Transcribed from a lecture originally presented at the ISAR 1994 Conference.
The purpose of this lecture is not so much to talk about homosexuality as to talk about homosexuality as the subject for how not to do research. The reason why I am using homosexuality as an example rather than certain other areas of personal interest is that it is such a wonderful example of how not to do astrological research. Homosexuality as a topic has been slightly controversial over the past century. Before the last century it was simply unmentionable, so in fact this is an improvement.
One of the things that has happened in astrology in topics like homosexuality is that we have tended to follow things going on in other areas of the world. Just occasionally we stick our foot in it. One of the areas where this has happened historically with us is astronomy. Sometimes we don't distinguish very well between astronomical knowledge such as it is and astronomical theory. Some examples of that are the fact that in the last century it was very kosher in the second half of the nineteenth century to hypothesize an intermercurial planet. After Leverrier was involved with the discovery of Neptune in 1848 he began working on the orbit of Mercury which was known to be irregular. Having just successfully predicted Neptune, he thought that he would apply these wonderful sighting skills to Mercury.
The cultural climate of astronomy at the time was, if you have problems with the orbit there must be something else there. They proposed what became Vulcan. Vulcan got picked up in the astrological community. There supposedly were sightings. The problem is that Einstein's theory of relativity removed the need for an intermercurial planet. Astrology had been in a position where people had been interpreting Vulcan. We still act as if there is a Vulcan around. The people who are doing it esoterically have a justification for it, if they wish to call it esoteric and not on the earth plane.
OK, a brief history of homosexuality. Well, if it first was Greek, it was good. Then it became bad. Then it became unmentionable, and then it became mentioned. Then we hit the 19th century. Krafft-Ebing published a book called "Psychopathia Sexualis" which everyone who wanted to be avant garde put on their bookshelf. He went through some curious case histories of all sorts of odd sexual practices. What developed, primarily in Germany, was a debate around the nature of homosexuality. Inversion and perversion at one point were technical terms. The invert theory was that you were born a homosexual and you were in fact a member of the intermediate sex. If you buy congenital transmission then there is no moral dilemma about being a homosexual because you are simply manifesting your biology. On the other hand, a pervert who was naturally heterosexual, got hooked and became homosexual. There was a moral dilemma associated with perversion because you did it deliberately. The debate between the two was whether all the homosexuals were one or the other or there was a mixture. It sounds rather like nature or nurture. You see the controversial areas now in subjects like intelligence. Homosexuality is another example.
What I am presenting here, is the Kinsey scale. I also sometimes refer to this as the diagram from St. Exupery's "Little Prince" of the boa constrictor swallowing the elephant. In the business it is called a normal distribution and looks like the diagram at the end of this article. It is also called a bell-curve. The idea is, that in any kind of distribution, and in any kind of sample that has a normal distribution, most of the people are in the middle and then you have people on the extremes. This is also a theory used for intelligence and for many other qualities. I have also drawn in a dotted line to represent more of what the population looks like for homosexuality.
In Kinsey's scheme zero was 100% heterosexual. Kinsey's original scheme dropped actual sexual practice and later people modified it to include fantasies and other such things, but in this case, the skewing is skewed at the heterosexual end. Whether this is in fact a societal skew or an actual skew is up to you to determine because nobody else knows.
Before we go into some of the astrological theories, I want to point out something about probability. Virtually any astrological statement that you make can be modelled mathematically. This should not be a major revelation. We work with a 360 degree coordinate system. Even if we do things like essential dignities, those can translate into a 360 degree system and hence we are able to extract certain kinds of mathematical derivations from that. When you make a statement that people who have heart attacks during their 50's tend to have the Sun conjunct Uranus, this is a statement which is potentially quantifiable. All you basically have to ask is, what orb do you want? You may be aware from time to time people have suggested that homosexuality has something to do with Uranus. Mythologically that has certain interesting ideas too, perhaps this relates to the intermediate sex idea. In the 19th century when they were showing pictures of inverts the men tended to look like women and the women tended to look like men. Perhaps that does have to do with the castration myth of Uranus.
