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The causality problem in astrology
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waybread



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Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, thanks so much for you clear and insightful exposition of the traditional world view. Although a lot of the Greek proto-science doesn't hold up today, the ancients did develop a coherent set of explanations that I think we lack today.

I think the geocentric model still merit-- as a description of how the cosmos looks when we gaze up at the sky. When an astronomer estimates the distance from the earth to Mars, that is also geocentric thinking. The Gaia hypothesis, that global ecosystems function as one living organism, named for the Greek primal earth goddess, sounds a bit like the world soul.

And who is to say that there isn't a divine consciousness superintending the cosmos?

Gravity and other "scientific" explanations for why astrology works do not fare so well, IMO. Astrology commonly operates at a very fine-grained level of ordinary people's lives, so we need something between a general law of physics or the moon's effect on ocean tides and saying something about why the horoscope native is 40 and still single, or the whereabouts of the missing cat. An explanation for astrology also has to work for horary, mundane, electional, and predictive astrology, which can have little to do with some presumed gravitational pull on human bodies. It's hard to see why a physical principle like gravity should be sensitive to signs and houses, which do not exist astronomically.

Incidentally, I linked this thread to a similar one at Astrodienst, which is now in its 12th page, so if anyone is interested in the OP topic, you might find some of the posts there to be of interest.

https://forum.astro.com/cgi/forum.cgi?num=1495746510/0
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Michael, thanks so much for you clear and insightful exposition of the traditional world view.


You are welcome.

Quote:
Although a lot of the Greek proto-science doesn't hold up today, the ancients did develop a coherent set of explanations that I think we lack today.


Exactly. That is why I propose that we astrologers should seek a modernized version of the ancients' view, just like most of us have adopted a revised version of classical astrology's practical side.

Quote:
I think the geocentric model still merit-- as a description of how the cosmos looks when we gaze up at the sky. When an astronomer estimates the distance from the earth to Mars, that is also geocentric thinking. The Gaia hypothesis, that global ecosystems function as one living organism, named for the Greek primal earth goddess, sounds a bit like the world soul.


Actually, Gaia could be seen as the part of the world soul that pertains to our planet. Her individual soul, so to speak - which forms part of the soul of the solar system, galaxy etc, all the way up to the soul of the universe, or multiverse.

Quote:
And who is to say that there isn't a divine consciousness superintending the cosmos?


I think that the workings of astrology are strongly suggesting that there is indeed something like an "implicit order".

Quote:
Gravity and other "scientific" explanations for why astrology works do not fare so well, IMO. Astrology commonly operates at a very fine-grained level of ordinary people's lives, so we need something between a general law of physics or the moon's effect on ocean tides and saying something about why the horoscope native is 40 and still single, or the whereabouts of the missing cat. An explanation for astrology also has to work for horary, mundane, electional, and predictive astrology, which can have little to do with some presumed gravitational pull on human bodies. It's hard to see why a physical principle like gravity should be sensitive to signs and houses, which do not exist astronomically.


Try to look at it the other way around: Gravitational pull could be but the most easily observable physical effect of a force that is basically multi-dimensional and carries subtle information. The controversial research of some scientists suggests just that.

Also, keep in mind that, according to the General Theory of Relativity, gravity is intimately connected to space itself, whose curvatures it represents. And space in turn is linked to the world soul in the natural philosophy that I advocate.

In this view, signs and houses can be seen as part of a geometric structure that underlies the fabric of space.

Living beings could be receptive to these information currents via subtle as well as physical parts of their anatomy. Think of the chakras, which are connected to various glands and nerve plexi, but also resonate with their corresponding planets according to Vedic astrologers.

I am aware that this concept is more suitable for some of the many areas covered by astrology than for others, but it is only logical to assume that "the implicit order" unfolds also via the time flow, which makes my model more universally applicable, IMO.

Quote:
Incidentally, I linked this thread to a similar one at Astrodienst, which is now in its 12th page, so if anyone is interested in the OP topic, you might find some of the posts there to be of interest.

https://forum.astro.com/cgi/forum.cgi?num=1495746510/0


I am going to take a look. Smile
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, thanks. Now if you or anyone can explain how the Grand Theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, Christianity, physics, metaphysics, Greek philosophy--- or whatever--- explain the very ordinary types of issues people bring to astrology, I'd probably say, "Thanks-- you're a genius! You've answered my question."

But nobody so far has explained to me how the Big Stuff Out There That Permeates Everything explains how the astrologer locates the missing cat, why the native's ex BF just un-friended her on social media, or why she doesn't have a BF. Is quantum physics ever going to explain why somebody's sister cannot manage her money? Should he take the job as a shopping mall security guard?

