Exegesis Volume 3 Issue #54

From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #53

Exegesis Digest Mon, 05 Oct 1998

Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 20:53:49 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #53

Hello Mary,

 > How nice to hear from your again, Mr. Tallman.

Thank you, ma'am, and it's very edifying to discover that you are still watching this list!

 > Why would the astrological response require life? Earthquakes, weather,
 > floods, tsunami and other disasters have astrological links. We were just
 > given an excercise in this by the last eclipse.

Well, as I have been given to understand in some detail quite a number of times, astrology is only a "subjective language" and is relevant solely to the study of the human psyche. Your response would seem to fly in the face of this apparently conventional astrological wisdom; are you implying that astrology is actually a study of the relevance of the heavens, and not simply a subset of Psychology?

 > Perhaps we should define our terms.

Ah! Perhaps we should.

This is, however, apparently much more difficult than it appears. A straightforward translation of "astrology" as "the study of the stars" doesn't seem to be acceptable. We have no problem with the "astro" part; clearly, it is the Greek word for "star". The "logy" appears to be much more problematic. We know that the root is "legein" (to speak) which then becomes "logos" (discursive knowledge), but then the "l" is made "L" in the historical usage by philosophy and then religion, and suddenly the specter of "revealed knowledge" arises. In consequence, it is not possible to argue conclusively that astrology is the study of the stars; instead, we get a range of definitions, all approximately implying that the "stars speak".

Though no astrologer would be caught making such a bald assertion, the implications devolving from the notion that astrology is a form of revealed knowledge still remain sources of fright and irrationality, or so it seems to me. First among those implications is the notion of predestination and the resultant battle between the assertions of freewill and the perceived threat of fate. From there, the whole matter of astrology degenerates into the sorts of impassioned arguments without any basis in fact that have made astrology the laughingstock of modern times, and made astrologers lunge in desperation for any legitimacy available.

Now, Mary asserts that non-organic natural phenomena is susceptible to astrological analysis. What does this mean? Are we to suspect, or assume, that the natural universe itself is, or must be, a form of "organic" life, as in the sense that the planet is Gaia? On the other hand, is there a possibility that the astrological effect is actually an as-yet undiscovered physical phenomenon to which virtually any terrestrial attribute or existence is subject? Do we have to make that determination at this point, i.e.., is it relevant, absent any understanding of the matter?

As it happens, I have had the good fortune (?) to have more than once predicted an earthquake, although I've no real idea what the mechanisms involved actually were. As I recall, part of the necessary configurations were the angular placement of the Lights, and a hard aspect between Mars, Saturn, and/or Uranus in Earth Signs, or some such. Obviously, an important part of those predictions was plain dumb luck, because I also recall even more clear misses. Another part, however, may have been some form of sensitivity on my part, as I seem to recall a discernible difference in the seriousness with which I regarded those that actually came true; that, however, could very easily be wishful thinking on my part.

Nothing is demonstrated here: I could easily have been engaging in an astrological rationalization of a sensitivity to earthquakes; one can acquire something of this sort if one lives long enough in California (from where I have since relocated). The question then remains how the requirement of "life" is not necessary for astrological analysis can be demonstrated, either in the positive or the negative.

On a more general level, if we accept astrology as the proper study of the relevance of the heavens, we might be well grounded in an assumption that already known celestial/terrestrial links are also a matter of astrology. We have enough data to recognize the greater propensity for bleeding, violence, and some forms of psychosis at the time of the full Moon, and we have enough insight into the mechanisms involved to imagine how these processes might go forth. Is this an astrological concern, or do we relegate it now to the realm of science?

Ultimately, I suppose the question is whether we continue to regard astrology as the sole purview of current tradition, or decide that we can benefit from a systematic and rational investigation thereof. As far as I am concerned, I submit that the latter view is more beneficial for astrology in general and particularly for the practice thereof as a profession.

The first question I would ask of Mary is whether these astrological links are discerned in retrospect as rationalizations, or are they well enough recognized and robust enough that they can serve to predict non-organic phenomena, at least to a level acceptably greater than chance.

NOTE WELL!!! Let me hasten to make very clear here that absolute predictability is neither sought nor required, as the possibility is vanishingly small that only the astrological effect is involved. One seeks only discernibly greater than chance evidence in order to demonstrate that the astrological effect is a part of the forces involved. Further work can then seek defining attributes thereof.

The second question I would ask of this list. Are any other members interested in pursuing these questions in a productive manner? Citations of data, proposals for protocols, ideas for methods of inquiry, etc. are productive. Assertions of revealed knowledge, arguments based on unsubstantiatable personal belief, and ad hominem attacks, etc., are not productive.




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