|The astrological signs|
|Branches of astrology|
|The planets in astrology|
|Astrology portal||Astrology project|
Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects as a means for divining information about human affairs and terrestrial events. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some – such as the Indians, Chinese, and Maya – developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th-17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.:83
Throughout most of its history astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles, often in close relation with astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. It was present in political circles, and is mentioned in various works of literature, from Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca.
With the onset of the scientific revolution astrology was called into question; it has been challenged successfully both on theoretical:249; and experimental grounds, and has been shown to have no scientific validity or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined. Astrology is now recognized to be pseudoscience.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Principles and practice
- 4 Theological viewpoints
- 5 Scientific analysis and criticism
- 6 Cultural impact
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Sources
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
The word astrology comes from the early Latin word astrologia, which derives from the Greek ἀστρολογία—from ἄστρον astron ("star") and -λογία -logia, ("study of"—"account of the stars"). Astrologia later passed into meaning 'star-divination' with astronomia used for the scientific term.
Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and the Indians, Chinese, and Maya developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. In the West, astrology most often consists of a system of horoscopes purporting to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun, moon, and other celestial objects at the time of their birth. The majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.:83
Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, with roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. A form of astrology was practised in the first dynasty of Mesopotamia (1950–1651 BCE). Chinese astrology was elaborated in the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BCE). Hellenistic astrology after 332 BCE mixed Babylonian astrology with Egyptian Decanic astrology in Alexandria, creating horoscopic astrology. Alexander the Great's conquest of Asia allowed astrology to spread to Ancient Greece and Rome. In Rome, astrology was associated with 'Chaldean wisdom'. After the conquest of Alexandria in the 7th century, astrology was taken up by Islamic scholars, and Hellenistic texts were translated into Arabic and Persian. In the 12th century, Arabic texts were imported to Europe and translated into Latin. Major astronomers including Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and Galileo practised as court astrologers. Astrological references appear in literature in the works of poets such as Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer, and of playwrights such as Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare.
Throughout most of its history, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition. It was accepted in political and academic contexts, and was connected with other studies, such as astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. At the end of the 17th century, new scientific concepts in astronomy and physics (such as heliocentrism and Newtonian mechanics) called astrology into question. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in astrology has largely declined.
Astrology, in its broadest sense, is the search for meaning in the sky.:2,3 Early evidence for humans making conscious attempts to measure, record, and predict seasonal changes by reference to astronomical cycles, appears as markings on bones and cave walls, which show that lunar cycles were being noted as early as 25,000 years ago.:81ff This was a first step towards recording the Moon's influence upon tides and rivers, and towards organising a communal calendar. Farmers addressed agricultural needs with increasing knowledge of the constellations that appear in the different seasons—and used the rising of particular star-groups to herald annual floods or seasonal activities. By the 3rd millennium BCE, civilisations had sophisticated awareness of celestial cycles, and may have oriented temples in alignment with heliacal risings of the stars.
Scattered evidence suggests that the oldest known astrological references are copies of texts made in the ancient world. The Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa thought to be compiled in Babylon around 1700 BCE. A scroll documenting an early use of electional astrology is doubtfully ascribed to the reign of the Sumerian ruler Gudea of Lagash (c. 2144 – 2124 BCE). This describes how the gods revealed to him in a dream the constellations that would be most favourable for the planned construction of a temple. However, there is controversy about whether these were genuinely recorded at the time or merely ascribed to ancient rulers by posterity. The oldest undisputed evidence of the use of astrology as an integrated system of knowledge is therefore attributed to the records of the first dynasty of Mesopotamia (1950–1651 BCE). This astrology had some parallels with Hellenistic Greek (western) astrology, including the zodiac, a norming point near 9 degrees in Aries, the trine aspect, planetary exaltations, and the dodekatemoria (the twelve divisions of 30 degrees each). The Babylonians viewed celestial events as possible signs rather than as causes of physical events.
The system of Chinese astrology was elaborated during the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BCE) and flourished during the Han Dynasty (2nd century BCE to 2nd century CE), during which all the familiar elements of traditional Chinese culture – the Yin-Yang philosophy, theory of the five elements, Heaven and Earth, Confucian morality – were brought together to formalise the philosophical principles of Chinese medicine and divination, astrology and alchemy.:3,4
Cicero stated the twins objection (that with close birth times, personal outcomes can be very different), later developed by Saint Augustine. He argued that since the other planets are much more distant from the earth than the moon, they could have only very tiny influence compared to the moon's. He also argued that if astrology explains everything about a person's fate, then it wrongly ignores the visible effect of inherited ability and parenting, changes in health worked by medicine, or the effects of the weather on people.
Plotinus argued that since the fixed stars are much more distant than the planets, it is laughable to imagine the planets' effect on mankind should depend on their position with respect to the zodiac. He also argues that the interpretation of the moon's conjunction with a planet as good when the moon is full, but bad when the moon is waning, is clearly wrong, as from the moon's point of view, half of her surface is always in sunlight; and from the planet's point of view, waning should be better, as then the planet sees some light from the moon, but when the moon is full to us, it is dark, and therefore bad, on the side facing the planet.
Favorinus argued that it was absurd to imagine that stars and planets would affect human bodies in the same way as they affect the tides, and equally absurd that small motions in the heavens cause large changes in people's fates. Sextus Empiricus argued that it was absurd to link human attributes with myths about the signs of the zodiac. Carneades argued that belief in fate denies free will and morality; that people born at different times can all die in the same accident or battle; and that contrary to uniform influences from the stars, tribes and cultures are all different.
With the occupation by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, Egypt became Hellenistic. The city of Alexandria was founded by Alexander after the conquest, becoming the place where Babylonian astrology was mixed with Egyptian Decanic astrology to create Horoscopic astrology. This contained the Babylonian zodiac with its system of planetary exaltations, the triplicities of the signs and the importance of eclipses. It used the Egyptian concept of dividing the zodiac into thirty-six decans of ten degrees each, with an emphasis on the rising decan, and the Greek system of planetary Gods, sign rulership and four elements. 2nd century BCE texts predict positions of planets in zodiac signs at the time of the rising of certain decans, particularly Sothis. The astrologer and astronomer Ptolemy lived in Alexandria. Ptolemy's work the Tetrabiblos formed the basis of Western astrology, and, "...enjoyed almost the authority of a Bible among the astrological writers of a thousand years or more."
Greece and Rome
The conquest of Asia by Alexander the Great exposed the Greeks to ideas from Syria, Babylon, Persia and central Asia. Around 280 BCE, Berossus, a priest of Bel from Babylon, moved to the Greek island of Kos, teaching astrology and Babylonian culture. By the 1st century BCE, there were two varieties of astrology, one using horoscopes to describe the past, present and future; the other, theurgic, emphasising the soul's ascent to the stars. Greek influence played a crucial role in the transmission of astrological theory to Rome.
The first definite reference to astrology in Rome comes from the orator Cato, who in 160 BCE warned farm overseers against consulting with Chaldeans, who were described as Babylonian 'star-gazers'. Among both Greeks and Romans, Babylonia (also known as Chaldea) became so identified with astrology that 'Chaldean wisdom' became synonymous with divination using planets and stars. The 2nd-century Roman poet and satirist Juvenal complains about the pervasive influence of Chaldeans, saying, "Still more trusted are the Chaldaeans; every word uttered by the astrologer they will believe has come from Hammon's fountain."
One of the first astrologers to bring Hermetic astrology to Rome was Thrasyllus, astrologer to the emperor Tiberius, the first emperor to have had a court astrologer, though his predecessor Augustus had used astrology to help legitimise his Imperial rights.
