In the last three years there has been an unprecedented interest in Western
culture about the role of fats in the diet in the achievement of both optimal
body weight and physical health. The obvious reasons are twofold; the widespread,
almost immediate access of ideas by the public via multiple forms of media,
and the number of people in health-related fields is at an all-time high.
Many health professionals are speaking publicly, some writing articles and
books, many giving seminars for a dozen people to thousands.
Diets high in fat have been linked to adult onset diabetes since the 1930's, to heart disease since the 50's, and is currently under scrutiny worldwide as a causative factor in various types of cancer; notably, breast and colon cancer.
Estimates of overweight Americans range from 30% to 80% of our population, depending on the criteria and background of those making the estimates. Considering comments made by medical spokespersons, the majority of people in the U.S. have a diet too high in animal fats, and deficient in many essential fatty acids.
The proportion of Americans who are underweight is considered to be much
lower, usually around 5%. Although the media emphasizes the untoward attempts
of many young women to control body weight by starvation or purging, chronic
underweight actually goes through all ages and both sexes, and is often a
side effect of medical treatment or disease processes, or a result of behavioral
habits sometimes emotional in origin.
In regard to other health issues, the focus was often on cholesterol content in foods. This idea is slowly giving way to the perception that high fat diets might negatively contribute to general health in a more complex way. Alternative health practioners have known this for several decades, but the general public has not focused on helath as a personal responsibility until the 90's.
Most astrologers will agree that Neptune is associated with alcoholic beverages, due to the influence on the alteration of consciousness. However, alcohol (Neptune) is rapidly metabolized in the body, creating an excess (Jupiter) of available energy which will be stored as fat (Jupiter/Neptune), unless the calories are used. Jupiter is considered to enlarge or increase anything it aspects, and larger sized people in general are indicated by several Jupiter aspects in natal charts. However, large, muscular people of low body fat content are also indicated by Jupiter aspects. An indication of a large, muscular person might be a Jupiter/Mars aspect, or Jupiter in contact with the Sun or Ascendant of a natal chart. This aspect by transit usually indicates a great deal of physical activity, which builds muscle.
Jupiter conjunct the Moon does indicate an increase in food intake, but not necessarily foods that contain fats. However, when Jupiter contacts Neptune, the person usually does increase fats, or alcohol, or desserts containing fats and sugars. Neptune foods are usually linked in culture with celebration or a special ritual or meaning beyond pure nutritive value or hunger. These same foods are associated with addictions. While many people eat sugar or fatty foods to excess, we never hear of someone eating too much salad. Obviously, the more of these planets (Jupiter, Moon, Neptune) present, the higher the content or amount of fat. Neptune, (fats) also have to go through Sagittarius (the liver) before being used or deposited as storage in the body.
In the interim two years several spokespersons for the low-fat dietary regime became extremely well known for their views. Susan Powter's infomercial made her famous for her no-fat diet and theme of move-enough-to make-you-breathe-fast, and Dr. John McDougall (author of several no-fat diet books) went coast-to-coast with a daily syndicated radio show, and recently, a television show.
Ms. Powter aims her pitch exclusively at overweight persons; but Dr. McDougall's message is that a no-fat vegetarian diet is a preventative measure against many serious chronic diseases. He seldom mentions weight loss; yet his monthly seminars attract thousands, and his books continue to sell.
Jupiter and the north node of the Moon were in Scorpio in 1993, (new ways
of healing the body through food), and as Jupiter in Sagittarius (shall we
all exercise?) squared Saturn during 1994, Ms. Powter got her own network
television show; a highly unusual move for a person focused primarily on
weight loss. Oprah Winfrey, for several years possibly the most influential
woman in the United States, (her opinions were heard by millions every day),
dieted her way into a size six during 1994, and her personal cook published
a best-selling low-fat cookbook.
One might sensibly project that when the Moon's nodes enter Pisces and Virgo in February 1997, while tightly trining and sextiling Neptune, that moderate and specific fat consumption will be urged on the public for the purpose of protecting fatty acid stores and hormonal activities in the body.(Writer's note: This article was written in 1996, and by early 1997 national publications and newspapers are slowly carrying the message to re-evaluate fat intake from low to balanced.)
In the charts of individuals, the house placements of Neptune and the sign Pisces, the 12th house and any planets contained therein, and all related aspects to those factors will represent the need for attention, exploration, learning, and adjustment of certain behaviors regarding the intake of these substances. This is where it gets sticky. For example, Neptune in the 4th house in hard aspect to Saturn occurs in both underweight and overweight people. It seems the relationship between what the two planets represent needs to be brought into balance, or harmony.
Extremes of fat or food intake are the usual mode of operation. There may be a lack of awareness of the purpose and qualities of foodstuffs, (nutritive values), that may have had its origin in an early family dynamic promoting non-responsibility of the individual. This does not mean the parents fed their children an unhealthy diet, but that the child did not develop optimal eating habits.
Neptune square Saturn can represent an addictive attitude toward high fat foods, even for slender people, and can also suggest a deficiency of fatty acids. Miss. L. had an extremely high fat diet based around pastas, cheeses, ice cream and copious amounts of butter and mayonnaise-based dressings. Fat is known to have an appetite-depressing effect.
Although more than 70% of her total calories came from fat sources, she often skipped meals, and was seriously underweight, eventually being hospitalized for that condition. Although only 30 years old, she had frequent chest pain, and poor healing of infection, extreme mood swings, and blood sugar imbalances causing prolonged thirst. Diabetes was a serious possibility. As progressed Uranus conjoined the 4th house Neptune, she made a major dietary change, dramatically decreasing fat intake, resulting in a significant weight gain and greatly improved health.
A 4th or 6th house Neptune square Saturn sometimes signifies low initiative in food preparation. The causes may be many, including tiredness, depression, other interests or time conflicts. Neptune square Ceres can also show the need to learn to make healthy, deliberate food choices for specific results.
Neptune in hard aspect to Jupiter or the Moon, or in the Moon's house, can indicate a large fat intake or a craving for desserts or sugar, and usually an unwanted weight gain. Ms. F. has Neptune in the 4th house oppose Saturn, square Chiron in the 12th, and Ceres in the 6th. She has been up to 100 lbs. overweight, although she does not like to cook. She has discovered she has multiple food allergies, (also sometimes shown by this aspect) and has struggled with taking responsibility to prepare what she can digest, while limiting her fat intake to control the weight condition.
Optimal health is a product of many variables, of which the balance of fats in our diet is but one element. Neptune and Uranus are no longer in an applying conjunction, or even in the same sign. Our attention will soon go to other areas of health, and other ways of affecting it through nutritional manipulation. However, the use of specific fat combinations for health purposes may have another phase of development when Uranus is in Pisces, especially likely because Neptune will be in Aquarius, which in the modern context is a mutual reception. The genetic engineering of fatty acid molecules with special enzyme triggers is already being worked on in laboratories and may be available to the medical profession early in the next decade.