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Astrology, Psychics, Superstition, Cults in America: A sign of a malfunctioning First Amendment?


By Sirman A. Celayir

The episode of "Day One" on July 5, 1993

The connection between violence and brain patterns was the main theme of an investigative episode of "Day One" on Channel 7 on July 5, 1993. Several scientists pointed out and defended correlations of definitive brain patterns and propensity for violence. The evidence seemed strong enough to warrant further research. However, there is apparently no chance of getting funds for such a research project, because the officially accepted cause of violence, i.e., the environment - differs from this explanation.

In other words, progress in the most scientific and inquisitive culture on earth is at a stalemate because the alternate path may mean a diminished role to established individuals and organizations. This is understandable. For example, if genetic engineers discovered an assembly-line technique of flagging out violent-prone persons and molecular biologists and medical professionals found ways of correcting their abnormalities, psychology may be reduced essentially to an irrelevant profession. So unless "progress" in this form is politically correct and allows psychology to survive, it will encounter harsh resistance. However, there is room to maneuver. The role the environment plays in human behavior is not diminished and it will always be an important consideration. This is exclusively in the domain of psychology. SO THE ENVISIONED PROGRESS ASSIGNS TO PSYCHOLOGY A MORE FOCUSSED ROLE, NOT A DIMINISHED ROLE.

Violence: Mass Murderers and Serial Killers, a Proposal to the FBI

Astrologic efforts to predict a person's profession - and/or achievements in life - from this person's natal chart have not yielded satisfactory results. This may be attributed primarily to obvious inability of astrology to consider real-life circumstances, self-will, personal effort, genetic factors, and other "externalities." It is true that the natal chart of a particular person does sometimes reflect the achievements of that person in life. For example, four "well-aspected" planets in 10th house may explain and confirm why this person is the CEO of a major industrial corporation. On the other hand, astrology does not promise perpetual prominence to all persons with similar "elevated" charts. There are many other variables that contribute to the outcome, "what a person eventually becomes." Moreover, the natal chart, by definition, is a static configuration, whereas "change" is a dynamic component of life. For example, a highly successful entrepreneur (with the Sun, Saturn, Mercury in 10th house) in 1988 may be a bankrupt entrepreneur in 1990, if he or she lost his or her fortunes in pursuit of a speculative investment under a misleading Neptunian influence. The situation is totally different in two years (e.g., Donald Trump) and it is not the natal chart that changed. It may be different again two years later. This is why a "static" natal chart cannot be a "proof" for all phases of "achievement" in life.

Rather than focussing on elusive elements like "profession," natal research should concentrate on identifying acute characteristics that are less affected by "noise" elements. Top-rated athletic talent, the propensity for extreme violence . . . are such variables. Late in 1991, I saw a documentary on WETA about the efforts of the FBI's behavioral psychologists to arrive at a "typical characteristics" profile for mass murderers. The substance of the profiles they described was rudimentary at best. The profiles were more hypotheses than conclusions. CLEARLY, PSYCHOLOGY DOES NOT POSSESS THE TOOLS TO PINPOINT THESE TYPES OF PHENOMENA.

On December 13, 1991, I prepared a proposal for the FBI, to study mass murderers and serial killers from an astrologic perspective. The FBI was courteous and responded with a volume of information and hints, which did not include the primary data I needed. To conduct my research, I need the names of a statistically viable number of serial and mass murderers, their birth data - date, if available, time, and place of birth - and the dates and places when the crimes were committed. ("Estimated" dates may be substituted for actual dates sometimes, if the latter are not available.) I also need information about each person's background - to isolate "environmental" influences - and a brief description of the circumstances of each crime. These profiles would enable me to correlate the patterns that induce violence not only to "violence" but to specific acts of violence.

It would have taken an enormous effort for me to obtain and verify this data independently, before I could even begin the real work: erecting and analyzing literally hundreds of charts. But even if I had spent a few years on this endeavor and obtained statistically defensible results, I could not be sure that authorities would seriously review my study. (It seems that people experience a "mental block" when they hear "astrology.") I decided that a study of this scope would be feasible only if the FBI employed me as a consultant, specifically for this purpose. This was not a viable option. So on March 17, 1993, I submitted to the FBI, and other agencies, a paper about Mr. Clinton's presidency. (It is included at the end of this report.) I intended the paper as an "investment" and to get attention. I will pursue this effort later.

ASTROLOGICALLY I SEE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN a) MASS MURDERERS AND b) SERIAL KILLERS. There is a different set of causal variables at work. A serial killer is a person who commits murder over an extended period. In contrast, a mass murderer is a person who assaults many people all at once. By this definition, Ted Bundy would fall in group (a), whereas the person responsible for the killings in Killeen, TX in group (b). The causal variables in Ted Bundy's case are likely to be found - not necessarily all - in Mr. Bundy's natal chart. (A natal chart influences a person essentially over his or her lifetime.) The cause of the killings in Texas is more likely to be the "passing" transiting influences that can trigger in some people extreme levels of desperation, depression, acute anger . . . within a cycle of a day or two. (Although the perpetrator here may have suffered from a brain tumor, all victims of a brain tumor obviously do not commit mass murder.)

Mass murder involves random (i.e., any age, race, sex) victims, for the event is a "harsh statement" to a society that has severely alienated this person. Transiting influences alone are not sufficient to cause violence. The person who is affected by them must also possess natal potentials for violence. These potentials are kept under control until a specific transiting pattern and circumstances render them "beyond control." This delineation is confirmed by a third, a corollary, group of persons, people who have "passive" patterns in their natal chart. These individuals may feel the same level of alienation, but instead of lashing out on other people, they choose to commit suicide and simply "fade away" from society, not "pay back" the society. So it would appear that a level of violence-inducing ingredients in natal chart (e.g., Mars Square or Conjunct Sun, Saturn, Uranus, or Pluto) must be present for violence to be triggered.

Genetic engineers and molecular biologists can independently study brain scans and flow of hormones. However, here efforts to identify unique patterns and their causes may be two separate investigations. That is, even if molecular biologists and genetic engineers can identify violence-causing patterns and establish a connection to unique DNA structures, these conclusions do not answer the ultimate question about why these patterns form in the first place. Their effort ends in a "God created this person this way" type of futile admission. This is where astrology can become indispensable, for it may serve as the link. If it can be shown that the planets "bias" the chemical makeup of the body so that the bias manifests as a particular biological pattern unique to these types of people, the scientific and social implications would be enormous. THE JOINT EFFORT CAN BRING ABOUT A STRANGE MARRIAGE BETWEEN TWO SEEMINGLY UNRELATED SPECIES OF SCIENCES: ASTROLOGY AND GENETICS.

It is true that astrology does not share the acclaim enjoyed by genetic engineering and molecular biology. However, astrology is the oldest science there is, and although as complex as molecular biology, it has been maintained without any funds and entirely at grass-roots level. Many astrologers are highly educated medical doctors, professors, and other professionals. PRIVATELY THEY ALREADY KNOW THAT PLANETS INFLUENCE PEOPLE, BUT THEY REFRAIN FROM TALKING ABOUT ASTROLOGY IN PUBLIC.

Credible Astrology.

Although the mechanism through which the planets influence human beings is not identified, it is likely that the flow of hormones in human body - perhaps electric impulses in the brain - is somehow affected. The planets may be functioning like inner clocks. Some influences apply in the short term, others over a period (i.e., up to 18 months), depending on the distances involved. In the short term, the affected individual may be, for example, nervous (or less nervous . . . stable), absent-minded (or clearheaded and focussed), violent (or "only" aggressive, merely assertive . . . defensive), romantic (or less romantic . . . unromantic), energetic and ambitious (or scattered . . . lazy), amorous (or impotent) . . . These are common characteristics and "moods" displayed or felt by everyone on a daily, weekly, and cyclical basis.

Based on the composition of their natal charts, some people may show these traits stronger and more frequently than others. These "oscillations" in personality are further molded by genetic factors, circumstances, environment, upbringing, and level of education. THE STABLE AND "SENSIBLE" PEOPLE GENERALLY DO NOT APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE BESTOWED WITH MORE VOLATILE "CHEMISTRY" THAT IS HARDER TO CONTROL. THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS WAY IN WHICH THEY SOMETIMES JUDGE EVEN THEIR OWN CHILDREN, "I COULD DO IT, WHY CAN'T HE/SHE?", IS FREQUENTLY AN OUT-OF-FOCUS CONDEMNATION.

The long term influences are evolutionary and process-like: pursuing a concrete goal instead of an illusion, adhering to the "right" strategy instead of relying on wishful thinking, investing rather than gambling, preparing well for a goal instead of relying on luck alone.

For example, a person whose Sun (individuality), Moon (mood, perception), Mercury (mental capacity, speech), Venus (receptivity), and/or Mars (energy, drive, ambition) is adversely influenced by Neptune - the planet of enhanced inspiration and imagination when positive, illusion, self-deception, deception, fraud, treachery, disappointment, regret, if adverse - is prone to suffer a major loss as result fraud (Sun), commit a major strategic error (Moon), suffer a treachery or pursue unrealistic goals (Mercury), fall in love with the "wrong" man/woman and seriously regret it (Venus), experience severe emotional instability (Mars). These consequences follow because the mind, perceptions, faculties, and judgment are "fuzzy" and less reliable during this period. If Mars is involved, the person is also on a short fuse, tolerance and patience thin. These are worst times for major decisions.

Albeit, if reputable genetic engineers encounter such stiff resistance, how much hope is there for astrologers to gain recognition, to participate in serious research? The answer is "none" in the foreseeable future. BUT HOPE IS LIKE A FLUID IN SEARCH OF A CONTAINER. IF ONE CONTAINER CRACKS, IT LOOKS FOR ANOTHER. Let us now consider some of the likely causes of resistance to astrology by the establishment.

The American people can choose from a rich variety of information sources. These are generally "specialized" packages of information, for example about birds, flowers . . . A specialized presentation makes sense for many topics. However, when applied to complex social issues, this approach renders a "TUNNEL-VISIONED" view of the subject. In these instances, although the coverage may focus on every pertinent detail, it may be still misinforming, if the review does not include a larger context. Typically, there are books about (or against) astrology, and psychics, and cults, but I know of no source that views them together from the larger perspective of the American cultural environment. This study attempts to fill this void. The "First Amendment" may be the place to start.

The First Amendment

The ideas promoted by astrology, like other beliefs, fall under the domain of the First Amendment. Although the intentions of the First Amendment are, of course, noble, it can be also a legal sanction for schemers to instigate fraudulent enterprises. IN PRACTICE, THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS AS MUCH A "FREEDOM TO PURSUE BELIEFS" AS IT IS A "FREEDOM TO MISLEAD." When the product is something as intangible and elusive as a thought, belief, or an idea, it is practically impossible to show categorically a case of abuse until after the damage is done. The authorities may conduct investigations of suspect entities, but they are generally in a straight-jacket. There is seldom a satisfactory recourse for the abused after the fact.

The freedoms granted by the First Amendment are much too precious to be left loosely in the hands of potential schemers, irresponsible TV programmers (e.g., violence), and commercial interests. As things are now, a significant component of economic activity in USA is generated by a game of "HUSTLERS AND SUCKERS." The late-night air waves are full of dubious remedies and quick "get rich" formulae. (If the contributions of these types of "not really productive" activities to our GNP were taken away, how much better, if any, our GNP would be compared those of the Germany and Japan?) Preventive measures, such as a meticulous certification program for psychics, open debates and discussions about "beliefs," including promotions by Robert Tilton and others, and lectures on pertinent topics - for example about the status of research on male pattern baldness, a favorite focus of ads late at night - may reduce the potential for abuse considerably. This is not regulation. It is public education. Education and information flow in this form should not be delegated to the whims of TV producers. It is the responsibility of the Government.

Public education is one area in which the US Government can learn much from other industrialized countries. For example, the TV in capitalist and democratic Germany is not left in the hands of the private sector, not because Germany does not believe in "Freedom of Information." On the contrary, the German Government views the potential value of information on TV, AND THE RIGHTS OF ITS CITIZENS, as too important to be left to the discretion of people who are motivated only by profit. The variety is not as rich as in USA, but it is much more substantive, informative, and enriching. The movies are generally about the "Sturm und Drang" of human situations. They refrain from depicting mindless scenes of "how mercilessly one human being can treat another." The German TV also does not observe the obscene habit of periodically interrupting the news, interviews, and programs to sell bathroom tissues. The commercials are shown at the beginning and at the end. There are no phony public service slogans like "Channel 7 and Toyota, on your side for education" that treat the audience as if they are idiots. Shows such as our overrated "Where is Carmen Sandiego?" may be shown on German TV as a comedy or a documentary about "how things should not be taught . . ." SURELY WE CAN EMBRACE SOME OF THESE MEASURES IN THIS COUNTRY.

