A question came in last week: “What astrological perspective would explain Raynaud’s phenomenon?”
What is Raynaud’s phenomenon?
Raynaud’s phenomenon is hypersensitivity of the fingers and toes to cold.
Your body naturally adjusts to temperature changes by increasing or decreasing the size of the capillaries (your tiniest blood vessels) and thus the amount of blood that can flow through them. When it’s warm, the capillaries open, allowing heat to escape. When it’s cold, the capillaries decrease in size to keep the heat in.
In Raynaud’s, the capillaries over-react to changes in the temperature, other changes in the environment, or even emotional stress. The capillaries over-restrict blood flow. The fingers and/or toes become cold and numb. The uneven blood flow causes discoloration– red, white, and even blue. In severe cases, gangrene is a risk!
Raynaud’s phenomenon is common in people who have an autoimmune disorder affecting the connective tissue. 90% of scleroderma patients, 40% of people with lupus, and 85% of people with mixed connective tissue disease (which is essentially a connective tissue disorder that doesn’t fit into another category) experience Raynaud’s phenomenon. Raynaud’s can also be a sign of arsenic poisoning, a side effect of smoking cigarettes, or a side effect of certain pharmaceutical drugs.
What’s the astrological signature of Raynaud’s?
The ruler of connective tissue is also the ruler of ice, cold, and blockages. So it isn’t hard to guess that Raynaud’s has a strong connection to Saturn, and that’s exactly what I found when I looked it up in Cornell’s Encyclopedia of Medical Astrology.
Expect to see Saturn prominent in the chart of someone who experiences Raynaud’s. (But the reverse is not true– not everyone with a prominent Saturn has the symptom.) You may find Saturn connected to the hands (Gemini or Mercury) or the feet (Neptune or Pisces). If it’s a Virgo signature, then food allergies, leaky gut, or gut inflammation might be driving the condition.
An autoimmune situation always has me looking to Neptune and the Moon for more information about your sensitivities. Which planets conjoin, square, or oppose your natal Neptune and Moon? What foods and other triggers are associated with those planets? The patterns you see in the chart may help you identify triggers in your diet or in your environment (physical and emotional) that set you up for autoimmune reactions like Raynaud’s.