Meet Ingrid Naiman

Seen here in Kashmir in the late 1960s

Ingrid Naiman
I have a rather major commitment to web publishing. My first site was, started almost involuntarily in response to a deluge caused by a link on Andrew Weil's popular web site to my personal email. He suggested that before using bloodroot, people should contact me. At that time, I had never visited a web site before and did not know what a search engine is. I now have four web sites devoted to cancer, the original and a special site for practitioners, plus and, an ethnobotanical site.



My real profession is medical astrology. I started soon after and later added and (for correspondence course students.) The site that has the most visitors is and my most personal site, where I express a range of thoughts on politics, social action, and metaphysics is My online store is Sacred Medicine Sanctuary and my publishing company is Seventh Ray Press. I also have a site for Ayurvedic medicine, and a new one devoted exclusively to mold issues. Until people have recovered from the tsunami in South Asia, 10% of all e-commerce generated on any of my sites will go to support the relief efforts of Ammachi.

The Mission of this Site

During a dark night of soul following the death of someone very dear to me, I went into what many would call a shamanic phase. It was a spiritual turning point in my life because it involved not just what some would call the marriage of darkness and light but also the profound recognition of the interdependency of yin and yang, feminine and masculine, receptivity and action.

To make a complex process understandable to others, I can provide a context that will allow some people an instant insight into what was a profound and transformative experience for me, one spanning years, not the seconds one usually spends on a web page.

When the AIDS epidemic began, I said to friends and colleagues, "Now we have a virus bigger than the bomb." As a medical philosopher and author, I was totally aware that there was no reason to expect a sexually transmitted disease to have an epidemiology different from any other sexually transmitted disease: herpes or chlamydia. Initially, I did what I always do: read everything that was published and talked to patients to get a sense of the profile. It became immediately apparent to me that discussing AIDS and cancer in the same sentence—as immune system problems—was a disservice. In Chinese medicine, AIDS was being described as a yin deficiency condition and in Africa, it was called the slimming disease. As I observed more, I realized the extent of the depletion of the patient and yet, on the whole, the patients were "on fire" creatively and often socially. In many ways, they seemed to be more alive than almost anyone else I knew, but the anchors for all this life were eroding. The resulting attrition left insufficient substance, not enough feminine energy to hold the masculine incarnate.

I had been working with cancer for many years before the AIDS issue arose. I always had the opposite sense about cancer. It seemed to be a disease of surfeit that eventually choked off the supply of vitality that was necessary to sustain the form. It was almost as if the material part of existence had gone off by itself and lost its connection to the source of inspiration and life. So, I saw these two conditions as opposites: yin deficiency and yin surfeit.

Very gradually, I developed dietary and herbal protocols and life strategies for correcting the imbalances, but as my involvement continued, I came to accept that the AIDS epidemic was not natural and would not have happened without the misapplication of scientific possibilities to political agendas. Being an astrologer, I was reading predictions out of India that AIDS would decimate the world population, and it was not long before we heard of areas in Africa, like Zaire, where the infection rate had reached 100%. As we have also seen, response to the crisis has been slow and inadequate and is only now being spurred with the help of celebrities, many of whom have conscience and visibility far exceeding the impact of charitable organizations.

My life is always characterized by special events—usually shocking—that change my understanding irrevocably. I remember the first time I heard the name Leonard Horowitz, this in the context of the diabolical links connecting people with power to the spread of AIDS. It was not many years later that Len stunned the world that could hear with similarly disturbing news on cancer, this time suggesting that certain polio vaccines were contaminated with Simian virus 40, usually abbreviated SV40, a known cause of lymphatic cancers.

I grew up in a home in which my father was involved in the creation of missiles and satellites. I was always concerned that science be used in an ethical way. I was devastated as a child to learn that the scientists generally abdicated the responsibility for how theirinventions are used to politicians. Of course, we all know this, but sometimes we need to be reminded.

Fresh out of grad school, I worked on Wall Street for a while, in an investment bank. During Vatican II, the chemical analyst was on vacation and I was asked to look at which stocks to buy if the Pope approved birth control. This was the summer that cost me my innocence. I found that pharmaceutical companies were under such great pressure from management to develop products for the market that research was often falsified so as to beat the competition in the race, not for cures, but for market share. I vowed to stop taking anything that had not been available for at least 25 years, preferably 50.

As the Vietnam War accelerated and my passion to end it crescendoed, I took a job with the State Department in Saigon. I had to have a lot of immunizations. I became very ill after the first typhoid injection (in New York) and this syndrome spiraled out of control once I was in Vietnam. I ran constant fevers and came to see the limitations of medical training and expertise. I went to India after Vietnam and was medical evacuated in the late 60s. It seems they had figured out a short cut for the lab tests that happened always to give negative results. I heard the doctors talking to each other and saying I would die. I knew they were wrong and some friends helped me to escape from the hospital. My absence wasn't noticed for 6-7 weeks. I was at home in Kona with my mother. I don't want to bore you with my saga but suffice it to say that I was very near the point at which I decided never to see another doctor. I figured that if I were to survive, I would need to learn how to care for my own body and take responsibility myself.

