Guide to Sources
Abstract -- The first half covers sources of information on scientific research into astrology (websites, journals, books), where to find references, the low standard of astrological sources, and the emergence of a scientific research base. Includes a figure showing growth of published research articles since 1930. The second half contains an annotated bibliography of 60 critical works and a brief guide to the bibliography. Since July 2013 the best single source of scientific information on astrology is the book Astrology under Scrutiny.
Coping with chaos
Try this: (1) Beware speculation. Select sources based on empirical research. This alone will eliminate most of the noise. (2) Beware single studies. One swallow does not make a summer. Look for overviews. (3) Beware dated overviews. Research has been so rapid that overviews of research findings made before 1990 tend to be dated and incomplete. (4) Beware suspect topics. Astrologers tend to rush into complex topics such as health without first checking the viability of simple topics such as being reserved. Beware running before walking.
In each case the articles on this website will help. For those new to research the best non-technical place to start on this website is the long Phillipson interview of researchers under Tests of Astrology. If you are doing a project on astrology, see also Projects under Overviews & Sources (this article also refers to the list below). If you need references, see next section but one.
Science-based websites, journals, books
Websites have a long way to go before they replace existing books, and even further before they replace existing journals. Even so, the sites listed in Links under Adroit Utilities on the home page will still overwhelm you with dozens of articles and hundreds of references. Most of these are dated or incomplete and should be used with caution.
Journals are a problem. Many studies are reported in journals rarely kept in university libraries and can be difficult to find. Entering the keyword "astrol" into a computerised database such as PsycINFO or Medline will lead you to many studies, but not to the larger number of other (and often better) studies that exist. Until the necessary information becomes available online, which may never happen, its retrieval is possible only by personal visits to large astrology collections. On the other hand, nobody should chase after journals unless thay have first read the overviews available in recent books and on this website.
Science-based books on astrology can be hard to find, albeit less so
than journals, see below under List of Critical Sources. This is in
striking contrast to the abundance of astrological literature in
general, whose high quantity and low quality deserve comment, see next.
Astrological literature in general
There are also about 100 periodicals. For comparison there is a similar number of periodicals in parapsychology, about 300 in astronomy, and about 1000 in psychology. The median circulation for serious journals in astrology is about 1000, much the same as in parapsychology and half that for astronomy and psychology. At a popular level, most Western countries have large-circulation monthly magazines that sell roughly 1 copy for every 1000 people. Orthodox top sellers such as Better Homes and Gardens sell roughly 1 copy for every 50 people.
Low standards prevail
Thus astrologers tend to agree on the importance of planets, if not always on the symbolism behind their meanings, but that is all. There is disagreement on the factors to include (signs, houses, aspects, midpoints, nodes, parts, harmonics, hypothetical planets, asteroids, progressions, directions, the list is seemingly endless), on what kind (there is more than one system of signs, of houses, of aspects, of progressions, and so on), and on their interpretation (methods range from strict rules to anything goes). There is not even agreement on what charts can indicate -- previously accepted things like outer behaviour are now eschewed in favour of inner dispositions. To debunk astrology you need only compare enough astrology books with each other.
But don't take our word for it
"The impression cannot be denied that anybody who has read a book or two [on astrology] feels qualified to set forth his own system... The result is no editorship, no discrimination, no perspective." Lori Wallace, astrologer and book reviewer, in Astrology Now, June 1976, page 8.
"I think it would not be unfair to term this [astrology] literature a nightmare." Carl Sargent, parapsychologist, in Hans Eysenck: Consensus and Controversy, edited by S and C Modgil, Falmer Press, Lewes 1986 page 350.
"Anyone used to reading books on or around our subject must have a mind which positively aches with the effort of keeping it open: a reader put off by non sequiturs, evidence which isn't evidence at all, irrationality and eccentricity will not get halfway along the first shelf [at any astrology bookshop]." Derek Parker, astrology scholar and writer, in Astrological Journal 1991, pages 264-265.
As for research, "It appears to be an unwritten article of faith ... that all improvements are welcome so long as the complacent surface of tradition is not disturbed." Donald Bradley, astrologer and researcher, in Profession and Birthdate, Llewellyn, Los Angeles CA 1950, page 10.
