In modern disputes over the scientific status of astrology, the centerpiece of discussion has always – rightly or wrongly – been the work of Michel and Françoise Gauquelin.
~ Patrick Curry, 'Research on the Mars Effect', The Zetetic Scholar 1982 p.34
I'm here posting up the first issues of Françoise Gauquelin's quarterly Journal, Astro-Psychological Problems 1982 - 1995. For a complete index see the CURA site.
These volumes give a flavour of how a movement of 'astrology research' was developing in the 1980s, and its mood of optimism that something important was then emerging. We had professional psychologists, mathematicians and astronomers debating with astrologers and sceptics in these volumes - something which has never happened before, or since.
This first issue of APP reviewed the book Astrology: Science or Superstition? by the two British academic psychologists Hans Eysenck and David Nias. Françoise quoted the authors' view that:
Perhaps the time has come to state quite unequivocally that a new science is in the process of being born.1
whereas the astronomer George Abell scoffed at this view, countering with:
"But I believe that it is far, far more likely that in 20 years or so the Mars effect and other planetary correlations will have been forgotten"2
It seems, alas, likely that the latter view has prevailed... has it not? She also quoted from a review of the book by myself:
N.K.: Astrology, Science or Superstition? - an odd title since plainly it is neither... If an art claims to evaluate how the whole solar system in the Zodiac at a particular moment of time is related to a whole person born at that moment, then it is far from self-evident that an analytical and quantitative approach to verification is going to be helpful towards it; it could just wreck the whole thing! (Astrological Association Journal Summer 1982, p. 202).
It is amusing to meet my early self from three decades ago!
Here is an article by Patrick Curry looking at how the notions of 'science' and 'scientific' were being used in the ongoing debates. Patrick had a 'philosophy of science' degree and he wrote the definitive history of the Sceptics (CSICOP) cover-up in The Zetetic Scholar 1982 pp. 34-53 (most of the rest of that issue of the journal consists of people discussing his 'history'). Here is an image of the group AIR 'Astrologers in Research' from this period (photograph by Geoffrey Dean), we used to meet at Patrick Curry's place in Hammersmith.
Simon Best at the centre of the picture was the first editor of Correlation: nowadays he edits the journal Caduceus. In 1982 he was on a TV program trying to explain the Mars-effect to Patrick Moore! ('You the Jury') See discussion of this program here in this Volume by Hans Eysenck and others.
In the above picture Graham Douglas is second from the right. He's the only one of the original group who is still going, as shown by the articles of his posted up on the CURA site, and he has helped me to recover some of the data-sets posted up on these pages. This issue carried an article by him about the sixty-year Saturn-Jupiter cycle in relation to how the effects might show up ('A Theoretical Prediction from the Gauquelin Findings').
Simon Best reported on the 'Third International Astrological Research conference' at the Institute of Psychiatry in London - that being the nearest this topic ever got to a university-held conference. Psychology lecturer Beverley Steffert was a co-organizer of this conference. We used to get about a hundred people attending these conferences.
Throughout the twelve years of her APP volumes, Françoise considered whether the 'Gauquelin effect' could show up with ordinary people and not just the famous elite (in which endeavour, Michel did not support her). She gathered birthdata mainly of drug-addicts and lesbians, for this purpose. Here she discusses an 'anti-correlation' between Mars positions for drug addicts, who are by nature withdrawn and contemplative, and the data of eminent professionals, who were the opposite: active and outgoing (See the graph on page 12). The two fourfold patterns here, related to the 'cadent' houses, are rotated one-eighth relative to each other. ('Comments about Wolfgang Martinek's "Drug addiction and Horoscopes", pp.26-28).
This volume contains a note (page 31) by a mathematician Jacques Reverchon, who had for years assisted the Gauquelins with their researches. He evaluates some Gauquelin publications in relation to the so-called 'Heredity effect' and concludes, as we have too, that there was nothing there, i.e it was all just a mistake - the biggest mistake which the Gauquelins made.
This issue carried an article by Alan Smithers, psychology professor at Manchester University, reviewing several data-sets of introversion-extraversion in relation to Sun-sign. That is a result which I was startled to confirm of late, see page 12, being the one real bit of evidence for the tropical zodiac that has ever turned up; and it does seem to be repeatable.
There was also an article by Tom Shanks, who was then the Director of Research at the Astro-computing services in San Diego, on 'Astrological Factors between married couples.' For this he used the Gauquelin 'Heredity data,' which consists of birthdata of a large number of groups of families - just as I've done (page 7): it is the best database for synastry studies.
June 1983 The Problem of Replicating Astrological Results by Ulrich Mees
Sept 1983 Demographic Peculiarities and Planetary Heredity by R Jacques.
- 'Drug Addiction and Horoscopes' by Wolfgang Martinek
Dec 1983 The Problem of Time in Previous Centuries by Libranti,
- 'The Planets of the Astrologers' By FG
March 1984 The Mars Effect and Its Evaluation by Hans Eysenck
June 1984 What is the Inventors' Temperament? by Theo de Weert
Sept 1985 The Greek Error, or Return to Babylon by FG