Astrologers unfazed by new planet plans
by Frederique Pris
PARIS (AFP) - Star signs and astrology charts -- relied on by millions as a key to divining the future -- would not be much affected if three new planets are added to the solar system, experts said.
Leading astronomers meeting in Prague are planning next week to add three new planets to the nine known to children around the world: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is proposing a new definition of the word "planet" to take into account recent scientific discoveries, notably of asteroids larger than distant Pluto, the smallest of the nine.
This would result in three new "pluton" planets being created: Pluto's moon Charon; the asteroid Ceres; and the so-called "object 2003 UB313", which was discovered in 2003 by an American astronomer and is unofficially called "Xena".
Sylvain Pech, an astrologer from the French city of Marseille, said the discovery of Xena "opens a door" since it is situated outside the orbit of Pluto, until now seen as "the deepest level of our collective psyche."
"It has got astrologers interested... but first we need to work out the meaning of its place within the solar system."
But he said the addition of the other two objects -- Charon and Ceres -- was of no special interest, the first forming part of Pluto's planetary system, and Ceres having been known to astronomers for a long time.
Adding three planets to the solar system "wouldn't change anything to the way I work," agreed Christine Haas, an astrologer for French radio station RTL and several French magazines.
She described astrology as a "very ancient method based on observations made again and again over thousands of years, using laws of analogy and correspondences."
In antiquity, she said, astronomers -- who were also astrologers -- observed parallels between what they saw taking place in the skies and on Earth.
"When Mars moved in front of the constellation of Aries, they observed an increase in aggressivity and conflicts," she said.
Pech explained how astrology maps correlations between the different parts of a human being and those of the solar system.
For instance the moon, Earth's closest satellite, is traditionally associated with the first moments of a person's life and as such is linked to impulsive behaviour.
Saturn, the furthest planet visible to the naked eye, is associated with ageing and death.
The planets located on the outer rim of the solar system -- Uranus, discovered in 1781, Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) -- are associated with the collective psyche, rather than the individual, Pech explained.
For Christine Haas, "we can even function without Uranus, Neptune and Pluto" -- the three most recent discoveries in the solar system.
Fundamentally, she said, "astrology is not a science but an art of interpretation".
"I may be an astrologer but I don't believe in the influence of the planets," she said, explaining that she "uses planets like a little mirror, to reflect an individual's subjectivity."
source: Yahoo News