Psychology departments may want to offer modules on the Gauquelin work, which was a topic of major controversy in the last decades of the 20th century. The material here is offered as complementary to the excellent pages on the French CURA website. This site aims to have a special focus upon the uploading of the Gauquelin-databases onto a home computer. This is basically a quite new situation - nearly all of the published debate hitherto has been by people lacking that ability. The main professional groups went up onto the CURA website in 2009, and then have been re-cast into a more easily-uploaded form in 2014 (by Derek Norcott, UK), which Patrice Guinard then kindly added onto his CURA page.
Students now are able to evaluate the data themselves, in a manner that was not available to an earlier generation of astro-researchers. This website is not concerned to advocate any particular view or conclusion. It aims to make relevant data available, as fully as possible, and thereby promote informed debate.
Is human fate linked to the heavens above? If so, can statistics show this? We here endeavour to reactivate the greatest astrology-research project ever conducted, in a 21st-century context.
(IMPORTANT NOTE Some files generated by the hyperlinks below require picture, Word, or spreadsheet software to load.)
1a. The Gauquelins at a UK astrology-research conference, chaired by Charles Harvey. Left, close-up of Françoise Gauquelin. (Copyright: anyone wishing to use these images should seek permission from the UK's Astrological Association.)
Photo of Françoise Gauquelin from Geofrey Dean's article in Correlation 26(1)
I would argue that the ground-breaking research of French statistician Michel Gauquelin provides us with compelling evidence for the existence of meaning in our world.
~ Ray Grasse, The Waking Dream, Unlocking the symbolic language of our lives, 1996, p.266
For nearly forty years, contrary to what skeptics claimed, the Gauquelins had been right. They had found a replicable planetary connection that was also independently replicable by others.
~ Dean and Smit, Astrology Under Scrutiny, 2013, p.128.
The Gauquelins have no way of proving that they did not cheat
~ Georg Abell, 'The Mars Effect', Psychology Today 16(7) 8-13
The evidence for the Mars Effect is better than for most of the 'facts' you will encounter in your psychology textbooks
~ Hans Eysenck, Correlation 15(1) 1995: Review of The Tenacious Mars-effect, p.54.
I have read all the criticisms...and I do not think any of these criticisms remain. At the moment this data stands as absolutely impregnable...which does not mean one cannot improve certain aspects of the work.
~ Hans Eysenck, Report of the 2nd World Congress of Astrology, Lucerne, Switzerland:Correlation,1984, 4(1) p.4.
Both those who are for and against astrology (in the broadest sense) as a serious field for study recognise the importance of Gauquelin's work. It is probably not putting it too strongly to say that everything hangs on it.
~ Arthur Mather, Zetetic Scholar 1979 Issues 3&4
A journey of discovery awaits those on both sides of the astrological divide who can put aside their hopes, fears and notions of what ought to be and who can instead look at what is.
~Ken Irving, in The Tenacious Mars-Effect, Ertel & Irving, 1996, p.vii.
The following is intended as a helpful giuide to the controversies. Firstly, here are all of the articles on the subject that have been published in these seven journals: Astro-Psychological Problems (edited by Françoise Gauquelin) Correlation, The Humanist, The Journal of Scientific Exploration, Leonardo, The Skeptical Inquirer and the Zetetic Scholar.
1b Gauquelin-related journal articles, letters & news-reports. (.docx format)
1c Ertel's Gauquelin-related publications with summaries (.docx format) kindly sent by him
1d A detailed Chronology of the Events (.docx format) from a US viewpoint (by Jim Lippard)
1e Image of G-sectors (with kind permission from Geoffrey Dean) showing the two out of twelve Key Sectors (1&4), compared with the eight out of 36 as an alternative division.
1f Jigsaw Astrology Research software offers a comprehensive range of tools. Click here for more information. The Cura site offers .DAT files that can be imported and work with Jigsaw. Click here (.docx format) for how to upload data from tbe CURA site, using the Jigsaw program.
