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Astrology: The Manifesto 3/4
by Patrice Guinard, Ph.D.

-- translation Matyas Becvarov --


I. What is Astrology?

 The Manifesto 1/4
 The Manifesto 2/4

II. Who's afraid of astrology?

 7. The Anti-Fatalistic Polemic
 8. Astrophobia in the Scientific Community
 9. The Mystification of Statistics
 10. Moral and Ideological Quibbling

 The Manifesto 4/4

7. The Anti-Fatalistic Polemic

"It should not be held that everything happens to men by reason of a celestial cause (...) Things here below change by reason of a natural and mutable destiny, even though they take from the heavens the first causes of that change, which happens to them subsequently through some consequent circumstance." (Ptolemy)

      Rare are those bodies of knowledge, such as astrology, which must continually confront their detractors. As a result, it is often the case that a "defense" (or apologia) is appended to treatises on the subject, especially since the Renaissance. In the context of modern society, astrology is held in scant esteem; its principles are denied any validity; its practices are ridiculed. It is called to account to justify itself vis-à-vis a variety of institutionalized presuppositions, customs, beliefs and skepticisms. There exists no universal manifesto against psychoanalysis, Voodoo, historical materialism or the immaterialism of Berkeley. No religious sect, doctrine or practice is so regularly vilified by the pontifications of the intelligentsia, nor is its voice left so willfully unheard by the skeptical deafness of those who claim to be the possessors of knowledge. Might it be sensed that astrology is the vehicle of a true alternative to unidimensional thought (Herbert Marcuse) and to the society of the Show (Guy Debord)? In this case, it is up to astrologers to recognize the task before them, which consists primarily of thinking astrology, even without the permission to research (François Furet), and not in reducing its terms to the standard set by the venality, cynicism and cowardice generated and maintained by our contemporary mentality.

      The vulgarization and disfigurement of astrological discourse perpetrated by those who write horoscope columns for the popular press, sell psychic phone services and market canned astrological interpretations -- all of which are aided and abetted by the complaisance of the media and its editorial stance -- harm astrology even more than the ostracism it experiences in the scientific and academic communities. The agents of diffusion insure that only an Ersatz [imitation] of astrology appears on the scene of contemporary culture. This policy falls fully into line with the forces which drive mass consumerism and reinforces the disapprobation and a priori condemnations of a great portion of the intellectual community. The shelves of large, mass-market book shops fill up with insipid texts to the detriment of works of real quality. This situation, unthinkable 20 years ago, fuels anti-astrological sentiment.

      Objections to astrology fall into four categories: anti-fatalistic or anti-deterministic arguments, physico-astronomical arguments, ideological arguments, and technical arguments. And the stupidity of astrophobia adds at least three more types to the list: sociological (which comments on the commercial practices of an astrological community that includes Tarot card readers, psychics and diviners of every type imaginable); historicist (which beats a dead horse it cannot possibly hope to revive [1] ); and scientistic (which denies the existence of any reality which its own methods cannot handle).

      Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994), an epistemologist of Austrian origin, remarks on the subject of the famous anti-astrological manifesto published in 1975 [2]  : "The findings of the '186 eminent scientists' are based on an antidiluvian anthropology, on ignorance of the most recent findings of their own disciplines (astronomy, biology, and their branches), as well as on an inability to perceive the implications of the results with which they are familiar. This shows to what degree they are ready to impose their authority, even in fields where they have no particular competence." [3]  The scientistic ideology, inheritor of the astrophobic moralism of Christian theologians, legislates opinion in the name of certainty about its own standpoint and practices. No surprise there, since its presuppositions have replaced the dogmas of the Church, its techniques have invaded our way of life at every turn, its discourse spreads out in the same centers of academic life formerly occupied by the theologians, and finally, since there is in today's world no spiritual horizon beyond the borders of science, just as in the Middle Ages there was no horizon outside Christianity.

      The first adversaries of astrology -- Greco-Romans, then Judeo-Christians, inheritors of the anti-fatalistic argumentation of the probabilist Carneades (214?-129 B.C.) -- ignored the most serious astrological works and instead contented themselves, following Cicero's example, with rear-guard literary polemics. As has been remarked by the American Lynn Thorndike -- one of those rare historians with breadth of vision , and perhaps the first who has approached the history of astrology, magic and alchemy with competence and a certain sympathy: "Only the enemies of astrology remained ignorant of the Tetrabiblos, continuing to level arguments at this art which do not address the presentation Ptolemy made of it, or those points he specifically touched upon. Thus, in about the year 200, Sextus Empiricus attacks astrology without mentioning the Tetrabiblos, and some Christian critics of astrology apparently did not read it." [4]

      However, Ptolemy's late treatise is the last flowering of a long period of maturation. After the outpouring of pre-Socratic philosophy and the movement toward systematization from which arose in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. the four principal schools of Greek philosophy -- the Academy of Plato, the Lyceum of Aristotle, the Grove of Epicurus and the Portal of Zeno -- Greek metaphysics entered a curious period of eclipse, which showed itself clearly in treatises on the history of philosophy. It was precisely during this period (250 B.C. -- 150 A.D.) that astrological philosophy, under the influence of the Stoics, flourished in Athens and Alexandria. Historians of philosophy have paid rather scant attention to movements of thought based on astrology, magic, theurgy and pagan religious philosophy, which took up the baton of Greek metaphysics and immediately preceded the establishment of Christianity.

      The pragmatic academician Carneades of Cyrene engaged a polemic -- reknowned because it has been taken up again by every adversary of astrology from Carneades' disciple Clitomachus of Carthage (187?-110 B.C.) to the French Encyclopedists and historians of superstition in the 18th and 19th centuries -- against the fatalism of the Stoics and the astrological theories of Babylonian inspiration supported by Cleanthus and then Chrysippus. Franz Boll noted that Carneades' arguments are taken up by Christian writers without any significant change [5]  and David Amand underlines the parrotry of the polemic: "It is always the same refrain served up with a desperate monotony; the same traditional arguments are brought to bear without cease. We should add that this polemic, which never moves on to fresh ground, has never been adapted seriously to perfecting astrological theories and techniques.[6]  The analyses of Carneades and the Skeptic Sextus Empiricus [7]  formed part of a general critique of consciousness and of dogmatic philosophy; the situation has not changed one whit with regard to the hastily drawn and least satisfying representatives of received modern thought, especially those of moralizing astronomers and biologists, who are the unimaginative disciples of masters from bygone centuries, e.g. Jean Sylvain Bailly, Jean-Baptiste Delambre, or even Camille Flammarion." [8]

      Anti-fatalistic argumentation exhibits a doctrine that predetermines both content and meaning, overvalues the efficacy of astral "influences" and the capacity of the mind to evaluate the transformations they ostensibly bring about, and, above all, fails to recognize the power of other conditioning factors, classified by Ptolemy into three categories: heredity, factors stemming from the physical environment, and the socio-cultural milieu.[9]  The anti-deterministic line of argument in essence contains the objections developed orally by Carneades when speaking to his disciples [10] : differing life paths of individuals born in the same moment, whose natal charts are consequently similar, death en masse as a result of war or natural disaster of individuals born at different times (the inverse of the previous argument), physical and psychological similarity between individuals born in the same physical and cultural climate [11] , and difference in the life path of a human being and an animal born at the same moment.[12]  It is likely that anti-fatalistic arguments, the origin of which David Amand attributes to Carneades, were applied legitimately to the majority of astrological writings of that period, since those writings derived from Greco-Egyptian sources of the preceding two centuries, i.e. the beginnings of Hermetic literature in the 3rd century B.C., for example, the Salmeschoiniaka and the Liber Hermetis Trismetisti pointed out by Thorndike and published by Gundel.[13]

      There remains the famous argument of twins, elaborated by Cicero, [14]  developed in the arguments of Carneades and discussed at great length by St. Augustine.[15]  The Pythagorean astrologer Publius Nigidius (99-45 B.C.) was nicknamed "Figulus" (The Potter) due to his refutation of that argument through comparing the celestial sphere to a container turning at great speed and justifying differences between twins by reason of the slight difference of their times of birth. Now, it is doubtful that the few minutes separating the birth time of two identical twins have any significance from an astrological point of view. Given that fact, it appears that the differences one observes with regard to character, behavior and especially handwriting can be interpreted by the way the two individuals share the tendencies evident in the birth chart. So in fact, if twins form a kind of two-part identity, the argument returns, although not against astrology, but rather against the common conception of a thorough-going determination of the individual on the sole basis of heredity and the socio-familial milieu, which in the case of twins are often identical -- unless, of course, it is "free will" stirred up with a strong dose of chance which determines, for example, handwriting ...

      The first evident Mesopotamian astrology strikes root in the cosmology of Sumerian civilization: it is neither fatalistic, nor causalistic, but bases itself rather on a correspondance between the "above" and the "below", i.e. the celestial and the terrestrial, or between Anu (etymologically The On High), the god of initial creation who lacks any other particular function, and Ea (etymologically Lord of the Below), the god of consciousness and the civilizer of the human race. Their relation was watched over by Enlil (etymologically the Lord Air), the master of destiny, ruler of the space between heaven and earth. This ontological trilogy implies no divine action upon human beings, nor any causal relationship (as in Aristotelian thought), but rather a harmonization of which Enlil had charge, and which Ea, the protector of exorcists, had the ability to transform.

      In the earliest known "astrological" text, the series Enûma Anu Enlil, [16]  compiled before the 15th century B.C., an astronomical phenomenon is held to be a warning, a signal to interpret. The collection includes 70 tablets of predictions, [17]  each announcing itself in the form of a double proposition: the protasis (which indicates a condition and describes an astronomical event, situation or fact) and the apodosis (which indicates a consequence and suggests an interpretation). As De Wynghene has noted: "Literally, the translation should include two principal propositions: This phenomenon has been observed : (therefore) such and such an event is taking or will take place." [18]

      This syntactical form occurs in the majority of divinatory and "scientific" treatises, including the "codes of law," that of Hammurabi notwithstanding, in which the protasis announces the crime and the apodosis the corresponding punishment. One reads in a Babylonian manual, "Celestial signs, like those which appear on earth, give us indications." [19]  The interpretative statement is at first an observation, that of the experience accumulated by generations of experts and observers. Then it becomes a law and an imperative, to which the community and the sovereign himself must become subject. Above all, it is a possibility which reserves to the domain of experts a margin of latitude in its application and interpretation.

