Modality of the Month

Modality of the Month: Archetypal Astrology


Modality of the Month: Archetypal Astrology

Submitted by: Marina Ormes, RN, HN-BC (ret.)

(The following is an excerpt from an article-in-progress by Marina Ormes that will soon be submitted for publication to nursing and holistic healing journals.)

Archetypal Astrology: A Language of Change

Healing takes place in multiple dimensions. It is not restricted to only the body, or even the body-mind connection. Holistic approaches to healing recognize that healing takes place in interconnected and interrelated ways in body, mind, emotion, and spirit. They recognize that one’s sense of self, along with the context of the self within family, relationships, and community are important factors in healing and wellness.

Holistic healing acknowledges, for example, that spiritual healing can take place during the process of dying, or that emotional stress can create or exacerbate states of imbalance that lead to illness. It recognizes that intangible qualities such as love, caring, and human connection can create conditions that support physical healing, and that the ability to overcome physical challenges through building strength in one’s body can contribute to mental and emotional well-being.

In holistic approaches to healing, engaging this multidimensional thinking encourages us to consider all aspects of our holistic well-being and make choices that are consistent with our own, our loved one’s, or our patient’s highest good, whether it meets the expectations of a family member, an external authority, or society at large—or not.

Archetypes, including the archetypes of astrology, can provide a language for the complexities of who we are and for understanding our needs in body, mind, emotion, spirit, and more. They can help us understand and advocate for our own healthcare choices. Archetypal astrology provides a narrative that helps human beings feel understood so we can make choices for ourselves that are in alignment with what we want and need at deeper levels. Archetypal astrology offers a way of thinking and framing our experiences and circumstances, and the way both change over time, that can support healing.


Archetypal astrology is a language of holism. It offers insight into these deeper levels of our experience and our needs that includes the multidimensional aspects of ourselves: body, mind, spirit, emotion, and more. The planetary archetypes and the dynamics of their evolving relationships can contribute to the experience of well-being that supports an individual to feel empowered, make healthy lifestyle choices, and be an active participant in their own well-being.

Archetypal astrology can describe the qualities one is confronted with and/or working through. Astrological interpretation facilitates self-awareness and the development of self-trust by describing interrelated symbolic meanings and the opportunities for growth they describe. It can offer a window into our inner cares, worries, drives, and motivations. The experience of meaning and connection to a larger cosmos and its dynamic symbols allows a person to feel more in alignment with those qualities. It can provide a context or perspective that helps the individual access resilience, resourcefulness, and clarity about how to approach the issues they are confronting within their own life and circumstances.

The following chart lists quoted examples of principles that underlie holistic nursing from Holistic Nursing Handbook: Scope and Standards of Practice. (See the Handbook for the complete list.) These principles are compatible with a therapeutic archetypal approach to astrology. See how archetypal astrology addresses each of these principles:


Holistic Nursing

Archetypal Astrology

Meaning and Purpose

People are able to find meaning and purpose in their own life, experiences, and illness.

The language of archetypal astrology helps people to articulate an inner experience of meaning and purpose in their life, experiences, and challenges.


All people have an innate power and capacity for growth, development, and self-healing. Health/illness is subjectively described and determined by the view of the individual. Therefore, the person is honored in all phases of his/her growth, development, and healing process, regardless of expectations or outcomes.

All people are on a path of potential learning and growth in a bigger picture that is sometimes called the soul. Life’s challenges, including illness, present opportunities to learn more about oneself and discover wisdom, strengths, and possibilities one did not know one had. All life stages and experiences provide opportunities for growth and development.

The Role of Illness

Health and illness are natural and a part of life, learning, and movement toward growth, development, and potential change.

Illness and injury can reveal or bring to the surface what may be going on at deeper psycho-spiritual levels.

Health As an Opportunity

Illness and disease are seen as a teacher, an opportunity for self-awareness and growth, and part of the life process. Health challenges/symptoms are respected for their potential messages.

Life presents situational challenges, such as illness, that are teachers. The manifestations of illness and other challenges are seen as messages inviting the individual to open to new awareness.


People, as active partners in the healthcare and healing process, are empowered when they take some control of their own lives, health, and well-being, including personal choices and relationships.

People are the center of their own experience. The inner world is in a complex relationship with the outer world. Through self-growth and development, people can make lifestyle, belief, and other choices that support empowerment and healing.

With three decades of experience exploring and applying this modality to empower clients and support their holistic healing process, I cannot imagine doing healing work without this tool for self-awareness, caring and kindness, learning and growing through adversity and conflict, and the ability to be respectful and compassionate toward others, than archetypal astrology. As a complement to conventional Western medical, surgical, and pharmacological treatments, it is a modality that empowers us to be better caretakers of ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world around us.

1 Barbara Dossey and Lynn Keegan, Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice, 8th Ed. (Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2022).