Some of what I learned in an experiential way is now common knowledge among the cognoscenti, but the average person, not to mention the typical politician, tends to put blind faith in modern medicine and to assume that billions of dollars will eventually solve all problems. Personally, I have no doubt that the problems could be solved with the right funding, but this funding will not occur so long as the pharmaceutical companies fund the political campaigns of officials who control the large social programs and regulating agencies.

The need for ethical approaches to humanitarian issues has been known to me for so long that I realized I will burn up inside if I do not take a strong position "for life." Before the name bioethika came to me, I had already been gestating a position for many, many years. I want to say, however, that I am a Buddhist and I believe strongly that no one should copy me or follow me or even believe me unless what I say also makes sense to you.

One of my first articles on Buddhism was about the Eightfold Noble Path. This is basically the ethical foundation for living in a socially constructive way that reduces the risk of generating new imbalances and the karmic need to redress those imbalances. The Buddha taught that ignorance is the underlying cause of all suffering. He encouraged us to seek the truth and to base our actions upon the truth. I am sure that all genuine spiritual teachers would have no quarrel at all with such a logical life strategy.

The cause of much suffering is competition and the corners that are cut so as to prevail in the cutthroat world of the endless effort to have more than others. Before I became a professional astrologer, I was an economist. My uncle was a marine biologist. At the end of his life, he wrote a tiny book containing his favorite thoughts. He said, "If you wish to understand Nature, do not disturb her." As I took this to heart, I realized that Nature does not provide us with a growth economy, merely with a replacement economy. Nature, in the simplest example, gives us a harvest and then she rests. The nutrients in the soil determine the growth of the plants upon which we depend. If we deplete the soil, we compromise the nutritional value of our food. If we chop down forests to build houses, we change the oxygen supply of the Planet in a way that promotes the survival of primordial organisms over "advanced" life forms. I have often quipped that the notion that humans are at the top of the food chain must be giving mold a good laugh.

Only our insufferable arrogance could possibly convince us that we are the top of anything but the imbalance threatening the survival of life on Earth. is my effort to show how each of us can live in a way that supports sustainability and integrity. I will approach the dilemma facing us from many angles and will be inviting others to contribute to the brain storming and conversation.

My own input will focus on measures each can take to reduce our pressure on the imbalance and enhance our contributions to harmony. Some of these actions will result in immediate personal benefits, such as to your health and nutrition, and others will require more effort. I cannot take longer to launch this effort, and to make time to support it, I will disable the bulletin boards on my other sites.

Everyone sees the world through his or her own eyes and windows. I saw the war in Afghanistan and then in Iraq as savage attempts to grab oil. More than 45 years ago, I saw a demonstration of an electric car, operating indoors. I thought these cars would be everywhere by the time I had enough money to buy my own car. When I was working on Wall Street, I observed the mergers and acquisitions of oil companies and I thought this was the swan song, their hedge against the future because oil was becoming obsolete. When I spent years in meditation in the early 70s, I saw alternatives to fossil fuels that were clean and inexpensive. When I saw grotesque cartoon-like films of dinosaurs, I knew that we had inhaled so much pollution from petrochemicals that our psyches were becoming imprinted by prehistoric phantoms. When I see denial of the existence of alien life and cover ups, I know that those with power are hanging on by the skin of their teeth to the status quo, in desperate hopes to remain king of the hill for a little longer. When I see innocent people being killed by the tens of thousands, I believe the situation has gone too far and we are overdue for a reassessment of the values guiding our lives.

So, I will be suggesting changes in habits that will have far-reaching impacts: not just the obvious shift from genetically modified foods to organic ones but also ways to support companies with wholesome environmental practices and boycotts of those that are contributing to the divisiveness and criminality of corporate and political behavior.

Ingrid Naiman, 2 January 2005

Medical astrologer, music therapist, herbalist. author and speaker.


B.A. in Asian Studies, 1962, from the University of Hawaii, East-West Center
M.A. in Economics, 1964, from Yale University
M.D. (M.A.) from Medicina Alternativa in Copenhagen, 1987
D.Sc. (Hon.) from Open International University, Sri Lanka, 1995

Classical music, microscopy, cross country skiing.
Favorite Films

To inspire and ennoble and show that against great odds, one person can make a difference

Brother Sun Sister Moon
To show that the spiritualization of one life can have powerful impact for centuries to come

Don Juan DeMarco
To challenge the realities we so easily accept and renew the foundations of relationship

Art at its best: great story, fabulous music, wonderful costumes and cinematography

Also: Meet Joe Black and Sixth Sense

Favorite Music
Italian opera, especially Donizetti, Bellini, and Verdi and more especially Lucrezia Borgia, Norma, Don Carlo, and La Forza del Destino. Also: Beethoven, Chopin, and Parish-Alvars. . . and Saint Saens! and the Minkus Don Quixote with Nureyev!
Favorite TV
The Pet Psychic, The West Wing, Boston Legal, and sometimes Nova and Great Performances.
From the past: I Claudius, Poldark, Donahue, and Bill Moyers NOW.





Bioethika International, LLC

Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2008 and 2014