Myalgic Encephalitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, (ME/CFS), are enigmas to both the medical profession and sufferers alike. There is much controversy as to whether these syndromes are a weakness of the physical immune system, inherent within the individual and exacerbated by stress and modern living, or whether these debilitating conditions originate from a weakened or damaged psyche, the effects of which are projected into the body.
I have for the past few years been very interested in these conditions – having known many CFS sufferers I’ve learned just how restrictive and frustrating it can be. I wanted to help others understand what it is that creates this cycle of illness, pain and depression. I became increasingly convinced that there has to be an answer and having studied astrology for many years I began to examine birth charts of sufferers specifically with regard to this problem. I felt that there must be a key here, a pattern that could be unravelled and consequently explored.
When I began to study the birth charts of other sufferers, what I initially saw was, of course, that the planets ‘responsible’ for the external manifestation of the trauma and turmoil of their younger years were also those that directly affected the immune system and health in general. I was interested not only in the planetary placings, but the aspects themselves, as certain planetary connections were very prevalent in the majority of the charts.
Aspects and the Birth Chart:
I have always understood that a planetary aspect (or indeed a difficultly placed planet) represents a challenge that can manifest in many different ways. Experience has taught me that if an aspect is not resolved on one level, then the effects of the aspect, as shown by the planets involved, will redirect itself toward another area of life. In my understanding it is the way that the inner conflicts within all of us attempt to resolve themselves - if we do not respond to their initial whisper, then they will begin to shift their position and becoming more potent, in order that they are able to ‘shout’ at us until we hear them and respond accordingly.
On a basic level, aspects indicate as to whether certain parts of the personality are working in harmony with the other parts, or whether perhaps there is evidence of conflict. The planets relationships to one another represent an inner dialogue and whilst certain parts of the chart, or the personality, may be communicating well and working together towards harmony and success, others may not be communicating constructively and may well be at loggerheads with one another. This creates blockages and conflicts that manifest as life events, or personal life-experiences. These manifestations bring to us the opportunity to tackle them as a tangible and real issue. An aspect may manifest itself in many ways. For example, it may show itself as a psychological imbalance, relationship conflicts, or indeed as physical illness. In whichever way it chooses to express itself, this gives us an opportunity to recognise the difficulty and confront and deal with the underlying issues. Once we have achieved this difficult task, then the vibrational rate of that particular planetary configuration can move ‘upstream’ and can be experienced on a more harmoniously integrated level.
However if this is not achieved, then I believe the ultimate manifestation of any unresolved aspect energy is physical illness. This is the ‘final conflict’ if you like and provides us with an opportunity to become consciously aware of the innermost conflicts present within our psyche. Once illness occurs, in whatever form, then we must face the challenge alone and cannot escape or avoid its consequences. We must take full responsibility and it is then so much harder to transfer or project the blame onto life itself or others around us. This state of disharmony will continue to exist until we face what is happening to us and adjust our behaviour accordingly, either by addressing our physical well-being and learning to respect and trust in our body and its functions, by looking into our habitual emotional responses, or by readdressing our thought processes and internal dialogues. If we can understand and mitigate, or help resolve, these patterns before they manifest as illness, then wemay be able to prevent further internal discord. I wanted to understand why some individuals developed ME/CFS and not other physical conditions or illnesses.
Specific Aspects in the Birth Charts of ME/CFS Sufferers:
It was with this aim in mind that I began to examine the birth charts of sufferers, the majority of which responded to particular planetary patterns. Firstly I examined how the planets ‘behaved’ and the energies that they manifested on a general level.
