Atlantis Online

Ancient Knowledge, Mysticism & Sacred Beliefs => The Ancient Arts: Astrology, Alchemy, the Tarot, Arcane Recondite Practices & the I Ching => Topic started by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 01:22:41 pm

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 01:22:41 pm

The 21st Century and the New Age - Future Skills, Future Knowledge, Future Worlds

by Robert Wilkinson

Today we explore elements of skills and realizations we "truth seeking Souls" will need in the decades to come. The Earth and humanity are on a "path of return," but it won't happen like magic, and we have an important part to play in restoring sustainability to our world. Though the times ahead will bring us radical change, we can begin to learn what we need to be effective in the years to come.

This is a follow up to yesterday's article "The 21st Century - An Age in Transition." If you haven't already, you may want to read or re-read that article to get the broader context of what we're addressing here. And from another angle of examination, you may want to reconsider what I wrote in The Future of the 21st Century - Percephone and Divine Mother Energy as the backdrop to humanity's "path of return."

Though sometimes the "past is prologue," usually current opinions about things are not adequate to address future consequences of present destructive behaviors. Most of those who hold the power in our present world are short-sighted, narrowly self-interested, and fear-based in their opinions and behaviors. These attitudes and choices are productive of problems, not solutions. So what are some things to focus on that will produce solutions and personal effectiveness in the years to come?

First, one caveat. As we move through these uncertain times filled with speculations based in fear-based ignorance and superstition, remember that all future-oriented thinkers and actors have been derided by the "common knowledge" of the day (think Noah here!) So consider the source when you're confronted by people who are fundamentally ignorant of potential consequences of what's happening in the present. If you can explain, fine. If they resist, if your relationship warrants the effort, try to reframe it using their understanding, since the practice of patience and compassion can yield movement from the unreal toward the real.

However, if they attack or mock your insights, don't waste a minute trying, since many minds are like steel traps - tightly closed, and when temporarily open can kill or maim you if you wander into them. And if they don't volunteer productive alternatives, then they lack imagination and probably can't be persuaded anyway. We cannot make another understand anything they are determined not to understand, and it's made more difficult if their livelihood depends on their not understanding it. And usually people only "get it" not when they see the light, but when they feel the heat.

I have found that whatever is coming will necessitate us learning the principles of synthesis, economy of energy, and magnetic attraction, blended in the roles of seed carriers, bridge builders, and renovators. We will learn that dualistic arguments, victimizing emotional attitudes, and random wasteful destructive behaviors are productive of problems rather than solutions. And of course, we will also learn (in the words of Dr. Benjamin Franklin) that "we must all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Our system of evolution involves the principles of force realization, force application, and force utilization. One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge. This is why it's important to learn as much as we can about whatever we care about, and then find ways and times to practice and apply those realizations.

We learn much in our experience which enables us to judge when something needs to be applied differently, or not at all, or adjusted to the specifics of circumstances. Those who do not know of such things are not reliable sources of feedback, any more than a child scared of the dark can be trusted to know the principles of light and shadow. So again, when confronted by those who do not know what you know, or who do not recognize the value of what solutions you're trying to bring forth, consider the source, be as patient and compassionate as the situation requires, and stay centered in your integrated awareness.

There are other factors that can assist us in dealing with the radical evolutionary changes to come, but those are for future articles. Until then, ponder on some of what I've posted here, since there are seeds of future effectiveness that can be claimed through the practice of some of the principles outlined here. Aum Namah Shivaya!

© Copyright 2007 Robert Wilkinson

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 01:28:04 pm

Astrology, Patriarchy and Postmodernism
by Bill Sheeran

Note: This article was first published in 'The Mountain Astrologer' (Issue #84, April/May 1999).


There was a time in the not too distant past when astrology stopped making sense. After two thousand years, a whole cosmology unravelled in the space of a couple of life times. Astrology was ejected from its safe cocoon, supplanted by cold metallic Reason and the new occult force of Gravity. In the academic institutions of the West it became a subject unfit for study, and over three centuries later, the situation still holds. But despite this prolonged exclusion from the officially sanctioned world view, astrology is still alive within the culture, albeit in a somewhat malnourished state. Restricted access to a wide range of resources and facilities over a prolonged period of time has had its effects, particularly in terms of research and the establishment of solid institutions. Counterbalancing this is the unprecedented amount of astrology-related activity evident today, whether in terms of client work, book and journal publishing, or presence on the Internet. Even so, in the context of western society, astrology exists in a kind of ghetto, ostracised, misrepresented and on the margins.

Although efforts have been made to validate astrology in objective terms using the methods of science (thereby rendering it generally acceptable), they have not been very successful so far. As an interpretative craft, the practice of astrology entails a high degree of subjective evaluation. The literalism of scientific objectivity is not well suited to modelling symbol systems such as astrology. From a conventional scientific perspective, it is almost impossible for astrology to fulfil the criteria which would attest to its reality. And yet astrology is a very resilient feature of humanity's subjective experience. An alternative approach would be to attempt to formulate a theoretical or philosophical understanding of the nature of astrology uncoupled from the literalism of science, and based on the evidence of that subjective experience (i.e. on its own terms). The manifestations of astrology in the past as well as the present, in both western and non-western cultures, provide a huge amount of material from which to distil conceptual models.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:29:55 pm

The Value of Conceptual Models

Why bother with conceptual models? After all, astrology is a craft whose value and application does not hinge on its rationalisation. One answer to that question is that we live in a culture and time when blind faith is not enough - we like things to make sense. This does not mean that astrology has to be explained according to universal laws defined by orthodoxy. There is a middle way between rational objectivity and individual subjective fancy. It is possible for something to make sense non-rationally, for it to feel OK in terms of the logic of imagination. From this point of view, conceptual models are not literal representations of phenomena, but instead act as metaphors which carry explanatory power. Such metaphorical models mediate understanding, and evolve through experience, becoming consolidated through consensus. Most importantly they also facilitate the communication of astrology's nature in a way that makes sense to the imagination - it becomes conceivable. There are aspects of life (and astrology) which are impervious to reason, but which assume a degree of clarity when considered non-rationally.

Another reason for developing conceptual models is that they provide a framework within which astrologers can discuss and debate the merits of approaches or techniques (both old and new) as a complement to empirical observation. With the possible exception of Jungian ideas about synchronicity and divination, which have proved to be very useful for psychological astrology in particular, such theoretical constructions are thin on the ground. The absence of conceptual frameworks puts astrologers on the defensive when challenged, inducing an insecurity which becomes globally visible as flame wars on the Internet discussion groups, or locally as the frequent animosity which can erupt between individual astrologers who embrace different and seemingly mutually exclusive approaches. And of course such an absence provides critics of astrology with all the fun of a turkey shoot. It is also intellectually dissatisfying to have to live with a situation where internal inconsistencies such as the myriad of house systems, a handful of zodiacs, or the question of hypothetical planets remain unaddressed simply for want of a framework within which they can be usefully debated. At this stage it is pretty clear that quantitative science alone cannot provide that framework, and other strategies need to be developed.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:31:24 pm

Questioning Absolutes

As it happens, in this century the aspiration of achieving an absolute and objective scientific definition of reality has been severely dented [1]. Increasingly, it is being recognised that it is impossible to escape the "contaminating" influence of subjectivity and imagination, and that the conceptual modelling of reality is rooted in a wide range of variables which together constitute the "cognitive landscape" of our culture. Today, the pole position is still given to rational logic and scientific methodology, which of course has a potent value. However, these are nevertheless bound to cultural determinants (such as physical embodiment, language, history, mythology, religion, philosophy, climate, geographical location, etc.) which at the very least modulate which questions will be asked and which answers are acceptable. The modelling of reality does not happen in a cultural vacuum [2].

More generally, the current expanding post-modern sensibility promotes a liberation from the constraints of absolutes and certainty. Central to the Modern world view is the idea that there are authoritative over-arching theories which provide universal explanations (e.g. Marxism, religions, scientific "theories of everything", etc.). This is being seriously questioned by post-modern philosophers. One of the problems highlighted is the extent of exclusion, intolerance and cultural bias implicit in such authoritarian perspectives. This has been as much an issue for astrology as it has for the barely tolerated world views which have emerged from non-western cultures. The shift away from attachment to universal absolutes is in its infancy, and creates many problems which are ably highlighted by critics of postmodernism. It is beyond the scope of this article to enter into the various arguments. However, the genie is out of the bottle, and certain conceptual bridges have been crossed which set the scene for cultural evolution during the next century [3].

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:34:15 pm

Astrology is a Social Activity

This destabilisation has implications for astrology. First of all, it promises to absolve astrologers from feeling driven to validate astrology in terms of the current dogmas of orthodox thinking, which are largely defined by science. On the other hand, it puts pressure on astrologers to develop their own theories, ones which makes sense both internally and within a broad cultural context that can embrace diversity. It also implies that astrology itself is not necessarily the expression of a closed set of fixed and timeless truths. The form it takes in any given era and culture is grounded in the appropriate cognitive landscape. In other words, what astrology means, its structural elements, the way it is practised, its social function, etc., are open to evolution. Obviously, this does not mean that it can be re-invented willy-nilly - it has a lineage and tradition which sustains it like the roots of a tree, and which has substantial and lasting value. On the other hand, astrology is first and foremost a human societal activity, and is not to be literally equated with the phenomena it studies. It could perhaps be partially defined as the evolving record of humanity's efforts to model a subjectively experienced phenomenon - the correlation between celestial rhythms and the rhythms of life on Earth. If the shift towards a post-modern perspective becomes further consolidated in the next century, what forms will astrology take on as it evolves in response to the profound cultural changes we have witnessed during this one?

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:35:44 pm

Cultural Bifurcations

This is a big question. In beginning to address it, it makes sense to start with a highly simplistic overview. In relation to the history of astrology, I'd like to propose three major periods of transition, or cultural bifurcations. They coincide with the invention of the wheel (circa 4000-3000 B.C.E.) [4], the beginning of the scientific revolution (circa 16th-17th centuries), and the latter half of the 20th century, correlating with the Pre-Modern, the Modern and the Post-Modern eras respectively. Each period represents a broad cultural backdrop within which astrology has had an evolving social presence. A key point I wish to make below is that despite the crisis which the Modern era has created for astrology, it nevertheless shares common ground with the Pre-Modern era in that both give a dominant expression to the desire for order, combined with a positive rejection of chaos (the formless, unfathomable well spring from which order emerges). In the current Post-Modern era this symmetry seems to be breaking in significant ways, which has implications for the astrology of the future.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:37:28 pm

Astrology and the Pre-Modern Era

The investing of meaning and power in celestial bodies goes back beyond the time of the earliest written mythologies of Sumer (circa 3,000 BCE) into the mists of prehistory. The discovery of the wheel (and the consequent ability to transport large amounts of foodstuffs to central storage points) facilitated an agrarian revolution and the beginnings of urbanisation. This helped to nurture the emergence of what is called patriarchy, a process which slowly got underway in the general period of 5000-3000B.C.E. in the region of what is now Iraq and its surrounding territory, maturing fully during the following two millennia [5]. Patriarchy was originally a social system geared towards the creation of stable societies, uniform social ideals and cultural traditions, economic growth, the protection of the communal harvest, etc.. In such a social context, order becomes a primary virtue. In keeping with the premise that the form which astrology takes is to a degree culturally determined, one can imagine that the shift from nomadic to agrarian to urban life styles would have an impact in this regard. Without wishing to deny its earlier manifestations, the recognisable form of the astrology we practice is largely based on the blending of Mesopotamian astral divination with Greek mathematics and astronomy from approximately the 6th century B.C.E onwards in the Pre-Modern era. This places its roots firmly in the period when patriarchy already held sway in the Mediterranean region.

For 2000 years, astrology featured as an integral part of the European cultural map. As a system it mediated understanding on a cosmological level, and in relation to climate, health, politics, relationships, etc. It was consistent  to one extent or another with the philosophies of major figures such as Plato and Aristotle, and their later champions such as Thomas Aquinas in the medieval period. Naturally, it provoked argument, whether along populist vs esoteric or judicial vs. natural astrology lines, etc. The encroachment of blatant superstition into astrology has also been a perennial focus for criticism, and still is today. However, the outcome of such debates rarely entailed a complete denial of  astrology. Instead a serious critique of underlying suppositions and some of the practical applications of astrology ensued (especially in relation to divinatory astrology). Nonetheless, a precursor to astrology's fall from grace and the birth of modern astronomy was the division during the Renaissance between those who perceived astrology in more objective terms ("mathematical or scientific astrology"), and those who had strong subjectivist leanings [6].

This division became more polarised during the cultural bifurcation that separated the Modern from the Pre-Modern era, and which saw the launch of two highly significant and characteristic developments. One of these was the formulation of scientific method, a logical approach to experimentation with a view to establishing objective truth. The other was the emergence of the doctrine of materialism. This held that whatever exists is either matter, or entirely dependant on matter for its existence.  Astrology wilted in the face of these new truth criteria. It became stranded on the receding cliffs of the Pre-Modern worldview, submitting without a murmur in a strikingly short period of time. Astrology stopped making sense, inducing a "cognitive dissonance" among those embracing the new perspectives. This mutual alienation has created the illusion of complete separation between the old and the new.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:38:53 pm

Astrology and the Modern Era

Astrology in the west had a pretty rough ride during the 18th and 19th centuries [7]. Enlightenment thinking sought to subject all received wisdom to the gaze of reason, and to banish the darkness of superstition or enslavement to belief. Astrology could not withstand the interrogation. The ideology of individual freedom paradoxically resided alongside the mechanistic determinism of Newtonian physics, to the detriment of older concepts of astral determinism. The concept of linear progress took hold, prompting an conscious distancing from the traditions of the past. Initially, those who continued to practice astrology adopted a resolutely anti-Modern stance. The dehumanising impact of the industrial revolution, materialism and rationalism, eventually provoked a Romantic reaction in the 19th century. Apart from the outpourings from artists, poets, writers, musicians, etc., an interest in the esoteric and sublime took hold. The quest for "higher truths" counter-balanced the search for material truths. This quintessentially Neptunian response to the excesses of the Uranian Enlightenment produced the Theosophical movement. Its doctrinal blend of Hindu and Neo-Platonic elements provided a fertile ground for the re-emergence of astrology in the Modern era.

However, the new shift in the cognitive landscape during those centuries had an impact, and debates between the more objectively oriented astrologers influenced by Modern ideas and those who operated within the confines of Theosophy started to flow. Typical examples of objectively inclined practitioners include 19th century astrologers A.J.Pearce and Richard Garnett [8]. They attempted to assimilate Enlightenment thinking by advancing the notion of astrology as an applied mathematical science. Both were avid critics of theosophical astrology. They were in the minority though, and the more esoterically toned astrology was the one which asserted itself in the early years of this century. Since the 1940s, the Modern impulse has made a greater impression, whether it be through the work of cosmobiologists such as  Rheinhold Ebertin, the beginnings of research as encapsulated by projects such Cyril Fagan's elaboration of siderealism, the statistical research of the Gauquelins, etc.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:40:10 pm

The Common Ground between Astrology and Science

Although astrology fell from favour during the Modern era, it has been influenced by the currents of the period. Apart from the practical and psychological effects of exclusion and rejection (which in my opinion still echo in the form of an inferiority complex and a difficulty in engaging in the process of self-criticism), the influence of scientific thinking on the one hand, and the reactionary subjectivism of Theosophy on the other, are both evident in 20th century astrology. One could also argue that the lack of a tradition of theoretical or conceptual modelling in contemporary astrology is a legacy of Enlightenment exclusion. However, on probing beneath the surface, it soon becomes clear that despite the crisis of transition between the Pre-Modern and Modern eras, some things remained unchanged.

There is a bridge between the Pre-modern and Modern worlds, constructed from the highly influential philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. The impact of these two philosophers on the evolution of ideas in the west is hard to overestimate, and they provide the twin pillars upon which science and mathematics rest. Astrology is also compatible with these same philosophies. Although they may have engaged on the battlefield 350 years ago, astrology and Modern science are bonded on a deep philosophical level, one which relates to giving primacy to order and structure over evolution and process.

From a Platonic point of view, celestial movements were considered the perfect example of uniform motion, absolutely orderly, predictable, and unchanging within a permanent cosmos. Astrology was the expression of a temporal bridge between the ideal and harmonious planetary spheres and the phenomenal world of  discord and cyclic change here on earth. It was a "rational" means of revealing the hidden order underlying the imperfect world of illusory appearances and change perceived through our deceptive senses [9].

According to the perceptions of Newtonian physics, nature and the cosmos are machine-like - totally determined physical systems which are understandable using the logic and methodology of mathematics and science. We only have to find out what the Laws are to bring Plato's ideal cosmos into light.

The cosmological models may have changed in the wake of the Copernican Revolution, but the essential message stayed the same - the cosmos is stable and orderly. As a consequence, astrology and science thus share one striking feature in common. They are both predictive disciplines; because orderliness implies predictability. On the other hand, the natural world of the senses is anything but orderly. For both astrology and science, Nature is the realm of chaos, the perceived enemy of cosmos. Revealing the hidden order amidst the chaos was the goal, and Reason was the tool for the job (combined in the Modern era with experimentation). Whether dressed in the garb of astrological or scientific logic, the goal was the shared.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:41:28 pm

Patriarchy and Order

It has been argued by Riane Eisler (among others) that patriarchy rose to prominence at the expense of pre-patriarchal culture from about 4,000B.C.E. onwards [10]. What was once a "partnership" society (agricultural, goddess worshipping, and in partnership with nature) was gradually replaced by a "dominator" society (more warlike, god worshipping and dedicated to dominating and controlling nature). By the time Babylon began to flourish, the newer patriarchal mindset was firmly entrenched and the striving for order and predictability to the exclusion of chaos and the unpredictable assumed significance. The goal of dominating Nature and exploiting her resources (still a key aspect of science and technology) unfolded. This is represented in the myths from the time. In the period of transition between matrifocal and patriarchal culture, the Babylonian story of the defeat of Tiamat (representing the forces of chaos and the unpredictable) by Marduk (representing the forces of order and the predictable) assumed its form. Apart from reflecting the emerging supremacy of patriarchy, this myth could also be interpreted as mirroring a deep seated psychological preference for order, born out of an existential fear or anxiety in the face of the wild forces of Nature. It is not unreasonable to suggest that this anxiety is a consequence of the human capacity for self-reflection and self-awareness. As described in the biblical myth of the Fall, we are chronically aware of mortality, suffering, the possibility of illness, the threat posed by elemental forces, etc., none of which induces a sense of ease. The notion that this might generate an anticipatory consciousness with a view to avoiding such possibilities is reasonable. I would suggest that astrology and science are both legacies from this drive. The self-reflective aspects of consciousness not only fostered an existential anxiety, but also facilitated experientially based learning. The project of exploiting nature's resources, of imposing order on her, slowly gathered momentum, complementing the urge to anticipate the future. One could argue that an amplifiying feedback loop between these two consequences of  self-consciousness contributed significantly to the eventual emergence of patriarchy.

What I am suggesting here is that contemporary astrology and science, for all their differences, are branches on the same tree, one which has its roots in patriarchy. Both emphasise order, structure and predictability, and both feel uncomfortable with the unpredictable and the unfathomable. Whether it is astrology or science (or for that matter western religion), the underlying motive is shared - salvation from the forces of chaos. They describe differing approaches to conceptualising the desire for order. Ultimately the quest is the same - the alleviation of existential anxiety through the identification of universal and absolute principles which act in a "law-like" predictable fashion. When the cultural bifurcation happened in the 16th and 17th centuries, to whatever extent astrology was a primary vehicle for predicting and attuning to cosmic law and order, in her demise she surrendered her baton to classical science.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:43:32 pm

Separation from Nature

Astrology gave primacy to celestial movements - the heavens above were the paragon of perfection, the residence of the deities, while the realm of life was one of corruption and decay. What we do not have here is an equality between above and below. Nature was seen in a negative light. Although Modern philosophy and science brought the focus back down to earth, putting the human back in the centre, the consequence has paradoxically been an even greater alienation from Nature. It became an "object" - inert, lifeless matter to be tamed, conquered, exploited, etc. The unpredictability evident in the natural world was seen as aberrant, and merely in need of clarification. The rational abstractions of the laws of physics, the DNA code, or astrological patterns provide the keys to clarity.

In recent times, it has become increasingly clear that the unpredictability in the natural world may be innate. The paradigm of clockwork predictability has virtually disintegrated. The concept of an orderly, stable and predictable cosmos which has reflected the desires of humanity for over 3000 years no longer holds water. This is appropriately represented by the changing perceptions of the solar system from Ptolemy to the present (Table 1)

Ptolemy earth centred perfect stable predictable Pre-Modern
Copernicus sun centred perfect stable predictable Pre-Modern / Modern
Galileo [11] sun centred imperfect stable predictable Modern
Newton [12] sun centred imperfect stable? predictable? Modern
Einstein [13] no centre imperfect stable? predictable? Modern/Post-Modern
Hubble [14] no centre imperfect expanding predictable? Modern/Post-Modern
1998 [15] no centre imperfect expanding? unpredictable Post-Modern

Today, stars die just like humans. Instability, unpredictability, and decay are as much a feature of the cosmos as they are of life on Earth. As below, so above. This new sense of equality born out of science cracks Platonic idealism wide open, and by a kind of ironic default reinstates Nature to a position equivalent to that which it held in pre-patriarchal days. One of partnership. At least this would seem to be the implication, one which is given support by the emergence for the first time of a conscious environmental awareness focused on care and protection rather than dominance and exploitation. We are living through a radical change in the cognitive landscape of our culture, the reverberations of which will affect astrology as much as anything else.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:45:10 pm

Order and predictability in the Post-Modern Era

In considering the evolution of astrology into the next century, it seems we have a key here to exploring possible conceptual models. Two factors present themselves for re-appraisal - prediction and the importance of context. In fact, these are both inter-related.

In the past, the prevailing mechanistic paradigm promoted the notion that understanding the behaviour of a system was solely dependant on analysing its structure and applying the known laws of physics. The whole is no more than the sum of its parts, and the context which the system operates in is unimportant. This is true for a machine, but it doesn't work very well for organisms, which interact with (and are dependant on) their context or environment. This machine metaphor once so important to science can also be recognised within astrological practice, although it has fluctuated in strength over the last few decades. It is present in the idea that analysing the structure of the horoscope is the sole key to understanding the behaviour and experience of the native. It is implicit in the rules of horary as traditionally applied, and is enjoying a degree of revival among those who are interested in predicting the moment of death, for example.

In the new post-mechanistic (and holistic) paradigm, equal weight is given to the context as to the structure. To use an analogy from science, one will look in vain for the genetic pattern indicating a predisposition to malnutrition in the chromosomes of a starving child in the Sudan. It is the dynamics of the context which play the major determining role. Similarly, from an astrological point of view, the static structure of the horoscope cannot be isolated from the context to which it refers. This may seem obvious to many astrologers, but it has several major implications (not least the fact that when an astrologer interprets a chart, he or she becomes part of the context). Prediction also comes under scrutiny. The uniform motion of the planets may be predictable to all intents and purposes, but the dynamic processes in life (i.e. the dynamics of the context) are not. This has become quite clear from the models and insights which have emerged from non-linear science [16]. As these become more established in western conceptualisations of reality, astrology could do worse than look for cues from that direction, especially as astrology's predictive record leaves much to be desired. The fundamental point in this regard is that Nature is the matrix through which astrological potential manifests as opposed to that which it acts upon - structure (i.e. information potential implicit in the horoscope) is subordinated to process. In order to understand prediction, one has to embrace the innate unpredictability vested in the dynamics of the context. This shifts the perspective from predicting final "event states" independent of context to predicting behaviour based on an understanding of contextual dynamics. Two complementary but opposing themes inter-penetrate. Predictive power decreases with the degree of specificity one wishes to attain, but increases in proportion to the amount of contextual information at hand. The bottom line would seem to be that predictive certainty is unattainable. There is a lot to be said for formulating an "unpredictability principle" in astrology, for seeing predictive potential as a spectrum that runs from strong to weak, or establishing the concept of a "predictability horizon" beyond which predictive hopelessness sets in.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:46:40 pm

Postmodernity and 21st Century Astrology

One of the ironies of the Modern era, so enamoured with structure and order, is that its apotheosis as Modernism resulted in increased abstraction, and eventually the disintegration of structure. In science, the smashing of the atom, relativity and quantum theories; in literature, Joycean streams of consciousness and free form poetry; in art, abstract expressionism and the blank white canvas; in music, John Cage's silent piano piece or the "atonal noise" of modern compositions, etc. In some respects this can be seen as a logical consequence of the pursuit of objectivity combined with the ideology of linear progress (Enlightenment ideals), which together require continual separation from both the influence of  the past and of context. The fact that no one can actually listen to the music is unimportant, the fact that modernist architecture is ugly and unsuitable for living or working in is unimportant, etc. The selection pressure for reaction against the excesses of soul-less modernism eventually reached breaking point.

Paralleling this retreat from soul-fullness (receptivity to context) has been the gradual emergence of its opposite. This is most obvious in the re-appraisal of the feminine which has gathered momentum throughout the century; the evolution of ecological and environmental consciousness; the development of process thinking and systems theory, which necessitates the addressing of context; and the new mathematics and science of complexity and chaos. The communications and information revolution has broken down barriers which once helped to sustain cultural exclusion of the "Other", the foreign, the unfamiliar. Postmodernity is the name given to the cultural expression of the consequences of these developments. Key features include the abandoning of the quest for universal truths and absolutes, the dissolving of value hierarchies (whereby, for example, western cultural perspectives are seen as superior to others), the embracing of cultural diversity, media phenomena such as the Internet, non-linear storylines in literature and film, a re-appraisal of the past, and on. [17]

Astrology is hardly likely to remain unaffected by these changes, and already shows many signs of the influence of postmodernism. Most clearly, this manifests as the ease with which astrologers engage in the use of new techniques in the absence of any "traditional" rationale, the assumption of symbolic significance for every new rock discovered circling the Sun, the eclectic blending of astrological techniques from different cultures, the vitality of astrology's presence on the Internet, etc. Even the many valuable translations of ancient texts currently underway indicate a movement beyond Modernism, which characteristically belittled the value of the past.

While this is likely to have a vitalising impact on astrology, there are problems to be negotiated. First and foremost is the question of relativism. Critics of postmodernism argue that if the pursuit of absolute objectivity is abandoned, then the situation disintegrates into a subjective fog. In other words, a situation pertains where truths become distilled down to whatever one feels subjectively to be the case. From this point of view, truths have no core, no inertia, no collective dimension. There are counter-arguments which one can put forward against this view, and which also surmount the dilemmas of relativism, but they are beyond the scope of this article. What is clear is that a re-evaluation of the nature of truth is underway, and what is important is that astrologers start thinking about these issues.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:48:06 pm


The post-modern sensibility reflects a radical shift in the collective psyche, or cognitive landscape. To my mind it highlights a symmetry breaking process in relation to the urges underlying patriarchally based thinking. Post-modern commentators are fond of writing articles with titles like "The Death of the Author", "The End of History", etc., which reflect this cathartic transformation. Given contemporary astrology's patriarchal roots, perhaps we are witnessing the Death of Astrology. But of course, this is a precursor phase in the process of rebirth. The onus is on astrologers to take on the difficult task of re-visioning its conceptual basis and to construct models which can flourish rather than wither in the emerging cognitive ground. This does not mean throwing out techniques, abandoning the experience of millennia, etc.. It's not the application that is the primary problem. It is the conceptual framework or theoretical/philosophical foundation on which the applied craft is based which needs to be addressed. The psychologically comforting and orderly "closure" promised in the past by Saturn in the form of Law and structured inevitability now has to bend to the opposing current of freedom, change and insecurity, as symbolised by the outer planets. Structure (being) is subordinated to process (becoming), a reversal of the previous norm, allowing an evolutionary potential into the system.