"Very little attention is given to quality research; most of the emphasis is on speculative traditional ideas which are accepted uncritically without question." Richard Nolle, astrologer, book reviewer and researcher, in Critical Astrology: Investigating the Cosmic Connection, AFA, Tempe AZ 1980, page 10.
"After many decades of work it is clear to me that astrologers have no intention of putting their house in order. They have no interest in research unless it confirms what they already accept and use, or unless it requires no additional effort or supplies, or unless it emanates from a time period when the Earth was assumed to be flat and the center of the universe." T Patrick Davis, astrologer and researcher, in Dean & Mather (2000), Dead End, on this website under Sun Signs
Emergence of a research base
The same year saw the first astrological software for home computers. A birth chart that could take hours to calculate by hand now took only seconds. Astrological practice and research would never be the same again. Accordingly, when the research base provided by the above critical review appeared, it led to a minor explosion in critical books, research journals, groups and studies. Today the above numbers of empirical studies are over 400 in astrology journals and over 100 in psychology journals. The figure below shows the number of research articles published every five years in Correlation, in the now-defunct Astro-Psychological Problems published by Francoise Gauquelin, and in the journals abstracted by PsycINFO and Medline, through 2004.
The typical research article shown in the figure tends to be a discussion or a historical essay rather than an actual test of astrological claims, and overall the proportion of empirical studies (shown in black) averages only about 30%. The totals of all research articles for the three sources are about 200, 200, and 550 respectively, of which empirical studies are about 100, 60, and 120.
The following 60 titles include the more important or more recent books and the occasional journal article, but generally excluds works in languages other than English. A brief guide to these sources appears at the end. For websites see Links under Adroit Utilities on the home page. We welcome suggestions for inclusion.
Ankerberg J & Weldon J (1989). Astrology: Do the Heavens Rule Our Destiny? Harvest House, Eugene OR 97402, 334 pages with 356 references but no index. Powerful and very readable critique by Bible scholars who have done their homework (the Christian perspective does not intrude). Many useful quotes, all referenced to the exact page.
Benski C et al (1996). The Mars Effect: A French test of over 1000 sports champions. Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, 157 pages but no index. These negative findings by skeptics were later found to be unsoundly based, the study being too likely to miss an actual effect. Includes a critical commentary by JW Nienhuys.
Blackmore S & Hart-Davis A (1995). Test Your Psychic Powers: Find Out the Truth for Yourself. Thorsons, London. Sets out simple experiments for testing sun sign columns and nine other paranormal areas (telepathy, crystals, dreams, dowsing, pendulums, premonitions, psychokinesis, ouija boards, and palmisty) that you might find more appealing! Blackmore was then a leading skeptic and investigator of the paranormal.
Boyd A (1996). Dangerous Obsessions: Teenagers and the occult. Marshall Pickering, London, 250 pages with 350 references. Surveys over 500 young people in Britain and finds that dabbling in the occult can lead to trauma and abuse. Astrology (pages 20-26) is no exception.
Brau JL, Weaver H, & Edmands A (1980). Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. McGraw-Hill, New York, 308 pages. Included here as an example of how even a prestigious publisher can be one-sided. The work is an excellent general-purpose coverage of history, methods, interpretation, calculations, and biographies, but has almost nothing on research or research findings. You would never know research existed.
Burns JT (1997). Cosmic Influences on Humans, Animals, and Plants: An Annotated Bibliography. Scarecrow Press, Lanham MD. Over 300 studies, amny of them once cited as evidence for astrology, are individually summarised. The next best thing to reading the original studies, many of which are hard to find. The author is Professor of Biology at Bethany College and a former Executive Director of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles.
Carroll RT (2003). The Skeptics Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. John Wiley, New York. Over 400 essays on pseudosciences and how to think critically about them. Also available online, see Links under Adroit Utilities on the home page. The author is Professor of Philosophy at Sacramenta City College.
Cazeau CJ & Scott SD (1979). Exploring the Unknown: Great Mysteries Reexamined. Plenum Press, New York. Astrology is on pages 225-237.
Cooper D (1974). The Gullibility Gap. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. Chapter 7. Fools by Heavenly Compulsion is on pages 93-109.
