Astrology Fights Back


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Presentation given at Bath Spa University in response to ignorant comments re astrology.

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Astrology Fights Back

  1. 1. Astrology Fights BackBased on a presentation given at Bath Spa University. November 2005 © M C Philp 2009
  2. 2. The practice of Astrology is academically unacceptable.It is considered an outdated residue of a previous superstitious age. In spite of this negative academic ruling just about everyone knows their Sun sign.In 1995 Richard Dawkins, an Aries, at the time Simoni Professor of Science at Oxford and therefore personally responsible for the nation’s clarity of perception, was not happy. He wrote: „We should take astrology seriously. No I don‟t mean we should believe in it. I am talking about fighting it seriously ….‟ Richard Dawkins, “The Real Romance in the Stars”, The Independent on Sunday, 31 December 1995.
  3. 3. In the 1980s a few hopeful astrologers using scientific methodologyhad attempted to prove their subject was worthy of academicrespect. The tests they devised did not take the complexity ofastrology sufficiently into account. They did not understand thattheir subject had a great deal in common with meteorology – neveran exact science - a point Claudius Ptolemy made in hisTetrabiblos.The exercise was, on the whole, a humiliating failure.BUT … I happen to know for a fact that astrology works, which iswhy, in this presentation, I shall attempt to win the subject somescientific credence and illustrate, in response to Dawkins, why itmay be worthy of intelligent consideration.First, lets look at how science itself gets things wrong.Ptolemy Tetrabiblos, Robbin, F.E. ed., (CAM,MA, Harvard University Press, 1980,London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1980), Book 1, pp. 15 and 19.
  4. 4. Here is an innocent looking bar magnet.Does it look as if it is influencing itsenvironment? I don’t think so.And here is the same bar magnet withiron filings sprinkled around itindicating the presence of a previouslyinvisible field.The iron filings allow you to see the influence this little piece of metalextends beyond its physical boundary.Scientist call this a force field.
  5. 5. John Maddox was editor of Nature, a prestigious science magazine.In 1995 he wrote:„How can one thing tug at another? If Newton submitted his theory ofgravity to a journal today it would certainly be rejected …‟The Principia Publishable Now? John Maddox. Nature, 3 Aug 1995.Maddox can’t have read Newton’s Principia, which states:‟I use the words attraction, impulse, or propensity of any sort towardsa centre…: considering those forces not physically, butmathematically: wherefore the reader is not to imagine that by thesewords I anywhere take upon me to define the kind, or the manner ofany action, the causes or physical reasons thereof, or that I attributeforces, in a true and physical sense ..‟(My underlining).Definition VII.Newton knew that describing phenomena that we cannot see or touch isfraught with difficulties. He is undoubtedly attempting to avoidmisunderstandings by stating his case with firmness and clarity but evenwith the editor of an esteemed science magazine he has failed.
  6. 6. Here is another example of ambiguity.This is Aristarchus of Samos’ idea that 310-230 BCE ?the planets, including Earth (ofcourse) orbit the Sun. It was a reallyneat idea as it explained retrogradeplanetary motion so simply.Unfortunately when Aristarchus cameup with this idea the paradigm was:the perfect circle is divine. (JohannesKepler was not going to annihilate thiserroneous mind-set with his discoveryof elliptical orbits for another onethousand eight hundred plus years).As all inspiration conceded to thiserroneous mind-set this model,incorporating the perfect circle, failed Aristarchus of Samosto make accurate predictions on theposition of the planets which was adistinct handicap.
  7. 7. -180 CE ?This is Ptolemys model.The epicycles performed by asingle planet are pictured here.The Sun orbited the earth –obviously –- and the planets rodeon crystal spheres.Ptolemy’s model worked. It wasmathematically successful.You could work out from thismodel where the planets wouldbe (sort of) at a particular time.Aristarchus’ model - the one that Claudius Ptolemysuggested the planets orbit theSun - was clearly wrong.
  8. 8. But we know now that Ptolemy’s model was the one that waswrong so what does this tell us?It tells us that we can only trust mathematics if we are surethat we are in possession of ALL of the necessary facts.Quantum physics and cosmology deal with phenomenon waybeyond present scientific bounds - beyond the point when therecan be acquisition of all of the facts. In these subjects speculationis the order of the dayWhen it comes to ambiguity Astrology is not alone, it is one of acrowd.
