hepatic lobe, bile, enteric fever, rheumatic fever; 11 degrees: falciform, coronary, ligament of the liver, bile; 12 degrees: abdominal aorta; 13 degrees: hepatic arteries; 14 degrees: cystic arteries, feet; 15 degrees: bare area of liver, feet; 16 degrees: groover for inferior vena cava, appendicitis; 17 degrees: abdominal muscles, appendicitis, diabetes; 18 degrees: oblique abdomen muscles, appendicitis, diabetes; 19 degrees: esophageal groove; 20 degrees: bile duct; 21 degrees: cystic duct, enteric fever; 22 degrees: gall bladder, insanity, appendicitis; 23 degrees: capsule, ligaments of liver, spine, appendicitis, defective vision; 24 degrees: capsule and ligaments of liver, defective vision, cancer, gout; 25 degrees: liver, cancer, gout, arthritis, neurasthenia; 26 degrees: abdominal veins, suicide, neurasthenia; 27 degrees: iliac veins, chronic glomerulonephritis, Bright’s disease, eczema, tuberculosis, diabetes; 28 degrees: hepatic plexus, tuberculosis, Bright’s disease, eczema, tuberculosis, diabetes, drowning; 29 degrees: quadrate lobe of liver, tuberculosis, drowning; 30 degrees: hepatic duct.

Remedies for Imbalanced and/or Weakened Virgo: Inviting a softer perspective on life beyond “this or that” or “clean or dirty.” Creating spaces of healing through your organizational gifts. Finding a cause to be of service to or pursuing a healing, service-oriented discipline.

Gifts of Virgo: Purification, practicality, discernment, organization, analytical pursuits, discipline, health-conscious, and efficient.

Rituals of Virgo: Healing and creating new healthy habits, goal-setting, creating functional systems of change and well-being, developing discernment.

Virgo Guardian Herbs: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Anise (Pimpinella anisum), Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Bee Balm (Monarda spp.).

Virgo Remedy Herbs: Lavender (Lavandula officinalis), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis), Dill (Anethum graveolens), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Milky Oat (Avena sativa).

Flower + Gem Essences: Fig (Ficus carica), Centaury (Centaurium umbellatum), Rock Water (Aqua petra), Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Crab Apple (Malus pumila), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Vervain (Verbena officinalis), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Moss Agate, Amazonite.

The Sun in Virgo

Stubbornly kind might be one of the most succinct way of describing Virgos. I think it is interesting to know that the Virgin has not always been the default symbol of Virgo. Judith Hill has pointed out that the one of the alternatives to the symbol of the “Virgin” for Virgo was that of the donkey (blessed be the Sacred Donkey of Holiness). I agree with her, that the donkey, which is a highly intelligent, herd-oriented animal that is stubborn and ready for challenge describes Virgo better than that of a mystical virgin. Not because a virgin is any less powerful or clever, but because there a virgin is a person “unto themselves” while most Virgos, even through their stubborn grumpiness, are far more community-oriented. 

I think many Virgos are identified as and would self-identify as introverted, but I think there is something a little more complicated going on. First of all, none of us are solely introverted or solely extroverted - we’re all some sort of mix, no matter how slight. Instead of understanding introverts and extroverts as “the quiet ones vs the loud ones” I think it is more useful to understand where each seeks recognition or feedback most of the time. Introverts are often more directed to seek inner feedback and self-recognition, or those same things from a much smaller group of people, whereas an extrovert often seeks feedback and recognition outside of themselves or from a much larger group of folks. So how does this tie back into our beloved Virgos? Virgo folk can appear to be introverted since many tend to be more quiet (initially, at least, when meeting them), but because of their community-bound loyalty, they act far more like extroverts when seeking feedback, recognition, and satisfaction with self. Such a disposition is part of the reason Virgo folk make such good community healers, organizers, and heart-centered rabble-rousers - they feel deeply and are acutely aware of the needs of others at the same time. They get in trouble when they misplace their loyalty, overcommit, and feel a lot, but don’t take time to really understand what they are feeling.