Examining the charts, I could see that the planet Mars is, of course, very influential. This planet, at its lowest form, is connected with the expression of aggression and violence, or at the other end of the scale, a complete inability to assert ourselves. When it is used constructively, it gives us our ability to fight, to assert ourselves and to survive – to look after number one. When we are able to defend ourselves effectively we can protect ourselves physically – to ensure our survival. The energy of Mars is affected by the Moon, our emotional self, as it is through Mars that we express, or outwardly manifest, our emotions in the physical form of aggression or passionate responses to life. Saturn, afflicted, also featured very strongly. This planet can, when functioning in a challenging manner, bring harsh and spiritually depleting experiences. It inhibits and restricts that which it influences and seems, in these particular charts, to negatively influence Mars very strongly. Jupiter in conflict with Saturn, or in a Saturn sign (Capricorn or Aquarius), was also extremely prevalent. This connection is indicative of the repression of joy and faith, of harshness and also difficulties in the development of positive belief systems. Mercury and an emphasis upon Virgo is very much part of the pattern shown in the charts. This planet governs childhood developmental processes and the intellect. As young people we absorb through the influence of our Moon what life shows us. We then, through Mercury, process and sort our experiences into a more structured form. It is through this method that we shape the thought patterns that stay with us throughout adulthood. Neptune also plays an important role, especially when in direct conflict with the Sun, Moon, Mars or the Ascendant. This planet when afflicted can manifest as physical sensitivity and also may bring a sense of powerlessness. This planet on a physical level can be indicative of a ‘leaky aura’ or inability to erect firm boundaries within relationships. Uranus also seems to have some influence, bringing a heightened nervous sensitivity or slight internal instability/changeability – although this is a slightly less common influence than the others mentioned. These aspects are of course very common and in isolation cannot predispose an individual to ME/CFS. However, it is the combination of these factors, or planetary connections, that seem to lead to the manifestation of these conditions. I also examined the parallel and contra-parallel aspects, but these did not seem to be especially relevant.
So, I understood how these planets initially functioned on an early life experience level, bringing trauma, hardship, emotional stress and power-orientated conflict with others. I also could see how the planets involved bought about anxiety, depression and difficulties with self-expression and the ability to feel ‘heard’. However, I needed to understand how those planets had affected the sufferers on a physical and systematic level. But before examining these areas, I wanted to understand the psychological makeup of those individuals that corresponded to this initial pattern.
The Emotional and Psychological Responses of the ME/CFS Sufferer:
When examining the birth charts, I began to see a pattern emerging. I am not for a moment assuming that all individuals with ME/CFS will find the following psychological patterns familiar, I believe there are many different personality types and factors that ‘cause’ these conditions. But perhaps there may be something here, even a tiny part of the following, that may resonate for some sufferers and which may therefore prove to be helpful. Please understand that I am not judging, as I know first hand how this condition instils fear and intense frustration within the sufferer and I certainly don’t wish to cause anyone any discomfort. My aim is help and to hopefully bring some light to these difficult conditions. What is detailed below is simply my interpretation regarding some of the personalities that I have studied.
We all have a ‘core self’ – that part of ourselves that is formed in childhood. When this stage of our life is positively nurturing it provides us with an innate sense of security. It supports our genuine, authentic self and the expression of our deepest needs. As young children or adults, it is the part of us where we return to for reassurance when under stress or are threatened in some way.
For everyone, not just ME/CFS sufferers, this core forms in the early years and is very much about the energies of the Moon and our need for security and nurturing. As vulnerable children we are at the mercy of life, circumstance and, of course, the adults that we encounter. Those authoritarian Saturn characters, which show themselves to be either a positive or challenging influence in our lives affect us on a deep level. The limbic system is governed by the Moon. This governs our emotional responses to life and is developed at a very early age. It is directly affected by our emotional experiences which are stored as memories. If we are lucky enough to be given positive reinforcement as to who we are – that we are good, lovable, strong, people who feel comfortable in the outside world, our ego, sense of identity and personal power (as shown by our Sun, Moon and Mars) is stable and intact. We therefore feel that we are able to succeed and are deserving of success. We need a sense of personal power to feel defined and certain of our needs. Neptune afflicting the Sun, Moon or Ascendant, can ‘take away’ our personal power and make us less definite as individuals. We need a positive sense of self as this helps us develop our Mars energy, the engine that fuels our way into adulthood and provides us with the belief that we have the right to defend ourselves and therefore protect ourselves from harm. If this matures healthily, we are gently assertive and comfortable with success and personal power. In essence, our drive is working in harmony with our personal expression, with that part of ourselves that expresses our needs and desires to the outer world. If, however, we are not so lucky and we are not given the inner nourishment; that we need, then the natural response is to feel rejected, unassertive, powerless, worthless, vulnerable and above all, afraid. The Saturn qualities within us then gain a negative hold over the personality and begin to bring about a sense of failure, thus inhibiting our personal expression. We feel that we have failed ourselves and others and develop a highly sensitive and imbalanced response to responsibility. After all, on a psychological level, if those responsible for us do not take care of us, then we are alone and that is very frightening.
