The Kepler Conference Speakers: Topics & Projects
David Cochrane: Baseball Batting Talent and Baseball Batting Performance
David is the lead researcher of a team of 3 researchers who have studied the brith charts of baseball players with exceptional batting performance. David has added sophisticated and elegant features to the Sirius astrology software to make it possible to download, import, and analyze these charts in various ways. The results are exciting and surprising. Very specific harmonic patterns appear in the charts of these players and transiting planets trigger these patterns when batting performance is very good. This is an exciting step forward in understanding how astrology really works and how we can determine how well a person will perform in a sporting event.
Alex Trenoweth, M.A.
The Gauquelin Effect: Reloaded
The greatest astro-research program ever undertaken has to be that of the Gauquelins: could destiny be demonstrated? Could their statistics prove that planets in the diurnal circle at birth were connected with excellence in future life? Or, was it all just a glitch in the statistics as Wikipedia now tells us?
Now the data is all online but there are not many astro-researchers checking over it. Does the Moon really affect the birth of poets, and Saturn the scientists? For the first time these results are ready and available for analysis by students of psychology. But will they take it seriously or will they just dismiss it all as medieval superstition?
The cycles of Jupiter and Saturn and the Adolescent Brain
When Alex tells people she teaches adolescents, she is usually treated with awe and sympathy. How does a teacher manage class after class of 30 (or more) rowdy and rebellious adolescents day after day, month after month, term after term? For several years, under the threat of dismissal, Alex has been quietly practising astrology in the classroom. Her methods are simple, effective and best of all, covert. But since writing her book “Growing Pains”, she has steadily gained a footing in the field of astrology in education and presents her hands on research at the Kepler Conference. Her results on lunar phases and behaviour uses a database of over 10,000 entries and her results on attainment uses over 5 million results per year over a 20+ year period.
Bridging the Gap
Pupils entering secondary school at the age of 11 typically experience a sharp drop in academic attainment during their first year in a new school. Drawing from her vast experiences in the classroom, Alex demonstrates some tried and practiced methods in not only bridging the attainment gap but in offering real support to people at this most vulnerable time of their lives. She will also be explaining why astrologers should be less concerned with predictions and far more concerned with coaching their clients through difficult times. Alex hopes that one day world leaders will stop calling for the incarceration of young offenders and instead focus on meeting the emotional needs of vulnerable children at the crucial astrological ages.
The Alchemical Bridge Between Heaven and Earth
For a thousand years, alchemists believed that the known metals shared the being and essence of the ‘seven planets’. In the 20th century, this theory or experience was re-activated by the experiments of Frau Elizabeth Kolisko who had followed some indications by Rudolf Steiner. Simple ionic chemical reactions she found, using silver colloid especially, would respond to conjunctions of the planets. This involved forms that were manifest upon filter papers. Would Iron respond to Mars and Silver to the Moon? Or would gold show different patterns during a solar eclipse? Alex will describe how various people have managed to replicate Kolisko’s experiments.
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Bruce Scofield - Astrology as a mapping technique for self-organizing systems - Paper
Nearly two thousand years ago Ptolemy clearly defined astrology as having two branches of inquiry – genethlialogical and universal. These later became known as judicial and natural astrology. In the first category we have human destiny (nativities) and questions and choices (horary and elections). Natural astrology he defined as concerned with whole countries (collectives) and their problems (wars, famines, etc.), earthquakes, floods, weather and agricultural concerns. What is apparent in this outline of astrology’s subject matter is that astrology deals with self-organizing systems – and not anything else.
A self-organizing system is one that evolves from the complex interactions and feedbacks of smaller components and, once functioning, maintains homeostasis. The idea of self-organizing systems is an extension of cybernetics and today is a multi-disciplinary field of inquiry that includes specific topics such as chaos theory, complexity and emergence. The study of self-organizing systems differs fundamentally from the study of nature in a linear and mechanical fashion that has been the core of scientific inquiry since the 17th century. Systems science is a relatively recent development in the history of science but has not yet achieved anything like the precise predictions of classical physics and its offshoots in engineering. However, it is a developing perspective, goes where linear sciences doesn’t, and receives considerable funding for research.
The self-organizing systems measured by astrology include the following. (1) Individuals, almost always those of the species Homo sapiens (but not necessarily limited to it). Here is a physical body that burns calories to maintain a set temperature and many chemical balances, some of which produce feelings and emotions. An emergent property of the firing of neurons in the brain and nervous system is the mind, which itself produces a sense of self as another emergent property. (2) Collectives of humans (or otherwise) that display coordinated behaviors. It is possible to locate the uses of horary and electional astrology in this category as well as the first. (3) Earthquakes and climate are related to the Earth system which moves at geological speed but behaves as a system. This includes plate tectonics and resultant volcanic activity, long-term climate cycles including glaciations. (4) The weather system, a major focus of the long tradition of astrometeorology, includes more short-lived self-sustaining systems such as hurricanes and tornadoes, air mass movements, circulation patterns and their effects on plant life (i.e. agriculture). It should be mentioned Earth itself is a self-regulating entity (Gaia) that should also be considered as subject matter for astrology.