      The astrologer of that time, the tupshar Enûma Anu Enlil, was a sort of magistrate in the service of Enlil, charged with interpreting the divine mysteries. He did not believe in a strict astral influence. Moreover, Anu is a mysterious god, inscrutable, hardly accessible. The astrologer-astronomer was in addition complemented by the ashipu, a conjurer-healer dependent on Ea, whose function was to engage procedures for exorcism designed to mitigate the ineluctable quality of destiny. A millenium and a half before the Carneadean polemic, the first Akkadian astrology was already well on the way to putting into place the fatalistic character ascribed to astrological doctrines which followed later.

8. Astrophobia in the Scientific Community

"As soon as one assumes the astrological point of view, astrology becomes impervious to attack. (...) It can be refuted by exterior criticism, one cannot destroy it by any immanent criticism. It is a unified metaphysics equally coherent as that of Aristotelianism." (Eric Weil, 1938)

      Arguments of a physico-astronomical nature have only been brought to bear on the anti-astrological polemic in fairly recent times. Their proofs have never been conclusive, either, although some mistaken scientists still believe and express that misapprehension. To claim that the astronomer, by reason of his expertise, is "well placed" to pass judgment on the relevance of astrological development, is completely wrong-headed. Moreover, astronomers involved in true research have better things to do than refute astrology. As Feyerabend mentions, scientists "consider it self-evident that an astronomer and not an astrologer should be questioned about the validity of astrology's foundations." [20]  Even if astrology is supported by the data of astronomy, it requires other knowings, another approach to reality and a cognitive process foreign to the methodologies of the physical sciences. In short, it rests upon a different logic.[21]  One should point out, as well, that some scientists take up arms against astrology not in their capacity as scientists, but rather as ideologues and pontificating representatives of the scientific establishment.

      Heliocentrism does not prevent the study of planetary incidences relative to topocentric or geocentric benchmarks. Contrary to what Bouché-Leclercq, Cumont and Wedel affirm preemptorily, [22]  the "Copernican Revolution" has contributed to the discrediting of astrology, from which most astronomers, physicists and physicians still abstained between 1550 and 1650.[23]  Bernard Capp has shown that precisely this period marks the highpoint of English astrology.[24]  The scientific milieu of this first Copernican century remained very much attached to the principle of cosmic harmony and to its astrological consequences: one must wait more than a century after the publication in 1543 of Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium for the idea of universe to become defined and the notion of cosmos to lose its denotative and connotative envelope.

      It was precisely the first astrologer-astronomers of the post-Copernican era who supported the new astronomy: as Thorndike has pointed out, Copernican theory was stated within an astrological milieu and it is a falsification of the history of the sciences to attempt to eradicate the traces of that fact, in which the minds of that era were steeped.[25]  Two German astrologer-astronomers, born a half-century before Kepler, were the heralds and the most forceful defenders of Copernican theory. Georg Joachim von Lauchen (1514-1576), [26]  the Latin form of whose name was Rheticus, went in 1539 to Poland to work with Copernicus and published in 1540 in Danzig his Narratio prima, which simultaneously defends heliocentrism and astrology and motivated his elder colleague to publish his treatise. Erasmus Reinhold (1511-1553) published in 1542 a preface to a treatise on astronomy which spoke favorably of astrology, then in 1551 he brought out the first Copernican ephemerides, the famous Tables pruténiques. Despite the works of Thorndike, often cited but apparently little or badly read, one continues to find the statement that astrologers and/or astrology slowed the success of heliocentrism among the scientific community.[27]

      In the main, the English astrological community supported Copernicus. One thinks, for example, of Thomas Digges (1545?-1595) or of the celebrated John Dee (1527-1608): "During the first quarter of the 17th century, English astrologers were the same men, with some exceptions, as those who were engaged in the success of the revolution in astronomy." [28]  Mary Bowden adds that in the 16th century the opponents of astrology were not astronomers, but rather Puritan ecclesiastics.[29]

      The argument centered around the precession of the equinoxes appeared as early as Origen. The astrologer Firmin de Belleval (14th century) recognized that fact. His statements were subsequently used against astrology by Nicolas Oresme in his Contra divinatores horoscopios (1370), by the theologian Jean Gerson, by Pico della Mirandola and by others, before becoming the icing on the cake of the sophist scientist. The majority of astrologers after the establishment of the Zodiac at the vernal point by Hipparchus of Nicea (190-120 B.C.), and especially after Ptolemy three centuries later, refer to a tropical Zodiac, based upon the division into three tropical signs in each of the four quadrants delimited by the intersections of the ecliptic and the celestial equator. Certain obscurantists, however, continue to invoke the influence of the constellations and the argument according to which the symbology of the sign is supposedly linked to the point in time at which the constellation was identified and named for the first time. This argument ignores that the essential elements of semantic content in the signs was only developed later, in the hermetic circles of the Greco-Egyptian world in the first centuries before the Christian era, which is to say, at a time when the signs and the constellations coincided.

      Astrological signs today no longer have a direct relationship with sidereal constellations, which remain arbitrary groupings of stars the limits of which are uncertain. A huge cleft separates the constellation of Scorpio -- which has about 15 stars of size 1, 2 or 3 (bright luminosity, e.g. Antares, Shaula, Akrab and Deschubba) -- from the constellation of Cancer, which has not a single one. How can one bring into some meaningful relation the principal star of Taurus, Aldebaran, over 60 light-years distant from the Earth, and the Crab Nebula, part of the same constellation, which is over 6,000 light-years distant? The boundaries of the zodiacal and extra-zodiacal constellations are matters of convention; they vary according to the time and the culture, do not form an homogenous entity, in contradistinction to the solar system, and in point of fact exist only by effect of perspective.

      Geminos of Rhodes (1st century B.C.), a disciple of the astro-philosopher Posidonios of Apamea and author of the oldest complete treatise on astronomy to have survived intact to the present day, pointed out at a time when signs and constellations were perhaps conflated, that the stars serve only as wayposts, as temporal markers, and not as agents of influence.[30]  This usage by the ancients of the stars and constellations as visual guideposts does not imply that they developed hermeneutic astrology on that basis. It is this mistaken notion that leads astray those astrologers called siderealists.

      The theory of the precession of eras applied to horary astrology postdates the Arabic theory of the "Grand Conjunctions." It was formulated explicitly at the time of the French Revolution by the historian of religions Charles-François Dupuis (1742-1809).[31]

      The ayanamsa, i.e. the angular difference between the beginning of the tropical Zodiac and that of the sidereal Zodiac, has been given a dozen different values by Hindu horary astrologers, and there is an infinity of ways to define the constellations, assuming that one can first agree on their number. In the West, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius [32]  differs according to the astrologer or interpreter of cycles: all the way from 1752 (Cheiro) to 2813 (Robert Hand), with plenty of dates inbetween, e.g. 1844 (David Williams), 1897 (Helena Blavatsky), 1962 (John Sturgess), 1962 (Christian-Heinrich Meier-Parm), 1997 or 2143 (Carl Jung), 2059 (Dane Rudhyar), 2137 (Daniel Ruzo), 2160 (Paul Le Cour), 2160 (Charles Carter), 2369 (Cyril Fagan), 2481 or 2647 (Sepharial) ...[33]

      The "siderealist" schools increase quite uselessly the confusion within astrology and also represent those astrologers most vulnerable to the insidious argumentation of scientists, for whom they are an opportunity not to be passed up. Also to be noted is the ineffectiveness of practitioners who simultaneously use the tropical Zodiac for the analysis of natal charts and the so-called "Age of Aquarius" for analysis of cultural or historical manifestations, as if it were not the same operands that act on both individual and collective phenomena.[34]

      Let us stay a moment longer with the topic of siderealist pseudo-astrology, not because its representatives occupy a significant place among astrologers, but rather because they are privileged correspondants -- and the easy target -- of scientific anti-astrology. Their principal argument concerns the supposedly historic precedent of a so-called sidereal Zodiac. That argument usually calls to its support the beginning of the fifth tablet of the cosmogenic tale Enuma Elish [35]  created in the 2nd millenium B.C. and recorded in a Babylonian version dating back to approximately 1200 B.C. : "He [Marduk] gave term to the year, defined its limits, [and], for each of the twelve months, put in place three stars." [36]  This passage stipulates the association of only three stars with each of the twelve months of the year, nothing more. Siderealists deduce from that basis that there existed at that point in time a Zodiac divided into decans et based on sidereal constellations! Now, in point of fact all one has to hand here is a marking by the calendar of the rising of stars in the 36 decans of 10 days duration (assimilated only much later into Greco-Egyptian astrology) in the course of the secular year. Similar documents, the "diagonal calendars," have been found in Egyptian tombs of the Middle Kingdom. The oldest of them dates back to the beginning of the 21st century B.C.[37]  Neugebauer has shown that these constellations lie along a southern band roughly parallel to the ecliptic.[38]

      One finds similar lists of the 36 constellations assigned to the twelve months of the year in Assyrian tablets of the 12th and 11th centuries B.C., in the circular and tabular "astrolabes," [39]  and in the famous astronomical compilation entitled Mul Apin ("The Constellation of the Plow").[40]  The constellations are situated on the horizon (at the point of observation for their rising and setting) and grouped into three zones (or "paths of the Sky") according to their declination: the zone of Anu (the belt going approximately 15° on either side of the Equator), the zone of Enlil (northerly declinations beyond 15°) and the zone of Ea (southerly declinations beyond 15°).

      These constellations, imperfectly distributed here according to position vis-à-vis the Equator, are stellar markers.[41]  The question of a Zodiac, be it tropical or "sidereal", such as one finds in astrological symbolism in its different phases, is not germane here, because at that particular juncture no Zodiac existed, only an annual system for marking constellations in relation to the Equator. The constellations also had not yet acquired their symbolic connotations: their designations are simply formulaic: the King, the Horse, the Snake, the Mad Dog, the Scorpion ...