Correlation (1994 on). Crucial issues in astrology research: Is the scientific approach relevant to astrology? 1994, 13(1), 10-53. Some philosophical problems of astrology 1995, 14(2), 32-44. Theories of astrology including Jung's synchronicity 1996, 15(1), 17-52. Astrology and human judgement (cognitive and perceptual biases) 1998, 17(2), 24-71. All items are amply referenced. The first is a unique peer commentary involving 22 astrologers and 11 scientists modelled on the peer commentaries in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Back copies of Correlation can be purchased from The Astrological Association, Lee Valley Technopark, Tottenham Vale, London N17 9LN. Telephone (0208) 880-4848. http://www.astrologicalassociation.com. The scientific standards of Correlation declined sharply in 1999 and the journal is no longer a reputable source.
Couttie B (1988). Forbidden Knowledge: The Paranormal Paradox. Lutterworth Press, Cambridge UK. Astrology is on pages 68-72 (mostly lunar effects) and pages 73-79.
Culver RG & Ianna PA (1988). Astrology: True or False? A Scientific Evaluation. Prometheus Books, Buffalo NY, 228 pages with over 200 references. Minor update of the original 1979 version. A clear and very readable critique by astronomers, much useful information including test results, a classic survey of astrological prediction, and ten tests issued as a challenge to astrologers (no volunteers to date), but lacks the psychological perspective of Eysenck & Nias (1982). Concludes that astrology is neither scientifically sound nor scientifically useful.
Dean G (1992). Does astrology need to be true? In Frazier K (ed). The Hundredth Monkey and other paradigms of the paranormal. Prometheus Books, Buffalo NY, pages 279-319 with 126 references. Goes beyond the popular astrology of newspaper columns to examine the serious astrology of consulting rooms and learned journals. The answer to the title question is no.
Dean G (2002). Is the Mars effect a social effect? Skeptical Inquirer 26(3), 33-38, May/June 2002 with a follow-up in 27(1), 57-59, 65, Jan/Feb 2003. An abridged and more readable version of Dean's 2000 article "Attribution: a pervasive new artifact in the Gauquelin data", Astrology under Scrutiny Volume 13 [the first English issue of the Dutch research journal Astrologie in Onderzoek], 1-72, 300 references, with a long critique by Suitbert Ertel and a reply from Dean. Essential for followers of Gauquelin. An updated version is The Gauquelion work 2 under Gauquelin on the home page.
Dean G & Kelly IW (2000). Does astrology work? Astrology and skepticism 1975-2000. In Kurtz P (ed). Skeptical Odysseys: Personal Accounts by the World's Leading Paranormal Inquirers. Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, pages 191-207, ISBN 1-57392-884-4. Non-technical with 3 figures, 3 tables, conclusions for and against, and further reading. Reviews the progress of scientific investigations of astrology since 1975. Topics explored in the rest of the book (35 authors) include alternative medicine, claims of miracles, ESP, psychic phenomena, religion, and UFOs.
Dean G & Kelly IW (2003). Is astrology relevant to consciousness and psi? Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (6,7), 175-198. Tests of time twins and of astrologers showed no support for psi effects. 85 references. Available online at http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/Dean.pdf See also Star Wars under Objections to Scientific Research on the home page.
Dean G, Mather A, & 52 others (1977). Recent Advances in Natal Astrology: A Critical Review 1900-1976. Analogic, Perth Western Australia, 608 pages with 1010 references. Out of print but several copies are held by the library of the Astrological Association. Much is now very dated, and most of the positive findings have subsequently been overturned, so its value is now mainly historical. All the important studies are in Eysenck & Nias (1982).
Dean G, Kelly IW, Saklofske DH, & Furnham A (1992). Graphology and Human Judgment. In Beyerstein BL & DF (eds). The Write Stuff: Evaluations of Graphology. Prometheus Books, Buffalo NY, pages 342-396 with 175 references. The arguments apply equally to astrology. On pages 163-200 with 45 references is a most useful discussion by BL Beyerstein of sympathetic magic, again very relevant to astrology.
Dean G, Mather A & Kelly IW (1996). Astrology. In Stein G (ed). Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, pages 47-99 with 15 general references. A comprehensive scientific survey covering history, popularity, arguments for and against, conceptual problems, controlled tests, effect size comparisons, problems of birth chart interpretation, how belief in astrology arises, role of human judgement biasses, and the future of astrology. But at $US160 the encyclopedia is affordable only by libraries.
