Astrology Is Not a Science; So What Is It?
Our lot often gets hot under the collective collar when scientists diss astrology. Recently the British Astrological Association wrote to the BBC asking Auntie to be a bit nicer please and stop saying those mean things about us.
I signed the thing, because I thought I should support my fellow astrologers, but afterwards slightly regretted it.
|What do you think? Is it you?|
“Why?” I hear you shriek, clutching your purple turban and gathering your kaftan closer. “It’s vital that the establishment accepts us.”
Because I don’t care what scientists say about astrology. The scientific view is useful – antibiotics, teflon, the internet, evolution – but it is only one way of looking at the world. And it’s terrible on human nature, the numinous, the mystery of life, God.
Science answers the question how, not why. How did we humans get here? Because we evolved from apes. Why are we here? Science will never have an answer for that. The contorted arguments of evolutionary biologists on this point only show how trapped they are in mental loop. We need to look to art, poetry, religion, astrology for answers to the question why. And the truth is, and this is the mystery and beauty of life, that we may never truly know why we are here.
Currently there’s a fight going on at Wikipedia about the astrology entry – because astrologers have been banned from editing it. The accusation is that astrology is a pseudo-science.
It can’t be because astrologers are not speaking the same language as scientists.
“Dastardly Jimmy Wales,” you mutter, taking a drag from you hookah and leaning back into your nest of cushions. “They’re always trying to make us look like fools. When will they ever realise what astrology has to offer?”
Some day, maybe never. But we need to stop trying to play by their rules.
There should be no pretense that astrology is a science. You cannot prove an astrological point using the scientific method of double-blind tests; you cannot prove astrology in a lab. This is for one simple reason. Astrology is too complex. Even on the most basic level, it’s impossible to narrow down one trait to one astrological signature.
As an example and since we are in the month of Aries, let’s examine a quick temper. In a person’s chart, this could be shown by Mars on the ascendant, Mars-Mercury (conjunct, square, even trine or sextile), Aries rising or even on the desc, Sun in Aries etcetera. That’s why in astrology we have the “rule of three”. That is you look for the same characteristic or set of circumstances in three places in the chart before you’re dead sure of it.
“So what are we then? Who are we?” you ask – a little aggressively I feel – and drop a dripping piece of baklava into your mouth.
An astrologer synthesises observations of the natural world, tradition, mythology, storytelling, intuition, psychology and diplomacy. The most important skill is listening, attentiveness. The most important qualities are an open mind – sometimes hard to maintain – and curiosity. Now those are two things we share with scientists.
Astrology is a discipline. Not an art, not a science. That’s nice and simple.
Enough for today – and besides you need to go and have your Turkish bath.
|The real deal in Istanbul.|