An Astrological Study of Panic Disorders


As astrology is the study of life experiences on Earth, I wanted to know if there are specific signatures or patterns within a natal chart that may indicate a predisposition to panic attacks. The initial findings presented here, represent a very small sample size, as I continue to collect charts of individuals who suffer from the disorder. Please note that this is not a complete study, and are only my initial observations. A set of at least 100 individuals will be necessary to begin really digging deep within the charts, their patterns, aspects, and connections. In this initial study we will look at the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, and Imum Coeli. I hope these initial findings will demonstrate that the study of panic disorders in astrology deserves a more comprehensive study. I would first like to thank Franco Soulbody from Alphee Lavoie’s AstroInvestigators research group for assisting me with the statistical computations. The AstroInvestigators are a research group dedicated to doing statistical scientific research to both prove and disprove astrology.

For the purposes of this study, a panic disorder is defined as a disorder a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by sudden attacks of fear and panic. Panic attacks may occur without a known reason, but more frequently they are triggered by fear-producing events or thoughts, such as taking an elevator or driving. Symptoms of panic attacks include rapid heartbeat, strange chest sensations, shortness of breath, dizziness, tingling, and anxiousness. Hyperventilation, agitation, and withdrawal are common results. Panic disorder is believed to be due to an abnormal activation of the body’s hormonal system, causing a sudden ‘fight or flight’ response.

I am still looking for participants. If you or someone you know would like to help me with my research please send me an email with your birth info. (Date, Time, & Location).

Analysis of the Sun

The Sun in astrology represents our physical bodies, as well as our the core of our souls being. It is the bridge between our physical and spiritual bodies. Assessing the position of the Sun may help us understand the physical effects a panic attack will have on the body.

Examining the position and quality of the Sun, there appears to be a higher frequency of individuals born in the first two signs of the zodiac. These are Aries and Taurus. In Medical astrology Aries rules the head, and Taurus rules the neck. These are the two most common places anxiety is stored in the body. In astrology, the Sun represents the physical body, and it is interesting to consider that these two signs stand out in the study. In terms of the Sun in each of the four elements, both Fire and Earth energy are pronounced, followed by water. The lowest occurrence of an element is Air. The Air signs are ruled by intellect, and social understanding. It is interested to note that individuals born in any of these signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) may be blessed with stronger mental fortitude, that prevents the inappropriate firing of neurons in the synapse of the brain, which causes panic attacks. There appears to be a slight increase increase of the Sun in fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Aquarius), which may be due to the rigid energy of fixed nature and the common experience of “feeling trapped” by those experiencing panic attacks. The lower occurrences of mutable energy illustrates the relaxed nature of these signs.

Analysis of the Moon

The Moon represents our emotional nature, habits, instincts, and needs. The position of the Moon can also reveal how we handle emotions. Given the erratic nature of a panic attack, the Moon should give is insight into how and why anxiety may manifest in the form of panic.

The two most prominent placements of the Moon in a sign were Leo and Pisces. Looking first at Leo, when the Moon falls in this sign the native is often described as having a strong need for emotional security from others, while desiring the proverbial spotlight. Leo Moon energy requires a great deal of affection to function well in the world. If we consider that a panic attack often inspires attention from others, while also produces feelings of embarrassment or shame we can easily see how this lunar placement scores the highest among other signs. A Pisces Moon comes in at a close second, which in a native represents a deep connection to their emotions, as well as a vivid imagination. Interestingly, when panic begins the mind races with imaginative false thoughts, which attempt to explain the physical reaction that is happening to the body. It is no wonder, that a Pisces Moon would feature prominently in this initial study.

The triplicity of the Moon’s position shows a strong emphasis on Fire and Water energy. Fire Moon’s experience emotions intensely and passionately and, like fire, can rage out of control in a moment. It can also quickly subside, which is often seen in the cycle of a panic attack. The Water Moon’s experience a wide range of emotions through life, with an emphasis on emotional experiences. It is interesting to note the low occurrences of Earth and Air, which rule stability and intellect, respectively.