There is a paradox about how the American Government deals with tangible and intangible sources of damage. A few bad cans of tuna or an epidemic that affect a dozen people immediately alert all resources of the Government. The response could not be better. In contrast, if the source is something that affects the mind and soul, people are left almost entirely to their own means. A regulation that attempts to curb information abuse is inherently in conflict with the First Amendment. So the problem is largely ignored here. Other governments are obviously also aware of potential for abuse and the conflict between regulation and freedom. It would appear that, like the German TV, they have found a better balance. They deal with potential abuse indirectly through substantive and informative programming that is essentially public education. THE ASSUMPTION IS THAT EDUCATED AND INFORMED PEOPLE ARE LESS LIKELY TO BECOME VICTIMS OF THIS TYPE OF ABUSE AND "BRAIN WASHING" AND LESS LIKELY TO VICTIMIZE OTHERS BY THESE MEANS. Our approach is not much more than a hope that abuse will go away if laws are idealistic in intention, poetic in wording, and large in numbers. By this measure we are the most "civilized" country on earth. However, according to many factual yardsticks, we are the least civilized country, except Laos, Iraq, and a few others. The law agencies are no longer impartial referees that discourage abuse and protect people. Their role is reduced to "picking up the pieces." One can argue that the First Amendment is not fully functioning as intended, because it is in part mere poetry. MANY DEEP- ROOTED PROBLEMS IN USA MAY BE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY A CONSEQUENCE OF A "MALFUNCTIONING" FIRST AMENDMENT, ESPECIALLY ON PRIVATE TV NETWORKS.

The Private TV Networks

I suggest that the private TV networks in USA do not follow "Freedom of Speech." They are allowed to define it in practice, motivated by a single thought: "popular," as in "profit." It is assumed that an activity that yields higher profits is ultimately always good for America, as would be concluded from a cost-benefit study that only highlights the benefits. When benefits are visible and costs elusive, it may seem adequate to address - and then dismiss - the costs by unending debates that veil procrastination. These costs exist and because they are elusive they work like an unidentified virus, eroding the social fabric. "If only the economy would improve," we pray, as if this is the magical potion that will cure all the ills. The problems implied here have nothing to do with the economy. They concern the American mind, soul, psyche, and system. They are ultimately about "IS AMERICA STILL AN 'IDEALISTIC' NATION OF 'INDIVIDUALISTIC' AND HARD-WORKING PEOPLE, OR IS IT BECOMING INCREASINGLY A LAND OF GREEDY AND 'ECCENTRIC' INDIVIDUALS IN PURSUIT OF FADS AND QUICK RICHES?"

This is not an academic inquiry. For example, except for rare situations involving a national emergency, the information on private TV networks consists entirely of "infomercials." The environment is so lavish that hosts of some (one-hour) talk shows earn $100 million in a year. These "lottery-like" remunerations introduce an artificial scale of how apparently the society values "work." The networks may argue that this is capitalism at work, risks are involved, that therefore the "successful" shows deserve the pay. Not so. A TV show is not like a manufacturing plant that provides jobs and livelihood for a town. Ultimately, the society can care less if, for example, "Rosanne" survives another season. This matters only to the networks. Yet, the entire population is forced to tolerate conditions of "information flow" that is unique only to the United States. A built-in escape clause supposedly offers a choice to the public: "you can switch the dial and watch something else." By this reasoning we can also allow drug dealers at street corners and say "people can pass by without purchasing." If the term "role-model" has any meaning at all, these enormous pay scales must also influence people's expectations of what they are worth and how they should go about achieving it. SERIOUS EDUCATION AND "HARD WORK" MAY BE SEEN INCREASINGLY AS IRRELEVANT OR "LAST-RESORT" MOTIVATIONS. Inducements to "hustle," rather than "earn", a living may be also a consequence. These "side effects" are already taking place. The late night audience is bombarded by situation commercials promising "get rich" formulae. We cannot trust the recognizable faces, "the extended family," on the networks to debate the viability and social ramifications of these conditions when they are the direct beneficiaries of the system. There are no meaningful debates.

Education

Since education has a role in curbing "info-abuse," we should send teams of specialists to public schools in other industrialized countries - to attend classes - and see what we can learn. Their findings and impressions about the quality of classroom work in different subjects, the structure of the education system, the quality of teachers, how they are trained . . . should be reported as seriously as we report an event of war. The headline news, "we are number 15 in math," once every two years does not fully describe the real differences. The problem is evaded. We may find out how German and French youths in all public schools obtain an education of uniform quality, free, and in every subject more advanced than the pupils attending the best and most expensive private schools here. The specialists can bring back videos of classroom ambiance, sample test questions in history, geography, languages, math . . . that 10 to 16-year old youths are expected to master in other countries. The networks should show this material uninterrupted to all leaders, educators, parents, teachers, and students so that we get a truer picture of our relative standing. The results may cause severe depression initially, but a "shock treatment" may be what we need to awaken from our stupor. ("A PROBLEM EVADED NOW IS A CRISIS INVITED LATER," says Dr. Kissinger.)

These results may induce our legal experts redefine and amend the intentions of various laws so that they "favor" desired goals. These efforts may set a new national direction. Many of our school districts may be eliminated entirely and arrangements may be made with local colleges and universities to assume their responsibilities. The emphasis here is to educate, not to "baby-sit," not to entertain. Education and "learning" do not need noisy applause and a rock band in the background (e.g., Carmen Sandiego) to be "fun." They are a duty and national service, at least as important as military service. Our scientists, technicians, and specialists are generally still better than their counterparts in other countries. However, eventually, as funds continue to diminish, a small percentage of brilliant people are no substitute for a well-educated "entire" population. Sooner or later we must become less frivolous and perhaps even less idealistic in our views of freedom so that we waste it less in practice. Or, we will pay a price, FOR AS MAN MAKES HIS DESTINY NATIONS TOO DESIGN THEIR DESTINY.

Speaking of diminishing funds, our true national debt is $25 to $30 trillion, not $4.3 trillion. (If and when the budget deficit is eliminated, the true base will be more like $7 trillion.) Like mortgage payments for a home valued at $150,000, we will have to pay several times the original $7 trillion. However, unlike a home buyer who can hope for the appreciated value of his or her home to equal the payments in 20 years, our national payments to interest and debt reduction are more like an annual bonfire at which we burn billions of Dollar bills for nothing. The burned amount must be subtracted year after year, perhaps for 40 to 60 years, from the needs of inner cities, education, health, environment, social security, defense . . . WE MUST BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL THAT WE DO NOT SQUANDER WHAT RESOURCES WE HAVE LEFT.

Let us now evaluate how the First Amendment may be "trickling down" on the American cultural environment.

The American Environment

How and why do popular astrology and supernatural beliefs thrive in the West, especially in the USA? Americans are strong promoters of the thesis "man makes his destiny," where "destiny" places considerable emphasis on money, power, and life's comforts. Based on this criterion, every life is obviously not a success story. Some people feel left behind by the system. They are alienated, because by definition they see themselves as failures. Moreover, the structured work-oriented daily life in the USA may contribute to a setting in which many persons find themselves alone and lonely. This applies especially to traditional families in which men are employed and women raise children and take care of household chores. These families, especially the women, experience a critical turning point in their lives when their children, one-by-one, reach college age and leave home. A more permanent separation follows when the children start their own lives. The lively home of the past is suddenly transformed into a mausoleum full of silence. Because of the "continental" size of the USA, high mobility rates, and individualistic and an independent outlook on life, the impact of these occasions is probably more severe on Americans than on people in most other societies.

Alienation, loneliness, boredom, monotony of routines can have "robotizing" influence on people. These personal situations are exacerbated in recent years by a perception of deeper, built-in or passing, problems in the system, where open wounds fester without real remedies, the leadership apparently immobilized by "gridlock." Discomforting thoughts that the democratic process - elections - can only change the representatives, but not this environment or system may add frustration, pessimism, and a sense of hopelessness. The high and rising rates of divorce, crime, homelessness, and alcohol and drug addiction in the USA may be studied from different perspectives, but collectively they represent the other side of the "American Dream." People who feel left behind and bored are motivated to find ways of passing time. Traditional solutions seem no longer satisfactory for all. Many people are attracted to astrology. THE ASTROLOGY THEY EMBRACE UNKNOWINGLY IS POPULAR ASTROLOGY, A CONCOCTION OF SUPERSTITION AND SCAMS BUNDLED WITH PLANETS AND SOLD AS ASTROLOGY. Let us now examine the "environment" and see how this can happen.

Americans are generally optimistic and active searchers. This is good. What is not so good is their willingness to accept "formula" answers to complex questions, like the snake-oil remedies of the past that supposedly cured everything. THIS "NAIVE" INSISTENCE THAT THERE BE QUICK SOLUTION TO PROBLEMS IS THE PRIMARY REASON WHY SO MANY AMERICANS ARE "TAKEN FOR A RIDE" BY SCHEMERS FROM ALMOST ALL SECTORS, INCLUDING ASTROLOGERS, PSYCHICS, THE TV NETWORKS, THE COSMETIC INDUSTRY . . . "Take this pill and be slimmer by 40 pounds, use this cream and become 10 years younger, add a hairdo and become beautiful, call a psychic and improve your love-life, call another and get a wonderful new job, vote for Mr. X and solve the country's problems, send $1,000 to Robert Tilton and reserve your seat in the heavens . . ." is essentially how life is "sold" in America. Conditioned by such sales pitch, PEOPLE HAVE TURNED PSYCHICS AND ASTROLOGERS INTO CRYSTAL BALL GAZERS, BY DEMANDING ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES WHICH NO HUMAN CAN ANSWER.

For example, a woman calls a psychic and asks: "I am planning to get married on October 1, is this a good date for my marriage?" The caller already presumes that this - "a good date?" - is a viable question, there is an answer to it, and this psychic knows the answer. THIS IS A LOT OF PRESUMPTION. To survive, even an honest practitioner will be eventually forced to play the expected role. This is how demand can create supply. But if the demand is "absurd," the supply cannot be anything but also absurd. Unlike an exchange involving tangible commodities one can see and touch, here "supply" comes only in appearance. No one and nothing can prove or disprove that the answer the caller receives is more meaningful than one based on a flip of a coin, something the practitioner may do in the background before answering. After all, people can freely declare themselves as "psychic." And, people can also advertise as "astrologer" simply by learning the "language" of astrology.

An astrologer can examine the charts of both partners and decide if "the day of wedding" is positive or adverse for one or both. But the patterns on the day of wedding apply only to that particular date. They say nothing about the status of the marriage 5, 10, 15 . . . 50 years later. Furthermore, there is nothing in astrology that can "guarantee" that a wedding on a positive day for both partners will lead to a successful marriage "forever." Astrology can also not guarantee that a marriage on an adverse day will not be successful when judged 20 years later - or a failure two years after that. OBVIOUSLY THE COUPLE CANNOT TRACE THE ASTROLOGER OR PSYCHIC AFTER 30 YEARS, IN ORDER TO PRAISE OR ADMONISH HIM OR HER FOR THE PREDICTION. So many practitioners feel free to postulate predictions assertively without having any clue about the outcome.

A "credible" response to the foregoing inquiry would be something like the following. "I assume you have known this man for some time. If your common sense tells you that you have the right man, go ahead and marry him on any day in October, or November . . . Then give your utmost to the marriage and hope for the best. However, if you have doubts, or some things about him bother you, then take your time and discuss these matters with friends who know both of you and whose judgment you trust . . ." THIS ANSWER DOES NOT REQUIRE PSYCHIC POWERS. IT IS DERIVED FROM AN INTUITIVE PROCESS INVOLVING "GUT FEELING" AND COMMON SENSE. Everyone has them and they apply in every situation. A psychic or an astrologer who knows nothing about the caller or his/her circumstances can never be a substitute. Wishful thinking and claims to the contrary do not change this.

The society's "official" view of astrology, which also affects how astrology and astrologers are treated, is much more difficult to appraise. People have a natural tendency to form groups. This helps them to define a smaller and more manageable environment of like-minded individuals. The catalyst that brings these people together may be a belief, cause, life-style . . . and/or simply a desire to escape loneliness. If the catalyst is a belief or cause, people are generally polarized along mutually-exclusive, "for or against something," lines, where the opposing groups can be "clannish" about their interests and identity, as if a compromise with the other side threatens their survival. The "adversary" character of the American system, it is said, insures continuous debate and agitates "truth" to the surface. This may happen in a courtroom. But as the conflict between "Pro-Life" versus "Pro- Choice" groups illustrates, debates can also end in a perpetual stalemate, because real-life decisions and choices are frequently biased by opinions and views that do not necessarily follow logical reasoning or outcome of debates. This is apparently how astrology is judged by the society.

Astrology suffers from a mental block against it, primarily because it seemingly contradicts the common belief that "man makes his destiny." This is curious. Americans are also religious. The same people who faithfully accept "life after death," that God can "save" and reserve a space for them in the heavens, adamantly reject even the possibility that the same God can also influence their personality, behavior, and progress through the planets. This is all astrology says: "planets influence people." It does not compete with God or religion. Astrology is a study of the correlations between planetary patterns and "what happens to a person." The fact that the public perceives astrology as a "Science of Karma, Preordained Destiny . . ." is not the fault of astrology. These promotional hypes are perpetuated by schemers and uninformed people in the media.

Astrology has already interpreted - though not fully - many correlations. It cannot continue indefinitely at grass-roots level. There are enough concrete data to initiate serious research, involving people from many disciplines. The social ramifications of such a research effort are as important - and as complex - as the study of DNA structures. It is obvious that without a serious research effort astrology is a fruit ripe for picking, in any way the schemers can. A growing number of people will be at their mercy. Astrology will evolve into a powerful superstition. The emergence of "psychics" and shows like "The Psychic Friends" on TV are clues that this is already happening. IF ASTROLOGY DOES BECOME AN INSTITUTIONALIZED SUPERSTITION, IT WILL SPREAD LIKE AN EPIDEMIC, for it has tangible tools and it is much more down-to-earth, spontaneous, and entertaining than, for example, psychology. It is up to the society to decide what role astrology will play in people's lives in the future, one way or another.

