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Herbal Astrology

Author: Ellen Evert Hopman
Posted: June 1st. 2017
Times Viewed: 5,268

“When I see the new Moon,
It becomes me to lift mine eye,
It becomes me to bend my knee,
It becomes me to bow my head.
Giving thee praise, Thou Moon of guidance,
That I have seen thee again…”

--Traditional, Carmina Gadelica 287, orally collected in the Highlands and islands of Scotland by Alexander Carmichael in 1900.

“But if he (the physician) does not know the world, nor the elements or the firmament, how should he discover the nature of man, who is everything that is in heaven and Earth, indeed, who is himself heaven and Earth, air and water?”

--Paracelsus (Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 11 November or 17 December 1493 – 24 September 1541)

Our ancestors were deeply attuned to the phases of the Moon and the stations of the Sun. Farmers once farmed by the Moon; the idea was that the “waxing” or growing Moon pulled plant energies upward, while the “waning” or decreasing Moon meant energy was moving back downward towards the Earth and soil. When you consider that plants are filled with water and that the Moon’s gravity is strong enough to pull the tides of the ocean, there is a strong logic to this practice.

The “waxing” phase, from the New Moon to the Full Moon was the time to plant leafy plants and plants from which aerial portions were to be harvested such as berries, stems, leaves, flowers and barks. The “waning” phase, from the Full Moon to the dark of the Moon, was the time to plant root crops and also a good time to transplant, weed, prune, and treat for pests.
It was said that slaughtering animals under the waxing Moon resulted in moister and more flavorful meat.

Wood cut under a waxing Moon would have more sap and thus would make a ship more seaworthy. Wood cut under the waning Moon would be drier and more suitable for bridge building, to make furniture, for house construction, and for fire wood, because at the waning Moon the sap would sink and be concentrated in the tree’s roots.
Herbal astrology went far beyond the phases of the Moon, to encompass all the planets by incorporating both medicinal and spiritual lore.

Solar Herbs (Leo) were said to reflect the positive ego strength of the Sun, our largest heavenly neighbor and our closest star. Power of will and generosity would be fostered by these herbs.
On the physical plane these plants would help the heart, back, spine, thymus gland, circulation, heat and vital force of the body, the cerebrum and the pons varolii.

Some herbs of the Sun:

For the heart: European mistletoe, borage, and motherwort
To increase vitality: grapes

Lunar Herbs (Cancer) were said to promote the memory of past lives and the channeling of Spirits. These plants helped one to be in harmony with others and would also foster imagination. On the physical plane they would benefit fluid secretions of the body such as menstruation, blood, the bladder, the pancreas, the eyes, glands, stomach, ovaries, womb, breasts and the cerebellum.

Some herbs of the Moon:

For the blood: adder’s tongue, wintergreen, loosestrife, white roses, cleavers, and lettuce
For the lymph: cleavers, chickweed, wild poppy
For the hormones: saxifrage
For the stomach: clary, wild poppy, cucumber, orpine, white roses, dog rose

Mercury Ruled Plants (Gemini, Virgo) were said to promote mental acuity and foster better communication with others. These herbs were said to be very helpful for writers and speakers.
On the physical plane they were oriented to the nervous system and its fluids, the ears, tongue and vocal chords, lungs, the bronchi and the thyroid, as well as the sight and the pons of the brain.

Some herbs of Mercury:

For the nerves: marjoram, valerian, summer savory
For the brain: dill, lavender, lily of the valley
For the lungs: elecampane, fennel, horehound, licorice, maidenhair, pellitory-of-the-wall, flax seed oil, fenugreek, summer savory, valerian
For the sight: caraway, white horehound, lily of the valley, upright water parsnip

Venus Ruled Plants (Taurus) were used to increase sexual magnetism and personal beauty. They bestowed affection and style, and were particularly helpful for musicians, actors and artists. On the physical plane these herbs ruled the sexual organs and the umbilical cord, the abdomen generally, the kidneys, para-thyroid, thymus and breasts. These plants were said to rule internal bodily secretions, to foster harmony between all bodily systems, to improve the complexion, and were helpful to curb excesses of appetite that could lead to disease.

