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The Ethics of Using Electional Astrology to Time a Birth

electional-astrology-chart-01In this episode I talk with Patrick Watson about whether it is ethical to use electional astrology in order to choose a birth chart for a baby that is about to be born, as well as some of the issues connected with that topic.

Patrick and his wife had a baby just last month, and as an astrologer he had to think about some of these questions, so I thought it would be good to take the opportunity to discuss it on the show.

Outline of the Podcast

Here is a general outline of the episode and some of the main points that we talked about:

  • Patrick had a baby last month, and we wrestled with the issue of electing a birth, and some of the things that arise as a result of it.
    • James Patrick Watson's birth chartJames Patrick Watson, born January 24, 2014 at 1:04 PM in Phoenix, Arizona. 29 Taurus rising.
  • Is it ethical to elect a birth chart?
    • Would it be ethical to not elect the birth chart if you had the option?
  • Is this similar to eugenics or gene selection, like the movie Gattaca?
    • Could it lead to negative things, like discrimination?
  • They needed to pick a date because a C-section was necessary due to complications.
  • In the end we picked the date, but didn’t have control over the time, so it was like 50/50.
    • 50% left up to chance, and 50% choice.
    • The birth time ended up being later in the day than even anticipated.
  • Patrick noticed a number of connections between the Ascendant and important moments in the parent’s relationship.
    • No known planetary placements or Lots at 29 Taurus/Scorpio in the natal chart of parents. Were these transits in anticipation of James’ Ascendant or did the transits “cause” James’ Ascendant to be 29 Taurus?
  • Wendy Stacey from the UK has done a study on the increased use of C-sections in modern times, showing that it is becoming more and more common.
    • It is safer.
    • Doctors prefer it and recommend it because then it conforms to their schedule.
    • The result though is that more people are born during the day.
  • Is the birth chart still valid if it was a C-section instead of a normal birth?
    • We put this question to rest right away and say yes.
    • It seems like people who say no have a fundamental misunderstanding of astrology.
    • However, Gauquelin did say that the Mars effect vanished for induced births.


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 15 transcript

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  • The chart illustration is wrong, showing 29 ARIES on the ascendant. It was only as I heard the broadcast the mistake was clear.

    If the doctor says you need a c-section, GET ANOTHER OPINION. Get it from a midwife, NOT a male surgeon. A surgeon has a bias towards cutting. A midwife has a bias towards solving problems. I spent a long night with the birth of my daughter, with doctors that hit us with “csection!” “csection!” csection NOW!” Which I resisted, while my wife’s condition deteriorated. Promptly at 6 am the midwife came on duty and knew exactly what to do. Baby delivered normally, to a mother at the very end of her strength. Best bet: Get the midwife to agree with the surgeon, go with consensus.

    Atomic clock or no, you will need to establish if the Earth’s central crystal is set to that clock, or to some other standard. (Right now that has not been established so far as I am aware.) 29 Taurus rising gives a Venus-Pluto conjunction on the cusp of the 9th as chart ruler. That’s very different from Gemini rising, Mercury at 21 Aquarius in the 10th house, where it is tightly squared by Saturn, which will hit Mercury twice more before it clears. If Mercury is the chart ruler, Saturn’s upcoming transits are a very grave affair. Consider also the progressed Moon, which will conjunct Saturn and square Mercury at age 10 months, late October. Saturn will be 22 Scorpio at that time. If not the chart ruler, Saturn should pass without notice.

    For that matter, if Venus is the chart ruler, Pluto will conjunct it in a year. Since I was born with a rather nasty Pluto mess in my chart, I’ve been looking at it. Seems it did not quite conjunct the moon on its retrograde arc, and got no where near Mercury as chart ruler. Mozart is a prime case of early infant death, by the way. January 27, 1756, 8:00 pm, Salzburg. Wolfgang did not live to April. About six years later his older brother Johann was made to take his identity. Which is where “Amadeus” came from, as Johann clung to it. The stories astrologers can tell!