In a mythological sense, we are witnessing the resurrection of Tiamat. The cultural re-embracing of chaos and the unknowable currently underway presents an imperative to consciously re-negotiate the form our astrology takes within the new post-patriarchal framework. Unless this happens, astrology will make even less sense in the future than it does in the present.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:50:48 pm


[1]  An accessible overview of  various philosophical perspectives on science's claims to objectivity can be found in What is this thing called Science? , A.F.Chalmers, The Open University Press, Milton Keynes, England, 1978. For a classic critique of the supposed rational objectivity of science, see The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas S.Kuhn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1970. « Text

[2]  In Metaphors We Live By, G.Lakoff, M.Johnson, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1980 forceful arguments are made promoting the idea that truth is always relative to a conceptual system defined by metaphors, which themselves are culturally determined. The concept of absolute and objective truth is considered as a western cultural myth. « Text

[3]  For a good and readable introduction to postmodernism, see The Icon Critical Dictionary of Postmodern Thought, edited by Stuart Sim, Icon Books, Cambridge, England, 1998. « Text

[4]  Chaos Gaia Eros, Ralph Abraham, Harper Collins, New York, 1994  chapter 13, pp 157-167 gives a chronology of the wheel. « Text

[5]  See The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler, Harper & Row, New York, 1987. « Text

[6]  Astrology in the Renaissance: The Zodiac of Life, Eugenio Garin, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1983 presents arguments from the Renaissance period. « Text

[7]  For an informative and entertaining discussion of astrology and astrologers in Britain during the Victorian and Edwardian period, see A Confusion of Prophets, Patrick Curry, Collins & Brown, London, 1992. « Text

[8]  A Confusion of Prophets, pp 109-121. « Text

[9]  Time in History, G.J.Whitrow Oxford University Press, England, 1989, pp 41-42. « Text

[10]  The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler, Harper & Row, New York, 1987. « Text

[11]  The use of the telescope rapidly made clear that the solar system did not conform to the Platonic ideal of perfection. « Text

[12]  In the wake of the discovery of Newton's laws of motion, much effort was expended trying to mathematically prove that the solar system was stable, and therefore predictable. This proved to be impossible. See Newton's Clock: Chaos in the Solar System, Ivars Peterson, W.H.Freeman & Co. New York 1993, pp 143 -169. « Text

[13]  Einstein's theories raise questions about privileged positions such as fixed centres. « Text

[14]  Hubble demonstrated that the universe was expanding. « Text

[15]  The solar system exhibits chaotic dynamics over long time frames. See Newton's Clock: Chaos in the Solar System, chapter 11 pp 247-270. « Text

[16]  See In the Wake of Chaos: Unpredictable Order in Dynamical Systems, Stephen H.Kellern, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1994. « Text

[17]  See The Icon Critical Dictionary of Postmodern Thought, ed. Stuart Sims. « Text

Note: Bill Sheeran has been practising astrology professionally since 1986. He is a former editor of 'Réalta', the journal of the Irish Astrological Association which he instigated and produced between 1994-97. Particular fields of interest include mundane astrology, problems of astrological philosophy and practice, and collecting information about Irish astrologers from past eras. Bill can be contacted via e-mail:

To cite this page:
Bill Sheeran: Astrology, Patriarchy and Postmodernism
All rights reserved © 1999-2002 Bill Sheeran

Centre Universitaire de Recherche en Astrologie
Web site Designer & Editor: Patrice Guinard
© 1999-2002 Dr. Patrice Guinard

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 02:58:57 pm

Chaos Theory and Early 21st Century Astrology*
by Karen Steen, Astrologer


A Thumbnail Sketch of Chaos Theory
     Chaos Theory (1, 2) is considered the science of wholeness. It describes laws that govern whole systems, from economics and weather to thought patterns and social change. Chaos Theory observes that when systems reach their inevitable limits of equilibrium, forces termed Strange Attractors generate turbulence throughout the system. This turbulence intensifies over time and leads to a bifurcation, or split, in the structure of the system. The characteristics of a bifurcation then provide the basis for new systemic order and dynamic equilibrium.
     Chaos Theory is a useful model with which to understand the dynamics underlying current global developments. Our modern civilization appears to have reached its limits of equilibrium within nature and between cultures. Global climate change and limited natural resources - especially fossil fuels and the phenomenon of peak oil production(3) - are acting as Strange Attractors, creating increasing turbulence in ecological and sociopolitical systems worldwide. Astrological indicators now and toward 2020 are for intensified turbulence and possibly bifurcation in our environmental, socioeconomic, and political systems.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 03:02:52 pm

Astrological Overview 1980 - 2020
     Now and toward the year 2020, we are in transition within several major astrological cycles and subcycles.  The meeting of Jupiter and Saturn in 1980 and 2000 heralded a transition within their 800 year cycle together of global sociopolitical, cultural, and economic developments (4).  Their current subcycle transition is from an emphasis on material development since 1842, to an emphasis on global social development - that of ideas, information, communication, and relationships - for the coming 200 years. This emerging development theme will be substantially defined by 2020 (Jupiter/Saturn Mutation Conjunction in Air), and it will continue into the 23rd Century.

     Since 1995 and until 2008, Pluto’s travel through Sagittarius corresponds to transformation of established belief systems, world views (including humanity’s place in nature), and international relations. Such a transformation is necessary to cultivate a planetary culture and sustain a burgeoning global population. Historic events in 2000 and 2001 that corresponded to Jupiter and Saturn opposing Pluto (5, 6, 7) were crucial challenges for transforming established world views. People of developed nations worldwide, and many developed nations’ governments, responded to these challenges with progressive values for peace, socioeconomic justice, and environmental preservation - values necessary to develop a sustainable planetary culture. Especially the US, Israel, and fundamentalist Islamic governments, however, have implemented reactionary policies of limited self-interests that are failing to meet humanity’s momentous challenges.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 03:04:18 pm

 The travel of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius in mutual reception (8) from 2003 - 2011, corresponds to emerging collective forces that are mediating the transitions of the above Jupiter/Saturn and Pluto cycles, and of two additional major astrological cycles. The 2,160 years Astrological Age defined by the Spring Equinox is now transitioning from Pisces to Aquarius. We are also near the completion of the current 5,126 years Mayan creation epoch that ends in 2012. Thus, the current Uranus/Neptune mutual reception bridges the changing Great Ages of Western astrology, and the old and new Mayan creation epochs. This Uranus/Neptune mutual reception should be fully appreciated - it corresponds to both inspired, innovative group and collective endeavors, and to ruthless sociopolitical ideology and mass deception. Such polarization characterizes many major global developments since 2003, and it may continue to characterize global socioeconomic and political developments for decades to come.

     Also yet to come are Pluto’s travel through Capricorn from 2008 - 2024, and the Cardinal Climax (9) of
2010 - 2015 .  These astrological events especially indicate a fundamental shift in world socioeconomic and political order, a shift analogous to bifurcation in Chaos Theory. To appreciate the potential correspondences of these coming Pluto events, consider their historic precedents. Pluto’s most recent passage through Capricorn was 1762 - 1778 - during that period, both the Industrial Revolution and the American Revolution began.  Also, a planetary pattern similar to the coming Cardinal Climax last occurred from 1930 - 1933, the years of the Great Depression and sociopolitical antecedents to World War II.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 03:06:03 pm

 Also yet to come are Pluto’s travel through Capricorn from 2008 - 2024, and the Cardinal Climax (9) of
2010 - 2015 .  These astrological events especially indicate a fundamental shift in world socioeconomic and political order, a shift analogous to bifurcation in Chaos Theory. To appreciate the potential correspondences of these coming Pluto events, consider their historic precedents. Pluto’s most recent passage through Capricorn was 1762 - 1778 - during that period, both the Industrial Revolution and the American Revolution began.  Also, a planetary pattern similar to the coming Cardinal Climax last occurred from 1930 - 1933, the years of the Great Depression and sociopolitical antecedents to World War II.

     To leave this overview on a positive note, recall that 2020 brings the Mutation Conjunction of Jupiter/Saturn in Aquarius. This conjunction fully establishes the 200 years global development theme that focuses civilization on ideas, information, communication, and relationships, a focus that carries into the 23rd Century. As I noted in my Summer 2001 and Fall 2002 articles, our responses and decisions now - as individuals and societies - are our collective future in the making.

*This article first appeared as Part I of ‘Astrological Highlights 2005: Churning of Strange Attractors’ on 12/30/2004. It was revised 1/10/05 to be a separate article and to provide a context for annual highlights in 2005 and the coming years.

Copyright 2005, Karen Steen. All rights reserved.

Post by: Bianca on August 18, 2007, 03:07:58 pm

1) Gleick, James. Chaos: Making A New Science. Viking Penguin, Inc.:  New York, New York. 1987.
2) Koval, Barbara. ‘The Art of Chaos’.  NCGR Journal: Spring-Summer 1999. National Council for Geocosmic Research: MA, USA. 1999.
3) Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas describes ‘peak oil’ and provides current information about the world’s rapidly dwindling oil and natural gas resources.
4) In their transit cycle together, Jupiter and Saturn are regarded by Western mundane astrology as the Great Chronocrators, rulers  of the ages. Their recurring 20-year conjunction (synodic cycle) is the basis of three historic cycles.  First, their 20-years synodic cycle corresponds to a focus of social, cultural, and economic developments. Second, successive Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions occur in the same element for 200 - 220 years, corresponding to historic themes of structured expansion (a Mutation Conjunction marks the entry of their cycle into a new element). Finally, the Great Cycle of Jupiter/Saturn is 800 - 860 years - it begins with their conjoining in early Aries, and corresponds to fundamental shifts in cultural and economic developments.
5) See Perspective as Power: Jupiter Opposes Pluto 2000-01 - Spring 2001 Astro Info Article. Discusses the first of Jupiter’s sequential oppositions to our outermost planets between 2000-03, this one associated with transforming righteousness to perspective.
6) See Saturn Opposes Pluto 2001-02:  Evolving Structures of Thought, Language, and Communication - Summer 2001     Astro Info Article. Written one month before the terrorist attacks on America, this article discusses the Saturn/Pluto opposition of 2001-03. Included are brief astrological explanations (Basic Delineation) and past historical correlation for this powerful transit.
7) See Current Events: Astrological Views of World Politics, Economy, and Culture - Fall 2001 Astro Info Article. Considers different astrological views - political, financial, psychological, and historical - on the global significance of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America and the ensuing War on Terrorism.
8) Mutual reception occurs when two planets occupy the signs of each others astrological rulership.
9) Cardinal Climax describes the critical astrological T-square pattern that will occur from 2010 - 2015 between Saturn in Libra, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn - each in the very early degrees of these Cardinal signs. We owe Raymond Merriman, Financial Astrologer extraordinaire, credit for this descriptive term.


 About the Astrologer…

Karen Steen is a consulting and teaching astrologer at Water Bearer Astrology & Consulting in NE Oregon.  She has practiced astrology since 1984, professionally since 2000. Karen is NCGR Level III Certified (Astrology), and holds a Master of Nursing from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University. Information about Karen's astrology practice and services is available at her web site

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 05:53:09 pm

                                                   To Think Astrology

"Astrology is a matter for philosophers." (Paul Valéry)

    Astrology is not born simply from the observation of the stars, but also from the astonishment of the ego before the spectacle of human diversity and the recognition of its otherness: why am I as I am, and not the same as this other?

Astrological awareness does not proceed from a two-fold assessment composed of exterior observation and introspection, but rather from an experience of a broader nature, exterior-interior, psychic and cognitive: in a single stroke I understand my being, that of others, the external world and their common roots in the stars.

One comes to astrology only by a sudden insight, rather like a revelation of a spiritual nature, followed then by an intuitive and intellectual recognition of the participation of every being in the cosmic order and the plenitude of the Universe.

    One does not learn astrology: one receives it suddenly, not only through the discovery of texts and practices which have been marginalized by an institutionalized knowledge which does not correspond to its aspirations, but above all because one has lived through a period where consciousness seeks, generally at the age of adolescence, to find a metamorphosis of its knowledge of the world and of itself.

On the other hand, one is taught not to "believe" in astrology, not to consider this centuries-old knowledge of the human being as pertinent to the totality of human experience, and to repudiate the superstitious and dubitable practices it involves. Astrology is not a matter of mental belief, nor of experiential verification, but rather of psychic adhesion: there exists a reality which affects us and which is not adequately expressed by the systems of representation which surround it.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 05:55:33 pm

To think astrology is to seek to define its status, to determine its foundations, its operative structures and its levels of articulation, to demarcate its limits and its arenas of application, to elucidate its anthropological perspectives.

Astrology sets itself apart from the ensemble of religious, philosophical and ideological discourses by reason of its continuity, its ubiquity, its capacity to endure and regenerate itself despite norms and cultural modes. Going across ages and civilizations, it continually renews its conceptual patterns, taking from its immediate cultural milieu what is necessary for its perpetuation. [1]  Despite the spiritual blindness and mental turbulence of the present age, astrology's object remains the same: the structuring relationship of the geo-solar environment to the psyche.

    Consciousness is embedded in a multitude of ideas, images, memories, information -- and misinformation -- which come from the outside world or result from its own inquietudes. The mental arena itself is the playing field for divergent orientations, conceptual eruptions and incessant agitation. Philosophical systems seek unification in the affirmation of a perspective or orientation special to consciousness.

That is why such systems differ so greatly from one another and, more often than not, reveal the temperament of their creator, as Nietzsche pointed out. Science -- which has invaded the terrain of a metaphysical speculation already moribund -- does not present a truly unified perspective on reality, but only offers instruments for analysis of the external world by means of the fragmentation of objects, measurements, and experiments made on phenomena.

It has substituted its disoriented objectivity for the orderly subjectivity of the philosophers.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 05:57:16 pm

Astrology logically admits of three postulations:

1. The world of facts, of the concrete, of things, of "experience," like the world of law, of words, of mental representations, appears to consciousness only by means of the presence of a primary world, psychic, internal, which receives those things and organizes them. The ideas of the mind are born only by reason of one's perceiving the exterior world through a qualified interiority. Psychic states are an inevitable substrate to things and to words.

2. This interior world is in perpetual motion, in continual innervation by the planetary cycles. This is why I call it psychic-astral, just as I call "impressional" (i.e., a pre-conscious awareness, from the term impressio of Paracelsus) the mark of this psychic impregnation made by astral agencies.

3. These pre-conscious awarenesses differentiate themselves through structures. This structuring of the psyche, at both individual and collective levels, occurs through four conditioning milieux: energetically through the planetary Forces, spatially through the Houses, temporally through the planetary Cycles, and structurally through the zodiacal Signs.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 05:59:21 pm

The organic integration of planetary rhythms, at the level of the nervous system or the genetic code, a fundamental hypothesis of astral reality, necessitates as a result a category of realities -- the pre-conscious awarenesses [impressionaux] or astral impressions -- which form the relationship of the astral to consciousness.

All one can say about an astral impression is that it leaves a fugitive trace in consciousness, an evanescent psychic coloration. To these pre-conscious awarenesses -- experienced directly or indirectly by consciousness but unproveable, imponderable, too tenuous to be exploited by the machinery of logical-experimental methodology -- are assigned archetypal forms [2] , symbolic or mythical, which resolve the psycho-mental disequilibrium created by the impossibility of fixing their characteristics.

The symbol has as its function to qualify these diaphanous entities, which escape all attempts at determination, and to supplement reason, which cannot give a full accounting of reality in its integrated totality. We shall not speak of influences -- a term which carries a physical connotation and contains the idea of a type of action exterior in origin -- but rather of incidence, that is to say, of a psychic, interior integration of astral origin.

    The astronomical signal is registered as a pre-conscious awareness and expressed as a symbol. The astral (i.e., the impressionaux) derives from the psychic; the astrological (i.e., symbols and operative structures) derives from the mental. The astral designates that which is felt, lived, "impressed" onto the psyche, perceived fleetingly, or "unperceived": the astrological is structured, conceptualized, modelled. This distinction is at the heart of the debate about the nature and practical implications of astrological knowledge.

    An irrational assumption, imaginary or improbable because it is inaccessible to the instruments of observation and unsusceptible to analysis by the the laws of causality, astrology -- that science of the imponderable, that awareness of the evanescent, that knowledge of the imperceptible -- does not derive from the psychic or the mental, but rather from their common root which lies "behind our eyes" (Paracelsus). Neither does it come from a Great Beyond, but rather from something "on this side of things," something intimate, our own, close to us, which nonetheless seems strange.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:02:28 pm

At the beginning of the 16th century astrology and astronomy were still both tributaries of the rationalization proposed by Ptolemy.

In 1543 Copernicus reoriented the astronomical perspective of his contemporaries (and it is unfortunate that his recommendations for economics did not meet with the same fate). A veritable "astrological revolution" occurred in the same period with the publication, five years before the appearance of Copernicus' treatise, of the Astronomia magna of Paracelsus, but the work passed unnoticed.

Philippus Bombastus, who died two years earlier than his elder colleague, was the instigator of this renaissance through his development of the doctrine of the inner star with its sky or firmament at once visual and invisible [3] , the existence of interior myths within each person, and the impressio, produced in each person through planetary influxes, an inward mark of the presence of the stars, and no longer a sign or cause deriving from the visible, factual exterior world.

In the manner of Copernicus with heliocentrism, Paracelsus did not invent his model, but rather discovered it anew. It is not improbable that Christianity's first intellectuals were especially intent on the extirpation of pagan writings, Pythagorean and Hermetic ones particularly, which appear only in a few very altered traces in the Adversus of the Fathers of the Church. And, just as in the case of Copernican heliocentrism, the astrological concepts of Paracelsus did not separate themselves entirely from their roots in antiquity (e.g., the circular orbits of the planets with Copernicus, and medical astrology with Paracelsus). Hard to break free from the hold of models nearly two thousand years old!

    Astrology's function is to determine the structural laws of interiority. In its practical application in horoscopy it is a tool for the comprehension of lived experience; like the Yi King (I Ching), it infuses experience with consciousness. It does not give an immediate effect of a visionary or divinatory nature, in the first instance because the practitioner is in no position to evaluate with certainty the weight of extra-astrological factors (e.g., biological, socio-cultural, familial, professional, climatic, etc. etc.), but more importantly because astral incidence does not operate at the level of fact, of events, of the existentially concrete, but rather at the level of their interior substrate.

Astrology acts on the relationship between what is felt and what is manifested. This is why a psycho-mental interpretation and a psychological explanation do not give a sufficient accounting of its nature. The notion of the pre-conscious awareness [impressional] liberates astrology from its servitude to an exterior psychology, be it psychoanalytic, behaviorist, phenomenological, gestaltist, existentalist or reflexologic. It is time for astrology to forge its own concepts.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:05:37 pm

                                                      Why Astrology?

"When there comes a glitch
in the thrumming of your philosophy,
when your destiny gets tripped up (...)
then there it is, the Big Question (...)
And here is eternal Astrology,
to which you are led by great wisdom --
even if a little bit of science leads you away from it."

(Léon-Paul Fargue: The Four Seasons)


    The technological idolatry of the modern world no longer favors contemplation of the starry skies, which still occupied Kant's solitary evenings. Instead one allows a sort of spell to be cast over one, or a kind of stupor or convulsive agitation, coming from the rebroadcast of a football game or some other television program. This does not involve the same category of "spectacle," nor, above all, the same quality of looking at things.

The filtering of our perception of reality implies a divestment of our natural relation to the world. A protective membrane separates us from things. The mediation of our relationship with reality, tailored to the specialization of our particular activity, engenders a massive uniformity of viewpoint, which becomes more obtuse the more it infiltrates into artificial needs. We are no longer seized by psychic and physical reality, but rather obsessed by our techniques of substitution. How could this loss of contact and this desensitization remain without effect upon the adequacy of our mental representations?

    One can admit following Kant's lead at least three facets to the idea of truth, as it is applied to language and discourse, to the objects of sensory experience, or to the faculties of the mind.

    Formal truth, a condition of truth both a priori and necessary, consists of the agreement of consciousness with itself, that is to say, in the logical organization of discourse and the coherent, non-contradictory agency of concepts and propositions. [4] 

    Experimental truth -- or material truth, relative to the contents of consciousness, to facts and empirical observations, whose criteria of validity is verification -- presupposes the possibility that the concepts of human understanding can indeed identify and describe the reality perceived by the senses, and can establish an adequate correspondence between thought and its objects.

    Transcendental truth, invented by Kant and according to him capable of saving metaphysics, does not concern itself with the objects of consciousness, but rather with thought in its capacity to know reality. It assumes that human understanding contains a faculty capable of emitting "pure" judgments, or "synthetic judgments a priori."

    Pure reason would contain within itself those principles which guarantee the correctness of ideas. Kantian idealist rationalism presupposes -- and illusorily so -- a human understanding free of all internal entrenchment and all external constraint, similar in that quality to common sense, or the Cartesian notion of "good sense", i.e., the innate faculty of the spirit which enables it to distinguish between the true and the false.

Now, if reason guarantees the correctness and coherence of mental representations, then it is because there necessarily exists an intelligibility inherent in reality, an implicit order of the totality, an indeterminate yet luminous foundation, anterior to the transparency of verbal representations as it is to the opacity of sensory manifestations.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:07:52 pm

Friedrich Jacobi developed the idea according to which no cognitive experience is truly independent of the "primordial instinct" (Grundtrieb) to be found in each person. Consciousness cannot be separated from its seat of vitality. For Nietzsche, an indeterminate instinctive force manifests itself through the activity of the mind: reason appears at all costs like a force which gnaws away at the roots of life. In the usual sense of the term, reason manifests in a mixture of evidence and opinions which appear "reasonable" within the context of a particular community; in a gathering together of received notions and habits of thought which refer back to normalized practices; in value judgments mortared onto what is socially and culturally acceptable; by the belief in a superficial conformity between verbal representations and the reality in fact perceived. To put it another way: reason is like "a horse running toward the stables." [5] 

    For Johann Hamann, a contemporary of Kant, there is no form of reason which is not anchored in individual "passions" and practices, subordinated to the values of a particular socio-cultural milieu, and subservient to the structures of language. A century later Wilhelm Dilthey developed this critique of Kantian reason and showed that consciousness also depends on psychic data and the diversity of psychological dispositions in the human being.

    Plato had already drawn attention to the perverse effects caused by the rhetoric of the Sophists, by the articifial cohesiveness of argumentation which contents itself with developing "philodox" opinions, and by the pointless debates spurred on by the inhabitants of "the Cave." This is why mythos has its place in Platonic philosophy, as it does with Herodotus, a place which its shares with a logos anterior to all demonstrations of "likelihood." [6]  This circumstance arises not because history and philosophy are incapable of liberating themselves from myth, but rather because myth is necessary to the construction of thought; there is no accomplishment or realization which does not preseve the primordial models, because myth was already an evolved form of philosophy and history.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:09:32 pm

Since Aristotle's time it has been commonplace to poke fun at representations of myth, which are labelled as products of an infantile or archaic humanity in the name of rationalist, long-winded thinking -- such is the attitude as late even as Hegel and the Positivists at the end of the 19th century -- as if myth did not itself proceed from an ordered coherence, which often leaves far behind it the rickety constructions of modern thought. It is commonly believed that mythic representations are no more than the stutterings of thought. Quite to the contrary: it was after long periods of sterile debate and exegesis that the human spirit, fatigued of "giving reasons," forged mythical thought.

    Astrology developed as a philosophical conception within the universe of the Stoics, and possibly of the first Pythagoreans, as well. It was the inheritor of the logos as well as of the mythos. Its object has never been the specific significations of astrological operands and figures, but rather, the search by means of those significators of their underlying structures and archetypal forms, psychic-astral in nature, experienced directly and inwardly by consciousness. Specific contents derive from the framework which produces them, harmonizes them or gives them meaning. This is why there are no typologies in astrology, but rather archetypologies.

These operative structures, inscribed on the psyche and animated by the periodicity of the planetary cycles, render possible the formation of "transcendental" ideas and give birth to ideational, symbolic and mythical representations, usually repressed by reason, the organization of which remains only at the surface of discourse.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:12:00 pm

Luigi Aurigemma observes the transhistorical permanence of the astrological symbol: the symbolic variations "seem to be organized around a kernel of significations with a degree of permanence that appears quite high. High enough even to make us ask ourselves if, beneath these historical shadings and colorings, we may encounter at this level of the life of the symbol some experience of a collective, endopsychic nature, concrete but indefinitely renewed, and by reason of that fact charged with great emotional energy, with a density, a degree of reality capable of giving it such permanence at the limits of the metahistorical." [7] 

Ernst Cassirer defines the link which unites the symbol and its endopsychic origin as the notion of the symbolically pregnant: "On the contrary, it is perception itself which owes to its own inherent organization a kind of spiritual 'articulation' and which, held in its interior texture, belongs as well to a determined sensory texture." [8] 

    Astrological thought does not turn away from reason in pursuit of some nebulous "irrationalism", taking sides with an environment conveniently disposed toward its message (due to such phenomena as the crisis of modern consciousness, a growing sense of absurdity, etc.), but rather, it advocates going to the very ends of reason, opening oneself to a more ample rationality, displacing the mind's "point of assembly" (Castaneda), which determines what we perceive and are led to know and to recognize within the context of the real. "Man has abandoned silent knowledge for the world of reason ... The more he grasps onto the world of reason, the more ephemeral becomes his intention." [9]  Intention is that psychic disposition which puts the human spirit into direct contact with reality in its totality.

"Limited reason," which obstructs this connection, is a defensive attitude on the part of the human spirit, the most entrenched and most sterile position of the mind's point of assembly. Such reason is only a crutch for thought: "Thought begins only when we have experienced that reason, touted for centuries, is the most stubborn adversary of thought." [10] 

Heidegger emphasizes the importance of vigilance to insure that "the silent message of the word about Being has the upper hand over the noisy call of the principium rationis as the principle of all representation." [11]  For "people today face the grave danger of no longer measuring the greatness of what is great if the measure used is not that of the domination of the principium rationis." [12] 

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:13:08 pm

Astrology has no need to be nailed to the cross of current experimental practices and scientific models, nor need it be "made reasonable" (Heidegger) according to the criteria of science: it generates a different type of rationality which relates to psychic states; it perceives reality in its global nature and through the agency of psychic-astral operands, in an approach which is transversal, not horizontal. Astrology emerges from a paradigm which is organic, not mechanistic. It possesses its own logic, its own requirements and methods, which one would do poorly to qualify as intuitive before taking a closer look at them. Astrology possesses its own language, a "proto-language," which gives account of a "phenomenon" in its totality and in its diverse facets, just as it appears to consciousness. It develops its own mode of reasoning, matrix-based reasoning, which cannot be assimilated by the experimental reason of science, nor by the discursive reason of philosophers.

    Science subsumes all phenomena beneath a single perspective; astrology coordinates diverse perspectives, all the while preserving the specificity of each one, and conjugates them on the basis of the archetypal dispositions of the human mind, which implies an interiorization of the phenomenon perceived. And precisely because it engenders a rationality more "globalizing" (Karl Jaspers) than that of the scientific mode, astrology is decried by science. Ernst Jünger notes that science "can be incorporated without difficulty and without losing any of its dignity into the system of astrology, but not the reverse." [13]  Indeed, the Saturn of astrologers is a symbolic operand which renders good account of the role science plays in its ensemble.

    Astrology is, in point of fact, that psychology or "transcendental phenomenology" announced and formalized by Husserl: "To the degree in which the science of mind, understood as an all-encompassing science of the world of the spirit, possesses as its theme all persons, all types of persons and personal endowments, all types of personal configurations, which we call here cultural configurations, it consequently encompasses as well the science of nature and the nature at the heart of such science, which is nature as reality itself." [14] 

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:15:29 pm

                                              Science vis-à-vis Astrology

"Everyone will tend to be rather the same ... Alike.
(...) a race of scientists and mathematicians,
each dedicated to and all working for
the greater glory of the super-civilization."

(Edward Albee: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)

    Modern materialism is that state of mind engendered by the hypertrophy of the mental faculties, by the invasive presence of mechanized technology, by the obsession with understanding reality by means of the skylight of "reason with a small r," and by the consequent shrinking of our existential and emotional horizons. In the modern technopoly, it has gone out of fashion to formulate synthetic judgments (Kant) be they a priori or a posteriori. Whatever is not "scientific" is not considered to be knowledge, but rather literature.

Experimental reason, which reigns as absolute master, does not seek to understand what is, but rather to describe and explain what operates. The scientific agenda is knowledge raised upon the foundation of a particular ability. It does not respond to the "why," but rather, to the "how." It jettisons important metaphysical questions, which have lost all meaning within the context of the processes of science.

The technosciences do not explore the foundations and the principles of their reality. They do not even respond to the questions raised by their own results, such as the question of physical constants (the speed of light, the charge of the electron, the constant of gravity, etc.) [15]  From a metaphysical point of view: "Scientific knowledge of nature provides (...) no effectively illuminating knowledge about nature, no ultimate knowledge." [16] 

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:19:07 pm

Judgment is enslaved to data and to the results of empirical techniques: "Simple sciences of facts form a simple humanity of fact." [17] 

Scientific knowledge is not only burdened with "facts," it is burdened as well with its instruments of measurement and its system of experimentation. The instrumental approach was born at the beginning of the 17th century. "Before 1590, the repertoire of instruments used in the physical sciences was limited to those used for astronomical observation.

