"I have known it for a long time but I have only
just experienced it. Now I know it not only
with my intellect, but with my eyes,
with my heart, with my stomach."
— Hermann Hesse
The following is taken from Ted Andrews' The Healer's Manual.
Ted Andrews is a full-time author and teacher in the metaphysical and spiritual
fields. Ted is certified in basic hypnosis through the New Life Center of
Hypnotherapy in West Virginia and basic acupressure through the Center for
Chinese Medicine in California.
Our body is more than a simple physical shell comprised of organs et al. It has a significance much greater than we often imagine. All energies upon the earth and those of the heavens play themselves out through it. Seeing the body as more than just a physical instrument that enables us to exist is crucial to empowering ourselves and enhancing our health.
Our body is a microcosm. It is a universe of energies unto itself. It reflects the greater energies of the universe the macrocosm. When humans are called a microcosm, it should not infer that we are just a part of the universe, but rather that we are a miniature universe.
This means our hands are not just instruments for grabbing and holding on. Our legs are not just for standing and moving. Our heart is not just for pumping blood. Every part of our body has a significance much greater than its physical responsibilities. Every aspect of our body has an occult or hidden significance. These are points which the energies of the universe flow through and manifest. They are points in which our own mental, emotional, and spiritual attitudes and energies have dynamic play.
We are susceptible to influence from all energies around us. This includes the energies from that which we ingest in some form (food, air, drink, etc), as well as those energies outside of us to which we are exposed (people, environments, attitudes, sounds, etc).
Our body is an energy resonator and monitor. It has the capacity to resonate with almost any form of energy positive or negative. Under normal conditions the body has a natural ability to throw off negative influences before problems can develop.
The body also monitors the energies we are exposed to by providing us with physical feedback through symptoms. If we are exposed to positive influences and energies, we become stronger and more energized. If we are overly exposed to negative influences, we lose energy, develop aches or illnesses, or manifest some
dis-ease in a physical form. Our body informs us of a problem area within our body and also in our life. Where the problem manifests provides the clues as to the source of the problem.
The Occult Significance of Specific Symptoms
The symptoms we experience in our dis-ease can tell us much of the emotional, mental, and spiritual states that have helped the imbalance to manifest. The following are not diagnostic. They are descriptions of common symptoms experienced for various health imbalances. The hidden significances associated with them are not all-inclusive. They are simply designed to give you a starting point in examining those elements in your life which help to create
dis-ease. They should help trigger specific insights into your own unique condition.
Keep in mind that most symptoms have physical causes that must be rooted out. For example, cramps can be caused by a lack of calcium in the diet. We can help correct the problem by including more calcium, but if we do not get to what made us ignore our calcium intake, the problem is more likely to resurface again somewhere down the road.
Yes, the physical symptom must be dealt with from a physical level, but there is also a metaphysical cause that assisted that problem in manifesting. We must try and determine what emotional, mental, or spiritual conditions have assisted in allowing the physical
dis-ease to manifest. If we don't, we are practicing a band-aid type of health care instead of taking a holistic, preventative approach.
Chills and Fevers
Chills are sensations of coldness, usually accompanied by shivering. They often occur at intervals with fevers. A fever is an abnormal or undue rise in body temperature, often accompanied by a quickening of the pulse. These two symptoms reflect the body working to shake off, burn off, and re-align itself.
Two basic precepts of physics are reflected in symptoms of chills and fevers. If we wish to convert matter into spirit, we must raise its energy or apply heat. If we wish to convert spirit into matter we must condense it, such as drawing it down through the application of coldness. For example, to turn ice into steam, we apply heat. To convert steam into ice, we apply cold. A fever reflects the conversion of matter into spirit. The raising of the temperature and the quickening of the pulse are designed to heat up and burn off the toxins in the physical body. This conversion of toxins through fever is a form of elimination. It also allows our subtle bodies to extend away from the physical body to draw more energy into and through them to enhance the healing process.
A chill reflects the conversion of spirit to matter, or an aligning of spirit and matter more fully. The shivering that often accompanies chills is a means of drawing the subtle bodies back into alignment with the physical.
If we experience stronger symptoms of fevers it can tell us that we are losing touch with the spiritual. It can reflect a toxic congestion with physical matters. It can indicate the need to stimulate the physical body into greater activity, to raise the pulse. Have you been more sedentary lately? Have you not been acting upon things as you should? Have you been allowing things to sit and accumulate? Have you neglected aspects of yourself other than the physical? Are things heating up around you and you are not acting upon them? Are your desires heating up and not being expressed? Are you holding in anger about something, so that it has to try and release itself from the physical before a problem arises?
If we are experiencing chills, it can reflect a number of possibilities as well. Chills cause contraction, a pulling in. Are you in some way pulling into yourself? Have you been more scattered and flaky lately, needing to pull in and ground yourself? Have you been involved in so many activities that you have left no time for yourself? Are things and activities about you scattered and disorganized? Are you trying to shake some new order into your life? Is there so much activity that you are having difficulty absorbing it all? Have you been feeling insecure, left out in the cold in some area of your life?
