Lhoroscope et superstition

But, this is not all.

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Its rays take to those bodies a type of color, they change there and, as they are changed, they are reflected on the other parts of the world and above all on the surrounding area. The rays convey more or less virtue and divide their effects to a greater or lesser degree. They convey, if one can say so, a stronger or weaker color and this virtue, these effects, this color are accordingly more or less powerful as to sublunary beings.

Judicial Astrology , to which one properly gives the name of Astrology , is the supposed art of announcing moral events before they happen. By moral events, I mean those which depend on the will and free actions of men; as if the stars had some authority over them and could direct them.

See Will , Action , etc. The ancient Assyrians who enjoyed skies whose beauty and serenity favored astronomical observations, closely studied the movements and the periodic revolutions of the celestial bodies. They noticed a consistent analogy between these bodies and terrestrial bodies and they concluded that the stars were really the Fates and destiny of which they so often spoke, that they presided over our birth and disposed of our future.

This is how Astrologers have protected their art in times past. Currently, the main activity of those to whom we give this label is to make almanacs and calendars. See Calendar and Almanac. Judicial Astrology seems to have been born in Chaldea, from where it spread to Egypt, Greece and Italie. There are authors who make it Egyptian in origin and who attribute its invention to Ham. We received it from the Arabs.

The Romans were so infatuated with it that Astrologers or Mathematicians since that is what they called them were able to support themselves in Rome in spite of the Imperial edicts which banished them. See Genethliacs. As to other countries, the Brahmas or Brahmins who had introduced this so-called art to India and who practiced it there, deing devoted to the dispensing of future benefits and harms, exercised a prodigious authority over the people.

They were consulted as oracles charged dearly for their answers.

“What should our attitude be regarding zodiac signs, astrology, and horoscopes?”

See Brahmin. The ancients gave the name aspostelesmatic Astrology or barbaric sphere to this superstitious science, which concerned the effects and influences of the stars. The ancient Jews, in spite ot their religion, fell into this superstition, from which Chrisians themselves were not exempt. Further, if you want to believe it, there is hardly a single column, statue or building in Constantinople or in all of Greece that was not built according to the rules of aspostelesmatic Astrology ; since it is from this word that we get the word talisman.

We have been infected with the same superstition in recent centuries.

Astrology and the Ductless Glands, by Augusta Foss Heindel

He was inspired by the story of an astrologer who was responsible for predicting the results of a war to King Henri who was threatened by the Guise faction. You swear, on the other hand, that the heavens move so swiftly that a single instant suffices to change the position of the stars. How are we to reconcile these two things? How can destiny be fixed at that time? Even when one could, how many neglect to do it, no longer believing in this superstition? And supposing even if the moment had been captured. The infant could not appear in an instant, circumstances may lead to a long interval: besides, are the clock faces always exact?

Who can thus be sure of the instant in which an attentive person places the birth of a child, finding the true moment which answers to his star? But let me join you in supposing that one had found the exact point, the star which ruled, its position and power; shall we not consider the stars which were dominant during gestation rather than those which appeared while the body was still tender and the imprisioned soul ignorant of itself and learning patiently to support its life?

Leaving all these difficulties to the side, I grant you that the state of the heavens was well known at the moment of birth. This requires that there are stars which oversee myh happiness, on which my life and death are dependent. And, can one say that a ship which runs aground is subject to nothing but those bad stars which have condemned it to being born to suffer shipwreck?

Experience makes us see every day that people born in different times who go into combat or climb onto a vessel where they perish have nothing in common but the instant of death. Look at the King. Do you believe that those who are born under the same star rule over kingdoms or have a fraction of the wealth which shows the happy and favorable influence of the stars over their birth?

Do you even believe that they have ever lived? Take M. And those who were born at the same time as you, are they all astrologers, not to say worse? What if someone died at the hand of a thief, would you say that his fate was to be killed by this wretch? Are these the same stars that have fixed the destiny of this traveler from the moment of his birth, to be exposed one day to the knife of an assassin, having also given to the assassin, perhaps long before the birth of the traveler, the intention and strength to desire and be able to implement his evil plan?

Because the stars, as you claim, equally support the cruelty of those who kill, and the unhappiness of those who are killed. Someone is struck down under the ruins of a building, is it thus because he is condemned by his destiny to be buried in his own home in which the walls have fallen in? The same rationale must apply even when you are honored for what you have earned. It could be correct to believe that the influence of celestial bodies is real, it is like the Sun producing different effects on different parts of the earth, although it is always the same rays and the same light which warms and maintains some seeds and kills others, that it dries out some herbs while others which have more moisture are hardier.

