The Nature of Astrology: History, Philosophy, and the Science of Self-Organizing Systems (Paperback)
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An in-depth examination of how astrology is a form of systems science
• Shares modern biological studies offering evidence that our solar system neighbors profoundly affect and shape life on our planet
• Explores the early practice of astrometeorology, revealing the links between the solar system, weather, and climate over large spans of time
• Looks at the history, philosophy, and methodologies of astrology, as well as its potential future applications in medicine and the social sciences
Our ancient ancestors recorded the rhythms of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, correlating these rhythms with weather, plant growth, and animal and human behaviors. From these early geocosmic recordings were born calendars, astronomy, and astrology. While astrology is now mostly viewed as subjective fortune-telling, Bruce Scofield argues that astrology is not only a practice but also a science, specifically a form of systems science--a set of techniques for mapping and analyzing self-organizing systems.
Providing clear evidence that our solar system neighbors profoundly affect and shape life on our planet, Scofield shares modern biological and climatological studies on the effects of Earth’s rotation, the Sun, the Moon, and the rhythms of light, gravity, magnetism, and solar radiation on terrestrial processes. He explores the early practice of astrometeorology, a method of weather forecasting used from ancient times into the Renaissance, revealing the links between the solar system, weather, and climate over large spans of time. He shares his own studies on the correlations between Saturn’s position and terrestrial weather as well as presenting a wealth of evidence on astrological effects and the theories and mechanics behind them.
Presenting a broad look at how the cosmic environment shapes nature, the author shows how the practice and natural science of astrology can expand its applications in modern society in such varied fields as medicine, history, and sociology.
About the Author
Bruce Scofield holds a doctorate in geosciences from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s degree in social sciences from Montclair University, and a degree in history from Rutgers University. Currently an instructor for Kepler College and president of the Professional Astrologers Alliance, he is the author of 14 books. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
“This is an incredible work! Others have written histories of astrology, but none of them have been histories of astrology as well as comprehensive discussions of the sociology of astrology throughout its history. This is not only a superb piece of intellectual history but also an eloquent discussion of where astrology is today and how it has gotten here. In particular Scofield has not only explained and defended astrology on philosophical as well as on other grounds, but in the course of doing so, he has also written a brilliant critique of what he calls the reductionist-mechanistic- materialist (RMM) view, which monolithically dominates modern science to the degree that any corpus of ideas that requires one to see outside of its influence is almost impossible to see. I believe he has given a brilliant critique of the RMM that is useful for any student of modern civilization, not just astrologers. This book I would say is his magnum opus.”
— Robert Hand, American astrologer, historian, author, and scholar
“Bruce Scofield has crafted the authoritative text on natural astrology—the ancient branch of the subject in which terrestrial and celestial patterns intersect and manifest in the material world in such matters as weather and climate. Scofield artfully interweaves the history of the topic with both modern evidence and his own doctoral research on the relationship between Saturn cycles and temperature variation. The text is accessible, clear, and essential for anyone in search of a full and rounded understanding of astrology’s claims and nature.”
— Nicholas Campion, Ph.D., principal lecturer at the Institute of Education and Humanities and associa
“This is a book that astrologers have been awaiting for decades. Drawing on a baker’s dozen of cutting-edge sciences, Bruce Scofield levels a potent challenge at pseudoskeptical critics of astrology by setting out a solid basis in reason and evidence for the ancient science of the stars.”
— John Michael Greer, author of The Twilight of Pluto
“The Nature of Astrology is a valuable and timely contribution to the field and a necessary examination of the ongoing stigma against this complex and greatly misunderstood subject. Drawing upon historical and contemporary scientificresearch as well as his own investigations, Scofield methodically reveals how the Earth and the life upon it are influenced by the greater cosmic environment. He also presents an in-depth and rich history of astrology, including new and fascinating insights on astrology’s decline, and provides possible avenues for its renewal. Scientists, academics, astrologers, and skeptics will all benefit from reading this captivating and edifying work.”
— Marlene Seven Bremner, author of Hermetic Philosophy and Creative Alchemy
“This scholarly tour de force deserves a place on the bookshelf of everyone seriously interested in the widest and deepest terrain of astrology. A richly rewarding read, it fulfills its promise of the history, philosophy, and science of astrology. It is actually a complete university education on the subject. Scofield does an excellent job of answering the perennial question: ‘How does astrology work?’ Not only answering many of astrology’s critics, he plots out an elegant future for this largely misunderstood and underappreciated branch of knowledge.”
— Frederick Hamilton Baker, author of Alchemical Tantric Astrology
“Scofield’s well-researched arguments qualify him to assert that astrology is a science. He points out that it has an empirical body of knowledge and relies on the repeatable practices of brilliant ancient astronomers. These rules, procedures, and methodologies, perfected thousands of years ago but still understandable to this day, award that status. In this one book, a giant step in human understanding of nature’s solar system and its ultimate, supreme influence has been taken. Without doubt, it describes the genesis of all spiritual understanding and religious symbolism.”
— Alison Chester-Lambert, author of Astrology Reading Cards
“Bruce Scofield’s book lives up to its title, The Nature of Astrology. Building on his Ph.D. work in the geosciences (with a dissertation titled A History and Test of Planetary Weather Forecasting) at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Scofield discusses the scope, history, science, sociology, and philosophy of astrology. An important aspect is the place of astrology within a broader cultural and scientific context, which raises fundamental issues regarding the nature of science and scientific evidence, including alternatives to the ‘reductionist-mechanistic-materialistic’ (to quote Scofield) trend in modern science. Scofield favors systems thinking that goes beyond reductionism; systems can exhibit emergent properties and self-organization. Astrology at its best can be considered a form of systems thinking that has been practiced for millennia. This is a fascinating book that anyone with a serious interest in the intellectual development of humanity should have in their library.”
— Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., author of Forgotten Civilization: New Discoveries on the Solar-Induced Dark