Dr. Christine Schaffner Podcast Episode #93

Cosmic Health: Unlock Healing with Astrology – Jennifer Racioppi with Dr. Christine Schaffner

On This Episode

There’s much more to astrology than weekly horoscopes, personality types, and predictions for the future. It is a guide to living in sync with the natural rhythms of the universe to achieve optimal health and astonishing success.

Dr. Christine Schaffner has an in-depth conversation with astrologer and transformational coach Jennifer Racioppi about her new book, Cosmic Health: Unlock Your Healing Magic with Astrology, Positive Psychology, and Integrative Wellness 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.

Episode Highlights:

  1. Jennifer’s struggles and health journey being diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancer when she was barely out of high school. 
  2. Understanding the role of stress on the female hormonal system. 
  3. How you can tap into your lunar stages and your natal chart to improve energy, focus, and resilience.

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To learn more about Jennifer and her work with Cosmic Health, visit her website https://jenniferracioppi.com/

Purchase Jennifer’s book, Cosmic Health: Unlock Your Healing Magic with Astrology, Positive Psychology, and Integrative Wellness 

About Jennifer Racioppi

Jennifer Racioppi is a certified Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach, a holistic health counselor, a Positive Psychology coach, and an astrologer. Her popular private practice often has a waitlist due to high demand. Since 2017 Racioppi has written Well + Good’s weekly Cosmic Health column. She’s also served as the resident astrologer for Kate Northrup’s membership site Origin, wrote regular horoscopes for Reebok, and has had her work featured in numerous publications including Cosmopolitan Magazine, MindBodyGreen, Forbes, Business Insider, and more. Her first book, Cosmic Health, was released in January 2021 with Little Brown Spark.

To download a copy of the Transcript –  click here

TRANSCRIPT: Cosmic Health: Unlocking Healing With Astrology with Jennifer Racioppi and Dr. Christine Schaffner

Dr. Christine Schaffner: Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Christine Schaffner, and today, my guest is Jennifer Racioppi. Today, our podcast is about cosmic health, one of my most favorite topics, and Jenn goes deep into how we are cyclical beings, and how the more that we connect with our rhythms in nature, the healthier that we can become.

0:00:20.9 DS: Jennifer Racioppi is a certified Duke Integrated Medicine Health Coach, a holistic health counselor, a positive psychology coach, and an astrologer. Her popular private practice often has a waitlist due to high demand. Since 2017, Jennifer has written the Well+Good’s weekly Cosmic Health column. She’s also served as the resident astrologer for Kate Northrup’s membership site, Origin, wrote regular horoscopes for Reebok, and has had her work featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, MindBodyGreen, Forbes Business Insider, The Numinous, Netflix Family, and Aerie. Her first book, Cosmic Health, was released in January 2021 with Little Brown Spark. I hope you enjoy the podcast.

0:01:05.2 DS: Welcome, Jenn, it’s really an honor to meet you.

0:01:15.0 Jennifer Racioppi: Oh, thank you so much, I’m so glad to be here.

0:01:17.6 DS: I start many of my podcasts hoping for people to get to know you more, just learning more about your journey into this world of astrology and cosmic health and what led you to have such a passion and interest in this topic.

0:01:29.2 JR: My journey started many, many, many years ago. Sadly, as a teenager, I had really dysfunctional hormonal problems, issues that impacted my ability to feel happy, stable, steady, and really just have a normal experience with my period. I had really horrific menstrual cycles, very long, very painful, I later learned that I had endometriosis. But along the way, I would go to the doctor all the time, the gynecologist, to find out what was wrong, and they basically told me I was a normal, healthy teenager with hormonal dysfunction, and they put me on the pill and an SSRI and they’d send me on my way.

0:02:13.1 JR: Maybe six weeks after I graduated high school, I had a very large tumor erupt inside my left ovary, which was removed, my left ovary was removed, my left fallopian tube was removed, I was biopsied and was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer, which was then followed up with an endometrial cancer diagnosis a year later, and I had a radical hysterectomy with both ovaries removed by the time I was 19, which landed me in menopause.

0:02:41.8 JR: I was pretty lost after that. I technically had beaten cancer, which was a huge thing, but I didn’t have any natural hormones. My health got worse after that, then it just became more chronic. My mood, I had some anxiety issues, I had some depression issues, and really I had perimenopause, I’m going to describe what that was. I was having hot flashes and cognitive impairment and it was pretty wild. Along the way, I started studying anything and everything I could about healing naturally, and learned about Moon phases and lunar phases and how cycling with the Moon’s rhythm was a way to replace the menstrual rhythm that I had lost. Everything just took off from there. That was in 2001.