The main texts upon which classical Indian astrology is based are early medieval compilations, notably the Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra, and Sārāvalī by Kalyāṇavarma. The Horāshastra is a composite work of 71 chapters, of which the first part (chapters 1–51) dates to the 7th to early 8th centuries and the second part (chapters 52–71) to the later 8th century. The Sārāvalī likewise dates to around 800 CE. English translations of these texts were published by N.N. Krishna Rau and V.B. Choudhari in 1963 and 1961, respectively.
Astrology was taken up by Islamic scholars following the collapse of Alexandria to the Arabs in the 7th century, and the founding of the Abbasid empire in the 8th. The second Abbasid caliph, Al Mansur (754–775) founded the city of Baghdad to act as a centre of learning, and included in its design a library-translation centre known as Bayt al-Hikma 'House of Wisdom', which continued to receive development from his heirs and was to provide a major impetus for Arabic-Persian translations of Hellenistic astrological texts. The early translators included Mashallah, who helped to elect the time for the foundation of Baghdad, and Sahl ibn Bishr, (a.k.a. Zael), whose texts were directly influential upon later European astrologers such as Guido Bonatti in the 13th century, and William Lilly in the 17th century. Knowledge of Arabic texts started to become imported into Europe during the Latin translations of the 12th century.
The first astrological book published in Europe was the Liber Planetis et Mundi Climatibus ("Book of the Planets and Regions of the World"), which appeared between 1010 and 1027 AD, and may have been authored by Gerbert of Aurillac. Ptolemy's second century AD Tetrabiblos was translated into Latin by Plato of Tivoli in 1138. The Dominican theologian Thomas Aquinas followed Aristotle in proposing that the stars ruled the imperfect 'sublunary' body, while attempting to reconcile astrology with Christianity by stating that God ruled the soul. The thirteenth century mathematician Campanus of Novara is said to have devised a system of astrological houses that divides the prime vertical into 'houses' of equal 30° arcs, though the system was used earlier in the East. The thirteenth century astronomer Guido Bonatti wrote a textbook, the Liber Astronomicus, a copy of which King Henry VII of England owned at the end of the fifteenth century.
In Paradiso, the final part of the Divine Comedy, the Italian poet Dante Alighieri referred "in countless details" to the astrological planets, though he adapted traditional astrology to suit his Christian viewpoint, for example using astrological thinking in his prophecies of the reform of Christendom.
In the seventh century, Isidore of Seville argued in his Etymologiae that astronomy described the movements of the heavens, while astrology had two parts: one was scientific, describing the movements of the sun, the moon and the stars, while the other, making predictions, was theologically erroneous. In contrast, John Gower in the fourteenth century defined astrology as essentially limited to the making of predictions. The influence of the stars was in turn divided into natural astrology, with for example effects on tides and the growth of plants, and judicial astrology, with supposedly predictable effects on people. The fourteenth century sceptic Nicole Oresme however included astronomy as a part of astrology in his Livre de divinacions. Oresme argued that current approaches to prediction of events such as plagues, wars, and weather were inappropriate, but that such prediction was a valid field of inquiry. However, he attacked the use of astrology to choose the timing of actions (so-called interrogation and election) as wholly false, and rejected the determination of human action by the stars on grounds of free will. The friar Laurens Pignon (c. 1368–1449) similarly rejected all forms of divination and determinism, including by the stars, in his 1411 Contre les Devineurs. This was in opposition to the tradition carried by the Arab astronomer Albumasar (787-886) whose Introductorium in Astronomiam and De Magnis Coniunctionibus argued the view that both individual actions and larger scale history are determined by the stars.
Renaissance and Early Modern
Renaissance scholars commonly practised astrology. Gerolamo Cardano cast the horoscope of king Edward VI of England, while John Dee was the personal astrologer to queen Elizabeth I of England. Catherine de Medici paid Michael Nostradamus in 1566 to verify the prediction of the death of her husband, king Henry II of France made by her astrologer Lucus Gauricus. Major astronomers who practised as court astrologers included Tycho Brahe in the royal court of Denmark, Johannes Kepler to the Habsburgs, Galileo Galilei to the Medici, and Giordano Bruno who was burnt at the stake for heresy in Rome in 1600. The distinction between astrology and astronomy was not entirely clear. Advances in astronomy were often motivated by the desire to improve the accuracy of astrology.
Ephemerides with complex astrological calculations, and almanacs interpreting celestial events for use in medicine and for choosing times to plant crops, were popular in Elizabethan England. In 1597, the English mathematician and physician Thomas Hood made a set of paper instruments that used revolving overlays to help students work out relationships between fixed stars or constellations, the midheaven, and the twelve astrological houses. Hood's instruments also illustrated, for pedagogical purposes, the supposed relationships between the signs of the zodiac, the planets, and the parts of the human body adherents believed were governed by the planets and signs. While Hood's presentation was innovative, his astrological information was largely standard and was taken from Gerard Mercator's astrological disc made in 1551, or a source used by Mercator.
English astrology had reached its zenith by the 17th century. Astrologers were theorists, researchers, and social engineers, as well as providing individual advice to everyone from monarchs downwards. Among other things, astrologers could advise on the best time to take a journey or harvest a crop, diagnose and prescribe for physical or mental illnesses, and predict natural disasters. This underpinned a system in which everything—people, the world, the universe—was understood to be interconnected, and astrology co-existed happily with religion, magic and science.
Enlightenment period and onwards
During the Enlightenment, intellectual sympathy for astrology fell away, leaving only a popular following supported by cheap almanacs. One English almanac compiler, Richard Saunders, followed the spirit of the age by printing a derisive Discourse on the Invalidity of Astrology, while in France Pierre Bayle's Dictionnaire of 1697 stated that the subject was puerile. The Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift ridiculed the Whig political astrologer John Partridge.
Astrology saw a popular revival starting in the 19th century, as part of a general revival of spiritualism and—later, New Age philosophy,:239–249 and through the influence of mass media such as newspaper horoscopes.:259–263 Early in the 20th century the psychiatrist Carl Jung developed some concepts concerning astrology, which led to the development of psychological astrology.:251–256;
Principles and practice
Advocates have defined astrology as a symbolic language, an art form, a science, and a method of divination. Though most cultural astrology systems share common roots in ancient philosophies that influenced each other, many use methods that differ from those in the West. These include Hindu astrology (also known as "Indian astrology" and in modern times referred to as "Vedic astrology") and Chinese astrology, both of which have influenced the world's cultural history.
Western astrology is a form of divination based on the construction of a horoscope for an exact moment, such as a person's birth. It uses the tropical zodiac, which is aligned to the equinoctial points.
Western astrology is founded on the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies such as the Sun, Moon and planets, which are analysed by their movement through signs of the zodiac (twelve spatial divisions of the ecliptic) and by their aspects (based on geometric angles) relative to one another. They are also considered by their placement in houses (twelve spatial divisions of the sky). Astrology's modern representation in western popular media is usually reduced to sun sign astrology, which considers only the zodiac sign of the Sun at an individual's date of birth, and represents only 1/12 of the total chart.
The horoscope visually expresses the set of relationships for the time and place of the chosen event. These relationships are between the seven 'planets', signifying tendencies such as war and love; the twelve signs of the zodiac; and the twelve houses. Each planet is in a particular sign and a particular house at the chosen time, when observed from the chosen place, creating two kinds of relationship. A third kind is the aspect of each planet to every other planet, where for example two planets 120° apart (in 'trine') are in a harmonious relationship, but two planets 90° apart ('square') are in a conflicted relationship. Together these relationships and their interpretations supposedly form "...the language of the heavens speaking to learned men."
