Do the great discoveries of history have anything to do with the placement of the planets? Or for those of us who aren’t geniuses, do we have our flashes of insight occur arbitrarily, or at moments of particular energy?
According to by science historian Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom and Michael O'Neill, co-authors of The Eureka Effect, the most important discoveries in history have everything to do with timing.
These two scientific investigators decided to determine whether ‘eureka’ moments, when scientific geniuses throughout history had their most important flashes of insight, occurred at times when one or more of the planets appeared in a particular position in the heavens.
The late astrologer John Addey theorized that the charts of creative people showed a single common element of note: a preponderance of planets in the fifth and seventh aspects, also known as ‘harmonics.’
Aspects in astrology are angles formed by planets in relation to the center of the earth, as measured by the sun’s changing position along the zodiac.
When planets are said to be ‘in opposition,’ that means they’re placed at 180 degrees to each other; if ‘square’, then at 90 degrees.
Kollerstrom wanted to investigate Addey’s claim that two aspects overlooked by astrologers, the fifth and seventh (or quintile and septile aspects), were associated with special creativity.
These are aspects of 72 and 144 degrees, respectively. According to Kollerstrom’s theory, a eureka moment should have more quintiles or septiles than usual.
Kollerstrom and O’Neill decided to limit themselves to the exact moment of a pure insight into the existence or workings of something, not the time of the achievement or invention itself. By this, they meant an epiphany, when the discoverer synthesized ideas into a new whole.
For instance, August Leverrier, credited with having discovered the planet Neptune, was excluded when it turned out that he’d simply created a mathematical formula which predicted the planet’s existence, rather than having it come to him in a flash of insight.
To carry out this work, the team compiled a list of noted scientists with detailed biographies, identifying a eureka moment in their lives.
In the end, the team identified 23 such ‘aha’ flashes of intellectual clarity or insight.
Included in the list were the moments when Charles Darwin thought of natural selection, Michael Faraday understood electromagnetism, Thomas Edison first thought of the prospect of an electric light and Albert Einstein worked out how his relativity theory could be applied to real life.
The researchers were able to pinpoint the exact moment and hour of these realizations—give or take a few hours, limiting themselves to scientists whose exact time and place of birth were reliably known, and whose natal chart could be reliably worked out.
They also compiled a list of more prosaic scientists who’d invented or discovered important things in history, but who had done so by the sweat of their brow rather than a flash of insight.
According to the data, those scientists who’d had ‘eureka moments’ had 85 per cent more quintiles (fifth) and septiles (seventh) in their birth charts than those who’d never experienced this type of sudden inspiration.
These two aspects were also present 37 per cent more often than normal during the actual ‘aha’ moments.
In fact, the scientists who were ‘plodders’ had fewer quintiles than usual. And the scientists with eureka moments had 140 per cent more septiles in their natal charts than the others.
Both researchers examined their statistics using various statistical methods, and ended up with a significance of one in 2000 over chance.
Kollerstrom then moved on to dates of invention, when a particular technological invention was born. He wished to see whether aspects of Uranus, the planet of scientific invention, was prominent in such moments.
Kollerstrom compiled a list of 36 such moments, from the moment that the Wright brothers first took flight and Marconi sent a Morse-code message across the Bristol Channel to the exact time when the superconductor was first assembled.
Sure enough, they discovered a 23 per cent excess of septiles and a 61 per cent excess of major Uranus aspects.
'Our enquiry . . .found a 50 per cent excess of septiles present during the most celebrated moments of scientific discovery,’ wrote Kollerstrom.
Of course, the Eureka Effect was only one study and needs to be studied by other scientists to determine why things like quintiles and septiles are so important.
But is it astrology, or simply closer to a resonant effect? Or are the two interrelated?
Several years ago, University of Toronto physicist Jerry Mitrovica and Alessandro Forte, of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, published a paper in the prestigious scientific journal Nature showing, through mathematical calculations and simulations, a relationship between tiny changes in the Earth’s shape and axial rotation, and the gravitational effects of other planets in our solar system.
In his mathematical model, Mitrovica demonstrates that the Earth’s orbit is affected by the gravitational pull of Saturn and Jupiter. At some point during the last 20 million years, the Earth encountered gravitational ‘resonance’ with the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, he says, which ultimately influenced the angle of tilt of the Earth’s axis during that period.
The gravitational pull of any particular planet is extraordinarily small, and many scientists don’t believe that, on its own, it would have much of an effect on the Earth’s geomagnetic field.
However, the late Franz Halberg and his colleagues from the University of Minnesota demonstrated through decades of study that a planet’s pull can create “tidal” effects, in which the gravitational forces of the various planets also interact with the magnetic fields of the sun and moon as well as the solar wind.
This would have a cumulative effect on the Earth’s magnetosphere, which is proven to have profound effects on our biology, particularly the two major engines of the human body, the heart and the brain.
A resonance effect can also be established between two planets when the time periods of their rotations around each other lock into a regular mathematical relationship.
For instance, the moon rotates around the Earth for the same amount of time as it rotates on its own axis. These kinds of gravitational effects are magnified when a variety of planets are in alignment, as occurs during an eclipse.
This all may sound extraordinarily dense and complex, and a bit like a scientific version of astrology, but it is not difficult to understand if we alter our perception of what we are.
Rather than a discrete entity, living things and the Earth itself are part of an energetic system dependent upon other outer forces – gravitational and geomagnetic.
Halberg regarded this effect poetically. The living organism, he says, must be viewed as ‘a dynamo and a magnet, living on the Earth, a larger magnet, in the atmosphere of the sun. . . with magnetic storms causing blackouts in cities and . . . in human hearts.’
Or, as I like to put it, we are part of an intergalactic superorganism, where even creativity may stem from our cosmic Bond.
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