Thursday, February 28, 2008
There's a lot of people, specially in among scientists who have strong (and weakly based) opinions on Astrology. It's curious because, would I be talking about "God", about the importance of worshipping toward Mecca/the Vatican/Salt Lake City/Jerusalem/the Ganges or some other less likely esotheric approach, they would surely just shrug. But Astrology seems to spark passionate rejection - and, well, I can understand why.
But, well, for most of my life I used to be a strong skeptic as well: I had watched Sagan's series with fascination and was not immune to the apparent logic behind his (official) rejection of Astrology. Yet eventually I was dragged to peek on what it was about and, surprisingly (I have not yet fully recovered after more than a decade) I saw that Asrology seems to work, at least in some aspects.
The most important effect of astrology I percieve is in natal charts. People, as we all know, have different personalities, right? Earlier I used to think that they were mere products of education and psychological evolution, that we were all born blank and fundamentally the same. But as I started reading about the fundamentals Astrology (nothing to do with newspapers' horoscopes - that are rejected even by the most naive of astrologists) I started percieving that people around me really seemed to conform to such archetypes.
My best study case is surely my family: I was born in a large family, so I have many syblings and cousins to study and compare, plus also many other relatives. The case is that they all fit pretty well (if not very well) with what one would expect of their natal charts. Additionally those that can be coupled somewhat, like my dad and one of my brothers (both Taurus Sun with earth Moon and air rising), or my mum and one of my sisters (both Gemini Sun with Venus ruled Moon and water rising, plus fiery Mars) are actually the most alike among all the close relatives.
I know it sounds incredible to the skeptic (surely someone with strong earth in his/her chart) but it really appears to work. It doesn't matter if gravity is not the cause (you can always think of electromagnetism or extra dimensions or whatever other hypothetical mechanisms), what I (and many others) see is not why it works but how.
I'm not any idiot (my IQ tests, another "recent" discovery, have scored 123, 129 and 135), what means I'm surely in the smartest 5% of the population - while being no genius anyhow. But apart of being a logical smartass (that's what IQ tests measure, if anything), I'm also kind of sensitive (hypersensitive??) and that sensibility was what evetually lead me to see the apparent astrological reality of life.
I know it's not visible for all, at least not in the same manner. And I know by experience how hard can be for a rationalist, skeptic, critical thinker to admit that it works. But well, after more than a decade chewing on it, I think I'm almost ready to accept that I percieve Astrology as something real, at least in what refers to natal charts, affecting the psychology/personality of people since birth and very likely also their looks (though genetics also matters).
I also know that Astrology is quite complex and that making statistical experiments to prove it throughtly, would need lots of people. After all, considering only Sun, Moon and Ascendant signs there are 1728 possible combinations. If one adds to that the signs of the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars), it adds up to 311,040 combos. And if you want to consider also planets aspecting the Ascendant or Sun, or subdividions of signs... then the different personal types really begin to tend towards infinite.
Of course one could devise simpler tests for smaller samples, like the one that was allegedly done by an insurance company on Sun signs and accidents. I never really saw the original study, if it existed at all, but it does suggest a method to test statistically significative differences (even if, naturally, many people will diverge from their Sun sign stats) with smaller ammounts of people. Also, unlike ascendant and possibly Moon sign, Sun sign is very easy to verify based only on birthdays.
Well, the case is that I, as well as other people with interest in Astrology, professional or amateurs, look at the matter with a scientific and critical approach - but not a blunt rejection without prper research. People who directly reject it are skipping the important part of any scientific approach to any subject: research. I still have to meet a single person who has studied astrology minimally beyond stereotypes and flatly rejects it.
The ones who do, actually reject to research it and are not normally even interested in expanding their knowledge on the matter as to really understand how it is supposed to work.