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Why are there no predictions in astrology text books?

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RohanMenon  RohanMenon is offline
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Why are there no predictions in astrology text books?

I was reading Joseph Crane's book on Hellenistic astrology, in which he examines many natal charts and fits the features of a celebrity's life to his/her charts. Fair enough, as a teaching device.

Then it struck me that almost any event can be matched to any chart by picking and choosing appropriate astrological symbolism.

Surely it would be much more impressive if astrologers actually predicted (and taught their students to predict) such events - Clinton's philandering or 9/11 or whatever *before* it happened - vs looking back at them?

*After* the event happens, many astrologers write of how well astrology fits the event. But surely the point of astrology is to predict *before* the event happens?

If, in a textbook written today, the writer were to predict a USA-China war(say) in 2018, or with a person's chart, that they would have their first child in 2019, and these predictions came true, that would be much more impressive than 'reverse fitting' *past* events into a symbolic framework.

This approach would be great in filtering wheat from chaff, and settling various controversies as to which zodiac/house system/prediction method etc is better. If someone consistently predicts events (even abstractly - (in 1995, predict " In 2001 a terrorism incident causes the USA to enter a war which drags on a decade" - with no mention of Afghanistan or Osama ) *then* his methods need to be looked at, and perhaps emulated, whether he uses Hellenistic or Fagan Sidereal or . Vedic or whatever.

Right now, there is just argument back and forth, because , as I said above, anything can be explained away *in retrospect* with any system of astrology with enough word jugglery and selective choosing of factors.

e.g: If McCain had Saturn as Lord of the Year when he lost the electionI('m just making this up for illustrative purposes), that was Saturn being malefic. If he had won, that would have been Saturn giving him the discipline and drive to run a successful campaign. In *retrospect* anything can be explained.

Note that this is a perfectly ok to *formulate* a theory or to illustrate a principle. But once that is done, it must also be used to make verifiable predictions. Otherwise how does one know the formulated principle or theory is valid and workable?

Predict. Verify. Teach others how to do so. Shouldn't this be what astrology textbooks are about? Are there any textbooks which take this approach, written by people who make predictions about the future using their system?

What am I missing?
Top   #1
CosmicBeing's Avatar
CosmicBeing  CosmicBeing is offline
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I think Astrology is used for many things.

I think a lot of the books out there are for beginners...I don't think a huge amount of people are into predictive work.

I've always had more of a focus for predictive work because I feel that is the most helpful.

You might want to get books that are more directed toward predictive work, but also have to get books that are base on a certain type of predictions.

The book you were reading I think i have saw online and it throws out a huge net. I don't think it's focus on a certain type of predictive work.

You would need to get a book that is focus on one topic:
Solar return
*any planet's return*

Then overtime you could weave it all together.
I think you should get a book that is like a beginners to show all the types of predictive astrology forms out there.
Then get books that zoom into one type of predictive astrology.

So might be the best way to go about it. But, I think many books throw out wide nets and that can be a major issue for someone really trying to focus on just predictive work.

Maybe even get a reading from a astrologer who has been practicing for 16 years or more. Get them to read your yearly chart and do predictions. See how they do it and see if the events comes true.

Just have to choose right astrologer...not all astrologers are great at predictive work or even focus/care for that type of specialty.
Top   #2
Minderwiz's Avatar
Minderwiz  Minderwiz is offline
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There are many reasons why predictions don't get much coverage. CosmicBeing is right to point to the audience for such coverage. That begs the question 'why aren't they interested?'. Part of the reason is historical. In the UK, the Witchcraft Acts prohibited fortune telling from the eighteenth century right through to the twentieth. Indeed the psychic Helen Duncan was probably the last person to be prosecuted in 1944 after she announced the sinking of HMS Barham (no press reports or other statements were released and there was no way she could have known about the sinking). The Astrologer, Alan Leo was also prosecuted for fortune telling about 25 years earlier. In such an atmosphere, Astrology turned to personality assessment rather than predictions.

A further factor is the subtlety and variety of Astrological symbolism, especially if house rulerships are considered. Thus If Mars rules the ninth house of higher education through Aries, The Sun will rule the Ascendant through Leo. So what does Mars applying to the Sun through Primary Direction mean for a 22 year old undergraduate? It might signify that they are about to receive their degree or it might signify that they are liable to have an accident, or illness involving sharp stabbing pains. If you foreast the first and it turns out to be the second (or vice versa) you look a fool, yet the symbolism fits both events. I think Martin Gansten uses a similar example in his book on primary directions in which both events occurred. It's not easy fitting the 'correct' event to the symbolism from a chart.

Then of course there's human frailty. We might see the possibilities but feel we haven't enough evidence to make a prediction. That applies to all predictive work, in all sciences. Single predictions are often wrong, whether it's predicting the outcome of an election or the dominant economic trend. Life (and Astrology) is highly complex with changes in multiple variables shifting outcomes almost on a day by day or even hour by hour basis.

