skyscript.co.uk
   

home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
Register
FAQ
Search
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
Book III of Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus
translated by David Pingree
Notes on Dorotheus III: the haylāj, Kadhkhudāh, and terms of life
by Deborah Houlding
Godfather of Modernity: The Alan Leo Legacy Vol. One - Early Astrological Journals 1890-1912, compiled by Philip M Graves
Reviewed by Deborah Houlding
Lilly's Considerations
compiled by D. Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

Chronobiology
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 210
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

soniah wrote:
A birth chart reflects the heaven of a precise moment (a Unit of Time) as seen from a specific place, it reflects the physical world in a similar way as a X-Ray reflects a specific physical reality of an adult part of the body.

Quote:
What does not have general understanding however is the inescapable circumstance that as astrological techniques gain their effectiveness in an advanced refinement or specialization of meaning through the various forms of remove in relationship they depart increasingly from the foundational or literal realities of celestial mechanics. This shift to more and more symbolical designation is represented most familiarly from the very beginning by the distinctive specificities with which the significators are endowed when placed in a geocentric structure. The process continues as symbols are established in layer upon layer of particular and varying but logically ordered context, and while horoscopy in its illimitable range of analytical judgement is thus ever making use of the heavenly phenomena it actually comes to employ them only most incidentally in their original and material or least symbolical base. Marc Edmund Jones, "The Scope of Astrological Prediction" (1969).


Juan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sonia,

It would take me too much time to point out my (hypothetical) views, but I would like the idea of astrology affecting us like music does. I also believe in the geometrical concept. So not a really direct effect but rather indirect yet effective. This concept is very old and can be traced to at least to the Pythagoreans. Until the early 1700's the 'Music of the spheres' played an essential role in philosophical life and we find it reflected in old music.

Perhaps mundane astrology can affect the masses like rock concerts and speeches of leaders influence the masses. This is what Kepler (who I find a delight to read) wrote:
Kepler wrote:
Human souls, at the time of celestial aspects, are receiving a special impetus for carrying out their business and tasks with which they are occupied at the time. What a prod is for an ox, the spurs or reins for a horse, the drum and trumpet for the soldier, the fiery speech for the listener, the melody of a flute, bagpipe or fiddle for a group of farmers -- these things are for all the celestial configuration of the appropriate planets... They arouse people, but they are incapable of guaranteeing a result.
source: Kenneth G. Negus: Kepler's Astrology
http://cura.free.fr/docum/15kep-en.html §5.6



I'm not sure if astrology applies to the dates and moments of the establishment of a state or a treaty, like for example the 1776 chart of the independance of the US. I usually don't look at them often. I experiment a bit with weather astrology, and till now I got hits and misses, just like with natal astrology.

The problem is that nobody on Earth actually knows how astrology really works. We all invent theories to make astrology acceptable to ourselves. Among others, I like the idea of music in relation with geometry, several believe in the four humours, and others like synchronicity, and there are people who see astrology as messages of god(s). All these views have both their benefits and their shortcomings. Even if the musical and geometrical theories might be entirely wrong, I won't regret for a moment for having taken that direction. It got me into listening Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque music and learning spherical trigonometry and this enriched my life.

Perhaps it's better that all this remains a mystery, (Former astrologer) David Hamblin comments:
David Hamblin wrote:
After all, what would happen to astrology if it was proved beyond doubt that there is a connection between planetary positions at a particular time and events on Earth occurring at the same time? It would be taken over, not only by science, but by politics and big business. It would become part of the "system" from which so many of us long to escape. It would do great harm, because of the way in which it would be used by unscrupulous people in search of profit and power. It would lose its magic and its capacity to inspire. How much better that it should remain one of those things (like life after death) that are never proved but remain tantalizingly possible, elusive, just out of reach, offering glimpses of a universe that lies beyond our ordinary experience.
source: http://www.rudolfhsmit.nl/p-reli2.htm

I remember that years ago, when I just had started reading about astrology, I read a book of Hamblin on harmonics. He discussed several techniques and wrote that although he chose a certain method he might be wrong. I was amazed to read this, I hadn't seen this modesty in other books. I think such an approach keeps us vigilant and open-minded.


Last edited by Eddy on Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soniah



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddy, you certainly have beautiful hypothetical views, from the music of the spheres of Kepler to the more recent writings of Hamblin on harmonics (this one was obligatory reading when I was studying at the Faculty), but don't you think that this would be even more beautiful if explained in a less mechanical cause-effect relationship?

Think as example on the harmony of the world as a complex combination of astrological correlations that can make alive a rock concert and awake the masses based on a more chronological succession of celestial events reflecting these events on earth, like if the solar system were a big clock in within our individual and collective experiences develop in harmony. It would be a world of natural symmetries and music too!

I find it even more sublime than the mechanical theory of planetary forces.

But as you say, nobody knows exactly how the big clock works!

