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Gauquelin, Michel (Roland) (1928-1991)

Gauquelin, Michel (Roland) (1928-1991)

French psychologist and writer who attempted to put astrology on a scientific basis through his special studies of correlation between personality and cosmic influences. Gauquelin was born November 13, 1928, in Paris and was educated at the Sorbonne, University of Paris (Ph.D., 1954). In 1954 he married Françoise Schneider, a science writer and psychologist, who collaborated with him on research and writing. Gauquelin served in the French Military Reserve (active duty, 1953-54) and attained the rank of lieutenant. He began practicing psychology and writing in 1956.

With his wife he established the Laboratory for Study of the Relations between Cosmic Rhythms and Psychophysiologics in Paris. In 1949, having found that previous quantitative studies in astrology lacked sufficient controls, the Guaquelins began collecting large pools of birth data and analyzed planetary positions in relation to various factors, especially career choice and performance. Among the statistically significant factors they discovered was a correlation between the position of Mars in the natal chart and success in sports. This correlation became known as the Mars effect.

The research was published in a series of books beginning with The Cosmic Clocks in 1967. The research was hailed by the astrological community as good news, even though the findings contradicted many standard astrological affirmations. It served as part of the catalyst for the formation of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of the Claims of the Paranormal, which began a project to refute the data presented by the Gauquelins. The project, in fact, replicated the Gauquelins' results, but rather than publish its findings, the committee falsified the results. The ensuing "Starbaby" scandal severely damaged the credibility of the committee. The controversy was aired quite thoroughly in several issues of the Zetetic Scholar.

Regarding his studies in "cosmopsychology," Gauquelin wrote:

"Until the beginning of this century, science believed that man was in isolation on earth, separated from the rest of the universe. Now we know that the biological clocks of our brain and our body are attuned to the movement of the cosmic forces. This new conception should have not only scientific but also philosophical and even poetical implications for modern thought."

The Gauquelins divorced in the 1980s, and each continued to pursue an independent line of research. Michel Gauquelin went on to work with astrologers on a revised neoastrology that would embody the results of his research. Besides writing numerous books, he contributed articles to periodicals and wrote television programs on psychology and cosmic influences. He died in Paris on May 20, 1991.

Sources:

Curry, Patrick. "Research on the Mars Effect." Zetetic Scholar 9 (1982): 34-52.

Dean, G. Recent Advances in Natal Astrology. Cowes, England: The Author, 1977.

Gauquelin, Michel. The Cosmic Clocks: From Astrology to a Modern Science. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1967. Reprint, New York: Avon, 1969.

. Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior. 2nd ed. New York: ASI Publishers, 1978.

. Dreams and Illusions of Astrology. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1979.

. How Atmospheric Conditions Affect Your Health. New York: Stein and Day, 1971.

. The Scientific Basis of Astrology: Myth or Reality? New York: Stein and Day, 1969.

Gauquelin, Michel, and Françoise Guaquelin. The Mars Effect and Sports Champions: A New Replication. Paris: Laboratorie d'Études des Relations entre Rhythmes Cosmiques et Psycho-physiologiques, 1979.

Lewis, James. Encyclopedia of Astrology. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1994.

Seymour, Percy. The Scientific Basis of Astrology. New York: St. Martin's, 1992.

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