Talk:Astrology

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Good article Astrology has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 11, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
December 13, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
January 2, 2014 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
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Additions to theological viewpoints[edit]

I would like to expand the theological viewpoint section with some information derived from a biblical perspective, specifically Protestant Christianity and Judaism. What would the community of this page like to see in this area. My initial addition was reverted, so I am looking for feedback to make improvements. One editor noted that I should obtained a better source for the material.Edwardjones2320 (talk) 05:02, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Do you have better sources? Academic sociology sources would be good. If it's a very large denomination (I mean on an international scale, nothing US-centric), I'd say their position statement reliably outlines their theological position (no for fact statements beyond their own position). It would be suitable for inclusion due to the obviousness of their relevance to theological viewpoints and their size (in lieu of weight being established by those academic sources which presumably exist). Second Quantization (talk) 22:23, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
It would seem the best thing to do would be to research the relation between, say Christianity and astrology and then add material to Christian views on astrology? Second Quantization (talk) 22:32, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Below is a proposed draft on this topic along with an appropriate source. Let me know your feedback.
The clear and independent intellect of John Calvin, the great theologian of the Reformation, was in advance of the superstitions of his age. He warned about astrology which presumes to pronounce judgment upon a man's destiny as written in the stars. This spurious science wandered from Babylon into the church at a time when other superstitions were shaken to the base. Calvin denounced attempts to reveal what God has hidden as an impious presumption. God is sovereign and not bound by any necessity of nature.
History of the Christian Church, Volume VIII: Modern Christianity. The Swiss Reformation by Philip Schaff, page 135 Edwardjones2320 (talk) 06:02, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Nope. We are not going to describe Calvin as having a "clear and independent intellect", and neither are we going to include wording that makes assertions about the sovereignty (or even existence) of God. This is an encyclopaedia, not a religious tract. AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Since astrology has a religious expression about it, I think some sort of addition to the article would provide an expanded perspective of how the subject is viewed in a broader scope. At this point, it might be easier for the community to summarize what they think the religious view of astrology should be, and I can then search for an appropriate source to back up the information. The short description of how astrology is represented in the Bible is that the Bible references the constellations and other heavenly bodies to mark current events but the Scriptures oppose the worship of these heavenly bodies. Perhaps some short statement along these lines can be composed with the appropriate consensus and added to the article. Edwardjones2320 (talk) 19:21, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
No, we don't decide what we want the article to say, and then look for sources which support it - we find appropriate sources on the subject, and then summarise, with due balance, the views expressed in such sources. And please don't assume that this encyclopaedia is written from a Christian perspective. It isn't. Our readers (and contributors) are of all faiths, and none. And accordingly we will not conflate 'religion' with 'Christianity' - or conflate one particular Christian perspective on the subject with that of Christianity in general for that matter. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:56, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

"Pseudoscientific divination"[edit]

Is this really needed? No system of divination was ever scientific.

Theory of Personality Types[edit]

The article primarily addresses the predictive aspects of astrology and (rightfully) dismisses them as pseudoscientific nonsense. But I have always wondered if there was more to the "personality types" aspects of some astrological traditions. Not because I think that the stars have any causal influence on our psychological development, but because their cycles just so happen to coincide with other annual/seasonal aspects of our environment (amount of daylight, weather, diet, time spent indoors vs. outdoors, common social activities, and -- more recently -- whether you're among the oldest or youngest in your school cohort, etc.) and while the theories behind the astrological explanation for personality types may still be pseudoscientific, the observations themselves could potentially have some merit. For an example of the kind of more mainstream scientific look at these ideas that I have in mind, see [1]. Now, clearly I can't add original research to this article -- but what I'm wondering is if there isn't already some more appropriate topic, connected to predictive astrology, but different enough that it warrants its own article where such topics could be covered in better detail (and without adding fuel to the fire for arguments over whether predictive astrology has any scientific merit, which it quite clearly does not.) Malcolm Gladwell and others have brought up similar points about the unexpected influence that birthdates can have on our lives (such as how a disproportionately high number of professional hockey players are born in certain months -- because those birthdates made them the oldest in their age bracket in their youth leagues, which allowed them to become the stars of their team, get extra attention and/or practice, etc.) --Khgtcv (talk) 23:39, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

It looks like Season of birth is the place I was looking for, and I've made a small addition to the Astrology and science article to make a more explicit connection between the two. --Khgtcv (talk) 19:16, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

Lead[edit]

