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Comparing the tropical and sidereal zodiacs - a study

 
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 346
Location: Finland

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:40 am    Post subject: Comparing the tropical and sidereal zodiacs - a study Reply with quote

Hi all,

In the “Octoscope giving promising statistical results” discussion http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7594 there was a seemingly promising study conducted using the tropical zodiac. One should only to be sure that the tropical zodiac was the way to go, so it had to be checked out. I made another study comparing the tropical and sidereal Ascendant rulers and surprise, surprise, the results spoke for a sidereal zodiac, to be more accurate, for the sidereal Lahiri zodiac. So the house system ponderings have to be started anew.

Now the article about the zodiacs is ready. The idea of the study is to find out the most frequent Ascendant ruler in a large amount of different groups or samples, and look whether groups gathering under a certain planet show any common themes that would reflect the symbolism of the planet in question. The tropical zodiac gives mixed bags of samples without any clear themes, while the sidereal zodiac gives quite clearly profiled sample collections. The statistical effects are also all the way bigger on the sidereal zodiac.

The PDF of the article can be downloaded in the following link:
http://sdrv.ms/1bUPxgP .
The link and the article can be distributed freely. For those who know my civil name, I would wish the article to remain under my alias “Papretis”.
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lihin



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 470
Location: Mount Kailash

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:39 am    Post subject: Thank you, Ms Papretis! Reply with quote

Good morning,

Thanks to Ms Papretis for the interest and effort to produce the linked study! Thumbs up May others be encouraged to endeavour in statistical astrological research.

Like any other discipline, statistics is not free from controversies amongst its qualified practitioners. Here are two links to Wikipedia articles, one on Statistics, the other on the p-value used extensively by Ms Papretis in her study (unless she means by 'P-Score' a different variable).

May one enquire whether Ms Papretis is a professional statistician? This is not a must to do valid statistical work. Professionally, for example, i used statistics and did statistical research frequently but was not a statistician. If not, may one suggest that Ms Papretis perhaps submit her paper to criticism at an internet forum frequented by 'hard core' negative sceptical (not to be confused with the classical school of sceptics) but professional statisticians? (Very thick skin required - fairness and objectively are NOT guaranteed, as Michel Gauquelin's experiences demonstrated.) If she survives that, she will have the worst behind her. At least one hopes that she submitted her paper to a qualified statistician for review before publication.

As a control group, it seems to me that Ms Papretis would do well to put the same data through a zodiac of the unequal constellations. There are, by the way, several of these proposed, as the exact boundaries of the zodiacal constellations are controversial and have been changed somewhat over time. Even the constellations comprising the zodiac are not unanimously agreed, as for example Ophiuchus lies directly on the zodiac understood as a line whilst Scorpius is somewhat south of it. Amongst most astrologers, however, the zodiac is taken as a band of about 8 degrees of latitude on either side of that line, so they leave out Ophiuchus, whose bright stars are further north of that line than Antares is south.

The study makes, as most studies must, certain assumptions of premises that lack demonstrations, ex. gr. the zodiac as primary astrological reference system (the horizon system seems to have been primary in ancient Mesopotamia), the symbolic attributes of planets and constellations (and / or signs), the limitation of the number of planets to seven, the attributions of signs rulers, etc. These assumptions are often similar but in many cases divergent amongst Indian, Hellenistic and Mediaeval astrologies, ex. gr. the categories of beneficent and maleficent planets.

One central assumption of the study is the importance and attributes assigned to the planet ruling the sign in which the ascendant is situated, neglecting for example the bright fixed stars that may rise, culminate or set with it. May one mention that Klaudios Ptolemaios wrote a long chapter 9 in Tetrabiblos about the virtues of the fixed stars and that fixed star analyses and interpretations were considered indispensable to astrology with a tropical zodiac well into the 19th century CE, ex. gr. Mr John Worsdale, subject of several threads here?

To what extent are data from the Southern Hemisphere included in Ms Papretis' study? According to several members of this Forum in relevant threads, such data might better be processed with a second tropical zodiac offset by six signs from that of the Northern Hemisphere.

Best regards,

lihin
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 346
Location: Finland

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mr. Lihin,

and thanks for a response. No, I’m not a professional or even qualified statistician. And I didn’t even submit the paper to one before I published it here. I showed it to a person with a PHD and long professional history in social sciences, though, and though she knows nothing about astrology, she saw the results I had got as valid and visible. But of course if one liked to be thorough, there would be a lot of work to do, partly maybe too much for my resources.

Quote:
The study makes, as most studies must, certain assumptions of premises that lack demonstrations, ex. gr. the zodiac as primary astrological reference system (the horizon system seems to have been primary in ancient Mesopotamia), the symbolic attributes of planets and constellations (and / or signs), the limitation of the number of planets to seven, the attributions of signs rulers, etc.


Certain assumptions had to be made. I think some kind of a symmetrical or harmonic system belongs to the nature of astrology, therefore twelve signs and not for example thirteen. Twelve signs that can be divided in two, three or four or six groups (sexes, modes, elements), symmetrical rulerships, etc. – those are some of the basic premises of astrology. What comes to the modern rulerships, only from a purely practical point of view they are quite inconvenient. If we considered Pluto as the ruler of Scorpio, all Scorpio rising people born in the same decade would have their Ascendant ruler always around the same houses, and then in certain houses, never.

