Articles and Media
by Ana L. Palles
“Have you had surgery yet?”, asked my astrologer.
“No,” I said, “nor is it on my to do list.”
Some astrologers specialize in medical astrology, in this case the question simply came up as he perused my chart. The object of my attention was related to a couple of projects I had on the burner, so this question was fairly random. What he didn't know was that in the past month, I had been catching up with all of my long overdue annual checkups some of which had slipped about 10 years. I am in good health, but with Saturn transiting the 6th house of health and work, it seemed like a good time to follow the rules and do as Saturn would want – fulfill my obligation to get my checkups done.
I knew I was fine, but I also knew with the certainty most women who know their body’s processes and listen to quiet promptings, that I had a uterine fibroid. I wasn't worried about it because these were extremely common, benign and should eventually subside with age. I had been dealing with the effects using herbal tinctures and understanding the needs of my body on particular days. I had to really learn to go a little easier on myself on those days and slow down. The feeling of exhaustion due to the impact on the iron reserves was a pretty good reminder that the fire needed tending.
When my doctor called, she told me that the good news was that I had passed most of my tests with flying colors. But, while I had only one, the ultra sound confirmed the presence of a somewhat larger fibroid. Knowing that I had suspected that this was the case prior to the test, she asked what I wanted to do about it. There were a variety of surgical options out there and I had friends whose doctors had strongly encouraged them to pursue those. Yet, for me, this did not feel like the right choice.
I told my doctor that I had given it a lot of thought and I wanted to ride it out. She sounded almost relieved and confirmed what I already knew. While we would always want to monitor it, fibroids tend to shrink with a decline in the monthly hormone feed when menopause hits.
Then, without missing a beat, the doctor said, "you know, there is a lot that can be done for fibroids using acupuncture and Chinese herbs." I smiled into the phone because I had already planned on discussing this with my acupuncturist at my next appointment. Years of experience riding the ups and downs of our feminine hormonal tides had shown me the healing benefits of acupuncture for balancing monthly cycles. This was just another bend in the road.
The acupuncture and Chinese herbal approach helps to break down the fibroid over time. As I thought about this, I was struck by the astrological parallels. Among several aspects, my astrologer had been looking at Pluto in the chart. Pluto represents sex, regeneration, change, and the subconscious. Pluto works in the hidden depths and this is one of the reasons that Pluto transits are regarded as powerful and important, if difficult experiences in one's life.
But Pluto served me well for the past twelve years of transits and certainly had heralded a period of tremendous transformation. Rather than seeing the enormous change as a difficult time, I welcomed the change and let it take me to a new adventure. It came home to me what an astrologer told me several years ago. The energy is present and has to be honored, but the way in which it expresses itself can be quite varied.
As we are constantly told, the universe responds to our expectations. If we look at the positive ways in which some of these energies can express themselves, it changes the picture and the outlook considerably. I began to think about how well placed Pluto was in my chart since I could use its energy and strength to help surface and transform that which lay hidden.
As she was handing me the two bottles of herbs, the acupuncturist told me that usually it is recommended to only pursue shrinking of fibroids that were a couple of centimeters smaller than what had been found. In part, this is due to the body’s stress during processing and transformation. Yet, my life’s pattern embraces change and transformation, sometimes diving headlong into churning waters below taking a chance that it helps me discover new and wondrous adventures.
“In your case,” the acupuncturist said, “I think it is going to work out just fine.”
I realized with a sense of amazed wonder the coming together of all the seemingly dissonant ribbons of information. The options and information flowed in from a variety of places, some quite subtle, weaving a story of what was in play and possible steps to take. The understanding of my body, the medical evaluation, astrological interpretation, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and the herbal tinctures and supplements I had been using was all part of the story.
Like the recurring theme it is in life, I remembered once more that all things have positive and negative qualities. Instead of looking at this as something that demanded harsh action, I realized that it was a part of my body that had responded to a certain set of circumstances. While it no longer serves me and it is time to work on transformation and dissolution, I am grateful for the opportunity to use the gifts and knowledge surrounding around me – the energies in my chart, herbology, acupuncture, and traditional medicine.
Part of holistic healing is about honoring our bodies and working in partnership with ourselves by opening our minds and hearts to hearing the deep knowledge that we carry within ourselves. The exciting part happens when we suddenly discover that creative force available to us once we relaxed enough to hear the messages and make the connections. Astrology, meditation, herbology, acupuncture, everything wove together beautifully into a vibrant tapestry, but these are just a few of the available threads for healing and transformation. Everyone has a number of threads and languages at their disposal if they remember to see and listen, and sew them together.