Wink


Last edited by soniah on Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soniah



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recognize that I had a hectic days lately and had not really time to carefully read all the messages of this thread with the attention that they require, but I did so in the last two hours and picked up some key issues that need to be addressed and replied, and so I do below:

Eddy wrote:

This would make the planetary effects a non-existing issue in statistics and therefore enhance the view that astrology is intangible for scientific research http://rudolfhsmit.nl/g-arti2.htm Please note that the writer of the article (Geoffrey Dean) although a non-believer always speaks respectfully of astrology and is not to be classified under the typical debunkers who indiscriminately dismiss astrology.


Carl Sagan also used to speak respectfully of astrology and refused to sign that international anti-astrology manifesto signed by hundreds of scientists including a dozen of Nobel Prizes thirty years ago, but please remember that this is the virtue of a true scientist to be respectful with this kind of scientific challenges, very especially in the case of the old astrology, and has nothing to do with their core beliefs.

Gauquelin's results cannot be explained by astronomical or demographical artifacts, and his findings had been replicated enough times around the world. Dean's main objection was the possibility of manipulation of birth's times by the parents but he couldn't prove it enough in order to trash Gauquelin's findings, so there is not virtual scientific negation of the reality of the astrological correlations discovered by Gauquelin, as this Dean's objection was the last failed attempt to disprove them.



Juan wrote:

1) there is no "scientific" evidence because no scientific model or explanation has been tested, let alone proved, by means of this correlation.


If we needed an explanation for all what is considered scientific today then we had to cut what we know as scientific by more than the half, the simplest examples are psychology and medicine, not to mention the vast array of empirical models that sustains modern science. Gauquelin's findings are genuinely astrological by nature, they provide rock-solid evidence of the existence of astrology whatever model about it would be developed in future, the only certain thing is that it will have to be an astrological-related model.


Juan wrote:

There is nothing physical per se, nothing that belongs to the world of nature, in a planet's position at the moment of birth correlated to a choice of profession.


So, the newborn and the planet are not physical entities? Didn't belong both to the world of nature? Where is the physical tangibility of gravity by the way? Do we need a physical tangibility for synchronicity in order to make it real too?


Juan wrote:

The MOMENT of the birth chart synchronistically mirrors what is happening in the sky when someone is born.


Right, I totally agree. And this is the very basis of Astrology: The Quality of Time.



PFN wrote:


Even among scientists there is fight over the validity of the entire body of psychiatry. That's the problem with the so called "human sciences", they are not really sciences, jut fields of knowledge trying to fit, like astrology.


There is not scientific proof for any of the mental illnesses listed by psychiatric manuals, only subjective theories, nothing tangible or measurable, and the same applies for psychiatric medications. A similar problem can be found in other human sciences as you explain, however even when astrology can be in a similar position as a "field of knowdlege trying to fit" we should remember that astrology is not a human science per se, but another complex kind of empirical science not related to the social or human sciences.



SGFoxe wrote:


Chronobiology is not a branch of astrology but rather a subbranch of genetics -- finding the genetic formula for light and dark sensitivity -- if Ebertin hadn't taken the name "cosmobiology" for his branch of astrology, the Chronobiologists would have taken it ...


Then you are recognizing without realize it that chronobiology is a subbranch of astrology as I said, as cosmobiology is a traditional "branch" of astrology. Anyway chronobiology is a scientific branch of biology today, something that I logically don't entirely support.



Dione T wrote:


I am set that astrology can be explained, verified and therefore validated, through sciences, to a certain degree. If we consider science as we accept it today, in its small poor definition, as such, even if we could prove any relation, it would just be pulling astrology down to the level of today's science. A very low level indeed (low not in achievements but in essence).


I totally agree.


Bye for now,

Sonia

Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soniah



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David Hamblin wrote:

Traditional astrology (together with the new techniques which have been added on to it) consists of a vast mass of disconnected assertions, which almost certainly are a mixture of truths, half-truths, blind guesses, and superstitions. And, since these assertions do not relate back to any fundamental and proven laws, it is impossible for the astrologer to sort out the wheat from the chaff, since there are not reliable criteria which he can use. By constantly questioning the assertions of astrology, and by digging deep into the fundamental principles which underlie them, we can eventually hope to build up a new astrology on the ruins of the old: an astrology in which the fundamental laws (or some of them) are know, even though there will always be more to discover about how they operate in particular cases. This new astrology is likely to resemble the old astrology in many ways, but it will not be the same. It is likely to be more beautiful than the old astrology, for it will be closer to truth: it will enable us to hear more clearly the 'music of the spheres'.


- David Hamblin, D.F.Astrol.S., 'The need for doubt and the need for wonder', Astrological Journal, vol.24, no.3, Summer 1982, pp.152-7.



