Man is fundamentally more than what he knows about himself.
– Karl Jaspers
- On the merits and demerits of a horoscope
- Data Collections
- Reliability of Data
- The TAEGER-ARCHIVES
A. On the merits and demerits of a horoscope
From the outset, we wish to warn the beginner that it is not sufficient to merely have well researched birth data in order to find the definitive formula to the individual. A chart can only be seen as additional information about a thorough and well balanced biography. With experience, it can offer rough guidelines and explanation. If one eliminates the hidden but certainly meaningful pre-natal biography, then other important factors must also be considered: parents, social environment, spiritual stimulation or negligence, education, psychological traumata, sickness, time factors, personal moral guidelines, religion, cultural background etc. A horoscope can be just as misleading as the angelic mask behind which a devil lurks or the sinister face which conceals a good friend.
In addition, the birth chart itself, far from being a fixed matrix or straitjacket, is like a human being. It expresses itself, transforms, breathes and lives. It is in an ongoing renewal process which, in astrological terms, is caused by transits, solar returns, relocations, progressions, directions, other rhythms, etc. Beneath a horoscope full of squares, oppositions and other 'conflicting' constellations you can find a friendly, balanced or highly developed mind. On the other hand, a harmonic chart full of trines, sextiles and promising conjunctions can conceal a boring or undeveloped character. This or similar considerations of a holistic nature, which allow for the intuition or refined instinctive judgement of the interpreter, led to the popular concept of astrology as an ART of interpretation. And so, it is not surprising that the main careers of some talented astrologers are artist, writer, musician or other professions related to art (THOMAS RING, DANE RUDHYAR, NOEL TYL). This shouldn't however exclude a more scientific way of thinking. Even experienced analysts should therefore avoid overhasty conclusions resulting from a brief glance at the horoscope. Not only can these conclusions lead to prejudice but also obstruct the way to one of the greatest mysteries - Humankind itself!
B. Data Collections
ALAN LEO's pioneering data collection '1001 Notable Nativities', published at the turn of the century, was used as a standard reference book by astrologers for many decades. It summarised all the important horoscope data back to the times of WILLIAM LILLY (London 1602-1681). Later works of M. WEMYSS ('More Notable Nativities', 1983) or the American MARC E. JONES (Appendix to 'The Sabian Symbols', 1953) merely added minor data or corrections. These earlier data works were often lacking in exact sources and even the hours of birth showed great inaccuracy. At that time, the reputation or popularity of the publishing astrologer played an important part. Further critical research was not made (not even in the case of possible miscalculations). Unfortunately, this has led to the copying of distorted birth charts which has lasted up to the present day. Very often, complex interpretations (among well-known authors) were thoughtlessly built on rather shaky sources.
Nevertheless, a start was made: astrologers carefully began publicising their archives. The importance of comparing data became apparent. Astrology lost more and more its reliance on belief and became part of the empirical sciences. In this respect, it is worth noting that up until the 70s it was considered imprudent in astrological circles to publish one's own data. It was as if the mysterious aura surrounding a person was being destroyed. Astrologers wrote under imaginary pseudonyms in order to make life difficult for data researchers, or to go beyond the influence of vulgar astrology and play their cards close to their chests. A bad practice which they shared with the eternally young theatre, screen, and opera stars, who consciously falsified their personal data in order to maintain their popularity.
Weary of this groping in the dark, the French research couple, FRANCOISE and MICHEL GAUQUELIN, undertook to gather registered birth data within the framework of a comprehensive study in the 50s. They aimed to meet statistical requirements and provide more accurate and reliable evidence. A layman cannot even begin to imagine the immense investment of time and energy which was required to collect authentic data of more than 20,000 people (listed according to groups such as actors, politicians, artists, scientists, authors, military men, psychopaths, sportsmen). In this, they collaborated not only with French but also German, Belgian, Italian and Dutch registries.
