The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 214, titled:
The Increasing Frequency of Caesarean Section Births
With Chris Brennan and astrologer Wendy Stacey
Episode originally released on July 16, 2019
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released October 7, 2021
Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, thank you for joining me today.
WENDY STACEY: Thanks for having me.
CB: What’s your name?
WS: Wendy Stacey.
CB: All right. And you are a professional astrologer, right?
WS: I am.
CB: How long have you been studying astrology?
WS: 31 years now.
CB: Wow, okay.
WS: Since high school. [laughs]
CB: And you are the head of the School of Astrology here in London, right?
WS: I head up the Mayo School of Astrology. It’s based in the UK, but it’s a distance learning and online school. So it’s sort of, even though it’s based here, it has students and tutors around the world.
CB: Got it. You’re also involved in one of the major local astrological organizations here?
WS: The Astrological Association, yeah.
CB: Okay. What’s your role there?
WS: I’m the chair for there. And I’ve been chair, I think, since 2002. And I joined the organization in ’99. So 20 years now.
CB: Wow, three years later. So, you rose pretty fast through the ranks of The Astrological Association.
WS: Yeah, I started as treasurer. So they needed someone with financial background, so that’s how I sort of ended up working for them, and they wanted to look at property at the time, that sort of thing. So that sort of I met the criteria, so I sort of started straight into it.
CB: Yeah. And so at some point though you also decided to go back to school to study astrology in like an academic setting, right?
WS: Yeah. It was really exciting when Nick Campion got the MA program running up at Bath. So yeah, I was one of the first year students there. So that was very exciting to do that.
CB: And what did you do? Was that primarily a history program or what was the focus?
WS: Well, it was sort of a social science, and it sort of looked at different modules and things like that. So it was looking at the history of astrology, the science of astrology, different methodologies one can use. So it was a study of astrology rather than the application of it. And that was in 2003, 2002, maybe, actually. So yeah, it was a very exciting program because it was that first year.
CB: Oh, you’re a part of the first class of students?
WS: Yeah. So it was like going to Hogwarts actually. Yeah, very cool.
CB: And you eventually completed that program, right?
WS: Yep, I completed that program and then continued my… And I guess I was a little bit fringe in terms of the master’s program cause I already had a study that I wanted to develop a research that I wanted to develop. So the MA provided that platform for me to do so, and then I continued to study at Southampton University, and I’ll possibly be transferring to somewhere in that area or something like that.
CB: What did your research end up focusing on or you did a specific master like a thesis, right?
WS: Yeah, my master’s thesis was looking at caesarean sections and the increase of those, in particular elective caesareans and how that had a bearing on births, the natal chart. And so I found that quite interesting. I mean, I actually started this research when I was 25, which was 26 years ago. And so I was sort of looking at that time emergency caesarean, how that can be shown in the chart. And it became quite obvious, some signatures were quite obvious when I was looking at rectification or confirming birth times, things like that. So that’s how the study began. However, it sort of led more into looking at elective caesarean. So therefore, births that were born between nine and five, Monday to Friday and how that would impact complete generations going forward and the astrological interpretation of the natal child.
CB: Right, because an emergency caesarean happens just when it needs to happen out of medical necessity, but an elective caesarean surgery usually is just something that’s scheduled during normal business hours.
WS: Yes, that’s absolutely correct. And of course over time, pretty much since about the late ’80s or 1990, even the emergency caesareans are now sort of deemed emergency, even though they’re conducted pre-labor. So for example, twins is now considered an emergency, so it’s still conducted Monday to Friday. So the stats of emergency elected they’ve sort of… What’s the word I’m looking for really? Sorry, Chris.
CB: That’s all right. Did you have some connection with this or what motivated you to get into that line of research? Was it just that research project initially of emergency births and the signatures?
WS: Yeah, so looking at emergency caesareans and looking at the birth signatures on emergency caesareans, that was what started me into this research in this area. But then of course, as time progressed, it became really obvious that elected was born nine to five, Monday to Friday, and that the emergency caesareans were now being conducted as well between Monday, Friday nine to five, cause they were conducted pre-labor. So a breech birth or twins or something like that would be considered emergency.
CB: So it used to be a much more random distribution of people’s birth times suddenly started falling into more prescribed dates and times?
