Meet Ingrid Naiman, author of The Astrology of Healing

As early as I can remember, I read the astrological column in the newspaper, and by the time I was six or seven, I saw invisible waves in the ethers and every person I met was riding one of those waves into incarnation. The point on the wave corresponded to a date, and I was able to guess peoples' birthdays.


Ingrid Naiman, Medical Astrologer and Herbalist
Not knowing that astrology could become a profession, as an undergraduate, I majored in Asian Studies, specializing mainly in anthropology and philosophy. Then, following a transforming event in Japan, I took up development economics in graduate school. My involvement with mainstream education and occupations ended before I turned 30. By then, I had survived two and a half years on Wall Street and four with the U.S. Department of State in Vietnam and India. It seemed an entire incarnation was completed and a new life as a philosopher would begin. I did not quite realize then that the new life would be as a medical philosopher and astrologer.


The 1970s

On the way back to Hawaii, I stopped to see my father. One day he said, "I suspect you will be leaving soon." When asked how he determined that, he said, "You have used up all the scratch paper in the house." He wondered what I had found so interesting. I explained it was his ephemeris, not really an easy book to copy! I told him I had no idea that everything I had been figuring out from what people told me could be so easily found between the covers of a book. He was more interested in whether I found the math daunting. I explained that I had only kept one thing from my job on Wall Street and that was a very handsome slide rule.

My father, a physicist with Hughes Aircraft who had designed airplanes, rockets, satellites, and eventually an artificial sun, had taken up Jungian psychology and then astrology following the divorce initiated by my mother. He had studied with Thyrza Escobar at the First College and Temple of Astrology. He was, however, mainly interested in how Grant Lewi had been able to save a bundle on life insurance by accurately predicting his own death from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 49.

My father did the horoscopes for many of the scientists at Hughes and at Jet Propulsion Laboratories, places where one would have expected to meet more Carl Sagans than astrologers, but he was fond of a quote attributed to Sir Isaac Newton: "Sir Halley, I have studied these things; you have not."

The visit with my father took place in 1972. As fate would have it, my father, a man whose entire life was involved with cutting edge science, died of a pacemaker failure, a little technological problem that he himself would have found if it had been in a missile. I only mention this because a famous Vedic astrologer, Mr. K. N. Rao clearly saw his death in my horoscoe, but my father had not been able to apply Grant Lewi's expertise to his own life.

Aside from our brief discussion of mathematics, my father and I had very few exchanges on the subject of astrology but my mother was very psychic so I felt I had come by my interests legitimately. The years that followed were colored by a combination of my intensely focused and analytical Mercury/Mars conjunction in Virgo on the 7th house cusp and the mystic with Pisces rising.


Beginning Life as a Medical Astrologer in Hawaii

When I first started becoming a medical astrologer, I had no idea that there were professional astrologers, much less medical astrologers. A chiropractor in Hawaii named Dr. Nathalie Tucker was excited when she found out how interested I was in astrology; she told me she had been trained to work with a medical astrologer. I told her I didn't know an arm from leg. I can laugh now because she took me quite literally. Of course, I knew arms from legs, but I knew very little about subluxations or schizophrenia or any of the other conditions for which she wanted the input of an astrologer.

The Universe must truly have wanted me to become a medical astrologer because I had incredible beginner's luck. The first three cases referred by Dr. Tucker were very mysterious—but Jupiter and Neptune were transiting my Moon—and quite frankly, I would today be hard put to tell you now how I knew what I knew then. The stories are told in a talk about My Personal Quest which is not being included in the course but is gradually being posted online.

Where arms and legs and other anatomical parts are concerned, Dr. Tucker was a very good teacher. More importantly, we worked together for over seven years and were able to help a lot of people whose situations were truly desperate, even terminal.

Hawaii was very isolated in those days, especially the Kona Coast! Thanks to the influence of missionaries, there were no astrology books in the little shops that passed for book stores. I began ordering books from Dorothy Hughes who had an astrology book store in Seattle. She referred me to Ivy Jacobson who became my mentor. This was a precious relationship that lasted until her death at the age of 97. I believe strongly that we learn much better when we devote ourselves to mastering the wisdom of those who have found it before us. As a result of many years of study of Buddhism, it has become clear to me that we are far better off with one excellent teacher than dozens of mediocre ones. As such, aligning my intuition with that of my teacher was the goal of my meditation as well as astrological practice.

However, I bought more or less one copy of every book Dorothy Hughes stocked. Then, I got rid of all but a handful of them because most were pathetically plagiarized and hence not just unoriginal but unreliable.