Given that there is a flourishing science of self-organizing systems in existence, it would seem prudent that those studying astrology pay more attention to the findings and methodologies emerging from the various disciplines studying this complex yet widespread phenomena. The failure to get strong positive results from astrological studies based on linear thinking prompts a re-framing of the problem that may lead to a better understanding of nature without abandoning astrological techniques already in use.
A SIGNAL FROM SATURN IN DAILY TEMPERATURE DATA – Poster project
Bruce Scofield Abstract
Historic annual prognostications published by Renaissance scientists Thomas Digges, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, and “farmers” almanacs published in Europe and New England, contained weather forecasts based on geocentric planetary configurations. The syzygy between the Sun and Saturn, in this tradition thought to produce cold weather, is here tested using daily surface temperature records. A daily time-series from Central Massachusetts from 1971-2000 shows lower temperatures within one day before the geocentric Sun-Saturn opposition with more extreme departures when the opposition occurred near the equinoxes, when Saturn was at perigee, and when the Moon was an addition to the syzygy.
The “Saturn effect” was found in other Northeastern US data sets including one of 120 years from Amherst, MA. Two other long daily temperature data sets, Central England and Prague, and also other data sets from temperate to subarctic latitudes in the Northern and Southern hemispheres were examined, and in most cases similar results were found. Significant decreases in temperature within one day of the exact opposition occurred more frequently when the opposition was near the equinoxes or when the Sun and Saturn shared the same declination. These observations lead to a hypothesis: a gravitational resonance between the Sun and Saturn slightly increases atmospheric tides. When the opposition is near the equinoxes the gravitational forces are orthogonal to the surface at the equator and parallel to the surface at the poles; the consequence is atmospheric compression at the poles with movement of cold air southward. Anecdotal evidence of correlations between the Sun-Saturn syzygy and air mass movements are observable in daily climatic surface maps.
Glenn Perry, PhD
The Developmental Age Method: A Hermeneutic Study
Research Question: Do planetary configurations in natal charts have developmental significance at specific life stages independent of transits, progressions, or other conventional means of predicting development?
Hypothesis: My research hypothesis is that The Developmental Age Method (DAM) provides a means for determining the precise periods that planets signify in the native’s life, as well as the native’s actual experience during those periods. Unlike conventional predictive methods, it is not derived from actual or symbolic planetary movements. Rather, it is based on empirical evidence that signs and their associated houses correspond to developmental stages in the human life cycle. Thus the basis of the theory is observational and grounded in actual developmental studies by Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg, and other pioneers in the field of developmental psychology. The essential meaning of a sign/house is consistent with the predominant concerns that emerge at specific phases of life. It follows that the native’s actual experience during a house-stage may be symbolized by planets within that house.
Evidence suggests that the zodiac not only symbolizes the structure and dynamics of the psyche, but also the evolutionary unfoldment of consciousness. That is, the structure of the zodiac exactly parallels the stages of the human life cycle. Each sign can be understood as a developmental stage of specific quality and duration. And because houses are based on the same angular dynamics as the signs to which they correspond, they also represent the same 12-stage process. While the zodiac shows the generic unfolding of consciousness, houses appear to reveal the native’s actual experience during particular periods. Planetary house positions, along with their sign and aspects, suggest the purpose and meaning of challenges that occur at precise phases of development. Each sequential house-stage has its own quality and duration, showing the interrelationship of all stages and the gradual unfoldment of consciousness across the lifespan.
Research Method: I will use a hermeneutic method that focuses on discerning whether a subject’s actual life experience at a specific house-stage conforms to the meaning of the planetary configuration that signifies that developmental period. Hermeneutics is an interpretive method that entails a dialectical movement from hypothesis, to evidence, back to hypothesis, and so on. Because one’s hypothesis is continually adjusted in light of new data, hermeneutics allows for analysis of a phenomenon from a variety of different angles in hopes of arriving at a broad, comprehensive understanding.
Preliminary research suggests that planetary age markers seem to be pivotal turning points in which a planet assumes a predominating significance that encapsulates its general meaning in the life. The planet’s sign, house, and aspects are felt acutely over an approximately 2-year period. A planetary age seems to represent a momentous time wherein things occur that catapult the life forward as a consequence of what the native does, experiences, or learns vis-à-vis that planet at that time.
To test my hypothesis, a dozen or more research subjects will be drawn from case studies as well as from public figures whose biographies are well known. Data will be obtained from 1) psychotherapy sessions and personal correspondence with clients; 2) interpretation of historical data including articles, films, or biographies about the research participants; and 3) analysis of important life events such as traumas, struggles, awards, achievements, and creative works.
Intrinsic Merit of the Study: Various developmental models based on natal configurations have been proposed by astrological theorists, including the “age progression method” developed by Bruno and Louise Huber as well as A.T. Mann’s “life time astrology” technique. So far as I have been able to discern, these methods were created without any support or connection to developmental stage theories in psychology such as those associated with Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg, and others. In contrast, the DAM is entirely consistent with major developmental theories, while also offering a means for discerning individual life experiences during different stages. If it can be shown that the DAM has merit, this will not only be of value to astrological consultants in working with clients, but will also serve to forge important cross-disciplinary links with colleagues in other fields.
