The Four Elements and Humors


Traditional Medical Astrology is a specific branch of Traditional Astrology which deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of health issues.

This is the astrology that was practiced widely in Europe until the 18th century when doctors were also astrologers.

The Building Blocks

Every object in our perceivable universe is composed of four building blocks called elements (fire, air, water and earth). Our bodies and minds are no exception. Disease arises when an imbalance in those four elements reaches a certain critical level. Too much fire indicates that our body is too hot and too dry, too much earth: too cold and too dry, and so on. That root imbalance will manifest through the weakest parts of our body/mind according to our constitution and history; what we then see are the symptoms of the imbalance both physically and mentally.

A horary astrological chart is cast in order to map out the conditions of a living organism and determine whether there is an imbalance present and to what extent. Then the practitioner is able to accurately tell what course that imbalance is likely to take if nothing is done about it. Based on that information a treatment to restore balance can be devised.

The Four Elements

In Medical Astrology those four elements are referred to as humors. They are:


(Yellow Choler)
Hot and Dry


Cold and Moist


Hot and Moist


(Black Choler)
Cold and Dry

Symptoms vs. Root Cause

Various traits set traditional healing systems such as Medical Astrology apart from modern western medicine. The main one to be understood is that through a horary astrological chart two very distinct facets of a disease (humoral imbalance) can be accurately determined: the symptoms, that is — how the imbalance or disease manifests or appears to the observer AND the root humoral cause which gave rise to the symptoms.

With that information in-hand, the practitioner devises a treatment to both minimize the uncomfortable, painful, or life threatening symptoms AND eradicate the root cause. Treatments that only address the symptoms are often able to suppress them, but since the root cause remains un-addressed the symptoms either return more strongly or new/different symptoms arise. Thus, the body begins to accumulate a collection of illnesses all chained to a central humoral imbalance that was never seen.

Example: A Heavy Cold

The symptom can be an infection, inflammation or fever which is a clear picture of excess of  fire (yellow choler). The root cause however, in most cases, is an excess of water (phlegm) in the body.

How does modern western medicine address the cold? By killing the infection with antibiotics and reducing the fever. That is, it suppresses the symptoms; but along with that it hinders the body’s natural healing process. Thus the treatment is, in fact, hurting the body and not healing it in the long run. If that is done once or twice it is not much of a problem; but if that process is repeated every time one catches a heavy cold the immune system gets debilitated and a chronic snowball of symtoms begin with more and more colds in frequency, duration and strength.

The actual cure in reality involves raising the body’s temperature in order to dry it up and remove the excess of coldness and moisture (water) which caused the problem in the first place. This, by the way, the body knows how to do well on its own. The traditional healer would simply assist the process and provide means to reduce the symptomatic discomfort, and remove any danger of extreme heat..

Of course, there are extreme cases in which the imbalance is so severe that we need antibiotics and fever reducing measures in order to save a life.

Treating the elemental root cause of the illness is paramount in true healing. If that is not done, chronic diseases develop as aging progresses.

Horary – An Accurate Diagnostic Tool

The example above demonstrates that the humoral cause does not always correspond to the humoral quality of the symptoms. Therefore the correct tool and the correct technique must be used in order to diagnose cause and symptoms separately.

The correct tool is horary. A Medical Horary provides an accurate diagnostic method to determine the proportion of the elements in a living being.

The correct Horary technique is the one found in William Lilly’s Christian Astrology and brought to light by John Frawley, which I call “Dispositor Diagnosis”. Using house 6, or using the sign where the body significator is located in horary, does not produce the correct diagnosis.


Watch the video of this diagnostic tool

Related Webinars

Medical Astrology, Diagnostic Horary – 2
Medical Astrology, Diagnostic Horary – 1