Astrology as Feedback: A Behavioral View of The Science
Linden Leisge 1980

Editors comments
This article was written for a professional magazine about 24 years ago and was just found by the editor. It has been edited some but it has many ideas that need to be published in the Rising Star. Thanks to a review by Dolores Wynne we can report that now a college, Kepler college is available to Astrologers with much of the ideas and education needed for the professional Astrologer that this article discusses.

Behavioral Science techniques together with the constructive use of astrological principals are reviewed in this article with a premise which suggests that behavior changes can benefit cancer patients. These techniques and principals can also assist professional astrologers with clients to do a more effective job. Meditative disciplines and highly developed medical supervision combined with sound astrological information will not only benefit the patient, but will also provide a system of personal feedback available only through knowledge of his/her astrological birth chart.

With the advance of science as the new focus for authority in a sectarian society, astrology needs to follow developments very closely if it is to gain the prestige accorded to other sciences. Inter-disciplinary studies are one of the presentday developments. An example is 'bio-physics' or the combining of biology and physics; for instance, in space programs. Both sciences are employed in the problem of enabling an astronaut to consume food in space. The major ideas here presented will be theoretical but students with time and resources interested in following up some of the thinking may perhaps combine the disciplines of astrology and behavioral science in an evaluative study.

One of the first things that strikes the beginning investigator today is the lack of code, or stated ethics, or a society of any national stature to regulate astrological ethics and scientific procedures. (i.e. AMA, State Bar, Society of National Science). In comparison to law or medicine or the general scientific community, there is no high-standard organization to which the average citizen can appeal to get results for the malpractice of an astrologer.

Another Area that is very little dealt with in astrological texts, if at all, are the scientific rules for study or experimentation and some of the well-documented phenomena and psychology of behavioral science. Some of them are 1) the effects of autosuggestion as defined in psychology. 2) The self-fulfilling prophecy of sociology. In addition, 3) The data-feedback comment reinforcement of behavioral science. All of these describe the same phenomenon--that of abdicating responsibility for one's own actions. Astrologers, along with many doctors, lawyers and scientists, have large egos and continue to play upon blind belief and these phenomena to play God. A recent example of this was given to one of the writers ,Linden Leisge, when it was related to him that a friend of Dolores Wynne was diagnosed with a small spot on the lung. It was so fearful to the person she went to a prestegious hospital and had a lung operation. She died within a short time later of the chemo thearpy. It was told to the patient that she did not need the operation before she started the chemo therapy by nurses who saw this all the time. But fear and the belief in the Doctors killed this person.

Examples of autosuggestion are amply put forth in most psychological texts. One example might be that well-known phrase "every day in every way I am getting better and better'.

In the case of a community value being a factor driving a person. They feel a failure if they do not have the new house, the RV, and all the toys the community says make you a success.

An example of data-feedback combining astrology and behavioral science might be in the form of a statement: 'I perceive you to have strong Aries characteristics.' This speaks directly to the observable behavior and might be stated as "I see you wanting to be a leader, directing your thinking towards success, being aggressive." Comments on these qualities alone may cause the person to continue such behavior although it is destructive. In a given situation, encouraging patience and consideration of other persons might be more suitable.

In each of these situations, the individual is abdicating his responsibility for decision making. In the example of autosuggestion, the astrologer's advice comes about because the client believes him. In the self-fulfilling prophecy, the individual believes the community values should be his values. In the data-feedback situation, the Aries, without reinforcement for behavior change, continues to be aggressive even when it is inappropriate. In short, in all three phenomena, if the individual is given no alternative view, no opportunity to change, the cycles merely reinforce destructive or static situations. The astrologer who fails to recognize this has totally failed no matter how much time and effort he/she might spend in delineation.

Two areas of research were reviewed in order to relate the above to the interdisciplinary treatment of cancer patients. A detailed analysis to the methods will help the astrologer to understand these phenomena a little better as they relate to his effectiveness and professionalism.

First, some background information on recent studies and some of the results which will be valuable to the student of astrology when giving a consultation. Studies of the most advanced nature have indicated that one's mental attitude has a great effect upon the progress of the disease cancer. As Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon and Neptune are constants for this disease, some examples given in the research show the patterns of thinking ruled by these planets has an effect upon the progress of the disease. For instance, the patient with diagnosed cancer of the liver (Jupiter) who continues the self-destructive indulgence (afflicted Jupiter thinking) in alcohol; or a person with cancer of the lungs continues to cling (afflicted Saturn thinking) to the habit of smoking even though it will kill him.

