COSMIC ANATOMY: ASTROLOGY FOR SELF-HEALING

With her new book, Your Body and the Stars, astrologer Rebecca Gordon has collaborated with Stephanie Marango MD to create a total guide for how to use astrology for self-healing…Images: Taylor Allen

We caught up with Rebecca to get the inside scoop on astrology for self-healing, and to learn how astrology is intimately related to your body. PLUS scroll down to do a cosmic body-scan by sign, and learn what practices and techniques can help you achieve optimal health and wellbeing…

The Numinous: What’s the first thing to know about astrology for self-healing?
Rebecca Gordon: As well as your personality characteristics, your chart speaks volumes about your body and soul disposition. This is because each Sign of the zodiac has rulership over a region of your body, and so the signs you are born under will tell a story of your physical strengths and susceptibilities.

In ancient times, medicine and astrology were practiced in concert together—and in fact, in most Universities of the middle ages and Renaissances, and in the Hippocratic school of Medicine, a physician would not be allowed to practice medicine without a prior knowledge of astrology.

TN: And how is your new book designed to be used?
RG: First of all, remember that each sign of the zodiac lives within you—since every sign is somewhere in your chart, and each sign is also represented in one part of your body. The condition of that region of your body can tell a lot about your character and life lessons at any given moment.

As such, the book is designed to give you deep insight into your emotions, mind and spirit through the lens of your body. You can strengthen your life force by simply looking up your Sun sign, learning about the lessons and doing the exercises. You can also do this for your Moon and rising signs.

But let’s say you have this reoccurring low back pain. Then you can turn to the chapter on Libra, and use it to assess where you’re at. On a more emotional level, if you have a big speech to give and you are mortified about public speaking I’d recommend focusing on Leo practices, and incorporating them into your life for at least a month prior—to strengthen a heartfelt sense of self-expression.

The recommended practices are meant to ‘tonify’ each sign and they will range from breath work, to physical exercises, Yoga poses, affirmations, and lifestyle routines.

TN: How have you used astrology for self-healing yourself?
RG: Whenever I feel a blockage in my body such as sinus infection or neck pain, I immediately ask myself ‘what else could this mean?’ Asking the questions related to the sign ruling these areas (Aries and Taurus) I always learn so much about myself, and often when any internal imbalances are addressed, my physical symptoms will also clear up. Not always in one day, and I am a huge fan of doing one practice for a 40-day period, the time frame required to carve new neural pathways.

TN: Besides your Sun and rising signs, which other planets can give clues to your overall health?
RG: Sometimes our Saturn sign will show where there can be tightness or blockages. It shows where there are deeper lessons to learn on the emotional, psychological and physical plane. The Jupiter sign can often show where there may be inflammation or an over-extended region of the body.

But every planet has its say. In relationship to overall health, I see the natal chart as a holistic map of the spirit, psyche and physical body. It’s really all the same thing, as the physical body is merely an interpretation of the spirit body.

Below, Rebecca shares a brief insight into the health issues commonly faced by each sign, as well tip for how to use astrology for self-healing. As well as your Sun and rising, read all signs so you can do a general body scan, and find much more explicit descriptions in the book! Get your copy here.

ARIES
Aries rules over the head and has a reputation for being headstrong in life. When the Aries in you is out of balance, you can often feel symptoms like blocked or runny sinus’s or headaches.

Tip for healing: Say “I am X” aloud, finishing with a quality you aspire to—i.e.: “I am focused and efficient.”

TAURUS
When the Taurus in you is out of balance, it can show up as neck tension, the urge to crack your neck often, sore throat, unsteady voice or thyroid imbalance.

Tips for healing: Try daily neck circles (refer to book for details), and making the seed sound Ham (say “h-a-r-m”) which will work to balance the throat chakra.

GEMINI
Gemini serves as a messenger of the illuminated mind. A scattered mind, fear of expressing yourself, or maybe there is arm and hand pain are signals that the Gemini in you is out of balance.

Tips for healing: Try making Uttarabodhi Mudra (directions in book), and figure-8 circles using hands and extending fingers.

CANCER
The chest is the body part ruled by Cancer so imbalances here can show up in the form of cysts, fibroids, slumped chest, excess phlegm or emotional eating.

