Monday, January 28th, at 2:50 PM (PST), the moon waxes full in the sign of
Leo. This full moon falls near the traditional European holiday of Imbolc
or Candlemas (February 2nd). Imbolc is the midpoint between the winter
solstice and the spring equinox and has its modern parallel in Ground
Hog’s Day. Imbolc was traditionally a time to honor the Brigid, the
goddess of fire, poetry, healing and creativity. In the northern
hemisphere, this is a time when the light is returning and by honoring
Brigid, we are making sympathetic magic to call back the Sun into our
lives. Imbolc ceremonies often are a time to honor our own innate creative
resources. This is especially true at this time because the full moon is
in the creative fire sign of Leo.
One way to
celebrate Imbolc is to invite some close friends over for a ritual. After
eating dinner and celebrating mid-winter, light a fire in a fire place or
outside underneath the stars. While the fire is being built, have each
person write a few lines of poetry about their connection to this time of
year, how they are feeling or what they want to transform in their lives.
After writing the poems, each person can then read their piece aloud and
then throw the poem into the fire as a sacred offering. This ceremony
helps us to get in touch with our inner creative spark as well as honor
this powerful time of the year.
Neptune and the
On this full
moon, the sun conjoins the planet Neptune at 8 degrees Aquarius. Anyone
with major planets in the fixed signs near the 8 degree point are going
through a strong Neptune transit right now and the full moon will be
lighting up and emphasizing the power of this transit. Even if you are not
going through a strong Neptune transit, this watery planet is still making
its presence strong in the skies and can affect all of us at this time.
associated with the immune system in medical astrology and major
configurations, such as these, point to the need to strengthen our
immunity and avoid excessive stressful activity that could exacerbate
immune related problems. Our immune system acts as a barrier to the
outside world by creating natural defenses that repel foreign particles
and invading bacteria and viruses. Our defenses can naturally get lowered
from a number of factors, including poor diet, not enough exercise or
emotional and environmental causes. When we get run down and feel low
energy, we are often not taking care of ourselves adequately.
The Three Ginsengs
our immunity, it can be helpful to take some healing herbs at this time
that can fortify our minds and bodies. For thousands of years, the Chinese
have used Ginseng root as a powerful way to build their vitality and
support their immune function. This ginseng, known as Panax ginseng, is
remarkably effective in tonifying the internal energies but there are two
other ginsengs that are commonly used as well, each with its own distinct
The other two
ginsengs are known as Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and
American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium). Siberian Ginseng is from the same
family as the other varieties but is a different genus. All the Ginsengs
are known as adaptogens, meaning they help us to adapt to stress. Stress
plays a strong role in weakening our immune system and Ginseng can help
mollify the negative effects of stress.
see the Chinese Ginseng as the most warming and stimulating of the three.
It is best for people who are by nature cool and need stimulation and heat
to strengthen and invigorate them. Chinese Ginseng has a powerful
adaptogenic effect as well as helping to relax and tonify the heart and
lungs. I would not recommend Chinese Ginseng for those who are strongly
debilitated as its potency can be overwhelming if taken in strong doses. I
would also advise against taking Chinese Ginseng if one is very hot,
intense, or excessively masculine or “macho” in nature. Chinese Ginseng
tends to increase our testosterone levels which can be counterproductive
for this type.
Ginseng is slightly less warm and is slightly more nourishing and soothing
to the stomach and spleen. Siberian ginseng can be used by anyone but I
would again recommend it for those who are slightly cool and weakened in
nature. Siberian Ginseng helps us to digest better and to adapt to
stressful situations. This variety is less dramatic and has fewer side
effects than the more potent Chinese variety.
Ginseng has a slightly cool to neutral energy and is the best variety to
take for those who are hot, nervous and excitable in nature. American
Ginseng helps to sedate and strengthen the nervous system as well as
rebuild an exhausted adrenal system. This variety can be used by all types
but I recommend its nourishing qualities mainly for the hot and fiery
All of these
three ginsengs can be helpful when one is going through a strong transit
of Neptune when the immune system can be compromised. Each ginseng has a
slightly different action and each is appropriate for a different type of
person. Choosing herbs that are individualized to our innate temperament
and constitution can heal us more effectively than just taking herbs for
Good health to you!