  9. 9. Astrologers of the past have thought in terms of planets‘influencing’ life on Earth (the word ‘influenza’ blames flu on theplanets). So what’s the influence?Gravity is strong enough to stop us falling off the surface of ourround planet but considered too weak to have a subtler influence.
  10. 10. Dr Percy Seymour of Plymouth University has suggested that Earth’selectromagnetic field influences life on Earth and is itself influenced by the solarwind and other factors in the space-time field. The Earth is a giant magnet (remember the magnet) and its field is contorted by the Sun’s electromagnetic field which is in turn contorted by the orbital position of the planets. The electromagnetic field, he explains, is therefore a candidate for Earth‟s electromagnetic field. Seymour, P, Astrology; The consideration. Evidence of the Stars (UK, Lennard Publishing, 1988).
  11. 11. Sir Arthur Eddington suggested we visualise the fabric of space-time interms of a stretched rubber sheet with dimples caused by balls ofdifferent weights. This is what we are looking at here. We can imagine aputting green. Whether the golf ball falls in the hole, circles it, or shootsoff into the rough, depends on the velocity of the ball, the direction ofmotion and the contours of the ground. This is a two dimensional, ‘flat’view, of three dimensional space. A geometric picture of space-time, Hey, T, and Walters, P, Einstein’s Mirror (UK, Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 192.
  12. 12. This is a useful analogy when working out trajectories for spacevehicles but it is simplistic. To visualise a space-time field four-dimensionally – which is how it really is - taking into account up-down/backwards-forwards/side-to-side and time, all at once, isdifficult, as we have only our subjective experience to call onsafely pinned down by gravity on the two dimensional surface ofour planet.If we accept (if only as a mind-game) that astrology works thenclues to what is really going on must be looked for in astrologyitself.
  13. 13. By 360 BCE we find Plato recording Timaeus, an Italian Greek - astudent of the great Pythagoras - calling the fixed stars „divine andeternal animals ever abiding‟ and the moving stars „deities‟,„subject to deviation ... circling as in dance‟. He laments thecomplexity of their perambulations, the juxtapositions, returns,conjunctions, oppositions and eclipses of the planets … which headded sends „terror and intimations of the future to those whocannot calculate their movements‟. … to attempt (he says) to tellof all this without a visible representation of the heavenly systemwould be to labour in vain.Plato, Timaeus, Jowett, B. trans., The Internet Classics Archive,http/ 1b.text, [hereafter Plato, Timaeus, pp 13-14 of 26.The heavens wield regulatory power: Watches and clocks still rule ourlives reflecting the circling of heaven as the Earth spins on her axis.This is why Plato called for ‘an accurate representation of theheavens’ which resulted, after years of observation, in the constructionof the modern horoscope.A horoscope - an accurate representation of the heavens - is theastrologer’s main tool, so let’s look at a horoscope.
  14. 14. There are two pivotal positions on a horoscope. Point 00 Aries – the pointthat decides the starting point of the Zodiac, the map of the heavens uponwhich the planets are plotted - and the Ascendant - the point that decidesthe starting point of the horoscope placing this map in relation to space-time.The Ascendant is one end of a line called the Horizon. The horizon marksthe sunrise and sunset position for the particular day and place for which thehoroscope is set.Ascendant HORIZON 00 Aries Solar Fire v5 (Esoteric Technologies Pty Ltd).
  15. 15. We often hear non-astrologers who are familiar only with Sun signcolumns say they were born on the cusp of a sign, but astrologersknow that signs have definite boundaries in seconds of arc.Scientists talk about phase translation points. When water falls to aspecific temperature it freezes. In his book a Guide for the PerpexedSchumacher writes about what he calls the ‘ontological discontinuity’between life and death.Astrologers understand that there is a ‘phase translation’ point or an‘ontological discontinuity’ at thirty degree intervals around thecircumference of the chart. Why ?To answer this question we need to take a closer look at the Zodiac.
  16. 16. Sagittarius Scorpio Capricorn Aquarius Tropical 00 Aries 2009 Virgo Pisces Leo Cancer Aries Sidereal 00 Aries Taurus Gemini 2009 TheThe Zodiac Two ZodiacsThere are two Zodiacs, a virtual Tropical Zodiac with exact 30 degreesections called signs, and a Sidereal Zodiac of real stars that make upthe constellations you see in the night sky.Around four thousand years ago they were aligned but his is no longerthe case.
