By Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, LAc, Dipl. Ac., MS, MM and MichelAngelo , MFA, CTM
This month, we shall resume our exploration of non-needle modalities, with a balancing tuning fork facial that addresses the quintessential Oriental polarity of yin and yang, as expressed by the Western astrological pairing of the planets Venus and Mars.
This article will be the first in a continuing series focusing on applications of Western planetary energies in the context of Oriental facial treatment protocols.
Harmony and Disharmony: An Astrological Perspective
It is from Pythagoras, the noted Greek philosopher/scientist, and the ancient world that we have inherited the metaphysical concept of the "music of the spheres."
According to Pythagoras, the whole world consisted of harmony and number. Both the microcosmic soul and the macrocosmic universe were assembled according to ideal proportions, interpreted as a sequence of tones. The pitches of the individual notes of this celestial scale were derived from planetary orbital velocities, and distances between the respective planets were expressed as numerical ratios that corresponded to musical intervals.
Later interpretations of Pythagorean mysticism incorporated the idea that human beings, as souls who incarnate into physical form, descend from the supernal regions of the eternal stars and pass through each planetary sphere in turn, prior to birth; this journey imbues them with certain aspects of these archetypes, which find unique expression in individual character and destiny. The template for this cosmic patterning is customarily regarded as the natal chart.
Viewed through the lens of Western astrological medicine, this theory of planetary influence has historically been considered relevant to issues of constitutional balance and imbalance. In keeping with some of the basic tenets of Oriental medicine, and with the approach of constitutional facial renewal, such an essential harmony or disharmony within the individual can be seen to manifest its effects on the terrain of the face.
In attempting to address these concerns, it seems appropriate to employ tools that can serve to re-establish equilibrium. We might view this delicate balance as an expression of the relationship of yin and yang, and utilize astrological archetypes that are particularly relevant to this polarity.
Archetypes of Balance: Planetary Pairings
Western astrology recognizes a solar system now consisting of 10 planets: The sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. As such, these planetary energies can be seen to form several functional and complementary dyads; two of them, sun/moon and Venus/Mars, are representative of the primal polarities of yin/yang, masculine/feminine, etc. The sun and moon, in simple terms, are the great cosmic mother and father, but it is with Venus and Mars that the dynamic forces of relationship find their most active expression. Yang seeks its complement and quietus in the harbor of yin, who then nurtures yang so that the cycle may begin anew. Mars desires, and Venus functions as the object of that desire; their participation in relationship is a necessary adjunct to the perpetuation of the species, the satisfaction of the erotic impulse, the creative drive for beauty and harmony, or the formation of a deeper bond of intimate love.
Venus and Mars: The Dance of Relationship
This mythological duo was among the most tempestuous of the lovers on Mount Olympus. Venus, the infinitely desirable goddess of love, was married to the lame smith-god, Hephaestus (known to the Romans as Vulcan), to whom she was invariably cruel and unfaithful. Mars - like most of his male cohorts, unattached - was, of course, the less-than-congenial god of war; boorish, crude, violent, bloodthirsty, and uncivilized. Nevertheless, Venus conceived quite a passion for him.
Vulcan (or Hephaestus; pronounced "Hey, Festus," who, coincidentally, bore more than a casual resemblance to Marshall Dillon's sidekick) felt he'd hit the jackpot with his blushing new bride, Venus, and created a diamond-encrusted bikini for her to wear, into which he wove magic in the filigree. (Too bad he forgot about an accompanying chastity belt!) This was definitely not the smartest move on his part, because Venus' allure was enhanced ten-fold by her "enchanted" panties!
Venus, happy to adorn herself with her spouse's fashion creations, nevertheless wasted no time in finding opportunities for amorous dalliance; one of her most notorious liaisons was with her brother, Mars, the strong, silent type. Unfortunately, she decided to bring him home and consummate her illicit desire on the sofa; whereupon Hephaestus, catching them in flagrante delicto, threw a golden net over the two-backed deity! He then invited all of the immortals over for a cocktail party, subjecting the divine duplicitous duo to more than a bit of good-natured ribbing. However, such public exposure in no way diminished the ardor of their mutual attraction!1
Vigor, head area in general, inflammatory response, body heat, adrenal function, digestion of food, muscular tissue, energy and activity, motor nerves, tendons, left brain, sex organs/sexual functions involving aggression and the relevant sex organs, hemoglobin and blood fibrinogen, white blood cells (phagocytes), rectum
This somewhat amusing myth points out the necessity for these unlikely bedfellows to enter into partnership, and their corresponding inability to exist without the other, regardless of the potential consequences. Each of us, in turn, is required to cultivate that same relationship within ourselves, and negotiate a truce between these seemly incompatible polarities.