Consequently, as a result of this early trauma or lack of support, some individuals, usually emotionally complex, highly intelligent and sensitive individuals, respond by creating an external persona as protection. They hide that part of them that feels unacceptable and unlovable. They becoming rigid, nervous, overly responsible and fearful and also carry a strong sense of disempowerment. Saturn, Mercury and Mars are then expressing their qualities at their most challenging. For those that develop ME/CF, the belief is this - if they are not loved for who they really are then they must recreate themselves and gain acceptance and approval from the outside world somehow, through either their behaviour or achievements. This need to achieve is driven by fear, not by faith, love or self-belief (positive Jupiter qualities) and this response allows the Saturn ‘sub-personality’ to negatively respond to life. If they do not do achieve then the option is to give up and accept that those responsible for supporting them were right to treat them as they did and that they are as powerless as they really feel. ME/CF sufferers are in essence fighters and are also often perfectionists. The Mars/Saturn and Mercury/Virgo influence drives them on and they desperately try to find a coping mechanism to overcome these very difficult feelings and perceptions.
Thus begins a very hard task – Saturn and Mars dictate that they must work hard, even to the point of overwork and subsequent ‘burnout’. They pour their energies into keeping up this façade, to present to the world what they feel is acceptable in order to gain a sense of self from others’ approval. They may focus on the career, a Saturn channel, or anything externally that gives a sense of power and achievement that is lacking internally. This ultimately proves to be exhausting – like a car without fuel they can roll down the hill, but it is almost impossible to climb mountains without the engine working properly. So instead of riding easily and comfortably inside a safe vehicle they have to manually push it over the hills using sheer determination and true grit. These individuals obviously cannot keep up with those in competition – they are at a severe disadvantage. However, being perfectionists and resolutely tenacious in nature – they just push harder to keep up – until they collapse.
The actual manifestation of ME is the soul/body crying out that the inner is not working in harmony with the outer. Simply put, that the coping mechanism erected at an early age is not a good long-term technique. The core self has for too long been working against the outer external false self – casting its shadow upon the achievements of the individual. Nothing is good enough and so more effort must be expended. The inner self has no harmonious outlet – it is stifled and kept under wraps for fear of not being good enough to be loved and accepted and so the true emotions are not give expression. This is why so many people with ME/chronic fatigue have problems with intimate relationships. The effort of maintaining the façade continuously at close proximity, of keeping the other person away from the fragile and vulnerable core proves too much and they shy away. They cut off because of fear of rejection, or exert themselves further in the projection of what they see as the lovable acceptable and successful self, which of course brings on more exhaustion and consequent illnesses. This response to relationships creates the strong sense of isolation of which many sufferers complain.
ME/CFS sufferers are primarily perfectionist with a great fear of failure – which is why the ME occurs. They struggle with society judging them, and their condition, negatively and try to find a reason for their illness. With societal pressure upon all of us to be mentally sound and psychologically balanced, it is no wonder that these individuals find it hard to even consider that their illness may be psychologically based. To understand and accept that ME/CFS is not, at its root, physical (although obviously the continuous effort expended affects the physical body on many, many levels), means that their already over developed sense of responsibility and inner fear of inadequacy has to take on even more and an acute sense of failure is experienced, one which they find too painful to bear.
When the body finally ‘crashes’ -‘I cannot cope with this any longer’ is the familiar cry of the CFS/ME personality, both verbally and somatically. The energies as shown by the birth chart finally manifest as CFS/ME when the mind and body cannot cope any longer with the stress of the conflicts experienced.
It’s not a case of blame – it’s not anyone’s fault that these individuals early response to stress and trauma proves not to be effective. The fear that drove them to over-achieve then transfers to the ME – becoming a fear of weakness, of not being able to cope, that their body will let them down and they will consequently fail. Any activity/potential achievement is avoided for fear of failure – or of being punished for trying - the challenging energies of Saturn and Mars responding and gaining a hold over the sufferer.
