Prognosis: shingles, so far (and the astrology of shingles)

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As you, the reader, may have noticed, five days ago I was dreading having my first root canal done. Thankfully, for better or worse, the root canal may not be necessary. But I have since been diagnosed with the painful temporary condition known as shingles. I plan to post a little “shingles journal” or timeline after this, but in this post I will explain how the astrological aspects I described earlier could be misinterpreted to say root canal, but in actuality, it is a much clearer shingles picture.

What are the aspects again? Using a three degree orb, I will mention major aspects that have occurred in the past three weeks. I am excluding Lunar transits due to their very brief time in orb. Transits: Sun conjunct Mars, Sun opposite Saturn, Mercury conjunct Mars, Mars conjunct Mars, Mars opposite Saturn, Mercury station on square Neptune / trine Uranus, Saturn trine Mars, Pluto square Mercury withdrawing, Uranus conjunct Mercury approaching, Chiron opposite Saturn, Chiron conjunct Mars. Progressions: Moon square Pluto, Sun square Jupiter, Venus conjunct Sun, Mars conjunct Mercury.

Why tooth issue?  Well because some of the early symptoms of these shingles, before the rash and sores started forming was tooth and jaw pain.  Astrologically, why tooth issue?  Saturn rules the hard bones / tissues of the body, including teeth.  And if you peek at the above transits again you will see Sun opposite Saturn, plus Mars and Chiron opposite it.  In addition, with the Progressed Moon squaring Pluto (decay, festering under the surface) I figured there might be a chance of a tooth problem.  Not that I would base my medical health on my chart, but it can be a way of verifying the facts.

In reality though, once the rash started showing up last Tuesday, I knew it might not be a root canal problem, especially once my ear started hurting so badly.  Astrologically, why shingles?  Mercury rules the nervous system in the body (along with Uranus), and Mars has to do with the head (Aries rules the cranium, and I would assume it would play a role with cranial nerves).  Look at how many aspects above have to do with Mars and / or Mercury!  Nearly all of them!

Sun conjunct Mars – a brief yet necessary aspect for “sparking events,” this can be a catalyst aspect.  Usually MINOR aspect.  When this aspect occurs, if the window for karmic ripening is open, you can expect something to happen.  Not to be fatalistic or anything, because remember for more karmas, we can shift how heavily they manifest, but around this time of year (it will always fall in the same week every year), I try to watch my chart to see if I should do extra purification practice or if I should rest down more than usual.  The only other time something MAJOR happened when the Sun crossed Mars for me was in 2002 and it may have played a role in reflecting my situation at the time – having an infected appendix which needed to be removed.  But the major aspect which indicated karmic heaviness at that time was Pluto squaring my Nodes.

Sun opposite Saturn – for me this always occurs simultaneously with a Mars aspect as well.  This is also a minor aspect by itself.  However it might indicate a time where the immune system is lowered, whether because of overworking, or stress, or sickness, etc.

Mercury conjunct Mars – probably should have been more aware of the rare nature of this aspect this time around.  Due to Mercury Retrograde, it will cross Mars three times in five weeks.  A very minor aspect typically.  Usually indicating a day or so of increased nervous energy and mental capacity.  However, due to the Retrograde motion, I suspect this might be indicating a time of stressed out nerves.  And probably cranial nerves in particular (Mars = Aries = cranium).

Mars conjunct Mars – usually a minor aspect also.  However, this can be a time for asserting yourself, airing any conflicts which have been swept under the carpet and for having more self confidence.  Just don’t get into a contest of egos.  Again, too much energy to process perhaps when considering everything else happening in my chart.

Mars opposite Saturn – this can sometimes be a rough couple of days.  This represents hitting the brakes and the gas peddle at the time same time!  So you can feel a true inner conflict when this is in place.  I don’t know I felt it externally, but I think it could have added to my psychic stress level.

Mercury station (Retrograde) on square Neptune / trine Uranus – the “Shadow” is the point where Mercury stations retrograde and some astrologers say that it does not officially come out of retrograde until it crosses back over this point.  If this is true, then Mercury retrograde lasts at least another 2 weeks beyond when it actually starts moving direct.  Personally I don’t know how much water this theory holds.  However, I do put some emphasis on the point of the shadow when it makes Hard aspects to other planets.  In my case here, it certainly does this.  I put emphasis on this point because the Shadow lasts at least five and a half weeks – from the moment Mercury stations retrograde to the day it crosses back over this point.  Therefore we have this influence subtly ongoing for that entire time.  Even now I believe I am feeling Mercury retrograde’s “effect” more strongly because of this Shadowy activity.  Mercury square Neptune – confusion or delusion or deception or falling back on old patterns which may not serve me any longer, a.k.a. computer games are tempting me once again.  Mercury trine Uranus – typically a time of increased creativity, but in this case, it could be too much in the way of nervous system activity.  Who knows?

