History of astrology

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n.whyte

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Feb 2, 1994, 9:09:08 AM2/2/94
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I have just finished writing the article below for an encyclopedia
on the history of astronomy; I'd be interested to hear any comments
from this newsgroup.

Nicholas Whyte
Queen's University of Belfast
N.W...@QUB.AC.UK

*******************************************************************************
Astrology

A method of divination based on the apparent movements and
positions of the planets and stars; in particular the pseudoscientific
methods of Babylonian origins (via Hellenic and Islamic
intermediaries) which are used by Western astrologers to relate the
appearance of the sky to matters of personal or national fate.

Astrological methods:

The signs of the zodiac and the dates on which the Sun passes
through them each year can be found in any newspaper. The twelve
with which we are familiar appear to have been amalgamated from
an earlier Babylonian tradition of eighteen signs about the fifth
century BCE. The effects of precession have long since separated the
stars composing the zodiacal constellations from the parts of the
ecliptic they are supposed to rule, and although some medieval
astrologers agonised over this problem, most modern astrologers
have simply ignored it. The signs are only one of a number of
divisions of the zodiac used by astrologers. Some traditions subdivide
the twelve signs themselves into thirds, ninths, tenths or twelfths. A
different division of the 360! of the ecliptic is the lunar mansions,
twenty-seven or twenty-eight asterisms corresponding to the
location of the Moon on each day of the lunar month. These have not
been prominent in the Western tradition, but appear in Islamic
astrology and so have been transmitted to the Indian subcontinent.

The twelve astrological houses are quite distinct from the twelve
signs of the zodiac. The houses appear to have been developed in the
first centuries CE from an Egyptian tradition of attaching significance
to the four cardinal points. They are usually based on dividing in
three the four arcs of the ecliptic demarcated by the ascendant and
the mid-heaven (the degrees of the ecliptic respectively rising, i.e.
East, and culminating, i.e. South, at the time of interest) and the
points opposite to them. There has never been widespread
agreement among astrologers as to how the houses themselves
should be determined, and most systems encounter problems at high
(terrestrial) latitudes because of their dependence on the ascendant.

It will be apparent that a competent astrologer needed a
considerable amount of mathematical training to produce a satisfying
interpretation of the positions of the planets in this framework of
signs, and houses. Since the ascendant and mid-heaven change by a
degree every four minutes and are very dependent on the location
for which the horoscope is being cast, every chart will have a unique
interpretation, very sensitive to small changes in detail. Besides their
own carefully mathematical data, however, astrologers were
expected to interpret other celestial omens such as comets, novae, the
aurora borealis and unusual appearances of the Sun or Moon.

Genethliac astrology, based on the appearance of the sky at the birth
(or more rarely the conception) of an individual, is still used to make
predictions about the health, character, and future prospects of that
person. Mundane astrology predicts or interprets world events from
planetary configurations: in 1186 and 1524, storms and floods (with
consequent political turmoil) were predicted respectively from
conjuctions of all five known planets, the Sun and the Moon in Libra
(ruled by the element of air) and Pisces (ruled by water). Horary
astrology is used to answer a clientUs specific query, based on a chart
cast for the moment the question is asked. A development of this,
elective astrology, is used to choose a suitable time for the start of
some enterprise such as a journey or marriage, and relates the future
appearance of the sky to the birth-chart of the client.

Together these practices are referred to as judicial astrology. The
methods used to answer such queries remain surprisingly constant
over the millennia, and so has the uneasy tension within astrology
between its TscientificU, mathematical apologists and those
practitioners who take a more magical, divinatory approach. Both
were condemned as fraudulent, superstitious or even demonically
inspired by writers such as Cicero, Augustine and Calvin - all of
whom were prepared to admit that the stars might have some
relevance to weather-forecasting or medical treatment - and in more
recent times by other scientists less prepared to make such
concessions.

History of astrology

The roots of astrology are in the lists of astral omens and their
consequences for rulers, harvests, wars and so on, compiled in
Mesopotamia up to the fifth century BCE; the earliest surviving
horoscope using the twelve-sign zodiacal system was calculated for
29 April 410. The Babylonians also developed considerable skill in
predicting eclipses and made extensive observations of planetary
movements. Astrology soon thrived in the neighbouring Hellenic
civilisation, though it always retained an Oriental mystique.
Astrological treatises are known to be have been among the lost
works of Hipparchus (fl. 127 BCE); the earliest surviving astrological
works date from the first century of our era. Claudius Ptolemy,
though not a practicing astrologer himself, compiled an encyclopedic
selection of astrological methods and lore in the Tetrabiblos, written
about 180 as a sequel to the Almagest. Also in Egypt at about the
same time the Hermetic magical writings were being compiled from a
mixture of Aristotelianism and folk-religion.

The place of astrology in the classical world was similar to that of the
examination of the entrails of sacrifices and the interpretation of
dreams and thunderstorms; it was the most developed system of
divination, both in potential breadth of application and in complexity
for the student. Cramer describes the unpleasant political
consequences for those casting the horoscopes of their rulers to try
and discover when they would die. However, the practice of astrology
in what became the Christian world declined after AugustineUs
vigorous denunciation of it in his City of God, written soon after the
fall of Rome to the Goths in 410.

To the East, astrology flourished under the last century of Sasanid
rule in Iran (until 630), but was somewhat subdued after the Muslim
conquest. Its revival came with the ascendancy of the Abbasid
dynasty after 749; the new capital of Baghdad was founded on a date
determined by astrologers in 762. The caliph al-MaUmun founded a
research institute (the House of Wisdom) including an observatory in
828. BaghdadUs pluralist and enlightened atmosphere encouraged
scholars of many religious backgrounds; the synthesis of Sasanid,
Hellenic, Hermetic and Indian astrological teachings by Abu MaUshar
(787-886) was probably the most durable contribution to astrology.
Astrology in Islam became considerably more mathematically
refined than it had been in the Hellenic world. The need for better
calculations of planetary positions created a market for the
mathematical skill of al-Khwarizmi (780-850), whose name became
garbled by Europeans into our word TalgorithmU.

Western Europe discovered Islamic astrology only around 1200 CE,
although it is argued that an independent tradition of astral magic
had survived the Christian onslaught. Translations of the works of
Abu MaUshar by Adelard of Bath and others in the first half of the
twelfth century augmented a general renewal of interest in Aristotle.
Doctors began to examine their patientsU horoscopes as well as their
urine - medical astrology was not just permitted by the Church but
widely regarded as common sense. European monarchs were
attracted to astrology for the same reasons as their predecessors in
Baghdad, Ctesiphon and Rome; when Michael Scot became Frederick
IIUs court astrologer in Sicily in the early thirteenth century he
became part of a long tradition at that Norman court on the edge of
the Arab world.

The Church hierarchy cautiously welcomed the Islamic astronomical
data as new evidence in the ongoing controversy about the date of
Easter; Robert Grosseteste (1168-1253), Albertus Magnus (1200-
1280) and Roger Bacon (1219-1292) all advocated calendar reform
but differed on the efficacy of astrology. Most theologians disliked
the implications of astrology for free will, but were prepared to make
exceptions for medicine and meteorology. Even the critics of
astrology, such as Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and a century later
Nicole Oresme (1320-1382), admitted that the stars and planets had
some causative effects on the state of human affairs; what they
denied was the ability of astrologers to predict these effects
accurately. The English writer Geoffrey Chaucer (1345-1400) wove
sophisticated astrological themes into many of his works; though it is
not known how many of his audience would have been conscious of
them.

The philosophical attack on astrology in the Renaissance was opened
by the Platonists Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) and Pico della
Mirandola (1464-1494), who pointed to the numerous internal
contradictions of astrological procedure and its poor record of useful
predictions as reasons to distrust it; although their polemics informed
centuries of intellectual debate, it made little difference to the
widespread general acceptance of astrology. More theological attacks
by John Calvin and Martin Luther were provoked by the widespread
panic caused in Germany and Italy in anticipation of the conjunction
of 1524. Both the notorious French occultist Nostradamus (1503-
1566) and the English mathematician and magician John Dee (1527-
1608) were still able to gain considerable influence at their
respective courts in the sixteenth century through their astrological
skills. Dee was also a mathematical innovator who advocated the
Copernican system and advised Elizabeth I on calendar reform.

The Renaissance debate did inspire some practitioners to try and
TpurifyU astrology by eliminating sources of errors. Francis Bacon
(1561-1626) advocated stripping it of its superstitious baggage,
leaving only a TrationalU core of established beliefs; the Franciscan
Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639) actually published such a purified
astrological system. But it was their contemporary Johannes Kepler
(1571-1630) whose attempts to rid astrology of its mathematical
errors laid the groundwork for the physical discoveries which led to
its terminal decline.

In England, astrology thrived on the unstable political situation
between 1640 and 1690; William LillyUs Christian Astrology was
published in 1647 and its author continued practising as a
professional astrologer through both CromwellUs regime and the
Restoration. It was at this period that the publication of astrological
almanacs peaked; at one point they outsold the Bible. However, this
was the last generation in which a professional astrologer could claim
the right to participate in debates about astronomy. Under pressure
from the Newtonian view of the universe, which actually dared to
quantify the forces between the planets, astrologers sought refuge in
the magical traditions from which their discipline had sprung. For
almost two hundred years after 1700, astrology was once again
relegated to the status of superstition.

The revival of astrology as a popular phenomenon in the last
hundred years is linked with a general increase of interest in the
paranormal, spurred by the appearance of newspaper horoscopes in
the 1930s and the much more recent TNew AgeU movement. Some
scientists have reacted by seeing astrology as a threat to rationalism
which must be countered on all occasions; in 1975, the astronomer
Bart Bok (1906-1983) orchestrated the publication of an anti-
astrology statement signed by 186 eminent scientists, including
nineteen Nobel laureates. A number of impressive attacks on
astrologyUs historical and scientific pretensions have been produced
by psychologists, astronomers, and philosophers. This has had no
discernable effect on the astrologers themselves, many of whom
argue that their systematic interpretation of computer-generated
horoscopes is a perfectly scientific practice.

The only novel contribution in modern times to the astrological
debate has come from Michel Gauquelin, a French researcher who
claims to have found non-random variations in the positions of
planets at the time of birth of a sample of people who became
athletes - he claims to have found similar results for other
professions as well. His results have not been generally accepted, and
even if true would still be a very long way from traditional astrology.

Historiography

Unfortunately the only recent attempt (Tester) to write a
comprehensive history of astrology was prematurely abridged by the
authorUs death, and includes very little social context; no historical
survey exists. Two interesting and relatively accessible primary
sources are the text-books by Al-Biruni (973-1050) and William Lilly
(1602-1681). Many more remain in manuscript or early editions;
there is no modern edition of Abu MaUshar, for instance. Recent work
by North has shown that useful information can be gained by
analysing the techniques used for calculating the houses in historical
horoscopes.

Bouch -LeclercqUs account seems likely to remain the standard
account of Greek astrology. The political and legal role of astrology in
the Roman empire is entertainingly though somewhat speculatively
described by Cramer. For Sasanian and Arabic astrology one must fall
back on the standard works of Sarton and Thorndike, supplemented
by CarmodyUs critical bibliography of the Arabic manuscripts in Latin
translation.

The wealth of the manuscript heritage has left western medieval
astrology less shrouded in mystery; there have been recent studies of
its connections with the English court and with the writings of
Chaucer, and of its intellectual context. Since the surviving material
tends to be linked with the ruling classes, little is known about the
practice of astrology at other levels of society. The invention of
printing facilitated both the distribution of astrological ideas and
their subsequent survival for discussion by scholars; although the
bones of the Renaissance debate have been picked clean by Allen and
Garin, work continues on the role of astrology in the reformation and
its social meaning in Renaissance Europe.

The vernacular tradition of the early modern period has shown even
greater resilience; this is clear from Sir Keith ThomasU masterly
survey of astrology as it was practiced in England in the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries, and from the numbers of other recent
books on astrology in England, Germany and Italy about that time.
The published and unpublished writings of astrologers steering
round the changing political winds in England between 1640 and
1690 have proved fertile ground for several scholars; there has been
little research on the American almanacs of the same period.

There has been very little investigation of the nature of astrology
since 1700 apart from anthropological research into its role in non-
Western cultures; most that has been written is fiercely partisan. The
1975 anti-astrology statement of Bok and Jerome was accompanied
by articles by both which did not differ very much from what Pico
della Mirandola or Cicero might have written. Among other critics, it
should be noted that the psychologists Eysenck and Nias attack
astrology as a whole but unusually support GauquelinUs findings.
Finally, the philosopher Theodor Adorno has attacked astrology as a
means of social control; he points out that horoscopes never instruct
their readers to challenge the world, but rather tend to encourage a
passive acceptance of oneUs fate.

Adorno, Theodor W. RThe Stars down to Earth.S Telos 19 (1974) 13-
90.

Allen, Don Cameron. The Star-Crossed Renaissance: The Quarrel about
Astrology and its Influence in England. Durham,NC: Duke University
Press, 1941

Bok, Bart J. and Jerome, Lawrence E. Objections to Astrology. Buffalo:
Prometheus, 1975. Mostly reprinted from their articles in The
American Humanist, September/October 1975.

Bouch -Leclercq, Auguste. LUAstrologie grecque. Paris: Leroux, 1899.
Reprinted Aalen: Scientia, 1979.

Capp, Bernard. Astrology and the Popular Press: English Almanacs
1500-1800. London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1979.

Carey, Hilary. Courting Disaster: Astrology at the english Court and
University in the Later Middle Ages. London: Macmillan, 1992

Carmody, F.J. Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Manuscripts in
Latin Translation: A Critical Bibliography. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1956.

