What’s the point of learning about astrology – especially learning about your less-than-great (sometimes downright terrible) natal placements – if you can’t do anything about it?
I admit that I’ve become increasingly more stoic as time goes on, and I feel like a lot of things in life are predetermined. That said, I don’t think it’s all fate and no free will. If I truly believed that we have no ability to influence the shape of our lives, I wouldn’t bother being an astrologer or magician. What would be the point?
This leads to the inevitable question that everyone has when they learn about shitty placements in their chart: what can I do to make this better, or at least not suck as much?
That’s where astrological remediation comes in. Remediation describes a range of different magical practices aimed at strengthening planets in your chart that are afflicted, and/or lessening the effect of malefic conditions.
There are several different ways that a planet can be afflicted in your chart, and thus might benefit from remediation:
- Lacking essential dignity, especially when in detriment or fall (i.e. in the sign opposite its domicile or exaltation)
- Conjunct, square or in opposition to Mars and/or Saturn
- In the sixth, eighth or twelfth house
The more of these conditions affecting the planet, the greater its affliction. This prevents the planet from acting in a productive or helpful way, and very often you will experience challenges related to that planet in your life. For example, an afflicted Venus might mean you have persistent struggles in relationships; an afflicted Mercury might mean you struggle to express yourself.
Shameless plug: if you aren’t sure if any of your planets are afflicted and/or how to read your natal chart, it’s a good idea to book a professional consultation.
There are many different ways to remediate the natal chart. In this post, I’m going to talk about one particular method: planetary charity.
Planetary charity is a form of astrological remediation and planetary magic, originally from Vedic astrology. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like: you make a donation to a charity related to a specific planet’s astrological significations, particularly those related to the planet’s afflicted nature. For example, for an afflicted Venus, you could choose a charity that supports women escaping domestic abuse; for an afflicted Mercury, you could choose a charity to help child literacy.
Planetary charity can be as simple as donating a few bucks online (bonus points if the dollar amount matches the number associated with that planet), or more involved, such as volunteering for an organization.
I enjoy ritual, so when I’m donating to a charity for the specific purpose of astrological remediation, I do it with intention as well as appropriate astrological timing.
My general planetary ritual looks like this: lighting a candle and burning some incense (usually frankincense because it works for all planets, though sometimes I get fancy and choose one related to the particular planet I’m working on, such as jasmine for the Moon) on the appropriate planetary day/hour, reciting the Orphic hymn to that planet and then saying a short prayer where I dedicate the donation to the planet. I also write the name of the charity and the donation amount on a card that I keep on the altar with the incense and candle. If you were writing a physical cheque, you could use that instead. Then I make the actual donation – which is super easy if you’re donating online through a website. If you’re mailing a cheque, then go drop it off at a post office box immediately after.
If you really want to put in the extra effort, you could decorate the altar with colours and items aligned with that planet, or even create a small shrine to the planet you’re remediating where you can make regular offerings and say prayers.
If a full-blown magical ritual isn’t really your thing, you could just take a moment to centre yourself and meditate briefly, then say something like, “I make this donation in your honour, [planet].” Then make the donation.
If you are donating your time through volunteer work, you could do a dedication ritual beforehand, either at home or in a backroom/bathroom before you start the volunteer shift. (It’s probably a good idea to skip the incense and candle if you’re doing this somewhere other than at home, but hey – I’m not your boss. Do as thou wilt.) As for timing, try to match this up as best you can, and aim to do your volunteer shift on the appropriate day aligned with that planet.
You could also donate particular items to a related charity. For example, to remediate an afflicted Venus, you could donate clothing to your local women’s shelter; to remediate an afflicted Mercury, you could donate notebooks, pens and pencils to a child’s literacy group.
Below, I’ve given the main astrological significations of each planet including body parts that they rule, as well as associated numbers, colours, and items – both ritual items to include on an altar, and possible donation items. Then I’ve given some examples of charities and organizations aligned with each.
Significations: reputation, authority, intelligence, vitality, fathers, head, heart
Number: 6, 36
Colour: gold, yellow, orange
Ritual Items: anything made of gold, wheat, oranges, honey, topaz and other yellow stones
Donation Items: men’s clothing, gold-coloured items and food, hats and toques
Suggested Charities: organizations that support fathers, leadership training and coaching, heart and stroke or other heart/brain disease charities
Significations: women and children, mothers, emotions, travel, physical body, breasts, stomach
Number: 9, 81
Colour: white, green
Ritual Items: anything made of silver or glass, mirrors, seashells, selenite and other white crystals
Donation Items: women’s clothing, baby bottles/formula, baby/children clothing, menstrual products, food
Suggested charities: organizations that support women and children, pregnancy and breastfeeding organizations, breast cancer charities, food banks
Significations: communication, education, money, games and sports, children, arms, hands, guts
Number: 8, 64
Ritual Items: coins, pens/pencils, dice, playing cards, multi-coloured stones
Donation Items: notebooks, pens/pencils, cash, sports equipment, children’s clothing
Suggested Charities: child literacy support groups, tutoring services, financial counselling services, youth sports charities, digestive health charities and organizations
Significations: love, beauty, friendship, arts, adornment, harmony, women, neck, face, genitals
Number: 7, 49
Colour: green, pink
Ritual Items: anything made of copper or brass, roses, apples, leafy green plants, scales, emerald and other green stones
Donation Items: women’s clothing and toiletries, art supplies, eyeglasses
Suggested Charities: women’s shelters and other organizations that support women, art therapy groups, diplomatic organizations, ovarian cancer charities, thyroid research charities
Significations: violence, war, anger, cuts and burns, men, soldiers, head, genitals
Number: 5, 25
Ritual Items: anything made of iron or steel, spiky or thorny plants, animal claws, knives, bullets, red stones
Donation Items: men’s clothing and toiletries, cooking utensils and pots, first aid supplies
Suggested Charities: veteran support groups, war refugee charities, organizations supporting victims of domestic violence, volunteer firefighter groups, prostate cancer charities, blood disease charities
Significations: truth, fellowship, justice, piety, prosperity, honours, judges, priests, academics, thighs, feet
Number: 4, 16
Colour: gold, purple
Ritual Items: anything made of tin, wine, eagle feathers, religious iconography and statues, amethyst, topaz and other yellow stones
Donation Items: books (especially academic or religious books), writing tools, shoes
Suggested Charities: legal aid societies, religious charities, scholarships, clubfoot charities and other charities supporting walking/mobility
Significations: structures, boundaries, restrictions, time, death, disease, famine, cold, legs, knees, bones
Number: 3, 9
Ritual Items: anything made of lead, pocket watch or other timepieces, bones, fossils, dark blue and black stones
Donation Items: food, blankets, warm clothing and winter coats, walking canes, crutches
Suggested Charities: food banks, all types of disease research charities, elder care organizations, death services, arthritis research
Because they were discovered recently, the outer planets aren’t usually considered in classic remediation techniques like planetary charity. However, I would be super interested to hear from anyone who tries planetary charity for the outer planets – drop me a line!
A final note: planetary charity is best done regularly over a long period of time, as opposed to a one-time donation. Your natal chart never changes, so any afflicted planets will be afflicted for your whole life. Planetary charity and other astrological remediation techniques are best viewed as long-term practices.
Plus, donating to charities and volunteering your time at non-profits are excellent practices in general, which will have positive effects on your own health (and not just because of the astrological remediation factor), as well as the health of your community – your Field.