Congestion is a condition in which an area of the body becomes filled to excess or overburdened. It is an excessive accumulation of blood , mucus, etc, in the vessels of an organ or a part of an organ. Sinuses and lungs are the most common places of congestion, although constipation is also a form of congestion.
Where the congestion occurs can tell us much about what we are overburdening ourselves with. If our head is congested, what does this tell us of our thought processes? Are we allowing irritation to build within us? Are our worries, doubts, and fears filling our head, congesting it?
If the congestion occurs in the lungs, creating breathing problems, this can tell us much as well. Are we holding in our emotions? Lung congestion can reflect a suppressed or inner crying that needs to be brought out. Are we refusing to allow more things and people in our life or is this being prevented by others? Are we not feeling the right to take up space and so are congesting ourselves? Is there depression or sadness that is filling the heart and not being expressed? This also can cause congestion. Are we afraid to take in life (breath), and so congest the lungs to prevent ourselves from doing so? Are we feeling stifled or doing some stifling in some way?
Constipation is also a form of congestion. It often reflects a refusal to eliminate old ideas, emotions, and patterns that are no longer beneficial. Individuals that are stuck in the past and refuse to change often experience varying degrees of constipation.
Cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions of a muscle or group of muscles. Many physical conditions can cause cramps, ranging from a lack of calcium in the system, to exercising a muscle vigorously without a warm-up, to a lack of food or oxygen.
There are also metaphysical conditions that can help put us in a position to manifest cramps. With cramps there is a strong contraction of the muscle. It is a drawing in, a holding on. This is often a response of fear or a refusal to take time to relax. It reflects tension, a holding in of everything.
Where the cramps occur can tell you much. Cramps in the hands may tell you that you are trying to hold on too tightly to something or that you don't want to let yourself go. Your body, through the cramping, is telling you that you need to relax and let go. If in the legs, it may be telling you that you are moving and working too much. It is not unusual to find individuals who are workaholics and
"supermoms" experiencing cramps in the hands and legs.
Menstrual cramps are not quite as easy to pinpoint. With many women, the intensity of the cramps vary from month to month. An examination of activities, emotions, and general life experiences over several months will help pinpoint problem areas. Menstrual cramps can reflect issues centered around one's own femininity and should be reflected upon as well.
Fatigue is very simply telling us that we are tired, but not just on a physical level. It can reflect a "tired of life" attitude that has begun to affect the physical energy levels. What are you really tired of in your life your job, your partner, the constant stress from the family, etc?
When there is a lack of love for your activities, fatigue creeps in. Are you not taking time to include enjoyable, fun activities in your life? Have you forgotten that the human essence needs play time? Sometimes fatigue will arise to encourage us to find ways of playing.
Infections are a sign that poisons or toxins are in the body or a part of the body. Infections can reflect or reveal negativity, anger, and fears that are beginning to affect the physical life of the individual, making us more susceptible to infection or its spread. Are there toxic thoughts, fears, and worries that you are harboring and nursing? Is there disharmony and negativity around you that you are allowing to affect you? Are you permitting yourself to be exposed to negative and unhealthy people, situations, environs? What bad habits are we fostering that may be allowing toxins to accumulate?
To infect means "to affect or contaminate (a person, organ, wound, etc) with dis-ease producing germs" and "to taint or contaminate with something that affects the quality, character or condition unfavorably." This definition should tell us how to approach the examination of any infection we have manifested. Who or what has been affecting the quality, character, and condition of your life unfavorably recently?
Inflammation reveals itself in the human body through "redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and a generally disturbed function of an area of the body, usually as a reaction to an injurious agent." This definition provides many clues to the occult significance of any inflammation that occurs in our life.
What injurious agent (person, condition, attitude, negativity, etc) have you been exposing yourself to? Have you been harboring annoyance and aggravation at individuals and situations? Is there anger and frustration that you have not found a proper outlet for? What is intruding upon and preventing feelings of peacefulness and calm within your life? Are you angry and frustrated with your life or some specific life conditions? Are you being overly critical of yourself or exposing yourself to those who are overly critical of you? Do you not approve of yourself at this time for some reason? Are you refusing to change old patterns (especially if the inflammation recurs)?
Irritations are a lesser degree of inflammation in many ways. Some of the symptoms are the same, but irritations also could include burning and itching. The same questions for inflammations should also be asked for irritations.
Is something burning you up and aggravating you in your life? Is there an unexpressed desire or unfulfilled wish (an itch) that you are not acting upon? Are you literally itching to do something but not acting upon it? Where is there dissatisfaction in your life? What is unresolved and so still burns or itches? Who or what is most irritating to you at the time? Is there a fear that your needs and desires will be unfulfilled? Are you not happy with your present position in life?
Nausea is a sickness or queasiness of the stomach. It can be accompanied by the involuntary impulse to vomit. There is much hidden significance in this, and examining your own life when we experience this symptom can reveal tremendous insight.
What are we sick of in our life? What attitude(s) have we been exposed to that we do not want to digest? What are we trying to throw off or expel (in the case of vomiting)? Is there a fear of rejection? Is there a rejection to someone or something? Are we not feeling safe and secure? Are we having difficulty swallowing something?
