Is There Scientific Research On Astrology?
The best-known research studies on astrology were carried out from the late 1940’s to the late 1980s by Michel Gauquelin and his wife Francoise, French psychologists and statisticians. Always interested in astrology but also a lifelong skeptic, Gauquelin set out to discover whether astrology had any validity.
Gauquelin’s chosen method of research was statistical analysis. He looked at correlations using a huge database of birth information. In many of his earlier studies, results were no better than chance. But when he began to study data in 11 different professions, he found significant commonalities in the locations of planets for eminent people in each profession.
Of course, these findings raised a lot of eyebrows in the scientific community. Gauquelin allowed a respected European institute to duplicate his studies with 535 European athletes, which they did. Even with this confirmation, Gauquelin himself remained critical of astrology for years, only changing his attitude when in the study of the birth dates of 20,000 physicians he found a statistically significant link between birth times and occupational success. Unfortunately, even with this striking confirmation, Gauquelin’s work was ignored in most of the scientific and astrological communities.
Following Gauquelin’s death in 1991, a number of his followers in France and elsewhere carried on his work. One, British astronomer Ken Irving, has an online journal of resources for research in astrology that gives a detailed description of the misunderstandings and misrepresentations of Gauquelin’s work.
Irving concludes that Gauquelin’s positive scientific findings demonstrate three important astrological principles:
- The planets are core to astrology.
- The planets clearly represent distinct characteristic.
- The planets closer to one of the birth chart angles, especially the Ascendant or Midheaven, are clearly stronger.
In 1992 another British astronomer, Dr. Percy Seymour, published The Scientific Basis of Astrology: Tuning to the Music of the Planets, arguing that the movement of the planets influences human behavior in the same way that migrating birds react to an instinctual celestial calendar. To Seymour, there is scientific evidence to show strong links between the universe and the biosphere. In other words, we tune in to or resonate with the Cosmos.
Books by Michel Gauquelin:
- Michel Gauquelin, The Scientific Basis of Astrology, 1969.
- The Cosmic Clock, 1967.
- Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior: The Planetary Factors in Personality, 1973.
- Your Personality and the Planets, 1980.
- Birthtimes: The Scientific Investigation of the Secrets of Astrology, 1983. Published as The Truth about Astrology in England.