The format is ugly. The spine is along the left-hand side, as usual. The page format is in two colums, side by side. There is absolutely no reason for this, and as the publisher, Schiffer, has not previously produced books in this format, and as there is another recent Lehman title that is the same, I presume the author insisted on it.
Let's go chapter by chapter.
Chapter 1, The History of Medicine and Astro-Medicine. Topics include, From Prehistory to Mesopotamia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greek cultures and the Roman Empire, The humoral system, On the way to the Galenic synthesis, Astrology enters Greek culture, Competing schools of medicine, Botany, Anatomy, Local vs. general: The problem of humoral fluids, Katarchi, Amulets, Galen, Jewish medicine, The Indian connection, China, the Byzantine Empire, Persian and Arabic contributions, The Latin west and the middle ages, Into the early modern period, The new "rational" models, The 17th century, From classical homeopathy to the new empiricism, The mid-19th century, Late 19th - early 20th century, and finally, Endnotes. The chapter is 47 pages and has 244 footnotes.
Chapter 2, Understanding Hippocratic-Galenic Medicine, starts with Learning Objectives. Here they are:
Including 87 footnotes, Chapter 2 is 32 pages long, so of course the Learning Objectives are not taught, merely surveyed. It would take several years to learn them.
- Learn about the value of theoretical systems for the development of medicine.
- Understand the difference between sacred concepts of disease and empirical ones.
- Consider ways to evaluate ancient systems of medicine without allowing modern concepts to interfere.
- Learn about the precision of ancient observation
- Learn the basic system of humoral medicine and the humoral theory of disease
- Be able to apply the qualities of hot, cold, wet and dry, and observe how their effects inform everyday life, and health matters specifically.
- Understand and be able to use food preparation and cooking to change the qualities of food.
- Learn the basic definitions of the four primary temperaments.
- Understand how the structure of the body can affect the development of disease.
- Learn the difference between curing a disease and reducing its symptoms
- Learn how exercise and other components of lifestyle impact the body's exposure to the four qualities.
- Learn how to treat the body by contraries and similars.
- Understand Arisotle's doctrine of transformation of elements.
- Understand how food is transformed into the body itself.
- Learn the four virtues related to the assimilation of food.
Chapter 3 is Body, Health, Temperament and Virtue. It includes chart examples. Here is part of Billie Jean King:
Billie Jean shares the Saturn rulership of the Ascendant with Dorothy [Dorothy Hamill - Dave], and one does get the sense that both of them didn't have either an easy or a glamorous life. Billie Jean has probably been the biggest fighter for the rights of women that the tennis world has ever known. Unlike Dorothy, Billie Jean's Saturn is dignified, in this case, by Triplicity [Saturn 26 Scorpio - Dave], although it is also retrograde. With a dignified Saturn, one can be more confident in the ultimate success of incremental change. And we have the same circumstance that Peggy Fleming has with her Jupiter: a retrograde planet in dignity. As I indicated in Peggy's chart: there is the question of whether the imbecilic planet dignified can render itself. I wonder whether we couldn't say the same of the dignified imbecilic planet as what Lilly says about the Moon Void in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius or Pisces: "yet somewhat she performeth." (pgs. 109-110)
The book is both highly scholastic and academic, as well as endlessly discursive. It reads as if it is a transcription of an oral presentation, where discursions serve the purpose of relieving the tedium. But as a book, there is an inability to cut through the details and arrive at simple, clear statements.
Chapter 4 is on diseases. Lehman discusses heart, cancer and drugs, along with suicide. This is rather limited. Lehman stays strictly to her (rather narrow) focus. With Billie Jean King, she notes that Lilly said the chart ruler in the 6th or 12th made for a sickly person, which applies to King. Lehman notes that King was not a sickly person, and then lets it drop. She does the same with Peggy Flemming and Dorothy Hammill, both of which had their Suns in the 9th. Lehman resurrects "joys," which are the houses planets favor. The Sun "joys" in the 9th, which for some reason Lehman equates with actual happiness (pg. 158). Regrettably, I have the Sun in the 9th. The Sun may "joy," but the individual does not.
Chapter 5 is on longevity. Which is death. This is a rare topic in any astrology book. Lehman starts out with a simple survey of aphorisms. Saturn in good condition produces death by natural causes but only after a lot of saturnine symptoms. Saturn in poor condition produces an abrupt or violent death, etc., which, again, is not developed. There are bar graphs: The signs of Arabic parts for deaths by heart attacks and cancer. There are a number of tables breaking down heart and cancer deaths by the position of the Moon and Mars, etc., and while there is a lot of variation, the charts did nothing for me. I want concepts, not statistics. The chapter concludes with length of life calculations.
Chapter 6, with the fancy name of Iatromancy, is about decumbiture. Iatro- is a fancy Greek prefix that means, "doctor." Ivan Illich popularized iatrogenic, which means, "doctor-induced," which is to say, diseases you get from doctors. Lehman gives a long list of aphorisms. I like Lilly's better. The chapter ends with a number of horary cases. Which, by definition, are not decumbitures. Horary is voluntary. Decumbitures are not.
Chapter 7 is on "prediction through time" and is in fact on decumbitures, since the decumbiture chart shows how the disease will progress. Lehman gives examples from Cardan, sets of charts which all have the same name. Lehman then goes on to modern examples, but here she uses transit charts. We have the date of admission to a hospital and then two days later, we have a transit chart for a surgery. So far as I can tell, Lehman muddles the two. She then takes up with disease as shown in a solar return, which is a lot further than I would like to take a return chart. We again have lots of charts with the same title. Anymore my eyes are not that strong and I need a magnifying glass to read the dates under the titles.
Chapter 8 is dates for surgery. The writing in this chapter is poor. Do not use these instructions. Get Judith Hill's book (above). If you have the money and it's critical, hire Judith to cast a chart for surgery. She's been doing it for years, she's a pro. Major surgery isn't something you want to mess with.
Chapter 9 is on purges (enemas, vomits), diets and habits. Which for some reason starts with medicinal herbs. Lehman has written books on botany. Her work here is poor. How did ancient and medieval people decide what plant cured what? Lehman does not know!!!! Blagrave is vastly better. Quinine is a New World plant, it was found in South America. It was no sooner found than it was immediately identified for its effect on maleria, which was known as ague. Medieval man could do this.
Chapter 10 is the conclusion. Lehman thinks the period of Pluto in Capricorn will see the collapse of modern medicine. Which seems likely to me.
As a book on medical astrology, the book is weak. As a supplement to better books, this book is of interest and will lead you into many other areas, which will quickly take you beyond this book, which in many ways is limited.
At Lehman's website there is currently (March, 2012) a poll asking visitors to vote on what book she should write next. I don't care what book anyone writes, only that they write the book they believe in, heart and soul. Nothing else is worth-while.
This entry follows Judith Hill's, above, for a wicked reason: The two women dislike each other. I am not privy to the reason why.
Schiffer, 336 pages, oversize.