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  Columnist: William B Stoecker

Image credit: CC 3.0 Maros Mraz

Astrology: evidence of an unknown energy?

Posted on Friday, 3 May, 2013 | 19 comments
Columnist: William B Stoecker

Astrology, the belief that events on Earth are determined by the stars, may be the oldest science…although modern scientists would probably not dignify it with that term. Many of the oldest megalithic structures appear, at the very least, to be aligned to the Sun and sometimes to the Moon, or even to certain stars, and could be used to predict the equinoxes and solstices or even the seasonal and diurnal rising and setting of some stars. Priests in such ancient cultures as Egypt and Babylon practiced astrology and studied the apparent motions of the stars and planets, and our modern five-pointed star symbol comes to us from ancient Egypt, and is based on the angles of inferior conjunctions of Venus and Earth and on the fact that a normal human body has five main projections: a head, two arms, and two legs. Thus the symbol signifies the connection between the stars (as above) and human beings (so below). Many people even today believe in astrology, and studies to determine if individuals born under certain signs tend to share certain characteristics, while perhaps falling short of absolutely proving it, are certainly very intriguing. Mainstream scientists, materialists and logical positivists for the most part, claim that astrology can have no basis in fact because they know of no energy coming from the Sun or other heavenly bodies that could affect us.

But what if they are wrong about the basic nature of reality? If the universe is an interconnected (and perhaps conscious) whole, with individual components perhaps resembling holograms, each containing within itself something of the greater whole, then observing the stars, Sun, Moon, and planets might very well give us at least some clue to human behavior and to our fate.

Not only that, but it is foolish to claim that we are not affected by energies from space. At the very least, sunlight and the heat it produces affects all of us all the time. People conceived and born in certain seasons, especially in the past when electric lighting and central heating and air conditioning didn't exist, would certainly be affected (as would their mothers while they were in the womb). Certain foods tended, in the past even more than today, to be more or less available in certain seasons, and temperate zone winters or tropical dry seasons tended to be times of scarcity.

And then there are the possible effects of solar storms and the Sun's magnetic field both directly on us and indirectly via Earth's atmospheric electricity and magnetic field. The Sun has regular cycles averaging 10.66 years when its energy output increases and then decreases and its magnetic field intensifies and then reverses polarity. At the time of solar maximum, flares, sunspots (which are “cooler” regions on the Sun's surface and often occur in pairs with opposite magnetic polarity) and coronal mass ejections are more frequent and more powerful. The solar wind, charged particles streaming out from the Sun, intensifies, compressing Earth's magnetosphere on the dayside and extending it on the night side. The solar wind also tends to repel cosmic rays coming in from outside the Solar System, so we are bombarded by less of this radiation (cosmic rays are also charged particles) during solar maximums. While there is no absolute proof that any of these things affect us, it is significant that our brains are rather like electrochemical computers and all life involves complex chemical reactions, which are, at the molecular level, electrical in nature.

Alternative thinker Maurice Cotterell is one of a number of people who has developed an alternative theory of physics, and believes that ”free” energy can be obtained from gravity waves. He also believes that the solar wind affects human fertility, genetics, and mental health, and can cause mutations in our DNA, and that the solar cycles affect developing human fetuses in the womb. But exactly what component of the solar wind is responsible for this? Is it purely a matter of charged particles and electromagnetism or could there be an unknown energy at work?

Physicists have always assumed that the decay rate of radioisotopes was a fixed constant that never varied. But in 2009 researchers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory discovered that a radioactive isotope of silicon decayed more slowly in the summer and during the day than in winter or at night. And a radon isotope decayed at a faster rate in summer and in daylight, even if sealed in a lead chamber. Scientists at the German Federal Physical and Technical Institute found that the rate of decay for some isotopes varied in a 33 day period…astronomers and solar physicists believe that the Sun's core rotates every 33 days. (If that's not strange enough, the human spine has 33 vertebrae and Masons consider the thirty third degree to be of great importance). The Germans also discovered that the decay rate of a radioisotope of manganese dropped 36 hours before solar flares erupted. Clearly, this indicates that dating ancient fossils, rocks, and artifacts by measuring isotopes may not be as reliable a method as assumed. It also calls into question some basic assertions of modern physics, but then, a great deal of modern physics is questionable. It now appears that, yes, an unknown energy is indeed emanating from the Sun. If it can affect radioisotope decay, perhaps it can also affect other things, including our genetics and our health and even our mental state. At this point we simply don't know.