      A later list (mentioned in the treatise Mul Apin) which contains 17 constellations crossed by the Moon (certain of which lie beyond the belt of the ecliptic, due to the inclination of the lunar orbit), testifies to a pre-zodiacal state. We know of another list made still later, neo-Assyrian in origin [42] , which mentions only 14 constellations. The zodiacal division into twelve equal signs, not yet even outfitted with its symbology, is attested only as late as the beginning of the 5th century B.C. and is the invention of Babylonian astronomers.[43]  It derives from a selection of the repertoire of constellations from antiquity and begins -- is situated -- with a fixed star, located at 10° Aries in what has been called System A, or at 8° of the same sign in System B. This difference, due to the precession of the equinoxes of which the Babylonians were likely unaware, is the result of a readjustment of observations. Neugebauer has shown that the supposed discovery of the precession by the Chaldean Kidinnu in 315 B.C. or in 379 B.C. [44]  was based on an error of reading.[45]

      The theories of Cyril Fagan, an astrologer of Irish origin and the instigator and inspiration for Western sidereal astrology, are in part based on this error by Schnabel.[46]  In his practice, Fagan refrains from using the zodiacal meanings of the signs. Prudently, he refers only to planetary aspects and angles. It is in essence an aberration to make a Virgo from a Libra or an Aries from a Pisces, because the current interpretation of the Zodiac (i.e., those meanings laden with astrological history), has been developed within the framework of "tropical astrology." The historical precedent of a sidereal Zodiac is a far-fetched hypothesis, as is the existence of a Hindu sidereal Zodiac which supposedly preceded by a full millenium the emergence of the Babylonian Zodiac! The first Sanskrit texts that attest to the existence of Hindu astrology date from the first centuries A.D. and are of Greek inspiration.[47]

      Moreover, the existence of a sidereal Zodiac presupposes that the celestial bodies emit a certain influx, in the form of a ray or radiation, an idea seized upon by scientists who then bring forward the distance of the planets and the stars, which is incompatible with supposed "action at a distance," [48]  or even more so the impossibility that inert matter should influence living matter. These arguments, which proceed from prejudices concerning the existence of an astral "influx," fail to take into account the possibility of integration by the nervous system of cyclical phenomena, studied by experimental psychology, most notably by Russian reflexologists.[49]  It is as a result of that ignorance that some obscurantists believe they argue against astrology by using the double sophism: if influence depends on distance and gravity, then any number of terrestrial objects would have more importance than planets of the solar system; and if, on the other hand, influence does not depend on either distance or gravity, then one would have to keep equally in mind all the billions of stars in the universe.[50]

      There remains the materialist argument according to which the zodiacal Signs, the Houses and the planetary Aspects are supposedly "imaginary" elements because they do not appear as physically measurable tangibles. Pico della Mirandola points out that no justification exists for the technical divisions of astrology: the zodiacal Signs, for example, are in his opinion simple arithmetic divisions. From that understanding comes his rejection of the importance given by astrologers to position -- a simple geometrical concept without any correspondant physical reality -- which a planet occupies at a given moment (in a particular sign, house, etc.) [51]  This approach once again overvalues energetics to the detriment of structural, spatial and temporal differentiations within the astral matrix.

      If light were considered the only tangible quality capable of justifying the efficacy of astrological operators, as Pico della Mirandola affirms, and after him Kepler as well, [52]  that would imply that the planets are the only influential operands: for what is a Sign, a House, or an Aspect, if not a variation of luminosity, a structural, spatial or temporal modality of planetary energies? This is the point which minimalist astrologers are not in a position to comprehend.

      Astrological awareness translates itself through an acceptance of the reality of qualities that are psychic, perceived emotionally through feeling, differentiated and structured through the integration of the organism in its geo-solar environment, and which are recognized as the instrument of understanding for psychological, cultural, individual and collective phenomena. It matters little that this acceptance be admitted a priori, or that it be formed through experience of reality, that it be reinforced by experience and by the practice of interpreting natal charts, that it be underpinned by a "causal explanation", or that it emerge from a theoretical justification, provided that it furnishes a specific means for the comprehension of reality, which possesses its own pluralist logic.

      Astrology is a conception of reality circumscribed by a double necessity: one rational, one spiritual. It operates in this middle path, between taking into account astronomical data and the belief in a harmonization of the psyche with its immediate astral environment. This is why astrology has never been "disproved" by science. Astrology is attacked not because it is false knowledge or bad metaphysics -- modern societies swallow more than their fill of those two things -- but rather because astrology represents the only current metaphysics capable of dissolving the unilateral nature of modern consciousness and of bringing order to the chaotic diversity of its awarenesses.

9. The Mystification of Statistics

"The critique of astrology based on the theme of its impossibility rests on vain and frivolous premises." (Ptolemy)

      Astrology need not be "proved" because it has no need for external justification to exist, has had no such need for millenia, due above all to the fact that efforts in that regard are in contradiction to its nature. The development of statistical research has come to bear significantly on this point since the beginning of this century [53] , first in France and subsequently in Germany, more recently in England and the United States. One might well question the interest in astrology of such research and the pertinence of its "results," ranging from the summary investigations of Paul Choisnard (1901), Henri Selva , the German Herbert von Klöckler (1927), the Swiss Karl Krafft (1939), or Léon Lasson [54]  to the more sophisticated research of the American Donald Bradley (1950), Michel Gauquelin (1955), the Englishman John Addey (1976) and of their French, German and Anglo-Saxon emulators.

      Statistics uses a bipartite approach: on the one hand, astrological material to be submitted to testing and constituted of factors isolated from their astrological context (i.e., divorced from their functional role in the context of the natal chart), and on the other hand, a conditioning grid of psychological characteristics, "character traits," or socio-professional occupations. The result is what the statistician of astrology calls a statistical "fact." The artificial partitioning introduced by the use of the statistical grid does not jive with the demarcations produced by the action of astrological operands. Moreover, the binary relationship, "bijective," supposedly intended to render the series of astrological factors correspondant to the empirical grid, proceeds from a dualist method in absolute contradiction to the pluralist logic of astrology.

      From this misadaptation of statistical methods to astrological reality, and in particular from their incapacity to test an object holistically, results a flattening of astrological symbolism and a degeneration of its operative structures into obsolete dualisms. What is more, the treatment of samples which necessarily define the value horizon can only mire astral incidence in the entropic disorder typical of quantitative analysis and in effects of mass. To attempt to "prove" astrology through the use of statistics derives, quite simply, from mystification.[55]

      It is an illusion to test a premise such as "Aries is impulsive and hot-tempered" because there is no such thing as Aries. The natal chart in an implex of disparate tendencies. Aries as a discrete entity is simply an image, a metaphor, a symbol, which astrology uses as such. The premise itself is a metaphor: it is only relative to other, similar premises, such as, "Taurus is persistent" or "Gemini is persuasive." There is no astrological statement that is not relative to other statements of like nature, for what is at issue here is not the interpretation that stipulates the impulsiveness of Aries, but rather the existence of an Aries quality which simultaneously differentiates itself from a Taurus quality and a Gemini quality ... and from a Pisces quality, i.e. one that is defined in terms of impulsiveness and aggression only in relation to the eleven other qualitative attributions among the Signs.

      Astro-statistics misses the difference between a fact and a symbol; it arbitrarily isolates elements from their context and renders binary a conception of reality which in essence is matrix-based. In astrology, there are only differentiating structures, even if the discourse of astrology, due to the linear nature of language, cannot develop except under the form of indicative propositions and relations between symbols, which process illustrates the underlying operative structures. Its descriptions are in a certain sense only documentation which permits the recognition and comprehension of astral reality. Put another way, the astrologer cannot question whether or not his base assumptions are verifiable, but he can indeed ask himself questions about the trustworthiness of matrix-based structures and the models he uses.

      The "results" of the initial work done by Michel Gauquelin [56]  merely serve to corroborate -- partially and laboriously -- what the astrologer already knows, without invalidating anything at all. How could it be otherwise? If the "Gauquelin curve" only applies to four or five planets, then the problem is not that they exercise an influence which the others do not, but rather that the methodology is inadequate to the subject in the framework of its totality.[57]

      The notion of "professional category" is confused: social legitimation cannot really be considered as the sole criterion of reference for a potential tendency. More than that: who is a musician? The composer, the interpreter or the music-lover? A socio-professional category can cover semantically disparate tendencies: a cardinal and a country vicar, despite the fact that both belong to the category "priest," are often in possession of very different psychic dispositions and motivations. Moreover, the "choice" of a profession depends on a host of factors other than astrological ones, be they hereditary, familial, or relative to life circumstances and the constraints of social life.[58]

      Data revealing "psychological traits" are also uncertain: how can one determine that an individual is introverted or extroverted, shy or bold, selfish or altruistic, pleasant, polite, persistent ... if not through an artificial method a very long way behind the times in relation to experimental psychology? [59]  Astro-statistics utilizes questionnaires, ostensibly designed to discern personality: a particular character value is defined by a percentage of positive responses to a certain number of empirical questions. Complicated methods of data manipulation and analysis give birth to simplistic interpretations and illusory results. This inadequate procedure masks an inadequacy of thought, if not indeed a vacuity of thought. Astro-statistics remains a prisoner of a "garden club" kind of psychology.

      The recent proliferation of astro-statistics and its possible introduction into university departments brings with it the risk that astrology may be aligned along the present technico-scientific paradigm, which would denature it without transfiguring it. Kepler, who defended an experimental conception of astrology -- and despite whatever one might think of his minimalist model -- had a matrix-based vision of reality, particularly in regard to astronomy (cosmic harmony, eurhythmy of the planetary spheres, a weighted organization of the aspects, structural coherence ...), a standpoint which seems completely foreign to the conceptual framework of current investigators. Astrology needs a language and its own space, not "confirmations"; it needs concepts, not "facts."

      Statistics, whatever its own degree of "scientificity," cannot have as its function adjudication concerning the validity of any discipline -- or its lack thereof. Astro-statistics takes liberties which are not tolerated in any other domain. We have on our hands here the case of a dubious branch of the scientific endeavor which lays down the law about a particular discipline -- astrology -- in the name of another branch of knowledge, i.e. "science" in its totality, the base assumptions of which have never been proven, nor even formulated, and despite the fact that it has been shown that to prove or formulate them would be extremely difficult. In other words, we have here an instance of the use of science as ideology.

