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 Testing the Elements in the

Tropical & Sidereal Zodiacs


The birth details of 288 subjects with extreme scores for Extraversion and Neuroticism in Eysenck's Personality Profile were kindly supplied by Dr Geoffrey Dean.  In an earlier experiment (Currey 2017), the positions of the Sun, Moon and Ascendant showed that extraverts had significantly more planets in the Fire Signs than Earth Signs (in the Tropical Zodiac) and that Introverts had considerably more planets in Earth than in Fire.  Those who scored highly on emotional stability had many more planets in Air than in Earth and the reverse applied to those high on the Neurotic scale.   These results from the Tropical Zodiac were in line (p=.008) with expectations based on a semantic match between the keywords for each typology set by the Eysencks and the keywords for the elements from leading astrologers.  

The correspondence found in the Tropical Zodiac is now tested as if the same traits were to apply to the Sidereal Zodiac. (Fagan-Bradley)  

Matching traits with Astrological Keywords
Eysenck's Personality Traits & Astrological Elements

In the circular diagram, Eysenck divided the trait words into four  psychological types based on two scales.  I have added the astrological Element that corresponds to each trait by referencing leading tropical astrologers, Hand (1981) and Arroyo  (1975)


Four observations are evident: 

  • Fire keywords are exclusively Extraverted [E+]. Right hemisphere.

  • Earth keywords are exclusively Introverted [E-]. Left hemisphere.

  • Air keywords are exclusively Emotionally Stable [N-]. Lower hemisphere.

  • Water keywords fall in all four typologies.

The question for Astrologers using the Sidereal Zodiac or Rashis (in the Vedic system) is: do these character traits also apply to the Sidereal System?  Or are there subtle differences that would skew the results? 


While Vedic Astrologers such as Ehsan Khazeni and others point to deviations, western-based sidereal astrologers such as Adam Smith and Richard Alwin Fidler interpret the Sidereal Signs in the same way that astrologers interpret the Tropical Signs.  If you work with the Sidereal Zodiac, please use the contact form to share your view on this and I may adapt this article accordingly.  

Matching Planetary Frequencies with Extraversion

The number of Eysenck's Introvert traits [E-] are deducted from the number of Extravert [E+] traits and the balance is listed in the bar graph titled Traits on the lower left hand side.  So Air would be 3 E- traits less 2 E+ traits resulting in -1 on the E scale. 


Next the total frequency of planets (Sun, Moon & Ascendant) in each element for the 108 subjects with extreme extraversion [E+] is calculated.  This is deducted from the planetary totals for the 108 extreme introverts [E-].  The central bar graph shows 26 more planets in Tropical Fire Signs in the charts of Extraverts compared with Introverts and 27 more planets in Tropical Earth for Introverts compared with Extraverts.  The right hand bar chart shows the same calculations with Sidereal Signs. 

As should be visually obvious, the Tropical Signs closely match the Traits as expected.  However, there is no correlation between the Trait graph and the Sidereal graph.  The Sidereal elements are evenly balanced between E+ and E- with Fire Signs slightly more introvert i.e. not strongly extravert as per the traits.   

What appears to have occurred is just as the sign boundaries have shifted 24°, the low Tropical earth has moved to reduce the Sidereal Fire result and the high Tropical Fire frequency has shifted to increase Sidereal Water.  

This result confirms that in this sample, extreme extraversion and introversion traits correspond closely with the elements in Tropical Signs but not as defined by Sidereal Signs

Measuring Neuroticism by Planetary Frequency 

As with the Extraverts and Introverts (above), the 108 Neurotics [N+] were compared with the 108 emotionally stable [N-] types from the sample.  While the Sidereal results were better for Fire, being in the right direction, the Tropical results were better for Earth.  In both elements, the N traits fell on both sides of the scale [N+ & N-] - so neither result could be seen as decisive in isolation. 


The only set of traits that show a clear direction on this N scale is the correspondence between Air (Green) and emotional stability [N-] on the Traits graph (left).  This was matched by the results for Air in the Tropical Zodiac, but not in the Sidereal Zodiac.  