Dean G, Nias DKB, & French CC (1997). Graphology, astrology, and parapsychology. In Nyborg H (ed). The Scientific Study of Human Nature: Tribute to Hans J. Eysenck at Eighty. Pergamon, Oxford, pages 511-542 with 124 references. Surveys Eysenck's contributions to paranormal research.
Dean M (1980). The Astrology Game. Beaufort, New York, 360 pages with nearly 200 references. About one fifth is a useful critique of the pop astrology industry. The rest, now dated, tries to establish evidence for astrology. Predicts (wrongly) that a new astrology is being born.
Dunbar R (1995). The Trouble with Science. Faber & Faber, London. 213 pages with 205 references. A readable account of science vs anti-science by a professor oE psychology who is also a philosopher and biological anthropologist. No direct mention of astrology but is essential corrective reading for astrologers who knock science. The trouble with science is its success, and the fact that evolution has given us minds better able to socialise than cope with modern complexity. Anti-science is easier.
Eisler R (1946). The Royal Art of Astrology. Michael Joseph, London, 296 pages but no index. Mostly historical. A critique of British newspaper horoscopes and their writers is on pages 19-25.
Ertel S & Irving K (1996). The Tenacious Mars Effect. Urania Trust, London. Among other things it highlights the often dubious methods used by skeptics to discredit Gauquelin's uncomfortable findings.
Eysenck HJ & Nias DKB (1982). Astrology: Science or Superstition? St Martin's Press, New York, 244 pages with 230 references. Also in Penguin paperback but out of print. Best single source on research up to 1982 and possibly the easiest to obtain in public libraries. Clear, sympathetic and very readable critique by psychologists. Concludes that everything is negative except the Gauquelin results. Now somewhat dated but still valid, later research tends to be even more negative.
Flew A ed (1987). Readings in the Philosophical Problems of Parapsychology. Promethues Books, Amherst NY. 376 pages with 137 references. Scientists ask how and why? Philosophers ask so what? Philosophers spend almost no time on astrology even though the concepts postulated by astrologers, such as various ultimate realities, are very conducive to philosophical analysis. Until they write a book on the philosophical problems of astrology, this is the next best thing -- a readable anthology of 36 articles, some (eg on Plato, on Hume, on materialism, on analysing concepts) directly relevant to astrology.
Freedland N (1972). The Occult Explosion. Michael Joseph, London. Chapter 8. The Trouble with Astrology pages 106-123.
Fuzeau-Braesch S & Delboy H (1999). Comment dmontrer l'astrologie: Exprimentation et approches thoriques. Albin Michel, Paris. [How to validate astrology: experimental and theoretical approaches]. Includes many of the authors' results. Not yet examined by us.
Gallant RA (1974). Astrology: Sense or Nonsense? Doubleday, Garden City NY, 201 pages with many illustrations, glossary, index, and annotated bibliography of 12 works. The author is an astronomer and science writer. He concludes that "The subjective kind of truth astrology is after is not to be found in Galileo's telescope or in Pasteur's microscope, any more than the objective kind of truth science is after is to be found in the astrologers' horoscope" (p.168).
Gambrill E (1990). Critical Thinking in Clinical Practice: Improving the Accuracy of Judgements and Decisions about Clients. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. 432 pages, 660 references. How to reduce reasoning errors in psychology, medicine and the helping professions. Well organised, packed with information, many examples, a few references to astrology (but only to illustrate reasoning errors), each chapter has a summary. Equally applicable to astrology. Should be read by every astrologer. Updated edition, Jossey-Bass, 2003.
Gauquelin M (1979). Dreams and Illusions of Astrology. Prometheus Books, Buffalo NY, 158 pages with 125 references and notes but no index. Originally published in French 1969. Mostly a survey of Gauquelin's early non-positive results. Concludes that "since the most painstaking studies have shown the inanity of horoscopes, there should be a strong rising up against this exploitation of public credulity" (p.158).
Gauquelin M (1983). The Truth about Astrology. Basil Blackwell, London, 202 pages. The title was imposed by the publisher. Published in the USA as Birthtimes by St Martin's Press, New York. The best single source on the Gauquelin work but includes little on non-Gauquelin work and of course nothing on the important later developments. Also in Hutchinson paperback 1984. Details of sources occupy 15 pages.