      Astro-statistics, which dresses itself up from the rag bag of science, plasters its dualist whimsies and dubious extrapolations on a body of knowledge which produces the precise effect of awakening the mind to non-dualist distinctions. It is a caricature of any truly respectable psychological research. Astro-statisticians, who work hard to bring about the eclipse of astrology, appear to be just one more species in the roster of parasites on astrology. The observation made by the mathematician and philosopher Alfred Whitehead seems applicable to their case: "Obscurantists in any generation are in general represented by the majority of those who practice the dominant methodology. Today, it is scientific methods which predominate and the men of science who are the obscurantists." [60]

10. Moral and Ideological Quibbling

"We no longer believe in a God who has barred the path to the sun above Ajalon.
We no longer believe in the angels and the demons of the planets.
We no longer believe in the "laws" that the rationalists wish to calculate for us.
We believe today only in qualities which are incomprehensible, but which exist."
(Will Erich Peuckert: L'Astrologie)

      The principle arguments of the permanent repository aimed against astrology, from the Greek Skeptics to the rationalists and materialists of today, are not analyzed here in order to "justify" astrology to its detractors, but rather to attempt an understanding of the real causes for its rejection, which causes appear quite clearly to be based on recourse to morality, be its inspiration philosophical, religious or ideological. Under this heading may be grouped the philosophical skepticism of Carneades, Panetius, Cicero or Sextus Empiricus, the Christian moralism of St. Augustine, Gregory of Nicea, Savanarola or Calvin, the individualist humanism of Petrarch or Pico della Mirandola, the ideological rationalism of Mersenne, Gassendi, Bayle or Voltaire, and modern materialism.

      While Buddhism and Hinduism accommodate themselves to astrology quite effortlessly, that has never been the case with Judeo-Christian-Islamic monotheism and its idea of transcendence of a single and revealed God. Judaism, in its struggle against proto-astrological polytheism, [61]  omnipresent from the second millenium in the Mediterranean Basin, devoted itself to the break between man and his natural environment. This is what it calls the Alliance. The natural and universal order, immanent to the world, shared by all people and individualized in each person, the ancestor of the Logos of Heraclitus, was replaced by Mosaic Law with its commandments. As Nietzsche points out in The Antichrist and elsewhere, this substitution resulted in religion, morality and history becoming denatured.[62]  The invectives and threats of the prophet Isaiah do not spare astrologers: "Those who divide up the heavens, read in the stars and make known with each new moon what is destined to happen to you (...) shall be as straw, and fire shall consume them." [63]  A similar state of mind inspires the warning of the compiler of Deuteronomy: "Do not go raise your eyes to the heavens, to look at the sun, the moon and the stars, the whole heavenly host, and let yourselves be led to prostrate yourselves before them and to serve them." [64]

      Eight centuries later, in an epoch when astrology, mixed with Stoicism, appeared as the predominant metaphysical conception of the Mediterranean Basin, Paul, the founder of Christianity, exhorts his listeners to abandon their "idolatrous" practices: "You observe religiously the days, the months, the seasons, the years! You make me fearful that I have worked for you entirely in vain!" [65]  Paulist doctrine requires, in order to rescue Christian faith from its limbo, a thorough-going condemnation of pagan mythology and philosophy, polytheistic cults, and astrology: "Be watchful that none take you in the trap of philosophy, that hollow deception under the banner of the tradition of men, of forces which rule the universe, but not of Christ." [66]  The preacher invites his listeners to liberate themselves from the "powers" and the "elements of the earth," [67]  from earthly or celestial gods, from Egyptian "animalism" and from Babylonian astrology.

      The Sophist and Skeptic Favorinus of Arles (85?-160), a gossip in the know and an "illustrious mediocrity," [68]  attempts to demonstrate the uselessness of "Chaldean" prediction: "They predict what will happen, both good and bad. If they predict good fortune and they are mistaken, you will become unhappy by waiting in vain; if they predict misfortune and they lie, you will be unhappy by being fearful in vain; if, on the other hand, their prediction is true but does not correspond to your hopes, you will be unhappy because of the thought even before destiny makes you so in fact. If they promise you success and it happens to you, two problems still present themselves: not only will you tire yourself waiting anxiously in hope, but hope itself will rob you of the fruit to be born of the joy when the event takes place." [69]  A faulty understanding of the nature of astrology leads the logician Karl Popper to maintain a similar vein of reasoning: if our destiny can be predicted by astrology, how can it help us to escape that destiny? [70]  This line of thought is another thread from Carneades' refrain that astrology suppresses liberty and makes of man nothing more than a puppet in the hands of destiny.

      Christian theologians seized this idea, adapted it to the so-called Pauline liberation and converted it into a dogma: free will. Origen, the elder contemporary of Plotinus [71]  admitted a certain influence on the part of the stars over the formation of character, but developed a distinction between predictive star-signs and operative star-causes, [72]  and denounced in the name of freedom of conscience the fatalistic attitude of those who calculate horoscopes.[73]

      Acceptance of the star as the "sign" of something factual, circumstantial or existential at first by the Fathers of the Church, [74]  then by Christian theologians up to the 17th century, resulted in the notions and praxis of astrology being relegated to the category of divination, be it augural, conjectural, prophetic or predictive and to dispossess the astral impression (i.e. the mark of psychic impregnation made by the astral operands) of its true power. Moreover, the opportunity to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of their individual and collective manifestations was discarded. That policy was continued by their rationalist successors.

      Astrology's adversaries, beginning with Pico della Mirandola, have never stopped maintaining a confusion between astrology and astromancy.[75]  Astrologers accepted the challenge of preserving their ascendency to political power, on which they were financially dependent. Astrologers, whose credibility has been tarnished in this fool's game, have continued to pay for his error throughout five centuries of predictive excess. In the 17th century, Pierre Gassendi needled Jean-Baptiste Morin to get him to predict some tangible, verifiable event: "The important thing would be to predict some event yet to happen, the cause of which is not immediately apparent. (...) Predict for me, then, for at least once in your life some notable event." [76]  The astro-statistician Geoffrey Dean seeks to paint astrology into the same corner.[77]  To this end he organizes grotesque competitions in which the participants are induced to test astrology on the basis of outdated positivistic assumptions, to gauge its legitimacy. He concludes ingenuously that astrology is invalid on the basis of the negative results obtained, i.e. the impossibility of producing statistically significant predictions.[78]  Is the seismologist really capable of predicting an earthquake, or the meteorologist a storm? Statistical discourse, more than in the case of any other scientific activity, needs a collateral instrument in order to reach its conclusions. An effective result is not necessarily required. Even if the results show nothing conclusive, either at the semantic level or even at the practical level, the instrument of measure is the gauge of the scientific nature of the activity and the work accomplished. It could be said that this propensity for using the right instrument serves in the first place to validate the activity one undertakes and for which one is paid. Standard deviation and khi2 are instances of the baubles which justify the current development of astro-statistics.

      Free will, the dogmatic base of Judeo-Christian morality, permits the theologian to justify Adam's fall, to condemn the crime of Cain, and to judge the supposed sins of their supposed descendants. The sense of a destiny written in the stars casts a shadow on God's providence and His inscrutable designs. Origen, a thinker of exceptional breadth, understood before St. Augustine the menace held for the Christian sect by a notion which stipulates astral influence upon souls and therefore intrudes on that intimate space of interiority, shared with God alone. This is why their successors conceded a certain likelihood to "astral influence," upon the condition that it be limited to the physical world (including the human body), and that so-called "natural astrology" with its meteorological, agricultural and medical applications be allowed while control be retained of interior, psychic space.

      Astrological practicioners, following their divinatory and fatalistic lights, would have a pernicious effect on religious life (e.g., disdain for ritual, uselessness of prayer, weakening of piety and faith), on moral life (e.g., relaxing of personal effort, abandonment of the notions of virtue and merit, vanity of all moral actions), and on civil life (disobedience to laws, uselessness of legislation and penal repression, destabilization of the social order). How, then, to determine moral culpability and civic responsibility, how to justify the punishment of criminals and the coercion of recalcitrants, if every person were obeying an interior necessity of astral origin, independent of his will?

      The major moral argument announced for the first time by Carneades [79]  has been taken up by all adversaries of astrology, all of which is an instance of confused partisanship. Origen, in his Commentary on Genesis, says: "The consequence of this doctrine would be to annihilate completely our freedom of action, which, in this system, would no longer be worthy of either praise or blame, nor of being encouraged or reproved. If it is so, everything one lets resound about God's judgment is senseless (...) faith would be in vain, the coming of Jesus Christ to earth would have accomplished nothing, all the value of the law and the prophets would become worthless (...) A further effect of this atheistic and impious discourse would be to assign the faith of those acknowledged as believers in God as a result only of the power of the stars." [80]

      This argument was taken up again in 1640, the year of the first printed translation of the Tetrabiblos into the vernacular by the orator Charles de Condren, who condemns in the name of the Church, "those who assign in some manner to the Stars that they are a direct influence on man's freedom, which is an intolerable error that destroys Religion, and all Civic Policy, that justifies sinners, removes merit from the righteous, renders Stars capable of crimes and condemns Laws which set down punishments for criminals ..." [81]

      Apart from Guillaume d'Auvergne, the attitude of theologians of the 13th century toward astrology appears to be much more tolerant than that of St. Augustine's epoch: one thinks in first place of Albert the Great, the probable author of Speculum astronomiae, [82]  (an annotated register of valuable astrological writings available during this period, classified by rubrics), rather than of his pupil Thomas Aquinas, in whose work nothing indicates any practical or technical knowledge whatsoever of astrology. In point of fact, theologians of the 13th century are neither for nor against astrology: they are indifferent to it. At first they appeared worried by it -- during the period which saw the first flowering of astrology in Europe, in the preceeding century, after the translation of Arabic treatises [83]  -- which led them to define the Church's position and to safeguard the doctrine of free will. It was a matter of keeping in hand "the astrological question," of defining the function of astrology and its limits in the framework of the Aristotelian universe omnipresent in the soul, in order finally to nullify it.

      The Italian Guido Bonatti (1223?-1297), the first great European astrologer, whom Dante throws into Hell along with the other outstanding astrologer of the century, Michael Scot, understood the necessity of having a radical attitude vis-à-vis the theological intelligentsia: "Astrologers know more about astronomy than theologians know about knowledge of God, and consequently are in a better position to judge than are the theologians to preach." [84]  It is within this context that one must understand the famous and questionable absolute determinism of this giant of astrology.

      Christian anti-astrology, throwing onto the stage first Jewish prophets, then the Fathers of the Church, and finally the theologians, doctors and savants of previous centuries, has largely confined itself to the argument of authority, against which astrologers opposed testimony from their own camp. Up until the 18th century the troops of anti-astrology were led -- in the name of moral, religious and civil authority -- by ecclesiastical dignitaries and by moralists: the Bishop of Lisieux Nicolas Oresme, the liturgist Henri de Hesse (Heinrich von Langenstein), the preacher Geronimo da Savaronola, the humanist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the reformer John Calvin, the Jesuit Marin Mersenne, the prevost Pierre Gassendi, the Calvinist Pierre Bayle ... Since the "Enlightenment" -- and its attendant obfuscation of sensibility -- the ideologues of rationalist, techno-scientific thought have taken the place of the theologians.[85]  The committees on ethics are convened by physicians. The priests of technology have replaced the clergy, far in excess of the hopes of a Claude de Saint-Simon. Astrology has been abandoned as scientistic reason has become a benchmark with its own set of practices to which everyone must conform, if for no other reason than to justify one's intellectual existence.