Tip for healing: Three-part breath. Count a six-second slow inhale through the nose; hold the breath inside the low belly for another six seconds; then slowly exhale through the nose for six seconds. Repeat daily for 11 minutes.

LEO
Imbalance in Leo can show in the form of heart problems, tightness or weakness in the upper back.

Tip for healing: Sphinx pose and Camel pose can help you to open to the light of your heart (directions in book). Do these on a daily basis for at least a few weeks and note the difference in your feeling of openness.

VIRGO
When Virgo’s quest for purity is either absent or goes overboard, then the body can show symptoms like stomach ulcers, poor digestion, eating disorders, obsessive behavior and a weak core.

Tips for Healing: Forearm plank for core strength; Breath of Fire (see book) for purification.

LIBRA
When the Libra in you is out of balance, it can show as low back or kidney pain, limited range of motion or extreme S shaped posture.

Tips for healing: Sa Ta Na Ma mantra and finger Mudra (details in book).

SCORPIO
When the Scorpio in you is out of balance, this can show up as a urinary tract infection, menstrual irregularity, IBS, or a weak pelvic floor.

Tips for healing: Dance, swim, stand under a waterfall, declutter and throw things away; Cat & Cow pose with deep ujjayi breath.

SAGITTARIUS
When Sagittarius has fallen out of balance, this can often show up as tight hips, turned out hips, liver problems and a tendency to over-indulge in food and drink.

Tips for healing: Chair pose, Pigeon pose, hip circles.

CAPRICORN
Weak knees, tight knees, knee pain or excess fluid around knees can be a sign of a Capricorn kind of imbalance within.

Tips for healing: Saturn finger meditation, Warrior Two pose (descriptions in book).

AQUARIUS
When the Aquarius within you is out of balance, it may result in weak ankles, often sprained ankles, and stiffness and cracking around the ankles.

Tips for healing: Tree pose to refine and strengthen your stance.

PISCES
Hypermobile or stiff feet, growths like warts or bunions, inflammation of the feet or stubbed toes can often occur to signal an imbalance with Pisces.

Tips for healing: Try foot massage / reflexology, and either foot stomping or simply walking barefoot on the earth.

Rebecca Gordon is the resident astrologer for Harper’s Bazaar. Discover more about her Astrology School and book a reading here, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Your Body and the Stars: The Zodiac As Your Wellness Guide is out now.

 

LIGHT WORKER: THE HEALING JOURNEY OF JODY SHIELD

London-based Jody Shield has gained a reputation as the healers’ healer, and signed as a Lululemon meditation ambassador. She shares her journey with Ruby Warrington

“Quit your job.” It was back in 2013 that Jody Shield heard the voice, subtle and yet insistent. “The sensation that came with it was one of, ‘it’s fine, you’ll be supported, don’t worry, trust’,” she remembers. “But still I was like, ‘no, no…what’s going on?’ And it just kept repeating, ‘quit your job, quit your job, quit your job’…”

Until this moment it had been a regular day in the office at the London ad agency where Jody had worked since 2005, rising through the ranks to become Business Director. Sure, she’d suffered a degree of burn-out in the role, had taken a sabbatical to Peru to “find myself.”

Since her return, she’d been dabbling in alternative therapies, and quietly working to develop what she felt were her natural healing abilities. But she’d found a happy medium, or so she thought. Her newfound skills were simply tools to help her navigate the demands of her own life in the “real world.” But now it seemed as though Spirit had other plans.

“I realized I couldn’t ignore what I was hearing, and almost as if some external force was pushing me to my feet I found myself walking into my boss’s office to tell him I needed to talk. I resigned on the spot,” she remembers.

Within three months, “I had a business as a healer. People had actually already been contacting me about sessions, and I’d been seeing family and friends at weekends. Once I made the decision to focus on it fully, people just kept coming back, and I was like, ‘okay!’”

In the two years since, Jody has become one of the most sought after alternative therapists in London, also gaining a reputation as “the healers’ healer.” This fall, she was signed by Lululemon as their first ever European meditation ambassador, and with a busy public speaking schedule to boot she’s become a leading voice in the Now Age movement. For anybody seeking a similar transition to a career in healing, her journey is a lesson in surrendering to your calling.

