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Astrology: How accurate is it? Is there a science behind it?

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posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 08:58 PM
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First of all, it can be debated whether or not astrology is a "religion" or not, but figured this was the best forum to add the thread to. If I am wrong, then please move this to the appropriate place.

Secondly, let me add some context to my post. I was raised Christian and still cling to the basic principles of the faith, even though I have my suspicions and problems with religion in general.

Third, I do not wish to start with the whole "astrology is evil/pagan" bit. I personally do not feel that there is anything to "believe in" regarding astrology. To me, it is simply a knowledge base that can either be accurate or inaccurate. I feel that looking into astrology is much like checking on Wikipedia - regardless of your faith, it simply serves as a database. But of course, this kind of thing has no bearing in this thread.

Now, someone I know recently bought a book on astrology that lets you look through charts to find all your signs, and breaks down what they all mean in great detail. I laughed it off at first, but was subsequently amazed at how well it pegged me and my girlfriend, and even shocked me with how accurately it described our relationship. Since this happened, I have been very interested in all of this, and keep wondering how it can be so accurate.

The purpose of this thread is to test astrology logically to quantify its relative accuracy. If it proves to be fairly accurate, I want to start looking for reasons it is accurate and try to isolate how it can be so accurate (how astronomical alignments can influence personality)

So to begin with, I'd like everyone to find their astrological signs, read what they say about you, then score the accuracy of your description on a scale of 1-10 (10 being most accurate, 1 being least accurate)

Before you go looking up your horoscopes, let me briefly give you some direction. In astrology, you are described by your Sun Sign (i.e. Sagittarius, Pisces, Aquarius, etc.), your Rising Sign (time of day that you were born), Moon Sign (position of the moon when you were born), Cusp (influence of next Sun Sign if you were born at the "edge" of your Sun Sign), and Planetary Signs (location of the planets in the zodiac when you were born).

Use the following tools to lookup your signs and read their meanings. The results from the tool will give you a brief synopsis of what all your signs mean. It is most accurate if you know your time of birth, so be sure to figure that out before you look up your charts. Post your results and score here.

Find your Signs, and read what they mean.

Want more detail on just your sun sign?

My score is 9/10.



[edit on 6/9/2007 by damajikninja]



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 09:46 PM
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I predict high scores from most posters...

Thus proving the accuracy of astrology.
NOT!!

People want to agree with their horoscopes, due to the general nature and mostly positive traits put forth.


Source

There was once a very revealing test done on astrological readings, where a classroom of volunteers were interviewed, their birth dates recorded. They were informed that this information would be sent to an astrologer, and they would all receive personalized readings.

They were then given the readings in a classroom, where they all read theirs, and then were asked to evaluate how accurate the reading was. Almost all said that the reading described them quite surprisingly well - which is why it came as a bit of a shock to them when the organizers of this experiment revealed that they had all received identical readings, and that the reading was actually done with the birth data of a serial killer sitting in jail.



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 09:58 PM
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Actually, there are very different meanings for each of the signs and combinations. The book that was used had all kinds of things to say, both good and bad.

And the meanings in the book matched the ones on that tool that I linked to (I tried mine in there and it said the same things, just more generalized since the book used 15 pages or so to describe all your signs.)

The problem with your example is that everyone got the SAME reading. Here, everyone will get a DIFFERENT reading. And these readings will be done with CORRECT birth data matched to actual zodiac charts. Also don't forget, everyone here will have the ability to check a bogus date and see if it matches up to them as well (thus adding a check and balance for whether or not all meanings of all signs can be interpreted as accurate to an individual).

Look, I certainly don't believe that this little test will prove/disprove astrology once and for all. I am simply conducting an experiment. Do you suggest that we just blow off astrology altogether and assume it is a thousands-of-years old hoax?

Granted, I think that there are a lot of faked astrology reports out there, and lots of un-trustable daily horoscopes, etc. However, the tool I posted outlined the exact same things I read in the pages of that book, and seems highly reliable for "accurately" finding out what your charts mean.

So, have you checked your charts yet with that tool? Want to make sure that the tool doesn't just give you the same thing as everyone else? Want to check to make sure that it doesn't just give out things that could be interpreted as accurate to anybody? Then go put in the wrong dates and times for your birth, and see if it still matches up with your personality. It would be interesting to analyze this sort of occurance as well, if you can make it do that.

[edit on 6/9/2007 by damajikninja]



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 10:16 PM
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Well, my correct charts seem only about 50/50 to my personality, so maybe an incorrect one would be better


It got the "mathematical mind" and "logical and accurate reasoning" part right, but I think of myself as an anti-Leo when it comes to the Leo traits of "pride, vanity, arrogance, presumption and disdain of others."

