PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact




ii             MAGIC HEALING IN THE PRE-CHRISTIAN ERA           59
Apart from this, these astrological ideas lie at the foundation of modern psychotherapy. Mesmer's main thesis was a discussion of the influence of the stars upon the human body. Nor was Mesmer original in this. Paracelsus (1493-1541) before him had definitely stated that' a doctor without the knowledge of stars can neither understand the cause or cure of any disease, either of this (?) or goute, no, not so much as a toothache ' {Lib. de podagra). He declared that all life emanated from the stars and that ' the sun governed the head ; the moon governed the brain ; Jupiter governed the liver ; Saturn governed the lungs ; Mars governed the bile ; Venus governed the loins \ He also attributed occult and miraculous powers to the magnet in the treatment of disease. During the early centuries of the Christian era the majority of physicians were believers in astrology and were inclined to seek the cause and determine the treatment and prognosis of any given case by observation of the position of the planets in the sky, rather than by examining the conditions of the patient's bodily organs.
It would be a mistake to imagine that these ideas are dead and are not held by educated people in our own generation. The bearings of astrology on disease and health have recently been defended by Cyril Scott,204 who states that ' there is in truth but one disease, having as its dual cause self-poisoning and deficiency \ Its manifestations, as he admits, may of course be different, such as ' rheumatism in one individual, as diabetes in another, as consumption in a third, as cancer in a fourth \ And ' in order to understand the various manifestations of disease we must turn to the study of astrology \ Mr. Scott, who evidently does not share St. Augustine's views on astrologers, states that ' the type of body of each individual is governed by