In the following hundred years one observes the introduction and use of the telescope, the microscope, the thermometer, the barometer, the air pump, the indicator of electric charge, and a number of other experimental apparatuses (...) In less than a century the physical sciences became instrument-based." [18]  This technological revolution led to the formulation of objects calculated, measured and controlled by instruments the underlying reality of which remains outside awareness.

It was analysis of the function of the steam engine which led Sadi Carnot to the formulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It was use of the telescope which led Galileo to the discovery of the moons of Jupiter. It was not simply a matter of looking through the telescope; he had to adjust his way of looking to the telescope. As Bachelard puts it, "instruments are simply materialized theories." [19]  Technico-scientific practice codifies instrumental operations.

Max Horkheimer points out the dangers of the instrumentalization of reason within a technological and technocratic society: the use of technical means with the goal of maximum efficiency and without care for the ends, the reduction of human action to the rationally planned, and the unlimited extension of technical power over things and over reified individuals. [20] 

    In the 20th century mechanical physics has become probabilistic. Experiments are meant to corroborate a probability of mass. By operating on quantitative rather than qualitative elements, it presupposes the comparability of phenomena. In experimental applications the utilitarian criterion decides the cognitive design. Theories are selected according to their efficaciousness, their ability to perform, or their technological effect. Any direction capable of going beyond normalized praxis and leading to transcendental knowledge is eliminated. [21] 

Thomas Kuhn shows the incommensurability of scientific theories across the centuries and their coincidence with periods of "crisis" which precede the emergence of a new "paradigm." He describes "the development of science as a succession of traditionalist periods punctuated by non-cumulative ruptures." [22] 

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:20:54 pm

Scientific ideology claims a monopoly on knowledge and on impersonal objectivity, as well. Scientific objectivity, in point of fact -- this subjectivity of scientists -- results from the acceptance of methods, practices, and theories adjudicated by a community of authoritative experts. Scientific research relies on institutionalized socio-cultural praxis and on the ideological consensus which it influences. It codifies itself in a system of values and collective beliefs: in the past it was the theory of the ethers, today it is the Big Bang; again in the past it was the practice of bleeding, today one touts the practices of disinfection and vaccination.

From this point of view, scientific rationality is not more "objective" than Sumerian cosmology or Bantu mythology. Like all knowledge, it is in part a fiction, a presumption on the part of the human mind, an artifact of consciousness.

    Rationalist thought rejects all propositions which have not been "proven" according to its own criteria, grounded in the presupposition that a statement must refer to a tangible, measurable reality, divorced from the impressions which are at the root of judgment. Now, this reality which serves as referent is nothing more than a supposition (William of Ockham), a simplified schema of lived experience. Hence one denies to consciousness the ability to see, to intellect the ability to think that which is worthy of being seen or thought. Each is circumscribed by technico-analytical practices performed on a fragment of reality, extirpated from the realities to which it is linked.

The course of modern science leads to a relativism which obscures any metaphysical intention. The essential disappears more and more from the preoccupations of consciousness. The neutralization of the body and the mind and above all the "decivilizing of the soul" (Robert Musil) increase the sectarianism of assertions and partial rehabilitations. In our modern factories of knowledge the organization of research imposes an excessive division of function: mediocre or insignificant results achieved with more or less dexterity are legitimized, and one imposes a superachieving technicity on the performance of meaningless tasks. All this is pointless obscurantism which separates us more and more from ourselves. [23] 

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:22:45 pm

Science contributes to the modeling of the socio-economic environment through its technological production. [24]  Its conception of reality is by no means necessarily the most legitimate or fecund, but it is indeed the one with a hold on our way of living and perceiving.

And just what is that way of living? Here arises the suprising contradiction of our modern mentality: on the one hand one affirms the rightness of our mental representations and the necessity of upholding scientific criteria as the only valid ones, to the detriment of other forms of knowledge, because only those criteria are believed to guarantee the legitimacy of results and to satisfy the requirements of modern rationality; on the other hand, one admits quite freely that civilization -- despite all its technological benefits -- is an unmitigated disaster on the human level: our industrialized cities are intolerable places to live, suicide is on the rise among the young and the not so young, civility is in marked decline, ethical and emotional faculties are atrophying, interpersonal exchanges lose anything they had of warmth and agreeableness, ecosystems are destroyed slowly and inexorably -- all of which is simply the visible manifestation of a single event of contemporary history: the internal destruction of the human being.

So we end up with intellectual competence and political impotence at the same time: supposedly the world is thought up by phoenixes, but it is governed by incompetent idiots. It is of course quite apparent that our material production and our mental representations condition the texture of our lives. Modernity simply gets the world which it itself shapes.

    Science seems to be an activity, a functional type of knowledge, which creates objects such as particle accelerators, computers and food products and so forth, but that activity is sustained by institutions put into place in order to make it function in that manner. In its ideological dimension science has become what Christian religion and morality still seemed to be in Marx's day: the opiate of the people.

The critique of the positivistic sciences and modern technology, formulated from various perspectives by Ernst Mach, Edmund Husserl, Heidegger, Bohr, Habermas, Kuhn, Feyerabend and many others, is not intended to condemn those things, but rather to show their limitations and abuses: e.g. the relative objectivity of scientific rationality, its application to domains where it does not rightly apply at all, the intrinsic production of an ideology, called scientistic, which precludes the involvement of other types of knowledge. So the critique does not focus on science as a theory of nature, but rather on its abusive technological applications and its ideological monopoly of knowledge.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:24:40 pm

[1]  "There is a transcultural, transhistorical unity to astrology which runs through it like the cord runs through the pearls of a necklace." (Gilbert Durand, in L'astrologie, Antoine Faivre (dir.), collection des Cahiers de l'Hermétisme, Albin Michel, 1985, p. 201). « Text

[2]  The archetype in the Jungian sense is an empty form, a formative virtualness, a psychic force capable of structuring consciousness, without specific representative content: all interpretation of the archetype is merely one possible translation within a system of representations. "Archetypes are factors of formal order which structure unconscious psychic processes, 'patterns of behavior'. (...) The archetype is the form, perceivable by interior observation, of the a priori order of the psychic domain." (Carl Jung, Synchronicité et Paracelsica, French translation published by Albin Michel, 1988, p. 38 and p. 106). « Text

[3]  Will-Erich Peuckert considers this notion as the third principle of astrology, after those of time and order (in L'astrologie, French translation published by Payot, 1965, p. 251-252). « Text

[4]  Emmanuel Kant, Critique de la raison pure [=Critique of Pure Reason], French translation published by Garnier-Flammarion, 1976, p. 114-115. « Text

[5]  The formula comes from the Indonesian philosopher Ranggawarsita (19th century). cf. Denis Huisman, Dictionnaire des philosophes, Paris, P.U.F., 1984, v. 2, p. 2191. « Text

[6]  Carneades was the first to turn away from Platonism. « Text

[7]  Luigi Aurigemma, Le signe zodiacal du Scorpion dans les traditions occidentales de l'Antiquité gréco-latine à la Renaissance [= The Zodiacal Sign Scorpio in the Occidental Traditions of Greco-Latin Antiquity Up to the Renaissance], Paris, Mouton / E.H.E.S.S., 1976, p. 104. « Text

[8]  Ernst Cassirer, La philosophie des formes symboliques [=The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms], French translation published by Minuit, 1972, v. 3, p. 229. « Text

[9]  Carlos Castaneda, La Force du silence [= The Power of Silence (Further lessons of don Juan)], 1987; French translation published by Gallimard, 1988, p. 154. « Text

[10]  Martin Heidegger, Chemins qui ne mènent nulle part [=Paths Which Lead Nowhere], French translation published by Gallimard, 1962, p. 322. « Text

[11]  Martin Heidegger, Le principe de la raison [= The Principle of Reason], French translation published by Gallimard, 1962, p. 268. « Text

[12]  Martin Heidegger, op. cit., p. 254. « Text

[13]  Ernst Jünger, Le mur du temps [= The Wall of Time], French translation published by Gallimard, 1963, p. 14. « Text

[14]  Edmund Husserl, La crise des sciences européenes et la phénoménologie transcendantale [= The Crisis of European Science and Transcendental Phenomenology] (1954), French translation published by Gallimard, 1976, p. 330. « Text

[15]  Albert Einstein: "I believe in fact that a rational theory should introduce no constant that God may choose at His whim. When one has eliminated dimenionalized constants, those which remain as a result (constants without dimension) must, from this perspective, either be defined rationally (such as '"e" or "pi"), or they should not intervene in the affair at all." (in "Lettre à Max von Laue, 24 April 1950; Oeuvres choisies 5, Le Seuil, 1991, p. 113). "Their apparent existence rests upon the fact that we have not yet gone deeply enough into things." (in "Lettre à Ilse Rosenthal-Schneider, 11 May 1945; Oeuvres choisis 5, Le Seuil, 1991, p. 111). « Text

[16]  Edmund Husserl, op. cit., p. 215. « Text

[17]  Edmund Husserl, op. cit., p. 10. « Text

[18]  Thomas Kuhn, La tension essentielle [= Essential Shift], 1977; French translation published by Gallimard, 1990, p. 85. « Text

[19]  Gaston Bachelard, Le nouvel esprit scientifique [= The New Scientific Mind], P.U.F., 1966, p. 12. « Text

[20]  Max Horkheimer, Eclipse de la raison [=Eclipse of Reason], 1947; French translation by Payot, 1974. « Text

[21]  Medicine in the larger sense of the word (including surgery and psychiatry) is a characteristic example of such an abuse of power: over-medication and rejection out of hand of marginalized knowledge. « Text

[22]  Thomas Kuhn, La structure des révolutions scientifiques [= The Structure of Scientific Revolutions], 1962; 1970; French translation by Flammarion, 1983, p. 282. « Text

[23]  "The ultimate end -- civilization -- is lost from sight; the means -- modern scientific activity -- barbarizes ..." (Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, in Oeuvres philosophiques complètes, vol. 8.1, French translation by Jean-Claude Hémery, Gallimard, 1974, p. 291). « Text

[24]  Thomas Kuhn points out that the rapprochement of science and technology dates only from the end of the 19th century: "Until late in the 19th century, important technological innovations almost never came from people, institutions or social groups who contributed to the sciences." (in La tension essentielle [= Essential Shift], 1977; French translation published by Gallimard, 1990, p. 204). « Text

Patrice Guinard: Astrology: The Manifesto 1/4
(version 2.3 : 09.2002)

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:43:31 pm

                                        The Threefold Nature of Knowledge

"The whole of being is present wherever there is true birth,
wherever an awakening happens (...) "To understand" not only
means to embrace and reunify multiplicity, but also to place the act
of knowing in a soil of experience lived as ancient and original:
less as a function of an historical antecedent brought to light
than through the relationship, itself ancient, which each soul has
with the forgotten strata, conscious or unconscious, of its own psyche."
(Françoise Bonardel: L'hermétisme)

    Astrology exists not merely because there are people who calculate horoscopes, but rather because astrological knowledge is a particular epistemological form which derives from the tridimensionality of reality and the irreducible diversity of cognitive dispositions in the human mind.

    In essence, reality impresses itself upon consciousness in three distinct modalities: as an object, as a sign, and as a state of being, which can expressed alternatively as an entity either physical, mental or psychic. On the basis of this delineation, one can infer the existence of three principle domains in the development of knowledge and three corresponding "sciences" which apply to them: the objective sciences, empirico-analytical (biochemical and physical sciences), which observe, measure, test and model material phenomena; the interpretative sciences, historico-hermeneutic (termed "social" or "humanistic"), which arise through working with the products of cultural activity and their interpretation; and the sciences of states of being, psycho-synthetic (astrology and its related disciplines), which perceive reality in relation to the totality of psychic being.[1]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:44:56 pm

To each of these types of science corresponds a type of archetypal organisation, or ideational structure, worked out or made explicit through three successive phases: a phase of observation, a phase of formalization, a phase of transformation.

    1. CRYSTAL, or empirico-analytical structure, is the ideational form of the relations between objects, be they "natural" (as in the case of the physical sciences), or abstract (numbers, figures, functions and groups in mathematics). "To this realm of the object, seen as a mode of immanence, corresponds by its own right science in its theoretical aspect, which challenges reality and aims particularly at its objectness." [2] Three phases mark the scientific process:
- empirical observation and the recording of facts.
- the formulation, by means of induction, of laws which establish the modalities of variation in the diversity of objects and are organized around theories.
- experimentation and the transformation of the object with a view to establishing new interrelationships.

    The ensemble of these processes tends to explain the functioning of object reality and to subdue and transform the object in its quality of resistance to the abstract or mental. By such means scientific reality is constructed through mediation on the part of the mind. Experimentation and observation in and of themselves necessarily include the layout of physical equipment and a specific mental disposition.

The laws of physics, as a result, end up being applied by the experimentor to the reality perceived. Heisenberg emphasized that "phenomena" result from the interaction of the object experimented upon, the system of measurement, and the experimentor himself. It is theory which determines what ought to be observed.[3]

According to Bachelard, science is born precisely from the rupture with received perception and constructs itself "against Nature." A supposition of recent creation (post-Keplerian and post-Newtonian) and by nature materialist, science has as its privileged object the mineral kingdom." [4] This circumstance explains why Crystal is always in process of development, oriented towards the future, involved in an unlimited process of construction and reconstruction of reality.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:46:04 pm

  2. CODE, or historico-hermeneutic structure (linguistic, semiotic, socio-historical) is the ideational form of relations between signs within the context of a received socio-cultural network. Ferdinand de Saussure defined language as a system of signs, a social product, a code relatively independent of individual manifestations at the level of "parole" [word]. A linguistic unit has no reality independent of its relation to the whole: it is defined in the same instance by the place it occupies within the relational network of the language in question and by its distinctiveness from similar units in that network.[5]

Three phases mark the process of cultural investigation:

- the collection and recording of available data (linguistic data, archives and documents of historical, sociological or ethnologic nature, and a variety of other cultural information.
- delineation of the elements collected and their comparison in relation to differences in meaning.
- the reorganization of those elements by means of their respective functions, and the interpretation of documents on the basis of that reorganization.

    This process does not aim to explain a phenomenon, but rather to describe it and to interpret the data, which is to say, to elucidate the meaning of the diverse products of culture through the use of interpretative models which have been constructed. Code is extracted from the past, identified by forms which are recognized or discovered anew, and it is open to all new efforts at formalization and to any information capable of modifying its structures.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:48:05 pm

3. MATRIX, or psycho-synthetic structure (astrological), is the ideational form applied to relations between states of being. It reveals the organization of potential reality, which is potential, intangible, invisible, unconscious.

Paul Valéry wrote in 1938: "Beneath any symbolic expression, beneath all knowledge and all feeling, lies a source of energy, its point of issue and the three or four forms that this energy can take, either independently or in association, and the three or four differentiated outflowings emerging from that source oppose it, react upon the outflow, etc." [6]

Impressionistic awarenesses [impressionaux] are not psychic states, but rather "minimal" forms, of archetypal nature, limited in number, which innervate those states. Following the examples of Crystal and Code, three phases form the psycho-synthetic process:

- visualization, by means of "abstract observation" (Peirce), of the circular organisation of the psyche and the interdependence of its elements.

- the assignment by abductive reasoning of archetypal forms and their symbology.

- the integration of possibility by the distribution of units and perspectives.

    Charles Peirce specified in his writings the necessary and logical existence of a faculty of abstract observation which assures the coherence of perceived reality and allows one "to discover what should be and not simply what is in the real world." [7] To this mode of perceiving reality corresponds reasoning by abduction, capable of identifying a reality which is unverifiable in terms of physical data.

Abduction is distinguished from deduction, a mode of reasoning appropriate to formal logic (Aristotle, Leibnitz, etc.) and from induction, appropriate for the scientific model of experimentation. The rigor of the logician testifies in favor of the insistence by certain spiritualist thinkers on the preservation of what they call "symbolic imagination" (Henry Corbin).

The astrological process no longer seeks to explain a phenomenon, neither to interpret data, but rather to understand an underlying reality, in so far as phenomena and cultural data have their source in the psyche. Matrix is at once present and outside of time: it aligns itself with the present moment while at the same time it carries forward a pre-existent and permanent foundation.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:49:41 pm

Wilhelm Dilthey, in his Kantian project of building a general anthropology, does not admit the aspect "psychic" in association with the concept "socio-historical," and he is content to put the explaining of Nature into opposition with the comprehension (Verstehen) of psychic life by means of lived experience (Erlebnis). [8]

Now, there exist three levels: the explanation of the physical world, the interpretation of the cultural world, and the understanding of the psychic world. Likewise there exist three languages, i.e. three abstract modes of declination and mental abstraction of reality: the living languages, which permit communication and the transmission of ideas, the language of mathematics, which operates essentially on numbers and serves to highlight the variability of objects, and astrological language, the structures of which symbolize the transformations of the psyche.[9]

    Astrology is the gateway to a structural comprehension of the psyche. Astrological understanding differs from the explanation of the physical sciences and from the interpretation of the humanistic sciences. To understand, in the astrological sense, is not to demonstrate, but rather to reveal or show.

No hermeneutic or philosophical method, no analytical or statistical technique, can represent astrology without diminishing it. Matrix-based thinking has as its goal not to render uniform the enormous diversity of mental representations, but rather to preserve the organization of the multiplicity which exists beyond the representations themselves. It consists of thinking severally about the many.

Astrology cannot be defined in any domain but its own: the egalitarian domain of the qualitative potentialization of psychic reality.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:51:19 pm

A number of contemporary astrologers, armed with statistics and scientific rationality, are mistaken about the nature of astrological knowledge and err also in their hope for a "justification" of their practices by the scientific community. Statistics offer nothing but partial "results," in the final analysis: "There can be no question of 'proving' astrology by those means; 'proof' ... emerges from the domain of physical fact, whereas astrology operates upon structures." [10]

This inappropriate extension to astrology of the methods which are appropriate for the physical sciences stems from a faulty understanding of the nature of astrology and of physical reality itself. One does not measure lunarity (lunar influence) in the same way one measures barometric pressure. Affectivity and consciousness cannot be "explained" in mechanistic terms. Instrumentational methods and astro-statistical schemas do no more for the substance of astrological knowledge than charts of encephalographic variations do for approaching the knowledge of dreams or the physiological transformations which result from certain yoga postures. If planetary influences exist at the physical or macrophysical level, they do not derive from astrology, but rather from cosmobiology.[11]

Contrary to the opinion commonly held and preemptorily affirmed, astrology is a serious body of knowledge: all knowledge about the human ultimately derives from the psyche, as Jung pointed out in his works, and disregard of this essential truth is the stumbling-block of modern research, if not its complete negation. So it is that academic psychology wanders in the desert of experimental theory, when it does not go lost on the sea of Freudian therapy.

    At present there exists no model of causal explanation for astrology, and none of the physical theories proposed to date is really satisfactory: we may cite the elemental model of Ptolemy, a result of ideas of an astro-meteorological nature, the theory of stellar rays of Al-Kindi, and Kepler's model of harmonics.

Even if it is likely, in the end, that science should discover a geo- or bio-magnetic explanation for the planet-wide integration of nervous system, cellular or molecular rhythms in living matter, that explanation would not serve to explain the psychic-astral transformations which operate at a different level of reality, nor could it legitimize any particular, definitive application in our understanding of natal issues and collective cycles.

Likewise, neurobiology does not illuminate us with regard to the phenomena of consciousness. This autonomy of astrology vis-à-vis scientific fields does not imply that it is "anti-scientific", contrary to what scientists claim to be the case.[12]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:53:04 pm

                                             A Structural Model for Astrology

"We do not intend to designate thereby a collection
of fully formed and immutable structures,
but rather a group of matrices from the basis of which
emerge structures that all relate to a single whole."
(Claude Lévi-Strauss: L'homme nu)

    The demise of traditional ontology has been the cause of a widespread disenchantment of the world (Max Weber, Alexandre Koyré). The decline of global concepts such as "Nature" and "Cosmos" have prepared the emergence of Structure.

What has been lost along the way in that substitution is the interdependence between man and his environment in a world that has become acosmic due to the abolition of any similarity between the microcosm and the "macanthrope" (Paracelsus). This circumstance has arisen from rejection of the notion of a universal harmony within which everything is interconnected and "inter-expressive," and from the intrusion of an antinomy, one might say an antipathy, between the visible and the invisible, where the latter is debunked. It is up to the modern world to come to terms with this new conceptual avatar.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:54:50 pm

The notion of structure, beginning with the received idea of a general organization of elements forming a totality, has been enriched and modified by its passage through disciplines as different from each other as are ethnology and mathematics, biology and sociology, linguistics and psychoanalysis.

Structure interprets reality as a web of relationships among an unlimited number of elements; furthermore it supposes that none of these "anonymous" elements in and of itself has a direct and individual relationship to the whole. In this supposition, Structure becomes acosmic.

Michel Serres defines the concept of structure in contradistinction to the concept of model, which is an illustration or realization of structure: "A structure is an operational ensemble of indeterminate meaning ... grouping elements, in whatever number, the content of which is not specified, and relationships, finite in number, unspecified with regard to their nature, but the function of which is defined, as well as certain operative results with regard to the elements.

By supposing, then, that one specifies in a determined way the content of the elements and the nature of the relationships in question, one obtains a model (a paradigm) of the structure: which latter is thus the formal analogue of all the concrete models which it organizes." [13]

    From its beginnings, astrology has met with various structures (the Zodiac of the Babylonians in the 5th century B.C., the Septenary and the system of Houses devised by the Greeks, etc.), but by reason of the practical considerations to which they lead, emphasis has been placed on models, to their detriment.

Consequently, it is important to reorient thinking on these matters, from which proceed all attempts at formalization. I designate the four cardinal structures of astrology, which appeared as early as the time of the Greeks, by the terms Planetaries [French: Planétaire] (or, the ordered ensemble of the Planets), Dominion (or, the structured ensemble of the Houses), Cyclics [French: Cyclade] (or, the structured ensemble of the Cycles, Aspects and Planetary Ages), and, to be quite sure, Zodiac (or, the structured ensemble of the zodiacal signs).

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:56:49 pm

These structures derive from an archetype which seems to be universal: that of the four modes of the differentiation of reality by consciousness. The Kantian naturalist Jakob von Uexküll (1864-1944), a precursor of ethnology, identifies by the term "milieu" (Umwelt) the result of a specific division of reality through perception: each organism creates its milieu and constructs its experience as a function of the initial conditions of its own perception. [14]

Moreover, ethnologists have recognized the existence of four fundamental notions in pre-literate societies, four primordial categories of mind which lie at the source of cultural activity and social organization: (1) undifferentiated higher powers or mana, (2) the physical arenas under their possession, (3) the instances of their manifestation, and (4) their ordered distribution among human beings, who constitute the beings and objects of Nature. [15] In this view, then, reality is a continuum which perception differentiates in four specific modes.

The study of animal behavior has enabled the realization that each species, and each individual as well, follows its own path. The study of human culture has demonstrated that it also follows a quaternary logic.

    The "permanent frameworks of mental life" [16] result from an intuitive conception of what one can call conditioning milieux, these being Energy, Space, Time and Structure, which the Greeks designated by the terms kratos, topos, kaïros and cosmos.

As a consequence, any manifestation of reality induces specific transformations of perception in the fields of energy (differentiation of forces), of space (differentiation of locale), of time (differentiation of moments and of phases), and of structure (differentiation of forms, or what is more, the coordination of forces, locales and moments). Each object is a complex agency of a given combination of force/structure and space/moment.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:58:13 pm

Physics maintains this concept by means of its four fundamental notions: mass (the measure of quantity of matter), length (measure of physical size), time (measure of duration) and temperature (measure of molecular motion and of the organization of matter). Mathematics as well, however, with its repertoire of numbers, geometric figures, analytical functions and algebraic groups offers analogies to the energetic, spatial, temporal and structural concepts of physics. Hence Crystal is a more developed representation of a primordial, original and archetypal predisposition.

    A similar quadripartite division may be observed in the organization of languages: verbs (which indicate action, transformation, or stability); nouns (which designate an object, substance or person and localize them in a certain sense); adjective and adverbs (which indicate quality or conditions of a situation temporally variable in nature); and syntactical terms such as prepositions, conjunctions and pronouns (which organize discourse, establish relationships between elements and characterize speech contexts).

    Crystal, Code and Matrix obey the same structural laws. In point of fact, the four conditioning milieux generate, with regard to astrology, an equivalent fourfold distribution, by means of (1) energetic polarization, (2) spatial organization into houses, (3) temporal periodisation, and (4) structural differentiation. Hence we have the Planets, the Houses, the Cycles and the Signs of astrology's structure.

The planet is to astrology what the number is to mathematics, and what the verb is to language; the astrological house is the functional equivalent of geometrical figures in mathematics or the noun in a language.

Similarly, signs, cycles, houses and planets, unequally distributed in a natal chart, each figure into their own psychic-astral perspective, their own world, in which they reflect the relationships they maintain with the external world.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 06:59:55 pm

The astrologer who is adrift in loose symbology is often incapable of distinguishing the ontological difference between a zodiacal sign and a planet. In point of fact, astrological elements operate in each person's consciousness according to specific modalities.

Planetary forces translate a person's modes of perception and his parsing of the environment on the basis of the state and the transformations of his potential for activity. Astrological houses translate into astrological terms a person's points of actualization and integration with the environment, i.e. his instances of existential engagement and points of departure. Cyclical indicators (aspects, transits, etc.) translate a person's modes of evolution and his temporal probabilities.

Zodiacal signs translate a person's modes of reaction and behavior, and of identification and aspiration, in so far as they synthesize the other factors mentioned. To state the matter in another way: Planets represent one's modes of perceiving of reality; Houses represent modes of relating to the perceived reality; Cycles represent modes of variation which occur in those relations; Signs represent modes of fixation after the variations have stabilized.

    It is structure which distributes the elements and active agents of astrology: forms, moments, locales and forces are ruptures within a single continuum, scissor cuts into the fabric of reality. Planetaries, Dominion, Cyclics and the Zodiac participate in the same Matrix from a different angle. [17] Decidedly, there is nothing but planets in "the astrological heavens."

However, a planet operates simultaneously as an energetic force, as a domain of locality, as the phase of a cycle, and as a zodiacal form, because it participates in all four conditioning modes of organic integration; and for the living being, no structure exists which is not integrated. If Houses, Cycles and Signs can appear as the spatial, temporal or structural modalities of effective planetary elements, the Planets themselves are the obvious signals of the process of polarization.

Similarly, if it is valid to conceive of reality from the angle of energetics (i.e., the primacy of force, matter and tangibility), or space (i.e., the result of fields of attraction and repulsion), or even temporal (i.e., the result of cycles of variation), it is nonetheless from the standpoint of structure that these various differentiations present themselves. Furthermore, it is structure which shows this differentiation to be quadripartite by including itself as the fourth and final category.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:01:03 pm

In a similar fashion, that which characterizes astrological structure -- and distinguishes the structural modes of mathematics and language -- is its periodic nature (a point ignored by Serres' definition). The Zodiac is an annual cycle, Dominion is a daily cycle, planetary cycles have various periods (e.g., a month for the lunar cycle, twelve years for the cycle of Jupiter, thirty years for the cycle of Saturn, etc.).

The various qualities associated with the signs, planets and houses recur after a determinate period of time. Contrary to the movement of a pendulum, the cycle of respiration, or the rise and fall of the tides, all of which represent a simple to and fro, the astral cycle represents a true alternation of independent phases. It is this circularity which confers upon astral structures their homogeneity.

    This cyclical structure is imprinted on the neural organization, which reproduces the periodic variations of the planets. Neuro-psychological integration of geo-solar rhythms translates itself into a continuous psychic stimulus -- astral incidence -- and into a structuring of the nervous system through pre-conscious mental states, which in turn give rise to psycho-mental representations.

The composite of a structural astrology lies in the assignment and coherent organization of these psychic "vectors" which underpin mental representations, in that they always result from the mediation between those inner states and the resistance to them in a human being's consciousness, stimulated by pre-conscious impulses and enervated by a contingent physical environment.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:03:25 pm

Astrological symbols are made active within operative structures by matrix-based thought. However, these structures do not have a determinate meaning in and of themselves, despite the inevitable mediation of some cognitive process. The structures are antecedent to all interpretive systems and specified contexts, which fact explains the extreme plasticity of astrological discourse. There are twelve labors which Hercules must complete. [18]

Astrological symbology is systematic ipso facto by virtue of its internal cohesiveness and functional interdependence. Locales, lodged in structure, predetermine the elements which will inhabit them and the functions of which they become representative.

