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Cosmobiology is a type of astrology popularized by Reinhold Ebertin (1901-1988). The term was coined by Austrian astrologer and theosophist Friedrich Wehofer (aka Friedrich Feerhow, 1888-1921) in his book Medical Astrology (1914).* Ebertin's main source, however, was Alfred Witte (1878-1941), founder of the Hamburg School of Astrology.
Cosmobiology eschews the use of traditional house systems and uses a complicated charting method to develop a cosmogram of heavenly objects that places special importance on midpoints. A midpoint is a point half way between two planets (or other notables). For example, "the distance between 0 degrees Aries and 0 degrees Cancer is 90 degrees. Half of 90 is 45, so the midpoint would be located at 15 degrees Taurus."* Cosmobiologists consider "indirect midpoints" to be important, too. "The point opposite 15 degrees Taurus is 15 Scorpio: this is an indirect midpoint. In fact, it is common to use all indirect midpoints at 45 or even 22.5 degree intervals. Indirect midpoints carry nearly the same energy as a direct midpoint."* (It should be noted that cosmobiologists may still refer to what they eschew.)
Ebertin's influence increased astronomically after the publication of The Combination of Stellar Influences in 1940, in which he gives interpretations for all possible planetary combinations and midpoints.
Cosmobiologists, like other astrologers, are consulted for advice in personal and business matters, assisting in medical diagnoses, and in matters regarding fertility.
There are several reasons for the popularity of pseudosciences such as cosmobiology. The pragmatic fallacy is often committed in such matters because of the relative ease with which one can fit just about any piece of data to the theory. Analogies and metaphors are easy to see and are used to validate predictions. Also, many predictions will have a 50/50 chance of being right: you'll have a boy (or girl), your business will succeed (or fail). Many will be vague: you will come into some unexpected money; you will be traveling in the near future. Finally, there is no way to disprove such theories. Whatever happens, either it can be made to fit the theory or an ad hoc hypothesis can be constructed to explain away the apparent refuting evidence.
books and articles
Eysenck, H.J. and Nias D. K. B. Astrology: Science or Superstition? (St. Martin's Press, New York:1982).
Kelly, I. W. "Cosmobiology and moon madness," Mercury, 10, 13-17.
Kelly, I. W. "Why Astrology Doesn't Work," Psychological Reports, 1998, 82, 527-546.
Die Medizinische Astrologie. Unter Berücksichtigung des Pflanzenheilverfahrens, der Homöopathie, Hygiene und "Biochemie". in der Reihe "Astrologische Bibliothek", Band 9, 116 Seiten, Theosophisches Verlagshaus Dr. Hugo Vollrath, Leipzig 1914; 2. Auflage, 155 Seiten, Leipzig 1919.