Demonstrating Dynamic Astrology for Non Astrologers

Contents and Introduction

1. Statistics
2. Collision Charts for Relationships
3. Collision Charts in Leadership
4. The Mars Effect and Dynamic Astrology
5. To Conclude

This page has been written to expand upon Ed Snow's article for the Astrology News Service; it adds detail to what must necessarily remain brief in such an article.
Covering four areas of dynamic astrology, this page details statistics relating to progressed synastry; example collision charts in relationships which demonstrate the human experience matching astrological indicators; collision charts in the horoscopes of leaders which demonstrate that they came to power at astrologically appropriate times in their lives; and the fact that the Mars Effect, made famous during the 1970s, can be explained in terms of dynamic astrology.
If you have ever wondered why astrologers continue to do astrology when science says it cannot be true, the results demonstrated on this page should answer this question conclusively.

1. Statistics

The ANS article mentions that there is statistical significance for certain Venus Sun aspects (or connections) occuring between charts in close personal relationships, and also for Venus Mars and Venus Venus aspects. The numbers in red in the tables below show aspects which happen more often than expected, those in blue less often.

Certain relationship aspects involving Sun and Venus are consistently prolific and as such are attention grabbing. When we follow these aspects through time we often are able to map the beginning, middle and end of relationships, this is because they appear to play a role in the foundation of relationships (causing intense attraction), they then change over time and as they change the relationship dynamics appear to change.

Presented here are the results of a study of 1300 public record relationships that was carried out between 1998 and 2005 and which forms the basis of the book When Stars Collide. The results show astrological connections or aspects of 120 degrees (trine) 0 degrees (conjunction) 180 degrees (opposition) 90 degrees (square) 60 degrees (sextile) 150 degrees (quincunx) and 30 degrees (semisextile) between the planets specified. The orb or inclusive error distance is set at 2.017 degrees. This means a trine aspect, for example, is counted if it falls between 117 degrees and 59 minutes of arc and 122 degrees and 1 minute of arc, but rejected if under 117 degrees and 58 minutes or over 122 degrees and 2 minutes of arc.

The following tables detail the numbers of aspects inside this 2 degree and 1 minute orb which were both expected and actually observed in the study. Sun Venus trines, conjunctions and oppositions create the most "noise" in this study:

Sun Venus aspects:

n=1300

nSun - nVenus

nSun - pVenus

pSun - nVenus

pSun - pVenus

Total

 2.017 degree orb

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Trines

73

58.74

80

58.74

75

58.74

74

58.74

302

234.96

Conjunctions

42

29.37

40

29.37

35

29.37

44

29.37

161

117.48

Oppositions

42

29.37

42

29.37

37

29.37

42

29.37

163

117.48

Squares

39

58.74

59

58.74

67

58.74

59

58.74

224

234.96

Sextiles

62

58.74

45

58.74

60

58.74

63

58.74

230

234.96

Quincunx

63

58.74

73

58.74

55

58.74

65

58.74

256

234.96

Semi-sextiles

76

58.74

55

58.74

73

58.74

39

58.74

243

234.96

Instances of high numbers of Quincunx and Semisextile aspects are artefacts caused by high numbers of progressed trines, conjunctions and oppositions. If we remove all of the relationships which include Sun Venus trines conjunctions and oppositions, the observed instances of Quincunx and Semisextile are close to what is expected.

To calculate expected aspects follow this method: 1300 (Relationships) / 360 (Degrees in the zodiac) x 8.1333333333333333333 (includes the orb) x 2 (two trines in every circle) = 58.740.
[For conjunctions and oppositions do not x 2]
To calculate significance of each category: Observed Trines minus Expected Trines then subtract 0.5 from the product as a continuity correction. Multiply this figure by itself. Divide this figure by the expected figure to find the chi square value. Calculate the p Value with 1 degree of freedom.

