Astrology, statistical research and AI

AI people

A significant challenge faced by astrologers using statistical research and AI (artificial intelligence) to correlate planetary patterns with events is that results are not repeatable. Astrology is unique amongst the arts and sciences because it studies nature of time, the quality of time, as it varies from moment to moment. Time is like a landscape in that each moment has unique characteristics, just as each landscape vista is unique.

For example we might get one result from a medical research project that says xyz has shown a 79% correlation with Sun-Jupiter conjunctions over a 30-year period. At first glance this result might sound impressive. Research such as this is common in financial astrology circles where aspectal relationships between planets are correlated with the rise and fall of markets.

The odds

However, the chances of the celestial bodies being in the same signs and in the same angular relationship are millions to one. It takes hundreds of thousands of years for the exact same pattern to be repeated. For example, if research shows that applying Venus-Saturn square aspects have had a 75% correlation with a rise in the financial markets over the last 5 years, over the next 5 years the patterns of the planets do not repeat. The experiment cannot be repeated over the same conditions.

So while, in the above mentioned research, the results sound impressive, they can only be replicated in a relatively short period of time, and even then there will be differences as the Moon will have changed its zodiacal position. The Moon changes sign very quickly, and the movements of the more distant bodies provide a different backdrop on a regular and predictable basis.

Pluto and shorter sub-cycles

It is true that within a 250-year time frame Pluto’s sign placement remains the same. But this interval is divided up into sub-periods described by the shorter cycles of Uranus and Neptune, and these sub-periods are further divided by the interweaving cycles of Jupiter and Saturn, Mars and the Sun, and so on..

planet cycles

It is fundamental to astrology that the landscape of time varies from moment to moment, and that each moment is especially unique. Therefore, involving astrology with statistical research and estimating probabilities based on past results has limited value. Statistical research assumes that each moment is the same and attempts to validate results based on the assumption that conditions are the same and can be replicated. But astrology says that conditions are never the same because the quality of time varies from moment to moment. No two moments can be replicated.

Looking at the bigger picture It is questionable whether astrologers need to validate their findings according to the dictates of empirical and statistical research. While it is understandable that astrologers feel a need to be accepted and validated by the wider community, especially by the scientific community which is held in the highest esteem in the present era, it may not be possible to find acceptance.

A different perspective

A different approach would be re-access astrology’s place in the world relative to the prevailing culture where science is held as the final arbiter of truth. History suggests that astrology was ‘the mother of all sciences’ because ancient stargazers developed many of mathematical principles which made today’s achievements possible.

The 2020 annular Solstice Eclipse and China

In my January 26 2020 article The Coronavirus and Astrology, Part 1 I looked at the 2019 Boxing day eclipse and called it the Coronavirus Eclipse because its appearance echoes the coronavirus and it occurred just as the world was waking up to what was to become a pandemic.

I described an annular solar eclipse as “…when the Moon is further away from the earth than normal and does not completely cover the Sun’s disk. The result is a corona on the outside rim of the Sun’s disk. The main feature of an annular eclipse is the corona, the ‘rim of fire’, that surrounds the blackened disk of the Moon.”

On June 21 2020 we have another annular eclipse , this time opposite (within 3 degrees) the same place in the zodiac as the 2019 Boxing Day eclipse.

200621 annular SEThis eclipse begins in the Congo, passes through Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan , Northern India, China, directly through Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and is also visible in Wuhan and Beijing. Eclipses are considered to be most potent in areas of visibility. The path of this annular eclipse passes through and is visible (cloud permitting) in a number of areas associated with conflict, crisis and tension, including Yemen, Kashmir, Tibet, Wuhan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

eclipses china




In this article I will focus on China and look at America and Australia in a separate article.

Shown here are the 2019 and 2020 annular solar eclipse charts, set for Wuhan in China. When set for Beijing there are only minor differences and the Ascendant sign does not change.


  • The Ascendant axes are reversed
  • The Suns oppose each other, which is to be expected for charts 6 months apart.
  • The Moons oppose each other
  • In both charts the eclipse is in the ninth house
  • Mars trine Mars
  • Mars  sextiles Pluto in both charts.
  • Saturn is angular in both charts, conjunct the MC/IC axis, in mundane opposition.
  • In both charts the Ascendant ruler is either in the eighth house or within 5 degrees of the cusp.

There is so much to talk about here so I will just focus on a few basics.

The eclipse of the Sun

In both charts it is the Sun which is eclipsed, and we need to ask what does the Sun represent?

In the 2019 chart the Sun rules the fifth house of fun and pleasure. With the state imposed lockdowns entertainment and associated enjoyments were minimised. In the 2020 chart the Sun rules the tenth house and represents the country’s leaders and administration which are eclipsed, challenged, in some type of crisis.