      Several hypotheses have been put forward by historians of culture to attempt an interpretation of the "decline" of astrology in the middle of the 17th century: hostility on the part of clerical authorities, disinterest on the part of intellectuals, a consequence of scientific and technological discoveries (whereas, in fact, science was still only marginally established at the end of the 17th century), a gap between the new needs stemming from urbanization and the supposedly "archaic" mentality of astrologers ... Keith Thomas says: "The clergy and the satirists pushed astrology into its grave, but the scientists were not present at the funeral." [86]  Bernard Capp evokes a profound change of mentalities: "As with sorcery, astrology appears to have been destroyed not by new arguments, but by a new vision of the universe which undermined traditional beliefs." [87]  Nonetheless, in none of the analyses is the eclipse of astrology set beside its rebirth at the end of the 19th century: [88]  this issue remains left to the sociologists.

In reality none of the "reasons" given by historians is truly convincing, for they do not explain the difficulty that astrology, as opposed to medicine, supposedly had in adapting itself to new scientific criteria and conforming to emerging conceptual frameworks, in an epoch characterized by the reinforcement and centralization of the powers of the State, despite the renovation of astrology proposed by Kepler in his Tertius interveniens (1610).

      What changed in 1650 in anti-astrological literature, and especially in France, was not the content of the treatises (which remained the same from Pico della Mirandola forward), nor in fact even their numerical argumentation, but rather their status. Before 1650 they represent one opinion among many; after 1650 they represent official opinion. Astrology was not displaced by a convincing argument of philosophical or scientific nature, it was simply rejected on the basis of the enforcement of a consensus among an established body of intellectuals -- a consensus which has never been achieved again since that time -- and primarily by scientific academies, religious orders (above all the Jesuits) [89] and the literary salons -- which is to say, by people whose interest was served not by liberty of thought but rather by the success of their own ideas, the preservation of their social position, and above all by imposing direction on the ideas of others. Those who defended astrology, on the other hand, were isolated, often in the ranks of the aristocracy [90] , and independent spirits, i.e. people who needed neither money nor politics to express themselves, and who preferred a certain privacy to a place in public discourse.

      But why was astrology the vicitim of this state of affairs? Quite simple: if astrology enables a personal comprehension of the self and of the world, in principle available to all people, how does one justify the usefulness of churches, schools and tribunals? What would be the point of the discourse of clerical and civil authorities who channel society's mental representations and social practices? What would become of the credibility of politicans, medical professionals and priests (and today, of psychoanalysts)? It seems that astrology suffered particularly because it represents a private, personal sphere of practice, outside public debate, because it is not in its nature to be involved in such things, as its transcultural history demonstrates only too well. Now, modern mentality, which began to take its place in the middle of the 17th century, cannot perceive otherness without wanting to alter it. It is not, then, astrology in and of itself which declined in the course of the 17th century, but vast sections of entire systems of exterior representation to which it was linked and from which modern astrology has only just begun to separate itself.

      Ideology, which is in first instance the repertoire of values, beliefs and doctrines that are accepted and inculcated in the name of the dominant paradigm, does not examine discourse on the basis of the characteristics it exhibits, but instead on the basis of where it comes from; ideology gives no credit to meaning, but to consensus. The discourse of astrology was attacked [91]  by ecclesiastical and lay authorities not because it is chimerical, but because it contains a truth judged to be subversive, "diabolical," in part transgressive of the religious, moral and ideological imperatives which underpin social order: "If, by amusing oneself with the stars, one forsakes God's order and each person goes off by himself without fitting himself into the community of mankind, will not God become contrary to Himself?" [92]

      The astronomer and astrologer Tycho Brahe, an admirer of Paracelsus, responded to Calvin's quibbling in a lecture given in September 1574 at Copenhagen University. But better than anyone else, the philosopher of Einsiedeln had swept their arguments away in his Philosophia sagax [93] : "The stars are our natural masters (...) Each person must follow fixedly in what acts or should act in him (...) Man must do whatever the impressio urges and not what he himself wishes. This is not a constraint, and it is called praedestinatio. (...) Man is so lazy by nature that on his own account he would do nothing. But in order to deliver man from inaction, and the free will which urges him toward it, the impressio comes from the stars: 'do this.' (...) In this manner it is impossible to escape activity. Without the impressio everything would suffer from complete neglect." [94]

      Astrology must remove itself from the duality of determinism/free will into which its adversaries have never ceased to corner it. It is neither fatalistic, nor "libertarian," but rather stipulates an interior necessity in each person, a vector of specific possibilities. The astral impressio implies no kind of moral or political anarchy. On the contrary, it validates the individuality of each person by inciting each human being to act with full integrity and to find his place in the matrix of humankind, not by virtue of external constraint but rather because an internal imperative guides him. The "inner sky" [95]  which communicates the psychic motion of the "impressional" [impressio ] [96] accords to each person his portion of natural wisdom and awareness, which he would do ill to hawk off cheaply for the sake of the "idols" and phantoms of consensus thought, as analyzed by Francis Bacon. What is more, it is the impressio that lies at the root of the sciences, the arts and indeed all human activity.[97]

      Few astrologers have become fully cognizant of this formidable rebuttal to the Judeo-Christian problematic, and few have understood how to put it forward. Paracelsus shows himself an exception to that rule by his putting astrology back into the "animist" framework from which it emerged, [98]  and by restoring the natural and immediate phenomenon of the numinous [99]  and of inner manna. For astral operands communicate to the psyche the ineffable essence of the real, on which basis all creative life is possible. They transmit to it the energy which innervates the living, without which there could be no Being, no World, no Consciousness, nor indeed any social activity. The astral order and freedom cause fear. In order to compensate for his lack of faith in himself, in the world and in other people, man has invented laws and religions, to the point of accepting lies, hypocrisy and cowardice put into a system fit for slaves or for "voluntary servitude" (Etienne de la Boétie). But even if astrology were completely eradicated from human culture, astral reality would continue no less to guide human consciousness.

      Anti-fatalistic, religious or scientistic arguments against astrology reveal certain ideological biases. The condemnation of 1975, signed by three scientists, which aims to "put public opinion on guard" against astrology, resembles in its authoritarianism, its morbidity and its lack of imagination the document signed in 1619 by three obscure theologians of the Sorbonne who judged the profession of astrologer to be "illicit and damnable, [and] not to be tolerated in a republic." [100]

      The English astrological community was shocked at reading the inflammatory article of a neo-Darwinian Oxford biologist who happened also to be the vice-president of the British Humanist Association, a sort of Jean Rostand with an additional measure of arrogance. The text puts forward -- with plenty of insults and attempts at intimidation -- the old arguments about the distance of the planets and the precession of the equinoxes, all the while exhibiting glaring ignorance of contemporary astrology.[101]  The author suggests the mobilization of repressive measures in order to "attack [astrology] seriously" and shows astonishment that astrologers are not "imprisoned for fraud" and "brought before justice for false representation"! Scientistic fundamentalism reproduces the invectives of Guillaume d'Auvergne (fl. 1249), the Bishop of Paris, who exhorted his peers to eradicate astrology -- which he called "this insanity" -- without due process: "One should not so much argue against this error as fight it with fire and the sword." [102]

      Scientific rationality, just like faith in the ambit of the Byzantine Church, imposes itself only through force. The Inquisition hunted down sorcerers for acts that contravened the dogmas of the Church.[103]  The same mindset motivates modern inquisitors who attack astrology as a function of the refraction of scientistic ideology.[104]  Scientism "is also irrational and emotional in its motivations and intolerant in its daily practices, no matter which of the traditional religions it has replaced. What is more, it does not stop at believing only its own myths to be true; it is the only religion to have pushed arrogance to the point of believing itself to be based on no myths at all, but rather solely upon Reason, and of presenting as 'tolerance' this curious mixture of intolerance and amorality it promotes." [105]

      Scientistic ideology claims for itself a monopoly on truth and objectivity, takes possession of the academy and other institutions once under the power of the Church, and follows a three-fold program of action: rhetoric, intimidation, repression. The veracity of scientific discourse becomes manifest only through the compliance of a community of intellectuals and specialists who have a vested interest in that discourse, and through imposing a large set of beliefs and practical applications: "Today science is predominant, not because of its comparative merits, but rather because the game was skewed in its favor. (...) The superiority of science is not the result of research, or of discussion, it is the product of political, institutional and even military pressures." [106]

      No branch of science today is required to prove its postulates as one requires of astrology -- which needs no "confirmation" according to the lights of scientific criteria. Astrology does not need to be put through the refining fire of physics or biology, both of which would be hard pressed to prove their own base assumptions (matter, force, attraction, particles, aliveness ...) If that model of astrology proves itself to be obsolete, or if such an interpretation is poorly adapted to reality, then it is a matter to be left to astrologers to decide, and not to the presumptuous incompetence of know-it-alls in lab coats.[107]

      Astrology is not institutionalized or subsidized. Would that it were, to the level of even a small fraction of the sums invested in medicine or astronautics! The astrologer has no huge library, no specialized laboratory paid for at public expense. He is excluded from the academies, universities and research centers, whereas the psychoanalyst, for example, flourishes there, no doubt because he has understood how to manipulate the "three principles of method" mentioned above. Under these conditions, only a moral histrionic can allow himself to claim that the true astrologer obtains abusive monetary advantage from his activity, [108]  in contradistinction to the institutional parasite of science, who himself profits handsomely from his function, without any objection arising: "Today many scientists and intellectuals are parasites, in the precise sense of the word." [109]  The true astrologer often finds himself in the opposite position: he does something and gets nothing in return, other than the satisfaction of having accomplished his work.

      Colossal sums are budgeted each year with a view to reinforcing the pressure of scientistic imperatives on the general mentality, be it through inculcation in educational institutions or the beating of that drum one finds in the media -- efforts that have only moderate success, one might add, in light of public interest nowadays in knowledge which escapes the bounds of science. The idola theatri of Bacon have never been more alive and well than in this era of the colonization of private life through the media.

