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Unlock Your Healing Magic with Astrology, Positive Psychology, and Integrative Wellness
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There’s much more to astrology than weekly horoscopes, personality types, and predictions for the future. For astrologer and transformational coach Jennifer Racioppi and her clients, it is a guide to living in sync with the natural rhythms of the universe to achieve optimal health and astonishing success. Cosmic Health provides a groundbreaking cross-disciplinary approach to cultivating physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. By honoring your individuality, your role in the universe, nature, and the seasonality of life, you will be armed with the knowledge—and magic—you need to cultivate uncompromising health.
Inside this beautifully illustrated book, you’ll learn to:
- Open yourself up to the big-picture patterns that influence you—the daily, seasonal, and monthly cycles that govern your biology—and leverage those patterns for conscious action, growth, success, and a thriving life.
- Decode the planets and their cycles to get a precise blueprint of your evolving emotional, physical, and spiritual health needs—like how to exercise for vitality, cultivate your purpose, tackle obstacles, and skillfully care for your emotional needs.
- Support your specific astrological makeup and goals with healing rituals that serve as sacred medicine, enriching your spiritual connections.
- Develop a rock-solid understanding of the connection between astrology, health, and evidence-based personal-development practices so you can nurture your resilience, elevate your well-being, and realize your heart’s desires.
- Learn to view health and life challenges as a threshold to self-actualization.
- Put your intuition and self-knowledge at the heart of your quest for health.
Before there was Earth, Love, Death, Night, Day, or Light, there was Chaos. Alternately described as a goddess, a “shapeless nothingness,” and a “mix of the elements,” Chaos gave birth to two children: Erebus, the “unfathomable depth where death dwells,” and Night.
Surrounded by a terrifyingly blank and boundless abyss, Night nonetheless placed a wind-born egg into the arms of Erebus. With time, Love burst forth, bringing order and beauty to the bottomless confusion all around.
Love then created Light and, with it, radiant Day. At long last, almighty Earth, also known as Gaia, came into being. A physical container of solid ground, Gaia possessed an equally powerful personality that shifted and changed, interacted and reacted. She was, and remains, almighty yet tender, formidable yet fragile.1
She, along with her lineage, lives on all around us, and also inside us. She and her ancestors remain a part of you, me, and all of us.
For too long we have been taught to fear, critique, and tuck away life’s chaos, yet in doing so, we forget its immense power to transform us, our health, our lives, as well as the world we live in. While chaos may seem dark and daunting, as the time of Chaos surely was, when we dismiss chaos, we forgo the opportunity to give birth to love, light, radiance, and abundance of every imaginable kind. We unnecessarily dim our own magic. As we dive into this journey, I ask that you, like Chaos herself, resist the temptation to hide and reject your unique brand of chaos and instead embrace it as a sacred invitation into your own cosmic health.
Understanding Cosmic Health
If one opens up chaos, magic also arises.
—C. G. JUNG, FROM THE RED BOOK
The Five Principles of Cosmic Health
My journey, like those of so many of my clients, and perhaps also like yours, began with crisis and chaos. Consumed by misery and fear, and near hopelessness, I was scared that I’d lost not just my way but also my chance at health and happiness. It is a deeply disheartening place to begin. From that place we fumble, stumble, and fall—as we are meant to. Yet immersed in that darkest of darkness, we, like the goddess Chaos, are destined to find Love and Light.
Know this: this book is not your typical health book. It guides you in figuring out how to view your own chaos as a sacred door into your deeper desires for success, however you define it, and self-realization. While its impact is profound, it does not rush in to “fix” anything or anyone.
As dispiriting as your chaos may now seem, throughout this journey you can and will use it to facilitate many internal and external transformations.
We’ll focus first on the five core components, or principles, of cosmic health:
Principle 1: Live cyclically.
Principle 2: Build resilience, a key to health.
Principle 3: Know thyself… It is a never-ending adventure.
Principle 4: Embrace the paradox of “both/and.”
Principle 5: Unlock your healing magic.
Before we explore these principles in depth, we need to bust some of the popular myths about both the cosmic and our health. Having that solid grounding will enable you—like it has so many others we’ll meet in the coming pages—to navigate the ebbs and flows of life in ways that feel supportive and empowering.
Kosmos and the Cosmic
My interpretation of “cosmic” integrates all iterations of the word, from the ancient kosmos to the present-day “cosmos.”
In ancient Greek, kosmos meant “beautiful order”1—a well-assembled whole that beautifies life. Today, we use the word “cosmos” to describe the universe as a literal collection of stars, planets, and the moon—that vast, awe-inspiring image we see in the night sky. To some, the cosmos is also a magical, mystical realm described in reverential spiritual terms.