David Hamblin wrote:

For practising astrologers, the main value of Gauquelin's findings is that they prove, beyond any shadow of doubt, that there is some truth in astrology. Until Gauquelin did his research, there was not a single astrological statement that had been scientifically verified, and it could always be argued that astrologers (and their clients) were simply the victims of their own credulity and gullibility. But Gauquelin has produced results whose statistical significance is so strong, and which have been replicated in so many studies, that there is not possibility that they were produced by chance. Determined teams of scientists have done their best to disprove Gauquelin's conclusions, but have failed. Thus there is now no doubt that there is some link between a person's personality and the planets in his birth chart.


- David Hamblin, D.F.Astrol.S., Harmonic Charts, The Aquarian Press, 1983, pp.279-280.


Note: I think that his English is better than mine Smile

Sonia H., D.F.Astrol.S.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
David Hamblin, D.F.Astrol.S., 'The need for doubt and the need for wonder', Astrological Journal, vol.24, no.3, Summer 1982, pp.152-7.
Thanks for the quotes Sonia, where can the Astrological Journal be found? Is it on the internet? I haven't managed to find it there.

Note that Hamblin left astrology several years later. I don't know if he ever picked it up again.

By the way, I just saw that in my last post I put the source reference at the wrong place, I corrected it now.

I once read Rudhyar's 'Astrology of personality', but I didn't really like it. It's difficult to explain why. Nor did I like the parts about Jung. Perhaps it's in Rudhyar's writing style. I'm glad that I read the book though, sometimes I recognise Rudhyar's style in other people's writing. I never read Jung's books but it is said that he wrote in a similar deliberately obscure style. That must have inspired Rudhyar and his followers.
I guess my logic probably is too sober Smile .

Here http://www.rudolfhsmit.nl/a-theo2.htm theories of astrology are reviewed. Synchronicity doesn't necessarily need to mean coinciding events/happening at the same time. However this is often propagated as synchronicity in astrology. Anyhow, they would also reject my view and indeed according to contemporary physics any physical explanation of astrology is impossible. Why still adhere this view? I think I like it because of Thomas Aquinas (and others') view that the 'stars' affect the body, not the intellect and free will. http://books.google.nl/books?id=L0HSvH96alIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=jim+tester+astrology&hl=en&cd=1#v=onepage&q=aquinas&f=false
I like this view of something deep in us that can't be affected by astrology (no matter which way it may work), it gives a sense of spiritual freedom.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soniah



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Eddy, of course I knew about Hamblin's departure of the profession, I would do the same if the situation doesn't change because is very tiring to be a logical and critical thinker in the astrological community today, too much clash of conflicts of interest and too much astrological business darkening true astrology in public surface.

By the way, I also found some of these classic authors to be too obscure in their texts, like if they were drunk while writing or something like that, very confusing, vague and contradictory explanations are usual in some typical classical texts and I honestly had always tried to avoid these for more clear and concise authors instead..

Astrological Journal online? I don't know... maybe someone from the UK can inform you better about it than me... Hamblin's quotes I took them directly from his book Harmonic Charts which includes references to his writings on astrological publications.

Smit's site looks like a sad site for me, I feel sorrow for this person that tortures himself all the time about the question of the scientific tangibility of astrological correlations; to leave astrology just because current science is very limited to measure astrological complexity is sad, very sad, I don't know if you read about his sad personal story:

http://www.rudolfhsmit.nl/a-pass1.htm

His style of redaction it entails anger towards the art between lines, any astrologer can feel it... and even if he tries to keep neutral he can't, all the entire site is a highly selective work to disprove astrology as a real thing.

So, I would be careful with what people writes on the internet, especially if they are so close minded skeptic people and so passional about the subject at the same time.

Sonia
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it could be that Hamblin put some of the article in his book. I read the Dutch translated version but I recognised some of the sentences.

Maybe the state of modern astrology made a group of people to change their views in other modern directions and other group to study the Hellenistic, Mediaeval, Renaissance and other Ancient astrology types.

I'm not sure what you list under 'classic'. But I list the astrologers from Alan Leo, Rudhyar and later as 'modern'. These latter I don't really like, many post Leo books are too much Blavatsky/Theosophy oriented.

However, I wouldn't dismiss beforehand the astrology of before the 1700's. Although I didn't read much of ancient texts, I did read many parts of Ptolemy's texts and I like his Tetrabiblos. If you read the threads in the Traditional section on the forum here, you will see the meanings of the systematics of rulerships, terms etc explained. It may take some time but it's worth it. I acknowledge that there really is a beauty in this art, even though I follow Kepler by not making much use of signs and houses but mainly the aspects. Maybe a bit meagre for others, but I see the beauty in the geometry.

Just compare it with the coloured windows in Mediaeval churches. It gives a wonderful light which you won't see without the windows, but without the coloured windows one might see the natural colours outside. However maybe I'm still looking through bumpy thick ground glass white windows even though I might think they are perfectly transparant. Who knows? This view of Kepler may clarify the problems we could encounter:
Kepler wrote:
It is comparable to the image of the sun in turbulent water, in which one sees a clear flashing of the sun far and wide, but no figure or image of the sun can be perceived, because the water is moving about.