0:03:34.7 DS: Wow, what an incredible thing to go through at such a young age, and to not find all the answers in the conventional world. While you made such a recovery, you still have your whole life ahead of you, finding balance, and I love that you connected with the Moon cycle. Being a Naturopath, some of my patients have all sorts of irregularities with their menstrual cycle, one of the things that we do is seed cycling with the Moon cycle, and it’s amazing as we connect not only with our hormones, but also the energies of the Moon and how we have this whole connectedness and rhythm in life, and the more that we look at this, the deeper we can find meaning, I think, in our daily existence. At least that’s my experience.

0:04:17.6 JR: Totally, I agree.

0:04:21.5 DS: Before you even really dove into having this whole astrology career and coaching career, you found your way through a few other avenues before this, right? You did some corporate consulting, is that correct?

0:04:33.4 JR: Yes. I had cancer in ’97, ’98, I moved to California in ’99, I started following the phase of the Moon in 2001. There was a good five or six years there where I was just deeply invested in my own health and healing. My corporate career is this interesting thing, when I look back, I’m like, “How did that even happen? I don’t know.” I worked at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in the ethics and compliance department, and when I left Pricewaterhouse Coopers, I really wanted to go out and do performance coaching for women who were high-achieving and not wanting to burn out, because when I was in my corporate world, I was like, wait a second, I actually really love this job for many reasons, but what’s going on around me? All these women are burnt out, no one’s totally satisfied and they just didn’t seem healthy. When I went to pursue my entrepreneurial path, I realized I was nowhere near ready to do that. I ended up staying in the financial sector and I consulted with a hedge fund, did other things in finance for a while as I built my practice.

0:05:45.5 DS: I know, it’s like we sometimes don’t understand quite why we’re in certain venues on our path, but having that firsthand experience of stress, and how that impacts all of us, especially our female hormonal system and our connection. I see a lot of chronic modern-day illnesses, but there’s so many routes to prevent them along the way, and I think we just live in this very stressful society. You were dropped in probably the epicenter of that during that time of your life.

0:06:17.3 DS: So Jenn, you had this personal healing journey and you found your way through these different environments, and then you embarked into astrology and coaching. Tell us about what you’ve created and how you work with people these days.

0:06:31.7 JR: That’s a great question. Well, my practice actually evolved really sort of organically. I was very much geared towards working with ambitious women on their high-performance lifestyles, burnout prevention, looking at how health and happiness form the foundation of greater trajectories with career, professional success, and leadership. So, prioritizing exercise and nutrition and personal satisfaction in and outside of career as a foundation for what would breed greater levels of creativity and collaboration and ultimately leadership. That only got so far, before people were like, “Well, wait, what’s this Moon thing you do?” Or, “What’s this other thing you do? My friend told me you did this for them.” I was like, why are people talking about this? I don’t want to do this.

0:07:20.0 JR: I was really timid about putting that out into the world, I was more like, I went to Duke, in integrative medicine, to become a behavior change specialist. I worked at one of the biggest consulting firms in the world. I was very regimented in the science and the pragmatic career background I had had, but as things happen, the universe had a different plan for me, and so I started talking about how I follow the phases of the Moon, the rituals I do with the Moon, how I plan my life. These are things that clients have done in the past, and people were just so hungry for this. So over time, I became less shy about it, and I started putting it at the forefront of my work and seriously, seriously, seriously apprenticing and studying astrology. Many people think astrology is just like, “Oh anyone can do it.” Or, “I know my Sun, Moon, and rising.” Or, “Let me look at this for you” and da-da-da-da, and “That’s what you are.” That’s not really what astrology is.

0:08:18.1 JR: Astrology, probably in the same way naturopathic medicine is, is a very rigorous field of study, of which there’s no end of studying, and there’s really no end of mastery, it’s the most humbling, humbling, humbling craft because there’s no destination. People 30 years my senior in the astrology world, they’re still studying their craft and perfecting. I don’t even know if ‘perfecting’ is the word, but adjusting how they practice. Astrology is one of those things where it’s just an endless rabbit hole, but it’s become my passion and it’s become my reason for almost everything. It’s just so strange because I never thought that I would be so forward about that, but really, I found astrology because I was trying to find a way to make sense of my own life. I was trying to find a way to make sense of why I had these health problems. Were they in my chart? Was this pre-determined? Was this something environmental? Was this a psychosomatic? What that hell happened and how do I live this life as a post-menopausal barren woman? You’re supposed to be post-menopausal for a portion of your life, not the majority of your life.

