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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After the paper by Mayo, White, and Eysenck in 1978, a considerable number of papers studied the so-called sun-sign-effect predicted by astrology: people born with the sun in a positive sign are supposed to be extraverted, and those with the sun in a negative sign are supposed to be introverted. In these papers, researchers used ad hoc questionnaires with a few questions related to belief, knowledge, experience, or attitude toward astrology. However, an appropriate inventory with known psychometric properties has yet to be developed to assess the belief in astrology. In the present paper, the Belief in Astrology Inventory is presented with some psychometric data. The participants were 743 undergraduates studying Psychology and Social Sciences at a university in Spain. Correlation of scores on Belief in Astrology and Extraversion was small but significant (r = .22; r2 = .04) for positive sun-sign participants. This value accounts for negligible common variance. Women had significandy higher scores on the inventory than men.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between beliefs in ways of telling the future (astrology, graphology, palmistry etc) and beliefs in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
DESIGN: Participants completed a short questionnaire that requested that they rate the efficacy of 8 CAM therapies along with 12 other ways of predicting the future ranging from the well known and established (astrology) to the less well known (tasseography, oneiromancy). Short descriptions of each were provided. They also answered four attitude statements on science as applied to medicine.
SUBJECTS: Two hundred three (130 female, 73 male) adult Britains obtained from a university subject panel served as unpaid volunteer subjects.
RESULTS: CAM therapies were judged as modestly effective and most of the other “-ologies” ineffective. Further analysis confirmed two clear factors with the different methods loading on two different factors. Regressions showed females who were less concerned with scientific evaluations but more concerned with treatment believed more in the efficacy of the “future-ologies.” Also females, who had heard of fewer “future-ologies” but more CAM practices were more likely to believe in the efficacy of CAM therapies.
CONCLUSION: Belief in CAM is unrelated to belief in “future-ologies.” Interest in the scientific evaluations of treatment is the best predictor of beliefs about efficacy.
Some astrological hypotheses related to predisposition to severe mental illness were tested by analysing the zodiacal signs, the interactions between planetary qualities (aspects), and the occurrence of full and new moon dates, on the dates of birth of 221 schizophrenics, compared with 112 normal subjects. The sun signs of the schizophrenics were significantly more likely to be in the signs associated with introversion, while those of the control population were significantly more likely to be in the outgoing signs. A significantly higher proportion of schizophrenics had their Mars (i.e., symbol of aggressiveness) in the outgoing signs than the normal population. A significantly higher proportion of control subjects fulfilled operational criteria for adequacy of number of aspects between the sun and the other planets. The tendency for a higher proportion of schizophrenics to have “difficult” aspects just failed to reach significance. A significantly higher proportion of control subjects had aspects between the sun and mars; and also a significantly higher proportion of control subjects had “soft” (helpful) aspects between the sun and mars. These findings are in keeping with the well-known oddity of schizophrenia (schiz = split; phren = mind); such that, a group which collectively is characterised by an “introverted” self (i.e. sun sign), has a coexisting aggressive tendency (i.e. strong mars) and poor integration between the elements of the psyche and the self (i.e. inadequacy of aspects between Sun and other planets). However, the findings give only partial support to key astrological postulates because there was a non-significant trend for more schizophrenics to be born in “water” signs and on full moon dates.
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.
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.