WS: Yeah, exactly. I mean, we know that births are not randomly distributed in the 24-hour day. They’ve historically been births more likely to occur on a Sunday or sort of early hours in the mornings around like 3:00 to 6:00 AM. And that was pretty much because women would be more relaxed on a Sunday, more relaxed at night, so we’d go into labor. So there was always a peak in terms of births at those times and days, but that of course has now changed.
CB: Okay. So you have data going back, I mean, how far does the data go back that you’re able to look at when it comes to studying the earlier history of this prior to caesareans becoming more common? Like early 20th century data or…
WS: Yes. Well, we didn’t really have much data on caesarean births at all, to be honest. Most studies done sort of removed intervened births. So there was a study in 1970 done by Chamberlain, and he saw an increase sort of in caesareans. And of course this is what Michel Gauquelin was concerned about. He was concerned about the increasing number of caesareans and what that would do in terms of cosmic imprint.
CB: Why was that? Why was he concerned?
WS: Well, he was concerned that babies born through intervention would not have the cosmic imprint. He was challenged by Jeffrey Dean, and Jeffrey Dean said, “Well, if that’s the case, then astrology doesn’t work. So Gauquelin backtracked and said, “Yes, the cosmic imprint is there. However, the genetic factors are missing.” That was Gauquelin’s findings for caesarean birth. And that was in the ’70s. But we’re talking really about one to two percent back then of all births.
CB: So very low.
WS: Very low and, you know, some births need to be born by caesarean. I mean, the World Health Organization thinks that between 10 to 15%, and certainly in countries like Africa that is needed, where infant mortality is really high. So there is a need for those sort of surgeries.
CB: And is that part of the reason why infant mortality and the mother’s mortality used to be so high prior to modern times?
WS: Yeah. I mean, caesarean section is an amazing surgery. It’s wonderful, but it’s sort of just been exploited in the last couple of decades. Like, for example, in 1990, the average age of mother was 24.9 years. Now it’s around 29.5. But what’s fascinating about that figure in 1990 is if you take 24.9 years from 1990, you end up smack bang in the middle of the year and it’s Pluto conjunction in the ’60s. So you have this generation in Virgo who worked longer, they worked longer. So mothers started to become older when they have their first born. This is where the pattern starts to- And of course, sorry, to also say this is during the time where the Stellium in Capricorn generation, whether the stellium [unintelligible 9.54] Capricorn was around. So there was a lot of control around birth as well. So these sort of factors played into why caesarean births, well, one of the reasons why caesarean births became increased over time gradually.
CB: So it took off, it was 1 to 2% many years ago, but what is it at at this point?
WS: Well, it differs between different locations. Cities like London, Rome, New York, Sydney have probably about a 27% caesarean section rate at the moment. And it’s very difficult to differentiate between elected and emergency, you know, they don’t categorize it in post and pre-labor, which is what they used to do. But the majority, at least, probably 15 to 17% of all births are elected. And then you’ve got the emergency on top of that, but of course now people think, you know, spontaneous births, with spontaneous births, even they’re being born Monday to Friday nine to five due to intervening practices such as inducing a woman at midnight so she will go into labor and have the baby in the morning. So there’s a design, a pattern that’s just increasing. And the same with any other intervention with ventouse or forceps or something like that, these babies are increasingly being born Monday to Friday nine to five.
CB: Okay, cause that’s when the doctors are working versus they take the weekend off.
WS: Yeah. When I did my pilot study at Bath Spa for my MA, I did a pilot study and I looked at 193 births. But the variables were a little bit… I didn’t really look at age or socioeconomic background. I didn’t look at many factors that I have looked at since, but what was fascinating is looking at these births it became very clear that because most of these babies are born nine to five, Monday to Friday, it became clear that there was very little ninth house Suns, which sort of indicates obstetricians’ lunch hours. And then when you sort of put it into Monday to Friday, sort of Friday afternoon was a little bit absent as well. So from that you could sort of deduce that obstetricians’ golfing practices and lunch hours have a bearing on when babies are born.
CB: Or are like affecting people’s destinies and things like that.
WS: Well, yeah, because I was really interested to know what astrologers think, and it sort of questioned my views on fate actually. So I did a survey at a conference of over 200 astrologers. And it’s quite interesting how many astrologers believe that a baby is born at a time that it should be or at a time that it wants to be. Yet when you look at these stats of babies not being born at lunch hours or Friday afternoons, you sort of think, well, actually it challenged my own views and I realized that obstetricians diaries are not an advocate for fate.