Hello all. I noticed that the lead section's last paragraph is repeated verbatim in the history section. This seems repetitive. If everyone agrees on that, which repetition should be kept? (Should the paragraph remain in the lead or the history section?) Personally I feel that the lead is quite long, so it should be removed from the lead and kept on the history, but I wanted to see what everyone else thought. If no-one replies in a week, I'll go ahead and remove it from the lead, but feel free to revert if anyone cares afterwards. JonathanHopeThisIsUnique (talk) 05:16, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi - to answer your first question, we should keep both paragraphs - no deletions. This is because according to policy, our lead paragraphs on articles are required to summarise the most salient points from the body of the article, giving the reader a succinct and relatively reasonable first impression. They could then decide to read further for themselves, and find greater detail. -Roxy the dog™ (Talk to the dog who doesn't know when her owner is coming home) 08:26, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for replying so quickly. :) But I disagree. Isn't all the historical info about all the individual civilization astrology existed in somewhat excessive? I don't think that we need to know where each nation learned of astrology, and where they thought it came from (For example: "In Rome, astrology was associated with Chaldean wisdom.") in the lead. I agree that it's important to keep an overview of the topic, but I think this is not succinct enough yet. Here's a possible compromise: instead of deleting the entire history paragraph in the lead, perhaps it could be summarized into something along the lines of

"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. It has existed in civilization as varied China, Rome, Egypt, and Babylon. Astrology was rekindled in Europe during the Renaissance, when Arabic astrological texts, among many other Arabic scientific texts of the time, were translated into Latin."?

Then the history section of the actual article could keep all the info. No information would be lost from the article, and we'd have a more succint lead! Win-win :) PS: I love your username. :) JonathanHopeThisIsUnique (talk) 19:23, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Contested Deletion of Best Selling Novel on Astrology in Literature[edit]

I would like to contest the deletion of the sentences I added about 'Secrets of the Last Nazi'. The book IS a best selling thriller, which makes it notable (objective evidence - a picture from Amazon.co.uk - that it was indeed "best selling" was included). The book is about literature on astrology, and raises some interesting suggestions, which were duly referenced.Cantelo (talk) 15:11, 7 August 2015 (UTC) I've now undone the deletion. I have a copy of the book here, which verifies the page numbers in the references.Cantelo (talk) 15:14, 7 August 2015 (UTC) By the way, the description of the book as "best selling" could be considered promotion. If that is that is the case, then those two words should be removed (or relegated to a reference or endnote); I put them in to demonstrate notability. Cantelo (talk) 15:18, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Firstly, your 'objective evidence' fails WP:RS by a mile - we don't cite screenshots posted on Tweet as evidence of anything, and neither do we cite advertisements as evidence of 'best selling' status. And secondly, we need third-party sourcing for statements about content. Your assertion that the book 'raises some interesting suggestions' is nothing but your own personal opinion - of a work of fiction. You have provided no evidence whatsoever that anyone but yourself considers this book of any significance to a discussion of astrology. I am going to remove this improper book promotion once again, and if you restore it without consensus, I may consider raising the matter elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:29, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

On your point 1, do you disagree with the statement that the book is best-selling, or accept it is but want more evidence? Both can be answered (for the first, just go to Amazon and search for it - it really is best selling); if you accept this but want more evidence, what sort of evidence would satisfy you? And just how best-selling or notable in the public mind does the book have to be to satisfy inclusion on the page?

On your point 2, the 'interesting issues' - there are lots of references available for this. How many do you need, and should they really all be included as references? Cantelo (talk) 15:37, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Further, on your point 2 - further references - here is a blog from a literary critic which says "King introduces facts and dates to substantiate his thesis making this a mesmerizing novel with the distinct possibility that it introduces new truths in a world of science previously debunked as fakery. Great thinkers out of the past are introduced as discovering and using these ideas.

Not only a better than average conspiracy book, but one also backed up by research that brings new ideas into the possibility of reality." Cantelo (talk) 15:40, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

We do not cite websites selling books as evidence that books are best sellers. Amazon sells books. As for sources, what matters is quality not quantity. If you can find credible mainstream sources that discuss the book in depth and state that Secrets of the Last Nazi is of significance when discussing astrology in literature, we can consider inclusion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:44, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

OK, well the book description on Amazon does cite a Reporter on SKY TV (Sam Kiley) saying 'This is a remarkable and chilling book - a clever blend of addictive fiction and astonishing revelation.' and there's a former BBC journalist, Terry Stiasney, saying 'a modern-day treasure hunt with an intriguing historical premise' And someone who writes for the Guardian, David Boyle, who says ‘Iain King has come up with a thrilling plot and an ingenious idea that has the possibility to turn everyone's ideas upside down and back to front.’ How many mainstream sources are needed - are these three enough? Cantelo (talk) 15:56, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

