If you want to test your astrological assumptions... If you want to test your astrological assumptions...

Koen Van de moortel 19 sep. 2001

I guess most of you, astrologers, want to learn from your experiences. During consultations, you might see that a client with a constellation similar to a previous one also has similar problems or characteristics. Then you might want to find some more examples in your database to have this confirmed or not.

Thatís fine. But, be warned, this is a tricky job!
What happens? You find enough examples for your "theory" and you think, "this cannot be a coincidence, itís not by accident that people with the same planet configurations have the same kind of features". You conclude that your theory is valid and you are happy that you discovered and learned something. So did one astrologer a few years ago, studying the horoscopes of 212 politicians. He found that many of them had Mars in the same sign as the Sun, namely 30. By "coincidence" you would expect 212/12, or approximately 17.7 politicians to have this constellation. So, there seems to be an impressive effect of having Mars near the Sun!
Unfortunately, the poor man did not use the right "coincidence"! He forgot to check how often "normal" people have this constellation. If he had, he would see that "by accident" we have a chance of about 29/212 to have it! Why? Most astrologers know (they all should!) that Venus and Mercury are always near the Sun (as seen in the geocentric zodiac), but only a few realize that also the other planets are more often near the Sun than on the opposite side. This has nothing to do with the orbits being excentric. It would also happen with perfect circle orbits. Itís just an effect of our position of observation, in an orbit around the Sun, between Venus and Mars. The closer the planetís orbit to the Sun, the more often we on earth will see it near the Sun. If you would count in your ephemeris the days on which Mars and the Sun are in the same sign, you would find approximately 137 out of 1000. On not more than 28 out of 1000 they are in opposite signs! Jupiter is 99 out of 1000 days in the same sign as the Sun, and for Saturn, Uranus, etc. you will find less and less days, but never less than 1000/12 (approx. 83).
This kind of "disturbance of a uniform distribution" can be seen with many astronomical configurations. Better known are for example the fact that in the northern hemisphere many more people have ascendant Leo and Virgo than Aquarius and Pisces, or that in a group of people born in the same decade many will have the same Pluto sign and even the same Pluto-Neptune aspects. Other examples are given - with graphs - in the part of the ISAR Research Book written by Mark Pottenger.
Only the Sun and the Moon have more or less regular movements, so itís quite safe to assume that the Sun and the Moon are in the same sign in 1 out of 12 horoscopes.

So, what to do when you want to investigate an astrological hypothesis?
You will have to compare the specific group of horoscopes with a more "general" one, i.e. one which reflects the "average" planetary situation that you can expect. Ideally, this "reference group" should be a set of horoscopes from people born in the same period as your test group. If you want to study house positions, they should also be born in the same area, for the reason mentioned before. There is another reason why it is best to always have them born in the same area: demography, i.e. the fact that in some seasons and in some hours of the day more people are born, and these peak periods are different from country to country, and even from decade to decade. The reference group should also be as large as possible, if possible many times larger than the test group. The more reference horoscopes you have, the more you can be sure about the frequencies to be expected.

"I donít have a reference file with thousands of horoscopes from random people.", you might say; "Can I use the file with all my friends or clients as a reference file?" Probably not, because these horoscopes are somehow "selected"; they might all have something in common with your horoscope.
There is an emergency solution though, which is not ideal, but better than nothing: a file of artificially generated horoscopes. Two ways of creating such a file are (1) selecting completely random moments in the same period as your test horoscopes, and (2) selecting regular moments (e.g. at noon every day of your test period).
Whatís missing here is the demographic disturbance, but in general, the astronomical disturbances are much bigger, so in a first fase of your research, itís quite useful to use an artificial set of horoscopes. Still, you have to do this with care: for example, if you have only noon charts in your reference file, itís not suited to study the house position of the Sun in your test file. You can use it if your test horoscopes are also "noon charts", and it will also have accurate frequencies for the slow planets. In general itís probably best to create random horoscopes.

Now your next question is probably "How?". Fortunately, in the 21th century, itís not necessary anymore to calculate thousands of random horoscopes manually. There is a software program called "Radix 5.0" which can produce as many horoscopes as you need. It will also automatically compare the frequencies in your test group with the reference frequencies. Information about this program can be found on this website.

A similar problem, even more complicated, rises when studying the effect of transits. If you want to check, for example, if Uranus-Mars transits are somehow related to accidents, you can count how often this kind of transit happens with accidents, and compare this with the transits on random moments. The additional complication here is that the random moments should fall within the life time of each person. This means you cannot use one and the same set of "random events" for all the natal charts in your file. If you are studying transits on birth moments of children, weddings, important professional dates, etc., you even have to make sure that the random moments fall in the relevant parts of their lives. Again, this is possible with the "Radix" software (from version 4.1).

In some cases itís not needed to have a reference file: if you want to study the relationship between an astronomical variable and a numerical variable that can have many values. For example: the IQ versus the sign of Mercury, or the number of goals made by a football player versus his Mars sign. If you have enough variability in your IQ set (not only highs or lows), you can compare the average values of the IQís for each sign. And yes, this is also possible with "Radix".

I wish you good luck in your research!

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