Gauquelin M (1988). Written in the stars. Aquarian, Wellingborough UK, 256 pages with 70 references. A translation of excerpts from earlier French works, namely ~L'influence des astres~ (1955) and ~Les hommes et les astres~ (1960), together with an overview and brief update to 1988. Stands on its own and as a complement to the work above. 70 references.
Gauquelin M (1991). Neo-Astrology: A Copernican Revolution.~ Arkana Penguin, 193 pages. Wonderfully clear account of the forerunners, from Babylonian to Elizabethan times, of Gauquelin's planetary findings. There are remarkable correspondences. Gauquelin's last book before his death. Details of sources occupy 14 pages.
Heukelom W (ed) (2013). Astrology under Scrutiny. 364 pages with 249 figures. An updated and expanded version of the best research material on this website. For details and pictures see the last line on this website's home page.
Hines T (1988). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: A Critical Examination of the Evidence. Prometheus Books, Amherst NY. Astrology (along with lunar effects and biorhythms) is on pages 141-164. Now in a second revised edition 2003.
Holden JH (1996). A History of Horoscopic Astrology: From the Babylonian Period to the Modern Age. American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe AZ, 360 pages with a bibliography of 27 titles and 45 pages of index (2800 entries) allowing you to locate persons, publishers, topics, books and periodicals. Clear, readable, the only history to focus on technical developments, includes brief biographies of about one thousand individual astrologers. Indispensable for the serious researcher.
Jerome LE (1977). Astrology Disproved. Prometheus Books, Amherst NY. Argues that astrology is based on magical correspondences that do not exist. Superficial treatment now very dated.
Kanitscheider B (1991). A philosopher looks at astrology. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 18, 258-266. One of the few works where a philosopher gives astrology more than a passing look. Argues that the absence of a rational theory of astrology is irrelevant if people turn to astrology seeking not knowledge but sympathy and support.
Kelly IW, Culver R, & Loptson P (1989). Arguments of the astrologers. In Biswas SK, Malik DCV, & Vishveshwara CV (eds). Cosmic Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, New York, pages 207-231.
Kelly IW, Dean GA, & Saklofske DH (1990). Astrology: A Critical Review. In Grim P (ed). Philosophy of Science and the Occult. State University of New York, Albany NY, pages 51-81 with 78 references.
Leahey TH & Leahey GE (1983). Psychology's Occult Doubles: Psychology and the Problem of Pseudoscience. Nelson-Hall, Chicago. Astrology is on pages 32-42 with 8 references. For excerpts see 19.1 in the big
Martens R & Trachet T (1998). Making Sense of Astrology. Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, 276 pages with 140 references. A critique by two prominent Belgian skeptics. Looks in detail at each astrological idea (signs, houses, aspects, etc) and then at (some of) the empirical evidence. Includes important studies published since Eysenck & Nias (1982). Concludes that the final judgement "is without any doubt negative" and that, even so, astrology is unlikely to go away.
McGillion F (2002). Blinded by Starlight: The Pineal Gland and Western Astronomia. Xlibris, Tinicum PA (a print-on-demand service for self-published authors), 259 pages, index. Essentially a clear, very readable torrent of snippets based on nearly 300 scientific references to support the author's belief that the planets can affect us via the pineal gland. Main topics are magnetic, pineal, lunar, and season-of-birth effects on people. Ignores the experimental evidence against astrology and simply assumes there is something for the pineal to explain.
Neher A (1990). The Psychology of Transcendence, second edition. Dover, New York. A sympathetic and nontechnical look at a huge range of fringe beliefs in the light of the best findings in psychology and physiology. Neither pro nor con, the emphasis is on understanding as a way to avoid deception and maximise benefit. Shows how many supposed mysteries such as astrology (pages 229-243 and 310-311) have simple explanations, which does not detract from their value as a means of self-discovery. On pages 313-322 is a review of the anti-science arguments used by occultists and others untrained in scientific method. Over 850 references.
Nolle R (1980). Critical Astrology: Investigating the Cosmic Connection. American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe AZ. A guide to doing research into astrology. With examples, a critical discussions of four hot topics (prediction, harmonics, tropical signs, Mars and air disasters), and 140 references. No index and often misleading because now very dated. Author was a former book reviewer for Horoscope magazine.
