AsterPro Library of Credible Astrology
1. Astrology and Reality


Page as of Oct. 14, 2001

                          Astrology versus Reality
                          Sirman, Sep. 5/6, 1997
                          Miami Beach, 12 mn

I have studied astrology since 1973, researched it since 1983.  If I were
asked to summarize my findings in a nut shell, it would be as follows.

0. PSYCHICS, ET AL.  As of the late 1980s early 1990s, two parties have
   damaged astrology irreparably: 1) Popular astrologers and 2) The FOX TV
   and its "psychics."  With regards to the first, the culprits were many,
   people who were more interested in making money from astrology than really
   contributing to it.  Linda Goodman put astrology (and herself) to the
   forefront by reducing an entire relationship to a comparison of the Sun
   signs only; Noel Tyl became famous also by assigning signs to rocks and
   plants, knowing well the plants, et al. would not object too vehemently;
   entities like the NCGR saw a benefit - and increased book and software
   sales - from the promotion of any idea, however idiotic; software developers
   saw a chance to impress people with their programming acumen, regardless
   of common sense or CREDIBILITY of their astrology . . . And, alas, well-
   meaning but gullible people also contributed to this trend: people who
   thought the software that could draw better and more circles had to be
   closer to God, who readily accepted the fallacy that all one had to do was
   to look at a circle to "know and understand" a person and then consult him
   or her about their lives, now immeasurably happy that they too had a tool
   that made them the neighborhood God. 

   The onslaught and momentum were such that credible astrology was lost
   in mediocrity. I got into astrology to research it, to leave some credible
   marks for future generations.  I did.  The sale of AsterPro was an
   afterthought, to generate some income from 1986 to 1992/3 while I did my
   research. I never longed to become "famous" or rich taking part in a huge
   scam.

b) As to "PSYCHICS," I am somewhat dumbfounded by the fact that only America
   can produce people with such powers. I lived in several other cultures.
   I know of no place, except perhaps Canada by its proximity to the American
   culture, where people can be DUPED like this, to this extent.  Already by
   1995, this "industry" was generating $100 million from its ads on TV alone.
   Add to this the Jim Bakkers, Jimmy Swaggerts, "Religion" TVs, and HYPED
   claims from almost all sectors, it would seem "DUPING" people has become
   an institutionalized pastime in this country.  Be as it may, once the
   psychics emerged, astrology had no chance. Imagine, one calls a number and
   the person at the other end immediately knows everything about the caller,
   about the mysteries awaiting the caller, without any cumbersome data, charts,
   interpretations, nothing . . .  Goodbye astrology.

   Having said this, now a few words about Astrology versus Reality.
   -----------------------------------------------------------------
1. NATAL.  The "personality" of an individual is so (infinitely) complex that
   it can NEVER be deciphered fully from a natal chart. The latter can at best,
   even if one is privy to all the secrets of astrology, hint at STATIC natal
   potentials. This is because the natal chart never changes. It says nothing
   about how the malefic and/or benefic stimuli, that everyone experiences
   continuously, will mold this person. So, yes there is something to
   astrology, but what?

a) The personality at a certain age is the total sum of how the given natal
   ingredients have evolved in context to the combination of upbringing, means
   of the immediate family, culture, education, environment, circumstances,
   experiences, perceptions, lessons, self-will, fate, and the will of the
   people around this person. THEREFORE, IT IS OBVIOUS RIGHT FROM THE OUTSET
   THAT ANY ATTEMPT TO "GUESS" A PERSON'S INNER AND OUTER IDENTITY FROM
   ASTROLOGY ALONE IS AN ADMISSION OF UTTER IGNORANCE OF ASTROLOGY AND PEOPLE.
   Such an attempt would be as futile as constructing a person's fingerprints
   from his or her photo: it CANNOT be done. This is why an adult person
   reading his or her report will see many generalities and contradictions but
   rarely more. Indeed, contradictions are inherent to every person.  However,
   the unpredictable nuances of the exogenous factors, combined with inherent
   contradictions, erroneous interpretations, and gray areas and unknowns in
   astrology, will render useless any attempt to pinpoint a person from his or
   her natal chart alone. Suffice it to point out that the natal chart is in
   fact THE MOST DIFFICULT puzzle for astrology to solve. It is much more
   complex than predictive Transits and relationships. 

b) Traditional astrology has always been aware of this dilemma.  This is why
   almost all astrologers who yearn for fame have concentrated on analysing
   KNOWN people, like why Mohammed Ali was "destined" to become who he became,
   how this astrologer predicted a major earthquake - AFTER the fact - etc.
   In truth, very few astrologers, if any, can look at two NAMELESS charts and
   identify correctly the chart of a soldier from that of a scientist, a hurricane.