Castagnola, Raffaella ed. I Guicciardini e le scienze occulte. Florence,
Studi e testi (Istituto nazionale di studi sul Rinascimento) vol. 19:
Olschki, 1990

Cramer, F.H. Astrology in Roman Law and Politics. Philadelphia:
Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 37, 1954.

Culver, R.B. and Ianna, P.A. The Gemini Syndrome: A Scientific
Evaluation of Astrology. Buffalo: Prometheus, 1979.

Curry, Patrick, ed. Astrology, Science and Society. Woodbridge:
Boydell, 1987.

Curry, Patrick. Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern
England. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 1989.

Eade, John Christopher. The forgotten sky : a guide to astrology in
English literature. Oxford: Clarendon, 1984.

Eysenck, H.J. and Nias, D.K.B. Astrology: Science or Superstition?.
London: Temple Smith, 1982

Flint, Valerie I.J.. The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe. Oxford:
Clarendon, 1991

Garin, Eugenio. Lo Zodiaco della Vita. Bari: Laterza, 1976. Translated
by Carolyn Jackson and June Allen as Astrology in the Renaissance:
The Zodiac of Life. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983.

Gauquelin, Michel. The cosmic clocks. London: Owen, 1969.

Haskins, Charles Homer. Studies in the History of Medieval Science.
New York: Cambridge: Harvard University, 1927

Hunter, M. and Gregory, A. An Astrological Diary of the seventeenth
century: Samuel Jeake of Rye 1652-1699. Oxford: Clarendon , 1989

Lemay, Richard Joseph. Abu Ma'shar and Latin Aristotelianism in the
twelfth century. Beirut: American University, 1962.

Lilly, William. Christian Astrology. London: Regulus, 1985.

North, John D. ChaucerUs Universe. Oxford: Clarendon, 1988

North, John D. Horoscopes and History. London: Warburg Institute,
1986.

Sarton, George. Introduction to the history of science (3 vols in 5).
Baltimore, Carnegie Institution: Williams & Wilkins, 1927-1948.

Talkenberger, Heike.Sintflut : Prophetie und Zeitgeschehen in Texten
und Holzschnitten astrologischer Flugschriften, 1488-1528. Tubingen:
Niemeyer, 1990.

Tester, S.J. A History of Western Astrology. New York: Ballantine,
1987.

Thomas, Keith. Chapters 10-12 (p.335-460) of Religion and the
Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and
Seventeenth-century England. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
1971.

Thorndike, Lynn. A History of Magic and Experimenal Science. New
York: Columbia University Press, 1922.

Wright, R.Ramsay, ed. and tr. The Book of Instruction in the Elements
of the Art of Astrology by I Al-Biruni. London: Luzac, 1934.

Zambelli, Paola ed. Astrologi hallucinati: stars and the end of the
world in Luther's time. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1986

Zambelli, Paola. The Spectrum astronomiae and its enigma: astrology,
theology, and science in Albertus Magnus and his contemporaries.
Dordrecht and Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992


Carolyn Egan

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Feb 2, 1994, 10:27:09 AM2/2/94
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In article <940202140...@cs.utexas.edu>,

SAG...@VAX2.QUEENS-BELFAST.AC.UK (n.whyte) wrote:
>
> I have just finished writing the article below for an encyclopedia
> on the history of astronomy; I'd be interested to hear any comments
> from this newsgroup.
>
> Nicholas Whyte
> Queen's University of Belfast
> N.W...@QUB.AC.UK

Tell us Nicholas, are you a studied and trained Astrologer? Sorry I
haven't the time to read your article right now. However, I am curious and
would like your reply. Thanks, Carol Egan
Carolyn M. Egan
Computing and Information Services
115 Waterman Street, 3rd floor
Box 1885, Providence, RI 02912
E-mail CAROLE@BROWNVM (401)863-7253
Internet: car...@brownvm.brown.edu

Earl A. Baker

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Feb 2, 1994, 1:03:56 PM2/2/94
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I have a question which you may be able to answer Nicholas.
Anyone else with an opinion, please weigh in.

I have several friends who practice western siderealism (quite
distinct from the vedic) as put forth by Cyril Fagan and Donald
Bradley (Garth Allen). They claim Fagan to be the "Ptolemy of
our time." Whether that is meritorius or not is an open question.

I notice that in most historical discussions posted here and elsewhere
that his name never comes up. I wonder whether this is merely
because most discussions are by and about tropical astrologers/astrology,
or because he is not considered to have been a good scholar.
Perhaps it is because little is known about his work. More
than one post recently has stated that there don't seem to be any
great modern contributions to the field, but those friends of mine
think his is the only worthy contribution in this century. Frankly
I think they are bit looped about this.

I guess what I'd like to know is, does any objective criticism of
Fagan exist, or does anyone here have one to offer--regarding his
scholarship/claims, etc.? These friends of mine view him with
a religious reverence, and are intolerant of criticism, so I don't
rely on their word, which tends to be the gospel according to Cyril.

I will give one example of a fault I've found with his work; in the
first chapter of _Astrological Origins_, he waves a magic wand to
dismiss the tropical vs. sidereal debate. He gives the example
of a tropical Taurean who feels that the Taurus descriptions fit
his/her self better than those of Aries, the native's sidereal sign.
Fagan complains that this is merely an 'overlay' effect of sorts,
wherein the descriptions of Taurus built up over the years fit
the tropical date range; and that a sidereal astrologer would
label his sample of Aries clients properly according to his understnding.
He states, "Therefore, the only difference between the two samples
would lie in the attached label, nothing else..." He seems
to feel that the observations linking personality to calendric
periods are entirely the source of a false validity attributed
to the tropical system, though he doesn't make this point very
clearly. In other words, "tropical descriptions work but they're
wrong."

He seems to be trying some sleight of hand here to
attribute tropical successes to misplaced understanding of
sidereal meanings. Which strikes me as a crock of shit, and as
I read this work I am often put off by his arrogance as well, but
I am still interested in opinions about him and his work, any
historical anecdotes, etc., preferably not colored by the stubborn
romantic worship of his persona. I will be happy to post excerpts
from his work in the future if this discussion takes wing.

--
"Well I was feelin' low down and blue, I didn't know what in the world I
was going to do, them communists they were comin' around, they were in the
air, they were all over the ground, they wouldn't give me no peace!"
-Bob Dylan, 'John Birch Society Blues'

Jai Maharaj

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Feb 2, 1994, 1:24:52 PM2/2/94
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> I have just finished writing the article below for an encyclopedia
> on the history of astronomy; I'd be interested to hear any comments
> from this newsgroup.

> -- SAG...@VAX2.QUEENS-BELFAST.AC.UK (n.whyte)

Namaste! I found quite a few inaccuracies and omissions during a cursory
glance at your post. This is not to say that you have not researched your
subject -- it is just that if you are going to write the "history" of
something you have to begin at the earliest known instances. Also, one
can't simply rely on English translations of the works of cultures that
pre-date English. The knowledge of Sanskrit is essential, since both
astronomy and astrology originated in Bhaarat (India) more than 8,000
years ago.

Here is a repost for your benefit of a post concerning the origin of
the Zodiac. Happy researching, and please keep in mind that the fact
you posted your article is greatly appreciated!

THE ORIGINS based on H.P. Blavatsky's "The Secret Doctrine"
"""""""""""
In 1853, the savant known as Erard-Mollien read before the
Institute of France a paper proving the antiquity of the Indian
Zodiac, in the signs of which were found the root and philosophy
of all the most important religious festivals of that country;
the scholar demonstrated that the origin of these religious
ceremonies goes back into the night of time to at least 3,000
BCE. The Zodiac of the Hindus, he demonstrated, was long
anterior to the Zodiac of the Greeks, and differed from it much
in some particulars. In it one sees the Dragon on a tree, at the
foot of which the Virgin, KANYA-DURGA, one of the most ancient
Goddesses, is placed on a Lion dragging after it the solar
vehicle, the RATH. He said:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* This is the reason why this Virgin Durga is not the *
* simple momento of an astronomical fact, but verily the *
* most ancient divinity of the Indian Olympus. She is *
* evidently the same whose return was announced in all *
* the Sibylline books -- the source of the inspiration of *
* Virgil -- an epoch of universal renovation. . . . And *
* why, since the months are still named after this Indian *
* Zodiac, by the Sanskrit-speaking people of India, should *
* that people have abandoned it to take that of the Greeks? *
* Everything proves, on the contrary, that these zodiacal *
* figures were transmitted to the Greeks by the Chaldeans *
* who got them from the Brahmins of India. *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
See Recueil de l' Acade'mie des Inscriptions, 1853,
quoted in Des Esprits, Tome iv, page 62.
Also: Histoire l'Astronomie Anciene by J.B.J. Delambre, 1817
Historical View of Hindu Astronomy by John Bentley, 1825

There are numerous sources of information, many more than you have
listed in your article, that are available. If you have interest
in reading them, please let me know. We wouldn't want an entry in
an encyclopedia to be only partly researched, would we?

-=Om Shanti=- Jai Maharaj, Vedic Astrologer
+1 808-948-4357 voicemail
--
|_|_|_|_|
jai maharaj |_| |_| mantra corporation
jyotishi |_|_ _|_| 808-948-4357
jaima...@mcimail.com | | | | | vedic prediction sciences

L. M. P. McPherson

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Feb 3, 1994, 4:33:44 AM2/3/94
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In article <2iopuc$4...@news.cerf.net> e...@ten-fwd.teltechlabs.com (Earl A. Baker) writes:

>He gives the example
>of a tropical Taurean who feels that the Taurus descriptions fit
>his/her self better than those of Aries, the native's sidereal sign.
>Fagan complains that this is merely an 'overlay' effect of sorts,
>wherein the descriptions of Taurus built up over the years fit
>the tropical date range; and that a sidereal astrologer would
>label his sample of Aries clients properly according to his understnding.
>He states, "Therefore, the only difference between the two samples
>would lie in the attached label, nothing else..."

While this is an interesting argument, available data do not
support his thesis. For example, Dean (in his "Recent Advances...")
describes a keyword study by Sunley, in which this researcher
compared keywords used to describe signs in the tropical and
sidereal zodiacs. (Fagan was among the authors whose writings
were sampled for the pool of sidereal keywords.) He found that
the keywords tended to be more similar than different for the
two zodiacs. (E.g., the sidereal keywords for Gemini were:
learning, loquacity, activity, intellect, writing, business
skill; the tropical keywords for Gemini were: activity,
changeableness, skill, excitability, attention, reasoning.)

It is of interest that Indian astrologers, who use one or
another sidereal zodiac, make little use of signs. Perhaps
that is how they are able to maintain some kind of accuracy.


Maggie

kir...@delphi.com

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Feb 8, 1994, 2:53:34 AM2/8/94
to
Earl:

>So you are saying that Fagan/Bradley were not aware that their
>search for Babylonian authority had caused them to nearly
>rediscover it??

I say apparently unaware, because the article mentioned in my
message seems to be a direct confirmation that the Fagan-Bradley
"synetic sidereal zodiac" had precisely the Babylonian
parameters, yet neither Fagan nor Bradley ever mentioned this
directly. I would have thought they would have, since they went
through all kinds of unnecessary intellectual contortions in
order to make that connection indirectly. No one in sidereal
circles was aware of that article by Huber until it was cited by
Colin James ("The Alleged Sidereal Zodiac of Cyril Fagan" in The
Relative Strengths of Signs and Planets) in a quixotic attack on
Fagan's scholarship. That is to say, James unintentionally
provided the best evidence that Fagan's hypothesis about the
exaltations being positions in the Babylonian zodiac might be
correct. At the same time, the Huber article makes any such
hypothesis unnecessary as an argument for a "historically
orginal" Babylonian zodiac.

>What I was really curious about was whether Fagan is taken
>seriously outside of Fagan-worshippers.

I honestly don't know how seriously Fagan is taken, except to say
there are people around such as Jimm Erickson or Jim Lewis who
use many of Fagan's techniques and recommend them to others but
wouldn't be caught within miles of a sidereal zodiac. In other
words, his invention or promotion of certain techniques and his
emphasis on angularity seems to have influenced more people than
did anything he said on the zodiac as such. It's unfair, however,
to class Fannin, Bowser or others as cult followers of Fagan just
because they appreciate his writings and use many of his
techniques. The implication in that seems to be that Fagan's
ideas on the zodiac are "fringe" because they don't fit the
standard party line, when in fact for the most part they have
sound historical support.

Fagan's work on this began in an era when people were starting to
ask basic questions instead of just recycling standard textbooks.
The forties produced Fagan, Gleadow and Bradley (sidereal); the
fifties produced Gauquelin (no zodiac) and Addey (the zodiac as a
collection of harmonics). You're right that Fagan's argument for
an "original" zodiac and a "Greek mistake" does not in itself
provide any evidence that a sidereal zodiac _ought_ to be used,
but it did make the point that the question deserved
investigation, which is what Fagan himself did and which he
inspired others to do. Fannin, Bowser, et. al. accept Fagan's
zodiacal work as valid and thus make all their observations
within that framework. Erickson, Lewis and others reject the
zodiacal arguments but to some extent accept the use of
non-precessional techniques. No cults on either side of the
divide.

I'm not sure what your remarks about precession or about the tilt
of the earth mean, since these seem to be anti-tropical arguments
as stated. Any sidereal zodiac would have precisely the same
parameters if the earth were not tilted on its axis at all, while
the tropical zodiac depends entirely on that tilt, without which
it would have no fiducial. For convenience (e.g. in transposing
positions found in standard tropical ephemerides into the
sidereal zodiac), the Fagan-Bradley zodiac is defined in terms of
the position of the tropical fiducial (i.e., the vernal point) at
a particular instant of time, but there are ways to define it
that avoid this entirely.