This data-set was kindly sent by Mark Pottenger, as used in his CCRS computer program around 1990. (He prepared this, after the Gauquelin data had all been re-checked using the ACS (Astro-computing Services) computer and converted into digital form, in the 1980s by Neil Michelson and Tom Shanks in California).
The data here gives the main professional groups, as the Gauquelins published them, with frequencies for all planets both observed and expected (i.e. 'control' values) for all of the 12, 18 and 36-fold divisions of the diurnal circle, i.e 'Gauquelin sectors'.
This data is probably the best possible source for the expected planetary scores in Key Sectors, and used what Mark Pottenger called his 'Astro-demographic' frequency method. It covers the nine different Gauquelin professional groups, with two text files for each of these. These give the expected (e) and observed (s) values for the eminent actors (1409), sports champions (2088), journalists (675), military (3046), musicians (1248), painters (1472), politicians (1002), scientists (3643) and writers (1352).
2b Graph of expected frequencies for the twelve G-sectors for four planets
2c Expected frequencies for five planets, summing the two Key Sectors 1+4, as a percentage of the total groups: for six professional groups: Actors, sports champions, military, painters, scientists and writers. These are the chance-expected levels using M.P.'s 'astro-demographic' method.
3a Professor Suitbert Ertel compiled a huge collection of eminent sports champions (n=4391). Its composition was explained by him in 1988 in his article 'Raising the Hurdle for the Athletes' Mars Effect' Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 2,1 pages 58-65.
Ertel has here included all of the eminent champions as published, by MG and others (n=2888), plus also the less famous sportsmen, unpublished, whose birthdata was held in Michel Gauquelin's Laboratoire in Paris (n=1503): the column with P or published, U for unpublished distinguishes these.
The note '3c' explains column headings, eg the number of citations he found for each name, and the Mars-sector scores. This large database does NOT give the required information to enable a computer program to score planets in Key Sectors as it lacks spatial co-ordinates. One can reference the different groups here included by first sorting the data in '3b' (.dbf format) according to the first column.
The 'Libre Office' program is here convenient, or else MS Excel.
3d Ertel graphed all published versus unpublished Gauquelin sports data (JSE, 1988,2,1). This may still shock us today, and shows how all the accusations of cheating began.
3e is the collection of sports champions (.dbf format) published by the Belgian Para Comité in 1976, (n=535), which can be extracted from Ertel's data-set by using the column 'PARA'.
Two databases exist from the French sceptics CFEPP report on sports champions, (The Mars Effect, 1996, Benski), one larger than the other: n=1120 and n=1066), both here available.
4a and 4b The two databases (in .csv format). Ten columns here used are: name of sports champion, year, month, day, hour, minute of birth, place, timezone, latitude and longitude. The smaller data-set was alluded to in the Benski report, while the larger one was discussed by Jan Nienhuys only after its publication, as being more complete, and also error-corrected.
4c Plot of Mars in G-sectors for the 1120 data. Overall there was an excess in the 1st quarter.
4d This pre-1920 data (n=363) showed the classic 'Gauquelin effect'.
4e A 24 hour bar-chart of the data shows the great midnight-hour deficit, which is normal in Gauquelin data-sets.
In the opening words of its first chapter, the French 'Benski Report' presented its categorical-negative conclusion:
"The CFEPP has concluded a study based on more than a thousand athletes in order to assess Michel Gauquelin's "neo-astrological" theory. This study does not support Gauquelin's theory and it shows no evidence of any influence whatsoever of Mars on the birth of athletes."
5a For this data-set (.txt), here are some helpful comments from Ertel:
The source of collection is given as either Mueller or Mueller_nur, this means only Mueller collected the sportsmen. If Mueller alone (without nur) this means no overlap with Gauquelin's earlier collection. Mueller Gauq means Mueller and Gauquelin collected this sportsman.
The planetary positions were calculated by Mueller. The abbreviations are SU_, MO_, MA_, VE_, JU_, SA_. Using a 36-fold division, '2' refers to the eight G-sector positions 36,1,2,3, 9,10,11,12; 1 or zero are all the others.