Some herbs of Venus:

For the kidneys: eryngo, kidney wort, French beans, feverfew, mint, yarrow, burdock, plantain, sorrel, strawberries
For the bladder: beans, elderberries, eryngo, marshmallow, peach tree leaves, violets, plantain, and wood sorrel
For the testicles: marshmallow, beans, thyme
For the ovaries: lady’s mantle, mint, thyme, mugwort, and pennyroyal
For the veins: lady’s mantle, damask rose, self-heal, wood sorrel

Mars Ruled Herbs (Aries) were said to be stimulating and would help to promote passionate action in the world. Their energy was said to be catalytic and dynamic when used wisely, helping a person to manifest projects and desires. With a hot nature and a bitter taste, these plants would help with head injuries, inflammations, the diaphragm and purgation. Hot illnesses such as smallpox, scarlet fever, typhus, high blood pressure, fevers, hemorrhages and intense pain all fell under the sphere of Mars.

Some Mars ruled plants:

For the blood: nettles, all-heal, garlic, hops, cayenne, radish, rhubarb, and sanicle
For the sexual organs: sarsaparilla, garlic, onions, hops, basil
For the eyes: anemone, crowfoot
For the muscles: hawthorn berries

Herbs of Jupiter (Sagittarius) bestowed a jovial and expansive mental outlook. They helped foster a feeling of deep spirituality and aided in the performance of ritual. These plants would help a person increase their prosperity and were especially beneficial aids for clergy, healers and lawyers. On the physical plane these herbs were for the liver, arteries, fat cells, spleen, kidneys, sugar metabolism and disease resistance. The pituitary gland which regulates growth was also under Jupiter’s sphere. When badly aspected, hyper expansive Jupiter could produce stroke, abscesses, convulsions and even Cancer.

Some herbs of Jupiter:

For the liver: agrimony, balm, costmary, endive, hart’s tongue fern, hedge hyssop, maple bark and leaf, oak, sage, wild succory and dandelion root
For the pituitary: wood betony

Saturn Ruled Herbs (Capricorn) fostered sobriety and were steadying and solidifying to a person’s nature. They would help a person to mentally ground and to finish projects. On the physical plane these plants ruled chronic processes such as aging, the bones, teeth, knees, joints and cartilage, hardenings in the body, and the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland.

Some herbs of Saturn:

For the skeleton: comfrey, horsetail, Solomon’s seal
For the cartilage: black poplar, Solomon’s seal

Neptune Ruled Plants (Pisces) were the dream enhancers and also helped with manifestation. They ruled the feet and the lymph glands, helped with psychosis and tuberculosis, and with addiction and immune system disorders such as AIDS.

Some herbs of Neptune:

Sedative: poppy
To aid the immune system: Echinacea
For tuberculosis: Irish moss, Iceland moss
To enhance dreaming: mugwort, cannabis

Uranus Ruled Plants (Aquarius) were the hybrids. The planet of sudden change, Uranus was said to bestow energizing, stimulating and inspiring impulses. These plants would help a person to jump start projects. On the physical plane these herbs were said to relieve tension and nervous exhaustion, aid the circulation and the lower legs.

Some herbs of Uranus:

For the nerves: skullcap, lemon balm, lavender,

Herbs of Pluto (Scorpio) promoted sexual energies and brought harmony between the spiritual and physical planes. These plants dealt with the reproductive tract and any condition of stagnation within the body. They ruled catabolic and anabolic conditions (death and regeneration of tissues) , toxic states that led to cancer, and toxic states of mind such as anger and jealousy.

Some herbs of Pluto:

To de-toxify the body: ginseng, aloe, wormwood, and southernwood

Herbal Alchemy

For herbal alchemy to cause change in your psyche and emotions, use these plants in baths, as incense, in elixirs, teas, flower essences and potions. Enhance their inherent powers by projecting a color into the brew (by visualization or with colored lights) for example; red to enhance sexuality and vital forces, violet to transmute mental negativity and bad karma (past, present and future) , blue to clear away discarnate entities, for forgiveness, tranquility and peace, and to calm an inflamed situation, pink for unconditional love and to mend a broken heart, green for balance and equilibrium, purple for self-mastery, and white to enhance a protective shield around the body and to strengthen your self-healing powers*.

*For medical conditions please consult a competent naturopathic doctor or an herbalist before attempting to treat yourself!

For an in-depth look at Herbal Astrology please see:

Hopman, Ellen Evert, A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year, Destiny Books, Rochester, VT., 1995 and
Hopman, Ellen Evert, Secret Medicines from Your Garden, Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT., 2016


Ellen Evert Hopman

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

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