Breathing in Abundance / Uranus in Taurus, Angelica + Astragalus

Abundance—with the rise of lightworkers and energy healers, this term has become quite the buzzword nowadays, and some of us Venus-challenged folks can't help but cringe when we hear it. Abundance as a concept is radically oversimplified—to me, the principle of abundance shares a similar meaning to the concept of "vitality" when we talk about health. In that way, it can be understood as less of process of unchecked growth, but rather a system within balance that exhibits resiliency in the face of fluctuating external circumstances. Abundance, therefore, is contextual.

In a previous article, I talk about the planets as being manifestations of counterbalancing energetic forces. In this context, Venus represents the forces of refinement and relaxation that lead to nourishment and therefore, growth. While the inner planets reflect energies that reside within us, the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune + Pluto) act as external forces, similar to the "pernicious influences" in Traditional Chinese Medicine, often representing transpersonal forces that are unique to our time and place in history.

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Uranus in Medical Astrology

Uranus has a resonance with the nervous system in traditional medical astrology due to her polarizing electrical effect on systems. Ailments such as stroke, nerve damage and nervous system imbalances are keywords of an afflicted Uranus in a natal chart, however I view her as a manifestation of the general electromagnetic agitation caused by our species' increased use of digital forms of communication and exposure to artificial lights. While the term "agitation" may be considered by most to be negative, the archetype of Uranus has profound healing connotations by way of reconnecting our species back into wholeness by breaking down the barriers of nationality, gender, age or social status. She acts as a natural counterpoint to Saturn's solidifying influence, breaking up systems that have become too stiff or rigid. This is where her reputation as the change-bringer is earned.

Prior to her entry into the sign of love, romance and commerce, Uranus was travelling through Aries, where she explored alternative entrepreneurial models based on an increased desire for independent action, but also uncovered the profound and destabilizing effect on our species when we self-isolate and separate ourselves from our human neighbors, manifesting in not only an uptick in mass gun violence but a trend towards mechanical, detached drone warfare and a rise of unstable dictatorships fueled by civil tensions and infighting as well. Our very own Uranus in Aries example, Donald Trump, the king of contrarianism, is a perfect example of this planet's influence on nations--with Uranus, divisions or polarizations of some sort are bound to appear.

With Uranus we learn the lesson that change for change's sake is ultimately self-defeating, as all revolution tends to be unsustainable.

Now in the stable, fixed sign of Taurus, we have the opportunity to come into a place of balance while rebuilding systems that were previously toppled.

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Taurus and the Lung/Large Intestine Organ Pair

Now that Uranus is in Venus-ruled Taurus for an 8-year stay, she will have the opportunity to not only shake up Taurus's natural disposition for comfort, but to trigger underlying health issues related to the planet Venus as well. In the Classical Chinese tradition, the bright white planet of Venus symbolized the Metal element, and was given rulership of the lung and large intestine organ pair, a system that has to do with releasing that which no longer serves us so that we can be free to receive nourishment from our surroundings. Sounds a lot like abundance, doesn't it? As Venus represents the energy of relaxation, this organ system can only function properly when the tissue is relaxed and well-lubricated, as it is sensitive to dryness and cold, both of which cause tension.

When functioning optimally, the lungs take in energy in the form of qi from the air, letting it descend and transforming it into defensive qi that protects our body from external influences, reflecting in our overall immune health and manifesting in the quality of our skin as well. In partnership, the large intestine packs up everything that our body no longer needs and sends it out in waste form so that it may return to source energy—feeding the soil. These functions relate this system to the metal element because it is about the refinement and repurposing of natural materials. They are also reflected in the signs that Venus rules—Taurus and Libra—wherein Taurus accumulates and strengthens while Libra gives away, ensuring balance in the organism.

On the simplest level, we can start by examining the act of breathing as a manifestation of abundance.

When we are stressed, angry or otherwise emotional, many of us stop breathing deeply, becoming stuck in a pattern of shallow breathes that perpetuates and exacerbates our emotional state. In some, this may lead to ailments such as panic attacks, recurrent bronchitis/cough, allergies, congestion, emphysema, asthma or even sleep apnea, which has connotations of subconsciously holding onto trauma. When we turn our focus away from our predicament and onto the act of deep breathing, we are in fact tapping into the natural abundance that offers itself to us at any given moment. Think of how wonderful this is—with all the humans we are cramming onto our little blue dot, and even with all the pollution we are dumping into our atmosphere, there is still enough air for all of us to take a deep, nourishing breathe. This is love; the very first gift we receive upon our entry into this incarnation when we as infants take our first gulp of air even before being held by our mothers.