KI

mikemagee

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 8:47:14 AM2/8/94
to

> I honestly don't know how seriously Fagan is taken, except to say
> there are people around such as Jimm Erickson or Jim Lewis who
> use many of Fagan's techniques and recommend them to others but
> wouldn't be caught within miles of a sidereal zodiac. In other
> words, his invention or promotion of certain techniques and his
> emphasis on angularity seems to have influenced more people than
> did anything he said on the zodiac as such. It's unfair, however,
> to class Fannin, Bowser or others as cult followers of Fagan just
> because they appreciate his writings and use many of his
> techniques. The implication in that seems to be that Fagan's
> ideas on the zodiac are "fringe" because they don't fit the
> standard party line, when in fact for the most part they have
> sound historical support.
>
> Fagan's work on this began in an era when people were starting to
> ask basic questions instead of just recycling standard textbooks.

Unfortunately, Fagan's writing style and his attitude towards tropical
astrologers antagonises many readers and seems to have given rise
to a yah boo sucks 'I'm tropical zodiac, your sidereal zodiac is useless'
attitude on both sides.

I'm interested in these people you mention (Fannin, Bowser &c). Can
you suggest sources?

Thanks

--


mike...@magee.demon.co.uk

Earl A. Baker

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 12:29:27 PM2/8/94
to
In article <760715...@magee.demon.co.uk> mike...@magee.demon.co.uk writes:
>
>Unfortunately, Fagan's writing style and his attitude towards tropical
>astrologers antagonises many readers and seems to have given rise
>to a yah boo sucks 'I'm tropical zodiac, your sidereal zodiac is useless'
>attitude on both sides.

I tend to agree with you, Mike.


>
>I'm interested in these people you mention (Fannin, Bowser &c). Can
>you suggest sources?

Bert Fannin and Ken Bowser are two of several Bay Area western
siderealists. I dont know of any books which they have published,
but both have produced articles in AFA Bulletin and Mountain
Astrologer. Bert ran an article on the Parans of Antares and
Aldebaaran (sp?) in TMA about 4-5 months ago. You can email
Bert at bfa...@genie.geis.com - he welcomes correspondence with
astrologers and has a great deal of knowledge of the celestial
mechanics of astrology.


--

Earl A. Baker

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 3:21:35 PM2/8/94
to
>>What I was really curious about was whether Fagan is taken
>>seriously outside of Fagan-worshippers.
>
>I honestly don't know how seriously Fagan is taken, except to say
>there are people around such as Jimm Erickson or Jim Lewis who
>use many of Fagan's techniques and recommend them to others but
>wouldn't be caught within miles of a sidereal zodiac. In other
>words, his invention or promotion of certain techniques and his
>emphasis on angularity seems to have influenced more people than
>did anything he said on the zodiac as such. It's unfair, however,
>to class Fannin, Bowser or others as cult followers of Fagan just
>because they appreciate his writings and use many of his
>techniques. The implication in that seems to be that Fagan's
>ideas on the zodiac are "fringe" because they don't fit the
>standard party line, when in fact for the most part they have
>sound historical support.

That is not what I was implying at all; the purpose of my
questioning has been to find out how Fagan is viewed outside
of his ardent admirers. I don't class these people as cult
followers based solely on how they feel about Fagan. It is
based on a fair amount of personal interaction with them.
If 'cult' is inappropriate, then perhaps 'siege mentality' would
work better. Also, I receive a fair amount of arrogant condescension
from them, not unlike that of Fagan himself. As Mike McGee put it in
a recent post:

>Unfortunately, Fagan's writing style and his attitude towards tropical
>astrologers antagonises many readers and seems to have given rise
>to a yah boo sucks 'I'm tropical zodiac, your sidereal zodiac is useless'
>attitude on both sides.

Also, I don't feel they're open to criticism of Fagan, which to
me is another sign of a cult mentality. I've been on the receiving
end of much intolerance for and disdain of tropical astrology from
these people. BTW, they referred to you, when Bert began to
correspond with you, as "a pretty knowledgeable guy, but still a
'tropicalist', yecchh." Not in those exact words, but it conveys
the general attitude. They are in my experience quite convinced
that we are all idiots. You must have really taken them by
surprise :)

>I'm not sure what your remarks about precession or the tilt

>of the earth mean, since these seem to be anti-tropical arguments
>as stated. Any sidereal zodiac would have precisely the same
>parameters if the earth were not tilted on its axis at all, while
>the tropical zodiac depends entirely on that tilt, without which
>it would have no fiducial. For convenience (e.g. in transposing
>positions found in standard tropical ephemerides into the
>sidereal zodiac), the Fagan-Bradley zodiac is defined in terms of
>the position of the tropical fiducial (i.e., the vernal point) at
>a particular instant of time, but there are ways to define it
>that avoid this entirely.

I should have phrased the remark more clearly; if precession
is indeed caused by polar wobble, why is it a basis for meaningful
astrology? Yes, you could extend this argument, 'why is the
rotation of the earth, which makes the planets appear to rise
and set, the basis for meaningful astrology?' Actually, I
am recalling Carl Toby's experiments with tops, and his suggestion
that perhaps the entire orbital plane of the earth was wobbling
rather than the poles. So anyway, I should not have said axial
tilt, but rather, polar wobble. Sounds like an eastern European
dance craze, the polar vobble!

But you make a good point about the tropical fiducial depending
upon tilt, and I am curious where you stand on the issue of
zodiacal authenticity. I don't buy the precessional system
(sidereal) because the meanings don't seem to fit; and my sidereal
friends either don't respond to this, or make what to me are
unintentionally humorous attempts to get them to fit. There is
also the question of precessed vs. non-pre. returns; but I havent
seen results from either kind of return that lead me to
believe that return charts mean a whole lot. Ditto for astrocarts
and relos, but that is another subject altogether.

--

Jim Youngman

unread,
Feb 8, 1994, 7:54:28 PM2/8/94
to
In <2j6nh5$g...@electra.saaf.se> pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:
>In article <940202140...@cs.utexas.edu>,

>n.whyte <SAG...@VAX2.QUEENS-BELFAST.AC.UK> wrote:
>
>> Since the ascendant and mid-heaven change by a degree every four
>> minutes and are very dependent on the location for which the
>> horoscope is being cast, every chart will have a unique interpretation,
>> very sensitive to small changes in detail.
>
In my experience most (Western) astrologers do not get down to such
detail in their day-to-day practice. I have found that most clients have their
needs met by a broader intepretation.

>In modern terminology, astrology could be considered a chaotic system!
>
>Add to this the different house systems used, where the cusp of a house
>may differ by up to almost two signs, depending on which house system that
>is selected.......
>
As I have suggested to you before, Paul, the house systems really do
break down at extreme latitudes (such as Sweden). The equal house
system which would not break down at such locations, or else you
should probably use a Cosmobiological approach which does not use
houses at all. At more temperate latitudes and in the tropics there is
a difference of only a few degrees between the different systems. However,
the method of calculating house cusps remains a debating point within
the discipline.

By the way, Cosmobiology seems to be an important ommision from
N. Whyte's history.

>> Finally, the philosopher Theodor Adorno has attacked astrology as a
>> means of social control; he points out that horoscopes never instruct
>> their readers to challenge the world, but rather tend to encourage a
>> passive acceptance of oneUs fate.
>

Astrologers of the modern Humanistic school, and others, do not take
a fatalistic approach. I liken an astrological reading to a weather
report and forecast. We may know that it is likely to rain tomorrow;
we can make our own decision as to whether we are going to get wet.
I do instruct my clients to challenge the world. For example a reading
might include a statement that the client tends to bottle up emotions.
His/her challenge is to find a way to express those emotions creatively
before expoding in a destructive manner. We would together explore the chart
to find traits that would assist this process. If the problem had
become a real difficulty in the client's life, then professional
help from a therapist might be recommended. In fact some (enlightened)
therapists seek the assistance of an Astrologer in diagnosing the root cause
of a client's problem.

>I suppose astrology has this in common with most other religions....
>
Western Astrology (at least) is NOT a religion. It has no received wisdom
in the sense of the Bible or the Vedas. It has no common rituals. There is
no God(s) or other prime focus of worship. Whatever you may think of it,
at its best, Astrology is a serious investigation into how the movement
of bodies in the Solar system relates to the affairs of mankind, and how the
knowledge of such may be of value to people. For some this does take on
a religious or mystical dimension, as does (for some) the study of Nature
herself.

mikemagee

unread,
Feb 9, 1994, 4:52:43 AM2/9/94
to
In article <2j8s8g$2...@news.cerf.net>

e...@ten-fwd.teltechlabs.com "Earl A. Baker" writes:

>
> >Unfortunately, Fagan's writing style and his attitude towards tropical
> >astrologers antagonises many readers and seems to have given rise
> >to a yah boo sucks 'I'm tropical zodiac, your sidereal zodiac is useless'
> >attitude on both sides.
>
> Also, I don't feel they're open to criticism of Fagan, which to
> me is another sign of a cult mentality. I've been on the receiving
> end of much intolerance for and disdain of tropical astrology from
> these people. BTW, they referred to you, when Bert began to
> correspond with you, as "a pretty knowledgeable guy, but still a
> 'tropicalist', yecchh." Not in those exact words, but it conveys
> the general attitude. They are in my experience quite convinced
> that we are all idiots. You must have really taken them by
> surprise :)
>

Actually I'm a big fan of Fagan myself and a sidereal astrologer
too. But his work isn't easy to read and it's interleaved
with sidereal propaganda -- which makes it even harder to sift
through. It's a shame. If you persist he has some unique perspectives
on astrology. Anyone here know if his books are still in print?


Mike


--


mike...@magee.demon.co.uk

Paul Schlyter

unread,
Feb 9, 1994, 10:38:46 AM2/9/94
to
In article <2j8s8g$2...@news.cerf.net>,

Earl A. Baker <e...@ten-fwd.teltechlabs.com> wrote:

> I should have phrased the remark more clearly; if precession
> is indeed caused by polar wobble, why is it a basis for meaningful
> astrology?

Because the seasons follow the precession. Perhaps seasons may be
ignored in the tropics where there's no large seasonal differences
anyway -- but at temperate and polar latitudes, the difference
between summer and winter is quite large. To argue that this doesn't
matter is to argue that we aren't affected at all by the seasons.

--
---
Paul Schlyter, SAAF (Swedish Amateur Astronomer's Society)
Nybrogatan 75 A, S-114 40 Stockholm, Sweden
InterNet: pau...@saaf.se

kir...@delphi.com

unread,
Feb 10, 1994, 6:06:44 PM2/10/94
to
>Unfortunately, Fagan's writing style and his attitude towards tropical
>astrologers antagonises many readers and seems to have given rise
>to a yah boo sucks 'I'm tropical zodiac, your sidereal zodiac is useless'
>attitude on both sides.
>
>I'm interested in these people you mention (Fannin, Bowser &c). Can
>you suggest sources?

Fagan was a tropical astrologer for many years, of course, but
once he had converted himself (circa 1944) he wasn't perhaps as
genteel as he could have been in getting others to follow. Much
of his writing was in a positive vein, however, discussing
technique for the most part--the "preaching" mainly came in the
early years. Bradley was a lot worse, in my opinion. If he had
been exposed to a good Ph.D. program and gotten knocked on his
duff a few times by his intellectual peers, he would have been
less antagonistic and more productive.

Fagan and Bradley's attitudes might, in part, have been colored
by a particularly silly incident at the, I think, 1950 AFA
convention. Some well-known club-type astrologer of the day tried
to get the convention to vote, essentially, to ban all
publication and discussion concerning the sidereal zodiac,
period--this being shortly after Bradley's Profession and
Birthdate came out from Llewellyn. Fagan's Zodiacs Old and New
had also appeared, and the AFA had published a paper by Fagan.
The details of this are buried somewhere in a sidereal journal,
whose name and number I can't remember at the moment. Anyway, I
think there was a lot of animosity in the air even before Fagan
and Bradley got very far. Their reaction to the reaction didn't
help the discussion, of course.

Bert Fannin and Ken Bowser, mentioned by Earl Baker, are sidereal
astrologers in the San Francisco Bay area. Neither has published
much, but both have had articles in places like American
Astrology and The Mountain Astrologer. Both are very good
technicians and first-rate astrologers. Ken is also very
well-informed about the history of astrology, particularly its
technical aspects.

As one of the editors of American Astrology, probably the only
nationally-circulated magazine (in the U.S. or anywhere else)
that has ever published articles even mentioning the western
sidereal zodiac (let alone mentioning it favorably, as in Fagan's
column and Bradley's articles), I have to say that I'm surprised
by its staying power, since the last of its old guard (R. C.
Firebrace, who published the original Spica) died in 1975 and
most of its literature is out of print. Within the last two or
three years, in particular, I've gotten a small but steady stream
of submissions on the subject from people I've never heard of who
seem to have learned their sidereal techniques well. One of our
most popular columns, "Day by Day," has been based on lunar
positions in the Fagan-Bradley-Babylonian zodiac for nearly 20
years now, but other than that we publish only occasional
material about it, and very little of an instructional nature.

I myself essentially started out in astrology using the sidereal
zodiac (after a relatively short sojourn in the tropical) and
wrote a mundane column based on sidereal techniques for 6 or 7
years. What attracted me as much as anything at the beginning was
the fact that most sidereal writers seemed to have a better
appreciation for the astronomical and historical basis of
astrology than was generally the case. Right or wrong, they at
least paid attention to these things, tried to get them right and
were willing (particularly Fagan and Firebrace) to alter their
views if new facts were brought to light that contradicted the
old. Fagan's idea of angularity, for example, was probably
changed somewhat by Gauquelin's first findings in Les Hommes et
Les Astres, and he wrote a column on the subject as early as
1956. It's difficult to tell for sure, though, since Fagan spent
little time on natal interpretation and emphasized proximity to
the angles in his predictive techniques.

