“With us there was a doctor of physic;
In all this world was none like him to pick
For talk of medicine and surgery;
For he was grounded in astronomy.
He often kept a patient from the pall
By horoscopes and magic natural.
Within the houses for his sick patient.
He knew the cause of every malady,
Were it of hot or cold, of moist or dry,
And where engendered, and of what humour;
He was a very good practitioner…”
-Geoffrey Chaucer- The Canterbury Tales
From a wonderful little book entitled “The Story of Astrology”, by Manly P. Hall, we gather the following anecdote, “related by Rudyard Kipling to a select company of doctors, members of the Royal Society of Medicine, at the Hotel Mayfair in London”.
“Nicholas Culpepper, an astrologer-physician, was in practice in Spitalfields, and it happened that a friend’s maid-servant fell sick, which the local practitioner had diagnosed as plague. Culpepper was called in as a second opinion. When he arrived the family were packing up the beds, preparatory to going away and leaving the girl to die. He took charge. There was no silly nonsense about taking or looking for the characteristic plague tongue. He only asked at what hour the young woman had taken to her bed. He then erected a horoscope, and inquired of the face of the heavens how the malady might prove. The face of the heavens indicated that it was not the plague, but just smallpox, which our ancestors treated as lightly as we do. And smallpox it turned out to be. So the family came back with their bedding and lived happily ever after, the girl recovered…”
Is it possible that astrology is the baby that was thrown out with the bathwater of medieval medical superstition?
Apparently Hippocrates said: “He who does not understand astrology is not a doctor but a fool.”
Are there any doctors who have thoroughly explored astrology who would refute that astrology can contribute meaningfully to medical science? I have yet to meet one…