Astrology (star interpretation, ancient Greek astron = star and logos = teaching) is a pseudo-science and means the interpretation of connections between astronomical events or constellations of the stars and earthly processes, especially with regard to humans.
Astrology had an eventful history in Europe. After the elevation of Christianity to the state religion in the Roman Empire, it was fought and sidelined. In the late Middle Ages, however, it regained its reputation, and from the Renaissance to the 17th century it was a recognized Peudo science. In the course of the Enlightenment, it lost its plausibility in educated circles. Serious interest in astrology did not reappear until around 1900, and since the late 1960s, starting with the New Age movement, it has become extremely popular in the western hemisphere.
Nowadays, science looks at astrology primarily from a religious and cultural-historical perspective. All known methodologically correct empirical studies come to the conclusion that verifiable statements by astrologers are not statistically significantly better than arbitrary claims.
The horoscope in astrology
A horoscope in astrology is the image of the sky at the time of birth. The horoscope shows where the zodiac signs, sun, moon and planets are and what angles (aspects) they have with each other.
The horoscope, also called the cosmogram, is the most important tool in astrology. It represents planet positions of the largest and best known celestial bodies (sun, earth moon, planets) of our solar system at a certain point in time. The horoscope drawing shows the view into the solar system from a geocentric view (earth view), the location for which the horoscope was created is taken into account according to longitude and latitude. Basics are astronomical calculation methods of celestial mechanics. In the past, the ephemeris was used for the calculation; Today an astrology software is mostly used that uses it.
Three elements are important in the horoscope:
Imagine the orbit of the sun in the sky over the course of a year. What we call 12 months can also be expressed astronomically (astrologically) in sections of the sky. Because over the course of the year the sun runs completely evenly through a band in the sky called the zodiac (or ecliptic). The sign of the zodiac is the section in astrology where the sun is at birth. So it comes down to saying the same: "I was born at the end of October" like: "I am Scorpio".
The band of the zodiac, like the whole sky, turns once in 24 hours, rising from the east and setting to the west. At the time of birth, a sign opens up in the east. This sign is called "Ascendant", (the ascending sign), the setting sign is called "Descendant", (the setting sign). This system can be refined by dividing this volume into 12 parts, analogous to the zodiac, which are then called houses (ascendant = 1st house, descendant = 7th house).
Sun, moon and the other planets are all at a certain point in the zodiac. They form certain angles with each other, which are called aspects. Important aspects are the conjunction, then the planets are in the same place (angle 0 degrees), and the opposition, the planets are exactly opposite (180 degrees), etc.
Taken together, these three elements make up what is called a horoscope analysis in astrology. How does it work in principle? The planet stands for the essence, the sign of the zodiac shows how it expresses itself in the life of the born and the house is the place where it expresses itself. The example "Moon in the Libra in the tenth house" means: ? Moon (HOW - essence) = reaction, ? Libra (WHAT - expression) = harmonious, ? Tenth house (WHERE - place of expression) = occupation. Astrologers then say that person has an "attractive harmonic nature that will be the basis of a successful career." You can see how complex (and arbitrarily complicated) the statements can become.
Tricks of the astrologers
Anyone who has ever been to the astrologer and fortune teller will have been amazed at how much of the alleged predictions have been correct. But these are all tricks and Barnum statements made by the belief of the seeker, observation of the astrologer and statements that apply to everyone. Added to this is the will to believe in astrology and the predicted and to hide what is wrong (Barnum effect). Here are just a few tricks:
1. Gain trust in the other person. You have to demonstrate convincingly that you yourself firmly believe in what you do.
2. Use current opinion polls. They provide you with information about what different social classes think, what they do and what makes them angry. For example, if you know where your counterpart was born, what upbringing he enjoyed, and which party he chooses, you have a lot of information that will most likely allow you to guess his attitude to many things.
3. Gain the support of your counterpart (feedback method). Make it clear that the success of the session depends on him or her as much as on yourself. This has several advantages. First, you can blame him or her if the session is not going well. Second, he or she will transfer your general claims to his own life. Later, "your customer" will no longer be able to tell what you said and what he actually added himself in his memory.
4. Have a list of general phrases (Barnum statements) ready. There are enough statements that apply to almost everyone. Use them to start the conversation and also to fill in gaps when you can't think of anything else. You then have time to think about what to do next.
5. Keep your eyes open. Look carefully at the clothes, jewelry, posture, and way of talking. You can read a lot from it.
6. Ask again and again. You can later sell things that your conversation partner tells you as new without him or her noticing.
7. Give the impression that you know more than you say.
8. Always tell your counterpart what he or she wants to hear.
Have fun with astrology and fortune telling.
Criticism of astrology
Even in pre-Christian times, astrology skeptics made arguments that are still relevant today. Carneades of Cyrene (214-129) suggested that those born in the same place and at the same time had the same horoscope but different fates. On the other hand, people who would die in a battle or disaster together shared the same fate despite very different horoscopes.
In the best known study of this kind, which was published by the science magazine "Nature" in 1985, the participants, renowned American astrologers, received three personality profiles. The task was to find out the person whose exact time of birth they knew, so whose horoscope they could calculate. Guessing would have given a 33.3 percent chance of being hit. The astrologers who participated in the design of the study were sure to achieve at least 50 percent. In fact, they ended up at 34 percent, almost exactly in terms of the probability of randomness.
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