c) Another common way of dealing with these gaps is by SIMPLISTIC ASTROLOGY,
   which I also call PARTY astrology, for entertaining and impressing novices.
   For example, my friend Erol in Istanbul has always reminded me, regardless
   of what I did, how "typically Cancer" I behaved. Indeed, I heard a much
   more insightful description of me from my (second) wife's father, a person
   who had NO astrologic inclinations.  He used to say "Sirman, they made you
   and then threw away the pattern."  To be sure, I do behave like a Cancer,
   but also, and very convincingly, as a Sag (travel, perpetual student), a
   Leo (don't like being bossed; proud, loyal, like attention), a Capricorn
   (ambition, deep planner and implementer), a Gemini (multi-dimensional,
   flirtatious, experimenting), Scorpio (excellent loner, research) .  .  .
   And I have even observed myself as "more Aries" (physical, brave, dare
   devil) than an Aries at times.  OK, my Ascendant is in Sagittarius, near
   the cusp of Capricorn, I have 3 planets in Gemini, 3 in Leo, 3 in Cancer,
   2 in Virgo, all on the right side of my chart.  That is it.

   So since Erol KNOWS I am a Cancer, he insists on reading the signals using
   his "Cancer lenses." Curiously, if being domesticated is a Cancer trait, he
   - NOT a Cancer - is more a Cancer than me, for he has lived a married
   life for almost all of his adult years, whereas I left that lifestyle
   already in 1973, after only 6 years of experimentation, to be free to roam
   the world, do my thing, have experiences, etc. Somehow these obviously
   natal anomalies have escaped Erol.  I am NOT pointing out these variables
   to deny that I am - and behave like - a Cancer. Rather, I have lived such
   an unusual life that the collective impact of my past has made me much more
   than a mere - ah-so-predictable - Cancer.  These complexities (i.e.,
   interaction of inputs) apply also to other people, in varying degrees,
   often also as a result of the "current" transiting cycles they are under.

2. RELATIONS. Personality is also a very important ingredient of relationships.
   I spent 2 years devising a point system that looks at a relationship
   quantitatively from 14 dimensions, like physical attraction, mental
   compatibility, etc. I obtained honest feedback from dozens of couples
   - also my own - as I developed these measures.  At the end, all I can say
   for sure is that a relationship with high points only indicates this couple
   has a cushion during adversity.  Otherwise, a relationship may bloom even
   with very low points, especially when one or both partners have stable
   natal charts, or when they are under positive Transiting cycles.

a) Because a relationship chart is derived from the interaction of 2 natal
   charts, which are STATIC by definition, the best such an analysis can point
   out is the potential between the partners.  It can NEVER convey anything
   about the CURRENT status of a relationship, which is determined often by
   exogenous factors and also Transiting cycles.  This is to say that a
   relationship study MUST be accompanied by a Transit study for both partners
   to determine their current situation.  This is the easy part.

b) The factors that really decide the outcome in the long run are again the
   personalities of the partners, and karma too, like in the form of an
   accident. "Personality" can become even murkier in a relationship because,
   in time, both partners acquire some of the characteristics of the other.
   
3. TRANSITS. As far as I am concerned, predictive Transits, the ONLY
   predictive technique I use, are easier to interpret than a natal or
   relationship study, though, of course, they are also very nebulous.
   (I have discarded Progressions a long time ago, because of the stupid
   premise - Day=Year - on which this technique is based. Similarly, I do not
   see anything profound in Solar, etc. Returns, for they are, after all,
   snapshots of Transits at a given moment, like the time of birth, which
   non-thinking astrologers insist on extrapolating to the entire year.)

a) Transits are easier to deal with because, unlike the Natal chart, long-term
   exogenous factors do not clutter astrology.  For example, Saturn transiting
   the 7th house of a married partner may cause a disturbance in marriage. If
   Saturn is also conjunct this person's Venus, Sun, or Moon, the problem will
   be more prominent. If, in addition, this person has a complex, perhaps
   unstable, natal chart, then problems like infidelity, etc. may surface.
   Meanwhile, if the other partner is undergoing a positive cycle, then there
   will be a "goodwill" reflection of this also on the other partner, mellowing
   this person's adversity.  In turn, if the other partner is also going
   through an adverse cycle, a breakup may follow.  If the relationship has
   low points - as per AsterPro - a breakup is likely . . .

b) CIRCUMSTANCES. The example above describes a situation in which predictive
   astrology will provide some answers.  However, there are many complexities
   also in Transits. For example, suppose a person had a bad accident and lost
   a leg a month ago. So regardless of how rosy his or her transit chart looks
   for this month, this person's mood for the foreseeable future will be
   decided by the accident, by the loss of the leg.  In other words,
   CIRCUMSTANCES play a very significant role in predictive astrology, like
   the absurdity of promising "romance on the bloom" to a man stranded alone
   on an island.