Along with tarot divination, astrology is one of the core studies of Western esotericism, and as such has influenced systems of magical belief not only among Western esotericists and Hermeticists, but also belief systems such as Wicca that have borrowed from or been influenced by the Western esoteric tradition. Tanya Luhrmann has said that "all magicians know something about astrology," and refers to a table of correspondences in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, organised by planet, as an example of the astrological lore studied by magicians.
Hindu natal astrology originated with Hellenistic astrology by the 3rd century BCE,:361 though incorporating the Hindu lunar mansions. The names of the signs (e.g. Greek 'Krios' for Aries, Hindi 'Kriya'), the planets (e.g. Greek 'Helios' for Sun, astrological Hindi 'Heli'), and astrological terms (e.g. Greek 'apoklima' and 'sunaphe' for declination and planetary conjunction, Hindi 'apoklima' and 'sunapha' respectively) in Varaha Mihira's texts are considered conclusive evidence of a Greek origin for Hindu astrology. The Indian techniques may also have been augmented with some of the Babylonian techniques.:231
Chinese and East-Asian
Chinese astrology has a close relation with Chinese philosophy (theory of the three harmonies: heaven, earth and man) and uses concepts such as yin and yang, the Five phases, the 10 Celestial stems, the 12 Earthly Branches, and shichen (時辰 a form of timekeeping used for religious purposes). The early use of Chinese astrology was mainly confined to political astrology, the observation of unusual phenomena, identification of portents and the selection of auspicious days for events and decisions.:22,85,176
The constellations of the Zodiac of western Asia and Europe were not used; instead the sky is divided into Three Enclosures (三垣 sān yuán), and Twenty-eight Mansions (二十八宿 èrshíbā xiù) in twelve Ci (十二次). The Chinese zodiac of twelve animal signs is said to represent twelve different types of personality. It is based on cycles of years, lunar months, and two-hour periods of the day (the shichen). The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat, and the cycle proceeds through 11 other animals signs: the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Duck. Complex systems of predicting fate and destiny based on one's birthday, birth season, and birth hours, such as ziping and Zi Wei Dou Shu (simplified Chinese: 紫微斗数; traditional Chinese: 紫微斗數; pinyin: zǐwēidǒushù) are still used regularly in modern-day Chinese astrology. They do not rely on direct observations of the stars.
The Korean zodiac is identical to the Chinese one. The Vietnamese zodiac is almost identical to Chinese zodiac except the second animal is the Water Buffalo instead of the Ox, and the fourth animal is the Cat instead of the Rabbit. The Japanese have since 1873 celebrated the beginning of the new year on 1 January as per the Gregorian Calendar. The Thai zodiac begins, not at Chinese New Year, but either on the first day of fifth month in the Thai lunar calendar, or during the Songkran festival (now celebrated every 13–15 April), depending on the purpose of the use.
St. Augustine (354–430) believed that the determinism of astrology conflicted with the Christian doctrines of man's free will and responsibility, and God not being the cause of evil, but he also grounded his opposition philosophically, citing the failure of astrology to explain twins who behave differently although conceived at the same moment and born at approximately the same time.
Some of the practices of astrology were contested on theological grounds by medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) and Avicenna. They said that the methods of astrologers conflicted with orthodox religious views of Islamic scholars, by suggesting that the Will of God can be known and predicted in advance. For example, Avicenna's 'Refutation against astrology', Risāla fī ibṭāl aḥkām al-nojūm, argues against the practice of astrology while supporting the principle that planets may act as agents of divine causation. Avicenna considered that the movement of the planets influenced life on earth in a deterministic way, but argued against the possibility of determining the exact influence of the stars. Essentially, Avicenna did not deny the core dogma of astrology, but denied our ability to understand it to the extent that precise and fatalistic predictions could be made from it. Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292–1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, also used physical arguments in astronomy to question the practice of judicial astrology. He recognised that the stars are much larger than the planets, and argued:
And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's and al-Dhanab, which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]?— Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya
All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.— Catechism of the Catholic Church
Scientific analysis and criticism
The scientific community rejects astrology as having no explanatory power for describing the universe, and considers it a pseudoscience.:1350 Scientific testing of astrology has been conducted, and no evidence has been found to support any of the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions.:424; There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics.:249; Those who continue to have faith in astrology have been characterised as doing so "...in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary."
Confirmation bias is a form of cognitive bias, a psychological factor that contributes to belief in astrology.:344;:180–181;:42–48 [a]:553 Astrology believers tend to selectively remember predictions that turn out to be true, and do not remember those that turn out false. Another, separate, form of confirmation bias also plays a role, where believers often fail to distinguish between messages that demonstrate special ability and those that do not.:180–181 Thus there are two distinct forms of confirmation bias that are under study with respect to astrological belief.:180–181
Under the criterion of falsifiability, first proposed by philosopher of science Karl Popper, astrology is a pseudoscience. Popper regarded astrology as "pseudo-empirical" in that "it appeals to observation and experiment," but "nevertheless does not come up to scientific standards.":44 In contrast to scientific disciplines, astrology has not responded to falsification through experiment.:206
In contrast to Popper, the philosopher Thomas Kuhn argued that it was not lack of falsifiability that makes astrology unscientific, but rather that the process and concepts of astrology are non-empirical.:401 Kuhn thought that, though astrologers had, historically, made predictions that categorically failed, this in itself does not make it unscientific, nor do attempts by astrologers to explain away failures by claiming that creating a horoscope is very difficult. Rather, in Kuhn's eyes, astrology is not science because it was always more akin to medieval medicine; they followed a sequence of rules and guidelines for a seemingly necessary field with known shortcomings, but they did no research because the fields are not amenable to research,:8 and so "they had no puzzles to solve and therefore no science to practise.":401;:8 While an astronomer could correct for failure, an astrologer could not. An astrologer could only explain away failure but could not revise the astrological hypothesis in a meaningful way. As such, to Kuhn, even if the stars could influence the path of humans through life astrology is not scientific.:8
The philosopher Paul Thagard asserts that astrology cannot be regarded as falsified in this sense until it has been replaced with a successor. In the case of predicting behaviour, psychology is the alternative.:228 To Thagard a further criterion of demarcation of science from pseudoscience is that the state-of-the-art must progress and that the community of researchers should be attempting to compare the current theory to alternatives, and not be "selective in considering confirmations and disconfirmations.":227–228 Progress is defined here as explaining new phenomena and solving existing problems, yet astrology has failed to progress having only changed little in nearly 2000 years.:228:549 To Thagard, astrologers are acting as though engaged in normal science believing that the foundations of astrology were well established despite the "many unsolved problems," and in the face of better alternative theories (psychology). For these reasons Thagard views astrology as pseudoscience.:228
For the philosopher Edward W. James, astrology is irrational not because of the numerous problems with mechanisms and falsification due to experiments, but because an analysis of the astrological literature shows that it is infused with fallacious logic and poor reasoning.:34
What if throughout astrological writings we meet little appreciation of coherence, blatant insensitivity to evidence, no sense of a hierarchy of reasons, slight command over the contextual force of critieria, stubborn unwillingness to pursue an argument where it leads, stark naivete concerning the effiacacy of explanation and so on? In that case, I think, we are perfectly justified in rejecting astrology as irrational. ... Astrology simply fails to meet the multifarious demands of legitimate reasoning."— Edward W. James:34
Astrology has not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity.:85; Where it has made falsifiable predictions under controlled conditions, they have been falsified.:424 One famous experiment included 28 astrologers who were asked to match over a hundred natal charts to psychological profiles generated by the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) questionnaire. The double-blind experimental protocol used in this study was agreed upon by a group of physicists and a group of astrologers nominated by the National Council for Geocosmic Research, who advised the experimenters, helped ensure that the test was fair:420;:117 and helped draw the central proposition of natal astrology to be tested.:419 They also chose 26 out of the 28 astrologers for the tests (two more volunteered afterwards).:420 The study, published in Nature in 1985, found that predictions based on natal astrology were no better than chance, and that the testing "...clearly refutes the astrological hypothesis."
