Astrology and Chaos Theory


What is Chaos?

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What is “Chaos Theory” anyway? It’s not the idea that things have no order, it’s the idea that some things are beyond the ability to understand and predict.

A simple example of Chaos Theory is the first shot in a game of billiards. There is no way to predict what balls will go in what holes, or if any of them will go in at all. Even if you hit the cue ball at the same velocity and angle, and strike the rack of balls in the same place – every time the outcome will be extremely different.

It’s because the amount of variables involved are so great. Tiny, tiny differences in how the balls are positioned in relation to one another have enormous, unpredictable effects on where the balls will go when they are hit.

“Unpredictable” doesn’t mean it follows no order. It simply means that the complexity of the order is beyond the grasp of our comprehension. It is predictable, but we are not sophisticated enough to figure it out.

The Chaos of Astrology

Lets say the cue ball is like the rising sign and the planets in various signs and houses are like the balls racked up for the first shot in a game of billiards. …I think you already get my point. The slightest change or mis-measurement of any one of the parts could potentially have an enormous and wild effect on the outcome. The famous analogy in this regard is from Henri Poincaré: “A difference in how a butterfly flaps its wings could cause a hurricane in a distant land in a few weeks.”

Predictability Zones

Within a chaotic / unpredictable field, there are zones that are simpler for some reason, and therefore come within the grasp of our comprehension and therefore we can predict their effects. A computer simulation of a metal ball handing from a string above three magnets arranged in a triangle was able to map out which magnet would finally hold the ball, if the ball was dropped from specific places on a grid. But within each predictable grid unit, if you zoom in, is a sub-grid, and some of those grids produce different results. And if you zoom in on those, again there are some areas that produce abnormal results. This continues in a fractal manner, ad infinitum.

This means that there are some cases where a prediction is reasonably easy or feasible to make, but other cases where the complexity makes it impossible and likely for the prediction to be wildly in error.

What We Should Learn

In many cases, we will be able to make an accurate prediction – within reasonable granularity. But there are some cases where it is simply beyond human capacity to understand the complexity of the factors involved. It is very difficult to know if you are in a “chaotic zone” or an “orderly zone” when reading a horoscope. We should never state our predictions as if they are divine foreknowledge, we should state our hypothesis. We should approach every horoscope with humility.