Preliminary Report on Lesbian Study

Lynne Burmyn, M.A.

Timed birth information for 1053 Lesbians was collected internationally and processed through two computers.

I Hypothesis:

A. There are statistically significant astrological occurrences in these charts. B. Lesbian horoscopes differ substantially from the charts of gay men. C. One or more of the asteroids play a statistically significant role in Lesbian charts. D. A prototype Lesbian chart can be constructed.

II Procedure:

Through national and international advertisements in feminist publications, word-of-mouth, and support from the astrological community, 1053 timed Lesbian births were collected and processed. Initial procedure consisted merely of counting: Planets, asteroids, lunar nodes, and angles in signs and houses; Signs on house cusps; Ruler(s) of houses in signs and houses; Major aspects between planets and other points, including aspects between and among house rulers; Interceptions; Retrogrades.

Controls: Expected occurrences were established 5 ways:

A. By dividing the expected phenomena by the appropriate number (e.g. the Moon should be in the Fourth House one-twelfth of the time). B. By computer-generated random control groups: 1. Hypothetical data; 2. Scrambling existing data. C. In several instances (the asteroids and retrogrades in particular), actual frequency tables were constructed. D. 1053 charts were subdivided for use as control groups against each other. E. Data from previous studies of homosexual men were also used as controls. These are possibly inadequate, however, since in several instances it was not clear whether or not the heading “homosexuals” actually included women and therefore duplicated our effort.

Computer and statistical expertise were primarily donated.

III Caveats:

A. The phenomenon known as synastry, the attracting of only certain kinds of charts to the researcher/astrologer was a danger, hence the large geographical representation. Nevertheless, current residences of respondents tended to cluster around certain major metropolitan areas. When run through the computer by area, statistically significant factors appeared; when randomly mixed or run with the entire sample, these items disappeared. We can conclude only that certain types of people are attracted to certain areas.

B. Most advertising occurred in feminist publications. We can therefore assume that the sample here is of Lesbian feminists, with non-feminist Lesbians poorly represented. Again because of the nature of the advertising, Third World women are probably underrepresented, though we did not ask for racial identification. Similarly, birth years of the respondents clustered around the 1940’s and 1950’s, with the 1930’s well represented. Other data scattered. We therefore eliminated from statistical significance generational items like Pluto in Leo.

C. Defining the population was one of the most difficult tasks. Common feminist definition of a Lesbian is a woman whose primary emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual, and sexual energies are consciously directed towards women. Within this framework, and considering the sources of data, the operant definition for this study was, “A Lesbian is a woman who says she’s a Lesbian.” Similar definition problems precluded finding a control group of heterosexual women. Respondents who defined themselves as bisexual were not used.

IV Results:

On preliminary investigation of the items listed in II, no factors of major statistical significance were found. Two factors barely significant must be rechecked (probability of accidental significance).

This means: **There is, as yet, no “typical” Lesbian horoscope. **There was a roughly 50/50 split between planets in “masculine” and “feminine” signs. In fact, “feminine” signs were slightly more occupied. **No planets, including Venus and Mars, were more likely to be Retrograde than in the general population. **There were no Sun, Moon, or Rising signs that occurred more or less frequently than in the population at large, nor were there any more squares from or to or between any planets/asteroids/points. Saturn and the Moon in planet, sign, or house form (Letters 4 and 10) were no more or less represented or afflicted. **The formulas of Darling and Oliver, and the findings of Naumann and Jansky, did not withstand scrutiny.

Insofar as claims have been made for statistical significance in the charts of homosexual males, there do appear to be differences astrologically between the horoscopes of gay men and Lesbians.

V Ethical Considerations:

A. Security and anonymity of the data were guarded with all reasonable caution. Original data was destroyed as soon as it was in the computer. B. What if we had found something? How would it be used by astrologers? Doctors? Employers? Law enforcement officials? C. If sexual preferences are no easier to ascertain than gender in a horoscope, what of the arguments raging in the psychological community concerning the “causes” of “homosexuality?” (which presumably includes Lesbians)

VI Where do we go from here?

A. Further collection of Lesbian birth data to enlarge sample; the second 1000 charts will be used as a control to the first 1000, as the second 500 were used as a control for the first 500. B. Generating an equivalent control group of a not-Lesbian population: men in general, and a verified group of male homosexuals. (If indeed a prototype Lesbian chart can be constructed, what will the man be like who has it?) Generation of accurate frequency tables for all major astrological phenomena. C. Many respondents shared “coming-out” dates. Definition of this ambiguous term falls into two categories: 1) the time one acknowledges to herself that she is indeed a Lesbian, and 2) first adult Lesbian sexual experience. It may be that a transit or progression triggers a common configuration in an uncommon way. D. Though some of the raw data exists, due to time and financial limitations, we did not look closely at: harmonics, midpoints, phases, degree representation, Gauquelin sectors, aspects to all nodes, dwads, decanates, and Arabic parts.

I am continuing the study and will happily accept further accurate data and money to help defray computer costs. Deep thanks go to those whose contributions of data, money, knowledge, moral support, and hardware allowed the study to progress this far. Thanks especially to Zip Dobyns, Nancy Kelly, Mark Pottenger, Neil Michelsen, and Tom Shanks for their extraordinary support.

Copyright © 1980 Lynne Burmyn