And this book, "The Esoteric Codex: Nazism and the Occult" By Hans Tridle refers to 'Secrets of the Last Nazi' on page 7. Cantelo (talk) 15:58, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Also - still salient, from this book reviewing website, "It was obvious that King had done some significant research into planetary effects on human behavior and offers copious references at the end of the book." Cantelo (talk) 16:01, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

please stop wasting my time with irrelevances. Nothing you have quoted amounts to anything approximating to a statement that this book is of any relevance to a discussion of astrology in literature. And for the third time, we do not cite Amazon. Not for statements about whether books are best sellers. Not for cherry-picked quotes from elsewhere. Not for anything. And neither do we cite blogs. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:03, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

This isn't about you or your time, Andy, it's about improving Wikipedia. I'm going to have to take this to dispute resolution.Cantelo (talk) 16:07, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Please read up on WP:RS, WP:WEIGHT and WP:OR first - you will be wasting people's time otherwise. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:10, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Based on a need to maintain a balance of material within the Astrology article, the paragraph on the book Secrets of the Last Nazi, does not, in my opinion, deserve to be included, and, indeed, I don't think the book even needs to be mentioned. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 16:15, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Sadly, Cantelo has chosen to ignore my advice about reading up on Wikipedia policy, and has taken this to WP:DRN. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:40, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Looking at the original paragraph, I'm not convinced that the intent was to promote the book. I think the contributions seem more like a good-faith effort to add in a reference to theories on astrology that Cantelo found interesting from reading the book. That said, I don't think they belong in this article. I would suggest that while the book itself does seem notable in virtue of its apparent popularity (and thus warrants a page on the project) it is not notable with respect to astrology. It would probably be better to have a section in the article for the book that goes into detail on the astrological theories in the book, rather than the other way around. Thank you Cantelo for trying to help out the project; your contributions are appreciated and I'm sorry that you have had a bit of a rough interaction here. --Khgtcv (talk) 06:59, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Khgtcv - yes, I wasn't trying to promote the book (although I did enjoy it). You'll see I've added a reference to The Luminaries, a different book with a prominence which surely cannot be doubted, and whose astrological heritage has also already been firmly established on Wikipedia. If that means I get blocked from the site, as demanded by AndyTheGrump, then it's not really a place I want to be. There are already many, many lines on the Astrology page from obscure psychologists speculating about why people were interested in this stuff in the 1950s and 1960s; if I get blocked for pointing out that people are still reading it, then it does through neutrality into question, doesn't it. And yes, a separate page on 'Secrets of the Last Nazi' might be a good idea. But for now I'm feelin very bruised - by intimidation, by a dispute resolution which solved nothing, and by the apparent lack of support from other editors.Cantelo (talk) 08:01, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

I added a clarifying point to your edit, to make it clearer why that book was notable. I appreciate your ongoing efforts to contribute to the project. Please don't take your recent interactions with other editors too personally; There are a lot of people who try to use Wikipedia as a means of promoting their websites, books, albums, etc. So many such people, in fact, that it's quite easy to become a bit jaded and jump to conclusions on just about any situation that looks even remotely like it's a case of self-promotion. --Khgtcv (talk) 20:15, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, Khgtcv - much appreciated.Cantelo (talk) 21:21, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

The Iain King article does not currently have any mention of the book, and that seems like a more appropriate place for most (well-sourced) content on the book to go than this article.Dialectric (talk) 15:39, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I think the point is to make it clear that Astrology isn't just a topic of past literature, but continues to factor into contemporary popular literature as well. So the one mentioned is just an illustrative example of a contemporary book that features Astrology prominently. Is there maybe a better way to make this point? I don't think anybody is hung up on any particular one book... --Khgtcv (talk) 21:04, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Sumerians not mentioned...[edit]

There is nothing about the first astrologers, the Sumerians. Some expert should add corresponding notes. 75.223.123.182 (talk) 21:13, 14 August 2015 (UTC)Externet

Late answer, but they are mentioned: "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.[20] 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)." --Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:55, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Do you have a reference to the oldest undisputed evidence of the use of astrology as it is quiet interesting for me. Terry Macro (talk) 23:44, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
That sentence do need a reference, it´s uncited. Or do "Rochberg-Halton, F. (1988). "Elements of the Babylonian Contribution to Hellenistic Astrology". Journal of the American Oriental Society 108 (1): 51–62. JSTOR 603245." support that as well? --Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:14, 29 August 2015 (UTC)