Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Astrology" Season 2 Episode 5

The episode "Astrology" first aired on January 12, 1978 . It was written and produced by Peter Rosten.

This is going to be a tough one. I come into this episode with a definite bias against astrology. I give no credibility whatsoever to when someone was born, or the alignments of planets and stars and these effects on human behavior. The moon's gravitational pull may have a bit of an impact on liquid in the brain, but that's as far as I go. So I will be interested to see what they do and if they can convince me to have a more open mind on this topic.

The episode starts on a positive note for me as Nimoy gives information about the increase in crime, fires, freak accidents, and reports of mental illness during periods when the moon is full. But I suspect he is trying to bring us into the more unusual theories slowly.

But Nimoy is not going slowly, he hits us with a strange young woman who babbles on in a way that causes me to laugh out loud.
"I'm an Aries, I have a Libra rising, my Venus is in Pisces, my moon is in cancer. Uh, I know an awful lot about it because every man that I like I be sure and check out what his sign is first before I get, you know, too involved." This is exactly the stereotype I am biased against! We hear from a few other folks who are obsessed with their horoscopes and what everyone's sign is. Nimoy reveals he is an Aries with Scorpio rising. He makes the point that most do know their sign, and that's as far as it goes.

Nimoy defines Astrology for us as the forecasting of events on Earth based on the movements of the stars, planets, and other objects in space. He gets into some history and explains that its likely Astrology started with early humans who noticed their fortunes with hunting and growing crops were different depending on the alignment of objects in the night sky. We learn that the formal study of Astrology began in Mesopotamia at least 3000 years before Christ. From there it spread and influenced the creation of the calendar based on 12 units. The Ancient Egyptians incorporated their observations of the night sky into the construction of the pyramids.

Nimoy points out that at one time, astronomers and astrologers were one in the same. We learn about the work of Ptolemy and how his work dominated the study for many years. Nimoy goes on to explain that the Meji were astrologers and started them on their journey to witness the birth of Christ. After the death of Christ, many Christians condemned astrology as Pagan. They are definitely spending some time here implying a legitimacy to astrology that has been lost over time, perhaps, without good reason. We are introduced to Dr. George O. Abell an astronomer from UCLA. Abell disputes the legitimacy of astrology and implies that they are absolutely crazy!

He does focus on the more ludicrous claims of astrology to ridicule all of astrology. He ends by claiming that the Nazis believed in astrology. Nimoy tells us about how Hitler, Goebbels and others relied on astrology to guide their strategy. When the war went badly, many of these astrologers were sent to concentration camps. We hear about Hitler's personal astrologer, Karl Krafft, who died on his way to Buchenwald. Louis de Wohl was another astrologer who escaped form the Nazis and worked for Britain as the war came to an end. He served Britain's strategists for the remainder of the war, and predicted dozens of strategies employed by Germany. He also saw danger signs ahead for FDR a few months before he died. Seems like he got a little lucky.

Nimoy goes on to claim that many astrologers have made predictions that have come true over the years. Apparently someone whose sign is Aquarius is unpredictable and prone to surprises. We are told if you are with an Aquarius, you don't know what will happen next! Then we meet a Cancer, and are told that they tend to be emotional and extremely loyal. Next a Leo, who are the "showmen". they are extroverts. Apparently the most feared sign is Scorpio. They are envious, tense, and passionate. We hear about Dr. Hans Eyesink from London University who attempted to disprove astrology by proving that these personality traits are false. He used a computer and questionnaires to analyze data. Much to his astonishment, he wasn't able to disprove it. He also found a correlation between extroversion and one's sign.

Dr. Eyesink explains his process and how surprising it was to him. Nimoy points out how astrology has commercial applications such as predicting stock market trends. He also mentions examples of some folks who have used astrology to predict weather patterns, much like the Farmer's Almanac. More information about how astrology effects short wave radio signals and other electrical signals on the Earth. All of this was used to make long term predictions about weather. More information about the full moon- more babies are born during a full moon, and surgeries are more likely to go bad during a full moon. An ambulance driver is interviewed and he explains how he noticed an increase in unusual cases during a full moon.

Nimoy refers to this phenomenon as "lunacy" and points out the connection to "lunar" in reference to the moon. Apparently the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter has occurred every 20 years since 1840. Nimoy points out the Presidents who were elected when this happened ending up dying in office. The most recent being John Kennedy. What he doesn't know is that the next time it happens, Reagan is elected, and though he was shot he did not die in office. Neither did Bush who was elected in 2000. So much for this theory. But he can't let of this quickly. He tells us of astrologers who attempted to warn President Kennedy that his life was in danger. He cites one somewhat vague warning published in October of 1963.

"I had a brief telephone conversation with Sidney Omar and I took some notes on what he told me. He asked me my birthdate, and I told him it was March 26, 1931. He said, 'you've spent a year of searching and disillusionment' and said that 'you tend to become immersed in a mood.' That's probably true. He told me I have a powerful personality which tends to make people afraid of me although I'm actually quite vulnerable. That's flattering. Finally, he said, 'Think mentally of one question.' I thought, what's next? And he said, 'Let go, it's finished. You're riding a losing proposition. Take a cold plunge into the future. Let go of the security of the past.' Thank you very much Sidney, I'll keep it in mind. Time will tell." He doesn't seem convinced and neither am I! A perfectly vague statement that can be interpreted to relate to almost anyone.

Not a great episode, it was pretty boring. There is something to the science of the stars and planets impacting the way people think and weather patterns. Beyond that, I see no evidence and a lot of wishful thinking. I was not impressed and saw nothing to change my mind about astrology. Boo! I sure hope they find some better topics for future episodes!

You can watch this episode "Astrology" below.

No comments:

Post a Comment