Apr 072004
Authors: Elizabeth Kerrigan

It seems that some relationships are simply just meant to be,

that their very existence was written in the stars. But for Dr.

Roger Culver and wife Gail Culver, it was literally the stars that

brought them together. Their relationship has become a microcosm

for the age-old conflict between astrology and science.

Gail Culver has been an astrologist for more than 40 years.

Roger Culver is an astronomy professor at CSU and a known critic of

astrology. In fact, he co-wrote the book “The Gemini Syndrome,”

which set out to disprove astrology all together.

“I had read his book, so when I moved from San Diego to Fort

Collins, I wanted to find him and meet him,” Gail said. “I met

someone who knew him and we were finally introduced at a dinner

that we were both invited to. We discussed his book and I told him

how much I disliked it.”

The two went on to have many heated debates, some even publicly

scheduled at places like the Lincoln Center.

Eventually, as the law that states opposites attract would have

it, the two ended up falling in love and ultimately getting

married. And the place they wed was, fittingly enough, the CSU

Planetarium, but not before word of their relationship was covered

in the national news.

One Oprah show and a million arguments about astrology’s

validity later, here they are, with a deeper understanding of each

other’s field but still clinging tightly, not to mention making a

living, on their original beliefs.

“As a scientist, I am used to pinning things down and you just

can’t do that with astrology,” Roger said.

While he claims that astrology is not necessarily a valid way to

determine a person’s life map, Gail claims that quite the opposite

can be true of astrology.

“It works because it works. It is all about mathematics,” Gail

said. “I use it because the first time I looked back across my life

with my birth chart … it showed everything that had happened

throughout my life.”

A birth chart, like the one that Gail has, is an essential

roadmap that astrologers create in order to give a person their

true horoscope. It can tell people about their past, present and

future, including what their personalities traits are, when they

will face the rough times in their lives, how successful they will

be and even when they will have the most meaningful relationships

in their lives.

“The chart will show you the hand you are dealt in life, just

not how you will play that hand,” Gail said. “People find it

helpful because it is like a map. People feel better when they see

there is an order or a scheme (to their life).”

The birth chart is a necessary tool for astrologers to give an

accurate reading of someone’s horoscope. It is created using

numerous mathematical calculations, including where the planets

were aligned when a person was born and where the planets will be

throughout various stages in that person’s life.

“A birth chart is not like what you read in the newspaper; that

is only for entertainment and only incorporates people’s sun

signs,” Gail said. “To make a precise horoscope you need the exact

day, time and place a person was born, even four minutes can make a

difference and no two birth charts are alike.”

Sun signs, like Aries, Cancer and Sagittarius, are what most

novices associate with astrology. These are the signs that a person

looks under in the horoscope section of his/her favorite magazine

or daily newspaper. There are 12 total and everyone falls under one

of these depending on when they were born. However, Gail said that

much more must be figured out about people before they can call

their horoscope their very own.

“Thirteen hundred factors based on (the planets) make up a birth

chart,” she said.

Even her husband, a dedicated scientist, will admit that

calculating a person’s birth chart is an extremely difficult


“The birth chart has fairly tedious calculations, but when it is

done, it’s your own and unique to you,” Roger said.

Technology has made the mathematics of birth charts much easier

and today a computer can perform all of the figures. However, the

math is actually considered the easy part. Interpreting the charts

is said to be the true test of an astrologer’s skills.

“Interpretation is an art. It’s hard to measure things like love

or attraction,” Gail said.

Which, according to her, is what most people want answered.

Inquiries about love, money and careers are the most frequently

asked questions.

A deeper examination of books written on astrology shows that it

has been put to use to everything from pets, politics and babies to

criminology and cooking.

According to Julia and Derek Parker, astrologers and authors of

“Parkers’ Astrology,” people’s preoccupation with the skies began

long before the invention of writing.

“Gradually, astrologers divided the belt of the ecliptic into 12

sections, naming each after the constellation of fixed stars which

stood behind it. Furthermore, it was realized that when a planet

passed through one of the sections, certain effects occurred like

babies born at the same time seemed to share common

characteristics, and certain events seemed more likely to occur,”

they wrote.

Joe Koller, a junior majoring in accounting at CSU, has an

astrologer in the family who completed his birth chart for him

about four years ago.

“It basically told me what kind of person I am, what aspects in

life I desire most and what I need out of life to be happy,” Koller

said. “In a lot of ways the personality traits were right on, more

so than the other parts.”

Gail said there is no way a person’s entire life can be

interpreted through one reading. According to her, the first

reading usually includes personality traits, talents and possibly a

projection of the next couple of years. After that, the chart must

be updated to answer more in-depth questions.

Koller said he is not quite sure if updating his chart for

another reading would interest him.

“I’m just not sure if I would want to know more about my future.

I just think it would mess with my mind,” he said.

Gail said Koller’s reaction is normal for some people.

“Astrology produces a mixed bag (of reactions). Some people just

aren’t accepting of it or superstitious, but the reality is that

most people are curious,” she said.

For thousands of years, those curious people having been turning

to the stars for answers about their love lives, careers, money or

for a quick glimpse into the future. Some seek true guidance and

understanding of their lives, while others turn to the stars for

entertainment purposes or a good laugh. Whatever the reason, it is

a known fact that most human beings have been obsessed, or at the

very least curious, about what their horoscopes may reveal.

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