Stb_dat means the death date.
I do not remember what electdat and electage was.
G_Nr was the number of the athlete in Gauquelin`s publication
5b Graph of the physicians data, from JSE. Published in 2000, this graph summarised a major independent replication of the G-effect, both for Saturn and for Mars: 'The Mars Effect is Genuine' (JSE 14,3) by Irving and Ertel. The German psychology professor Arno Muller had himself co-authored the study with Ertel in 1994, which we have only seen in the rather limited-circulation hard-bound Astro-Forschungs Daten1994 as '1083 Members of the French Académie de Médecine.' Gauquelin's first publication L'Influence des Astres (1955) featured data from a 1939 historical directory of the prestigious Paris Académie de Médecine, and Muller used a later 1972 volume of that directory for his replication.
Figures 6a and 6b: Physicians and painters
In his first publication (1955), MG showed how diurnal Mars for 576 members of the Paris Academy of Medicine and diurnal Saturn for 906 eminent painters gave fourfold patterns, that were out of phase. The painters gave minima for Mars in the Key Sectors whereas physicians gave maxima for Saturn (L'Influence des Astres, pp.113, 183).
MG's Eureka Moment
In 1983 MG described how:
Then the breakthrough came when a close friend, who was very interested in my projects of astrological analysis, showed me a work called the 'Index des Membres, Correspondents et Associés de l'Académie de Médicine. Having (painfully) worked out by hand the position of the planets at the hour of birth of each doctor, I made a statistical compilation of my findings.
Suddenly, I was presented with an extraordinary fact. My doctors were not born under the same skies as the common run of humanity. They had chosen to come into the world much more often during roughly the two hours following the rise and culmination of the planets, Mars and Saturn. Moreover, they tended to 'avoid' being born following the rise and culmination of the planet Jupiter.
~MG, The Truth about Astrology, 1983, pp.20-21.
The date for this insight was supplied by Françoise Gauquelin:
'His [MG's] first significant results, after years of disappointing outcomes with various astrological theories, showed up in 1951 with 576 French Academicians of Medicine.'
~FG, Astro-Psychological Problems, September 1992, p.27.
Over the years, the Gauquelins collected tens of thousands of birthcharts of parents and children, for their 'Heredity' project, from hospitals around Paris. See here (PDF) for the thirteen different documents, (eight of them published), put up onto the CURA website. This came from a collaboration between Francoise Gauquelin (1929 - 2007) and Patrice Guinard. Earlier, synastry data which amounted to 20,916 parent pairs was posted up (scroll down on the CURA-Gauquelin page to Married Couple data): that group was formed by removing single-parent families and child birthdata, leaving only the couples.
Now, the data for each mother, father and their eldest child has here been combined onto the same line of the database. The different Gauquelin sources of this data have been designated A-M in the first column, to enable data-checking.
The data is in three sections (.txt), here labelled as 'Mom', 'Dad' and 'Kid'. The third of these has a column 'S' or 'D,' for Son / Daughter. We avoid the Gauquelin / Cura notation of 'F' and 'M' which caused confusion between Father / Mother and female / male.
This was done with assistance from Ray Murphy in Adelaide who set up the mother-father pairs of data; Kyösti Tarvainen who has published several studies on this complete synastry-data-set, one with special reference to the eldest child; and then programmer Sven H. provided technical assistance to establish a fault-free selection of the father-mother pairs and eldest child on an Excel database.
This is the world's best synastry database.
The columns give first a sequential number 1-20916 with male or female; then, day, month, year, hour, minute, timezone, latitude and longitude; repeating this for partner and for eldest child.
If any 'Heredity' effect really exists - as the Gauquelins argued for thirty years, as Michel affirmed in two books on the subject, and as too did Francoise in her APP Journal, while others such as Suitbert Ertel (1932 - 2017) were sceptical - then there should be no better data than here presented for evaluating the matter.
The data here given in tabulated text form, can be opened up onto an Excel spreadsheet, and each of the three data-sections separately can go into an astrology program eg Solar Fire, whereby columns of planetary longitudes or house positions etc can be generated for use in synastry research.
