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Lilly's Considerations
compiled by D. Houlding
Book II of Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus
translated by David Pingree
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Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Richard,

In defending the statistics I might have appeared that way. There's a large spectrum with the extremes from the uttermost sceptic to the dotingly believe all astrologer. I think I can place myself in the middle with my doubts during practising years and my Kepleriean view (no signs, no houses, only aspects). I just hopped a bit over to the more nonbelieving side however retaining belief in spirituality. And I still believe in that other untestable issue: the paranormal, like clairvoyance and telepathy, and as far as I feel now I'll keep believing in that.

There's an expression, the extremes meet. As in politics the extreme right and the extreme left meet in the use of violence to attain their goals. Such a thing can be seen in the sceptics to astrologers spectrum. I see it as a spectrum with all kinds of gradations. For example the behaviour of the Comitť Para to disconfirm Gauquelin's results were contrary to all rules of scientific research and peer review, a cardinal sin in science. It's here under 'Artifacts of procedure' (again an astrology-and-science article Smile . It was written by Geoffrey Dean, he seems an honest man to me, otherwise he wouldn't have mentioned it.)

Quote:
In summary, the three skeptic groups took every opportunity to plant doubt, to ignore Gauquelin's efforts to control artifacts, and to question his integrity, while neglecting to observe agreed procedures. In general they behaved less like scientists and more like a secret society with an agenda. In 1982, after a careful evaluation of the arguments on both sides, the psychologists Hans Eysenck and David Nias (in Astrology Science or Superstition) concluded against the skeptic groups as follows:

"far from showing the impartiality popularly associated with science, critics have gone out of their way to demonstrate bias, prejudice and hostility. ... We have come to the definite conclusion that the critics often behaved in an irrational and scientifically unusual manner, violating principles they themselves have laid down, failing to adhere to their own rules, failing to consult the Gauquelins on details of tests to be carried out, or failing to inform them of vital points of the results. We have not found any similar misdemeanour on the part of the Gauquelins, who seem to have behaved throughout in a calm, rational and scientifically acceptable manner, meeting criticism by appropriate re-analysis of the data, by the collection of new data, however laborious the process might have been, and by rational argument. We do not feel that the 'scientific' community emerges with any great credit from these encounters" (p.202).


On the other extreme side there are the impostors who take advantage of the distress of people in need and make a lot of money with it. Since a while there's Astro tv on the Dutch commercial television. I saw it for a moment last week and that's really bogus. From many scientist's point of view all or most astrologers are like this, so I can understand their view too.
Quote:
In my view science usually wants to explain the world without any God; moreover, they try to deny him
Not all do this. In the past many scientists were christians (or other kind of religion) and saw their research as a fulfillment of their religious duty, medicine to serve mankind etc. or knowing the works of creation. Another benefit is that through science one will at least know what God is not. While in the past people feared thunder as being the voice of the god(s) in anger. Now we know that it's electrical discharge. While magical thinking has its fascinating side, we should be careful not to romanticize it. Just think of the fear of hell induced to people during so many centuries and even for small 'offences'. Max Weber's Entzauberung/Disenchantment got accompanied with a feeling of loss of our sense of mystical poetry (you should know I like William Blake's poetry a lot). However it has also been of benefit to society by liberating us from the oppressing aspects of (institutionalized) religion. Here too we should find a balance between extreme materialism and losing the sense of reality.

Waybread,
I always felt reluctant to read charts on the internet. I did it sometimes and sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Another very unsatisfactory thing I experienced on another forum a few years ago is that quite a few times I spent a lot of time on a chart and the person with the question never bothered to answer. I'd rather stick to people I can speak 'live' with. Notwithstanding the results I noticed that doing this internet reading can exhaust my energy because you concentrate on the person and somewhat take over some of the problems of a person. It's different from people sitting next to you. It might be something telepathically and one should be careful in doing this. People are different so perhaps I'm more sensitive to it than others. However I might try to develop a system to use the astrological symbols without natal charts. Perhaps I'll experiment a bit with this, at least if friends etc. would feel for it.

One final thing to explain my point I made previously. When I mentioned William Blake somewhere in this post I remembered that several years ago I found that connecting our archetypes to planets and their cycles felt like 'imprisoning the deities'. These deieties and archetypes sprang from humankind/earth and might better be here near us. William Blake wrote in his poems a lot about religion and the troubling side of institutions. Here's a poem of Blake in which I see expressed my ambivalent feelings towards astrology (and the possible risks of institutionalised astrology).

William Blake - excerpt from: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
http://www.levity.com/alchemy/blake_ma.html
William Blake wrote:
The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could percieve.
And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity;
Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav'd the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began Priesthood;
Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.
And at length they pronounc'd that the Gods had order'd such things.
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 563
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, Yes. I am sorry that I cannot seem to explain myself more clearly. But "once more, with feeling!"

I assume that what you mean by the pairing of charts of people who are not married, is that these people are randomly paired: we are not talking about BF/GF, live-in, partner, or common-law relationships. We are talking about two people who have no contact with one another.