Often sufferers will be told by others that there is no cure, no hope. This is an external manifestation of their inner fears and feelings of helplessness. The message here is that they will be let down by their own bodies and that the safest bet is to do nothing – to withdraw and avoid anything that requires a response. It is a mark of their extreme determination and strength that despite these fears and the negative messages they are receiving from others they continue to seek an answer, a cure for their illness.
It is interesting that Saturn, when not functioning healthily, instils a combination of fear and awe with regards to authoritarian figures. It is as if the individual gives away their personal power (Mars) and the responsibility for their well-being to a ‘higher’ authority, (Saturn). Rather than finding their own sense of inner stability, they refer to the external world for help. This is reflected in some sufferers relying upon others, often those who offer help under the umbrella of ‘alternative therapies’, to help them find a ‘cure’. I am not for a minute suggesting that seeking help and support from outside sources is not constructive. Of course one must seek help for illness and difficulties and many, many therapies are incredibly effective and have cured many people – it is the extent to which some ME/CFS sufferers rely on others to find the answer. They give their power completely to those whom they believe are stronger and more powerful and this can lead to these sensitive souls being mislead by some ‘healers’ or ‘gurus’ . They become reliant upon others who perhaps lack integrity and are, in essence, a negative manifestation of Neptune. We need to find a way to re-empower the sufferers of these conditions – to give them back their power – to release Saturn and increase the energy of Mars. Therapies need to be focused upon self-empowerment and the development of inner faith and confidence, to release fear and embrace life once again. Those who have fully recovered from these debilitating conditions have indeed found self-empowerment therapies to be incredibly helpful.
Neurotransmitters – the Chemical Messengers and ME/CFS:
Moving onto a deeper level, I began to look at the connection between the emotional responses of these individuals and the physical manifestations of CFS/ME. I wanted to understand how the astrological imbalances shown in the natal chart could possibly be connected to the general health, the bodily systems and specifically some of the neurotransmitters or ‘chemical messengers’.
The neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are both found to be low in CFS/ME sufferers. I was particularly interested in dopamine, as this chemical governs the drive, courage, the passion and thrill-seeking elements of the personality – that fearless Mars energy. Many recreational drugs stimulate this particular neurotransmitter; creating a false and temporary sense of power and confidence. Dopamine is also found to be deficient in sufferers of Parkinson’s, and this affects coordination and muscular response, which are both connected to Mars. A form of dopamine is administered to sufferers to help alleviate symptoms. Also dopamine, in a form that can cross the blood brain barrier, is given to patients who suffer from low blood pressure - which again corresponds to the energy of Mars and its connection with the blood. Mars also governs the immune system which gives us our ability to fight illness. With regards to the charts studied, this planet is often blocked by Saturn. This planet’s energy when afflicted is restrictive in nature. Therefore this supports the fact that the immune system is deficient in sufferers – which is a physical manifestation of the sense of powerlessness and inability to defend themselves effectively.
Uranus governs neurotransmitters generally and when this planet was examined in the subject charts, it seemed not to have a predictable effect upon the natives of the charts. This is not surprising considering its essential nature! It seemed to be a contributory factor on various levels, sensitising the neurotransmitter levels and consequently the nervous system, rather than being solely responsible for any particularly specific imbalances. Looking at the effects of dopamine itself, it is likely then that this chemical messenger is governed then by the planet Mars. This planet gives us our drive; it enables our feelings and desires to become physical. It governs our ability to utilise our personal power, how we assert ourselves and how we express anger and our more intense feelings, to bring what we feel and what we desire into physical reality. It also is indicative of how our sexual energies work, as they are also very much part of our expression of power. On a physical level, as mentioned above, it governs the immune system, the blood, also the energy centres of the red blood cells and, of course, the muscles. Mars also governs adrenaline, the chemical which gives us or ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, the ability to confront or avoid danger, of which dopamine is a precursor, (i.e. dopamine is necessary to create adrenaline).
