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Astrology Horoscope: October Full Moon
This 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 Immune System

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.

Neptune is 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

To strengthen 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 effect.

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.

Primarily, I 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.

Siberian 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.

American 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 type.

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 symptomatic relief.

Good health to you!



Jonathan Keyes, B.S., is an astrologer, herbalist and plant spirit medicine practitioner. His writing has appeared in The Mountain Astrologer and in numerous Llewellyn almanacs. Jon has written a book entitled 'Guide to Natural Health, The Horoscope as a key to Ancient Healing Practices'. Jon is available for readings and can be contacted at Go to Jon's web site at

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For more information about Jonathan Keyes, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Jonathan Keyes:

  • Pluto and Your Psyche   10/26/2013
  • Astrology and Stones   2/25/2012
  • Your Health and Saturn   2/4/2012
  • Lunar Health Cycles   3/13/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   2/27/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   11/14/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/15/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/1/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   9/14/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/16/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/2/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/18/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/4/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/17/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/4/2001
  • Pluto, Your Health and Herbs   4/30/2001
  • Your Health and Neptune Part 2   3/12/2001
  • Your Health and Saturn Part 2   11/13/2000
  • Michael Stipe Shuns the Spotlight   9/16/2000
  • Michael J. Fox   8/21/2000
  • Animals and Astrology Part Two   7/3/2000
  • Animals and Astrology   6/12/2000
  • The Astrology of Stones Part 2   5/15/2000

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