0:09:32.1 JR: I was really just searching for my own answers, and I was going to astrologers for these answers, and some did better jobs than others, giving me hope. I have a very complicated natal chart, as I think most healers do, we don’t get to this work because everything was all roses, it’s like there was something in our life that sent us on this path. I would often go see astrologers in this deep investigation of just trying to understand. I would walk away feeling terrible, just bad, I was cosmically cursed or I was never going to get out of this, and that was a pretty demoralizing way of approaching astrology or being on the receiving end of it. I don’t think it was anyone’s intention. The more I studied this, I was like, Oh, there’s so many ways to interpret this, and there’s so much hope in this, particularly if you marry it with some lifestyle skills and some coaching, and that became my ‘why,’ I guess. That’s how people make sense of things, with options on how to improve it.

0:10:37.7 DS: Were you eventually able to find some peace or solace to understand your journey through the lens of looking at your natal chart, given your solution of learning astrology?

0:10:49.5 JR: Yes. So much so. Once you really understand your cosmic curriculum, and I refer to your cosmic curriculum as, what’s the primary set up this lifetime, what are the obstacles, what are the strengths, what are the gifts, what are the time periods that are going to be hard, what are the potential growth trajectories within those time periods. There’s a lot of agency in that. Traditionally, astrology is a “Here’s what’s going on, bye,” situation. It’s not like a, “Here’s what’s going on, and here’s what you can do about it.” I was really, really, really interested in what you can do about it. Even still, I’m in a particularly challenging period in my own astrological chart, and just knowing that has been super helpful as opposed to just feeling like not knowing, in the dark.

0:11:42.2 DS: I’m so happy that you have had that experience and ability to walk through life with that framework, I am not a student of astrology, but I enjoy having that perspective through people that I know and love and trust, supporting me to look through that lens, and especially as we record this at the beginning of 2021 still, with what we’ve all gone through collectively, and also our microcosm, looking at the larger cycles and how they impact us individually has been really comforting to me. This has been helpful in trying to continue to create meaning out of a really hard time that we’re all going through. One of the resident physicians at my clinic, she is an Naturopath and she studies astrology, and I’ve had her start doing natal chart readings for some of my patients who are interested. I’ve been interested in looking at people’s North Node and giving people that sense. I know it’s complex and there’s so much more than the North Node, but I feel like if people can understand more of the purpose of why they are on the planet, no matter what they have to go through, I think purpose is such a driver to understand, to endure, whatever life brings our way, I just love going down this journey more and more, through the lens of astrology.

0:12:58.1 JR: May I add something to that?

0:13:00.8 DS: Oh, please.

0:13:01.0 JR: Their North Node, in addition to their Saturn. When someone understands their Saturn, they really understand what their work is. Our North Node, for the listeners who don’t know, well actually the nodes are interesting because they’re not celestial bodies at all. They’re the path of the Moon that the Moon takes around those, the Moon has its own orbit around the Earth, while the Earth has its orbit around the Sun. And where the Moon’s orbit around the Earth intersects with where the Earth is orbiting around the Sun, those are the nodes. The North Node is what we’re ascending towards, what we’re becoming, and the South Node is what we’re disseminating from, what we’re releasing, it’s their strength, their talents, their gifts, but not necessarily the destiny. So the North Node is more the destiny that we’re ascending towards. But the North Node in combination with our Saturn, Saturn being our purpose, and often where we have our biggest problems, it can serve as a stepping stone. And from a healing perspective, the combination of the two particularly if we know our Moon, which is our internal need, and our Mars, which is how we act. It’s a really beautiful, potent combination.

0:14:12.9 DS: Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I guess, I mean, we could talk about so many different things Jenn.

0:14:18.1 JR: Yes.

0:14:18.7 DS: Circling back to living in relationship with the Moon, especially for women who are listening, can you give us some high-level notes of what we even mean? We’re going down into some of the depths of the things so that we have an understanding, but for some of the listeners, this might be very new information. What do you mean when you speak about living with the Moon?