That doesn't mean we should discount predictive techniques. Even the post mortem type approach enable us to learn about what happened and why.

Other cultures are perhaps more willing to make bold unqualified predictions than ours. Vedic Astrologers seem far more willing to make predictions of life and death than modern Western Astrologers. In Hellenistic and Medieval times the very first act of the Astrologer, having completed the chart was to carry out a length of life calculation; try getting a modern Astrologer to do that.
Top   #3
CosmicBeing's Avatar
CosmicBeing  CosmicBeing is offline
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I think it's hard to make blind predictions because as Minderwiz has pointed out planets can symbolize a lot.

I think it's easier to make predictions if you hear a bit of what is presently going on and what the person will be focusing on for the next 12 months.

Some consider that feeding the astrologer/reader. But in this case when it comes to astrology I think it's helpful to at least give the theme of your present life and what you want to focus on in the next 12 months.

In this book if he didn't have a professional relationship with the person. It can just be merely that the author is trying to give speculation as to how this planet acted the way it did.

It comes down to many things.
The strength of the house's lord (debilitated, exalted, or 'fine')
Where the lord sits
what aspects the lord makes
the lord's transit (or significator transits)
where is the lord transiting right now.

Also I think a lot of knowledge for predictive work has to come from experience at this point. So keep practicing. If you want your astrological work to be heavily focus on predictive work then you have to keep testing out predictions and see how it works from your experience.

You still have to be able to break down the birth chart well enough to understand the promises of the birth chart and themes of that birth chart.

I really think getting your own readings from an astrologer with a lot of experience will be helpful... kinda like that saying "monkey see monkey do."

Gives you a chances to see how someone may go about trying predictions.
Top   #4
Barleywine's Avatar
Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
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It strikes me that many less experienced people in the astrological community don't have a clue how to approach predictive work systematically, and the popular astrological press just eggs them on. These are the people who get all worked up over transiting "sky-patterns" ("OMG, there's a Cardinal Grand Cross coming!") without recognizing that - unless you're doing mundane astrology - they need to be tied in a meaningful way to the natal chart or other pre-existing configuration (progressions, solar return, etc.) to be potentially significant in a person's life. I have friends who should know better that I can't seem to convince.

William Lilly appears to have been pretty good at prediction. I just wish his archaic language was easier to read.
Top   #5
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dadsnook2000  dadsnook2000 is offline
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Quoting from . . .

Quoting from the Preface of my book, Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2, "What happens next? Which chices are best? IT ALWAYS COMES DOWN TO THIS. Prediction is part of the astrologer's craft, answers are part of the client's needs."

If a book were about predictions, there would have to be many in order to fill a book. Once the first group of those many predictions failed to come true, the book would have little value. By the time several of the predictions came true, how would that book's value become known? Who tracks books written a couple of years ago? Who stocks them?

It seems that a book format is not appropriate for predictions.

How about a blog? Blogs have the same problem as new books. How to be seen, known, followed, valued? Blogs are followed by the whole world, or at least a few people from every part of the world. Many of them don't know anything about one countries politicians or sports people or even show business people, nevermind local people. Making a prediction about Joe Shmo doesn't excite anyone.

As was noted in an earlier post, knowing something about the subject's life and direction permits the astrologer to personalize the chart symbols to fit the person. Today's life is very complex. The symbols have also become complex in order to mirror life. Without "context" the astrologer is doing a blind reading. Blind readings don't help a real person with real problems. The astrologer has to know about the person's life before he/she can apply the upcoming symbol patterns to the subject's near term future life.

So, then it becomes "how do you define prediction?" It becomes "making a definite statement of situations, attitudes, events and actions to occur within a bounded period of time." Once prediction is defined and understood, and once the proper charts and tools are used, predictive statements can be made. The prediction may or may not meed or exceed the client's expectations. The prediction has to be kept within the bounds of what the charts reveal and the understanding of the astrologer concerning the context of the subject's life.
Top   #6
dadsnook2000's Avatar
dadsnook2000  dadsnook2000 is offline
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I will be on vacation until the first of August and will not have access to the Internet. Dave
Top   #7
RohanMenon  RohanMenon is offline
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I don't agree dadsnook

"If a book were about predictions, there would have to be many in order to fill a book. Once the first group of those many predictions failed to come true, the book would have little value. By the time several of the predictions came true, how would that book's value become known? Who tracks books written a couple of years ago? Who stocks them?"

This is not true. For such a hypothetical book,the book's value is not in the predictions themselves but in the fact that *in a book teaching astrology*, the methods explained are used to project forward vs *just looking backward*.

You don't need many predictions to be famous. William Lilly's popularity seems to be based on his one well known prediction (not saying that was the only one he made) about the London fire.

If you look at Amazon the top 50 or so best selling books, many of them have been written years ago, often many many years ago. These books just look backward and fit past events into an astrological framework. If that doesn't cause them to lose value, why should making a few accurate predictions about the future (at the time the book is written) cause it to lose value?