Another attitude of the cancer patient may be, "I am being punished", illusions (afflicted Neptune thinking): persecution (afflicted Saturn thinking). The juxtaposition of the afflicted Neptune (illusions) and the afflicted Saturn (persecution) bring about the attitude "I am being punished.' If the punishment or persecution is seen as coming from a vengeful deity (vengeful/Saturn, deity/Jupiter), the afflicted Jupiter, another constant for the disease, is also taken into account. All of these are mental (Moon is the key to the door of unconscious) illusion (afflicted Neptune thinking), depression (afflicted Saturn thinking) in over-abundance (afflicted Jupiter). The consequent result of this kind of thinking and emotional response on the endocrine glands causes a constant breaking down of the homeostatic condition of the body by the excesses of glandular functioning, thereby irritating the cells until in rebellion some of them mutate and begin to devour the other ells in the system to which they belong, thus causing irreparable damage to the body.

The cancer research by Major O. Carl Simonton, M.D., Chief of Radiation Therapy, Travis Air Force Base, California, shows that mental attitude when changed to harmonious thinking accelerates cure and increases the possibility of complete remission. Patients under his care were given a complete analysis of their disease and its progress. They were also given information on immune responses. The patient was asked to meditate for fifteen minutes in the morning upon arising, around noon and at night before going to bed. The meditation consisted of a few minutes relaxing the body, then, once the body was completely relaxed the patient visualized a peaceful scene from nature--this engages the positive Sun energy--revitalizing the body. A minute later the patient begins the main part of the work of mental imagery. First, he tunes in on the cancer (harmonious Neptune thinking) and visualizes his immune mechanism working the way it is supposed to, picking up the dead and dying cells and flushing them from the body. The patient is made fully aware of all the details of his cancer through xrays and clinical descriptions. This effort is a harmonious, organized type of Saturn thinking giving all the details and recognizing fear. One of the most important influences is the optimistic and religious nature (harmonious Jupiter thinking) of Dr. Simonton towards this treatment.

In discussion with patients it was found a consistent, positive, even stubborn conviction, a mental attitude (harmonious Moon,Sun and Mars thinking) which refused to follow a negative course which even the physicians might have expected--some of these positive attitudes maintained the life and caused a cure which otherwise would have been impossible. In some cases, life was prolonged until some desired event or period of time passed--and the patient was able to do what he wanted to do. Such a simple thing as the will to live combined with positive, constructive disciplines, totally altered the normal course of the cancer. Some negative examples which demonstrated the opposite, are seen in the desire of the patient with lung cancer to continue to smoke and those with cancer of the liver (Jupiter) who, against advice, continued to drink; there are also those who simply missed, "forgot" (Neptune) to come to their appointments. Other strains of negative thinking are the Saturn type--'maybe I deserve this. It is probably punishment for what I did, and such attitudes as reflect apathetic and depressed Saturn thinking. From this data, the hypothesis for doctors is obvious--mental attitudes do have an effect cancer. An underlying point to this is that people have cancer many times during their lifetime but do not know it, and their mental outlook being more positive and outgoing the body naturally resists and destroys the disease. This data is firmly upheld by researchers in immunology since the early 50's. An astrological research confirms this by the fact that many people have the constants for cancer (thought patterns, behavioral patterns) but do not attract the disease. This is due to major changes of an environmental nature attracted by other thought patterns in the chart. Their mental outlook being more positive and outgoing, the body naturally resists and destroys the disease.

The cancer research in astrology done by Elbert Benjamine shows that out of 100 astrological charts of people who had cancer, 99% had a prominent Saturn. Ninety-seven had Saturn afflicted, 100% had Jupiter prominent, and 95% had Jupiter prominent and afflicted. 100% with the Moon prominent, 96% percent with the Moon prominent and afflicted. The progressed constants, major progressed Moon ignored, calculated for the time the disease was diagnosed were 100% for Saturn and 100% for Jupiter. One of the interesting analyses that will be possible in the future regarding percentile variation will be the differentiation of the type of cancer; Liver/Jupiter, bone/Saturn, lymph system/Moon and skin/Neptune--upper octave of Venus. That is, the fact that the most strongly afflicted planet denotes the type of cancer. I hope that some day large enough numbers of specific types of cancer will be researched and followed up to verify this speculation. One of the things that all this information definitely shows is that data, especially feeling, emotion, received by the mind has a great influence on body functions. Every astrologer, when giving advice needs to realize 1) the mental state of the client; 2) the cultural conditioning of the person and 3) the major trend of the thinking as mapped by the progressions at that time. The astrologer must make sure to give the client the best efforts, both mental and physical, to attain health. The vast majority of astrologers in the author's experience give spontaneous, emotional answers to positions in the chart that, because of the astrologer's own environmental and emotional states attract their attention. They may pay very little heed to the effect on the person receiving the data. This is much the same indiscretion as doctor, not knowing the patient in the waiting room can hear, may commit by crying out "Oh, my God, he's got cancer" however, the astrologer doesn't even give the client the courtesy of being in another room. A great deal of the bad reputation which astrology enjoys today is based upon careless and unthinking analysis by incompetent and untrained practitioners, which is tantamount to premed students being turned loose in the middle of a heart transplant. If doctors and lawyers were as careless, overall, in giving their opinions or diagnoses as the majority of so-called astrologers, they would not enjoy the high reputation accorded by our society. The old adage 'you get what you pay for' certainly applies in this case.