Kenneth G. Negus: Kepler's Astrology §4.3
http://cura.free.fr/docum/15kep-en.html


and later he continues (§4.7):
Quote:
Much less did I attack it as aesthetically displeasing, or as cumbersome; but rather, I wished to express this idea: Although nature prepared the way for the division, it was human reason alone that created it, and in such a way that it always commenced from a certain starting point; it also did not have to refer to the natural properties that the signs are supposed to distinguish from each other.


Although I try to follow the 'natural' way as much as possible, in a certain way I can agree with the limitations of the use of the ecliptic to measure positions as Juan displays in his today's new thread. Perhaps the use of angular distance between planets rather than ecliptical distance might be better, even if only for imagining positions in the mind.

I know Smit's story. I printed every article of the website and read them during my Christmas holidays. Although they are skeptical, I don't really experience a cynical negative undertone towards astrology as one can read in other texts. Their way of investigation is based upon statistics and because of negative results they don't believe in astrology anymore. However I have the feeling that they are still willing to communicate with astrologers. Perhaps it might be interesting to have a look at the websites of 'Peter Niehenke' and 'Koen Van de Moortel' mentioned on the site. I think that I now stand where Niehenke says to stand after a negative research result performed by himself:
Peter Niehenke wrote:
I recognise that the negative results are a reality. But the evidence of my success in counselling is also a reality. A world in which astrology exists is surely more enjoyable than one without it. This remains for the moment even true for me!
http://www.rudolfhsmit.nl/d-rese2.htm under 4. Aspects (5 abstracts): The Validity of Astrological Aspects
It would be really difficult to abandon astrology completely. Perhaps it's addictive like cigarettes. Maybe as witt tobacco, astrology books should get 'astrology packaging warning messages', of the Surgeon General Surprised .

As I usually tend to spend too much time on astrological subjects, I'll have to take a break for a while and spend time on other things than astrology. I'll probably join in later.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soniah



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, Hamblin quoted it in his book himself, if you had the book in English I could indicate you the pages with the references..

I was referring especially to some authors of the last two centuries by the way, earlier writings are even worse to understand but I don't dismiss ALL old astrology neither, instead I propose a selectiveness of what is useful and productive in modern practice, and what is not. What makes sense today and what not make sense anymore as in the case of bleeding patients in medicine the same reasoning can be applied to astrology too.

Science today as it is only can prove the kernel of astrology but fails to visualize and prove the tree, many astrologers fear that under scientific scrutiny the kernel would grow into a completely different tree from what they know astrology as it is now and many of them try to hide the kernel or disprove its existence by this very reason; by the kernel I am referring to Gauquelin's evidence of course.

This is an understandable attitude because we love astrology and we want to protect it as it is now because we know that as it is now it works, but is a selfish attitude too, because with independence of new developments and scientific discoveries in the field, the old model can be preserved too, and in fact it will be preserved because most astrologers will not accept scientific developments on the field, they are too tied to the past.

So, maybe this is a fruitless discussion after all, because as you said in an earlier post, each one have their own objective or subjective personal approach (or a mixture of both, which I find to be the solution here, a balanced approach) and only a few will change or adapt it to reality, whatever the reality could be.

Anyway wonderful that quote from Niehenke!

Smile

Bye for now,

Sonia
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 210
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

soniah wrote:
Juan wrote:

1) there is no "scientific" evidence because no scientific model or explanation has been tested, let alone proved, by means of this correlation.

If we needed an explanation for all what is considered scientific today then we had to cut what we know as scientific by more than the half, the simplest examples are psychology and medicine, not to mention the vast array of empirical models that sustains modern science.


Psychology and Medicine provide explanatory models of every phenomenon they test for statistical correlation, whether it is physical or not. Gauquelin provides none, we are left in the dark about how the planets are related to choice of vocation, except for an unmnodelled untestable hypothesis labelled "planetary heredity". This is not "scientific proof" by a very long stretch. The only thing that Gauquelin's correlations "prove" is that there is a correlation, but the nature of the two variables and of their mutual relationship is left unexplored in their philosophical and epistemological implications.

It is absurd to believe that an empirically demonstrated statistical correlation and an untestable hypothesis constitutes "scientific proof". Proof of what?


Quote:
Juan wrote:
There is nothing physical per se, nothing that belongs to the world of nature, in a planet's position at the moment of birth correlated to a choice of profession.

So, the newborn and the planet are not physical entities? Didn't belong both to the world of nature?


What newborn? A map of the artificially frozen moment of birth is not "the newborn". It is impossible to physically model the newborn into the equation. What we have is a chart of an artificially frozen moment that is used as a symbol of the newborn, and this has nothing to do with Science nor with nature. It is entirely a product of the human brain.