In 1955, astrologer and psychologist Michel Gauquelin stated that though he had failed to find evidence that supported indicators like zodiacal signs and planetary aspects in astrology, he did find positive correlations between the diurnal positions of some planets and success in professions that astrology traditionally associates with those planets. The best-known of Gauquelin's findings is based on the positions of Mars in the natal charts of successful athletes and became known as the Mars effect.:213 A study conducted by seven French scientists attempted to replicate the claim, but found no statistical evidence.:213–214 They attributed the effect to selective bias on Gauquelin's part, accusing him of attempting to persuade them to add or delete names from their study.
Geoffrey Dean has suggested that the effect may be caused by self-reporting of birth dates by parents rather than any issue with the study by Gauquelin. The suggestion is that a small subset of the parents may have had changed birth times to be consistent with better astrological charts for a related profession. The sample group was taken from a time where belief in astrology was more common. Gauquelin had failed to find the Mars effect in more recent populations, where a nurse or doctor recorded the birth information. The number of births under astrologically undesirable conditions was also lower, indicating more evidence that parents choose dates and times to suit their beliefs.:116
Dean, a scientist and former astrologer, and psychologist Ivan Kelly conducted a large scale scientific test that involved more than one hundred cognitive, behavioural, physical, and other variables—but found no support for astrology. Furthermore, a meta-analysis pooled 40 studies that involved 700 astrologers and over 1,000 birth charts. Ten of the tests—which involved 300 participants—had the astrologers pick the correct chart interpretation out of a number of others that were not the astrologically correct chart interpretation (usually three to five others). When date and other obvious clues were removed, no significant results suggested there was any preferred chart.:190
Lack of mechanisms and consistency
Testing the validity of astrology can be difficult, because there is no consensus amongst astrologers as to what astrology is or what it can predict.:83 Most professional astrologers are paid to predict the future or describe a person's personality and life, but most horoscopes only make vague untestable statements that can apply to almost anyone.:83
Many astrologers claim that astrology is scientific, while some have proposed conventional causal agents such as electromagnetism and gravity. Scientists reject these mechanisms as implausible since, for example, the magnetic field, when measured from earth, of a large but distant planet such as Jupiter is far smaller than that produced by ordinary household appliances.
Western astrology has taken the earth's axial precession (also called precession of the equinoxes) into account since Ptolemy's Almagest, so the 'first point of Aries', the start of the astrological year, continually moves against the background of the stars. The tropical zodiac has no connection to the stars, and as long as no claims are made that the constellations themselves are in the associated sign, astrologers avoid the concept that precession seemingly moves the constellations. Charpak and Broch, noting this, referred to astrology based on the tropical zodiac as being "...empty boxes that have nothing to do with anything and are devoid of any consistency or correspondence with the stars." Sole use of the tropical zodiac is inconsistent with references made, by the same astrologers, to the Age of Aquarius, which depends on when the vernal point enters the constellation of Aquarius.
Astrologers usually have only a small knowledge of astronomy, and often do not take into account basic principles—such as the precession of the equinoxes, which changes the position of the sun with time. They commented on the example of Élizabeth Teissier, who claimed that, "The sun ends up in the same place in the sky on the same date each year," as the basis for claims that two people with the same birthday, but a number of years apart, should be under the same planetary influence. Charpak and Broch noted that, "There is a difference of about twenty-two thousand miles between Earth's location on any specific date in two successive years," and that thus they should not be under the same influence according to astrology. Over a 40 years period there would be a difference greater than 780,000 miles.
|Problems playing these files? See media help.|
Western politics and society
In the West, political leaders have sometimes consulted astrologers. For example, the British intelligence agency MI5 employed Louis de Wohl as an astrologer after claims surfaced that Adolf Hitler used astrology to time his actions. The War Office was "...interested to know what Hitler's own astrologers would be telling him from week to week." In fact, de Wohl's predictions were so inaccurate that he was soon labelled a "complete charlatan," and later evidence showed that Hitler considered astrology "complete nonsense." After John Hinckley's attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan, first lady Nancy Reagan commissioned astrologer Joan Quigley to act as the secret White House astrologer. However, Quigley's role ended in 1988 when it became public through the memoirs of former chief of staff, Donald Regan.
There was a boom in interest in astrology in the late 1960s. Sociologist Marcello Truzzi described three levels of involvement of "Astrology-believers" to account for its revived popularity in the face of scientific discrediting. He found that most astrology-believers did not claim it was a scientific explanation with predictive power. Instead, those superficially involved, knowing "next to nothing" about astrology's 'mechanics', read newspaper astrology columns, and could benefit from "tension-management of anxieties" and "a cognitive belief-system that transcends science." Those at the second level usually had their horoscopes cast and sought advice and predictions. They were much younger than those at the first level, and could benefit from knowledge of the language of astrology and the resulting ability to belong to a coherent and exclusive group. Those at the third level were highly involved and usually cast horoscopes for themselves. Astrology provided this small minority of astrology-believers with a "meaningful view of their universe and [gave] them an understanding of their place in it."[b] This third group took astrology seriously, possibly as a sacred canopy, whereas the other two groups took it playfully and irreverently.
In 1953, sociologist Theodor W. Adorno conducted a study of the astrology column of a Los Angeles newspaper as part of a project examining mass culture in capitalist society.:326 Adorno believed that popular astrology, as a device, invariably leads to statements that encouraged conformity—and that astrologers who go against conformity, by discouraging performance at work etc., risk losing their jobs.:327 Adorno concluded that astrology is a large-scale manifestation of systematic irrationalism, where individuals are subtly led—through flattery and vague generalisations—to believe that the author of the column is addressing them directly. Adorno drew a parallel with the phrase opium of the people, by Karl Marx, by commenting, "occultism is the metaphysic of the dopes.":329
A 2005 Gallup poll and a 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center reported that 25% of US adults believe in astrology. According to data released in the National Science Foundation's 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators study, "Fewer Americans rejected astrology in 2012 than in recent years." The NSF study noted that in 2012, "slightly more than half of Americans said that astrology was 'not at all scientific,' whereas nearly two-thirds gave this response in 2010. The comparable percentage has not been this low since 1983."
India and Japan
In India, there is a long-established and widespread belief in astrology. It is commonly used for daily life, particularly in matters concerning marriage and career, and makes extensive use of electional, horary and karmic astrology. Indian politics have also been influenced by astrology. It is still considered a branch of the Vedanga. In 2001, Indian scientists and politicians debated and critiqued a proposal to use state money to fund research into astrology, resulting in permission for Indian universities to offer courses in Vedic astrology.
In Japan, strong belief in astrology has led to dramatic changes in the fertility rate and the number of abortions in the years of Fire Horse. Adherents believe that women born in hinoeuma years are unmarriageable and bring bad luck to their father or husband. In 1966, the number of babies born in Japan dropped by over 25% as parents tried to avoid the stigma of having a daughter born in the hinoeuma year.
Literature and music
The fourteenth-century English poets John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer both referred to astrology in their works, including Gower's Confessio Amantis and Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer commented explicitly on astrology in his Treatise on the Astrolabe, demonstrating personal knowledge of one area, judicial astrology, with an account of how to find the ascendant or rising sign.