A great deal of psychic damage is done to many clients by careless astrological delineation which can easily be avoided by a little study of psychology and the great amount of research on handling the psychological relationships between clients and astrologer (psychologist).

Two examples cited here pertain to the counseling of ministers and pastoral counseling by ministers; however, the general principal of concern for the client will apply in any astrological reading. Basic Types of Pastoral Counseling, by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr. (Abbington Press 1966) describes various models of counseling, common elements in all types of counseling and suggestions on increasing skill in counseling. In broad general sense, the astrologer may translate the suggestions for purposes of increasing his own sensitivity with the client. Helping the Helpers to Help, by Ruth B. Chaplain (Seabury Press, 1972) describes a project designed to assist ministers in their counseling relationships.

One of the major themes is the need for skill on the part of the Consultant in helping the counselor to identify the underlying causes of problems he in turn may help his counselor to identify for himself. In short, both these texts are excellent in suggesting ways to develop a 'style' of comments that is most productive. There is a certain sense of frustration on the part of the authors that professional help is not available for responsible astrologers to develop such skills within their own science--that one must appeal to other sciences for a high degree of professional excellence since no one has assumed this responsibility within the field of astrology.

It is our firm belief that all astrologers should be keenly aware that the majority of people who come to astrologers at this time are bouncing on the bottom of the barrel for advice and the obvious corollary is that they are emotionally completely defenseless. The total lack of education and sound professional training of the vast majority of so-called professional astrologers completely disqualifies them from being any real help at all. The balance of this article will deal with some ideas that will perhaps stimulate study in these areas by serious students.

In all modes of communication between human beings, data flows through one set have preconceived ideas (stereotypes) into the preconceived ideas of the recipient. One hears data--the data are filtered through his attitude towards the person giving the data (client just curious; or in awe of the astrologer, or demanding, dependent upon his authority and instruction. The giver of data tends to adjust the level of input to his stereotype of the receiver. Example: Astrologer giving what he considers his professional reading on the level he thinks the client is demanding. In actual matter of fact, what is said and what is heard or read are most often very different messages.

Another source of supportive and reinforcing data (the sort which is invaluable to the cancer patient) is in terms of analyzing his performance.

In the case of the patient who simply forgets his appointment (afflicted Neptune thinking)--helping him to identify what may have caused his forgetfulness tends to reinforce the ability to correct or improve the behavior. For instance, if it is pointed out to the client that the Neptunian influence may be something he needs to recognize and deal with positively, he then may be able to change his behavior in a contraceptive effort toward improving his condition. The astrologer may be aware of conditions, which tend to reward destructive or inadequate behavior or performance. If, as Dr. Simonton suggests the patient is on a regimen of meditative exercises but simply forgets to meditate and instead engages in other activities which are superficially rewarding he in fact rewards himself for inadequate concern for his health rather than its progressive improvement. Astrology is the tool used to reveal these destructive unconscious trends of thinking in the unconscious mind. When combined with the techniques of behavioral science, the benefit to the client may life-saving.

In order to simplify a rather complicated theory let us view the individual in four broad, general areas. One is the obvious, what the individual knows about himself and other people can see and know about him. The astrologer learns about the client; what the client is willing to reveal as well as information about his life-style and environment. He may be driving an Alfa Romeo or arrive for his appointment on foot. His clothing is costly or shabby, neat or haphazard. His personality, at face value, is also revealed in terms of being outgoing and happy, or, perhaps, reserved and conservative of speech etc. The astrologer is of course, aware that such behavior may be the result of mood or circumstance rather than what the birth chart would reveal as 'expected' behavior. These are things that are observed openly. Other information about the client--his response to the situation, his problems, joys, hopes, aspirations--is what the client feels comfortable about revealing or what he chooses to reveal.

