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Originating in India several thousand years ago, Ayurveda (Sanskrit for "science of life") is a system that classifies physical ailments and mental conditions according to one's basic constitution, or body type. Called doshas (Sanskrit for "temperament"), these three distinct types are categorized as Pitta (hot and sharp), Kapha (heavy and water-retaining) and Vata (dry and windy). When Pitta is over stimulated, Kapha indulges or Vata becomes irritable, conditions and ailments associated with these doshas erupt. To allay the symptoms and promote the dosha's positive qualities, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend specific lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, environment and even attitude changes. In this article I will examine the Kapha dosha. Part one of this series discussed the Pitta dosha, and I will write about Vata in a subsequent article.

The Kapha Personality and Body Type

Just as the hot, sharp Pitta dosha (temperament) is prone to indigestion, ulcers and heart disease, Kapha is a wet, heavy dosha distinguished by water retention, respiratory complaints, swollen lymph glands and chronic ailments like diabetes and asthma. At their best, Kapha personalities are tranquil, compassionate, reliable, agreeable and even-tempered. When threatened by deadlines or long-term change, however, they may become excessive, lethargic or depressive.

While their sluggish metabolism is sometimes caused by an underactive thyroid or iodine deficiency (for which they should take kelp and eat more fish), weight gain usually results from consuming too much food and alcohol without counteracting the caloric intake. Kapha types need to exercise regularly and should be encouraged to take daily walks. To prevent water retention and stimulate the metabolism, they should drink hot ginger tea, and eat raw fruits and vegetables to cleanse and purify the system. Dairy products, sauces, wheat and salty foods that retain fluids should be avoided.

Bill Clinton: The Kapha Profile

Just as Kathie Lee Gifford is categorized as Pitta with Vata, Bill Clinton fits into both the Kapha and Pitta mold. While Clinton's reddish skin tones are common among Pitta types, his Kapha physique, characterized by the roundish face and broad shoulders, makes him look heavier than he actually is. Like many Kapha types, Clinton is an allergy sufferer and, as a result, experiences chest congestion, frequent laryngitis and often appears teary-eyed.

His legendary proclivity for fast food eating and sexual escapades are, most probably, how Clinton deals with the stresses of his job. While his Pitta temper periodically flares up, Clinton, more often than not, displays Kapha strength by remaining cool, calm and collected. Like most Kapha personalities, Clinton is known for procrastinating, and frequently waits until the last moment to write his speeches. He also has a marvelous memory and retains not only water, but a myriad of facts.

Astrologically Kapha

Astrologically, Taurus, Cancer, Libra, Sagittarius and Pisces are categorized as Kapha. Each sign is noted for its sturdy, often overweight, frame as well as for being friendly, agreeable and easy-going. These signs hold back negative feelings, and instead of revealing how they feel, they often retreat into a world of their own, or seek solace in food, alcohol or drugs, among other things. Sagittarius, a fire sign that is both Kapha and Pitta, is the least depressive of this group since the Archer, associated with the planet Jupiter, never falls too far down. The Moon (linked to Cancer), Venus (linked to Taurus and Libra) and Neptune (linked to Pisces) are considered Kapha planets. Jupiter (linked to Sagittarius and sharing Pisces with Neptune) is both Kapha and Pitta.

Clinton's Chart Validates Kapha

At first glance, Clinton's horoscope reflects some Pitta tendencies. The Mercury, Saturn and Pluto form a stellium in Leo. The exact conjunction Venus and Mars with the Ascendant explains his sudden skin flare-ups, as well as outbursts of temper. A closer look, however, reveals that his Moon is in Taurus and his Ascendant is Libra, both sensual, Venus-linked Kapha signs that attest to his love of wine, women and song. (Let's not forget that he plays the saxophone.) His nature is dominated by three Kapha planets in Libra in the First House of personality—Venus, Neptune (which conjoin the Libra ascendant) and Jupiter. Still another Kapha sign, Cancer, sits on his Midheaven. Clinton may be a strong-willed Leo, but his indulgent character and physical body type certainly fall into the Kapha category.

Transits Activate Kapha for Better or Worse

In November 1992, when transiting Jupiter conjoined Clinton's Libra Ascendant, the Kapha charm and optimism that Clinton projected to the general public gave him enough votes of confidence to elect him to the presidency. On the other hand, when Saturn transited Aries from July 1996 through March 1999, and opposed those very same Libra planets, Clinton's Kapha excesses came home to roost, and the country was inundated with stories of sexual escapades with Monica Lewinsky, another Kapha personality and body type. Just as Pitta people react to stress by becoming angry and hostile (which we indeed saw with Clinton's wagging finger), Kapha personalities cope by resorting to self-destructive patterns and habits.

At the moment, transiting Uranus in Aquarius is squaring (making a difficult 90-degree angle) Clinton's Taurus Moon, which is linked to his Tenth House of career and reputation. Any stress coming from the pressures of his job (the end of his presidency), or his wife (the Moon) running for public office, may once again surface with Kapha habits and ailments. Maintaining regular exercise and diet will help counteract water retention or allergies, which could also peak during this season. Since Taurus is linked to the thyroid gland, it might be worthwhile for Clinton to get his thyroid checked. With transiting Uranus, you just never know.


Ronnie Dreyer is an internationally-known astrological consultant, lecturer and teacher based in New York City and the author of several books, columns, articles and book reviews. She lectures extensively for astrology groups & national conferences, and conducts ongoing courses & workshops in Vedic astrology. She co-founded one of the first astrological computer services in Holland where she lived for ten years and was Astro*Carto*Graphy's Dutch distributor. Ronnie was AFAN's secretary from 1992-1998 and is currently its presiding officer. She is editor of the NCGR memberletter. She is on the Board of Directors of ACT. In 1994, she received the Jyotish Kovid award from the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences, and in 1998 received the Jim Lewis Community Service Award from AFAN.

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Other StarIQ articles by Ronnie Dreyer:

  • Charlie Sheen: From Sin to Spin   5/3/2001
  • Martin Sheen: Long Road to The West Wing   3/29/2001
  • Steve Martin: That Wild and Crazy Guy   3/25/2001
  • Jesse Jackson: Saint or Sinner?   2/27/2001
  • Sarah Jessica Parker: The Gal With the Midas Touch   1/12/2001
  • Rick Lazio: Still a Mystery   10/26/2000
  • Move Over Madonna, Rocco's Arrived   10/20/2000
  • Astrology and Ayurveda: Vata   6/19/2000
  • Astrology and Ayurveda: Pitta   4/24/2000

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