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Astrology and brain misfunctions:

by  Laura Poggiani


After having analyzed some diseases of the sleep from an astrological point of view (Ricerca '90 n. 25), now we get further into the delicate cerebral mechanisms so to study astrologically a very widespread (more than it is believed to be) misfunction: epilepsy.

First of all we examine the neurochemical work of the brain: nerve cells it contains, whose number ranges from 5 to 10 billion, called neurons, receive impulses, and in turn they transmit them from muscles and glands. The brain is moreover the centre of emotions, the memory, the mood, the personality and the thought as well as of another group of nerve cells which build up the spinal marrow. These elements make the central nervous system (CNS), from where the peripheric nervous system branches. It is subdivided into three parts: the first one originates from the spinal marrow and, through the body, is extended to the skin and muscles; the second one, placed in the head, links the brain to eyes, ears, nose and taste organs; the third one, then, is a sort of semi-independent net called "autonomous or non-volontary nervous system" and which controls involontary body functions as breathing, digestion, and gland activity.

Signals cross the nervous system in shape of electrical and chemical impulses: the first ones bring these signals from one extremity to another of a nerve cell, whereas, among the different cells, the connection is guaranteed by chemical neurotransmettors which bind to the receptorial sites of close cells (synapsis): the transmettors exciters stimulate the action, the inhibitors reduce it.

Many specialists share the conviction that troubles like depression, prolonged insomnia, anxiety come from a bad balance between exciter and inhibitor neurotrasmetters, and that electrical alterations of some groups of neurons are the cause of epilepsy.

Epilepsy is marked by periodic loss of consciousness, along with convulsive attacks which, although harmless in themselves, can turn to be dangerous because the person suffering them, not consciously, can hurt him/herself hitting against the ground or close objects.

Strictly connected to many superstitions, this affction was called in the past "fleeting disease", "sacred disease" or "other disease", and it was considered as a real disease or a mental deficiency, while now it's certainly known that it has no relationship with intellectual faculties nor, in most cases, with mental illness - yet, many great characters from literature to politics were affected, Dostojevsky and Napoleon, so to mention two - but it is only the show of a brain damage. Not being progressive, it enables to lead a normal life, although under medical control. In about half of the cases, the brain lesion has a traumatic origin at the head occurred at the birth or after, or deriving from an infection, while only occasionally an apoplectic hit or a cancer are responsible for it. In all the other cases, it is impossible to identify the cause originating the lesion (idiopathic epilepsy).

The most serious and common form is defined "great disease"; the crisis is often preceded by an aura, that gives precise premonitory signs of the attack varying from one person to another. During the crisis the subject loses his consciousness heavily collapsing to the ground, if he/she was standing up. Soon after convulsions begin but normally the crisis doesn't last but few minutes. A lighter form of epilepsy, defined "small disease" is generally found in children and usually disappears with the growth. In this case the subject suddenly turns to be dreaming and absent, with small unwilling contractions and eyelid shaking, but with no fall-downs or convulsions and the attack lasts, in this case, only few seconds, although it can occur many times during the day.

Since ancient times, the popular tradition connected this disease to lunar influence, so to call it "selenic". Since XVII century the astrological influence of the Moon is tackled in a deeper way with the Trew's work (1). Shifting to contemporary authors, H. Kinaue Saltarini (2) ascribe the Moon also the ruling of that section of the nervous system called "great sympathic". Mrs Cavadini (3) charges, in a more specific way, Uranus - and for extention Aquarius - because of its connection to electricity, with all those pathologies deriving from some alteration of the brain electric activity, like epilepsy. To sustain this, she quotes an interesting study led on the natal charts of boys born between 1962 and 1964, where fast planets (Moon, Mercury and Venus) or the Ascendant are shown as conjoint or in bad aspect to Saturn, in those years placed in Aquarius. Those boys' electroencephalic tracks were anomalous, so to indicate a critical threshold revealing a brain overexcitability: some of them are affected by the "little disease" or by other forms of epilepsy. Venosta (4) makes even a distiction between day births and night ones, mentioning a various possibility of aspects with the Moon and it, normally in Cancer, should form exact aspects with the Traditional Malefits, Mars and Saturn.

Let's see some examples:

1st example (fig. 1): Terry Broome 

Terry Broome came up to the public attention some years ago because of a dramatic event she was involved with (the homicide of Francesco D'Alessio, playboy), she had also been hospitalized because of epilepsy and other psycholability troubles.

First of all we find Uranus in aspect to the cusp of the VI House (diseases) indicating the disposition to nervous diseases caused by an electrical overexcitement of the organism. What's more, this Uranus is in predominant position, camping at Medium Coeli, to which it is conjoint, and the square to the Ascendant. Furthermore the negative aspect of square Uranus forms, after all, with Neptune and Jupiter is remarkable: Neptune often connected with psychical and neurologic troubles, Jupiter bringing an dilating effect, both for positive and negative, of the valences it gets in contact with.

As far as the Moon is concerned, its placing doesn't need of any particular comment: ill at ease in Aries and bound by a solar eclipse in the moment of Terry's birth, it is conjoint to Mercury, right in VI House, but litterally afflicted by the opposition of Jupiter and Neptune. Even the benefic aspects it forms with Mars and Pluto act as a resonance chamber rather than as corrective elements of an already affected situation.