The second is the internal or hidden area, the area in which the client is unwilling or unable to share with the astrologer. The client is well aware of this area of his personality, but for whatever reasons, keeps this side of him secret. A typical situation might be in the case of an obese middle-aged woman who is unwilling to admit that she had longed to be a ballerina and even now is frustrated about never having that desire fulfilled. She may fear that her obvious overweight and age the astrologer to laugh at her, or at the least make, her seems if she revealed this side of herself. Her sense of being ridiculous compels her to keep this part of herself hidden. This second area is one in which the client may work by himself, using the information and comments given by the astrologer in other areas.

The third area--which is the most important one in which the Astrologer can be constructively effective if he has done his homework in a scholarly manner and with a high standard of excellence--is the one in which the client is able to learn those things about himself that he has no means of discovering without 'feedback.' This is information revealed in the Birth Chart; information which is clearly outlined for the astrologer and which his professional responsibility requires be imparted to the client--in the most positive and useable ways--ways which allow the client to identify strengths, circumvent weak areas by positive, constructive thought patterns and activities.

It is this third area in which our premise--that without feedback on his behavior or performance the individual tends to feel insecure and unvalued, tends to become ill or ineffective--is of major importance to the professionalism of the astrologer. This is the area in which the highest possible professional contribution of the science may be applied--providing feedback which is unavailable by any other means.

The astrologer is also helpful in the fourth area--that area which is unknown to the client and to anyone else, the area of hidden potential. What specific events of life will be and the demands made within them on the client may not be immediately identifiable. However, a good deal of reinforcement can be given, perhaps stored up for future use, by outlining the strengths or obstacles revealed in the birth chart, from what strong positive signs he can draw energy and power in times of need and reinforce constructive direction, or counter negative or destructive tendencies.

The purpose of feedback is to give information, which is helpful in clarifying for the client, his areas of strength, his hidden areas of possible self-destructiveness , etc. Just telling the client what tendencies are indicated in his birth chart is not always helpful; there can be input how to work with and use those tendencies which will enable him to cope with present situations.

As in the example of the lung cancer patient who persists in his habit of smoking while the physician and the astrologer may have tried to work together to enhance his depth of meditation and mental activity to counteract the disease he may be so deeply entrenched in his habitual attitude of careless reliance on luck and circumstances to take care of events that he does not 'hear' nor comprehend the importance of the advice being given. If, on the other hand, the 'feedback' from the astrologer gives an ~ analysis of this unrewarding (for health purposes) performance by emphasizing that the Jupiter thought-cells can be directed to express through constructive avenues and thus use up their energies to the benefit of the client, he then has some directive information with which to combat the self-destructive behavior

Feedback can be solicited or unsolicited. Generally, when the client asks for feedback, he really wants to hear it and chances are will use it constructively When the astrologer gives unsolicited feedback, it must be remembered that it is only helpful when it is heard by the client as helpful. Negative feedback is generally tuned out and forgotten. Unless it points out some undesirable behavior plus a description of some means of directing it constructively.

Feedback should be based on observable data. If the astrologer makes the comment to our hypothetical patient, "You should probably take some vitamins" that really is not feedback. If, instead, the astrologer says, Saturn always works through deficiency (observable data). In your situation a wide variety of proteins, minerals and vitamins will help fill that void." The client then has a cause and effect relationship upon which to check his performance and his progress.

Feedback is descriptive rather than evaluative. For instance, in the known tendency of afflictions to Saturn and Jupiter to give an acid blood stream-- such information should be given as descriptive not evaluative of the client's condition. In addition, feedback should be checked out often--in the case of an on-going relationship with the client who is ill, reinforcement of positive behavior can be given through restating the preferred behavior patterns and sources of positive energy. The logic to this is the patterns in the birth chart rule mental attitude or thinking. These patterns are the mold of observable behavior. If observable behavior is changed, the reverse leverage changes the thinking patterns and the future of the individual is altered.

In conclusion, our premise is if astrology is to attain the status of a science it must follow the developmental patterns of the other sciences. As the other sciences at certain times in the past have blocked matrices or a lack of viable theory with which to test in the physical universe. Newtonian physics, relativity, geocentric, heliocentric universe, etc. so the study of astrology connected to the theory of behavioral science enables the astrologer to engage a theory that can be tested on his material. This theory is the observable fact that with evaluative feedback on performance and descriptive feedback on condition people tend to feel valued and secure; that without such feedback people tend to feel threatened and apprehensive. Astrology can provide this feedback when given by well trained professionals.