I could go on in this fashion, but let's work the explanations in reverse. To me, these types of Internet forum questions-- which a skilled astrologer can answer with accuracy-- give us a really goofy view of the cosmos, indeed.
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread,

It seems like your question concerns the dichotomy between the divine and the mundane.

Well, the abstract archetypal themes are of necessity being expressed in the microcosmic world of everyday issues.

It is exactly because the World Soul permeates everything, that it is translating itself even into the most mundane occurrences.
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waybread



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Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, how does the World Soul relate to a horary chart showing the location of the missing car keys, or whether a lawsuit will succeed?
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Fleur



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Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was listening to David Icke saying that reality is the movie projector, and everyone thinks it is the images projected on the screen and tries to change those. I found that an unhelpful analogy, because you can't change the projector any more than you can change the images on the screen. Astrologers study the projector (the stars) but they can't change what is projected, or even half understand what is being projected or why....or who.

Astrology is of course about Time.


Last edited by Fleur on Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:56 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Fleur



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Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone relate to what is described in this song?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkfNpa8wysA&index=13&list=PLEEuJJG1drqEz07ut0p44UEDgLrNdBJOI
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Michael, how does the World Soul relate to a horary chart showing the location of the missing car keys, or whether a lawsuit will succeed?


The World Soul relates not only to space, but also to time. Again, the micro-/macrocosm concept applies - in temporal terms. That is, in the moment of the reading as signified by the celestial bodies, the whole story of the missing car keys or the lawsuit is contained. It is this information that the well versed astrologer is able to read.

This is as best as I can explain it right now.
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unique_astrology



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astrology charts for the inorganic world 'work' the same as for the organic. Some that come to mind: charts for countries, charts for events, I.E., for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, plane crashes, (my progressed mundane lunar chart for the attack on the WTC - a favorite of mine using a Sidereal Caplunar with the secondary progressed birth chart for New York City).
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waybread



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Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, which is why I don't think the physical/mechanical explanations like electromagnetism or gravity work.

BTW, if anyone is interested, a version of this topic on the "other astrology" board on the Astrodient forum www.astro.com is now running through 80 pages. However, after about page 20 it morphed into a discussion of "does astrology work?" vs. how it works.
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dubbhism



Joined: 09 Aug 2016
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Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:

But nobody so far has explained to me how the Big Stuff Out There That Permeates Everything explains how the astrologer locates the missing cat, why the native's ex BF just un-friended her on social media, or why she doesn't have a BF. Is quantum physics ever going to explain why somebody's sister cannot manage her money? Should he take the job as a shopping mall security guard?


hello waybread,

I have no explanation, but perhaps a little thought experiment could be interesting. To me, a central problem is the perception of time, since astrological synchronicities clearly exist 'before' the physical bodies associated with them are discovered and named.

Example: in his book De Divinatione Cicero wrote "Did all the Romans who fell at Cannae have the same horoscope? Yet all had one and the same end." The very bloody Battle at Cannae (Hannibal vs. Rome, 70.000 Romans killed in a matter of hours) was used by Cicero as an example to disprove astrology, but what Cicero didn't know was that Pholus (associated with the Centaur massacre) was exactly conjunct the Sun around the time that the Cannae-massacre started. Because Pholus had 'not yet' been discovered.

The crucial thing is the 'not yet'. The way i see it, we can perhaps accept this by imagining a dualist (or perhaps even pluralist) concept of time, where time is both sequential (a chain of events starting with the Big Bang) and simultaneous (everything happens at the same time). To me, that would be a beginning of an explanation for things like the Sun-Pholus conjunction at the time of the Cannae massacre. Not in the sense of a time-dichotomy but complementary sides of the same coin.
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waybread



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Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting point. Some scholars think that Ptolemy wrote his Tetrabiblos introduction to counter Cicero's arguments. Mr. Pt. said that a national chart would take precedence over an individual chart in cases like the one you describe.

In western thought, we have the concept of Time's Arrow, in which time moves in a linear direction from past to the present to the future. Hinduism teaches that time is fundamentally simultaneous, and then there is quantum physics' theories of spacetime, and my favourite Star Trek NTG episodes with space-time discontinuities that moved people back or forth into alternative realities.

I've also looked at neuroscience and cognitive psychological concepts of time. I recently read an article about how people automatically predict the immediate future through vision. http://www.newsweek.com/neuroscience-optical-illusions-brain-science-735274

The ability to predict something of the future with reasonable accuracy is what allows us to get up in the morning, put on our shoes, go to work, and anticipate a busy appointment schedule-- with some semblance of accuracy.

Without getting woo-woo about it, some cultures (like traditional Scotland, Ireland and the Roma) have a tradition of people who are gifted with "second sight" involving accurate premonitions. That this "runs in families" suggests that, if the phenomenon is real, it may have a genetic explanation.