Venus Mars aspects:

(Note that aspect numbers between Venus and Mars become more significant if we remove all of the relationships which include Sun Venus trines conjunctions and oppositions which leaves us with a reduced sample of 770 relationships)

n=1300

nVenus - nMars

nVenus - pMars

pVenus - nMars

pVenus - pMars

Total

 2.017 degree orb

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Trines

54

58.74

66

58.74

65

58.74

70

58.74

255

234.96

Conjunctions

34

29.37

23

29.37

32

29.37

25

29.37

114

117.48

Oppositions

29

29.37

24

29.37

35

29.37

24

29.37

112

117.48

Squares

59

58.74

64

58.74

42

58.74

61

58.74

226

234.96

Sextiles

62

58.74

59

58.74

63

58.74

58

58.74

242

234.96

Quincunx

61

58.74

66

58.74

56

58.74

60

58.74

243

234.96

Semi-sextiles

50

58.74

53

58.74

54

58.74

58

58.74

215

234.96

Venus Venus aspects:

n=1300

nVenus - nVenus

nVenus - pVenus

pVenus - pVenus

Total

2.017 degree orb

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Trines

34

29.37

63

58.74

36

29.37

133

117.48

Conjunctions

18

14.685

28

29.37

15

14.685

61

58.74

Oppositions

17

14.685

28

29.37

13

14.685

58

58.74

Squares

24

29.37

55

58.74

22

29.37

101

117.48

Sextiles

26

29.37

60

58.74

26

29.37

112

117.48

Quincunx

29

29.37

69

58.74

33

29.37

131

117.48

Semi-sextiles

34

29.37

48

58.74

23

29.37

105

117.48

And that Sun Sun connections (traditional Sun Sign harmony/discord) lacks this significance. There is also a failure to validate the popular idea that trines and conjunctions are more popular in relationships than squares. In fact the opposite is true, however as we already have a strong candidate for influencing the relationship in Sun Venus aspects, the Sun Sun connections should be relatively random:

Sun Sun aspects:

n=1300

nSun - nSun

nSun - pSun

pSun - pSun

Total

2.017 degree orb

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Observed

Expected

Trines

28

29.37

62

58.74

27

29.37

117

117.48

Conjunctions

18

14.685

34

29.37

16

14.685

68

58.74

Oppositions

15

14.685

28

29.37

13

14.685

56

58.74

Squares

27

29.37

68

58.74

37

29.37

132

117.48

Sextiles

27

29.37

52

58.74

30

29.37

109

117.48

Quincunx

28

29.37

63

58.74

28

29.37

119

117.48

Semi-sextiles

28

29.37

56

58.74

18

29.37

102

117.48

Mars Mars aspects:

n=1300  nMars - nMars  nMars - pMars  pMars - pMars  Total 
2.017 degree orb  Observed  Expected Observed  Expected Observed  Expected Observed  Expected
Trines  17 29.37 39 58.74 17 29.37 73 117.48
Conjunctions  21 14.685 33 29.37 11 14.685 65 58.74
Oppositions  15 14.685 32 29.37 14 14.685 61 58.74
Squares  29 29.37 49 58.74 28 29.37 106 117.48
Sextiles  24 29.37 62 58.74 27 29.37 113 117.48
Quincunx  37 29.37 61 58.74 36 29.37 134 117.48
Semi-sextiles  23 29.37 62 58.74 30 29.37 115 117.48

Sun Mars aspects:

n=1300  nSun - nMars  nSun - pMars  pSun - nMars  pSun - pMars  Total 
2.017 degree orb  Observed  Expected Observed  Expected Observed  Expected Observed  Expected Observed  Expected
Trines  55 58.74 72 58.74 62 58.74 54 58.74 243 234.96
Conjunctions  24 29.37 21 29.37 29 29.37 25 29.37 99 117.48
Oppositions  22 29.37 32 29.37 29 29.37 34 29.37 117 117.48
Squares  59 58.74 65 58.74 65 58.74 71 58.74 260 234.96
Sextiles  41 58.74 59 58.74 59 58.74 53 58.74 212 234.96
Quincunx  58 58.74 62 58.74 46 58.74 50 58.74 216 234.96
Semi-sextiles  48 58.74 54 58.74 40 58.74 64 58.74 206 234.96

Secondary Progressions

2. Collision Charts for Relationships

Progressed Sun Venus Trines in relationships often demarcate the beginning middle and end of relationships because they somehow signify an agreeable "deal" that is struck between the two parties (the Sun negotiates, Venus compromises)...if and when this fades we find that feelings have changed in line with the aspect.

