Astrology is tricky. Just when you think you have a solid and reliable interpretation, things change. Interpretation in astrology is like trying to hit a moving target, and that moving target is Time itself. Perhaps this is why trying to come up with scientific or statistical results, which prove astrology, is such a challenge.
One of the most reliable factors in astrology is planetary aspects. Using aspects between the inner, personal planets, and the outer collective planets it is possible to describe behavior, which people readily identify with. Personal psychological traits are represented by the Sun (Identity), Moon (Emotions), Mercury (Communication), Venus (Values) and Mars (Drives). When these psychological traits are modified by aspects to Jupiter (Understanding), Saturn (Limitation), Uranus (Liberation), Neptune (Transcendence) and Pluto (Transformation), then behavior is modified in a very specific way.
For example, someone with a Mars/Neptune conjunction will tend to be driven to distraction by boredom and lassitude. Unless drives are channeled into something visionary, then the world seems like a grey place. As Neptune draws the individual into a range of initiation processes from the lowest on the scale to the highest, there will also be a growth factor. On the lowest rung of the ladder, the person may be attracted to substance abuse, whilst on the highest rung of the ladder the person could practice Tantric Buddhism. Women with Mars/Neptune aspects will be attracted to unreliable men initially, and then with a bit of luck find themselves ending up with a spiritually motivated partner.
This is where it gets tricky. If Mars is conjoining Neptune in Libra, then it is really difficult to find satisfaction in relationships. But if Neptune is in Scorpio, sexual satisfaction is the Holy Grail. If Neptune is in Sagittarius, as it was from 1971 to 1984, then finding something to really believe in is elusive. If in Capricorn, then finding a comfortable place in society will be the unreachable dream.
This is the moving target, and the practicing astrologer will find that just when interpretations seem to hit the mark for one age group of clients, they no longer apply to the next generation. Furthermore, there are factors that will increase the intensity, positive or negative, of a planetary aspect. Mars in Taurus, which is a sensory and seductive sign placement, opposing Neptune in Scorpio, will make the individual far more subject to his or her passions. Mars in Capricorn, which invokes a lot of self-discipline, square Neptune in Libra, is less likely to bring immoral behavior.
The fact is that just when you think you have a reliable interpretation, there are so many modifying factors that it can no longer be relied upon. Handling the nuances of this is part of the skill of astrology, and the reason why intuition is so crucial for astrology. A computer just can’t do it. There is a 1 in 12 chance of having a planet in a particular sign, a 1 in 144 chance of it being in a particular sign and house. When you add the influence of aspects, there are tens of thousands of possible variations.
But computers might play a role in transforming the status of astrology. Astrological research has advanced in leaps and bounds, since famous researchers like Gauquelin struggled to handle correlations in thousands of charts without a computer. For example astrologer Paul Westran, who was a former crime analyst and forensic software expert, made an eight-year study involving 1,300 couples. He found that Sun/Venus aspects, Venus/Venus aspects and Venus/Mars aspects between partners were extremely significant, and progressions between them surprisingly played an incredibly powerful role. The odds for these positive synastry aspects in his study were 900,000 to one against chance. (Note 1)
Westran cites for example the trine between Prince Charles’ progressive Venus and Princess Diana’s progressive Sun, which was in effect from the 1980’s to the early 1990’s, spanning their marriage. Diana’s son Prince William married Kate when her progressed Venus trined his natal Venus, and because her Venus turned stationary direct when they met, and travels very slowly, this aspect spans decades. In fact in my own marriage, my partner’s progressed Venus is stationary and sextile my natal Mars – an aspect that also lasts many years.
Another study devised by astrologer Alexandra Mark who worked with a rather skeptical Harvard University statistician called John P. Gilbert, PhD, found that partners born with strong contacts between one person’s Moon and the other person’s Sun, and between one person’s Mars and the other person’s Venus were statistically less likely to get divorced. (Note 2) Gilbert had to admit that there was an actual proved correlation.
The vast number of people on the Internet, using Facebook, and using astrology apps introduces another factor, which has the potential to make astrology more credible to the mainstream, and that is Big Data. An example of Big Data is that Google can track the spread of an influenza epidemic simply by mapping Internet searches by people who find themselves getting ill. The more people who use astrology online, the easier it will be to find statistical correlations. When, say, Jupiter moves into Libra (September 2016), will there be a fluctuation in the number of Librans accessing their sun sign forecasts? Or when Mercury moves retrograde, will there be an increase in the use of words like “return”, “reconsider”, “retrace”, “backwards” etc.?