c) There are other interferences.  For example, did the person in the above
   example have an accident because of a bad aspect in HIS or HER chart, or
   due to a bad aspect in the OTHER driver's chart?  (This could be, for
   obviously everyone who dies in a plane crash does/did NOT have the SAME
   terrible aspect in their Natal or Transiting chart.) If the latter, this
   person's chart may NOT show any sign of a major accident, the loss of
   a leg.  So someone confronted with such a situation may inquire "what good
   is astrology if it cannot even predict the loss of my leg?" The answer is
   NONE, in such cases.  These examples illustrate something else that
   every good astrologer MUST have: COMMON SENSE.  It is futile to expect
   astrology to be privy to all the mysteries of life.  In addition to the
   exogenous factors, there are too many unknowns in astrology.

d) DESTINY. Transits are windows to opportunities, though they do not
   guarantee results, unless perhaps a person makes an effort to that end.
   For example, it is very unlikely for a jobless person to find a job only
   because Jupiter is at a nice spot in his or her chart.  Unless this person
   uses the opportunity to send job applications, the outcome will be
   probably as bleak as with Jupiter doing nothing.  So positive cycles
   should NOT be used idly, with the expectation that things will happen in a
   vacuum, BUT as an opportunity to initiate something.  Similarly testing
   cycles may be also an ideal time to start a project.  For example,
   instead of feeling depressed and turning to alcohol, perhaps because of an
   adverse Saturn cycle, this person can use the same energy (say) to write a
   book, which activity is ponderous enough also to fit Saturn's mood, but
   constructively.

e) I have been also playing with the destiny element inherent in Transits.  But
   unlike many astrologers who predict earthquakes, et al. after the fact, I
   decided to bite the bullet and submit my predictions of an outcome BEFORE
   the event took place.  For example, I posted the results of the presidential
   elections for 1992 (Bush-Clinton) and 1996 (Clinton-Dole) months before the
   elections, by analysing the two Transit charts at the time of the event.
   Based on this work, I uploaded my predictions in 3 tiny BC199x.ZIP files to
   the Astrology Section of CompuServe's NEWAGE Forum-A.  Indeed, I fAXed my
   results also to Mrs. Clinton, as I will soon about another matter in 1998.
   (They are available here under "application.")

f) This is not to say that I CAN predict destiny; I CANNOT.  However, I
   can use astrology to see if my interpretations of some outcomes match the
   reality. With regards to the elections, my predictions came true, perhaps by
   coincidence.  YES, I also predicted some very interesting developments
   in my life.  HOWEVER, it is also true that in many instances I had NOT the
   slightest idea as to how some important things would evolve in MY own life,
   let alone in another person's.  Part of the problem is in that many
   things that affect me, such as the publication of my book, are in the
   hands of other people.  Even if had their birth data, there is no
   way astrology alone can tell me how these people will decide about a
   book, if their publication schedule is already full, if the person
   evaluating my book is a Fundamentalist who will be turned off by my
   criticism of ALL organized religions, etc.  There is only one obvious
   solution to such cases: WAIT and SEE, like other people.

4. SOFTWARE.  All users of astrology software should remind themselves that
   astrology does NOT become an EXACT science because a particular software
   draws "ROUNDER" circles, pretty screens, and offers lots of "features."
   Unlike most other software, where "good features" may mean QUALITY,
   an astrology software, FIRST and FOREMOST, MUST be based on defensible
   techniques derived from a CREDIBLE premise, which (say) "DAY=YEAR" is NOT,
   for without these the rest automatically becomes garbage.  Promoting
   superstition and wishful thinking as astrology serves only one purpose:
   money and (false) fame to the developer.  This has happened already beyond
   redemption.  The bundle is then offered as if it were God's formulae for
   life, their creators as prophets who are privy to HIS mysteries, who can
   explain and predict everything.  People are induced to use these software,
   so that they too can become a disciple of God.  That many people fall for
   these types of calls, as they do for "psychics," et al., especially in
   the American culture, we already know.  Suffice it to state that in view
   of some of the COMMON SENSE limitations of astrology I outlined here,
   which will NOT go away because some astrologer thinks he/she can see MORE
   in a circle, NO astrology software can be a license or tool for the user
   to presume God-like powers.
   
4. In conclusion, a good astrologer is one who recognizes the limitations
   of astrology, acknowledges them, and understands that these limitations
   cannot be overcome (simply) by delving deeper into astrology, AS IF TO FORCE
   IT TO INVENT ANSWERS.  (Again, exogenous elements will not go away because
   some people can hallucinate looking at a circle; often common sense will
   help more than astrology itself.)  Then, the ones who utilize credible
   techniques to post the best insight about a person, event, and/or
   relationship, despite the obvious limitations, are the people who deserve
   the label "a good astrologer."  I have always separated Credible Astrology
   from "Popular Astrology."  Often a good and credible astrologer will NOT
   be popular, when the charlatans of Popular Astrology have the upper hand
   and define "popular."