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Listen to the Stars, Baby

If Natasha Richardson had listened to her astrologer… would she still be alive today?

Natasha Richardson was born on May 11, 1963, at 5:00 PM GDT in London England. At the time of her accident, transiting Mars was exactly opposite Uranus in her chart and transiting Uranus was exactly square her Moon. These are both common significators of accidents. Additionally, there are other indications that this was to be a time of great importance for Natasha.

It would have been clear to a professional astrologer that something very significant would occur in her life. An astrologer would most likely mention Natasha’s need to avoid taking risks because she would be particularly accident prone.

Before you start going for your dictionary to look up “significator” (don’t – it’s a made up word), I’ll have to give the devil his due. The next lines from this article are this:

But would that have prevented her from going skiing with her son? Not likely-she was on a beginner slope-hardly risky. Would any astrologer have predicted death? NO!

Still & all, if she’d had the benefit of a reliable prognosticator telling her ahead of time to avoid risks, maybe by the second time someone suggested she go to the hospital, she would have listened and might still be alive today… Hard to argue that it wouldn’t have helped.

Ok, so if it saves just one life right? Of course, the problem is that astrology doesn’t work (pdf) predictively. In fact, there is precious little evidence that it works in any way at all. You can pile up story after story like the one at the top of this page – but if it worked, I (or someone) would be in business already, prognosticating local, national, and world event after event, and the only people who wouldn’t listen would be those who believed astrology is from the devil (and even some of them would want to know badly enough to overcome their reservations).

More sophisticated astrologers have managed to turn it into a non-prognosticating art. Doing so insulates it from the criticism that it doesn’t work (it isn’t for working!), and simultaneously takes away much of its popular appeal. I guess when they do it’s time to back off a bit and give them some of that famous religious tolerance.

But, it’s worth pointing out that the only reliable methods for predicting the future – the only ones that work better than chance – are those that do a good job of understanding how the objective world works and predicting based on observations of the system’s beginning state. Most phenomena are too complex to yield very much even to this system – but only this system works at all better than pure chance. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

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