Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #22

From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #21

Exegesis Digest Thu, 18 Mar 1999

Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 17:45:50 -0800
From: "William D. Tallman"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #21

Rog said:

 > William,
 > I don't have any idea what the formal definition of "intuition" is, but

 > otherwise. What we call astrology is simply an advanced form of
 > pigeon-body-English...:)
 > Thanks,
 > Rog

The Oxford Shorter Dictionary says it comes from the Latin verb "intueri", which means "to look upon, consider, contemplate, etc." The philosophical usage by the Scholastics gives the basis for the present usage: "Spiritual insight or perception, instantaneous spiritual communication". Now, it largely means immediate apprehension or insight without the intervention of reasoning.

Rog would have the whole process be regarded as a "black box", I think, but he raises an interesting question: does intuition as we apply it to astrological practice rely solely on our own experience, learning already acquired, or can it also operate on data from our immediate sense of the astrological mechanism? I suggest that intuition as a process does not mandate the source of its data. I think that both may well be valid.

Concerning the idea that astrology can only produce results approximating chance: I know of no conclusive or compelling basis for this assertion. The failure of modern researchers to support this idea is simply that: a failure, nothing more. What is required to support that point of view is the demonstration that astrology *cannot* work, either in theory or in practice. Again, so far as I know, no such demonstration has been made.

The fact is that we simply do not know anything about why astrology does or does not work. My approach is straightforward: I recognize that astrology historically purports to be able to make prediction possible, and I am trying to find: 1) Why that claim was made. 2) Why, if the claim was valid, it is now commonly thought that: a) prediction is not, and presumably never has been, possible, and b) this impossibility is appropriate.

Certain notions seems self evident:

If there exists an astrological mechanism, *and* the construct (astrology) that has been developed to interpret the results of said mechanism is valid, then I do not see why prediction is impossible, at least at the gross level of perceived physicality. I am assuming that this gross level is a statistical result of particle (quantum?) physicality, and so I can say nothing about what the astrological mechanism might or might not be there.

It should be possible to map the astrological construct in some form on historical events relevant to a given context (that of a human life?) to an appropriate level of precision, such that the fit demonstrates the potential accuracy of predictive activity. As far as I know, this has not been done to the standards of acceptable scholarly research. I do believe it is possible to carry out such research; long ago I began such a project, but the circumstances were such that it could not continue to any fruition. It requires a stable base of subjects beyond what I could acquire, and I knew even at the time that I would only achieve some insights that could be developed in further work.

Any investigation of astrology *must* be founded on the celestial phenomena; otherwise it is not astrology that is investigated. The celestial data *must* be developed and organized at the beginning of any research project. It is bootless to take a history and then generate the astrology, which is what I suspect is the usual informal protocol.


The current practice of "psychological astrology" seems to be quite successful, in general. If it were not, I would suggest that there would be few if any astrologers now practicing. There is a common contention that even in this usage, astrology can produce no more than chance results, that "readings" are so generalized in nature that any given horoscope could be successfully "read" for any given person. This has not been true in my experience. I have detected an invalid chart many times, and found that in fact the data was not correct. I would suggest that this contention rests on the unfortunate practice of forcing a fit by fudging the consultation according to the feedback from the client. This is fraud, as I see it.

The most useful interpretation, in my view, is that which identifies and points out how the client is unique. The result, one hopes, is that the client can come to perceive her/his own self as opposed to, or separate from, the considerations of others. This involves making explicit and very clear statements about how the client manifests some aspect of human nature, or handles some aspect of the human condition, etc.. My intent has always been to leave the client with a clearer (and more accurate) self image; further astrological work involves updates as the client evolves. In general, any counseling beyond these parameters lies outside the practice of astrology, I think.

I would hope that all readers of this post regard my views as taken for granted in professional practice, as perhaps even overly simplistic. I would welcome any disagreement in these regards; however, in this present discussion, this is all I have to say about the current practice of psychological astrology.

Again, I return to the original question in this series of posts: does the astrological mechanism require the presence of life (sentience?)? That would seem to me to be a good place to start in a search for some insight into the nature of the astrological mechanism. If we eventually find that this mechanism *does* require life/sentience, then we can more closely focus our activities, and perhaps even discover that for astrology to work, there needs to be commonly available knowledge of the positions of the celestial bodies! This would certainly vindicate Rog's position, for it would imply that the astrological mechanism has no existence outside of human consciousness. On the other hand, if we can discover the affect of the astrological mechanism where sentience (as we can define it) does *not* exist, then we can infer that it exists independent of our consciousness of it.

If it indeed has independent existence, then we may be well served to look at what science may have to say (whether or not it knows or will admit this). I have made some suggestions in this regard.

Robert Hand has made the assertion that some form of astrology is effective in predicting some financial activity. I understand that he markets software in this regard. Does anyone know anything of this? Alphee Lavoie advertises that he is remarkably capable as an horary astrologer; does anyone know anything about this? There have been other horary astrologers on some of the other lists who make claims of dependable success; does anyone know of these people? In short, any documentation of astrological success that is done in a scholarly manner would be welcome.

What is obviously not productive is the testing of professionals of no special reputation in accordance with protocols that are not relevant. I suggest that those claims that have been made continuously, like those of Hand and Lavoie, be investigated. The intent is not to "validate astrology", but to make accessible what insights into how it works that might be available in these noted practices.

There are other resources: There is an outfit called the Foundation For The Study Of Cycles; the URL is < http:wanda.pond.com/~cycles/ > ; as of this post, this URL is active. I suspect there are others. Does anyone know anything about this or other resources?

Is anyone out there interested enough in this discussion to make a contribution? Anyone at all?



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