The sign placing of Mars itself seemed initially not to be relevant when looking at the charts. However further study showed a very high prevalence of Mercurial influences, either by sign or aspect to Mars. This indicates that the physical body in sufferers is sensitised by the energies of this planet and that nervous energy will be constantly utilised by the demands of Mars. Mercury under this kind of stress will most certainly gives rise to hyperactivity, anxiety disorders and a generally ‘nervous temperament’. The adrenals must constantly be overworked and therefore possibly depleting the dopamine resources present. Interestingly, those charts that were free from Mercury influences to Mars, all had stressful aspects between Mercury and Saturn – which restricts the mental energies and at the same time can create a mental state that drives itself beyond its energetic capacity. The result being mental exhaustion and stress which consequently will affect the bodily functions. The majority of the charts studied showed stressful aspects between all three planets – Mercury, Mars and Saturn - creating a combination of physical and mental stresses. It seems that ME/CFS sufferers are likely to have either a natural deficiency of dopamine, or perhaps it is that the levels of this chemical are especially sensitised to stress in these individuals and are easily depleted by excess activity or a natural inherent tendency toward nervous tension.
ME/CFS and the Neurasthenia Link:
Historically, a condition very similar with regards to the symptoms of ME/CFS was often referred to as Neurasthenia and nervous exhaustion was believed to be one cause of this phenomenon. Traditionally, Mercury afflicted in a Saturn sign is indicative of Neurasthenia. This condition was also referred to as ‘Hysteria’ and was believed to be a primarily female complaint. The word hysteria is derived from the Greek word for womb because it was believed that only women suffered from this problem. I am sure that men also suffered from these problems, but that they felt unable to admit this ‘weakness’ due to male stereotyping and social pressure. It was believed by certain very prominent therapists at that time that this condition was, at its root, sexual in nature and that an attributable factor was the inability to orgasm fully. This sounds very strange, but certainly corresponds with the Saturn energy of repression and inhibition, along with the stress and build up of tension that is experienced with sensitised Mercury. Also Saturn inhibits and restricts and brings a fear of loss of control and of allowing life to be experienced fully, to be trusted, embraced and welcomed without barriers. I am sure that if the Neurasthenia subject’s charts were studied we would find the Saturn, Mercury energies link strongly with that of Mars. There was a very interesting therapy practiced both by doctors and midwives for women suffering from this condition. Genital massage was performed on the patients, in order to help relieve the condition. What I find is very interesting is that low dopamine, which is deficient in ME/CFS patients, affects the sexual drive and ability to orgasm. Conversely, it is the act of orgasm that stimulates the production of dopamine. So perhaps this very basic (and somewhat controversial) therapy was indeed effective in raising the levels of this neurotransmitter and therefore helpful to relieving the symptoms of fatigue and stress caused by the Neurasthenia.
The majority of the charts I studied corresponded very much to the symptoms of Neurasthenia and I think these conditions (ME/CFS and Neurasthenia) are one and the same, a fact that some medical historians have already considered may be true. Although the treatment described above may be considered very basic and also generally socially unacceptable today, it may be useful to consider how best dopamine levels can be safely and acceptably raised in patients who correspond to the neurasthenia-ME/CFS psychological and astrological patterns – to release the Mars energy and to stabilise Mercury.
Serotonin and Melatonin:
Interestingly the neurotransmitter serotonin also seems to be deficient in many sufferers of ME/CFS and many CFS/ME sufferers respond to the use of antidepressants and specifically to the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, (SSRIs). This group of antidepressants slows the brains absorption of serotonin and so enables the brain to make better use of the serotonin available. This neurotransmitter is used by the body to metabolise stress hormones and so this type of antidepressant is particularly useful in treating anxiety disorders. This particular chemical calms and relaxes the individual and brings about a feeling of general well-being. SSRIs have been used with some success on CFS/ME sufferers, even those who do not directly display signs of depression. Research has shown that use of this medication can actually increase the killer cells that help destroy infection, present in the body, so boosting the immune system perhaps reduces the (Mercury) anxiety, therefore relieving some of the pressure on the physical body (Mars).
However, the serotonin, dopamine levels in the brain are carefully balanced and when serotonin is elevated, then the dopamine levels drop. The use of SSRIs causes anxiety levels to be reduced, (Mercury), but unfortunately motivation and passion are also depleted – both emotionally and sexually (Mars). So the SSRIs seem to address part of the problem, but are not the whole answer, especially regarding the dopamine deficiency.
