the past few years, geneticists have succeeded in cloning sheep, cows
and pigs. Evidently, it is only a matter of time before science is capable
of cloning human beings, a possibility that has brought up ethical questions
similar to those raised by the abortion debate: To what degree do humans
have the right to interfere with the "natural" process of life? Under
what conditions is something considered to be alive? When does life
begin—at the moment of conception or the moment of birth?
we strip these questions of their highly-charged moral connotations,
we can address a purely philosophical point: How do you know when something
has begun? Astrologers are quite used to dealing with this question
because they believe that the beginning moment or "birth"
of anything contains the seed or blueprint for its future. In order
to analyze situations and make predictions, astrologers erect and examine
charts for human birth, the incorporation of a business and many other
often discuss what exactly constitutes this "first moment."
Some argue for using the earliest possible date; for instance, a conception
chart rather than a birth chart for a human being. Practically speaking,
very few people know the time and place they were conceived. One exception
is the case of a test tube baby or a laboratory-produced human clone,
a fact that brings us to the heart of the cloning issue and what it
means for astrology.
attempting to understand the full implications of "playing God"
in the laboratory, the underlying concern is that any kind of interference
in the natural process of creating life might affect the outcome or
future of the creation. It's kind of like Star Trek's "prime directive"
against meddling with other worlds. If you mess with the present, you
might alter the future. Astrologers hold a similar principle. The time
of one's birth determines the configuration of planets in the birth
chart, which in turn affects one's destiny. If the "natural"
timing of birth is somehow changed or manipulated, as in the case of
Caesarean section or cloning, the birth chart (and therefore one's personality
and destiny) must be altered accordingly.
in Your Genes" Versus "It's in Your Chart"
before scientists knew about genetics, astrologers noticed that people
tend to be born with certain astrological features in their charts that
are similar to those of their parents' charts. The great astrologer
Ptolemy was one of the first to record such an idea (circa 150 AD).
Four hundred years ago, the astronomer-astrologer Johannes Kepler wrote,
"There is one perfectly clear argument in favor of the authenticity
of astrology. This is the common horoscopic connection between parents
astrological heredity patterns became a well-established tradition in
astrology, but it wasn't until modern times that research was performed
to support this idea. Beginning in the 1950s, the astrology researcher
Michel Gauquelin made a serious investigation of the astrology-heredity
connection using statistical methods.1 Using charts for over 30,000
births, Gauquelin showed that, if one parent was born with a certain
planet near the Ascendant or Midheaven, then there was a significant
tendency for the child to have the same planet in the same position.
And when both parents had the same planet in a certain area of the chart,
the likelihood that the child would have it in the same place was doubled.
This increase corresponds to genetic theory, namely, that if both parents
have similar genes for certain traits (such as red hair), the likelihood
of their children having the same trait is increased.
supported his planetary heredity theory with a comparison test of non-natural
births, such as those induced by drugs or Caesarean section. The charts
of induced babies showed less correspondence to the charts of their
parents, and the charts of babies who were born naturally showed greater
correspondence to their parents' charts. This result provided significant
proof of the validity of astrology.
work also raises an important point about the timing of birth. His discovery
suggests that the planets must somehow be influencing the natural timing
of birth and that the baby is the one who initiates the birth process.
Again, this astrological theory is totally in accord with biology. Recent
scientific research into the physiology of the birth process has revealed
that it is not the pregnant mother who initiates the birth, but the
fetus.2 In other words, birth involves an act of will. Gauquelin showed
that this volition is linked to planetary positions in the birth chart.
Astrology of Cloning
clone, in genetic terms, is a "twin" (rather than a child)
of its parent. But in astrological terms, a clone could not have a twin's
chart (the same birth time as its parent). Genetics and astrology seem
to be matched when there is natural birth. They might not necessarily
be matched with cloning.
a human clone or test tube baby, the moment of conception depends on
biotechnological convenience (the geneticist's schedule at the laboratory),
just as the moment of induced (Caesarean) birth may depend on the obstetrician's
schedule. Will human cloning produce offspring whose birth chart shows
an astrological connection to the lab or the geneticist, rather than
the parent? Would the clone's birth be nothing more than a transit to
its parent's chart?
real question here is not whether "who we are" is dependent
on heredity or astrology. There is evidence for both, so we should ask
instead how astrology and genetics are related. Since astrology apparently
expresses hereditary patterns, does genetic make-up express astrological
patterns? Could it be that the DNA map is simply a reflection of the
Gauquelin, Michael. Planetary Heredity. San Diego, CA:
ACS Publications, 1988.
Nathanielsz, Peter. "The Timing of Birth." American Scientist.
Vol. 84 (1996), pp. 562-569.