I scored it a 5/10.



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 10:26 PM
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Thanks for going through the motions, eaglewingz. I appreciate it.


Your first post did give a little sense of "arrogance, presumption and disdain of others"...
but then again, you are the best judge of how well the charts describe you.
Just messin with ya a little bit!


So you got a 5/10 and I am a 9/10... so that leaves the thread average at 7/10 for the moment. I am interested to see what everyone else says.

Thread Update: 70% Accurate
Represents the accuracy of Zodiac Astrology, based on 2 scores.
NON-SCIENTIFIC


[edit on 6/10/2007 by damajikninja]



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 10:29 PM
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i did a chart... and it directly contradicts itself in several places. it says i'm hardworking and determined at first... then it says later that i'm lazy and unmotivated.

it also says that i'm both honest and earnest and a pathological liar.

sure, parts of it were true... but a lot of it is wrong or contradicts itself



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 10:43 PM
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madness, i think I know whats going on there. Thanks for bringing this up.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an astrologist!


From what I understand, there are the 12 Sun Signs that make up the "overall" picture of you. This outlook is then "modified" by subsequent signs, like your Rising/Ascendant Sign, Moon signs, etc. Each of the subsequent signs are more and more specific, because they are much more tied to the exact details pertaining to the time and alignments of your birth. The readings should be more accurate as you read down the page because of this.

For example, when I was doing mine in the book, my Sun Sign stated that I wasn't so good at reading others' thoughts and motivations. I was rather put out by that, because I think that I am very good at that. Well, later on when we looked at one of my Planetary Signs, it said that I DO have those abilities.

Another good example are Cusps. Again, not an expert here, but if your birthdate is early or late in the Sun Sign (i.e. lets say you were born 8 days away from another sign), the next closest sign also modifies your outlook a little bit. This is also the case with me, as I read in that book.

I am not 100% sure that the tool I posted deals with cusps or not. But it does appear to read into your rising, moon, and planet signs. The synopsis it gives you starts out at your major sun sign and works its way down through all your other signs. It would be nice if it would tell you exactly what meanings come from which signs, but it doesnt.


I wish I could find something that breaks it down a little better for you guys. I would be nice if I could just post this book online!



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 11:01 PM
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As far as daily predictions go... I think most astrology is just good advice that can apply to most anyone and sometimes be creepily accurate. Afterall, the audience for it is huge, it has to be right some of the time.

That being said, I do believe there's truth in the personality descriptions. Myself included (I'd give it about an 8 out of 10).

Does this have to do with the position of the planets? I don't know. I do however believe that the time of year you were born determines future traits. This I chalk up to early development. For instance, if you were born in the winter, you probably would have been held closer/bundled up more because of the cold. Or maybe summer babies were out in the sunshine more often right after birth, and thus this specific kind of nurturing had an effect on personality.

This of course would be different in different climates, but I still think that might be part of it. I'd be curious to know if anyone knows any research done on this aspect of development, related to astrology or not.



[edit on 9-6-2007 by Lilin]



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 11:01 PM
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My Star sign is Pisces. If you evaluated me by the strict definition of Pisces then that would not seem an accurate fix. However with astrology there is a layering effect determined by the planetary positions at ones birth.

Where the Moon was is an important influence.
What the ascendant was is an important influence.
Which houses of the Zodiac various planets were in is an important consideration.

You can't just as several posters above have done, say oh well my Star sign doesn't match me perfectly. If you want to criticise it, first be accurate.

Astrology makes no claim that Star signs are the only consideration.

As for the original question, in the astronomy section, members are debating between the big bang theory of creation and another theory about the electric universe and plasma fields throughout space.

If the astrological theory is correct then planets with magnetic fields moving though plasma fields emitted from the sun do give a scientific basis for saying the position of the planets can affect life on earth.

Many animals have menstrual cycles of 28 days in sympathy with the orbit of the Moon.

It may turn out in the future as we learn more about cosmic plasma fields that astronomy may prove a scientific basis for astrology. In which case those who deny astrology may be looked back upon by future generations as naive and backwards like those who still believed in a flat earth until man went to the Moon.



posted on Jun, 9 2007 @ 11:37 PM
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Originally posted by damajikninja

Third, I do not wish to start with the whole "astrology is evil/pagan" bit. I personally do not feel that there is anything to "believe in" regarding astrology.


So you want to talk about football but don't want to talk about sports.........okay.



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by Sun Matrix

Originally posted by damajikninja

Third, I do not wish to start with the whole "astrology is evil/pagan" bit. I personally do not feel that there is anything to "believe in" regarding astrology.