Despite this fact, I still felt that serotonin levels were a very important factor to consider and I wanted to know if a natural serotonin deficiency could be found in the birth charts. Examining the charts of the ME/CFS sufferers, I began to look specifically at the connection with serotonin. Astrologically speaking, glycogen is governed by Jupiter and is released when the body is under stress, i.e. producing adrenaline – (rules by Mars) to restore equilibrium and homeostasis to the bodily systems. Glycogen is stored in the liver and the muscles - serotonin regulates this form of glucose. Therefore it may be that Jupiter governs the neurotransmitter serotonin. This chemical not only relaxes and calms the effects of an imbalanced Mercury, but also helps counteract the repressive and restrictive Saturn energies. Mercury and Saturn, when functioning at a challenging level, both incline the individual to react to life in a narrow-minded and pessimistic way. Fear and a negative mental attitude lead to a ‘closing off’ from that which is seen as unfamiliar and life is perceived as frightening. Serotonin restores faith in life, brings a sense of enjoyment, together with a desire to explore and experience existence without fear or cynicism – all in all a wholly Jupiterian effect.
When I examined the charts in question I found that almost every case had either a challenging connection between Jupiter and Saturn, or Jupiter itself was in the sign of Capricorn. Saturn is surely blocking the Jupiter energies and challenging the faith of the individual. If my findings are correct, on a systematic level, this shows us that the levels of serotonin in ME/CFS sufferers are deficient and that the SSRIs are certainly helpful in addressing this particular imbalance, calming and soothing the mind, but do not help bring up motivation, drive or the general energy levels of the individual concerned.
Neptune also featured in the charts to a large extent and this is a relevant planet as when under stress it can increase physical and emotional sensitivity and deplete the vitality somewhat. When conjunct or adversely affecting the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mars, it can incline us to develop allergies or be vulnerable to viral infections. This is another externalisation of a sense of powerlessness and lack of self-belief – the ‘leaky aura syndrome’ allowing negative energy to enter the auric field on both an emotional and physical level. As Neptune is said to rule the pineal gland, which produces the neurotransmitter melatonin, this planet may rule this particular chemical messenger – which is what enables us to experience restful sleep. Neptune is about letting go, trusting and releasing the self into the unknown and when it is challenged then this energy is dispersed and becomes ineffective and unfocused.
If Neptune is afflicted in the birth chart, then possibly the transformation from serotonin to melatonin, (serotonin is the precursor of melatonin) is somehow disturbed, which is why so many sufferer’s symptoms are exacerbated by insomnia. Perhaps then, Jupiter/Neptune conflicts are indicative of those sufferers that have difficulty getting restful sleep – the Jupiter restlessness heightening the already weakened and energetically dispersed Neptune. A more likely theory however, is that the Saturn restrictions shown to be affecting Jupiter in almost all of the charts studied affect and limit the serotonin levels and so there is simply not enough available to be converted to melatonin, the levels of which may already be affected by the weakened pineal gland, as indicated by the afflicted Neptune energies. Presumably, this is why SSRIs are helpful in the treatment of ME/CFS insomnia – they increase the amount of serotonin available that can then be converted to melatonin.
Neurotransmitters - the Birth Chart and the Transiting Planets:
This research into neurotransmitters and their astrological connections is still in its infancy and I certainly am not presuming that I’m an expert in these matters. There are many other neurotransmitters that need to be examined more closely and I would welcome any input/ideas from readers that have specialised knowledge of neurotransmitters. What I do feel, though, is that the idea that we can look at levels of neurotransmitters present in any given individual by examining the birth chart and the planetary influences present at the moment of birth opens up a huge subject and one that is very exciting.
The planets themselves emit various levels of electromagnetic energy which resonate with and so affect all of us in various ways. Research has shown that very low levels of electromagnetic energy can stimulate the bodily systems and in particular the brain cells. If a certain planetary electromagnetic frequency stimulates a part of the brain that produces a particular neurotransmitter at the moment of birth, then perhaps that level is permanently set and is then a part of the individuals brain chemistry balance, thus affecting their personal characteristics and, importantly, their attitudes and perspective of life.
It is likely that the neurotransmitter levels in the brain are stimulated by the trauma of birth and are then permanently ‘set’ at those levels. Birth one of the most stressful experiences that we will ever encounter and our body chemistry must be extremely vulnerable at this point. Therefore, it follows that if an individual has a difficult, or traumatic, birth then the brain chemistry levels may well be permanently imbalanced and this will be indicated in the birth chart. Consequently these chemical imbalances will lead not only to difficulties responding to life in a harmonious manner, but also the perspective may be distorted and therefore the external life will reflect back to the individual concerned, via life experiences, the conflicts and discord present on an internal level, which of course can manifest as physical illness.