Pain comes in many forms and disguises, and so it can be difficult at times to pinpoint those areas that have aggravated and helped manifest the pain we are experiencing. In general, it can reflect such feelings as guilt, nursing old hurts, overly critical attitudes by others or ourselves, longings, resistance to new moves and changes, and feelings of a lack of freedom.
The location of the pain can provide much insight. Is it a headache? If so, maybe it has to do with what we are thinking about ourselves. If it is a heartache, maybe it reflects our feelings or lack of feelings for
ourself, and even a lack of expression of love. It is not unusual for someone who talks of others being a "pain in the neck" to develop soreness and stiffness of the neck.
Pain can be chronic or acute. Chronic pain often recurs and persists. With chronic pain and conditions we often find a refusal to change. It can reflect longstanding fears and overworn patterns of behavior. An acute pain is sharp, and often severe and intense. It reflects a drastic call to attention by the body. Both can reflect sensitivity to criticism and an overwhelming by details.
Examine your pain. Is it achy? Throbbing? Steady? Sharp? All can provide clues as to what may be lying behind the physical symptom itself. Are you longing for something? Do you long for love? Are you not approving of yourself or do not feel the approval of others? Are you punishing yourself or feeling guilty? Are you being overly critical not being gentle enough with yourself? Are you restricting yourself or your activities unnecessarily? Who or what is really being a pain in your life at this time? If it is chronic, who or what is always a pain in your life?
Swelling often indicates a clogged attitude or process in life. Those who are stuck in old patterns often find they have repeated problems with swelling. The body area affected can reflect much. For example, swollen ankles, such as through water retention, can reflect a refusal to let others move on.
Swelling can also reflect being stuck in outworn patterns and ideas. It can also reflect issues surrounding self-esteem. Are we being too puffed up about something? Are we not expanding and growing when we have the opportunities (and thus the swelling and growth becomes clogged internally)? Are we inflating things out of proportion? Are we becoming too emotional and not allowing common sense and practical thinking to be utilized? Are we protruding into other's lives or areas where we should not be?
These are just some of the symptoms and some of their significances. Examination of your own will elicit specific insights. Don't become superstitious in this process of analysis. For example, if a happy, healthy child cuts his or her foot while playing, and develops a slight infection, don't assume that the child helped manifest this problem. Accidents do happen and not everything can be controlled while we are in the physical, but much of it can. The more we become aware of it, the healthier we will stay. We should try to learn something about ourself and how our physical body responds to what we are exposed to in the world every time a
Some Occult Significances of the Body
Not only do symptoms reflect other forces or energies at work in our life, but the body part or organ that experiences the symptom can provide even further insight. The body has often been viewed as a microcosm, as a unique symbol for the expression of certain forces within our life. The body part or organ can reflect where those forces or energies are being expressed or experienced in an unbalanced manner.
Study the parts of the body. Become familiar with their functions and the systems they belong to. This can provide clues as to how balanced or unbalanced we work with natural propensities.
The following descriptions are not all-inclusive. They are simply a guideline for you to begin your own self-examination. They will help you in beginning to take back upon yourself the responsibility for your own health and life.
This is the joint connecting the feet and the legs. It is a point at which movement can occur forward and/or upward. The ankles are the symbol for support in your movements. Are they strong or weak? What does this say about your own movements or lack of movement in life?
The right angle they form between the feet and the lower part of the legs is significant. It reflects operating in two dimensions or two planes. They are symbols to remind us to move forward on the physical while reaching for the spiritual. Are we working in both levels? Are we trying to lead a cloistered existence? Are we staying grounded while we work on our spiritual evolvement? Are we ignoring the spiritual and becoming too immersed in the physical? Are we not wanting or resisting movement in a specific direction in our life?
This is the opening for excretion to occur. It is the point in the body where we let go of waste and that which is no longer useable by the body. It is the symbol of release and letting go. Pain in this area can reflect an aching to release something or someone, as can itching.
Are we holding onto that which is no longer beneficial? Are we trying to hold onto the past? Are we letting life rush by us, watching but not participating fully? Are we feeling over-burdened or afraid to let go? Are we rejecting what life is offering us? Are we feeling rejected by someone or something in our life?
This upper limb of the body is a symbol of our ability to embrace and hold life experiences. It is a symbol of activity, work and play. Strong arms reflect an ability to handle activities well, along with an ability to reach for new heights.
If we have problems with our arms, is it because we are overextending our reach? Are we not extending it out when we should? Are we wanting to strike out? Are we blaming others for that which we can't reach or hold onto? Are we trying to shoulder too much responsibility? Are we giving away our responsibility? Are we feeling things are hopeless and we are beyond help? Do we feel as if we won't be able to pull ourselves through certain situations?
The gall bladder is a small sac in which bile secreted by the liver is stored until needed for the process of fat digestion. Problems in this area can indicate we are trying to digest things too quickly or are not digesting what we have experienced; we are not learning our lessons. Such problems as gallstones can indicate we are holding onto hard thoughts and bitter experiences rather than moving past them. We are holding onto the past and allowing it to fill our life, rather than moving forward with joy and anticipation to the future.