When I talk about the cosmos, I mean “cosmic” to refer to all the pieces of your health and wellness: mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. Realizing your cosmic health means assembling the different parts of yourself and your well-being to create your own “beautiful order.” By integrating astrology into these aspects of your life, you gain access to the wisdom and guidance of the cosmos as we know it today, creating a powerful relationship with the rhythm and flow of the universe.
A Fresh Perspective on Health
Now that we’ve established the meaning of “cosmic” as it pertains to cosmic health, let’s look at “health.”
Western medicine typically defines health as the absence of disease. As a cancer survivor, a health practitioner, and someone who manages life while living with a chronic illness, I find that definition limiting and unfairly exclusive. According to that definition, I and many of my friends, clients, and family are not, and can never be, healthy.
I have great respect and appreciation for Western medicine, which—let’s be honest—played a huge role in my surviving cancer. However, when it comes to defining “health,” I opt for a less traditional and more inclusive interpretation. Rather than define health by what it’s not—disease—I see health as a way of both being and becoming. It’s a multidimensional awareness that nurtures your physical existence, your spiritual and creative prowess, your intellectual desires, and, last but certainly not least, your emotional health.
Cosmic health embraces imperfection, can endure setbacks, and can even coexist with disease. It grants you the capacity to evolve in highly personalized ways, adapting to life’s ups and downs while living a full and thriving life.
The cosmic health I want for you, the state of being and becoming I will lead you toward in this book, will allow you to cultivate compassion for yourself and others while living a life drenched in meaning and beauty. That meaning and beauty won’t come from the superficial satisfaction of achievements and appearances. Instead, it will stem from cultivating the self-awareness that’s essential to self-actualizing at the highest level.
This may not sound like any definition of health you’ve heard before. That’s because we’ve been sold so many myths about health and what it means to be healthy, including:
Being healthy means being perfect: attaining the perfect BMI, following an eating plan perfectly for the rest of your life, having a perfectly consistent exercise regimen, and being perfectly free from disease.
Being healthy means achieving an unfaltering and unfluctuating life balance.
Being healthy means having a body that looks a certain way.
Being healthy means living stress-free.
Being healthy takes hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. To be healthy, we have to experience less pleasure and have less fun.
These cultural beliefs around health often lead us away from true health and wellness. Unwilling to forgo pleasure, we may abandon the pursuit of vibrant health. Or, obsessed with becoming perfectly healthy, we go all in and rely on deprivation and strict routines that steal the joy and connection that would enhance, rather than detract from, our health. Others among us may yo-yo, bounding from one extreme (deprivation and rigidity) to another (total indulgence) and back again.
Cultivating a Healthier Relationship with Health
In order to achieve cosmic health, we first need to repair and broaden our relationship with health itself. Let’s take a look at some myths about health and start adopting more empowering beliefs around what it means to be healthy.
MYTH: Balance is essential to healthy living.
A world-renowned musician. A successful entrepreneur. A corporate executive, wife, and mom. All of these people are clients of mine who, like you, have been taught that life balance is one of the holy grails of healthful living. Truth be told, these clients actually want to unleash their own genius. They want to manage their energy, not their time, and, in so doing, commune with their mysticism to make a major difference in the world—even when that means temporarily sacrificing balance.
We yearn for self-actualization. We yearn to become a better version of ourselves as thoroughly and as often as we can. We yearn to feel fulfilled and connected, successful and thriving. We yearn to serve the greater good. We want a lot, and we’re prepared to go for all of it.
Just like Earth and the moon, life oscillates. It changes, evolving from one season to the next. We, too, naturally cycle through beginnings, periods of culmination, and then periods that wane. Because of this, we move from order to chaos and back to order again. Being able to flex alongside this ever-changing rhythm, again and again, is the true manifestation of health. To do that we have to first accept that rhythmic adaptation—not balance—is what will support our ability to have a greater impact. It’s also what best supports our cosmic health.
MYTH: Optimal health is an exclusively physical state of being.
Health isn’t an appearance. Nor is it defined by the absence of disease, being an “ideal” size, or having the “perfect” spiritual practice. Health depends as much on our emotional well-being—including our ability to digest uncertainty and challenge—as it does on having a functional physical body.
When we meet emotions with curiosity, humility, and a willingness to understand them within the contexts of past and present, including the cosmic conditions at our birth and at present, we can move into and through them. This willingness to feel our emotions can’t just extend to positive emotions. It also must encompass gnarly emotions like rage, fear, shame, and sadness, all of which are part of the human experience.
