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Investigation of system-related phenomena
Investigation in terms of analogical thinking obviously requires a different methodology than common research. The fruits of such research, too, will be of a different nature. The outcome will not yield absolute laws describing relationships between forms of manifestation. After all, shadows may differ in form even though they arise from the same gnomon, but the opposite may also be true: Two equal shadow forms, such as two straight lines appearing at the same time and location, may very well be related to two different gnomons, depending on their positions in relation to the incoming sunrays.
This implies that we cannot draw any conclusions from two similar planetary placements in two different horoscopes.
Standardized ‘cookbook’ astrology
Once you have woken up to this fact, you will reconsider the use of so-called ‘cookbook astrology’ for the interpretation of individual horoscopes. This kind of simplified astrology is merely based on similar forms of manifestation, such as the placement of a planet in a House or Sign, and disregards the constellation of the horoscope as a whole.
Each and every horoscope is an independent form of manifestation with its own internal evidence.
Hits and misses
There is no doubt that astrology has some strikingly correct interpretations to its name but also complete misses. Seeing astrology hitting the mark is fascinating to people and will have them continue working with astrology. The occurrence of misses is challenging for astrology and calls it to account, demanding proof of its validity. And with good reason.
But then, more often than not, no time is lost in bringing casual thinking to bear. Large amounts of horoscopes that coincide in one particular aspect must now provide the evidence that might convince the critics. But large amounts of coinciding horoscopes is a contradiction in terms. Every horoscope is a unique, one-of-a-kind constellation in which all the common factors relate to each other in new ways. Any comparisons will therefore always fall short. Even in the case of positive results, they remain disputable.
Disproving the need for proof
Yet the question is whether the demand for proof has any place in analogical thinking? After all, analogical thinking is based on consistent, law-like correlations (3.1):
Starting with one known correlation, nothing prevents our interpretation of another correlation that is analogous to the first one.
This shines a new light on the question of how to deal with our accountability as astrologers.
In cases where the interpretation does not correspond with reality, I believe the reason is not that astrology lacks veracity, but simply that our astrological knowledge is far from complete.
Which is not surprising. Since the Age of Enlightenment, astrology has not been able to go through the same developmental stages as other fields of knowledge. In astrological circles, there is a clear need to build up our mental muscles through good training, just as is common practice in many other branches of science.
For starters, for the sake of better communication with people in the outside world holding different views, it might be useful to design a research methodology that fits the nature of both the working materials and the working model of astrology. It may be well worth the effort to examine whether this is at all possible (also when n = 1).
And yet, among astrologers themselves, the need for evidence is actually barely felt. Every horoscope is considered to be a unique entity, and so comparison of one isolated element taken from a series of different horoscopes can easily risk becoming an undesirable artefact.
Still, it would serve astrology well if it would clarify its own referential frameworks and objectify its own criteria.
Other types of thinking
Without claiming to be exhaustive, I want to mention a few other frequently used mental frameworks. Apart from causal and analogical thinking, we can also distinguish phenomenology, synchronicity and associative thinking, among others.
In phenomenology, the outer form is taken as the basis for observation and assignment of qualities. For example, a person’s physical build may be considered to be typical for a specific temperament. Associative thinking is employed predominantly for the interpretation of fairy tales and dreams. Here subjective impressions are the determining factor, while in the case of synchronicity, it is the simultaneous occurrence of events that is seen as a meaningful clue.
Each of these lines of thinking works with its own set of law-like patterns, based on its own specific view of reality and axioms.
Although the human mind is capable of very interesting discoveries, it is also limited to just that: it can discover inherent patterns, but is not capable of constructing or creating them. Within its preconceived frame of thinking, with its axioms, everything is already inherently present, so the end result always refers back to the original point of departure.
In order to be able to reach a clear and well-founded conclusion at the end of an investigation (0.4), one must therefore consistently stick to one’s chosen line of thinking, without switching halfway to other lines of reasoning, even if those views of reality appear to be closely related to the original one.
Identity and significance
Based on the correlations in astrology that we have found so far, I now want to further investigate its possibilities with the help of analogical thinking. Perhaps we can gain some insight in the intrinsic qualities of elements within the horoscope and further specify their significance.
The physical facts, as they emerge from the three measuring systems that I will be discussing, will serve as our main data. Based on the law-like correlations mentioned before (1.4), in our examination of these systems we can remain true to the working model of astrology and hopefully avoid creating any unintended artefacts.
In addition, this mental framework may serve as an objective touchstone for spotting any subjective projections on our side.