0:14:45.0 JR: We all know that there’s a new Moon and there’s a full Moon and some of us may even know that the full Moon is the most obvious part of the Moon cycle, we get this bright illuminated disk of the Moon that shines throughout the night. The opposite is true with the new Moon, when we don’t have any visible Moon in the sky. Just knowing the difference between the new Moon and the full Moon and really when they happen, and maybe what’s going on in your life around those times is really helpful. When we look at the Moon cycle, we go from a new Moon to a waxing crescent Moon or waxing crescent Moon to a waxing quarter, waxing quarter to a waxing gibbous to a full to a waning gibbous, waning quarter, waning crescent, back to new again.

0:15:25.6 JR: That cycle of waxing and waning is really the same energetic pattern of the female reproductive system. A new Moon is very similar in terms of the beginning of a cycle, same as say menstruation, the first day of menstruation and then after a period begins, there’s a follicular phase where there’s a waxing of hormones up till the point of ovulation where there’s a releasing of an egg and the opportunity to get pregnant, but pregnancy doesn’t happen. There’s a luteal phase which is a shedding time in preparation for the shedding of the uterine lining, but also a hormonal response.

0:16:05.8 JR: So just the concept of waxing and waning happening circa-monthly, circa regularly every month is basically what the female body does. There’s a lot of great emerging science coming out around looking at circalunar, circa-monthly rhythms in chronobiology and trying to distinguish, do humans have endogenous clocks that have innate circalunar rhythms or circa-monthly rhythms, which is a monthly rhythm that happens in the same cadence as say, a lunar rhythm, like our circadian rhythm happens in sync, I should say our circadian rhythm works best when it’s in sync with the light-dark cycle of night and day. Evolutionarily, we developed with an adaptation to function in sync with the cycles of night and day dictated by the apparent rising and setting of the Sun. Well, circalunar rhythm is a rhythm that functions in the same way that the circadian rhythm functions, only rather than a daily rhythm. It’s a monthly rhythm. Am I making sense so far?

0:17:13.4 DS: Absolutely.

0:17:15.5 JR: Modern biology has proven indefinitely that the circadian rhythm is real. We have an endogenous clock. We know that there’s a whole circadian mechanism. Fascinatingly enough, we don’t know if that’s true with humans, for the lunar rhythm, for the circa-monthly rhythm, but we know it’s true for fish. We know it’s true for other mammals. We know it’s true for lots of plants, but we don’t know if it’s true for humans. Anecdotally, I will say 1,000% it’s true for humans, that we have a circalunar circa-monthly rhythm. What I don’t know, what no one can tell because we just don’t have enough research on it is that is an endogenous clock something that will occur no matter what, or is that happening due to the fluctuations of light at night because of where the Moon’s position is? there’s just not enough science on that yet. I suspect that in the coming years there’ll be a lot more science on that. It’s actually really hard to test because we have electricity and iPads.

0:18:27.4 DS: All the things.

0:18:27.6 JR: All the things. All the things. So living in sync with the phases of the Moon is similar to living in sync with the rising and the setting of the Sun, optimizing your circadian rhythm, doing circadian entrainment where you’re sleeping at a certain time of day so that when you rise in the morning, your cortisol level spikes and you have that wonderful bell curve of your daily hormones, so your HPA axis isn’t dysregulated. And you’re feeding yourself delicious, nurturing, healthy food, fat first thing in the morning with solid protein and really great nutrients to support your hormonal function throughout the day, so you don’t have adrenal dysregulation. I’m assuming that your audience is fairly familiar with these concepts, right?

0:19:13.0 DS: Yes.

0:19:13.8 JR: So the lunar rhythm, it’s a different version of that. It’s a different version of synching with the light-dark cycle dictated not just by the daily rhythms. So now we’re talking about the moon rhythms, the monthly rhythms, and we have a circa-annual rhythm, which is our seasonal rhythm. That’s why right now, as we’re recording this, I don’t know when this podcast goes live, but it’s the very beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. We’re in that time period where our biological needs are shifting because we’re getting more sunlight.