The general nature of sidereal interpretation, which emphasizes
angularity and de-emphasizes the zodiac (and even houses as
such), made it fairly easy for me to make a transition to
"neoastrology," which is what I'm working in now. There are still
sidereal astrologers out there plying their trade, though, and if
Fagan's "Solunars" column didn't convince many people about the
zodiac question, it does seem to have influenced the tropical
world in the use of so-called "precessed" return charts, which is
a fairly common practice, at least here in the U.S. Before Fagan,
I doubt such charts were used much--and certainly few would have
considered correcting for precession before calculating them.

By the way, check out Rob hand's introduction to Vettius Valens,
the anthology, Book I, some of which addresses tropical/sidereal,
and some in-between zodiacs as well.

Ken Irving

ind...@ac.dal.ca

unread,
Feb 10, 1994, 6:54:52 PM2/10/94
to
>
>> Dear Paul,
>> I would be particularly interested to hear your comments on my astrology
>> article as posted to alt.astrology last week!
>> Nicholas Whyte
>> Queens University of Belfast
>
> I enjoyed it, and kept it for future reference. Obviously you know much more
> about the history of astrology than I do.
>
> A few comments below:

>
>
> --
> ---
> Paul Schlyter, SAAF (Swedish Amateur Astronomer's Society)
> Nybrogatan 75 A, S-114 40 Stockholm, Sweden
> InterNet: pau...@saaf.se


Hello Paus Schlyter,

I asked some qestions about how 'scientific' astronomy is. Some how I
didn't get any replay from you (the only astronomer on alt.astrology?
Why?


..ravi

Jai Maharaj

unread,
Feb 11, 1994, 12:12:39 AM2/11/94
to

Wrote ind...@ac.dal.ca (ravi)


> >> Dear Paul,
> >> I would be particularly interested to hear your comments on my astrol
> >> article as posted to alt.astrology last week!
> >> Nicholas Whyte
> >> Queens University of Belfast
> >
> > I enjoyed it, and kept it for future reference. Obviously you know mu
> > about the history of astrology than I do.
> >
> > A few comments below:
> > Paul Schlyter, SAAF (Swedish Amateur Astronomer's Society)
> > Nybrogatan 75 A, S-114 40 Stockholm, Sweden
> > InterNet: pau...@saaf.se
>
> Hello Paus Schlyter,
>
> I asked some qestions about how 'scientific' astronomy is. Some how I
> didn't get any replay from you (the only astronomer on alt.astrology?
> Why?


I wondered about that too. But then again, I have not seen any articles
from him on sci.astronomy either.
-=Om Shanti=- Jai Maharaj

Jeff Inman

unread,
Feb 11, 1994, 6:17:57 PM2/11/94
to
Paul Schlyter writes:
>n.whyte <SAG...@VAX2.QUEENS-BELFAST.AC.UK> wrote:

>> Finally, the philosopher Theodor Adorno has attacked astrology as a
>> means of social control; he points out that horoscopes never instruct
>> their readers to challenge the world, but rather tend to encourage a
>> passive acceptance of oneUs fate.

From a guy (Mr. Whyte) who seems to have done so much homework, this
superficial gossip is a letdown. The question of fatalism is of
course relevant to astrology. The suggestion that your personality
CORRESPONDS with your natal horoscope does not require fatalism.
Believe it or not. There are plenty of astrologers who condone
actively living your life, and there are plenty of "afficianados" who
are terrified to do anything that has not been indicated to them by
their transits.

As with any area of life, the hard philosophical questions are not on
the lips (or minds) of 95% of people involved. So what? Show me a
political system that urges its people to challenge the assumptions on
which it was formed. Only the extremely rare scientist is capable of
entertaining thoughts that challenge all her assumptions. If you want
to think about things, you're on your own. That's the way it is.

Jeff
--
j...@santafe.edu

"I want more LIFE, fucker!" -- an errant Nexus 6

Paul Schlyter

unread,
Feb 11, 1994, 8:17:48 PM2/11/94
to
In article <1994Feb10.195452.20622@dal1>, <ind...@ac.dal.ca> wrote:


> Hello Paus Schlyter,

My name is Paul, not Paus ......


> I asked some qestions about how 'scientific' astronomy is. Some how I
> didn't get any replay from you (the only astronomer on alt.astrology?
> Why?

Dunno ... maybe there's some problem at your site, or maybe it got lost or
something? Anyway, here's a repost, which I'm emailing to you as well in
case it should get lost on the net this time too. Enjoy!



From: pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter)
Newsgroups: alt.astrology
Subject: Re: Astronomy: How much we can trust??
Date: 8 Feb 1994 14:00:04 +0100
Organization: Svensk Amat|rAstronomisk F|rening
Lines: 131
Message-ID: <2j82ck$h...@electra.saaf.se>
References: <1994Feb7.200830.20542@dal1>
NNTP-Posting-Host: electra.saaf.se

In article <1994Feb7.200830.20542@dal1>, <ind...@ac.dal.ca> wrote:

> According to last months Science/Nature/NewScitist/ScienceNews
> (based on recent finding by Hubble telescope about anomalies
> in the background temperature of the Universe)
> Universe started from an inflation (If you need I can lookup for
> the exact reference). According to the article the universe
> expanded about a meter(?) within the first nano seconds and
> all elements preent in the Universe were created within the
> short time....
>
> Here are the question?
>
> 1)What was the condition before the infaltion?
> 2)How do you define the boundaries of the Universe
> before inflation.
> 3)What was the boundary made of?
> 4)What was it made of?
> 5)What made it to be a singularity and what made to expand?
> (if you wish I can ask more questions)

Please don't -- because I cannot answer a single one of those questions....

And even if I could, you could easily find other questions to ask that I
couldn't answer. That's the way it is at the frontier of our knowledge,
there is very little we know there.

By the way, your questions 3) and 4) above -- don't they ask the same
thing? Why do you repeat yourself?

> If astronomers can't give a satisfactory answer there is no much
> difference between astrology and astronomy.

There IS a huge difference! The largest difference is probably this:

1. Astronomy deals with the universe

2. Astrology does NOT deal with the universe - it deals with people.

Another important difference is that astronomy many times has made
accurate statements, or if you so wish "forecasts" about phenomena in
the universe. Astrology needs astronomy to compute its planetary
positions, while astronomy has no use at all of astrology.


> According to astronomers position of stars and plannets affect
> human behaviour.

Wasn't it a typo here? This is according to astrologers, NOT
astronomers.....


> According to my understanding it is difficult measure these
> affect directly using existing instruments (perhaps except,
> lounacy, atsma and the the sexual behavour of some animals,
> dogs cow etc). But it survived thousands of years which
> indicates many people belived in it through experiance.

A belief surviving thousands of years is no proof that the belief
is true. For instance, during most of these milennia, the planets
and stars were also believed to be made of a substance distinctly
different from the stuff our Earth is made of. Now we know this
isn't true, they're made of precisely the same atoms as the Earth,
or ourselves. There are numerous other examples of old folklore
that simply didn't agree with reality when people dared to investigate
it thoroughly. People were very good in firmly beliving this or
that, without any evidence (and people are still good at this...).


> Astronomers and Astrophysists have very beautiful theories to
> explain the universe. but to what extent it is accurate?

To be frank, they are often much less accurate than the popular press
make the public believe. The professionals themselves are of course
very aware of this -- it's only the layman who very often have
exaggreated expectations of the "exactness" or "absolute truth" of
the latest scientific findings. It usually takes a while before there
"latest findings" gets converted in a reliable theory -- but when that
happens, the press (always hungry for the latest news) has lost its
interest in the matter.


> Last year some astronomer (A BIG SHOT) claimed (was a big event in
> Nature) that he had discovered a plannet outside solar system. Within
> weeks someone proved that he made a serious error in his rush to
> publish a paper. How many such mistakes are treated as the glorious
> discoveries ?

Not many. You know there's a big science community out there, which
carefully examines each and every new discovery, repeats each others
experiments etc. An announced discovery, based on false premises or
even simple mistakes, is often revealed as such within a few months to
a year. It must be very embarassing for a scientist to publicly be
caught making such a mistake, so most scientists are very careful
before publishing their findings.


> Are we supposed to belive the astronomers and astrophysisists about
> their clames of the structure of universe 5 billion years ago or
> the density of dark matter, if they can't explain the initial
> condition during the formation (from where?) of the Universe.

WHICH astronomers and astrophysicists? There are a lot if disagreement
between the astrophysicists about the density of this dark matter. This
of course only shows that we know far too little to be able to make any
accurate statements about it.

And then there are scientists that believes the entire "Big Bang" theory
is false -- including the Swedish Plasma Physicist and Nobel lauerate
Hannes Alfve'n. The Big Bang theory indeed has difficulties, but so
far nobody has been able to propose an alternative theory that agrees
better with observations of the universe.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

In your post, you focused on the most spectacular recent discoveries about
what is believed to be the very origin of our Cosmos. This is of course
also the area where the uncertainty in our knowledge is the largest (and
therefore this area is the easiest to attack, for someone wishing to do
it). But don't forget that astronomy is not only cosmological research
about the birth of the Universe. Astronomy has a large number of other
fields of research too, which usually has one thing in common: our know-
ledge there is much more accurate than in cosmology. Also, these areas
are not as spectacular and are therefore usually ignored by the press or
by laymen....

Paul Schlyter

unread,
Feb 11, 1994, 8:19:22 PM2/11/94
to
In article <2jf447$s...@usenet.ins.cwru.edu>,
Jai Maharaj <cy...@cleveland.Freenet.Edu> wrote:

> Wrote ind...@ac.dal.ca (ravi)
> >
> > Hello Paus Schlyter,

> >
> > I asked some qestions about how 'scientific' astronomy is. Some how I
> > didn't get any replay from you (the only astronomer on alt.astrology?
> > Why?
>
>
> I wondered about that too.

Apparently it got lost somewhere in the net -- but I reposted it.



> But then again, I have not seen any articles from him on
> sci.astronomy either.

Try sci.astro instead! If you've followed that newsgroup, you'd have seen
several posts by me recently, e.g. in a discussion on how fast the force of
gravity propagates, or in a few pretty long posts describing how to compute
planetary positions, including a C program to compute sunrise/set times for
any place on Earth.



> > Science is not that private -- scientists are expected to publish their
> > results, or they will lose their grants. But of course the amateur
> > "scientist" """""""
.......................
> >
> > -- Paul Schlyter, SAAF (Swedish Amateur Astronomer's Society)
> """""""

Don't you ever get tired of this very childish behaviour of yours?

FYI: you're very close to being put in my killfile by now! If you don't
get any responses from me at all in the near future, you'll know you've
finally made it there!

Jai Maharaj

unread,
Feb 11, 1994, 8:37:24 PM2/11/94
to

Paul Schlyter writes:
>n.whyte <SAG...@VAX2.QUEENS-BELFAST.AC.UK> wrote:

>> Finally, the philosopher Theodor Adorno has attacked astrology as a
>> means of social control; he points out that horoscopes never instruct
>> their readers to challenge the world, but rather tend to encourage a
>> passive acceptance of oneUs fate.

Not so. Take Vedic astrology, world's most prevalent astrological system
and continuously so for the longest time. The implacable cosmic law of
Karm(a) may at first seem to be based on some "fate" written by unknown
and all-powerful sheriffs. However, the manifested and realized effects
of Karm(a) are quite modifiable by thought, speech and action by the
individual. This is the very foundation of Vedic astrology as well as
of the accompanying specialization known as Jyotish Upaye Shastr(a) or
remedial astrology.

"As the burning fire reduces fuel to ashes,
So does wisdom reduce Karm(a) to ashes."
- SHRIMAD BHAGVAT GEETA

-=Om Shanti=- Jai Maharaj, Vedic Astrologer

Zara

unread,
Feb 14, 1994, 3:30:44 PM2/14/94
to

-Nicholas-
I got as far as the first paragraph on your encyclopedia article and
crashed head-on into a brick wall. I have two questions on it:
1) Why do you limit your definition of astrology to "a method of
divination"? It is more than that insofar as it can also be used as a
psychological and vocational analytical tool - almost as a forensic
utility. Why did you omit the other applications?
2) How do you define "pseudoscientific"? On what basis/es do you
classify astrology as pseudoscientific? I'm concerned that you haven't
really researched the subject, but are simply mouthing the prejudices of
the Western scientific community that have become dogma ever since
astronomy diverged from astrology in the 17th century and has been
trying to live down its beginnings ever since. Lest you think I'm being
hypersensitive, I submit the evidence of two major televised science
history series - Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" and James Burke's "Connections" -
in which both men attempted to "debunk" astrology using misinformation
and flat-out errors which were patently obvious to any competent
astrologer, but which were aired as "factual". Absent any background on
arriving at your description of what astrology is, your article seems
to be built on those same errors.
3) Why limit your definition of astrology to Western methods? Eastern
astrologers use astrology for the same purposes as the West; their
analytical tools are somewhat different. At the very least, you should
clarify what schools of astrology DON'T fall under your definition and
why. Otherwise, you should add a disclaimer that some forms of astrology
are not covered by your article.
I would like you to at least consider the following description of
astrology, which I had published in 1990. Here is a portion:
"As opposed to astrolomy, which attempts to QUANTIFY the cosmic
environment through the measurement of physical phenomena...astrology
tries to QUALIFY it by demonstrating, through centuries of observation,
that there is a measurable, cyclic relationship between us and the
cosmos which can be used to help us understand the meaning and purpose
of our existence....Essentially, astrology is a statistical social
science, a symbolic language with its roots in psychology and
metaphysics."
While it may be argued (and certainly will be in the halls of Western
scientific orthodoxy) that astrology has yet to succeed in its mission,
it is at least deserving of an acknowledgement that it is quite possibly
the Mother (or Father) of Western science, and that despite centuries of
persecution and ridicule it not only refuses to go away, but seems to be
as popular as ever.
I hope this response was the sort of thing you were looking for.
-Frances Killilea Moore-
Boston, Ma.
za...@ace.com

Carolyn Egan

unread,
Feb 15, 1994, 9:31:12 AM2/15/94
to
In article <2465.UUL1.3#25...@ace.com>, za...@ace.com (Zara) wrote:
>
>
>
> -Nicholas-
> I got as far as the first paragraph on your encyclopedia article and
> crashed head-on into a brick wall.
> 1) Why do you limit your definition of astrology to "a method of
> divination"?
> 2) How do you define "pseudoscientific"?
> 3) Why limit your definition of astrology to Western methods?f

> astrology, which I had published in 1990. Here is a portion:
> "As opposed to astrolomy, which attempts to QUANTIFY the cosmic
> environment through the measurement of physical phenomena...astrology
> tries to QUALIFY it by demonstrating, through centuries of observation,
> that there is a measurable, cyclic relationship between us and the
> cosmos which can be used to help us understand the meaning and purpose
> of our existence....Essentially, astrology is a statistical social
> science, a symbolic language with its roots in psychology and
> metaphysics."
> While it may be argued (and certainly will be in the halls of Western
> scientific orthodoxy) that astrology has yet to succeed in its mission,
> it is at least deserving of an acknowledgement that it is quite possibly
> the Mother (or Father) of Western science, and that despite centuries of
> persecution and ridicule it not only refuses to go away, but seems to be
> as popular as ever.
> I hope this response was the sort of thing you were looking for.
> -Frances Killilea Moore-
> Boston, Ma.
> za...@ace.com

Hi Zara, Way to go! Tell us more.