Virgo folk have to be very conscious of not getting in their own way. They can be detail-oriented to a fault, have difficultly seeing the broader vision, and let their stubbornness turn into stonewalling. They have to learn how to be flexible, give way, let go, and be gentle with themselves as much as they are to others in their most centered moments. Once they get over their skepticism and tone down their cynicism, their magick can finally have enough space to unfold. For Virgo folk teach us how to create the healing temples and spaces we so desperately need in these times of growing complexity and conflict. They remind us, as wisely mutable earth signs, to come home to ourselves again and again, wherever that home may be.

Within medical astrology Virgo folk need to be very conscious of their digestive help and paying attention to their second “belly brain.” A disturbed digestive process, from missing a meal or chronic issues of malabsorption, can lead to disease and illness. Virgo folk need to provide themselves with the same healing and attentive care that they provide others in order to experience longevity. The sign does have a tendency towards melancholy and retention of emotions, so making sure that they are practicing regular release-oriented activities in their life (whether exercising by spending time in the woods or a beautiful city park or regular therapy). Good food choices are paramount. The gifts of Virgo folk are discerning what we really need in a noisy world, practicing balanced selflessness in service of others, and living the wisdom that Sweet Honey in the Rock has so succinctly summarized, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Virgo Guardian Herbs

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Many Virgo herbs are fragrant and sweet with just the right amount of bitter and usually containing a high volatile oil content. They are herbs meant to sweeten the disposition as well as the digestion, which Fennel does very well. A classic carminative, Fennel soothes inflamed intestines, alleviates nausea, clears toxins from the gut, and relieves cramping. Chew the seeds after meals to relieve flatulence and distention of the gut because of gas and irritation. For those with sluggish and stagnant digestion (which can be brought on by the tightening and dampening effect of the Tense tissue state that Virgo folk are prone to), Fennel can help to reignite the digestive fires.

As a sign of Mercury, Virgo guards our body’s physical intelligence, including the second brain in our gut as well as our consciousness filter or the brain settled in our skull. Fennel helps nourishes both brain centers by acting as a nervine on an overworked nervous system (and it is very, very common for Virgo folk to be overworked).

Fennel also supports the gift of Virgo folk which is learning how to be a source of nourishment for others within a balanced and healing context. One way that Fennel does this in the body is by supporting breast/chest feeding by increasing milk flow, alleviating mastitis and clearing out tension and obstructions in the body. Ultimately, Fennel is very calming and grounding and helps us to glow from the inside out.

Virgo Remedy Herbs

Lavender by  Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)

When Virgo folks feel out of balance, Lavender can be a great herb to help them find their center again. The herb reduces anxiety, soothes the nerves, alleviates agitation, and has an overall calming effect on the mind, body, and spirit. While Thyme is a warming digestive herb (discussed further in the full Virgo profile in the Lunar Apothecary), Lavender is a cooling digestive herb, when the digestion is too hot, leading to nausea, heartburn, and irritation of body and mood. 

Lavender is similar to Lemon Balm (which we look at in-depth in the Lunar Apothecary) in its ability to uplift the mood and release poor self-esteem. It is excellent for stress and tension accompanied by headaches and migraines.  The herb is also clearing - clearing congestion from the chest, remnants of colds from the body, and brain fog from the head. The topical uses of Lavender seem endless and it fulfills its duties as a topical panacea well. The herb can be used for a variety of skin irritations such as eczema (a common skin complaint for Virgo folks), bug bites, burns, infections, varicosities, and acne. It relieves the pain of arthritis, bumps, bruises, and sprains, and it excellent in baths and steams. In mouthwashes it is great for infections of the mouth and throat, including tonsillitis and mouth ulcers.

Sun in Virgo Flower Essence

image via  wikipedia

image via wikipedia

Moss Agate is an earthy, grounding stone for our earthy Virgo folk. It enhances their ability to ground and, more importantly, re-connects them to their ability to ground when they are too caught up in their heads. Moss Agate is the security of forest floor and rock bed, breeding in our spirit a mobility of gentleness that allows our soul to move while still feeling secure. It is very useful for Virgo folks who have forgotten or denied their inherent earthiness. Moss Agate is especially good as dissolving the false dichotomy of nature versus culture. The essence is for when someone is afraid to come home again, helping them to re-connect to the gift of profound vulnerability.

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