Moreover, it should be pointed out that, from the standpoint of traditional astrology, between the two of them, Mars and Venus had dominion over the entirety of the four Western elements which were seen to constitute the realm of matter: fire, earth, air and water. Venus ruled the air sign of Libra and the earth sign of Taurus; Mars ruled the fire sign of Aries and the water sign of Scorpio (although in modern astrology, the latter is associated with Pluto). Thus, an imbalance between the two, as indicated by the elemental configurations of the astrological chart, might manifest as the kind of constitutional disharmony that results in premature aging we seek to ameliorate through the various protocols of facial renewal.
Mars and Venus: A Perfect Fit (5th)
In formulating a balancing facial treatment, we are fortunate in being able to use the twin frequencies of Mars and Venus as expressed by means of planetary tuning forks. As has been pointed out in a previous article, these tuning forks are precisely calibrated to planetary vibrations. The theoretical underpinnings for such a distillation of cosmic harmonies were first posited by Johannes Kepler in the 17th century, and given concrete formulation by the Swiss mathematician and physicist Hans Cousto in the late 20th century.
Mars and Venus are tuned approximately to the pitches of D and A, respectively. Their duet sounds the interval of a perfect 5th; this interval is the building block of Western musical harmony. According to Donna Carey, the co-founder of Acutonics, the perfect 5th "is the most common interval used in music; its pure sound helps musicians tune. This interval is also very spiritual ... calming, relaxing and opening. It can help us meditate and balance our natural rhythms. It opens us to our deepest selves and thus to our spirit."2
The perfect 5th is the second harmonic of the overtone series, which seeks resolution either by returning to the home tone (or tonic), or in resolving upward to the octave, which is merely a higher expression of that same tonic note. Thus, the 5th can be seen to function as a kind of harmonic fulcrum, i.e., that point at which two polarities are in perfect symmetry.
Venus/Mars Tuning Fork Balancing Protocol
Apply essential oils or cream to neck and face. Have your patient listen to and absorb the harmony of the two forks prior to beginning your treatment:
Neck: Vibrate both forks on clavicle; hold the Mars fork on clavicle, glide Venus up the neck. Hold on the jawbone, under the chin. Cover the entire neck area; hold each position for three seconds.
Chin: Pinch the Mars and Venus forks together along the jaw line (lift). Cover the entire jaw area and maintain each position for three seconds.
Smile line (naso-labial fold): Vibrate both forks at the corners of the mouth (St 4); hold Mars at St 4, and glide Venus up to LI 20 at the wing of the nose (hold for three seconds). Pinch the naso-labial fold vertically together for three seconds.
Cheekbones: From LI 20 out to the ear, pinch and lift the cheekbones (zygomatic bone); maintain each position for three seconds.
Eyes: Vibrate both forks at the corners of the eyes (GB 1); hold the Mars fork at GB 1, circle Venus around the eye, in the direction the eyebrows grow (very gently!). Circle each eye three times.
Eyebrows: Pinch and lift the eyebrows from UB 2 (yuyao) to TH 23 (hold each position for three seconds).
Forehead: Cross-hatch the forehead, then perform the following steps:
Glide the forks vertically, with Venus traveling up to the hairline, and Mars down to the brow; cover the entire area.
Glide the forks horizontally out to the temples; apply this procedure to the entire forehead.
Scalp: Use both Mars and Venus forks around the face just inside the hairline; hold each position for three seconds.
End your treatment by placing both Mars and Venus forks together on Ren 17, in the heart chakra.
Venus and Mars are entirely appropriate for use in a balancing facial, and can serve to harmonize the twin hemispheres of the face. The right relates to the yin, Venusian archetype, and the left to the yang, Martian principle. This pairing of masculine and feminine not only restores the equilibrium of brain chemistry, but also promotes an inner sacred marriage, the hieros gamos, that manifests outwardly as a lifting and toning of the face, mirroring both an enhanced sense of harmony and balance and a radiant unity.
This retelling of the myth of Venus and Mars is drawn from the private writings of MichelAngelo. Copyright 2003.
Acutonics: There's No Place Like Ohm. Donna Carey and Marjorie de Muynck, Devachan Press, Vadito, NM, 2002, p. 70.
Acutonics course materials, level 3. Harmonic Attunement. Kairos Institute of Sound Healing, LLC, 2002.
Acutonics teaching materials. Planetary Bodies: Astrological Symbolism, Correspondences, and Healing Applications. Kairos Institute of Sound Healing, LLC, 2003.
Click here for previous articles by Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, LAc, Dipl. Ac., MS, MM.
MichelAngelo practices energy astrology, a blending of Oriental medicine, bodywork and astrology, with special emphasis on healing with sound. He may be contacted at