What I have found to be the secret of abundance is that we are being offered things all the time, in fact it is our refusal to let things go, tangible or intangible, that inhibit us from seeing the opportunities around us. This is reflected in the emotion ruled by the lung/large intestine: sadness/grief.

Grief, a natural process of release, can hold us and leave us stuck if the process is disrupted.

Unresolved grief can lead to a stagnation of sorts when not honored or seen all the way through, creating toxicity in the system just as a corpse would do if left to rot in our home. Over time, as toxicity builds up in our system, our bodies lose the ability to decide what is healthy versus unhealthy and we find ourselves gravitating to foods that only add to our toxin load. Similarly, our reluctance to accept loss compels us to hold onto memories or beliefs that actually take up space in our system, blocking new and perhaps better things from coming our way, just as our body's chemical receptors will bind to xeno-estrogens (harmful chemical estrogens) and phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) indiscriminately, for example.

When we are not allowed to grieve, tension builds because we are holding on—a phenomenon that manifests in the large intestine malady of constipation. Alternatively, when we cannot let go, our bodies might exhibit flushing symptoms in compensation, such as chronic diarrhea, which often has its roots in some form of lung toxicity. If unresolved grief is keeping you stuck and bogging down your immune system, you may try onion flower essence or the homeopathic preparation of anemone pulsatilla or its' tincture at very low doses.

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Our Sense of Self-Worth

Taurus, Venus + the Metal Element

Taurus, Venus and the metal element have strong associations with self-worth. Precious metal, as a representation of what we find to be valuable from the earth (gold, silver, etc.), reflects how good we feel about ourselves and therefore how much we are able to enjoy ourselves and those around us. When the lung/large intestine pairing is imbalanced or if we have Venus afflictions in our charts, we often try to compensate for our lack of self-esteem with material objects that we think will add to our worth—status, money, power or material objects. Overeating, a classical Taurus malady, may also become a problem as we are unable to enjoy what we have and lack the discernment to take in what is pure and good.

As mentioned before, the lung/large intestine dislikes dryness, and when out of balance they tend towards dry conditions. Therefore, remedies for keeping this system happy introduce moisture in the form of proper hydration and movement, as movement generates internal fluids, as well as Venusian relaxant herbs. Movement can also be understood on the emotional level as keeping your feelings flowing and not becoming mired in one emotion for too long, as we have just discussed with the waterfall release of grief. Fixating on what it is you don’t have is a sure-fire way to cause an imbalance in this system.

Because of Uranus's irritating physical effect, the herbs that we may seek out during this time are those that regulate stimulation versus relaxation—nervines and adaptogens—as well as demulcents to combat the propensity for dryness in the lung/large intestine system. Natal planets in Taurus, as well as the house that Taurus rules in your chart will give you more insight as to how Uranus's stimulating energy will affect you, and more importantly clue you in as to when certain health ailments may pop up. Watch for conjunctions from Uranus to personal planets that you may have in Taurus, or squares/oppositions to planets in the other fixed signs of your chart. For a brief breakdown, here is a list of the ways you might see Uranus’ energy manifest in your health picture depending on what house Taurus rules:

1st House/Taurus Rising-anxiety, panic attacks, headaches, vertigo, hair loss, sudden changes in weight, vision or appearance

2nd House/Aries Rising-issues to the throat or thyroid gland imbalances, dental issues

3rd House/Pisces Rising-anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia with a focus on the lungs function. Chronic cough, asthma, emphysema being some examples

4th House/Aquarius Rising-stomach ailments, indigestion, heartburn, or issues of the breast

5th House/Capricorn Rising-heart palpitations, issues with circulation or an underlying heart condition. Back problems, inflammation or pain

6th House/Sagittarius rising-digestive issues, chronic constipation, diarrhea or alternating between both. Anxiety, restlessness, fatigue caused by overwork

7th House/Scorpio Rising-hormonal imbalances, skin or kidney issues, blood sugar imbalances

8th House/Libra Rising-menstrual issues or ailments related to the reproductive organs-prostate hypertrophy, cysts or fibroids in the uterus, discovery of PCOS, venereal disease

9th House/Virgo Rising-hormonal imbalances, impaired liver function causing menstrual issues, systemic toxicity, fatigue, skin issues

10th House/Leo Rising-chronic pain, inflammation, bone issues such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, possible breaking of the bones

11th House/Cancer Rising-stroke or nervous system impairment, issues with circulation

12th House/Gemini Rising-systemic infection whether viral, bacterial or fungal, allergies, underlying autoimmune condition if so predisposed

So with those conditions listed above, keep in mind that even though it covers a diverse array of health conditions, they will all have a connection to originating imbalances in the lung/large intestine meridian. With that in mind, we are going to cover two herbs that act as strong lung allies and large intestine balancers specific for the agitating effects of Uranus.

