A Conversation for Horoscopes

Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 1

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Some Guy, I have to question the statement made in your estimable entry about horoscopes in which you assert that astrology has not evolved at all since the first solar observations were made.

It hasn't gotten any better, perhaps, but it has evolved.

To wit:
1. There used to be 13 signs until the Integerists got control of the ecliptic. Aren't you glad we don't have 13-hour analog clocks?
2. There are about a dozen ways to parse the zodiac (divide it into 12 segments or houses); there only used to be one, and it was square.
3. Uranus wasn't discovered till the 1740's, Neptune not till the 1830's, Pluto not till 1933, but all are used in modern astrology.
4. Asteroids are now being used (see my home page).
5. Lots of other evolutionary strides.

As Isaac Newton said, don't knock astrology if you haven't tried it.

Most respectfully,
Asteroid Lil


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 2

Dinsdale Piranha

Re: point 3. Does that mean that all horoscopes cast before 1933 were inaccurate?

There might be a tenth planet. does that mean that all horoscopes cast today are inaccurate. Or do heavenly bodies only have an effect on our lives if someone know of their existence?

Re: point 4. When did they start being used? See above.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 3

Newstar

"There might be a tenth planet. does that mean that all horoscopes cast today are inaccurate. Or do heavenly bodies only have an effect on our lives if someone know of their existence?"

This is the way things happen in a Quantum Universe...the observed is literally activated by the observer.
Astrology has not evolved (on too great a scale) quite simply because it's more fundamental than most other subjects, it's for us to evolve - not astrology.

Newton was right about one thing, then.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 4

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

I don't know why I didn't carry this discussion forward. Perhaps I didn't wish to be identified too closely with astrology, because hasty thinkers might then confuse me with more addle-pated apologists of the New Age. Or it might have been that I didn't have time to answer the counter-comments fully.

The comment about who evolves first is in fact quite germane. It is psychologically demonstrable that, chiefly thanks to the increase in leisure time over the past 3 centuries, humans have become more complicated. There was a time when horoscopes were only cast for the King or Lord or whoever was in charge of the town or fiefdom. And this was because, effectively, the King WAS the only real individual in town. If you were Joe Serf, then whatever happened to the town happened to you, and only the king determined what happened to the town.

Leisure time began to be democratised with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, in England, roughly contemporaneous with the discovery of Uranus by Herschel. Neptune (discovered 1840) and Pluto (1933) also bookmarked key changes in human civilisation, and so in fact did Chiron, the dead comet discovered by Charles Kuralt in 1978.

In fact, modern astrology describes all bodies outside the orbit of Saturn as "transpersonals." Which is to say that, other things being equal, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto tend to act upon groups or generations rather than upon individuals. I don't know how I could prove the accuracy of any horoscope at any time, to the satisfaction of a determined skeptic, but it isn't necessarily the case that all charts cast before 1933 (or 1978) are inaccurate. There is a certain amount of redundancy in chart interpretation -- as there is in the human personality -- so, if the subject had one of the "transpersonal" planets postioned in his chart in such a way as to make it relevant to his personality, then there might have been another way to reach the same conclusions. Modern astrologers do factor in the transpersonals when studying charts of historical figures, as it happens.

As to whether heavenly bodies have an effect on our lives only if we know of their existence, well, there's a lot more than heavenly bodies bearing on the course of my life, and if I could know them all I would be enlightened indeed.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 5

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Can I add this, please to what I said earlier:

I find astrology jolly interesting but am not convinced it "works". In fact I have studied at it for several decades, on and off, but do not consider myself a believer. Astrology is not a religion and does not require conviction for competence.

But I think my studies will in the end put me in a much better position to disprove astrology than the casual observations of those who only know about the 12 signs.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 6

Newstar

The Skeptics Dictionary proclaims:
The testimonial of "personal experience" in paranormal or supernatural matters has no scientific value. If others cannot experience the same thing under the same conditions, then there will be no way to verify the experience.

If you were to try to prove astrology in scientific terms you first have to find a way of replicating two identical conditions - this is, of course, completely impossible because of the heliacal motion of the Sun and the Earth through space/time i.e. you are never in the same place in space and time despite the argument that the Bay of Fundy is always where you left it, i.e. in Canada, we know that in an accurate sense this is not true, as Canada has moved, because the Earth has moved, because the Sun has moved etc etc... this means that astrology provides a uniqueness of individualisation that is the direct polar opposite of the compartmentalisation suggested by the popular assumption of the effect of the 12 Sun Signs.
This also means that if you wanted to disprove astrology you would have to reach a point where you played by its rules, that is, you would have to acknowledge the logic that states it cannot be examined at a fundamental level by science because science requires the duplication of events and that is impossible in astrology.

All of which begs the question: Which is more liable to have changed most in the next 300 years science or astrology?

