For the past few years I have written to anyone who wrote a post or an article debunking astrology offering to do a free reading for them so that they can try it for themselves before making a judgement on a subject they knew little about. I received no response from any of these people. Last summer someone undergoing a painful experience wrote to me – he was skeptical of astrology but open to hear what I had to say, and we had a very meaningful exchange that was helpful for him and the process he was going through.
Then Paul came along, a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic, in response to my post quoting Richard Tarnas that skepticism without magic is an empty prison. Paul responded to the Skeptics Challenge and I sent him a short reading of a few of the major points in his chart, requesting that he reply to my email and let me know what he thought of it. He did not reply to that email, so I sent a second email, to which I also received no reply. However, a reply to his comment referred to his blog so I went there to take a look and found there a challenge to me for a scientific study of astrology. I thought it peculiar that he didn’t contact me directly about this challenge but instead posted it on his blog with no real way for me to find it except for a link in a post. You can find out more about what happened here.
My goal for the Skeptics Challenge was that in showing these individuals what a real astrology reading can do, they would see that Astrology Works. But I failed to understand the skeptic mind, which evidently is looking for facts and scientific proof that astrology is a reliable indicator of predictable facts rather than an experience that life is magic.
I never did find out from Paul specific feedback about how accurate the reading was accurate for him; instead his response was that it could be accurate for anyone. He said generally that some of it was accurate and some less accurate, but I never learned specifically how relevant the reading was. It’s true that in a mini reading, which covers the main themes of a chart (generally in answer to a specific question), there are only so many common themes that apply, such as a conflict between intimacy and autonomy, responsibility and freedom.
Astrology is not a provable science – it isn’t astronomically correct, it doesn’t even have accepted constructs upon which all astrologers agree. We know it works because we experience it, but we can’t prove it. The interesting thing for me about Paul, having done his chart (which I would normally not divulge but because he posted it on his blog for the world to see I think it’s fair game) is the conflict between an extreme sensitivity as shown by a conjunction of Saturn to Chiron, which engenders a continual need to face one’s own inner painful experiences (Saturn) in order to grow and evolve (Chiron) in the very sensitive sign of Pisces which is square to a conjunction of Neptune on the ascendant which squares his Aquarian Sun. The Sun, Mercury and Venus are all in logical Aquarius, so there is a dichotomy here between his extreme sensitivity (Saturn/Chiron in Pisces square Neptune along with Neptune square to the Sun) and his ability to create logical rationalizations (Sun/Mercury in Aquarius). Often this kind of configuration indicates a split in the personality and the logical mind part takes over as a protective mechanism. I wonder if Paul has migraine headaches, something often indicated by a conflict between Aquarius planets and a more sensitive system as the rational mind attempts to quash the emotions.
To summarize what I learned from the Skeptics Challenge is this: I no longer have any desire to prove that astrology works, and I understand that for the skeptic the proof would not be experiential, it would come through a completely objective and factual methodology. This kind of proof will never be possible with astrology, and that is part of its magic. And that is enough for me.