Health & Healing

It’s official! Optimism can save your life

For years, researchers have been studying optimists and pessimists, and they have found that an optimistic outlook carries certain advantages. Optimistic people are better achievers, are more resilient in the face of difficulties and cope with stress more easily than their more negative counterparts. And now, there appears to be one more reason for wearing those “rose-colored glasses”–a longer, healthier life!

In a new study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh reviewed questionnaires that surveyed the personality traits of more than 100,000 women aged 50 and over who are participants of the Women’s Health Initiative, an ongoing government study that began in 1994. They tracked the women’s rates of death and chronic health conditions for an average of eight years. What they found was a strong link between optimism and a person’s risk for cancer, heart disease and early death. …

So, where does optimism come from? For some lucky people, being optimistic comes naturally. But experts say that for those who aren’t as fortunate, optimism is an attitude that can be learned and practiced. By avoiding negative environments, making every effort to seek the company of positive individuals and celebrating your strengths instead of bemoaning your weaknesses, even pessimists can begin to exercise their optimistic muscle. Just remember: It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

read more here…

I grew up in a family where negativity was encouraged and optimism was punished, and with Saturn on my Sun I am not a natural optimist.  However, after being shoved out of the nest at a relatively early age I had to fend for myself, which meant I was able to begin making choices about the kind of people I wanted to surround myself with.  I learned […]

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By |2009-03-09T07:26:49-04:00March 9th, 2009|Health & Healing|Comments Off on It’s official! Optimism can save your life

“Heart Pill to Banish Bad Memories”

Chiron and Neptune have been within range of a conjunction since early 2008, but the conjunction won’t be exact until next summer.  Still, the Wounded Healer and the Mystic Escapist are definitely dancing together, which may be how we ended up with this:

Scientists believe a common heart medicine may be able to banish fearful memories from the mind.

The Dutch investigators believe beta-blocker drugs could help people suffering from the emotional after-effects of traumatic experiences.Tieve the drug alters how memories are recalled after carrying out the study of 60 people, Nature Neuroscience reports.
But British experts questioned the ethics of tampering with the mind.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, said he was concerned about the “fundamentally pharmacological” approach to people with problems such as phobias and anxiety. He said the procedure might also alter good memories and warned against an “accelerated Alzheimer’s” approach….
Experiments on animals has shown beta blockers can interfere with how the brain makes sense of frightening events.
She told Nature Neuroscience: “Millions of people suffer from emotional disorders and the relapse of fear, even after successful treatment.
“Our findings may have important implications for the understanding and treatment of persistent and self-perpetuating memories in individuals suffering from emotional disorders.”
But Professor Neil Burgess of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience said the research merely demonstrates that the beta blockers reduce a person’s startle response, breaking the association of the spider to these unconscious responses.
And Dr Daniel Sokol, lecturer in Medical Ethics at St George’s, University of London, saidmemories were important, for people to learn from their mistakes for example [emphasis added].

“Removing bad memories is not like removing a wart or a mole. It will change our personal identity since who we are is linked to our memories. It […]

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By |2009-02-22T06:59:46-04:00February 22nd, 2009|Health & Healing|Comments Off on “Heart Pill to Banish Bad Memories”

Ted Kennedy collapses yesterday

In the midst of the jubilant rejoicing yesterday at the Congressional Lunch, Senator Ted Kennedy Ted Kennedy collapsed with a seizure and had to be rushed to the hospital.

Senator Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer last May, as transiting Chiron made the first swipe of a square to his natal Chiron.  Chiron is the planet(oid, some say) that presides over the body/mind/spirit balance of an individual and is therefore often present when there is illness of some kind.  The first phase of the Chiron square cycle occurred in March, but Kennedy was not hospitalized until May when the Full Moon hit a sensitive Mars/Mercury conjunction in his chart.

