Astrology & Statistical Analysis

My latest astrological focus has been on degree placements and mathematical points — basically synastry, but instead of couples I’m looking at groups of 6-8 people.

There’s been very little statistical analysis of astrology so far, and what’s been done has grossly misunderstood how astrology works, so the results are flawed. One of the most-cited studies, for example, asked astrologers to identify whether or not a subject was mentally retarded based solely on their natal chart; unsurprisingly, results were about the same as random chance.

Reading and accurately interpreting a natal chart is not a solo activity — to be truly effective, the individual must also participate in some way. We can only tell so much from reading a chart alone, we can’t glean anything truly insightful from randomized, anonymous charts — so of course the study had mediocre results.

Studies like this are overly simplified, looking for a certainty that astrology doesn’t have. True, astrology doesn’t lend itself to the precision of statistical analysis given its fluidity and ambiguity, but in my opinion, that doesn’t make them mutually exclusive practices.

I still have a lot of work to do to be able to summarize my study effectively, but here’s the gist: I’m looking at lots of data points for each individual — close to 40 — including natal and progressed placements, midpoints, and karmic points. Because these points have varying levels of significance, I’ve also developed a weighted scoring system to discern the importance of each point.

What I’ve found is a disproportionate significance of key points in the zodiac — in other words, the individuals of the social group share common placements in a few clusters. Because this group defines themselves as a bit of a “chosen family,” my theory is the people with whom they’ve chosen to have close relationships share similar or complimentary astrological placements.

Again, this isn’t just natal placements, this is a cluster of a lot of different placements. Take, for example, the Leo cluster. At 20′ Leo, this group has a:

  • Natal Moon
  • Natal N. Node
  • Progressed Mercury (that person’s chart ruler)
  • Progressed Mars (that person’s chart ruler)
  • Progressed Venus x2
  • Progressed Moon
  • Progressed Sun
  • Midpoint of an individual’s important natal aspect

Those are relatively significant placements for 7 of the 9 participants, all at one point of the zodiac. This is just one example of many, but the clustering of both natal and progressions suggests that these individuals are connecting with each other based on current traits and attitudes that may have changed or grown over time, and these folks click well because of where they are at this time in their lives.

(Side note: As always, correlation does not mean causality — this doesn’t imply that astrological placements are the cause of their close relationships)

For the sake of comparison, I created a small control group of 6 individuals who don’t know each other and did not find any similar placement patterns. This suggests we would not find such clusters by random chance.

 

Again, there’s still a lot of work to be done here, but I think I’ve found something useful. Since each person has all 12 signs of the zodiac in their chart, I think examining the distribution of archetypes within social groups can tell us a bit about the group dynamics, as well as interpersonal emotional and spiritual connections.

 

Do you know of any particularly interesting statistical analyses of astrology? Share them in the comments, I’d love to know more, no matter how flawed.

Saturn Placements

After the Triad (Sun / Moon / Ascendant), Saturn is one of my favorite places to look in a natal chart.

As Liz Greene wisely noted, if our Sun is what we want, and our Moon is what we need, and our Ascendant is the vehicle we use to get those things, then Saturn is what holds us back from getting those things. Importantly, what holds us back is internalSaturn tells us how we tend to defeat ourselves.

Saturn is not to be feared (though it represents our fears, in the natal chart), and I disagree with anyone’s take that includes Saturn as a malevolent, ominous entity. Saturn doesn’t take shit, that’s all. It makes us bow down, relentlessly hounding us until we learn the lesson we need to learn, but that lesson is crucial for our personal growth, maturity, and self-reliance.

In a natal chart, Saturn can put into words our deepest fears — not phobias, but psychological fears that are often hardest to understand, much less voice. No matter how content or fulfilled a person is, something looms within them that makes them feel somehow limited.

What’s more, once you understand this deep fear, you can accept that it will be a running theme throughout your life — you can’t quite overcome it, but you cannot outrun it. Instead, by examining the specifics of your Saturn placement (and thus, The Fear), you can begin to:

a) accept yourself as you are, including your limitations;

b) examine what circumstances tend to trigger this fear and where it tends to pop up in your life; and

c) learn how to work with this limitation, not as an enemy, but a begrudging partner

Because astrology is value-neutral, we can look at what sign our Saturn is in to better understand the ways that fear can be expressed. Add in the way Saturn is aspected (which is to say: its angular relationship to other planets in our chart), and we start to see a clearer picture of what contributes to this fear.