      What obstructs the development of astrology is not the lack of receptivity in the modern mind, but rather its passivity vis-à-vis the institutionalized discourses and practices which condition consciousness. It is primarily a question of courage, and of interest. If astrology retires any truth which puts into question our conception of the real, how then can astrologers -- or those who call themselves such -- tolerate mildly and weakly the excoriating, caricature-like pronouncements proffered by legitimized ideologues? If astrologers persist in this position of being "yes sir" people vis-à-vis scientific and intellectual authorities -- who reward their deference with scorn -- then astrology has far fewer "adepts" than one generally believes. And if the price to be paid is subordination to the avatars of modernity, it is doubtful that anything significantly astrological exists in this "free neo-astrology."

      Paul Feyerabend puts forward the notion that an advanced society should be capable of liberating consciousness from its institutional constraints and of offering in its educational establishments the study of bodies of knowledge and traditions that do not proceed from the rationalist modern paradigm (magic, sorcery, alchemy, folk medicine, legends, ritual ceremonies, sacred dances, astrology ...), in order to rein in the expansion of the "frenzied barbarism of the techno-scientific age." [110]

      The vitality of astrology and its opponents' lack of success demonstrate that it contains something quite other than what they imagined -- even than what the majority of its sympathizers imagined. It embodies a specific and legitimate attitude of the human spirit toward consciousness and defines a possible alternative to the rendering uniform of awareness that results from an exclusive use of modern methods and techniques. It announces a renewal of philosophy, resigned today to the hegemony of scientistic rationality mixed with the tattered finery of Christian morality, having renounced all metaphysical projects for the sake of historicism, formal logic and hermeneutics. Astrology is a counterweight to "the formidable enterprise of suggestion which has produced and maintains the current mentality." [111]  It applies today more than ever a corrective to intemperate engagement in the present, because it strives to preserve from neglect and confusion the reality of psychic tonalities which innervate consciousness. And if it remains marginalized in current civil, business and scientific law, that is because it is intrinsically what its ideological critics cannot pardon: transcultural, a-productive, and anthropomorphic.


Translator's Note: In the interest of expediency, works originally published in English and used in French translation are cited in the language of the translation, without reference to the original English title. For the most part, texts from those works have been prepared on the basis of the translation rather than quoted from the English originals, which explains any possible divergence of the citations from the author's text. The translator hopes that this practice honors the content of the original completely, even if it diverges at points from literal transmission. (MSB)

[1]  Cf. for example Antoine Letronne, who presents astrology as a "lying science" in "Sur l'origine grecque des zodiaques pretendus égyptiens," in: Mélanges d'érudition et de critique historique, Paris, Ducrocq, [1860], p. 44. Letronne is imitated by Pierre Duhem, who speaks of the "lying doctrine" (in Le système du monde, Hermann, 1958, vol. 8, p. 500), and Franz Cumont follows suit (calling astrology "the most monstrous of all the chimeras spawned by superstition") in Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, (1912: New York, Dover Publications, 1960, p. IX), as do Morris Jastrow, Aby Warburg, André Festugière, Fritz Saxl, or Auguste Bouché-Leclercq, who vilifies the "old tomfoolery" of Egypt and Chaldea, Stoic philosophy, and Plato himself, suspected of being sympathetic toward astrology, especially in the Timeon, "where the habit of affirming extends itself with the greatest complacency and where the weakening of reason is the most evident." (in: L'Astrologie grecque, Paris, Ernst Ledoux, 1899, p. 20) « Text

[2]  "Objections to Astrology" in The Humanist, vol. 35, no. 5, 1975. The authors of this manifesto are the astronomer Bart Bok, the scientific popularizer of Lawrence Jerome, author of a classic work against astrology (Astrology Disproved, New York, Prometheus Books, 1977), and the ideologue Paul Kurtz, president of CODESH (Council on Democratic and Secular Humanism) and of CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), of which Bok and Jerome are members. One might well question the astrological competence of the 18 Nobel and 166 other scientific prize winners who figure among the membership (including the biologists André Lwoff and Jacques Monod, the astronomers Fred Hoyle and Owen Gingerich, the ethnologists Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen, reconciled for the occasion, the biochemist Francis Crick, the behaviorist Burrhus Skinner, the economist Paul Samuelson), particularly given the near nullity of astrological understanding on the part of Bok and Jerome (cf. Objections to Astrology, Buffalo, NY, Prometheus Books, 1975). As Feyerabend observed in 1976: "If you had a single good argument, what would be the use of all these signatures? (...) Everybody who is somebody in science has given his name to support a document that is a gaffe of ignorance and lack of culture" (in: Dialogues sur la connaissance, French translation, Editions du Seuil, 1996, p. 98). « Text

[3]  Paul Feyerabend (in Science In a Free Society, 1978: London, Verso, 1982, p. 5), who says that because of the poverty of its argumentation and the abundance of signatures, the document resembles a "scientific encyclical." (in: Dialogues sur la connaissance, French translation published by Editions du Seuil, 1996.) « Text

[4]  Lynn Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, New York, Columbia University Press, 1923, vol. 1, p. 116. « Text

[5]  Cf. Franz Boll, Studien über Claudius Ptolemäus, in: Jahrbuch für klassische Philologie 21, Leipzig, 1894, p. 182. He is supported by Theodore Wedel: "Carneades clinched a series of arguments against astrology that has remained a model for centuries. They have been repeated many times by the Skeptics, were taken up again in their entirety by the Church, and reappear unchanged in Petrarch and Pico della Mirandola." (in: The Medieval Attitude Toward Astrology, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1920, p. 6) « Text

[6]  David Amand, Fatalisme et liberté dans l'Antiquité grecque, Louvain, Bibliothèque de l'Université, and Paris, Desclée de Brouwer, 1945, p. 42. « Text

[7]  Sextus Empiricus, Against the Professors, edited and translated by R. Bury, London, William Heinemann, 1949. « Text

[8]  The astronomers Joachim Herrmann (Das falsche Weltbild, Stuttgart, Kosmos, 1962) and R. Wiechoczek (Astrologie -- das falsche Zeugnis vom Kosmos, Düsseldorf, Erb, 1984) are the German equivalents of Couderc, Schatzman and others who write in a similar vein in French. « Text

[9]  Ptolemy, La Tétrabible, translation by Nicolas de Bourdin (1640), edited by René Alleau, Paris, Denoël / Culture, Arts, Loisirs, 1974, p. 22. « Text

[10]  Following Socrates' example, Carneades wrote nothing, and the voluminous work of Clitomachus has been lost. « Text

[11]  This argument ignores the ethno-geo-astrological theory of climata, developed after the objections of Carneades and Panetius, primarily by the Stoic Posidonios of Apamea (fl. 130-150). Cf. Franz Boll, Studien über Claudius Ptolemäus, in: Jahrbuch für klassische Philologie 21, Leipzig, 1894, pp. 181-188. « Text

[12]  Astrologers respond by relativizing the extent of the "emitting influence" to the nature of the "recipient" organism. Eustache Lenoble, author of the most influential treatise published in French in the 17th century, who goes back and forth between refining astrological factors and justifying his own proven practices, summarizes the question in a rather lapidary way: "Everything that is received, is received according to the fashion of the receptor, so that a single influence results in a different effect, although of the same nature, in two people of different condition born at the same moment." (in: Uranie, ou les Tableaux des philosophes (1697), subsequent edition Paris, Pierre Ribou, 1718, p. 244) « Text

[13]  Lynn Thorndike, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 221, and Wilhelm Gundel, Neue astrologische Texte des Hermes Trismegistos, in: Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, München, 1936. « Text

[14]  In De la divination, II, 42-47, French translation published by Garnier, 1937. « Text

[15]  In La Cité de Dieu (V 5), French translation published by Garnier, 1937. « Text

[16]  The title adopted by specialists adds to the confusion, since the incipit of the first tablet is Enûma Anu Enlil Ea ("In the Time of Anu, Enlil and Ea"). « Text

[17]  Cf. Ernst Weidner, "Die astrologische Serie Enûma Anu Enlil" in Archiv für Orientforschung 14, 17 and 22, 1941-44, 1954-56 and 1968-69 (summary and commentary untranslated). « Text

[18]  Hilaire De Wynghene, Les présages astrologiques, Rome, Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1832, p. 30. « Text

[19]  cited by Francesca Rochberg-Halton, "Mesopotamian Cosmology," in Cosmology, Norriss Hetherington (ed.), New York, Garland, 1993, p. 47. « Text

[20]  Paul Feyerabend, Science In a Free Society, 1978; London, Verso, 1982, p. 135. « Text

[21]  In the same vein, works that attempt to legitimize the base assumptions of astrological structures through energetic causality remain disappointing. Cf., for example, the works of Erich Winkel, Naturwissenschaft und Astrologie, Augsburg, Seitz, 1928, or Michel Auphan, L'astrologie confirmée par la science, 1988; Neuchâtel, La Colombe, 1956. Cf. also the innumerable statistical investigations reported by Geoffrey Dean and his team (in: Recent Advances in Natal Astrology, Subiaco (Australia), Analogic, 1977). « Text

[22]  Bouché-Leclercq (in: L'astrologie grecque, Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1899, p. 1), Cumont (in: Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, 1912; New York, Dover Publications, 1960, p. XI), Wedel (in: The Medieval Attitude Toward Astrology, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1920, p. 89). « Text

[23]  despite the geocentrist partisanship of Nicolas Bourdin, the translator of the Tetrabiblos, or that of Jean-Baptiste Morin. « Text

[24]  "In the 16th century astrology was part of the scientific movement and was accepted by all the great Elizabethan savants." (in: Astrology and the Popular Press, London, Faber & Faber, 1979, p. 180.) « Text

[25]  Lynn Thorndike, op. cit., vol. 5, p. 414. « Text

[26]  He was born on 16 February 1514 in Feldkirch (Austria) under the sun sign of Pisces, like his master Copernicus. « Text

[27]  Cf. for example Hervé Drévillon: "The Copernican revolution was, for astrologers, a process of only slow and progressive reform." (in: Lire et écrire l'avenir, Sessel (Ain), Champ Vallon, 1996, p. 25). This work discusses French astrology of the 17th century -- and unfortunately limits itself to that topic without considering either the preceding century or the situation in Europe at that time -- and collects false evidence, countertruths and even inaccuracies (e.g. the "aphorisms of Ptolemy" referred to several times, or the "12" Centuries of Nostradamus). The professional astrologer becomes confused with the popular, with almanacs, prophesying, even with pseudo-Nostradamian predictions! The disappointments of astro-political prediction corroborate the assertions of ideological anti-astrology of the century, without the arguments of the astrologers being presented in any serious way, nor their major treatises, such as those of Jean-Baptiste Morin and Eustache Lenoble. « Text

