Astrology and anthroposophical medicine

Seven life processes all living things have in common that are normally taught to children as part of the science curriculum are movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition.

These are not to be confused with the 7 life processes as defined by Rudolf Steiner listed by an anthroposophical doctor on the Anthromed website. They are as follows.

  • breathing,
  • warm­ing,
  • nutrition,
  • circulation,
  • maintenance,
  • growth and maturation,
  • reproduction.

Doctor Ross Rentea says all the processes can be associated with planetary qualities, and that “…you should know that Steiner con­nects soul qualities as well as physical prin­ciples to these life processes.”

Breathing, associated with Saturn, turns out to be “…an occult term, which signifies “intake” from the outside world; the beginning of digestion. It encompasses taking in something as spiri­tual as thought, light, or oxygen through the lungs; or as physical as taking in food.”

Warming is “ruled by Saturn” and influences the thyroid gland.

Nutrition is connected with Mars; gout, diabetes and edema are the result of a weakened Mars.

Circulation, ruled by the Sun and the Ego, and the wrong substances circulating in the wrong order result in diarrhea and allergies.

Maintenance belongs to Mercury because…”the body’s own cells…[are] round like little mercury droplets”.

Growth belongs to Venus, because of the “beauty of the human form”

And Reproduction is governed by …the moon because “…the Moon forces take the inner world out.”

If you are wondering about the other planets, the Rudolf Steiner Archive tells us;

“Uranus and Neptune have nothing to do with the creation of our world and their Moons are retrograde. Uranus, and later Neptune withdraw during the Mars development” – from lecture 10 on The Spiritual Hierarchies.

Rudolf “clairvoyant” Steiner hadn’t foreseen the discovery of Pluto, so he didn’t mention it at all.

Roger Rawlings points out in the “Steiner’s blunders” page on Waldorfwatch

“To accept Uranus and Neptune as members of the solar system would have upset his mystical, astrological, numerological depiction of the Sun and its six attendant planets, so he rejected the outermost planets.”

The Wiki page on astrology and science says; “There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics”.

Regarding the interview with the doctor on the Anthromed site, we are not told exactly where he lost his way, but  it explains that after qualifying as a medical doctor he “worked at clinics in Europe to study anthroposophical medicine.” Oh dear.




  1. Helen

    The doctors at St Lukes medical centre in Cainscross Road would endorse all this, as they are anthroposophical doctors.'s_trust.htm
    I’ve just been reading on Anthromed about how rosemary is used in “oil dispersion baths” to treat diabetes, as the herb is “woody” and “does not allow its life-forces to be used in developing large leaves or flowers” and this makes it the most suitable. In the US there is even a Certificate Training Course in Oil Dispersion Bath Therapy for those wishing to qualify. The treatment involves a rhythmic brush massage given by the therapist.

  2. Jim

    How disappointing – I would have thought Uranus would have had a special place in the transmission of anthroposophic wisdom!

    ( Sorry to lower the tone ).

    Sometimes you can recognise a bit of practical knowledge in some aspects of alternative medicine – for example plants involved in some treatments might actually have a beneficial effect. So you can excuse the fact that pre-scientific explanations for how they worked make no sense. But then you get stuff like this where not only does the explanation make no sense but there is not even any phenomenon requiring explanation. It is just pure fantasy ( and I don’t mean that in a good way ).

    • Helen

      I forgive you!

      Actually I did wonder whether this counts as astrology, since that seems to relate mainly to the positions of the planets, but if he is not talking about that, what is he talking about? How else could a planet “rule” a process? Any ideas?

  3. Jim

    Helen, are you looking for a rational explanation of the irrational?

    Its a long time since I’ve taken any interest but as far as I recall the stars and planets ( and they were not differentiated ) were regarded as “celestial beings”, rather than distant physical objects, and ruled over different aspects of life. I think the question of position was not so much of distance ( say, like a gravitational effect ) but more of proximity to other celestial beings, in a sort of alliance.

    Whilst we shouldn’t be too snide about such beliefs a thousand years ago ( though they were mocked then ) it is beyond parody to hear them seriously proposed today. But I expect there is a perfectly sound explanation – probably something to do with quantum theory.

  4. Helen

    “…probably something to do with quantum theory.” Oh, not another paradigm then?
    Well yes, I was looking for a rational explanation for why the doctor says all the processes can be associated with “planetary qualities”. Clearly it is not acceptable to us, but where do the ideas about planetary qualities come from?
    I have since found this explanation by a follower which does answer some questions about how all this came about in Steiner’s befuddled mind.
    For each planet there is a description of the planet itself then for some inexplicable reason (I have never taken an interest in astrology before – do I have to now?) we jump to descriptions of psychological qualities for each one. I understand that in astrology one’s personality is supposed to be a result of the positions of the planets when one is born, but how can “processes” be associated with different planets?
    Just because, I suppose.

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