Astrology maintains a unique and lonely position in human thought. It is “believed in” by a lot of people who know practically nothing about it; and it is “disbelieved in” by even more who know absolutely nothing about it.
Of no other art or science can this be said.
Astronomy, the haughty scientific offspring of astrology, has developed through the centuries into a science of celestial measurement. It has developed even further than the lay mind can comprehend, into a sort of metaphysics of time, space and motion, which only initiates can talk about, let alone comprehend.
Only the most stubborn and bigoted skeptic would think of standing up and saying, for example, that he did not “believe in” the Einstein theory, which is the most abstruse boundary to which astronomical and mathematical philosophy has reached. Such a skeptic would be promptly, and rightly, reprimanded by a more reasonable person, who would remind him that he was unequipped by information either to believe in, or disbelieve in, the Einstein theory.
Similarly, few will be found who have the temerity to “disbelieve” in the law of gravity, Avogadro’s hypothesis, Newton’s laws of motion, the multiplication table, the effect of sugar injected into the spinal column. These are not matters to believe in or “disbelieve in.,” but things to know about. Once you know, it is not necessary to believe; they are verifiable by experiment, and subject thereafter to the workings of law.
Astrology’s position in human thoughts develops from the fact that it is frequently the subject of the most violent controversy, militantly carried on in the presence of practically no knowledge whatsoever.
Ask your doctor, for example, if he believes in astrology. Ten to one he will shake his head deprecatingly and say, “Of course not!”
If you ask him “Why not?” he will probably eye you suspiciously and reply something like, “Don’t tell me that an intelligent person like you believes in astrology!”
At this point you must avow that you do not believe in astrology, you just were wondering about it. Thereupon, if he runs true to form, he will launch into a long discussion of why astrology must, on the face of it, be nonsense.
He will admit that, once upon a time, most of the world believed in astrology, but that was long ago, in the heyday of ignorance, before the dawn of science and the systematic search for truth. He will point out that astrology believes that the fate of men can be read in the stars; and he will go into a fine frenzy of righteous indignation that any modern could even consider such poppycock.
Listen carefully to everything he says. See if you can detect one sound, scientific reason or proof that astrology is false. See if you can discover, among all the people you can find who “don’t believe” in astrology, anyone who has a scientific or even a logical reason for not believing.
Three chief reasons are generally advanced for not believing in astrology. (1) This is not a superstitious age; therefore we should not believe in astrology. (2) It is perfectly ridiculous to believe that the planets can influence human beings. What! Those things millions of miles away? Why it’s absurd! (3) The Great Wizard Magipocus read my horoscope at a summer resort, and it was all wrong.
These are virtually all the arguments you will hear on the subject, so let’s look at them closely.
(1) It is superstitious because it was believed in a superstitious age, etc. The great principles of mathematics and physics, none of them false, were laid down in an age of the world‘s youth and “superstition.” Large portions of the materia medica were discovered by the ancients. The advanced astronomy of the Egyptians and Babylonians is well known; their calculations have been proved of phenomenal accuracy. These same intellectual and accurate ancients believed in astrology: surely this should be no part of the argument against it! The beliefs and findings of these same ancients, which co-existed with their belief in astrolog, and which have since been given the benefit of modern verification, has been proved amazingly true. It is plainly illogical to dub astrology ipso facto false because it was evolved by those same ancients who gave us the beginnings of astronomy, mathematics, physics, navigation, chemistry and medicine.
(2) It is perfectly ridiculous to believe that the planets could influence us! Now nothing, in itself, is “perfectly ridiculous to believe” – except something that goes against a known law of nature. In fact, all the laws we have of the solar system, with which astrology is concerned, tell us that it is quite illogical that every body of the exerts a measurable, if small, influence on every other body. Thus, it is not “perfectly ridiculous” at all to believe that the planets affect us. It is perfectly ridiculous to believe anything on faith alone, but it is equally ridiculous to disbelieve on un-faith alone. Both faith and un-faith must bow before knowledge, of which, alas, woefully few people have any where astrology is concerned.
(3) Astrology must be false because so many astrologers are fakers. Well, if this were so, the law would be false because many lawyers are crooked; and medicine would be false because so many doctors are quacks and fee splitters. Architecture would be false because the Tower of Pisa leans; and art would be false because Diego Rivera painted Lenin instead of J.P. Morgan in Rockefeller Center.
There are many poor astrologers. There are many people reading and selling horoscopes who are not astrologers at all, but promoters, hack writers and petty racketeers. Yet this argument, like 1 and 2, is a phony, as any logical person can see.
Now in pointing out that all these arguments (the classics generally used against astrology) are not really arguments at all, I have not, of course, proved the truth of astrology. Far from it. I have merely tried to clear away the smoke of prejudice and confusion in order that we may examine the subject on its own merits. It is the fashion today not to believe in astrology, just as long ago it was the fashion to believe in it.
Yet today, or yesterday, or tomorrow, intelligent people neither believe nor disbelieve something of which they are in total ignorance. When such a subject crosses their mind, they say, “I don’t know anything about it, and therefore can’t have an opinion.” Then they are in a proper frame of mind to learn about it and thus acquire, not an opinion, or a belief, but a body of knowledge, from which the truth may appear.
My reasons for “believing in” astrology are extremely simple. I have studied it. I have put together known facts of people’s lives with known planetary influences, and I have watched these laws operate in the lives of individuals – of clients, of those close to me, of great men whose biographies are known or whose stories appear from day to day in the press of the contemporary world. I have watched Hitler and his chart, Roosevelt, Mussolini, Stalin; studied the careers and charts of Napoleon, Bismark, the old Kaiser, Lincoln, Washington, Wilson; as well as thousand of lesser individuals who, like yourself, respond to planetary action quite as much as do the great, the near-great, and the pseudo-great who for better and for worse make the headlines. The response of human beings to planetary stimuli is among the most amazing of all the natural phenomena capable of being observed.
I “believe in” astrology for the same reasons you “believe in” the multiplication table or the intoxicating effect of alcohol. It works!