Epilepsy: a failure channelling the Martian energy

Published in: Riza Psicosomatica no. 62, April 1986

Italian version

An individual who suffers from epilepsy will exhibit an alteration of the energy transmission along the channels of the central nervous system in their natal chart. While this is a general indication, it does not necessarily provide insight into the astrological implications of being epileptic. It is important to note that identical planetary aspects may not always configure an epileptic fate, just as a brain lesion does not always manifest epileptic symptoms.

This discourse seeks to discern the ontological significance of the epileptic state. Whether epilepsy is deemed hereditary, acquired, purely reactive, or physiologically localised, what holds weight is the emergence of a novel psycho-physical identification centre. Epilepsy presents itself as a mode of being, a cosmic state, and a substantial burden from both a human and social perspective. Nevertheless, it is the foremost moment wherein the epileptic individual is identified, and the only means through which they can experience their existence.  

As established by neuropsychiatric science, the relationship between physical alterations and psychic manifestations holds relative significance in astrology. The human psyche and soma constitute two interdependent facets of an individual, with their respective expression levels ranging from gross to subtle. Physical alterations can reflect one’s psychic expression, and this perception is particularly noteworthy in the context of the symbolism of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. Aries is a fire, cardinal, and masculine sign, anatomically correlated to the brain, and thus deserves special attention in this regard.

Aries embodies the primal force of manifestation, representing the volcanic energy of the creative act. Psychologically, it symbolises the ego’s passion and spontaneity, translating into pure action. The brain is the dominant centre of vital power and represents an absolute beginning. However, it also serves as a processing centre, indicating the need for conscious ordering and conditioning of instinct. Thus, Aries embodies the tension between human organisation and instinctual propensity for energetic spontaneity.

The symbolism of Mars, the ruling planet of the zodiac sign Aries, holds great significance in the astrological diagnosis of epilepsy. The hieroglyph of Mars, which consists of a circle surmounted by an inclined arrow, is traditionally interpreted as representing aggressive energy directed toward an external target. It reflects the innate human desire to transcend the terrestrial horizon and reach for the infinite, to bridge the gap between the self and the non-self through a creative act, such as Eros.

This point is fascinating when linked to the psychoanalytic definition of an epileptic personality. The person with epilepsy reveals their injured physiological condition “… in a convulsively aggressive way. The crisis would represent a sort of ‘criminal orgasm’ for which the person with epilepsy discharges their own homicidal and suicidal aggression as if unconsciously surrendering to their destiny[1]. Again: “The first trait of the epileptic person is compression… The epileptic existence unfolds on itself by a slow and concentric movement in which each spiral increases the tension. The person with epilepsy appears as an inhibited character [2]. Clark also speaks of “total body erotism” and Reich [3] of “extragenital orgasm” resulting from the selfish impulse released in epileptic seizures. And Ey completes the picture by stating that “… fury, the urge to destroy, sexual assault are inherent in epileptic violence. People with epilepsy live in a wholeness that they cannot analyse; it is the antinomy of the human condition. They project themselves from the bottom up and the top down.” [4].

The impairment of the cerebral coordination apparatus presents an opportunity for raw instinctive retaliation against a force that divides opposites and complicates the process of self-identification. The epileptic seizure’s sexual connotation bears a resemblance to the Martian symbol, representing an erect phallus that unites opposites in the act of mating. Furthermore, Uranus seems to play a role in actualising the epileptic phenomenon, defining the electrical constant of the central nervous system. In an analogical sense, it represents expanding the ego into the environment that allows access to collective and universal representation by transcending individual limitations.

Even when viewed negatively, the Mars/Uranus relationship can elevate the Martian instinct by imbuing it with a Promethean fervour. This can be likened to the states of possession experienced during magical rituals, where the goal is to overcome the ego and channel energy. From this perspective, individuals with epilepsy exist in a state of temporal alternation, characteristic of additional modalities associated with the syndrome. This includes the artificial detachment between immanence and transcendence, as well as between the human and the divine. When the “charge of humanity” reaches the maximum allowed, they offer themselves, as the supreme holocaust, to the cause of the hieros gamos (sacred wedlock). And then, reborn to the human condition, they forget.

[3]Wilhelm Reich, an Austrian psychiatrist born in 1897, developed a psychoanalysis system that focused on an individual’s overall personality rather than neurotic symptoms. Reich believed that the inability to dissipate sexual energy through orgasm led to neurotic symptoms and that repressed feelings could manifest in muscular tensions. He proposed manipulative techniques for patients resistant to orthodox psychoanalytic methods to address this issue. Despite his contributions to the field, Reich was expelled from the International Psychoanalytic Association due to his controversial views on sex and politics. In response, he turned his attention to “orgonomy,” a concept that revolved around measuring the “orgone,” or unit of cosmic energy that energised the nervous system during the transition phase between living and non-living states. Reich continued his work in the United States, where he constructed an “orgone box” to treat human subjects. However, the US Food and Drug Administration seized and destroyed his research and tools following an investigation. Reich was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison, where he died of heart failure in 1957. The act of censorship that occurred is still regarded as one of the most blatant in American history.

[4] ibid.