  17. 17. North Pole Because of the gravitational pull of 2009 the Sun and Moon the Earth wobbles Polaris on her axis causing the Tropical Vega Zodiac to move against the background of the fixed stars of the North Sidereal Zodiac one degree every pole 14009 seventy two years. The Tropical Zodiac is seasonally accurate. It maps Earth’s relationship to the Sun. When the Sun is in tropical Aries it is always spring. The zodiac of the fixed stars - The Sidereal Zodiac - maps Earth’s relationship to the Galaxy.
  18. 18. Imagine that this is Earth.When I was very small I was told that the equator was an imaginary line that ranaround the Earth. I thought they said ‘imaginary lion’ – you can see him here.The equator divides the Earth into two halves relative to the Poles.The Horizon on a horoscope divides the Earth into two halves relative to the event.You can see that the equator is to the North pole what the Horizon (the white line) isto an event?The celestialequator is a greatskirt projected intospace. I havedrawn it with aboundary but itactually cutsthrough the fabricof space time,ostensibly, adinfinitum.
  19. 19. If you sprinkle iron filings around amagnet you will see the magnet’smagnetic field. If there is dustaround a planet we can see theplanet’s celestial equatorial field.We are all familiar with Saturn’srings.You can see, looking at Saturn,just how ‘real’ an equatorial field Saturn’s rings – from the Hubble space telescope.seems to be. The Sombrero Galaxy also displays a dusty celestial equator … on a much bigger scale. The Sombrero Galaxy Discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1781. It is a member of the Virgo cluster. Diameter thought to be in excess of 135,000 l.y.
  20. 20. Uranus has a ring, and Neptune, and of course the planets in thesolar system orbit on or near the celestial equatorial field of theSun.If we sprinkled dust around Earth she would have a ring too.Indeed she is fast acquiring a ring. It is made up of satellites inGeostationary Earth Orbit, GEO.The Earth’s angle of obliquity – the tilt of her equatorial fieldrelative to the Sun’s equatorial field - is tilted at an angle of23.44 degrees.
  21. 21. In figure 1 and 2 I have used a yellow line to mark the ecliptic – the Sun’s equatorial field. Fromour point of view this is the path of the Sun around Earth. Figure 1 shows the Sun on the Earth’sequator at midday. The Sun is on the equator at midday only twice a year at the Autumnal andVernal Equinoxes. Figure 2 shows the Sun rising over the Horizon on the day of an event.Astrologers call this the Ascendant. It is analogous to 00 Aries and defines the beginning of theFirst House, a house which carries Arian qualities. Point 00 Aries is to the Earth in relation to theSidereal Zodiac (the Galaxy), what the Ascendant is to the horoscope in relation to the TropicalZodiac (the Solar System). You can think of 00 Aries as ‘Earth’s Ascendant‘ relative to the fixedstarsIn figure 3 I havedrawn a man standingon the equator at thevernal equinox Fig.1 Fig. 2pointing at the Sun.Because the Earthspins, he could standon any point on theequator at midday andthe Sun will be directlyover his head.The point in spacedirectly behind theSun on the Vernal Fig. 3Equinox isdesignated 00 Aries.
  22. 22. Point 00 Aries is presently between the constellation Pisces (whereit has been for the last 2000 years) and the constellation Aquarius.Everyone knows that it is ‘The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius’.An astrologer, Ed Gillam, has recently written an article for theAstrological Journal (Spring 2010) wondering if the star Regulus –the only bright star on the ecliptic – marks the changeover pointbetween Cancer (the Moon’s sign), and Leo (the Sun’s sign). TheSun and Moon – the Lights - are All-Important. Astrology respectssymbols and word Regulus suggests regulation. If Ed is correct then00 Aries moves into Aquarius sometime between 21st Novemberand 3rd December 2011.
