The convergence of astrology and quantum theory gives rise to a standard cognitive model of reality.
Published in: Linguaggio Astrale no. 117
The amalgamation of astrology and quantum theory creates a standardised cognitive model of reality. This model possesses the potential to offer significant insights and comprehension into the nature of our existence. By integrating these two seemingly disparate fields, we can attain a more comprehensive and holistic view of the world around us. The implications of this synthesis are far-reaching and may lead to groundbreaking advancements in various disciplines, ranging from psychology to physics. Therefore, it is an area of considerable interest and importance for those seeking to expand their knowledge and understanding of our universe.
Throughout history, the scientific perspective has led to various challenges in reconciling astrological beliefs. Initially, the Copernican revolution challenged the anthropocentric view, significantly shifting the focus away from humans and placing them in a cosmos devoid of any analogies. Subsequently, a century later, with the publication of Principia Mathematica, Newton firmly established the idea of a mechanistic universe, stripping away the need for any spiritual order deemed unnecessary.
The endeavour to restore the lost harmony between humanity and the celestial realm has given rise to a unique astrology hybrid, which employs statistical and experimental techniques to interpret astrological phenomena. This approach parallels the evidentiary method of scientific inquiry, as it involves testing the accuracy of a particular planetary configuration by analysing many similar events. For instance, if a natal conjunction of Mercury and Saturn in the third house is found to limit freedom of movement, the statistical incidence of travel accidents during Mars transits near this configuration can be used to support this interpretation. This methodology is deemed credible when astrologers employ statistical memory to enhance their understanding of symbolic interpretations.
The astrologer facing the science
However, applying a strictly scientific protocol to astrology faces inherent limitations due to its holistic nature. The birth configuration of unrepeatable individuals may result in events that cannot be traced back to a statistical model. Despite these limitations, some scholars actively seek evidence to support a “scientific” re-evaluation of astrology. One such scholar is Gauquelin, who approaches astrology on a causal basis, postulating a complex series of planetary-level electromagnetic influences capable of determining a “typical temperament” when specific planets are on the horizon or meridian of an individual’s natal chart . While this approach may have statistical validity, it has little to do with astrology as a whole.
Now let us examine the case of Baron von Klöckler, the author of a work regarded as an essential milestone in the field of astrological treatises . His writings have been consulted by European astrologers for at least three generations and are characterised by their impeccable formal precision and comprehensive coverage of traditional astrological backgrounds. This includes incorporating obsolete or lesser-known methodologies, such as Ptolemaic terms and Arab-Indian lunar stations. Von Klöckler organically approaches the subject matter, devoid of any indignation that might be present in scholars of other disciplines who, for some reason, are interested in astrology (von Klöckler himself was a doctor). Nevertheless, he acknowledges that “ancient wisdom could be content with dogma: ‘As above, so below’, while modern man, guided by science, seeks an exact definition of the series of causalities at work in astrological relations. To date, it has not been possible to clearly explain astrological causality according to a radiant theory, whatever it may be “. Furthermore, he states that “the current absence of a causal foundation leaves astrology with the imprint of being purely an empirical science. It shares this fate with numerous other disciplines, which nevertheless possess official recognition “.
Thus, the central issue at hand pertains to the endeavour to establish astrology as a scientific discipline by situating it in a causal framework that elevates its status as an experimental science. However, astrology is governed by analogical criteria, and as such, the causal approach is inherently weak in the traditional sense. Von Klöckler recognised this limitation and sought to introduce what he called resonances or harmonies – a complex system of relationships between the physical-chemical and psychological realms and various types of causality – concerning the radiant qualities of the individual planets in the hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of the phenomenon in the future. Although this goal was not achieved, the credit for providing a solid empirical foundation at a predictive and interpretive level remains unblemished.
The methodology of Ebertin, a prominent figure in the field of Cosmobiology , differs significantly from other approaches. Ebertin aims to utilise Cosmobiology to unify various areas of knowledge, including psychology, medicine, and history, through using astrology as a research tool. In his words, “Cosmobiology, without mingling with current philosophies and ideologies, can become a formidable aid to science conceived as a whole “. Although his initiative is commendable, it is not entirely new, as astrological symbolism already encompasses various layers of meaning. Ebertin sought to break away from conventional astrological methodologies to enhance investigative tools available through tradition. Specifically, he emphasised the use of midpoints (the degree of ecliptic longitude at which a planet forms equivalent angles with two other planets), aspects that are divisible by 45°, and the 90° graph (a graduated circle of 90° that facilitates the interpretation of midpoints).