If we just look at aspects of the Moon to Uranus, I simply say, OK, let's see what would be the probability of only three aspects: the conjunction, the opposition and the square. Now we define the orb. If you say arbitrarily that you want a 7 degree orb, this in fact means you have 7 degrees on each side. If we add up what this means, you have a conjunction of 7 degrees on one side and 7 degrees on the other side, totalling 14. Opposition is the same, 7 degrees on each side, totalling 14. Two different kinds of squares total 28. With every aspect except the conjunction and opposition you have two ways to get it. We are simply adding up the numbers which total 56. Now I simply divide that number by the 360 degree circle and come up with the fact that if you were working with a 7 degree orb for only three aspects mentioned here that the probability of anybody having that is about 15%. If you start to multiply the number of allowed planets, so now you are not just saying the Moon, but you are saying the Sun and the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars you are multiplying the percentage of your universe that is going to have that in any case.
The next thing I am going to show you is, if you drop the orb size to 5 degrees, you are down to 11%. If you increase it to 10 degrees, you are up to 22%. Here is the problem. This says nothing about what an effective orb is. In fact you may be working with people natally and you may be able to see that a 10 degree orb works in the particular thing at which you are looking. If you are trying to do anything that resembles a quantitative study you are going to have problems, because already one-fifth of your sample with one planet would, with what most of us would consider a restrictive aspect, have that. The most optimistic estimate of the percentage of gay people in the population is 10%. That is probably high. Kinsey's numbers were inflated because he used a large percentage of men who were incarcerated. Men who are in prison have limited sexual opportunities. He was counting practice, not preference. That tended to increase the numbers. The real number is probably in the range of 2-4% depending on how you define bisexual. This becomes a problem. Even with a 5 degree orb you are looking at a percentage just by chance; that is exceeding the size of your population.
One of the most important things you need to know in designing a research project, is what percentage of the population are you talking about? If you are talking about: "Will the people in the sample die?" You have a percentage of 100% There aren't too many other conditions that have 100%. Very often when people design studies especially when it has to do with the medical issue, they in fact, do not have a clue as to what that actual number is.
I have mentioned that there has been these various theories about Uranus etc. The first work on homosexuality which unfortunately the AFA has chosen to keep in print is the work of Karl Guenter Heimsoth. He was an interesting character, historically. He ended up a victim of persecution by the Nazis. His work on homosexuality dealt with that wonderful concept, "latent". His entire sample of homosexuals was defined by, who he thought was, and not on who actually practiced. I recommend this. When you really have a theory to push, you define who matches the sample. It makes it so much easier. His idea was that homosexuality was naturally ectomorphic and so men who had high numbers of Gemini and Sagittarius were gay. If you saw a chart of somebody with a large count of Gemini and Sag, you simply called them "latent" if they didn't admit to it. Probably, if they did not have it and they were practicing it, they weren't really gay, so don't worry about it.
These particular aspects that are in the diagram were taken from Ebertin's The Combination of Stellar Influences. Unfortunately, Ebertin's work uses words like perversion. It is a little hard to tell which meaning he meant because unfortunately as we know, perversion is no longer a technical term. We will assume he meant this.
I had been given a set of roughly 750 gay men from Robert Jansky which is in the IDEA data base, as are the lesbian samples noted here. I basically looked to see whether there was in fact any relationship between having aspects of some of the inner planets to Uranus and Neptune or Venus, and Mars. These were things I pulled out of Ebertin's midpoints. I looked to see if there was an elevation in these gay sample charts. Based on orb sizes I came up with a probability of 8.8%. P is for probability, generally expressed as a percentage but occasionally as a decimal. As you can see using that and testing it, the collective pooled samples, were low. Not only are we a little questionable in terms of our random percentage but our actual percentage is just on cutting. So, no cigar.