  23. 23. This is what Earth, orbiting on the Sun’s equatorial field, would look like if we couldlook down on it from above. I have taken a major liberty with scale but you get the gist.The Sun’s celestial equator is pictured in grey. The Earth’s celestial equator is picturedas white where it lies above the plane of the Sun, dark grey when below.We can’t see celestial equators but we know from looking at Saturn’s rings and theplanets orbiting the Sun that they are there, just as we could see the invisible fieldwhen we sprinkled iron filings around the magnet.I want you to note that atthe equinoxes the two The relationship between the Sun‟s Celestial Equator and the Earth‟s Celestial Equator.fields are running rightthrough the centre of theSun and Earth. The pinkline. From the point ofview of the space-timescenario, this is whatmakes this position sospecial.At no other times do thecrossing of the two fieldspass through the Sun andthe Earth. Solstice Solstice The Equinoxes
  24. 24. The electromagnetic spectrum propagates in waves. We hear soundwaves, see light waves, feel infra red waves. There are other waves, radiowaves, X rays, nuclear waves and cosmic waves, for example, that wecan only pick up with special equipment. The room you are in is packedwith waves. Einstein predicted gravity waves which have been observedindirectly by pulsar astronomers. Jocelyn Bell Burnell. New Scientist, 14May 2005, p39.This is a picture of water waves passing through two slits. The merging ofwaves creates an interference pattern.
  25. 25. The lower diagram shows light passing through two slits. You can see aninterference pattern here too. This is the experiment that told scientiststhat light propagates in waves.Intermingling waves make complex patterns. First think of the ripplescaused by a pebble thrown into a still pond. Then think what happenswhen a handful of pebbles are thrown into the pond. If you photographthe pattern you can interpret the ripples and recreate exactly where eachpebble landed on the water. Brian R. Greene, The Elegant Universe; Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory (UK, Jonathan Cape, 1999), pp 100-1.
  26. 26. This is how to make a HologramA hologram is ‘an advanced form ofphotography that allows an image Light wavesto be recorded in three Laser beamdimensions’. Wikipedia The holographic plate records an interference pattern. (interesting?) Beam splitter Reconstituted image Mirror Interference pattern captured on a photographic plate Viewer
  27. 27. The images you see in Star Wars are volumetric displays. This quoteis from the internet.‘A volumetric display device is a graphical display device that formsa visual representation of an object in three physical dimensions asopposed to the planar image of traditional screens that simulate depththrough a number of different visual effects. One definition offered bypioneers in the field is that volumetric displays create 3-D imagery viathe emission, scattering, or relaying of illumination from well-definedregions in (x,y,z) space.The image can be reconstituted in a medium that need not betangible such as a gas.‟I want you to remember this.
  28. 28. Here, to remind you, we N The Earth‟sare back with celestialequatorial fields. Celestial EquatorI have drawn Earth’sfield in blue and theSun’s in orange. S The Solar System SaturnAnd here is Saturn’s –lovely isn’t it?
  29. 29. And here you see Earth’s andthe Sun’s fields at the equinoxwhen the two fields crossthrough both bodies of mass(the pink line).At the solstice you can see thatthe interference of the two fieldsonly passes through Earth. 00 Aries solstice equinox
  30. 30. HYPOTHESIS. In the 1990s,while pondering wavepatterns, holograms, andcelestial equators I came upwith this and included it in thebook I was writing at the time.I imagined these circles aseither gravitational or lightwaves but most probablygravitational as celestialequatorial fields aregravitational anomalies.Electromagnet waves are nogood. As we saw earlier, theyare too easily distorted.You can see that the wavesalong the interference line(drawn here in black)harmonise at the equinoxesbut cross at the solstices.
  31. 31. … And this is interesting … If youlook at my original diagram on theNotes Page of PowerPoint youwill observe a beautifulinterference pattern appears.This is a photograph of theprevious diagram.Perhaps this interference iscaused by the organisation ofthe pixels in a computermonitor?I want you to remember this too.
  32. 32. I WONDERED…Might shifting interference patterns, as Earthorbits the Sun, account for phase translationpoints between the signs of the Zodiac?AND .. if these patterns are suggesting aholographic reality – we need to discover amedium upon which the hologram can beprojected?
  33. 33. Well, what about this?Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab, has been pondering theanomaly that has turned up in experiment GEO600 set up inGermany to search for gravity waves. (New Scientist, Jan 17 09 p 24).The equipment had to be unusually sensitive so the techniciansexpected problems. They worked hard to remove unwanted noisecaused by passing clouds, distant traffic, anything that could causethe slightest interference but they were stuck with a randomsideways jitter.It seemed the experiment was a failure.Not so says Hogan.
