Gauquelin, Michel (Roland) (1928–1991)
French psychologist and writer who attempted to put astrology
on a scientific basis through his special studies of correlation
between personality and cosmic influences. Gauquelin was
born November 13, 1928, in Paris and was educated at the Sorbonne,
University of Paris (Ph.D., 1954). In 1954 he married
Françoise Schneider, a science writer and psychologist, who
collaborated with him on research and writing. Gauquelin
served in the French Military Reserve (active duty, 1953–54)
and attained the rank of lieutenant. He began practicing psychology
and writing in 1956.
With his wife he established the Laboratory for Study of the
Relations between Cosmic Rhythms and Psychophysiologics in
Paris. In 1949, having found that previous quantitative studies
in astrology lacked sufficient controls, the Guaquelins began
collecting large pools of birth data and analyzed planetary positions
in relation to various factors, especially career choice
and performance. Among the statistically significant factors
they discovered was a correlation between the position of Mars
in the natal chart and success in sports. This correlation became
known as the Mars effect.
The research was published in a series of books beginning
with The Cosmic Clocks in 1967. The research was hailed by the
astrological community as good news, even though the findings
contradicted many standard astrological affirmations. It served
as part of the catalyst for the formation of the Committee for
the Scientific Investigation of the Claims of the Paranormal,
which began a project to refute the data presented by the Gauquelins.
The project, in fact, replicated the Gauquelins’ results,
but rather than publish its findings, the committee falsified the
results. The ensuing ‘‘Starbaby’’ scandal severely damaged the
credibility of the committee. The controversy was aired quite
thoroughly in several issues of the Zetetic Scholar.
Regarding his studies in ‘‘cosmopsychology,’’ Gauquelin
‘‘Until the beginning of this century, science believed that
man was in isolation on earth, separated from the rest of the
universe. Now we know that the biological clocks of our brain
and our body are attuned to the movement of the cosmic
forces. . . . This new conception should have not only scientific
but also philosophical and even poetical implications for modern
The Gauquelins divorced in the 1980s, and each continued
to pursue an independent line of research. Michel Gauquelin
went on to work with astrologers on a revised neoastrology that
would embody the results of his research. Besides writing numerous
books, he contributed articles to periodicals and wrote
television programs on psychology and cosmic influences. He
died in Paris on May 20, 1991.
Curry, Patrick. ‘‘Research on the Mars Effect.’’ Zetetic Scholar
9 (1982) 34–52.
Dean, G. Recent Advances in Natal Astrology. Cowes, England
The Author, 1977.
Gauquelin, Michel. The Cosmic Clocks From Astrology to a
Modern Science. Chicago Henry Regnery, 1967. Reprint, New
York Avon, 1969.
———. Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior. 2nd ed. New
York ASI Publishers, 1978.
———. Dreams and Illusions of Astrology. Buffalo, N.Y. Prometheus
Books, 1979.
———. How Atmospheric Conditions Affect Your Health. New
York Stein and Day, 1971.
———. The Scientific Basis of Astrology Myth or Reality New
York Stein and Day, 1969.
Gauquelin, Michel, and Françoise Guaquelin. The Mars Effect
and Sports Champions A New Replication. Paris Laboratorie
d’Études des Relations entre Rhythmes Cosmiques et Psychophysiologiques,
Lewis, James. Encyclopedia of Astrology. Detroit Visible Ink
Press, 1994.
Seymour, Percy. The Scientific Basis of Astrology. New York St.
Martin’s, 1992.