One way of harnessing the potential of the Internet for the purpose of statistically confirming a correlation of planetary movement with behavior could be by devising a quiz. The following questionnaire could be a way of doing this, as each answer is devised to correlate with a particular planetary aspect to Mars or Venus. The answers that might be expected by astrology are shown at the end of this article. Clearly there can be some overflow between the answers, so if you do the test, try to go for the one that rings most true.
1.Your partner needs to spend an evening with an ex to discuss some “practical arrangements”. You react by:
- a) Going out with friends for the evening
- b) Going into moody silence for hours
- c) Discussing the rights and wrongs of the proposed plan
- d) Enjoying an evening alone watching a favorite movie series
- e) Feeling that your partner may be losing interest in you
- At a party an attractive person invites your partner to dance. You:
- a) Look around to invite someone else to dance
- b) Make yourself as small as possible
- c) Leave the party
- d) Feel isolated, and pour yourself another glass of wine
- e) Check out your smart phone
- Your partner’s parents come around for a visit. You:
- a) Analyze the behavior of the parents to find parallels with your partner
- b) Engage them in a lively discussion about current affairs and similar
- c) Try to show that you can live up to their expectations
- d) Empathize with their problems
- e) Find a good excuse to go out
- You are single and try out a local speed-dating event. You:
- a) Are too shy to express yourself
- b) Find some people attractive, but perhaps a little dumb.
- c) Present different sides of yourself according to the person opposite you
- d) Say little about yourself, but listen intently to the other person
- e) Find many of the people present to be interesting prospects.
- You break up with your partner after some time together. The reason is:
- a) You are simply restless and bored
- b) Your partner does not live up to the initial expectations.
- c) You think there is something going on at the office.
- d) You thought your partner was intelligent, but discover they were just opinonated
- e) You feel that you are in an emotional prison
- Your partner hints that it might be interesting to try a threesome. You:
- a) Threaten divorce
- b) Are open to ideas that can pep up your sex life
- c) Are worried that you may end up feeling rejected
- d) Feel that everything should be tried at least once before judging.
- e) Have thought about the same thing quite often
- A best friend invites you to a sex toy event. You:
- a) Attend secretly without your partner
- b) Invite some extra friends along together with your partner
- c) Buy a selection of toys and videos
- d) Explain defensively that there is nothing wrong with your sex life.
- e) It’s a bit low-brow for you, but anything for an experience.
- Entering your teenage years, your parents try to explain about sex. You:
- a) Listen in uncomfortable silence.
- b) Laugh and inform them that you know all that
- c) Hope they haven’t spotted what you are looking at on the Internet
- d) Tell them they are old-fashioned
- e) Pretend that you don’t know anything about it.
- After years in a relationship, your sex life has become a little stale. You:
- a) Go to a course together about tantric sex
- b) Feel that security and commitment is at least as important as sex.
- c) Rely on an active fantasy to keep you happy
- d) Start chatting with potential lovers on your devices
- e) Discuss the issues frankly to work on satisfying your appetites
- Two people have expressed a romantic interest in you. You:
- a) Allow yourself to get seduced by both to test the waters, but don’t tell.
- b) Check out their prospects first as a sensible partnership candidate
- c) Waste no time dating them both to assess the competition
- d) Date both without having sex to see who can best be trusted
- e) Go out with them both and are open about it.
So if you get enough people answering questions like this, and if there is a statistically significant astrological correlation between expected answers and actual answers, then that alone would be sufficient proof of astrology. But astrology is tricky. As you have probably found, no answer is completely wrong and no answer completely right. Add to that the fact that there may be several planets affecting Mars or Venus, and that the sign position of these two planets will have a profound effect, then the results can get very fuzzy indeed.
But anyway, here are the results for the questions, showing which planet might be most powerfully aspecting Venus and then Mars:
Jupiter 1c 2a 3b 4b 5d
Saturn 1e 2b 3c 4a 5e
Uranus 1a 2e 3e 4e 5a
Neptune 1d 2d 3d 4c 5b
Pluto 1b 2c 3a 4d 5c
Jupiter 6d 7e 8b 9e 10c
Saturn 6c 7d 8a 9b 10b
Uranus 6b 7b 8d 9d 10e
Neptune 6e 7c 8c 9c 10a
Pluto 6a 7a 8e 9a 10d
If you can think of more questions, (but not necessarily answers) you are welcome to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Ross Duncan April 5th 2016
- See the excellent Astrology News Service site run by Ed Snow.
- Astrological New Service:
http://astrologynewsservice.com/news/study-connects-divorce-rate-with-planetary-patterns/ The article can be read in full in the 2010 The Mountain Astrologer magazine