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The types Gauquelin studied were almost identical to the planetary types developed by Rodney Collin, so I had to satisfy myself that there was some scientific validity here, so I did my own tests. I collected nearly 400 horoscopes of well-known individuals along with photographs of each. My aim was to determine their body types to see where the planets fell.

If a subject was, for instance, a Martial type I would look for this planet in key positions. Chance results would produce numbers around 16-20%. Approximately 70% of my selections showed planets in the required positions. The second sample comprised a total of 33 friends and acquaintances of which 31, or 94% contained the appropriate planet in a key position. For my third test I enlisted the aid of the National Council of Geocosmic Research in the US. Of a total of 44 subjects I was able to identify 42 as types, from which I predicted 29, or 70% correctly.

All this was rather encouraging, producing results way, way above those expected by chance alone. But I didn’t really trust my outcome completely. A bona fide scientist could probably pick my testing methods apart, finding statistical errors and biased selection, and all sorts of mistakes due to inexperience. However, with such high numbers, I felt strongly that there was something here that needed further testing, and I tried to enlist the aid of others to verify what I found, with little success. So one of the aims of the book is a recruiting brochure for astrologers or other individuals to help with replicating these tests to put them on a surer footing.

So, if I truly did have some scientific evidence for the influence of the planets, I had to have a go at explaining how that is possible. My type, the Saturnine type,  is not satisfied with easy answers, and has to burrow down to the root of a problem and come up with the truth. So had anyone already come up with a theory to account for planetary influences? The answer is yes, and not just anyone, but a British astronomer, Percy Seymour. Dr Seymour was the principal lecturer at the Plymouth Polytechnic Institute, and devised a plausible mechanism for celestial influences based on the concept of resonance.

Seymour believed that the movements of the planets produce tides in the solar wind that streams out from the sun and bathes the solar system, and also in the magnetic fields and atmosphere of the Earth. The earth’s magnetic lines of force vibrate like telephone cables, and can be tugged or set vibrating by the solar wind, just like the strumming of a guitar. Some of these earthly strings have been tuned by the movements of the planets.

Rodney Collin stated that the endocrine glands are tuned to such frequencies and at birth are set or calibrated, and the most dominant planet at the time of birth determines your most dominant endocrine gland, and therefore, your glandular type.

A lot of the book investigates this vast area of harmonic science and how the principles of music inform and underpin the physics of our world. It’s a fascinating study, and came in very useful as background for this theory of planetary influence. The music of the spheres had become real.  I was also influenced by the work of Hans Cousto, who had written a book called the Cosmic Octave, which set out the harmonic structure and properties of the planets and solar system, and attempted to assign a musical scheme and individual notes to the planets. THis harmonic approach could be summed up by this quote from George Leonard

“At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the play of the patterned frequencies against the matrix of time. More than 2,000 years ago, the philosopher Pythagoras told his followers that a stone is frozen music, an intuition fully validated by modern sciences, we now know that every particle in the physical universe takes its characteristics from the pitch and pattern and overtones of its particular frequency, its singing. And the same thing is true of all radiation, all forces great and small, all information. Before we make music, music makes us …The way music works is also the way the world of objects and events works …The deep structure of music is the same as the deep structure of everything else.” George Leonard, from “The Silent Pulse”

A few chapters are chockers with examples of the influence of the planets on biology, such as the sensitivity of the animal and human nervous systems to fluctuations in the magnetic field of the earth. There is a solid theoretical foundation here for a science of celestial influence. Now all its needs is further testing to move forward.    

So after all my diligent research I wrote it all up, and tried to shop it around to a few publishers without success. So it went in the draw. I wrote a few other things that also found their way into the draw – an illustrated collection of quotes from spiritual teachers, philosophers and gurus, a small booklet that attempted at sum up my own view of the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, plus a few other odds and ends. Eventually, I managed to get a few articles published in national magazines, some popular glossies and others a little more dubious. My publisher heard about an article I had done on Ouspensky and another on Rodney Collin, and wanted to use them in a biography he was doing on Collin.

I eventually told him about the manuscript I had the planetary types, and since he was already familiar with the Fourth Way, he asked to see it. He emailed back and said he would like to publish it, I said yes please, and so, here we are.

So, what do you do with this? I make no apologies for the science, which might be a bit of a hard slog for some. Be prepared for a little brain exercise. However, once you start asking pointy questions about paranormalities like astrology and framing questions in terms of physics, you have to be thorough. Because science is thorough. Otherwise medicines wouldn’t work and planes would fall out of the sky. I am sure a true physicist would label what I have done as pseudoscience, but I believe it is one of the best attempts I have seen to wed physics with metaphysics, and that is saying a lot, as Saturnine types are traditionally very, very modest and humble.

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The title of my first book, due out by Bardic Press in a week or two, is rather ambitious to say the least, coming as it does, from a very skeptical approach.

I wrote it around 2001 and only revisited it just over a year ago, when my editor and publisher Andrew heard about the MS and asked to read it. The rest is history, or soon will be, as the release date approaches.

I’d like to share this small excerpt with you from the opening of Chapter 12 of ‘Planetary Types: The Science of Celestial Influence.

“Since I first began my study of types and the possibility of establishing a science of celestial influence, my outlook on life, science and any laws governing human behaviour and mechanics has undergone its own evolution. I spent many years following the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, and though I am no longer a card-carrying Fourth Way student, its influence on my life and my understanding of how the world works is undeniable. Though it is quite a complex system of esoteric knowledge, I have distilled its most valuable nuggets down into a few simple useful guidelines that help me navigate life’s mysteries. I am also strongly influenced by Buddhism, which exhorts us to look at the world directly and innocently, in order to see it as it really is. As a result, I tend to look at the world more simply, and try to be honest and realistic about the way things are.

My critical faculties have also grown over the years, and I actually find myself more of a sceptic now than when I began this work. I rely less on what I would like to believe and more on what is likely, and what is possible. That is why I am under no illusions as to the difficulties of establishing any new Science of Celestial Influence. If it is to have strong foundations I have to be as meticulous and ruthless in laying its groundwork as I have been with the critical examination of traditional astrology.”

The outcome of the book relies heavily on experimental outcomes, as it encourages the reader to undertake their own tests to try and determine whether the planets influence character and physiology. (When I originally did my own tests I found it difficult to enlist the aid of those who could conduct the tests with the strict protocols and methods necessary, so the book is actually a way of furthering the research.)

The book is an experiment in itself, as I see it. It tries to navigate a course between the two extremes of spring-loaded skepticism and rejection of paranormal phenomena, and blind belief. It is not strictly evangelical about one outcome or the other, but simply asks the question: ‘wouldn’t it be interesting if …?’ I think that is a more inclusive approach to metaphysical phenomena, and a far more fruitful one.

The book can be summed up by this snippet from a quote by Johannes Kepler from the chapter on the history of the planetary types. It illustrates one of the hallmarks of circumscepticism: that if you examine paranormalities critically and clear away a lot of the embroidery and nonsense, “… perhaps a good little grain, yes, a pearly or golden corn could be scraped for and found by an industrious hen.”

I believe there are more than a few pearly grains in this book. I hope you enjoy them.

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