Reasoning by analogy (from Greek ἀναλογία, analogia, "proportion") means inferring information about unknown phenomena from phenomena which are known and easily observed; or deducing similarities or coordination among seemingly dissimilar things.
Analogy is one of two fundamental explanatory models in astrology. According to this principle, celestial bodies correlate with events on earth rather than causing them. Astra inclinant, non necessitant - The stars incline, they do not determine. This was the main postulate of Christian astrology in the Middle Ages, also saying "As above So below", or "Earth and cosmos reflect each other".
Analogy is also at work in the assignment of the various rulerships in astrology. For example, as mythological Mars was the Roman god of war (to the ancients, a "known" phenomenon), the planet Mars, by extention, rules soldiers and conflict.
Astrology's major alternative explanatory model of causality postulates direct cause and effect between planetary positions as independent variables and human events and behavior as dependent variables.
Reasoning by analogy in astrology effectively presupposes that the cosmos being a holistic system. Human beings are a small unit or microcosm of the cosmos or macrocosm because each individual contains a model or manifestation of the universal whole. The sun, therefore, is not simply the central star of our solar system, but is equally the creative principle of humanity. Psychological astrologers essentially use the microcosm/macrocosm model when they interpret the planets in an individual horoscope in terms of widely shared, cross-cultural psychological processes.
In esoteric astrology the human body partakes of the earth element but the human soul is a portion of the greater universal divine consciousness. The use of a man-cosmos analogy in esoteric astrology dates back to the philosopher Plato, whose work was reinterpreted in the Hermetic movement of Hellenistic Egypt named for Hermes Trismegistos, a legendary or mythical founder of a fusion of Egyptian and Platonic spiritual ideals.
Notes and References
- Frontispiece of Fludd’sUtriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technical historia, Oppenheim: 1617-1619. See detailed description (Peter Stockinger)