One of the early cases referred to me by Dr. Tucker involved a lady who was scheduled to have both breasts removed. My assignment was to choose a date for the procedures and to comment upon the compatibility with the chief surgeons of each of the teams that would be operating simultaneously, one on each breast. The options open were few and not very auspicious and one of the doctors was not, in my opinion, a suitable choice. In those days, I was very shy and did not really know how to deliver "bad" news so I left the house for a while to brood. In the meantime, Dr. Tucker had phoned and my mother intercepted the call and said she would have a look at the paper on my desk to see if she could figure out what I had concluded. When I came home, my mother told me she had "taken care of the issue." I was upset: "You mean you told her not to have surgery on either of the dates available?"

After that incident, I became much more secretive . . .

Also, as a result of the cases being referred to me, I was devouring everything I could find on medical astrology. This included two articles in the AFA Bulletin by Emylu Lander Hughes who had been looking for signatures suggestive of a predisposition to cancer. I wrote her for advice and she asked if I could take over her research because she had developed cancer and wanted to put the material into someone else's hands. I inherited a lot of data, much of it "dirty" meaning it would not pass the Lois Rodden test for accuracy of birth data or even correctness of the medical diagnosis.

That was 1972 and today, I have thousands of very thorough medical histories with correct birth times and places.

Stress: The Cause of All Disease

Unlike my father or many astrologers who have asked me to share my data, I was not motivated by the desire to predict illness or death but rather to explain why some people develop certain illnesses and others develop other illnesses. You might say I was simply curious. I was also capable of very prolonged concentration, but I did not find much of any value in any of the books I was reading. Like Emylu Lander Hughes, I believed it was necessary to determine tendency, but I was much more metaphysically inclined than anyone else I knew, and I tended to believe that a possibility could remain insubstantial, i.e., it could be a pattern on a level that never develops a physical manifestation. The concept of being able to transmute a tendency by projecting it in a creative manner or giving it some other expression always seemed astrologically sound. I studied many biographies to see how musicians, artists, and authors project their own "stuff" into their music, paintings, or writings.

However, I also believed that before something "goes wrong," there has to be an accumulation of critical mass so I began my study of stress and the various ways it is portrayed in the horoscope. In reality, only one lesson in the course is devoted to this issue, but since it is a recurring theme, we will keep coming back to it.

By 1974, I had begun writing a weekly essay for the local newspaper, the Kona Torch. The column was later syndicated and included in a lot of campus newspapers. I was also teaching a night school class on astrology at the local high school. Later I taught at a Japanese Buddhist Temple in Hilo. Contributions to various astrological journals followed: The Mercury Hour, Stellium Quarterly, the CAO Times, a very important special edition of The American Theosophist, as well as numerous other metaphysical publications such as the Beacon. My travel began on July 7, 1977, the anniversary of a similar event in the life of Helena Blavatsky. It consisted of a one-month tour organized largely by Al Morrison. Years and years of lecturing all over the world followed. These included many famous conferences such as ISAR, UAC, the World Congress, and many local astrology groups.

The work on astroendocrinology belongs to the early phase of my life as a medical astrologer. The easiest way to explain this is that I have always functioned more from the realm of spirit and then sought to interpret what appears to be physical. I wrote a lecture for a conference in San Francisco but was not permitted to deliver the talk and here we have another complication of my life as one of the very few specialists in medical astrology: endless attempts to censor my work, often carried out by people who knew nothing, absolutely nothing, about the discipline.

There is another side to this drama. One of my early lectures on "Squares" resulted in a sort of type casting in which it became increasingly more difficult to persuade convenors to allow me to speak on topics for which I was "not famous" such as the wider context in which stress occurs. I felt that my metaphysical studies were at least as important as the medical, but I had been pigeonholed and going beyond stress and malefics to harmony was blocked on the lecture circuit. In order to present the full range of my own work, I began to organize my own conferences, publications, and eventually courses. The seeds for this were sown in the 1970s. The first major conference was in Punalu'u on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was in 1978 and is still remembered today by those who attended. Shortly, after that, I started a little newsletter called The Seventh Ray, and by the 1980s, I had begun to offer master's classes that were ten days in duration.


Academic Background

B.A. in Asian Studies from the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, 1962
M.A. in economics from Yale University, 1964
M.D. from Medicina Alternativa in Copenhagen (should be considered honorary), 1987
D.Sc. (honorary) from the Open International University in Sri Lanka, 1995






Poulsbo, Washington

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