China’s leadership

One important difference between the 2 charts is that in the 2019 chart the leaders are in absolute control, represented by Saturn in rulership conjunct the Midheaven. In the second chart the Sun rules the tenth house and therefore it the leadership that is eclipsed. What this means in practical terms is difficult to say. Power plays within Chinese leadership are renowned for being opaque and Xi Jinping appears to be in complete control. The eclipse may simply mean a new approach to taken to questions of international relations, or some about-turn, perhaps an important adjustment to counter new realities. Unlike the Moon in the 2019 chart, the 2020 Moon in Cancer is very powerful, and perhaps China will dare to flex its muscles on the international stage.

International relations

The ninth house in both charts shows a focus on international relationships. In the 2019 horoscope the ninth house is ruled by Jupiter in its fall and China has been embroiled in difficult confrontations. In this 2019 chart the debilitated Moon applies directly to Jupiter, amplifying the difficulties. In the 2020 chart the ninth house ruler Mercury is retrograde. However it is the powerful Cancer Moon which takes control, ruling both Mercury and the Sun.

Ascendant axis reversal

The Ascendant ruler of the 2019 chart is Mars powerfully placed in Scorpio conjunct the eighth cusp, revealing a focus on death and loss. In the 2020 the Ascendant ruler is Venus, ruled by ninth house Mercury, the planet which rules money and exchange. Venus in the eighth again shows issues with death and loss. In this 2020 chart Mars rules the second house of finances and aspects its ruler Jupiter. Unfortunately Jupiter is ill-disposed in the sign of Capricorn. Economic challenges demand attention.

Saturn in Aquarius on the IC

While Saturn on the MC in the 2019 chart showed the iron fist of authority in complete control during the pandemic emergency, in the 2020 Saturn is placed in the opposite position on the IC. Here it is very strong in the warm moist air sign of Aquarius. The fourth house represents land property and its produce and Saturn represents borders. This placement may indicate the imposition of borders within China, to quarantine various regional areas against a second wave of the coronavirus, and on the outside to build a tariff wall against foreigners.

Aquarius has often been called a ‘humane’ sign, and Saturn here suggests some kind of social contract with the people. It is however a powerful symbol of authority and the enforcement of law will leave no one in doubt about who is in charge.

US and Australia

On my return from a trip to the Highlands next week I will look at the 2020 annular solar eclipse chart in relation to the US and Australia.



SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch

SpaceX Crew DragonThe launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon has been hailed as” a thrilling new era of human spaceflight” between private enterprise, led by Elon Musk, and NASA.

It is intended that Crew Dragon will autonomously dock with the ISS spacestation.

From an astrological perspective there are several stand-outs in the horoscope for the launch.

1. Sun square Mars

First and most obvious is the close applying square aspect between the Gemini Sun and Mars in Pisces. We might assume that this aspect represent more than just the extraordinary fireworks which accompanied the launch.

2. Sun conjunct Aldabaran

The second stand-out is that the Sun is conjunct the fixed star Aldabaran, also known as The South Eye of the Bull.  It is associated with new beginnings, a new cycle. According to Oscar Hofman, Fixed Stars in the Chart,  Aldabaran has associations with high material honours, and the danger of losing them. This is a very powerful fixed star.

3. Moon opposite Neptune

The third stand-out is the Virgo Moon’s very close applying opposition to Neptune. The Virgo Moon emphasises the technical detail and expertise associated with the endeavour. Neptune is associated with glamour and deception, or at least something hidden from view. It also has associations with gas. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the four month stay of the astronauts in the ISS spacestation.

4. Jupiter-Pluto conjunct IC

The fourth stand-out is Jupiter-Pluto conjunct the IC. In the sign of Capricorn Jupiter is a malefic and its alignment with Pluto just either big success or terrible disaster.

Each of these stand-outs are very challenging and convey a sense of danger combined with the possibility of great success. We can only hope for the best.

Horoscope for those born under the Southern Skies

In my last post The Zodiac in the Southern Hemisphere I discussed the proposal that zodiac signs should be switched for horoscopes based in the Southern Hemisphere (SH). My conclusion was that it does not make sense to make this switch and that zodiac signs used in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) work equally well in the SH for people born at the same time.

Southern Hemisphere horoscopeConfused student

Following from this discussion I suggested on my Facebook page that it does make sense to change the horoscope format so that charts drawn up for the SH accurately reflect what we actually see when we look to the heavens. I recall it being a real head-twister as a student trying to understand why east is placed on the left in the standard horoscope format when actually east is on our right in the SH. How better it would be if what we see in the horoscope is the same as what we see in the heavens! Why present an arcane format to the aspiring student that does not conform with the viewer’s reality ?