[28]  Mary Ellen Bowden, The Scientific Revolution in Astrology, Yale University (PhD. thesis), 1974, p. 218. « Text

[29]  Mary Ellen Bowden, op. cit., p. 34. « Text

[30]  "From that comes the fact that the rising of the stars, which are fixed in the course of the seasons, have served to indicate with precision changes in weather, which is not to say that the stars have the slightest power to vary the wind or the rain, but rather they furnish points of reference in our prediction of meteorological conjunctions." in: Introduction aux phenomènes, VII 10, French translation published by Editions des Belles Lettres, 1975, p. 85. In point of fact, Geminos rejects astro-meteorological predictions, but accepts astrological aspects and the practice of interpreting natal charts (cf. op. cit., II, 6-18). « Text

[31] in Origine de tous les cultes, ou religion universelle, 3 vols., Paris, H. Agasse, 1794. Unfortunately for Dupuis, the cult of the bull which supposedly marked the beginning of the era of the same name did not appear in the 4th millenium B.C., but rather in the 7th, as the archaeological evidence from the Neolithic site of Çatal Hüyük suggests: "In Sumer, then, as throughout the Middle East, the religious symbolism of the bull, attested from the Neolithic period, was transmitted without interruption." (Mircea Eliade, Histoire des croyances et des idées religieuses, Payot, 1976, vol. 1, p. 69.) « Text

[32]  first developed in the circle of the English Theosophists, and more recently much touted in the sensationalist frenzy of proponents of the "New Age." « Text

[33]  For more details on these dates, cf. Nicholas Campion, The Book of World Horoscopes, 1988: 2nd ed., Bristol, Cinnabar Books, 1995, pp. 544-552. The cycles of Pluto-Neptune and Neptune-Uranus regulate the rhythms of swings in culture and mindset. We are in the Gemini-Capricorn Era, and the date to keep in mind for the beginning of the "Aquarian Age" is 2164, which marks the occurrence of the conjunction of Neptune and Uranus in Aquarius. « Text

[34]  Cf. for example the syncretic practice of Dane Rudhyar (in L'Histoire au rythme du cosmos, French translation published by Editions Universitaires, 1983). « Text

[35]  The title of the "Poem of Creation" comes from its first line: Enûma elish la nabû shamamu, "When On High Heaven Was Not Named." « Text

[36]  In the version of René Labat, "Les grands textes de la pensée babylonienne," in Les religions du Proche-Orient asiatique, Fayard, 1970, p. 55. « Text

[37]  Cf. Bartel van der Waerden, Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy, 1965; Leyden, Noordhoff, 1974, pp. 14-26. « Text

[38]  Otto Neugebauer, Les sciences exactes dans l'Antiquité, 1957; French translation published by Actes Sud, 1990, p. 118, and A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, Berlin/Heidelberg/New York, Springer, 1975, vol. 3, pp. 64-67. « Text

[39]  Cf. Bartel van der Waerden, op. cit., pp. 64-67. « Text

[40]  Cf. Hermann Hunger and David Pingree, Mul. Apin.: an Astronomical Compendium in Cuneiform, Horn (Austria), Archiv für Orientforschung, Beiheft 24, 1989. « Text

[41]  Cf. André Florisoone, "Les origines chaldéennes du zodiaque" in: Ciel et Terre, 66, 1950, p. 261. « Text

[42]  VAT 7851, Archeological Museum of Berlin. « Text

[43]  Cf. Abraham Sachs and Hermann Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia (Vienna, 1988, vol. 1, p. 55); Bartel van der Waerden, op. cit., p. 126; Francesca Rochberg-Halton, "Mesopotamian Cosmology," (in: Norriss Hetherington (ed.), Cosmology, New York, Garland, 1993, p. 49); and Ian Anderson, Babylonian Astrological Texts (Philadelphia, Union Press, 1989, vol. 1, p. XXVII). « Text

[44]  Cf. Paul Schnabel, Berossos und die babylonisch-hellenistische Literature, Leipzig, Teubner, 1923, and "Kidenas, Hipparch und die Entdeckung der Praezession" in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, 37, 1927. « Text

[45]  Otto Neugebauer, "The Alleged Babylonian Discovery of the Precession of the Equinoxes" in Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 70, no. 1, 1950, pp. 2-3. « Text

[46]  Cf. Cyril Fagan, Astrological Origins, St. Paul (Minn.), Llewellyn Publications, 1971. « Text

[47]  Cf. David Pingree, "Astronomy and Astrology in India and Iran," in Isis, vol. 54, no. 2, 1963. « Text

[48]  Cf. for example the classic work by the astronomers Roger Culver and Philip Ianna: The Gemini Syndrome, 1979; Buffalo, Prometheus Books, 1984. « Text

[49]  Jean-Pierre Nicola in La condition solaire, Paris, Editions Traditionnelles, 1965, has interpreted the Zodiac according to the work of Pavlov without paying any mind to the fact that the physiological approach has only an analogic value for the comprehension of psychic phenomena. The majority of internal processes, be they psychic or psycho-mental, are not susceptible to experimentation. Between the psychic and the physiological there can exist only a relationship of isomorphy. The conditional reflex is a physiological variation concomitant with a more general transformation of the organism, a visible index of more complex processes which operate in the psyche, as Pavlov himself recognized. « Text

[50]  For example, Jean-Claude Pecker, "L'astrologie et la science," in La Recherche, v. 140, 1983, p. 122. « Text

[51]  Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem, VI/2, Italian translation by Eugenio Garin, Florence, Vallechi, 1946-52, 2 vols. « Text

[52]  The "third intervener" would be placed here beside the adversaries of astrology. « Text

[53]  Astrological practitioners, be they Babylonian, Greek, Arab, or medieval, have always "done statistics" in order to establish correlations, whether they left visible traces of the process or not, but without the presumption of judging on the basis of those calculations the base assumptions of astrology and the ensemble of its operative structures: "I have drawn the charts of more than four hundred blind or one-eyed people (...) per 100 one-eyed or blind people there are more than 80 who have at their birth the two luminaries either conjunct, in opposition, or squared." (Eustache Lenoble, Uranie, ou les Tableaux des philosophes (1697), subsequent publication Paris, Pierre Ribou, 1718, pp. 329-330). « Text

[54]  His statistical works, based on the daily movement of the planets, although founded on limited samples, announce the "curves" of Gauquelin and emphasize the presence, above the average, in the aspects of the natal chart of a specific planet which indicates the socio-professional activity of the native: Mars for military people, Venus in the case of artists, Saturn for scholars, Neptune for mystics ... (in Ceux qui nous guident, Paris, René Debresse, 1946). « Text

[55]  The Skeptic Geoffrey Dean and his team have gone through a hundred statistical tests with a fine-toothed comb, tests which relate to all branches of astrology, all of which have ended in the pathetic refrain: "no significant results." However, in conclusion to tests on the Zodiacal signs: "The signs have no relation to the fundamental factors of personality. If the essential principle of the signs is central for astrological theory, then that theory is not valid." (in: Recent Advances in Natal Astrology, Subiaco (Australia), Analogic, 1977, p. 123). But with a "non-statistical" test (the performance of which requires no previous statistical preparation), the results of which were largely positive, four eminent British astrologers were able correctly to identify 8 solar signs (the odds: 1 in 12) among a group of 12 people (report in the journal News of the World, 12 October, 1975). Dean concluded that the cause was either "coincidence" or "telepathy! (cf. op. cit., p. 136). « Text

[56]  Cf. particularly Les hommes et les astres, Paris, Denoël, 1960. The works of his followers in France appear as an Ersatz of lower level, and his methodological principles are not respected, especially with regard to sampling. « Text

[57]  Every practitioner of astrology knows that angular aspects in the natal chart are not the only instance of a planet's value, nor does the sun sign alone determine zodiacal value. « Text

[58]  The "Mars effect" of the Gauquelins, which fascinates the British Isles, has become their only important influence there: it could be called the Gauquelin effect on Anglo-Saxon astro-statistics. « Text

[59]  Gauquelin related the recurrences to biographical portraits. « Text

[60]  Alfred Whitehead, La fonction de la raison, French translation published by Payot, 1969, pp. 133-134. « Text

[61]  René Berthelot has designated by the term "astrobiology" that conception of the world common at the time of its origin to Asiatic peoples, which has only been displaced with the coming of the scientific age. (in: La pensée de l'Asie et l'astrobiologie, 1938; Payot, 1972, p. 66.) « Text

[62]  The Jews "have transformed themselves into a living antithesis of natural conditions. They have successively inverted, in an irremediable way, religion, religious practice, morality, history, psychology into the exact opposite of their natural values. " (in: Antéchrist, Oeuvres philosophiques complètes, vol. 8.1, French translation by Jean-Claude Hémery, Gallimard, 1974, p. 181.) "Christian symbolism rests upon Jewish symbolism, which had already dissolved all of reality into a non-nature and a holy unreality ... which wants no more at all to perceive the reality of history, which was no longer interested in natural success." (in: Fragments posthumes, autumn 1887 -- march 1888, vol. 11.359, Oeuvres philosophiques complètes, vol. 13, French translation by Pierre Klossowski and Henri-Alexis Baatsch, Gallimard, 1976, p. 335.) « Text

[63]  Ésaïe, 47.13-14, in the ecumenical translation of the Bible by Sociétés Bibliques, 1980. This passage, used by Origen to refute astrological fatalism in his Commentary on Genesis, has without fail been taken up again by the majority of Christian opponents to astrology. (cf. also Isaiah 46.1-2 and Jeremiah 10.2 ...) « Text

[64]  Deutéronome 4.19, op. cit. « Text

[65]  Paul, Épître aux Galates, 4.10-11, op. cit. « Text

[66]  Paul, Épître aux Colossiens, 2.8, op. cit. « Text

[67]  Paul, Épître aux Romains, 8.38, Épître aux Galates, 4.3 and Épître aux Colossiens, 2.20, op. cit. « Text

[68]  David Amand, Fatalisme et liberté dans l'Antiquité grecque, Louvain, Bibliothèque de l'Université & Paris, Desclée de Brouwer, 1945, p. 97. « Text

[69]  In Aulus Gellius, Les nuits attiques, XIV 1.35, French translation published by Belles Lettres, vol. 3, p. 127. Inverse reasoning by the author of a Greek treatise of the same epoch, On Predictive Astrology, falsely attributed to Lucian of Samosata: "Pleasant predictions give joy, and one can more easily mollify ills that one foresees, moreover they do not surprise one as much, and are easier to bear." (in: Lucien of Samosata, Oeuvres, French translation by Nicolas Perrot, 2nd. ed., Paris, 1655, vol. 1, p. 590.) Cf. also Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos I, 3. « Text