Parker D (1970). The Question of Astrology: A Personal Investigation. Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 254 pages. Articulate, much useful inside information and social observations covering numerous countries.
Phillipson G (2000). Astrology in the Year Zero. London: Flare Publications. See http://www.flareuk.com. Explores key issues via interviews with astrologers and researchers. Includes a review of recent research findings, a look at human judgement errors, and a critical bibliography, all with expanded versions on this website.
Pottenger M ed (1995). Astrological Research Methods Volume 1. ISAR, PO Box 38613, Los Angeles CA 90038-8613, 466 pages. Not a critique but included here because it is the only available anthology of articles on research methods. Unfortunately there are frequent opposing views that are left unresolved, and there is no mention of human reasoning errors. But the authors include scientists as well as astrologers, quite a few articles convey the scientific spirit, and in general the anthology represents a major advance in astrological thinking. Huge index of often 100+ page numbers per entry leaves you to do all the work. A proposed Volume 2 on how to do research has been abandoned.
Rae AC (1992). Bluff Your Way in Astrology & Fortune Telling. Ravette Books, Horsham, West Sussex, 62 pages. A wonderfully cynical guide to being an expert without having to know or study anythng. Includes Chinese astrology, Tarot, I Ching, palmistry, and runes.
Sachs G (1998). The Astrology File: Scientific Proof of the Link between Star Signs and Human Behavior. Orion Books, London. Not a critique but included here because occasionally books appear that claim to validate sun signs. But in every case a critical examination has revealed mistakes and procedural blunders, of which this book is a best-selling example. The author uses samples of up to several millions of cases, which are so huge that even the most trivial of errors (for example, in matching the sample to controls) become enormously inflated in statistical significance. So his conclusions are misleading. Otherwise, the book is readable and well set out. For critiques that expertly reveal its mistakes and procedural blunders see Three critiques under Sun Signs on the home page.
Sagan C (1996). The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Random House, New York. Mentions astrology only in passing but is an excellent introduction to real-world critical thinking. The demon in the title refers to how, when darkness gathers, we tend to abandon rationality in favour of "habits of thought familiar from ages past".
Seymour P (2004). The Scientific Proof of Astrology: A scientific investigation of how the stars influence human life. Foulsham, Slough, 278 pages, no index. The book does not say so, but it is a reprint of Seymour's 1997 book The Scientific Basis of Astrology: Tuning to the music of the planets, also published by Foulsham. Clear, readable, but not a survey of experimental evidence for astrology, just Seymour's ideas on how magnetospheric resonance might explain the Gauquelin findings. His ideas necessarily require the Gauquelin findings to be real and not artifactual.
Seymour P (1988). Astrology: The Evidence of Science. Lennard, Luton, 200 pages, index, 77 references. Slightly revised edition 1990, Penguin Arkana. Clear, readable, wide-ranging, has more on the experimental evidence than his later books (above) but is still dominated by his magnetospheric ideas and is not a proper survey of the evidence.
Sladek J (1974). The New Apocrypha: A Guide to Strange Science and Occult Beliefs. Stein and Day, New York. Astrology is on pages 157-166.
Standen A (1977). Forget Your Sun Sign: An Outline of Antiastrology. Legacy Publishing, Baton Rouge LA, 135 pages with 33 references. Very readable, covers much more than sun signs, but now very dated. The author is a scientist who studied astrology "very thoroughly, and came out an antiastrologer. This book is to explain the reasons why." His reasons apply even more today.
Stewart JV (1996). Astrology: What's really in the stars. Prometheus Books, Buffalo NY, 156 pages 194 references. First two-thirds looks at early sources including Babylonian omen tablets (many photographs), the ancient Greeks, and Ptolemy. Rest is sketchy and lacking in detail.
Strohmer C (1988). What your Horoscope Doesn't Tell You. Tyndale, Wheaton IL. Followed in 1998 by a more detailed update America's Fascination with Astrology: Is it Healthy? Emerald House, Greenville SC. Very telling criticism by a former astrologer, but loses plausibility when it attributes astrology's dangers to evil spirits.
Thomen AA (1938). Doctors Don't Believe It. Dent, London. Astrology is on pages 283-290. The book is described by Lord Horder in his Introduction as the first critical work on health superstitions for nearly 300 years.