    Gemini rising we have a dynamic speaker, with chart ruler Mercury stressed/stimulated by squares from Moon and Saturn. Taurus rising we get an intellect of some sort, Venus/Pluto on 9 opposed by Jupiter retrograde in Cancer in 3. Down to earth and practical, perhaps.

    So far as electing a birth, I am of the opinion there are so many unknowns as to make the attempt foolish. If you, as father or mother have meditated deeply (if you are capable of it, I am not) then you might reach an understanding of one sort or another. Without that, you might as well go with the flow, as the flow is often the best that can be done under the circumstances.

    Your discussion about csections is not good, which is being polite. I have read horrific accounts from the women who got them. So far as recovery from birth, because the birth was not natural, recovery is difficult. Which includes nursing, which, if what I have heard is correct, is difficult for such mothers, the baby having essentially been “aborted.” You need to talk to midwives, you need to talk to mothers.

    If the child does not get the chart he was expecting, his life will be a millstone around his neck. Yes the chart is still valid, just not for him. Somewhere north of 40 – or 60 – he may “grow into” it, and if he is astrologically aware, may have the feeling that most of his life was wasted. Yes, all the planets may be at all the right degrees and in the right aspects, but the final house placements are definitive and control everything else. (I am increasingly disappointed with Hellenistic astrology.) Cindy Lou Fiedler, born about two hours after me, grew up with dead bodies downstairs, a 2nd/8th polarity. Age 14 became a mother – Mars in Scorpio in 5 – but managed to graduate with her high school class. Born, raised, lived, will die in Meade, KS, a town I only briefly passed through, being 3rd/9th house polarized, while enroute to college, France, England, New York, Los Angeles and, oh, yes, one child, born late in life. Time matters. The prime minister of a small Asian country, born the same day as Cindy and myself, but with a 5th/11th polarity, is the playboy son of his country’s founder and will probably not live long after his aging father passes. Ultimately the question becomes if anyone gets the right, or best, moment of birth, or if we all just muddle along.

    Conception charts. I need to get my theory out there. The zodiac is generated by the earth itself, it varies according to the earth’s placement among the planets. (The sky is empty.) The earth synthesizes and radiates the result from the ground out. The earth is more than big enough, the earth and planets are more than close enough, to have exactly these qualities. In the earth’s complex, vibrating sphere, any object that breaks apart loses its initial vibration and and the resulting parts take on the current vibration as of the moment of separation. This is simple, strict physics. No “signs”. No “omens.” We live in a vibrating environment. Birth is a much greater marker than conception, because much greater mass is involved, of the mother, of the infant. (At conception a sperm with its vibration is merged with a much larger egg with its own vibration. Which would be a process similar to, say, mixing concrete.)

    You would get a lot of notice if you could do interviews weekly. The format is hard, you have a knack. That’s rare.

  • Thanks so much. I will listen again, again, and again. My initial response; children of now (present time) with Neptune in Pisces, favorable to Jupiter in Cancer, auspicious to Saturn, Nodes and all else in or having been recently in Scorpio, or element of water – will know their own minds. Unable or incapacitated to be egotistic, they are born telepathically enhanced – capable of using their own imaginations and virtual vistas to create a reality beyond limits or restrictions of the past. They are not equipped to be caught up in materialistic goals, these entities may be the Renaissance or Artistry of greater (Jupiter trine Saturn) proportions – producing works of quality of longer lasting affects, thus effecting civilizations. Their souls may of originated from Atlantis or before, Mu, other mythological places or sources of light, perhaps this innate memory is – will be enabling the spirit and soul of men born now, such a James, to flourish in a harmonious way. His immediate generation, favorable trine of water element, especially Neptune home in Pisces, is in contrast to; constant drone of war like energy “to martial man’s collective energy of impulsive/compulsive patterns – generations of behavior – into radical outburst of emotions. These children of today, 2013/2014 are of the needed softer souls – emotional stronger entities born with the element of water so vividly trine – thus favorably tempered by Neptune’s astral; altruistic, Idealistically keen impressions, seeing through time’s veils – into lucid future vistas. They see with their eyes closed, actually.. Well, I am a Lady, 69.2 years new, believing collective empowerment is equal or less – not stronger – than the free-willed individual; not to worry for genetics and misuse of Astrology, actually. The Cosmic Universe’s hand on mankind is evident, as this is Astrology in action. Free spirits with free will are the core of men, rather than being subjective to ego’s flesh – without the spirit, the body is a nervously run puppet. Thanks so much for all the above average knowledge, you generously share. It is a greater help than you may even imagine, dear Sir Chris. Please take time to realize this truth – listening to you is a safety-net in the field of Astrology, as the arena has grown so wide – yet not necessarily always upwards. In sincere appreciation and gratitude. 🙂

