Axiom: a rule or principle that is generally considered to be true (Longman).
Given the definition, Astrology is axiomatic because it is based on the pure intuition of a reality in which objective vision – the heavenly sphere as it presents itself from the earth observatory – and subjective perception combined with mental processes contribute to building the foundations of our experience. Based on this unitary formulation, it is possible to state that the sky (what is above) is nothing but our inner structure (what is below), outwardly given because we live in a dualistic environment. That does not mean there is no reality but that the observer’s awareness is an integral part of the whole existence.
However, there is also experimental astrology, which results primarily from an attempt to justify astrology towards modern science. In this scenario, statistical data relating to astrology configurations – which is certainly legitimate when used as a support for the refinement of symbolic understanding – does not consider that we are dealing with single individualities. These are subject to events not attributable to a statistical model. For example, Mars (the god of war) is found in the horoscopes of career soldiers as the dominant planet with a significant statistical frequency; but that does not mean those with dominant Mars will all end up in the military.
To conclude, experimental astrology (properly called scientific astrology) cannot help but assume a causal link between planets and human beings, thus contradicting the above holistic view.
The problem with this view is that it either makes predictions or it doesn’t make sense. If an astrological configuration is associated with some characteristic, I have to see it, even if only statistically. If I don’t see it, the astrological forecast doesn’t tell me anything. To say that something “cannot be traced back to a statistical model” is like saying that it is unable to tell me absolutely nothing. For example, “in the horoscopes of career soldiers, we find Mars”. The “Mars effect” is the only example in which there seemed to be a correspondence between astrological predictions and statistical data, among the dozens examined by the Gauquelins in their studies. That, too, turned out to be a statistical artefact, but the authors themselves do not find any other astrological correspondences.
Reply to comment
It is not that astrology is unable to make predictions because it cannot be associated with a statistical datum: astrology makes predictions mainly centred on the uniqueness of each individual. Suppose we decide, as Gauquelin did, to examine a statistical sample of individuals to verify the deviation of a configuration concerning the mean distribution. In that case, a significant peak is detected in the presence of certain aspects. Still, since there is no one-to-one correspondence, I can use the statistics to highlight a trend.
Astrology is like an organism whose parts are strictly interconnected and functioning only in the whole organism itself; consequently, I cannot isolate an element and make it an investigative tool without invalidating the overall result. Furthermore, the horoscope highlights the potentials and not the events themselves. So, to obtain a realistic forecast, I must also know the hereditary and cultural context in which the person is born and grown up and has the opportunity to express himself. To refer to our example, Mars at the meridian in the horoscope of a born whose family or culture of reference has banished the ‘predatory’ instincts will hardly give rise to a career soldier. Instead, an individual will be born whose initiative is in the social elevation service if the other horoscope’s factors allow this interpretation.
Regarding the question of the statistical inaptness of configurations other than the Martian one, I would like to point out that the symbolism of Mars is, in most cases, strictly one-way. That is, it provides a well-determined, almost instinctive reaction to external stimuli; consequently, its spectrum of manifestation is narrower than those originating from other planetary symbolism and is more easily isolated. Of course, this is a supposition, but it seems plausible to me.