In the sixteenth century, John Lyly's 1597 play, The Woman in the Moon, is wholly motivated by astrology, while Christopher Marlowe makes astrological references in his plays Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine (both c. 1590), and Sir Philip Sidney refers to astrology at least four times in his romance The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (c. 1580). Edmund Spenser uses astrology both decoratively and causally in his poetry, revealing "...unmistakably an abiding interest in the art, an interest shared by a large number of his contemporaries." George Chapman's play, Byron's Conspiracy (1608), similarly uses astrology as a causal mechanism in the drama. William Shakespeare's attitude towards astrology is unclear, with contradictory references in plays including King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and Richard II. Shakespeare was familiar with astrology and made use of his knowledge of astrology in nearly every play he wrote, assuming a basic familiarity with the subject in his commercial audience. Outside theatre, the physician and mystic Robert Fludd practised astrology, as did the quack doctor Simon Forman. In Elizabethan England, "The usual feeling about astrology ... [was] that it is the most useful of the sciences."
In seventeenth century Spain, Lope de Vega, with a detailed knowledge of astronomy, wrote plays that ridicule astrology. In his pastoral romance La Arcadia (1598), it leads to absurdity; in his novela Guzman el Bravo (1624), he concludes that the stars were made for man, not man for the stars. Calderón de la Barca wrote the 1641 comedy Astrologo Fingido (The Pretended Astrologer); the plot was borrowed by the French playwright Thomas Corneille for his 1651 comedy Feint Astrologue.
The most famous piece of music influenced by astrology is the orchestral suite The Planets. Written by the British composer Gustav Holst (1874–1934), and first performed in 1918, the framework of The Planets is based upon the astrological symbolism of the planets. Each of the seven movements of the suite is based upon a different planet, though the movements are not in the order of the planets from the Sun. The composer Colin Matthews wrote an eighth movement entitled Pluto, the Renewer, first performed in 2000. In 1937, another British composer, Constant Lambert, wrote a ballet on astrological themes, called Horoscope. In 1974, the New Zealand composer Edwin Carr wrote The Twelve Signs: An Astrological Entertainment for orchestra without strings. Camille Paglia acknowledges astrology as an influence on her work of literary criticism Sexual Personae (1990).
- Barnum effect
- List of astrological traditions, types, and systems
- List of topics characterised as pseudoscience
- see Heuristics in judgement and decision making
- Italics in original.
- "astrology". Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "astrology". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Inc. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- Bunnin, Nicholas; Yu, Jiyuan (2008). The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. p. 57.
- Koch-Westenholz, Ulla (1995). Mesopotamian astrology: an introduction to Babylonian and Assyrian celestial divination. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. pp. Foreword, 11. ISBN 978-87-7289-287-0.
- Jeffrey Bennett; Megan Donohue; Nicholas Schneider; Mark Voit (2007). The cosmic perspective (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson/Addison-Wesley. pp. 82–84. ISBN 0-8053-9283-1.
- Kassell, Lauren (5 May 2010). "Stars, spirits, signs: towards a history of astrology 1100–1800". Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 41 (2): 67–69. doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2010.04.001.
- Vishveshwara, edited by S.K. Biswas, D.C.V. Mallik, C.V. (1989). Cosmic Perspectives: Essays Dedicated to the Memory of M.K.V. Bappu (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-34354-2.
- Peter D. Asquith, ed. (1978). Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, vol. 1 (PDF). Dordrecht: Reidel. ISBN 978-0-917586-05-7.; "Chapter 7: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding". science and engineering indicators 2006. National Science Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
About three-fourths of Americans hold at least one pseudoscientific belief; i.e., they believed in at least 1 of the 10 survey items"... " Those 10 items were extrasensory perception (ESP), that houses can be haunted, ghosts/that spirits of dead people can come back in certain places/situations, telepathy/communication between minds without using traditional senses, clairvoyance/the power of the mind to know the past and predict the future, astrology/that the position of the stars and planets can affect people's lives, that people can communicate mentally with someone who has died, witches, reincarnation/the rebirth of the soul in a new body after death, and channeling/allowing a "spirit-being" to temporarily assume control of a body.
- Carlson, Shawn (1985). "A double-blind test of astrology" (PDF). Nature. 318 (6045): 419–425. Bibcode:1985Natur.318..419C. doi:10.1038/318419a0.
- Zarka, Philippe (2011). "Astronomy and astrology". Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. 5 (S260): 420–425. doi:10.1017/S1743921311002602.
- David E. Pingree; Robert Andrew Gilbert. "Astrology - Astrology in modern times". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Thagard, Paul R. (1978). "Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. The University of Chicago Press. 1: 223–234.
- Astrology. Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Sven Ove Hansson; Edward N. Zalta. "Science and Pseudo-Science". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Astronomical Pseudo-Science: A Skeptic's Resource List". Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
- Hartmann, P.; Reuter, M.; Nyborga, H. (May 2006). "The relationship between date of birth and individual differences in personality and general intelligence: A large-scale study". Personality and Individual Differences. 40 (7): 1349–1362. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.11.017.
To optimise the chances of finding even remote relationships between date of birth and individual differences in personality and intelligence we further applied two different strategies. The first one was based on the common chronological concept of time (e.g. month of birth and season of birth). The second strategy was based on the (pseudo-scientific) concept of astrology (e.g. Sun Signs, The Elements, and astrological gender), as discussed in the book Astrology: Science or superstition? by Eysenck and Nias (1982).
- Harper, Douglas. "astrology". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
Differentiation between astrology and astronomy began late 1400s and by 17c. this word was limited to "reading influences of the stars and their effects on human destiny."
- "astrology, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (Second ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2011.
In Old French and Middle English astronomie seems to be the earlier and general word, astrologie having been subseq. introduced for the 'art' or practical application of astronomy to mundane affairs, and thus gradually limited by 17th cent. to the reputed influences of the stars, unknown to science. Not in Shakespeare.
- Campion, Nicholas (2009). History of western astrology. Volume II, The medieval and modern worlds. (first ed.). Continuum. ISBN 978-1-4411-8129-9.
- Marshack, Alexander (1991). The roots of civilization : the cognitive beginnings of man's first art, symbol and notation (Rev. and expanded ed.). Moyer Bell. ISBN 978-1-55921-041-6.
- Evelyn-White, Hesiod ; with an English translation by Hugh G. (1977). The Homeric hymns and Homerica (Reprinted ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. pp. 663–677. ISBN 978-0-674-99063-0.
Fifty days after the solstice, when the season of wearisome heat is come to an end, is the right time to go sailing. Then you will not wreck your ship, nor will the sea destroy the sailors, unless Poseidon the Earth-Shaker be set upon it, or Zeus, the king of the deathless gods
- Aveni, David H. Kelley, Eugene F. Milone (2005). Exploring ancient skies an encyclopedic survey of archaeoastronomy (Online ed.). New York: Springer. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-387-95310-6.
- Russell Hobson, THE EXACT TRANSMISSION OF TEXTS IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM B.C.E., Published PhD Thesis. Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies. University of Sydney. 2009 PDF File
- From scroll A of the ruler Gudea of Lagash, I 17 – VI 13. O. Kaiser, Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments, Bd. 2, 1–3. Gütersloh, 1986–1991. Also quoted in A. Falkenstein, 'Wahrsagung in der sumerischen Überlieferung', La divination en Mésopotamie ancienne et dans les régions voisines. Paris, 1966.
- Rochberg-Halton, F. (1988). "Elements of the Babylonian Contribution to Hellenistic Astrology". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 108 (1): 51–62. doi:10.2307/603245. JSTOR 603245.
- Kistemaker, Jacob, Sun, Xiaochun (1997). The Chinese sky during the Han: constellating stars and society. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-10737-3.
- Long, 2005. p. 173.
- Long, 2005. pp. 173–174.
- Long, 2005. p. 177.
- Long, 2005. p. 174.
- Long, 2005. p. 184.