By incorporating emotional well-being into our search for health, we can heal the many different, interconnected parts of ourselves. One client of mine experienced this kind of healing when she decided to end a long-term relationship. Although she was scared of being alone and felt overwhelmed by her emotions, with time, space, and support, she learned to feel her feelings. She also realized that experiencing her full range of emotions made her healthier and more resilient.
MYTH: Your health should be as close to perfect as possible.
We live in a time of rapid healthcare innovation and evolution, so much so that we’ve come to believe that everything can and must be cured. Too often we’re sold on the idea that peak health is a state we can and should reach and maintain forever. This just isn’t true. Nor is it possible. I live with a chronic illness and continue to thrive despite my health challenges, and you can too.
Being healthy means constantly changing, growing, and becoming. We’ve been taught to be wary of transitional spaces yet, as master life coach and bestselling author Nancy Levin says, we must “honor the space between no longer and not yet.” Doing so is how we transform into better, more authentic versions of ourselves.
“Imperfect” is healthy, beautiful, and where we need to place our long-term focus.
MYTH: Stress is bad for our health.
For too long we’ve demonized stress when, in fact, stress and self-actualization often go hand in hand. Think about the last time you experienced growth in your life, like when you had to perform a new task, make a big move, or even get married. All of these life-affirming activities come with significant stress.
Stress accompanies growth. Avoiding stress can keep us from evolving, which is counterproductive to health. Instead, our focus needs to be on understanding and managing stress. This includes learning how to lean into stress and grow stronger, smarter, more creative, and more fulfilled as a result.
In order to reap the powerful rewards that navigating stress can deliver, we must prioritize replenishment as much as we do productivity. This means eating for nourishment, sleeping for energy, living for joy, de-escalating stress, finding rewarding purpose in our work, and developing life-giving intimacy with those we love.
This cycle of depletion and replenishment happens continuously in the body. Every day fifty to seventy billion cells in the human body die, and in that same period, it creates an equivalent number of new cells. Similarly, to build muscle we first have to inflict muscle damage by lifting weights or doing strenuous cardio. To prevent long-term injury, we then have to give our muscles time to recover.
On emotional and spiritual levels, we also experience this depletion-replenishment cycle. Depletion, which might appear as dips in energy, lack of motivation, disappointment, challenges, or chaos, is a reality of life. Being healthy means being able to face life as it is, rather than as it “should” be, while simultaneously moving in the direction we choose. In that process, we must also take breaks and recharge our emotional and spiritual “batteries.”
On every level, our health is intimately connected to our ability to rise to the challenges we face and then recover from those energy expenditures.
MYTH: Being healthy is hard work.
We’ve been sold on achieving extreme health—“perfect” health—and we’ve continually fallen short of meeting these impossible expectations. Constantly striving for perfection and chasing health contribute to burnout, depletion, and feelings of shame. Being healthy is an enjoyable, natural state, especially when we attune to a more cyclical way of living. We’ll begin to look at that next.
The Core Principles of Cosmic Health
Now that we’ve busted some of the myths about health and the cosmos, let’s bring these concepts together into a clear picture of what cosmic health means for you. The five principles mentioned earlier and laid out in this section are ones we’ll come back to again and again. They’re also skills you’ll develop as you progress through this book. Think of them as guardrails to keep you in the cosmic health lane.
PRINCIPLE 1: Live cyclically.
The sun rises and sets. The moon waxes and wanes. We live on a planet that rotates on its axis, alternating between day, an extended period of light, and night, a roughly equivalent period of darkness. These are small examples of how the cosmos operates cyclically.
Our bodies also act and react cyclically. The human body (plants and animals too) biologically responds to fluctuations of light and dark. Most cells and tissues in the body run on molecular “clocks” that operate most effectively when they synchronize with the external light–dark cycle they mirror. For example, the circadian rhythm, which is the twenty-four-hour cycle that regulates our sleep and waking times, works best when it syncs with the cycle of night and day.
Like an operator controlling a phone bank, this rhythm supports brain function, first, by reporting to the hypothalamus gland, a tiny portion of the brain that is roughly the size of an almond. The hypothalamus works in concert with the pituitary gland to fire up the adrenals, which create the hormone cortisol in the morning, alerting us to rise, followed by melatonin at night, making us feel sleepy. This major neuroendocrine relationship, known as the HPA axis, controls our autonomic nervous system and sets the stage for healthy hormone function during each part of the twenty-four-hour cycle. This diurnal/nocturnal, or day and night, hormonal oscillation acts as a foundation for all cognitive functioning. As a result, by living in alignment with the natural cycle of light and dark dictated by Earth’s daily rotation and yearly revolution around the sun, we allow our bodies to function better.
