It all started with the After-Eight mint.
What a Christmas present! It was 1981; new marriage, new home, new experiences, new horizons opening up in my life’s work of Astrology - and the Heavens fell in.
Other people had migraine. Our friend Thelma had migraine. She would be stranded at our house and her husband had to abandon his evening and turn out in the cold and dark to pick her up in their second car. I never knew what she was suffering.
When I found out, I understood what is was to feel suicidal for up to five days on end, sometimes twice in each menstrual cycle. I joined the 5%-10% of the population shifting heaven and earth to get some handle on controlling this invasive and vicious thing - the diets, the healers, the pills, the therapies, the talismans, the life-styles, the everything that never really worked. But at least I knew when I was vulnerable and couldn’t keep my promises.
Then came the hysterectomy, and any semblance of a timetable was reduced to chaos. In despair, with appointments left, right and centre having to be cancelled at short notice or none at all, I turned to the one thing that had never let me or my clients down - astrology.
“Everything that is born, or done, at a moment in time has the qualities of that moment of time” wrote Carl Jung in his fascinating little book on Synchronicity. This was his summing-up of what he observed from a long and careful study of the astrology of marriage partners. Surely migraine could be no exception; surely it would occur repeatedly under similar types of sky?
Each of us reflects in our entire physical, mental and emotional nature the patterns of flow and tension between the Sun, Moon and planets in their geometrical relationships to the Earth at the moment and the locality of our birth. They make a silent music - and each of our lives is a chord of that music, held, but also developing into a unique melody. Now, every day the Sun-circling planets in this celestial concert strike further chords that resonate periodically with yours, or mine. If you are particularly sensitive to the meaning carried by that planet, the notes it is playing will strike a response in you - emotional, intellectual, or physical. And the physical response might be migraine.
Because of the pain, the afflicted head, and the warning, delicious ‘high’ before the attack, any astrologer would immediately pick on Mars as the most likely culprit. And I already had the planet in a most difficult, tense and sensitive position in my own earth-centred birth sky. Its geometry with the planets around the sun was even worse; a nasty 90-degree triangle showed energy surging and exhausting in an unstable see-saw of extreme highs and prostrated lows.
I then spent months working through a 3-year migraine diary I was still keeping meticulously, and marked the worst attacks, the longest, the brief, the vaguely nauseous. It was such a relief to find in each instance a crash, as it were, of the Mars cymbals, or a long roll on its drums, just as I had expected. It meant that I could now look ahead in the ephemeris to highlight similar patterns relating to my natal horoscope, and at last plan as many commitments as possible well clear of the dates on which these fell. No more 11th-hour phone calls, no more grovelling apologies (why did I always feel guilty? Migraineurs can’t help it!) No more disappointed gatherings, no more postponed clients who might never come back. No more being the Big Let-Down.
Has it worked? Yes, very well on the whole. Occasionally I am taken by surprise and have to take an unscheduled rest; but when I look again I have usually missed a Mars pattern that greater thoroughness or more experience would have spotted. The attacks can come in the most stressless and humdrum of weeks, but there will be Mars. Another week can be full of excitement, even of stress - but, no Mars pattern, no migraine! I am learning all the time.
This Mars timetable, together with the blessing of sumatriptan when one has to keep going even over a dodgy patch, has truly given me my life back. Now I wonder how many of you reading this would find the same thing happening if we looked at your birth charts and the way the Red Planet is interacting with them?