- Long, 2005. p. 186.
- Hughes, Richard (2004). Lament, Death, and Destiny. Peter Lang. p. 87.
- Barton, 1994. p. 24.
- Holden, 1996. pp. 11–13.
- Barton, 1994. p. 20.
- Robbins, 1940. 'Introduction' p. xii.
- Campion, 2008. p. 173.
- Campion, 2008. p. 84.
- Campion, 2008. pp. 173–174.
- Barton, 1994. p. 32.
- Barton, 1994. p. 32–33.
- Campion, 2008. pp. 227–228.
- Parker, 1983. p. 16.
- Juvenal, Satire 6: The Ways of Women (translated by G. G. Ramsay, 1918, retrieved 5 July 2012).
- Barton, 1994. p. 43.
- Barton, 1994. p. 63.
- David Pingree, Jyotiḥśāstra (J. Gonda (Ed.) A History of Indian Literature, Vol VI Fasc 4), p.81
- Ayduz, Salim; Kalin, Ibrahim; Dagli, Caner (2014). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 64.
- Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad (1879). "VIII". The chronology of ancient nations. London, Pub. for the Oriental translations fund of Great Britain & Ireland by W. H. Allen and co. LCCN 01006783.
- Houlding, Deborah (2010). "6: Historical sources and traditional approaches". Essays on the History of Western Astrology. STA. pp. 2–7.
- Campion, 1982. p. 44.
- Campion, 1982. p. 45.
- Campion, 1982. p. 46.
- North, John David (1986). "The eastern origins of the Campanus (Prime Vertical) method. Evidence from al-Bīrūnī". Horoscopes and history. Warburg Institute. pp. 175–176.
- Durling, Robert M. (January 1997). "Dante's Christian Astrology. by Richard Kay. Review". Speculum. 72 (1): 185–187. doi:10.2307/2865916. JSTOR 2865916.
Dante's interest in astrology has only slowly been gaining the attention it deserves. In 1940 Rudolf Palgen published his pioneering eighty-page Dantes Sternglaube: Beiträge zur Erklärung des Paradiso, which concisely surveyed Dante's treatment of the planets and of the sphere of fixed stars; he demonstrated that it is governed by the astrological concept of the "children of the planets" (in each sphere the pilgrim meets souls whose lives reflected the dominant influence of that planet) and that in countless details the imagery of the Paradiso is derived from the astrological tradition. ... Like Palgen, he [Kay] argues (again, in more detail) that Dante adapted traditional astrological views to his own Christian ones; he finds this process intensified in the upper heavens.
- Woody, Kennerly M. (1977). "Dante and the Doctrine of the Great Conjunctions". Dante Studies, with the Annual Report of the Dante Society. 95: 119–134. JSTOR 40166243.
It can hardly be doubted, I think, that Dante was thinking in astrological terms when he made his prophecies. [The attached footnote cites Inferno. I, lOOff.; Purgatorio. xx, 13-15 and xxxiii, 41; Paradiso. xxii, 13-15 and xxvii, 142-148.]
- Wood, 1970. p. 5
- Isidore of Seville (c. 600). Etymologiae. pp. L, 82, col. 170.
- Gower, John (1390). Confessio Amantis. pp. VII, 670–84.
Assembled with Astronomie / Is ek that ilke Astrologie / The which in juggementz acompteth / Theffect, what every sterre amonteth, / And hou thei causen many a wonder / To tho climatz that stonde hem under.
- Wood, 1970. p. 6
- Allen, Don Cameron (1941). Star-crossed Renaissance. Duke University Press. p. 148.
- Wood, 1970. pp. 8–11
- Coopland, G. W. (1952). Nicole Oresme and the Astrologers: A Study of his Livre de Divinacions. Harvard University Press; Liverpool University Press.
- Vanderjagt, A.J. (1985). Laurens Pignon, O.P.: Confessor of Philip the Good. Venlo, The Netherlands: Jean Mielot.
- Veenstra, 1997. pp. 5, 32, passim
- Veenstra, 1997. p. 184
- Campion, 1982. p. 47.
- Rabin, Sheila J. (2010). "Pico and the historiography of Renaissance astrology". Explorations in Renaissance Culture. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
- Harkness, Deborah E. (2007). The Jewel House. Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. Yale University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-300-14316-4.
- Harkness, Deborah E. (2007). The Jewel House. Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. Yale University Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-300-14316-4.
- Astronomical diagrams by Thomas Hood, Mathematician (Vellum, in oaken cases). British Library (Add. MSS. 71494, 71495): British Library. c. 1597.
- Johnston, Stephen (July 1998). "The astrological instruments of Thomas Hood". XVII International Scientific Instrument Symposium. Soro. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Vanden Broeke, Steven (2001). "Dee, Mercator, and Louvain Instrument Making: An Undescribed Astrological Disc by Gerard Mercator (1551)". Annals of Science. 58: 219–240. doi:10.1080/00033790016703.
- Cummins A (2012) The Starry Rubric: Seventeenth-Century English Astrology and Magic, p. 3. France:Hadean Press
- Cummins A (2012) The Starry Rubric: Seventeenth-Century English Astrology and Magic, p. 43–45. France:Hadean Press
- Porter, Roy (2001). Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World. Penguin. pp. 151–152. ISBN 0-14-025028-X.
he did not even trouble readers with formal disproofs!
- Campion, Nicholas (2009). History of western astrology. Volume II, The medieval and modern worlds. (first ed.). London: Continuum. ISBN 978-1-4411-8129-9.
At the same time, in Switzerland, the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was developing sophisticated theories concerning astrology ...
- Jung, C.G.; Hull. Adler, Gerhard, ed. C.G. Jung Letters: 1906–1950. in collaboration with Aniela Jaffé; translations from the German by R.F.C. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-09895-1.
Letter from Jung to Freud, 12 June 1911 "I made horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth."
- Gieser, Suzanne. The Innermost Kernel, Depth Psychology and Quantum Physics. Wolfgang Pauli's Dialogue with C.G.Jung, (Springer, Berlin, 2005) p. 21 ISBN 3-540-20856-9
- Campion, Nicholas. "Prophecy, Cosmology and the New Age Movement. The Extent and Nature of Contemporary Belief in Astrology."(Bath Spa University College, 2003) via Campion, Nicholas, History of Western Astrology, (Continuum Books, London & New York, 2009) pp. 248, 256, ISBN 978-1-84725-224-1
- The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica,' v.5, 1974, p. 916
- Dietrich, Thomas: 'The Origin of Culture and Civilization, Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, 2005, p. 305
- Philip P. Wiener, ed. (1974). Dictionary of the history of ideas. New York: Scribner. ISBN 0-684-13293-1.
- James R. Lewis, 2003. The Astrology Book: the Encyclopedia of Heavenly Influences. Visible Ink Press. Online at Google Books.
- Hone, Margaret (1978). The Modern Text-Book of Astrology. Romford: L. N. Fowler. pp. 21–89. ISBN 0-85243-357-3.
- Riske, Kris (2007). Llewellyn's Complete Book of Astrology. Minnesota, USA: Llewellyn Publications. pp. 5–6; 27. ISBN 978-0-7387-1071-6.
- Kremer, Richard (1990). "Horoscopes and History. by J. D. North; A History of Western Astrology. by S. J. Tester". Speculum. 65 (1): 206–209. doi:10.2307/2864524. JSTOR 2864524.
- Pelletier, Robert; Cataldo, Leonard (1984). Be Your Own Astrologer. Pan. pp. 57–60.
- Fenton, Sasha (1991). Rising Signs. Aquarian Press. pp. 137–9.
- Luhrmann, Tanya (1991). Persuasions of the witch's craft: ritual magic in contemporary England. Harvard University Press. pp. 147–151. ISBN 0-674-66324-1.