I think there is a lot about time we don't understand, including why astrological prediction at a distance and into the future should work, if it does.
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dubbhism



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Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If i could travel in time or predict the future, i would be interested to find out if we ever get asteroids named after famous Nazis. This would be a very bad sign of course, and i'm guessing this will never happen, but then again, Pyrrhus, Caesar, Hannibal and Attila already got lucky.

The synchronicities surrounding the naming of asteroids underline the strangely flexible nature of astrological semiotics/semantics which, in my opinion, indicates that common 'explanations' of astrology based primarily on mythology/archetypes are merely scratching the surface.

The relation between the ancient Pholus myth and the Cannae-massacre is one thing. To me, the asteroid 1896 Beer which was named after an Austrian astronomer https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Beer is quite another thing. This asteroid happens to show up in, for example, the chart of the famous alcoholic Alan Watts, tightly squaring his Sun conjunct Mercury. There's no classical mythology at work here. Only a very loose language-based symbolic association which nevertheless seems fully integrated in what you called "the Big Stuff Out There That Permeates Everything". Finally, in the chart of the Battle at Cannae asteroid Hannibal would seem to be conjunct asteroid Karma although that calculation is an approximation.

To me this kind of stuff would suggest that we're living in a meaning-based universe. I'd guess that in physics, we see this kind of reasoning in theories that take information (not energy, matter etc.) as a starting point: John Wheelers famous "it from bit" slogan https://plus.maths.org/content/it-bit
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waybread



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Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes play around with asteroids. Sometimes the "hits" are uncanny, as when two people have namesake asteroids that hit one another's planets in synastry.

Although I think you can use namesake asteroids in other languages, I'd be a little careful, as sometimes a name in German, French, &c that seems English actually is not, and has a very different meaning in the original language.

BUT-- I do take your bigger point in your last paragraph. Despite all of its definitions and rules, I see astrology as a very subjective process. It takes place in the mind of the astrologer. So much of what we practice does not exist objectively up there in the sky. There are no signs, houses, lots, nodes, or even constellations up there. They were invented, not discovered.

Wheeler's idea of the participatory universe seems important. However, at this point in time, it is premature to assume that quantum physics supports astrology.

https://futurism.com/john-wheelers-participatory-universe/

Really great link. Thank you!
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dubbhism



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Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see astrology a little bit different. The mind of the astrologer probably does play a very big part, and i do agree that signs, houses, lots and constellations are in some sense invented but i don't think aspects are pure inventions, because that would suggest to me that the whole of mathematics and astrophysics is an invention as well. Aspects do have physical consequences, for example for the barycentric motion of the sun. For sure, physics and mathematics also deal in purely human inventions, some of them quite fanciful like for example supersymmetry (i'd call that the fallacy of aesthetically pleasing quantification) but of course that doesn't mean we dismiss physics or mathematics.

I personally think that generally speaking, astrologers are not yet aware of the actual scientific potential that's hidden in certain astrological hypotheses/theories. I'm very new to astrology myself, and i'm amazed to notice how many astrologers prefer to create their own private astro-universe with its own rules. This makes communication relatively difficult. It reminds me of the situation of the Protestant church in the Netherlands (where i live). Over here we have 500 different flavors of Protestantism and even agnostic/atheist priests. How did that happen?

The 'scientific' astrologers i've communicated with tend to like the philosophically mature work of Richard Tarnas, and i fully agree. In fact, he's the one who got me interested in astrology in the first place, so nothing but praise for Tarnas. On the other hand, he's at the psychological/Jungian side of things. I believe that right now the physical side of astrological research is seriously under-represented. I think we need a couple of new Keplers and Landscheidts to draw a new line between scientific fact and nonsense/bunk. The demarcation problem, but this time for real so to speak.

I actually think the immediate future of scientific astrological research looks very bright, because we have now entered the age of Big Data and AI. I remember Bernadette Brady saying somewhere that to do scientific work in astrology, we need a bigger data set. It's my impression that this situation has already arrived. We can't just go hunting for small p-values in a couple of thematically related charts downloaded at astro.com if we want to make real progress. The potential for big data research is very broad. It encompasses the physical and the psychological, but the causality problem will of course remain a tough nut to crack.

Some examples of AI/Bigdata based research i particularly like are by Renay Oshop

Earthquakes and Moon phases
https://www.ayurastro.com/articles/earthquakes-and-moon-phases-correlate

Twitter Followers Biased to Astrological Charts of Celebrities (Published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cpm5359n308wmkm/JSE%20291%20Oshop.pdf?dl

Mercury retrograde, Amazon review misspellings and AI
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hgc9doopjkh58tw/Kepler%202017%20Mercury%20Retrograde%20%20Presentation.pptx?dl=0
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