For a step by step guide to understanding collision charts take a look at this page which uses the relationship of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as an example.

The red line in the collision chart shows the progress of the aspect or planetary connection (in the first example this is a 120 degree trine aspect between progressed Sun and progressed Venus). The blue line shows the time frame during which the aspect was operative. This is slightly variable but it is rarely more than two degrees and when this connection is positive it is termed either the Optimum Time Frame, Optimum Time Period or Window of Opportunity.
If the planetary dynamic is negative (Sun Venus squares for example) it might be termed a Window of Separateness -or- Window of Friction which is a more appropriate description for the result of a Venus Mars square.

It appears that the most intense (or powerfully felt) period in an aspect's development is just prior to it becoming exact.

The point when this progressing Sun Venus aspect is at 2 degrees approaching exactness and the point when it is 2 degrees after it became exact demarcates the actual years of this marriage between Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. This couple's synastry is hugely illustrative of how progressions work in relationships; to see a full expo of the relevant progressed aspects which affected them (as well as the synastry of some other prominent couples) take a look at this page.

 

Just as trines bring people together squares can push them apart. Here we see a square of Venus and Mars causing disruption at about the time this couple's relationship broke down:

A smiliar thing happened to Bob Geldof and Paula Yates - a Sun Venus trine (red line) progresses through their relationship which began in 1977 and ended in 1995 in the same reflexive pattern. The Blue line again demarcates the relationship and this time a one-degree aspect orb (in reality this can be calculated with greater accuracy to nearer half a degree).

 

 

If we look for a Mars Venus square we can find one in this relationship too. Paula began an affair with Michael Hutchence in 1993. Again a Venus Mars square depicted here by a black line disrupts the situation at that juncture:

 

Below is a graphic showing the relationship of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles which began in the early 1970s but which ended in 1973. The black line depicts a progressed square aspect between Charles' progressed Venus and the Sun in Camilla's progressed chart, while the red line depicts a trine between the Sun in Charles's progressed chart and Venus in Camilla's. The black line is influential during the time they were apart, the red line influential when they came back together. The Sun Venus square may act like a Romeo Juliet aspect in that it seems to keep couples apart. The BBC reported that Charles and Camilla rekindled their relationship in 1986 which is the year that the traditionally attracting trine took over from the traditionally divisive square in the chart below.

Venus Venus

The aspect that occurred between Charles and Diana when they were a close couple happened between 1980 and 1984. It was a trine between progressed Venus and natal Venus. This signifies a soft and romantic connection in astrology. It was long gone by 1986:

Prince William and Kate Middleton share the same aspect (in itself this is a coincidence as only one couple in twenty shares this connection), although in their case it is extended to last until 2030.

Venus Mars

Venus Mars connections are also significant. Here is a progressed Mars Progressed Venus trine that happened between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. It was close to exact when they met in 1999. This aspect is followed by a square involving the same two planets in 2006:

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton got together in 1962 and then split in 1974. The Venus Mars opposition is a passionate connection. The square, again a discordant connection, follows on at the time they first separated and during the time of their failed second marriage.

For a more detailed look at progressions in relationships choose Articles from the menu across the top of this page and look at Current Articles. There are hundreds of other examples of this phenomenon on this website and in the book When Stars Collide.

3. Collision Charts in Leadership

If we isolate Sun and Mars in individuals charts we are looking at the will (signified by the Sun) and the means to exercise that will (Mars). If we then look at the years that famous leaders first came to power in the light of this, we can observe a curious phenomenon with regard to Mars and the Sun and how they interact when in motion (between the birth chart and progressed chart).

Basically everyone is born with Sun and Mars in some sort of relationship with each other in the natal chart, but this relationship is not always a recognised astrological aspect. When they form such an aspect by progression it can happen in one of three ways: natal Sun to progressed Mars, progressed Sun to natal Mars, or progressed Sun to progressed Mars, but which may never happen during the lifetime - Prince Charles for instance had one of these - progressed Sun to natal Mars - in 1976 the year of his only naval command (HMS Bronington 9th Feb 1976), Charles will not experience another Mars Sun aspect until 2027 when he will be 79 and the Queen will be 101. Prince William will also experience Sun Mars connections only twice in his life, once back in 1992 when he was ten years old and again between 2022 and 2028.

