LUNA | Manifesto

Manifesto

To advance the field of astrology technically & philosophically.

This article outlines in broad detail how the stated intention might be possible. It is intended to focus on key elements which must be considered if this is to occur.

Learn More About LUNA
Icon For Flower#3

The Technical.

Preamble

Technically, astrology is fairly far behind other industries and fields of study. Almost every other type of software product that exists has one or more cloud versions.

For example, Microsoft Office is fully usable in the cloud. Competitors such as Google & Zoho docs only further the shift to using the cloud for office productivity. Examples continue in other fields such as accounting (Quickbooks, Xero, et al.), inventory (Trade Gecko, inFlow, Netstock, et al.) logistics & field management (SAP, NetSuite, et al.) and even consumer-centric applications like calendaring, email and task/note management (Google Calendar, iCloud, Gmail, Evernote, plus many others).

Astrology's contribution to the cloud is reminiscient of the 90s where presentation is still focused around the structure of a website instead of a "web app". By this I mean that ads are typically a part of the UI, top navigation and sidebars are the norm, and the charts themselves are presented as another graphic on the web page, rather than the central focus of the user's experience.

Furthermore, interactivity such as chart animation and dynamic UX is practically non-existent in these astrology websites. For the most part, astrological websites are dedicated to providing content for visitors rather than delivering a sophisticated and professional toolkit for practitioners and students.

The next technical deficiency facing the field of astrology is a lack of a standard API that can deliver commonly-requested calculations to developers who wish to develop their own mobile apps, widgets, websites or even desktop applications. Every astrology software programmer must re-write the same routines for their implementation despite a great number of intelligent programmers having done so already. The software side of astrology is not taking advantage of the human being's capacity for "time binding"[1]. By this I mean our innate ability to transfer knowledge to our descendants.

As an example, think of how modern ORMs have been created to alleviate the burden of developers needing to handwrite every SQL statement required when building their applications. While a competent developer will still know how to write SQL, and will inevitably do so, ORMs provide a sophisticated layer of abstraction over the raw syntax of SQL which allows for increased security, faster development time and codebases that are easier to read and maintain.

The result? Developers are now able to focus on new innovations and other important UX features in their applications rather than "reinventing the wheel" each time a new program is written.

Lastly, as the study of astrology is, in the mechanical sense, a study of large, complex data sets, I believe there is a tremendous amount of room to innovate and develop new techniques for analysis and interpretation. Astrologers love to develop new techniques as well as to study old ones. When we consider that the data set in question is massive (i.e. the movements of at least the entire solar system throughout tens of thousands of years), and consider that we're looking at correlates between these data points and anthropological activity-experiences, we can easily see how the field of astrology may actually know no bounds in terms of how said data may be queried and analyzed.

Summary
  1. Provide professional-grade astrology software that is modern in its aesthetic and usability.
  2. Develop a combination of SDKs and APIs that make current and future programmers' lives easier, opening the doorway to new creations.
  3. Innovate within the field by leveraging the cloud and incoming technologies to discover new insights and layers of meaning within astrology.

[1] Time-Binding is a concept introduced by Alfred Korzybski in the 1930s. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Korzybski .)

The Philosophical.

Preamble

On the philosophical side, astrology may be even further behind than it is technically. In astrology, just about anything goes. If a person can find a correlation with an astrological measurement, or some type of meaning whatsoever, that measurement will be regarded — at least by some — to be a valid technique, proving the validity of the practice. In no other field of study is such self-referential and subjective "proof" used as the groundwork for determining that field's axioms and validity.

What began as an extremely exciting new type of thinking and development throughout the 20th century with the advent of psychological/archetypal astrology has seemed to diffuse into a confusing and chaotic set of almost vacuous anecdotes that bely thorough and deeply contemplative meanings.