It is interesting that Mercury governs the mind, the breath and the voice. It is possible that with the first breath and our first cry as we enter this world, we are setting up the brain/mind chemicals that ultimately define who we are on both a cerebral and personal level.
The chemical messengers in our brains determine, to a large extent, our ‘personalities’ or instinctive responses to life and its experiences. Therefore if each planet, or a specific planetary combination, is associated with a particular neurotransmitter, which directly affects a certain characteristic or part of ourselves, then the birth chart is in effect a map of the brain and the planetary placings can potentially us how the chemical messengers are working for any particular individual.
Therefore, we can see how a person’s perspective of life and its events are coloured by examining the levels of particular neurotransmitters. Working with this theory, on a very basic level, someone with a well placed Jupiter will have ample serotonin and therefore will be able to relate to life with ease and a positive attitude. They will be able to balance work and play and generally manage the stresses and strains of life quite well. However, we also have to examine as to how the transiting planets affect the neurotransmitter levels. If, taking the previous example into consideration, transiting Jupiter makes a conflicting aspect to this individuals natal Jupiter, then it is possible that their serotonin levels may ‘over-respond’, creating a temporary state of over-optimism and even laziness. As this may well temporarily alter the dopamine/serotonin balance, motivation may be decreased and the individual may encounter difficulties due to the fact that he does not, during this time period, have a clear understanding of the need to guard against risks. For example, he may make rash decisions without considering the possible consequences. Using the same example, if this time transiting Saturn creates a positive aspect to the natal Jupiter, then this will perhaps help to stabilise the individual’s serotonin levels bringing clear perspective and a practical and common-sense approach to life and its issues. This would therefore provide opportunities for progress on many levels. (Interestingly, Saturn seems to either stabilise or deplete neurotransmitters, rather than governing one particular chemical. This is similar to Uranus, as this planet seems to cover the brain chemicals on a general level)
So it may be that the planets at birth ‘set’ our neurotransmitter levels and the transiting planets stimulate the levels present in or brains causing our personalities to be adjusted slightly for a certain time period and so altering the way in which we perceive reality. This alteration in perception is responsible for the effect that we have upon external events – the inner reflecting the outer. It is also possible therefore that any imbalance regarding the neurotransmitters may manifest itself as a physical illness; this may be any illness and most certainly includes ME or CFS.
So, in conclusion I feel that –
There seems to be a definite pattern in the birth charts of some sufferers that indicates that in certain personality types, trauma and difficult early life experiences manifest as physical illness - one that affects many of the bodily systems - in these cases these systematic imbalances are expressed specifically as ME/CFS.
There are, however, other ‘types’ of ME/CFS sufferers who respond to different planetary patterns – these have yet to be investigated. Also there is more research to be carried out regarding the transiting planets and crucial life/time phases in the lives of sufferers.
The charts studied that show the aforementioned patterns seem to be show symptoms similar to the condition of Neurasthenia and this indicates that it is possible that they are in fact one and the same condition
The neurotransmitter levels may be ‘set’ at birth and a difficult birth chart may indicate an imbalance in the neurotransmitters. Some of the neurotransmitters are possibly deficient or out of balance in ME/CFS patients.
Certain neurotransmitters may correspond to the electro-magnetic energies of specific planets, which may affect the birth chart and so define the personality and its reactions to life - but again much more research needs to be carried out to confirm this theory.
‘Encyclopaedia of Medical Astrology’ – Cornell
‘The Combination of Stellar Influences’ - Ebertein
‘Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology’ – Carter
‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ – University of Glasgow Faculty of Medicine
‘Is it all in my Head?’ – Melissa Schorr
‘Causes of Fibromyalgia’ – ICBS inc
‘Using Antidepressants to Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ – Charles Lapp MD
‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ - Edgar Cayce Health Database
‘Understanding Electro-activity and Electromagnetic Activity in the Body’ – Michael Hutchison
Many thanks to Sue Lilly for her contribution re birth data and information.