It’s interesting that each phase of the square of Chiron to Kennedy’s natal Chiron has coincided with his stepping out in public to support Obama.  The first phase correlated with his announcement that he was supporting Obama; during the second phase while he was undergoing chemotherapy he traveled to the Democratic Convention to give a speech, despite health concerns.  We also saw the presence of Chiron in Caroline Kennedy’s sudden interest in politics.  Chiron is not only the Wounder and Healer – it is also the Mentor.  Chiron teaches that what we learn in our own healing we must pass on to others.

The final square of Chiron to Kennedy’s Chiron just occurred about ten days ago, and at the time of the seizure transiting Mars was exactly opposite Pluto in Kennedy’s chart, squaring the conjunction of his progressed Mercury (mind) and Uranus (electricity/nervous system) that I wrote about back in May:  “The fact that Kennedy’s progressed Mercury is conjunct progressed Uranus right now is also interesting, echoing this Mercury/Uranus connection that electrifies the brain and creates an experience that changes everything.”

Kennedy’s doctors reported yesterday that the seizure […]

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By |2009-01-21T07:12:01-04:00January 21st, 2009|Health & Healing, Politics|Comments Off on Ted Kennedy collapses yesterday

The Joy of Sadness

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

— Chinese proverb


A post in Beth Owl’s Daughter about Seasonal Effective Disorder started me thinking once again about the way our culture attempts to medicate all emotional reactions out of its citizens (and thank you Beth for that wonderful proverb!!).  She writes:

When I was many years younger, I used to be hit hard by what later came to be known as SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. As Autumn proceeded from its kaleidoscopic colors into rusts and browns, and finally into Winter’s endless grays, my own spirits would slump accordingly. As the days grew darker, my moods followed along, bringing bouts of tears, withdrawal, and lethargy. By the time I crawled into late February, I would often be struggling with outright despair.

But, thankfully, that changed. Perhaps, it was in part that I fell in love with a man who truly revels in the cold time of year. And maybe as I got older, my hormonal changes helped. But the truth is that, long before I was perimenopausal, my Autumns and Winters were beginning to pass without loss of emotional equilibrium.

Was it just coincidence that this shift was in synch with the deepening of my Pagan spiritual practice? As I attuned myself to the seasons of the Earth, and embraced the cycles of life and death, growth and surrender, rather than dreading the darkening of the year, I learned to love it.

Don’t get me wrong. … I am well aware that for many people, it is a very painful and serious problem.

But I wonder if there could be any correlation between SAD […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:35:26-04:00January 18th, 2009|Consciousness, Health & Healing, Psychology|Comments Off on The Joy of Sadness

Autism and the incarnation process

Sorry to be a bit stuck on this topic, but I found this while researching the astrology/autism connection and thought this might interest my readers.  It’s from an article written in 2000 by astrologer Sandra Weidner:

We are all incarnated. Any one who has looked upon the body of a deceased loved one–unless too shattered from grief to see–has the clear sensation, “he/she is no longer in this.” We are Life which has assumed material form in order to enter a material world. For a time. For certain purposes. The spiritual is never as limited as the material. To come here, we have to take on limitations. For one, a body is required. It represents one part of our admission ticket. The other is formed by our group as well as individual reasons for coming….

So, yes, we are all incarnated. Some of us, however, are more incarnated than others. Our physical bodies make it appear we are all equally here. We are not. Autistic children are one of the groups of people who are less here. Their physical bodies are here; their identities are considerably somewhere else. Most families of autistic children already know that. They just cannot explain why. Here, using this universal language of creation–astrology–it becomes understandable. …

Here’s where it gets really interesting:

I borrow from the work of Jungian psychologist, Erich Neuman. It is from his book, The Child:

The young of the higher mammals are born in a state of relative maturity; either immediately or shortly after birth they are small adults which not only wholly resemble adult animals but are also capable of living unaided. In order to attain a similar state of maturity the human embryo would require a pregnancy of from twenty to twenty-two months. In other words, the human child, after the […]

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By |2009-01-07T07:37:33-04:00January 7th, 2009|Consciousness, Health & Healing|Comments Off on Autism and the incarnation process
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