I've been up and down the scales more than I care to admit.

My own experience has convinced me that there is a spiritual aspect to most weight problems that can and should be explored with the help of astrology. If it were as simple as going on a diet, exercising, and losing the weight, most of us can and have done that. But most gain it back, and repeat the cycle again and again. Why? What are the underlying issues?

Though hard to imagine, svelte beauty, while the desired norm, may actually feel dangerous! Psychologists agree that weight is a form of protection. I like to describe it as 'bubble wrap' for a delicate and fragile object. What makes some of us so sensitive that we need that extra padding? Trauma in childhood is the most obvious place to look. But can answers also be found in past lives or in the stars? For some, weight is a 'karmic' issue. Traumatic but unconscious soul memories from another time when beauty may have led to rape, devastating betrayal in love, or being overlooked for one's brains and talent may linger deep within the unconscious of an individual. Super-sensitive types who shed lots of weight may fear repeating such experiences. When they suddenly become too attractive the fear kicks in, leading to putting the weight back on just to feel safe.

Astrology can provide understanding and insight, and may even suggest specific strategies to overcome karmic weight problems.

Sun Sign Sense and Sensibility

On April 17, celebrated and controversial diet guru Dr. Robert C. Atkins died 9 days after slipping on a Manhattan street outside of his world-famous diet center. The New York Times obituary reported his birth-date: October 17, 1930. Not surprisingly, Dr. Atkins' sun sign was Libra, as are many who make their mark in the world of dieting and weight-loss. Libra is an air sign. Its constellation, the Scales of Justice represent Libra's lifelong search for truth. Air is the element of the intellect and Libra is 'the artistic mind.' Libra rules balance, harmony, cooperation and marriage. Preoccupied with making their world a more beautiful place, they tirelessly flex their agile minds around all sides of an issue to do it. Not surprisingly, quite a few become playwrights and prize-winning authors: Arthur Miller, Truman Capote, Anne Rice, Wendy Wasserstein, Hannah Arendt, Art Buchwald, and Mario Puzo, to name a few. As they experience various aspects of the truth in search of the 'one' that will balance out, they go up and down - in their lives and on the scale.

I know. I am Libra.

Lest the other 11 signs feel left out, weight problems come in at least 12 flavors, with many combinations and configurations. Each sun sign of the zodiac speaks to a particular truth; a part of the 'whole' that it needs to express. But the weight picture in your horoscope is based on more than just your sun sign. The other planets, particularly the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune all have something to say about weight, excess, appetite, and size.

To begin with, we all have Libra (the sign of the scales) somewhere in our horoscope. For example, if, based on your time of birth, you have Libra rising (Carnie Wilson: Taurus with Libra Rising) or key planets in Libra (Anna Nicole Smith: Sagittarius w Moon and Venus in Libra) you may be prone to the 'Libra thing' re: weight. But for different reasons, all 12 signs can experience an emptiness, which can manifest as an inability to keep focused on fitness.

Taurus has an insatiable appetite for the good life (Orson Welles, Luther Vandross) and cannot tolerate deprivation. However once they make up their minds, their staying power is supreme. Gemini likes two of everything (Winona Ryder), while the sign of Cancer is prone to weight, based on wounding, heightened feeling and psychic sensitivity (Richard Simmons). Cancers tend to hold on to emotional experiences and retain water. Leo loves to party and in the midst of all the festivities, they easily lose track of what they've ingested (Monica Lewinsky). Virgo's hard working intestines may be so super sensitive to additives and allergens in food and in their environment that allergy-related water retention can result (Nell Carter, Barry White, Ricki Lake). Pluto-ruled Scorpio's obsessions (Roseanne) run so deep, it would take Lieutenant Columbo to get to the bottom of their weight problems, but they center around "control" and wanting to hide.

Sagittarius is the sign of big dreams, expansion, and living large, and people with planets in Sagittarius (Aquarian Oprah Winfrey has her moon there) literally hunger for adventure and knowledge. When that need is not met, a fine thin-crusted pizza will do, thank you very much. Oprah is also a good example of the phenomenon of "holding energy" for many, which when not fully processed, translates into weight. As television's reigning Queen of Compassion and Messenger to the Masses, she "holds energy for millions of people." Look how long she has worked on her issue with weight and in the process has helped so many others. Ambitious Capricorn, connoisseur of gourmet products and classic cuisine is so career-driven that while climbing up the mountain, they actually become one with it (Elvis). Aquarians in general want freedom, and when they feel confined, rebellious over-eating is possible. And soulful Pisces ruled by Neptune, or those with a prominent Neptune are very psychic, prone to addiction, and frequently have boundary issues. (Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor, Camryn Manheim, Queen Latifah). They feel the joys and the sorrows of the world. Weight is used as protection.