Van de moortel K (2002). Astro-Logics. Self-published, Ghent. 156 pages, 109 references. See http://www.astrovdm.com. A critical look at astrology by a leading writer of astrological software. Very readable and largely nontechnical. Reveals the disagreements and inconsistencies behind almost every kind of chart factor and argues that only research can get out of this mess. Gives a selection of research results, most of them negative, and some basic guidelines for doing research, but does not address human reasoning errors.
Wilson EO (1998). Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Knopf, New York. A sensitive, wide-ranging, and beautifully-written exploration of art, science, and religion in terms of consilience -- that the explanations of different phenomena most likely to survive are those that can be connected and proved consistent with one another. Astrology is mentioned briefly (pages 54, 228) as a pseudoscience built on faith in sympathetic magic, personally satisfying but with neither the ideas nor the means to contribute anything to a genuine unity of knowledge. The author is a renowned biologist and twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Brief guide to the annotated bibliography
Critical reviews that include meta-analyses (an efficient way of summarising many studies) and comparisons of effect sizes between astrology and other approaches are Kelly Dean & Saklofske (1990), Dean Mather & Kelly (1996), and Dean & Kelly (2000). The last is both concise and entertaining, and is perhaps the best overview to date of research findings for the general reader.
An important series of articles on crucial issues in research appeared in Correlation (1994 on) and are summarised in Four key topics under Doing Scientific Research on the home page.
Critiques of philosophical, religious or social aspects of astrology include Kelly and Krutzen (1983), Leahey & Leahey (1983), Kanitscheider (1991), and Dean (1992). Relevant also are Carroll (2003), Dunbar (1995), Flew (1987), Sagan (1996), and Wilson (1998). Reviews of the arguments of astrologers include Kelly Culver & Loptson (1989), and Dean Mather & Kelly (1996).
Descriptions of the Gauquelin work include Gauquelin (1983, 1988), Benski et al (1996), Ertel & Irving (1996), Burns (1997), and Dean (2002). The last covers crucial points missed by the others and is updated in The Gauquelin work under Gauquelin on the home page.
The reasoning errors and perceptual biasses that can underlie belief in astrology are briefly reviewed by Dean (1992) and in detail by Dean Kelly Saklofske & Furnham (1992), and Dean Mather and Kelly (1996). Also relevant are Dunbar (1995) and Sagan (1996). Corrective measures are reviewed by Gambrill (1990).
Recent critiques of the occult that cover astrology include Freedland (1972), Cooper (1974), Couttie (1988), Hines (1988), Neher (1990), and Carroll (2003).
There is of course an extensive and ongoing literature on the history of astrology, and a smaller one on its sociology, which are perhaps the only two areas of study that most academics would consider legitimate. For example ancient astrology (Baigent 1994, Barton 1994, Stewart 1996), medieval psychology (Kemp 1990), pre-19th century astrology (Tester 1987), 19th century astrology (Curry 1992), all of astrology (Campion 2006), and modern sociology (Parker 1970, Spencer 1998). Most of these works are not cited in the preceding list and are as follows:
Baigent M (1994). From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia. Penguin Arkana, 226 pages with 160 references.
Barton T (1994). Ancient Astrology. Routledge, London, 245 pages with 120 references.
Campion N (2006). What do astrologers believe? Granta Books, London, 112 pages with index and key references. Essentially a concise but very readable and quite excellent history of astrology. It highlights the various disagreements between astrologers over the years, and between astrology and science, albeit shrugging them off as disagreements and not something to be resolved.
Curry P (1992). A Confusion of Prophets: Victorian and Edwardian Astrology. Collins and Brown, London, 192 pages. Readable history of the main characters leading to the revival of astrology in the 1900s. Details of sources occupy 15 pages.
Kemp S (1990). Medieval psychology. Greenwood Press, New York.
Spencer N (2000). True as the Stars Above. Gollancz, London. A journalist examines the deep-rooted signifiance of astrology in the modern world. Marred by an ignorance of reasoning errors and the findings of research. 276 pages with a bibliography of 150 titles.
Tester SJ (1987). A History of Western Astrology. Ballantine Books, New York, 264 pages. A thorough survey from the Greeks to the 17th century. Valuable for the author's command of ancient Latin and Greek. Most pages have footnotes giving references. For those wishing to escape medieval detail, Gauquelin (1991) is better.