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Astrology and Addiction


Have you ever wondered what the natal chart reveals with regard to potential for addiction? Addiction has many
faces: substances: drugs, alcohol, food; processes: spending, gambling, sex, relationships.
Lets look at where we can find the propensity to get lost in self-medicating mirrored in our natal blue prints? How
can astrology help us in understanding the process of addiction and recovery for each individual? In future
portions of this series, well be looking further at potential for healing and recovery as well.

Alcoholism and other forms of escapist addiction are associated primarily with the planet of
Neptune and, secondarily, with Pisces, the sign ruled by Neptune. Neptune is associated with
senstivity to the subtle dimensions of existence. When strong and positively situated in a natal
chart, Neptune can manifest as musical sensitivity, mystical sensitivity, and so forth. When
negatively aspected, however, Neptunian sensitivity will manifest as deceptiveness or escapism.
Charles E.O. Carter, an important astrologer of the early twentieth century, discussed alcoholism
and drug addiction in the An Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology. Carter associated alcoholism
and drug addiction with a number of different factors. In the birth chart of an alcoholic, according to
Carter, the Sun and the Moon are almost always weak by sign and house position, or else they are
badly afflicted, especially in or from Fire or Water, or both. Fire gives the convivial drunkard, Water
the weak or besotted one (p. 30). Furthermore, The fifth house (the house of pleasure and
entertainment) is nearly always afflicted by Neptune or by planets in watery signs, and Mars is very
frequently afflicted by Neptune, in or from Pisces (p. 30).
A more recent study, reported in Ann Parkers Astrology and Alcoholism, confirmed the importance
of Neptune. Parker, however, also found that the planet Uranus was significantly represented in the
horoscopes of alcoholics, especially Moon-Uranus aspects. She explains this unusual finding by
pointing out that a Moon-Uranus contact, even linked in good aspect, represents great emotional
excitability and self-will, both characteristic of the alcoholic (p. 28). When linked by hard aspect,
these planets produce states of fear and anxiety, extreme self will, a craving for sensation,
restlessness, and a tendency to exaggerate and magnify things (p. 28), all of which are associated
with alcoholic personalities. Astrology Encyclopedia by James Lewis.

When you think about it, Neptune is really the planet of trance. There is a wonderful book on the concept of trance
and psychological symptoms, including susceptibility to addiction: Trances People Live: Healing Approaches in
Quantum Psychology by Stephen Wolinsky and Margaret O. Ryan.

How is individual reality created? How are our symptoms and problems created and sustained
over decades of time? Through a ground-breaking integration of Eastern philosophy, Western
psychotherapy and quantum physics the author provides a highly original and yet immensely
accessible answer. He demonstrates that trance-like states are the glue that binds our symptoms
togetherthe vehicle that selects how we perceive, interpret, and internalize our subjective world.
Wolinskys work is a true development of the brilliance of Milton Erickson. I have already
adapted his thinking to my own understanding of the Therapeutic situation. It makes enormous
sense to see a shame-based person as a person in an identity trance.

There is also a definitive work on healing from addictions using astrology at a very deep level! Henry and Rita
Herlong, astrologer/bodyworker and nurse practitioner, introduce a unique 12-step process, Taming the Beast,

for addictions to relationships, substances, and activities.

Based on 20 years of research and development, this book offers: A new approach based on
twelve different steps. Step One is I acknowledge that I am responsible for myself. An original,
comprehensive theory of addiction. Dynamic treatment techniques involving bodywork, astrology,
and consciousness clearing. An original system of bodywork for addiction diagnosis and
treatment.

The 12-step process that they suggest follows the 12 signs of the zodiac. Heres a brief summary, but this is such
an amazing resource, its a must-have for your astrology bookshelf.
Aries: I acknowledge that I am responsible for myself. Look at where Aries falls (by house and planets within) in
your chart. Also consider Mars (sign, house, aspects) and the natal 1st house. Major challenge: how Mars (action)
and Saturn (responsibility) relate in your chart.
Taurus: I believe I can take charge of my life . Look at where Taurus falls (by house and planets within) in your
chart. Also consider Venus (sign, house, aspects) and the natal 2nd House. Also Jupiter, Neptune and houses 9
and 12. Major challenge: how Venus (self-nurturing) and Uranus (chaos in life) relate in your chart.
Gemini: I study ways to change. Look at where Gemini falls (by house and planets within) in your chart. Also
consider Mercury (sign, house, aspects) and the natal third house. Major challenge: how Mercury (information)
and Neptune (understanding) relate in your chart.
Cancer: I commit my whole being to becoming myself . Look at where Cancer falls (by house and planets within)
in your chart. Also consider Moon (sign, house, aspects) and the natal fourth house. Major challenge: how Moon
(emotions) and Mars (assertiveness) relate in your chart.
Leo: I express this commitment to others. Look at where Leo falls (by house and planets within) in your chart.
Also consider Sun (sign, house, aspects) and the natal 5th house. Major challenge: how Sun (character) and
Venus (loving) relate in your chart.
Virgo: I seek the help I need. Look at where Virgo falls (by house and planets within) in your chart. Also consider
Mercury, Chiron and Vesta (sign, house, aspects) and the natal 6th house. Major challenge: depends on chart.
Libra: I make agreements with those close to me. Look at where Libra falls (by house and planets within) in your
chart. Also consider Venus (sign, house, aspects) and the natal 7th house. Major challenge: depends on chart.
Scorpio: I undergo regeneration. Look at where Scorpio falls (by house and planets within) in your chart. Also
consider Pluto and Mars (sign, house, aspects) and natal 8th house. Major challenge: how Pluto (our beast) and
Sun (our character) relate in your chart.
Sagittarius: I explore my other identities. Look at where Sagittarius falls (by house and planets within) in your
chart. Also consider Jupiter and Neptune (sign, house, aspects) and the natal 9th house. Major challenge:
described by the most difficult transpersonal planet. [Editors note: The transpersonal planets are Uranus,
Neptune and Pluto.]
Capricorn: I develop my whole being in the world. Look at where Capricorn falls (by house and planets within) in
your chart. Also consider Saturn (sign, house, aspects) and the natal 10th house. Major challenge: transiting
Saturn.
Aquarius: I discover better ways of living with others . Look at where Aquarius falls (by house and planets within)
in your chart. Also consider Uranus (sign, house, aspects) and natal 11th house. Major challenge: how Uranus
(spirit) and Pluto (transpersonal inspiration) relate in your chart.
Pisces: I enjoy whole and full living on earth . Look at where Pisces falls (by house and planets within) in your

chart. Also consider Neptune and possibly Jupiter (sign, house, aspects) and natal 12th house. Major challenge:
how Neptune and Mercury relate in your chart.

Recommended Reading
Astrology and Alcoholism, Anne E. Parker
The Astrology Encyclopedia, James R. Lewis
An Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology, Charles E.O. Carter
Taming the Beast, Henry and Rita Herlong
Trances People Live, Stephen Wolinsky and Margaret O. Ryan