Effects on humanity vs individual persons


In his book “The night speaks” the astrologer Steven Forrest, besides discussing mechanisms whereby astrology might work that are already summarized on this website elsewhere, e.g. magnetic fields  and divination, makes an important distinction.  According to him there is a difference between the potential effects of heavenly bodies on humanity as a whole and on individual persons, which has consequences for the outcome of astrological studies.

Humanity as a whole – good evidence

He claims that the effects on humanity as a whole are clearly evident and provides a detailed correlation between the 11-year sun cycle and historical periods throughout the last centuries.  He also expounds at length the impact of the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune (1992-1994) on human history.

Individual people -  very difficult, if not impossible to find evidence

According to him, it is much more difficult, if not impossible to demonstrate the impact of astrological factors on individual persons for two reasons. 

·        The presence of numerous confounding factors

Research on a single factor, such as “Mercury in Gemini” is bound to fail, because the effects of the factor are inevitably  confounded to a considerable degree by all the other factors in the natal chart.   

Research should focus on natal charts as a whole.  The problem is that the heavens are never quite the same, even if one were willing to wait for centuries -  and thousands of charts are required to achieve statistical significance. 


·        People mature and change over time

People grow and mature, and express a factor such
as “Mercury in Gemini” differently according to their level of maturity.  He uses the analogy of a caterpillar.  What happens if we are looking for the
features of Mercury in the caterpillar stage, but include subjects in the
chrysalis or butterfly stage?  The study
will produce negative results.  On the
contrary, if, by chance, we include all subjects in the caterpillar stage, then
we shall get positive results.  He puts
forward this consideration as a potential explanation for the