Astrology therefore provides, in my opinion, an unparalleled level of nuance and understanding of oneself. We are, after all, looking at objective data — the location of planets in the sky, as they appear to us on Earth.

(Important side note — I always clarify this point with astrology skeptics: astrology is about how things appear, not how they are. There is no way to fudge data with astrology. It’s unbiased. But the art of astrology comes from interpreting this data — as Stephen Forrest noted, astronomy is like the grammar of language, and astrology is poetry.)

Astrology can’t tell you what you want to hear (if you’re doing it right — that is, with practiced objectivity). But what astrology can tell you, requires that you put in some work before you can fully understand it.

And the work is so fucking worth it. As a well-educated, logical, level-headed person, the insight and wisdom to be gained from studying astrology is too valuable to ignore. I firmly believe it can be of benefit to anyone willing to try.

Why Astrology?

I really dig astrology.

I am well-educated, value science and the scientific method, and I’m only kind of a hippie. I don’t believe in pseudo-science but I’m 100% serious when I say astrology has incredible potential to help individuals explore and understand themselves and the world we live in.

It’s been challenging trying to explain this to my non-hippie friends, who are mostly in tech and immediately skeptical of something so nebulous and “woo.” But I think they’re coming at it from the wrong angle. In fact, I think a lot of us are.

Turns out there are a lot of popular misconceptions about astrology. It’s not a religion, but it can serve that purpose, in that it explains how the universe works and it’s a lens through which to view the world. It’s also not an exact science, but more of a social science like economics or sociology.

Astrology hinges on synchronicity, meaning the belief that themes playing out between the planets are mirrored here on Earth. This does not mean looking at planetary movements and determining causality, it means interpreting how those themes might be mirrored in our lives. It’s an art, like poetry.

Furthermore, major religions and belief systems across time and culture tend to have the same building blocks:

  1. A basic polarity to the universe (light/dark, masculine/feminine, yin/yang);
  2. Elements of nature, or taking guidance from the “natural” world; and
  3. Using fables, symbolism, and archetypes to teach morality

Astrology has all these same pieces, but where other belief systems stumble is by claiming to have the answers, or claiming to be right and others are wrong. Astrology does not supersede other belief systems; rather, it is the foundation beneath them. Major principles have been reduced to the lowest common denominators, making it relevant to everyone. 

Unfortunately, in order to apply to billions of people, those “lowest common denominators” tend to be pretty vague. Skeptics jump on this and claim that the inherent vagueness prevents it from being relevant to any individual person. But in fact, the opposite is true: it is relevant to everyone, but only if you’re willing to put in the work to discover how, and determine what that means to you.

This is what I really dig about the practice: it asks us to go back to the basics. It makes us do the work. Cut out the fluff and nonsense, focus on the core essentials. Assess your strengths, weaknesses, responsibility, and consider how to successfully navigate similar situations in the future. Astrology requires honest self-assessment, emotional intelligence, and acceptance of personal responsibility, and in turn, shows us the wisdom that gain be gained from doing so.

A horoscope found online probably won’t be very relevant to you, personally. This is because the astrologers writing them are looking at the basic building blocks, making their own interpretations, and applying those interpretations to large swaths of people. They’re not wrong for doing so, but if an individual looked at those building blocks themselves, they could make their own interpretations that would be far more relevant to them, personally, than any astrologer could offer.

However, with all its nuance and detail, learning the building blocks yourself takes a lot of time and effort, which most are not willing or able to do. Or, just as prohibitive, the alternative is paying a lot of money for private sessions with a professional astrologer, which may or may not be of use to you. This is where my approach differs: I want to coach individuals on astrology, helping you navigate how it applies to you personally. You are in the driver’s seat, I’m just your guide.

I’m still figuring out how I want all this to work. For now, my goal is convincing my friends and acquaintances that I haven’t lost my mind and they should hear me out. Right now, that solution is writing here on this blog. I’ll figure out where to go from there.

In today’s world, with our conflicting ideologies and apparent inability to compromise, it is imperative that we examine our personal responsibility and our role in the system. Instead of focusing on our differences, let us focus on our commonalities, go back to basics, and learn to do better.

-Charlotte

Introduction

Hi, I don’t know what I’m doing here.

I’ve never run a blog before. I’ve never written consistently somewhere for people to discover and read, mostly because I don’t feel qualified enough to tell people what I think. I haven’t felt entitled to an opinion, I just defer to those who know better.

This is not good.

So in an attempt to correct this course, I’m starting this blog. I have no idea what I’m doing, but you’re welcome to follow along.