0:19:49.6 JR: This has been a wild winter because of COVID, it feels like we’ve been in a perpetual winter for a year with COVID, but we’re coming out of winter, so we’re naturally geared to move through a more sedentary way of living, or maybe we’ve had heavier foods, more lethargy, less activity, less socializing, into a season where nothing is quite grown yet, right? Like, people think Spring is like this time of epic rebirth, but really early, early, early spring, like we’re in right now, is a season of starvation, it’s a season of hunger because nothing is quite grown yet. In Chinese medicine, it’s liver season, which is anger, really getting through the anger and the frustration and the feeling of captivity and not enough nourishment and that we want new life, but it’s not quite here yet, and so we go out into the world and we’re like, “Let’s do something about this,” which is very Aries, right? So, yes, we have our circa-annual rhythm. And so those three rhythms are really the foundation of astrology in many ways, our daily rhythm, our monthly rhythm, and our seasonal rhythm, but astrology uses an entirely different language, and then it layers in all the archetypal patterns of the planets outside of the Sun and the Moon, which we all know are not planets in an astronomical sense.

0:21:14.3 DS: Thank you for sharing that. The more that I’ve been practicing in about 10 and a half years, and the more I reflect, especially now I see chronically ill patients who a lot of times have disturbance in their circadian rhythm, their lunar rhythms, their annual rhythms. In modern life we can ignore all of this, we can turn on lights and electricity and not be uncomfortable at all throughout the year, even though everything is fluctuating, and so I think the more that we have a language and a connection with that, we live and sync more, and our bodies respond well to that. Many of my patients will know when the full Moon is, because of their symptoms in their bodies. So, I work with a lot of patients who have different stealth pathogens, sometimes we can treat parasitic infections, and there’s an increase in activity of those pathogens in their body around the full Moon, and even if that was too far of a stretch, just call my office and ask how people are doing around the full Moon, and people are calling more with more symptoms, more changes, so when you ask, “Is this an internal clock or external rhythm and how did that get set?” I’m sure it’s both, but I see the full Moon energy and how that affects the water in our body and the activity of our immune system and pathogens, I see that in my practice a lot, I don’t know if you have had that experience as well.

0:22:38.0 JR: Oh, yes, 100%. It’s interesting because it’s hard to say what the causal mechanism is, right? Like, it’s hard to say, is it because the Moon rules the tide and our bodies are all water or something else? What I’ve come to realize, and what I firmly believe, and now science is actually backing, is that it’s not actually the water, it’s the time that the Moon is rising. So, let me break this down. Is it okay if I just break something down?

0:23:07.5 DS: Oh, please. I love it.

0:23:09.0 JR: When we have the new Moon, the Sun and the Moon, when the Sun rises, the Moon is right there. The Moon is rising with the Sun, we just don’t see it because they’re at the same degree alignment, so you wouldn’t see the Moon because the Moon doesn’t have light of its own, it’s reflecting back the Sun’s light to us, right? The Moon doesn’t emanate its own light, it simply reflects sunlight back to us. At the new Moon, the Moon is rising with the Sun. Now, as the Moon begins to wax, the Moon is not rising with the Sun, the Moon rises approximately 50 minutes later each day, approximately, because it’s shifting, but in that average, right? As the Moon waxes, we actually start to see the Moon in the daytime energy, I mean, in the daytime time period, because the distance between the Sun and the Moon becomes greater and greater throughout the month, and with that, we start to see more and more of the Moon light, right?

0:24:09.8 JR: So, by the time we get to the full Moon, when the Sun is setting, because remember the Moon is rising approximately 50 minutes later each day, so the full Moon always happens when the Sun sets and the Moon rises basically at the same time. So, our neuro-endocrine system responds to light, and when we have more moonlight during daylight hours as we do in the waxing phases, and then as evening sets in and the Moon is rising, we get the reflection of the Sun now back through the luminary of the Moon, our neuro-endocrine system, which is light responsive, is now getting a double dose, right? Does that make sense?

0:24:58.0 DS: Yes.

0:25:00.8 JR: So, we’re getting a double dose of almost like daylight energy at night because the Moon is really just reflecting the Sun back to us, and we’re light-respondent. So much of our neuroendocrine system responds to light that I actually think it’s Moon during daytime energy is waxing, because we’ll see the Moon during the day time, and then the full Moon is when we get this huge reflection of sunlight right when we should be settling down, we’re getting ramped back up again, so we’re not settling down. So, that’s one theory. There’s another theory I have that’s actually freaking fascinating, because I teach this to thousands of people throughout the course of my career, I run a thing called Moon School, I’m really interested, I’m super data-driven, super science-driven, and always collecting data points. What I think happens in the days preceding the full Moon, because now in the days preceding the full Moon, we’re having an almost version of the full Moon before the Sun sets.

