Health & Healing

Are Psych Drugs the Answer?

Bliss Concealed” by Jackie, age 16, from

As a child of the ’60s, it is peculiar to me that parents today are GIVING drugs to their kids. Research from Dr. Julie Magno Zito, of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, indicates that as many as 1.5 percent of American children between the ages of two and four are already on such substances as Ritalin – as well as being medicated with antidepressants and other “psychosis” directed drugs. The use of drug stimulants for children climbed two-to-threefold between 1991 and 1995, and antidepressant prescriptions nearly doubled during the same period.

Many of these childhood personality disorders seem to me to be simply reactions to stressful situation. I am particularly interested in something called Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a pattern of defiant and disobedient behavior and resistance to authority, since this would certainly have been my own diagnosis when I was a child. My birthchart shows that Uranus (rebellious behavior) squares my Sun (my Self, or essence). I am a rebellious person with a radical nature, and I am not afraid of reacting with defiance in a situation in which I feel mistreated. My parents just thought I was a “bad kid.” But did I need medication?

I have no wish to minimize the danger of true psychiatric disorders which require ongoing medication such as bipolar or psychotic episodes, or a serious depression or panic disorder which requires short-term medication to help the patient move through a difficult time. But I am concerned about our tendency in the modern world to avoid our own emotions and medicate our children into subservience.

The astrological birthchart identifies certain predispositions in our personality and emotional makeup. Acting as a map, the birthchart identifies our strength and challenges, and shows the way to navigate through our difficulties. Often situations that we find devastating later bring us great joy and wisdom that we would never have gained had we avoided something painful.

An individual with a predisposition towards depression is likely to have a difficult aspect of Saturn or Chiron in the birthchart. Saturn can cause us to feel isolated and lonely, and without hope. The time alone that Saturn bringsd, however, can lead to tremendous strength of character and a more solid personality. Challenging aspects of Chiron (the wounded healer) can bring a nearly constant psychic pain that is impossible to avoid. Certainly uncomfortable, the Chironic experience forces us to walk through the fire of our pain and emerge a transformed being, fully prepared to help and heal others. A stressed Mars can also lead to depression, as one’s will and aggression (Mars) is not given full expression and the individual turns their anger inwards.

Anxiety and other disorders such as hyperactivity and attention deficit are often indicated in the chart by challenging aspects of Uranus. Uranus rules electromagnetic energy, and the difficult aspects can cause an individual to feel as though their fuses aren’t connected properly, and they are always “on edge.” This is particularly true of people who have Chiron opposing Uranus in their charts, which can cause an energy imbalance. Individuals with challenging aspects of Uranus in their charts are also likely to be rebellious and not follow instructions readily.

Planetary cycles of the transiting outer planets can lead to temporary periods of mental disorder. Saturn transits are well-known for causing depression and distress, along with a feeling of hopelessness. Transits of Uranus can bring sleep disorders, anxiety and extreme restlessness. Chiron cycles invoke mood swings as we are forced into emotional places of psychic pain. Certainly these periods aren’t always enjoyable, but medicating our important passages to alleviate the discomfort can inhibit our ability to effect the necessary transformation that life is calling upon us to make.

Astrology offers the path to a better understanding of our psychological makeup so that we can learn improved ways to manage our distress without drugs and through our transformation, flower into the magical beings that we are intended to be. Certainly we owe this to our children as well.

By | 2006-03-27T19:58:00+00:00 March 27th, 2006|Health & Healing, Miscellany|Comments Off on Are Psych Drugs the Answer?

The Ebb and Flow of the Cycles of Time

(Art from

As humans, we tend to think that happiness is better than sadness, that good luck is better than bad. We may avoid difficult confrontations and pursue more comfortable situations. When tragedy strikes our well-protected lives, we shout out to our god of choice: “How could you do this to me??” We believe that our birthright is the pursuit of happiness, and we spend our lives trying to protect ourselves from sorrow.

The soul, however, has a different journey. The soul travels an ancient evolutionary path that seeks wisdom and connection with the divine. Often in our desire to defend ourselves from discomfort, we erect barriers within ourselves. Often we become so effective in compartmentalizing our emotions we become cut off from our very selves, our soul and our spirit.

In astrological terms, the orbiting planets form geometric angles to each other as they travel through the solar system, and also to our birthchart planets. We call these movements “transits.” Each transiting planet has its own nature, its own personality and its own purpose—calling upon us as the ancient gods they represent to bring forth something in ourselves that has been lost. The inner planets move quickly: a transit of Venus will encourage relationships and creativity, a transit of Mars demands that we defend ourselves appropriately. Easy Jupiter transits can bring financial opportunity, or liberate us from difficult situations, whereas the challenging transits can cause reckless and risky behavior. The outer, or transpersonal planets, including Saturn which acts as the bridge between the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter) and transpersonal (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), take much longer to traverse the zodiac and therefore their effects are felt for a longer period of time.

Some periods are harmonious and bring opportunity, and some are difficult and bring challenges and pain. However, hidden in each cycle is a gift that can aid us in our evolutionary journey as individuals and as the human collective. That is what this humble blogger seeks in the articles chosen for this column.

By | 2006-02-07T11:34:00+00:00 February 7th, 2006|Health & Healing, Planetary cycles|Comments Off on The Ebb and Flow of the Cycles of Time