So you tell me--by what astrological techniques should an astrologer be able to say whether 2 people are married or not? I don't think there are any.

Some might disagree, because you might get by looking at likely/unlikely times for people to get married and then match up the charts that way, but some people choose a wedding date simply because they have a one-weekend window that works for everyone in both families, even where an astrologer might advise against it.

We might find two randomly selected people in paired charts to be highly compatible, should they ever meet. But if they never actually met, no marriage. And blind chart readings cannot tell you whether they actually met or not.

So to do a study of synastry's hits and misses in discerning compatible or incompatible married couples, you would have to start with actually married couples.

I think it would be hard to develop a legitimate control group if this is what you are after, and I don't think you would use randomly paired people.

Eddy--An astrologer has to develop a thick skin, for sure. But after 17 years of studying astrology out of books, with only the occasional chart reading; and 3 years of chart-reading on two other Internet forums, I would say the past 3 years have taught me as much as the first 17. The heavens are only one part of the astrology equation. Real people with real issues in real time are the other. This is why medical school graduates are required to have a lot of hands-on experience with real patients before they can be licensed to practice medicine, or getting an architect's license requires a fixed number of hours of applied work. You find this in many professions.

So I don't mind your saying that you became convinced that astrology doesn't work, but it doesn't sound as though you gave it a fair chance.

However, hopefully you can apply your wonderful aptitudes to mundane astrology, or financial or weather forecasting with individuals safely tucked out of the way.

Also, we cannot discount the many religious scientists. We find them not only in church-sponsored universities, but also walking the corridors of secular institutions. A metaphorical view of religion can be highly compatible with science. I have a M. S. (M. Sc.) degree, so I really appreciate how science functions. I also believe in God, but I do not accept religious dogmas, creeds, or literal readings of most scriptures. Problem solved.
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Mike N



Joined: 20 Sep 2010
Posts: 49

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Mike, Yes. I am sorry that I cannot seem to explain myself more clearly. But "once more, with feeling!"

I assume that what you mean by the pairing of charts of people who are not married, is that these people are randomly paired: we are not talking about BF/GF, live-in, partner, or common-law relationships. We are talking about two people who have no contact with one another.

So you tell me--by what astrological techniques should an astrologer be able to say whether 2 people are married or not? I don't think there are any.

Some might disagree, because you might get by looking at likely/unlikely times for people to get married and then match up the charts that way, but some people choose a wedding date simply because they have a one-weekend window that works for everyone in both families, even where an astrologer might advise against it.

We might find two randomly selected people in paired charts to be highly compatible, should they ever meet. But if they never actually met, no marriage. And blind chart readings cannot tell you whether they actually met or not.

So to do a study of synastry's hits and misses in discerning compatible or incompatible married couples, you would have to start with actually married couples.

I think it would be hard to develop a legitimate control group if this is what you are after, and I don't think you would use randomly paired people.



I have already suggested the 3 non married pairs would need to have been born within a realistic time range of each other and not too far apart. They will not know each other. Obviously if one were 78 and born in Siberia and the other 19 and born in Zaire they are likely not married. The same would need to be done for the 7 married couples to make the experiment fair to the astrologer(s).

I have also already made it ,clear in my view it would not be possible to know from 2 charts if they were happily married/compatible, let alone in a relationship.

We wouldn't need a control group in this experiment. It's a simple pick the one from 10 or one from 7 if we exclude the 3 randoms.

I can' t make this any clearer Waybread, it is a simple experiment really.

After 20 goes or so if the astros scored 6/7+ out of 20 then I think we would have to accept it would be worth repeating and get another 20 groups of 7/10 prepared.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 563
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, Apparently I can't make myself any clearer, either. Pity. My point is simple.

We are talking blind chart readings, no? Two people born in the same town at the same year would not know each other if one moved away as an infant. Yet they might be highly compatible.

You might carefully screen your randomly matched pairs so that they fit some pre-specified criteria, and then if you included them you would need more than a sample of 10 charts with the percentage break-down you've indicated to really feel you'd got something, hopefully to control for experimental design flaws. Research is all about controlling for potentially confounding variables. If you don't do this, then you don't know whether your results stem from what you are actually trying to examine, or from something else.

The trouble with the study you outlined is that it doesn't sufficiently control for possibilities that could throw off the results. A test of astrological techniques should test for correlations that astrology actually purports to say something about; not for correlations that are beyond its scope. As you know, astrology does not claim to address any and all phenomena.

How much synastry have you studied, Mike--and how much synastry have you done for people? And hey, if you have decided a priori that an astrologer taking on those 20 charts would be doomed to failure anyway--then there is no point in continuing this discussion.
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mattG



Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 345
Location: Greenwich UK

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I put on my ironic hat here and welcome you to the world of what I call theoretical astrology.

Our subject is a fascinating one and attracts a lot of interest but who wants to get involved in the tiresome business of actually reading charts for people, helping them with their problems and offering them guidance in life?

