In 40 years of doing astrological research many issues and problems have come up. Most of these have been joyfully presented by statistical scientists and others reviewing the work. But perhaps the most crucial one arises before any of the work is done at all. It is also invariably not spotted by people who are not astrologers.
This problem is the choice of which subjects to test.
Astrology is a symbolic science of totality, the position of the planets at a person’s birth reflect all of the issues and themes that play out in their life. Many of these themes may appear to be contradictory, but in fact are not as anyone dealing with a major opposition aspect will tell you.
The very nature of research means that the researcher has to extrapolate one of those themes from the lives of her subjects and test that in isolation to try and see if there is an astrological link.
Also the choice of themes has to be very specific and not subjective. It cannot involve how the person feels because that is not scientifically testable. In fact what tends to happen is that research is limited to either career choice or very specific incidents in a person’s life.
So a researcher might set out to test the career choices of say someone with Saturn in the 10th house, thinking that if there was anything in astrology they would expect this feature to occur more frequently than expected in the charts of medics or accountants.
This may or may not be the case but it is such pathetically narrow interpretation of the richness of the symbol as to be of barely no use at all.
A far more likely interpretation of Saturn in the 10th would be that the person concerned feels blocked in terms of promotion in his work or feels that he has to learn tough lessons throughout his career and that ultimate success may be possible but only after a tremendous amount of work has been put in.
Another interpretation might be that the person feels depressed and negative thoughts about their status at work and struggles to get on with other colleagues.
There are many possibilities that come from such a placing which the astrologer would instantly spot after talking to her client about their career, but none of these can be tested so they are ignored.
Even with subject groups that all astrologers would agree upon we would still be working at the lowest common denominator of any particular symbol.
Take motor racing for example. Most astrologers would expect to find Aries to be strong and they would be right. Capricorn Research’s collection of 106 Racing Drivers shows Aries to be the leading sign with 18, more than twice the expected figure. For more information about this see Aries is the Fastest Sign.
This does not mean that every driver has to have Aries or Mars strongly tenanted however.
Perhaps the greatest racing driver of all time, Michael Schumacher, who won the World Championship 5 times in succession, has a decidedly un Arien chart. He has the Sun in Capricorn opposite Moon in Cancer and Taurus rising. Granted his Mars is dignified in Scorpio but apart from a square to Mercury, has very few aspects.
However Schumacher’s great ability as a driver was not so much Arien as Capricornian.
Throughout his career he was noted for his ability to push his car to the limit for long periods. Motor sport author Christopher Hilton observed in 2003 that “A measure of a driver’s capabilities is his performance in wet races, because the most delicate car control and sensitivity are needed”. Schumacher’s record in wet conditions shows very few mistakes, and up to the end of the 2003 season he won 17 of the 30 races in wet conditions he contested, earning him the nickname ” rain king “. Needless to say these are Capricorn / Cancer traits.
He also had very few accidents that interfered with his own racing although he was involved in some controversial incidents that caused problems for his opponents, again perhaps a demonstration of Capricorn control and manipulation rather than an Arien battering ram charge.
In fact the one really serious accident that Schumacher had occurred after he had retired from racing in a skiing incident in December 2013. Pluto was conjunct Schumacher’s Sun and opposite his Moon at the time and he was in a coma for 6 months and has still not fully recovered.
So even in the most obvious astrological professions like motor racing, the choice of career as the thing to be tested is still an arbitrary one which automatically reduces the capacity of an astrological symbol to work effectively by a great degree.
Perhaps this is why so many researchers choose career as the test, maybe they have an investment in the research failing to prove an astrological link.
The amazing thing is that despite this method being dangerously reductive, astrology still comes through.
The Capricorn Research Project involved over 25,000 charts taken from the astrodatabank. This provided some extraordinary findings that prove an astrological effect on the charts of famous people – see The Capricorn Astrology Research project. The data has also been divided into 78 different groups, mainly based on career choice but also in some cases on clear demonstrable lifestyle preferences and specific incidents occurring in the subjects’ lives.
A distribution is said to be statistically significant if its ” p ” figure falls below 0.01.
When looking at Sun signs, 9 of these groups score well below this figure. These groups include as diverse career choices as Scientists, Artists, Motor Racers and Prostitutes.
For the Sun by house distribution, the result is a whopping 23 of these groups, including Gay Men, Sports, Actors, Writers, Musicians, Religion, Astrologers, Scientists, Artists and Politicians
Some of these findings have already been written up under the collection of articles – Does This Prove Astrology ?
For the Moon signs we only have 2 groups that fall below this level with p scores of 0.00374. These groups are 206 Psychologists whose highest score is for the Moon in Capricorn and lowest is in Libra, and 157 Political Rebels who intriguingly have Libra as the highest and Capricorn as the lowest.
For the Moon by house distribution we only have 1 group,with a score of 0.00832, that of 1120 Singers who have the Moon highest in the 12th house and lowest in the 4th.
For many of the groups that score highly for distributions involving the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars, the Moon sticks as close to average as possible.
But this is probably because most of the groupings are based on people’s career choices. Interestingly one of the 2 groups that it does score highly by sign, political rebels can hardly be described as a career choice. Its also fascinating that this group scores lowest with the Moon in Capricorn, which is the least rebellious and most conventional placing.
Psychologists is a career grouping but their field of enquiry takes them into the realm of subconscious motivation which is an area ruled by the Moon. Its also interesting to find the Moon in Capricorn scoring high here, because this placing would naturally want to come up with some kind of ordered and structured way of understanding people’s unconscious patterns.
In a sample of 1473 Politicians for example there are strongly significant distributions of the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars both by house and sign, but the Moon remains very close to the average.
In separate studies of 917 Labour MPs and 251 Democrat Members of Congress the distribution for the Moon is 0.99 and 0.98 respectively.
Whereas the distribution for 278 Republican Members of Congress is an interesting 0.0375, with by far the strongest sign being conservative Taurus scoring 151 % of the expected figure.
So while the Moon does not seem to incline someone to choose politics as a career, it does seem to have an effect on their own political views.
Perhaps the Moon’s input would be not so much on our choice of career, but more to do with how we feel about that choice and how we operate within it.
Maybe as researchers we have to be a bit more creative with how we devise a test for the influence of the Moon. In fact if you were to ask a group of astrologers which planet would be least likely to come up with a provable research result in a test of career, they would probably say the Moon.
So the fact that the Moon does not hold up in career statistical tests actually helps to prove astrology.