While the Sidereal results were consistent with the direction of the traits only twice out of 8 times (25%), the Tropical results were consistent in 6 out of 8 times (75%).  In one of the two instances where Sidereal was in the right direction, extreme Neurotics (N+) had a significant frequency of planets in Sidereal Fire Signs.  But even this singular result was not clear-cut as the traits considered Firey by Tropical astrologers: 'outgoing', 'leadership' and 'lively' are in Eysenck's N- typology. 


In the three instances where the traits were unanimously in one direction (Fire: extraversion, Air: Emotional stability and Earth: Introversion) the frequency of the Tropical Elements was significantly high in the same direction whereas in each case, the frequencies in the Sidereal Elements were around average or in the opposite direction.  

As expected, with the Sidereal Sign boundaries being some 24° into the previous Tropical Sign,  some 4/5ths of the frequencies from each Tropical element shift to the previous Sidereal Element.  For example, 80% of the Tropical Earth moves to Sidereal Fire.  As a result the Tropical Zodiac becomes a confounding factor and the true cause of the significant pattern for Neuroticism in the Sidereal bar chart.  The reason that we can rule out the reverse is that the Tropical Zodiac results are mostly consistent with those expected by the corresponding traits and the Sidereal are mostly not. 

It is evident from the results that extreme personalities based on their scores on Eysenck's test (EPI) have a high frequency of planets in the Tropical Elements that fit the corresponding traits that western astrologers associate with these Elements.  However, the same correspondence did not fit with the Sidereal Elements. 


This leads to four possible conclusions:   

  1. That the experiment is flawed.  The test conditions have been peer reviewed, rigorously controlled and no artefacts have been detected so far

  2. That the Sidereal Zodiac only works for those who live within the Vedic/Hindu culture and this western designed test on westerners using western empirical techniques is not a fair measure of the oriental Sidereal system. 

  3. That the Sidereal Zodiac is universal and robust but that elements in the Sidereal Zodiac have different meanings or different applications and do not correspond with personality traits set by western astrologers.

  4. That the Tropical Zodiac performs this task as claimed by tropical astrologers and that the Sidereal Zodiac fails to perform as claimed by western sidereal astrologers.

Whatever the conclusion, this Sidereal Zodiac, which was imported from Babylon and Hellenistic Greece, is only a small part of the Vedic System, where interpretation of natal charts places greater emphasis on houses, aspects and the Lunar Mansions (Nakshatras). 


Arroyo, Stephen (1975) Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements, CRCS

Dean, G. & Hedgecock R. (1979), The elements vs psychology, astrology and palmistry: an empirical clarification. Part 1. Astrological Journal 1979. 2 pp.75-82 and 110.

Dean, G. (1981) Planets and Personality Extremes Correlation 1(2) pp.15-18

Dean, G. (1985a), Can astrology predict E and N? 1: Individual Factors, Correlation, Vol.5 #1, pp.3-17.

Dean, G. (1985b), Can astrology predict E and N? 2: the whole chart, Correlation, Vol.5 #2, pp.2-24.

Dean, G. (1986), Can astrology predict E and N? 3: discussion and further research, Correlation, Vol.6 #2, pp. 7-52. Includes meta-analyses of astrological studies.

Eysenck, Hans Jürgen & Eysenck, Sybil B. G. (1958) Personality and individual differences. London: Plenum Publishing

Eysenck, H. & Eysenck, S. (1964) The Manual of the Eysenck Personality Inventory, Hodder & Stoughton, London

Eysenck, H. & Nias, D. (1982) Astrology. Science or Superstition, Penguin

Hand, Robert (1981) Horoscope Symbols, Whitford Press. 

Jackson. P. MacDonald (1979) Extraversion, Neuroticism and date of birth: A southern hemisphere study. The Journal of Psychology. Vol 191 pp.197-8

Veno, A. & Pamment, P. (1979) Astrological Factors and personality: A southern hemisphere replication. The Journal of Psychology 101 pp.73-77

Confounding Factors: In statistics, a confounding variable or factor is a variable (the Tropical Zodiac) that influences both the dependent variable (the E&N scores) and independent variable (the Sidereal Zodiac) causing a spurious association.

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