Is its appeal purely that of wish fulfilment
– as Freud would have it? Could it be ascribed entirely to man's
(or woman's) eternal immunity to reason, and equally eternal
susceptibility to humbug? Or is it possible – as Jung thought –
that there might be something to it?
Most educated men dismiss the subject. How can distant planets
affect our lives and characters? Is it not a biological fact
that physical and mental traits are transmitted by heredity? And
so on. But what proof actually exists to support the objections
to astrology? How do astrologers answer, or pretend to answer,
such objections? Is there any legitimate evidence in favour of
Just read the following two quotes:
"There is some evidence that supernovae can be a factor in
epidemic diseases, as well as a possible major influence upon
evolution. There is at least one sense in which our lives are
influenced by the stars, even though we have freed ourselves
from the superstition of astrology".
G. Maxwell Cade, Chief Research Engineer (Infra-red Devices).
"In the last few years some strange and inexplicable links
appear to be emerging between lunar phase, rainfall, meteoric
impact, magnetic storms and mental disturbances. It almost seems
as though we are moving through a series of scientific fantasies
to a proof of the ancient belief in the connection between the
moon and lunacy".
Sir Bernard Lovell, Director of Jodrell Bank.
However foolish the astrology in the newspapers may appear,
astrology is based upon the fundamental premise that celestial
phenomena affect life and events on earth; the two quotes above
– made by scientists, not by astrologers – suggest that such
effects exist and are recognized. Particularly interesting is
the statement by Sir Bernard Lovell, who only four years earlier,
in his Reith Lectures, had declared that he looked upon
astrological doctrines 'with amused contempt'.
Is it possible that the astrologers will have the last laugh
after all? This question, after three centuries of rationalism,
is suddenly a valid one. "There does not exist, it is true, a
single immediate and decisive proof making the astrological
error apparent", comments Paul Couderc, a French astronomer,
whose hostility towards astrology blinds him to the illogic of
talking of the 'astrological error' and the lack of proof of its
erroneousness within the same sentence.
If astrology were dead and buried, there would be no need to
exhume it. But in view of its current resurgence, a full scale
inquiry would seem long past due. What has happened to that
spirit of objective curiosity upon which science so prides
itself? Surely, a society willing to spend billions to put
tourists on the moon ought to be willing to spend a few million
to study the effects of the moon on the man. Particularly since
mounting evidence suggests that such effects exist.
Our dual purpose in writing this article has been to collect and
correlate this evidence, and to analyse the prejudice against
astrology. But before we discuss the case as it stands today, we
must make an important distinction. To the credulous, the
nonsense in the newspaper is astrology. Unfortunately, to the
educated sceptic as well, the nonsense in the newspaper is
astrology. Yet it ought not to take much reflection to realize
that the astrology that engaged the minds of such men as
Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, St Thomas Aquinas, Kepler and many
others was an astrology of an entirely different order. To make
this distinction clear we shall have to look closely into
astrology's long history.