Superstition is not merely an academic concern in America. As the recent news about the cult near Waco, Texas suggests, many Americans apparently have a natural tendency to join any group or cult just to be a member of something. Obviously the members are not all shepherds. It is said that there are about 1800 cults in the United States. People donate their homes, bank accounts, and themselves and their children to these groups. The founding fathers of some of these cults are foreigners who can barely speak English. Their messages are rejected even in their native countries. Yet, they flourish here.

Instead of dismissing the members of these groups as "victims of their own making," social-anthropologists should interview them and study the phenomenon of cults. The studies should evaluate questions like: 1) Is the "individualistic" and "silent strong" American often a "very lonely" American? 2) Is the level of depression and/or loneliness so acute in some people that the group serves for them as a clinic for treatment? 3) Has the "American Dream" escaped these people (or have they achieved and found it hallow) and they are now experimenting with any alternative to find a more fulfilling substitute? 4) Have the Star Trek and like shows and commercials on TV twisted susceptible minds to such an extent that many people are unable to discriminate between the real and imaginary, legitimate and fraudulent, philosophical and absurd?

Some of the fundamentalist and evangelical groups should be included in the study. While the society views some groups as "flaky," it accepts many religious organizations as wholesome American institutions, although they are more suspect by the same pragmatic standards. For example, what kind of reasoning can lead to a conviction that mailing $1,000 to Robert Tilton automatically reserves a person a spot in the heavens? (Indeed, this one-man show is one of the most profitable entities in this country.) The distinction between a "weird cult" and a "wholesome organization" is frequently not clear. It is seemingly decided only by the size of the membership and the degree of political power the group can generate. PEOPLE WHO LOOK DOWN CONDESCENDINGLY ON SOME GROUPS ARE THEMSELVES "WILLING" VICTIMS OF OTHER DUBIOUS GROUPS.

Popular astrology seeks followers among all potential candidates, but in need of a growing constituency, it caters primarily to people who feel left behind. It attracts them with a bribe they can hardly refuse: "whatever happened to you in the past, or will happen to you in the future, is caused by planets." People who are in need of a crutch are suddenly rejuvenated. "I am this way, I did so, I failed, my marriage did not work . . . but only because my planets forced this outcome." Such use and promotion of astrology are unfortunate, but it does provide substantial income to promoters.

Astrology allows a person to be both patient and doctor simultaneously. It can be also attractive financially. After making the initial investment, one is free to indulge in astrology in the convenience of one's home. Anyone with a computer can purchase astrology software and advertise a chart service without being an astrologer. This is a rapidly growing vocation. Astrology is a catalyst that causes immediate intimacy between total strangers: "Here is my birth date, tell me about my love-life over the next six months." Astrologers form local groups, join larger national organizations, participate in parties, trips, and conferences. For the person who felt alone and alienated just a few months ago, there is now a sense of purpose and belonging, all thanks to astrology.

This explains how astrology can become an addictive vocation for many, given the right circumstances. Once people are into astrology it is futile to attempt to persuade them that the hours spent with charts of strangers, and analyzing each moment of one's own life, could perhaps be used more productively doing something else. Unfortunately, if astrology is allowed to become an addiction, need, or escape, soon it evolves into superstition. For example, many astrologers will not sign a document, write a formal letter, purchase a major item . . . if the "conditions" are not favorable. They will definitely not do these things during periods - up to three weeks - when Mercury is "retrograde," which happens three or four times annually.

While delays, broken communications, and/or aggravation of some sort do seemingly coincide with "retrograde" periods, these occasions, or the Full and New Moon cycles which apparently induce behavior changes, do not always affect everyone, certainly not uniformly. Astrologers overlook the fact that life has a pattern and momentum that cannot be altered arbitrarily according to the whims of astrology. Knowing about the "suggestion" of a cycle does not necessarily insulate a person from the suggested event, even if the event can be predicted precisely - which astrology cannot do. For example, if people stopped going to work every time they suspected an accident-prone cycle, there would be total chaos. SUPERSTITION BUNDLED WITH PLANETS IS NOT ASTROLOGY. IT IS SUPERSTITION IN SEARCH OF A TANGIBLE JUSTIFICATION. If people susceptible to superstition began flipping coins - "heads an accident, tails no accident" - and an accident took place on a "heads" day, the event could mark for many the beginning of a "habit" of daily coin flipping. Many people approach astrology - and life - in this fashion.

The Media

The media should be more responsible about how it breaks the news about supernatural events. Everyone is not bestowed with equal dosage of common sense. For example, a prediction in December 1991 Parade magazine (on the inside cover page) was accompanied with the name and a photo of an astrologer who predicted something like "in 1992 more people will use credit cards." Astrology cannot postulate such detailed predictions about a national trend. Yet, this person is granted nationwide publicity. Although the prediction about the credit card lacks basis in astrology, this is irrelevant to people who are worried about their future. "If this astrologer is viable enough to be published in Parade, that's good enough for me" is the rationale by which these people function.

Joyce Jillson is even a better example. For several years, month-after-month, there appeared two-page advertisements by her in almost every astrology magazine. The ads have nothing to do with astrology. Her photos next to President and Nancy Reagan, imbedded in an assortment of news clippings, convey a simple message: "if I can help a president, imagine what I can do for you." Yeah, imagine.

A news story in October 1992 informed the public about an attractive lady in California who built an empire by passing on to hundreds of her followers messages and wisdom from a warrior - in his own voice - who died 2000 years ago. The lady was apparently also endorsed by Linda Evans (of "Dynasty" fame). This common practice, especially on TV, of using people who enjoy name recognition as endorser of "products," here no less than witch craft, about which they cannot know more than the average person is nothing but institutionalized fraud. It is assumed that the public will see through these schemes and can protect itself. Unfortunately, many people become victims- and bankrupt in the process. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT INCREASING LITERACY RATES AROUND THE WORLD ARE ACCOMPANIED BY INCREASING RELIANCE ON SUPERSTITION AND LESS RELIANCE ON COMMON SENSE.

Psychics

One reads and hears occasionally about a police department in a large city that is confronted with a series of murders it suspects are committed by a serial killer. Having no clues about the identity of the murderer, it seeks the assistance of a psychic. Since the story typically is not conclusive about the actual contributions made by the psychic, the public is essentially misinformed and left with the impression that if pragmatic police departments use the services of a psychic, there must be people who can legitimately claim such powers. Consequently, some readers probably think that psychics can look at a dead victim and write down the murderer's name and address.

Combine these types of impressions with visions acquired from many science fiction books and movies, "psychic" talk shows on TV, and a case can be made that some American minds are permanently acclimated to scientific superstition. Besides people who seek quick bandage solutions to their problems, those whose minds are infiltrated by superstition are likely to be a second major target group for psychics and popular astrologers.

Common sense dictates that if there were people with genuine psychic powers, the scientific community, the government, TV channels, and other sectors would find ways of engaging them lucratively. It follows that it is very unlikely for a person with such unique powers to have to make a living by waiting for telephone calls. Moreover, while everyone experiences a premonition of sorts about events affecting their personal lives occasionally, I question the validity of claims that these persons receive such "vibes" about total strangers, and immediately when the telephone rings. Therefore, common sense would conclude that the people who advertise as psychics are not true psychics. IF SOME OF THEM STILL INSIST THEY ARE, THEY SHOULD BE TESTED METICULOUSLY BY AN OFFICIAL AGENCY AND CERTIFIED. After all, if I opened an office on Park Avenue and declared myself a psychologist, soon I would be arrested. Yet, I can perform a similar function, give similar advice, by declaring myself a psychic. In other words, I would be punished for misrepresenting a profession, but NOT for (potentially) misleading, or even damaging, people. Something is awry here.

Until the late 1980s there were only a few people who called themselves psychic. Their numbers have increased enormously in recent years. There has to be a reason for such a sudden jump. One can attribute the increase to several plausible causes, such as the thinning ozone layer. Somehow, it may have activated in some people previously dormant genes, making them psychic. Economic opportunity is another, and more likely, explanation. "I am psychic," is a clever way of bypassing a formal degree program of several years that, for example, psychologists must endure to "learn" their trade. A psychic does not need to learn anything. Either one "is" psychic or one is not. And since there are no formal tests to pass, this simple self-declaration is simultaneously a diploma, title, and profession all in one. (PERHAPS AMERICA IS TOO MUCH OF "A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY" FOR ITS OWN GOOD.) Psychics also bypass a hurdle which astrologers cannot. Unlike other beliefs, astrology ultimately relies on tangible tools. Although people generally do not scrutinize these tools, as we have already seen, they can be scrutinized. Moreover, astrology is not practical for spontaneous situations where time is a factor. It takes time to erect and analyze charts and to apply them to individual circumstances, whereas psychics can claim to know the answer immediately. Because of these characteristics, astrology is not an ideal long- term vocation for schemers. Psychics will likely become the dominant voice.

Popular Astrology, a Macro View

People who seek to improve their lot through astrology do so at a time when they are also vulnerable and gullible. Thousands of these people are led astray by false hopes derived from ridiculous techniques that are essentially scams masquerading as astrology. There are few people outside the ranks of practicing astrologers who can scrutinize astrology competently. Money-making schemes have reached such proportions that many astrologers themselves have difficulty spotting the credible theory and techniques in a sea of "incredible" astrology. There are also no objective references and guidelines on the market. Progress in astrology is defined increasingly as "if it sells, it is good."

The "sensible" majority is at least partly to blame for the scams. While the public apparently likes to be entertained by astrology columns in newspapers and magazines, the prevailing consensus is that a more serious debate about astrology would lend credibility to this controversial subject. So astrology is "tolerated" superficially for its entertainment value. This attitude helps to create an environment in which "irrelevant" astrology is promoted as "popular" astrology. The "real" astrology that deserves serious research has no place to go but to underground, into the hands of schemers, where it flourishes as scams among many victims. The distinction between real, popular, and indefensible astrology may not be clear. I will explain them.

1. Popular or Irrelevant Astrology. Astrology Columns, Linda Goodman's "Sun Signs."

2. Indefensible Astrology. About a dozen "popular" techniques - scams - are discussed under the same heading. "Psychic" advice is included in this category.

3. Credible Astrology. A study about Mr. Clinton is included at the end of this report.

Many modern astrologers are obsessed with the idea of developing a catalog of astrologic charts for individual countries, cities, rivers, plants, minerals . . . (Yes, there is also a chart for the KGB.) Some astrologers (e.g., Richard Nolle of Dell Horoscope) perpetually devise and upgrade astrologic charts for the USA. The date July 4, 1776 is the most commonly used reference "birth date," but dates of other historical events are also used. The date, July 4, 1776, makes the USA a "Cancer" country.

These exercises obviously contradict common sense. Long before July 4, 1776, there was life in the USA, a continuous process during which hundreds of babies were born every day. They grew up, married, made more babies, worked, lived, and finally died. There were leaders, a government and social system, a flag; evolution and history were in the making. Yet, these ingredients of "life" before July 4, 1776 are discarded as irrelevant, and the occasion of the signing of a single document is seen as the day life began in the USA. Although astrology cannot "find" Picasso in his own chart, it can claim that it can predict and debate the destiny of a country, simply by treating an entire country as if it were a person.

So why are astrologers busy with these types of seemingly nonsensical tasks? Many do so because they do not know any better. They associate all juggling acts involving the planets as profound wisdom. Others are encouraged by book publishers who specialize in astrology. The articles that appear in astrology magazines and "research" journals are not arbitrary. They are designed to publicize selected topics as "new" discoveries and "progress" in astrology. Although the contents of many of these articles are nonsensical, this is veiled, for only supportive reviews are included - by authors who have reached fame through similar means. Fliers, announcements, and similar promotions continue to develop and fuel interest in the topic. Soon the author and the material become "HOT TOPICS." Once this introductory promotion is concluded, there appears next a book on this subject. National and local conferences follow. They are arranged to introduce the (by now) "famous" author and "the topic everybody talks about." The purpose of the conference is supposedly to share with the attendants the benefits of the wonderful new theories and techniques. In reality the authors are there to promote their respective topics and sell books.

Asteroid CHIRON is the latest example of this kind of progress. Dr. Kowal discovered it in November 1977. Already in 1986, when Chiron had completed only about 20 percent if its circle in the zodiac, astrology publications began attributing to Chiron "healing" qualities. There are now at least two books on Chiron the Healer by two major publishers of astrology books - ACS/NCGR and Llewellyn Publications, the latter owned by "American Astrology." Software versions displaying wonderful graphics and selling at $395 (more or less) invariably follow these "discoveries." This is not surprising. Robert Hand, the head of Astrolabe, a major producer of astrology software, is also the chairperson of NCGR. And when Astrolabe produces a module, it compels Matrix in Big Rapids, Michigan, another major producer, to do the same - and vice versa. When these three major "noise makers" promote the same thing at the same time, they also set a trend for all astrologers. Other publishers and software developers join the effort. Even a normally skeptical buyer is soon overcome by nagging thoughts of "IF I DON'T GET THIS, I MAY REALLY MISS SOMETHING IMPORTANT."