As far as European data is concerned, the Gauquelin Archives - the result of 30 years of data collection - are unsurpassed in precision and size. If there were a Nobel prize for astrology, they would have deserved it! The fact that they produced proof of the influence of astrology ("Gauquelin Effect" - emphasis of cardinal house cusps 1 and 10 by certain planets for various professional groups) highlights the need for careful data work. At this point, I would like to thank FRANCOISE GAUQUELIN-SCHNEIDER very warmly for her interested and generous cooperation in the development of the Taeger-Archives. She was consistent, patient and helpful in dealing with many specialised issues and proof readings. She shares these characteristics with various major research personalities, with whom I came in contact. Worthy of note are the astrologers A. BARBAULT and P. CHOISNARD who have also published greater collections of register-based horoscopes and belong to the early data pioneers.
In the middle of the 70s, approximately at the close of the psychedelic era, during which the popular interest of the then young and critically questioning public was awoken, a whole range of data books appeared on the American market. The first ones still had rather vague sources and had to be read carefully. For example JANSKY'S 'Horoscopes Here And Now' (1975), MARC PENFIELD's 'An Astrological Who's Who' (1972) or ERLEWINE's Circle Book of Charts' (1978). In answer to LEO's '1001 Notable Nativities', PENFIELD'S '2001: The Penfield Collection' appeared in 1979. Even if the data has been updated in more precisely researched times, one had to take this particular work more seriously because it contained more exact sources such as 'via birth register', 'via biography', via this or that data collection etc, so that one was able to develop a kind of reliability scale. PENFIELD was my first American data partner and I am extremely grateful to him for all the stimulation he gave me. Many thanks, Marc!
In the same year, 1979, the first data volume, 'Profiles of Women', written by the American astrologer LOIS M. RODDEN, was published. It contained 500 horoscopes and short biographies of famous women. In the meantime, this has become a classic among the horoscope works. This was followed intermittently by 4 further volumes (AstroData, II, III, IV, V). They all contained - and this was new - horoscope drawings, short biographies, exact data sources, sources of deviating birth times, (from Vol II onwards) an evaluation system developed by RODDEN herself. In this she distinguishes between A-SOURCES (= Accurate Data: via birth certificate, hospital record, personal statement or statement of a family member), B-SOURCES (= via biography or autobiography), C-SOURCES (= via magazines without source details, via biographies without naming the author or biographer or 'approximate times') and DD-SOURCES (= Dirty Data: data with many conflicting times or speculative and rectified times without naming the author).
This differentiation of sources has established itself in the meantime in America, and English-speaking countries, and must be seen as genuine progress. LOIS M RODDEN is one of the greatest experts not only in the USA but also in the international data world due to her reliable, responsible and detailed data research. In addition to her data books with over 7,000 data, she also edits a special data magazine ('DATA NEWS'). Furthermore, she has established a computer data bank 'RID-DATA-ARCHIVES', which comprises 12,000 horoscopes (including anonymous data) categorised according to certain criteria, which can be publicly used for research purposes. Our lengthy correspondence and collaboration encouraged me, again and again, following her example, to continue my data work as precisely as possible and keep it up to date and so we became true friends in our shared passion for data collection. I'm eternally grateful for everything, Lois!
GRAZIA BORDONI is currently leading on the Italian data scene with 9 comprehensive data volumes. In contrast to PENFIELD and RODDEN she also publishes (on a smaller scale) mundane data. In addition to international data, her books are particularly valuable for Italian data which have been predominantly researched via register.
A particularly lucid and carefully compiled book, entitled 'Circles' with horoscope drawings and short biographies, appeared in Holland in 1980 by JAN KAMPHERBEEK. Unfortunately, like BORDONI, he does not mention deviating times and comparative sources.