Right to left following the Sun

In this revised format for the SH the Midheaven is still at the top of the chart and the IC at the bottom. The major adjustment from standard horoscopes is that the Ascendant is on the right because this is where the Sun rises. The Sun appears to move from right to left in the SH and this is reflected in this SH horoscope format. From the Ascendant the Sun moves leftwards up to the Midheaven and then down to the Descedant left in the Western hemisphere which is now on the left.

House numbering

The houses are numbered in a clockwise direction, reflecting the order in which planets rise above the Ascendant. Their meanings are exactly the same as before. The 5th and 9th houses are trine the Ascendant and the other house relationships remain the same. The Descendant is placed where the Sun sets as it heads into the underworld; and the IC is at the nadir of the horoscope.

I understand that this format might take some getting used to by those of us who have spent years using the standard format. But how much better would it for beginning students in the SH if the horoscope accurately reflects our view of the heavens?

Example chart

On the left is the horoscope for the Australian Greens party. The Moon and Venus are culminating in the standard format horoscope on the left and also in the SH format on the right.  The difference is simply one of direction. The planets appear to move from left to right in the standard format and from right to left in the SH format.

The horoscope on the right corresponds to the viewer’s perspective and ‘makes sense’ in real terms.

The Zodiac in the Southern Hemisphere

Astrologers in the southern hemisphere (SH) look northwards to view the Sun as it creates the zodiac, while astrologers in the northern hemisphere (NH) look southwards to view the same zodiac.

Same zodiac

Although visitors from the NH would see the background constellations in the SH as turned upside down, the zodiac signs are the same. It is the same celestial space. There is no change. The zodiac is consistent in its power and meaning across the globe. There is no reversal of signs. The star patterns associated with Aries form the backdrop to the Sun on April 1st whether viewed from the SH or NH, assuming we could see through the Sun’s glare.

Aries north and south

On April 1st the Sun as viewed from the SH does not pass across that part of the sky associated with Libra. Just Aries. The visuals clearly tell us that that the sign through which the Sun passes is Aries, and does not support the notion that people born on April 1st should have a Libran Sun-sign. There can be no mistake.

Someone born on April 1st is an Aries irrespective of which hemisphere their birthplace is located, and they exhibit the qualities that we normally associate with Aries, assuming these are not obscured by other indicators.

Underlying cosmology

While people may speculate on when and how the tropical zodiac was first recognised, it is important to understand the cosmology that underpins astrology. This cosmology describes the structure of our universe including the relationship between the planets and zodiac signs. It also clarifies the distinction between the constellations and the zodiac signs.

Distinction between the divine and the material

This ancient cosmological model shows a clear distinction between the perfection associated with the divine world and the imperfection of the manifest material world. The zodiac is associated with the upper spheres of the divine world of perfection, and the planets and constellations exist only in the physical world. The constellations are subject to deterioration and are gradually moving out of alignment due to a process called the precession of the equinoxes. The zodiac signs, which exist within the realm of divine perfection, are subject to no such corruption. They contain the sum-total of all possibilities for manifestation in our material world, which are activated by the passage of the lights and the planets.

No switching signs

Without a knowledge of the cosmology that underpins astrology the zodiac signs can lose their intrinsic meaning and become de-valued. Switching the signs for those born in the SH takes us away from astrology. How much better is it to first learn the basics of astrology before trying the improvise and invent.

The Sun commands the planets to station retrograde

retrograde planetsFollowing last week’s discussion of retrograde planets correlating with the winding back of coronavirus restrictions in various countries, the graphic on the left shows retrograde planets, in dark grey, for the remainder of May and for June 2020.

We see that as the Sun makes a dexter trine to the superior planets they station and turn retrograde. Like subjects being approached by the king, they must genuflect and step backwards.

Similarly Venus is slowing in anticipation of a meeting with the Sun which occurs around June 3, 2020. It appears to station and turn retrograde later this week. At the inferior conjunctions Mercury and Venus are always in apparent retrograde motion. Again the analogy with the king and his subjects seems apt.

Between June 24-25 2020 there are no less than 6 planets in retrograde motion, with Mercury and Neptune joining the retrograde march.

It is the Sun which determines the motions and stations of the planets. It is like the conductor and ‘commander-in-chief’ of our seasons and the movements of the celestial bodies.


Retrograde planets and the coronavirus

Saturn roomPlanets retrograde

With 3 planets turning retrograde this month we can expect to see some return to a previous situation. It is no coincidence that various countries are in the process of lifting some coronavirus restrictions on distancing and socialising.