0:26:01.5 JR: So, evening twilight time is super charged, so that’s the waxing gibbous period into the full Moon. Our gut microbiome is 100% bacteria, and our bacteria have circadian rhythms, we don’t know what other kind of rhythms they’re functioning off of, but I think that’s what you’re saying, with the pathogens in the body. I’ve seen people with different food cravings, their mood shifts, their agitation shifts, they want sugar, they want this, they want that, they want this, they want that, and that’s different than when they’re not getting hyper-stimulated by moonlight around the same time as dusk. It could be bacterial, you know?

0:26:42.2 JR: It could be acterial changes that are driving them to crave different things that are then creating a different behavioral response. And then, of course, we layer in the female hormonal system, women may or may not be ovulating with the full Moon, but no matter what’s going on with their female hormonal system at the time of the full Moon, they’re having a different hormonal response. That’s also influencing things. So does that make sense?

0:27:12.3 DS: I completely agree. We work a lot with the different light therapies. We’re light beings in so many ways, and also there’s so many inputs through the suprachiasmatic nucleus and all of that, with how we perceive light and how that communicates to our hypothalamus and our pituitary and our pineal gland, of course. I think that’s a huge piece that I’m glad you articulated so well. We work a lot with the microbiome, and then we have a virome and we have yeast and parasitic infections in our body and all these things, we actually have more microbes than human cells in our body, so we respond to the changes of the microbes in our body, and I don’t think people understand that enough. It’s not you, it’s your microbes. I think that’s super on point.

0:28:08.1 DS: And of course, the hormonal system. I know that some women, when they’re trying to regulate their cycle, will also do Moon bathing and just get out in the moonlight, and I’ve seen that really work well for some women. We’re so interconnected, right? We’re so interconnected to these cycles, so isn’t it just more empowering to walk through life knowing how interconnected we are to these cycles, than thinking that they’re just random or that we are not in tune with them. I think we can really not only understand and support our bodies better but also better understand the energy that we navigate in our lives. And understanding why we might be feeling things or we know when we’re more creative or when we’re more action oriented or when there’s a time for a rest or so forth…I continue to explore this in my work to see how I can share this with more people to help them feel better.

0:29:05.1 JR: What are some of the light therapies you do?

0:29:07.0 DS: We do a lot of different things. We’ll have some people at home get different devices. I have this SaunaSpace Photon on my desk here, so this is a near infrared light that has heat as well, so I use that. We’ll use red and infrared light, we also will do different things to make sure that we’re not exposed to the wrong rhythm, or not wrong but not the optimal wavelength of light during the day, so in the morning, it’s blue light, in the evening we don’t want to have as much blue light stimulation because that can confuse our pineal gland. I’ve been working with a company called Weber medical, they’re out in Germany, and they do some really interesting things. I have a unit out of my office called the Weber medical laser, and we can use different wavelengths of light, it’s laser light, and we can use it intravenously, topically, or on acupuncture points.

0:29:55.0 DS: And then we can combine that with photo-sensitizing either natural or synthetic agents. This works really well for chronic illnesses, also cancer. So there can be substances like riboflavin or turmeric or chlorophyll, or different compounds that have a spectrum absorption that optimizes their effect, and it’s really interesting that inflamed cells or cancer cells naturally take up these nutrients more, and then when you apply light on top of that, you might stimulate more oxidative pathways for pathogens or apoptosis for cancer. They also have this helmet that we put on people that’s red and infrared, and the infrared penetrates through the skull and into the brain. That can help to clear amyloid beta, and support the glymphatic system, and lymphatic movement. So that’s been really fun, and they have a watch too. The light is applied to the radial arteries, so there’s absorption of the wavelengths of light that are applied to the blood there, and then the blood carries that through the body. So those are the things that I do today.

0:30:58.2 JR: Do you mind if I ask, what does that do? The infrared light on your desk?

0:31:02.2 DS: Infrared has a different depth of penetration, right, depending on how close it it applied. It gives off heat, so it does have a gentle heating affect, so you can stimulate sweating when you’re in contact with infrared. I really feel it improves circulation, blood flow. I like to use it at night, I like to surround myself with red light at night, just if I have to work, so if I’m counteracting on some of the computer things. Red lights and amber lighting signal to our pineal gland that it’s night time.

