A Good Definition of Astrology
Just a quickie! I found this awesome article by Chris Brennan on the definition of astrology.
Signs or Causes?
It has some interesting insights into how mainstream definitions, and especially skeptic definitions, of astrology tend to mis-characterize it. Astrology does not require a belief that there is some sort of causal force emitted by planets that accounts for a set of astrological “effects”. He discusses how most ancient, and many modern, astrologers have viewed astrology in terms of signs and correlation rather than causation.
Of course, skeptics would like to believe that astrology necessitates physical forces emitted from the planets. Upon showing that there are no such physical forces sufficient enough to influence human affairs in such ways, they can claim they’ve “debunked” astrology. However, astrologers from the earliest strata of its practice in Babylonia tended to view it as “heavenly writing” akin to signs from a higher intelligence. Such as view does not require that planets cause anything. It is outside of the realm of physics and the opinions of physicists.
Mind and Body
Personally, astrology to me is no more or less mysterious than the mind-body problem, and is no closer to a real solution. I actually view the mind-body problem and the celestial bodies and their signs problem as not only being parallel, but probably the very same problem. Some have claimed to have bridged it, in both areas, but I think they are on very shaky ground. There is no necessary and logical reason that a certain physical electrical configuration through the brain should cause or even correlate with the non-physical thought about say, your investments or Barney the purple dinosaur. However, sure enough some physical happening will correlate with that thought at that moment.
It’s a great article with great insights! Check it out.
Featured image is a cropped portion of a page from „Ἀρχὴ ἐν βουλγαρίοις ριμάτον εἰς κῑνῆ γλότα ἐρχομένη”, a Bulgarian-Greek dictionary from the 16th century. Vat. Archivio San Pietro C 152, fol. 134v (public domain).