So you want to talk about football but don't want to talk about sports.........okay.


sun, your bigotry will get you nowhere. fortelling of the future using the sun and stars is in no way evil, it's a practice this is common among almost all cultures (including judaic culture) at some point in their development or another.

it's just a trivial little game, that's all.



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 12:55 AM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson
Where the Moon was is an important influence.
What the ascendant was is an important influence.
Which houses of the Zodiac various planets were in is an important consideration.

You can't just as several posters above have done, say oh well my Star sign doesn't match me perfectly. If you want to criticise it, first be accurate.


Well, as for myself, my rating of 5/10 was based from damajikninja's linked site, including ascendants and all. I checked each attribute listed as to whether it fit me or not.

For instance, I am NOT :


Mercury in Virgo
Weaknesses: he is easily irritable and nervous. He tells off and criticizes. He is impulsive and manic.



377 Conjunction Sun - Venus
He is gay, sociable, welcoming. He is a lover, and has many affairs: he is seduced by beauty and charm. He likes the Arts and social life.



-185 Opposition Sun - Saturn
This implies slow intellectual development.


I AM :


-152 Square Sun - Neptune
His imagination turns to internal day-dreaming: he is easily influenced, and complicates life unnecessarily. He does not bring plans to a conclusion. The dream-world is enough.



Moon in XII
Curious and inquisitorial nature. He likes peace and quiet, being alone.


Half matched and half didn't. Even chance in my book


[edit on 6/10/2007 by eaglewingz]



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 01:35 AM
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From what I've seen of astrology, it operates with generalities that apply to the vast majority of people, regardless of sign. Try picking a random birthdate, go through exactly the motions that damaji outlines in this thread, and see how close that random birthday's astrological forecast is to your personality/life. I'm betting the rating will be just as high.

Now, I haven't studied astrology beyond occasionally reading the newspaper predictions just for amusement, but I did once do some reading into numerology, and went through a fairly complicated procedure for my own birthdate. I found most of what it said about me to be true, but it was so general as to be totally useless, and there were also things it said about my personality that were totally false. I also went through and read some of the other descriptions of other personalities, and found aspects of those that matched me, and in fact found some that matched closer than the actual prediction that was correct for my birthdate.

Obviously, that was numerology, not astrology, but the two are close cousins, and often go together, and work on many of the same principles. Personally, I don't believe in either one. I'll go through those links and see what it says about my astrological horoscope, and post it in a bit.

[edit on 10-6-2007 by DragonsDemesne]



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 01:49 AM
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I used to do astrology to earn extra money in college (the first time I was in college.) I did the whole thing... not the sun signs, but actually calculating out the planets and angles and relationships and the position of the moon's nodes and the fixed stars and the rising sign. It took just about half a day to do it by hand with a slide rule.

When you looked up what this meant or that meant, you pretty quickly saw that there were so many variations on the meaning that you could literally tailor it for the person. Mars in Aries could mean a hot-tempered person, or a go-getter or a take action person, or a warrior, or an impulsive person. What the astrologer does is select the "most harmonious" meaning that seems to jive with what they know or what the rest of the horoscope is turning out to be.

Same with cards, etc.

I actually did some statistical research and it fails miserably.

Let's take a famous case: There are quite a few people who share Michael Jackson's birthday. Many have the exact same birth time and many were born in the same area (and possibly the same hospital) as he was.

So they should all be weird and famous singers. But they're not. You can get a bit more fuzzy with your logic and say "well, all folks born on that day at about that same time are good singers" but a quick glance of birthdate data will tell you this is not so.

Etc, etc.

It's great entertaiment, and a good astrologer can help someone with problems (mainly by being a patient advice giver and a good listener.) But as for accuracy... you can generate a set of statements via computer and they'd fit just as well.



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 02:05 AM
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I despise astrology.

Why? It ticks me off on a personal level that someone would just judge me based on when I was born. "Thank you for judging me without getting to know me."

I mean there are people who will turn down the possibility of a relationship because "Our signs aren't compatible." Wtf?! It angers me so much. Granted its not the thing that ticks me off that stays on my mind most of the time, in fact I'm never really pre-occupied with it, but when it is brought up I get angry.

But like I said many things anger me more.

But it still stands, I absolutely refuse to even consider a belief that tells me who I am by when I was born.



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 02:12 AM
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Ack, ATS deleted my whole post. Okay, basically it got some stuff right, some eerily so, but it also got some stuff wrong, and had some things that flat out contradicted each other, like that I am both 'faithful' and 'unfaithful' in relationships, and that I will 'regret my marriage' as well as have a 'quiet, loving marriage'.