Also of great importance is the immense work by the Belgian astrologer, publisher and musician JACQUES DE LESCAUT, who published over 18,000 data in 17 volumes as the 'Encyclopaedia of Birth Data' (1978-91) - certainly a most comprehensive data collection ranging between the Gauquelin Archives and the Rodden and Taeger-Archives. Regrettably, he omits horoscope drawings in the last volumes, doesn't make any biographical notes (apart from professional titles) and fails to provide deviating times, comparisons of sources and definite source information. Even though he distinguishes between 'recorded' (via register), via 'biography', and times without exact sources, he doesn't indicate from which sources he has taken the reference 'via register', so that one should be careful when using his register statements.
Excellent work is also being done by many unpublished and private archives which belong to astrological associations. Worth mentioning are the data banks of the 'AMERICAN FEDERATION OF ASTROLOGERS' (AFA) which always publishes a current data corner in its monthly bulletin, as well as data publications of the American magazine 'MERCURY HOUR'. The data archives of the English 'ASTROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION' led until 1990 by DAVID FISHER offers its members data including calculations (for a small fee), exact sources, diverging times and key words about the person. These archives contain a broad spectrum of international, individual and mundane data. Within the framework of the 'DEUTSCHEN ASTROLOGEN VERBAND'/DAV, PETER NIEHENKE compiled a computer data bank with love and care (with over 30,000 data, most of which are reproductions of the Gauquelin data). This we were able to acquire as a whole and helped us particularly in dealing with some German data. Since a few years, also the German magazine MERIDIAN and the SWISS magazine ASTROLOGIE HEUTE make great efforts to provide accurate data to their readership.
The first data of the Taeger Archives were provided by REINHOLD EBERTIN (end of the 60s). TONY BONIN made copies of the Wemyss Collection (among other things) accessible to me, and SYLVIA TOBIAS (USA) provided her data collection 'From the Pages of the Mercury Hour'. EDWIN STEINBRECHER (USA) provided the corrections of unclear material and many nameless friends gave me rare data from their collection or helped me with updating.
Private data collectors such as the Belgian LUC DE MARR or the English PAUL WRIGHT should not go unmentioned. The latter has recently made his archives available with over 1000 Scottish register data in the form of computer printouts.
One last word about the unbalanced data distribution for certain countries, i.e. the notable emphasis on French, Italian, Scottish, German, American, Belgian and Dutch data. The reason for this is the simple fact that in these countries register or hospital-entries are compulsory by law (in the USA only in some federal states) and therefore alleviate the data work considerably. This has been restricted, however, in the past few years through stricter data protection laws (with the exception of deceased persons). Astrologers, data collectors and interested parties in other countries - one need only think of Asian countries, Africa, Russia, England, Spain, etc - are in an extremely difficult position and are relying on the statements of parents (where available), entries in the family bible, rectifications and other research. Because this situation will not change in the near future, we must, regrettably, live with a deficiency in data from these countries.
C. Reliability of Data
In our work we put the main emphasis on comparing data sources and lexical studies, thereby doing everything possible to give the reader a reliable data work. Nevertheless, with the abundance of data material given, it is inevitable that inaccuracies have occurred. There is no such thing as a data collection without errors. We are very grateful to all users of the TAEGER-ARCHIVE on CD-ROM (German version) and the readers of the four data volumes of the INTERNATIONALES HOROSKOPE LEXIKON (IHL) for corrections, reports, additions and, above all, new data material. Please take notice that the CD-ROM version with 3000 updates is our main actual reference.
As an alternative to L.M. RODDEN'S data groupings we have summarised our data as follows: The data of GROUP 1 .(= via register, subdivided in 1, 1* and 1F) are certainly the most reliable (especially when they are in accordance with the parents' statements). But even here one should be careful. Through carelessness or in the excitement, the entry can be made incorrectly by the doctor, the hospital, the midwife or the parents. The registrar could have misunderstood the time - mistaken am for pm. Perhaps the data researcher has only a poor or illegible copy of the register statement and misinterprets the time. Often the registry information passes through many intermediary sources before finally arriving with the data collector. In all these instances, inaccuracies may occur.