This is supposedly a time when the will and the means to exercise that will come together in the same moment. Curiously some famous leaders and dictators have come to power during one of these Sun Mars moments in their lives. What is notable is that the "moment of their power" appears to match the moment when the Sun and Mars come together. It is also notable that the "windows of time" in which this can happen and which are perhaps facilitated by the Mars Sun connection can be very small in the wider context of their lives.

The collision charts (or graphs) here follow the same rules as the relationship chart however they are charts depicting an aspect in an individual's life rather than in two people's lives. The red line is the progress of the aspect, the blue or black line is the period when it is operative. Because Mars and the Sun connections imbue executive power this operative period is termed here a Window of Power.

Mao Zedong 1949 (China)

Mao lived for more than 82 years. The year he took power was the same year progressed Mars conjoined his natal sun. The simplest equation here is that it had a 1 in 82 chance of happening the same year that he came to power or conservatively a 1 in 61 chance (if you assume that he could not take power as a minor).

Josef Stalin 1922 (USSR)

For Mao and Stalin the aspect that Mars and the Sun could form (because of speed of motion, they can only form limited aspects in the lifetime) was a conjunction. For Mussolini it was a square and for Franco, Churchill and Truman it was an apparently more beneficial trine aspect.

Benito Mussolini 1922 (Italy)

Francisco Franco 1936 (Spain)

Winston Churchill 1940 (United Kingdom)

Harry Truman 1945 (United States)

Antonio de Oliveira Salazar 1932 (Portugal)

Nikita Khrushchev 1953 (USSR)

Raul Castro waited years to take power in Cuba. He did so when two(traditionally beneficial) Sun Mars aspects happened at the same time:

Raul Castro 2008 (Cuba)

In contrast to his brother Fidel who, like Mussolini, came to power under the influence of a difficult square which never became exact:

Fidel Castro 1959 (Cuba)

Salvador Allende 1966 (Chile)

Jacobo Arbenz 1951 (Guatemala)

Mobuto Sese Seko 1965 (Zaire)

 

Josep Broz Tito (Yugoslavia)

Tito became leader of the Yugoslav communists in 1936, Prime Minister of SFR Yugoslavia in 1943, President of Yugoslavia in1953. His Mars Sun square is in close orb from 1933 to 1971.

In recent years Hamid Karzai and Silvio Berlusconi came to power during personal conjunctions of the Sun and Mars.

Silvio Berlusconi 1994 (Italy)

Hamid Karzai 2001 (Afghanistan)

Because of Mars' motion in relation to the Sun, fewer people are born with Sun opposite Mars than are born with Sun conjunct Mars. Of all the leaders in history I researched (642 altogether), I was able to find only one of any significance who was born with Sun opposite Mars in their natal chart. That person was King Richard III of England who lost the crown at the Battle of Bosworth Field. This is fitting because Mars opposite Sun is often interpreted as "the personal will thwarted".
An exception to the opposition rule is that of Nicolae Ceaucescu who was not born with the Sun and Mars in opposition like Richard III but who attained power in Romania during his progressed Sun progressed Mars opposition in 1965. Any opposition of the Sun and Mars is always over quite quickly. Ceaucescu became Secretary General of the Romanian Communist party in March 1965.

Nicolae Ceaucescu 1965 (Romania)

Adolph Hitler - 1946 - An Exception?

I believe in examining exceptions to rules. Adolph Hitler is perhaps the only major 20th Century European dictator missing from this list, but his case is not dissimilar to those above. His death appears to have come a matter of months before his progressed Sun progressed Mars conjunction became exact. As his ambition appears to have been to control the wider world beyond Germany, while Stalin, Franco and Mao's ambition may have been more national than international it appears fitting that Hitler did not actually achieve the power he sought whereas Stalin, Mao and Franco did.

Konrad Adenauer 1949 (West Germany)

In contrast the man who took West Germany from the ruins left by the Nazi government to the most prosperous nation in Europe came to power in 1949 during his Sun Mars trine aspect. Adenauer was the oldest German Chancellor attaining power at age 73.