[70]  in The Open Society and Its Enemies, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1945, vol. 2, p. 244. « Text

[71]  For the similarity between the astrological notions of Plotinus and Origen, cf. David Amand, op. cit., pp. 157-163 and pp. 275-325. « Text

[72]  It is possible that Origen and Plotinus make this distinction between the sèmainein and the poiein of the stars (and their notion of astrology, as well) due to the influence of their common teacher, Ammonios Saccas, the founder of the first Neo-Platonic school. The idea goes back to Posidonios (cf. David Amand, op. cit., p. 161, who refers to Erwin Pfeiffer, Studien zum antiken Sternglauben, Leipzig, Teubner, 1916), and same idea is found in Philo of Alexandria and in the Valentinian gnostic Theodotos (2nd century A.D.), who emphasizes in his writings that the stars do nothing, but only indicate the influences of powers which conflict among themselves. Theodotos also affirms the abolition of heimarménè (the astrological concept of destiny) through the coming of Christ: "This is why a strange new star rose up which broke the ancient power of the constellations. (...) Until the moment of baptism, heimarménè is real and exerts its power; but after baptism, it is powerless, and the astrologers can no longer say anything valid." (These revealing statements are reported by Clement of Alexandria in his Excerpta ex Theodoto (74 and 78), and are mentioned by David Amand in op. cit., pp. 26-27. « Text

[73]  -- which should not be confused with the concept of free will. « Text

[74]  For the anti-astrological arguments of the Church Fathers, cf. David Amand, op. cit., and Utto Riedinger, Die heilige Schrift im Kampf der griechischen Kirche gegen die Astrologie, Innsbruck, Wagner Universität, 1956. « Text

[75]  This assimilation seems entrenched from the beginning of the 7th century in the encyclopedist Isidore, Bishop of Seville, who in his Etymologia (III 27) distinguishes between natural astrology and what he calls astrologia supersitiona (horoscopic and predictive astrology). « Text

[76]  in a letter dated September 1649, in Recueil de lettres des sieurs Morin, de La Roche, De Nevré et Gassendi, edited by François de Barancy, Paris, Augustin Courbé, 1650, p. 148 and 151. « Text

[77]  "The whole value of a model is in its ability to permit prediction" (in: Astrological Journal, vol. 28, no. 6, 1986, p. 276.) « Text

[78]  Cf. Astrological Journal, vol. 23, no. 3, 1981; vol. 25, no. 3, 1983; vol. 28, no. 3, 1986. Provisional success is not required of innumerable institutionalized models (from psychology, sociology, economics, meteorology ...), which nonetheless flourish in university departments, and which should be willing to welcome astrology; to believe Dean, the only stumbling block is the lack of tangible statistical results! (cf. "Testing Fate Vs. Freewill", in Astrological Journal, vol. 35, no. 5, 1993, p. 309). « Text

[79]  Cf. David Amand, op. cit., pp. 573-586. « Text

[80]  cited in Eusebius Pamphilus, La préparation évangélique (in 15 vols.), VI 11, French translation by Séguier de Saint-Brisson, Paris, Gaume, 1846, vol. 1, pp. 298-299. « Text

[81]  in Discours et lettres, 1640; 3rd ed., Paris, Jean Jost, 1648, p. 228. « Text

[82]  edition and translation by Paola Zambelli, The "Speculum Astronomiae" and its Enigma, Dordrecht (Holland), Kluwer, 1992. « Text

[83]  In particular by Adelard of Bath, Juan of Seville or of Spain, Plato of Tivoli, and Hermann of Carinthia. « Text

[84]  in Liber astronomiae, English translation by Robert Zoller, edited by Robert Hand, Berkeley Springs, Golden Hind Press, 1994, book 1, p. 10. « Text

[85]  Cf. the article "Astrologie" from the Encyclopédie, Denis Diderot and Jean d'Alembert (eds.), Paris, 1751, tome 1; modern edition Milano, 1977. « Text

[86]  Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971, p. 352. « Text

[87]  Bernard Capp, op. cit., p. 277. « Text

[88]  One could nonetheless put forward an astrological "explanation": conjunctions and oppositions of the slow-moving planets, and in particular those of the Pluto/Neptune cycle in their relation to those of the Neptune/Uranus cycle coincide with the times mentioned. In fact the Pluto/Neptune opposition of 1643-1647 was taken up in 1650 by the Neptune/Uranus conjunction in the middle of Sagittarius, and the Pluto/Neptune conjunction of 1891-92 by the Neptune/Uranus opposition of 1906-1910. These dates recur approximately every 250 years and and mark radical transformations in the evolution of mindsets and socio-cultural products. More particularly, it seems that the Pluto/Neptune conjunctions indicate boom times for astrology, while the two planets in opposition indicate a period of questioning regarding its structures, accompanied by a mobilization of its adversaries. « Text

[89]  Among others: François Garasse (1624), Nicolas Caussin (1649), Jacques de Billy (1657), Jean François (1660), Claude Ménestrier (1681). « Text

[90]  The astrological works of the marquis Nicolas de Bourdin (1603-1676), a Scorpio, the count Blaise de Pagan (1604-1665), a Pisces, and the baron Eustache Lenoble (1643-1711), a Capricorn, are the most important ones of 17th century France, together with the works of Jean-Baptiste Morin. « Text

[91]  Astrologers managed to escape the inquisitorial witchhunts by judicious handling of "diplomatic" counsel, by management of the dominant socio-cultural values, and by concessions made to ecclesiastical dogma with regard to divine will (which indicates submission to religious authority more than anything else), the dogma of free will, and today to the hegemony of materialist ideology. « Text

[92]  John Calvin, Avertissement contre l'astrologie, 1549; Colin, 1962, p. 14. « Text

[93]  This incomparable monument to astro-philosophic thought, the Astronomia magna oder die ganze philosophia sagax der grossen und kleinen Welt samt Beiwerk (1537-38) of Paracelsus, remains to this day without any translation into French or English. (in: Sämtliche Werke, edited by Karl Sudhoff, vol. 12, München & Berlin, Barth, 1929, or in Werke, edited by Will Peuckert, vol. 3, Basel & Stuttgart, Schwabe, 1967.) « Text

[94]  Excerpts cited in Will Peuckert, L'astrologie, French translation by R. Jouan and L. Jospin, Payot, 1965, pp. 223, 225 and 228. « Text

[95]  "The exterior sky shows us the nature of the inner sky. (...) Because no one can see inside a man's skin and because his interior life remains invisible, man must be understood on the basis of his parentage and not on the basis of the man himself; for the exterior sky and the sky of the individual man are the same, in fact like two parts of one sky." (Paracelsus, Le livre Paragranum, 1530; in: Oeuvres medicales, edited and translated by Bernard Gorceix, Presses Universitaires de France, 1968, pp. 61-62.) « Text

[96]  On the concept of the "impressional" [impressio], cf. the chapter "Classification des signes" in my doctoral thesis, L'astrologie : Fondements, Logique et Perspectives (Paris I, Sorbonne, March 1993), or "Analyse critique de la sémiotique de Peirce et justification ontologique du concept d'impressional", « Text

[97]  "On his own account, what can man discover? Not even the art of sewing together a pair of pants." (Paracelsus, op. cit., p. 90.) « Text

[98]  -- on which basis are organized the great religions of the ancient world, especially the Egyptian notion of "Neter" (cf. Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, Her-Bak "disciple" de la sagesse égyptienne, Flammarion, 1956.) « Text

[99]  -- with an ethical implication completely distinct from that of "freedom." (cf. Rudolph Otto, Le sacré (das Heilige), 1917, French translation published by Payot, 1949.) « Text

[100]  in Marin Mersenne, Les préludes de l'harmonie universelle, Paris 1634; modern edition by Fayard, 1985, p. 540. « Text

[101]  The article by Richard Dawkins, "The Real Romance in the Stars," published in The Independent on Sunday, 31 December 1995, is reproduced in The Astrological Journal, vol. 38, no. 3, 1996, pp. 135-141. « Text

[102]  De universo I 3.20; cited in Lynn Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, New York, Columbia University Press, 1923, vol. 2, p. 368. « Text

[103]  "In medieval society the Church provided the ideology, the State provided the power. Today, the Scientific Order provides the ideology, the State provides the power. In times past the Inquisition accused people of sorcery and demonstrated that it was a question of sorcerers; it then abandoned them to the "secular arm" -- i.e. to the State -- which led them to the stake. Today, the institutional psychiatrist accuses the average citizen of mental illness and labels him with a diagnosis of psychosis; he then abandons the patient to a tribunal -- i.e. to the State -- which shuts him up in a prison called a psychiatric hospital." (Thomas Szasz, Fabriquer la folie, French translation by Payot, 1976, p. 87.) « Text

[104]  Patrick Curry, "It is not often admitted to what degree modern science, with its attempt to monopolize truth, has borrowed from the sole God of Judeo-Christianity." (in A Confusion of Prophets, London, Collins and Brown, 1992, p. 16.) « Text

[105]  In Survivre 9, 1971: cited in Alain Jaubert and Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, (Auto)critique de la science, Seuil, 1973, p. 53. « Text

[106]  Paul Feyerabend, Science in a Free Society, 1978; London, Verso, 1982, p. 102. « Text

[107]  "The books of illiterates and incompetents flood the market with crude verbiage, in bizarre and esoteric terms supposedly explain profound insights; "experts" without a brain, without character or the least intellectual, stylistic or emotional temperament talk to us of our 'condition' and the means to improve it." (Paul Feyerabend, in Contre la méthode, London, 1975; French translation published by Seuil, 1979, p. 240.) « Text

[108]  Richard Dawkins, in op. cit., p. 138. « Text

[109]  Paul Feyerabend, Science in a Free Society, 1978; London, Verso, 1982, p. 151. « Text

[110]  In Contre la méthode, London, 1975; French translation published by Seuil, 1979, p. 338. "The separation of State and Church should be completed by the separation of the State and Science, the most aggressive and dogmatic of the religious institutions." (ibid., p. 332). "Science is one ideology among others and should be separated from the State like religion is now separated from the State." (in Science in a Free Society, 1978; London, Verso, 1982, p. 106.) « Text

[111]  René Guénon, Le règne de la quantité et les signes du temps, Gallimard, 1945, p. 122. « Text

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