0:31:38.2 JR: I feel like a cutting edge way to work with lunar stuff is to take a lot of what you’re saying and then do a gradiation throughout the month to counter balance or to understand your goals. The work I do is finding your spiritual desires, your spiritual health, what are you here to do, what are you here to craft, what are you here to create, and how can you find more rhythm and flow. I think that when we add things like scaffold to our life, if we add different things that are suggestive of then training our bodies and our rhythms in certain ways, there’s just the natural thing that explodes along the way. In my book, I call it our ‘healing magic,’ because we’re meant to heal, that’s what our bodies are here to do, but we don’t support it, and so when we can entrain ourselves into these cycles of nature, and particularly lunar cycles, it’s really helpful, so I find it fascinating how in depth the land of light therapy is.

0:32:38.6 DS: It could be super supportive for your clients, and there’s the whole health effects too. Then there’s circadian lighting, I interviewed years ago this architect who just did circadian lighting in homes and office spaces to help people feel their best. I think artificial lighting, and junk lighting can be more impactful to our bodies than we realize. We’re in super stress in modern life, and as you mentioned how responsive we are to lunar light and circadian rhythms, how could that not affect us, right? The artificial light that we’re exposed to on a regular basis. So Jenn, I want you to share with people. You have your book, right? It’s called Cosmic Health. Can you just share the inspiration around that and what you walk through in your book?

0:33:27.9 JR: Thank you so much for asking. Cosmic Health is really about this whole conversation that we’re having around how we are cyclical beings, that we adapted under these cycles of night and day, of seasons, of lunar cycles. Our biology is really founded in these same simple cycles that aren’t really that simple, but we can break that down into our natal horoscope, our understanding of who we are by understanding our Sun, Moon, and rising sign and learn how to live seasonally based on the Zodiac. The Western tropical Zodiac in seasons align deeply. Really looking at the archetypes of the remaining planets and how you can take the concepts of those planets and look at them through an archetypal lens, and then I blend a lot of positive psychology, which is the science of thriving around how we can really promote our greatest deepest healing by the synergy of all three; astrology, integrative medicine, and then really wonderful, beautiful applications from science-based personal development in the field of positive psychology.

0:34:35.7 JR: My inspiration for the book was that these things all belong in one conversation. If you like astrology, you don’t do science, and if you like science, you don’t do astrology, and if you’re into personal development then you don’t care about health. It’s all one stinking conversation, and then adding in the ritual magic, which is, how do we synchronize intention with these different phases and cycles to really actualize our greatest potential…that’s Cosmic Health. It’s a fun book. It’s a long book and you can read it either from start to finish or just turn to what you most need and get it that way.

0:35:13.6 DS: I love that you put all of this information in one book and I agree. I’m so glad that you had that inspiration and you put that all in one place because it’s all interconnected, right? The more that we understand how interconnected we are, I think we just move through life in just a different way. Jenn, as we wrap up, is there anything that you want to share with the audience? Especially here we are in spring of 2021, anything that you feel would give people some hope or peace around the time from an astrological lens or any perspective you have?

0:35:49.5 JR: I always knew March 2020, I shouldn’t say always, but since I discovered what was going to happen astrologically in March 2020, it was very obvious to me that something big was going to go down, to the point where I sold a home and liquidated a bunch of things. I was just like, “What? This isn’t going to be great, so whatever this is, let’s just take care.” And so 2020 was this year of reckoning, a deep reckoning. 2021 is a year, I’m calling it the battle between no longer and not yet, it’s like we’re not in where we’re going yet, but we’re not going back to where we were, and so we’re in this tension of the opposite, this polarity, where we want the routine and the safety of what we once had, but it’s done. Right? It’s over, we’re not going back there.

0:36:40.1 JR: And we all are being called into this new iteration of our own potentiality and ways of being together in community, but we’re not there yet either. So many of us are in a cycle of grief and longing and loss, and then so many of us are in the anxiousness of can we just get back to where we need to go, or like flat lined. Or like, “I’ve had enough. I’m just falling into pieces and I can’t handle this anymore.” We are in the middle of a moral existential crisis. Period, end of story. And we’re not going back to where we were because where we were wasn’t serving us, it just functioned, and we were all so damn busy, we couldn’t figure out how to get out of the rat race or whatever it was, and then the structures shifted and we’re not quite sure where we’re going yet. We’re in the definition of liminality, we’re between worlds, we’re between the no longer and not yet. That’s really where we’re at. 2021 is still by large, light years better than 2020 and everyone keeps saying, “It’s new year, same shit.” I’m just like, “Actually, it’s not.” Actually this is a very different year people, very different year, you better get excited because it’s a lot better than where we were. Very different year.