- Subbarayappa, B. V. (14 September 1989). "Indian astronomy: An historical perspective". In Biswas, S. K.; Mallik, D. C. V.; Vishveshwara, C. V. Cosmic Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. pp. 25–40. ISBN 978-0-521-34354-1.
In the Vedic literature Jyotis[h]a, which connotes 'astronomy' and later began to encompass astrology, was one of the most important subjects of study... The earliest Vedic astronomical text has the title, Vedanga Jyotis[h]a...
- Pingree, David (18 December 1978). "Indian Astronomy". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. American Philosophical Society. 122 (6): 361–364. JSTOR 986451.
- Pingree, David (2001). "From Alexandria to Baghdād to Byzantium. The Transmission of Astrology". International Journal of the Classical Tradition. 8 (1): 3–37. doi:10.1007/bf02700227. JSTOR 30224155.
- Werner, Karel (1993). "The Circle of Stars: An Introduction to Indian Astrology by Valerie J. Roebuck. Review". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 56: 645–646. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00008326. JSTOR 620756.
- Burgess, James (October 1893). "Notes on Hindu Astronomy and the History of Our Knowledge of It". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland: 717–761. JSTOR 25197168.
- Pingree, David (June 1963). "Astronomy and Astrology in India and Iran". Isis. The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The History of Science Society. 54 (2): 229–246. doi:10.1086/349703. JSTOR 228540.
- F. Richard Stephenson, "Chinese Roots of Modern Astronomy", New Scientist, 26 June 1980. See also 二十八宿的形成与演变
- Theodora Lau, The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, pp 2–8, 30–5, 60–4, 88–94, 118–24, 148–53, 178–84, 208–13, 238–44, 270–78, 306–12, 338–44, Souvenir Press, New York, 2005
- Selin, Helaine, ed. (1997). "Astrology in China". Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "การเปลี่ยนวันใหม่ การนับวัน ทางโหราศาสตร์ไทย การเปลี่ยนปีนักษัตร โหราศาสตร์ ดูดวง ทำนายทายทัก ('The transition to the new astrological dates Thailand. Changing zodiac astrology horoscope prediction')". (in Thai)
- Veenstra, J.R. (1997). Magic and Divination at the Courts of Burgundy and France: Text and Context of Laurens Pignon's "Contre les Devineurs" (1411). Brill. pp. 184–185. ISBN 978-90-04-10925-4.
- Hess, Peter M.J.; Allen, Paul L. (2007). Catholicism and science (1st ed.). Westport: Greenwood. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-313-33190-9.
- Saliba, George (1994b). A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam. New York University Press. pp. 60, 67–69. ISBN 0-8147-8023-7.
- Catarina Belo, Catarina Carriço Marques de Moura Belo, Chance and determinism in Avicenna and Averroës, p. 228. Brill, 2007. ISBN 90-04-15587-2.
- George Saliba, Avicenna: 'viii. Mathematics and Physical Sciences'. Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Edition, 2011, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/avicenna-viii
- Livingston, John W. (1971). "Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah: A Fourteenth Century Defense against Astrological Divination and Alchemical Transmutation". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 91 (1): 96–103. doi:10.2307/600445. JSTOR 600445.
- editor, Peter M.J. Stravinskas, (1998). Our Sunday visitor's Catholic encyclopedia (Rev. ed.). Huntington, Ind.: Our Sunday Visitor Pub. p. 111. ISBN 0-87973-669-0.
- "Catechism of the Catholic Church - Part 3". Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- Culver, Roger B.; Ianna, Philip A. (1988). Astrology True or False?: A Scientific Evaluation. Prometheus Books.
- McGrew, John H.; McFall, Richard M. (1990). "A Scientific Inquiry Into the Validity of Astrology" (PDF). Journal of Scientific Exploration. 4 (1). pp. 75–83.
- "Objections to Astrology: A Statement by 186 Leading Scientists". The Humanist, September/October 1975. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009.; The Humanist, volume 36, no.5 (1976); Bok, Bart J.; Lawrence E. Jerome; Paul Kurtz (1982). "Objections to Astrology: A Statement by 186 Leading Scientists". In Patrick Grim. Philosophy of Science and the Occult. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 14–18. ISBN 0-87395-572-2.
- Allum, Nick (13 December 2010). "What Makes Some People Think Astrology Is Scientific?". Science Communication. 33 (3): 341–366. doi:10.1177/1075547010389819.
This underlies the Barnum effect. Named after the 19th-century showman Phileas T. Barnum—whose circus provided "a little something for everyone"—it refers to the idea that people believe a statement about their personality that is vague or trivial if they think it derives from some systematic procedure tailored especially for them (Dickson & Kelly, 1985; Furnham & Schofield, 1987; Rogers & Soule, 2009; Wyman & Vyse, 2008). For example, the more birth detail is used in an astrological prediction or horoscope, the more credulous people tend to be (Furnham, 1991). However, confirmation bias means that people do not tend to pay attention to other information that might disconfirm the credibility of the predictions.
- Nickerson, Raymond S. Nickerson (1998). "Confirmation Bias: A Ubiquitous Phenomenon in Many Guises". Review of General Psychology. 2. 2 (2): 175–220. CiteSeerX . doi:10.1037/1089-26220.127.116.11.
- Eysenck, H.J.; Nias, D.K.B. (1984). Astrology: Science or Superstition?. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-022397-5.
- Gonzalez (1990). Jean-Paul Caverni; Jean-Marc Fabre, Michel, eds. Cognitive biases. Amsterdam: North-Holland. ISBN 0-444-88413-0.
- Stephen Thornton, Edward N. Zalta (older edition). "Karl Popper". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- Popper, Karl (2004). Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (Reprinted ed.). London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28594-1.
- Cogan, Robert (1998). Critical Thinking: Step by Step. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America. ISBN 0-7618-1067-6.
- Wright, Peter (1975). "Astrology and Science in Seventeenth-Century England". Social Studies of Science. 5: 399–422. doi:10.1177/030631277500500402.
- Kuhn, Thomas (1970). Imre Lakatos; Alan Musgrave, eds. Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science [held at Bedford College, Regent's Park, London, from July 11th to 17th 1965] (Reprint ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-09623-5.
- Hurley, Patrick (2005). A concise introduction to logic (9th ed.). Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth. ISBN 0-534-58505-1.
- James, Edward W. (1982). Patrick Grim, ed. Philosophy of science and the occult. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-87395-572-2.
- Muller, Richard (2010). "Web site of Richard A. Muller, Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley,". Retrieved 2 August 2011.My former student Shawn Carlson published in Nature magazine the definitive scientific test of Astrology.
Maddox, Sir John (1995). "John Maddox, editor of the science journal Nature, commenting on Carlson's test". Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2011. "... a perfectly convincing and lasting demonstration."
- Smith, Jonathan C. (2010). Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-8123-5.
- Pont, Graham (2004). "Philosophy and Science of Music in Ancient Greece". Nexus Network Journal. 6 (1): 17–29. doi:10.1007/s00004-004-0003-x.
- Gauquelin, Michel (1955). L'influence des astres: étude critique et expérimentale. Paris: Éditions du Dauphin.
- Carroll, Robert Todd (2003). The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-27242-6.
- Benski, Claude; et al. (1995). The "Mars Effect: A French Test of over 1,000 Sports Champions. with a commentary by Jan Willem Nienhuys. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-988-7.
- Matthews, Robert (17 August 2003). "Astrologers fail to predict proof they are wrong". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- Dean G.; Kelly, I. W. (2003). "Is Astrology Relevant to Consciousness and Psi?". Journal of Consciousness Studies. 10 (6–7): 175–198.
