I think that most astrology is bunkum. However I also think that there are relationships between planetary motions, solar activity, and climate and therefore the affairs of mankind.
When I am feeling in the mood, I try to explain that even if there are correlations between planetary motions and events on Earth, it doesn’t follow that the Planets are the causes. That is because I know that some of cycles of the planets are also found, or are related to, ones beyond the solar system. So getting poetic I might say:
The planets are not the piper
They are also in the dance
The universal rhythms
Make sun, planets and life
All follow the swaying
As the great waves
Pass through us all
… or something like that.
Anyway, one of my favourite authors is Terry Pratchett, who, in his book “The Folklore of Diskworld” co-authored with Jacqueline Simpson says:
THE DANCE OF WINTER AND SUMMER
It has long been believed, and may very well be true, that the whole multiverse moves in one perpetual dance, though almost all its motions are either too swift or too slow for the human mind to grasp. Whirling electrons, wheeling galaxies, cycles of time, cycles of energy, the pulsations of the blood, angels in the skies or on the head of a pin – all make patterns in the cosmic dance. This is not a matter of couples moving independently (like a waltz), nor of a group simply dancing hand-in-hand in a ring; it involves complicated figures in which dancers change places and partners, advance and retreat, meet and part and meet again.
Many poets have written about this. Sir John Davies in his Orchestra (1596) declared that everything in heaven and earth dances:
Kind nature first doth cause all things to love,
Love makes them dance, and in just order move.
And so the sun dances with the earth, flowers with the wind, the tides with the moon:
And lo the sea, that fleets about the land
And like a girdle clips her solid waist,
Music and measure both doth understand;
For his great crystal eye is ever cast
Up to the moon and on her fixed fast.
And as she danceth in her pallid sphere,
So danceth he about his centre here.
In John Milton’s Comus (1637), a magician boasts that ‘by dancing while others sleep, he and his companions are echoing the dance of time and nature:
We that are of purer fire
Imitate the starry choir,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres
Lead in swift round the months and years.
Oceans and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move …
Others too have sensed that the Morris has a particular affinity with the cycles of nature. T. S. Eliot wrote in East Coker (1940) of glimpsing ghostly Morris Men round a bonfire on a summer midnight, with their `music of the weak pipe and the little drum’,
Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
As in their living in the living seasons
The time of the seasons and the constellations
The time of milking and the time of harvest
The time of the coupling of man and woman
And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
Eating and drinking. Dung and death.
If you want to read more, buy the book 🙂
Sometimes I wonder about human versus natural cycles affects on climate change. The Sun had much stronger cycles in the late twentieth century, just when humans were also getting more frantic in their activity. It is interesting to observe that human wars do occur in 11 and 22 year cycles, the same as the Sun’s outbursts. So we are linked with the Sun’s behaviour. Perhaps we cannot even sensibly ask the question as to what proportion of climate change is due to human activity and what proportion is due to nature — after all humans are a part of nature, and as we see with wars, are following natures cycles all the time.