The articulation of symbols pre-exists the determination of their content. Any meanings put forth are effects (i.e., simultaneously consequential products resulting from the act of perception) and derive from structural relationships. It is for that reason that astrological discourse has shown itself capable of adaptation to the most diverse mentalities and cultural contexts.

No other system of thought has matched the continuity or ubiquity of astrology, this algebra of the human spirit, the presence of which has been found within cultures of the greatest diversity imaginable, from the Chinese to the Arabic, from the Babylonian to the Hindu.

    The relative permanence of astrological structures [19] stands in contrast to the limitless variability of its interpretative content. Those structures underlie various models which the history of astrology is only now beginning to study after the slow start made at the beginning of the 20th century.

There does not exist a single astrology, but rather a pre-consciousness within the human being - since that state is imprinted into the psychic reality of each person - which is imbued with many cultural variables and continues its existence through many diverse forms of modeling. There are as many models of astrology as there are cultures in which astrology has been cultivated and as there are astrologers who have applied to it their faculties of thought.

Contrary to the assertions of Franz Boll and Carl Bezold (1917), Martin Nilsson (1943), Otto Neugebauer (1957), or Wilhelm Gundel (1966), astrology is not a creation of the Greeks of Alexandria. [20] It emerged from the divinatory practices and predictive literature of the Akkadians (ca. 2000-1500 B.C.).

Mesopotamians already had a long astrological history before the introduction of cyclic, zodiacal (i.e., horoscopic) astrology in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. Astrology evolved much more during its Mesopotamian phase than during the period between Ptolemy and Morinus; in the final analysis, it is not more Greek than it is Babylonian or Arabic. Similarly, there exists a specific form of astrology which corresponds with the cultural realities of modern and "post-modern" society of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:05:14 pm

What are the minimum conditions for an adequate modern theory of astrology? Most decidedly, more is needed than vague spiritualist beliefs which echo the old hermetic adage, "what is below is as above," transmitted to us by the recent revival of interest in Jungian synchronicity. More, as well, is needed than the act of faith made by empiricists, which says, "It works," and even, "It works perfectly," often ascribing that degree of success to the supposed psychological talents of the interpreter. Beyond doubt, we need more than the barbaric tests of astro-statistics, whose outdated positivistic assumptions cannot hope to produce any real understanding of the subject of their inquiry.

A theory of astrology -- beyond an empirical explanation of the integration of planetary rhythms by living matter (which comes from physics and biology) -- should be capable of producing hypotheses about the possible functioning of those processes, and, moreover, should be able to draw consequences from them for a conceptual model of astrology. An astrologer may not know how planetary indicators operate in point of fact. He must, however, not be uncognizant of how they cannot operate.

    Several physical models have recently been proposed. The Italian chemist Giorgio Piccardi (1962) has attempted to show the organic integration of cosmic rhythms at the molecular level in water, which he supposes to be the receptive mechanism for terrestrial magnetism. [21]

The astrologer Frank McGillion (1980) has supported the thesis that the pineal gland integrates planetary rhythms into the organism beginning with the third month of pregnancy. [22]

The biologist Rupert Sheldrake (1981, 1988 and 1991) has defended the principle of formative causality and supports the idea of the existence of a morphogenic field in each organism and of a kind of intrinsic genetic memory which is organized through repetition (a theory which does not refer explicitly to astrology). [23]

The biologist Etienne Guillé (1983, 1989 and 1990) has analyzed rhythmic activity in cells and shows the existence of specific vibratory types linked to planetary cycles and integrated at the molecular level in DNA. [24]

The astronomer Percy Seymour (1986, 1988 and 1992) has conceptualized a process by which the fetal nervous system becomes sensitized through resonance with the geo-magnetic field, a system of interactions in which supposedly planetary gravitational forces play a role. [25]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:06:48 pm

  These theories are squarely rejected by the astro-statistician Geoffrey Dean on the pretext that they do not satisfy certain questionable practices in astrology. "But in principle all physical theories fail, because there is no possible way they could work when the subject is a company or a country or a question. There is nothing for physical forces to act on." [26]

Now, this circumstance does not represent failure on the part of the theories in question, but rather points to a lack of reflection about the models employed. Dean and his colleagues take astrology and its practices as a whole, without questioning the coexistence of different models, past and present, even within a single astrological tradition. Indeed, any coherent physical theory of astrology would permit the elimination of a certain number of controversial appendages to the discipline. e.g., the horoscopes of countries, inanimate objects, the practice of progressions and directions, etc.

    Dean's ostensible criticism simply legitimizes lazy interpretative practices and attempts to reverse the old hermetic axiom. "As below, so above": It would not be astral incidence which leads the mind to an astrological , anthropomorphic [27] conceptualization of cultures and human beings.

Rather, these latter would themselves project "upon the heavens" their socio-cultural configurations and organization. In addition to the fact that Dean's thesis -- received, one might add, with particular welcome by the anti-astrological camps and those of socio-ethnological orientation -- has no basis in historical proof, it invests in a spiritualist notion of astrology which itself seems untenable.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:07:51 pm

 The structure of any domain of knowledge, according to Deleuze, is defined as a "virtualness of coexistence which preexists the beings, objects and products of that domain." [28] Symbolic astrology is not organized on the basis of disparate or contingent content; it is pre-organized by the incident elements which predispose its symbols to assume a place within a complex of necessary relations. The contents -- themselves variable and contingent -- become differentiatied not by their inherent characteristics, but rather by reason of the function which they exercise within the model.

Consequently, the models are always more or less aleatory. The structures enable one to model the unknown on the basis of articulations about what is known and is stabilized by the model -- whence the ability of astrology to identify cause in anticipation of effect. The structures which underpin the model result from a vision of the Matrix, which itself is simultaneously the Gestalt of the structures themselves -- or, rather, of the same structure declined according to one or another of the four conditioning modes in which reality may be perceived -- together with the archetypal mould of the psyche.

To state it another way, it is the reserve of potential from which can arise variations in the concretization of structures. The astral Matrix does not derive from reasoning or experimentation, but rather emerges like the filigree of an ice crystal; it reveals itself and traces its pattern as a function of the state of comprehension of the consciousness which perceives it.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:09:47 pm

                                    The Astral Matrix and Matrix-Based Reason

"No trendy novel, no synthetic temporal hodgepodge;
no, the conflict of Achilles with his epoch,
no synthesis, but rather a 'distribution',
thanks to him!" (Robert Musil)

    The star [the astrological body] is in-signia, that is to say, an inward sign, or pre-conscious impression. Astrology arises neither from a logic of physical causes nor from a logic proceeding from the psycho-mental sign. It emerges instead from a matrix-based logic, rooted in the forms and distributions which come from astro-psychic states, the symbolic agents of which are only a means of expression. Interpretation on the basis of synchronicity, a concept forged by Jung to designate "significant coincidences" between the psychic state of the perceiver and the manifestation of external events, [29] is no more plausible an explanation than that of energetic causality.

Plotinus, whom Firmicus Maternus considered an adversary of astrology, developed the concept of the astro-sign: "The movement of the stars announces future events, but ... does not bring them about." [30]

The notions of astro-cause and astro-sign presuppose the separation of two associated fields: the field of the celestial and the field of the terrestrial/human. In the case of the former there would operate influence, in the case of the latter, coincidence, which becomes difficult to imagine without a certain effect by influence. In both instances, the star (or planet) is defined as exterior to the organism and is marked by something circumstantial or factual.

Such notions legitimize a divinatory practice which discredits astrology in the long run, given the fact that in the course of two millennia astrology, on its own terms, has not predicted in the strict sense of the word any major political or cultural event. What is worse: such notions take only superficial account of the reality of zodiacal signs and astrological houses, and lead the likes of Kepler, a prisoner of the alternative, to dispense with zodiacal houses and signs in the manner of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:11:03 pm

In the 14th century Europe experienced a marked upsurge of astrological prediction simultaneously with the outbreak of several wars, epidemics and famines. It was generally believed -- and not only among astrologers -- at the end of the century, hence ex post facto, that the conjunction of 1345 caused the Black Death of 1348.

Prediction, be it at the individual or the collective level, has remained the siren's song of modern astrologers, who failed quite miserably to predict the Second World War [31], despite the warnings given by the circumstances in Algeria, Indochina or the Gulf. Even the scientists John Gribbin and Stephan Plagemann believed in the astrological prediction of a devastating earthquake in California on the basis of the planetary alignment in 1982. [32]

They later analyzed their error in a work published the following year. And, "curiously" enough, two of the most famous astrological predictions of history are fabrications. Pierre d'Ailly never in fact predicted the outbreak of the French Revolution, nor did Johannes Stoeffler predict a universal flood and the end of the world in 1524. [33]

    Matrix-based astrology differs in nature from that of divinatory practices. It does not have the same cognitive design and does not put into play the same set of psycho-mental propensities. It is not more conjectural -- which many practitioners claim to be the case -- than it is divinatory, which its adversaries claim to be true, along with Pico. It reveals a reality continually present and familiar to consciousness, but does not predict a reality extrinsic to itself. It is not astromantic; it remains contextualized in the matrix-based logos, without incorporating the experimental nomos of astronomy or the manteia of augury found in divinatory practice, even though it maintains certain relationships with them. [34]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:12:44 pm

 Jung insisted on understanding that the principle of synchronicity explains nothing, but only permits awareness of the manifestation of meaningful coincidences. He also rejected the possibility of applying synchronicity to astrological reality: "Despite the fact that we know nothing exact about what the validity of a natal horoscope rests upon, it is still no less conceivable that a relationship of causal character might exist between planetary aspects and psycho-physiological dispositions.

Consequently, one would do well to consider the results which issue from astrological theory as phonemona relevant not to synchronicity, but perhaps to causality. Wherever one can reasonably suppose a cause, synchronicity becomes unlikely in the extreme." [35]

The idea of an acausal connection between diverse events has its source in the experiments of Joseph Rhine on telepathy and extrasensory perception. The results of Jung's statistical research on married couples should, according to Jung himself, be interpreted while taking into account randomness and the unconscious intentions of the experimenter. [36]

The statistical result, "desired" by the emotionally involved experimenter, would be in part an imaginative projection of his own unconscious. That circumstance disqualifies from the outset the application of statistics to astrology: "The verification by statistical means of astrological 'truths' is open to question, and even improbable. ... Their superstitious use (be it in the prediction of the future or in the establishment of certain facts in terms of psychological possibilities) is fallacious." [37]

    Synchronicity is not a model for understanding astrology; it is only an interpretation of the occurrence of two events which appear to consciousness simultaneously, without the reason for their appearance being evident. I shaved this morning at the exact moment when the cat scratched at the window." There is nothing significant in such a construct. Synchronicity concerns two synchronous events which I interrelate and interpret as being linked by significance.

Let us take another example: I fell in love with Helen when Venus rising was transiting my natal Sun. The position of Venus rising and its projection onto the orbit traced by the transit of my Natal Sun is not an event, an experiential fact, but rather a calculation, an astrological observation, and also represents the result of an astrological theory. The proposition according to which I have fallen in love with Helen, in the present moment, is no longer an external event: it becomes a state or condition, an internal event.

There is no synchronicity involved because there is no external, experiential event, because I do not know the position of Venus until I calculate it, and because my proposition of causality does not correspond to an empirical observation, but rather to a calculation and a theory.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:16:45 pm

The uselessness of the Jungian notion of synchronicity for astrology puts to shame the tendency of many contemporary astrologers who hold it up like a battle sword and claim it as a panacea for the justification of astrological reality.

Certain astrologers go so far as to believe that it could justify the moment chosen for a consultation. As it is defined by Jung, synchronicity would be more applicable to Yi King or to so-called "horary" astrology than to natal astrology. Jung, perhaps by reason of ignorance, does not refer in his writing to the astrological practice of chart calculation for questions. [38]

    Astrology derives from a paradigm completely distinct from those of hermeneutics or physics. The notions of coincidence between significant events and of the influence of physical forces do not suit it. [39] There is no "external influence," but only formative internal incidence, that is to say, the organization of structural effects consequent to the impression upon the nervous system of planetary cycles. [40] Astral reality does not influence the physical; it conditions and shapes the physical.

This concept invalidates the argument of St. Augustine, taken up anew by Pico della Mirandola, in which an astrologer is incapable of determining the sex of an individual on the basis of his or her natal chart. A astro-psychic impression is not the physical imprint of "influences," but rather a transitory interior state.

There is no chart imprint made at the moment of birth, but rather an integration, both conditional and occasional (in the sense of the word used by Malebranche), of differentiated endopsychic forms, which render themselves manifest by means of their repetition and their frequency. Astral incidence requires a rhythmic and system approach.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:19:30 pm

What then comes of all this with regard to the nature of astrology? It is not a science, because it is not subject to the principle of empirical proof; its models are not susceptible to "falsification" [41], although they are so to a greater degree than that given in empiricist literature à la Popper. Astrology is not a religion, because it propounds no revealed doctrine nor indeed any specific body of belief, and requires neither clergy, temple nor ritual.

Neither is it a philosophy, i.e. a conceptualization of reality, which relativizes the value of a rationality for which the ultimate criterion of validity is physical evidence.

But at the same time, astrology is indeed a type of science, religion and philosophy; i.e., a conceptualization of reality which requires techniques of analysis borrowed from astronomy and which assumes a conviction of the existence of resonance and response between the rhythms of the geosolar environment and the psyche.

Astrology is a specific form of rationality which admits as a condition a priori the structural differentiation of an archetypal matrix. It has recourse neither to experimental reason, nor to faith, nor to discursive reason, but rather to matrix-based reason.

    It may occur to some that astrology seems like a religion, that it manifests as a kind of metaphysics, or might perhaps be a critical science in its essence, a "quasi-science." These perceptions arise by reason of astrology's triple nature [42] and because it has been thought of as a rival to philosophy, Christianity and science, for which reason it has been attacked successively by the Greek Skeptics, the Fathers of the Church, and by modern rationalism.

Indeed, the epistemological status of astrology has changed according to the standpoint of those who oppose it. For the Skeptics Carneades and Sextus Empiricus, astrology merits attack within a general critique of consciousness and knowledge, while the Christian apologists Tatian and Tertullian abominate it equally with Greek philosophy as polytheistic paganism.

The mechanist philosopher Pierre Gassendi, the Jesuits Jacques de Billy and Jean François, the Gassendist François Bernier, the historian Jean-Baptiste Thiers, the skeptic Pierre Bayle, or the Abbé Laurent Bordelon, who represent modern anti-astrological rationalism in France, all assign astrology to the domain of the irrational and the superstitious. [43]

The rise of mechanist monism marks the beginning of the development of modern rationality, an ideological conglomeration including emerging science, materialist philosophy and Christian religion, which is pursued even in contemporary historical exegesis. [44]

The verdict without trial passed on astrology occurs naturally and conjointly with the decline of metaphysics and spirituality under rationalist "enlightenment" and positivist obscurantism, or the grey dullness of thought particular to the 20th century.

In the span of four centuries, the perception of astrology's status has changed in step with transformations in consensus thought and ideological bents -- no longer error, but rather illusion in the 18th century, idiocy in the 19th, absurdity in the 20th.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:21:10 pm

Matrix-based judgment differs from the synthetic judgment of Kant by reason of its requirement for distribution (i.e. assignment on the basis of differentiated value) according to the number and nature of the data given, as well as by its need for the objectification of reality, of which it reproduces the immanent order, even if this order derives in its primary instance from the structure of the human psyche. It is not rational, but rather metarational, i.e., it presupposes not an adequate representation of the concepts and objects of sensory experience, but instead a coherence, expressed in symbolic terms, of the internal and external experience of reality. The neutrality of matrix-based judgment, i.e., the mode of objectivity characteristic of its qualitative distributions based on value, differs from the mode of objectivity characteristic of science. The experimental process of science deconstructs reality and reassembles the constituent phenomena according to quantitative criteria. The matrix-based process distributes those phenomena according to qualitative criteria. John West and Jan Toonder observe that only those people "who have never built a cathedral, done a dervish dance, or meditated alone for half an hour deny the possibility of such a qualitative difference." [45] These distributions do not derive from a philosophical consideration of ideas, nor from a scientific type of experiment on definite objects of which the variations are observed. The distributions are made by the mind directly. They appear to consciousness as a consequence of the continual stimulation and psychic structuring by pre-conscious astral impressions.

    The Czech philosopher and pedagogue Jan Komenský (1592-1670), known by the Latin form of his name, Comenius, developed a methodological framework for describing reality which present certain similarities with Peirce's abstractive observation and my own concept of matrix-based thought. By means of what Comenius calls syncrisis, a sort of global process of analyzing reality, it becomes possible to apprehend reality which cannot be directly observed by means of examining the reality which is apparent to observation, provided that one can distinguish at the source of both the same "archetypes."

This synthetic critical method opposes the tendency toward the atomization of knowledge and the development of excessive specialization. It does the same for matrix-based thought, which orders multiplicity through the use of provisional regroupings.

The function of value distribution takes on greater importance than the present and contingent representation made of the object under examination. Archetypes are the parameters or poles for the process of value distribution.

 It is not in the nature of matrix-based thought to produce taxonomies in the form of catalogues, inventories or classifications. Instead, it insists on the necessity of distributing values in a manner consonant with its synchronic, diachronic modalities. It does not refer solely to the actual state of the perceived reality, but also refers to the precession of that reality.

As a result, its distinctions are rooted in a twofold dimensionality, present and atemporal, of the reality in question.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:23:27 pm

Matrix-based reason is by no means a sort of occult quality appropriate only for astrologers. It operates in thought at all levels, especially among philosophers.

We have evidence of this in Pythagoras, Plato, Paracelsus or Kepler, but also in Democritus (criteria of differentiation among atoms), Hippocratus (theory of humors), Aristotle (theory of the causes of motion), Damascius (theory of unity), Ramon Llull (theological combinatories), Nicholas of Cues (theory of the ten fields of knowledge), Campanella, Descartes (rules of the scientific method), Leibnitz (universal characteristics), Kant (theory of categories), Hegel, Fourier ...

As soon as thought proceeds from some source other than discursive reasoning, and there appear meaningful distinctions, the provenance of which cannot be traced back to discursive logic, then thought is functioning in the matrix-based mode. To put it another way: these distinctions derive from an archetypal distribution of values (by 3, 4, 8, 10, 12 ...) of an astro-psychic nature, which conditions matrix-based judgment.

The astral matrix is in its first instance structured by the principle of four, and the matrix itself structures psychic phenomena, which means that it consequently structures any given set of sociocultural and psycho-mental products. In Mesopotamia, astrology exercised a function more collective than individual in nature.

Nowadays, astrology has been reduced to a kind of individual therapy on the basis of the natal chart. The so-called "humanistic" sciences are concerned with planetary cycles and the astrological approach. One could conceive a methodology for an astro-based history, geography, psychology, sociology ... [46] Astral agents modulate and structure the human world and are the safekeepers of anthropological knowledge.

Matrix-based logic indeed requires a reorganization of language and knowledge, a redistribution of mental, social and cultural representations, and, as a consequence, a reevaluation of concepts customarily used in a unilateral sense or in dualistic terms.

    Every field of investigation, all conceptual problematics, any activity of mind calls forth a quaternary archetype at the very point that it relates to the human psyche. Astrology is the study of the effects of the quaternary structuring of the psyche, i.e., the quadripartition of reality by the human mind. Four perspectives of irreducible nature, which astral incidence distributes in specific proportions in the case of each individual, pre-exist in consciousness every encounter with experiential reality.

The perception of these four perspectives is for Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998), interpreter of the Bardo Thödol [the Tibetan Book of the Dead], a matter of attitudinal equanimity: " To be a nagual implies that one has no point of view to defend." [47]

Paracelsus insisted on the quaternary structure of consciousness; the quaternary division of the "macanthrope" [primordial man], astro-psychic in nature, underpins any quadripartition of sociocultural phenomena. [48] Since the days of Parmenides and Anaxagoras, Greco-European thought has tended to reason by process of exclusion. A number of mistakes have resulted from the haste to unify multiplicity by putting into place artificial dualities. [49]

In contradistinction to dualist problematics, matrix-based reasoning consists of asking oneself a priori about the legitimacy of comparison between entities perceived within a single field of application.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:24:45 pm

 The matrix-based logos is by nature pythagorean. It derives from a metaphysics of the Tetrad and presupposes the co-presence of four archetypal forms which guide the world and orient thought. The specificity and strength of astro-philosophy lies in its neutrality; it does not privilege a particular viewpoint and maintains equidistance from each of the four cardinal perspectives, the twelve zodiacal perspectives, the ten planetary perspectives, etc.

To be yet more precise, equality is the mental attitude which consists in conceiving of the "quadriversity" of points of view, all the while remaining neutral before the four qualities of the human spirit. So the four psychic tonalities, or inner voices, transform themselves into four directions, or conceptual pathways.

And the center remains veiled, invisible. In that framework, matrix-based discourse appears in its critical dimension as capable of pointing out not the errors, but rather the inadequacies and the unidimensionality of voice in this or that discourse or cognitive system.

It is hence in a position to evaluate -- and in so doing becomes "judicial" -- not what is said or thought, but rather what fails to be said or thought.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:25:55 pm

[1]  This distinction is based on the thought of Wilhelm Dilthey, Charles Peirce and Jürgen Habermas, for whom the third category, the "critical sciences," essentially includes Freudian psychoanalysis and neo-Marxist sociology (cf. La technique et la science comme "idéologie" [= Technology and Science as "Ideology"], French translation from the German published by Gallimard, 1973, pp. 145-150). However, only egalitarian and judiciary astrology possesses the critical capacity to make a differential distinction between idiosyncracies and mentalities. « Text
[2]  Martin Heidegger, Essais et conférences [=Essays and Lectures], French translation published by Gallimard, 1958, p. 62. « Text

[3]  "Natural laws which, in the theory of quanta, we formulate mathematically, no longer concern the elementary particles themselves, but rather the knowledge we have of them." (Werner Heisenberg, in La nature dans la physique contemporaine, French translation from the German, Gallimard, 1962, p. 18. [For the original English work, cf. Physics & Philosophy: the Revolution in Modern Science, New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1962.)] « Text

[4]  in La formation de l'esprit scientifique [= The Formation of the Scientific Mind], Vrin, 1938; 1983. « Text

[5]  in Cours de linguistique générale, 1916; Payot, 1967. « Text

[6]  in Cahiers, "Psychologie", edited by Judith Robinson, Gallimard, 1973, vol. 1, p. 1067. « Text

[7]  in Ecrits sur le signe [= Writings on the Sign], translated and edited by Gérard Deledalle, Le Seuil, 1978, p. 121. « Text

[8]  in Le monde de l'esprit [= The World of the Mind], French translation from the German, Aubier, 1947, vol. 1, p. 150. « Text

[9]  "Genetic language" (a product of the organization of the DNA molecule) is not one of these, because it does not result from the creative operation which the intellect sets into motion in order to transmit cognitive content. « Text

[10]  Daniel Verney, Fondements et avenir de l'astrologie [= Foundation and future of Astrology], Paris, Fayard, 1974, p. 284. « Text

[11]  The current specialist in astro-cosmobiological research is Theodor Landscheidt; see, for example, his Sun-Earth-Man: a Mesh of Cosmic Oscillations, London: Urania Trust, 1989. « Text

[12]  We astrologers think that it is among scientists, especially particle physicists and graph theorists, and not among professors of philosophy, that the true metaphysicians of this century are hidden. « Text

[13]  in La communication, Paris, Minuit, 1968, p. 32. « Text

[14]  Jakob von Uexküll, Mondes animaux et monde humain [= Animal Worlds and the Human World], French translation from the German, Denoël, 1956. « Text

[15]  Cf. Marcel Mauss, "De quelques formes primitives de classification" in Année Sociologique, 1903; Oeuvres, Minuit, 1968-1969, 3 vols.; and especially, Émile Durkheim, Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse, 1912; Paris, P.U.F., 1968. [English translation published as The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, New York: Free Press, 1995.] « Text

[16]  Émile Durkheim, Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse, 1912; Paris, P.U.F., 1968, p. 628. « Text

[17]  This is why the astrological theory of rulership seems to be the keystone of the entire structure. « Text

[18]  The idea that Nature, the Universe-God, and more specifically the stars, are the basis of all ancient cults, mythologies and religions, has been put forth by the Scorpio historian Charles-François Dupuis (1742-1809) in his work Origine de tous les cultes, ou Religion universelle (3 vols, Paris, H. Agasse, an III [i.e. 1794]): "All peoples have upheld the idea that the cause of all that which happens, is born and grows here below is to be found in the stars." (vol. 1, p. 83) Cf. the same work for the relationship between the twelve labors of Hercules and the zodiacal signs. [An English translation of Dupuis' work has appeared as The Origin of All Religious Worship, New York: Garland, 1984, a reprint of the 1872 edition published in New Orleans.] « Text

[19]  There are important variations within the structures one finds in a single "astrological culture," particularly with regard to Dominion, the Planetaries and the Cyclics. The idea has been put forward that the Chinese, the Egyptians and the Hebrews (cf. the 10 Sephiroth of the Sepher Yeshira) and the Valentinian Gnostics had esoteric knowledge of the trans-Saturnian planets. The Hindu Brhatsamhita (paragraph 68) enumerates 10 relationships: those of the 5 elements to the 5 planets, those of the Sun and Moon, those of Vishnu, Indra and Yama. Cf. Louis Renou, Anthologie Sanskrite, Payot, 1947, p. 363. « Text

[20]  Cf., for example, Wilhem Gundel: "Learned astrology (...) is a child of Hellenism.", in Astrologumena: die astrologische Literatur in der Antike und ihre Geschichte [= Astrologumena: Astrological Literature in Antiquity and Its History], Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1966, p. 1. « Text

[21]  in The Chemical Basis of Medical Climatology, Springfield: Thomas, 1962. « Text

[22]  in The Opening Eye, London: Coventure, 1980. « Text

[23]  Cf., for example, La mémoire de l'univers (London, 1988), French translation from the English published by Le Rocher, Monaco, 1988. [English original, cf.: The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, New York: Vintage Books, 1989.] « Text

[24]  Cf. for example L'alchimie de la vie [= The Alchemy of Life] and Le langage vibratoire de la vie [= The Vibratory Language of Life], Monaco, Le Rocher, 1983 and 1990. « Text

[25]  Cf. for example Astrology: the Evidence of Science, 1988; revised ed., London, Arkana, 1990. « Text

[26]  Geoffrey Dean, Peter Loptson and Ivan Kelly, "Theories of Astrology," in Correlation v. 15, no. 1, 1996, p. 24. « Text

[27]  Astrology is anthropo-morphic in the truest sense of the term. It is so without needing to apologize for the fact, despite the puerile invective of certain of its detractors among the rationalists, who happen to be ignorant of the subjectivist nature of large parts of scientific thought. « Text

[28]  Gilles Deleuze, "A quoi reconnaît-on le structuralisme? [= How Is Structuralism Recognized?]" in François Châtelet (dir.), Histoire de la philosophie [=History of Philosophy], Hachette, 1973, vol. 8, p. 313. « Text

[29]  Cf. Carl Gustav Jung, Synchronicité et Paracelsica [=Synchronicity and Paracelsica], French translation published by Albin Michel, 1988, pp. 43, 47, 271. « Text

[30]  In Énnéades II 3.1, French translation published by Belles Lettres, 1964, p. 28. « Text

[31]  The unfortunate Léon Lasson announced in 1937 "fifteen years of peace for Europe" (in Astrologie mondiale [=Mundane Astrology], Brussels, Revue Demain, p. 161. « Text

[32]  in The Jupiter Effect, London, Macmillan, 1974, p. 115. « Text

[33]  Thorndike has shown that Johannes Stoeffler (1452-1531) had wrongly been credited with -- and still is credited with -- the announcement of a universal deluge for the year 1524 in his Almanach nova plurimis annis venturis inservientia [Ulm, 1499]. Cf. A History of Magic and Experimental Science, New York, Columbia University Press, 1941, v. 5, p. 181. Cf. the text in question and its French translation in Pierre Brind'Amour, Nostradamus astrophile [= Nostradamus the Astrophile], Ottawa, Presses de l'Université, and Paris, Klincksieck, 1993, p. 203. In a pamphlet published in Tübingen in 1523 the astrologer of Justingen denies ever having predicted a flood or encouraged the superstitious astrology given to sensationalist predictions. The "Quarrel of the Conjunction of 1524" (Mars, Jupiter and Saturn at 9-10 degrees of Pisces) has given rise, especially from the year 1520 forward, to an abundant literature (reviewed by Gustav Hellman in Beiträge zur Geschichte der Meteorologie [=Contributions to the History of Meteorology], Berlin, Behrend, 1914, vol. 1, p. 25-67). As for the famous prediction by Pierre d'Ailly [Petrus Alliacus, 1350-1420] for the year 1789, it remains extremely vague in its formulation: "There will be numerous upheavals and remarkable changes in the world, primarily with regard to laws and religious sects" (in Concordantia astronomie cum hystorica narratione [1414], Augsburg, 1490, chap. 60; cited in Laura Smoller, History, Prophecy and the Stars, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 194, p. 194). The prediction is the result of the application of Albumasar's theories on cycles, in particular the grand cycle of Saturn of 300 years (hardly used at all nowadays), equal to 10 sidereal revolutions. It does not announce specifically the French Revolution, but rather the coming of the Antichrist (cf. Laura Smoller, op. cit., p. 105-106), even if one might raise the objection that they are one and the same. « Text

