Blog Archives

The Tu-Anima-Picture-Test in consultant work

The Tu-Anima-Picture-Test (TUA-Test) has a history of more than 50 years. During that time the medical doctor, painter, astrologer and cosmobiologist Heinrich Reich
(1888-1961) meditated about ancient symbols in the sense of the archetypes (C. G. Jung) like Candle of Life, Alpha, Omega, Ring, Thistle, Corn (Grain), Snake. For us in the astrological world it will be especially striking that Reich meditated also about symbols as Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Trine, Square. This means 9 astrological symbols, one fourth of 36 pictures out of which the tests consists. Conclusion: continued use of the picture test in practice supports its value as a diagnostic tool in psychology.

Posted in Free Research Abstract

Who believes in astrology?

Participants judged contemporary personality descriptions of odd-numbered astrological Sun signs to be more favorable than descriptions of even-numbered signs. Those born with the Sun in an odd-numbered sign expressed more belief in astrology than those born under an even-numbered Sun sign. These findings suggest that one determinant of acceptance of astrology is the favorableness of the character analysis it offers. Implications for previous research on belief in astrology are discussed.

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Seasonal changes in immune function

Winter is energetically demanding. Physiological and behavioural adaptations have evolved among nontropical animals to cope with winter because thermoregulatory demands increase when food availability decreases. Seasonal breeding is central within the suite of winter adaptations among small animals. Presumably, reproductive inhibition during winter conserves energy at a time when the odds of producing viable young are low. In addition to the well-studied seasonal cycles of mating and birth, there are also significant seasonal cycles of illness and death among many populations of mammas and birds in the field. Challenging winter conditions, such as low ambient temperatures and decreased food availability, can directly induce death via hypothermia, starvation or shock. In some cases, survival in demanding winter conditions puts individuals under great physiological stress, defined here as an adaptive process that results in elevated blood levels of glucocorticoids. The stress of coping with energetically demanding conditions can also indirectly cause illness and death by compromising immune function. Presumably, the increased blood concentrations of adrenocortical steroids in response to winter stressors compromise immune function and accelerate catabolic mechanisms in the field, although the physiological effects of elevated glucocorticoids induced by artificial stressors have been investigated primarily in the laboratory. However, recurrent environmental stressors could reduce survival if they evoke persistent glucocorticoid secretion. The working hypothesis of this article is that mechanisms have evolved in some animals to combat season stress-induced immunocompromise as a temporal adaptation to promote survival. Furthermore, we hypothesise that mechanisms have evolved that allow individuals to anticipate periods of immunologically challenging conditions. A review of the effects of photoperiod on immune system function in laboratory studies reveals that exposure to short day lengths enhances immune function in every species examined. Short day exposure in small mammals cause reproductive inhibition and concomitant reduction in plasma levels of prolactin and steroid hormones as well as alterations in the temporal pattern of pineal melatonin secretion. Conclusion: day length appears to affect immune function in many species, including animals that typically do not exhibit reproductive responsiveness to day length.

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Michael Psellos and Byzantine Astrology in the Eleventh Century

The following work forms the first chapter of my doctoral thesis which uses the writing of one of the most outstanding personalities of the Byzantine Empire, Michael Psellos, as a conduit into the world of Byzantine astrology. The focus of the chapter is his celebrated chronicle, The Chronographia, which documents his life and experiences as an influential courtier at the Byzantine court in the eleventh century. Psellos was at the forefront of political life in the Empire and its fluctuating fortunes but somehow managed to combine these duties with a prodigious scholarly vocation. He taught extensively in both public and private capacities – he was appointed Consul of the Philosophers at the University of Constantinople – and was at the forefront of intellectual activity, touching on everything from theology to law, military strategy to esoterica.

Psellos’ writings on esoteric subjects of all sorts, including astrology and other related divinatory practices, are a true treasure trove of information for historians of astrology and practising astrologers alike. This chapter looks at a number of astrological and divinatory episodes in The Chronographia before the investigation broadens out to consider Psellos’ relationship to astrology in detail in a variety of other sources. This context is very important because The Chronographia is an imperial commission and, like many of his contemporaries both before and after, Psellos had to toe the line of official disapproval of astrology. It is quite clear, however, that Psellos’ curiosity and attraction to the subject is barely concealed beneath the surface text.