Everyone benefits from the spending frenzy that follows, except the people whose money is the source of the euphoria. The real crime begins after the purchase. These items are not inconsequential. They are used to influence lives. The time spent learning these new tools and applying them in practice is a colossal waste. Once learned, they become "proven" techniques, simply because everyone uses them. (I will show later how and why many favorite tools of modern astrology are nothing but absurd money schemes.) Well-meaning novice astrologers are misled into thinking that these "magical" tools equip them to advise family members, friends, and clients about major decisions in their lives. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF PROGRESS IN ASTROLOGY, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE 1980s. I can say with confidence that if 99 percent of astrology books, tapes, and software were abolished today, astrology would gain. NO SKEPTIC HAS CAUSED MORE DAMAGE TO ASTROLOGY THAN THESE "TOOLS" BY GREEDY "FRIENDS."

Historically, while astrologers have always yearned for ways of predicting the future as an ultimate proof of "God-like" powers, in practice they keep stumbling over banal hurdles such as personal charts. Some astrologers with a mind for business have concluded that "it would not hurt" to perpetuate the myth of "I can see it all." These types of brain storms began to emerge in 1960s and 1970s, promoted by authors like Alan Leo and Noel Tyl. Book after book by these authors filled the shelves of book stores. The insightful astrology proposed by them included profound observations such as "parsley is a Gemini plant." Since parsley did not vociferously object to the classification, the designation stood as solid as "E = m c^2."

Astrologic lexicons of countries, cities, rivers, organizations, corporations, plants . . . enabled these authors to infiltrate every facet of life. It became possible now to predict historical events for a country, to devise stock market and medical astrology . . . If one absurd idea starts to make sense, it does not take long for a variety of absurd ideas also to appear sensible. Popular Astrology has effectively replaced the rational "SHOW ME THAT IT DOES WORK" WITH "SINCE YOU CANNOT SHOW THAT IT DOES NOT WORK, IT MUST WORK." If one can extrapolate from past trends, it should not surprise anyone to see by year 2000 "Cancer, Scorpio . . . " pills advertised as quick medicine for changing one's natal potentials, "doing better" in a relationship, and looking forward to a more optimistic future.

Many modern astrologic theories and techniques came into being simply because no one took time to scrutinize their ridiculous premises. In any other field of endeavor the authors of such brain storms would have been thrown out of "their area of expertise." In astrology they are admitted to astrology's "Hall of Fame." THEY ARE FOUNDERS OF "HOW TO MAKE MONEY FROM ASTROLOGY."

Conferences

The astrology conferences are the quickest way in which name astrologers can reap substantial amounts of money, and perpetuate their fame for even more money. They are a major fraud - a fact the reader should remember the next time he or she receives an invitation about an "Astrology Conference." They mean free vacations and lots of money for the organizers. For example, about 2000 persons paid up to $150 each for registration alone to attend the conference in Washington, D.C. in April 1992, organized by ACS/NCGR in San Diego and American Federation of Astrologers (AFA) in Tempe, Arizona. If one adds fees paid by the vendors ($400 per table), advertising fees in the conference program ($450 per page), fees for special events, and revenues generated from sales of books, tapes, charts, software, artifacts, herbs, and minerals, one can see why the organizers really "love" these conferences. In the first three months of 1993, I received announcements for conferences scheduled for 1993 in: Jacksonville, Seattle, Minneapolis, Lansing, Virginia Beach, Del Mar (California), Santa Fe, Columbus (Ohio) . . . These are only a few of the conferences scheduled in 1993.

Until about mid-1970s, the AFA was a viable astrology organization. Since the emergence of ACS/NCGR - the book publisher ACS and the "nonprofit" research arm, NCGR - on the scene, the symbiosis of ACS/NCGR and AFA has reduced the latter to the level of the former. THE TRANSFORMED AFA IS NOW LIKE MANY OTHER ASTROLOGIC ENTITIES THAT PROMOTE THE MOTTO "ANY ASTROLOGY THAT SELLS IS GOOD ASTROLOGY." In 1989, the chairman, Robert Cooper, wrote me a three-page letter in which he admonished me for "having" critical views - the "stick" as in "carrot" - and invited me as "faculty" to the conference in Orlando - "carrot". I refused.

Common Sense and Popular Astrology

It is obvious that many factors external to astrology (i.e., heredity, environment, culture, upbringing, education, and circumstances) can almost totally void astrologic predictions. This is a fact that popular astrology avoids mentioning. Examples abound:

o The quality of life and expectations of a deformed baby born to a mother who unknowingly took thalidomide during pregnancy has nothing to do with the natal patterns of the baby. The same is true of babies who inherit genetic deformities, AIDS.

o Astrology may paint a wonderful picture and predict a long life for a natal chart showing several very positive patterns, until the astrologer is told the chart is that of a young Somali woman, dying of starvation in the Summer of 1992.

o Six million Jews did not share the same astrologic patterns - thus, the same predicament - when they were put into gas chambers, hundreds at a time over several years.

o Astrology, as perpetuated by popular astrologers, totally discards concepts of "freewill" and "personal effort" in practice, while occasionally acknowledging their existence for philosophical consistency. Peggy Fleming did not become a world champion ice skater because her astrologic chart promised this outcome. There are no such explicit patterns or promises in astrology. Many other charts may show similar ingredients without similar results. What made Peggy Fleming the Peggy Fleming we know is six to eight hours of practice on skates, day in and day out for almost two decades. She developed her art through single-minded dedication, by severely limiting other indulgences, by sacrifices and self-discipline, and through the ability of her parents to support her vocation in the early years. The medal goes to Peggy Fleming, not to her astrologic chart.

Often, higher order variables can severely restrict or void astrology. This would lead to a conclusion that while astrology is promoted as a universal phenomenon, in reality it is a luxury in which only persons in selected societies can indulge. Astrology can only describe potentials, tendencies, and inclinations. It can flourish only in societies in which individuals are "freer" to respond to astrologic oscillations. (For example, a Saudi woman will not attempt to rejuvenate herself by a new mate because she is tempted by a "transiting Mars conjunct her natal Venus.") It is no surprise that in modern times most of the clamor about astrology originates in the West, especially the USA. But even in the USA, most people can and do insulate themselves against astrological influences through freewill and personal effort.

What is Astrology?

Astrology is the quasi-science of planetary patterns and their effect on people. The definition of the term "quasi-science" may also be offered as a definition of astrology. The "science" part is based on the extent that astronomy is used mechanically for astrologic purposes. Although many forebears of astrology were also competent astronomers, based upon the substance of their contributions, modern astrologers cannot be designated as scientists. Astrology is not a "pure" science that can postulate neat and precise scientific laws such as E=mc^2. There are many unknowns, gray areas, and much confusion in astrology. Thus, the "quasi" part provides the hint that, like economics, psychology, and social sciences, astrology is a qualitative endeavor. These sciences speak in terms of observations, expectations, and likelihoods. The best they can offer is empirical evidence. It is not possible for astrology to postulate concrete and irrevocable predictions.

An exact astrologic chart for a person requires only three variables: the date, time, and place of birth. The chart is typically represented by a circle that is divided - like a pie - into 12 30-degree segments, called "Houses," including a horizontal and a vertical line through the center. The center of the circle represents planet Earth. This schematic diagram represents the sky around planet earth, as seen from the place of birth at the time of birth. The point of intersection of the horizontal line and the circle on the left represents the East. The intersection of the vertical line and the top of the circle is South. (This is in contrast to astronomic star maps or even road maps on which the East is generally on the right, North on top.)

The time of birth combined with the latitude of the place of birth establishes the ascendant or the rising sign, the portion of sky that was rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of birth. (Since planet Earth completes one revolution around its axis in 24 hours, a new 30-degree segment of the sky appears on the Eastern horizon every two hours.) The ascendant is jotted down next to the point representing the East. It is also called the "cusp" of the first house. (Houses are really "house affairs." For example, the 7th house is associated with affairs of marriage and business partnerships.) The remaining 11 houses are numbered counterclockwise so that the 12th house is the 30-degree segment above the first house on the left.

Once the sign and degree of the ascendant are found, the signs of the remaining houses follow in the order in which the signs appear: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. For example, if the ascendant is 29 Sagittarius 42 (i.e., 29 degrees and 42 minutes), according to the so-called Equal House system, the cusp of the 2nd house is then 29 Capricorn 42 . . . 7th house, 29 Gemini 42 (where Gemini is the "opposite sign" of Sagittarius on the cusp of the first house) . . . 12th house, 29 Scorpio 42. The ascendant serves as a reference point. The house cusps go on in this neat sequence - 29 Sagittarius, 29 Capricorn . . . - only according to the Equal House system. Based upon personal preferences, astrologers use about a dozen house systems, such as the Placidus, Koch, Campanus, Regiomontanus . . . which can yield conflicting predictions. The house systems are a source of continuing controversy among astrologers.

The date and time of birth are used next to find the positions of the planets. These positions are marked on the circular chart. Astrology recognizes the following planets and planetary entities: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Moon's Node. For example, if the Sun's position is at 21 Cancer 31, it is marked in the 7th house - where 21 Cancer 31 is larger than 29 Gemini 42, the cusp of the 7th house, and less than 29 Cancer 42, the cusp of the 8th house. The other planets are plotted similarly.

The chart now displays a complete set of astrologic finger prints for a particular person. Astrology recognizes five major angles or "aspects" between the planets. The square (90 degrees) and opposition are interpreted as conflicting and challenging, the trine (120 degrees) and sextile (60 degrees) as positive. The conjunction signifies intensity and may be positive or adverse, depending on the planets involved.

The signs, houses, and planets are associated with particular characteristics and personalities. The interpretations of personal characteristics are derived from the combination of these. For example, astrology views Aries as an "aggressive and pioneering" sign. If Mars, the planet of energy, courage, aggression, and drive, is located in Aries, then this person is really a dynamic "go-getter." If this combination occurs in 1st house, a very strong placement, then, other things being equal, this person is likely to be a pioneer or mercenary of sorts. However if Mars forms a square to Saturn in 10th house, the picture changes. This person is truly "driven," and is not likely to stop at anything to achieve his or her aims. There is also a potential for violence and cruelty in this combination, for "Mars square Saturn" denotes extreme "frustration."

It is not immediately apparent that 13 planetary entities including the ascendant and midheaven (the highest point on the chart), in 12 signs and in 12 houses, forming five aspects (or none) among themselves, yield (13*12*12*6) 11,232 combinations about a person that astrology must interpret. (And this is only part of what it must interpret for relationships and predictions.) In practice, it can only do this for some combinations and in a general way. For example, while astrology can delineate a pattern such as "Mars square Saturn," it can never be certain that it recognizes all ramifications of that pattern. Also, astrology cannot interpret a complex pattern such as "Mars square Saturn" where "Saturn is trine to Jupiter." It can only look at these patterns individually. These are some of the reasons why a personal report at best "rings a bell" but never really depicts a person as he or she really is. This inherently "teasing" quality of astrologic interpretations is also a mechanism through which the schemers can entice novice astrologers to purchase more useless books and tapes. "Here is something NEW that will tell you MORE about yourself." The so-called "AZTEC, VEDIC, MAYAN" Astrology, promoted primarily by NCGR, and other theories discussed later, are examples of this type of schemes.

Astrology and Reality

When astrology is applied to real-life situations, the severe limitations of a natal chart become even more clear. For example, consider the following scenario on the maternity floor of a large hospital. Three babies are delivered in three different rooms by three different doctors, but all at the same time. Let us call the babies baby Rich (a girl), baby Poor (a girl), and baby Ill (a boy). An astrologer standing on the sidelines is asked to prepare a chart for each baby. Since the three babies have the same birth data, all the astrologer has to do is to prepare a chart for one baby, make two copies of it, and he is finished.

The fact that the three babies share the same natal chart challenges one's credulity. This shared chart will serve as the reference chart for the babies throughout their lives. It will be used to map their evolutions, to project their relationships, to predict events affecting them. If Baby Rich is the only daughter of well-to-do parents, Baby Poor, the daughter of an unwed mother of five who is on welfare, and Baby Ill, a dwarf and the son of a middle-class couple, their shared natal chart is not concerned with these "externalities."

The real differences are underlined better twenty years later. At age four Baby Rich showed interest for the piano in her home. She has been taking piano lessons since then and is now a concert pianist. Baby Poor's life has not fared well. She is on welfare and pregnant by one the three men she has been dating. Baby Ill has been cranky since his childhood. He has no friends and is living with his parents.

The natal chart, to the extent that astrologers can interpret it without knowing the external circumstances, will reflect identical potentials and opportunities for these three adults, despite the decisive differences in their circumstances. This is not all. Astrologic predictions about them, at any age, will also project the same opportunities, using the same vocabulary.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE THREE ADULTS WITH THE SAME NATAL CHART LEAD TO A MORE IMPORTANT ISSUE, SOMETHING POLITICIANS AND LEADERS SHOULD CONSIDER SERIOUSLY WHEN ESTABLISHING PRIORITIES. WITHOUT SUCH CONSIDERATION, AND OTHER THINGS REMAINING THE SAME, COMPARE THE TREMENDOUS LUCK OF A BABY BORN TO A KENNEDY FAMILY AND ONE BORN TO A FAMILY ON WELFARE LIVING IN THE BRONX. THERE MAY BE NO GUARANTEES IN LIFE, BUT WHO COULD REJECT SUCH A WONDERFUL AND PREPAID INSURANCE, RIGHT FROM THE START?