The urinary bladder is a smooth muscle sac which is integral to the elimination of urine from the body. Problems in this area usually are amplified and manifested through anxiety, and anger. "Are you 'pissed off' at someone?" "Is someone 'pissed off' at you?" Weak bladders often stem from fears often childhood fears that are never fully resolved. Fear of letting go of the past or what is no longer beneficial (even if it is familiar and thus safe) can cause bladder problems. An attitude of "better the devil you know than the one you don't" can cause elimination problems, especially affecting the urinary bladder.
This is the life fluid of the individual. It has great importance and great hidden significance as well. It represents the flow of life energy. It contains the life essence and pattern of the individual, past and present, which is partly why it was often a part of ancient mystical rites. It represents the vitality and joy of life.
Such conditions as high and low blood pressure have hidden significance as well. High blood pressure often reflects longstanding and unresolved emotional problems or turmoil. The past is not being released; simply and continually kept at a low oil. It is not unusual to find individuals with high blood pressure stuck in old, worn-out patterns and emotions and not moving on. Low blood pressure can reflect fear and/or apathy to movement in life. A "what's the use" attitude is common. Blood infections and anemia are common as well.
Blood infections should be examined as well. What toxic thoughts are we allowing to infect our vitality? Are we dissipating our primal vital forces in an unhealthy manner (bad or negative habits)? With anemia, there is a deficiency of red blood cells. In such cases are we limiting vital activities in our life? Are we afraid to let go and enjoy life?
Bones are the support system of the body. They are the foundation and structure. They have been symbols for the seeds of life and even of resurrection. Problems with bones tell us that there is something wrong in an area of our life's foundation and structure. We may need to rebuild, re-balance, re-strengthen, or completely re-structure. It can also indicate problems with authority.
The spine is often likened to the great Tree of Life. It is the main support of the body. Are we not receiving the support we need from others? Are we not giving the support others need from us? What kind of support are we lacking or needing financial, loving, emotional, sexual, etc? Do we feel like others are "always on our back"? Are we trying to carry too much on our own backs? Are we not living the courage of our convictions, demonstrating "no spine"?
The brain is the main computer in our nervous system. It is the center of thought, memory, analysis, intuition, etc. Thus the area of the brain affected can provide clues as to where we may be creating problems. There were many ancient beliefs that the brain and the skull were the doorways by which the spirit leaves at death and enters at birth. Physical problems can reflect problems in our thought processes. Are we holding onto thoughts that are not beneficial? Are our thoughts malignant? Are our thoughts distorted?
The breasts are the milk-secreting organs of the body in the female. They are symbols of nurturing, nourishment, mothering, and sexuality. If we are having problems in this area of the body, we need to ask ourselves questions as to what made us more susceptible to them. Have we been nursing old wounds? Are we grieving or forgetting to grieve (remember the tradition of beating one's breast in mourning)? Are we feeling undernurtured by those we love? Are we afraid of growing up and maturing (as reflected in breast development)? Are we over-mothering or smothering those around us? Are we not allowing ourselves to develop in the manner best for us?
The ears are the organs by which we hear. They also serve as centers for maintaining balance. If problems arise, what is it we do not want to hear? What is it we wish to hear but do not? Is there too much activity so that we can not truly discern what is going on? Are we not listening to that inner voice when we should? Do we allow the words and actions of others to disrupt or disturb our own balance? Do we follow the words of others rather than our own inner voice? Are we trying to isolate ourselves or are we feeling isolated by others? Are we being too stubborn, refusing to hear any side but our own, or are we constantly around others like that?
The eyes are our means for seeing. They are the symbols of vision and clairvoyance. They are the windows to the soul. If our vision is blurred, what are we not wishing to see? What do we have a distorted perception about? If our vision clouds (such as with cataracts), what are we clouding out of our life? Do we see no sunshine in our present or our future?
If we are farsighted , do we have difficulty looking at those things closest to us? Are we too focused on the future, the unmanifest? As many get older, the lens in the eye becomes more rigid, creating farsightedness. As we get older are we becoming more rigid, less flexible in our lives?
In nearsightedness , we see things clearly that are near but not those that are far. Are we becoming too focused on our self? Are we refusing to see the "big picture"? Are we afraid to look ahead to the future?
The feet are our support system. They enable us to stand and to move with ease. They are at the ground level of the body, at the foundation of our structure. The feet are symbols of stability and firmness. They help us to move upright. If we are having problems, what is changing around us in life? Is our foundation slipping? Are we refusing to move when we have the opportunity? Are we moving into areas we shouldn't? Is our basic understanding of ourselves and our lives weak? Are we not being as upright as we should? Are there others around us who are walking all over us, stepping on our feet? Do we need to take a firmer stand in our life?
Hands and Fingers
These are our tools for touching, caressing, and handling life's experiences. We use them to give and take, to attract and repel, to grasp or to push away. They can be raised in benediction or in anger. In traditional symbolism, the position of the hand was what was significant, and each finger had its own meaning.
If problems arise, are we refusing to touch or be touched by others? Are we holding too tightly onto something or someone? Are we releasing when we shouldn't be? Are we feeling victimized in some way? Are we allowing others to handle us and our affairs when we should be doing it ourselves? Are we intruding and handling the affairs of others when we shouldn't?
The heart is the primary organ of the circulatory system. It is the seat of life and the soul. It is the center for healing and loving. It is the sun center of the body. It is an ancient symbol for our feelings and emotions. It contains and works with our lifeblood.