- Chris, French (7 February 2012). "Astrologers and other inhabitants of parallel universes". 7 February 2012. London: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- editor, Michael Shermer, (2002). The Skeptic encyclopedia of pseudoscience. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 241. ISBN 1-57607-653-9.
- Tester, 1999. Page 161.
- Charpak, Georges; Holland, Henri Broch (2004). Debunked!: ESP, telekinesis, and other pseudoscience. translated by Bart K. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 6, 7. ISBN 0-8018-7867-5.
- "The Strange Story Of Britain's "State Seer"". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 August 1952. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Norton-Taylor, Richard (4 March 2008). "Star turn: astrologer who became SOE's secret weapon against Hitler". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Regan, Donald T. (1988). For the record: from Wall Street to Washington (first ed.). San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 0-15-163966-3.
- Quigley, Joan (1990). What does Joan say? : my seven years as White House astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan. Secaucus, NJ: Birch Lane Press. ISBN 1-55972-032-8.
- Gorney, Cynthia (11 May 1988). "The Reagan Chart Watch; Astrologer Joan Quigley, Eye on the Cosmos". The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Truzzi, Marcello (1972). "The Occult Revival as Popular Culture: Some Random Observations on the Old and the Nouveau Witch". The Sociological Quarterly. 13 (1): 16–36. doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.1972.tb02101.x. JSTOR 4105818.
- Cary J. Nederman & James Wray Goulding (Winter 1981). "Popular Occultism and Critical Social Theory: Exploring Some Themes in Adorno's Critique of Astrology and the Occult". Sociological Analysis. 42.
- Theodor W. Adorno (Spring 1974). "The Stars Down to Earth: The Los Angeles Times Astrology Column". Telos. 1974 (19): 13–90. doi:10.3817/0374019013.
- Moore, David W. (16 June 2005). "Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal". Gallup.
- "Eastern or New Age Beliefs, 'Evil Eye'". Many Americans Mix Multiple Faiths. Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 9 December 2009.
- "Science and Engineering Indicators: Chapter 7.Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Kaufman, Michael T. (23 December 1998). "BV Raman Dies". New York Times, 23 December 1998. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
- Dipankar Das. "Fame and Fortune". Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- "Soothsayers offer heavenly help". BBC News. 2 September 1999. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "In countries such as India, where only a small intellectual elite has been trained in Western physics, astrology manages to retain here and there its position among the sciences." David Pingree and Robert Gilbert, "Astrology; Astrology In India; Astrology in modern times". Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008
- Mohan Rao, Female foeticide: where do we go? Indian Journal of Medical Ethics October–December 2001 9(4) 
- "Indian Astrology vs Indian Science". BBC. 31 May 2001.
- "Guidelines for Setting up Departments of Vedic Astrology in Universities Under the Purview of University Grants Commission". Government of India, Department of Education. Archived from the original on 12 May 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
There is an urgent need to rejuvenate the science of Vedic Astrology in India, to allow this scientific knowledge to reach to the society at large and to provide opportunities to get this important science even exported to the world,
- 'Astrology is a science: Bombay HC', The Times of India, 3 February 2011
- Japanese childrearing: two generations of scholarship. 1996. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- The Political Economy of Japan: Cultural and social dynamics. 1992. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Wedel, Theodore Otto (2003) . "9: Astrology in Gower and Chaucer". Mediæval Attitude Toward Astrology, Particularly in England. Kessinger. pp. 131–156.
The literary interest in astrology, which had been on the increase in England throughout the fourteenth century, culminated in the works of Gower and Chaucer. Although references to astrology were already frequent in the romances of the fourteenth century, these still retained the signs of being foreign importations. It was only in the fifteenth century that astrological similes and embellishments became a matter of course in the literature of England.
Such innovations, one must confess, were due far more to Chaucer than to Gower. Gower, too, saw artistic possibilities in the new astrological learning, and promptly used these in his retelling of the Alexander legend—but he confined himself, for the most part, to a bald rehearsal of facts and theories. It is, accordingly, as a part of the long encyclopaedia of natural science that he inserted into his Confessio Amantis, and in certain didactic passages of the Vox Clamantis and the Mirour de l'Omme, that Astrology figures most largely in his works ... Gower's sources on the subject of astrology ... were Albumasar's Introductorium in Astronomiam, the Pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum Secretorum, Brunetto Latini's Trésor, and the Speculum Astronomiae ascribed to Albert the Great.
- Wood, 1970. pp.12–21
- De Lacy, Hugh (October 1934). "Astrology in the Poetry of Edmund Spenser". The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 33 (4): 520–543. JSTOR 27703949.
- Camden Carroll, Jr. (April 1933). "Astrology in Shakespeare's Day". Isis. 19 (1): 26–73. doi:10.1086/346721. JSTOR 225186.
- Halstead, Frank G. (July 1939). "The Attitude of Lope de Vega toward Astrology and Astronomy". Hispanic Review. 7 (3): 205–219. doi:10.2307/470235. JSTOR 470235.
- Steiner, Arpad (August 1926). "Calderon's Astrologo Fingido in France". Modern Philology. 24 (1): 27–30. doi:10.1086/387623. JSTOR 433789.
- Campion, Nicholas.:A History of Western Astrology: Volume II: The Medieval and Modern Worlds. (Continuum Books, 2009) pp. 244–245 ISBN 978-1-84725-224-1
- Adams, Noah (10 September 2006). "'Pluto the Renewer' is no swan song". National Public Radio (NPR). Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Vaughan, David (2004). "Frederick Ashton and His Ballets 1938". Ashton Archive. Archived from the original on 14 May 2005. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- "The Twelve Signs: An Astrological Entertainment". Centre for New Zealand Music. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Paglia, Camille. Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays. Penguin Books, 1992, p. 114.
- Catton, Eleanor. "Eleanor Catton on how she wrote The Luminaries". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- Barton, Tamsyn (1994). Ancient Astrology. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-11029-7.
- Campion, Nicholas (1982). An Introduction to the History of Astrology. ISCWA.
- Holden, James Herschel (2006). A History of Horoscopic Astrology (2nd ed.). AFA. ISBN 0-86690-463-8.
- Kay, Richard (1994). Dante's Christian Astrology. Middle Ages Series. University of Pennsylvania Press.
- Long, A.A. (2005). "6: Astrology: arguments pro and contra". In Barnes, Jonathan; Brunschwig, J. Science and Speculation. Cambridge University Press. pp. 165–191.
- Parker, Derek; Parker, Julia (1983). A history of astrology. Deutsch. ISBN 978-0-233-97576-4.
- Robbins, Frank E., ed. (1940). Ptolemy Tetrabiblos. Harvard University Press (Loeb Classical Library). ISBN 0-674-99479-5.
- Tester, S. J. (1999). A History of Western Astrology. Boydell & Brewer.
- Veenstra, J.R. (1997). Magic and Divination at the Courts of Burgundy and France: Text and Context of Laurens Pignon's "Contre les Devineurs" (1411). Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-10925-4.
- Wedel, Theodore Otto (1920). The Medieval Attitude Toward Astrology: Particularly in England. Yale University Press.
- Wood, Chauncey (1970). Chaucer and the Country of the Stars: Poetical Uses of Astrological Imagery. Princeton University Press.
- Forer, Bertram R. (January 1949). "The Fallacy of Personal Validation: A Classroom Demonstration of Gullibility". The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. 44 (1): 118–123. doi:10.1037/h0059240. PMID 18110193.
- Osborn, M. (2002). Time and the Astrolabe in The Canterbury Tales. University of Oklahoma Press.
- Thorndike, Lynn (1955). "The True Place of Astrology in the History of Science". Isis. 46 (3): 273. doi:10.1086/348412.