A lot of the stuff it said about me was things that are either quite general, like that I am 'compassionate' or else things that everyone WANTS to believe about themselves, like that I am 'intelligent', 'reasonable', and, my personal favourite, that I will have 'numerous amorous adventures'. (though none so far...)

There were also a lot of qualifiers, stuff like I 'may have an inheritance' or 'if he marries, he will regret it'. Most of the negative things weren't all that bad, either, usually things involving self-indulgences in my case. I'm pretty sure no one ever gets told in their horoscope that they will end up in jail, or that they will die penniless, or won't ever get laid in their life, or that kind of thing.

As a predictive tool, I don't believe in astrology at all. However, while going through this little exercise, I did start thinking about my own personal attributes, and whether the horoscope matched with them or not. It made me do some personal reflection on where I might be able to improve, for instance, or what things I am already good at. The predictive things, as I said, I don't believe hold any kind of real forecasting ability, but they did make me think about what I want my future to be like.

So I can see astrology as being useful in that it can prompt people into thinking, as it did in my case, which is always a good thing. Just don't treat it as something set in stone. It can give you some ideas and some things to think about, but that's all.



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 02:42 AM
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Accuracy: 73%
Represents the accuracy of Zodiac Astrology, based on 3 scores.
NON-SCIENTIFIC

Ambiguity: NO DATA
Represents the ambiguity of Zodiac Astrology, based on 0 scores.
NON-SCIENTIFIC

Due to the popular interest, I will also start tabulating "false" scores. A "false" score will be how well a random birth date fits your personality.

From now on, use the following method to indicate your scores:

X/10 True



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 06:14 AM
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I tend not to look at Astrology as being of any importance but I hate to discard it completley. Aleister Crowley thought that those who were born early in the year are more prone to happiness, outgoing go getters while those born late in the year are prone to deep thinking meloncholy, not very outgoing. And its funny but my older syblings were born early in the year and are that way and my younger brother and I are late season babys and are sort of deep thinkers analysing everything and easily made not completely happy. I have no idea where he got his info from but at least that statement holds water in my life. I'll check the chart out and see what I come up with.



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 06:37 AM
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i'm unclear what your really asking us to rate

Astrology is the core, the knowledge of the changing positions of planets & objects in the heavens....etc

in contrast to HoroScopes... are not Astrology,

horoscopes presume the cycles of Sun, Moon & planets
influence the composition of our personality,
much as one posters reply
linked the Earth's seasonal cycles to the likely development factors (influences) we would certainly encounter in growing up.

soothsayers & horoscope forecasters,
are actually operating in the realm of probabilities, but have created a niche for their 'art' in the cultural landscape by portraying their craft as
being either occult, spiritual, ancient wisdom, mystical, natural....

or any number of characterizations that suits the purpose at that time...
natal charts are used to flabberghast the client with mountains of Astrological data, giving the air & presence of scientific & mathematical authority.
but when it comes to explaining/interpeting the natal charts,
thats when the people-arts come into play,
the readings follow general directions, but with certain allowable variations,

which the person doing the horoscope will tell the client have a strong or weak influence on their lives......
It's all subjective....& that's where the people-manipulation/arts
comes into play.

this thread sounds like it's a subliminal plug to get interest up in horoscope charts & readings...rather than than the meta-science of Astrology
but that viewpoint is Itself a subjective characterization of the thread


thanks,



posted on Jun, 10 2007 @ 07:31 AM
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damajikninja,

To emphasize what Byrd mentioned earlier. If you are genuinely interested in doing this scientifically there are several methodological controls you would need to set up. The first and biggest would be creating a controlled vocabulary for the description of astrology and its predictions (or analysis if you'd rather phrase it that way.) The biggest problem with analyzing astrological readings is they are vague . What a certain word or concept or emotion might mean to you, could and probably would mean something very different to me, or Byrd, or everyone else when asked.

You could do this on a purely subjective basis, and ask whether a person happens to agree with the description given them. But all this would measure is an individual's perception of the reading, and not getting into whether there is an objective correlative to what the reading is supposed to get at.

At the minimum, you would need to set up a double blind study and a control group. That is, you would need to set up a study so that neither the astrology writer nor the participant knew a) what sign's reading was being given to them by the astrology writer, and b) what sign's reading had been given to them by the participant. In other words, even after the controlled vocabulary's problem had been solved, an astrology writer would need to write up a set of readings, administer them to a large group, not know who had been given what, have the participants not know what reading they were given, and then find out how "objective" the readings were. The test design would also include a control group, where people were actually given the correct readings, but they would not know that of course.

So good luck, but until a unifying vocabulary with standard understanding of terms is developed, with the double blind study outlined above, all this will just be conjecture on our parts.







 
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