Physicists long assumed that the Sun's energy was produced by a hydrogen fusion process called the carbon cycle, with hydrogen atoms fusing to produce helium and, in the process, releasing some of their “binding energy.” Carbon acted in a manner analogous to a catalyst in a chemical reaction. A few decades ago they suddenly abandoned that theory, which textbooks had always presented as an established fact, and, with no apologies, began claiming that the energy is actually produced by another fusion process, called the proton-proton cycle, and the carbon cycle only occurs in stars much hotter than our Sun. In the proton-proton form of hydrogen fusion, two protons (hydrogen nuclei) are forced together by the immense heat and pressure in the Sun's core despite their mutually repulsive positive charges. One emits a positron (a positively charged electron) and changes into a neutron, a subatomic particle with no charge. A neutron and a positron weigh more than a proton; the extra mass comes from the energy required to force the protons together, mass and energy being equivalent. This stage of the reaction also releases a massless particle with no charge called a neutrino…or so the physicists believed. The proton and neutron are now stuck together and are what is referred to as a “deuteron,” or heavy hydrogen (deuterium) nucleus. Meanwhile, the positron, being antimatter, will collide with a particle of regular matter (typically a negatively charged electron) and both will convert into energy. The deuteron then combines with another proton, forming a helium three nucleus; two of these combine to form a regular helium four nucleus and release two high energy protons. At least that's their story today.

But let's get back to the neutrino, which is called an “electron neutrino.” Lacking mass and charge, it is not prone to react with much of anything else, and the neutrinos rapidly travel from the Sun's core out into space, with countless numbers of them bombarding the Earth (and us), and most of them go all the way through the Earth and out the other side. Needless to say, such particles are very difficult to detect, but physicists did finally devise a system to detect them…but they found only a third as many neutrinos as expected. Of course, this would be the case if perhaps only a third of the Sun's energy was produced by fusion and the remainder by some other, unknown source, but accepting that possibility would mean a total rethinking of basic assumptions, so the physicists scrambled to modify existing theory as little as possible and still explain the discrepancy. They decided that there were three kinds of neutrinos: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos, and tau neutrinos, and that they oscillated between the three forms. Since the detectors were supposedly able to detect only electron neutrinos, that would explain it all. But theory demanded that, to change state, the neutrinos needed some mass after all, so the physicists modified their model for neutrinos a bit more, and granted them a slight mass. Supposedly, later experiments detected the muon and tau neutrinos but could not distinguish between them. On the one hand, such continual tweaking of a theory is often an indication that the entire theory (in this case, relativity and quantum mechanics) is fundamentally wrong, but, to be fair, if a theory has high predictive value it should not be abandoned too hastily.

The question now is: do the neutrinos affect radioisotope decay rates and perhaps many other things, like life on Earth? The fact that they are so difficult to detect and the fact that they penetrate all the way through from the Sun's core and also all the way through the Earth without themselves being much affected would seem to argue that they can have very little effect on anything else. But then, all our other assumptions about neutrinos were proven wrong, so maybe, somehow, they do have a major effect. It is more likely, however, that some still unknown energy from the Sun is altering the decay rates (and possibly many other things), and this would be a major challenge to the accepted body of theory.

But astrology suggests that the motion of the planets has an effect on us. It has long been noted that the orbital period for the giant planet Jupiter, at 11.86 years, is only a bit more than a year longer than the average length of the solar cycle, suggesting a connection. Even though Jupiter orbits a long way from the Sun and has only about a thousandth of its mass, there is still some tidal effect. Alternative researchers I.R.G. Wilson, B.D. Canter, and I.A. Waite, writing on the site, have suggested that the movements of the planets, principally the giant outer planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune do indeed affect the solar cycle via tidal forces. Just as the Earth and Moon orbit around a center of gravity that is not exactly at the center of the Earth, due to the Moon's own gravity, so with the Sun and the planets. The center of mass of the Solar System is not quite at the center of the Sun, and that center moves as the planets orbit, affected by Jupiter's orbit and by the 19.86 year synodic cycle of Jupiter and Saturn (the time between their conjunctions), and, to a lesser degree, by the other planets. These researchers have done complex calculations showing that these movements, which subtly affect the Sun's angular momentum, might explain the length of the solar cycle and its complex variations…if the slight variation in momentum affects the Sun's energy production and its magnetic field.

So if the planets (maybe) affect the solar cycle and that affects an unknown energy radiating out from the Sun, and that energy probably has some effect on us, there may be something to astrology after all.

Article Copyright© William B Stoecker - reproduced with permission.

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