CB: Sure. And going back to Gauquelin, isn’t one of the claims that he made at one point at, least, that he thought the Mars effect and other similar planetary effects disappeared if the birth was induced or something like that?
WS: No. Well, Gauquelin, he looked at the occupations and he looked at hereditary factors. So it didn’t make any difference with occupations, but of course, what it did do is, which he wouldn’t have looked at at the time because it wasn’t happening Monday to Friday, nine to five when Gauquelin was around, so he never sort of ever touched on that cause elected caesareans weren’t around. But he found that… Well, any birth born nine to five, Monday to Friday would have a predisposition to have the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in two of the Gauquelin plus zones, so either near the Midheaven or near the Ascendant. But of course he didn’t look at Venus, and he didn’t look at the Sun. Sorry, he didn’t look at Mercury and he didn’t look at the Sun, and he only looked at… So what you can take from this group of people is that there’s a majority with Venus in these plus zones. So therefore, we can explore the Gauquelin traits. However, when he said that there’s an intervention in birth, he believed that the genetic factor was lost. I’m in sort of two minds about that because I think on one hand yes, and I can understand why he would say that in terms of a baby coming to be born and when a baby is born, you can see the genetic factors, astrological genetic factors, with the rest of the family. However, I think when you look at adopted children or when you look at people who have cats and dogs, all those astrological signatures still bear the same family characteristics. So I’m not convinced that he’s… I don’t necessarily agree with him on that one.
CB: Sure. He was coming at it from more of like a biological standpoint or something or thinking there was like a physical biological mechanism for astrology.
WS: Yeah. Well, he said things like, so if someone had Mars rising, then their child would have a probability of having that as well. If both parents had that, then the probability would be doubled. And he looked at things like that and that’s possibly the case. But I guess I’ve seen too many adopted children sharing those factors with their parents and siblings, so I would need to see more evidence to really agree with him, I think, on that one.
CB: So that’s what you meant by hereditary factors is those carry overs from like the parents’ chart to the child’s chart, he said those were lost when the birth was induced.
WS: Yes, that’s what he said, but I’m not… Yeah.
CB: Yeah. Which may not be true, but he was wrestling with like different ways that his data was being interpreted and trying to defend it to show that there was still some sort of astrological statistical correlation.
WS: Yeah, exactly. But of course also the Gauquelin character traits would still apply to the sort of study in terms of looking at Venus in those plus zones. So you’re looking at a generation or generations of a population where the majority of them have Venus in those plus zones, which he would say that this generation would be more charming and affable and agreeable and pleasing, and they would have an absence of the Mars quality. That’s what he would say. So he would look at a generation and say they don’t have any of these Mars qualities because of the Venus and the plus zone. That’s what… Yeah.
CB: Yeah. I mean, well, let’s talk about that. What are some of the, in terms of charts, what are some of the implications if astrologically, not in terms of interpretation but just in terms of chart placements if more people are being born Monday through Friday between nine to five?
WS: Yeah. So you get a higher probability of having Sun, of course, between the 12th and eighth house?
CB: Okay, so top half of the chart?
WS: The top part of the chart, yeah, and because of the Mercury and Venus being so close to the Sun, you also have a higher probability of them also being in the top part of the chart as well. Hence the Venus being in the plus zones. So yeah, you have these three with the Sun, Mercury, Venus being in the top part of the chart for a huge amount of the population. I mean, it’s probably over 60% when you look at the amount of births that would be randomly distributed when you factor in the caesarean sections. There’s a really high percentage of children being born Monday to Friday, nine to five.
CB: Wow. Yeah, so it’s throwing off the distribution of what it would have been naturally like a century ago, and suddenly we’re dealing with something else where astrologers seeing clients are gonna see a much higher proportion of certain types of chart placements just as a result of this human intervention that’s taking place.
WS: Yeah. It’s a lot to be said about millennials and different generations having this. I mean, as astrologers, there’s nothing wrong with having Sun, Mercury, Venus on the top part of the chart, but there’s something very interesting when a whole population around the world has this, it’s really interesting. And sorry, you asked me before about where around the world, I mean, places like Brazil have a 75% caesarean section rate. Places like Shanghai and Madras, which up until a decade ago were the only places in India and China that recorded method of delivery, they both have about a 45% caesarean section rate. That’s perhaps because they want to choose the day or they’re looking for auspicious days. So China and India have that.