For those who are unfamiliar with Byzantine history, the astrological episodes in The Chronographia throw much light on the niche occupied by astrology and astrologers in Byzantine culture. It may well surprise those readers who are accustomed to hearing of the achievements and activities of astrologers in the adjoining Arabic empire to be introduced to astrological activity in a Byzantine context which, if not as equally prolific, is never devoid of interest and relevance for historians of astrology. This work aims to offer a small corrective to the accepted notion of a moribund astrological culture in Byzantium. For all the work done by their Arabic counterparts in the Abbasid Dynasty, it still remains true that Hellenistic astrology was preserved and transmitted to posterity by the Byzantines.

Posted in Free Research Abstract

The Dragon of the Eclipses—A Note

The astrological concept of the ‘dragon of the lunar nodes’, responsible for eclipses of the sun and the moon, may have derived from a combination of ideas prevailing in Late Antiquity with respect to the ourobóros or ‘tail-biting serpent’—that it constituted a ring of darkness, that it was bent around the sun and that it was positioned on the ecliptic band. Various Mithraic, astrological and alchemical images of celestial dragons appear to represent this aspect of the dragon.

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How the Sun Stood Still: Old English Interpretations of Joshua and the Leap Year

The Leofric Missal (late ninth- or early tenth-century French-English) explains that the ‘sun stood still’ for Joshua at Gibeon because the battle occurred on leap day, precisely when, in the Roman calendar, two consecutive days had the same date. A tenth-century Old English text by Ælfric also mentions and critiques this ‘priestly’ computistical explanation.

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Astrologers at War: Manuel Galhano Lourosa and the Political Restoration of Portugal, 1640–1668

This paper analyses the involvement of the astrologer Manuel Galhano Lourosa in the restoration of political independence of Portugal from Spain between 1640 and 1668. Lourosa was the most successful astrologer and almanac maker in seventeenth-century Portugal. He published astrological almanacs for several decades, wrote an astrological and astronomical treatise on comets, and addressed astrological writings to Portuguese society urging support for the new political order that issued from the revolution of 1640. Some of these writings were consistent with the feelings of the urban professional and mercantile classes. We argue that, by publishing and using his social prestige in favour of the Restoration cause, Lourosa used the sphere of public opinion to act politically along with the interests of the urban middle class.

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Astrology’s Role in New Age Culture: A Research Note

The practice of, or belief in, astrology is generally considered a central feature of modern New Age culture. Research conducted by Stuart Rose in the 1990s contradicted this assumption. This paper does not argue that astrology is a New Age discipline, but challenges Rose’s methodology and his reasons or arguing that it is not New Age. The paper reports on research relying on two other measures by used Rose to argue that astrology can be New Age but does not have to be New Age.

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Science versus the stars: a double-blind test of the validity of the NEO Five-Factor Inventory and computer-generated astrological natal charts.

The authors asked 52 college students (38 women, 14 men, M age = 19.3 years, SD = 1.3 years) to identify their personality summaries by using a computer-generated astrological natal chart when presented with 1 true summary and 1 bogus one. Similarly, the authors asked participants to identify their true personality profile from real and bogus summaries that the authors derived from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI; P. T. Costa Jr. & R. R. McCrae, 1985). Participants identified their real NEO-FFI profiles at a greater-than-chance level but were unable to identify their real astrological summaries. The authors observed a P. T. Barnum effect in the accuracy ratings of both psychological and astrological measures but did not find differences between the odd-numbered (i.e., favorable) signs and the even-numbered (i.e., unfavorable) signs.

Posted in Free Research Abstract

Cognition and belief in paranormal phenomena: gestalt/feature-intensive processing theory and tendencies toward ADHD, depression, and dissociation.

Belief in paranormal phenomena and cryptids–unknown animals such as Bigfoot–may predispose individuals to interpret real-world objects and events in the same way that eyewitness identification can be biased by unrelated information (P. James and N. Thorpe, 1999). Psychological tendencies toward attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dissociation, and depression, even at subclinical levels, may be associated systematically with particular paranormal or cryptozoological beliefs. The authors evaluated these psychological tendencies using the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (C. K. Conners, D. Erhardt, and E. Sparrow, 1999), the Dissociative Experiences Scale (L. Coleman & J. Clark, 1999), and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (A. T. Beck, 1996). They performed regression analyses against beliefs in ghosts, unidentified flying objects (UFOs), extrasensory perception (ESP), astrology, and cryptids. ADHD, dissociation, and depression were associated with enhanced tendencies toward paranormal and cryptozoological beliefs, although participants who believed in each of the phenomena differed from one another in predictable and psychologically distinguishable ways. Cognitively biasing influences of preexisting psychological tendencies may predispose individuals to specific perceptual and cognitive errors during confrontation of real-world phenomena.

Posted in Free Research Abstract