As an undergrad I remember studying the research of Jean Piaget who observed children of all ages and came up with a comprehensive theory of cognitive and physical development in children. Though his conclusions were a little too rigid he did show the value of systematic observation.
The careful observations of Jung and Freud lead to a whole new way of looking at the psychology of human beings, therapeutic techniques and the interpretation of our often-enigmatic dreams. Though many of Freud’s ideas have not held up under close scrutiny and some of the claims of Jung have not been verifiable their scientific technique for exploring the human psyche has been very useful to the fields of psychotherapy and analytical psychology.
In grad school we learned a systematic technique for looking at classrooms and individuals to ascertain the etiology of problematic behaviors that could then be remediated through the development of a behavioral intervention strategy.
To a great degree the technique of careful, systematic observation leads to many interesting theories that can then be tested in the laboratory or in the field of the everyday.
So it should be no surprise that a field that’s been discredited by the scientific community in general may have had its ancient roots in observational strategy. Astrology was said to have begun somewhere in and around the 2nd millennium BCE (Before the Common Era) and practiced as a means of determining not only ones personality, but also their future and that all of this was determined by the location of the stars at the person’s birth.
So how did they come up with this? Well, probably through systematic observation. However, the belief that stars affect ones future has no scientific support though it has been researched from a number of different angles. Interestingly personality traits based on the time of year one was born has proven to have some validity. One can actually be influenced by the time of year they were born. This is especially true for whether we tend to be introverted or extroverted in nature. Large groups have been studied and found to have common personality traits within a certain birth time e.g. seasonal effects do seem to affect personality depending on when born. For example, people born between December and March seem to show high creativity and show up at a higher level in those who have been deemed celebrities *.
According to Psychology Today there have been a number of studies done that show possible connections between the time of year someone is born and certain personality traits and even to some small but statistically significant degree of certain metal health issues such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders **.
Jung though most likely not a believer in Astrology per se would probably agree that all the aspects and meaning given to the various symbols of the Zodiac are projections from the Psyche of humankind and therefor would have meaning regarding that Psyche. Jung also believed that we are lead by psychological motives, many unconscious but when the Astrologers reigned no one knew of psychology so they projected this idea onto the stars and their positions in time.
So there may be some partial and limited validity to the Zodiac and at least the seasonal aspects of that system on personality traits. Like other discoveries through systematic observation interesting correlations can present themselves, but frequently people carry them a little too far based on their cognitive biases.
Some people who have interests in the Zodiac will dream of certain signs and images of the Zodiac. These images are likely symbolic of certain aspects of the dreamer’s personality being revealed to them or certain wishes or desires for the waking world that are being projected into the dream. Though no connection has been found between the Zodiac and future events there seems to be an apparent connection experienced by many people, I believe this to be more on the order of an expectation effect, conscious or unconscious.
So what about the Moon and its effect? Seems as though no study supports any psychological connection though there is a little evidence that in the pre-light bulb era women’s menstrual cycle may have been affected by the full moon as well as the prevalence of male or female births depending on when the full moon presented itself. This possible connection doesn’t seem a factor any more, at least in developed countries, but during the eras when this connection was thought to be true it might have had some validity ***.
*Deluca, GC, Disanto, G, et al. Seasonal Distribution of Psychiatric Births in England, PLOS One, 2012.
Adel, MM, et al. Favored Zodiac for Celebrity Babies, Journal of Social Sciences, 2014.