  34. 34. According to Hogan…‟quantum effects will cause space-time to convulse wildly on thetiniest scales. At this magnification, the fabric of space timebecomes grainy and is ultimately made of tiny units rather likepixels …‟(Marcus Chown, All the world’s a hologram, New Scientist, Jan 17 09 p 24). Ah Ha!Did he just mention pixels???He goes on to suggest, the jitter is holographic noise, the result ofthe graininess upon which the virtual reality that is life isprojected? OK … we can think about this.
  35. 35. So … are astrologers interpreting holographic projections anddoes the interference at cardinal points account for the importanceof these points on a horoscope which is in actuality an accuratespace-time representation of the heavens?If so, what about the other 8 phase translation pointsbetween signs?I could find nothing specific to account for these and yetastrologers are convinced that they exist.
  36. 36. Then, in March 2009, I Lagrange Pointslearnt about Lagrangepoints. Earth’s OrbitLagrange points are stablepoints on the Earth’s orbitwhere the gravity of theSun and the gravity of theEarth cancel each otherout. I went into the internetto see what more I couldlearn and I discoveredLagrange points occur 60degrees either side of theEarth on her orbital path. …Ah Ha! again … 60 degrees!
  37. 37. Lagrange Points equinoxOn April 5th 09 I drew upthis diagram. It shows theposition of Lagrange points4 and 5 relative to thecardinal positions on theEarth/Sun orbit. Each solsticecardinal position has 2points which adds up totwelve at 30 degree solsticeintervals.Check it out.This diagram is not to scale. equinox The Sun‟s gravitational waves The Earth‟s gravitational waves
  38. 38. So here we have a representation of an astrologer’s space-time map …But …
  39. 39. .. while I am impressed with the equinoctial and solsticeinterference patterns the Lagrangian points are problematical.When our planet passes through the four fixed points on her orbit itis reasonable to expect something significant occurs.The Lagrangian points, while certainly gravitationally significant,although fixed relative to Earth orbit with Earth, and, are thereforenot fixed relative to the cardinal points. 00 Gemini and 00 Aquariusare only relevant when the Earth is at 00 Aries. 00 Taurus and 00Virgo only relevant when the Earth is at 00 Cancer, etc.Hmmm. We are going to have to think about this for some time.If you are interested be my guest.
  40. 40. Night sky Looking at the night sky what do we see? Do we see the geometry of Einstein‟s space-timefield, or the electromagnetic field, or the significantphase translation points that astrologers say divide the signs of the Zodiac? No, We see the complex splatter of a myriad suns.
  41. 41. What can we conclude from this?The invisible electromagnetic/gravitational field is apprehended byscientists through the careful observation (with the help of moderntechnology) of influences on matter and described using mathematics.The invisible signs of the Tropical Zodiac are apprehended byastrologers through the observation of psychological and sociologicalpatterns and described using symbolism, metaphor, analogy and myth.Both astrophysicists and astrologers are interpreting an invisiblespace-time abstraction.Our experience of life feels ‘real’, but what is really ‘real’?It could be anything – it could be a virtual reality program.
  42. 42. Astrologers don’t know what is really ‘real’ but astrologers can takecomfort in the fact that scientist’s don’t know either.Cast you mind back to Newton’s Principia.„The reader is not to imagine by these words I anywhere take uponme to define the kind, or the manner of any action, the causes orphysical reason thereof, of that I attribute forces, in a true andphysical sense‟.Aristarchus of Samos had the brilliant idea that the planets went aroundthe Sun. This was in 300 BCE. But they didn’t know then about ellipticalorbits so the mathematics did not add up - this is one reason why Ptolemyditched the Sun centred solar system theory and put his money onepicycles.Mathematicians love to think their subject can explain everythingaccurately - and they are surely right – but only if they have ALL theinformation which at this moment in time is a very unlikely possibility.
  43. 43. Can you see that scientists like Richard Dawkins, who’s attack againstastrology began this presentation, scientists who think they know it all, aretalking through their hats and what is worse aggressively attempting toannihilate an ancient information system that aligned with science mighttake us into a new era of deeper understanding? Chrissy Philp 2009 P.S. Actually, I really like some of Dawkin’s ideas – I just know that over this he really has got it very wrong. Probably a paradigm problem. Perhaps the one that says: Astrology is (definitely) a pseudo science, (so don’t bother to check it out for yourself.) See Wiki and Collins English Dictionary.Update 2010. Scientists are becoming insecure in their 20th Century conviction that science will soon answer all questions. This gives me hope.