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Psychological Astrology, Astrological Psychology or Astropsychology is a recent product of the cross-fertilisation of the fields of astrology with depth psychology, humanistic psychology, and transpersonal psychology. It uses the horoscope and the archetypes of astrology to inform the psychological understanding of an individual’s psyche.

It owes its origins to the writings of Carl Jung in the 1950s. Jung once said “astrology represents the summation of the psychological knowledge of antiquity” (1962). He went on to synthesize his own Analytical psychology theories with those of Western astrology.

Other significant pioneers include Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas who in 1983 founded the Centre for Psychological Astrology. Bruno Huber & Louise Huber also developed their own method of astrological psychology, referred to as the Huber Method which links to Roberto Assagioli’s work with psychosynthesis.

When Carl Jung was investigating the symbolic meaning of dreams; he would commonly come across mythical figures that have been passed down to us from our ancestors.He then noticed a correlation in the images pictured in ones dreams to the gods that were attached to heavenly figures mapped out in the stars. From this the g concluded that the heavenly figures in astrology come from images we make in our minds. Jung felt that it was these mental images that brought about astrology. He did believe that astrology could teach us about the human mind but on a general level. Several astrologers as well as psychologists followed up on his claims and found that from horoscopes they could discover the structure of their character. From this they assumed that a person’s mental difficulty could be found through the horoscope. This was the start of astrology making its way and influencing some psychological tactics. Psychological astrology does not directly believe that a persons everyday life is dictated by the position of the stars. It just shows the horoscope as a mere tool to help identify a person’s attributes. For example a psychological astrologer might use a horoscope method to see if the individual possesses specialized abilities based on their mindset.

Proof of this pseudo-science is very difficult. Astrologers working in a psycho-diagnostic framework rely upon personal experience to justify why psychological astrology can provide meaningful information about a persons character. The external influences on a person can cause them to feel as if the horoscope is accurately portraying their mental issues. According to Riemann, “The dispositions visible in the horoscope are then covered up and their unfolding is blocked by external influences. The horoscope then helps in once again uncovering the buried dispositions.” It is because of this reliance on personal experience and the likelihood of external influences, that scientific evidence would show that the diagnosis of a psychological issue most likely couldn’t be made by a horoscope, causing psychological astrology not to be considered a science. However, within the psychological world of study it is found to work with certain empirical and theoretical methods. In psychology’s past there have been experiences in which methods were applied to patients that called for horoscopes being used as a diagnostic for showing their mental characteristics. These experiences haven’t been able to show any testable empirical evidence that it was in fact the horoscope that found out the mental characteristics of a person and that that was in fact an actual characteristic of that person. This is also another cause for the lack of scientific recognition of the pseudo-science.

// Even if there was empirical evidence of psychological astrology actually working, that would indicate a correlation between heavenly figures in the sky and a person’s predispositions at birth. While not conflicting with already accepted scientific methods that define and discover a person’s mental characteristics, studies have been unable to verify such things as intangible as personality traits on a quantifiable level acceptable to the scientific community. Jung believed that there are reasons to suspect that heavenly bodies actually effect a person’s development at birth, and that the correlation is acausal and not actually influenced by the planets and stars themselves.[1] He went on to further state his reasons for believing the mindset of a person involved in supposedly aucausal phenomena was crucial in whether the correlation even existed. Psychological astrology is then again brought back to connections through personal experience. It is because of this innate inability a solid empirical form of evidence that based on current scientific standards.

Using Occam’s Razor from Carey, rival explanations can be found about why the horoscope may seem to accurately identify the mental characteristics of an individual, that are more generally accepted than that of an astrological explanation. When a person is mentally evaluated by a psychological astrologer and is told their prediction of their mental characteristics they will begin to associate things they do with what the astrologer is saying, which will give the perception that they are accurately portraying their attributes. A study done by Shawn Carlson took astrological charts that were prepared for 83 subjects, based on natal data from his data the results showed that, “Each subject was given three charts: one chart based on their own natal data, and two charts derived from natal data of other people. Each subject was asked to identify the chart that most correctly described him or her. In only 28 of the 83 cases, the subject chose their own chart. This is the exact success rate expected for random chance. The astrologers predicted that the subjects would select their own chart more that 50% of the time.” In order to balance any bias against astrology it is worth looking at the recent book, ‘Cosmos and Psyche, Intimations of a New World View,’ by respected cultural historian, philosopher, and psychologist Richard Tarnas, which offers new evidence in support of the astrological worldview.