SCIENTIFIC STUDIES OF ASTROLOGY
by L.M.P. McPherson|
The most famous research is that
of Michel and Francoise Gauquelin.
Some of their findings have been the focus of decades of scrutiny
by skeptics, and their results have held up under this scrutiny.
Some of their studies have been successfully replicated with different
samples and by independent researchers. The highly publicized
CSICOP (Center for the Scientific Investigation of the Claims
of the Paranormal) " failure to replicate " on an American
sample for the "Mars effect" (the appearance of Mars
in certain sectors with greater-than-expected frequency for eminent
athletes) has been shown to demonstrate the effect when the athletes
are ordered by eminence (see the article by Suitbert Ertel in
the Winter, 1992 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer).
After finding the Mars effect on their initial sample, the CSICOP
researchers added in a large number of less eminent athletes so that their
final sample included far fewer such athletes than did the Gauquelins'
sample, and this washed out the Mars effect when the sample as
a whole was considered (see Eysenck & Nias, Astrology, Science
or Superstition, St. Martin's Press, 1982). When the athletes
are divided into groups according to an objective criterion of
" eminence, " the Mars effect emerges among the most eminent.
The Mars effect has been found in two other studies by skeptics'
organizations, one in Belgium and one in France. The Belgian study
by the Comite' Para appears in Nouvelles Bre`ves, Vol. 43, 1976,
pp. 327-343. The study by the French skeptics remains unpublished
after a number of years, but analyses of the data by Suitbert
Ertel have appeared on the Internet and bitnet. The effect has
also been found in a sample analysed by a German researcher named
Muller, and in several additional samples studied by the Gauquelins,
bringing the total number of replications of the finding to eight
(see Ertel, 1992). But the Mars effect is just one replicable
finding in a large set of Gauquelin findings, including observed
associations between various professions and the appearance of
planets of related character in "key sectors" (parts
of the sky near the points of rising, culmination, setting, and
anti-culmination - the "angles"), associations between
the angularity of a planet and certain related character traits,
and the "inheritance" of angular planets from one's
parents when the birth is natural (i.e., not induced with drugs or
occurring by C-section).
Some of the Gauquelins' research is summarized in the following books:
Michel Gauquelin, "Cosmic Influences on Human
(3rd edition, published in 1985 by Aurora Press,
P.O. Box 573, Santa Fe, NM 87504);
Michel Gauquelin, "Planetary Heredity"
(published in 1988 by ACS Publications, Inc., P.O.
Box 16430, San Diego, CA 92116-0430);
Francoise Gauquelin, "Psychology of the Planets"
(published in 1982 by ACS Publications, Inc.).
A preliminary report of a study showing the relationship
between inspiration in scientific discovery and certain angular separations
of planets appears in a booklet entitled "The Eureka Effect,"
by Nicholas Kollerstrom and Michael O'Neill. It was published
in 1989 by Urania Trust, 396 Caledonian Road, London N1 1DN. A
complete report on this study and some additional data on inventions
will appear sometime in the next few years.
A type of astrological phenomenon that has been observed in hundreds
of experiments involves a change in the behavior of metal ions
when an aspect forms in the sky between planets associated with the metals involved.
Here are some of the relevant references.
Three of these appear at the ftp site in articles entitled
" metals1, " " metals2, " and " metals3. "
Faussurier, A. Conscience Ecologique et Cre'ativite'
Fyfe, A. Uber die Variabilitat von Silber-Eisen-Steigbildern,
Elemente der Naturwissenschaft,
Vol. 6, pp. 35-43 (Easter
Fyfe, A. Moon and Plant, Society for Cancer Research,
Switzerland 1967, pp. a7 b37.
Hammerton, C. Repetition of Experiment made by L. Kolisko in
relation to Observable Effects in Salts of
Corresponding to the Planets,
Astrology (UK), Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 46-48 (1954).
Kolisko, L. Workings of the Stars on Earthly Substance,
Parts 1 &, Stuttgart 1928.
Kolisko, L. Das Silber und der Mond, Orient-Occident
Verlang, Stuttgart 1929.
Kolisko, L. Der Jupiter und das Zinn,
Sektion am Goetheanum
(Doirnach), Stuttgard 1932 (available in English as Workings of the Stars on
Earthly Substances, Part 4, Jupiter and Tin).
Kolisko, L. Gold and the Sun, Kolisko archive
(published privately), Stroud UK 1947 (a study of the total
solar eclipse of 20 May 1947; a study of the total
solar eclipse of 29 June 1927 is given in Workings of the
Stars on Earthly Substance, part 2; of 19 June 1936 in Gold and the Sun,
London 1937; and of 15 February 1961 in Die
Sonnenfinsternis vom 15 Februar 1961, Stuttgart 1961).
Kolisko, L. Spirit in Matter, Kolisko archive,
Stroud UK 1947. Kolisko, L. Saturn und Blei, Kolisko archive,
Stroud UK 1952.
Kollerstrom, N. Astrochemistry: A Study
of Metal-Planet Affinities, London:
Emergence Press, 1984.
Kollerstrom, N. The Correspondence of Metals and
Planets -- Experimental Studies, The Astrological Journal, Vol. 18, No.
3, 1976, pp. 65-72.
Kollerstrom, N. Chemical Effects of a Mars-Saturn
Conjunction, The Astrological Journal, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1977,
Schwenk, T. 1949, quoted in W. Pelikan, The Secrets
Anthroposophic Press, Spring Valley, NY, 1973,
Voss, K. Neue Aspekte, No. 5 (1965); summarized
by R.C. Firebrace, Confirmation of the Kolisko Experiments,
Spica, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 4-8 (1965).
The Astrological Association of London
publishes a scholarly journal devoted entirely to astrological research.
It is called Correlation. (See the resource list for the address and phone
number of the Astrological Association; see # 19 for information
about the resource list.) Prior to its first publication in 1981,
research articles appeared in The Astrological Journal, also published
by the Astrological Association. If you are in Britain, all issues of this
journal are available at The Astrology Study Centre
(396 Caledonian Road, London N1 1DN), the Oxford and
Cambridge University libraries, the Scottish National Library
in Edinburgh, the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, Trinity
College in Dublin, the Warburg Institute, London University, the
British Library in London, and the York University library. In
the USA, these journals are available at the Heart Center library,
315 Marion Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307. Astrologers in your local
area may have copies of these journals as well.
Astrological research appears occasionally in academic journals
of psychology, although the work published in these journals is
usually by non-astrologers and has little to do with traditional
astrological theory. A literature search
(e.g., of the database "Psychological Abstracts")
for articles containing the
keyword " astrology " or " astrological " (or
" astrolog? " where "? " is a wild card) would
turn these up.
Because of the difficulty in publishing astrological research
(or any unorthodox research), much remains unpublished. Among
such studies are those described in postgraduate dissertations
on astrology. A list of these (up to 1981) appears in the December,
1982 issue of Correlation. For more recent dissertations,
check Dissertations Abstracts at a university library.
(Mark Urban-Lurain did a multivariate analysis of the birth data
of members of Alcoholics Anonymous for his Master's thesis at
Michigan State University.)