In addition, we must remember that most times are given to the nearest quarter of an hour (in some cases you find even greater deviations), so that one must allow for some scope when dealing with the ascendant and house system. Even birth times that are given to the nearest minute are no indication of 100 % certainty (because there is no clearly recognised rectification method). In short, even in the highest reliability group one must be flexible and work out one's own proof reading of birth times with the help of biographies, life events etc. This is particularly important when MC or ascendant falls on cusps of zodiac signs in the calculation - for example on the end of Aries or on the beginning of Taurus.
Fortunately, in recent decades, there has been increasing precision in the recording of birth times to the nearest minute. This is caused by an increasing worldwide awareness of astrology with parents timing the first cry of their baby. Future generations of astrologers will reap the benefits of this in their research. The data of GROUP 2. (= parents' statements (2M,2F), personal statements, autobiographies (2P), biographies (2B), statements of relations, partners or friends (2R) are certainly to be examined more critically. In 50% of all these cases, which I was to investigate through a birth register, I found deviations (often to a considerable degree). When dealing with information from the parents they mostly confirmed the register time after some consideration. Particularly where there are several children, and with a time elapse of 20, 30 or 40 years, it is possible to get confused, whereas the birth register keeps the time 'fresh'. It is clear, and unnecessary to explain, that the curve on the reliability scales slopes downwards from parents through personal statements to partner or friend.
The times of GROUP 3 (= without naming source) are the mysterious question marks of the data world. They may represent a register statement, a parental or personal statement or even speculation. In honour of the astrology world, it must be said that data from group 3 could be put into group 1 following later research. Only in the past few years has it become common practice to name data references in astrological studies. For decades, this aspect was neglected. For the most part, individual astrologers had their well protected archives and guaranteed the accuracy of data merely with their name, when publishing. To verify a source would have been the same as self-degradation to them. This attitude was also held by frivolous people, pendulum 'artists' or charlatans. But one should not be overhasty in condemning the times given in group 3, but rather consider them as a real possibility.
The details in GROUP 4 are mostly data which are either accompanied by a jumble of diverging times (or even days and years) or labelled by the author as speculative. Here it is least probable (but not impossible) to find hidden data belonging to group 1 or 2. Sometimes there is good luck amid the speculations and a rare jewel might be found in the data maze. Good rectification often requires months or years of research with one particular person and his chart. And you do find talented astrologers who are in a position to work out sufficiently exact birth time reconstructions. Data of group 4 have therefore occasionally been put into the archives to give clues to the interpretation of internationally known personalities, who would otherwise remain unmentioned. We would advise the beginner who may be lacking in experience with the speculative time, to study the midday positions of the planets (without AS and MC) and their communication of aspects. By over-emphasising precision one often forgets that much can be established about a person with such simple methods.
GROUP 6 (MUNDANE DATA) does not indicate any reliability criteria but rather events such as founding of states, inventions, wars, treaties, catastrophes etc.. This branch of astrology has received increasing attention in recent decades. To the same extent, the so-called 'collective' planets: Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, have also been integrated into the individual interpretation. Just as the individual person is interpreted in interaction with the astrological whole, so also should there be interaction between the world as a whole, part, group, moment, etc and the planets and zodiac. IN THIS, EVERY MOMENT OF TIME IS A MOMENT OF BIRTH, so that one can easily deduce development and future from the data of treaties, foundations and inaugurations.
D. The TAEGER-ARCHIVES ©
The TAEGER-ARCHIVES © is the result of 23 years of collection (1968-91). The last 10 years (1981-91) have been highlighted by increasing publications of 4 major data collections (1991-98). It is led by HANS-HINRICH TAEGER and THOMAS SIEGFRIED and is part of the work of the 'INSTITUTE FOR ASTROENERGETIC STUDIES' (IAS), which has its headquarters in Ireland since 1983.
