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The Astrologer's Newsletter - January/February 2009

Review of the Kepler Day Research Conference

by Chrissy Philp

Kepler Day Conference 2008
Approximately forty people from as far afield as Ireland, Belgium, France and Turkey attended the Kepler Day Research Conference in London this year. We began the day with Mick 0'Neill encouraging us to utilise our psychic abilities to win the UK Lotto. Previous conference delegates will be familiar with this ritual. Later in the afternoon, Mick introduced us to the results of his years of research into a link between psychic phenomena and the stars. Mick's continued determination, to research astrology itself rather than to research astrologers, was a reminder of earlier Kepler Days.

Drawing on the lessons of ethnological anthropologists, Alie Bird, in her personal journey through Alice in Wonderland, directed our attention to the fact that people 'don't always do what they say they do'. Bernadette Brady, acknowledging Alie's statement that people do not always tell the truth in surveys, enthusiastically immersed in a plethora of data only just beginning to reveal its secrets, admitted that quantifying qualitative data had problems.

Drawing on the writings of the philosopher Martin Buber, Lindsey Radermacher contemplated the client-astrologer environment with her usual profundity. In astro-consultations, she asked, who is in dialogue with whom? She pointed out the three way exchange between the astrologer, the client and the chart. She stressed 'listening' as a crucial component of proper attentive dialogue, not just to the client but to the world. She called this 'poised for meeting'.

Liz Greene presented her research on mystical experiences amongst astrologers. Her results showed differences between the small group of astrologers she questioned and results of past research into the general population.

Frances Clynes confronted our brave new technologically proficient world. Using historical texts, including Plato, as examples of a dualistic cosmos, she pointed out that cyberspace is an example of this dualism. I heard it said I think probably by Charles Harvey - that the computer is to astrology what the telescope is to astronomy. Frances recognises modern astrologers' dependence on the computer; few of us draw up every chart we consult by hand and many use the internet to attract clients. Frances' research is looking at how much astrologer's use of the computer is related to generating wealth and how much to cyberspace's spiritual aspect as The Digital Sublime?

Early in the 1980s I attended a lecture by Michel Gauquelin in which he voiced his concern that modern obstetric practices interfered with natural birth times. Wendy Stacey, a PhD student and tutor in Sociology at the University of Southampton, showed that births are no longer spontaneous random events but cluster between 9 am and 4 pm - the most around 10 in the morning - and with a noticeable break for lunch. This of course has implications for astrology as Pisces with Scorpio rising becomes extinct.

In his talk on The Canvas on which our Art is Painted, Chris Mitchell asked if astrologers had lost touch with the night sky. The results of his questionnaires on knowledge of astronomy showed that astrologers did score higher than the general public, but only marginally higher.

A short period was given over to lively discussion at the end of the day. This was conducted with gentle authority by Mike Harding who had also introduced the speakers in the afternoon.

 

All in all, the standard of presentation was high, the subjects intriguing, and I think we went away stimulated by the ideas stirred up by the research material. I certainly did. So I want to thank the organisers and the speakers and look forward to next year and hearing future results.