Not everyone has the aspirations displayed by the above mentioned individuals, but many of us will experience a Sun Mars aspect by progression during our lives. In 'real life' these aspects should manifest in years when we achieve our long terms aims markedly. They are the years when we are able to operate effectively and we may often take the initiative.

It is perhaps pertinent to mention that although all students of astrology learn about secondary progressions, this graphic depiction of their effect via the collision chart is a relatively new development- it isn't even on the curriculum for astrology schools yet. What this means is that while we have learned to observe and interpret progressions (and be surprised by their accuracy) we haven't been able to easily explain progressions to non-astrologers until now. Skeptics and non-astrologers may be surprised at the "scientific" nature of this particular astrological technique.

4. The Mars Effect and Dynamic Astrology

The secondary progressed chart solves some significant problems posed by Michel and Francoise Gauquelin's Mars Effect:

Readers may be familiar with, or at least have heard of, the Gauquelin Mars Effect. Much controversy surrounds the effect first noted by Michel and Francoise Gauquelin in the 1950s and replicated since by Suitbert Ertel. It concerns the position of Mars in the houses of the horoscope of eminent sports champions. It was the subject of a CSICOP investigation in the 1970s which attempted to cover up the replication of the Mars Effect experimental results, but which was foiled when one of the experimenters, astronomer Dennis Rawlins, broke ranks to blow the whistle on the other scientists involved see this page for more about this

Basically, Gauquelin found that Mars would be placed more often than chance would predict in two particular positions in the birth-charts of eminent sports champions, so this has nothing to do with zodiac signs, but relates just to planet positions in the horoscope.

This is a graph showing which parts of the chart Mars was found to cluster in numbers above chance in Gauquelin's test results (house 12 to the left of the horoscope and house 9 at the top):

This presents a problem for astrology as-it-is-practiced because these two house positions (referred to as cadent houses) are not associated with eminence. In fact the opposite is true of planets in cadent houses - they are characterised by being less prominent than planets in angular houses or succeedent houses. The cadent houses are positions of withdrawal, preparation and seclusion, not of worldly success.

Garry Phillipson said of the usefulness of Gauquelin's Mars effect is his article on astrology and doubt:

“I believe it is fair to say that astrology does not emerge from (statistical) tests with all guns blazing. The best-known and most thorough tests are undoubtedly those of Gauquelin, which show an effect — but one so specialized as to be practically useless in real-life astrology.”
Garry Phillipson – Astrology and the Anatomy of Doubt

The angular houses are 1, 4, 7 and 10 (colored red in the graphic below); the succeedent houses are 2, 5, 8 and 11 (colored blue) and the cadent houses are 3, 6, 9 and 12 (colored white).

Planets in the 9th and 12th houses, correspond with Gauquelin's zones of eminence for Mars - that is, Mars was found here in the charts of more eminent sports champions than chance would expect. The difference being an observed 22% to an expected 17%.

To validate a type of astrology, this is good evidence, however, it does not validate the practice of traditional astrology: an effect is present, but not one that relates to astrology as it is taught and practiced. Why would eminent sports champions be born with Mars in a less powerful cadent house? It is arguable that if the clusters of sports champions had been born with Mars in the 10th house or the 1st house, Gauquelin's results would have been an effective validation of traditional astrological ideas as well as being a validation of some kind of astrological effect, but it was not to be...

...unless, that is, we look at the Mars Effect as being an artifact of dynamic astrology. This means, what Gauquelin found was not an effect that relates to fixed and static horoscopes, but rather a factor in progressed horoscopes.
A vital factor in sports eminence is preparation and part of the process of becoming eminent is seclusion away from the spotlight; training and preparing to unleash the result of your tireless preparation on the world stage. It is not generally accepted that people are born with the ability to run a four minute mile, this is a feat that requires a great deal of application and preparation- you have to learn how to walk before you can run - and the placing of a planet like Mars in a cadent house is just the right astrological place for it to be if you want to apply yourself to your art, craft or sport.