In both Ebertin and, to some extent, the works of Swiss astrologer Witte and Frenchman Choisnard, a syncretistic framework is evident for integrating astrology into a unified worldview. However, true organic compactness that would enable the integration of astrological and scientific thinking remains elusive. This is not even attributable to the astrological researcher, as they work solely with the material made available by the Newtonian legacy.
Newton’s laws on the motion of bodies have provided the foundation for scientific verification for over three centuries. His rules on inertia, the proportional relationship between force and acceleration, and acceleration itself declare that the movement of a body in space is entirely determined by the forces acting upon it, given its initial position and velocity. This indicates that the system’s state at any given time, whether it is the motion of a planet around the sun, the behaviour of gas molecules in a container, or the parabolic trajectory of a projectile, determines its state at every moment. Laplace  theorised that a superior intellect capable of comprehending all the forces that govern nature and all entities subject to them could integrate the motion of bodies into a single formula. Ultimately, every action is entirely predetermined, and the universe behaves like a massive clockwork, with everything predetermined from its inception.
In the realm of scientific inquiry, there is a need to study events through the application of equations and theories, aiming to produce generalisations or universal laws that can explain the behaviour of physical systems. This process involves the identification of behavioural classes that enable the deduction of a system’s evolution from a known initial state. Similarly, astrologers who subscribe to a deterministic thesis aim to research the prime causes that underlie the phenomenon of astrological predictions. It is essential to acknowledge that the deterministic causality of events is a commonly accepted fact observed in everyday life, such as the effect of the moon’s attraction on oceanic masses. However, there are areas where strict determinism falls short in representing reality; the phenomenon of life falls into this category, as does astrology.
Jung and synchronicity
Jung, a prominent figure in contemporary Western psychology, was among the first scholars to eliminate the notion of causal inheritance from astrology. The concept of synchronicity, on which Jung focused his work, does not purport to be strictly scientific, as it pertains to the still uncharted territory that serves as a connection between physical and mental phenomena.
The term “synchronicity” was coined by Jung after researching the parallelism of specific psychological states. These states are not fully understood in terms of causality resulting from simultaneous processes, hence the term “synchronic”. Jung’s correspondence with the sinologist Wilhelm deepened his understanding of the I Ching, in which he identified the complete unfolding of the principle of synchronicity. Jung also expressed interest in astrology and alchemy, stating that “an example of synchronicity on a large scale could then be that of astrology if one had specific enough results. But there are at least some well-attested and confirmed facts from detailed statistics, which make the astrological problem appear worthy of being subjected to philosophical investigation “. Notably, Jung recognised that “the birth horoscope is not based on the real position of the stars but on an arbitrary and purely conceptual chronological system. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the vernal equinox has moved widely. Therefore, we cannot base correct astrological diagnoses on the influences of the stars but rather on our hypothetical temporal qualities; in other words, everything that is generated and produced in a given moment carries within it the specific rhythm of that exact moment “.
As mentioned above, this premise dismantles the deterministic claims made by proponents of scientific astrology. It posits that the correlation between human destinies and the cosmos is predicated upon the temporal symbolism of the tropical zodiac as opposed to the actual astronomical relationships born from the position of the vernal point relative to the fixed stars. The human and cosmic domains appear to function on parallel tracks of analogy, as encapsulated by the hermetic adage, “as above, so below, to accomplish the miracle of one thing”. Given these analogical premises, the integration of astrology and science seems improbable; however, one could entertain the possibility of exploring one of the theoretical systems that have transformed the landscape of classical physics, such as quantum mechanics.
