At the end of January the day after a trekking in the snowy Asiago Plateau in the Vicentin Alps I felt a light disconfort in my right hip. That is not unusual. I had a scooter accident when I was younger and since then I felt some light pain or uneasiness in my hip from time to time due mainly to weather conditions. So I was not worried: just a bit irritated by the inconvenience. But after two weeks the disconfort was still there, coming and going. The weather was quite dump and cold in Milan: snow had fallen and then cold rain. One day when I arrived in my office my socks and shoes were complitely soaked. I felt chilled to the bone. Also in the last two months my workout at the gym involved long series of execises for the lower part of the body in addition to my weekly yoga class. So I decided to draw a decumbiture chart for my hip pain in order to figure out the illness evolution and a possible treatment. Even if the horoscope is at the very beginnings of Scorpio there is no reason to discharge the chart because nowadays the clocks are reliable and calculation are accurate. The lord of Horoscope is Mars and it is located near the cusp of the VI house in Aries with Venus. Also the VI house is in Aries. So Mars is significator both of the sick and of the illness. According to the physician and astrologer Argoli (1570-1657) in his “De diebus criticis et Aegrorum Decubitu“:
Horoscopante signo scorpionis infirmus erit causa suae aegritudinis: nam in sexta erit Aries et Mars utriquae luco dominatur
With Scorpio rising the sick is cause of his illnes: indeed sixth house is in Aries and Mars is the Lord of both places
Definetely my workout at the gym was contributory cause of the pain in my hip. I strained my joints to a point of disconfort. But the underlying cause was something else. Mars is happily located in Aries, its domicile. So the sick is not so shabby though. Mars is significator of an active person and possibly hasty and careless who can be prone to injure himself. So Mars can be also the significator of illness as injury. Moreover my hip was actually injured by accident many years ago. But now the disconfort was coming again and lasting. Mars is in partile trine with Saturn, applaying to it. Saturn is very cold and wet being oriental to the Sun. So the cold and wet weather could have caused the cold and wet phlegm which was afflicting my hip. The waxing Moon in the VIII house, with stars of violent nature, is not a very good omen for the evolution of my illness. Moreover the angles are in solid signs indicating a chronic problem and Saturn the planet afflicting is the slow planet of chronic deseases but it’s in the bicorporeal Sagittarius indicating an erratic behavior. The Moon is also applying to her Lord, Mercury, also Lord of the XI house, the house of confort and relief. Mercury at the subterranean pivot, the end of the matter, dignified by triplicity let me hope of a good, at least temporary, outcome. About the medicine Culpepper advise to administer a remedy made with herbs having nature suggested by the Lord of MC, significator of the medicine, and by the horoscope in order to support the sick. The Lord of MC, the Sun, is warm and mildly dry and is in Pisces, a cold and wet sign. The Lord of Sun, Jupiter, is at the upper angle in Leo though, a hot and dry sign. Moreover Mars, Lord of horoscope, is hot and very dry, being occidental to the Sun, close to is heliacal setting. So the remedy has to be a mainly warming and secondary drying drug. Diseases of the osteoarticular apparatus, says Doctor Giannelli in his book about Galenic Medicine, are caused by perverse Phlegm which the body moves to its periphery, i.e. bones and skin, in order to avoid greater problems if they should have gathered in vitals like liver, lungs, heart, kidneys etc. Therefore often rheumathic and articular diseases are associated or correlated to dermatological problems. Also those diseases responds to treatments quite slowly because the body parts where the humors has been confined have a slow energetic mobility. Hence a remedy should:
- enhance the general heat of the body during cold seasons
- drain the blood, liver, kidneys
- drive the curative virtues to the interested organs (i.e. osteoarticular or epidermic apparatus)
- have a sympthomatic action
- use herbs with cooling and hemostatic effects in very hot and mobile patients
Since the cause of my hip disconfort was the cold and wet Phlegm I choose a mixture of herbs which warms, as Sarsaparille and China, according to directions in Dr Giannelli’s book:
- Devil’s claw
I took the decoction every evening before sleeping for about three weeks. After this period I felt much better; my hip moviment was more fluid and the disconfort was almost vanished, being very rarely present. So I move to the second step of the treatment: the purgative. I decided not to omit this step because I had also eczema on my legs, worsened by humidity of baths and showers, showing that humors where stucked there. In order to mobilize and discharge the perverse Phlegm, which was confined in my joints and skin, I choose a version of the Galenic Tribus Formula:
The name ‘Tribus’ comes from the fact that that formula was used to facilitate the expulsion of the three Humors – other than blood – that were perverted in the body, that is, the phlegm, black bile (or Melancholy) and yellow bile (or Cholera). The Galenic formula, as stated by Galen in his “De Compositione medicamentorum secundum locos” actually involves the use of Colocynth, which is a very drastic and possibly dangerous purgative. Here that herb is replaced by Rheum according to the formula revised by Arabic Medicine. Rheum is milder than Colocynth and it became a common ingredient in many arabic preparations after they came in conctact with this asian plant. I began to drink the decoction when the Moon was in the last degrees of Cancer doing a trine to the Sun in the beginning of Aries. According to Argoli:
Luna existente in Cancro roboratur natura in virtute expulsiva per electuaria; in Scorpione per potiones; in Piscibus per pilulas. Per potiones Luna in Cancro expurgetur bilis, in aspectu sextilis, trigonis Veneris aut Iovis. Phlegma in sextile, trigone Solis; Melancholia in sextile, trigone Iovi, et tunc per electuaria ed per bolos.
Being the Moon in Cancer the expulsive virtue is strenghtened by electuaries; in Scorpio by potions; in Piscis by pills. By potions yellow bile is discharged when the Moon is in Cancer, aspected by sextile or by trine of Venus or Jupiter. Phlegm by sextile or trine of the Sun; Melancholia by sextil or trine of Jupiter, and also by electuaries and by pills.
I continued for three days in a row, then only when the Moon was applying to the Sun till a lunar cycle, rughly a month, was completed.