0:37:53.4 JR: But also it’s not easy and spoiler alert, we won’t have ease. It’s not coming back, right? It’s just, take that off the menu. So much of Cosmic Health and so much of all my work is about resilience, which is the most not sexy word in the world, but it’s about facing life exactly as it is, and making it better. For the longest time in the personal development circle, spiritual new age, whatever it was, well, if there’s a problem, you did something wrong. You thought it wrong, it’s a karmic problem from your past, you’re failing, you’re not doing law of attraction well enough because everything should be easy and we’re going to be in flow, and that was cool for about 2005, 2006 or something, I don’t know. When the economy was at a peak, you know what I mean? It worked for a minute, but really, we’re not in a time that’s easy. We’re in a time that is about reckoning, we’re in a time of reckoning, which is, we’ve got to save the Earth, we’ve got to save ourselves.

0:39:03.4 JR: We’ve got to figure out how to de-condition so much dysfunction in how our power dynamics are with one another. There are systemic problems, there’s environmental problems, there is the corporatization of our food and our land. The robbing of indigenous ways that has gone on way too long. And so, sadly, I don’t see a time of ease, but what I do see is a time of renaissance, that there’s a rebirth. Everything in life is cyclical, and so after there’s destruction, there’s a rebirth, after there’s a reckoning, there’s a re-invigoration, there’s a revitalization. So the hope, I think, is can we all just get clear with what we’re putting to bed?

0:40:00.7 JR: This year is a year where Saturn is the foundation and Uranus is radical change, and there’s a Saturn, Uranus square that defines this whole year. So the foundations aren’t working anymore, and we’re getting new and different ways to re-establish our foundations through shocking change, which is why we need our bodies to be as healed or as close to health as possible. We’re never going to be perfect, but we can be resilient, we can have problems and still be okay, but we really want to work on our nervous system, we really want to work on our endocrine function, we really want to work on learning how to live with stress because stress isn’t going away, so that we aren’t compromised in our integrity and our ability to rise in the face of all this, because as much as humans are the problem, humans are the solution. We’ve got to do the work. I hope that’s not too depressing?

0:41:00.4 DS: No, it’s right on point, Jenn, and I think it’s important for us to embrace that truth and not be afraid of it. Right, and as you said, I feel that too. Even without the language that you are so eloquently sharing, it’s like we’re in this grand transition, but at the other side, is that human potential, hope, positivity, the ability to rebirth some of these lost principles and understandings of who we are on the planet and we can rebuild, and we can rebuild something way better.

0:41:38.8 JR: Way better. Way better.

0:41:39.7 DS: I feel just being a Naturopath, that the work that I do, I see it’s the crumbling of this healthcare system that needs to be crumbled, and yes, of course, it has helped many people, but there’s this whole opportunity to re-envision healing and what is available to more and more people, and that excites me.

0:42:02.8 JR: It’s very exciting. I mean, it’s wildly, wickedly exciting. It’s just not stable. We need to find the stability within and within our community. You know, within our family dynamic, with our practitioners, with the community that we’re building and we’ll be okay so long as we do, because nothing else is going to be stable for a while.

0:42:25.3 DS: Well, stay grounded out there, right? Stay grounded.

0:42:31.7 JR: Stay grounded and do your work, do your work.

0:42:33.9 DS: Stay grounded, stay connected. Connect with the Moon, and the lunar energy. I think that’s a really great way to stay present and connected during all this instability right now. So Jenn, I could talk to you for another hour, but I know that we are wrapping up here, so can you share with people how they can find out more about your work, your book and all the wonderful things you’re doing?

0:43:00.7 JR: Sure, my website’s jenniferracioppi.com, and that’s the place that is my central foundation, you can join my newsletter and get my updates. I post regularly on Instagram @jennracioppi, and I would say those are really the places I show up, my blog, my newsletter, Instagram, I’ve got a lot of fun and exciting things coming later this year, a new website, new programs, new things.

0:43:24.3 DS: Thank you so much for your time, and it’s really lovely getting to know you.

0:43:28.3 JR: Thank you so much.

0:43:32.4 DS: Alright, everyone, I hope you enjoyed the Spectrum of Health podcast today with Jennifer Racioppi. Check out her website, jenniferracioppi.com and cosmichealthbook.com. If you are enjoying these podcasts, I would be so honored and grateful if you could leave a review on Apple iTunes and thank you so much for listening. Have a beautiful day.