Heart problems often reflect problems with the way in which we handle, experience, and/or express love and emotions. Are we hardened toward someone or something? Are we constricting our love or feeling it constricted by others? Are we limiting the joy in our life? Are we allowing our emotions and love to be the brunt of attack by others? Do we attack the manner in which others love, openly or internally? Do we feel we have to always give love and show love, even to those who don't appreciate it or acknowledge it? Do we believe we must always be working and struggling and sacrificing ourselves for others? Do we have an unhealthy concept of martyrdom in our life?
Hips and Buttocks
The hips and buttocks are symbols of balance, sexuality, and power. the hips particularly are important to the balance of the body, especially in forward movement. Problems with the hips may reflect problems in moving forward in our life. Are we unbalanced or unsure of our next movements? Are we allowing fear to restrict our movement forward?
The hips and buttocks are strong symbols of power and sexuality. If they are firm, it can reflect a firm and balanced sense of one's own power and sexuality in life. Loose and fleshy hips and buttocks may reflect insecurity in regard to one's power and sexuality. Are we hesitant to move forward? Are we not moving forward as strongly as we could? Are we expending our energies and power in unproductive endeavors?
The intestines are part of the digestive system of the body. They are the lower part of the alimentary canal. The small intestines work to digest and absorb nutrients, and the large intestines absorb water and eliminate the residue of digestion.
Problems in the intestinal tract often reflect problems in absorbing and eliminating elements and experiences in our life. Are we not learning what we need to be learning? Are lessons repeating themselves, just as with indigestion food will repeat on us? Do we hang onto everything and refuse to let some situations pass? Do we hold onto the past and try to draw our nourishment from that which no longer provides it? Are we not taking time to assimilate new experiences? Do we not approve of ourselves and so do not see what life is offering to us? Do we need to learn that there is time and space for everything we want to do?
The kidneys are glandular organs which excrete urine. They serve as filters of blood plasma to separate substances not needed by the body from those which are.
Kidney problems often reflect lack of discernment and discrimination. Our judgment may be off. Are we not recognizing who or what is or is not beneficial in our life? Are we not recognizing the good in our life? Are we not seeing that there is good and potential learning in all situations? Are we being too critical of ourselves or others? Are we wallowing in disappointment and failures and not using them to grow by? Are we approaching everything and everyone with rose-colored glasses, seeing only good in all things?
Knees and Elbows
All joints, such as knees and elbows, provide opportunity for ease of movement and use of limbs. They enable us to move and change directions in movements and activities. They are symbols of our flexibility and our ability to flow and move.
If we are having problems with joints, we should ask ourselves if we are being too stubborn and inflexible? Are we hesitant to try new things or new approaches? Are we hesitant to step out into new directions? Are the new directions in which we are moving too painful or unbalanced for us? Are we refusing to give in, or are there others around us who refuse to give in, whether right or wrong? Are we unforgiving of ourselves or others because of movements we have taken in the past? Are we unwilling to reach and stretch for new heights and new goals?
Our legs enable us to move in all directions. They are the symbols of the pillars of balance that must be kept in regards to all movements in life. They represent our ability to progress and evolve and to lift ourself higher.
With legs we have our feet on the ground and our heads in the sky. We are like trees. When we have problems with them, we should ask ourselves questions and examine what is going on in our life. Are we feeling unbalanced in some new areas of our life? Are we resisting movement? Are we resisting change? Are we blocking others from moving forward? Are we allowing others to block us? Are we afraid of the future and so stand immersed in the present or even the past? Are we hypocritical, saying one thing but doing another? Are we feeling insecure in our present space and time?
The liver is a glandular organ in the body that secretes bile, which contains bile salts. These bile salts have a detergent action, breaking down and cleaning (detoxifying) the blood so that the kidneys can filter it into that which is to be eliminated and that which is to be re-absorbed as nutrients. It also functions with the immune system of the body.
Problems with the liver often reflect strong negative emotions that have not been dealt with by the individual. (Hence the significance of the phrase, "eating at my liver.") Deep anger and chronic fault-finding with self or others can help weaken liver function. Are we trying to deceive ourselves about something negative in our life? Are we refusing to clean up an aspect of our life? Are we exposed to constant complaining and criticism? Do we have feelings of "I never do anything right"? Are we refusing to clean up the past and move on? Are we wallowing in self-pity and hatred? Are we not doing what we can to help ourselves? Are we refusing to take the initiative (after all, the liver strongly affects overall metabolism)?
The lungs are the respiratory organs of the body. They enable the exchange of gases, internal and external. The taking in of oxygen and the exhalation of carbon dioxide is the external function. The internal is the absorption of oxygen at the cellular level.
Breath has always had great significance attached to it in all societies on a mystical level. It is the assimilation of power and life. Inhalation and exhalation are the processes of involution and evolution the integration of life and spirit.
Problems with breathing can reflect an inability on some level to take in and express life and energy. Are we feeling smothered or stifled in some area? Are we smothering or stifling others? Are we not feeling the right or not being allowed to live or participate in some aspect of life? Are we being made to feel this way? Is there suppressed crying occurring (often reflected in asthma with the trapping of air)? Are we feeling trapped? Is there inflammation in areas that are our basic life breath, i.e., family, home, etc? Are we not living life as fully as we could? Are we not feeling cherished and welcomed in our life settings?