Carolyn Egan

Paul Schlyter

unread,
Feb 15, 1994, 6:34:23 PM2/15/94
to
In article <2465.UUL1.3#25...@ace.com>, Zara <za...@ace.com> wrote:

> 2) How do you define "pseudoscientific"?

Pretending to be scientific but failing to live up to the pretentions...


> On what basis/es do you classify astrology as pseudoscientific?

It's only pseudo-scientific if its practitioners claims it's a science.
Many astrologers are honest enough to admit astrology is no science.
Unscientific people not claiming to do science are of course no
pseudo-scientists.


> I'm concerned that you haven't really researched the subject, but
> are simply mouthing the prejudices of the Western scientific community
> that have become dogma ever since astronomy diverged from astrology
> in the 17th century and has been trying to live down its beginnings
> ever since.

Well, this dogma has very good reasons. Several scientific tests of
astrologers abilities to really tell the personality from a person's
chart has failed -- none has succeeded as far as I know. The only
investigations that remotely reminds of a scientific validation of
astrology are the ones done by the Gauquelins - however, their findings
are not universally accepted. But even if they should be correct their
results disagree in details with what astrology says (and in science such
disagreement in details are important!). ANd even if the Gauquelins
results should agree with astrology, it still means that this would only
be visible in large enough samples -- they would be essentially invisible
on an individual's chart.

A "science" that is unable to produce more positive evidence that that,
even though it's existed for centuries and milennia, is not worthy of
being labelled as science.


> Lest you think I'm being hypersensitive, I submit the evidence of two
> major televised science history series - Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" and
> James Burke's "Connections" - in which both men attempted to "debunk"
> astrology using misinformation and flat-out errors which were patently
> obvious to any competent astrologer, but which were aired as "factual".

Astronomers debunking astrology without knowing enough about it, and then
committing serious errors in their debunking, is indeed a problem. Whenever
I see that happen (in e.g. Usenet's sci.astro), I try to point this out
to them, telling them that they're really only doing the astrologers a
favor by exposing their ignorance of the subject when debunking astrology.
Of course one should know a subject well enough if one wants to argue
against (or for!) it.


> 3) Why limit your definition of astrology to Western methods? Eastern
> astrologers use astrology for the same purposes as the West; their
> analytical tools are somewhat different. At the very least, you should
> clarify what schools of astrology DON'T fall under your definition and
> why. Otherwise, you should add a disclaimer that some forms of astrology
> are not covered by your article.

The fact that there exist several, mutually contradicting, schools of
astrology, that disagree even in their basics (for instance about which
zodiac to use...), is really nothing but further evidence that astrology
is no science.

What if the same would apply for e.g. astronomy? What if there existed
a "Western astronomy", a "Vedic astronomy", and a "Chinese astronomy", that
were different enough for them to rarely co-operate? What would you think
about astronomy as a science in such a case?

A mature science may have different schools in its frontier research, but
in its basics there's full agreement. That's why you never hear about
"Western astronomy" contra "Vedic astronomt" -- there is only "astronomy"...


> I would like you to at least consider the following description of
> astrology, which I had published in 1990. Here is a portion:
> "As opposed to astrolomy,

What's "astrolomy" ????? :-)


> which attempts to QUANTIFY the cosmic environment through the measurement
> of physical phenomena...astrology tries to QUALIFY it by demonstrating,
> through centuries of observation, that there is a measurable, cyclic
> relationship between us and the cosmos which can be used to help us
> understand the meaning and purpose of our existence....

You forgot the most important difference: astronomy deals with the
universe, but astrology deals with humans and more or less ignores the
universe (i.e. everything outside our solar system).


> Essentially, astrology is a statistical social science,

It COULD have been, but very rarely is.... remember that chart readings
(which is the most common way to practice astrology) are done for
individuals, NOT for some average in a population....

> a symbolic language

Yes, indeed!


> with its roots in psychology

Are you trying to say that psychology is older that astrology? If not,
then astrology can have no "roots" in psychology -- but the opposite may
of course have happened.

> and metaphysics."

Yes -- and perhaps even some roots in pataphysics..... (metaphysics deals
with what's beyond physics, and pataphysics deals with whats beyond
metaphysics....)


> While it may be argued (and certainly will be in the halls of Western
> scientific orthodoxy) that astrology has yet to succeed in its mission,
> it is at least deserving of an acknowledgement that it is quite possibly
> the Mother (or Father) of Western science,

THAT is acknowledged in most science history books I've read....


> and that despite centuries of persecution and ridicule it not only
> refuses to go away, but seems to be as popular as ever.

That's also very easy to acknowledge...... :-)


Do you like the astrological history below better?

===============================================================================

History: All cultures have observed the movements of the Sun and Moon for
calendar purposes. They have also noticed that the planets Mercury, Venus,
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn move over the background stars. The movements of
these seven celestial bodies were early interpreted as Godly omens about
Earthly events. Early astrologies existed in ancient Babylon ca 1700 BC,
and from Assyria 800-600 BC many observations and predictions have been
preserved. In the Hellenistic culture the classic western astrology was
developed, where the positions of the Sun, Moon and five bright planets at
the moment of birth determines the future of human beings. The basic ideas
were collected at about 150 AD, by the Alexandrian astrnomer Ptolemaios in
his influential word "Tetrabiblios". In the Roman empire astrology was widely
used. Also in other cultures (India, China, and others) there are large
astrological philosophies.

The prediction of the planetary positions were long a main goal for astronomy
too, and during the medieveal times and the renaissance there was no clear
borderline between astrology and astronomy. Kepler was at times living on
astrological activities, while his famous laws for planetary motions paved
the way for modern astronomy. When Newton's Principia was published in 1687,
it suddenly became possible to accurately predict the planetary movements,
and from now on astrology is of no interest for astronomy. The following
scientific revolution meant a retardation for astrology, and the discovery
of Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) forced the astrologers
to abandon the classical rules for chart interpretation. By connecting
the cosmos with the fates of individuals, astrology has always had a special
enticement. The uninitiated are impressed by the complicated calculations
and easily believes that this also guarantees the significance of the
interpretation. Today, computer programs for astrological computations
are flourishing.

Terminology: The astrological idea of the world is ancient geocentric, and
the celestial bodies are regarded more as symbols than physical objects.
Their changing distances to the Earth are ignored, only their directions of
sight are considered important. The celestial bodies of astrological
interest are all moving within a few degrees from the ecliptic, which is
divided into twelve signs, named after the oriental-greek constellations of
the zodiac. The Sun is always entering the sign of Aries at spring equinox,
and then passes through the signs of Areis, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo,
Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces. About
2000 years ago, the signs were more or less conicident with the corresponding
constellations in the sky, but due to the precession of the equinoxes (one
revolution takes about 26000 years), the sign of Aries is nowadays situated
in the constellation of Pises etc. The astrological position of a celestial
body is its ecliptic longitude (the latitude is ignored), expressed as
fractions of a sign: thus the longitude 217.4 degrees corresponds to "7 deg
Sco 24 min". The positions are drawn into a natal chart, which in principle
resembles the sky of the place of birth at the time of birth. The position
of that part of the ecliptic which is rising (the ascendant) serves an
important role as the starting point for the further division of the zodiac
into houses.

Each sign, house, and (astrological) celestial body have specific properties,
and a large number of intricate rules have been created to interpret their
mutual relations. Apart from the direct influence of a planet in a specific
sign and house, aspects are also considered important, i.e. the influences
are strenthened or weakened if the angles between the objects have specific
values. Two celestial bodies with the same longitude are said to be in
conjunction; 120 deg difference is called trigon, and opposite positions is
called opposition. There are also symbolic relationships betweens the signs
of the zodiac and the chemical elements, the organs of the human body, etc.
The task of the astrologer is to interpret all these influences and to form
a picture of the personality and the future life of the subject. The sign
where the Sun resides at birth (the Sun sign) have a superior influence,
which is reflected in the simpler horoscopes published in daily and weekly
newspapers.

Scientific validation: To a modern scientist the ideas of astrology are alien,
but they cannot therefore a priori be dismissed. Several scientific studies
have been performed to test the statements of astrology, but a fundamental
problem is that their vagueness make them hard to falsify. A chart interpre-
tation only yields a number of tendencies which fit a large number of
individuals. One possible test would be to match a number psychological
profiles of unknown persons with their chart interpretations, but results
better than those obtained by random guessig has never been obtained in
well-controlled experiments.

Negative results are also obtained in some modern attempts to empirically
correlate planetary positions at birth with e.g. later professional careers.
The only physically probably influence from the cosmos emanates from the Sun,
and this influence is actively studied in solar-terrestial physics, an
established field of research. Particles and radiation from the Sun interacts
with the the Earth's magnetosphere, and influences on weather and climate has
been detected. The life on Earth may also be influenced, but the relations
are so indirect and complex that we're only in the very beginning of their
exploration.

Nicholas Whyte

unread,
Feb 16, 1994, 6:27:36 AM2/16/94
to
My apologies for the delay in replying to recent comments; I have only just
managed to get the newsreader here working.

In article <2465.UUL1.3#25...@ace.com> za...@ace.com (Zara) writes:
>-Nicholas-
> I got as far as the first paragraph on your encyclopedia article and
>crashed head-on into a brick wall. I have two questions on it:

(actually three, it turns out!)

> 1) Why do you limit your definition of astrology to "a method of
>divination"? It is more than that insofar as it can also be used as a
>psychological and vocational analytical tool - almost as a forensic
>utility. Why did you omit the other applications?

Historically (and the article is about the *history* of astrology) astrology
has been a means of divination above all; my pperception is that that is still
its main use today. I concede that I did not make enough mention of the
growing use of astrology in recent years as a psychological and vocational
analytical tool (a good phrase, by the way - with your permission I will use
it) and intend to amend my article accordingly.

> 2) How do you define "pseudoscientific"? On what basis/es do you
>classify astrology as pseudoscientific? I'm concerned that you haven't
>really researched the subject, but are simply mouthing the prejudices of
>the Western scientific community that have become dogma ever since
>astronomy diverged from astrology in the 17th century and has been
>trying to live down its beginnings ever since. Lest you think I'm being
>hypersensitive, I submit the evidence of two major televised science
>history series - Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" and James Burke's "Connections" -
>in which both men attempted to "debunk" astrology using misinformation
>and flat-out errors which were patently obvious to any competent
>astrologer, but which were aired as "factual". Absent any background on
>arriving at your description of what astrology is, your article seems
>to be built on those same errors.

Since by your own admission you haven’t read the rest of my article, it’s a
bit early to accuse me of mouthing anybody’s prejudices but my own! I agree
that the presentation of the history of science by its popularisers leaves
much to be desired (Kepler being the main victim in such matters). But I stand
by my use of the word "pseudo-scientific". I cannot agree that astrology is
scientific in the modern sense of the word; if it were, the debates about
house systems and tropical/sidereal zodiacs would either have been resolved or
at least have changed in form over the last 2,000 years (consider the way in
which the scientific arguments about phlogiston, the geocentric universe,
continental drift, evolution, and genes have been resolved). However many
astrologers claim that it is scientific, in particular most who express a view
on alt.astrology. This leaves on one side Feyerabend’s question of whether it
is particularly desirable to be scientific in the first place!

> 3) Why limit your definition of astrology to Western methods? Eastern
>astrologers use astrology for the same purposes as the West; their
>analytical tools are somewhat different. At the very least, you should
>clarify what schools of astrology DON'T fall under your definition and
>why. Otherwise, you should add a disclaimer that some forms of astrology
>are not covered by your article.

If you read the article you will find that I do mention non-Western astrology.
Several people have commented here that I did not include enough. It is a
matter of judgement.

> I hope this response was the sort of thing you were looking for.
> -Frances Killilea Moore-
> Boston, Ma.
> za...@ace.com

I have been gratified by the amount of helpful comment that my posting has
generated.