When we live out of sync with the natural cycles of light—for example, by exposing ourselves to too much artificial light at night or by failing to sleep—this natural internal clock is disrupted. The hypothalamus fails to do its job and the hormonal symphony it creates doesn’t synchronize. Metabolic function, mood, and cognition are all compromised, performance suffers, and the mood-boosting chemical serotonin dips too low. This inevitably drives us to push ourselves harder, which only causes us to slip further into the abyss of feeling crappy. While all this happens, our immune system weakens, which makes us more vulnerable to health challenges.
Living out of sync with solar and cosmic cycles comes at a great cost, yet it’s an all too common scenario in a modern society that perpetually overrides these natural rhythms. Our calendars and schedules suggest that these essential cycles don’t matter. We banish darkness with artificial light and tech devices. We work and rest according to a clock, not the rising and setting of the sun. While I am not suggesting we forgo electricity and only sleep and wake with the sun, I am pointing out the value of honoring our biological rhythms.
The practice of setting up your environment to support your circadian rhythm, known as circadian entrainment, helps to optimize your body’s process of living rhythmically. Returning to a life that’s more in sync with circadian and cosmic rhythms is an important step toward mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Small, simple practices, like shutting down digital devices at a certain hour each night, can help us achieve this.
This circadian rhythm is a powerful tonic but not the only rhythm that affects us. Two other rhythms that influence us are “ultradian” and “infradian.” An ultradian rhythm is a rhythm shorter than twenty-four hours, often repeating multiple times through the day. The most common one is the basic rest-activity cycle, or BRAC. This cycle happens at 80-to-20-minute intervals and influences our energy and focus and our REM vs. non-REM sleep cycles. Infradian rhythms occur in longer segments. For example, the monthly menstrual cycle runs on an infradian rhythm, mirroring the circalunar rhythm of the moon. The body’s biological response to the seasons is also an infradian rhythm, known as the circannual rhythm.
We don’t have to dissect or even understand every one of the cycles we encounter, but we do need to recognize that life is a rhythm inside a rhythm inside a rhythm. We’re constantly in a dance with our internal beat and the beats of the universe and planets.
Living cyclically, aligned with the cycles of the sun and moon, is the most natural thing you’ll ever do. It’s what you are physically, mentally, and emotionally designed to do. Your body was built to work according to these cycles. The trick is to stop expending valuable time and energy fighting these rhythms and, instead, concede to them—because they guide so much of our biology. When we live in sync with them, everything becomes easier.
PRINCIPLE 2: Build resilience, a key to health.
In order to manage the ever-changing nature of our lives and health, we must be able to navigate the space between what is and what will be. We need to be able to endure, and leverage, chaos. That requires an ever-growing reserve of resilience.
Resilience is the capacity to face and adapt to change and also recover from challenges. It is a concept and way of being that applies to individuals, groups of people, and communities. With resilience, we can not only bounce back from disaster, disappointment, and setbacks but also grow stronger because of them. In doing so, we develop a sense of mastery in our lives.
While its benefits are widely appreciated, resilience itself is often misunderstood. Resilience doesn’t mean that we forgo grief or avoid or suppress the pain we feel at turbulent times in our lives. Nor is resilience a “no pain, no gain” mentality, or about having a “stiff upper lip,” or persevering at any cost.
To become truly resilient, it’s critical that we sensitize ourselves to our emotions and, when necessary, allow ourselves to process the full force of their range. From a health standpoint, repressing, suppressing, or denying emotions can manifest as physical symptoms, encompassing everything from chronic pain to insomnia, headaches, weight fluctuations, hormonal imbalances, and more—all of which can contribute to disease.
Developing resilience means understanding our emotions and feeling them while also moving our lives forward. Maintaining our resilience, and the resilience of our communities, requires our humanity. It’s relational work. To become truly resilient, we must nurture and honor our sensitivity, not push it aside.
PRINCIPLE 3: Know thyself… It is a never-ending adventure.
Who you were yesterday isn’t necessarily who you are today, and who you are today may not be who you are next week. Like the cosmos, you are constantly changing. You will never be “finished.” When you embrace growth and change as fundamental building blocks of health, you give yourself ample and ongoing permission to transform. Your identity is constantly adapting, which also means that you’re forever in the process of getting to know yourself.
That continual process of getting to know yourself is essential to creating cosmic health.
