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Astrology shows clear links with divinatory practices

Geoffrey Dean

Abstract -- A comparison of divination with astrology as practised shows a close match all the way from belief in gods to nonfalsifiability and openness to manipulation. But when critically examined, divination is indistinguishable from fantasy. Supposedly divination (and therefore astrology) is a mysterious process that somehow delivers the goods. But if by the goods we mean religious feelings, the process is neither mysterious nor controversial, and astrology is indistinguishable from a faith-based religion. But if by the goods we mean the truth, astrology is indistinguishable from fantasy. To deny astrology as fantasy is not to understand astrology but to replace it with something else. The claim that astrology is untestable and can be judged only by experience is incoherent. Includes summaries of important historical arguments such as Cicero's De divinatione, Pico's Disputationes, and Heydon's Defence of Judiciall Astrologie, and a bibliography with 58 entries.

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