The question about the many unknowns and gray areas in astrology should be addressed. If six top-rated astrologers were invited to an official examination and asked to jot down the profession and some obvious characteristics of the person depicted on a chart that shows no name or date, there would be no agreement on these points. Conversely, if the same six astrologers were asked to jot down independently the patterns that "made" Picasso the great artist he was, there would be no agreement about these patterns. This is true especially if they were also asked to reconcile their results to patterns on Rembrandt's chart. There would be a series of educated guesses, some astrologers agreeing with one another about some patterns, but there would no categorical "this is it" response.

This brings up a most frustrating problem in astrology. A natal chart may display some characteristics that explain, for example, why a person eventually becomes a high government official. However, it can never provide a specific promise that a chart with these patterns will necessarily lead to a specific profession or talent in adult life. It cannot, because individual circumstances, self-will, and personal effort also contribute to how the adult person is molded. (Novice astrologers should EDUCATE Robert Hand about these facts about astrology the next time they attend an astrology conference in which Mr. Hand is scheduled to enrich them with his insights about "The Natal Chart.")

Psychology

Astrology does not have a monopoly on superficial personal profiles. A documentary on WETA about the efforts of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit to arrive at a "typical characteristics" profile for mass murderers showed results that were rudimentary. The main difference between psychology and astrology in practice is in that psychology is a recognized profession and is therefore subject to scrutiny. On the other hand, one wonders if psychologists are more competent in explaining human motivations. The profound recitals of Freud and Jung become academic gymnastics, if psychologists cannot explain real-life situations, such as the ingredients that induce people like Dr. Lecter and Mr. Dahmer to murder people and eat their flesh. (For instance, is this a permanent genetic or psychological disturbance, or a case of astrologic mutation where inner clocks - planets - alter the flow of hormones so that they trigger "primitive" impulses sometimes?) Compare the obvious explanations of problems offered by a Dr. Ruth on TV to the perceptive and eloquent depictions of human situations by Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, or Truman Capote.

If the comparison does not favor Dr. Ruth, the TV networks - not psychology or psychologists - are the culprits. In their attempt to cater to large masses spontaneously, the networks have substituted (Dollar-driven) "popular," that is frequently mediocre, for (quality-driven) "superior." Albeit, THE SOCIETY UNKNOWINGLY MAY HAVE ASSIGNED TO PSYCHOLOGISTS A LEVEL OF CREDENCE THAT IS FAR BEYOND THE MEANS OF THEIR REAL TOOLS. The fact that many psychologists purchase astrology software may be seen as a silent admission by the more open-minded members of this profession that they are in dire need of real tools.

Economics

Although this brief paragraph about economics does not seemingly fit this general discussion, I feel I must include it. Like sociology and psychology, economics is also a quasi-science and it is also involved in "predictions." (And I have a degree in it.) Ever since the Nobel Committee decided to grant a prize for economics, I could not help but wonder why the committee chose to elevate a quasi-science to the level of an exact science. While many economic theories are accompanied by complicated mathematics, economics looks like a science more on paper and in text books than it is in reality. Perhaps there is also hope for sociologists, psychologists, and even "astrologists."

Indefensible "Popular" Techniques

There are no rules or regulations governing the popular practice of astrology. It is self-regulated. As it happens, the potential for abuse is inherently built-in. The increasing popularity of personal computers since the late 1970s has opened a lucrative market for developers of astrology software and publishers of astrology books. Many "psychic shows" on TV have joined the effort. The abuse is no longer potential; it is a fact. There is no FDA or "Consumer Reports" that protects people from these "mind-altering" commercial products. The only defense people have is their own common sense, and this is subjected to a continuous bombardment of commercials and endorsements about nonsensical and farfetched claims. The following is an overview of dubious and indefensible techniques that are marketed as viable astrology. People who order astrology reports or consult psychics and astrologers may receive advice derived from one or more of these techniques.

o "VOODOO" Astrology, SUPERSTITION. "What DATE should I Choose for my WEDDING?" is the type of question that is asked frequently by well-meaning but innocent callers who wish to make astrology a part of their lives and major decisions. Many business-minded astrologers and psychics promote their craft as a "supernatural science of karma" to gullible clients, for the deception creates and perpetuates a demand for their services. (The "Psychic" shows on TV are an excellent example of this practice.) This type of intentional abuse or incompetent misuse of astrology is not a new phenomenon. It is a modern version of "fate" seen by a "medicine man" in patterns of bones scattered on the ground. The practitioners of Chinese and Hindu astrology - see below - rely on infinitely more complex and elusive patterns - which are meaningful only to them - to promote the myth of their powers, especially in the West. A popular pastime in the Mid-East is to foretell the events in a person's (near) future from the patterns formed by coffee grounds left in the (small) cup this person has used to drink coffee. (After the cup is emptied, it is turned over on the plate on which the cup is served and left a few minutes to cool and for the patterns to solidify.) Superstition comes in many forms. I attended the first meeting of the Washington, D.C. chapter of NCGR. It was the occasion on which the local chapter was to be formally established - supposedly by "best" astrologers in USA, who advise people about their lives. The members, many among them well-educated professional people, waited for more than an hour, erecting about a dozen charts meanwhile, to predetermine the exact moment for putting signatures on the document. This was the first and last meeting I attended.

Returning to the question about the wedding, the progress and outcome of a marriage depends ultimately on the personalities of the partners and the effort they put into their marriage. Whether the couple married on October 1 or October 23 five, ten, twenty years earlier is irrelevant. Real-life (non- astrologic) circumstances are much more important, e.g., she intentionally became pregnant to "force" him to marry her, when he was not sure they were right for one another. Where astrology may help is in situations such as, if a person met another under a deceptive Neptunian influence (e.g., Neptune square natal Venus or Moon) and fell in love, only to (possibly) regret the affair later. "Possibly," because astrology cannot postulate concrete and irrevocable predictions. It can only point out tendencies. For example, Neptune does not "force" a person to cheat on his or her spouse.

o PUBLISHERS of astrology books impatiently await the discovery of large rocks floating in the sky. If they are large enough to qualify as an asteroid, they are attributed a few arbitrary characteristics (e.g., CHIRON THE HEALER) and sold to the public. A typical scene -probably bogus - is as follows. Question: "I have been suffering from acute such and such for several months. Doctors are unable to help. Can you?" Answer: "Chiron will be on the cusp of your sixth house of health in March 1993. You should expect a healing process to begin on or about that date." Soon readers are conditioned enough to request interpretations for Chiron and other asteroids in their charts. Popular astrology is happy to oblige.

o "STOCK MARKET, Investment, Las Vegas Schemes." Astrology is ideally suited as an investment scheme. Astrologic investment (software) modules appeared on the scene about six years ago, promoted by a "foremost" name in astrology (Robert Hand of Astrolabe). These schemes are not so much promoted among astrologers - presumably because astrologers know better - unless they want to make money using these schemes. The victims are people who are perpetually in search of quick "get rich" formulae. Some of these modules are based upon "forced" correlations between planetary positions and price of and dividends paid by individual stocks. (This is similar to some econometric studies in 1960s, where there were attempts to seek relationships between unrelated variables. These attempts were later humorously called as "A Study of Rainfall in Texas versus Height of Pygmies in Africa." If one insists, any two variables may be correlated. The variables do not care.) Other schemes perform such "analyses" by attributing to individual stocks artificial birth dates - as described for countries - presumably the date on which the stock was issued, i.e., printed.

These exercises are contrary to the most basic assumption of astrology. Astrology is based on the hypothesis that planets generate forces that are received by people on Earth. These forces presumably affect the flow of hormones in human body, inducing people to behave in certain ways. Astrology attempts to predict these behavioral patterns. In contrast, a stock is merely a name printed on a piece of paper. It makes no sense at all to suggest that printed words on paper, in documents and books, "oscillate" with planets.

This type of promotion of astrology is very lucrative for the promoters and it is a rapidly growing money scheme. For example, one astrologic investment group in Chicago offers three-day seminars at $4000, the advertisement highlighting the $195 one would "save" by attending all three days. Other people view astrology as a gimmick by which they can predict the outcome of sport events. They run periodically thousands of charts for football, baseball, basketball . . . players, teams, managers, always hoping that some day they can "beat the system." These people possess quick and sharp minds otherwise. Nevertheless they are at the mercy of their greed, which the promoters exploit.

o Linda Goodman's "SUN SIGNS" is a most imaginative marketing scheme astrology has ever devised. It is essentially a book about "PARTY ASTROLOGY." Its premise is derived from two simple principles: 1) "a great majority of people do not know their astrologic chart," and 2) "most people know their Sun-sign." The book is an inspiration that indulges the second principle in an expanded form: "since these people are also uninformed about astrology, it should not be difficult to convince them that a well-written and entertaining book titled 'Sun Signs' is the only astrology they need to understand themselves and their relationships."

The book is party astrology, because it hopes to popularize astrology and sell itself by suggesting that astrology can be a mild aphrodisiac, to imply and test intimacy, for common people in everyday situations. It is true that people will be informed about the characteristics ascribed to their Sun- signs, but that would be it. Astrology involves a minimum of 12 planets for a person, (12 by 12) 144 combinations forming 5 aspects, or a minimum of 720 "planet" variables in a relationship. ("Correct" astrology also looks at "his 12 planets in her 12 houses," and vice versa, inter-house effects.) Either astrology is accepted, or it is not. If it is accepted, then there has to be an agreement that an entire relationship cannot be meaningfully reduced only to the interaction of natal Sun-signs, except in fiction, or in a pub.

o The "MID-TIME/SPACE" is one of the latest indefensible relationship techniques. A software version of it (by Astrolabe) has existed for about six years. The technique is presently rejuvenated by a new book by ACS/NCGR. The absurdity of this approach is illustrated by the following example. I was born in Istanbul on July 15, 1942, my companion in Cumberland, MD on August 16, 1961. Accordingly, we are supposed to "analyze" our future prospects with planets erected for February x, 1952 (mid-time), and at a location in the Atlantic ocean (mid-space). There might be some use to this technique. It may depict the character of a baby whale born in these waters on that date.

o "PROGRESSIONS," promoted by the late Alan Leo, a member of astrology's Hall of Fame, is a popular predictive technique in astrology. It is a branch of astrology and is promoted as "primary, secondary, tertiary" progressions, with "direct and converse" options, and "solar-arc directions." The premise of progressions is utter nonsense. It assumes that each day after birth represents a year of life. So if a client is curious of events awaiting him or her at age 40, the planets on day 40 after birth are used. Why the adherents of this technique use hypothetical (i.e., day 40 does not represent age 40) planets instead of real planets at age 40 is not explained. "It works," they say.

Progressions illustrates how effectively the schemers have eroded people's natural resistance to absurdity, claims that contradict the theorem "IF THE PREMISE OF SOMETHING IS NONSENSE, NOTHING SENSIBLE CAN BE DERIVED FROM IT." One must "turn off" common sense when indulging in many techniques of modern astrology. (Traditional Astrology is not threatened by common sense, for there is "clinical" evidence to planetary influences. They plead for research.) If common sense is removed as a filter, astrology becomes in effect a waste basket for all types of concoctions. It has.

o Traditional astrology is based on the theory that people live on planet earth and receive some sort of energy from the planets. It takes a "Geocentric" view of planets. A recent trend promotes also the "HELIOCENTRIC" theory. A proponent of this approach, a "famous" name in astrology (Michael Erlewine of Matrix), justifies the new insight as follows: "Helio not only offered another way of considering myself, but it also placed my previous geocentric experience into perspective." Modern astrology is overwhelmed by this type of "READS PROFOUND, SAYS NOTHING" fuzziness that veils hallucination. If people lived on the Sun, and wished to promote astrology, Helio would be the plausible theory to use. Otherwise, it is another "theory" of selling more useless books and software.

Michael Erlewine and Matrix have recently announced an encyclopedia of astrology. In June 1993, I received a note from Robert Hand with the news that he is now the editor of ARHAD, a publication dedicated to translating old works in astrology. If the astrology sold and preached presently by Michael Erlewine and Robert Hand are a clue, one can only surmise that their effort will create more links between superstition and astrology, and sell more useless books and software.

o There are many novice astrologers who are deeply disturbed about some patterns in their charts. They feel these patterns "doom" their prospects forever. They spend hours after hours examining these patterns to find some redeeming qualities about them. There are now new schemes that alleviate this type of concern, both in natal and relationship charts. On the natal front, a technique called "LOCAL SPACE" uses the azimuth coordinate of planetary positions to erect entirely new natal charts for the same person, depending on the address of the person. Thus, Local Space maintains, person XYZ, who lives a problem-prone existence at his present address on the left side of Main Street, facing south, may improve his or her lot by moving - this is not an exaggeration - a few blocks south to the right side of the street. This is not all, Local Space also recommends the desirable routes leading to shopping centers, schools; the position of the sofa in the living room . . . The sad truth is that there are astrologers who spread city maps across their kitchen table and spend days trying to figure out the "right" route to a Safeway store.

o A technique called "HARMONICS" uses a different mechanism to get similar results for relationships. Harmonics has its origins in Hindu astrology. Since people in the West are automatically enthralled with ideas and movements that originate in the East, this technique is popular in software and among astrologers. According to its promoters, this "teaching" supposedly "magnifies the potential of the natal chart in marriage situations." Charts are "arc-transformed" to bring pairs of planets into magnification, "as if (note this!) they are in a conjunction." This transformation is encouraged for all possible combinations of planets.