By applying this evolutionary mindset to the self-awareness journey, we become more flexible and willing to make new and different choices that reflect and support our most radiant health. This is a form of mindful living, in which we stay rooted in the present and notice and respond to what the body, mind, and soul need at any given point in time.
Rather than pursuing one-size-fits-all health trends, we can slow down, listen, and tailor our health and self-care to meet our individual
- “Cosmic Health is absolutely fabulous. The blessings of reading this book include enhancing your understanding of your health as well as how intimately you are connected to the cosmos. You can’t afford not to read Cosmic Health.”—Caroline Myss, author of Intimate Conversations with the Divine and Anatomy of the Spirit
“With deep wisdom and compassion, Jennifer Racioppi's Cosmic Health distills the universal patterns of astrology, positive psychology, and holistic wellness into a rich text that will surely delight the modern seeker. I found myself feeling stronger and more resilient connecting the modern studies and science-based evidence with the ancient rituals and practices as outlined by Jennifer. Truth, inspiration, healing, and calm flow through the pages.”
—Alexandra Jamieson, co-producer of Super Size Me and bestselling author of Radical Alignment and Women, Food, And Desire.
“In Cosmic Health, Jennifer Racioppi grounds celestial wisdom into the Age of Aquarius by working with psychology and science to support the power of archetypal wisdom and astrology as paths to understanding the self holistically. Whether you know your birth chart from back to front or are just learning your moon sign, this book will guide you through the cosmos with a sense of empathy and authority that makes you feel seen and understood. Jennifer is here to guide readers back into their divine essence, all served with a side of magick and optimism.”
—Gabriela Herstik, author of Bewitching the Elements
“Cosmic Health is much more than a book; it is a companion for traveling through your own unique ‘sacred door of chaos,’ and into the creative energy, resilience, and vibrant health waiting on the other side. As you’ll learn in the pages ahead, living cyclically within the larger patterns of the universe will amplify your natural healing capabilities and your joy, and Jennifer is the perfect teacher to guide you through this process.”
—Jenny Blake, author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
“Cosmic Health is a revolutionary resource that demystifies astrology while illuminating the undeniable link between body, mind, spirit, and what’s happening in the heavens. Jenn’s vast knowledge and experience, alongside her signature straight-from-the-hip insight and guidance, offers us a brilliant blueprint for discovering truth and accessing healing at our core. This book is a treasure that I can barely put down!”
—Nancy Levin, author of Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free
- “Eloquent and thoughtful. Jennifer Racioppi has delivered a life-changing way to apply astrology to your life, your health, and wellbeing like no other. This book is brilliant. A true game-changer.”—Colette Baron-Reid, author of The Map: Find Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life
- “Reading Cosmic Health feels like receiving a beautiful, supportive, life-affirming gift. Using a brilliant blend of ancient wisdom and modern science, Racioppi guides us to turn our challenges into fuel to create powerful resilience in every area of life. Expect to deepen your relationship with yourself, redefine what health really means, and become intimately attuned to your innate capacity to heal. This is a book you'll keep returning to over and over again.”—Jenny Sansouci, author of The Rebel's Apothecary
- “Cosmic Health is a roadmap for cultivating resilience. It is like your personalized guiding star, chock full of the tools and information you need to capably navigate the unique challenges you will undoubtedly face during your time on this planet. I can think of no better person to expertly guide you on this healing journey than Jennifer Racioppi, whose one-of-a-kind visionary wisdom is far beyond her years.”—Nicole Jardim, author of Fix Your Period
- “Jennifer displays a deep talent for all things healing. She has a profound ability to break down big ideas into easy to digest knowledge. This book is full of astrological insight, evidence-based wisdom, and is a true resource for practical magic. What a gift Jennifer is to all of us.”—Debra Silverman, author of The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Experience
- “Jennifer is my go-to for all things astrology. This book is a much-needed guide and genuine support to living in alignment and congruence in these changing times. I cannot recommend it, and her, enough. She's one of a kind and this book is the same.”—Rebecca Campbell, author of Light Is the New Black
- “Jennifer Racioppi's work offers a template and, more than that, a doorway into a paradigm shift that expands our understanding about the massive rhythms that influence our particular star-gifted legacies. Jennifer gives us the gift of knowing that it is possible to cultivate health without choosing between either science or astrology. We, as she so deftly and honestly demonstrates, can honor and activate both.”—Maria Sirois, Psy.D., author of A Short Course in Happiness After Loss (and Other Dark, Difficult Times)
- On Sale
- Jan 12, 2021
- Page Count
- 416 pages
- Little Brown Spark