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During 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?

If 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 "first moments."

Astrologers 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.

In 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.

"It's in Your Genes" Versus "It's in Your Chart"

Long 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 and children."

Observing 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.

Gauquelin 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.

Gauquelin's 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.

The Astrology of Cloning

A 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.

For 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?

The 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 astrological chart?

1 Gauquelin, Michael. Planetary Heredity. San Diego, CA: ACS Publications, 1988.

2 Nathanielsz, Peter. "The Timing of Birth." American Scientist. Vol. 84 (1996), pp. 562-569.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie Vaughan graduated with honors from Vassar College, where she studied astronomy and mythology, and has a Master's Degree in information science. She has been practicing, teaching and writing about astrology for 25 years. She is the author of Astro-Mythology: The Celestial Union of Astrology and Myth and Persephone is Transpluto: The Scientific, Mythological and Astrological Discovery of the Planet Beyond Pluto, both published by One Reed Publications.

For more information about Valerie Vaughan, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Valerie Vaughan:

  • Accidents   8/31/2013
  • Astrology Takes an Eye-Opening Look at Sleep   6/8/2013
  • Woman as Lover or Mother: The Venus-Ceres Crisis   1/14/2012
  • Astrology Takes an Eye-Opening Look at Sleep   1/22/2005
  • Classroom Avengers: The Astrology of School Shootings   3/9/2001
  • When Lightning Strikes: The Shocking Story   12/18/2000
  • Careers in Health Care: An Astrological View   10/4/2000
  • Premature Birth: Astrology and the Ethics of Survival   9/28/2000
  • A Stellar Alignment: Astrology and Chiropractic   7/31/2000
  • The "Age-Old" Dilemma of Aging Gracefully: It's All a Matter of Timing   7/17/2000
  • Between Sky and Mind: The Lunar Link to Sanity   6/10/2000
  • Chronobiology: Astrology in a Lab Coat?   3/13/2000

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