If your doctor suddenly tells you that a disease could be chronic or even terminal, the shock to your system could be abrupt and difficult to absorb. So who do you turn to? You could do worse than to pick up Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ (1984 ) or watch an audio or learn about Louise Hay who was ‘willing to see life in a new and different way.’ As a Libran, born October 8th, 1926, she ruled by Venus. She had Chiron conjunct her MC. Clearly, her powerful gift was to explain in simple words and a kind and loving tone that everyone had a relationship with themselves, and to remind them that they may have been talking to themselves in a judgmental way. This relationship with self we tend to forget is primary, and it may have gone wrong through parental negative conditioning.
Hay was a unique figure, tall and elegant, a one-time model for Bill Blass, with a golden look and mane of hair -very Leo Ascendant. Yet, once she launched her career as a healer, she was divisive. This is also quite Libran, if we recall that Margaret Thatcher was Libran. Many of Hay’s critics said she was selling hope, not a cure and that the overemphasis on self-love had a flip side which is self-blame and self-loathing. This meant that some, if they could not get better, might feel they were to blame for their own disease and even their deaths. The message is double-edged. But at its core, her words were not to increase blame culture but to fix it. She claimed that by using positive affirmations, she had sent her own case of cervical cancer into remission. This made her an exemplar of the ultimate Chiron story, the self-healer who heals others. Hay’s Chiron is conjunct her MC which alone marks her out for a public role related to healing, for recognition in that area. It could also suggest the absence of a male role model during childhood. Her step-father was abusive and she was raped by a neighbor at the age of 5. It arrives there at zero degrees of Taurus the sign of self worth, love and valuing of oneself -so she devoted her life to developing this talent to bring healing to the world.
The simplicity of what she said is deceptive; it can be read in different ways, so there is ambiguity- fodder for her critics. She said that just by doing mirror work- saying “I love you” into a mirror-it did not lead to greater vanity or narcissism but actually align in love to the person you really are and that creates a sense of ‘flow’ in your life. Doing that simple act, affirming yourself instead of berating yourself, life could flourish in ways people never expected. Mirror work might seem to be the archetypal shadow side of Venus who can be vain, cruel too. It could be designed to encourage selfishness and capricious behavior, but not in Louise Hay’s world. Quite the opposite. Mirror work for the majority of traumatised people is near impossible to do naturally and with sincerity. People choke up with emotional resistance when they say ‘I love you’ and the preference is to continue hating that nose, that chin, or that we are too fat or too old etc. The lesson we must learn is from Venus herself – mirrors are friends, not enemies.
That other famous Libran, Oscar Wilde, said with consummate Venusian perfection; ‘To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance’. This was a sly irony with a dash of truth for Wilde, but in Hay’s work this is an axiomatic metaphysical proposition. She said marriages come and go but being with yourself is eternal. So it is this pivotal point of the self-healing philosophy. She had Venus in its home sign of Libra, in the 3rd house of communications, so it has some clout here. But the Venus shadow was already manifest in all the breakups, divorces, conflicts, chronic and terminal illnesses in the majority of relationships. Chiron opposes her Moon which is conjunct Mercury. Both are in the 4th House and in Scorpio, so those feelings run deep yet she was able to articulate them effectively and get beyond the stuck issues. By working on the backlog of resentment, shame and guilt Hay said you can open up to love and compassion. That could make you ‘free.’ It sounds so simple until you try. Hay also advised people that we have an option not to buy in to the medical ‘myth’ that you are bound to die if the doctor utters the word ‘terminal’. This is controversial but important to question that what doctors say is gospel.
‘You Can Heal Your Life’ took only six months to write was published on January 1st 1984. The chart for this day using 12 noon as the time is uncanny: Could she have known that it was precision electional astrology? Or was it just intuitively the right time for an idea whose time has come. There are five planets in Sagittarius, including Jupiter, the Moon and Neptune which are conjunct in the Ninth House. Even Venus and Uranus are there in Sag. That’s a whole lot of Sagittarius-which uses the centaur as its symbol. The Jupiter/Moon trines the ascendant and the Vertex and while Jupiter rules publishing, with Neptune there, it indicates publishing on spiritual matters.
In Hay’s natal chart, Mercury rules the 3rd house of writing, and Jupiter/Moon is trine the Ascendant. Her natal Jupiter is in Aquarius at 17 degrees and the book sounded a giant Tibetan bell that the new age had arrived. It couldn’t get more favourable for a publishing venture. It looks like it would rain blessings on the venture and that’s exactly what happened.By 2007 Hay House publishing made a turnover of 100 million. By 2011 it had sold 40 million copies and she had long moved into films, CDs, card decks, mobile apps and multi-media. When she died she had certainly built her worth in terms of money. The one loner in the chart is Chiron in Taurus which is opposing Venus in Sagittarius in the 8th- this was perhaps the trade-off where she lost her former anonymous life. Once this book came out, her own life was in her words “never the same again, never!”
