When it comes to modeling real-life phenomena for astrological research, earthquakes are one of the most widely studied.
And why not? After all, the exact time, place, and day are known as well as the strength of the effect (in magnitude).
However, a mapping of earthquake strength to solar system events has proven to be elusive, not to be dramatic, but until now.
Inspired by this Kaggle post, I decided to try my hand at this perhaps age-old problem, and I found that yes, earthquake magnitude correlates with the moon phase at the time of the event. (Moon phase has been looked at quite often but not with the model I will present today.)
First off, I went to https://earthquake.usgs.gov for the earthquake data. (Thanks to Joe Ritrovato for the link.)
I wanted to look particularly at all earthquakes of any depth between Jan 1, 1975 and Jan 1, 2005. Those years were chosen, because a uniform seismograph was finally used through out the world by the mid-1970's, and hydraulic fracturing with its associated quakes was not yet in widespread practice. The search was further restricted to earthquakes of magnitude greater than 5.5, following this system of what counts as a serious earthquake. (Some lower limit to the magnitudes was necessitated by the search limit on the USGS site.)
Here is what my search looked like (be sure to also choose earthquakes only below the fold):
And here is what you will see if you press enter:
If you first choose for the output to be in .csv (spreadsheet) form, then you will get this file:
With this data, we can test a model of how moon phases may correlate with earthquake magnitudes.
Here is my model.
My task was to assign these 8 basic shapes a ranking from one to eight. But how to do that?
My thinking is that the new Moon in Vedic astrology is considered a very malefic influence (malefic is a technical term), and so, I shall assign it the 8. Conversely, the Full Moon is the most benefic, and so, it shall be the 1. What about the other shapes? There is also a standard idea in Jyotish, Vedic Astrology, that the waning shapes are more capable of mischief than the waxing shapes.
So the model is very simple and straight from Jyotish but can be implemented by any observer.
So, what happens if we just set up a correspondence between Moon phase number (from the date for the earthquake) and the earthquake's magnitude?
Over the course of the thirty years of the study and 13,623 earthquakes, is there a correlation?
Yes, there is.
I used the Spearman's rho Rank Test for the group and found a correlation rho of 0.0252 (a measure of effect size) with a p-value of 0.00325.
There you go.
Calculations are below.
If you have the analysis software Mathematica and would like the notebook file itself, here is the download.
Perhaps you are someone who needs tactile data. If so, click to enlarge the earthquake magnitude counts for moon phases 1 to 8 below.
And please do confirm the results (or perform your own tests) with the following digested .csv which contains the date/time stamps of the earthquakes (all in UTC), followed for each by the moon phase ranking, and then the magnitude.
Finally, here is the box whisker plot. The mean diamonds are depicted in pink and show the subtle upward trend from left (1) to right (8). Medians are depicted by the white horizontal lines.
To conclude, a weak but highly statistically significant correlation was found between historic earthquake magnitudes and moon phase ranking. The ranking system has to do with beginner-level general astrological principles about which phases cause the most trouble.
While more work is needed, here a basic scientific hypothesis that has stood unanswered for millennia finally gets to rest its feet for a bit. I am grateful for this sweet birthday present.
I decided to test a recent theoretical development of how football game winners can be seen in the day, place, and starting time of the event.
Accordingly, my assistant drew up a table of all Super Bowls so far and their event information.
I then drew up each chart and made a prediction. These were then checked against the real winners.
I should preface by saying that I am a football agnostic. I do not know much about football, only watching socially for a few minutes here and there and receiving the good-natured teasing of friends for knowing so little.
I want to admit that I have seen some games at some times, enough to develop the model, yet I feel I can judge these past charts fairly, truly without any a priori knowledge of the winner.
Thirty five out of forty five Super Bowls were evaluated correctly. (Five early Super Bowls did not have recorded start times available.)
Final 2-sided p-value is 0.0002.
To do this project even more fairly, I would recommend the following:
Astrological research is presently a tough row to hoe.
There is no money in it, and my clients actually don’t like it.
They ask me why I do it. These are intelligent well-educated people, but they tell me they come to astrology because they are sick of science. ("One year coffee is good for you, one year it is bad for you…")
The work of astrological science is lonely, scary, and frustrating and really tough on me physically.
I do it instead out of love, out of passion, out of honestly wanting to know the answer.
That is why I say it is a hobby for me. I think that is a good thing.
I went to college full-time at fifteen, actually being able to emancipate based on my scholarship stipend. Some of my friends were getting PhDs at that age from schools like Harvard and Princeton.
One thing united us in order to work so hard and give up so much, so young. We all shared an immense personal love for science, actually being in love with Mother Nature Herself.
Then, 5 or 10 years later, we all made it into the profession, the industry, of science, and we almost all dropped out.
Research into fundamental astrology returns my gaze back to Mother Nature, and it is that worship which is really why I do it, and yet I certainly do keep all the numbers real. You must, to get really close to Her.
So, even though I do a particular methodological approach which is very big data and AI oriented, using pretty advanced mathematics, I do it for intensely personal reasons, and actually as an artistic expression, I feel.
The methodologies that I would like to see at large in the future of astrology research would be ones that would speak to our fact-based culture as a whole, and maybe along the way, some money could be sent toward astrological researchers, because a need of society at large is met, some pressing practical societal need is answered.
Richard Feynman once said: “People who wish to analyse nature without using mathematics must settle for a reduced understanding.”
So, I think we have to increase our mathematics chops, even if we are doing hermeneutics, perhaps learning from all the good work happening in the digital humanities in the past decade.
We also have an opportunity to go beyond what even regular science provides society, and that is to do our work with love, for love.
It is not just an opportunity, it is a necessity, for astrology is and we are psychology and medicine and football games and politics and money and families, everything altogether, and that is love. I know it is.
Remarks prepared for The Kepler Conference, 2017.
For presentation at The Kepler Conference for Astrological Research, Jan 2017.
Audio will be posted here afterwards as well as a full journal publication when it happens.