A while back I read a popular biog of Paracelcus. He went around Europe curing sick people. This horrified the medical establishment for whom medicine meant reading Galen and now and then condescending to peer at a phial of urine. It seems that a forum like this provides a platform for "astrologers" with a similar attitude.

There is also a status aspect here. In the last century Freud was influenced by a work on mass-psychology (sorry forget author's name). The mob has its own sub-conscious which can be manipulated. Some believe that demagogues like Mussolini studied these ideas. Later on the advertising industry caught on to it.

Now it would be gratifying to be the manipulator not the manipulated. Perhaps there is a fear among astrologers that the art could be proved to be false. Then they would be the manipulated; the one who believed nonsense because they were told to do so. Status would be found by being the wise scientist whose facts prove him to be right while the common herd are all wrong. It would feed this conceit to be the white-coated scientist looking over the shoulder of the astrological subject and pointing out where they were wrong. A lot easier than actually doing any astrology.

But who wants to be a lab rat anyway?

I could point out in a simple and astrological way why this stuff doesn't work but if opinions are so entrenched why bother?

Ho-hum

Matthew
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Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Waybread, perhaps I myself didn't give it a fair chance but it should be noted that several sceptics formerly were (full time) operating astrologers who often were respected committee members of an astrological organisation. Just have a look at the biographies in astrology-and-science site.
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Mike N



Joined: 20 Sep 2010
Posts: 49

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Mike, Apparently I can't make myself any clearer, either. Pity. My point is simple.

We are talking blind chart readings, no? Two people born in the same town at the same year would not know each other if one moved away as an infant. Yet they might be highly compatible.

You might carefully screen your randomly matched pairs so that they fit some pre-specified criteria, and then if you included them you would need more than a sample of 10 charts with the percentage break-down you've indicated to really feel you'd got something, hopefully to control for experimental design flaws. Research is all about controlling for potentially confounding variables. If you don't do this, then you don't know whether your results stem from what you are actually trying to examine, or from something else.

The trouble with the study you outlined is that it doesn't sufficiently control for possibilities that could throw off the results. A test of astrological techniques should test for correlations that astrology actually purports to say something about; not for correlations that are beyond its scope. As you know, astrology does not claim to address any and all phenomena.

How much synastry have you studied, Mike--and how much synastry have you done for people? And hey, if you have decided a priori that an astrologer taking on those 20 charts would be doomed to failure anyway--then there is no point in continuing this discussion.


Yes Blind charts. If the people were there it is a different experiment. I also stated earlier to be fair to the astrologers, and here it would be necessary to know broadly what system the astrologer was using, that the Ďrandomsí would need to have their charts assessed to make sure they didnít tick too many of the astrological compatible boxes being employed.

It is 10 charts in one batch. Since the first experiment should use about 20 batches, this is 200 charts. If the astrologer did well, as I have already outlined , then we do it again. I would personally like to see at least 3/4 goes so 600/800 charts in effect, if we used the 10 not 7.

The confounding variables get reduced the larger the sample size. The main challenge in this experiment, I think, is the pre-screening to ensure that the 6 were considerably more content in the relationships than the 1.

I couldnít give you much of a figure as to how many couplesís charts Iíve looked at. Around 1985/6 I recall trying to see if the perhaps 50? couples I had known and had data for had the more cook bookie type 'compatible' connections. Such as element similarities, Sun/Mon/Asc // Ven/Mars contacts, 7th house connections ÖÖÖ..No science/objective data here!

Where we differ is in your perception that just blind charts can tell you the amount of information you require, or an astrologer would require, to know who is and isn't compatible to the extent they would sign up for a test of this type. Out of curiosity which astrologers, alive today, do you think would agree with you?
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 563
Location: Canada

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My last message on this board appears to have been deleted, and I was just notified that I received a PM but it is not in my inbox. If anyone knows why, I would appreciate an explanation.
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Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Waybread, I had sent you a link and when I tried to edit it later, which is still possible if the receiver hasn't opened the pm, I accidentally deleted it. I wanted to send you the link concerning my last post about the biographies on astrology-and-science but I felt a bit too tired to keep on continuing the discussion in the thread, I'll send it later. sorry for the inconvenience. Sorry, got to go now.
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Richard Vetter



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 54
Location: Offenburg, Germany

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard Vetter wrote:
"The subjective and projective character of astrology" -
http://www.astrologicalassociation.com/pdfs/TOC/11-01.pdf


Sorry, I forgot: The English version can be read here:
http://astroinfo.astrologix.de/erkennt/subjPro/subjProGB.htm
_________________
http://astroinfo.astrologix.de/english.htm
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Eddy



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 922
Location: Netherlands

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the last few weeks when I took more distance from the subject, I realized the value of different perspectives. I still acknowledge the value of statistics and the negative esults of these surely do have an effect on my views on astrology, but in dissecting every word of other reactions I left little space for othersí views.

I therefore feel that I pushed the discussion too far. Iím sorry for that and my apologies to those involved and to others affected by it.
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