What a Reunification of Science and Religion (including Astrology) Might Look Like — part 1, Medicine and Economics
This is part of my unpublished book on Astrology, the fifth chapter of part 3. While taking a break from writing new material (see this article), I am using the opportunity to try to complete this project. (For what has preceded please see this list.) Part 3 is not so much about Astrology itself, rather the implications if there is any truth in it. In simple terms this means that we need to adopt a worldview completely different from the current dominant scientific paradigm. My suggestion is that we need to return to the pre-Enlightenment worldview which served humanity very well for thousands of years. (The term ‘Enlightenment’ to describe what has happened in the last 300 years I find somewhat ironic.)
Therefore in the first chapter of part 3 I associated Astrology with what is known as the Perennial Philosophy. I continued on that theme in the following article. Then in two articles (click here and here) I explored the thinking of ancient and indigenous peoples, showing that they had highly sophisticated spiritual and religious worldviews, contrary to what the modern ‘scientific’ worldview would have us believe. In the previous article I suggested that the future of humanity might in some sense be a return to these worldviews of the past, but at a higher turn of the spiral.
Because the original version of this chapter was so long, not wanting to discourage potential readers, I have decided to break it up into three parts. Here I’ll mention and discuss some areas in which Astrology could be applied in modern times, without needing a completely new spiritual worldview: economic predictions, medicine, therapy and counselling, careers and marriage guidance. This will be of interest mainly to those readers already believing in Astrology. In the second one I’ll continue with the main thread of my argument from previous articles, which is my real interest. In the third I’ll discuss the ideas of physicist Danah Zohar, who has thought extensively about these social issues (although not including Astrology).
chapter 24: WHAT REUNIFICATION WOULD LOOK LIKE
In this chapter I am going to ask the following question: what would it look like practically, if our society were organized according to the world-view suggested by QMAP (Quantum Mechanics + Analytical Psychology, as developed in part 1), the Perennial Philosophy, and Astrology, rather than a secular ‘scientific’ world-view? Before I do that, I’ll mention in passing that, although it unsurprisingly does not happen, psychological areas in which Astrology could be used already, without any radical transformation of society, are: therapy, counselling, personnel management, careers and marriage guidance, and of course education. Therefore, if society were more tuned in to spirituality, astrologers could obviously be used to an even greater extent in these fields.
Much basic information can be obtained from the birthchart, for as West and Toonder say: “The one strong point of modern astrology, the one aspect of it upon which astrologers are consistently willing to stake their reputations in public, is their ability to analyse character upon the basis of the horoscope”. They also say that “it is precisely in the fields of education and psychology that present astrological knowledge (their italics) is good enough to make immediate beneficial results a possibility”, and offer the example of Patrick Harding, a Jungian psychologist, who worked with delinquent and disturbed children: “By studying their horoscopes Harding claimed that he was able to predict the periods during which his charges would be particularly liable to be troublesome. From the charts he was also able to locate strengths and talents within their personalities, and thus to divert energy into constructive channels that would otherwise be wasted in destruction and meaningless rebellion”¹.
If results like this can be achieved, you would think that governments, local authorities, and the educational establishment would be very interested. Dare I say that it would be criminal to ignore them?
Other fields to which Astrology could be applied without any major reformation, except of course of our minds, are economics and medicine:
1) Astrology can predict cultural and social trends, also movements in financial markets. This would obviously be useful to governments. In general it seems to me more important that society becomes attuned to the astrological world-view rather than use Astrology in its own right, very useful though that might be. I say this because in the psychological area, although Astrology can assist the process, I believe that the same results can be achieved by other means. In this area of prediction in what is called mundane astrology, there does, however, seem to be no obvious alternative, certainly none as good.
Barry Lynes has specialized in applying Astrology to an understanding of economic cycles (and also to climate research). I will use as my source an essay called Trust Betrayed². He claims that “the truth of astrology has been known by numerous intelligent, scientific, responsible professionals and just common citizens for at least fifteen years. Hard evidence of various kinds has existed throughout this period. Incontrovertible facts which explain and define the most important economic turning points have been published for at least four years”.
Some examples of these (what he calls) facts are as follows:
“In August 1929, Neptune’s entrance into an earth-sign set the stage for a worldwide economic ‘grounding’. But what was the trigger? Neptune’s arrival in direct alignment with the Venus (resources and value) position at America’s birth. It happened on 24 October 1929. The stock market crashed that day… Neptune aligned again with America’s natal Venus in May 1931. On schedule, the European banking collapse resulted and was followed shortly by the American banking collapse. International trade went dark for a decade”. He concludes that there are “an extensive series of astrological patterns which define with great precision every major economic shift in American history”.
“Yet in 1982 The World Economic Institute was given information describing the deflation cycle. One letter from the institute stated the information ‘was not taken lightly in this house’. Another declared the information was ‘stupefying’. Yet, after a flurry of interest, the economists went back to their more predictable cycles. Astrology was outside the ‘fashionable’ boundaries. Even preventing a world depression wouldn’t arouse them to break that barrier”. The Federal Reserve Chairman refused to act on the information “even after the all-time interest rate peak occurred four months later on the dates predicted, the historic Reagan tax cut occurred exactly on a turning point date pinpointed for July 1981, and the economy collapsed in October 1981 as forecast”. Therefore “millions faced another great depression because a careerist played it safe”. (He also gives some other non-economic examples of precise astrological timing in relation to politics and the environment.) He says that “crashes and depressions may be preventable… We are not at the mercy of predestined events, but we do have to learn the principles of a new science… When that breakthrough happens — when astrology is recognized as a real science even if the ‘why’ remains a mystery — Western science and Western philosophy will begin to be utterly transformed… Not only will the recognition of astrology as a science provide a gateway to a new economics, a new politics, a new psychology, a new medicine and more, but it can make the difference between survival of civilization or catastrophe and the death of millions”. (If that seems an exaggerated claim on the basis of the examples I have quoted, please note that he is referring to political examples mentioned in the article.)
2) Fred Alan Wolf has applied the findings of quantum physics to medicine in The Body Quantum: The New Physics of the Human Body³. In the preface Larry Dossey says: “Drawing on the insights of modern physics, he develops a new view of the body and of health and illness. In this new scheme of things, it is impossible to even speak of ‘physical’ illnesses as if they could stand apart from the mind and consciousness. As he puts it the physical world of hard matter, light, and energy simply does not and cannot exist independently of human consciousness” (Pvii). Is such a way of thinking merely a reformulation of earlier ideas like the following?
“Man’s body is itself a product of mind and its condition depends to a great extent on the state of his mind. All his diseases in so far as they are not directly due to external mechanical causes, are due to mental conditions… All the influences of the terrestrial and the astral world converge upon man, but how can a physician recognize the manner in which they act and prevent or cure the diseases which are caused by that action, if he is not acquainted with the influences existing in the astral plane? The star-gazer knows only the external visible heaven; but the true astronomer knows two heavens, the external visible and the internal invisible one. There is not a single invisible power in heaven which does not find its corresponding principle in the inner heaven of man” (Paracelsus, a medieval practitioner of alternative medicine, discussed in a previous chapter)⁴.
Paracelsus belongs to a long tradition of applying astrological insight to medicine. Here are some important earlier examples:
a) Hippocrates (originator of the famous oath taken by doctors) “declared that a doctor who was not also an astrologer was not worth his salt”⁵.
b) “In this fragmentary but impressive medicine that has come to us from Egypt, the time at which remedies and medicaments are administered is of the utmost importance, and precise instructions are given… Presuming that these instructions are not mere caprice, their existence leads us to believe that they must have been astrologically determined; it would seem that the Egyptians believed — or knew — that different herbs embodied within them different principles corresponding to the principles symbolized by the planets and by the signs of the zodiac, and similarly with the various diseases, and with the human body itself. The curious diagrams of Cosmic Man so prevalent in medieval times, in which the various parts and organs of the body are supposed to be under the domination of various planets and signs, are shown by de Lubicz to have come down from Egypt”⁶.
c) “The most famous names in Arabian science took an interest in astrology, which they connected as much with medicine as with astronomy and mathematics. Avicenna, the renowned Arabian* doctor (980–1037), always combined his practice of medicine with astrological prescriptions”⁷. (*That is what my original source wrote. Cosmic Program on Medium has informed me that he was in fact Persian, which is important. Please see her response.)
In relation to these ideas West and Toonder ask the questions that we would all want to ask: “Does it really matter if a patient is given a drug at one time, and not another? Is a herb collected at a certain time, and prepared at a certain time efficacious, but not so if collected and prepared at another time? And are these related to the positions of the planets at these times?” (p52). These ancient and medieval doctors would answer yes. The authors comment: “This sort of analogical medical thinking may be scoffed at today by the rigidly orthodox, but the fact is that the same principles apply in homeopathy and, in a different way, in acupuncture, both of which are receiving serious attention these days” (p51). They also say that “it now seems possible that Hippocrates knew astrology of a more advanced order than scholars have been willing to countenance” (p209). They also quote Dr. Paul Ghalioungui, Professor of Medicine at Cairo University: “It is probable that above a certain level teaching was purely oral… The imposition of limits to exoteric teaching is attested by Strabo who relates how the priests of Egypt kept from Plato and Eudoxus the greater part of their knowledge, even after these had spent thirteen years in Egypt. This is confirmed by Arab historians” (p51).
So the question is: assuming that it existed, can we rediscover this more advanced astro-medicine, and use it in the future? I have no expertise in this subject, and am therefore not qualified to assess the validity of any statements about it. In order to bring them to your attention therefore, I mention a book by Ronald Harvey called Mind and Body in Astrology: Guide-Lines for a New Assessment of Astrology in Medicine⁸, and the views of A.T. Mann, who believes that medical astrology will become important in the future. Neither writer suggests that this will occur through new discoveries, rather through a revival of the old tradition, that is to say of the ancient wisdom, which is based on ideas such as these:
“Each planetary combination has equivalent events and psychological mechanisms, but also biological and medical correspondences… Every psychological mechanism has its equivalent biological mechanisms, and doctors and healers with astrological knowledge are better able to ‘cure’ by encouraging healthier behavioural patterns on emotional, mental and spiritual levels in addition to the physical, and establishing balance from level to level”⁹.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. 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.
- West, J .A. and Toonder, J. G., The Case for Astrology, Macdonald & Co., 1970, pp212–3
- in The Future of Astrology, A. T. Mann (editor), Unwin Hyman, 1987, pp175–181
- William Heinemann, 1987
- quoted in The Life and Doctrines of Paracelsus, by Franz Hartmann, John W. Lovell, 1891, p213, p215
- as footnote 2, p208
- ibid., p51
- Michel Gauquelin, Astrology and Science, Stein and Day, 1970, p113
- L.N. Fowler & Co., 1983
- Life-Time Astrology, Element, 1991, p92