At some point I checked briefly the amount of charts from the Southern Hemisphere in my samples. There seemed to be only few of them, so that doesn’t probably make a big difference. The Southern Hemisphere is an interesting subject as such. What comes to single fixed stars, they seem to be extremely relevant and telling as such in chart interpretation.
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Phil



Joined: 07 Jan 2012
Posts: 51

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Papretis,

Thank you for obviously working hard on the paper. My initial questions would be how you calculated the expected values in table 1a and similar tables, how you calculated the p-values there as well, and why you went with an effect size?

I thought effect size measured the quantitative difference between two settings (e.g. how separate and "tight" their two bell curves are), and not a measurement of how many instances of something occur in setting 1 vs. setting 2, which, if I'm not mistaken, is how you've used it.

Phil
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 346
Location: Finland

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Phil,

I calculated the expected values by letting Jigsaw calculate 48,620 horoscopes from random times and proportioning the results from that comparison group with the size of every sample in question [=random result * (sample size / 48,620] . The plus side of that method was that it was fast. The downside is that in real life people are not born evenly throughout the day but there are more births on the early hours and mornings. But in this study that seemed not to matter. If I had study for example the position of the Sun in houses, then the eastern houses would have got disproportionate emphasis.

You’re right regarding the effect size. I used it simply because I’ve used to use it in this kind of studies. Probably I could have just as well deduct the observed result from the expected result and find the most frequent Ascendant ruler in every sample by that way. Maybe using the effect size was useless trickery here. Fortunately in this case it doesn’t change the end result a lot if any.
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 312

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Papretis,

Thank you for taking the time to do this research. It is a great starting point towards studying astrology empirically.

I have been thinking about this research for awhile and I have some comments about the research, but before that I have a question about the calculation. How did you calculate the expected values?



EDIT:


Let's see if I understand the statistics correctly.

1. Of 278 people who have been involved in the vocation of "Thieves", 63 people have sidereal Aries or Scorpio as their Ascendant.
2. Of 101 individuals who are critics, 27 have sidereal Aries or Scorpio as their Ascendant.
3. Of 622 murderers, 121 have Aries or Scorpio as their Ascendant.

Is this correct?
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 346
Location: Finland

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Larxene,

sorry that I haven't answered this earlier, but I haven't been very active on the forum lately.

Yes, you have understood correctly the numbers in the study. I got the expected values by letting Jigsaw generate about 48,600 "horoscopes" from randomly invented times and corresponding the results with the size of every group under scrutiny. The weakness of this approach is that, when using random times, the fake "horoscopes" are casted evenly throughout the day and the year, when in the real life more people are born in early mornings and in springtime than in other times. But I've still found this method good enough.
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dragonqueen



Joined: 22 Jun 2013
Posts: 196

Posted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very well presented study by Sari.
I don't believe she is right but it's interesting enough to make me want to look harder at the topic, although I would anyway.
I have routinely compared Tropical, Sidereal, and Helio zodiacs during the last decade, and so far the impression I have had from unbiased computer results, is that Tropical aligns best most often and more impressively in most cases.

It would be good if any interested astrologers and researchers got together on this.
A friend of mine has an empty forum set up for research http://astrologyresearch.forumatic.com/

Even though that study is well presented, it's not clear to me yet:
-- If some of the data should be excluded because of the small number of samples involved
-- Why percentages of "hits" in each zodiac are not used to simplify it for readers

I am also wondering if we should even *expect the ruler of the Ascendant to stand out most in any given person when other factors can do that so easily, and why occupation or a major life event should be considered and indicator of it - such as "thief" when we know people have many facets.
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 312

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright. Let's address some of the issues that can be improved on in subsequent research.


Methodological Issues

Random chart generation:

What are the assumptions here? Based on what you wrote:

1) The probability of a person being born in a given sign every individual day is the same.
2) The probability of a person being born in a given sign every individual year is the same.

Based on these assumptions,

1) P(Asc=Saturn)=2/12
2) P(Asc=Jupiter)=2/12
3) P(Asc=Mars)=2/12
4) P(Asc=Sun)=1/12
5) P(Asc=Venus)=2/12
6) P(Asc=Mercury)=2/12
7) P(Asc=Moon)=1/12

Are these the probabilities you used to randomly generate the charts?

Based on my current understanding, the signs do not all take the same amount of time to rise, probably due the tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the ecliptic.

In addition, the time the signs take to rise varies geographically. So if we have a sample of people born in different countries, we would need to calculate an average probability of the different countries.

Even that average can be misleading, especially when we have some people living on high latitudes and others on the equator.



Theoretical Issues

Those characteristics that have a positive Effect Size with respect to each planet are different types of characteristics. Taking a gander at Mars's list I see:

1. Profession
2. Activities
3. Personality traits
4. Characteristics of the individual

etc...

The main issue with this is that I do not recall many traditional works where delineations of professions and activities were made based on the Ascendant's sign.

Even if we allow this study's results to stand, it is not certain whether it refutes the functionality of the tropical zodiac, as you seem to suggest, simply for the reason that the techniques of delineation of the ancient and traditional authors are different from the method used here.

A secondary issue concerns the vagueness of some independent variables. "Fiction writer" and "writer" can be thought of as Mercurial or Venusian in nature, however, it can also be Marshall. For example, the writer may be writing war novels, murder mystery novels, thriller novels.

So, for some of the variables, we cannot exactly tell which category it belongs to, unless we examine the individuals who have these traits qualitatively.



Closing

These are the issues that we will need to address to improve on the research. I hope you or someone else will continue with it.
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