  • @Dave – The chart illustration uses whole sign houses, and the degree of the Ascendant is marked as 29 Taurus, so it is correct.

    • I am sorry to be a pain, but big bold lines have to relate to something. If you have a chart that hides >>all<< the angles, what's the point of those big bold lines?

        • Okay. A variation on a Uranian/Cosmobiology technique, only here the degrees are shifted from 0 to match the ascending degree. In this chart, the result is an emphasis on the 12th/6th and 3rd/9th cusps (the weakest cusps in the chart), but then you said signs, not houses, which means we do not have houses. It disturbs me that Hellenistic astrology seems to have resulted in charts and interpretations not much different from the astropsychology of 30 years ago. Apologies.

  • @Dave: The c-section was necessary because the baby was frank breech, meaning his bottom was on her cervix – you cannot deliver a baby butt-first. The doctor who is best known in my area for being able to perform versions attempted to turn the baby to no avail. The nurses even called him “magic fingers” and acted surprised that he wasn’t able to turn the baby. He was simply too big and there was simply not enough amniotic fluid to move him, midwifes know what they are doing but they have limits and I don’t know what they could have done differently. My wife did all the exercises and tips and tricks they advised to try to turn the baby naturally in the last several weeks of pregnancy, but none of it worked for us. I know that c-sections are pushed on women for their convenience and for profit, but sometimes they are necessary in order to ensure a safe delivery for mother and child, and according to all the available evidence of the situation we had before us, this was one of those times. If the procedure wasn’t done it could have ended badly for the mother or the baby or both.

  • When I first saw the chart, I wondered why you picked a day with the Moon in fall, but the interview gave a good explanation of why you chose it given the time frame with which you had to work. I don’t know if you use the fixed stars much, but I noticed that he has the Pleiades on the ascendant, which among other things, can indicate poor eyesight, especially with the Lights (the rulers of the eyes and vision) also debilitated. I would get his eyes checked regularly especially after starting school. I have Praesaepe (blindness) on the ascendant (6 Leo) and have very poor eyesight. I have been wearing corrective lenses since 6th grade.

    The other thing you might find interesting is that I have a friend who is an acupuncturist and one day we somehow got on the topic of breech birth babies and she told me there is a point on the little toe(s) that is needled when this occurs. I asked her if she ever had experience with it and she said yes, she had one patient who was carrying a breech birth baby so she needled the appropriate points and sure enough within 24 hours the baby flipped over and was in the correct birth position.
    Best wishes for you and your new son.