The specialty of the TAEGER-ARCHIVES is its comparative data examination and data filing with more than 160 international data archives with a total of over 100,000 data. In addition, there are the current data publications from over 40 periodicals, astrology books, private data exchange etc. The work of the TAEGER-ARCHIVES can be divided into three sections: data of so-called 'famous people' (approx. 80 %), mundane data (approx 10%) and anonymous special data (approx 10%). In the last few years we have put some of our effort into backing up our data with copies of birth certificate records and other documents. 30 % of our data are now verified in this way. Another important aspect of our work is the comparison of our data research results with the collections of fellow data collectors, noting deviations, and grouping them according to our own reliability criteria (from group 1=registry to group 4=speculative).
A data is only taken into the main TAEGER-ARCHIVES if we can find reliable and sufficient biographical information on the person involved. This is in contrast to a number of collectors who file data also without biographical backup. For the data-journalistic, biographical process we have access to over 60 encyclopaedias, reference books, specialised dictionaries etc. with a total of over 500 volumes. Not until we strike lucky and can set up a data comparison (and possibly take note of data deviations) will the person concerned, including biographical details, be filed in the TAEGER-ARCHIVES, in a computerised form as well as on the index cards. In this, we only transfer birth data and time from the actual source. We take time zones and coordinates for birth places from our own research or from highly specialised publications. Here, the corresponding deviations are noted and/or discussed in consultation with the author of the data publication. As a final check, every chart is calculated with a 2-page horoscope print-out from the computer. It is then compared with the data of the publication and filed.
Through this time-consuming sifting and checking, only 22,000 of the 100,000 data (some of which naturally appear twice or three times) have made an entry into the TAEGER-ARCHIVES. Of those a selection of 8,000 are published in the 4 volumes of the INTERNATIONALES HOROSKOPE LEXIKON. The TAEGER-ARCHIVES on CD-ROM © (at present we just have a German version) will contain 9,000 data with 3000 biographical and data updates in comparison with the book edition.
Through our qualitative data selection we have succeeded in separating the wheat from the chaff. At the same time, we had to run the risk of overlooking some 'insider' or local prominent person, who is not yet listed in any reference work. But what use is a name or even a professional title, if it does not give any information about the person concerned? This is best used for statistics concerning professions and for this we already have the existing Gauquelin-, Bordoni- or Lescaut-Archives or the CD-Version of the DAV databank. Important for the practical work with the TAEGER-ARCHIVES are thousands of additional data in the biographical section of the individual involved. In the CD-Version a simple mouse-click will bring a calculation for these sub-data on the screen, link to further information etc.
The CD-ROM version of the TAEGER-ARCHIVES with some 9,000 data, over 10,000 accessible sub-data in the text, short biographies and detailed data sources are unique at this stage and makes the TAEGER-ARCHIVES one of the best archives worldwide. For the CD-ROM version all texts and all the data have been expanded and updated to the data-know-how of January 1998. The CD contains the data of the 4-volume series of the INTERNATIONALES HOROSKOPE LEXIKON (IHL), as well as numerous additional sub-data. The electronic version is programmed by TOBIAS FERBER who put much emphasis into this important project.
With this time and work intensive CD-ROM publication we hope to have given a valuable contribution to the astrological community (for individual research projects as well as for statistical studies). We also hope that our example will inspire individual astrologers to aim for even more care in the handling of data and its documentation (data transparency). Many of our readers were astonished by the high numbers of inaccuracies in their older data collections that were often based on speculative or divined times, careless and poor referencing or wrong calculations. To eliminate gradually all these old 'data devils' we appeal to our readers to help us by sending copies of birth certificates, written statements by the individual horoscope owners, authoritative biographical information (see also under research projects of IAS). Before important publications (books, articles), based on our archives we invite all authors to check with us recent data updates.
Author: Hans-Hinrich Taeger
Hans-Hinrich Taeger was a German third-generation astrologer and regarded as one of Germany's leading experimental and scientific astrologers. From the 1970s until his death in 2013, he developed a massive astrological data archive that became known as the Taeger-Archives. As a professional astrologer, he developed his own techniques and methods, and founded Astroenergetics that combined astrology, science and eastern philosophy.