If an astrologer had written a book in 1995, explaining his techniques of prediction *and* used those techniques to predict 9/11, and a surprise genius politician coming out of nowhere to beat Clinton in 2004 (just two random post 1995 events substitute in your favorites here) you bet that book would be popular. As would the author. Even if he got a couple of other predictions only partially true, and another couple failed (but the symbolism still fits). In the latter case, the techniques may need more refining.

If you are writing a book about prediction techniques today (17 July 2016), and use your technique to look at some charts of events from the past to explain Brexit ,that is great. But if someone is writing about *predictive* technique, she also need to project those charts (and possibly Theresa May's chart) *forward* and predict what will happen in the next 5 years. If she can't how is her method *predictive*? It is at best a technique to look backward, which may be valuable in itself but hardly predictive.

I'll reiterate the point of my original post. Most astrologers purporting to teach 'predictive' techniques show us no evidence that these techniques can actually **predict** anything. They do show us that these techniques can "explain" known events, if the writer is allowed to choose a chart that fits the technique and carefully select symbolism that fits.

As you correctly note, prediction is about the future.

In Cranes' book for example, transits and profections are presented *as techniques of prediction*. So far so good.

But these 'prediction' techniques are explained with reference to Churchill's chart - about events which happened in the past and so are *known* in great detail already before the 'predictive' technique is applied.

Crane (for e.g, not to beat up on him,but his is the book I am currently reading. Replace with your favorite teacher of predictive methods here) also uses charts of people who are still alive (e.g John McCain), but always uses 'prediction' techniques to explain *the past*.

Let me repeat that. He uses "predictive" technique to explain *only* the past.

If he were to also use McCain's chart to predict (say) that he'll remain Senator till 2022 and then be defeated then we have an actual verifiable prediction - which is something that is expected from a predictive technique (here profections and transits). He has already spent tens of pages exploring McCain's past. Now, when he is teaching predictive technique, why not add 3 sentences to make a concrete prediction?

Even for people (often celebrities) who are still alive, or nations which still exist (for mundane astrology) predictive techniques are applied to their charts to explain *past* events. How is this a validation of *predictive* technique? I don't get it.

If the technique is truly predictive such authors should take charts of celebrities or nations (which they *already* do, in their books) and predict their *future* in *addition* to explaining the past (which as I said is fine as a way of deriving a technique, and a sanity check).

I guess I'm finding it difficult to believe in 'predictive technique' which can only explain already known events and teachers of predictive techniques who don't show any evidence these techniques work by actually predicting the *future* (at the point of prediction) and getting it right.

As Barleywine points out, William Lilly seemed to know how to predict. (or maybe he didn't and just got lucky that one time, who knows?)

I think I've made my point as clearly as I can. It is ok if people disagree.

Just something I was genuinely perturbed by. I am a newbie to astrology (less than two years of experience, and most of it dazed and confused) and am unaware of the conventions and taboos.

I just think any school of astrology which claims to have powerful methods of prediction (and many schools - modern psychology based ones for example - make no such claim) should have a record of accurate predictions to validate their techniques.

All that said, you make good points, especially on context setting, all of which are appreciated, and which give me much to think about.

Have a great holiday!!
Top   #8
RohanMenon  RohanMenon is offline
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In the interests of intellectual honesty

an article by Kevin Burks about why astrology can't predict the next president (and by extension, many events of a similar nature)
Top   #9
CosmicBeing's Avatar
CosmicBeing  CosmicBeing is offline
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I think predicting presidency is hard because you have to look at the country's chart, I am guessing there are progressed charts in mundane astrology, and then you have to look at all the chart of the candidate.

In the end you may be looking at 7 charts.

The promises of a person's chart cannot manifest in the country is in a certain mindset or in a certain socioeconomic situation.

Say the promise of wealth was in someone's chart but they live in one the the poorest countries in the world.

That weakens the prospect of that chart's promise unless they relocate.

So my advice is get books that are for specific type of astrology prediction...transits, progression, return.

Then write your own predictions.

There are some amazing astrologers out here who can really predict something because they understand astrology that well. Then you have people are understand it to an extent but not well enough to make good predictions.

I think when it comes to anything.. everybody should approach different things in like with skepticism.

I approach astrology with skepticism, but I have seen that astrology can really predict stuff.

But when it comes to world events it can get harder. You have to look at so many charts to be able to get a good prediction.

There are certain books out here that do yearly predictions for a country. There is a few astrologers I know that offer it. One person I really recommend.

There are probably books on amazon (e-books) that offer yearly predictions for a country. I would check those out.

But, the books you are looking at will not do that type.. they are more there to speculate on past events and how the planets could have played a role.

If you are looking for a book that does predictions that have not passed yet you need to look for the yearly predictions.
She does vedic astrology predictions monthly and in the beginning of the year I believe she offers a yearly prediction magazine.
She is a western female who practices neo-vedic astrology.

You will have to go to private astrologers website to purchase their yearly report.
Top   #10



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