Born in the North of England, “growing up, I always had a sense that there was something bigger out there and that I was going to be a part of it. I used to look at celebrities and think, ‘they’re no different to anybody else, they’ve just got big energy’. And I felt that way about myself, too,” she says.

As far as connecting to Spirit, “I had a sense of the different energies in our house, and would get goose bumps when I walked into certain rooms. I’d drag the dog in with me for ‘protection’,” she laughs. But like so many psychically-developed young women, “I shut it all down when I hit my teens and began to discover boys…”

The first indication that she would one day be asked to use her gifts blew into her life on the winds of tragedy – after an ex-boyfriend was brutally murdered. “I woke up in bed one night not long after it happened, and there was an outline of him next to me on the matress. I realized his soul wasn’t able to pass to the other side, and I so I just told him, ‘it’s okay, be at peace now. You don’t need to worry about anything.’ And he just left.”

Back in real life Jody was focused on climbing the corporate ladder – even if the incident with her ex had left its mark. “I was emotionally burned out, and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to the point I had to take time off work due to ‘stress’,” she says. Eventually, she set off for South America for what she thought was some much needed R & R. Instead, she found herself on an intensive plant medicine retreat.

“Nobody was talking about Ayahuasca back then, so when I heard about it in Peru I really had no idea to expect. Even on the boat to the retreat center, I remember wondering what on Earth I was doing there, and thinking I would probably just be an observer,” she says. In the event, her 12-day shamanic immersion would prove absolutely pivotal in her journey to becoming a full-time healer herself.

Not least because she was immediately confronted with a truth she’d been hiding for years, even from herself – that she was living in the grips of bulimia. “When we arrived we were asked to drink something to make us vomit and purge the toxins from our system. The potion didn’t work on me, and the facilitator told me to stick my fingers down my throat. My immediate reaction was, ‘but you can’t do that in public!’ I’d kept my eating disorder a secret for a decade.”

In ceremony, having drunk the Ayahuasca itself, “it felt like being cradled in the arms of the Mother, looking down on me and loving me, but going; ‘you’ve got something to confess, and you have to bring it up so I can help you with it.’ When I shared about this afterwards, it was the first time I’d spoken about my eating disorder to anyone.”

Jody took part in seven ceremonies over 12 days, sharing her little jungle hut with giant cockroaches and spiders, and emerging with an unshakable sense that her bulimia was behind her. “It was as if my brain had been re-wired and I couldn’t even remember the physical process of the illness. I had also made a contract with the plant to never eat meat or take drugs again.”

Further, “I had been recognized by the indigenous tribe as one of them. After one ceremony, they all made a bee-line for me, calling me “doctor, doctor, doctor.”

It’s testament to the grounded nature that makes Jody so approachable as a healer that she was able to pack this experience away with her guide books and resume her “normal” life back in London. Albeit with a desire to discover more about the healing arts, and her own abilities in this area.

It began with the study of EFT, or tapping, but it was discovering the work of Damien Wynne that tapped Jody fully into her gifts. Having developed a system for karmic, emotional and energetic “clearing” called Light Grids Therapy, “for me Damien was the whole package – a very expansive spiritual channel, yet very, very grounded in his human experience,” says Jody. She decided to travel to Germany to train with him; “My mum insisted on coming with me though, to check I wasn’t being indoctrinated into some cult,” she laughs.

“I connected to the work instantly, which centers on the mantra ‘I am that I am,’ and is essentially about allowing you to fully claim your ancestral seat in this lifetime. After five days of working intensively on healing and opening up my own emotional body, noticed quantum shifts in my perspective on my own life and purpose,” she claims.

“But I was afraid. I was like, ‘if this IS my path, how do I bring this to London, and how on Earth do I explain this to people?!” she says, echoing what must have been the thought process of so many great healers before her. But it was shortly after this that she heard The Voice, while experiencing the sensation of being fully supported by the Universe on her journey.

The rest, as they say, is history. And with with London’s creative and business leaders lining up to work with Jody, there’s a sense of her childhood awareness that “something bigger” was out there waiting for her having been fulfilled.

To find out more about Jody Shield and her work and to book a session visit Jodyshield.co.uk