Mouth and Teeth
The mouth is a powerful symbol. It is the point at which digestion begins in the body. It is also our center for speech, the ability to express and communicate. The teeth also aid in the breaking down of food in the initial stages of digestion, and they facilitate clarity of speech.
Problems with the mouth and teeth should raise any number of questions and possibilities. Are we not taking in that which is nourishing? Are we feeding on garbage and trying to sustain ourselves with it? Are we spending too much time chewing on things and not making decisions or taking actions? Are we allowing what others say to eat at us (often causing teeth problems)? Are we chewing on ourself for what we did not say? Is there a need to be more careful about what we say and to whom? Are we letting the words of others (their opinions) set our own? Are we refusing to express ourselves creatively? Are we grinding on that which we should let pass?
Neck and Shoulders
The neck is the point of connection between the head and the trunk, the upper and the lower. It and the shoulders are the bridge between the two. Bridges of every form have had great significance and symbolism associated with them. They enable us to cross over and to open to new realms. We can travel back and forth across them. Because of this, necks and shoulders often reflect flexibility in thoughts and perceptions.
If we are having neck and shoulder problems, we need to question ourselves. Are we being too inflexible in our thoughts? Are we being too rigid? Are we afraid to see what's on either side of us or behind us? Are we taking too much responsibility upon our shoulders? Are we taking responsibility for that which is not ours? Do we refuse to see other's point of view or perspective? Do we allow other's refusal to see our perspective affect us?
The nose is that part of the body that helps cleanse and warm the air that we breathe, so that it can more easily be absorbed by the body through the lungs. It is through it that we also have the sense of smell. It is a symbol for recognizing ourselves and others, and the efforts of both, in an inappropriate manner and from a correct perspective. It can be a symbol for setting boundaries.
The nose is very symbolic as well. It is a symbol of our intuition and our higher sense of discrimination and discernment. If we are having problems we should be asking ourselves some question. Are we feeling unrecognized? Are we not recognizing others in our life appropriately? Are we putting our nose into other's business when we shouldn't? Are we allowing others to put their noses in our business inappropriately? Are we not recognizing the efforts and energy we should be applying to our daily activities?
The pancreas is a gland which secretes digestive fluids an the hormone insulin, which regulates the metabolism of glucose in the body. It works for the breaking down and conversion of our food into one of three groups carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
The pancreas is a symbol of not only our ability to discern the sweetness in our life, but to separate all elements and find ways of assimilating them. It is a symbol of converting all experiences into learning. If we are having problems with the pancreas, we should do some self-examination. Are we not finding time to enjoy the sweeter things of life? Are we refusing to see that there is something beneficial that can come from all situations? Are we frustrated with our life, unable to find sweetness or benefit to it? Are we angry with ourselves or feeling rejected by life? Do we not approve of ourselves or feel we may not deserve some sweetness? Have we failed to realize that the bitter and the sweet both serve functions in our life? Is everything all work and no play?
The sex organs are the center for our basic creative life force the serpent fire of the kundalini. This is the primal energy of life, creativity, birth, healing, etc. It can be likened to the primal energy that lies hidden within the DNA spiral.
In the Western world we have lost a lot of the mysticism of these organs. The sexual drive is our creative life force. Anything we do, in any area of life, draws upon that most primal energy. The male organs often symbolize the activating force, while the female symbolize the formative or receptive force.
Problems with these organs should have us examining not only our attitudes of sexuality, but also how we express or do not express our own innate creativity. Do you accept and approve of all that you feel? Do you accept and enjoy being the sex you are? Do you have anger at your partner, mate, or spouse? Are you not expressing any creativity in your life? Is your creativity stifled? Do you have conflicting thoughts of your own sexual needs and desires? Are you allowing others (including society) to determine your sexual behavior? Do you have intimate support in your life or is it absent? Do you have difficulty with intimacy?
The sinuses are the filled cavities of the head. These cavities warm and moisten the air we breathe and they also serve as sounding chambers for the voice, adding resonance to it.
If we are having difficulty with the sinuses, are we allowing others to irritate us? Is what we have within our life aggravating and creating disharmony? Are we having difficulty with people close to us not listening to us? Are our words causing friction and irritation? Are the words of others (especially those closest to us) causing friction and irritation to us? Is our life becoming congested with others who either do not hear us or do not help us to make life smoother? Are others critical of us? Are we critical of others? Are we being overly critical of ourselves?
The skin is the outer covering of the body. It is the largest sense organ. It protects and is a sensory system itself. It is a symbol of our sensitivity and our self-worth. It is also a symbol of birth and rebirth, as the cells of the skin are continually regenerating.
Problems of the skin should cause us to do some strong self-examination. Are we being overly sensitive to situations in our life? Are others being insensitive to us? Are we out of "touch"? Are we not feeling good about ourselves at the moment? Do we dislike ourselves or where we are at this moment in our life? Are we feeling unloved and unlovable? Are we afraid of being hurt? Are we trying to deaden our senses to outside influences? Are we taking responsibility for who, what, and where we are? Is our individuality being threatened? Do we need to be more protective of ourselves? Are we feeling confined and constricted?
