assimilate food to get the nutrients necessary for life. His mother had taken him to three different pediatricians, and none could help her child. After hearing Susan deliver a talk on child education, she called Susan on the verge of tearful hysteria, frustrated with the medical establishment. We were her last hope.
The Natal Chart (Tropical/Placidian). (Figure 5)
My eyes went immediately to Virgo rising. A Virgo Ascendant potentially means a highly sensitive metabolism. I next noticed Pluto retrograde in Libra in the First House, and I wondered if this placement meant endocrine imbalance. Furthermore, Pluto has four hard aspects—quite an impressive number. Since Pluto rules the endocrine system, I felt there might be a problem with a gland. But which one? With Saturn inconjunct Neptune I felt that either the parathyroid gland (Saturn) or the thymus gland (Neptune) was involved. So, on my Med-Scan worksheet I checked off tests for the parathyroid and thymus to be run by the doctor. I also reasoned that since Pluto was playing such a strong part in this chart I should first carefully check any other aspects from it to other planets.
Pluto inconjunct Mercury: With Mercury ruling the thyroid and the hormones this configuration could indicate either a possible thyroid malfunction or a hormonal imbalance in general. I had already checked off the thyroid test to be run.
Pluto inconjunct Venus: This hard aspect could mean sugar disruption or pancreatic disorders.
Pluto opposition Jupiter: This configuration could indicate an endocrine disorder on a large scale.
Pluto square Saturn: This hard aspect could mean a potentially severe deficiency of vitamin C (Saturn) as well as potentially malfunctioning endocrine glands, particularly the thymus, adrenals, pancreas or parathyroid.
My overall analysis of Pluto was that there was definite endocrine involvement, enzymic or hormonal disruption, chronic, long-term problems and allergies or blood disorders.
Next I looked at Saturn, which with three hard aspects to it I felt was strongly involved in Todd's ailments. In fact, I believed that Saturn and Pluto were the bases for most of the complaints.
Saturn inconjunct Mars: Mars rules the adrenal glands. I placed a question mark by this hard aspect, not sure how to analyze it at that point except that I felt intuitively that the adrenals were involved, perhaps in a secondary way. Later my theory would prove correct.
Saturn inconjunct Neptune: This hard aspect could mean a sluggish thymus gland, a body prone to infections in general or the possibility of poisoning. I wrote poisoning down because Neptune rules this phenomenon in general, whether from drugs or other sources. But I wasn't sure poisoning had taken place. Later, when I got into the progressed chart, I found this to be one of the main reasons for Todd's ailments.
Saturn square Pluto: See Pluto square Saturn above.
My overall analysis of Saturn was that it might be implicated in sluggish endocrine activity. And possible poisoning of an undetected nature might be taking place.
Then I examined Jupiter, which also has three hard aspects to it. In Todd's natal chart Jupiter is in Aries. This placement usually indicates excess blood in the head, causing stress on the vessels and suggesting the potential for aneurysms if the veins or arteries do not remain flexible and elastic. But these possibilities did not fit the baby's symptoms.
From long experience I decided to consider the opposite polarity, Jupiter in Libra, which indicates changes in blood circulation from the fluctuation of kidney regulation, cholesterol deposits in the kidney tubules and sugar-related problems. These potential ailments, especially sugar-related problems, did fit. For the problems to be active, the sign Virgo or Pisces had to be in evidence: Mercury and the Sun are in Pisces in Todd's chart, with Virgo on the Ascendant, I wrote down, "Oversensitive to sugars, hyperactive?" I found out later that the mother could barely control him and that pediatricians had already dubbed him a hyperactive child.
Jupiter conjunct the Sun: This configuration could indicate overdose of something, since Jupiter expands and overdosage is common when the planet is highly aspected in a chart. I had to find out what was overdosing and where the symptoms were manifesting.
Jupiter inconjunct Uranus: This hard aspect can mean a spasm occurring somewhere that might influence health on a large scale.
Jupiter opposition Pluto: See Pluto opposition Jupiter above.
My overall analysis of Jupiter in this case was pancreatic spasm and uncontrolled insulin release under stress. In the "Diet" section of my worksheet I suggested no sugars in any form to see if Todd's behavior would change under such circumstances.
After examining the hard aspects in Todd's chart I looked at the sign positions of the outer planets to determine their possible effect on the child's health.
Saturn in Cancer: With this placement the gastric secretions in the stomach may be below nor mal standards, perhaps producing gastric complaints, bloating, croup in babies and poor digestion that prohibits nutrients from getting back in the body.
Uranus in Scorpio (retrograde): This placement could indicate a spastic colon, sporadic peristalsis and with reflex action from Taurus a potential spastic thyroid condition that could manifest under stress.
Neptune in Sagittarius (retrograde): This placement might mean poor oxygenation in general and, with reflex action from Gemini weak lungs and respiratory infections.
