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astrological research

Oct 29, 1993 09:46 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

Popular astrology starts with a natal chart, a map of the sky about the
place of birth. This chart is said to represent the person's basic
personality, what he will be in this lifetime.

The chart has the planets (including the sun and moon). The sky is
sliced into twelve pieces starting at the horizon, called the houses,
and each relates to a different area of life.  The sky is also sliced
into twelve pieces, called the signs, with aries starting at the vernal
equinox. When the planets are within a certain angle of each other,
they are said to be in aspect. A sixty-degree angle, for instance, is
said to be a sextile, with a specific meaning attached.

There are many other aspects of an astrological chart. When a chart is
interpreted, and the astrologer is looking at a certain element of one's
life, there is a complex pattern of relationships and items in a
chart that are looked at. There is not one simple thing to look at, for
instance, to see what kind of marriage partner that one will attract,
and how one's married life will tend to be.

Everything in the chart is inter-related, and it is a complex process to
extract valid information about a person from it. The astrological
indicators are general, and need to be specifically adapted to the
individual in question. It is much, in a way, like interpreting the
results of a throw of the I Ching, or interpreting a dream, there is an
exploration of the unconscious in the process.

Looking at astrological theory from a scientific standpoint, for a
moment, let us accept the assumption that everything in a chart
is inter-related.

One test that we could do would be to take a very large sample of
charts of actual people, say 20,000, generated on a computer program,
then subject them to factor analysis.  The underlying factors should
reveal this interrelated nature of things.  Things that really go
together in charts should show up on the same factors. If they do not
show up together, if things with totally different astrological meanings
show up on the same factors, then there is something wrong with those
astrological meanings! (Unless, of course, we are just using them for
the purpose of divination, and do not really care if they bear a
correlation with actual things in the lives of people.) If there are a
random jumble of meanings on each of the major factors, something is
wrong with those meanings, if there is a relationship at all.

A second test is to take every standard variable in an astrological
chart, and there are several hundred of them, like planet positions by
sign and house, and intra-planet aspects, and using multivariate
statistical techniques, see if relationships hold up against information
about people. This information can be demographic, physical
characteristics, lifestyle and interests, just about anything subject to
measurement. The explanation that astrological research does not hold
up because everything in a chart is not taken into account, in this
case, where everything *is* taken into account, is not true.1

Interpreting an astrological chart is, I would say, an intuitive and
psychic process, where the astrologer has to go beyond the factual
information in the chart and directly see things about the individual in
question. The astrologer is, perhaps unknowingly, reading the astral
light, in regards to the individual in question, and the astrological
indicators that are picked up on are only a means facilitate the
process. It could just as well have been numerology, dream
interpretation, or some other method of accessing unconscious content.

                                  Eldon Tucker (

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