26 Apr 2012

Astrology and Astronomy

Astronomers can be very snidey and dismissive of astrology because it doesn't fit neatly into their scientific parameters, and can't be "proved". Yet astrology and astronomy were originally twin sciences and were studied side by side at the great European universities in the middle ages. Up until the 17th century the two subjects were two sides of the same coin, astronomy being more scientific and astrology more philosophical.
Any astrologer who has undergone formal training in the subject will have also had to learn some astronomy and at the very least be able to understand how a birth chart relates to the positions of the planets in the sky. Media sientists such as Richard Dawkins and Brian Cox take note, and pause for a moment or two before you publicly slag off the subject, asking yourselves if you have studied astrology for yourself before you denounce it.

As an astrologer with formal and intensive training in the subject, along with over a quarter of a century's experience of working with astrological psychology, I enjoy moving into the astronomical field from time to time, and often the simplest way to do this is to look up on a clear night and see the stars and planets and identify some of the constellations. On a trip into the deserts of New Mexico, where a lot of space observation takes place, I visited the museum of space discovery near Alamagordo. The roll of honour included men and women instrumental in breaking barriers by their space flights, along with such key astronomer/astrologers as Kepler and Copernicus. Included in the names honoured was that of Clyde Tombaugh, whose observations from an observatory in the desert of New Mexico led to the discovery of Pluto in 1930. And I remembered learning about this way back in the 1980's when I was taking a formal course in astrology.

Also located in the same desert area is The Very Large Array (VLA) - an impressive line up of 27 radio telescopes which track and pick up signals from space, rather like the Jodrell Bank Telescope, close to where I live in the UK. The work at the VLA is highly scientific, yet it focusses on space and what is physically beyond us, making it for me, a fascinating place to visit. The VLA, which has been featured many times in films as the backdrop formed by this Y-shaped alignment, is dramatic and impressive.
If you look up at the night sky, and if there are no clouds in the way, it's a good way of reminding yourself - if you're an astrologer about to set up a chart - of the old, old saying: "As above, so below".

1 comment:

Amable said...

The relation between astrology and astronomy is similar to science and technology. The scientific advances are later applied by engineers to develop technology.

To study the astrological meaning of new objects, I am always waiting for the astronomers to do their job to provide the ephemeris, the perihelion and aphelion distances, diameter, resonances... And when I finally receive the actualized astronomical information I am so glad about it!