Will Morris, PhD - Paradigms & Methods: Ontological Assumptions & Astrological Research
We will identify paradigms of inquiry and the methods that are correlated with these points of view. Vital to this dialogue is the cultural and economic situation of the researcher. We will explore assumptions about the nature of the ‘subjective’ and the ‘objective’ as value systems that inform research. Once the assumptions that drive research have been unpacked, to a minimal degree, we address the question of method. All too often this range of discourse is left unattended in the headlong rush towards proving or disproving some theorem.
This presentation will provide a counterpoint to the assumption that quantitative data are the most reliable tools for demonstrating the efficacy of astrological practice. It will further demonstrate that the acts of using quantitative and objective approaches to researches are, indeed, ensconced within a subjective framework. Further, that good research should present full disclosure of this subjective stance.
We will further discuss the problem of objectivity and subjectivity within the narratives of scientific discourse. Take, for example the plural subjective framework of the first paragraph of the description of this presentation. It contrasts starkly with the impersonal and objective presentation of the second paragraph. All too often, journal editors react to the presentation of research using singular or plural subjective language as being “unscientific.” This is a social and political problem that all researchers face.
Michele Finey - Sacred Dance of Mars and Venus
Conjunctions of Venus and Mars occur at seemingly random intervals and skip back and forth across the zodiac. There is no obvious rhythm to their cycle. It’s only when you get up close and personal that a beautiful pattern emerges. Just like our personal relationships the cycle of these cosmic lovers is complex. The many intricacies of our earthly connections are beautifully mirrored by the heavenly dance of Venus and Mars.
Over the years, a few astrologer; notably Alexander Ruperti and Robert P. Blaschke, have examined the Venus-Mars cycle, but Michele Finey has vastly extended this research. Ultimately her analysis developed into a book, The Sacred Dance of Venus and Mars (Wessex 2012).
In this presentation Michele will outline the incredible scope and celestial beauty of the Venus-Mars cycle, revealing its astrological significance. Their stellar relationship provides valuable insights into human nature and personal relationships and has wider social implications as it unfolds through the ages.
Expanding on this topic, Michele’s partner, electrical engineer, Neil Dennis. CPEng., will explain in lay terms the astounding relationship that exists between the metals copper (Venus) and iron (Mars) and how they interact in everyday electrophysics. Neil will show how the individual properties of copper and iron and the interplay between them correlates with their astrological and archetypal meaning. Their magnetic connection reflects human behaviour in many ways, which at times is highly amusing and yet also quite profound. The actual ‘physical’ relationship between copper and iron provides real scientific evidence that confirms the ancient alchemical and astrological interpretations of Venus and Mars that have been handed down to us through the ages.
Copper & Iron: Physics and Metaphysics Further demonstrations on how the interactions of copper and iron in physics mirrors the archetypal relationship between Venus & Mars.
Linda Berry, MSSW.
Linda will present a study on the frequency of the planetary (Sun – Pluto) pairs and triplets in the birth data in the Sirius database. (Rodden level B and above.) Specifically, Harmonics 1 – 32 for each planetary pair (45 pairs) and for each planetary triplet (120 triplets).
First, she compares the frequency of the pairs and triplets in the harmonics with the frequency at which those pairs and triplets occur in the actual movement of the planets to see whether the people in the Sirius Database have a different pattern than what the general population would experience. This will indicate whether the pair and triplet frequencies are affecting the “significance and effectiveness” of people. The assumption is that the people in the Sirius database represent a selected population of people that somehow surfaced within the general human population by being more extreme in some way, either more famous, more notorious or stranger than the general population. Thus they came to our notice and were placed in the database. So are they different from the billions of people who are not in the database. It does appear that some planetary pairs and most of the triplets are different patterns using Pearson R to show the correlation.
Second, she analyses the distribution of the planetary pairs and triplets within the harmonic,s looking at which harmonics they are stronger in and which they are weakest in. This is giving a great deal of information about how the pairs and triplets operate. This gives a fascinating in depth picture of the operation of the planetary pairs and triplets showing which harmonics they can handle well and even be enhanced by, and which harmonics have a pattern of expression that the pair or triplet has difficulty managing. For example, 7th harmonic requires that a pair/triplet operate with focus, discipline which generates a certain amount of withdrawal and internalized operation. SunMoonJupiter has a lower score in the 7th harmonic than SunMoonNeptune, showing that the extroverted bigness of SunMoonJupiter has more problems being focused and disciplined than the more dreamy and ideal-based orientation of SunMoonNeptune. This study is generating a mapping of the planetary pairs and triplets showing where they work well or poorly, as well as an equivalent of exaltations and falls of signs for the pairs and triplets. The difference is that this is all based on solid statistics for how the planetary patterns actually operate.