The stomach is the primary organ for storing, diluting, and digesting food. It is our reservoir. It is a symbol of the thoughts, ideas, and inspirations that we can learn to digest and assimilate. It is the reservoir from which we can draw to experience the new and open new worlds.
Stomach problems often reflect outer problems in digesting life's experiences. Are we afraid of digesting or experiencing the new? Are we holding on to that which is no longer beneficial or nourishing to us? Do we have fears of not being good enough "eating away" at us? Do we have difficulty digesting that we are good enough just as we are? Do we not approve of ourselves? Are we having difficulty assimilating new ideas, concepts, and perspectives, and putting them in motion in our life?
The throat is that part of the body that is comprised partly of the esophagus, the pharynx, the larynx, trachea, and the tonsils. It is our canal for swallowing, for breathing, and for speech.
In general, the throat is a symbol of what we can swallow and what we can express. It is tied to creativity. Throat problems in any area can reflect unexpressed anger, stifled creativity, and obstinate stubbornness (a refusal to change or even be a little flexible). It can also reflect a continual speaking with criticism, venom, and/or anger. It can reflect an angry attitude of "when is it my turn?"
Problems in the throat area should be examined in relation to the specific area. The larynx, for example, is the voice box, but it also aids in swallowing. If this is the problem area, are we having trouble swallowing what is being expressed to us? Are we stifling and swallowing our words when we should be speaking out? Are we expressing ourselves inappropriately? Are we afraid to speak up? Are others doing the speaking for you? Do you not feel free to speak of your desires, wishes, etc?
Some Occult Significances of Major Systems of the Body
Once we have examined the symptom of the dis-ease and the body part(s) most affected by it, we should also examine the entire system to which that body part belongs. Although a symptom may reveal itself more strongly around a particular organ or body part, it is usually affecting us systemically.
Examine the function of the system and look for its occult significance. This can provide great insight into the root cause of a problem. This is especially important if we find that when dis-ease does manifest, it does so most frequently through a particular system. For example, some individuals may find that when dis-ease does manifest it usually affects the respiratory system. For others, it may be the digestive system. Identifying these patterns is crucial to true holistic health. The systemic problem pattern is often the one to which we have a greater disposition. Thus we may need to take extra preventative care of that system.
The following are some of the major systems in the body, along with guidelines to begin to understand their hidden significance and influence in our life and our health.
This system is composed of the bones and the minor cartilages. It helps to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy. The bones are the framework in the skeletal system and they function in the movement of the body. They support the soft tissue, protect vital organs, work with blood formation, and provide a reservoir of minerals.
Problems in this system should make us examine what we may or may not be protecting. In the case of broken bones, what organs is that bone protecting? And what is the significance of that organ? What are our longstanding feelings on support or lack of support in our life? What is wrong with the structure of our life?
Movement is primal to all living things. In the human body muscles enable the movement of the body through space, and the transport of nutrients through the body as well. We have cardiac muscles, we have skeletal muscles, and we have involuntary muscles. Which does the problem exist in? This will tell us much.
What kind of muscular problem are we experiencing? In the case of sprains, the joint has been moved too far. Are we trying to do more than we are capable of? Are we overextending our reach? With muscle strain, the muscle is simply overworked. Where are we overworked in life? Why must the body manifest a problem to get us to slow down and take time for ourself? Remember that the symptom, the organ, and the system all need to be considered.
This system works for the conversion of food and beverages to nutrients, and energy for use by the body in its various functions. Its major organs include the esophagus, stomach, the intestines, the liver, the pancreas, the gall bladder, etc. Its primary functions are two-fold: ingestion and absorption.
Any problem in any area of the digestive system should cause us to examine our own ingestive and absorption habits. What are we ingesting that we shouldn't? Or what should we be ingesting and aren't? Are we not absorbing the new ideas that we are exposing ourselves to? Are we not using what we have available to us in our life? Are we being wasteful?
This system is comprised of three major aspects: the fluid to circulate nutrients (blood ), a pump to circulate the fluids (the heart), and vessels to contain the fluid (arteries, capillaries, veins).
Problems in any area of the circulatory system usually stem from some lack of vitality for some area of our life. Problems with circulation almost always are tied to emotions that are allowed to circulate or flow too easily (no control) or are not being allowed to circulate. In the latter, they build internally, often creating high blood pressure . Are we becoming locked in the past and afraid to move on? Are we not resolving old emotional issues? Are we harboring an attitude of self-defeatism?
The respiratory system works for the acquisition of oxygen and the elimination of carbon dioxide. It functions for the exchange of all gases throughout the body. Its major organs include the lungs, the larynx, the trachea, the bronchial, etc.
Respiration is essential for life. A problem in this area often centers around issues of a right to life. Do we feel we don't have the right to be living the life we are? Are we feeling guilty about how we are living our life? Are we not being allowed to live the life that is best for us? Are we suppressing our life expressions and emotions? Is there an equal exchange in the life process? Do we take in as much as we give out, or is it all one-sided?