I mentioned that P is this wonderful probability term. Let me define that a little more specifically. Probability is your observed frequency divided by the total frequency. When you talk about statistical significance, chi square, all you are basically saying is, that you think what you are observing differs from chance and it is expressed as a percentage. For example, when you have a 5% level of statistical significance, you are allowing yourself to be wrong 5% of the time. When you are doing this, do not treat it as certainty because these are all based on the original development of gambling techniques.
This is slightly a more complete listing on the Ebertin perversion aspects as well as some midpoints that I show you at the bottom. You can see the data is not matching the model. Unfortunately because of the interest of some people in trying to come up with psychological models where they set it up with a psychological theory of "your mother did it", they came up with some extensive modeling ideas. The problem is that what people will say is "Well you could have a situation where the ruler of the 12th house is afflicted." You turn around and say, "OK what constitutes affliction in the 12th house?"
Let me show you an example of the Jansky-Nauman hypothesis. This was in "Mercury Hour" about 15 years ago. How can you have a connection between Uranus and the 8th house? You can have Uranus in the 8th house. If you are using modern rulership, you can have Uranus ruling the 8th house. You can have Uranus in a hard aspect to the ruler of the 8th house or to the cusp of the 8th house. Do you see how you multiply factors? Then you have the 8th house antagonistic to the 5th. Multiply that out. You have four different ways you can do that.
Again for Mars or Pluto related to the 12th house, you have them in the 12th house, ruling the 12th house, square or in hard aspect to the 12th house ruler or to the cusp of the 12th house. We have a little problem. When you have four factors and commence the model, making a statement that any of these can apply, that means I can say that I am currently in Chicago, New York, San Francisco or Miami. One of those will be true. If all of those were true, my frequent flyer account would be much better than it is. The problem is that it gives you too much of a range. In this particular case they propose a model which is met by 90% of the population. Then they said, 90% of our charts match this. Wow!
I checked it out and came up with what you would expect. If you propose something with a lot of different ways to do it, you are going to come up with a model that everybody is going to match. You could in fact propose a model for homosexuality that was randomly met by 90% of the population, if in a homosexual or gay grouping, maybe it would be matched 92% of the time. If you are talking to clients, which would not be especially helpful but it is possible that it would be true. The only way you would know that that would be true is if you had a sample size in the tens or possibly in the hundreds of thousands because the deviation from your expected value is low.
This is in fact one of the criticisms that Geoffrey Dean has made of the Gauquelin results. The Gauquelin results are statistically significant. They are repeatable. If for example you are looking at the sports champions, there is a peak of Mars diurnally in the 12th house. Every time you see Mars in the 12th house in a client's chart, are you going to say: "You are going to be a sports champion." No. One of the lessons of statistical studies is: A statistical study is not predictive in the immediate moment. While I am delighted that the Gauquelins have spent all the time that they did on the studies and I am delighted that there are positive results, the reality is that a statistical study is meant to be a characterization of the population. You cannot take a statistical study and apply it directly to the single case that is sitting across the table from you. You have two different lenses on reality. You have the broader lens where you can see patterns as you do in the Gauquelin studies that can be repeated, and you can see a pattern or you can see an evolution of a pattern.
For example the Gauquelin's original idea of a scientist was from the Academy Francaise for which the major criterion was living into at least their 70's and preferably their 80's. Your colleagues would not vote you in until you were well past the stage where you were an active producing scientist. A funny thing happened: Saturn showed up in the study. If you now took a sample of the National Academy of Scientists, as in the United States where the average of induction is more like in the 40's, we might see a different pattern. In either case, having the pattern does not predict the individual chart. This is the take-home lesson. There has been a lot of proposals of psychological factors in homosexuality. If you are interested in this I have a couple of articles where I have run through all of them and this (points to blank board) is my model. It is the only one that works.