CB: In China and India because astrology is still much more popular and part of the popular culture, sometimes there’s specific years where everybody will try to have a child during that year.
WS: Yeah, or on the eighths and the times and all that. If they think they’ll have a caesarean, they’ll have it at a time that they feel as auspicious. So that’s a little bit concerning because it’s part of baby design really. So yeah, that is concerning. And then there’s places like Holland that have about… Well, we’re talking about a decade ago, they probably had about 3 to 5% caesarean section rate, and that’s because they have a strong midwifery led childbirth practices. So yeah. So where you have that… There’s many different factors why there’s different rates in different places. But yeah, and it’s still increasing. And I’m just trying to think of, I think it’s Nick Fisk of Queen Charlotte hospital here, he is in favor of having a 100% caesarean section society.
CB: Just because it’s safer for both the mother and the child or?
WS: That’s often what its promoted to do, but that’s actually not correct because it’s not safer for mother and child. But he finds that women giving birth spontaneous is archaic, that was his words it’s archaic. So yeah, it’s a little bit worrying when you’ve got someone who’s the head of the biggest training hospital in the UK advocating for, promoting 100% caesarean society.
CB: So what are some of the other reasons that like mothers are electing caesareans more often? Cause there’s some different motivations for that, right?
WS: There’s many, many. In Brazil, it’s often through sexual reasons, the diminished sexual experience. So taking a baby out of the stomach is preferred. There’s financial incentives for obstetricians, they get paid more to do that cause it’s high risk. There’s also sort of the obstetrician to midwifery ratio. And the assessment of risk is an interesting one because, where for example, twins are considered an emergency, that’s because the risk is not actually giving birth to twins, the risk is because the obstetrician has no training in that. If you met a 70-year-old obstetrician in Lebanon, they’ve probably delivered thousands of twins and that wouldn’t be a reason for having a caesarean. So it’s the lack of experience and education for obstetricians that happens. There’s also fashion has a lot to do with birth. Some king of France wanted to see his mistress give birth. So there is a painting of him with a blanket over his head watching his child being born, and his mistress is lying down. And because of that painting, women give birth lying down. Because what happened is that painting became famous, it became very elitist and women all around the world wanted to lie down and give birth. Most women before that would have stood up, kneeled, got on all fours or whatever one needs to do in terms of gravity for ease of childbirth. But this painting created such a fashion that, Chris, probably you and I were born… So that’s a consequence of the fashion that stemmed from that painting.
CB: And they’ve said that that’s a more difficult way to give childbirth or even more dangerous in some instances.
WS: Yeah, but still women give birth every day lying down, which is not the best way to, yeah. And a lot of that is through other intervention cause they’ve got TENS machines strapped to them, they’ve got catheters, they’ve got this that and being monitored. And so the spontaneous, natural birth is quite a lot different than what it used to be.
CB: Sure. And in terms of that, I’m trying to think, cause there’s other debates, of course, classically with astrologers, like what is the moment of birth or when do you count the beginning of a person’s life and things like that, right?
WS: Sure. I mean, I’ve always said it’s the first breath and that’s because it’s when the umbilical cord stops operating between baby and mother. So up until the baby takes a first breath, it’s dependent on the mother’s oxygen through the cord. So soon as it breathes, it becomes independent of the mother. So I’ve always said that, but you know, I guess some people may say as soon as it enters the world really, but it still is dependent on the mother until it takes that first breath.
CB: Right. Just that question of, is it the emergence or is it the first breath and what constitutes independent life?
WS: Sure. Yes.
CB: What are some of the details surrounding that? Because I’ve heard… And just I’m asking, it’s a little off topic, but there’s sometimes like delays between those two, right? Or there can be like a little bit of a delay between…
WS: Well, there can be. And in particular with the caesarean sections, because every caesarean section that’s performed is a premature birth. And the problem with any premature birth is that it has a higher risk of respiratory problems. And so therefore, yes, there may be a delay, and there’s often a machine involved and things like that because often these babies can be very premature because people don’t always get the dates correct, 40 weeks or the gestation period of pregnancy around the world is sort of 40 weeks. But that was actually based on a Caribbean study. You find different cultures, like for example, Indian culture, the gestation period is a lot shorter by a couple of weeks. So that does play into when a baby could first take its first breath, yes. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s high risk as well, caesarean, as opposed to spontaneous.