[34]  Which does not preclude the possibility that true voyants and visionaries may predict the future using astrology to support their predictions. We are reminded of Nostradamus, who used it in a century in which astrology flourished. « Text

[35]  in Synchronicité et paracelsica [=Synchronicity and Paracelsica], French translation published by Albin Michel, 1988, p. 59 (cf. also p. 272). « Text

[36]  It seems moreover that the most significant "results" have not been analyzed; viz. the disporportion in the distribution of conjunctions and oppositions, and the minimums laid out for the Sun - Sun conjunction and opposition, the planet of social identity. (Ibid., figure II, p. 63). « Text

[37]  Carl Jung, in Correspondance [=Letters], letter of 15 November 1958, French translation published by Albin Michel, 1996, vol. 5, p. 72-73. « Text

[38]  This branch of astrology, called "horary astrology," concerns subjects whose data is not based on birth, but on the moment at which the subject is present for analysis. « Text

[39]  The many contradictions which result from these notions and the models they underpin are the great joy of anti-astrologers (cf. Geoffrey Dean and Peter Loptson, "Theories of Astrology," in Correlation v. 15, no. 1, 1996). « Text

[40]  Raymond Abellio (in Solange de Mailly-Nesle, L'être cosmique [= The Cosmic Being], Paris, Flammarion, 1985, p. 119) has understood that there existed in the past three conceptions of astrology, hierarchized as follows: casualist or "influential" astrology (primary); symbolical astrology (intermediate) ; "structuralist" astrology (superior). « Text

[41]  Karl Popper takes astrology as the badge of the non-scientific (in Conjectures et réfutations [=Conjectures and Rebuttals], London, Routledge, 1963; 4th ed. 1972; French translation published by Payot, 1985). « Text

[42]  St. Jerome (347?-420), the translator of the Bible into Latin [known as the Vulgate], had a presentiment of this triple orientation when he announced in his Prologus galeatus that astrology "is affirmed by dogma, explained by method, confirmed by experience." « Text

[43]  Pierre Gassendi (Animadversiones, including the De vanitate astrologorum, Leiden, 1649), Jacques de Billy (Le tombeau de l'astrologie judiciaire [= The Death Knell of Judiciary Astrology], Paris, Michel Soly, 1657), Jean François (Traité des influences celestes [= Treatise on Celestial Influences], Rennes, 1660), François Bernier (Abregé de la philosophie de Mr Gassendi, seconde partie [= Résumé of the Philosophy of Mr. Gassendi, second part], Paris, Estienne Michallet, 1675), Jean-Baptiste Thiers (Traité des superstitions [= Treatise on Superstitions], Paris, Dezallier, 1679), Pierre Bayle (Pensées diverses sur la comète [of 1680] [= Various Thoughts on the Comet], Rotterdam, Leers, 1682), Laurent Bordelon (De l'astrologie judiciaire [= On Judiciary Astrology], Paris, Louis Lucas & Etienne Ducastin, 1689). « Text

[44]  Robert Lenoble evokes the "hiatus which exists between astrology and the reason of religion and science" (in Mersenne ou la naissance du mécanisme [= Mersenne, or, The Birth of the Mechanism], Paris, Vrin, 1943 ; 1971, p. 128). « Text

[45]  in The Case for Astrology, 1970; Penguin Books, 1973, p. 137. « Text

[46]  cf. my doctoral thesis: L'astrologie: Fondements, Logique et Perspectives [= Astrology: Foundations, Logic and Perspectives], (Paris I Sorbonne, March 1993; director Françoise Bonardel, chair of jury Gilbert Durand). « Text

[47]  In Le feu du dedans [= The Fire Within] (1984), French translation by Amal Naccache, Paris, Gallimard, 1988, p. 13. « Text

[48]  Cf. Carl Jung, Synchronicité et paracelsica [=Synchronicity and Paracelsica], French translation published by Albin Michel, 1988, pp. 177-180, 217-222. « Text

[49]  Plato deplores the fact that the philosophers of his time do not pay greater attention to the number of units which go to compose a given multiplicity: "The learned of today say 'one' at the drop of a hat, and 'several' too quickly or too slowly, passing immediately from the one to the infinite, whilst the intermediate [numbers] escape them." (in Oeuvres complètes: Philèbe, French translation by Léon Robin, Paris, Gallimard, 1950, vol. 2, p. 557-558). « Text

Patrice Guinard: Astrology: The Manifesto 2/4
(version 2.2 : 11.2001)

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:30:49 pm

                                                  The Anti-Fatalistic Polemic

"It should not be held that everything happens to men by reason of a celestial cause (...) Things here below change by reason of a natural and mutable destiny, even though they take from the heavens the first causes of that change, which happens to them subsequently through some consequent circumstance." (Ptolemy)

      Rare are those bodies of knowledge, such as astrology, which must continually confront their detractors. As a result, it is often the case that a "defense" (or apologia) is appended to treatises on the subject, especially since the Renaissance. In the context of modern society, astrology is held in scant esteem; its principles are denied any validity; its practices are ridiculed. It is called to account to justify itself vis-à-vis a variety of institutionalized presuppositions, customs, beliefs and skepticisms.

There exists no universal manifesto against psychoanalysis, Voodoo, historical materialism or the immaterialism of Berkeley. No religious sect, doctrine or practice is so regularly vilified by the pontifications of the intelligentsia, nor is its voice left so willfully unheard by the skeptical deafness of those who claim to be the possessors of knowledge.

Might it be sensed that astrology is the vehicle of a true alternative to unidimensional thought (Herbert Marcuse) and to the society of the Show (Guy Debord)? In this case, it is up to astrologers to recognize the task before them, which consists primarily of thinking astrology, even without the permission to research (François Furet), and not in reducing its terms to the standard set by the venality, cynicism and cowardice generated and maintained by our contemporary mentality.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:32:28 pm

      The vulgarization and disfigurement of astrological discourse perpetrated by those who write horoscope columns for the popular press, sell psychic phone services and market canned astrological interpretations -- all of which are aided and abetted by the complaisance of the media and its editorial stance -- harm astrology even more than the ostracism it experiences in the scientific and academic communities. The agents of diffusion insure that only an Ersatz [imitation] of astrology appears on the scene of contemporary culture.

This policy falls fully into line with the forces which drive mass consumerism and reinforces the disapprobation and a priori condemnations of a great portion of the intellectual community. The shelves of large, mass-market book shops fill up with insipid texts to the detriment of works of real quality. This situation, unthinkable 20 years ago, fuels anti-astrological sentiment.

      Objections to astrology fall into four categories: anti-fatalistic or anti-deterministic arguments, physico-astronomical arguments, ideological arguments, and technical arguments. And the stupidity of astrophobia adds at least three more types to the list: sociological (which comments on the commercial practices of an astrological community that includes Tarot card readers, psychics and diviners of every type imaginable); historicist (which beats a dead horse it cannot possibly hope to revive [1] ); and scientistic (which denies the existence of any reality which its own methods cannot handle).

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:34:13 pm

Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994), an epistemologist of Austrian origin, remarks on the subject of the famous anti-astrological manifesto published in 1975 [2]  :

"The findings of the '186 eminent scientists' are based on an antidiluvian anthropology, on ignorance of the most recent findings of their own disciplines (astronomy, biology, and their branches), as well as on an inability to perceive the implications of the results with which they are familiar. This shows to what degree they are ready to impose their authority, even in fields where they have no particular competence." [3]  The scientistic ideology, inheritor of the astrophobic moralism of Christian theologians, legislates opinion in the name of certainty about its own standpoint and practices.

No surprise there, since its presuppositions have replaced the dogmas of the Church, its techniques have invaded our way of life at every turn, its discourse spreads out in the same centers of academic life formerly occupied by the theologians, and finally, since there is in today's world no spiritual horizon beyond the borders of science, just as in the Middle Ages there was no horizon outside Christianity.

      The first adversaries of astrology -- Greco-Romans, then Judeo-Christians, inheritors of the anti-fatalistic argumentation of the probabilist Carneades (214?-129 B.C.) -- ignored the most serious astrological works and instead contented themselves, following Cicero's example, with rear-guard literary polemics.

As has been remarked by the American Lynn Thorndike -- one of those rare historians with breadth of vision , and perhaps the first who has approached the history of astrology, magic and alchemy with competence and a certain sympathy: "Only the enemies of astrology remained ignorant of the Tetrabiblos, continuing to level arguments at this art which do not address the presentation Ptolemy made of it, or those points he specifically touched upon.

Thus, in about the year 200, Sextus Empiricus attacks astrology without mentioning the Tetrabiblos, and some Christian critics of astrology apparently did not read it." [4]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:36:13 pm

However, Ptolemy's late treatise is the last flowering of a long period of maturation. After the outpouring of pre-Socratic philosophy and the movement toward systematization from which arose in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. the four principal schools of Greek philosophy -- the Academy of Plato, the Lyceum of Aristotle, the Grove of Epicurus and the Portal of Zeno -- Greek metaphysics entered a curious period of eclipse, which showed itself clearly in treatises on the history of philosophy. It was precisely during this period (250 B.C. -- 150 A.D.) that astrological philosophy, under the influence of the Stoics, flourished in Athens and Alexandria.

Historians of philosophy have paid rather scant attention to movements of thought based on astrology, magic, theurgy and pagan religious philosophy, which took up the baton of Greek metaphysics and immediately preceded the establishment of Christianity.

      The pragmatic academician Carneades of Cyrene engaged a polemic -- reknowned because it has been taken up again by every adversary of astrology from Carneades' disciple Clitomachus of Carthage (187?-110 B.C.) to the French Encyclopedists and historians of superstition in the 18th and 19th centuries -- against the fatalism of the Stoics and the astrological theories of Babylonian inspiration supported by Cleanthus and then Chrysippus.

Franz Boll noted that Carneades' arguments are taken up by Christian writers without any significant change [5]  and David Amand underlines the parrotry of the polemic: "It is always the same refrain served up with a desperate monotony; the same traditional arguments are brought to bear without cease. We should add that this polemic, which never moves on to fresh ground, has never been adapted seriously to perfecting astrological theories and techniques.

[6]  The analyses of Carneades and the Skeptic Sextus Empiricus [7]  formed part of a general critique of consciousness and of dogmatic philosophy; the situation has not changed one whit with regard to the hastily drawn and least satisfying representatives of received modern thought, especially those of moralizing astronomers and biologists, who are the unimaginative disciples of masters from bygone centuries, e.g. Jean Sylvain Bailly, Jean-Baptiste Delambre, or even Camille Flammarion." [8]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:37:53 pm

Anti-fatalistic argumentation exhibits a doctrine that predetermines both content and meaning, overvalues the efficacy of astral "influences" and the capacity of the mind to evaluate the transformations they ostensibly bring about, and, above all, fails to recognize the power of other conditioning factors, classified by Ptolemy into three categories: heredity, factors stemming from the physical environment, and the socio-cultural milieu.[9] 

The anti-deterministic line of argument in essence contains the objections developed orally by Carneades when speaking to his disciples [10] : differing life paths of individuals born in the same moment, whose natal charts are consequently similar, death en masse as a result of war or natural disaster of individuals born at different times (the inverse of the previous argument), physical and psychological similarity between individuals born in the same physical and cultural climate [11] , and difference in the life path of a human being and an animal born at the same moment.[12] 

It is likely that anti-fatalistic arguments, the origin of which David Amand attributes to Carneades, were applied legitimately to the majority of astrological writings of that period, since those writings derived from Greco-Egyptian sources of the preceding two centuries, i.e. the beginnings of Hermetic literature in the 3rd century B.C., for example, the Salmeschoiniaka and the Liber Hermetis Trismetisti pointed out by Thorndike and published by Gundel.[13]

      There remains the famous argument of twins, elaborated by Cicero, [14]  developed in the arguments of Carneades and discussed at great length by St. Augustine.[15] 

The Pythagorean astrologer Publius Nigidius (99-45 B.C.) was nicknamed "Figulus" (The Potter) due to his refutation of that argument through comparing the celestial sphere to a container turning at great speed and justifying differences between twins by reason of the slight difference of their times of birth. Now, it is doubtful that the few minutes separating the birth time of two identical twins have any significance from an astrological point of view. Given that fact, it appears that the differences one observes with regard to character, behavior and especially handwriting can be interpreted by the way the two individuals share the tendencies evident in the birth chart.

So in fact, if twins form a kind of two-part identity, the argument returns, although not against astrology, but rather against the common conception of a thorough-going determination of the individual on the sole basis of heredity and the socio-familial milieu, which in the case of twins are often identical -- unless, of course, it is "free will" stirred up with a strong dose of chance which determines, for example, handwriting ...

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:39:12 pm

 The first evident Mesopotamian astrology strikes root in the cosmology of Sumerian civilization: it is neither fatalistic, nor causalistic, but bases itself rather on a correspondance between the "above" and the "below", i.e. the celestial and the terrestrial, or between Anu (etymologically The On High), the god of initial creation who lacks any other particular function, and Ea (etymologically Lord of the Below), the god of consciousness and the civilizer of the human race.

Their relation was watched over by Enlil (etymologically the Lord Air), the master of destiny, ruler of the space between heaven and earth. This ontological trilogy implies no divine action upon human beings, nor any causal relationship (as in Aristotelian thought), but rather a harmonization of which Enlil had charge, and which Ea, the protector of exorcists, had the ability to transform.

      In the earliest known "astrological" text, the series Enûma Anu Enlil, [16]  compiled before the 15th century B.C., an astronomical phenomenon is held to be a warning, a signal to interpret. The collection includes 70 tablets of predictions, [17]  each announcing itself in the form of a double proposition: the protasis (which indicates a condition and describes an astronomical event, situation or fact) and the apodosis (which indicates a consequence and suggests an interpretation).

As De Wynghene has noted: "Literally, the translation should include two principal propositions: This phenomenon has been observed : (therefore) such and such an event is taking or will take place." [18]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:40:31 pm

This syntactical form occurs in the majority of divinatory and "scientific" treatises, including the "codes of law," that of Hammurabi notwithstanding, in which the protasis announces the crime and the apodosis the corresponding punishment. One reads in a Babylonian manual, "Celestial signs, like those which appear on earth, give us indications." [19] 

The interpretative statement is at first an observation, that of the experience accumulated by generations of experts and observers. Then it becomes a law and an imperative, to which the community and the sovereign himself must become subject. Above all, it is a possibility which reserves to the domain of experts a margin of latitude in its application and interpretation.

      The astrologer of that time, the tupshar Enûma Anu Enlil, was a sort of magistrate in the service of Enlil, charged with interpreting the divine mysteries. He did not believe in a strict astral influence. Moreover, Anu is a mysterious god, inscrutable, hardly accessible.

The astrologer-astronomer was in addition complemented by the ashipu, a conjurer-healer dependent on Ea, whose function was to engage procedures for exorcism designed to mitigate the ineluctable quality of destiny.

A millenium and a half before the Carneadean polemic, the first Akkadian astrology was already well on the way to putting into place the fatalistic character ascribed to astrological doctrines which followed later.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:41:48 pm

Astrophobia in the Scientific Community

"As soon as one assumes the astrological point of view, astrology becomes impervious to attack. (...) It can be refuted by exterior criticism, one cannot destroy it by any immanent criticism. It is a unified metaphysics equally coherent as that of Aristotelianism." (Eric Weil, 1938)

      Arguments of a physico-astronomical nature have only been brought to bear on the anti-astrological polemic in fairly recent times. Their proofs have never been conclusive, either, although some mistaken scientists still believe and express that misapprehension. To claim that the astronomer, by reason of his expertise, is "well placed" to pass judgment on the relevance of astrological development, is completely wrong-headed. Moreover, astronomers involved in true research have better things to do than refute astrology.

As Feyerabend mentions, scientists "consider it self-evident that an astronomer and not an astrologer should be questioned about the validity of astrology's foundations." [20]  Even if astrology is supported by the data of astronomy, it requires other knowings, another approach to reality and a cognitive process foreign to the methodologies of the physical sciences.

In short, it rests upon a different logic.[21]  One should point out, as well, that some scientists take up arms against astrology not in their capacity as scientists, but rather as ideologues and pontificating representatives of the scientific establishment.

      Heliocentrism does not prevent the study of planetary incidences relative to topocentric or geocentric benchmarks. Contrary to what Bouché-Leclercq, Cumont and Wedel affirm preemptorily, [22]  the "Copernican Revolution" has contributed to the discrediting of astrology, from which most astronomers, physicists and physicians still abstained between 1550 and 1650.[23]  Bernard Capp has shown that precisely this period marks the highpoint of English astrology.[24] 

The scientific milieu of this first Copernican century remained very much attached to the principle of cosmic harmony and to its astrological consequences: one must wait more than a century after the publication in 1543 of Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium for the idea of universe to become defined and the notion of cosmos to lose its denotative and connotative envelope.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:43:22 pm

It was precisely the first astrologer-astronomers of the post-Copernican era who supported the new astronomy: as Thorndike has pointed out, Copernican theory was stated within an astrological milieu and it is a falsification of the history of the sciences to attempt to eradicate the traces of that fact, in which the minds of that era were steeped.[25] 

Two German astrologer-astronomers, born a half-century before Kepler, were the heralds and the most forceful defenders of Copernican theory. Georg Joachim von Lauchen (1514-1576), [26]  the Latin form of whose name was Rheticus, went in 1539 to Poland to work with Copernicus and published in 1540 in Danzig his Narratio prima, which simultaneously defends heliocentrism and astrology and motivated his elder colleague to publish his treatise.

Erasmus Reinhold (1511-1553) published in 1542 a preface to a treatise on astronomy which spoke favorably of astrology, then in 1551 he brought out the first Copernican ephemerides, the famous Tables pruténiques.

Despite the works of Thorndike, often cited but apparently little or badly read, one continues to find the statement that astrologers and/or astrology slowed the success of heliocentrism among the scientific community.[27]

      In the main, the English astrological community supported Copernicus. One thinks, for example, of Thomas Digges (1545?-1595) or of the celebrated John Dee (1527-1608): "During the first quarter of the 17th century, English astrologers were the same men, with some exceptions, as those who were engaged in the success of the revolution in astronomy." [28] 

Mary Bowden adds that in the 16th century the opponents of astrology were not astronomers, but rather Puritan ecclesiastics.[29]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:45:01 pm

The argument centered around the precession of the equinoxes appeared as early as Origen. The astrologer Firmin de Belleval (14th century) recognized that fact. His statements were subsequently used against astrology by Nicolas Oresme in his Contra divinatores horoscopios (1370), by the theologian Jean Gerson, by Pico della Mirandola and by others, before becoming the icing on the cake of the sophist scientist.

The majority of astrologers after the establishment of the Zodiac at the vernal point by Hipparchus of Nicea (190-120 B.C.), and especially after Ptolemy three centuries later, refer to a tropical Zodiac, based upon the division into three tropical signs in each of the four quadrants delimited by the intersections of the ecliptic and the celestial equator.

Certain obscurantists, however, continue to invoke the influence of the constellations and the argument according to which the symbology of the sign is supposedly linked to the point in time at which the constellation was identified and named for the first time.

This argument ignores that the essential elements of semantic content in the signs was only developed later, in the hermetic circles of the Greco-Egyptian world in the first centuries before the Christian era, which is to say, at a time when the signs and the constellations coincided.

      Astrological signs today no longer have a direct relationship with sidereal constellations, which remain arbitrary groupings of stars the limits of which are uncertain. A huge cleft separates the constellation of Scorpio -- which has about 15 stars of size 1, 2 or 3 (bright luminosity, e.g. Antares, Shaula, Akrab and Deschubba) -- from the constellation of Cancer, which has not a single one. How can one bring into some meaningful relation the principal star of Taurus, Aldebaran, over 60 light-years distant from the Earth, and the Crab Nebula, part of the same constellation, which is over 6,000 light-years distant?

The boundaries of the zodiacal and extra-zodiacal constellations are matters of convention; they vary according to the time and the culture, do not form an homogenous entity, in contradistinction to the solar system, and in point of fact exist only by effect of perspective.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:45:58 pm

Geminos of Rhodes (1st century B.C.), a disciple of the astro-philosopher Posidonios of Apamea and author of the oldest complete treatise on astronomy to have survived intact to the present day, pointed out at a time when signs and constellations were perhaps conflated, that the stars serve only as wayposts, as temporal markers, and not as agents of influence.[30]  This usage by the ancients of the stars and constellations as visual guideposts does not imply that they developed hermeneutic astrology on that basis. It is this mistaken notion that leads astray those astrologers called siderealists.

      The theory of the precession of eras applied to horary astrology postdates the Arabic theory of the "Grand Conjunctions." It was formulated explicitly at the time of the French Revolution by the historian of religions Charles-François Dupuis (1742-1809).[31]

      The ayanamsa, i.e. the angular difference between the beginning of the tropical Zodiac and that of the sidereal Zodiac, has been given a dozen different values by Hindu horary astrologers, and there is an infinity of ways to define the constellations, assuming that one can first agree on their number. In the West, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius [32]  differs according to the astrologer or interpreter of cycles: all the way from 1752 (Cheiro) to 2813 (Robert Hand), with plenty of dates inbetween, e.g. 1844 (David Williams), 1897 (Helena Blavatsky), 1962 (John Sturgess), 1962 (Christian-Heinrich Meier-Parm), 1997 or 2143 (Carl Jung), 2059 (Dane Rudhyar), 2137 (Daniel Ruzo), 2160 (Paul Le Cour), 2160 (Charles Carter), 2369 (Cyril Fagan), 2481 or 2647 (Sepharial) ...[33]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:47:27 pm

 The "siderealist" schools increase quite uselessly the confusion within astrology and also represent those astrologers most vulnerable to the insidious argumentation of scientists, for whom they are an opportunity not to be passed up.

Also to be noted is the ineffectiveness of practitioners who simultaneously use the tropical Zodiac for the analysis of natal charts and the so-called "Age of Aquarius" for analysis of cultural or historical manifestations, as if it were not the same operands that act on both individual and collective phenomena.[34]

      Let us stay a moment longer with the topic of siderealist pseudo-astrology, not because its representatives occupy a significant place among astrologers, but rather because they are privileged correspondants -- and the easy target -- of scientific anti-astrology. Their principal argument concerns the supposedly historic precedent of a so-called sidereal Zodiac.

That argument usually calls to its support the beginning of the fifth tablet of the cosmogenic tale Enuma Elish [35]  created in the 2nd millenium B.C. and recorded in a Babylonian version dating back to approximately 1200 B.C. : "He [Marduk] gave term to the year, defined its limits, [and], for each of the twelve months, put in place three stars." [36]  This passage stipulates the association of only three stars with each of the twelve months of the year, nothing more.

Siderealists deduce from that basis that there existed at that point in time a Zodiac divided into decans et based on sidereal constellations! Now, in point of fact all one has to hand here is a marking by the calendar of the rising of stars in the 36 decans of 10 days duration (assimilated only much later into Greco-Egyptian astrology) in the course of the secular year.

Similar documents, the "diagonal calendars," have been found in Egyptian tombs of the Middle Kingdom. The oldest of them dates back to the beginning of the 21st century B.C.[37]  Neugebauer has shown that these constellations lie along a southern band roughly parallel to the ecliptic.[38]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:48:58 pm

One finds similar lists of the 36 constellations assigned to the twelve months of the year in Assyrian tablets of the 12th and 11th centuries B.C., in the circular and tabular "astrolabes," [39]  and in the famous astronomical compilation entitled Mul Apin ("The Constellation of the Plow").[40] 

The constellations are situated on the horizon (at the point of observation for their rising and setting) and grouped into three zones (or "paths of the Sky") according to their declination: the zone of Anu (the belt going approximately 15° on either side of the Equator), the zone of Enlil (northerly declinations beyond 15°) and the zone of Ea (southerly declinations beyond 15°).

      These constellations, imperfectly distributed here according to position vis-à-vis the Equator, are stellar markers.[41]  The question of a Zodiac, be it tropical or "sidereal", such as one finds in astrological symbolism in its different phases, is not germane here, because at that particular juncture no Zodiac existed, only an annual system for marking constellations in relation to the Equator. The constellations also had not yet acquired their symbolic connotations: their designations are simply formulaic: the King, the Horse, the Snake, the Mad Dog, the Scorpion ...

      A later list (mentioned in the treatise Mul Apin) which contains 17 constellations crossed by the Moon (certain of which lie beyond the belt of the ecliptic, due to the inclination of the lunar orbit), testifies to a pre-zodiacal state. We know of another list made still later, neo-Assyrian in origin [42] , which mentions only 14 constellations.

The zodiacal division into twelve equal signs, not yet even outfitted with its symbology, is attested only as late as the beginning of the 5th century B.C. and is the invention of Babylonian astronomers.[43]  It derives from a selection of the repertoire of constellations from antiquity and begins -- is situated -- with a fixed star, located at 10° Aries in what has been called System A, or at 8° of the same sign in System B. This difference, due to the precession of the equinoxes of which the Babylonians were likely unaware, is the result of a readjustment of observations.

Neugebauer has shown that the supposed discovery of the precession by the Chaldean Kidinnu in 315 B.C. or in 379 B.C. [44]  was based on an error of reading.[45]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:50:27 pm

The theories of Cyril Fagan, an astrologer of Irish origin and the instigator and inspiration for Western sidereal astrology, are in part based on this error by Schnabel.[46]  In his practice, Fagan refrains from using the zodiacal meanings of the signs. Prudently, he refers only to planetary aspects and angles. It is in essence an aberration to make a Virgo from a Libra or an Aries from a Pisces, because the current interpretation of the Zodiac (i.e., those meanings laden with astrological history), has been developed within the framework of "tropical astrology."

The historical precedent of a sidereal Zodiac is a far-fetched hypothesis, as is the existence of a Hindu sidereal Zodiac which supposedly preceded by a full millenium the emergence of the Babylonian Zodiac! The first Sanskrit texts that attest to the existence of Hindu astrology date from the first centuries A.D. and are of Greek inspiration.[47]

      Moreover, the existence of a sidereal Zodiac presupposes that the celestial bodies emit a certain influx, in the form of a ray or radiation, an idea seized upon by scientists who then bring forward the distance of the planets and the stars, which is incompatible with supposed "action at a distance," [48]  or even more so the impossibility that inert matter should influence living matter.

These arguments, which proceed from prejudices concerning the existence of an astral "influx," fail to take into account the possibility of integration by the nervous system of cyclical phenomena, studied by experimental psychology, most notably by Russian reflexologists.[49] 

It is as a result of that ignorance that some obscurantists believe they argue against astrology by using the double sophism: if influence depends on distance and gravity, then any number of terrestrial objects would have more importance than planets of the solar system; and if, on the other hand, influence does not depend on either distance or gravity, then one would have to keep equally in mind all the billions of stars in the universe.[50]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:51:40 pm

  There remains the materialist argument according to which the zodiacal Signs, the Houses and the planetary Aspects are supposedly "imaginary" elements because they do not appear as physically measurable tangibles. Pico della Mirandola points out that no justification exists for the technical divisions of astrology: the zodiacal Signs, for example, are in his opinion simple arithmetic divisions.

From that understanding comes his rejection of the importance given by astrologers to position -- a simple geometrical concept without any correspondant physical reality -- which a planet occupies at a given moment (in a particular sign, house, etc.) [51]  This approach once again overvalues energetics to the detriment of structural, spatial and temporal differentiations within the astral matrix.

      If light were considered the only tangible quality capable of justifying the efficacy of astrological operators, as Pico della Mirandola affirms, and after him Kepler as well, [52]  that would imply that the planets are the only influential operands: for what is a Sign, a House, or an Aspect, if not a variation of luminosity, a structural, spatial or temporal modality of planetary energies? This is the point which minimalist astrologers are not in a position to comprehend.