Pluto in Libra (retrograde): This placement could mean either malfunctioning kidneys or a metabolic imbalance. In Todd's case the metabolism was imbalanced. His kidneys were working fine, and he had no signs of edema or other kidney dysfunction symptoms.
The Cross: Todd had three planets in cardinal signs. He was also exhibiting ailments of the Cardinal Cross, such as gastric and digestive upsets and metabolic imbalance. However, he had other ailments implicating the Mutable Cross—sugar problems, respiratory infections and lymph gland impairment. In addition, he had four planets plus the angles in mutable signs. Although determining the cross helps a medical astrologer decide on the best diet, in Todd's case I had to weigh carefully the dietary considerations because of his allergies: he could hardly eat any food without a reaction. I decided to look at Todd's progressions and transits before setting forth a diet.
Other Information: The fixed star Fomalhaut is conjunct Todd's natal Mercury.
TODD'S PROGRESSED CHART
TODD'S PROGRESSED CHART
The Progressed Chart (Figure 6)
I set up Todd's progressed chart for December 19, 1977, when he would be 2.43 years of age by mean solar arc. (I normally make up a progressed chart for the time when a client comes to me.) By looking back on the dial I could immediately see when Todd's medical conditions were triggered.
When Todd was one year and one month of age, progressed Apollon reached the midpoint of natal Vulcanus and Pluto. This midpoint structure is a primary indication of an illness or the beginning of a sickness that may develop complications later. It was at this time that his mother weaned him off breastfeeding. Once denied the nutrients from his mother's milk, Todd became croupy and allergic and seemingly developed several ailments at once—a typical trait of an activated Apollon.
Pluto is in opposition to Hades in Todd's natal 90-degree chart. This configuration will always be a fostering point for potential illness. Case in point: in November of 1977 progressed Apollon conjuncted natal Pluto, triggering the Pluto/Hades structure and thus indicating a transformative illness that would multiply rapidly and threaten health. In fact, the baby was dying inch by inch from lack of food. Moreover, there were multiple symptoms that had confused three different doctors, and the transformation (Pluto) involved a life or death situation.
In the future any other medical planet progressing over this Pluto-Hades axis could stir up other health-related problems: e.g., the progressed Sun conjuncting it when Todd is 9.25 years; progressed Neptune, 26; progressed Hades, 45.25; and progressed Mars, 55.30 years of age. One of my duties as a medical astrologer was to inform Todd's mother of the potential danger of these dates, and within six months of each conjunction she should know how her child is doing. If Todd were to begin developing problems at those times, a doctor would have six months to right the situation so that the effects could be moderated.
Any planet progressing across the Hades part of this axis would also trigger similar symptoms: progressed Mars conjunct natal Hades when Todd is 10: progressed Admetos, 18; progressed Uranus, 20.75; and progressed Pluto, 44.30.
As of December 1977 several midpoint pictures were activated, leading to Todd's major health crisis and the contacting of a medical astrologer.
P. Ap conjunct N. Pi + P. Ha-N, Ur: This midpoint structure can indicate a crisis or a health situation that may deteriorate rapidly.
P. PI + N. Ma-N. Ne: This configuration can mean an endocrine disorder that goes undetected or misdiagnosed. In addition, energy levels may be low. A person may be unable to sustain a physical effort to throw off infection.
N. Ve + P. Ha-N. Ma: Although I had no information on this midpoint structure, I felt it could mean a poisoning in the blood or a blood disorder, since Venus and Mars rule such functions.
N. Ur/P. Ne-P. Ap conjunct N. PI: The occurrence of this configuration reinforced the fact that the crisis occurred suddenly, with possible accompanying misdiagnosis. The seriousness of the crisis is indicated by Pluto and Hades both being in the picture.
N. Ap/P. Tr-N. Ne: This configuration can indicate a chronic, hidden illness with multiple complications. In this case Neptune was the triggering factor of the midpoint structure, indicating misdiagnosis or difficult determination of the root cause of the illness.
P. Ma conjunct N. Tr: Transpluto here shows the potential activation of an acute illness that gets totally out of control.
After examining the progressed chart and seeing how often Neptune was involved I was convinced that Todd had been misdiagnosed and that there was poison in his body. At first I thought the lymph system was affected because it handles poisons in the body: with so much Pisces in the natal chart this was a logical assumption. Another possibility was that the thymus was not manufacturing lymphocytes to help ward off infection and was badly backlogged from fighting allergies. Thus the thymus could also be implicated in a type of poisoning.
With Pluto, Hades and Apollon all prominent in various midpoint structures I also felt that this boy's life was in question. (Repetition of planets in midpoint structures usually reaffirms their strength in the progressed chart: they must be scrutinized closely for their possible involvement in the health of the in-
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