Nicholas Whyte

unread,
Feb 16, 1994, 6:45:53 AM2/16/94
to
In article <0cQWtAq...@or.racv.com.au> j...@or.racv.com.au (Jim Youngman) writes:
>In <2j6nh5$g...@electra.saaf.se> pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:
>>In article <940202140...@cs.utexas.edu>,
>>n.whyte <SAG...@VAX2.QUEENS-BELFAST.AC.UK> wrote:

>>> Since the ascendant and mid-heaven change by a degree every four
>>> minutes and are very dependent on the location for which the
>>> horoscope is being cast, every chart will have a unique interpretation,
>>> very sensitive to small changes in detail.

>In my experience most (Western) astrologers do not get down to such
>detail in their day-to-day practice. I have found that most clients have their
>needs met by a broader intepretation.

Surely reasonably exact measurements of positions are important? I mean, I
can see that there is not much difference between 23 degrees and 23.5 degrees,
but presumably when you calculate an ascendant its position makes some
difference? What kind of "tolerance" would you say matters? One degree? Five?
I ask because I am not a practicing astrologer myself and don’t know.

>... the house systems really do


>break down at extreme latitudes (such as Sweden). The equal house
>system which would not break down at such locations, or else you
>should probably use a Cosmobiological approach which does not use
>houses at all. At more temperate latitudes and in the tropics there is
>a difference of only a few degrees between the different systems. However,
>the method of calculating house cusps remains a debating point within
>the discipline.

>By the way, Cosmobiology seems to be an important ommision from
>N. Whyte's history.

My views on the house system are in another post. But I should say that this
is the first mention I have seen of cosmobiology on alt.astrology.

>>> Finally, the philosopher Theodor Adorno has attacked astrology as a
>>> means of social control; he points out that horoscopes never instruct
>>> their readers to challenge the world, but rather tend to encourage a

>>> passive acceptance of one’s fate.

Several people have (rightly) queried the relevance of this paragraph,
including also Jeff Inman and the ubiquitous Jai Maharaj. I should have made
it clear that Adorno referred only to *newspaper* horoscopes, which, like it
or not, are most people’s main contact with astrology and so require at least
as much attention as Vedic astrology and cosmobiology (neither of which I have
observed in widespread use).

I stand by my reporting of Adorno’s views. It is difficult to find major
figures in the history of thought who have devoted much time to astrology one
way or the other; Adorno was about as good as I could get for the present
day (I was unaware of the Feyerabend reference). I do not have much sympathy
with Adorno’s political views, nor with his Marxist conspiracy theory of the
capitalists holding the proletariat in check by brainwashing them with
newpaper horoscopes, but I know that others out there in academe disagree with
me and are interested in knowing what Marxists have said about astrology.

Nicholas Whyte
Queen’s University of Belfast.

Virendra Verma

unread,
Feb 16, 1994, 1:42:19 PM2/16/94
to

In article <nwhyte.16...@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk>, nwh...@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk (Nicholas Whyte) writes...

>
>If you read the article you will find that I do mention non-Western astrology.
>Several people have commented here that I did not include enough. It is a
>matter of judgement.

Non-Western!!! Your concept of non-western extends as far to the
east as Iraq. Culturally, Iran is the eastern boundary of the
so called 'western culture'. Oh I forgot that rest of the east
migrated from Europe some 2500 years back. So there was
nothing beyond Iraq before that time.

namaste,

-- Virendra Verma
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
"To dwell in our true being is liberation; the sense of ego is a fall
from the truth of our being" - Mahopanishad
"All is the Divine Being" - Gita XVIII 61
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jim Youngman

unread,
Feb 16, 1994, 6:25:17 PM2/16/94
to
In <nwhyte.17...@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk> nwh...@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk (Nicholas Whyte) writes:
>Jim Youngman writes:
>>Paul Schlyter writes:

>>>> Since the ascendant and mid-heaven change by a degree every four
>>>> minutes and are very dependent on the location for which the
>>>> horoscope is being cast, every chart will have a unique interpretation,
>>>> very sensitive to small changes in detail.

>>In my experience most (Western) astrologers do not get down to such
>>detail in their day-to-day practice. I have found that most clients have their
>>needs met by a broader intepretation.

>Surely reasonably exact measurements of positions are important? I mean, I
>can see that there is not much difference between 23 degrees and 23.5 degrees,
>but presumably when you calculate an ascendant its position makes some
>difference? What kind of "tolerance" would you say matters? One degree? Five?
>I ask because I am not a practicing astrologer myself and don’t know.

I always calculate as accurately as possible, but it is not always feasible to
obtain the exact coordinates of the place of birth. Most often one must work
with a gazeteer's coordinates for the town in which the client was born. Also
the birth time given cannot generally be trusted to within 5, or maybe 15,
minutes unless the client was fortunate enough to have a systematic person
observing the birth (I was able to do this for my grand-daughter). Thus,
although in principle every person has their own unique chart, it is rarely
possible to determine what the chart is. I believe that in some eastern countries,
including India, it is not uncommon to have an astrologer present at a birth.

In weorking with aspects and transits we work with orbs (or tolerances) that are
dependant on the "strength" of the aspect. A conjunction or opposition is
considered to be effective within an orb that is greater than that for, say, a
quintile or novile. Different people seem to be sensitive to the effect of an aspect
or transit at different ranges from the exact position.

I do not consider astrology a science in the modern usage of that word. In the strict
meaning (scientia = knowledge) it obviously is, however in Popper's sense I doubt that
it could be so considered. It is, I believe, a problem in today's world that a body
of knowledge is not considered valuable unless it is "scientific". Popper also
spoke of this somewhere as I recall. A pseudo-science is that which is not a science
(under some definition of science), but whose practitioners claim to be a science.
Many practitioners of astrology would not wish their art to be called a science, thus
astrology is neither science nor pseudo-science. It sometimes appears scientific
because of the use of mathematics - the language of science - but this is the
astronomical precursor to the astrology per se.

--
Jim Youngman
============================================================
Any views expressed are my own and not necessarily those of
the RACV.
============================================================

Jai Maharaj

unread,
Feb 16, 1994, 6:46:56 PM2/16/94
to

Wrote nwh...@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk (Nicholas Whyte):


> Several people have (rightly) queried the relevance of this paragraph,
> including also Jeff Inman and the ubiquitous Jai Maharaj. I should have
> made it clear that Adorno referred only to *newspaper* horoscopes,
> which, like it or not, are most peoples main contact with astrology

> and so require at least as much attention as Vedic astrology and
> cosmobiology (neither of which I have observed in widespread use).

Most people's main contact with astrology is *not* through the newspaper
columns -- unless, that is, if a very small percentage of the world
population (the West) represents "most."

Bharat (india), China, Africa, Arabia, the Native American societies,
etc. constitute the overwhelming majority of the human population and it
is among them that astrology is most prevalent and definitely not through
the meaningless newspaper columns.

Take a Western elementary astrology text if you like, the book called The
New Compleat Astrologer by Derek and Julia Parker. On page 42 you will
find:

"The earliest known Indian astrological textbook was probably written in
about 3000 BC [actually much earlier], when an advanced civilization
flourished in the Indus valley. The sub-continent remains today the only
major area of the world where astrology still has a strong, pervasive
influence on everyday life."

My copy of the above book was published in 1984.


-=Om Shanti=- Jai Maharaj, Vedic Astrologer
Forty Years in Vedic Astrology

Paul Schlyter

unread,
Feb 17, 1994, 1:37:09 AM2/17/94
to
In article <nwhyte.17...@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk>,

Nicholas Whyte <nwh...@clio.arts.qub.ac.uk> wrote:

> >In my experience most (Western) astrologers do not get down to such
> >detail in their day-to-day practice. I have found that most clients
> >have their needs met by a broader intepretation.
>
> Surely reasonably exact measurements of positions are important? I mean, I
> can see that there is not much difference between 23 degrees and 23.5
> degrees, but presumably when you calculate an ascendant its position
> makes some difference? What kind of "tolerance" would you say matters?
> One degree? Five? I ask because I am not a practicing astrologer myself
> and don
One hint about the accuracy required by the astrologers can be got by looking
at the size of the "orbs" (= "areas of influence") assigned by astrologers
to planetary conjunctions. These "orbs" are at least one degree and sometimes
as large as 15 degrees. This is one of the reason why some astrologers can
continue believing in the myth that "the universe is cyclic .. everything
repeats sooner or later", since the ever-ongoing changes in the planetary
orbital elements are so slow that it probably takes more than the lifetime
of astrology because these changes break down these "cycles".

Regarding the position of the ascendant (....which some house systems put
in a different position, by the way....), if it falls roughlt in the middle
of a "sign", it probably matters much to the astrologer whether it's in
error by 5 or even 10 degrees. But if the ascendant falls close to the
"house cusp" (i.e. the border between two houses), the astrologer will get
more picky.

Curtis Koontz

unread,
Feb 17, 1994, 10:17:14 AM2/17/94
to
In article <2jv3al$a...@electra.saaf.se>, pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:

|> as large as 15 degrees. This is one of the reason why some astrologers can
|> continue believing in the myth that "the universe is cyclic .. everything
|> repeats sooner or later", since the ever-ongoing changes in the planetary
|> orbital elements are so slow that it probably takes more than the lifetime
|> of astrology because these changes break down these "cycles".

|> the way for modern astronomy. When Newton's Principia was published in 1687,


|> it suddenly became possible to accurately predict the planetary movements,
|> and from now on astrology is of no interest for astronomy. The following
|> scientific revolution meant a retardation for astrology, and the discovery
|> of Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) forced the astrologers
|> to abandon the classical rules for chart interpretation. By connecting

Paul,

I do not know both sides of this debate well enough to argue astrology's
validity or lack of it. I do however wish to ask such an expert as yourself
a few questions:

We know that the moon's gravitational pull produces the tides of the oceans,
but would you say that the moon produces no other such cyclic changes on Earth?

Does the moon's cycle and the menstrual cycle of women have nothing in common?

Would increases in crimminal activity during full moons be coincidence?

Can scientists measure gravity? Why not?

If scientists cannot measure gravity, then how does it dismiss it's possible
subtle effects on other phenomena?

If science discovers some new paramters or observes some new phenomena, why
does it modify or abandon old ideas?

Why shouldn't other systems of belief do the same?

I am looking forward to your reply!

--
*********************************************************************
* Curtis Lynn Koontz Opinions expressed here, *
* clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca are not those of my employer. *
*********************************************************************

Curtis Koontz

unread,
Feb 17, 1994, 2:30:21 PM2/17/94
to
|> In article <2jv3al$a...@electra.saaf.se>, pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:
|>
|> as large as 15 degrees. This is one of the reason why some astrologers can
|> continue believing in the myth that "the universe is cyclic .

Whoa nellie!

Wait a minute. You say it's a *myth* that the universe is cyclic?

That is *very* confusing.

Gee, let's see. Maybe if we define the term cyclic, we can see if this is
a good myth or a bad myth.

Good ole' Webster's dicitonary, (you know, the Riverside edition),
defines cyclic as:

1.a Of, pertaining to, or marked by cycles.
1.b Moving or recurring in cycles.

And also defines cycle as:
1. A time interval in which a characteristic, esp. a regularly repeated event
or sequence of events occurs.
2.a A single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon.
2.b A periodically repeated sequence of events.
3. The orbit of a celestial body.

Well then,

What about that spring-summer-fall-winter thing. Is that just a myth?

It must be a good myth, this cyclic thing.

What about that birth-life-death stuff? A myth too?

Wow, I'll bet some religion is sprouting up somewhere just on this myth stuff
alone, round 'bout now.

Are the orbits of the planets not cyclic either?

But, but, Webster' said ...

Why then do the animals migrate? Is it because they don't know any better
than to believe the myth?

Gee what about the big bang and big crunch? Are they part of this myth too?

And all of those other things in the universe which come and go, and change
and repeat peridically? All myth?

Just a myth?

Just a myth????

Ahh, maybe if I realize that all the universe is a myth, I shatter the veil
and get to transcend this world.

Gee Paul, thanks. I am glad you set me straight.

(yeah sure, stick to your refractors)

Jim Youngman

unread,
Feb 17, 1994, 5:48:16 PM2/17/94
to
In <2jv3al$a...@electra.saaf.se> pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:

>One hint about the accuracy required by the astrologers can be got by looking
>at the size of the "orbs" (= "areas of influence") assigned by astrologers
>to planetary conjunctions. These "orbs" are at least one degree and sometimes

>as large as 15 degrees.

Most unusual. Has any practising astrologer out there ever used an orb of
15 degrees? If so, under what circumstances? Would not most of us see this
as bad astrology most of the time?

>Regarding the position of the ascendant (....which some house systems put
>in a different position, by the way....), if it falls roughlt in the middle
>of a "sign", it probably matters much to the astrologer whether it's in
>error by 5 or even 10 degrees. But if the ascendant falls close to the
>"house cusp" (i.e. the border between two houses), the astrologer will get
>more picky.

Where did Paul get this one? To the best of my knowledge the ascendant is
fixed and totally independant of any house system. It is, at least usually,
defined as the point of the ecliptic on the eastern horizon at the time of
the event for which the chart is drawn. Even though I don't
know of one, it is conceivable that there might exist a house system that
does not use the ascendant as the 12th/1st house cusp, but this does not
alter the ascendant's position.

Any conscientious astrologer will get all positions as accurate as possible.
An error of 5 or 10 degrees would be totally unacceptable unless accurate
birth data was not available and for some reason rectification (not an
exact science by any means) were not appropriate. That said, I did visit
an astrologer many years ago before I studied the subject in any depth myself.
He took my birth data and made some rough calculations on the spot. The
resulting chart was innacurate and the interpretations that he gave were
totally irrelevant.

Diarmuid Pigott

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 3:25:19 AM2/18/94
to
Curtis Koontz (clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca) wrote:
: In article <2jv3al$a...@electra.saaf.se>, pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:
: We know that the moon's gravitational pull produces the tides of the oceans,

: but would you say that the moon produces no other such cyclic changes on Earth?