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Angelica Archangelica

Angelica

Not to be partial, but Angelica is one of my hands-down favorite herbs—it's spicy, warming and feels like walking into a home that has a roaring fire welcoming you in from a cold autumn night. Its' healing powers were considered to be so strong that it has been referred to as the root of the holy ghost, and is often planted purely for the energetic and spiritual protection its presence invokes. I mean, how can it not be protective with a name like Angelica?

The root of this plant is most commonly used in practice, although the seeds and leaves have a history of usage as well. The stems and seeds have been used to make candies and liqueurs, and simply chewing on the stem itself is a strong remedy for gas and indigestion. The resins contained in its' root is best prepared with an alcohol extraction, although a water decoction will also draw out some constituents as well. It is fragrant, aromatic, warming, sweet and mildly bitter and possesses the qualities of carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, stomachic, tonic, emmenagogue and expectorant. Extract of the root is useful in cases of colds, coughs, pleurisy, congestion, indigestion, colic, flatulence, rheumatism, gout, poor circulation, lack of appetite/anorexia, bronchitis, fever and diseases of the urinary organs. A Modern Herbal has a great list of recipe ideas for those who are able to grow the plant!

Contraindications include those who are prone to blood sugar imbalances, as it does tend to increase the level of sugar in urine. As an expectorant and emmenagogue, its’ use during pregnancy is discouraged.

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Astragalus Membranaceous

astragalus/huang qi

A popular adaptogen, the root of this plant has a long history of use for a variety of maladies. Its' core function is to strengthen wei qi, or the defensive qi that the lung creates, thus strengthening the immune system and alleviating the syptoms of chronic fatigue and recurrent infection. There is some evidence that shows that it increases our body's production of white blood cells, helping us to help ourselves defend against bacterial and viral invasion. It stimulates the spleen, liver, lungs, circulatory, and urinary system, and helps to treat arthritis, asthma, nervous conditions, high blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Traditionally, it is used as a remedy for chronic hepatitis, kidney disease and heart disease as well. More recently, it is being studied for its' protective effect on the body while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. It helps improve sugar metabolism, which can help in weight loss, and is also a potent anti-inflammatory.

The flavor of this herb is quite mild and I find it to be super easy to incorporate into many of my winter dishes, for example, I will toss a few slices into any soup or rice dish that I am making, as the cooking acts as a natural decoction (as long as the temperature doesn't get too high). In this way, it makes for a fabulous immune tonic for kids or those who are sensitive to the stronger flavors of some herbal remedies. Tinctures are also available, but I find it to be so easy to incorporate into my diet that I don't bother with the increased cost of a tincture extract. This herb is also quite easy to find, and many Chinese retailers sell the root in large, easy to use slices that look like tongue depressors. Astragalus is best used cumulatively, meaning that regular doses for a few months ensures the strongest, most reliable results.

Contraindications include those who are taking immunosuppresant drugs as part of a therapy, as the action of astragalus is contrary in effect. Due to its' diuretic properties, it may also increase the excretion of drugs in the body, making it potentially hazardous for those on mood stabilizers or blood pressure meds, for example. Some advisement may also be necessary for those with autoimmune conditions.

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So with Uranus's influence on our house of Venusian abundance for the next few years, many of us may receive shocking twists of fate or sudden reversals to our ability to manifest personal wealth. We may see surprising changes in our income or a romantic relationship, perhaps allowing us to grieve older losses that we may never have gotten the chance to. While initially destabilizing, this will prove to be a blessing in the long run, as what we release opens up huge opportunities for us to receive more than we could ever imagine. Uranus rules authenticity, and we may find ourselves more honest in our love and financial relationships as a result of her passage. The best medicine I can recommend for this process is to keep breathing through it all—if something leaves your life, honor its departure, celebrate what it did for you and then let it go. You will be healthier and happier for it, even though it may not seem like it at the moment, and doing so will insure the proper functioning of your immune health. Stay well and go in love.