Now often bundled with the broad and thin term "modern astrology", psychological astrology has lost its place as the forerunner of astrological study and thought. We are, as a field, literally going backwards into the archives of time. Whether or not this proves ultimately useful to humanity first, and the field of astrology second, time will tell. However, the resurgence of terms such as malefic and benefic (in practice, not merely academic discursives), concerns me greatly for it effectively undoes what the pioneers of psychological astrology worked so hard to achieve. I say this because it seems to encourage a return to a more simplified, binary-oriented mindset where conventional definitions of "good and bad" are used, rather than help us move into greater levels of self-awareness where integration and free will can develop. To do this requires uncovering deeper layers of the unconscious self in order to actualize both personal and, eventually, collective potentials.

For instance, the meaning of "Mars" can easily be reduced into a binary consideration of good/bad if we consider it to be a signification of "aggression and violence". Is this all there is to Mars, however? By moving into a broader interpretation context, we might say that Mars signifies "an act of autonomously asserting oneself into the environment". Now we are able to see how aggression and violence fold into that, but do not compromise the significance completely. Furthermore, many other interpretations are supported by that expression, while the basic framework of what Mars actually represents is preserved. This is the start of understanding Layers of Abstraction [1] [2].

While I personally avoid dogma to an almost dogmatic degree, I will confess my bias regarding the application of astrology as a tool for psychological and spiritual development. (I acknowledge that the term "spiritual" is loaded and abstract, thus I allow the reader to place their own significance on it.) Nevertheless, there is much to be gained through an individual's process of becoming increasingly self-aware, not the least of which is the potential for society as a whole to do the same. Can we imagine a world in which neither good nor bad rule our experiences, but instead one where the integration of our internal conflicts gave way to the fullness of joy?

To extrapolate on this idea brings forward the vision of what could be, and of how astrology could assist in that process.

On a side side, I might add that pursuing the psychologically-oriented paradigm is actually more challenging than a traditional, binary-oriented one. For here we are dealing with issues which go beyond mere mental intelligence, and instead require a pursuit of one's emotional nature, subtler motivations and non-conformist needs, many of which we'd rather remain hidden for fear of what they may actually mean for our lives.

Yet beyond any personal beliefs I hold, a desire for both truth-seeking and sense-making persists through them all, such that my intent is to both advocate for the growth and development of a new psychological/transpersonal astrology, and to find ways of gathering together the other techniques and philosophical modalities under a centralized "Astrological Theory of Everything" (astrology's "big TOE").

My intuition and experience continue to show me that the differing schools of astrological thought are connected by a very simple principle. However, that requires a great deal of research and discourse. I do not think that an astrological TOE ought to be developed by one person, nor in isolation. In fact, I would propose that rather than writing such a treatise myself, I might instead create a framework around which such a document may be publicly created and developed.

For instance, once certain contribution rules were established, the document itself could live under version control, just like software source code. It would be in the public domain, readable by anyone. Content and changes would be proposed similarly to how new code is proposed, via patch or "pull request" whereby the content would be collectively reviewed before getting merged into the source document.

In short, this would be a "living document", rife with discourse of various kinds and types, with the express intent on developing a "big TOE" of astrology. To start, I propose three keystones of such an astrological TOE that can be used to guide the inquiry and development thereof:

Cogent

The theory must be rationally incisive, appealing to reason and containing relevance for the current world.

Cohesive

The theory must be unitive and well structured, conceptualizing the field into form and shape.

Comprehensive

The theory must be all-inclusive, bringing all techniques and sub-theories into account and in their rightful place.

Summary
  1. Syndicate and create meaningful astrological content to help show how astrology can be used as a psychological and spiritual path.
  2. Integrate editorial and discourse mechanisms within the application.
  3. Help establish a "Theory of Astrology" that unites all of the techniques under a simple set of principles.

[1] Layers of Abstraction is a concept that can be used to better understand how the vast array of interpretations for any astrological factor can be unified under a single concept. I believe that if an astrological "TOE" is ever created, it will naturally include this concept. I do not define it here but am merely introducing its existence.

[2] This brief example of Layers of Abstraction does not preclude the assessment that, "Bad things happen to good people." Indeed many horrible things happen to a great many innocent lives; and astrology can certainly show this through its symbolic placements. However, the question isn't whether or not suffering can be avoided (as understandable as it may be), but rather to ask, "What does suffering mean?"