She never claimed to ‘heal’ anyone, but she did provide a space to allow people to heal themselves. The list of conditions is very revealing as to how much an underlying emotion could be a reason the condition exacerbates. The culture, religion and society and even parents do not always offer genuine love and support, and in the early era -1980s-many men with AIDs found that Louise Hay was one of the few people willing to provide non-judgmental love and validation to their inner selves. This was remarkably effective. It did not always save them, or cure their condition but it did offer a way to greater self acceptance which they clearly did not get from their parents or from society and allow them to die with more dignity than they previously had. Hay said there was an absence of loving care of themselves in daily habits that could have arisen from parental conflicts. It is no easy feat to train yourself to stop certain thoughts that may be robotic and automatically self-terrorizing. These sessions were called ‘Hayrides’. She presided with her calming presence as the embodiment of Chiron.
Somewhere among the many advances of medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was as if the emotion had been removed, and it fell to Louse Hay to put it firmly back in place. This mostly came from the work of Ernest Holmes and Florence Scovel Shinn who taught the metaphysics of thought and the impact of positive thinking on healing the body.
She had a mellifluous voice, soothing and hypnotic. She had power and presence in groups and with her voice. She talked of harmony and achieving that inner balance which is peace through love. She appeared to be the epitome of the highest expression of Libra with statements like “You can’t have stress and inner harmony at the same time- they don’t equate.’ Yet don’t think Libra is a pushover, there is an excess of cardinality in this sign as it initiates the autumn season, so it has force. There is little mutability so she no doubt had a strong will power and operated that iron fist in a velvet glove.
Venus in Libra at 3 degrees and there is a sheen of beautiful presentation Libra style, and a calmness in her image, plus she seemed to be fair and treat everyone equally, be interested in balance and achieving equilibrium. She was interested in redressing the balance that distorts people away from recognizing their true selves. It is a night chart with the sun and moon below the horizon, so she was subtle, no one expected that when she set up Hay House that it would become one of the biggest new age publishers in the world. She did it in a non-traditional way sidestepping the usual route – she self published which was frowned upon back then in the 1980s. She did it through these skills of nurturing emotional support typical of the Moon ruled chart.
She has Pluto conjunct the north node in Cancer so that she was geared for a high profile role as a ‘carer’, whether she wanted to or not, is right here in the chart. She was heavily criticized by people who thought she was offering false hope, and that her philosophy was a blaming of the self for your own disease. It is easy to read it that way but is a misinterpretation of what she actually said. That she revealed anything at all about herself is a miracle considering her moon in Scorpio which just wants to hide, but she did talk about sexual abuse in childhood.
Mars in Taurus gives a hefty dose of persistence and longevity too, lending that slow-build power that accumulates over time – she started learning Ball Room dancing at age 81. Mars in Taurus also does not give up easily. Her chart profile of elements and modalities shows that she did not have much Mutable energy. She was stronger on the Cardinal and Fixed, but also with little in Earth signs. So the airiness is part of her overall signature.
Quite important here is that the asteroid Pallas Athena is conjunct her sun. Pallas is about equality and strategic wisdom and she certainly had those qualities in abundance. Chariklo, the wife of Chiron, at 23 degrees of Gemini and one might have thought she embodies the energy of Chariklo, that abiding with people who are suffering providing the nurturance. But it takes a lesser role to the Chiron so prominently placed on the MC- and this is the role for which she’ll be remembered. She lead healing groups in Los Angeles and the majority of the people attending were gay men suffering from AIDS. She taught them to love themselves and that offered a shred of hope, but in some cases lead to remission and strengthening of the immune system. It is easy to dismiss, but many swore that these sessions. Her Vesta is conjunct Lillith in Virgo – again associated with healing in a sign that gives service to others.
She said a lot of things and is highly quotable, many of the phrases minted into quotable affirmations to be repeated and planted as seeds in consciousness, yet if ever there was a channeling of the voice of Venus it is these words: “I have never understood the importance of having children memorize battle dates. It seems like such a waste of mental energy. Instead, we could teach them important subjects such as How the Mind Works, How to Handle Finances, How to Invest Money for Financial Security, How to be a Parent, How to Create Good Relationships, and How to Create and Maintain Self-Esteem and Self-Worth. Can you imagine what a whole generation of adults would be like if they had been taught these subjects in school along with their regular curriculum?”
© Proteus Astrology, October 8th, 2019
Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:
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He writes for Celestial Vibes Magazine edited by Aswin Balaj.