The Modality of the Moon is split between fixed and mutable, with a seemingly significant lack of cardinal placements. This is an unusual finding, as Cardinal Moon’s are often described as active, anxious, and ambitious. Given the initiatory energy of cardinal signs, we may explain this finding as the ability to lead emotionally, without getting stuck in fixed, or lost in mutable placements.

The above graph illustrates aspects to the Moon in the sample’s natal charts. The aspects utilized for this study included the conjunction, sextile,square, trine, and opposition. There is a fairly even distribution of aspects to planets, with an emphasis on Uranus. Uranus is considered the planet of shock, nervousness, and electricity. It is no surprise that aspects between the Moon (one’s emotional nature) and Uranus, would suggest the presence of a panic disorder. Mars scored the lowest in the study, leading this researcher to believe that lack of connection between the Moon and Mars would free an individuals from the malefic energies of Mars influencing their emotions.

Analysis of the Ascendant

The Ascendant illustrates the impression we give to the world around us, and will often describe our natural defense mechanisms. The planet that rules the Ascendant is also said to describe the types of experiences we will encounter in our lives. In this study, Libra is the most common sign on the Ascendant, which is often perceived by others as balanced. This is contract to the unbalanced feelings of an individuals suffering from a Panic Disorder. However, it is important to remember that this is what others first see. It is common among individuals who live with panic to give off a sense of balance, which makes it difficult for others to understand the suffering they are going through. Libra also shows us that these individuals are constantly striving for balance in their lives, and will often be faced with situations where that balance is tested.

No participants in the study were born with Aquarius on the Ascendant. When Aquarius rises, we often see an individual confident in their own uniqueness, with a thirst for freedom. These individuals are often seen as quirky, and innovative. Individuals suffering from anxiety and Panic disorders, do their best to blend in with the rest of society in order to ensure a sense of calm unity.

In this study, Earth signs are most frequent on the ascendant. The Earth energy would seem to suggest that others see the person initially as stable, and well grounded. This is contrary to a Panic Disorder. However, like Libra, it makes sense that others would see balance and strength, as so many attempt to hide their anxieties out of embarrassment and the desire to suppress the uncomfortable feelings of panic. Earth energy is also described a shy, which may be expressed through avoiding social situations that may trigger or cause a panic attack. The Cardinal quality of the ascendant is the most restless of the 3 quadruplicities, while the lack of Fixed signatures here may suggest the immovability perceived by others who attempt to socialize with those with a Panic Disorder.

Analysis of the Imum Coeli

The Imum Coeli (IC) is the opposite of the Midheaven, and represents the part of ourselves that is hidden and where we turn for inward self-examination. The two most prominent signs found here are Capricorn and Aries. Capricorn embodies all that is stable, disciplined, and self controlled. Aries represents courage, vitality, and confidence. If we consider the IC to be a place where we must dig deep to access, these qualities may feel inaccessible from individuals with Panic Disorders. It may also be interesting to consider that both Aries and Capricorn are vigilant signs, and being hyper-vigilant for the next panic attack is a common symptom of Panic Disorders. In this case, it may be understood that these individuals have yet to uncover how to utilize these energies in a productive way.

The IC not only illustrates what is hidden from ourselves, but it also shows our roots, and where we come from in life. The absence of Libra may suggest that the easy going, balance, and harmonious energies of Libra were not present in the natives family or early development.

Looking at the tiplicity of the IC we see a significant lack of Air energy. As discussed above, Air represents rational, logical, and balanced judgement. With these qualities hidden, we can easily see how a Panic Disorder could be present when Air is lacking in this position. The spike in Cardinal energy also supports this theory, as the native may have a difficult time accessing the leadership and and confidence found in these signs.

Final Thoughts

It is difficult to come to any conclusions at this point, as this is only an initial observation, with a small sample size. What I can conclude is that more research is needed, and the data collected so far indicates that it may be possible to uncover astrological indicators of Panic Disorders. However, it is interesting to see how the elements and modalities that rule the 3 major points in the chart seem to give us a clear information about how these aspects can have an effect on the presence of a Panic Disorder in individuals. Please stay tuned for a more detailed exploration and analysis once a I have a larger sample size.

I am still looking for participants. If you or someone you know would like to help me with my research please send me an email with your birth info. (Date, Time, & Location).

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