In other words, as if two natal charts do not generate enough "real" patterns, planets in both charts are manipulated until all of the "as if" (i.e., nonexisting) patterns are also taken into account. One feels sorry for a John and Jane who rely on advice derived from these types of techniques, for the advice is not about them. Their charts have been altered. As an analogy, imagine a prescription for Patient-1 that is based on test results for Patient-2. This type of arbitrary "transformation" of charts is frequently the real "mystique" of HINDU Astrology.

o I CHING. The problem with I Ching, the Chinese Astrology, is the complexity of patterns. They are the most ponderous in astrology. I Ching relies entirely on the date and time of birth. No other date is used. Therefore, it promotes a "set" view of karma. That is, given the date and time of birth, the entire future is set. Since people are not generally aware of "what I Ching does," it can be promoted in the West as a source of wisdom.

Based upon inputs for date and time, I Ching develops dozens of "HEXAGRAMS" that apply to particular hours, days, weeks, months, years, and phases in the future. There are hexagrams that respond to particular inquiries. Although I Ching is described as astrology, there are no references to planets. All interpretations associated with these hexagrams must be accepted by faith and trust. The complexity of the hexagrams also makes their interpretation fuzzy. Depending on where the mood and imagination roam at a particular time, many patterns can be interpreted (i.e., biased) in a multiplicity of ways. They have certain "meanings" in the short-term, other interpretations in the long- term. In either case, they read like riddles. In view of the practical bent of the Western mind, there is a real possibility that the interpretations can be "twisted" to fit any outcome or bias. Although I Ching stresses the importance of freewill in modifying the forces of karma, this seems more like a built-in escape clause to address a discrepancy between the prediction and real outcome.

o Trans Neptunian Astrology, TNA, is a proof of how resourceful astrology can be. The purpose of TNA is to attribute influences to nonexisting planets. In other words, some astrologers suggest that there are planets "out there" that are yet to be discovered. When confronted by unexpected experiences that cannot be explained from a chart containing the known planets, rather than admitting that they do not know, these astrologers place an invented planet in a house corresponding to the experience. This way the event is explained and the unknown planet is "CHARACTERIZED" before it is discovered. TNA modules are profitable.

o CARTOGRAPHY Maps. Cartography maps, as a technique of astrologic prediction, emerged on the scene in mid-1980s, as computers became popular in many households. Cartography maps induce people to feel they are getting good astrology and their "money's worth" of their expensive equipment - by observing wonderful maps on their screens.

Cartography maps are world maps with "funny" curved lines on them. The lines represent the positions of transiting planets, as seen from different parts of the world at a particular time. They run in a general "top to bottom" direction. The maps support the theory that a major event at a particular spot on earth happens because the planets are aligned uniquely over that region. It promotes the "blame the planets" superstition. The most famous example of these world maps appeared on the eve of the "Desert Storm." All astrology magazines published a map of the Iraq War, showing a "Mars line" over Iraq.

This one map had such an impact on the astrologic community that the developer of the technique, Jim Lewis, was recognized as the astrologer of the year at a major astrology conference in Washington, D.C. in April 1992. The community was not disturbed by the fact that an article by Jim Lewis, predicting major world events for 1991, which appeared in "American Astrology" in October 1990, did not mention a word about Iraq, Kuwait, or a war in the region. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE WAR THE SAME MAGAZINE PUBLISHED A SECOND ARTICLE BY JIM LEWIS IN WHICH HE CORRECTLY "PREDICTED" THE WAR. (It is not surprising that "American Astrology" would want to protect Jim Lewis. It is the publisher of the "BOOK OF MAPS" by Jim Lewis.) The map of the "Iraq War" conveys the message that since Mars line was passing over Iraq at the time when the war started, it was Mars, alone or with other planets, which caused the war.

Cartography does not make sense even from a "mechanical" standpoint. Since the line also passes over other regions, there should have been an earthquake in central USSR, a sea war in the Indian ocean, a revolution in Madagascar. Cartography reduces people and nations to mere puppets who fight wars not for their own interests, but to entertain God(s). Here, 25 nations became involved in a war not to drive Mr. Hussein out of Kuwait, but to entertain the planet of war: Mars. It was not President Bush who ordered the US forces to attack. It was Mars.

Cartography stresses the significance of ZONES in personal charts. The ads cater to novice astrologers with the following line: "... so far 810 people have happily reported meeting love mates in their Venus zones." This claim is as meaningless as the map of the Iraq War: 1) WHAT percent are 810 of ALL people who reported one way or another? 2) How many people with UNfavorable Venus zones ALSO reported meeting love mates? 3) How many people WITH favorable Venus zones did NOT meet love mates? 4) HOW did authors conclude that it was the Venus zones and not a favorable "environment" that caused this happy turn of events? In reality, if a person is bestowed with the looks of a Warren Beatty or Kim Basinger, or has the personality of a Madonna, and lives in an environment that facilitates mating, then the probability of meeting a love mate should be very high. Compare this to the prospects, DESPITE the Venus zone, of a person who suffers from severe acne and lives in an Amish village. Cartography maps are a hoax.

Time of Birth

The time of birth is a "taken for granted" input in astrology, although all computations depend on it. The general view is seemingly a "since I cannot be really sure of the accuracy of the time I am using, I will assume it is precise." Even in 20th century USA all clocks are not correct nor synchronized. All births are not recorded at an exact procedural moment. Nurses and midwives do not follow a golden rule when they record time. The recording of a precise time-of-birth is not a high priority function in a delivery room. Astrologers should consider themselves fortunate if the time of birth is correct within 15 minutes.

Astrologers use a technique called "RECTIFICATION" to use a first-time major event in a client's life (e.g., first marriage) to modify the recorded time so that, it is, they suggest, precise within a second. They do not mention that the time derived in this manner never agrees with time(s) derived from other first-time major events. Many novice astrologers who insist on having an exact chart pay a substantial fee for this service.

The artificial time concepts such as daylight saving time (DST), War Time (WT), Double Summer Time (DDST), are seen by astrologers as the greatest obstacle in astrology. The dates and times of time changes, from regular time to daylight saving time and back to regular time, are recorded for most parts of the USA. The data about DST, WT, or DDST are not available, or where available, not reliable for other countries. Therefore, in these instances, UNLESS the customer specifically provides this information, the chart provided by a service MAY NOT BE THIS PERSON'S CHART - a fact chart services seldom mention.

A source that outlines time changes, including the effective dates for Daylight Saving Time (DST), in countries around the world is obviously a potential gold mine. ACS/NCGR has published an "ATLAS" showing this information. It contains more than 400 pages of neatly tabulated time data, going back for decades, for more than 100 countries. I decided to check the data for Turkey, my native country. I obtained the response on a letterhead from the Ministry of Inner Resources in Ankara. As I had suspected, the data in the Atlas pertaining to Turkey is entirely wrong. The data about many other countries is probably also invented. I reported these findings to American Astrology. The editors refused to publish it, even after I offered to pay for it.

Daily Astrology Columns

The generalized astrology columns one reads in newspapers and magazines should be viewed as entertainment. The authors obviously cannot know the birth information of all the readers. So the predictions are prepared to talk to all persons who have their Sun, for example, in Cancer: "what is happening to the sign of Cancer?". The predictions also apply to the Ascendant. Thus, a Cancer Sun sign with Capricorn ascendant is expected to read the text for both signs.

The predictions for the Sun-sign are based on the so-called SOLAR chart representation. For example, if one reads something like "romance on the rise," the author is emphasizing the effect of the planetary activity on that sign in the 5th House of romance, creative work, children, and speculation. This type of prediction may be offered to persons with Cancer on the ascendant, when, for example, transiting Pluto in Scorpio, and in the 5th house (i.e., counting from the Ascendant: 1.Cancer, 2.Leo, 3.Virgo, 4.Libra, and 5.Scorpio), is conjunct to transiting Venus. Since the 5th house is also the house that affects children, romance is singled out as the criteria that would appeal more to most readers. Due to limited space the author had to make a choice.

These generalized predictions may be off significantly for two additional reasons: 1) the type of event predicted - for example, for "Sun in Cancer" - depends on the rising sign. This decides the house (i.e., the type of event) in which the event takes place. Since there are 12 possibilities for the rising sign, the predicted event applies at best to (1/12) 8.5 percent of all persons who have the Sun in Cancer. 2) Sometimes predictions are based upon an important aspect formed by a transiting planet to the entire Sun-sign. These "event-triggering" aspects apply within about plus or minus two degrees - of the total of 30 degrees allocated to each sign. (The "+/-2 degrees" is called "ORB of Influence.") Therefore, even if the prediction is conceptually valid, it may not be valid in practice. For example, an event that applies only to people who have their Sun at 15 to 17 degrees of Cancer is frequently generalized to all Cancer natives. In reality, people who have their Sun at 0 to 15 degrees of Cancer have already experienced this event, while people whose Sun is at 17 to 30 degrees of Cancer will experience it in the future. If the prediction is based on a distant planet, such as Pluto or Neptune, "future" may mean several years. Thus, the prediction that supposedly applies to the entire Sun-sign, in essence excludes about 28 of every 30 (93 percent) Cancer natives. REASONS (1) AND (2) COMBINED WITH THE "ROMANCE VERSUS CHILDREN" TYPE OF CHOICE BY THE AUTHOR RENDER "IRRELEVANT" THE DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY PREDICTIONS IN NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES.

The duration of astrologic influences depends on the planets involved, for it is the speed with which a particular planet moves around the zodiac that decides the duration. Exact Lunar influences generally last a few hours, influences by the Sun, Mercury, Venus for one or two days, Mars usually up to four days, Jupiter nine days, Saturn 20-30 days, Uranus 38-50 days, and Neptune and Pluto for up to three or four months. There are also the "background" influences, the duration of which are directly related to the time it takes for a particular planet to traverse a sign. For example, a romantic cycle of about a month may be predicted when Venus enters the 5th house.

Conclusion for the public

Astrologic scams - nor the limitations of astrology - do not invalidate astrology as a legitimate phenomenon. I attempted to separate credible astrology from scams that masquerade as astrology. (If the separation is not clear enough, read the study again and periodically.) Increasing numbers of people are turning to astrology to seek solutions to problems affecting them. These people should not be left at the mercy of popular astrologers. On a personal level, "common sense" is the best deterrent against abuse. However, common sense does not function in a vacuum. People must be informed about what astrology is and what it is not, despite the claims. There are no quick fixes to major problems in life. The claims made by astrologers and psychics should always be taken with a "grain of salt."

Conclusion for astrologers

The limitations of a natal chart as a definitive source of profession was pointed out earlier. The natal chart is also limited in relationships. The interaction between two (static) natal charts only shows potential. If the potential is seemingly promising, it provides some comfort that during adverse cycles the couple has a cushion of protection. However, the success of the relationship ultimately depends, again, on the circumstances and, again, on transiting planets. For example, the successful entrepreneur may have also enjoyed a wonderful marriage in 1988. In 1990 he may be divorced, e.g., Donald Trump. Again, it is not the natal charts nor the potentials that have changed, but the circumstances. It is meaningless to "analyze" a relationship based on the interaction of natal charts alone. The transit patterns affecting each partner must be included in the analysis, for OTHERWISE THE POTENTIAL ALWAYS REMAINS THE SAME WHILE THE REALITY IS DICTATED BY CIRCUMSTANCES AND TRANSITS.

If astrology is going to "prove" as a valid phenomenon, it is going to be through transits, by predicting the general trend of events in personal lives, preferably before they happen. The following study provides an example of a real-life "Astrology at Work" using transits. IT IS THE ONLY PREDICTIVE TECHNIQUE I USE, for it involves current planets and real signs, houses, aspects.

Applied Astrology: Clinton Transition, Presidency By: Sirman A. Celayir On March 17, 1993, this study was mailed to "Authorities..." ____________________________________________________________ Introduction

ASTROLOGY DOES NOT WORK IN A VACUUM. Personal effort, "doing one's homework" (or not doing it) are elements that can significantly affect outcomes predicted by astrology. If the prediction says something like "job outlook is bright," it applies almost exclusively to persons who wrote job applications and made contacts in anticipation of the predicted cycle. Otherwise, the prophesy is not likely to materialize and it fades away as "lost opportunity."

PART-I: 1992 Elections

I estimated that Mr. Bush would lose the 1992 elections already in January 1992, when his popularity was very high. (I mailed my prediction to more than 1000 astrologers around the world and showed it on the "Greeting Screen" of my Bulletin Board.) How did I estimate this outcome? I "ran" transits for Mr. Bush. Then there was no clear opponent and I did not predict "who would win," only that Mr. Bush would not win. (The details leading to this conclusion are discussed later, after Mr. Bush's chart is presented.) By midsummer, Mr. Clinton was the candidate of the Democratic Party. The transit results for November 1992 were as follows.

a) Mr. Clinton, Summary

The AsterPro output shown below summarizes Mr. Clinton's points for days 1 to 24 (upper row) of November 1992. The points allocated to the 12 "Affairs of Life" (column 1) and the Total Daily Points (last row) are very nice for Mr. Clinton to November 16. Note the increase from -15 to 6 on November 4.