2nd example (fig. 2): Napoleon Bonaparte

In this Chart we find again a positive aspect (this time sextile) of Uranus to the cusp of the VI House and simultaneously in quiconce aspect of the Asc., as well as sextile in MC and extremely stimulated by the many aspects it forms with other planets. In particular, just like the preceding Chart, Uranus is in aspect with both Neptune and Jupiter.The fact that in this case Uranus is in positive instead of negative aspect with Neptune can be misleading; like M. Frisari pointed many times, a negative aspect is not necessary for a pathology to show, the aspect is sufficient, that is the contact between two celestial bodies.

As far as the Moon is concerned, also this time we find it in an inappropriate position: even displaced in Capricorn and with surprising similarities with the preceding Chart, also here connected to Saturn (in the case before it was a trine aspect and now it's an opposition) and again in aspect with Mercury.

Some other analogies are given by the place of the VI House: in Aries in the former case, between Pisces and Aries in the one examined here.

3rd example (fig. 3) Subject C

This example is taken from the book "Astrology and Health" of C. Negri, Pub. Mondadori, pg. 174.

Now Uranus doesn't form any aspect with the cusp of the VI, but Neptune substitutes it, forming an aspect with it, like before. Uranus is here extremely strong: in aspect at MC to the Moon, which is placed in XI House cosignificant of Aquarius, and to the Sun, which is places both in XII and in Aquarius!

By the way of the Moon, we find again its place in Capricorn, again in aspect to Saturn which emphasizes its "Saturnine Nature" and top of a very hard T-shaped square. The aspect Moon/Mercury is repeated here, this time in semisquare.

On the contrary, the cusp of the VI House doesn't seem to show any analogy with the examples examined before, being placed in Cancer/Leo yet is symbolic as well: the I disposer of the VI is the Moon, whose bad position in XI House we had sufficiently talked about, and the same is for the II disposer of the VI, the Sun, placed in XII, in Aquarius and in aspect to Uranus, as we saw before.

4th example (fig. 4): Subject D

This is the case of epilepsy of traumatic origin: in July 1982, the examined subject had a serious car accident which kept him in coma for 12 days.

Once again we find the aspect (opposition in this case) Uranus-cusp VI House. Also here Uranus is in predominant position, being in aspect at MC, to the Asc. (semisextile), to the Moon and what's more placed in XI House!

As far as the Moon is concerned, this time it is placed in the mercurial sign of Gemini, it does not produce aspects with Neptune, but keeps the aspect with Mercury (sextile) and Saturn (square). The sign occupied by the Luminar is remarkable: Gemini, in analogy with the III House, the one related to transports and vehicles, underlining the suggestion of the pathology which makes this case different from the other ones; an epilepsy derived from a trauma caused by a car accident (III House)...

Pisces and Aries are involved again in the VI House and right in Aries there is the stellium Mars/Sun/Mercury conjoint and in aspect to Neptune, in II House: expenses (II House) for medical care and treatments (Neptune) aimed to recover from health troubles (VI House) for a traumatic event during a movement (conjunction Sun/Mars/Mercury in VI) involving the nervous system and the head in particular (VI between Pusces and Aries) even with some risk for the life of the subject itself (sextile of Mercury to the Moon, placed in VIII, the death, and in turn in aspect to Asc.)



Although the examined cases are not sufficient for a real statistic, they are enough to underline the importance of the planet Uranus in this pathology, M. Frisari (5) writes about "...Uranus the Planet of electricity rules all the electric activities of the nervous system. An astrologer making a diagnosis should note that Uranus in harmonic or dissonant aspect with other celestial bodies in the natal chart disposes to nervous troubles." It is no surprise if we find Uranus right inaspect to the cusp of the VI field pathologies in three cases out of four. Aspects Uranus/Neptune are remarkable too (three charts out of four despite the subjects belong to different generations), and, most of all, its aspect with the Asc. and MC axis (in all the charts) determining the uranian impression of the psychologic and cerebral tissue of the examined subject.

Obviously, only one aspect or one planetary position are not sufficient to determine such a complex pathology, so at this point is seems very important to stress the position of the Moon/Psyche which makes more serious the uranian tissue in every chart, which is so problematic itself. Mostly placed in Capricorn (three Charts out of four) it shows a steady repetition of the aspects with Mercury, about which Frisari again (6) underlines that "... in the period of life between the birth and the eleventh year some little nervous troubles can occur with alterations of the voice and verbal expression", and with Saturn (all the examined Charts) while in two cases the Moon is even vertex of a T-shaped square where the other two vertices are always Saturn and Uranus!

These difficult lunar positions seems to summarize, indeed, what the popular tradition tended to simplify, giving the attribute of "selenic" to people affected by this pathology, ascribing a direct cause to the Moon, only recording in a semplicistic way an effect then confirmed by the single Chart.

(Congress of Astrology di Vico Equense, year 1996) 


  1. Trew, Astrologia medica quatuor disputantibus comprehensa, Altdort 1664, in-4

  2. Kinauer Saltarini H., Stars and Health, Ed. Albero

  3. Cavadini A., Principles of Medical Astrology - Hoepli -Milano 1993

  4. Venosta E., New Dictionary of Medical Astrology - Albero, 1989 

  5. Frisari M., Medical and Diagnostic Astrology, Ed. Nuovi Orizzonti

  6. Frisari M., Astrological Medicine, Medicine of the Future - Objective 5, 1983

Trans. by Carmen Santarpino - All Rights Reserved