      Astrological awareness translates itself through an acceptance of the reality of qualities that are psychic, perceived emotionally through feeling, differentiated and structured through the integration of the organism in its geo-solar environment, and which are recognized as the instrument of understanding for psychological, cultural, individual and collective phenomena.

It matters little that this acceptance be admitted a priori, or that it be formed through experience of reality, that it be reinforced by experience and by the practice of interpreting natal charts, that it be underpinned by a "causal explanation", or that it emerge from a theoretical justification, provided that it furnishes a specific means for the comprehension of reality, which possesses its own pluralist logic.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:52:33 pm

Astrology is a conception of reality circumscribed by a double necessity: one rational, one spiritual. It operates in this middle path, between taking into account astronomical data and the belief in a harmonization of the psyche with its immediate astral environment. This is why astrology has never been "disproved" by science.

Astrology is attacked not because it is false knowledge or bad metaphysics -- modern societies swallow more than their fill of those two things -- but rather because astrology represents the only current metaphysics capable of dissolving the unilateral nature of modern consciousness and of bringing order to the chaotic diversity of its awarenesses.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:54:02 pm

                                              The Mystification of Statistics

"The critique of astrology based on the theme of its impossibility rests on vain and frivolous premises." (Ptolemy)

      Astrology need not be "proved" because it has no need for external justification to exist, has had no such need for millenia, due above all to the fact that efforts in that regard are in contradiction to its nature. The development of statistical research has come to bear significantly on this point since the beginning of this century [53] , first in France and subsequently in Germany, more recently in England and the United States.

One might well question the interest in astrology of such research and the pertinence of its "results," ranging from the summary investigations of Paul Choisnard (1901), Henri Selva , the German Herbert von Klöckler (1927), the Swiss Karl Krafft (1939), or Léon Lasson [54]  to the more sophisticated research of the American Donald Bradley (1950), Michel Gauquelin (1955), the Englishman John Addey (1976) and of their French, German and Anglo-Saxon emulators.

      Statistics uses a bipartite approach: on the one hand, astrological material to be submitted to testing and constituted of factors isolated from their astrological context (i.e., divorced from their functional role in the context of the natal chart), and on the other hand, a conditioning grid of psychological characteristics, "character traits," or socio-professional occupations. The result is what the statistician of astrology calls a statistical "fact."

The artificial partitioning introduced by the use of the statistical grid does not jive with the demarcations produced by the action of astrological operands. Moreover, the binary relationship, "bijective," supposedly intended to render the series of astrological factors correspondant to the empirical grid, proceeds from a dualist method in absolute contradiction to the pluralist logic of astrology.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:55:04 pm

From this misadaptation of statistical methods to astrological reality, and in particular from their incapacity to test an object holistically, results a flattening of astrological symbolism and a degeneration of its operative structures into obsolete dualisms.

What is more, the treatment of samples which necessarily define the value horizon can only mire astral incidence in the entropic disorder typical of quantitative analysis and in effects of mass. To attempt to "prove" astrology through the use of statistics derives, quite simply, from mystification.[55]

      It is an illusion to test a premise such as "Aries is impulsive and hot-tempered" because there is no such thing as Aries. The natal chart in an implex of disparate tendencies. Aries as a discrete entity is simply an image, a metaphor, a symbol, which astrology uses as such. The premise itself is a metaphor: it is only relative to other, similar premises, such as, "Taurus is persistent" or "Gemini is persuasive."

There is no astrological statement that is not relative to other statements of like nature, for what is at issue here is not the interpretation that stipulates the impulsiveness of Aries, but rather the existence of an Aries quality which simultaneously differentiates itself from a Taurus quality and a Gemini quality ... and from a Pisces quality, i.e. one that is defined in terms of impulsiveness and aggression only in relation to the eleven other qualitative attributions among the Signs.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:57:34 pm

Astro-statistics misses the difference between a fact and a symbol; it arbitrarily isolates elements from their context and renders binary a conception of reality which in essence is matrix-based. In astrology, there are only differentiating structures, even if the discourse of astrology, due to the linear nature of language, cannot develop except under the form of indicative propositions and relations between symbols, which process illustrates the underlying operative structures.

Its descriptions are in a certain sense only documentation which permits the recognition and comprehension of astral reality. Put another way, the astrologer cannot question whether or not his base assumptions are verifiable, but he can indeed ask himself questions about the trustworthiness of matrix-based structures and the models he uses.

      The "results" of the initial work done by Michel Gauquelin [56]  merely serve to corroborate -- partially and laboriously -- what the astrologer already knows, without invalidating anything at all. How could it be otherwise? If the "Gauquelin curve" only applies to four or five planets, then the problem is not that they exercise an influence which the others do not, but rather that the methodology is inadequate to the subject in the framework of its totality.[57]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 07:58:58 pm

The notion of "professional category" is confused: social legitimation cannot really be considered as the sole criterion of reference for a potential tendency. More than that: who is a musician? The composer, the interpreter or the music-lover?

A socio-professional category can cover semantically disparate tendencies: a cardinal and a country vicar, despite the fact that both belong to the category "priest," are often in possession of very different psychic dispositions and motivations. Moreover, the "choice" of a profession depends on a host of factors other than astrological ones, be they hereditary, familial, or relative to life circumstances and the constraints of social life.[58]

      Data revealing "psychological traits" are also uncertain: how can one determine that an individual is introverted or extroverted, shy or bold, selfish or altruistic, pleasant, polite, persistent ... if not through an artificial method a very long way behind the times in relation to experimental psychology? [59] 

Astro-statistics utilizes questionnaires, ostensibly designed to discern personality: a particular character value is defined by a percentage of positive responses to a certain number of empirical questions. Complicated methods of data manipulation and analysis give birth to simplistic interpretations and illusory results. This inadequate procedure masks an inadequacy of thought, if not indeed a vacuity of thought. Astro-statistics remains a prisoner of a "garden club" kind of psychology.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:00:46 pm

     The recent proliferation of astro-statistics and its possible introduction into university departments brings with it the risk that astrology may be aligned along the present technico-scientific paradigm, which would denature it without transfiguring it.

Kepler, who defended an experimental conception of astrology -- and despite whatever one might think of his minimalist model -- had a matrix-based vision of reality, particularly in regard to astronomy (cosmic harmony, eurhythmy of the planetary spheres, a weighted organization of the aspects, structural coherence ...), a standpoint which seems completely foreign to the conceptual framework of current investigators. Astrology needs a language and its own space, not "confirmations"; it needs concepts, not "facts."

      Statistics, whatever its own degree of "scientificity," cannot have as its function adjudication concerning the validity of any discipline -- or its lack thereof. Astro-statistics takes liberties which are not tolerated in any other domain. We have on our hands here the case of a dubious branch of the scientific endeavor which lays down the law about a particular discipline -- astrology -- in the name of another branch of knowledge, i.e. "science" in its totality, the base assumptions of which have never been proven, nor even formulated, and despite the fact that it has been shown that to prove or formulate them would be extremely difficult. In other words, we have here an instance of the use of science as ideology.

      Astro-statistics, which dresses itself up from the rag bag of science, plasters its dualist whimsies and dubious extrapolations on a body of knowledge which produces the precise effect of awakening the mind to non-dualist distinctions. It is a caricature of any truly respectable psychological research. Astro-statisticians, who work hard to bring about the eclipse of astrology, appear to be just one more species in the roster of parasites on astrology.

The observation made by the mathematician and philosopher Alfred Whitehead seems applicable to their case: "Obscurantists in any generation are in general represented by the majority of those who practice the dominant methodology. Today, it is scientific methods which predominate and the men of science who are the obscurantists." [60]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:02:13 pm

                                             Moral and Ideological Quibbling

"We no longer believe in a God who has barred the path to the sun above Ajalon.
We no longer believe in the angels and the demons of the planets.
We no longer believe in the "laws" that the rationalists wish to calculate for us.
We believe today only in qualities which are incomprehensible, but which exist."
(Will Erich Peuckert: L'Astrologie)

      The principle arguments of the permanent repository aimed against astrology, from the Greek Skeptics to the rationalists and materialists of today, are not analyzed here in order to "justify" astrology to its detractors, but rather to attempt an understanding of the real causes for its rejection, which causes appear quite clearly to be based on recourse to morality, be its inspiration philosophical, religious or ideological.

Under this heading may be grouped the philosophical skepticism of Carneades, Panetius, Cicero or Sextus Empiricus, the Christian moralism of St. Augustine, Gregory of Nicea, Savanarola or Calvin, the individualist humanism of Petrarch or Pico della Mirandola, the ideological rationalism of Mersenne, Gassendi, Bayle or Voltaire, and modern materialism.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:05:05 pm

 While Buddhism and Hinduism accommodate themselves to astrology quite effortlessly, that has never been the case with Judeo-Christian-Islamic monotheism and its idea of transcendence of a single and revealed God. Judaism, in its struggle against proto-astrological polytheism, [61]  omnipresent from the second millenium in the Mediterranean Basin, devoted itself to the break between man and his natural environment.

This is what it calls the Alliance. The natural and universal order, immanent to the world, shared by all people and individualized in each person, the ancestor of the Logos of Heraclitus, was replaced by Mosaic Law with its commandments.

As Nietzsche points out in The Antichrist and elsewhere, this substitution resulted in religion, morality and history becoming denatured.[62]  The invectives and threats of the prophet Isaiah do not spare astrologers: "Those who divide up the heavens, read in the stars and make known with each new moon what is destined to happen to you (...) shall be as straw, and fire shall consume them." [63] 

A similar state of mind inspires the warning of the compiler of Deuteronomy: "Do not go raise your eyes to the heavens, to look at the sun, the moon and the stars, the whole heavenly host, and let yourselves be led to prostrate yourselves before them and to serve them." [64]

      Eight centuries later, in an epoch when astrology, mixed with Stoicism, appeared as the predominant metaphysical conception of the Mediterranean Basin, Paul, the founder of Christianity, exhorts his listeners to abandon their "idolatrous" practices: "You observe religiously the days, the months, the seasons, the years! You make me fearful that I have worked for you entirely in vain!" [65]

  Paulist doctrine requires, in order to rescue Christian faith from its limbo, a thorough-going condemnation of pagan mythology and philosophy, polytheistic cults, and astrology: "Be watchful that none take you in the trap of philosophy, that hollow deception under the banner of the tradition of men, of forces which rule the universe, but not of Christ." [66] 

The preacher invites his listeners to liberate themselves from the "powers" and the "elements of the earth," [67]  from earthly or celestial gods, from Egyptian "animalism" and from Babylonian astrology.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:07:29 pm

The Sophist and Skeptic Favorinus of Arles (85?-160), a gossip in the know and an "illustrious mediocrity," [68]  attempts to demonstrate the uselessness of "Chaldean" prediction: "They predict what will happen, both good and bad. If they predict good fortune and they are mistaken, you will become unhappy by waiting in vain; if they predict misfortune and they lie, you will be unhappy by being fearful in vain; if, on the other hand, their prediction is true but does not correspond to your hopes, you will be unhappy because of the thought even before destiny makes you so in fact. If they promise you success and it happens to you, two problems still present themselves: not only will you tire yourself waiting anxiously in hope, but hope itself will rob you of the fruit to be born of the joy when the event takes place." [69] 

A faulty understanding of the nature of astrology leads the logician Karl Popper to maintain a similar vein of reasoning: if our destiny can be predicted by astrology, how can it help us to escape that destiny? [70]  This line of thought is another thread from Carneades' refrain that astrology suppresses liberty and makes of man nothing more than a puppet in the hands of destiny.

      Christian theologians seized this idea, adapted it to the so-called Pauline liberation and converted it into a dogma: free will. Origen, the elder contemporary of Plotinus [71]  admitted a certain influence on the part of the stars over the formation of character, but developed a distinction between predictive star-signs and operative star-causes, [72]  and denounced in the name of freedom of conscience the fatalistic attitude of those who calculate horoscopes.[73]

      Acceptance of the star as the "sign" of something factual, circumstantial or existential at first by the Fathers of the Church, [74]  then by Christian theologians up to the 17th century, resulted in the notions and praxis of astrology being relegated to the category of divination, be it augural, conjectural, prophetic or predictive and to dispossess the astral impression (i.e. the mark of psychic impregnation made by the astral operands) of its true power. Moreover, the opportunity to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of their individual and collective manifestations was discarded. That policy was continued by their rationalist successors.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:09:41 pm

Astrology's adversaries, beginning with Pico della Mirandola, have never stopped maintaining a confusion between astrology and astromancy.[75]  Astrologers accepted the challenge of preserving their ascendency to political power, on which they were financially dependent. Astrologers, whose credibility has been tarnished in this fool's game, have continued to pay for his error throughout five centuries of predictive excess.

In the 17th century, Pierre Gassendi needled Jean-Baptiste Morin to get him to predict some tangible, verifiable event: "The important thing would be to predict some event yet to happen, the cause of which is not immediately apparent. (...) Predict for me, then, for at least once in your life some notable event." [76]  The astro-statistician Geoffrey Dean seeks to paint astrology into the same corner.[77] 

To this end he organizes grotesque competitions in which the participants are induced to test astrology on the basis of outdated positivistic assumptions, to gauge its legitimacy. He concludes ingenuously that astrology is invalid on the basis of the negative results obtained, i.e. the impossibility of producing statistically significant predictions.[78] 

Is the seismologist really capable of predicting an earthquake, or the meteorologist a storm? Statistical discourse, more than in the case of any other scientific activity, needs a collateral instrument in order to reach its conclusions. An effective result is not necessarily required. Even if the results show nothing conclusive, either at the semantic level or even at the practical level, the instrument of measure is the gauge of the scientific nature of the activity and the work accomplished. It could be said that this propensity for using the right instrument serves in the first place to validate the activity one undertakes and for which one is paid. Standard deviation and khi2 are instances of the baubles which justify the current development of astro-statistics.

      Free will, the dogmatic base of Judeo-Christian morality, permits the theologian to justify Adam's fall, to condemn the crime of Cain, and to judge the supposed sins of their supposed descendants. The sense of a destiny written in the stars casts a shadow on God's providence and His inscrutable designs. Origen, a thinker of exceptional breadth, understood before St. Augustine the menace held for the Christian sect by a notion which stipulates astral influence upon souls and therefore intrudes on that intimate space of interiority, shared with God alone.

This is why their successors conceded a certain likelihood to "astral influence," upon the condition that it be limited to the physical world (including the human body), and that so-called "natural astrology" with its meteorological, agricultural and medical applications be allowed while control be retained of interior, psychic space.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:10:46 pm

Astrological practicioners, following their divinatory and fatalistic lights, would have a pernicious effect on religious life (e.g., disdain for ritual, uselessness of prayer, weakening of piety and faith), on moral life (e.g., relaxing of personal effort, abandonment of the notions of virtue and merit, vanity of all moral actions), and on civil life (disobedience to laws, uselessness of legislation and penal repression, destabilization of the social order). How, then, to determine moral culpability and civic responsibility, how to justify the punishment of criminals and the coercion of recalcitrants, if every person were obeying an interior necessity of astral origin, independent of his will?

      The major moral argument announced for the first time by Carneades [79]  has been taken up by all adversaries of astrology, all of which is an instance of confused partisanship. Origen, in his Commentary on Genesis, says: "The consequence of this doctrine would be to annihilate completely our freedom of action, which, in this system, would no longer be worthy of either praise or blame, nor of being encouraged or reproved. If it is so, everything one lets resound about God's judgment is senseless (...) faith would be in vain, the coming of Jesus Christ to earth would have accomplished nothing, all the value of the law and the prophets would become worthless (...) A further effect of this atheistic and impious discourse would be to assign the faith of those acknowledged as believers in God as a result only of the power of the stars." [80]

      This argument was taken up again in 1640, the year of the first printed translation of the Tetrabiblos into the vernacular by the orator Charles de Condren, who condemns in the name of the Church, "those who assign in some manner to the Stars that they are a direct influence on man's freedom, which is an intolerable error that destroys Religion, and all Civic Policy, that justifies sinners, removes merit from the righteous, renders Stars capable of crimes and condemns Laws which set down punishments for criminals ..." [81]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:12:11 pm

Apart from Guillaume d'Auvergne, the attitude of theologians of the 13th century toward astrology appears to be much more tolerant than that of St. Augustine's epoch: one thinks in first place of Albert the Great, the probable author of Speculum astronomiae, [82]  (an annotated register of valuable astrological writings available during this period, classified by rubrics), rather than of his pupil Thomas Aquinas, in whose work nothing indicates any practical or technical knowledge whatsoever of astrology.

In point of fact, theologians of the 13th century are neither for nor against astrology: they are indifferent to it. At first they appeared worried by it -- during the period which saw the first flowering of astrology in Europe, in the preceeding century, after the translation of Arabic treatises [83]  -- which led them to define the Church's position and to safeguard the doctrine of free will. It was a matter of keeping in hand "the astrological question," of defining the function of astrology and its limits in the framework of the Aristotelian universe omnipresent in the soul, in order finally to nullify it.

      The Italian Guido Bonatti (1223?-1297), the first great European astrologer, whom Dante throws into Hell along with the other outstanding astrologer of the century, Michael Scot, understood the necessity of having a radical attitude vis-à-vis the theological intelligentsia: "Astrologers know more about astronomy than theologians know about knowledge of God, and consequently are in a better position to judge than are the theologians to preach." [84]  It is within this context that one must understand the famous and questionable absolute determinism of this giant of astrology.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:14:24 pm

Christian anti-astrology, throwing onto the stage first Jewish prophets, then the Fathers of the Church, and finally the theologians, doctors and savants of previous centuries, has largely confined itself to the argument of authority, against which astrologers opposed testimony from their own camp. Up until the 18th century the troops of anti-astrology were led -- in the name of moral, religious and civil authority -- by ecclesiastical dignitaries and by moralists: the Bishop of Lisieux Nicolas Oresme, the liturgist Henri de Hesse (Heinrich von Langenstein), the preacher Girolamo da Savaronola, the humanist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the reformer John Calvin, the Jesuit Marin Mersenne, the prevost Pierre Gassendi, the Calvinist Pierre Bayle ...

Since the "Enlightenment" -- and its attendant obfuscation of sensibility -- the ideologues of rationalist, techno-scientific thought have taken the place of the theologians.[85]  The committees on ethics are convened by physicians. The priests of technology have replaced the clergy, far in excess of the hopes of a Claude de Saint-Simon. Astrology has been abandoned as scientistic reason has become a benchmark with its own set of practices to which everyone must conform, if for no other reason than to justify one's intellectual existence.

      Several hypotheses have been put forward by historians of culture to attempt an interpretation of the "decline" of astrology in the middle of the 17th century: hostility on the part of clerical authorities, disinterest on the part of intellectuals, a consequence of scientific and technological discoveries (whereas, in fact, science was still only marginally established at the end of the 17th century), a gap between the new needs stemming from urbanization and the supposedly "archaic" mentality of astrologers ...

Keith Thomas says: "The clergy and the satirists pushed astrology into its grave, but the scientists were not present at the funeral." [86]  Bernard Capp evokes a profound change of mentalities: "As with sorcery, astrology appears to have been destroyed not by new arguments, but by a new vision of the universe which undermined traditional beliefs." [87]  Nonetheless, in none of the analyses is the eclipse of astrology set beside its rebirth at the end of the 19th century: [88]  this issue remains left to the sociologists.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:19:30 pm

In reality none of the "reasons" given by historians is truly convincing, for they do not explain the difficulty that astrology, as opposed to medicine, supposedly had in adapting itself to new scientific criteria and conforming to emerging conceptual frameworks, in an epoch characterized by the reinforcement and centralization of the powers of the State, despite the renovation of astrology proposed by Kepler in his Tertius interveniens (1610).

      What changed in 1650 in anti-astrological literature, and especially in France, was not the content of the treatises (which remained the same from Pico della Mirandola forward), nor in fact even their numerical argumentation, but rather their status. Before 1650 they represent one opinion among many; after 1650 they represent official opinion.

Astrology was not displaced by a convincing argument of philosophical or scientific nature, it was simply rejected on the basis of the enforcement of a consensus among an established body of intellectuals -- a consensus which has never been achieved again since that time -- and primarily by scientific academies, religious orders (above all the Jesuits) [89] and the literary salons -- which is to say, by people whose interest was served not by liberty of thought but rather by the success of their own ideas, the preservation of their social position, and above all by imposing direction on the ideas of others.

Those who defended astrology, on the other hand, were isolated, often in the ranks of the aristocracy [90] , and independent spirits, i.e. people who needed neither money nor politics to express themselves, and who preferred a certain privacy to a place in public discourse.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:22:07 pm

But why was astrology the vicitim of this state of affairs? Quite simple: if astrology enables a personal comprehension of the self and of the world, in principle available to all people, how does one justify the usefulness of churches, schools and tribunals? What would be the point of the discourse of clerical and civil authorities who channel society's mental representations and social practices? What would become of the credibility of politicans, medical professionals and priests (and today, of psychoanalysts)?

It seems that astrology suffered particularly because it represents a private, personal sphere of practice, outside public debate, because it is not in its nature to be involved in such things, as its transcultural history demonstrates only too well. Now, modern mentality, which began to take its place in the middle of the 17th century, cannot perceive otherness without wanting to alter it.

It is not, then, astrology in and of itself which declined in the course of the 17th century, but vast sections of entire systems of exterior representation to which it was linked and from which modern astrology has only just begun to separate itself.

      Ideology, which is in first instance the repertoire of values, beliefs and doctrines that are accepted and inculcated in the name of the dominant paradigm, does not examine discourse on the basis of the characteristics it exhibits, but instead on the basis of where it comes from; ideology gives no credit to meaning, but to consensus.

The discourse of astrology was attacked [91]  by ecclesiastical and lay authorities not because it is chimerical, but because it contains a truth judged to be subversive, "diabolical," in part transgressive of the religious, moral and ideological imperatives which underpin social order: "If, by amusing oneself with the stars, one forsakes God's order and each person goes off by himself without fitting himself into the community of mankind, will not God become contrary to Himself?" [92]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:23:25 pm

The astronomer and astrologer Tycho Brahe, an admirer of Paracelsus, responded to Calvin's quibbling in a lecture given in September 1574 at Copenhagen University.

But better than anyone else, the philosopher of Einsiedeln had swept their arguments away in his Philosophia sagax [93] : "The stars are our natural masters (...) Each person must follow fixedly in what acts or should act in him (...) Man must do whatever the impressio urges and not what he himself wishes. This is not a constraint, and it is called praedestinatio. (...) Man is so lazy by nature that on his own account he would do nothing. But in order to deliver man from inaction, and the free will which urges him toward it, the impressio comes from the stars: 'do this.' (...) In this manner it is impossible to escape activity. Without the impressio everything would suffer from complete neglect." [94]

      Astrology must remove itself from the duality of determinism/free will into which its adversaries have never ceased to corner it. It is neither fatalistic, nor "libertarian," but rather stipulates an interior necessity in each person, a vector of specific possibilities. The astral impressio implies no kind of moral or political anarchy. On the contrary, it validates the individuality of each person by inciting each human being to act with full integrity and to find his place in the matrix of humankind, not by virtue of external constraint but rather because an internal imperative guides him.

The "inner sky" [95]  which communicates the psychic motion of the "impressional" [impressio ] [96] accords to each person his portion of natural wisdom and awareness, which he would do ill to hawk off cheaply for the sake of the "idols" and phantoms of consensus thought, as analyzed by Francis Bacon. What is more, it is the impressio that lies at the root of the sciences, the arts and indeed all human activity.[97]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:25:05 pm

Few astrologers have become fully cognizant of this formidable rebuttal to the Judeo-Christian problematic, and few have understood how to put it forward. Paracelsus shows himself an exception to that rule by his putting astrology back into the "animist" framework from which it emerged, [98]  and by restoring the natural and immediate phenomenon of the numinous [99]  and of inner manna.

For astral operands communicate to the psyche the ineffable essence of the real, on which basis all creative life is possible. They transmit to it the energy which innervates the living, without which there could be no Being, no World, no Consciousness, nor indeed any social activity. The astral order and freedom cause fear.

In order to compensate for his lack of faith in himself, in the world and in other people, man has invented laws and religions, to the point of accepting lies, hypocrisy and cowardice put into a system fit for slaves or for "voluntary servitude" (Etienne de la Boétie). But even if astrology were completely eradicated from human culture, astral reality would continue no less to guide human consciousness.

      Anti-fatalistic, religious or scientistic arguments against astrology reveal certain ideological biases. The condemnation of 1975, signed by three scientists, which aims to "put public opinion on guard" against astrology, resembles in its authoritarianism, its morbidity and its lack of imagination the document signed in 1619 by three obscure theologians of the Sorbonne who judged the profession of astrologer to be "illicit and damnable, [and] not to be tolerated in a republic." [100]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:26:18 pm

 The English astrological community was shocked at reading the inflammatory article of a neo-Darwinian Oxford biologist who happened also to be the vice-president of the British Humanist Association, a sort of Jean Rostand with an additional measure of arrogance. The text puts forward -- with plenty of insults and attempts at intimidation -- the old arguments about the distance of the planets and the precession of the equinoxes, all the while exhibiting glaring ignorance of contemporary astrology.[101] 

The author suggests the mobilization of repressive measures in order to "attack [astrology] seriously" and shows astonishment that astrologers are not "imprisoned for fraud" and "brought before justice for false representation"! Scientistic fundamentalism reproduces the invectives of Guillaume d'Auvergne (fl. 1249), the Bishop of Paris, who exhorted his peers to eradicate astrology -- which he called "this insanity" -- without due process: "One should not so much argue against this error as fight it with fire and the sword." [102]

      Scientific rationality, just like faith in the ambit of the Byzantine Church, imposes itself only through force. The Inquisition hunted down sorcerers for acts that contravened the dogmas of the Church.[103] 

The same mindset motivates modern inquisitors who attack astrology as a function of the refraction of scientistic ideology.[104]  Scientism "is also irrational and emotional in its motivations and intolerant in its daily practices, no matter which of the traditional religions it has replaced. What is more, it does not stop at believing only its own myths to be true; it is the only religion to have pushed arrogance to the point of believing itself to be based on no myths at all, but rather solely upon Reason, and of presenting as 'tolerance' this curious mixture of intolerance and amorality it promotes." [105]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:27:10 pm

Scientistic ideology claims for itself a monopoly on truth and objectivity, takes possession of the academy and other institutions once under the power of the Church, and follows a three-fold program of action: rhetoric, intimidation, repression.

The veracity of scientific discourse becomes manifest only through the compliance of a community of intellectuals and specialists who have a vested interest in that discourse, and through imposing a large set of beliefs and practical applications: "Today science is predominant, not because of its comparative merits, but rather because the game was skewed in its favor. (...) The superiority of science is not the result of research, or of discussion, it is the product of political, institutional and even military pressures." [106]

      No branch of science today is required to prove its postulates as one requires of astrology -- which needs no "confirmation" according to the lights of scientific criteria. Astrology does not need to be put through the refining fire of physics or biology, both of which would be hard pressed to prove their own base assumptions (matter, force, attraction, particles, aliveness ...) If that model of astrology proves itself to be obsolete, or if such an interpretation is poorly adapted to reality, then it is a matter to be left to astrologers to decide, and not to the presumptuous incompetence of know-it-alls in lab coats.[107]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:28:45 pm

Astrology is not institutionalized or subsidized. Would that it were, to the level of even a small fraction of the sums invested in medicine or astronautics! The astrologer has no huge library, no specialized laboratory paid for at public expense.

He is excluded from the academies, universities and research centers, whereas the psychoanalyst, for example, flourishes there, no doubt because he has understood how to manipulate the "three principles of method" mentioned above. Under these conditions, only a moral histrionic can allow himself to claim that the true astrologer obtains abusive monetary advantage from his activity, [108]  in contradistinction to the institutional parasite of science, who himself profits handsomely from his function, without any objection arising:

"Today many scientists and intellectuals are parasites, in the precise sense of the word." [109] 

The true astrologer often finds himself in the opposite position: he does something and gets nothing in return, other than the satisfaction of having accomplished his work.

      Colossal sums are budgeted each year with a view to reinforcing the pressure of scientistic imperatives on the general mentality, be it through inculcation in educational institutions or the beating of that drum one finds in the media -- efforts that have only moderate success, one might add, in light of public interest nowadays in knowledge which escapes the bounds of science. The idola theatri of Bacon have never been more alive and well than in this era of the colonization of private life through the media.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:30:05 pm

Colossal sums are budgeted each year with a view to reinforcing the pressure of scientistic imperatives on the general mentality, be it through inculcation in educational institutions or the beating of that drum one finds in the media -- efforts that have only moderate success, one might add, in light of public interest nowadays in knowledge which escapes the bounds of science. The idola theatri of Bacon have never been more alive and well than in this era of the colonization of private life through the media.

