The psychologist Daniel Kahneman who received Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 developed his theory of thinking which is I think very educational for astrologers and their judgments. He speaks about two types of thinking in people. The first one is intuitive type of thinking, it is a quick type and it is good for emergences BUT it is often times wrong. When one jumps into conclussions, he is using the so called System 1 type of thinking. System 2 is slower type of thinking, more critical, analytical and systematic. This type of thinking is often times more precize.

How is this relevant to astrology? Well, in astrology judgment is crutial in prediction. I have seen several poor astrologers merely guessing the chart, giving quick ‘intuitive’ answers which sometimes match and often times don’t match the actual reality of a person. This is wrong and is not astrology at all. Let us recall what Abū Ali says at the end of his book on natal astrology:

“In whatever is signified, this must be chiefly noted: if it has only one testimony, it is routine [ lat. vulgare, of little note], if two, it will be stronger; if three complete”. ~ Abū Ali – On the Judgments of Nativities 9th century AD p. 331 of Dykes translation

Abū Ali asks from us here to actually think more deeply and in a more systematic way, to use the System 2 explained shortly above. Conclusion is not made by mere guessing only, by just noticing one factor in the chart and yes ‘say it out loud’. To give good astrological judgment, one need to study the chart very thoroughly, to draw as much conclussions as one can regarding certain topic. System 2 type of thinking doesn’t exclude intution, but intuition as a result of deep reasoning and considerable time spent in analytical thinking in regard to the subject in question.

Paul Foster Case, the great mystic, occultist and Tarot writer from early 20th century (astrologer also), speaks about the true intuition:

Psychologically, intuition is the subconscious process of deduction, applied to the elaboration of the meaning of our conscious estimates of experience. Thus true intuition is the consequence of right reasoning, and those who are too careless    to watch and too lazy to reason, never hear the Inner Voice.    (Paul Foster Case – Tarot Interpretation p.35)  

..Intuition seems to come to us from    a source outside ourselves, and so it does, in a way. But    until we have learned to set our mental house in order, we    cannot put ourselves in the proper position to hear [the Inner Voice].. (p.35)   

The development of mental imagery by subconscious    processes of deduction and association also contributes its    share to the operation of intuition, and has its outcome in a    gradually unfolding realization that personality is.. (p.42)   

When the mental house has been set in order by reason, so that external relationships are clearly perceived, intuition carries the process a step farther, and makes us aware of the underlying principles of internal relationship. (p.43)   

An unreasonable man is, essentially, one who fails to perceive    the true relationships between the events constituting his    external environment. His estimates and measurements    are imperfect. Thus even the Voice of Intuition is misunderstood by him when he hears it. (p.43)

Intuition is a result of deep thinking and not of an instantenous guessing. This is why becoming an astrologer, one need to learn how to think properly.

One thought on “Types of thinking

  1. This is true indeed. This is why when looking at a certain topic, my current method is to look at ALL the significators of that topic, weigh the testimonies against each other, and then look at whether they are time-based or not (as some testimonies might come true only at certain times.)

    This also has implications on how we study astrological treatises. Ideally we should analyse every bit of relevant information in each book before putting them down; we should obtain an intimate understanding of the significations and methods before trying to apply them, lest we become confused or worse, confuse those we forecast for. Having an intuitive understanding is not enough.

    That’s how I’m studying Valens’s work right now. I check the definition of every signification. I look at the culture of the people who devised and utilised these tools. It’s a lot of work, but I bet it will pay off in the form of deep analysis of charts.

    What about you? How are you using this 2nd System in astrology?

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