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Michel Gauquelin

and The Mars Effect 

Michel Gauquelin (1928-1991), a French scientist, set out to discover how much truth, if any, there really was in astrology. Assisted by his wife at the time, Francoise, he made some quite startling discoveries. He found little or no evidence of the zodiac signs being of importance, especially between family members. He found that very few people showed the typical traits associated with their sun sign and rather that they lacked in them. This could be explained by influences of other planets moderating them though. Through Gauquelin's research some long held beliefs, both astrologically and scientifically were challenged. Neither the astrologers nor the scientists were very happy, but for different reasons.

Most notably, he discovered the "Mars Effect". The "Mars Effect" was derived from a study and analysis of more than 2000 eminent athlete's births. The findings were that there were a significantly higher number than chance would allow of those people having Mars either just risen (in the 12th or 11th house) or culminating (near the MC/Midheaven 8th-10th house). During the years after his findings were made public, his work was subjected to various tests by scientists, using other data samples, all of which went some way to proving that what he had discovered had validity. Yet, despite these tests showing the same incidence as Gauquelin had himself found he was ridiculed for it and many arguments ensued. It is said that some of the tests were deliberately manipulated to show that science was right and astrology wrong. Such was the controversy that after many years of it, Gauquelin took his own life in 1991, having previously destroyed his magnificent work and original data. 

The "Mars Effect" was not the only thing that Gauquelin researched. He also found correlation between other groups of professions and the rising and culmination of the planets. There were also higher numbers than expected found to be on or close to the other two angles of the descendant and the IC, but without a doubt the most significant was the ascendant (having risen and therefore 12th house) followed by the MC (having culminated and therefore 9th house). Out of the ten planets, only half have any significance. They are the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. None of the other planets worked out in such a way. However, only the Sun and Mercury are missing from that list of the traditional seven planets. The outer planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are already known to be generational planets and their effect is of such too, so it would be unlikely that they would play any part. Mercury by its nature and by the fact that it is always close to the sun is also not hard to understand as not being a part of it. What of the sun then? The sun is representative of the ego, the individual, the core essence, so maybe by what it symbolises it could go some way to explain why it does not figure as the other planets do. In some professions it was noted that there was a distinct lack of strength for some of the planets.

The results of Gauquelin's investigations show the following professions to correlate with the planets being prominent by virtue of being close to the angles as follows:

Sportsmen - Mars, lack of Moon

Military - Mars or Jupiter

Actors - Jupiter

Doctors - Mars or Saturn, lack of Jupiter

Politicians - Moon or Jupiter

Executives - Mars or Jupiter

Scientists - Mars or Saturn, lack of Jup iter

Writers - Moon, lack of Mars or Saturn

Journalists - Jupiter, lack of Saturn

Playwrights - Jupiter

Painters - Venus, lack of Mars or Saturn

Musicians - Venus, lack of Mars

Gauquelin also studied the birthcharts of families and found that where a parent has a planet on an angle in their own birthchart, likewise a child will often also have the same planet on the same angle in theirs. However, he disputed that parents and children often share the same signs of their planetary placements. Through my own, albeit limited, research into family relationships, I disagree with that. I have found that in compiling an astrological family tree there are many similarities between the charts that pass down the generations. More on this subject can be found on the Family page.

The birthchart of Michel Gauquelin is at the end of this page.


Further reading on Gauquelin and his research:

Is There Really a Mars Effect by Michel Gauquelin (1988) this article was written by Gauquelin himself about his research and includes diagrams.

FAQ about Gauquelin Planetary Effects - a series of questions and answers, in depth

A summary of Michel and Francoise Gauquelin's work

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