      What obstructs the development of astrology is not the lack of receptivity in the modern mind, but rather its passivity vis-à-vis the institutionalized discourses and practices which condition consciousness. It is primarily a question of courage, and of interest.

If astrology retires any truth which puts into question our conception of the real, how then can astrologers -- or those who call themselves such -- tolerate mildly and weakly the excoriating, caricature-like pronouncements proffered by legitimized ideologues? If astrologers persist in this position of being "yes sir" people vis-à-vis scientific and intellectual authorities -- who reward their deference with scorn -- then astrology has far fewer "adepts" than one generally believes. And if the price to be paid is subordination to the avatars of modernity, it is doubtful that anything significantly astrological exists in this "free neo-astrology."

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:31:05 pm

 Paul Feyerabend puts forward the notion that an advanced society should be capable of liberating consciousness from its institutional constraints and of offering in its educational establishments the study of bodies of knowledge and traditions that do not proceed from the rationalist modern paradigm (magic, sorcery, alchemy, folk medicine, legends, ritual ceremonies, sacred dances, astrology ...), in order to rein in the expansion of the "frenzied barbarism of the techno-scientific age." [110]

      The vitality of astrology and its opponents' lack of success demonstrate that it contains something quite other than what they imagined -- even than what the majority of its sympathizers imagined. It embodies a specific and legitimate attitude of the human spirit toward consciousness and defines a possible alternative to the rendering uniform of awareness that results from an exclusive use of modern methods and techniques.

It announces a renewal of philosophy, resigned today to the hegemony of scientistic rationality mixed with the tattered finery of Christian morality, having renounced all metaphysical projects for the sake of historicism, formal logic and hermeneutics. Astrology is a counterweight to "the formidable enterprise of suggestion which has produced and maintains the current mentality." [111] 

It applies today more than ever a corrective to intemperate engagement in the present, because it strives to preserve from neglect and confusion the reality of psychic tonalities which innervate consciousness. And if it remains marginalized in current civil, business and scientific law, that is because it is intrinsically what its ideological critics cannot pardon: transcultural, a-productive, and anthropomorphic.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:34:54 pm

                                              The Animosity of the Historian

"Peut-être découvrirons-nous un jour que la même logique
est à l'oeuvre dans la pensée mythique et dans la pensée scientifique,
et que l'homme a toujours pensé aussi bien."
(Claude Lévi-Strauss : Anthropologie structurale)

      Astrology and its history [1]  experienced a resurgence at the end of the 19th century under the conjunction of Pluto and Neptune in Gemini. Historians present the subject as an absurd superstition, idolatry and a mental illness: the unworthy parent of astronomy is supposed to have infected the various domains of culture for more than two thousand years.

There is no academic historian who treats it favorably: some writers merely temper their hostility. [2]  When dealing with astrologers, the historian feels justified in using reproaches and rebukes that even ethnologists have learned to suppress in their works about societies without the written word. There is no end to the doubtful allegations proffered by these ideologues of the memory of cultures, whose blindness is all the more offensive because they are by far the better informed detractors of astrology.

One can also find among the ranks of the most bitterly opposed certain ex-astrologers, disillusioned by their incapacity to make an original contribution to the field: [3]  "those who have tried to be astrologers but failed," the seventh of ten categories of the enemies of astrology according to Albumasar. [4]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:36:46 pm

The disdain of Bouché-Leclercq is accompanied by an offhanded arrogance vis-à-vis pre-Hellenic civilizations in general, at a time when one underestimated the considerable advances made by Babylonian culture in algebra, astronomy and medicine. [5] 

Franz Cumont, editor of the famous anthology of Greek astrological texts, notes in his preface (in Latin): "The vanity of this false doctrine having been exposed to view, no one will dare to take interest [after the 17th c.] in the hoaxes of false prophets, and this art, just like the books by means of which it was taught, will fall completely away from memory." [6] 

According to Pierre Duhem, a victim of the "analogic thought" that he purports to dismiss, astrology supposedly served no purpose other than that of paving the way for the discovery of universal gravity. [7] 

For Jean-Charles Houzeau, an emulator of Auguste Comte and his evolutionist theory of the three successive stages of human reason, astrology is said to follow worship of the stars and to precede astronomy: "All the nations that have continued up to the age of systems have given up this false science. It was the second general stage, just as worship of the stars was the first." [8] 

There have been many conflicting views and precipitous affirmations, such as the one made by Johannes Stoeffler (1452-1531) in his Almanach (Ulm, 1499) about a devastating flood supposed to accompany the conjunction of 1524 -- or the notion that says science has demonstrated the futility of astrology. [9]

      This positivist attitude, already rendered passé at the end of the 19th century by the philosophies of Dilthey, Nietzsche, Peirce and Bergson, showed itself to be completely ridiculous a few decades later. Upheld by the likes of a Robert Eisler, author of the classic anti-astrology text of the 1940's, [10]  or by the historian of science George Sarton, who describes astrology as a "perverse synthesis" of the irrational and the rational, whose "unlikely design has seduced the natural stupidity of man." [11] 

Otto Neugebauer, who in 1951 in the journal Isis [12]  judiciously reproached Sarton for his lack of knowledge of the historical importance of astrology for understanding the evolution of astronomical thought, nonetheless counts Greek astrology among "the most absurd doctrines to arise from pseudo-rational superstition that have contributed a heavy load to the 'darkness' of subsequent ages." [13] 

The historian Ernst Zinner, director of the Bamberg Observatory, notes: "Not the slightest idea, no discernment, no understanding at all of modern astronomy: such were the characteristics of the astrologer. It is fortunate that the royal art of astrology degenerated." [14]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:37:49 pm

 Their disciples took up the arguments of their masters, which became like a beacon emitted from the authorities of the scientific community, and the pupils seemed to give a wink of the eye to indicate that they accepted the consensus and took up the baton. At times their hostility reduced itself to mere insinuations against a chimerical body of knowledge, of which they nonetheless undertook historical study. [15] 

Their supposition is this: that Neolithic peoples and their cultures, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Chinese, the Arabs and the people of the Middle Ages conceptualized reality under the constraint of various degrees of superstition and intellectual immaturity, which modern reason, emancipated from such foolish notions, prejudices and outmoded ideologies, has managed to eradicate.

      The emotional reaction of rejection evinced by the majority of historians of science, religion and philosophy (i.e., those not specializing specifically in the history of astrology, and who stumble dumbfoundedly upon the incongruous presence of astrology in their chosen field of study [16] ) becomes in the case of specialists a policy of active depreciation, for such is the danger of appearing ideologically suspect in the eyes of the scientific community.

In point of fact, their studies could indeed render service to astrologers -- these latter day adepts in the old superstitions -- and do something to rehabilitate in the eyes of the general public this "pseudo-science" definitively discredited by the community of scientists.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:39:33 pm

But how could these negative preconceptions be turned to the benefit of sound reasoning, with a goal of interpretation without bias? The ditch dug by two centuries of narrow-minded rationalism and positivism decidedly moves the stream away from the knowledge base of astrology, [17]  but also away from historical truth and the understanding of cultural history in its broader outlines, not only ancient and medieval, but also classical, modern and "post-modern."

Thorndike warns historians against "the perils of writing a history of science without keeping constantly in mind the presence of astrology." [18]  He admonishes similarly in regard to epistemologists whose "history" consists only of those ideas that have been corroborated by current research.

The person beached on the shore of the data and consensus opinion of the scientific community, an ideologue of the history of science, spies out what he calls "epistemological ruptures," by which concept he means to relegate to insignificance and illegitimacy as "pseudo-knowledge" entire strata of cultures from the past, simply because those strata that do not agree with the present state of research in the dominant paradigm.

Charles Webster notes that there is not very much difference between the universe of Newton (in whose library numerous works on astrology with annotations were found) and that of Paracelsus: both men contributed equally to the process of cultural creation and transformation. [19]

      The most ingenious process for devaluing astrology is the one that consists of denying it all cognitive value by virtue of its genealogy: the master thinkers in the history of astrology (Franz Cumont, Franz Boll, Wilhelm Gundel, Otto Neugebauer, David Pingree ...) have successfully dispelled the idea of the autochthonous emergence of astrology within vastly different cultures by proving its sole origin (Akkadian) and by following its course of development through Alexandrine Egypt, the Persians and the Syrians, in Greece and Rome, in India, and finally the Arabs and medieval Europe.

Even if this diffusionist schema forgets to include some parts of Chinese and Indian astrology (in particular the question of the 28 lunar "houses"), it has been judged adequate to justify a minimalist interpretation and to reduce astrology to "astrolatry," i.e. to the the supposed mentality claimed to have obtained at the time of its birth in the worship of the stars.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:40:27 pm

Now, astronomy itself followed the same course of development: but it was obviously more adept at hiding its origins than was astrology! Moreover, it goes unexplained why astrology has had the privilege of being universally accepted within the framework of the most diverse cultures, which is inconceivable for a simple belief, superstition or divinatory practice, just as it is for a religion, philosophy, or ideology. A number of other deprecatory practices are used, together or separately, by historians hostile to astrology:

1. Setting up the arguments of astrologers against those of their opponents. [20]

2. Conflating, more or less consciously, "popular" and "serious" astrology. [21]

3. Ignoring the effective content of astrological models and treatises and, at best, contenting oneself with the drawing up of catalogues, or the editing of texts without translating them; or, on the other hand, doing a work of very detailed exegesis on texts often of minor interest astrologically, all the while holding one's distance from a true comprehensive approach. [22]

4. Condemning or passing over in silence any new evidence that does not agree with the models of antiquity; or, on the other hand, dismissing the subject on the basis of differences between several models. [23]

5. Studying astrology with an external bias (e.g., religion, astronomy, politics, semiotics, sociology, psychoanalysis, ethnology, etc...), which is predisposed to the notion of the disappearance of astrology as an autonomous field of knowledge. [24]

6. Attempting to expose an "internal" point of view, all the while considering astrology a priori to be an extinct superstition rather than a living field of study. [25]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:41:44 pm

It is the particular paradox of historians of astrology to ignore its recent advances. How can one evaluate the theories and models of the past without the light thrown on them by their modern formulation, and without knowledge of the state of current research? As long as historians continue to believe that a few popular handbooks suffice to give account of contemporary astrological reality despite its inquiries and investigations, it cannot possibly be a question of any enlightened study.

Moreover, it is not a question of astrology needing just one history (be it the one approached from a sociological point of view, as with Cumont, or an astronomical one as with Neugebauer and Pingree, or a political one as with Cramer ...), what is needed is an epistemology, i.e. a critical reflection on the birth, transformation and future of astrology's models, which presupposes a judicious understanding of its operative structures. The study of astrology requires its own space, one that does not falsify its perspective, does not alter its own point of view, and does not deny its very existence.

      Bouché-Leclercq [26]  makes the mistake of believing that his analyses dismiss texts without any inherent interest, to which he has devoted -- with distaste -- long years of difficult toil. But it is not through reading his work that one comes to understand Greek astrology, it is rather through studying the translations and commentaries that astrologers have begun to publish in this second period of the rebirth of astrology, which began under the Neptune-Uranus conjunction of 1993. [27] 

And even if the history of astrology in the second half of this century has moved beyond the positivist stage of narrow-minded rejection of its object of study, it still shows itself invariably in an attitude of analytical salvage, which fails to recognize or dismisses outright the original contributions of astrology's thinkers, contributions that are often formulated in a way foreign to the criteria of modern rationality, which means that the contributions are denigrated precisely because they are formulated in that manner.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:42:51 pm

Despite the qualitative difference between astrological literature and the epi-astrological works of the academy, one learns more about astrology through reading the former, because it shows matrix-based reason in action, and, despite its bumblings and inadequacies, does manage to express something of that reality.

Astrology is by no means a rag-bag of obsolete superstitions as it is styled by the professional historian. It is rather a body of knowledge that functions beyond the confines of discursive reason and dualistic thought, beyond the borders of simple interpretation of the visible on the basis of mental solicitations, and arises from an appeal to a larger reason, an opening of the mind to the entirety of psychic potential.

The historian's animosity, his pronounced disdain and his lack of understanding of living astrology should be no cause for surprise: the position such retributive thinkers occupy or claim for themselves leaves them no alternative but to enter as a foreigner and survey the ravaged country of astrologer.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:49:09 pm

                                                         Sociological Sophistry

"All our sociology knows
no other instinct than that of the herd,
that is to say, of zeroes added together."
(Nietzsche : Fragments Posthumes 1888-1889)

      The sociologist, contrary to the historian, is not familiar with astrology and wants to know nothing about it: it has interest for him only as a cultural syndrome and a resurgence within the environment of modern thought of an archaic, irrational, folk mentality. Hence he limits himself to interrogating the activity of the astrologer -- whom he considers to be a barbarian gone astray in the modern technopolis, not a truth-seeker or a man of learning, but simply a charlatan, an exploiter of the public's gullibility or the instigator of a return to popular superstition. Edgar Morin: "At the moment in which man made his first steps on the moon, somewhere on Earth the cult of Madame Sun expired." [28]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:50:44 pm

The German philosopher Theodor Adorno made public in 1951 his "Theses Against Occultism," which he developed further in 1957 by adding an analysis of the astrology column [29]  of the American popularizer Carroll Righter, a disciple of Evangeline Adams. [30] 

The "horoscopes" of mass market newspapers have become a favorite object of sociological investigation. [31]  They rest on commonly held beliefs, reinforce accepted values and are "in harmony with the culture industry in its totality." [32]  To put it another way, they purvey no individualized awarenesses, but rather reflect opinions and prejudices shared by the reading public, astrologers and those in charge of the production of mass culture.

      The jack-of-all-trades Roland Barthes formulated the same critique in regard to the astrology column of a women's magazine: astrology "is not a path of evasion, but rather realistic evidence of the life conditions of the employee, of the shop clerk." [33]  The observation is justified in so far as it does not extend to a general critique of astrology, of which the paper-pushers of astrology columns are held to be representatives.

The legitimacy of psychoanalysis is not judged on the basis of the radio gossip sessions of such and such a talk show host popular at the moment. The aptness of an economic theory is not determined by taking the opinion of someone selling socks on a street corner. It is only logical that mediated subjects should express mediated opinions: in this regard, astrology suffers the same fate as any other discipline.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:52:40 pm

But the sociologist, by taking aim at astrology as his laughing stock, merely corroborates the lamentable scenarios one finds in mediated wheeling and dealing. He does not study astrology, his attention rests only on its parody, i.e. "mass astrology." Nor does he study the astrologer, but only the histrionic public figure that the media encourage and that sociological discourse takes as its object. He appears to remain oblivious to the fact that in order to get an astrological column published one need not necessarily be an astrologer: one may also be a comedian, a singer, a businessman, a loan shark ...

      The anti-astrological argumentation of sociologists is neither serious nor carefully worked out. It is clear with what precipitation Edgar Morin launched his team of sharp-shooters into pursuit of their prey. The sociologist, who works within the confines of the scientific industry, has as it is hard work defending the "orthodox" nature of his activity.

What is required of him is a literary and moralistic exercise on the condition of all the marginalized categories of knowledge, with a view to their acculturation and subordination to the necessities and ideals of modernity. His function is to give an account of the paradoxical activity of these marginalized bodies of knowledge and to illustrate through his analyses the various manifestations of the crisis of modern consciousness.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:53:37 pm

Recent sociological studies [34]  show that "belief" in astrology -- the matter of belief always being a presupposition in this area, whereas for science it is a matter of knowledge -- is inversely proportional to the level of scientific comprehension on the part of the people interviewed. The results, then, are nothing more than the following rather trivial observation: the more the mind is educated and conditioned by scientific mentality, the less receptive it is to what it finds unfamiliar. What can one hope to find by taking the pulse of popular opinion if not the results of the action of the dominant mentality on people's minds? Unless, of course, the true work of the sociologist consists precisely of verifying whether the means of ideological indoctrination are in good working order ...

      Sociological discourse can gild the most biased and underhanded kinds of anti-astrology. Its function is to reproduce the opinion and prejudices of the scientific community, despite the fact that it is itself the poor relation of the group that community claims as its own. [35]  The sociologist, a by-product of the scientific juggernaut, justifies himself by reflecting in his discourse the transparency of scientistic ideology, without being obliged to interrogate the presuppositions of his own investigative process.

To my knowledge, there is no sociological study on the caste of sociologists. The anti-astrology of sociologists consists first in postulating that astrology should be an object of study for sociology, but never that science,[36]  astronomy, or sociology itself be such an object.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:54:51 pm

The investigative process of Adorno has the bright idea of interpreting the resurgence of astrology on the basis of the complications that proceed from the division of labor in general and that of science in particular. Astrology is held to be a stopgap without intrinsic value, the more or less deluded function of which is ostensibly to fill in the chasms between cognitive fields (notably astronomy and psychology) that have no manifest relationship to each other: "The opacity of astrology is nothing other than the opacity that predominates between various scientific domains that cannot be joined by any significant thread." [37]  Similarly, the astrologer is ostensibly the one who makes his living from this rupture and from the general dissatisfaction that the social division of labor creates in its wake: "Astrological folly can be interpreted principally as a commercial exploitation [of this rupture and ] of this mindset, the one like the other presupposing and corroborating retrograde tendencies." [38]

      Astrology is held to have as it function the dissimulation of the causes of social imbalance and to carry off the astrologer and his subject in a rapture arising from beatific acceptation of the information. Now, although that observation does apply to mediated pseudo-astrology, the majority of discourses apply that caricatured imaged to astrology and astrologers in general. Likewise, they tend paradoxically to legitimate the by-products that "critical analysis," with its Freudian base of assumptions, tries to dismiss.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:58:01 pm

The sociologist Daniel Gros, a disciple of Pierre Bourdieu, reports some confidences uttered by real astrologers, led into a trap on that particular occasion, and upholds the theory that astrologers belong to the category of the "socially maladapted." [39]  He "perceives the profession of astrologer through a hypothesis of behavior involving failure." [40]  Hazardous consequences are drawn from a few cases of this type of person, whose purposes have been carefully filtered so that only material appears that supports the presuppositions of the author's interpretation, which is paternalistic: "The astrologer is motivated by the desire for knowledge that he has most often not been able to acquire due to his social origins." [41] 

From this thought derives the conclusion, which is in fact the initial hypothesis: "Astrology is not considered here as an end in itself, but rather as a symbolic means of going beyond an incapacity to compose rationally a global vision of the world." [42]

      The socially maladapted person is he who has not had the opportunity to comply with the functions rewarded by the established order! His dissatisfaction comes from the fact that he fails to appreciate the value of institutional knowledge and that he is constrained to beat his head against this wall called astrology! The rational and global vision of the world is no doubt the one put forward by scientistic ideology and its mechanized universe!

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 08:59:38 pm

 The anti-astrological agenda becomes clear: first one marginalizes the astrologer by throwing overboard any educational structures or research, then one denounces his marginality and gives to it fantastic explanations -- because he would necessarily have to leave astrology behind to enter the academy -- and as a third step one devotes one's attention to the proliferation of parasites who take on the appearance of astrologers for the public and the mass media, which justifies in the eyes of the intelligentsia the maintenance of the entire process. Hence: ideology gags the astrologer; business puts words in the mouth of its patsy.

      The caricatured and arrogant approach of the sociologist finds its echo in the wheeling and dealing of editors: the readers of astrological books are held to be of middling intellect and to lack almost entirely any critical sense. Astrological texts are categorized together with sports, games and leisure activities. Their readers are identified by editors for the mass market and their underlings as consumers looking for a combination of something pleasant to read and a few recipes. And often, alas!, the reader effectively becomes what the structures of media production encourage him to be.

On the other hand, there is no fear with regard to the average readership of popular scientific literature that it will abandon the party line, because it exists under the auspices of the scientific institution. Consequently, the readers do not really need to comprehend the theories presented, but only to accept them as discourse that enjoys the label of legitimation.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 09:49:15 pm

The development of serious astrology and its institutionalization have often been accompanied by repressive measures meant to stem the proliferation of charlatans. Thrasyllus, the counselor of the Emperor Tiberius, was possibly the most important astrologer of history from a political point of view. He ostensibly influenced legislation intended to restrict divinatory practices and to impose standards of quality on the profession of astrologer. [43] 

A century later Emperor Hadrian seems to have had the same concerns: "Certain professors of astronomy, without doubt among them many who also taught astrological theories, may have received chairs at the Roman state university, the Athenaeum, from its foundation (134 A.D.).

That seems probable by virtue of the fact that the founder of the first Latin university, the emperor Hadrian, was not only himself an adept at astrology, but also a reknowned practicioner." [44]  It is attested that a century after the founding of the university in Rome, the Emperor Alexander Severus encouraged the development of astrology in it, no doubt to restrain the activity of charlatans. [45]

      A millenium later, Alfonso X El Sabio (1221-1284), king of Castile and Leon, a protector of knowledge and astrology, was the instigator of translations of Arabic treatises first into Spanish and then into Latin, together with the composition of an astrological summary, the Libros del saber de astronomia. He was also the motive force behind an astrological treatise, Libro de las cruzes (1259), and the famous Alphonsine Tables (ca. 1252).

He founded a chair of astrology at the University of Salamanca and in his own turn promulgated judicial measures against charlatans: "Divination of the future through the stars is authorized for persons properly trained in astronomy, beyond the other types of divination which are forbidden." [46]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 09:50:53 pm

Astrology becomes a sub-literature when there are removed from it the means to develop as an autonomous domain of knowledge and when the multiplication of charlatans is encouraged. Locked into the ghetto of schools and ephemeral associations, astrology does not have access to the resources available in centers of research and and teaching. Its lack of recognition by the academy and the precarious socio-professional status of its practicioners create a field of freedom larger than that of other disciplines, a kind of "no man's land" of free expression (and a trusting audience) that occasion its exposure to all sorts of eccentrics, parasites, visionaries, and incompetents. [47]

      The resolutely pluralist conception of astrology sets itself apart from the interchangeability of the dominant discourses and their collapse into themselves. Because astrology is unreconcilable with them, it is capable of containing those discourses and of justifying them formally, from its matrix base. It goes without saying that precisely the opposite of this idea is encouraged by the media and by sociology.

That is why the insanity of pseudo-astrology becomes the plaything of cynics who take it in hand: astrology is tolerated only as a placebo, with a corresponding disfiguration of its fundamental nature. Sociological analyses, with their apparatus of surveys and questionnaires, by giving the emphasis to the confusion between true astrologers and their falsifiers (themselves overwhelmed by the flourishing commerce of telecommunications services), are no more than a redoubling echo of the travesty perpetrated on astrology by the media.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 09:53:29 pm

                                        The Incompetence of "Astrologers"

"Finally, while both astrology and those who practise it continue to puzzle me, I believe that the symbolism they use, but so rarely appear to understand, has a certain objective beauty, even logic. (...) The magic spell is broken the moment one tries to translate everything into ordinary, everyday words. Hence my theory that astrology would be fine without the astrologers." (Ellic Howe, Urania's children)

      The practicioner styles himself an astrologer, and the din of mediation corroborates his pretension. The men of the Renaissance were more modest, no doubt because they were in closer relation to things of real import, to people, to passions. The amateur was called an astrophile, the practitioner: astrologian. The cultural and anthropological dimension of astrology was not reduced to the matter of the interpretation of natal charts. How could such men as these, brought up reading Plutarch, have limited themselves to that one aspect?

      On the other hand, the Ancients did not entertain the unhealthy modern infatuation with the sensational, which is contrary to the nature of astrology. The world of Castaneda is "extraordinary," as is that of Etienne Guillé. Astrology itself is perfectly ordinary. The astrologers of greatest insight are chagrined, not overjoyed, by their knowledge: Omar Khayyam is troubled by the dominion of the stars over the affairs of men. [48]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 09:55:24 pm

  Today, if one leaves aside the mercantile activism of charlatans and the pseudo-astrology of newspaper horoscopes and psychic hotlines, activity in astrology can be identified in three areas: the research of astrologers, [49]  the progress of which is reflexive, i.e. theoretical and praxis-based and capable of postulating a true conception of reality (and not simply lyric flights of fancy with pretensions to the poetical and the metaphysical); contractual and applied astrology performed by a practitioner or astrologian (exchange of astrological services, courses, consultations and therapy sessions, done for a charge); and the confidential astrology of the astrophile, either as an amateur or a follower of astrology.

      Consultation is only one application of astrological knowledge among many others. The astrologer-consultant maintains the same relationship to astrological research as does the physician or engineer to scientific research: a relationship of execution and, most often, of commercial exploitation. Certainly a familiarity with natal charts is necessary, [50]  but it is only a minimal requirement and involves only one of the possible forms of astrological knowledge, i.e. that of horoscopic astrology.

The essential thing is not to calculate charts, but rather to live astrology, that is to say, to acquire a true astrological vision of reality. It is not simply a matter of speculating on the tendencies of Saturn or Venus in an individual's chart, but rather of transfiguring the ensemble of his mental representations, of using in a global way the astrological operators, not in an isolated or arbitrary way, all the while continuing to think in a dualistic manner.

It is a question of acquiring a matrix-based comprehension of the real, be the subject politics or the theatre, gastronomy or philately, following the example of the semiotician Peirce, who interpreted every product of the mind as a sign.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 09:57:57 pm

 The practitioner, who is often a pragmatist and takes the easy way out and is prompted by curiosity and a thirst for newfangled methods, tries "techniques" of the most disparate nature imaginable, thereby sacrificing the coherence of the totality. He seeks to satisfy the demand of a clientele anxious for comfort, or of a readership seeking sensationalism. The "But it works!" of the empirical process legitimizes every aberration. But it does still work, despite the scanty requirements made in defining adequacy in the interpretation of perceived reality. Moreover, astrological factors are chosen arbitrarily. There results no hypothesis about the possible functioning of astral incidence, nor even an internal logic that could justify the use of these factors from an astrological point of view.

The astrologer examines a few charts, then talks about his "research." He reads a few books and gives a few readings, then talks about his "experience." He does nothing more than use some tools with a view to a specific application of astrology, i.e. the psychological interpretation of natal charts. Some such people come up with new techniques (very often simple modifications of previous ones) in pursuit of the same ends. An imaginary empiricism is the sole guarantor of their ostensible efficacy. All of this has little to do with astrology. It is a form of personal satisfaction, the subjective application of knowledge that lies outside the bounds: a small personal affair. How could such a thing interest universities? In point of fact, astrology concerns itself essentially with the general and only indirectly with the particular: it is a mode of thought, and a mode of the functioning of thought, a logic of perception.

      The practitioner is not interested in learning: he believes that he already knows. He believes that his conviction about the existence of a reality to which skeptical minds remain closed excuses him from the effort of research. He does not think it necessary to know anything about his predecessors. He has no real model of astrology, only vague spiritual assumptions that seem to him to harmonize with this slapdash praxis.

He forgets that the body of knowledge he uses arose from a conglomeration of heterogeneous and disparate techniques, dating from specific historical periods, that float today like driftwood in the harbor of one or another sphere of praxis, by reason of the mediated success of a particular author or the skewed translation of an ancient text, and not because comparative studies have been undertaken or because reflection on the logic of the totality has been engaged.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:01:00 pm

There is no such thing as traditional astrology; there are only models from the past, with great differences between them, products of particular cultures, schools of thought, or individual astrologers working in isolation. A conglomeration of these models is assimilated in the minds of some astrologers to represent a supposed tradition, astrologers who are often ignorant of historical reality.

If the system of Ptolemy has left a preponderant mark in the astrological culture of Europe, medieval and then modern, it would deserve more than any other system the label "traditional" by virtue of the very special place it occupies within the framework of Hellenistic astrology. If astrology thrashes about impotently in the ghetto to which it was relegated in the Enlightenment, its circumstances are in part due to those who have taken up its banner.

Astrologers should engage the terrains of history and epistemology: it is there that they will find their most formidable adversaries, as well as those most worthy of esteem. The first great modern adversary of astrology was not Pico della Mirandola, as one commonly believes, but rather Salmasius (1648).

      The "true astrologer" can differentiate impressionals because he has gained experiential knowledge of astral incidence through the two originating experiences, which are the variability, both quantitative and qualitative, of psychic-astral energy (i.e, the experience of transits) and the differentiation that occurs between individuals.