Some of the times in the CURA data are given as 24 hours - eg 24 hours, 20 mins, which will not generally work in astrology programs, so these have here been converted to zero hours, adding on one day. The 24-hour times adjusted were, giving the sequential number:
MOM DATA: 2324 => 24:00, 2421 => 24:00, 10717 => 24:00, 11103 => 24:20, 11900 => 24:05, 12231 => 24:20.
DAD DATA: 2554 => 24:00, 10614 => 24:05, 11445 => 24:35, 12059 => 24:05, 20231 => 24:20, 20253 => 24:15, 20309 => 24:00
KID DATA: 878 => 24:00
Some synastry results have been reported in this data, and let us hope that more research into this subject will take place. Thus,
1. Jan Ruis in 1993 analysed a subsection of this data Indication for a Role of Synastry Aspects in a Gauquelin-Sample of 2824 Marriages, Correlation, 12 (2) 20-43, with fairly negative or minimal results.
2. Kyösti Tarvainen reported in 2014 that husbands who had classical Venus-Saturn aspects in their chart were likely to be significantly older (some seventy days) than their partner: the Figure here plots the increment of age by orb; also, that those same aspects in either partner caused the birth of the first child to be delayed by a comparable amount (see Effects of Venus/Saturn aspects in marriages, Correlation 29(2) 2014, 7-14..)
3. N.K. in 2015 working with Ray Murphy found that certain synastry aspects were effectively present in the data: NK, The Chemistry of Attraction, The Astrological Journal, November 2015. The graph is here shown of the conjunction of her Sun and his Venus in married couples. For each gender, one can import these columns of data into Solar Fire as a text file (Utilities, Chart import/Export) and thereby transform them into .SFcht files. Then, exporting that as a text file (Open, Send, Export) it will give back a text file, with ecliptic longitudes of whatever planet has been selected.
The Gauquelins published a source-book on writers and journalists in 1971 - these hard-to-find volumes are now collector’s items. It subdivided the writers’ group, showing poets and imaginative writers.
We here give three sets of data, in text form suitable for a program such as Jigsaw or Sirius that will plot the convenient polar graphs that we are used to. The total group of writers as given on the CURA site adds up to 1352. It shows a large excess here of 30% - bigger than that for any other professional group - of Moon in the two key sectors. The Moon’s expected frequency here is just 2/12 or 1/6 which is 16.6% of the time - easy to calculate.
From the writers’ group, we separate out poets (download .dat file here) and novelists (download .dat file here)1, leaving a remainder of historians and writers on factual or philosophical topics (download .dat file here). The excess in the two Key Sectors is then:
Novelists (465) and the Moon + 42%
Poets (420) and the Moon + 31%
Factual authors (536) and Moon +23%
The graph for these eminent novelists shows a strong focus upon the MC position, or rather just after it (i.e., the 4th Gauquelin sector) – these are people whose profession depends upon imaginative fantasy.
For poets the Moon gave not quite so strong an effect (perhaps surprising), but with a more fourfold pattern. Combining the novelists and poets gives a remarkably high significance level of chi-squared at twenty. Oddly enough, Michel never spoke about this, or wrote about it – his largest effect! We here sense the traditional association of the Moon with the faculty of fantasy and reverie.
Both of these groups have Saturn-deficits of around 20% in key-sectors, as one might expect for these dreamy types, and these are significant taken together (Chi-square = 6); whereas, the remaining group of factual-historical writers, lacks any such Saturn deficit.
The Moon also turned up for politicians, but not so strong: data for a thousand eminent politicians had a lunar excess in Key Sectors of around 13%. Perhaps this also shows the weaving of imaginative fantasy?
1 The volume Series A, Volume 6 ‘Writers and Journalists’ by M&F Gauquelin, 1971 gives poets on pages 43-47 and novelists on pp.38-42. The birth-data given on the CURA page does not have names but it does specify the numbers, which are the same as given in this volume.
Thanks to Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom for collecting the material and drafting this section.