And what planet? All you have is a bi-dimensional (sometimes) or unidimensional (most often) coordinate that represents the planet. Neither the planet nor the infant can be modelled physically speaking because the physical link between them is completely unknown. You cannot model the unknown, all you can do is use a symbolic or linguistic referent to it.

Juan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soniah



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Explanatory models we have quite a lot and logically we don't go to put the newborn in the planet Laughing or in our consulting rooms Very Happy for that we have birth charts.

Synchronicity (the only one explanatory model that makes sense for to explain Gauquelin results), relativity or gravity cannot be physically modelled as you "wish", they are scientifically inferred, in the case of synchronicity this is inferred by the fact of the astrological correlations discovered by Michel Gauquelin.

Please stop spreading misinformation or some young people, specially young students of astrology could read you and be badly affected by it.

Really what I am seeing here is that what is really needed here is a good professional Code of Ethics that would not permit this kind of anti-scientific & anti-astrological statements made by "astrologers" that completely damage the rest of the profession by propagating all this bizarre misinformation, because one thing is what you wish as it would be but another completely different thing are scientific facts that even if you don't like to face them you must to respect them if you want to show respect to the rest of the astrological community.

This is like if a medical doctor in medical forums says that the blood does not exist in the body and he and other colleagues spread this misinformation by the internet damaging the medical profession and the general reputation of medical doctors. This, in my opinion, should not be permitted.

Astrological institutions have a responsibility for to put order on this whole mess and I hope for they do, or I don't know to where this will end...

Sonia
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bill



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 35
Location: Ireland

Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Please stop spreading misinformation or some young people, specially young students of astrology could read you and be badly affected by it.

Every young and old student of astrology should familiarize themselves with the arguments Juan and others like him are putting forward to help establish a foundation for a more rational assessment of astrology and its nature.

Quote:

Really what I am seeing here is that what is really needed here is a good professional Code of Ethics that would not permit this kind of anti-scientific & anti-astrological statements made by "astrologers" that completely damage the rest of the profession by propagating all this bizarre misinformation, because one thing is what you wish as it would be but another completely different thing are scientific facts that even if you don't like to face them you must to respect them if you want to show respect to the rest of the astrological community.


Sonia, you really have no idea what you are talking about. Your understanding of both astrology and science is immature, to put it mildly. You wouldn’t recognize a scientific fact if it bit you in the ass. I cannot believe from your contributions to this forum that you were given a diploma from the Faculty, and you are certainly doing it a disservice. One thing they evidently didn’t teach you is how to engage in civilized or even rational debate, but I suppose that was not part of the course. You might find it interesting to show this thread to your ex-tutors and see what they have to say about your performance.

Quote:
This is like if a medical doctor in medical forums says that the blood does not exist in the body and he and other colleagues spread this misinformation by the internet damaging the medical profession and the general reputation of medical doctors. This, in my opinion, should not be permitted.


No it isn’t, as any reasonable mind appraising the exchanges between yourself and Juan would agree. It seems to me that you must be channeling some long dead contributor to the Holy Order of the Inquisition if you think the best way to stop anyone hearing arguments that contradict your own ignorant stance is to forbid the source of those arguments the opportunity to voice them.

Quote:
Astrological institutions have a responsibility for to put order on this whole mess and I hope for they do, or I don't know to where this will end...


Well, they have a long way to go if they keep churning out graduates with your level of intellectual incompetence. There is always hope though. Should you ever find within yourself the humility to allow yourself to entertain doubts about your own omniscience, you might like to read an introductory text on the nature of science, and open your mind to some philosophical speculations concerning concepts, knowledge, understanding, truth and facts. Paradoxically, this might make you feel less intellectually insecure.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GarryP
Moderator


Joined: 23 Oct 2003
Posts: 207
Location: UK

Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread - as others have noted - covers some fascinating territory. Maybe it still has some mileage in it, and it would certainly be a shame to see it closed down prematurely.

Sonia, I salute your indefatigability, and thank you for provoking some very interesting responses. I have to say, though, that although Bill was rather rough with you in his last post, I feel there are elements of truth in his criticisms of your arguments. In particular , you regularly fail to substantiate what you are saying, and seem to have a rather loose grasp on what people have said. Since it's close to home, let me take this comment you made:

Quote:
"something is scientific REAL within Astrology", in the own words of the five skeptic researchers interviewed by Phillipson in the book Astrology in the Year Zero.


Anyone who looks for these words in Year Zero will look in vain. My best guess at what you might have had in mind is the statement from Dean, Ertel, Kelly, Mather and Smit at p.144 that the Gauquelin findings are "Real yes, relevant perhaps not." The point they go on to make is that the Gauquelin findings might be attributable to non-astrological factors. (There is a long story concerning that, which anyone who is interested will probably already know.) A quotation which would have been more representative of their position here would be this, also from p.144:

Quote:
Gauquelin's work was certainly the most rigorous of its time. But his planetary effects, even though independently confirmed by us, are too tiny to be of the slightest practical value. For example, given that Mars tends to be just past rising or culminating in the charts of eminent sports champions, this information is of no practical value unless your client is eminent (say 1 in 20,000 of the population), in which case the information is already superfluous. Furthermore, Gauquelin's other results showed no effect for half the planets, or for signs, or for aspects, and work by one of us (Ertel) has disconfirmed initial hints of a planetary link with character traits, all of which is contrary to astrological claims. So the relevance of the Gauquelin results tends to be overstated.


