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 The study by the French skeptics remains unpublished after a number of years, but analyses of the data by Suitbert Ertel have appeared on the Internet and bitnet.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 Behavior "
(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' Humaine,
Lyon 1975.

Fyfe, A. Uber die Variabilitat von Silber-Eisen-Steigbildern,
Elemente der Naturwissenschaft, Vol. 6, pp. 35-43 (Easter
1967).

Fyfe, A. Moon and Plant, Society for Cancer Research, Arlesheim
Switzerland 1967, pp. a7 b37.

Hammerton, C. Repetition of Experiment made by L. Kolisko in relation to Observable Effects in Salts of Metals
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, Mathematisch-Astronomische 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, pp. 100-105.

Schwenk, T. 1949, quoted in W. Pelikan, The Secrets of Metals,

Anthroposophic Press, Spring Valley, NY, 1973, pp. 23-25.

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.)

Copyright © L.M.P. McPherson 8-1995 Comments about this Website to: thowell@psychicinvestigator.com