I think I can guess the answer...if Pope Dawkins were to abdicate it might be sooner.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 7

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Astrology has changed more in the past 20 years than in the previous thousand or so, because of the personal computer. Statistical correlation is now possible.

Whereas it is true that the absolute positions of the bodies involved are induplicable, there is a regular occurrence of certain relationships between them, and that is the meat of modern practise.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 8

Newstar

The meat of modern practise is understanding and applying appropriate interpretations for the symbolism inherent in the occurances of these relationships. Mars Sextile Venus, for example, can never be pinned down to one meaning, but to many meanings within a certain scheme of rules. (i.e. Mars may = Sword/Soldier/Iron/Head and Arguments, but it will never = Fluffy Bunnies.) The Mars Venus sextile will not only mean something different (but not necessarily unique) for everyone (because everyone is unique), its meaning within a specific birthchart may also change emphasis during the lifetime of the subject. It can therefore elude statistical correlation without compromising its own inherent truth because of its dynamics. Unless, of course, there is a more subtle method of statistical research than the kind carried out in the name of science over the past 40 years which has tended to be used as a debunking tool. (I saw a study done a few decades ago which analysed 2817 musicians - it showed a significant peak of Sun Taureans as musicians, the text goes on to say that this is all very well but "Traditionally the sign of Taurus had no association with musical talent". No, it only rules the singing voice and has Venus as it's ruler so no musical tradition there then.)

I don't agree that astrology has changed - at all - in the past 1020 years, although the personal computer has brought changes for the astrologer.

All in all though, I think you get more from astrology if you believe in it, it's like a programming language, some people can't understand why anyone would want to write 'C' code others can't see any benefits whatsoever in DataBasic, but you can do most things with both if you believe in them.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 9

Martin Harper

Interesting info about the taureans in music - and a complete lack of surprise that the scientific community were so completely negative about the results. Next they'll be claiming it was a result of being told when young that Taureans were good musically...

Similar studies could be done on a whole bunch of things - multiple personality disorder amogst Geminis, etc, etc, etc. Of course - negative results won't get wide attention, while positive ones will probably get into the papers as 'proving' astrology... them's the breaks.

I've always thought that your date of birth ought to have a significant effect on your life. Here are just a few reasons...
- People born towards the start of the academic year will be older than those born towards the end, but will be in the same peer group. Such people might be more confidant, etc, etc.
- People conceived in Summer and born in Spring are following the traditional (natural, if you will) cycle - the aim of mother nature was to have people born in spring because food was most plentiful then. Are such people more likely to be conservative? to have conservative parents?
- people born in the depths of winter are possibly more likely to have dodgy body clocks - more likely to be depressive (first thing you see: snow) - etc.

Could the various astrology signs be ancient coded info for these generalities, and more besides? This would imply that astrology was only relevant in Europe, though - elsewhere, with different seasons, it wouldn't apply. It also would not imply that the detail of astrology is correct.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 10

Martin Harper

on a sidenote - science requires duplication of events - not perfect duplication. EG - post traumatic stress disorder is reasonably accepted in science - despite the pattern of random violence and death will be different for each soldier - and different again for people who've just been caught in a burning building or suchlike...


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 11

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Newstar, sorry for not replying earlier to your long post. You disagreed with me and gave a greatly expanded thought on relationships between points. Actually, the response I gave you is my classic "guarded answer", correct as far as it went, but incomplete if you're another astrologer... which you evidently are.

Nobody mentions Gaucquelin here! Now that was a case of a scientific approach to astrological data. He sampled Tours de France winners and found a correlation between that sport and a culminating Mars.

When I claim skepticism, it's for the idea of predicting events, mundane astrology. I find a great deal of correlation in the natal stuff.


Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Post 12

Newstar

It took Gauquelin years to crunch his millions of birth time statistically and eventually he (quite unexpectedly) found correlation after correlation. These correlations were eventually replicated by the scientific community and then swept under the carpet.
These days we are in a position to 'crunch' much more data in a matter of minutes, but the skeptics have many large carpets beside which they wait, with big sweeping brushes.
I have used mundane charts to great effect, I find they are just as revealing as natal charts, but perhaps its harder to pin down the significant nativity of an event than it is a person.
The one area that made it impossible for me to ignore astrology was in synastry. If you do astrology you begin to notice the date of birth of individuals: find out a birthday and you are armed with the knowledge of their Sun-sign degree i.e 7th November is approx 14 degrees Scorpio. If you are an observant individual (or just curious) it is amazing how many harmonically-perfect couples you can see around you. How many people do you know whose birthday is 120 days before or after yours? (Give or take 5 days). How many people with birthdays opposite yours do you know? How many squares (90 days away) do you have a 'dynamic' relationship with?
Trines and Squares abound, but only astrologers can see them.


Key: Complain about this post

Astrology HAS TOO Evolved!

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more