COMMENT: The points are derived from the angles - called "aspects" in astrology - formed between the current transiting planets and transiting planets and (Mr. Clinton's) natal planets. The table shown below is a "Summary" that is produced at the end of a day-by-day monthly run. The details of planetary patterns follow the Summary.

MR. Clinton: Daily Summary for November 1992
 
____________________________________________________________________________
DAY!  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
   !  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T
____________________________________________________________________________
H 1! -4 -2 -2 11  9 15 10  6  0  0  0 16 16 16 -9  9 -4  1  5  6  0  0 11  2
H 2! -4 -4 -4 -4 -1 -2 10  7 -2  6 -4 -4 -5 -4 -4 -4 -6-14-14 -9 -9-10-10 -8
H 3!  6 16  5  4 12 12 12 15 15 15 15 11 11 10 11  9  3  3  2  4  2  0  0 -6
H 4! -4 -4-22-18  3  3  5  2  2  0  0  0  0  0-20  0 -4  1  5  0  0  0  5 -4
H 5!  2  4  4 13 11 16 21 17  2 12  2 18 17 18 13 11  0  0  0  4 -2 -2  4  4
H 6! -6 -6 -6 -6 -3 -3 -1 -4 -4 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6-14-14 -7 -7 -8 -8 -6
H 7!  0  2 -9-10  0  0  0  0  0  0 -1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
H 8!  0  0-10-10  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0 -3-10  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
H 9! -6 -6 -6  2  2  1  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  3  2  2  5  5  2  2  2  5  1
H10!  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0 -1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
H11!  6 14 14 14 12 12 12 15 15 15 15 11 11 10 11  9  3  3  2  4  2  0  0  0
H12! -6 -6-24-16  5  4  7  4  4  2  2  2  2 -1  3  2  2  5  5  2  2  2  5  1
____________________________________________________________________________
TOT! -5  5-15  6 25 29 34 30 18 26 15 26 26 23 12 19 -2 -7 -4  6 -1 -5  4 -4

b) Mr. Bush, Summary. The output for Mr. Bush for the same days, November 1 to 24, 1992, shows that this would be a trying month for Mr. Bush!

____________________________________________________________________________
DAY!  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
   !  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T
____________________________________________________________________________
H 1!  0  2  2  2  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  1  2  0  0  0  3  1  0  0  0  0
H 2!  0  2  2  2  0 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -7 -6  0  3  0  0  0 -1 -1  0  0  0  5
H 3!  0  2  2 -8  2  2  4  2  4 -8  0  0 12  2-18  0-13  2  6  2  0  0  6 -2
H 4!  2  8 18  2  0 -4  8  8 10 16  0  2  2  2 -2 -6 -6 -6 -5 -7 -6 -6 -6 -6
H 5!-12-10-10-10-10-10 -8-10-10-12-12-12-10-11-10-12-12-12-12-13-13-12-14-12
H 6!  0  0 -6-20  3  3  9  6  8 -4  4  4 14  4 -6  4 -8  5  9  4  4  4  9  1
H 7!  2  7 15  2  2 -2  3  3  8 14  0  2  2  2 -2 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6
H 8!-11-11-21-21-11-11-11 -9-11-11-11-11-11-11-21-11-11-11-12-12-11-11-12-11
H 9!  0  0  2 -1  0  0  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3
H10!  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0 -1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
H11!  2  2  2  2  2 -6 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8  1  4  2  2  6  6  2  2  2  6  8
H12!  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0 -1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
____________________________________________________________________________
TOT! -7 -2  8-18 -5-20 -8-11 -4-10-17-14 -5 -5-17-12-25-13 -8-12-13-12-10-12

c) Mr. Clinton, November 4, 1992. The planetary aspects which contribute to the empirical points tabulated above for Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush are outlined next. Bill Clinton moved above the required 270 electoral votes with the vote from Ohio at 10:48pm. Thus, points on November 4, 1992 apply. (Since Mr. Clinton's time of birth is not known, his "Solar chart" is used.)

____________________________________________________________________________
(Effects true for 0hr Gmt. At BIRTH PLACE:LG=093W36;LA=33N40. GeoCentric Equal Solar Houses
Mr. CLINTON, 11/4/1992 WED
____________________________________________________________________________
Transit NN:23Sag29 H(So: 5/Na: 2) A 60 NATAL JU:23Lib15 H(SO:03/NA:12)

COMMENT:In other words, Transiting (Moon's) North Node at 23-deg Sagittarius
======= and 29 minutes (at 0-hour of the day leading to November 4), and in
        Mr. Clinton's Solar 5th house (of Luck, Popularity) was "APPROACHING"
        ("A") SEXTILE ("60"-degrees) to his Jupiter at 23 Libra 15 in his
        Solar 3rd. Astrology "values" Sextiles and Trines (120-degree angle)
        as positive; Squares (90-degree) and Oppositions (180-degree) as
        adverse, challenging, and conflicting.  The Conjunction (0-degree) is
        an aspect of intensity and may be positive or negative, depending on
        the planets involved.  "Houses" in astrology refer to "Affairs of
        Life" and represent 12 30-degree segments of a circle, which, in
        turn, represents the sky around planet Earth.  Thus, this is a study
        of "how current planets affect Mr. Clinton" who is represented by his
        natal chart.
Transit PL:22Sco26 H(So: 4/Na: 1)     (i.e., No aspect by Pluto on this day!)
Transit NP:16Cap33 H(So: 6/Na: 2) A  2 Transit UR:14Cap47 H(So: 6/Na: 2)
COMMENT:Aspects between two transiting planets apply to ALL persons (but in
        different houses), whereas aspects between a transiting planet and a
        natal planet apply only to individuals who have a natal planet at
        that position.
Transit UR:14Cap47 H(So: 6/Na: 2)
Transit ST:12Aqu 7 H(So: 7/Na: 3) A 90 Transit SU:11Sco49 H(So: 4/Na:12)
Transit JU: 4Lib58 H(So: 3/Na:11) A  2 NATAL   MR:06Lib27 H(SO:03/NA:11)
Transit JU: 4Lib58 H(So: 3/Na:11) A  2 NATAL   NP:06Lib52 H(SO:03/NA:11)
Transit JU: 4Lib58 H(So: 3/Na:11) S 60 Transit ME: 5Sag 3 H(So: 5/Na: 1)
Transit MR:23Can49 H(So:12/Na: 9)
Transit VE:18Sag30 H(So: 5/Na: 2)
Transit ME: 5Sag 3 H(So: 5/Na: 1) A 59 NATAL   MR:06Lib27 H(SO:03/NA:11)
Transit ME: 5Sag 3 H(So: 5/Na: 1) A 58 NATAL   NP:06Lib52 H(SO:03/NA:11)
Transit SU:11Sco49 H(So: 4/Na:12) A 90 NATAL   PL:11Leo52 H(SO:01/NA:09)
Transit MO:29Aqu25 H(So: 7/Na: 4) : Moon's angular motion is 11.89 Deg/24H

Points by House Affairs & Overall Rating: +27/-21= 6: Favorable

COMMENT: The highlighted aspects are "wonderful" influences which were acting
         on Mr. Clinton on November 4. The points derived from individual
         interplanetary aspects are next allocated to Mr. Clinton's 12 houses
         or Affairs of Life.

1ST:MAGNETISM, ENVIRONMENT, OUTLOOK           : 11/  0=  11 :Favorable
2ND:FINANCES, POSSESSIONS                     :  2/ -6=  -4 :Caution!
3RD:MENTAL STATE, NEWS, TRAFFIC, COMMUNICATION: 14/-10=   4 :Promising
4TH:HOME, DOMESTIC, PROPERTY, PRIVACY         :  0/-18= -18 :Agitated!
5TH:ROMANCE,CHARM,CHILD,CREATIVITY,SPECULATION: 13/  0=  13 :Favorable
6TH:HEALTH, PERSONAL PROJECTS, SCHEDULE       :  0/ -6=  -6 :Eventful!
7TH:INTIMATE TIES, MARRIAGE, BUSINESS PARTNERS:  0/-10= -10 :Eventful!
8TH:ENFORCED CHANGES, INTENSITY...            :  0/-10= -10 :Eventful!
9TH:DISTANT AFFAIRS,VALUES,EDUC.,ADVERTISEMENT:  2/  0=   2 :Promising
10TH:CAREER,DIRECTION,SUCCESS,GOVERNMENT,PUBLIC:  0/  0=   0 :Static
11TH:SOCIAL LIFE, GROUPS, HOPES/WISHES         : 14/  0=  14 :Favorable
12TH:CONFINEMENT, OBSTACLES, STRESS, DESTINY   :  2/-18= -16 :Agitated!

COMMENT:
1. Points between -3 to +3 may be discarded, unless they represent a jump/
   drop between two dates, as in the Summary Table shown earlier.
2. Negative points do NOT always suggest adversity (which depends on the
   planets involved), BUT also events, action, activity...
3. Generally, adverse aspects by Saturn are accompanied by arduous
   "restructuring" of some (ie, house affairs transited) aspect of one's
   life; Uranus by "uprooting," sudden, and unexpected developments; Neptune
   by illusion, self-deception, treachery; Pluto by "endings, new
   beginnings."

e) Mr. Bush, November 4, 1992.  Note the role of NEPTUNE, the planet of
   illusion, mistakes, regret, disappointment... on Mr. Bush.
____________________________________________________________________________
(Effects true for 0hr Gmt; at Birth Place:Lg=077W02;La=38N54.
GeoCentric Equal (Solar) Houses, and Tropic Natal (Birth) Asc: 08 Vir 14
                                     Trop.Asc in Washington DC:02 Vir 48
Mr. BUSH, 11/4/1992 WED
____________________________________________________________________________
Transit NN:23Sag29 H(S 7/E 4/L 4)
Transit PL:22Sco26 H(S 6/E 3/L 3)
Transit NP:16Cap33 H(S 8/E 5/L 5) A 89 NATAL   MO:17Lib48 H(S05/E02/L02)
Transit NP:16Cap33 H(S 8/E 5/L 5) A  2 Transit UR:14Cap47 H(S 8/E 5/L 5)
Transit UR:14Cap47 H(S 8/E 5/L 5)
Transit ST:12Aqu 7 H(S 9/E 6/L 6) A 90 Transit SU:11Sco49 H(S 6/E 3/L 3)
Transit JU: 4Lib58 H(S 5/E 1/L 2) S 60 Transit ME: 5Sag 3 H(S 7/E 3/L 4)
Transit MR:23Can49 H(S 2/E11/L11)
Transit VE:18Sag30 H(S 7/E 4/L 4)
Transit ME: 5Sag 3 H(S 7/E 3/L 4)
Transit SU:11Sco49 H(S 6/E 3/L 3)
Transit MO:29Aqu25 H(S 9/E 6/L 6) S 90 NATAL   ME:29Tau24 H(S12/E09/L09)
Transit MO:29Aqu25 H(S 9/E 6/L 6) : Moon's angular motion is 11.89 Deg/24H

Points by House Affairs & Overall Rating: + 4/-22= -18: Agitated!

These points are allocated as follows:
 1ST:MAGNETISM, ENVIRONMENT, OUTLOOK           :  2/  0=   2 :Promising
 2ND:FINANCES, POSSESSIONS                     :  2/  0=   2 :Promising
 3RD:MENTAL STATE, NEWS, TRAFFIC, COMMUNICATION:  2/-10=  -8 :Eventful
 4TH:HOME, DOMESTIC, PROPERTY, PRIVACY         :  2/  0=   2 :Promising
 5TH:ROMANCE,CHARM,CHILD,CREATIVITY,SPECULATION:  2/-12= -10 :Eventful!
 6TH:HEALTH, PERSONAL PROJECTS, SCHEDULE       :  0/-20= -20 :Agitated!
 7TH:INTIMATE TIES, MARRIAGE, BUSINESS PARTNERS:  2/  0=   2 :Promising
 8TH:ENFORCED CHANGES, INTENSITY...            :  0/-21= -21 :Agitated!
 9TH:DISTANT AFFAIRS,VALUES,EDUC.,ADVERTISEMENT:  0/ -1=  -1 :Caution!
10TH:CAREER,DIRECTION,SUCCESS,GOVERNMENT,PUBLIC:  0/  0=   0 :Static
11TH:SOCIAL LIFE, GROUPS, HOPES/WISHES         :  2/  0=   2 :Promising
12TH:CONFINEMENT, OBSTACLES, STRESS, DESTINY   :  0/  0=   0 :Static

f) My Prediction Explained

The influences of far planets, such as Pluto and Neptune, last (on and off) for more than a year. In Mr. Bush's case, Neptune is in a Square (90-degrees) to his natal Moon. Astrology attributes to Neptune nebulous qualities. While no astrologic pattern can guarantee concrete and irrevocable outcome, in January 1992, I considered possible ramifications of Neptune's influence on Mr. Bush's Moon and postulated an "educated guess" about how this influence could manifest: lack of clarity and focus, pursuit of a "wishful," not a "well-organized and well-targeted," (election) campaign; illusion, false hopes... Combined with the very negative Summary results for November 1992, I concluded that things did not look promising for Mr. Bush on November 3 and 4, 1992. I still hesitated reaching a final decision, because a president has many advisors who are presumably not affected by Neptune. My prediction turned out right, I suspect, partially because Mr. Bush did not obtain the advice he needed. (I voted so as to maintain the "deficit & debt" in mind.)

g) Conclusions

The transit output fully confirms the following realities.

