Can We Take Astrology Seriously? — an Overview
I recently finished uploading my unpublished book about astrology to Medium. Several readers have shown interest and been enthusiastic about what I’ve said, some suggesting — even insisting — that I try to get it published. I don’t have any plans to do that immediately.
Since these readers have primarily been interested in part 3, I thought it would be useful to put together a rough guide to the contents of the whole book, for the benefit mainly of any new readers, or anyone who wishes to dip into the book without reading the whole. (Please refer to this list. There are also links to the individual chapters below.)
The most important thing to note is that I am not a practitioner of astrology, merely an outside observer. Therefore you don’t need to know anything about it (i.e. how to draw up a horoscope) in order to follow my argument. I am merely interested in the underlying philosophy of astrology, and how this relates to spiritual and psychological ideas.
In the introduction to part 1, I explain how I first became interested in astrology. I then go on to criticise the attitude of sceptical so-called scientists, who condemn without understanding, and who sometimes cheat in order to maintain their hostility. I then go on to explore what astrologers actually believe. Before that, however, I spend one chapter exploring sun-sign astrology (the newspaper variety), whether there might be any truth in it, despite the hostility even from serious astrologers.
I then go on to explore how the cosmos must be organised if astrology is indeed true. I explore the findings of Quantum Mechanics, and the ideas of Carl Jung’s Analytical Psychology, specifically the concept of the archetypes. I develop a spiritual worldview based on these which I call QMAP (Quantum Mechanics + Analytical Psychology).
Most of part 2 is taken up criticising the views of the astrologer Michael Harding, who believes in a physical explanation (celestial mechanics) which he calls Existentialist astrology. I provide many examples which suggest that such an explanation is inadequate.
Part 3 goes on to discuss the implications, if astrology is true, primarily how we need to adopt a more spiritual worldview, and how this might affect the education system, politics, and medicine.
Here are the links to individual chapters:
Introduction, part 1 explains how I first became interested in astrology.
Introduction, part 2 explains how even astrologers cannot agree what astrology is.
chapter 1: “Astrology is Bunk, Just Ask Any Scientist” provides evidence that scientists are not necessarily the best judges.
chapter 2: What Do These ‘Charlatans’ Believe? explores the beliefs of various astrologers. My main conclusion is that they do not know how astrology works; they merely accept that it does.
chapter 3: “How did you do it? How did you know?” discusses sun-sign, newspaper astrology.
chapter 4: Aspects, Horaries, Tee-Squares, Trines. Here I discuss the possibility that other factors may be at work during an astrological consultation, for example intuition and ESP.
chapter 5: Mapping Light Years of Inner Space. Here I begin to try to formulate a theory as to how astrology might work. I try to show that common ‘scientific’ objections might be invalid. I discuss theories of correspondence, synchronicity, the universe as an interconnected whole, and the individual as a microcosm of the universe.
chapter 6: All Things and All Moments Touch at Every Place. Here I suggest that the discoveries of quantum physics might make astrology more credible.
chapter 7: Simultaneity, Synchronicity, If It’s Good Enough for Sting, Then It’s Good Enough for Me. Here I discuss the relevance of symbolism to the debate.
chapter 8: Are the Planets Good Hooks for our Projections? Here I discuss the controversial possibility that the planets might have personality in some sense.
chapter 9: A Spiritual Perspective on Astrology (how Astrology might work)
chapter 10: Existentialist Astrology. This is a general critique of Michael Harding’s book Hymns to the Ancient Gods. His understanding of Astrology is completely opposed to mine, as outlined in chapter 9. He is advocating astrology without any spiritual dimension.
chapter 11: Archetypes and Synchronicity. Here I go into much more detail about Michael Harding’s book, and defend these two Jungian concepts.
chapter 12: Synchronicity — Some Bizarre Coincidences Investigated. The title is self-explanatory. I’m discussing whether astrology is a possible explanation, and concluding on the whole that it isn’t.
chapter 13: an Mythology and Psychology Help? A discussion of mythology and its relationship with astrology and Jungian psychology.
There follows another article, which was originally an Appendix. It discusses the work of astrologer Dennis Elwell, who disagrees with the modern tendency to connect Jungian ideas with astrology, click here. I suggest that he is closer to Jung than he thinks.
chapter 14: Can We Resolve This Tortuous Debate? Here I discuss many examples of bizarre patterns and coincidences, trying to ascertain what is the best explanation for them, astrological or otherwise. I am trying to finally dispose of the idea that Michael Harding’s Existentialist Astrology is an adequate theory. This long chapter was also published as separate sections on Medium.com:
1. Introduction, discussing the general issues
4. Astrology and the Cosmic Loom. Here I discuss the ideas of Dennis Elwell and some examples of astrological patterns he provides.
5. All Sorts of Gemini — coincidences involving twins
chapter 15: a conclusion and summary of my critique of Michael Harding’s existentialist approach to Astrology.
chapter 16: called The Inner Planets, a discussion of how Astrology might be understood in terms of the inner universe of the collective psyche.
chapter 17: here I discuss the issue of fate and free will in relation to Astrology.
chapter 18: here I discuss the ideas of astrologer Geoffrey Cornelius, who rejects the conventional approach and believes that Astrology is essentially a form of divination. This concludes part 2.
introduction to part 3: here I offer some quotes which sum up the approach of the various astrologers I discussed in part 1.
chapter 19. This is divided on Medium into two parts for reasons of length. In part 1 I discuss the possible relationship between Astrology and the Perennial Philosophy. In part 2 I discuss the implications of that.
chapter 20: here I discuss the role of Astrology in a potential reunification of science and religion.
chapter 21: here I show how the worldview that Astrology requires was believed by ancient peoples and indigenous tribes.
chapter 22: here I give some modern examples of ancient beliefs which are now dismissed as superstition — divination, spirits, curses.
chapter 23: entitled Life, the Universe, and the Evolution of Consciousness as Spirals. That should be self-explanatory.
chapter 24: continuing my discussion of the implications if Astrology is true. This is divided into 3 parts. In part 1 I discuss economics and medicine. In part 2 I discuss education and politics. In part 3 I discuss the ideas of physicist Danah Zohar as expressed in her book The Quantum Society.
chapter 25: What is Preventing Astrology From Flourishing? Here I discuss the attitudes of science and religion to astrology.
chapter 26: The Reunification of Science and Religion, Including Astrology — What Does the Oracle Say? Here I consult the I Ching to ask it about the meaning of a solar eclipse, therefore the astrology of it.
chapter 27: the last chapter. Here I offer some final thoughts on what has preceded, some apparent synchronicities during the process of writing, and some conclusions.
I have written in the past about other topics, including spirituality, metaphysics, psychology, science, Christianity, and politics. All of those articles are on Medium, but the simplest way to see a guide to them is to visit my website (click here and here). My most recent articles, however, are only on Medium; for those please check out my lists.