My point here is that it might help to foster productive discussion in this thread if we can back our statements up with accurate references to relevant texts.

Another point - one which Bill has already made, and which is found in the quotation above - is that the implications of Gauquelin's work destroy the vast majority of current astrological technique - to the point that anyone who has learned astrology in any currently-existing form, has learned something which should (if the Gauquelin work is the gold standard of truth) be entirely useless.

I'd be very interested to see if we could get away a bit from the ideological level that recurs in this thread - how astrology ought to be - to discuss actual experience. Presumably everyone here finds that astrology works enough to be useful(?) So does anyone have any experiences of their actual practice of astrology benefitting by the application of a scientifically-informed approach?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 35
Location: Ireland

Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

So does anyone have any experiences of their actual practice of astrology benefitting by the application of a scientifically-informed approach?


Hi Garry,
Yes, my practice of astrology definitely benefits from a scientifically informed approach, and so does my theoretical and philosophical perspective on the subject.

As regards practice, the benefits relate to my understanding of the contexts to which I apply astrological techniques, and how these influence my approach to prediction.

One of the conundrums that astrology presents is that the source from which the symbolism is partly derived is the most reliable, uniform and recurring dynamic feature in our environment. The motions of the planets, etc. are highly predictable and linear over the kinds of time frames which astrologers work within. This is why it is possible to have extremely accurate ephemerides for the whole of the 21st century, for example.

The conundrum arises because the symbols derived from this linear dynamical source are mapped in practice onto dynamically non-linear aspects of reality and experience. Non-linear dynamic systems are often very unpredictable in terms of their behavior, especially (to use some scientific jargon) if they exist in a ‘far from equilibrium’ state. It is in such a state that self-organization in dynamic systems can emerge. Feedback, buffering, and coupling to environmental variables of one kind or another help to maintain the energy state of the system and its organizational integrity. As life processes tend to occur far from equilibrium, they are generally characterized by a fair degree of unpredictability.

One could enter into a discussion of chaos and complexity theories (complex dynamical systems theory) here, but I won’t. What I will say is that my understanding of these scientific and mathematical models informs my expectations in relation to the making of astrological predictive statements. For one thing, what I attempt to ‘see’ using astrology is not final outcomes or end states, but how a system is likely to behave from the present state it is in. This contains the presence of the past, and also limits future possibilities.

So for example, there was a time not so long ago when the US was in sabre-rattling mode in relation to Iran. There were Pentagon ‘leaks’ happening every other week about how the US was going to bomb Iran. At the time, Pluto was conjunct Venus and square Mars by transit in a key Iranian horoscope. Nearly all of the astrologers in the political astrology group I contribute too saw this as a clear sign that Iran would be attacked during a certain time frame. It is easy to understand from a purely astrological point of view why that was the case.

I was predicting that this would not happen, for non-astrological reasons. Firstly, the US couldn’t afford it, and secondly, the public appetite for another war was not there, given what was happening in the unhappy campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. In my view these were ‘real world’ buffers which would help to maintain the status quo (the organization dynamics of the US-Iran partnership) rather than a change in the direction of war.

I suggested that the Pluto transit to Mars was linked to the transformation of energy policy to include a nuclear option, and possibly the development of a nuclear military capability, rather than the bombing of Iran. I also suggested that the transit of Pluto to the Venus (elevated in the 9th as I recall) implied the power battle going on in the relation ship, but also the likelihood of Iran winning the propaganda war (a simple enough task given who was running the US at the time).

In effect, this scientifically informed approach led me to realize very clearly the importance of the internal and intrinsic dynamics of the context onto which the symbolism was being mapped if one wishes to predict its behavior. This may seem like common sense, but it is surprising the number of astrologers who ignore the obvious, or who are convinced that astrology operates via a ‘celestial causes/terrestrial effects’ mechanism of some kind. Although astrology can extend the ‘range of seeing’ by complementing common sense and reason, it can also be used to provide a set of blinkers through which common sense and rational perspectives do not penetrate.

I was quite lucky because I first met the issue of non-linearity in living systems and its implications when I was a student. During the 1960s-70s, the debate was happening in the context of a reductionist philosophical perspective which permeated thinking among many biologists and life scientists. A ‘Uranian-style’ movement arose to essentially break the reductionist hierarchy which insisted that biological understanding ultimately was reducible to a physics level of explanation. I remember being very influenced by a series of texts edited by Conrad Waddington, entitled “Towards a Theoretical Biology”, which were produced over two or three years in the late 60s. One of the key points made in these texts was that an organism cannot be understood in isolation from its environment. In other words, you can’t understand much about the nature of rats by killing one and dissecting it. The organism and environment are intimately coupled.