When not in retrograde motion Mars travels at about three quarters of a degree per year in the secondary progressed chart. If we posit the central degree of the 9th and 12th houses as the point of maximum "Mars Effect", then it will take a forward moving Mars twenty years to travel the fifteen degrees necessary to pass over the 10th house cusp (called the midheaven) or the 1st house cusp (called the Ascendant) and into one of the angular houses traditionally associated with eminence.

To demonstrate what I mean I have chosen an athlete who is unarguably eminent. Three times World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Light-heavyweight Gold Medalist. He was voted Sportsman of the Century by both Sports Illustrated and the BBC: Muhammad Ali.

Ali was born with a forward moving Mars in the 9th house. This means that from a dynamic point of view it will progress forwards passing over the 10th house cusp of the natal chart at some point in his life. After this progressed Mars will be angular and in an appropriate place matching traditional astrological ideas of eminence. We find that this progression from cadent house to angular house took place in April 1959. On April 3rd 1959 Cassius Marcellus Clay, as he was then known, became US National AAU Light-heavyweight Champion. It was his first national title, prior to this all of titles had been regional or Golden Gloves titles. A year later he was Olympic champion and four years after that World Heavyweight Champion, and of course, Mars was in his 10th astrological house from then on. It is still progressing through his natal 10th house today.

Bi-wheel chart showing Muhammad Ali's natal chart as the inner wheel and his progressed chart for April 1959 as the outer wheel. Natal Mars at 3 degrees 03 minutes Taurus will have moved just over nine degrees by 1959 to 12 degrees 14 minutes Taurus, and crucially will pass over Ali's natal Midheaven and enter the angular tenth house as it does so. April 1959 is arguably the month Ali became "eminent".

If we show this in terms of a dynamic astrology colliision graph (below), the downward line shows progress of Mars through Ali's ninth house. It meets the cusp of the 10th house in 1959, and the upward line shows progress of Mars through the 10th house.

So, it is possible that the Mars Effect may be useful in real astrology after all.

It is also just feasible that with the other less well tested Gauquelin effects, which are similar in nature to the Mars effect, but relate to eminence in other professions, slower moving planets would progress to the angles much more slowly giving eminence in later life which would correspond with the high unlikelihood of eminence in younger life for - say - medical doctors and members of the military.

5. To Conclude

I hope this page has informed you enough to make you question the standard skeptical argument against astrology, which tends to be that its adherents are victims of the Forer (or Barnum) Effect, as this is evidently not the case. Astrology can actually be demonstrated objectively.

The difference between astrology and dynamic astrology is best explained using characters created by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The Tralfamadorians who featured in his novels including Slaughterhouse-Five.

"they were two feet high, and green, and shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures were friendly, and they could see in four dimensions. They pitied Earthlings for being able to see only three. They had many wonderful things to teach Earthlings about time"...
..."Billy Pilgrim says that the universe does not look like a lot of bright little dots to the creatures from Tralfamadore. The creatures can see where each star has been and where it is going, so that the heavens are filled with rarefied luminous spaghetti. And Tralfamadorians don't see human beings as two-legged creatures, either. They see them as great millipedes-'with babies legs at one end and old people's legs at the other,' says Billy Pilgrim.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Slaughterhouse Five

So from the beginning of astrology 3500 years ago until now we have made an assumption: that is, that when we look at a horoscope, we are looking at an unchanging, fixed, static and fated photograph. In fact it appears evident now that we were actually looking at the opening credits of a movie all along, one which we can now watch from the beginning to the end. For this reason it has been difficult to engage practising astrologers (who don't like new developments in astrology) and skeptics (who just don't like astrology), but it is also fairly obvious to anyone who takes the time to learn about this subject that there is an obvious effect to investigate and that the criticisms aimed at astrology in the past by its opponents are less relevant in the light of this development (especially those criticisms relating to zodiac signs which are really not as central to actual astrology as is commonly believed - they can be likened to a football field upon which the planets play a game of football - and you don't go to a game to watch the pitch).

Another thing to remember is that this subject suggests strongly that the horoscope changes through life in demonstrable ways...so make of that what you will.

Thank you for taking the time to read this extra information about Dynamic Astrology. If you would like to learn more, contact the author at the email address below.

PW

April 2011