  • I am a professional astrologer now based in the UK.
    In 2009 my daughter was born in Chattanooga,TN and towards the end of my wife’s pregnancy the midwife gave us the date of the c-section (which she had to have because our daughter had not turned round in the womb). I discussed the date and potential chart with my wife and we went back to the midwife and asked if we could be booked in for just 3 days later, as this would make my daughter a Sagittarius Sun and Moon in Aquarius. The midwife agreed and said ‘of course, you’re an astrologer!’
    A week later we met the doctor who was going to do the surgery and he said ‘I heard you’re an astrologer, no doubt you’d like to pick the time of her first breath’. I said Yes! and the doctor explained he could time the first breath to between 8.00am-8:45am ; 12noon to 12:45 or 16:00 to 16:45. As these were the three times in the day that his operating team were all set up for the procedure.
    So I went away and started studying the chart with those three time frames as my potential choices.
    I felt as if my unborn daughter was guiding my decisions as I analysed and eventually I came to the decision for the 08:00-08:45am slot mainly because I liked the applying moon in Aquarius conjunct Jupiter.
    The night before we met the doctor again and he said ‘I can really fine tune it, you know.’ So I got the computer out again and said if you could get it as close to 08:05-08:10 then my daughter would have the Persian royal stars of Antares and Aldebran on her Ascendant and Descendant axis. And he said ‘I’ll give it a go.’
    At 08:02:50 on November 23rd, 2009 my daughter was born in Chattanooga,TN.
    So far I praise be everyday that we bought into the world a fantastically fun and joyous being.
    I honed my electional choices for the time down to just a few points, which I’ll list here:
    1) Moon conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius
    2) Moon in its Joy in the third house
    3) Mercury in its Joy in the first house
    4) In whole sign houses the Sagittarius Sun is still in the first house
    5) I chose November 23rd because of the applying Sun making a sextile to an exalted Saturn in Libra (so if everything else was crazy, at least she’d be sensible)
    6) I think the most karmically difficult planet to place was the Venus in Scorpio in the apex of a fixed T-square, so it ended up in the 12th house, as I believe that T-squares in sucedent houses are milder than angular or cadent.
    7) It turned out that at 08:02 Uranus in Pisces was exactly conjunct her IC in Pisces! (If IC is the father, I’m an astrologer!)
    Anyways I couldn’t have been more pleased with what we’ve got. She’s totally awesome, very intelligent, lots of fun with a great sense of humor, very understanding and with the added Antares influence, I believe destined for great things.
    8) and one other thing I noticed is her Mercury is out of bounds at 23S46′. Even though its in its detriment in Sagittarius, I think this could prove to be very interesting in her life, as it rules both her MC and Descendant.

    We moved over to the UK in 2011 when she was 2 years old and she’s likely to stay here for her education and until she’s grown up.
    I just thought you’d like to know how I did an electional birth time.
    All the best

  • I know this is from ages ago, but I’ve been listening to back episodes. The Chinese Astrological event that you are referring to is the Year of the Golden Pig. It’s referred to as the luckiest year in the Chinese horoscope. Many of my Asian American friends were grumbling about there pushy grandmothers bugging them about having children. I hope this helps.


  • Re the 29 degree Taurus rising. Have you checked out the duad degrees? I find they usually resonate very strongly with the charts of the parents and/or grandparents as well as other members of the family. http://aliceportman.com/190/ This is not usually the case with planned c-section births but may be so in your case. For example, you talked about the female side of your son’s line having a Virgo component and the duad Vertex-Ceres in his birth chart is at 8 Virgo. Duad Sun-Moon is 27 Pisces, duad Ascendant is 18 Aries58.
    In addition, perhaps you could check the MC-IC, Asc-Descendant, Vertex-antivertex degrees of the Seconary, Tertiary and Minor progressions o fthe parents at the time of conception?
    Alternatively, the Davison chart and/or its progressions and solar arcs will often have the degrees in the charts of the children that occurred as a result of this union.
    Re conception charts. In natural births there is a really strong natural flow between the conception chart and the birth chart but this process is interfered with when medical assistance occurs – though the correct conception chart usually shows the likelihood of medical intervention at birth.
    For a long time part of my astrological practice was working out the timing of conceiving a baby when the parents couldn’t do this naturally so I am somewhat proficient in this field.
    It would be good to see your and your wife’s charts and the possible date of conception.