By Luc De Jaeger
Marriages Over 15 Years - Luc De Jaeger
"Michael Bergen, who has a B.A. in Applied Math from Brown University and a M.A. in Math Education from Brooklyn College, made some innovative discoveries regarding astrological research and life events.
With the help of the AstroDatabank, among others, he was able to identify statistical evidence that the planets influence our life.
In his research he organized 12,566 birth charts into different groups with at least 70 charts in each group.
The groups are based upon objective facts that happened in the native's life.
One of the groups he researched is based upon the birth chart of people who are or were married over 15 years.
During his long research to find statistically significant results, he eventually discovered that he had to use the 36th Harmonic (aspects of 10° and multiples) in the aspect analysis with an orb of 40'.
He also used the 9th Harmonic charts (called Navamshas in Vedic astrology and commonly used by Vedic astrologers -- clearly for a reason) as well as the conjunctions to midpoints (with an orb of 3°!).
He discarded the houses because of a lack of significant results but still uses the angles (Ascendant-Descendant and MC-IC) in his investigations.
What are the major findings in the natal charts regarding lasting marriages?
He found the following statistically significant results:
- Jupiter rises (is conjunct the Ascendant) OR culminates (is conjunct the MC)
- Pluto is often conjunct the IC
- There is a Venus-Saturn aspect (remember the aspects he uses!)
- There seldom is a Venus-Jupiter aspect
- Sagittarius is strong (because of a Sagittarius stellium for example)
- Aquarius is strong in the 1st and 9th Harmonic (for example because of a stellium in both signs)
Our opinion about his method and results:
When we found out he uses an orb of 3° to analyze the conjunctions to the midpoints, we raised an eyebrow (or two).
The fact that he found statistically significant results by using such a wide orb, raises our eyebrows yet more and questions the worth of statistical research the way it is conducted today in the 'scientific community.'
There are thousands of midpoints situated on a horoscope wheel of 360° denoting there are different ones sharing the same degree.
In our opinion, widening the orb beyond 1° is beyond common sense.
However, this is the only objection we have for his methods so far.
We tried out his findings on a couple of natal charts of nativities that were married for longer than 15 years.
We also used a 36th harmonic aspect set with an orb of 40' to find the aspects he lists.
It was a bit of a hit and miss in the end.
Listing astrological configurations that are statistically significant is one thing and already difficult enough but what is really important is finding the right combinations of these astrological configurations.
Research is about finding chains of separate conditions that blend and bring or show the event, characteristic or fact.
It's about combining all the individual and separate pieces of the puzzle and bringing them together to get the cover of the puzzle (and the event).
In doing astrological research, we ALL fail here because it's so laborious to blend the conditions and try to find out if they are still significant.
We need Super Humans and Super Computers to help astrological research because it looks like we're now touching the boundaries of the abilities needed to do astrological research.
This all does not downgrade Michael Bergen's interesting findings at all.
On the contrary!
We particularly like the way he assessed the aspects and incorporated the Navamshas (9th Harmonic) in his research.
The use of Harmonics in astrology has long been found valid and scientific and is actually a Hindu technique.
It's less understood, unfortunately, among Western astrologers but certainly needs a much closer look.
His study group about marriages over 15 years should not be confused with 'marriages till death do us part' nor with people who were or are only married once.
Such life events would be part of another group.
However, the marriages over 15 years group is a category in the AstroDatabank, making it easier to identify people who fall under this category."