Henning’s synthesis method shows validity of astrology in the Gauquelins’ data

by Kyösti Tarvainen

Correlation, Vol. 28, August 2012, pp 25-43


Ann Henning has proposed a synthesis method where scores of 12 potentials are determined. The first potential summarizes how much an astrological chart has Aries, Mars, the first house and some similar themes; the second summarizes Taurus, Venus, the second house and similar themes, and so on. The purpose of this research is to study whether, in some professions and groups in the Gauquelins’ data (over 23,000 persons), some Henning’s potentials are high. The strongest anticipation, based on the astrological literature, was that the 3rd potential of the journalists is high. This anticipation turned out to be true with a p-value 0.03. The control group was generated by shuffling. Altogether there were 14 anticipations from which 13 came true in the right direction. The combined p-value for all anticipations according to Fisher’s method is 0.03.

Hence, in all, Henning’s potentials indicate validity of ordinary astrology in the Gauquelins’ data, although the astrological effects are small. Michel Gauquelin did not see any validity of traditional astrology in this data. The present study indicates that the reason for his negative opinion is that he considered single astrological factors, for example, whether Gemini is a common Sun sign among journalists. However, it seems that single astrological factors alone are seldom strong enough to show a statistically significant effect. In Henning’s synthesis method, several astrological factors pointing to the same kind of effect are considered together, and, therefore, it is possible to obtain more readily significant results.