Saturn trine Mars – this aspect has been in place for weeks now for me because Saturn takes about a month to fully station retrograde, then it starts moving Rx after another three weeks…  So this is still going on for me, two months after it started.  Saturn trine Mars is the workaholic aspect.  We have extra energy, we have extra motivation to achieve our goals, we might even be more ambitious.  However, we still need to remember that we are humans and we need self care and rest and some relaxation time.  With this aspect in place, you will not really feel like going for a night on the town very often (if at all).  If stress causes shingles, then this aspect certainly will add to stress levels.  By itself, we can handle it.  But throw on some other tough aspects and suddenly our body might shut down for mysterious reasons if we don’t relax enough.

Pluto square Mercury – this is fading.  However, it is still a strong fulcrum on my planet ruling the central nervous system.  I have been doing lots of emotional processing around birth work, trauma resolution, etc.  This could be another “reason” for getting the shingles.  A lot of times trauma resolution work will manifest through the skin.  And if the body is overloaded with integration requests…  then there might be a mysterious malady which forces us to the slow down and get the rest time we so desperately need.

Uranus conjunct Mercury – if there was one aspect I would put my finger on and say, “here is the bastard!”  That is, I am not saying this aspect “caused” my affliction.  But this aspect definitely applies pressure on the nervous system, whether through stressful outer environments, or stressful inner work, or another reason, we will probably feel stretched and worn out after this aspect resolves.

I think that is all I want to write today.  The only other aspect I would point to and say, “yet another potential shingles aspect” would be Pr. Mars conjunct Mercury.  With Uranus moving into this exact same position, this seems like a recipe for some sort of nervous system ailment.  Not guaranteed.  I certainly did not expect it.  For me, typically, I am lucky in how my karma manifests.  I have to thank my karma every day.  I am born in a human body where I can do authentic spiritual practice.  I have a functioning brain, which allows me to make positive choices.  And I have incredible support around me in the form of friends and family and spiritual mentors / teachers.  So what can I possibly have to complain about?  🙂    I might have a little complaint about the painful nature of shingles, but otherwise I am doing okay.

Thanks for reading!


Published by Kirby Moore

Kirby Moore is a healing facilitator based in the beautiful rolling hills of Charlottesville, Virginia. He does sessions in-person and long distance via Skype and Zoom, working with Spiritual Astrology, Somatic Experiencing, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Birth Process Work. His healing work is informed by fifteen years of meditation and Qigong practice. He works with client's intentions and deepest longings to attain clear, tangible results. Contact him for more info at (email): kirby [at] mkirbymoore [dot] com

9 thoughts on “Prognosis: shingles, so far (and the astrology of shingles)

  1. Hi, I just read your article with great interest as I’ve been blessed with a bout of Shingles, too, commencing 3 April 2015. It’s now 26 April, so I’m on the mend, thankfully. I experienced searing, “electrical” pains in the head, ear and side of neck, with blisters forming on the scalp. The week prior to this I felt really stressed…so, yes, I’d definitely agree it can be brought on by high levels of stress.

    I was trying to figure out the astrological dynamics of Shingles and am only fairly new to astrology, so your article was wonderful to read.

    3rd of April, the only aspects I can see are: Natal Mercury square Tr. Saturn (it is in trine aspect in the birthchart), Tr. Uranus was semisquare Pr. Mercury. These are within 1 degree orb. However, if one considers Tr. Saturn at 3 degrees approaching an opposition to the Diurnal Ascendant as well, that could contribute, I suppose.

    (Tr. Uranus is semisquare my Natal Sun at the same time).

    The next day I had Tr. Mercury (Diurnal ruler) square Pr. Mars…maybe that also might count. My birthtime has been rectified, so maybe there is a bit of leeway there.

    Tr. Saturn squaring Natal Mercury is quite a long-lasting aspect.

    Apart from these aspects, I really don’t see anything else major happening.

    So, if anyone has any comments, I’d really welcome hearing your contributions! Astrology is such fun, isn’t it!

    Blessings to all!