Saturn is one of the planets turning retrograde. Saturn’s essential nature is associated with isolation, financial retraction, fear, pandemics, destruction, death and withdrawal. These conditions dominate public consciousness at the present time.


Jupiter is associated with freedom of movement and association and these have been heavily restricted across the globe. Jupiter is said to be “in its fall” in Capricorn and the present situation provides some validation for this concept. A planet in its fall does not easily rise, and this is reflected worldwide in the dire state of the airline industry across the globe.

A temporary repreive

The stationing and retrograde motion of Saturn diminishes its natural capacity is restrict and isolate. It also loosens its restrictive grip on Jupiter. But it is only a loosening. A temporary reprieve. Jupiter is not only in its fall bur also retrograde. Both conditions severely diminish its natural competence to be everything that Saturn is not: expansive, positive and prosperous.

September 2020

It is not until September that both planets station direct. There is likely to be a re-imposition of restrictions until the end of the year. It is not until December 2020 that Jupiter finally leaves Capricorn, the sign of its fall, and enters Aquarius.
In Aquarius Jupiter is again in a Saturn ruled sign, but it is no longer in its fall. Aquarius is a warm and moist sign. The warmth, although moderate, adds expansiveness; and the moisture adds connectivity. It the present scenario this points to some type of social contract.

The new era

In January Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the first degree of Aquarius. These conjunctions follow a 20 year cycle which has often been associated with the economy. With one exception, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have all been in earth signs in the last 800 years. The switch to air signs represents the beginning of an a new 200 year cycle iwhich s itself part of a longer 800 year cycle as the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctios transverse the4 elements. These long cycles have frequently been associated with the rise and fall of civilisations.

Cardinal George Pell acquital

Cardinal George Pell acquitalShown on the left is Cardinal George Pell’s natal chart, birth time unknown.

No houses or POF are shown and zodiacal longitude is rounded out to to 12 noon.

Transiting planets are shown on the outside rim for 12 noon April 7th 2020, which was the approximate time of his acquital and release.

Of special interest is transiting Sun sextile natal Sun, transiting Moon Mars Saturn and Venus all aspecting natal Jupiter and natal Pluto.

Transiting Pluto and Jupiter as well as Mercury all aspect his natal Saturn Uranus conjunction.

The solar foundation of the horoscope

The HousesThe following is taken from page 54 of Deborah Houlding’s The Houses- Temples of the Sky; 1988 Ascella Publications. Printed in Great Britain.

“Without doubt then, human perception of the Sun’s relationship with the Earth, and the corresponding cyles of dark and light, day and night, and summer and winter, underpin our whole approach to interpreting planets by location (in the houses of the horoscope). The evidence appears indisputable when considering how the Sun’s daily motion around the Earth gives rise to the fundamental meanings of the astrological ‘angles’.”

I have hundreds of books on astrology. I’ve been collecting them for about 35 years. But there’s no-one in my opinion, who explains the meanings of the houses, their essence, and the origin of their meanings. more clearly than Deborah Houlding. She stands out from the crowd. If you haven’t read this book I would strongly encourage you to do so, whether you are a traditional or modern astrologer, or whatever system you follow.

Wherther or not you agree with what she says, at the very least you will be able to have an informed discussion on the subject.

The lady who was never going to die

saturnDeath and political correctness

I recall about 30 years ago I was doing a reading for a lady who’d recently consulted a Vedic astrologer who told her she would die at 84 yoa. She reported it to me as a shock and was shaky and tearful. Turned out the problem wasn’t that he’d said 84. He could have said any age. The issue was that she was shocked at hearing the news that she would, at some time, die. It was inconceivable to her. This speaks volumes about the culture she was brought up in and how she’d been shielded from life’s realities.

Traditional societies

In more traditional societies such as some parts of India and other places, death is seen as a natural stage in life. People freely talk about it. Astrologers naturally include a predicted time of death in their readings, as they used to do in the West. However in recent times many see it as ethically wrong to predict death. Many won’t even mention the possibility. Why? Surely most of us are mature adults aware of the most inevitable event in life.

Political correctness

I have no problem talking about my death or anyone else’s, although I don’t generally for those living. But seriously what’s the problem? Will someone be upset? Is this another example political correctness gone mad, ignoring one of life’s basic realities? Maybe the modern mantra in astrology against mentioning death or the time of possible death needs to be reconsidered.

Our short time here

It is what it is.  Death is a reality of life that cannot be denied. And might we not be better off, perhaps even make wiser choices on our life’s journey, if we are more mindful of the bigger picture, more aware of how short our time here is on this beautiful planet?