This system not only has to do with the reproduction of the human being, but it is also important to the replacement of damaged or dead cells in the body. It is our most creative essence and system. In the male the organs include the penis, the testes, the scrotum, etc. In the female it includes the ovaries, the uterus, the clitoris, the vagina, the mammary glands, etc.
Problems in the reproductive system reflect problems in regards to our ability to be creative and productive within our own life. Are we not seeing productivity in the right perspective? Are we taking time to involve ourselves in activities that are creative and fun, the kind that rejuvenate and regenerate us? Do we have problems with our sexuality and its expression? Are we unable to express it fully? Are we happy we are the sex we are?
This system works for filtering and excretion. Its primary organs are the kidneys, the urinary bladder, the bowels, etc. Problems in this area have to do with anything we are having difficulty releasing.
Are we afraid to let go of the past? Are we holding onto anger? Are we unable to decide what is good for us and what isn't? Are we afraid to let go of someone or something? Is there a fear we may no longer be needed? Are we afraid of what the new may bring us so we cling to outworn ideas, attitudes, and traditions?
This is the system for communication and control. It works to integrate the activities of all organs. It stores information, and it gives each of us two qualities: (1) irritability which is the capacity to respond to changes in internal and external environments and (2) conductivity which enables us to transmit messages along the nerve fibers. It is comprised primarily of the brain, the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system.
Problems with the nervous system can come from various sources. Are we trying to integrate too many activities in our lives? Do we not have enough activities to keep us occupied? Are we overly sensitive to criticism by ourself or others? Are we being overly critical to others? Are we not communicating our needs clearly? Are others not communicating to us? Are we closed to new possibilities in our lives?
This last system is one of the most important to the entire energy system of the body. The endocrine system involves the glandular functions of the body. The endocrine system and the nervous system work intimately together to integrate, correlate, and control all body processes. The glands secrete hormone directly into the bloodstream to excite or inhibit the functions of various organs and tissues. These glandular hormones are bio-chemical catalysts.
Any problem in the endocrine system should make us evaluate how we are responding to situations in our life. Are we overreacting to people and situations? Are we inhibited in our response to people and situations in our life? Are we responding to life inappropriately? We should examine our responses.
Much of the endocrine system and its effects upon the body is still not understood. It is an intricate system that, although treated separately, has an intimate connection to all of the other systems. Many of the glands are often treated in association with other systems of the body. For example, the gonads, ovaries, and mammary glands are often dealt with in connection to the reproductive system, although they are also part of the endocrine system as well. This emphasizes the holistic operation of all of the body's systems and organs.
The effects of the endocrine glands upon the body is wide-spread. No organ can escape its influence, as these glands facilitate all cells in performing their duties in varying speeds and capacities. They are also intimately connected to the functions of the
chakras, and thus influence our subtle body energies.
There are many glands within the body. The major glands are the pituitary, the thyroid, the adrenals, the thymus, the pineal, and the ovaries and testicles. There are other hormone secreting glands as well. These include the mammary glands, the pancreatic islets, the parathyroid, and the hypothalamus. Each works intimately with the others, although they do have their own individual activities as well. Studying their individual activities more closely will provide clarification as to what may be aggravating certain glandular conditions of the body. The following will provide a starting point.
The pituitary gland is a governor. It affects the activity of most of the other major glands. It affects the entire immune system as well. Problems with it often reflects issues dealing with how our life is being governed. Are others overactive within it? Are we not active enough in choosing and deciding what is best for us? Are others always making decisions for us or are we always making decisions for others? This gland reflects issues of control and the proper balance within it.
The thyroid is a gland that acts as the body's thermostat. It governs our metabolic rate. It is affected by and can reflect issues of proper expression. This gland is connected to the throat chakra , and hyperactivity is often a reflection of an imbalance. A sluggish metabolism can reflect that we are sluggish in using our creative expression. Are we not expressing ourselves and doing what we need and want to do? Are we not claiming our own power, or are we doing it in an inappropriate manner?
The adrenals are our glands for self-preservation and protection. They assist in the breakdown of protein foods for the body, but they also stimulate the metabolism in times of need and emergency. These are the glands of emergency. Adrenals that are over-taxed can reflect long-standing anxieties and worries. Are we refusing to care or respond to important issues in our life or in the lives of those closest to us? Are others not responding to our issues?
The thymus gland has an intimate connection to the immune system of the body. If we are having difficulty with repetitive illnesses and such we should ask ourselves important questions. Are we feeling we are better and thus more immune to the effects of our activities? Are we not recognizing that our actions on any level have repercussions? Are we involving ourselves in issues and problems that do not concern us? Are we infecting others with our thoughts and actions? Are we allowing others' thoughts and actions to affect and infect us? Have we lost our ability to find sweetness and benefit in life?
The pineal is closely related to the nervous system, although no nerve cells have been found in it. Thus, it is often symbolic of opening to awarenesses beyond normal physical perceptions. It also has ties to the sexual functions of growth both physical and spiritual. Are we utilizing our mental and physical (sexual) energies appropriately? Are we not seeing what is right in front of us? Are we not honoring all of our energies, sexual and metaphysical, seeing all aspects of ourself as spiritual? Are we not being sympathetic to others, or are others not being sympathetic to us?