Just as a group of children who are born at the same time are like a field tilled in different ways, according to the differences in nature, temperament and habit of those to whom they owe their life. If the nature of the child is aligned with this power, it will dominate, if it is opposed, I doubt that it could be moderated. At the end, I waited for any questions she may have had. Of these, twenty were accepted Siddhanta , 2. More than scientists and social scientists wrote in protest to the government. Of the thirty letters-to-the-editor that appeared in the Indian science journal Current Science , most of them from scientists in university departments or research institutes, about half dismissed astrology as a pseudoscience, and a quarter felt that decisive tests were needed.

Against this, the rest felt there was nothing wrong with funding something that most Indian people believe in. But the protests were without effect because, in Indian law, Vedic astrology is seen as a scientific discipline. Nevertheless, in , several scientists asked the Andhra Pradesh High Court to stop the UGC from funding courses in Vedic astrology because it was a pseudoscience, it would impose Hindu beliefs on the education system, 4 and it would reduce the funds available for genuine scientific research.

However, the court dismissed their case on the grounds that it was not correct for a court to interfere with a UGC decision that did not violate Indian law. In , an appeal under the act that bans false advertising was made to the Mumbai High Court. Astrology is a trusted science and is being practiced for over years. Here the performance of astrology in predicting the results of events has been very poor. The nearest we have are follow-ups to predictions of public events such as elections, where failure is the norm.

For example, the elections in were a showdown between Indira Gandhi and her political opponents. The Astrological Magazine was filled with predictions by amateurs and professionals, most of whom predicted that Gandhi would lose. In fact, she won with an overwhelming majority. The elections attracted another frenzy of predictions, most of which saw Gandhi losing. For example B. Also in , at a large international conference organized by the Indian Astrologers Federation, both the president and secretary of the Federation predicted a war with Pakistan in , which India would win, and a world war between and All wrong!

In the West, books critical of astrology are not hard to find, but in India the reverse is true. Some excellent books exist, such as Premanand et al. Unfortunately, given the low level of income and high level of illiteracy of the masses, web sources may not be very effective in general. Pune itself has a population of about 3. So volunteers from the Committee for the Eradication of Superstitions went to different schools and collected the names of teenage school children rated by their teachers as mentally bright.

They also collected names from special schools for the mentally handicapped. The destinies of these cases could hardly be more different, so they were ideal for testing the above claim.

About the Author

From the collected data we selected bright and mentally handicapped cases whose age distribution is shown on the next page. Birth details were obtained from their parents because birth certificates are rare in India. Professional Indian astrologers routinely assume that birth details provided by parents are correct, so our procedure followed the norm.

Each horoscope birth chart was calculated by one of us PG using commercial astrological software. All horoscopes were coded and stored in safe custody by Professor Kunte at Pune University, so that neither the experimenters our group of four nor the astrologers could know the identities of the individuals.


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We announced our experiment at a press conference in Pune May 12, , and invited practicing astrologers to take part. We explained that each participant would be given forty horoscopes drawn at random from our set of and would have to judge whether their owners were mentally bright or handicapped. We also invited established astrological organizations to take part, for which they would be given all horoscopes, a respectably large sample size.


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  • The press conference, which was reported in almost all local and regional newspapers, proved to be an efficient way to reach astrologers. We asked them to send us their names, experience, and method of prediction used, together with a stamped self-addressed envelope for mailing the forty horoscopes. They were then allowed one month for making their judgments. In due course, fifty-one astrologers asked for horoscopes, of which twenty-seven from all over Maharashtra sent back their judgments.

    The rest did not tell us why they chose not to participate.

    We assured them that the skepticism of data collectors had no active role in running the experiment, and that the experiment was of the double-blind kind to make sure it was entirely fair. But they were not convinced, and tried unsuccessfully to dissuade other astrologers from participating. A month later, at a Pune astrological seminar, we explained that tests, indeed many tests, are necessary if astrology is to establish itself as a science. In India, leading astrologers have their own astrological organizations, and so we wrote to those on our list about a dozen inviting them to judge all horoscopes.

    Two responded with expressions of interest, of which one sent in its judgment.

    The other remained silent. Among other things he gave us a rule for predicting sex and another rule for predicting intelligence, both of which he claimed were correct in 60 percent of cases. But when applied to our set of horoscopes, the predictions were respectively 47 and 50 percent correct, which offers no advantage over pure guessing or tossing a coin. Of the twenty-seven astrologers who participated, not all provided personal details, but fifteen were hobbyists, eight were professionals, nine had up to ten years of experience, and seventeen had more than ten years of experience.

    So they clearly formed a competent group. Their average experience was fourteen years. In fact the highest score was of twenty-four hits by a single astrologer followed by twenty-two hits by two astrologers.

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