Placements & Bloodlines

In my recent research of the statistical significance of astrological placements of small social groups, I’m finding interesting patterns in the placements of families related by blood.

Importantly, since my last updates, I have adjusted my methodology to account for the polarities of the zodiac; meaning, I converted all placements to a scale of 0-180 degrees, with Aries and Libra both at 0. This helps illustrate the opposition relationships, which are just as important as conjunctions.

I was able to evaluate natal placements for a family of 4, now that I have confirmed birth times for them. The following areas of the zodiac had clusters of note:

5′ Gemini / 5′ Sagittarius:

  • Daughter’s Ascendant
  • Mother’s Moon (her chart ruler)
  • Father’s Moon
  • Mother’s Mercury

3′ Leo / 3′ Aquarius:

  • Father’s Ascendant
  • Daughter’s Mercury (her chart ruler)
  • Mother’s Part of Fortune

20′ Leo / 20′ Aquarius:

  • Son’s Ascendant
  • Daughter’s Venus
  • Daughter’s Moon
  • Father’s Part of Fortune

What I find so interesting about this is that many of the placements involved have less to do with the date on which the individuals were born, and more to do with the time and tilt of the Earth instead. The Ascendant, Part of Fortune, and even Moon placements differ greatly depending on the time of birth. To me, this may point to a soul connection because the odds of encountering such similar placement through random chance would have to be tiny.

Now, I haven’t actually calculated the odds of that, but I was able to measure the variance of this family of 4 and compared it with a control group of 6 strangers, as well as with all data I had available. Here’s what I found:

Screen Shot 2018-12-26 at 11.29.46 AM

Comparing all placements on the standard 0-359 degrees of the zodiac, the placements of the family were less varied than both the control group and all data, but the differences between groups only became more significant as I reduced the zodiac.

When comparing placements on a 180′ zodiac (to account for oppositions), or a 90′ zodiac (to account for opposition and square aspects), the variance was far lower for the family of 4, meaning their placements were much more similar than the other groups were. 

This suggests that there were more aspects between family members than we would expect to occur through random chance. I’m conducting further tests to see if these results can be replicated with other families before I dive into t-tests and z-tests, but I’m encouraged by these initial results.

I am also in the process of creating frequency distributions for the above groups. It’s possible, after all, that the distributions will not be normal, and therefore variance and standard deviation may not be the best method of evaluating significance. My statistics skills are a little rusty, but I’m having a lot of fun trying to dust them off.

Existing Studies of Natal Placements & Statistics

I’m nerding out hard.

I’ve been doing some digging on statistical analysis of natal placements to better understand what’s been done before. It’s frustrating to me when skeptics deride astrology on the whole, implying that it never holds up to the scrutiny of the scientific method. Even statistician Michel Gauquelin, after devoting decades of his career to this research, said, “the majority of the elements in a horoscope seem not to possess any of the influences which have been attributed to them.” 

But once you start studying astrology, you realize that it makes too much sense to ignore. I think there is potential in using statistical analysis as a way to boost the legitimacy of the field of astrology. My goal is not to convince skeptics per se, but cause them to reconsider their scorn for the study.

There is still tons of research to be done, so there isn’t much out there right now. But hoo boy, let me tell you — what’s out there already is super interesting.

First of all, Gauquelin’s work has lived on after his death in the 1990s. His data has been digitized, helping astrological researchers conduct further analyses. Take this quote from Kyosti Tarvainen, past president of the Finnish Astrological Association:

“Thanks to these developments the Gauquelin data today is providing statistically significant confirmation for ordinary astrology in all three major themes of modern astrology: natal astrology, synastry (couple compatibility) and prediction (transits and other forecast techniques)” 

Think of all the different ways to analyze that data! As Astrology News Service notes, Gauquelin’s original research was hyper-focused on Sun sign placements. To have so much data with confirmed birth times, ready and waiting to be analyzed, is blowing my mind. A collection of revelations waiting to be discovered. Exciting as hell.

Second of all, this study on natal placements of serial killers, to put it simply, rules. Authored by Dutch statistician Jan Ruis, PhD, the study found that serial killers tended to have a preponderance of Mutable signs, the 12th house, and Moon aspects in their natal charts. The correlation is interesting, and they concluded that “some of the claims of astrologers cannot be rejected.”

I love that conclusion. Obviously statistical analysis won’t prove causality — this study simply confirms that astrology is not a scam, parlor trick, or wishful thinking. Astrology has been around for thousands of years, it’s nice to have some data to back it up. Legitimacy, hurray!

Finally, check out this research that showed correlation between astrology’s philosophy of the elements and the Eysenck Personality Indicator, a major psychology test. The researcher “compared the key descriptive words Eysenck used to describe Introversion, Extraversion, Emotional Stability and Neuroticism with key words astrologers identify with the Fire, Earth, Air and Water traits.”

I’m working on more research of my own (and honing in on a thesis, I think!), so I’m sure I’ll find more interesting statistics tidbits to share.

 

Happy learning,

Charlotte

Frequency Distributions

Continuing on from my last statistics post…

I’m examining the natal and progressed charts of 9 individuals within a social group, looking for patterns. Already, I’ve noticed interesting clusters around a few certain points of the zodiac, but today I looked at it a little differently: simply, as frequency distributions.

If we examining the archetype distribution at face value, it looks like this chart.

Frequency Distribution by Family (Unweighted) (1)

The purple line shows total values, and it seems that Cancer and Leo are the most dominant. Great, right? This group exhibits a lot of Cancer and Leo energy, right?

Maybe. But maybe not.

In this group, 4 of 9 people have birthdays around Gemini/Cancer season. Because Mercury and Venus are never more than 45 degrees from the Sun, we can expect a higher concentration of data points around the Gemini/Cancer/Leo quadrant of the zodiac (especially since we are also looking at midpoints between these seasonal planets).

In short, all data points are not of equal importance. A midpoint between two conjunct planets is pretty redundant, it doesn’t tell us anything more than what we could discern from examining the conjunction alone. And an aspect to a luminary or chart ruler carries more significance than, say, an aspect to a progressed planet.

To account for these differences, I created a weighted scoring system. Luminaries and angles were worth the most, while midpoints and loose aspects were only worth a little. Doing so showed me patterns were developing in Leo and Aquarius, and Taurus and Scorpio as well. I then tallied up scores by element and modality to better understand the impact.

The result was far more insightful:

Weighted Scores by Element and Modality (2)

As you can see in the chart above, there was an especially high concentration of Fixed signs, with Fixed Earth (Taurus) scoring the highest. While the first chart showed a prevalence of Cancer and Leo, this chart shows that Leo is indeed quite prevalent, but Cancer is not; in fact, Cancer (Cardinal Water) scored the lowest of them all.

This tell us that although this group shares a lot of Cancer placements, most of them are simply attributed to having lots of birthdays in the late Spring.

If you look at the first chart again, notice there’s an additional bump around Scorpio. Because Taurus and Scorpio are directly opposite each other, aspects made to one sign are also reflected in the other (mostly).

If we were to combine the natal and progressed charts of all 9 individuals, a la synastry, I believe we would see a Fixed Grand Cross. Though I am not measuring group behavior or dynamics, the Fixed Grand Cross tells us that this group is steady and reliable, maybe stubborn, and strong as hell. The each bring something different to the table, but put together, there’s very strong Fixed energy.

They’re not a group of doers (Cardinal), and they’re not wishy-washy either (Mutable). Rather, they’re stabilizers (Fixed).

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.