Traditional astrology holds that herbs and plants come under the rulership of the planets, and have curative powers over the parts of the body associated with those planets. These rulerships and associations were codified by the Elizabethan astrologer William Lilley; the specific efficacies of the plants were laid out in a book titled The Compleat Herbal by the seventeenth century herbalist and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper.
As an astrologer and physician in the 1600’s Nicolas Culpeper studied the invaluable use of plants for healing and curative powers. His knowledge of plants and healing led him to publish work which has inspired me to put these traditional healing principles to use in our modern world.
By using the system based on the Planetary Hours, Sue harvests the comfrey by the hour associated with its planetary rulership, the hour of Saturn. By combining the ritual of planetary hours and herbalism Sue creates a salve which includes not only the freshest organic herbs available but herbs harvested with the intention for healing. By watching for these times, it is possible to ensure that plants are picked at the moment when their curative powers are at their height. These principles are at the heart of the creative process in the manufacture of Sue’s Salves.
THE DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES
The Doctrine of Signatures is a concept that was employed by herbalists and astrologers of the Renaissance. Medical astrologers understand the symbolism involved in determining the nature of disease and the affected body part with very detailed knowledge of the plants themselves. The Doctrine of Signatures was a system applied in practical terms to enable a medical astrologer to choose the right herb for the associated affliction of the patient. Each herb and plant comes under the rulership of the appropriated planet associated with a specific disease.
Culpeper advised on the use of the herbs for healing based on what planet caused the disease or afflicted part of the body and then he chose the appropriate herb to heal that affliction. For example, salves are used for topical skin ailment as well as on bruises and skeletal connective tissue injuries. The skin, as well as the skeleton, ligaments and joints are ruled by Saturn, the planet which rules structure, and therefore it follows that the chosen herb for healing skin ailments is comfrey, a remedy renowned for healing skeletal and structural diseases.
The Doctrine of Signatures is a particularly useful tool for medical astrologers whose insights into the nature of herbs and their relationship to disease helps them to utilize a rich and wondrous tool for holistic healing.
Symbolic understanding to the interconnectedness of life enhances the healing process by adding an additional dimension to the often overlooked magical means by which healing can take place.
Sue uses this philosophy when creating her salves, blending astrology, herbalism and healing to create a salve which is truly crafted with the intent to heal.