No, but would you say that people undergo prodound personality changes
when going round corners rapidly or taking off in a plane? And would the
acceleration in a plane at childbirth be sufficient to cause an
inaccurate casting?

: Does the moon's cycle and the menstrual cycle of women have nothing in common?
Nothing in common. As anyone who has anything to do with general
practice medicine can tell you, menstrual cycles vary enormously. The
moon's orbit does not. Granted the average/norm may be around 28 days,
but this statistical point may not be what you require.

: Would increases in crimminal activity during full moons be coincidence?
Yes, if they were implying some sinsiter influence. According to the
figures cuurently avaiable in Perth, published by the Police Ministry
(and up to November 1993) there is a peak of acitivity in violence on
weekends, every weekend, peaking at the New Year/Christmas holdiay
season.

Burglars tend to operate on dark nights, as do rapists and voyeurs,
which includes when there is cloud cover.

Shape-changing and leicanthropy is not a reportable offence, so it is
not known when these are most frequent.

: Can scientists measure gravity? Why not?

: If scientists cannot measure gravity, then how does it dismiss it's possible
: subtle effects on other phenomena?

They can. They measure it all the time, and detect it's bending around
distant stars. Who told you they couldn't?

Diarmuid Pigott

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 3:39:02 AM2/18/94
to
Zara (za...@ace.com) wrote:
: "As opposed to astrolomy, which attempts to QUANTIFY the cosmic

: environment through the measurement of physical phenomena...astrology
: tries to QUALIFY it by demonstrating, through centuries of observation,
: that there is a measurable, cyclic relationship between us and the
: cosmos which can be used to help us understand the meaning and purpose
: of our existence....Essentially, astrology is a statistical social
: science, a symbolic language with its roots in psychology and
: metaphysics."

This is very elegantly phrased, but I am not sure of the extent to which
this it means anything.

Astronomy attempts to measure the cosmos. There are many tools
avaiolable to it, one of which is measurement and mathematical analysis.
An artificial dichotomy between "quantify" and "qualify" is absurd in
the circumstance.

The centuries of observation have led to conflicting forms of astrology,
and conclusions at variance with each other, so I'm not sure that this
gives your argument weight either. While astrology is universally
practised, it is not universally practised in a similar manner, nor in
an entirely successful manner, and while it may help people a lot,
all that follows from this is that it responds to a universal need in
humanity, not necessarilly an accurate inference from a putative cosmic
cyclicality.

You then say that astrology is essentially a statistical social science,
yet the only attempts to produce a statistical social science of
astrology have not been universally accepted to say the least.

TO be a truly statistical social scien in *essence*, then like human
geography it would begin with enormous amounts of collated data, and
then use statistical analysis on that data.

Astrology draws on archetypes from the mythpoekin, and attempts through
inspiration to see these archetypes in the cycles of the cosmos. This is
the essence, not number crunching.

Diarmuid Pigott

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 3:45:26 AM2/18/94
to
Curtis Koontz (clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca) wrote a feeble attempt at
sarcasm, but one that can't be left alone:

: |> In article <2jv3al$a...@electra.saaf.se>, pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:
: |> as large as 15 degrees. This is one of the reason why some astrologers can
: |> continue believing in the myth that "the universe is cyclic .
: Wait a minute. You say it's a *myth* that the universe is cyclic?

And then with the old "look in a dictionary" routine, tells us

: What about that spring-summer-fall-winter thing. Is that just a myth?

No, that is call the orbit of the earth. But this is one thing out of an
unfathomable cosmos. To extrapolate from this to a universality of
cyclicity is the mark of either a fool or an optimist (or both)

: What about that birth-life-death stuff? A myth too?

Well, unless you believe in reincarnation, then it's not a cycle.


But ultimately you fail to understand the difference betwen pointing to
a cycle - look my wheel goes around - and the transcendental believe in
the essential cyclicity of things.


Paul Schlyter

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 6:25:45 AM2/18/94
to
In article <1994Feb17....@bmers95.bnr.ca>,

Curtis Koontz <clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca> wrote:

> We know that the moon's gravitational pull produces the tides of the oceans,
> but would you say that the moon produces no other such cyclic changes on
> Earth?

Definitely no! It is for instance known that ides do not only happen in
the oceans, but also in the atmosphere, and even in the "solid" ground
(which may appear as pretty "liquid" on a large enough scale, something
that becomes painfully evident to anyone who has experienced an earthquake).


> Does the moon's cycle and the menstrual cycle of women have nothing in
> common?

They happen to be of rougly the same length, that's all. Other mammals
have menstrual cycles of other lengths. And different individual women
has menstrual cycles of pretty different length, it may vary up to 10 days
or more between some women.

> Would increases in criminal activity during full moons be coincidence?

Of course not! The full moon is a pretty good "lamp" outdoors at night,
making it easier for the criminal to do his deeds. Also, there are pretty
many people imagining that they feel "weird" at the time of the full moon.
Whether this is a real effect or just imagination is irrelevant - the
feeling itself is probably enough to make some people become criminals
during such nights.

Question 1: If the "tidal theory" of the moon applied to criminals as
well, then we ought to see a similar increase in criminal activity during
new moon too! Does this happen?

Question 2: Is it enough for the full moon to just happen for this increase
in criminal activity, or must the full moon also be SEEN by the criminal?
I.e. during nights with full moon, does the increase in criminal activity
only occur if the night is clear, so that the full moon is seen? Or does
the increased activity also occur when the night is cloudy and the full
moon is invisible? (note that even in the latter case, the night will be
considerably brighter due to the full moon light that anyway makes its
way through the clouds).


> Can scientists measure gravity? Why not?

Of course!


> If scientists cannot measure gravity, then how does it dismiss it's possible
> subtle effects on other phenomena?

It does not dismiss it -- but it also does not assume it until it can
somehow be measured.


> If science discovers some new paramters or observes some new phenomena, why
> does it modify or abandon old ideas?

Because science is not dogmatic, of course.... however new ideas are always
put though tough tests before they are accepted. A new idea must explain
all old observations as least as good as the old ideas -- and in addition
it must explain at least some observations considerably better, or else have
another advantage (e.g. being considerably simpler than the old idea).


> Why shouldn't other systems of belief do the same?

Did I ever say they shouldn't ?

Eeva Kallio 2882

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 9:11:28 AM2/18/94
to
In article <2k1ur6$e...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au> diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

>Zara (za...@ace.com) wrote:
>: "As opposed to astrolomy, which attempts to QUANTIFY the cosmic
>: environment through the measurement of physical phenomena...astrology
>: tries to QUALIFY it by demonstrating, through centuries of observation,
>: that there is a measurable, cyclic relationship between us and the
>: cosmos which can be used to help us understand the meaning and purpose
>: of our existence....Essentially, astrology is a statistical social
>: science, a symbolic language with its roots in psychology and
>: metaphysics."
>
>This is very elegantly phrased, but I am not sure of the extent to which
>this it means anything.

>Astronomy attempts to measure the cosmos. There are many tools
>avaiolable to it, one of which is measurement and mathematical analysis.
>An artificial dichotomy between "quantify" and "qualify" is absurd in
>the circumstance.

Exactly in which way it is absurd?

>The centuries of observation have led to conflicting forms of astrology,
>and conclusions at variance with each other, so I'm not sure that this
>gives your argument weight either. While astrology is universally
>practised, it is not universally practised in a similar manner,

I am not sure if I agree. I have feeling that there is quite a consensus
about aspects in different schools of astrology. There is disagreement in
houses and zodiacs. By the way, could anybody say that for example in
psychology something is universally valid, i.e. all scholars accept
everything in psychology's claims? Is C.G. Jung's theory universally
accepted? Freud's theory?


nor in >an entirely successful manner, and while it may help people a lot,
>all that follows from this is that it responds to a universal need in
>humanity, not necessarilly an accurate inference from a putative cosmic
>cyclicality.
>
>You then say that astrology is essentially a statistical social science,
>yet the only attempts to produce a statistical social science of
>astrology have not been universally accepted to say the least.
>
>TO be a truly statistical social scien in *essence*, then like human
>geography it would begin with enormous amounts of collated data, and
>then use statistical analysis on that data.
>
>Astrology draws on archetypes from the mythpoekin, and attempts through
>inspiration to see these archetypes in the cycles of the cosmos. This is
>the essence, not number crunching.

Well, I agree... and I think that it could be good therapeutical tool in
skillful hands. I have tendency to see astrology as a tool for psychology or
therapy as a mythical language. Some astrologers seem to have tendency to
see more in it, but I remain sceptical about that.

Curtis Koontz

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 9:25:03 AM2/18/94
to
In article <2k1u1f$d...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

|> : Can scientists measure gravity? Why not?

|> They can. They measure it all the time, and detect it's bending around


|> distant stars. Who told you they couldn't?

Oh really? Then I am not as well informed as yourself, such as yourself, and
I am extremely curious, so please tell me:

How *do* they measure gravitons? What devices do they use? What is the
mechanism of these devices? What are the units of measure?

I understand how they detect light and radio waves being bent around distant stars and black holes but how do they measure gravitational distortions?

*Please* be specific.

Thanks.

Curtis Koontz

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 9:31:33 AM2/18/94
to
In article <2k1ur6$e...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

|> Astrology draws on archetypes from the mythpoekin, and attempts through
|> inspiration to see these archetypes in the cycles of the cosmos. This is
|> the essence, not number crunching.

This I find absolutely true but, then you are admitting there are cycles of
the cosmos, with which many self styled scientific experts dare not agree.

Curtis Koontz

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 10:22:45 AM2/18/94
to
In article <2k1v76$f...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

|> No, that is call the orbit of the earth. But this is one thing out of an
|> unfathomable cosmos. To extrapolate from this to a universality of
|> cyclicity is the mark of either a fool or an optimist (or both)

Ah, but it *is* a cycle, as clearly defined. Perhaps we have different
definitions, (or dictionaries).

A fool and an optimist? Why yes, I am both. What are you?



|> : What about that birth-life-death stuff? A myth too?
|>
|> Well, unless you believe in reincarnation, then it's not a cycle.

Why yes, I do. But, you my dear fellow are missing the point. To say that
there is no cyclicity to the universe is a myth is *wrong*. There are too
many examples which clearly fit the classic definition and an esoteric
definition as well.

|> But ultimately you fail to understand the difference betwen pointing to
|> a cycle - look my wheel goes around - and the transcendental believe in
|> the essential cyclicity of things.

Ultimately? Who made you god? No, I do not think that fail to undestand the
difference. To say that any cyclicity of the universe is a myth, is, what was
it you said? Foolish.

Plus, Dear Mr. Piggot, a belief that the wheel goes round is fundamental to
many of the worlds religions and beliefs. Is more than half the world both
as you say, foolish and optimistic?

To dismiss a belief system, because some of it's proponents may make some
outlandish claims which do not 'live up' to your scientific scrutiny is
arrogant and presumptious.

Besides, science clearly does not have all of the answers to the mysteries of
the universe. And probably never will.

Scott Goehring

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 6:20:09 AM2/18/94
to
clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca (Curtis Koontz) writes:

>Can scientists measure gravity? Why not?

Um, the answer to this question is "yes". The Museum of Science and
Industry in Chicago has a neat looking apparatus (designed by Kepler,
if my memory does not fail me) for measuring the universal
gravitational constant. Also, I've _seen_ people measuring local
gravity; a geology friend of mine once wandered around campus
measuring local variations in gravity (due to buildings, underground
constructions, etc.). In fact, gravitimetrics is a major tool used in
oil and natural gas prospecting.

Scott Goehring

unread,
Feb 18, 1994, 6:25:32 AM2/18/94
to
diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

>: Does the moon's cycle and the menstrual cycle of women have nothing in common?

>Nothing in common. As anyone who has anything to do with general
>practice medicine can tell you, menstrual cycles vary enormously. The
>moon's orbit does not. Granted the average/norm may be around 28
>days, but this statistical point may not be what you require.

Explain, then, why a very effective treatment for an irregular period
is to sleep with a light on for three days out of the month?

As I understand it, the invention of artificial lighting is the
primary cause of the decoupling of women's menstrual cycles and the
moon's phases.

Diarmuid Pigott

unread,
Feb 19, 1994, 12:49:45 AM2/19/94
to
Curtis Koontz (clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca) wrote:

: In article <2k1u1f$d...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

: |> : Can scientists measure gravity? Why not?

: |> They can. They measure it all the time, and detect it's bending around
: |> distant stars. Who told you they couldn't?
: Oh really? Then I am not as well informed as yourself, such as yourself, and

Obviously. Why boast about it?

: How *do* they measure gravitons?
You brought them up. You originally asked about gravity, and know your
asking about experimental proof for a particular theory as to the nature
of gravity. Engage brain before punching deck.

Diarmuid Pigott

unread,
Feb 19, 1994, 12:51:35 AM2/19/94
to
Curtis Koontz (clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca) wrote:

: In article <2k1ur6$e...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

: |> Astrology draws on archetypes from the mythpoekin, and attempts through
: |> inspiration to see these archetypes in the cycles of the cosmos. This is
: |> the essence, not number crunching.

: This I find absolutely true but, then you are admitting there are cycles of
: the cosmos, with which many self styled scientific experts dare not agree.

No, I am admitting there are cycles within the cosmos, which I accept
fully. The jump is between cyclyes existing, and cycles being the
essential nature of the cosmos.

By the way, you missed the most obvious cycle: night and day.