All that does not mean that he is an empiricist: his knowledge evolves within the framework of theoretical reflection about the interpretive models that illuminate his experience. He remains attentive to the fact that any technique used presupposes a model of the functioning of astral incidence. What is more, astrological experience is not comparable to that of other domains of knowledge, because it never deals with facts, but rather with "quasi-facts," and not with events, but rather with emergences into consciousness. In this regard, it is very difficult to communicate to others.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:02:51 pm

The astro-psychologist, even a talented one (which is rare), is nothing more than a practicioner, for an astrologer should bring together at least three of the four components of his discipline: metaphysics, astronomy, history and psychology. Whoever does not have a hold on the thread of philosophy presents somewhat shortsighted views of his subject, and his discourse does not differentiate itself from that of the ideologues of the moment; the poor technician has a tendency to remain a prisoner of his outmoded models; whoever is ignorant of his predecessors believes in the unalloyed novelty of his discourse and lacks the background to appreciate its real value; a deficiency with regard to psychology can lead to mistaken ideas about the sense and meaning of astrological symbols.

      Popular astrology, being of a psycho-symbolist nature, has become a simple exercise in pattern recognition within the reach of anyone. A naive conception of the symbol authorizes any interpretation whatsoever and serves to "psychologize" whatever reality happens to be presented. In the analyses given there most often appear only prefabricated correspondences between configurations in the natal chart and their suggested interpretations. Known facts and trivial psychological situations involving the natives are believed to relate directly to these configurations.

When the person under consideration is a public figure or an historical personage, the interpretation does not bring new light to bear on the subject, but rather simply reproduces most often superficial and commonplace notions about the person in question. All this astrological psycho-babble never goes beyond the level of ordinary common sense and the most mediocre triviality, doubtless because the social status of the practitioner constrains him to be convincing and to justify the legitimacy of his system of interpretation by adapting it to current mentality and representation.

The result: his discourse lags far behind the advances of specialized research. Keeping that circumstance in mind, what credit should be given to a praxis that remains incapable of illuminating its object of inquiry, that uses inadequate exegesis, that can produce no truly original understanding?

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:04:40 pm

 The practitioner corroborates the fait accompli, the socio-cultural consensus, and the ideological status quo, as if astrological praxis were in the position of justifying -- by means of who knows what quintile or midpoint -- the entire foolishness of mediated production, and as if the practitioner were capable of understanding it astrologically. Moreover, such practitioners prefer to use popular works and secondary sources, which do disservice to the serious potential of his discourse.

If astrology really wishes to attain to intellectual respectability, it must raise itself to the level of the exegeses and works of advanced research, and be in the position on occasion to refute certain discourses by proposing interpretations based on solid argumentation.

As long as astrologers remain incapable of showing to intellectuals and philosophers -- leaving aside for the moment the quixotic nature of that process itself -- by what means their knowledge enables access to a singular comprehension of human reality, they will no more be believed than will their discipline be respected.

      Consequently, it is useless to ape the modes of organization of institutionalized bodies of knowledge and to demand recognition by socio-cultural authorities for practices at best doubtful through the staging of meetings, colloquia, associations, federations, and "codes of deontology," that serve little purpose but to exacerbate the proliferation of power politics. It is also quite useless to accommodate oneself to the forms legitimized by modern scientism (present in both the physical sciences and those called "humane"), without participating in some positive way toward their transformation. The nature and the issues of astrology seem to the practitioner perfectly compatible with the current cultural paradigm. [51] 

And in this he stands at a distance from astrology from the outset. He adapts himself partially to the utilitarian mentality of the moment and then exercises a marginalized kind of therapeutic function, one recognized by sociological analyses. Hence the irony of the literature epi and contra astrology that observes, and rightly so, that not only does astrological discourse not escape the bounds of common thought, but attaches itself to it at the lowest level. With such adepts as its representatives, does astrology really need adversaries?

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:06:08 pm

                                                Technical Argumentation

"Vera Astrologia docet nos legere in libro Dei."
["True astrology teaches us to read in God's book."]
(Pico della Mirandola: Conclusiones, 1486)

      A healthy critique of the problems relative to astrology no more belongs to those ideologues hostile to it than it does to the puppets, charlatans and buffoons who claim it for themselves. As a result, numberless objections relating to its techniques and methods of interpretation -- inevitable given its longevity, its intercultural diversity and the multiplication of its doctrines even within the framework of a single culture -- fan the flames of the continual controversies that divide astrologers.

Certain of those controversies participate positively in the transformation and renewal of the operators, structures and hence the models of astrology. Argumentation no longer stems from the ideological, i.e. the refusal to consider astral reality as astrological knowledge by appeal to external norms and criteria. These critiques concentrate on the elaboration of the natal chart, the variability of astrological structures and the semantic plasticity of symbolic operators.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:07:16 pm

Paradoxically, if one were to illustrate the difficulties of astrology, the competent astrologer would have at his disposal a multitude of details that even the most enraged of his detractors might envy. First there is the natal chart, the importance of which is self-explanatory for the beginner who is ignorant of the complex operation of representation with a spatial orientation (usually that of the ecliptic) of the state of the sky at the hour and place of the native's birth, i.e. of a particular moment in the geocentric celestial sphere, and of the complex spatial and temporal relations that link those elements. The difficulties and consequences of this projection of tridimensional space onto a simple diagram generally go unconsidered by the adversaries of astrology. [52]

      The projection of the planets onto the ecliptic is questionable: no planet (except the Sun) is ever really on the ecliptic, save at those points of intersection in the course of its revolution where the planet meets the ecliptic (at its nodes).

Consequently, and especially for Pluto, serious discrepancies exist between its actual position and its projection onto the ecliptic during more than half of its orbital cycle, especially during the passage through Pisces, Aries and Taurus, then similarly through Virgo, Libra and Scorpio. This problem becomes a matter for concern with regard to domification and the position of the Aspects. Respect for astronomical reality inclines one to work out a Zodiac based on equatorial declinations, specific to each planet, or even to keep in mind the latitudes of the ecliptics.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:09:00 pm

Anti-astrologers are especially fond of stressing the primacy of the chart of the point of conception over the birth chart, despite -- or perhaps because of -- the extreme difficulty of determining the exact moment of fertilization. Now the nervous system and the mechanisms of reception and integration of planetary rhythms are not formed at the moment of conception; it is only at birth that these new functions become active, especially at the point where respiration begins, which frees the infant from the maternal womb: "For the infant in the womb of its mother does not live on its own account; but it is simply a living part of its mother, and does not receive impressions that shape it in and of itself until the first moment when it breathes the air, and lives separately, as its own being." [53]  The psychoanalyist Otto Rank sees in the practice of birthing an astrological antecedent that supports his theses. [54]

      The assimilation of astrological structures into various interpretive models has given rise to a good many questionable ideas, e.g. the attribution of the element Air to Aquarius, or that of the feet to Pisces, of femininity to Taurus, or of time to Saturn on the basis of a phonetic conflation between the Greek terms Kronos and chronos ... These objections arise from a literal interpretation of symbols and from contradictions between differing interpretive models (an example of which is the extension of the theory of the Elements of the Zodiacal quadrants to the signs, Zodiacal melothesia, etc.). It is worthwhile to question these ideas.

The coolness of Cancer, like the warmth of Sagittarius, underlines the incoherence of an interpretation, based strictly on meteorology or the seasons, of the elemental values attributed to the Zodiacal signs. Pico della Mirandola criticized the specious attributions of elemental qualities to the planets made by Ptolemy. [55]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:10:13 pm

Kepler questions the foundations of the concept of a Zodiacal division into twelve equal signs and rejects the Houses and the idea of rulership because they only retain planetary aspects and cycles. Daniel Verney is the inheritor of this "planetarist reductionism." On the other side of the coin, the theory of harmonics put forth by John Addey gives free reign to an unlimited declination of the Zodiac. [56] 
The theory of rulership does not just illustrate simple semantic correspondences between Zodiacal signs and the planets: it is the unifying theory of astrology in so far as Zodiacal, planetary and sectorial structures are differentiations of a single archetypal matrix.

      There exist different schools of thought in astrology, just as in philosophy or physics. A diversity of models does not constitute an incrimination of a particular discipline. In particular the plurality of methods of domification (i.e., the demarcation of the Houses in the celestial sphere) has yet to come to a consensus: the question of births at the poles and the divergence of opinion about the limits and direction of demarcation, about meaning, and even about the number of sectors, continue to cause ardent controversy.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:11:11 pm

The existence of asteroids, [57]  primarily between Mars and Jupiter, along with a considerable number of planetoids recently discovered beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto-Chiron, should lead us to a consideration of the notion of "planet" and "the Planetaries" [i.e., the planets as a Gestalt]. According to Kant, it is the eccentricity of the orbit that differentiates planets and comets: "One might possibly still hope to find beyond the orbit of Saturn new planets more eccentric than these, and thus closer to the nature of comets (...) One could, if one wished, name as the last planet or the first comet the body the eccentricity of which would be so great that it intersects at its perihelion the orbit of the nearest planet, perhaps that of Saturn." [58]  This definition defines Pluto as the last planet of the solar system, since by reason of the eccentricity of its orbit it is closer at its perihelion to the Sun than to Neptune.

      By accepting into its practice fictive points (lunar nodes, parts, midpoints, hypothetical planets ...) and things such as fixed stars, comets and eclipses, the astrologer often forgets that the implied model must respect a triple exigency: an adequate consonance between factors and physical and astronomical reality; the necessity of their periodicity, which conditions their integration by the organism; and the coherence of the ensemble and the lack of redundancy in the posited operators. A chart is sufficiently complex so that certain factors must be added beyond the bodies themselves.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:12:53 pm

The principal argument of Origen concerns the impossibility for the mind of forming synthetic judgments, which is to say, of interpreting the chart, unless it be by an accumulation of dualistic combinations that fail to satisfy but are the only things accessible to analytical thought. What astrologer, for example, is really able to synthesize the entire range of implications present in a conjunction of Sun and Saturn in Leo in the Second House, with a square to Jupiter in Scorpio? Origen uses the term syncrasis to designate this "mixture of astral influences that appear in such and such schematics, the complete meaning of which they themselves [the astrologers] by their own admission cannot grasp." [59] 

A truely global comprehension of a partial configuration, and a fortiori of the totality of a natal chart, exceeds the capacity of astrology as much as of the faculties of mind themselves. Moreover, a natal configuration needs to be rooted in a personal problematic that keeps in mind the individual's social, cultural, familial and mental contexts in which he develops (even if one astracts from genetic and earth-based influences). This is why the astrological reading of human reality must remain an impractical ideal. Astrological knowledge, beyond the reach of the human mind, would in its fullness be only accessible to the "angels."

      The discovery of Uranus in the year in which the first Kritik of Kant appeared, of the asteriods beginning in the year 1800, then of Neptune and Pluto, destabilized the planetary model -- already twenty centuries old -- as well as the logic of rulership. The Seven of the Ancients broke apart and were replaced, first among English astrologers, with Planetaries numbering 8, 9 and finally 10 elements.

An abbott of Castelet mentions in 1681 as an "incontrovertible proof" against astrology, i.e. exactly 100 years before the discovery of Uranus, the probability of the existence of an infinite number of "invisible" planets after Saturn, and thus the possibility of being influenced by a whole host of factors that the astrologer is not even in a position to recognize: "Astrologers will claim that if in the space between Saturn and the center of the Earth there can exist an innumerable multitude of planets as large as Saturn, that rotate around the Sun as principal planets just like Saturn and Jupiter, they will also claim, I maintain, that if the possibility of this notion is accepted, it spells the end of astrology." [60] 

In point of fact the argument is nothing new: it is mentioned by Favorinus of Arles and taken up again at the beginning of the 8th book of the famous treatise by Pico della Mirandola, Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem [Arguments against divinatory astrology]. [61]

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:14:41 pm

Knowledge about the context of designation for trans-Saturnian planets has facilitated the questioning of a strictly mythological and "symbolic" reading of the planets and the Zodiacal signs. Moreover, the history of astrology shows that the Zodiac and the Seven were constituted after a comparable aleatory process. The ensemble of these critiques is such as to motivate reflection about the models we use and their structural foundations.

The historical analyses that have multiplied since the beginning of this century put, like it or not, into the hand of researchers a multitude of texts, theories and practices, as numerous as the number of eminent astrologers, that are beginning to cause reflection of an epistemological nature about the intrinsic necessity of extant structures, about the sometimes contingent genesis of current theories, and about the links between models and their cultural roots. Astrology is not a fixed body of knowledge.

A global mise en relation of the real meaning of its operators with psychic and cultural data becomes renewed through contact with those data: thus astrology survives, despite its detractors, the transformation of its successive models.

Post by: Bianca on September 26, 2007, 10:15:42 pm

Translator's Note: In the interest of expediency, works originally published in English and used in French translation are cited in the language of the translation, without reference to the original English title. For the most part, texts from those works have been prepared on the basis of the translation rather than quoted from the English originals, which explains any possible divergence of the citations from the author's text. The translator hopes that this practice honors the content of the original completely, even if it diverges at points from literal transmission. (MSB)

[1]  Cf. Peter Jensen, Die Kosmologie der Babylonier, Strasbourg, 1890; Franz Boll, Studien über Claudius Ptolemäus, Leipzig, Teubner, 1894; the first volume of Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, Brussels, 1898; Auguste Bouché-Leclercq, L'astrologie grecque, Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1899 (of which certain chapters appeared separately from 1884 forward); and last but not least the first history of Babylonian astrology: Archibald Sayce, "The Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians," in: Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, 3, 1874. « Text

[2]  Lynn Thorndike (born in Lynn, Mass. 24 July 1882, died in 1965), due to the enormous amount of work he did in the collection and presentation of medieval texts on astrology, and despite his allegations presented in the second volume of his History of Magic and Experimental Science (New York, Columbia University Press, 1923) can be considered a sympathizer of astrology. « Text

[3]  Cf. the medievalist Max Lejbowicz, author of an Introduction à l'astrologie conditionnelle (Autun [impr.], C.E.F.A., 1977), a textbook, along the lines of the treatises of Jean-Pierre Nicola, his former teacher, or also Jacques Hallbronn in his Clefs pour l'astrologie (rev. ed. Seghers, 1993). Also noteworthy is the existence of a puerile anti-astrological tactic (an amalgamation of astrology and extrinsic practices, outmoded problematics, truncated references ...), that sends "astrologers" back to their calculated ignorance in texts supposedly designed to instruct them and which, vis-à-vis the academic milieu, reserve for themselves any attenuating circumstances that compromise their interlocutors. « Text

[4]  cited in Thorndike, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 264. « Text

[5]  Bouché-Leclercq qualifies astrology as an "unsound system" in his Histoire de la divination dans l'Antiquité (Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1879, vol. 1, p. 257): "One ends up feeling a type of horror for this chaos in which misguided human intelligence has thrashed about for so long." (op. cit., p. 246) Relying on the documentation available to him during his lifetime, he denies the existence of a Chaldean horoscope (in: L'astrologie grecque, Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1899, pp. 50 and 83). « Text

[6]  in Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, Brussels, 1898, vol. 1, p. V. Cumont subsumes astrology under "mythology formulated in axioms" (in Lux perpetua, Paris, Geuthner, 1949, p. 312). « Text

[7]  in Le système du monde, Hermann, 1958, vol. 8, pp. 500-501. « Text

[8]  Jean-Charles Houzeau and Albert Lancaster, Bibliographie générale de l'astronomie, Académie Royale de Belgique, 1887, vol. 1, p. 31. « Text

[9]  The 310-page introduction to the Bibliographie on astronomy and on astrology constitues the first brief modern history of astrology written in the French language. The fact that the first historians of astrology at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century pilfered rather liberally from the secondary documentation of their elder rationalists, who were specialists in superstition and more than hostile to astrology, explains the perpetuation of clichés such as the suppression of astrology by Colbert in 1666, or the justification of Kepler's horoscopic activity by saying that he did it in order to earn money. « Text

[10]  The work is slapdash, confused, riddled with errors, contradictions and comical interpretations. For example, the agitation of patients in asylums on nights when the moon is full is explained by the moon's brightness (in: The Royal Art of Astrology, London, Herbert Joseph, 1946, p. 144.) The author neglects to mention whether or not the dormitories have drawn shades or are open to the sky ... « Text

[11]  George Sarton, A History of Science, Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University Press, 1952, vol. 1, p. 120. « Text

[12]  The first journal of general scope on the history of science, founded in 1913. « Text

[13]  in "The Survival of Babylonian Methods in the Exact Sciences of Antiquity and the Middle Ages," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 107.6, 1963, p. 532. « Text

[14]  In The Stars Above Us, Freiberg, 1953, English translation published by Scribner, New York, 1957, p. 84. « Text

[15]  Gérard Simon (in: Kepler astronome astrologue, Paris, Gallimard, 1979), who ran into the brick wall of the Tertius interveniens, the principal astrological treatise of Kepler, denies to astrology the status of knowledge (p. 14), doubts the very usefulness of undertaking study of the subject and considers "incredible" the fact that Kepler could have shown interest in it (p. 83)! Hervé Drévillon (in: Lire et écrire l'avenir, Seyssel, (Ain), Champ Vallon, 1996) compares in a trivilializing sort of way science and astrology, reason and superstition, knowledge and belief, natal astrology and judiciary astrology, without ever really questioning the incertainties and the permeability of the borders between those fields in the mentality of the 17th century. He relies on ideological and moralistic discourse rather than on the men of science and the astrologers of that period. In the "psycho-socio-historical" approach of Georges Minois, astrology is labeled a superstition and assimilated into divinatory practices (in: Histoire de l'avenir, Fayard, 1996). This superficial and pretentious work by the master of "cross-disciplinary studies" speaks of "genethliologie"! (pp. 66 and 70) and cites Tester in abundance (pp. 23, 65, 178, 180 and 320), even to the point of borrowing his blunders (p. 359) with regard to Jean-Baptiste Morin de Villefranche, whom he believes to have been born in Frankfurt am Rhein and to have died in 1659! « Text

[16]  It is still a frequent occurrence in research departments of French universities among historians of science and religion -- and not only among the junior staffers -- to mimic the skeptical, ironic and condescending tone of Bouché-Leclercq, quite without realizing the ridiculous anachronism of their posture that has already begun to become outmoded on the other side of the Atlantic and across the English Channel. "Incompetence" does not seem to hold anyone back from making categorical statements: "To explain by what stages, after having received Babylonian astrology, Hellenism modified it, would not only be fastidious and pointless, but lies outside the scope of my intents and my competencies." (Jean Bottéro, "L'astrologie est née en Mésopotamie," in L'Histoire 141, 1991, p. 29.) « Text

[17]  In Le Petit Robert 2, that mirror of official culture designed for the masses, most of the reknowned astrologers are thrown out like the baby with the bathwater: Berossus, Dorotheus of Sidon, Antiochus of Athens, Vettius Valens, Varaha Mihira, Albumasar, Lacabitius, Guido Bonatti, Jean-Baptiste Morin ... while on the other hand kings of little importance and politicians, obscure painters and insipid theologians abound. « Text

[18]  in: A History of Magic and Experimental Science, New York, Columbia University Press, 1941, vol. 6, p. 94; also vol. 5, p. 377. « Text

[19]  Cf. From Paracelsus to Newton, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK), 1982. « Text

[20]  For example, Pierre Duhem (in: Le système du monde, Hermann, 1913-17, 5 vols., and 1954-59, 5 vols.); Theodore Wedel (in: The Mediaeval Attitude Toward Astrology, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1920); Eugenio Garin, who speaks of the "mythico-religious fantasies of 'influences' and 'images'" (in: Le zodiaque de la vie, Roma, 1976, French translation published by Belles Lettres, 1991, p. 14); or Jim Tester (in: A History of Western Astrology, 1987; New York, Ballantine Books, 1989). This last work, riddled with errors of date and factual content (e.g. the birth of Jean-Baptiste Morin in Frankfurt am Main and his death in 1659!) reveals a superficial knowledge of its subject. The author confuses choices and questions, as well as the meaning of the Houses (cf. for example p. 240). « Text

[21]  This process is presented by Max Laistner as a major source of the misunderstanding of astrological reality (in: "The Western Church and Astrology During the Early Middle Ages," Harvard Theological Review, 34, 1941, p. 253.) It is used with especial gusto in some rare studies taking aim at contemporary astrology. « Text

[22]  L'astrologie by Will Erich Peuckert (Stuttgart, 1960; French translation published by Payot, 1965) remains to this day the best comprehensive introduction to the history of astrology. « Text

[23]  Bouché-Leclercq hones this practice to a fine art in his Astrologie grecque, believing that he thus refutes astrology. Ojalá! -- wishful thinking! He has yet to approach the history of the sciences! « Text

[24]  Astrology, which played a preponderant role in ancient cultures, has found no "section" in modern research institutes, as though it could be covered in a marginal way without altering the pertinence of analyses of those cultures. « Text

[25]  Hilary Carey criticizes the attitude of her elders (in: Courting Disaster, London, Macmillan, 1992, pp. 4-5) while at the same time distancing herself from modern astrology (pp. 168 and 259). Cf. also Ann Geneva, Astrology and the Seventeenth Century Mind, Manchester University Press, 1995, Chapter 1: "For astrology needs its history" (pp. 1-16). « Text

[26]  The distant precursor of anti-astrological historians is Claudius Salmasius, author of De annis climactericis et antiqua astrologia diatribae (Leyden, Elsevier, 1648). « Text

[27]  Robert Schmidt and Robert Hand have, since 1993, edited and translated classic texts of astrology: the Greek series includes Antiochus, Paul of Alexandria, Vettius Valens, Ptolemy, Hephaestion, Dorotheus ... (these texts appear within the framework of Project Hindsight, Berkeley Springs, The Golden Hind Press). Cf. also Robert Hand, Night & Day, Arhat/The Golden Hind Press, 1995. « Text

[28]  This edifying remark from Le Retour des astrologues (1971) is repeated in the new edition: La croyance astrologique moderne, Lausanne, L'Age de l'Homme, 1981, p. 33. « Text

[29]  which appeared between November 1952 and February 1953. « Text

[30]  "Theses Against Occultism" and "The Stars Down to Earth: the Los Angeles Times Astrology Column," republished in Telos 19, 1974. « Text

[31]  The first astrology columns in newspapers -- these new avatars of the popular almanacs and calendars of the Renaissance -- appeared in 1928 in the United States, in the Sunday Express, before being taken up in Europe a few years later. « Text

[32]  Adorno, op. cit., p. 36. « Text

[33]  in Mythologies, Paris, Le Seuil, 1957, p. 168. « Text

[34]  Cf. Martin Bauer and John Durant, "Belief in Astrology: a Social-Psychological Analysis" in Culture and Cosmos, 1, 1997. « Text

[35]  "Astrological knowledge, however, answers none of the admitted criteria of legitimacy." (Daniel Gros, in La croyance astrologique moderne, p. 192.) « Text

[36]  Cf. nonetheless the works of Bruno Latour on the microsociology of research laboratories (Paris, La Découverte). « Text

[37]  Adorno, op. cit., p. 86. « Text

[38]  Adorno, op. cit., p. 88. « Text

[39]  in: La profession d'astrologue, Thesis, E.H.E.S.S., 1984, directed by Edgar Morin, p. 183. « Text

[40]  Gros, op. cit., p. 144. « Text

[41]  in: La croyance astrologique moderne, p. 193. The argument has perhaps its bit of truth: in point of fact, following one's social milieu and educational level, one can become a salesman, someone who does horoscopes, or a sociologist, and still carry the same baggage of prejudices and end up saying the same thing! « Text

[42]  Gros, op. cit., p. 193. « Text

[43]  On the edict of the year 11 A.D., promulgated under Augustus, cf. Frederick Cramer, Astrology in Roman Law and Politics, Philadelphia, The American Philosophical Society, 1954, pp. 248-250. « Text

[44]  Cramer, ibid. « Text

[45]  Cramer, op. cit., pp. 174 and 279. « Text

[46]  Lynn Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, New York, Columbia University Press, 1923, vol. 2, p. 814. « Text

[47]  In point of fact it is inconceivable that the holder of a first degree in science can qualify as a mathematician, even if he has behind him a dozen years of algebra and analytic mathematics. On the other hand, unfortunately, the neophyte in astrology tends to consider himself a legitimate astrologer after having perused a few book and attended a few workshops. The many astrological "cookbooks" content themselves to use material from a small number of original works, among them (in France), the Traité d'astrologie rationnelle of Dom Néroman (Paris, Sous Le Ciel, 1943), La condition solaire de Jean-Pierre Nicola (Paris, Editions Traditionnelles, 1965), Les astres et l'histoire of André Barbault (Paris, Pauvert, 1967), Fondements et avenir de l'astrologie of Daniel Verney (Paris, Fayard, 1974). « Text

[48]  Cf. quatrains 94 and 121, in Quatrains, French translation from the Persian by Charles Grolleau, 1902; Paris, 1001 Nuits, 1995, p. 38 and p. 47. « Text

[49]  Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, whose works attempt to discern how myth came to be the vehicle for a sophisticated body of knowledge -- especially astronomical knowledge -- underline the point: [by astrologers], "we mean not those who cast people's fortunes for pay, but those who speculated on the traditional system of the world, and made use of whatever there was of astronomy, geography, mythology, holy texts of the laws of time and change, to build up an ambitious system." (Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill, Boston, David Godine, 1977, p. 228.) « Text

[50]  Certain astrologers have called into question Ptolemy's status as a practitioner, without really taking any distance from his model, which is often identified as a supposed astrological "tradition." « Text

[51]  In this sense, the adversaries of astrology are one up on him. « Text

[52]  "No one disputes the value of the calculations in question and the horoscopes thus derived. What is much more questionable is the commentary (essential to astrology!) that accompanies the horoscope." (Jean-Claude Pecker, "L'astrologie et la science" in La Recherche 140, 1983, p. 121.) No requirement is made of an astronomer, who generally does not have any training in political philosophy or hermeneutics, to give his opinion on questions of interpretation. It would be advantageous, on the other hand, if astrologers gave technical information about the problems involved in their area of competence, e.g. those problems relative to the construction of the natal chart. Astronomers and biologists have no special competence where astrology is concerned, unless they rely on what is in their bag of technical tricks, which they have avoided doing up to this point. « Text

[53]  Eustache Lenoble, Uranie, ou les Tableaux des philosophes (1697), new edition, Paris, Pierre Ribou, 1718, p. 246. « Text

[54]  Astrology is held to be "the first doctrine of the traumatism of birth" (In Le traumatisme de la naissance, French ed. published by Payot, 1928; 1976, p. 125.) « Text

[55]  The majority of these objections are brought to light by Bouché-Leclercq in his Astrologie grecque. « Text

[56]  John Addey, Harmonics in Astrology, Romford, Fowler, 1976. « Text

[57]  The argument of the asteriods was used against astrology by T.H. Moody as early as 1838 (in A Complete Refutation of Astrology, Cheltenham, p. 73). « Text

[58]  in: Histoire générale de la nature et théorie du ciel, 1755; French translation published by Vrin, 1984, p. 98. « Text

[59]  In Eusebius Pamphilius, La préparation évangélique, VI 11, Paris, 1846, vol. 1, p. 314. « Text

[60]  Alexandre Tinelis, in: Le messager céleste, Paris, Claude Blageart & Laurent d'Houry, 1681, pp. 231-232 (cf. also p. 252). « Text

[61]  Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem, 1494; Italian translation by Eugenio Garin, Firenze, Vallechi, 1946-52, 2 vols. For an exposé of Pico della Mirandola's theses and the responses of Lucio Bellanti and Giovanni Pontano, cf. Don Cameron Allen, The Star-Crossed Renaissance, Durham (North Carolina), Duke University Press, 1941, pp. 20-46, Benedetto Soldati, La poesia astrologica nel quattrocento, Firenze, Sansoni, 1906, and Eric Weil, Pic de la Mirandole et la critique de l'astrologie, Paris, Vrin, 1986. Thorndike notes that "the importance of Pico in the history of thought has often been grossly exaggerated" (in: A History of Magic and Experimental Science, New York, Columbia University Press, 1934, vol. 4, p. 485).« Text

To cite this page:
Patrice Guinard: Astrology: The Manifesto 4/4
(version 1.2 : 11.2004)

Post by: terrence500 on November 25, 2010, 10:55:40 pm
It is more important to find out the truth about one's self, than to find out the truth of heaven and hell.Astrology for the 21st Century is an exciting journey through many astrological traditions that culminates in a new synthesis.strology is not a secret, psychic, magical, or even spiritual thing. It is physical and down to Earth. It is the science, or observation, of how the sun, moon, and planets interact, and how those interactions affect us here on Earth. Like physical science, astrology analyzes the interaction between matter and energy. Astrology does not foretell the future or seal your fate. Astrology and astrologers should not be confused with Tarot, psychics, or any type of spiritual medium. Astrology is not a religion or belief system, although many people have tried to turn it into such a superstition. Astrology is neutral information about the physical world we live in....