    1. Hi Dee,

      I am sorry to hear about your case of shingles. This is one of the most unfortunate of diseases – it does not get enough attention in my opinion as most people eventually fully recover from it.

      As far as astrology goes – keep in mind that we create the world we live in. Astrology provides influences but we are the ones making the choices. When we feel run down – what do we do? Rest, keep going a little longer, choose something different? Shingles was a rude wake up call to me that my health is not something to take care of last.

      Regarding astrology – you did not mention any Progressed aspects. Look there – especially progressed MidHeaven and Ascendant (as these are often overlooked). Of course make certain your birth time is correct if you will look there.

      Good luck and I hope you are feeling better,


      1. Hi Kirby,

        Thanks, I checked the Progressed MC at 16 Aries and Tr. Uranus was conjunct it, and has been crossing backward and forwards. Tr. Uranus is also almost to square of Natal Uranus at 19 degrees Cancer (within the 3 degree orb)… I can really feel the Uranus activation in a lot of areas! Even Solar Arc Uranus is opposition Sun. I have Aquarius Natal MC, too…

        Not much to report on the Pr. Asc…only opposite Natal Vertex, that’s all…

        I’m now seriously studying Astrology…just commenced a course…yay!

        Isn’t Astrology fascinating!

        Celestial blessings to you,

    2. the saturn mercury back and forth can be some of the influence. look at the midpoint of the uranus pluto square.

      1. Hey Thomas,

        Thank you for your comments! 😀

        Yes, that’s interesting about the midpoint Uranus/Pluto. I have a very simple astro program, but I guess the midpoint would be around 0 degrees Pisces…and I have Natal Mercury at 3 degrees Pisces…

        Your comments are interesting, thanks Thomas.


    3. Hi again Dee,

      I may have responded a bit too quickly earlier. With some time to reflect.. I’m glad you are looking at Uranus and mercury – both natural rulers of the nervous system. With Mars being involved, this could also reflect the inflammatory response which burns so badly.

      For me, there was no major troubling aspect going on when I got shingles. Yes there were several minor aspects, but I was surprised and amazed at the way my system required time to rest. I had literally been burning the candle at both ends for at least 12 months.

      In my natal chart however, I think that is where the astrological secret lay – Mars opposite Saturn in my 2nd and 8th houses respectively (immune system naturally needs to be gently cared for and inflammatory diseases are quite possible), Saturn is in Virgo, along with my Hades Moon in Libra and my Pisces Sun, this added up to my willingness to continue taking on responsibility and tasks. I had difficulty saying “No.” So I needed a serious wake up call to practice self care and slow down.

      Thanks for commenting!

      1. Hey Kirby,

        Thanks for your input…very interesting! 🙂

        I have Pisces Sun also…I am pretty careful with health, diet, sleep, exercise etc…so I was surprised when I got Shingles. I do supress emotions and we Pisces don’t like confrontation…so I guess the stress goes into the body. Like you, it was a wake up call, and I think it’s telling me that I need to learn to handle stress in a more healthy way, I guess.

        I’m still getting after pains, I guess you’d call them, not really painful but I am aware that something is going on there still…

        Take care, Kirby…Interesting blog! 😀


  2. hey Kirby, this is tomas, perhaps you recall me as a student of Julie Henderson also. I just googled shingles and transits and found your blog. ha ha ha ha ho…. I had shngles this year just at Losar, after doing five days of a vajrasattva practice of purifying the six lokas. I led the practice at Namkhai Norbu’s gonpa in tashigar sur, in argentina.

    My larger transits at the time were saturn square sun (station retrograde days later), and several things happening with my pluto—neptune just coming into opp conjunct mercury and mars opp pluto , jupiter square pluto too. it was also in the last moments when uranus was in orb square my moon. and pluto was just coming into orb conjunct my saturn.

    Julie said to ask wisdom beings to slow down and cool down the purification, as the Italians call shingles (and related hot afflictions of the skin) the “fire of Saint Anthony.” Psychosomatically, I see it as a symptomatic manifestation of the stress I had in many aspects of my life over the past several months.

    1. Hi Tomas!

      I have seen some of your emails via the Zapchenista group line 🙂 Wow – sounds like you had quite a number of challenging aspects happening around that time. Although it seems like our shingles were happening around the same time. It would have been Losar that I participated in a potent birth-process workshop (which I feel I did not have time to integrate and digest, so it simply added to my stresses). I went on experience shingles shortly thereafter.

      Thanks for the comment and I hope you are feeling better!


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