Diarmuid Pigott

unread,
Feb 19, 1994, 12:54:21 AM2/19/94
to
Eeva Kallio 2882 (eeka...@jyu.fi) wrote:

: In article <2k1ur6$e...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au> diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

: >Zara (za...@ace.com) wrote:
: >: "As opposed to astrolomy, which attempts to QUANTIFY the cosmic
: >: environment through the measurement of physical phenomena...astrology
: >: tries to QUALIFY it by demonstrating, through centuries of observation,
: >: that there is a measurable, cyclic relationship between us and the
: >: cosmos which can be used to help us understand the meaning and purpose
: >: of our existence....Essentially, astrology is a statistical social
: >: science, a symbolic language with its roots in psychology and
: >: metaphysics."
: >
: >This is very elegantly phrased, but I am not sure of the extent to which
: >this it means anything.

: >Astronomy attempts to measure the cosmos. There are many tools
: >avaiolable to it, one of which is measurement and mathematical analysis.
: >An artificial dichotomy between "quantify" and "qualify" is absurd in
: >the circumstance.

: Exactly in which way it is absurd?

By constructing a dichotomy which purports to allow astronomy a purely
quanitifying role. And pretending that there isn't an amazing amount o
finicky calcuations in drawing astrological charts.

: >The centuries of observation have led to conflicting forms of astrology,


: >and conclusions at variance with each other, so I'm not sure that this
: >gives your argument weight either. While astrology is universally
: >practised, it is not universally practised in a similar manner,

: I am not sure if I agree. I have feeling that there is quite a consensus
: about aspects in different schools of astrology. There is disagreement in
: houses and zodiacs. By the way, could anybody say that for example in
: psychology something is universally valid, i.e. all scholars accept
: everything in psychology's claims? Is C.G. Jung's theory universally
: accepted? Freud's theory?

No, of course not. My point exactly.

Diarmuid Pigott

unread,
Feb 19, 1994, 12:57:06 AM2/19/94
to
Curtis Koontz (clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca) wrote:

: In article <2k1v76$f...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

: |> No, that is call the orbit of the earth. But this is one thing out of an
: |> unfathomable cosmos. To extrapolate from this to a universality of
: |> cyclicity is the mark of either a fool or an optimist (or both)
: Ah, but it *is* a cycle, as clearly defined.

Yes, but one swallow does not a summer make.


: |> : What about that birth-life-death stuff? A myth too?


: |>
: |> Well, unless you believe in reincarnation, then it's not a cycle.

: Why yes, I do. But, you my dear fellow are missing the point. To say that
: there is no cyclicity to the universe is a myth is *wrong*. There are too
: many examples which clearly fit the classic definition and an esoteric
: definition as well.

I have not at any stage suggested that there is no cyclicity to the
universe, I mere say (as in a previous post this AM) that there is a
jump to conclusions in assertion that cyclicity is the essential nature
of the universe.


: |> But ultimately you fail to understand the difference betwen pointing to

Jai Maharaj

unread,
Feb 19, 1994, 2:33:51 PM2/19/94
to

> As I understand it, the invention of artificial lighting is the
> primary cause of the decoupling of women's menstrual cycles and the
> moon's phases.
> -- sc...@glia.biostr.washington.edu (Scott Goehring)

This is absolutely true. What is more, all of man's natural rhythms are
affected by artificial lighting. This is one of the teachings of
Ayurved(a).

In this connection, I had the good fortune of participating in a
discussion here at one of Hawaii's allergy and asthma research centers on
February 10. We will be conducting several studies for the local
pulmonology and cardiology specialists. One of them involves artificial
lighting and its effects on the body's natural breathing and circulatory
cycles.



-=Om Shanti=- Jai Maharaj, Vedic Astrologer

ind...@ac.dal.ca

unread,
Feb 19, 1994, 9:17:58 PM2/19/94
to
In article <2k28jp$7...@electra.saaf.se>, pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:
> In article <1994Feb17....@bmers95.bnr.ca>,
> Curtis Koontz <clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca> wrote:
>
> > We know that the moon's gravitational pull produces the tides of the oceans,
> > but would you say that the moon produces no other such cyclic changes on
> > Earth?
>
> Definitely no! It is for instance known that ides do not only happen in
> the oceans, but also in the atmosphere, and even in the "solid" ground
> (which may appear as pretty "liquid" on a large enough scale, something
> that becomes painfully evident to anyone who has experienced an earthquake).

If the moons gravitational pull can affect "liquid", it should affect the
blood circulation in our body. To what extent? I don't know. However,
some people told me (years ago) that it iss more difficult to stop
bleeding from a cut during the time of the high tide than other times.
If tidal forces can change the blood pressure it can change many other
human activities. Is there any doctor in the group?

I know atleast three Atsma patients who experiance strongest Atsma
attack during the full moon/nwe moon time


That is the case with mental patients. With out any other reasons
they will become more aggressive during the full/new moon time

>
> > Does the moon's cycle and the menstrual cycle of women have nothing in
> > common?
>
> They happen to be of rougly the same length, that's all. Other mammals
> have menstrual cycles of other lengths. And different individual women
> has menstrual cycles of pretty different length, it may vary up to 10 days
> or more between some women.
>

During the next full moon pl. try to visit the nearest cattle farm.
Cows become relatively agressive during the full moon/new moon period.


> --
> ---
> Paul Schlyter, SAAF (Swedish Amateur Astronomer's Society)


......Ravi

ind...@ac.dal.ca

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Feb 20, 1994, 6:10:26 PM2/20/94
to
In article <2k28jp$7...@electra.saaf.se>, pau...@electra.saaf.se (Paul Schlyter) writes:
> In article <1994Feb17....@bmers95.bnr.ca>,
> Curtis Koontz <clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca> wrote:
>
> > We know that the moon's gravitational pull produces the tides of the oceans,
> > but would you say that the moon produces no other such cyclic changes on
> > Earth?
>
> Definitely no! It is for instance known that ides do not only happen in
> the oceans, but also in the atmosphere, and even in the "solid" ground
> (which may appear as pretty "liquid" on a large enough scale, something
> that becomes painfully evident to anyone who has experienced an earthquake).
>


I think Paul Schlyter is wrong in his viwe that moon produces no such cyclic
changes on Earth. Gravitational attraction by cosmic bodies (including
the Moon) changes the
Earths orbit around the Sun. Such change are responsible for climatic
changes, with a time scale of 10^4 to 10^5 years. The phenomenon is
called Milankovitch cycle (Milankovitch, M. 1920; Theorie Mathematique
des Phenomenes Thermiques Produits par a la Radiation Solaire,
Gauthier-Villars, Paries 338 pp) You may get more info about this
effect from almost any serious book dealing with global climatic changes.


..ravi


Diarmuid Pigott

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Feb 20, 1994, 10:45:57 PM2/20/94
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Scott Goehring (sc...@glia.biostr.washington.edu) wrote:
: diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:

I was aware of this, and can't offer an explanation. Neither can I offer
an explanation from the fact that tribes of native women all over the
world do not have either coincident menstrual cycles, not coincident
childbirths (concomitent on peak fertility coinciding). Before posting
this I checked with a female friend who does field research on deep desert
Australian aborigines, to make sure of the fact. So unless fire counts as
artificial light...

But if Artificial light could wreak such physiological changes, what do
these changes mean for the rest of the astrological paradigm. DOes the
fac that people work night shifts, and live in artificil housing, make
any difference to the reliability of charts?

Jim Youngman

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Feb 21, 1994, 3:14:29 AM2/21/94
to

Has anyone following this thread heard of research conducted in China some
years ago that showed conceptions having a stronger correlation with the
moon's cycle than with the menstrual cycle? If so, can you give a
reference? I only have rumours of it's existance.

Zara

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Feb 21, 1994, 9:32:46 AM2/21/94
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<continued from previous message>

It was that knowledge that, I was later told, helped her achieve a
breakthrough, and nearly 2 years of unsuccessful therapy concluded
successfully 8 months later. That was a pretty heady experience for a
rookie! :-)
But to return to the point, we (the astrologers) did not have access
to the therapists' notes; they had complete access to ours. Not only
that, they would not make their results public, since they were too
fearful of the ridicule they were certain to get from the "orthodox"
scientific community. My teacher and I didn't mind, since we were
helping out (BTW we never received a penny for our work apart from the
fees for the full astroloical readings), and our own field was being
validated by the work. But as far as I know (I've lost touch with the
psychologists), the effort never was made public. I wonder how many
times my experience has been repeated: i.e. unsung success because of a
quite logical fear of ridicule by the politically correct?
3) You say that astrology has been ACKNOWLEDGED in the science
history books you've read? Wow! I've poked through more than a few and
never caught any references to it. Most of the credits I've seen have
been given to the "ancient astronomers", with absolutely no mention of
astrologers except as charlatans, and no recognition of the fact that
until the Middle Ages in the West, astronomy was regarded as the
handmaiden of astrology - a tool one used in order to gain information
for astrological purposes. Even you refuse to give full credit where
it's due when you say "The prediction of planetary positions were long a
main goal for astronomy, too...", as though the two fields had existed
side by side for centuries or millenia. The separation of the two fields
MIGHT have begun with Copernicus, but I rather suspect was much more
gradual than many accounts imply.
4) The astrological idea of the world is most emphatically NOT
ancient geocentric - a concept which ought only be applied to
practicioners of the tropical zodiac. Tropical astrologers simply
acknowledge the fact that we live on Earth; until we live elsewhere it's
a perfectly valid frame of reference.
I did think that your history was informative, though, except that
after the first paragraph you seemed to spend more time explaining why
it isn't considered a science anymore than on how it purports to work.
My speculation (only, since I don't have an extensive background in
the hard sciences) is that if astrology is ever to earn the imprimatur
of Western science, it will be through the field of quantum physics or
something related to it. And that's NOT an astrological prediction! :-)
-Fran Moore-
za...@ace.com

Paul Schlyter

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Feb 21, 1994, 1:03:08 PM2/21/94
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In article <1994Feb19.221758.20996@dal1>, <ind...@ac.dal.ca> wrote:

> If the moons gravitational pull can affect "liquid", it should affect the
> blood circulation in our body. To wha extent? I don't know. However,
> some people told me (years ago) that it iss more difficult to stop
> bleeding from a cut during the time of the high tide than other times.
> If tidal forces can chge the blood presure it can change many other
> human activities. Is there any doctor in the group?

If the bleeding depended on "tides in the blood" as you suggest, then
it would not be dependent on which side the Earth happened to turn towards
the Moon, but rather on what side YOU turned towards the Moon! If so, the
bleeding would be harder to stop if you turned the wound towards or away
from the Moon, and would be easistop when you turned the wound at
"right angles" towards the Moon - and this would be quite independent on
whether there happened to be a high or low tide on the Earth where you are.
Just replace the Earth by your body, and the reasoning should be clear.

Also note that tidal forces are inversely propotional to the CUBE of the
distance to the tide-producing body! This means thae.g. a sugar cube,
weighing one gram only, that is sitting one meter away from you, produces
about as much tides in youras the Moon does ! Two or three bottles
of beer, one meter away from you, will produce tides in your body that are
1000 times stronger than the tides from the Moon !!!!! And if you should
happen to be standing beside a car, one meter away from you ..... well you
get the picture ....

This is just another example of "celestial influences" being insignificant
compared to local terrestial influences. If the tides produced by the Moon
in your body would significantly influence the healing of a wound, then
standing beside a car, or entering a buildld probably rip your
blood veins apart !!!

> That is the case with mental patients With out any other reasons
> they will become more aggressive during the full/new moon time

I suppose that's why they're called "lunatics" ..... :-) But it was news to
me that this also happens at new moon time. From where did you get that
information?


> During the next full moon pl. try to visit the nearest cattle farm. > Cows become relatively agressive during the full moon/new moon period.

In particular, cows may be more aggressive than usual if a stranger to them
suddenly pops up to "study them"..... :-) But paying them a visit only
during new/full moon would serve no purpose - the experiment must be
repeated at half moon, and the re. And it must be
done several times, to rule out the possibilites of other causes.

--
----------------------------------------------------------------

Paul Schlyter, SAAF (Swedish Amateur Astronomer's Society)
Nybrogatan 75 A, S-114 40 Stockholm, Sweden
InterNet: pau...@saaf.se p...@ausys.se

Jai Maharaj

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Feb 21, 1994, 1:51:14 PM2/21/94
to

> I think Paul Schlyter is wrong in his viwe that moon produces no such
> cyclic changes on Earth. Gravitational attraction by cosmic bodies
> (including the Moon) changes the
> [...]
> -- ind...@ac.dal.ca (Ravi)

Namaste! I agree. In fact, it is difficult to find anything in
existence that is not part of a cycle or cycles.

Curtis Koontz

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Feb 21, 1994, 4:29:43 PM2/21/94
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In article <2k499p$3...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:
|> Curtis Koontz (clko...@b4pphfe.bnr.ca) wrote:
|> : In article <2k1u1f$d...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au>, diar...@uniwa.uwa.edu.au (Diarmuid Pigott) writes:
|>
|> : |> : Can scientists measure gravity? Why not?
|>
|> : |> They can. They measure it all the time, and detect it's bending around
|> : |> distant stars. Who told you they couldn't?
|> : Oh really? Then I am not as well informed as yourself, such as yourself, and
|>
|> Obviously. Why boast about it?

No I am not boasting about anything but, then I am not the one who said that
gravity can measured.

|> : How *do* they measure gravitons?
|> You brought them up. You originally asked about gravity, and know your
|> asking about experimental proof for a particular theory as to the nature
|> of gravity. Engage brain before punching deck.

Yes, I did bring it up and, I brought it up to see what you would say.

Now to remind you, you have said that scientists *can* measure gravity.
And you even went as far as to say that they detect it's bending around
distant stars.

This time instead of being sarcatic, in order to avoid the question, explain
how gravity is measured.

Curtis Koontz

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Feb 21, 1994, 4:51:23 PM2/21/94