I have often thought that a series entitled “Towards a Theoretical Astrology” might be useful for the same kinds of reasons – deconstructing the influential (if often subconscious) notion that astrology can somehow be validated by reducing it to a material scientific level of explanation.

Of course humans are organisms, and thus are intimately coupled with their environment, which includes a celestial dimension. This manifests in terms of physical entrainment (biorhythms, etc.), the link between the seasonal cycle and food availability, and so on. These are topics for scientific exploration and modeling, but I don’t think that have much to do with astrology, or help to explain why garlic is ruled by Mars.

There is a key difference though between humans and other living organisms. Humans are able to generate concepts, which they use to structure their understanding of experience. Human languages are sophisticated enough to communicate and share concepts, thereby establishing conventions and norms within a cultural group. Humans are able to record information, process and disseminate it, etc. Humans use material anchors to off-load the cognitive work involved – calendars to help remember where we are in time, computers, horoscope systems and so on.

What this means is that instead of just an intimate coupling between humans and the environment on a physical level, there is also a potential coupling on a conceptual level. For example, one might postulate a three-way interaction involving the environment, perceptual experience of that environment, and concepts derived from that perceptual experience. The concepts then modulate the way the environment is perceived, etc..

Anyone who takes an honest look at astrology can see that some of the concepts have a direct phenomenological basis. For example, retrograde motion of the physical planets is a perceptual truth, even though we know it is objectively not real. Yet this perceptual experience assumes symbolic form in astrology’s conceptual system, and carries meaning. It is completely untrue within the conceptual systems which structure scientific understanding.

Until recently, this connection between perception and concepts was not recognized, essentially because it contradicts a well embedded doctrine in western philosophy – the separation between body (perception) and mind (concepts). This has roots in the Greek philosophical tradition, in which human reason was considered a species-specific faculty that operated outside of sense perception (Plato), and which was attuned to a transcendent Universal Reason. More recently, René Descartes articulated the same idea in a different manner, giving rise to what is commonly called the ‘Cartesian divide’.

The branch of science which informs my theoretical position on astrology is the cognitive sciences. It is these which study how we can know anything, where concepts come from, how meaning is transferred through the use of language, and so on.

Obviously, if one does not see astrological processes as an objectively embedded feature of external reality which ‘happens at us’, and which exists whether not humans do, then one will find oneself pondering its conceptual structure and asking where it comes from. In the past, an astrologer might have answered “the transcendent realm of Ideas which humans are uniquely attuned to”, or “transcendent archetypes as described by C.G.Jung”.

These ideas have a strong presence in modern astrology. However, research in the cognitive sciences threatens to dismantle these notions, which are essentially a consequence of, or the underlying basis for postulating the mind body split. What is emerging is that human embodiment is very significantly involved in determining the forms which human concepts take, whether they are mathematical, scientific, mythological, religious, or astrological. In other words, we can only conceptualize in the ways afforded by our cognitive capacity. We cannot access what is objectively ‘out there’ in absolute terms, and cannot gain a god’s-eye view of reality. The best we can hope for is a human objectivity, which may not have a lot of relevance for fishes, if they could conceptualize.

In which case, one can begin to speculate on why it makes sense within astrology’s conceptual system that a planetary symbol changes its meaning when it moves from one zodiac sign to another. A cognitive scientist would start talking about the inferential logic associated with the ‘container’ image schema, (image schemas acts as a foundation for the kind of metaphorical extrapolations evident in the way we speak). Evidence is also mounting to suggest that the way we speak is closely connected to how we think.

For example, in English one might say “He is in a deep depression”, or “She is in love”. To cut a long story short, the implications from linguistic analysis seem to show that states are conceptualized as locations. If someone is in a deep depression, it will take a lot of effort to climb out of the depression. This reflects a common conceptual metaphor

To me, this provides a way of thinking about some of the ‘absurdities’ of astrology’s conceptual system. Because a planetary symbol moves from one location to another location, it changes its state. This is unconsciously recognized as a sensible idea for an astrologer, but not for scientist, who does not conceptualize the container (the zodiac sign) in the first place because it doesn’t exist outside of the astrological conceptual system. Or rather it doesn’t exist within the scientific conceptual system.

Naturally, within cognitive science and philosophy too, there is much argument about these ideas. They are provocative because if the evidence continues to flow in, and perhaps especially if much of it becomes grounded on a neurological level, objectivist philosophy, and also transcendent philosophies, will have to be re-appraised. It is not surprising that a robust defence is being mounted by those who embrace an objectivist perspective.

