Last week on this page, you published several letters regarding an earlier article on astrology. The letter writers were unanimous in their smug certainty that astrology is gibberish, archaic superstition, irrationalism and ignorance. But these descriptions are typical of people with closed minds, such as those who wrote the letters.
Let me briefly sketch what may turn out to be a very real scientific basis for astrology, since blind faith in science appears to be at the heart of the world view of the so-called rational elements of our society represented in these letters. What possible connection can there be between the planets and the human psyche? Electromagnetism and gravity. The sun, the moon and all the other planets create tidal effects in the Earth's magnetosphere (the outer reaches of the atmosphere), affecting the flow of charged particles and causing fluctuations in the geomagnetic field at the Earth's surface. These magnetic fluctuations are many thousands of times stronger than human neuromagnetic fields, which permeate our brains and extend beyond our skin. These are "scientifically proven" facts. Other experiments have shown that people's subjective states are reflected in their neuromagnetic field -- e.g., alpha rhythms. Given all this, it doesn't require too great a leap of intuition to recognize the possible connection, in reverse, between the moon and our inner experience.
Ah, you may say, this has nothing to do with the stars. But it does, for the galaxy has its own large-scale gravitational field, providing a star-oriented backdrop for the gravitationally induced geomagnetic fluctuations.
I am sure that the astronomy professor who wrote last week would say that none of this constitutes a proof of astrology, and he would be right. But I say, open your mind. Not everything in the universe has been discovered and understood.
As a professional astrologer I cannot agree with you more. The typical horoscope in the daily paper is nothing but "gibberish." The art of astrology, however, was practiced by the ancients long before The Post was ever dreamed of. The study of planetary cycles that can be attributed to certain human behavior patterns is just as feasible as the work of a financial analyst who gives monetary forecasts based on past economic trends. If astrology has gotten a bad rap it is for two reasons. One is that most people have very little, if any, knowledge of what astrology really is. Second, certain members of the astrological community have participated in predictions and daily horoscope columns for "entertainment purposes."
Astrological consultations have helped people redirect their strengths, improve their weaknesses and recognize their potential to be responsible adults. If this is "gibberish" then maybe the rest of the world in its state of confusion and turmoil needs to take a closer look at astrology.
Suzanne M. Tassche