Quantum physics: two competing realities
Before the end of the 19th century, the field of physics was grounded in several key assumptions. Firstly, the universe consists of both matter and radiation. Secondly, matter is subject to Newton’s laws, which allow for the precise determination of its state at any given moment by way of its position and velocity. Thirdly, the radiation is undulatory, with its dynamic variables being composed of electric and magnetic fields at every point in space. Given its wave-like nature, radiation was not believed to be comprised of individual particles occupying space. In 1870, Maxwell developed a theory regarding the electromagnetic emission of electric charges, which was later corroborated experimentally by Hertz in 1887.
At the turn of the 20th century, the assumptions of classical physics were challenged by specific facts, making it difficult to formulate a satisfactory atomic model. The discoveries of X-rays by Roentgen and radioactivity by Becquerel presented a theoretical dilemma, further complicated by the challenges of interpreting experimental data related to the thermal emission of radiation from a black body . In 1900, Planck postulated that radiation is emitted in discrete amounts, or quanta, to explain the spectrum of a black body. This revelation led to the dual nature of radiation, which sometimes appears as a wave and sometimes as a particle. This discovery marked the birth of quantum physics. Following this, de Broglie hypothesized that material particles also possess a dual nature, both particle and wave, and experiments confirmed this on the diffraction of electrons from crystals . Subsequently, Heisenberg, Dirac and others developed a mathematical theory that underlies current quantum mechanics based on the de Broglie-Schrödinger hypothesis.
This brief explanation was necessary to understand the “philosophical” implications of the wave-particle duality. In classical mechanics, Newton’s laws define particles’ evolution, enabling the precise description of a system’s state via spatial and temporal coordinates. Conversely, quantum mechanics explores the indeterminate nature of subatomic, particle and wave phenomena, replacing a concrete visual representation with abstract mathematical models describing observed quantities in terms of probabilities. The wave function, an integral component of quantum mechanics , does not determine a particle’s exact position or velocity but rather the probability of its existence in a specific spatial region with a particular momentum. The statistical character of quantum physics is not attributable to imprecise measurements or theoretical inadequacy but rather to the intrinsic nature of a quantum particle, lacking well-defined specific attributes. This complexity led Heisenberg to devise the uncertainty principle, which dictates that observable quantities of a particle, such as position and velocity, cannot simultaneously possess exact values. The measurement of one quantity renders the other imprecise. In our example, position and velocity would allow us to determine a particle’s future and past evolution; without one of these data, the particle’s history is a blank page.
There is a debate surrounding the quantum paradox, which posits that it arises from abstract assumptions. However, numerous experiments have confirmed the quantum hypothesis, which states that particles have an intrinsically indeterminate nature. This nature only becomes well-defined when observed, leading to what is known as wave function collapse. When an experiment is conducted, a measurement is extracted from the realm of probability, thereby selecting a specific outcome from a range of possibilities. In doing so, the nature of reality shifts into a well-defined state. It is as if two complementary and superimposable realities coexist, one where the particle is not observed and does not exist in a defined way and the other where the observed particle shows itself in one of its possible states.
Schrödinger exemplified the concept of the dualistic nature of subatomic reality through his well-known cat paradox. To illustrate this paradox, consider a quantum system comprising a cat, a radioactive source, a radioactivity detector, and a vial of cyanide gas, where even macroscopic elements are considered quantum. The Geiger counter sensor is connected to a hammer that shatters the cyanide vial if a core of the radioactive source decays. Suppose that after a specific time, the quantum state of a nucleus has the same probability of decaying or less. It then follows that the cat, being an integral part of the quantum system, is simultaneously both alive and dead.
The example is the starting point for a vigorous debate to resolve the paradox whose extreme limits give rise to diverse explanations. Some argue that the observer’s consciousness, upon gaining awareness of the experiment’s outcomes, causes the wave function to collapse. On the other hand, the act of measurement divides the universe into different quantum probabilities – live cat and dead cat – each inhabited by a copy of the observer. The most accepted theory advocates the priority of measurement, where the act causes an irreversible change in the surveying instruments, a record of the fact that remains available to the observer .
So, it could be argued that no actual quantum reality exists when unobserved, and macroscopic measuring devices are necessary to determine the states of the microcosm of the particles. In a series of quantum optics experiments, scientists have discovered that they can defer learning about the particle or wave reality of the photons used until the data has been recorded and interpreted. In other words, the researcher himself determines the outcome of the investigation. This scenario gives rise to disturbing and ambiguous explanations; for example, scientists could alter the particle’s past. Ultimately, this represents how subjective and objective reality intersect to merge into a unified vision, indicating that an external “reality” does not exist permanently.
In the realm of subatomic particles, observation is an elusive concept. Instead, the subatomic world is revealed through traces left on measuring and sensing instruments, such as a Geiger counter, a spectroscope, or the bubble chamber of an accelerator. It is impossible to claim direct observation of an electron or any other subatomic particle. The work of theoretical physicists lies in constructing a mathematical formalism in the form of an equation that accurately corresponds to experimental data. If this equation can predict the outcome of future experiments, it is deemed representative of the reality supported by such empirical data.
Order and chaos
The scientific credibility of astrology is closely linked to the application of quantum mechanics to the macroscopic world. While material entities and vital processes appear highly organized and do not seem to suffer from the quantum indeterminacy that distinguishes subatomic particles, integrating the microcosmic and macrocosmic levels remains a topic of lively debate among physicists. However, this problem may be more apparent than real. Quantum mechanics, through the “clues” left in macroscopic measuring instruments, suggests that beyond a certain level of definition, the nature of reality reveals its “emptiness” in the Buddhist sense, the lack of existence (per se) of phenomena. The quantum paradigm demonstrates the indeterminacy achieved when the values of the conscious definition reach the minimum threshold, beyond which there is only chaos – an undifferentiated potential from which it is possible to extract some meanings. This indeterminacy reveals that reality is chaotic until we posit a conscious interpretation.
The macrocosm appears organised by the order through which consciousness reads the world, and since it is human consciousness, the universe becomes anthropomorphic – on a human scale. Astrology is a viable method of acquiring information about us and our surroundings, mainly due to the universe’s representation in our image and likeness. The universe is an organism that, at certain complexity levels, becomes vital in a biological sense. At even higher levels of complexity – see the human one – it houses self-awareness. Accordingly, the moment of birth may be interpreted as an instance of analogical equivalence with the cosmos. The space-time coordinates of the birth event become the locus for the confluence of a conscious entity’s experiences, which are reflected in its unique worldview. In this context, the principles of analogy and synchronicity hold true, as the observer and the phenomenon are interdependent, in essence, the same entity.
The concept of a quantum worldview that emphasises the role of the observer is not new in Western philosophy. The ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras articulated this idea in his work ‘The Truth,’ stating, “Man is the measure of all things, of the things that are, and of the things that are not.” Plato interpreted this statement as rejecting the dichotomy between “essence” and “appearance,” suggesting that being and its formal manifestation are not distinct from one another. Protagoras’ perspective is grounded in a human-centred philosophy critical of absolutism and relativism, seeking to reconcile opposing viewpoints through the art of rhetoric. The central tenet of sophistry is that each argument may contain two valid interpretations. At the same time, rhetoric aims to enforce one. It aligns with the investigative methods of quantum physics, which seek to “extract” the discrete or wave nature of a particle by designing experiments to reveal one facet of it.
Thus far, the quantum model has made a notable contribution to elucidating the non-causal mechanisms of astrology, with a shared aim of rationalizing otherwise chaotic and non-deterministic processes by extending the quantum factor to the macrocosm. However, it is essential to consider that human consciousness serves as an ordering principle in each case. The principle of non-locality, a quantum principle, helps define this point.
The non-locality of quantum systems
In the realm of classical physics, the concept of locality postulates that occurrences transpiring at a certain point in space are influenced by what happens in its immediate vicinity. In quantum mechanics, when two particles having a common origin, for instance, generated by the decay of another particle, move away from each other due to an event, they yield correlated outcomes on independently performed measurements. This correlation of distant particles characterises quantum mechanics as being non-local. Despite his contribution to formulating the laws of quantum mechanics, Einstein has always been greatly vexed by their indeterminacy, as evidenced by his famous statement that “God does not play dice.” Non-locality seemed to him to openly contradict his relativistic theories.
In 1935, Albert Einstein, alongside Boris Podolski and Nathan Rosen, undertook a series of EPR experiments (named after their initials) designed to explore the interactions of two physical systems. These experiments centred around the decay of a neutral pion into two photons . The EPR experiments confirmed that the measurement of a particular photon state inexplicably invalidated the measurements of the second photon as if the latter knew the first photon’s measurement. Let’s consider the scenario wherein the second photon is light years away from the first, and we measure both photons “simultaneously.” The uncertainty in the measurements means that photon 2 “knows” that photon 1 has been measured. This contradicts the theory of relativity, which prohibits the transmission of messages faster than light. To reconcile this contradiction, Einstein proposed the existence of local hidden variables that do not require instantaneous actions at a distance.
In 1964, physicist John Bell proposed an experiment to verify the existence of hidden variables, which he referred to as Bell’s inequality principle. His research demonstrated that hidden local variables could not account for the non-locality of particles that appeared to interact regardless of the distance between them. Niels Bohr, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics, adopted a specific interpretation of this phenomenon, known as the Copenhagen interpretation, which posited that particles with a common origin are part of a single wave function. Therefore, it cannot be said that they are physically independent. The particles only display their independence when measured, but it remains uncertain whether they possess a definite position and state of motion prior to that point.
It is believed that all particles interact somehow and that the particles comprising the universe are part of a single wave function, with each particle’s reality being connected to the entire cosmos. In this view, reality appears to be separate only when subjected to investigation, which further confirms the law of analogy. This law can be understood as a language that enables one to “circumvent” the separative illusion induced by rational thought, returning to the “quantum” unity between man and the cosmos.
What conclusions can be drawn from examining the complex domain of subatomic particles? It is indisputable that non-locality can provide scientific insight into what appears to be a significant influence on astrological configurations. The use of analogy and sympathetic magical principles are conventional means of expression, which some may deem “primitive,” of a reality that has found scientific expression in this era, thanks to quantum mechanics. Frazer himself noted that the formulation of magical laws adhered to what he called the law of contagion: two entities that have come into contact with one another will continue to interact even when separated by a distance .
The current physics research is grappling with the challenge of determining whether the quantum paradigm holds significance in complex systems at the macroscopic level. For instance, biological systems operate based on a non-local quantum principle, whereby the development of various parts of an organism adapts to other distant parts as if following a mutual project. However, this alone cannot suffice to confirm that quantum processes are indispensable in explaining life. Suppose we do not wish to adopt the reductionist thesis that negates any distinct reality between atomic particles and organised biological processes (the world as a cloud of atoms) or the idealistic hypothesis that considers reality a purely mental construct. In that case, we need to find a golden mean. In this case, processes and cognitive manifestation are crucial in building the foundations of the reality we experience. We assume that we should not reject quantum laws but rather integrate them with new organising principles. The evolutionary rules suggest that the coincidence between environmental circumstances (such as prolonged drought) and genetic coding mechanisms causes a re-mix of the DNA capable of reflecting or creating an analogy between the inside and the outside. This results in an organism genetically adapted to the environment, thereby invalidating Darwinian randomness and all its derivatives.
The addition of quantum physics to the field of evolutionary biology would redefine the process of evolution as the collapse of a genome, which refers to the set of genes present in a species’ chromosomes, into a phenotype, which pertains to the external appearance of a biological organism. Furthermore, the study of the connections between the micro and macrocosm reveals that searching for a solution to quantum paradoxes necessitates premises already relevant to astrological thinking. These premises include the relationship between the observer and the phenomenon, highlighting the identity between man and the cosmos and the acceptance of non-locality, underscoring the analogical bond that realises this identity. Hence, quantum mechanics provides a compelling reason to depart from the causal legacy of astrology. Nevertheless, it remains plausible to argue that the astrological metaphor contains the seeds of a revolution in scientific thought. Disciplines that encounter limitations in local causality, such as the finality and cooperation of biological phenomena that do not integrate with the mechanism of local forces acting at a molecular level, could undergo a holistic astrological revision. Echoing Ebertin’s statements on Cosmobiology, quantum physics can unify various branches of knowledge under a single banner, thereby enabling astrology, free from prejudices, to function as a unifying principle of scientific and humanistic thought.