These ideas, if they become conventional, imply that not only will critiques of astrology from within science become relatively toothless, but ideas which have played a major role in underpinning astrology in the west for a number of centuries, such as Neo-Platonism and more recently Jungian archetypes will be up for reconsideration. The transcendent realm, according to embodied cognitive models, does not exist.

Personally I find this extremely liberating as an astrologer. In both cases, it brings astrology down to earth and makes it human. One can then treat it as such, and acknowledge all the various factors which contribute to its diversity of forms without feeling haunted by transcendent idealism or physical influence models from ‘up there’. The diversity reflects astrology’s human roots and the influence of human culture.

One result of this in relation to my own practice is that I trust my judgments and intuitions, because there are no right answers ‘out there’ or ‘up there’. The meaning is not intrinsic to the symbolism. I see what I see using my tools. This is highly subjective and individualistic, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is the functional value of the way I use the tools and the outcome. I feel no need to argue about the ‘correct’ zodiac or ayanamsa, or whether or not the Chinese have got it right. The important thing is to develop sufficient skills using the tools one prefers.

In fact, it becomes quite intriguing to speculate on why Chinese astrology is so different from its western counterpart. For example, the emphasis which is placed on the vertical axis, as opposed to that placed on the horizontal axis in western astrology. This is a cultural difference, and evidence from cognitive linguistics hints at the connection between this vertical emphasis and the structure of the Mandarin language, which primarily expresses the conceptualization of time using the vertical axis. In the west, we tend to primarily conceptualize time along a horizontal axis (the past is behind us, the future in front of us, etc.).

Of course, cognitive linguists are not thinking about or discussing astrology, but I am. The point is that the ideas surfacing are applicable to any conceptual system, because according to the embodied cognition model, all conceptual systems are linked to and constrained by their embodied human source. The container image schema and its inferential logic, for example, underlie classical logic and classical taxonomic categorization. In perceptual reality, an entity is observed to be either inside or outside a container, with a well defined boundary separating the two. The concept of the classical category, with its associated ‘necessary and sufficient conditions’ that determine whether an entity is in this category or that, is a direct reflection of this pervasive perceptual embodied experience. This is as true for Hellenistic Greeks or contemporary westerners.

On the other hand, how do garlic and machine guns both become categorized under the symbol of Mars? Well, there is an answer to that question, and I’m not going to elaborate on it here because I’ve already gone on too long. It doesn’t have anything to do with necessary and sufficient conditions though, which is why those operating within a scientific or conventional logical conceptual framework find the idea absurd, even if it makes complete conceptual sense to an astrologer.

So, to conclude I can say that while it is quite evident to me that astrology is not a science (for reasons I won’t reiterate), this does not preclude the fact that astrological understanding and practice can be enhanced by taking into account insights being generated within science. In my case, what I have found most useful in this regard has been firstly information about the behavior of dynamic systems existing far from equilibrium (i.e. that associated with most life processes). Secondly I have benefited from insights emerging in the cognitive sciences about how the body and perceptual experience influence the generation of concepts, and how these structure the truths and understanding associated with different conceptual systems.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
soniah



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Spain

Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GarryP wrote:

Sonia, I salute your indefatigability, and thank you for provoking some very interesting responses.


Thank you Very Happy

Unfortunately your approach is anti-astrological and damage Astrology, I am sorry to say you this, but is what I think.

Regarding the book it was not my intention to exactly quote what these 5 skeptics said but to put a particular emphasis in their conclusion about Michel Gauquelin's REAL results. This is their conclusion, that these are real.

Then the skeptics they give their opinions about it, which ones logically are skeptic Laughing with arguments about x artifacts that had been never proven.

Michel Gauquelin's found some negative results but as science rapidly evolve these results can turn into another completely different thing in future, Gaquelin hoped for this as he said in several of his books.

As Hamblin said, Michel Gauquelin's findings are real (the 5 skeptics recognized it too, even with their other -skeptic- opinions apart) and to negate this facts and their valuable meaning that proves the existence of astrology from a scientific perspective for the first time in history, is to negate scientific facts that supports astrology - to do this is anti-astrological.

But as I said in a previous post, there are x interests in to hide these for many reasons, they can be ideological, religious, phylosophical, business and a long etc..

Michel Gauquelin devoted his entire life to show a scientific basis for astrological correlations, and he was succesfull at it without any doubt.

On the other side, the skeptics worked for 25 years to find something but they couldn't, they only conclusion of their work is that if there is something true and scientific in astrology: the Gaquelin's results.

I am not looking for a 100% scientifc astrology, but the few supporting results we have are very valuable (of course not in daily professional practice) but they are valuable because they shows that astrology is true, a big shift into the real, scientific consideration of Astrology.

But you and others can close your eyes to this reality, this is okay you are free to do it, as long as you don't impose your wrong assumptions to the rest of the community because in this case you harm the community.

This is why a fundamental respect for what is true, real, and scientifically rock-solid evidence should be respected even if we don't like it.

Sonia
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 5 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

       
Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated