Monday, May 18, 2009

Why Astrology Works

Astrology divides me. On the one hand I am awed and enchanted by the fact that it works. On the other hand, I can see no reason why it should work, and this gnaws away at me. And I do not know to what extent this is a creative opposition within me, that keeps me on my toes; and to what extent it is my cultural conditioning, an over-emphasis on rationality that leaves no room for an ultimately unknowable universe.

Anyway, here is a contribution to this conundrum (which I don't think has a definitive answer), called Why Astrology Works by Brad Kochunas:

I recently read two marvelous articles written by Ivan Kelly, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, appearing in Psychological Reports, a respected journal in the field of professional psychology. (1) In them, Kelly quite astutely, I believe, dismantles modern astrology with the assurance of a seasoned academician. He notes a wide variety of claims made by astrologers and, to my mind, convincingly raises arguments that are perhaps unassailable by those practicing and believing in astrology as a discipline that literally and accurately describes and predicts human personality. I submit that it would be folly to attempt a point-by-point rebuttal to his arguments. He has us; the jig is up for an astrology conceived as an empirical discipline. (more...)

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Anonymous said...

I am always amused by people who are practicing astrologers who become obsessed with the need to prove to outsiders that astrology works.

Why? because it works. Because I've used it all my life and it has come through for me in crisis after crisis. Its use has lead to my most successful relationships. I has helped me solve deep family mysteries otherwise unsolvable.

So the advantage it gives me is such that I merely feel sorry for those who don't use it, and feel no reason prove anything to anyone.

I too have no clue why it works, or why so many different approaches work--I started out with Isabel Hickey neo-Theosophy, have encountered a Cosmobiologist whose results were so accurate it was almost scary, and am now working with traditional techniques and horary which are likewise getting impressive results, but each approach applied consistently within its own logic has worked for me and answered important questions.

So Astrology is my ace in the hole. If others are so misguided to not use it, well that's their lookout!

Anonymous said...

I'm a student of astrology. People ask me if I "believe in that stuff". I have two answers. 1. I'm not sure if I 'believe' in it, but I know enough about it to pay attention! (Credit my astrology teacher Christine Arens.)
2. A leaf does not have to 'believe' in photosynthesis to turn green. (Credit one of the Michael books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.)

I have never had an original idea in my life (blame my lack of Cardinal energy) but I'm great at disseminating ideas by others!

leslee said...

Fabulous. Thanks for the link!

Anonymous said...

"Why" is such a human question. It is concept-making and gets in between us and our direct experience of reality. To ask why astrology works is a side trip. Astrology simply works. Not all of it, but so much of it that it cannot be ignored. "Why are skeptics so threatened by astrology?" is a better question.

Rumpelstiltskin said...

If you only find truth in "empircally" proven scientific facts, your world is so ratcheted down that you couldn't allow the type of information conveyed by Astrology, let alone poetry, art, or literature to function in your life. Kelly's argument is myopic.

Kenna J said...

I think "why" is not just a human question but specifically one belonging to those whose comprehension of the world was shaped by a cause-and-effect language such as English. Many languages simply state correlations, and the resulting cultures have no problem accepting astrology.

Anonymous said...

No matter how many articles are published on the invalidity of astrology, the accuracy of the things its said about my personality are undeniable. Just looking at my sun and ascendant signs is enough. No other personality test has made my draw drop or make me laugh incredulously as astrology has.