Michel Gauquelin (November 13, 1928 – May 20, 1991) was a French psychologist and statistician who, along with his first wife Françoise Schneider-Gauquelin (born June 19, 1929), conducted very important statistical research on astrology, from the beginning of the 1950s. After their divorce they each continued their work separately.
Gauquelin said he had a lifelong interest in astrology, but was critical of the idea that it was “art” as Marc Edmund Jones proposed, but felt it was more akin to science, with facts and repeatable lessons. He studied psychology and statistics at the Sorbonne, Paris France and felt he was foremost a mathematician and not an astrologer.
He set himself the task of analyzing astrology statistically by studying various correlations using very large samples of birth data but found that doing this alone was difficult and soon enlisted his wofe’s help. In 1967 is what he called the “test of opposed destinies” which entailed astrologers being asked to separate the birth charts of twenty well-known criminals from twenty non-criminals. They did no better than chance. (The Cosmic Clocks, 1967) and with this published work applied for a grant from the Universite de Sorbonne, which he received.
That led to his major work, Planetary Influences, which is summed up here and his dissection of the zodiac into 36 sectors, similar to the ancient view of “faces” or “decans.”
Planetary Influences by Michel Gauquelin
This work by Michel Gauquelin (1973, 1976, 1988) offers scientific evidence of a planetary influence in the timing of human births. He found that people who achieved pre-eminence in their field of endeavour were far more likely to be born shortly after the rising or culmination of:
- the Moon (writers & politicians).
- Venus (writers)
- Mars (sports people, military leaders, doctors, top executives & business people).
- Jupiter (actors, play writes, politicians, military leaders, top executives & journalists).
- Saturn (scientists & doctors).
Achievers differed significantly from the control groups, as the latter group had no distinctive planetary influence. These planetary factors could also be correlated with different personality types.
- If one or both parents had the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn after rising or culminating, their children were more likely to have the same planet similarly sited in the heavens at the time of birth.
- If a child was born on the day of a geophysical disturbance, such as a solar flare, the parental correlation was boosted substantially.
- Children born via medical intervention, this planetary effect disappeared.
Gauquelin’s work only supported planetary diurnal cycles in the timing of human births, personality type and particular career success because he researched numerous astrological factors, and found only planetary diurnal cycles to be significant and repeatable.
The planetary influence most marked in a chart was after a heavenly body had crossed the central meridian – from east to west – and the horizontal plane – from north to south. These diurnal cycles were important in the timing of human births. The peak effect does not coincide exactly with the node point, but rather after the heavenly body has crossed the node point.
“Subsequent results only confirmed and amplified my initial discovery about the physicians. overall, it emerged that there was an increasingly solid statistical link between the time of birth of great men and their occupational success. … Having collected over 20,000 dates of birth of professional celebrities from various European countries and from the United States, I had to draw the unavoidable conclusion that the position of the planets at birth is linked to one’s destiny. What a challenge to the rational mind!” (Neo-Astrology, 1991)
Monsieur Gauquelin committed suicide shortly after writing this.. The reason cited was his deep depression after a hospitalized nervous breakdown. He was 60.
the Legend of Gauquelin
The houses in yellow have no major planets within. There are several asteroids noted on the chart, their legend is attached. A noticeable aspect in Gauquelin’s chart is Pluto conjunct Askalphus in the twelfth house, conjunct Mars and Circe that suggests that his nervous break was a cry for help because of his loneliness — it would seem his second marriage was not working — particularly since Niobe in the third house conjunct Juno tells us how tied his life’s work (square the Sphinx in the sixth house) was to his first wife Francoise (Juno conjunct Mercury). One gets the feeling that he felt inadequate without her.
In the ninth we see this dynamic played out again with the nurturing of Ceres conjunct the asteroid of House, suggesting on his own he was lost and that he was probably separated from his second wife as the time of his total collapse. Despite his strong intellectual presence of mind, from this small glimpse, we see that Gauquelin was a tender and sensitive man — much like a hothouse orchid that had been removed from its arboreateum.