Gauquelin, Michel

Gauquelin, Michel

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Michel Gauquelin, a French researcher prominent for his statistical investigation of astrology, was born on November 13, 1928, in Paris. He received his doctorate in psychology and statistics from the Sorbonne. He and his wife, Françoise Gauquelin, provided the most rigorous scientific evidence for the validity of astrology, although their work departs from traditional astrology on certain points.

Investigating earlier statistical studies of astrology, the Gauquelins found them lacking proper controls and other elements of sound research. Beginning in 1949, they collected birth data on thousands of people from records across Europe and analyzed natal planetary positions with respect to such factors as profession and personality. Their most celebrated discovery was that for specific professions—particularly for writers, sports champions, and scientists—the positions of certain planets were found in statistically significant patterns. The planet Mars, for instance, was often found to be near the horizon or near the meridian of the birth charts of sports champions (the so-called Mars effect). The horoscopes of eminent scientists exhibited a similar pattern with respect to the planet Saturn; the writers’ with respect to the Moon.

The Gauquelins’ studies have withstood repeated attacks, and replications of their research by others have verified the original findings. Through their laboratory they published a complete record of their research, which filled 23 volumes. They also published numerous short works, including The Cosmic Clocks (1967), The Scientific Basis of Astrology (1969), Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior (1973), and Birthtimes: A Scientific Investigation of the Secrets of Society (1983). To avoid professional prejudice against them, the Gauquelins tended to discuss their findings in terms of “cosmic genetics,” “planetary heredity,” or “cosmobiology.”

Because the Gauquelins’ work differs in many respects from traditional astrology, astrologers tend to refer to it as neoastrology. The significance of their work is such that no research validating astrology is more frequently cited. Michel Gauquelin died in Paris on May 20, 1991.

Sources:

Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: Plume, 1980.
“In Memoriam: Michel Gauquelin—November 13, 1928-May 20, 1991.” Astroflash (Summer 1991): 9–10.