1. Mr. Clinton was in an optimistic mood on November 1 and 2. He grew apprehensive on the afternoon of November 2 (-15 points on November 3). But by the midnight of November 3/4 his points showed a remarkable (+21) improvement (to +6), the improvement continuing through November 17. Note especially the wonderful aspects by Jupiter and Mercury in 1st (Magnetism), 3rd (Communications, Trends, News), 5th (Popularity, Charm), and 11th (Groups, Public, Support) houses.

2. Examine the chart of Mr. Bush, especially the illusion, "false promise/hope," and disappointment elements associated with "transiting Neptune square natal Moon." Contrary to all indications, Mr. Bush believed he could win until the last moment.

3. Major fluctuations in 8th house of "Enforced Changes" (re: Mr. Bush) are of particular significance. These points are very important for anyone who has dealings with others (i.e., expecting favors, awaiting a decision, waiting for the outcome of an undertaking...) An undesirable or unfortunate situation invariably accompanies a drop in 8th house points. This may not always be "bad" in the long run. It forces one to conceive other, perhaps better, alternatives. But on the day when the event takes place, things may seem hopeless.

PART-II: MR. CLINTON AND HIS PRESIDENCY

a) Preliminary Work

After Mr. Clinton became the new president, I knew that his Sun at 26 Leo 9 would soon place him at the mercy of one of the severest aspects in astrology: "PLUTO (in Scorpio) Square Sun." This could be a "make or break" cycle of his presidency. Astrologic influences begin when the transiting planet moves to within about 1.5 degrees of the natal planet and last until the former moves .5 degree past the natal position. So it was a matter of plotting Pluto's position relative to Mr. Clinton's Sun. Due to the retrograde motion of transiting Pluto, this cycle repeats THREE times, starting with a MILDLY adverse cycle early in January 1993 that lasted until about March 1, 1993. The really challenging and "testing" periods are as follows.

COMMENT: Obviously the adverse influence by Pluto may be exacerbated or mellowed significantly by aspects formed by other transiting planets.

October 29, 1993 to December 31, 1993 April 1, 1994 to June 28, 1994 August 8, 1994 to October 17, 1994

Since the transiting planet is Pluto, the implication of adversity is not (merely) differences of opinion about policy issues. It entails something more substantive, perhaps a significant challenge to Mr. Clinton's overall effectiveness and prestige. Of course, all of us want him to succeed, but he is under adverse cycles during these periods. (One note of comfort though! A President of the United States enjoys almost limitless "cushion" against adversity. A "Pluto Square Sun" would be really severe for a (regular) John/Jane Doe who is "wide open" to life's bumps.) April 1994 seems to be a potentially difficult month and is analyzed next.

b) Analysis, Level-2

At this level the analysis is still a "bird's eye" view of the influences derived from the Monthly Summary Tables - like the one shown for the elections - for the months listed above.

CLINTON: DAILY POINTS SUMMARIZED: APR 1994
____________________________________________________________________________
DAY!  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
   !  F  S  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S  M  T  W  T  F  S  S
____________________________________________________________________________
H 1! -1 -2 -2 -1 -2 -2  0  3 -9-11 -4 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -7 -7 -9 -7 -7 -7
H 2!  0  0 -1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0
H 3! -7-12-12-17  0 -2 -1 -2 -2 -2 -4 -9-17 -4-15-15 -5-11 -5  0 -4-22  2-15
H 4!-12-19 -8 -8 -9 -8 -5 -2-16-18-12-15-15-15-16 -8 -8 -8 -7 -8 -8 -7 -1 -1
H 5! 10 -8-24-17 13  6  9  9  6  4 11  2 -2  8  3 14  6  1  4  2  2 -8 -8 10
H 6! -3 -2-13  1  2  0 -1 -2  0  5 -2-11-14 -2-23-19 -5 -5 -6  0 -7-23  2-12
H 7!  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  2  2 14  0 -2  3  0
H 8! -2-38-33-27 13  4  9 11  6  4  5  2  2  2-11-10  0 -1  0  0  0  0  3  3
H 9!  8 10 -1  0  0  2  2  0  0  5 12 -4-11  6 -7  8  6  1  3  2  7-15 -8  6
H10!  0  2 -8  2  2  2  0  0  2  2 -4  2  2  2  2  2  2  2  2 14 -9-10  3  0
H11!  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1
H12! -7 -7 -6 -7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -8 -7 -7 -7 -7  0  0 -1  0 -1  0  0  3  3
____________________________________________________________________________
TOT! -8-21-37-19  0 -6 -6 -6-16-13 -7-21-28-11-26 -4 -6-11 -8  3-15-38-14 -3
      ^ ^^ ^^ ^^     ^              ^        ^ ^^              ^ ^^ ^^
Synthesis of April 1994: Critical days marked by "^" April 1994 may be the SEVEREST test of Clinton Presidency. Difficulties, challenges (4th, 8th, 12th houses), and/or losses (5th house) are indicated during the first FOUR days, and on April 11, 14 and 15, and 20 to 22. A Foreign Policy (9th house) concern arises on April 3, 11 and 12, and 22 to 23. The month will be ruled by strained communications and interaction (3rd house) with others (Congress?, public?) during the entire month. These may also manifest as major differences which need to be ironed out.
 
 25 26 27 28 29 30! HOUSE POINTS FOR THIS CYCLE:
  M  T  W  T  F  S!
___________________________________________________________________________
 -7 -7 -4 -8 -8 -8! 1ST:MAGNETISM;SELFPROJECTION:Your Points= -6: Eventful!
  0  0  0  0  1 -1! 2ND:FINANCES/POSSESSIONS    :Your Points=  0: Static
 -5 -4 -3  1 -5 -5! 3RD:MIND/DRIVING/COMMUNICATN:Your Points= -7: Eventful!
 -1 -1  2 -2  0 -8! 4TH:HOME/PROPERTY/PRIVACY   :Your Points= -8: Eventful!
  2  2  2  2  9  8! 5TH:ROMANCE/CHILD/CREATIVITY:Your Points=  3: Promising
 -5 -4 -9 -5  5  8! 6TH:HEALTH/PROJECTS/SCHEDULE:Your Points= -5: Caution!
  0  0  3  3  0  0! 7TH:INTIMATE TIES/PARTNERS  :Your Points=  1: Promising
  3  3  3  3  5  4! 8TH:CHANGES/INTENSITY/SEX   :Your Points= -1: Caution!
  2  2  2  2  8  8! 9TH:DISTANT AFFAIR/VALUES/Ed:Your Points=  2: Promising
  0  0 -6 -6  4  8!10TH:CAREER/SUCCESS/PUBLIC   :Your Points=  0: Static
  0  0  3  3  0  0!11TH:SOCIAL LIFE/HOPES&WISHES:Your Points=  0: Static
  3  3  3  3  3 -4!12TH:CONFINEMENT/OBSTACLES   :Your Points= -3: Caution!
___________________________________________________________________________
-8 -8 -9 -6  4  3!SCORE: -12/  0=-11. SUMMARY OF THESE  30 DAYS: Eventful!

c) Analysis, Level-3

The analysis outlined above can proceed into specific details. This is achieved by concentrating on aspects which "trigger" events. "Critical Days" are defined as periods during which one is on the "receiving end" of events, when one is less in control and more at the mercy of external variables. These may manifest as challenges, serious differences, unexpected developments, (for a president) a drop in polls, mistakes, or some sort of crisis... Things "happen" on these days. For the entire period, some of these critical days may turn out to be "Turning Points" in Mr. Clinton's Presidency. These days are:

1. Dates on which the points drop significantly, especially from positive to (very) negative - which were outlined at Level-2.

2. Oct 29 to Nov 5 - 1993 => Challenges and Conflicts 3. Dec 1993 => Sober, arduous, serious, and taxing 4. Jun 27-28 1994 => Challenges and Conflicts 5. Aug 21 1994 => Difficult

d) Analysis, Level-4

This is an arduous process involving a day-by-day and planet-by-planet review of the cycles. Some of the critical days may be removed from the critical list, other days may be added. This can happen when, for example, transiting Venus - a planet considered to be inherently positive - is favorably positioned. It mollifies, if not cancels, adversity elsewhere in the chart. I will not proceed to this level. I believe the study contains sufficient amounts of concrete data and observations to illustrate the way transits may be used to project future opportunities.

Sirman A. Celayir

March 17, 1993, 4:23am Washington, DC
_____________________________________
The Author

Sirman A. Celayir was born in Istanbul, Turkey. After completing grade school in Turkey, Sirman enrolled in a Jesuit boarding lyceum in Istanbul and Salzburg, Austria. In 1958 his entire family migrated to the USA. After a brief stay in Lakewood, NJ, Sirman enrolled in a gymnasium in Trier, Germany. He joined his parents in 1962 and began his university education at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. He earned degrees in Mathematics (BA), Engineering (BS), Petroleum Engineering (MS), and Economics (MA). Sirman also holds California Instructor credentials in Mathematics, Computer and Related Technologies, Economics, Business and Industrial Management, and Banking and Finance.

Before Sirman became a software developer, he offered classes and seminars at various colleges and universities - UCLA most recently - and "on-board" with the US Navy. For four years he was a public utility consultant in Washington, D.C. and participated as an expert witness in about a dozen major rate cases in USA. Later as a project officer for the Saudi Fund under the Ministry of Finance in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he was involved, jointly with the United Nations, World Bank, and other development banks, in infrastructure projects around the world (e.g., Kpong hydroelectric generating plant in Ghana). In 1978 he became an advisor to SABIC under the Ministry of Industry and Resources. There he participated in the feasibility, planning, and implementation phases of ($10 Billion in toto) several petrochemical joint ventures (e.g., Saudex between SABIC and EXXON) that are presently on-stream. From 1974 to 1980 Sirman also presented about a dozen technical papers and chaired several professional conferences in the USA and abroad.

Sirman was introduced to astrology by his (now ex) second wife and friend Gayle, a Pisces, in 1973. (GAYLE is the name given to the database file in ASTERPRO, his astrology software, which maintains the names and birth information. The remaining interconnecting modules, more than 100 of them, are named after family members and friends.) A residue of skepticism that persisted in the initial stages of his introduction to astrology vanished as Sirman noticed after his divorce that the date of their physical separation, at 8:00 a.m. Sunday, October 14, 1973, coincided with the "approaching" conjunction of transiting Saturn to his natal Mercury in 7th house of marriage and intimate relationships, the effect exactly as predicted by astrology. Since then, Sirman has reviewed and studied almost everything written about astrology. The text delineations in AsterPro are also based upon and inspired by many name astrologers from around the world.

Bestowed with an energetic, committed, adventurous, and romantic disposition (Cancer Sun, Sagittarius Ascendant), and acclimated to experimentation with mutually exclusive lifestyles, each lasting about six years, Sirman retired from his lucrative professional position in 1981, "to do something else." He returned to USA to attend to his real estate investments in Southern California. He began testing the predictive capabilities of astrology. The tests were later expanded to relationships. This preliminary work may have been the most arduous phase of the entire effort leading to AsterPro, primarily because the empirical profiles for relationships were derived from a series of feedbacks obtained from more than 100 actual relationships and marriages. The results of this undertaking have been incorporated into a Point System, derived from the characteristics ascribed to planets, signs, aspects, and houses, included in AsterPro. As a result, AsterPro is not only a sophisticated software it is also an original and substantive work on astrology. Sirman began programming AsterPro on an Apple II+ in La Jolla, California at 1:00 p.m. on August 24, 1984.

Sirman left California on July 15, 1985 to look for a new environment to program the IBM version of AsterPro. After spending a year in New York City and Morgantown, WV, he settled in Washington, D.C. and began programming AsterPro-IBM at noon on January 8, 1988. He researched, studied, and tested each topic before programming it, frequently in 12 to 16 hours per day intervals, day in and day out. AsterPro was completed on April 26, 1993, its size more than 11 Mb, including the "electronic" edition of Sirman's 350-page book, "Your Guide to the World of Astrology," connected to the software. AsterPro has been advertised as a commercial software since 1986 and is presently used by many persons and organizations around the world.

In spite of the exhaustive effort Sirman put into AsterPro, he has been careful not to mislead people about what astrology is and is not. For example, he noticed that advertisements by other astrology software underlined the appearance of their VGA-quality charts, frequently derived from indefensible techniques, as "accurate," as if the quality of a computer monitor transformed astrology to an exact science. At the present, AsterPro is not only the largest astrology software in the world it is also the most comprehensive study of applied astrology to date. The software includes all credible theory and techniques of Western Astrology. It also addresses all other astrologic techniques, Hindu and Chinese Astrology included. As years pass, there will be other software, many with better graphics, some using superior computer technology. However, it is highly unlikely that these packages will match AsterPro in the only "quality" that ultimately counts for astrology software: "Credible" Astrology.