CB: All right. So we’ve talked a little bit about interpretation and about how this tendency to have the births between nine to five will add an increased tendency for like the Sun and Mercury and Venus to be in the top half of the chart, but there’s actually some other implications to this as well in terms of chart placements?
WS: Absolutely. Well, when you have Sun, Mercury, Venus in the top part of the chart, you don’t have any Sun, Mercury, Venus in the bottom. But apart from that as well, there’s no nocturnal charts. So it’s going to be rare to have a Pisces with Scorpio rising or a Capricorn with Libra rising. These sort of Sun-Ascendant combinations are declining if not quite significantly already. So even just doing a study on nocturnal and diurnal charts would be interesting. But of course, that has massive consequences in astrological interpretation in terms of rulerships, even looking at a nocturnal chart, they’re all going to be diurnal. So the rulerships and the absence of… It’s more just the absence of things as well which we need to sort of acknowledge, I guess, because there’s a really sort of balance problem here.
CB: Right, things suddenly go from being more balanced to being extremely imbalanced in some ways.
WS: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And when you think of the Sun, Mercury, Venus in the top part of the chart, I sort of see this now, I didn’t see it in 2003, of course. But what I see now is this is a generation that’s very out there and this is social media, the 10th house is very prominent in these births, so the 10th house status. And this generation is, is very much about how many likes it gets, how popular it is, and that’s the status, it’s changed. I mean, I understand the Capricorn generation sort of feeds into that as well, but it’s interesting that, and you know, the Venus as well, Mercury. So I think perhaps on a much more sociological perspective, we need to look at this and see where it’s going and how serious is it really.
CB: Right. So you feel like this many people having birth charts with this greater tendency to certain placements is really going to have a larger societal effect in terms of when those people grow up and go into the world, the world being a slightly different place as a result of the perspective they’re bringing to things.
WS: Yeah, and it’s not good or bad, but it is concerning where there is such an imbalance of this. There’s nothing wrong with these people individually, but when you have a culture, a whole globe, global society that has this imbalance, what does that mean in terms of assessing culture, where it’s going, and how is it going to change? So I think, I mean, you know, my background’s in sociology, so I constantly think of where this may lead for the future, not just in astrology, astrology gives us the tool to understand it actually. Because from a doctor’s point of view, obstetricians’ point of view, it doesn’t really matter. But from our point of view as astrologers, it really, really does.
CB: Yeah. And I don’t think we’ve ever seen something like that where there’s been that big of a societal shift in terms of astrology and so many people being born in a way that’s so much different than in any other time.
WS: It’s unprecedented in human society, this has never happened. I mean, and of course, it’s technology as well, that’s another factor. Technology has created the means for us to do this, and it’s about efficiency and time and that sort of thing. So that has a bearing on, and it’s only going to increase, technologies. And also big concern I have is really is with the technologies, like a lot of the younger generation don’t want to give birth anymore. They actually don’t want to, and that’s quite concerning and I can’t help visualize… I can’t help wonder where that’s going to go in terms of if people don’t want to give birth anymore. Well, two things, if they don’t want to give birth anymore, then there’s no need to carry a baby and there’s no need to have sex to conceive one. So and already we can see the signs of this. Like Japan, there was a study a couple of years ago where people between 18 and 40 50% hadn’t had sex in two years. So this is sort of where it’s perhaps going as well. But the other side of it too is if we don’t want to give birth, then we don’t need to carry babies within ourselves women. So we’re almost creating the demand for a technology to have these babies to procreate in quite a different way. And I can’t help visualizing the matrix and all these pods or something along those lines, because that is where it’s going to go. And unfortunately, sci-fi writers will determine their future on many levels. So I think there’s a concern for actually procreation across the board here. This is a way of ousting it almost.
CB: Yeah. I mean, that raises an interesting question of if you did have a completely artificial birth, do you still have like a birth chart and a birth time and is natal astrology still gonna work the same way at that point?
WS: Yeah. Well, that’s a very good question. Yeah, because when does it birth? And what does it mean? I mean, there’s a wonderful study done by a Dr. Arthur Janov, and he wrote a book called The Primal Scream, and he worked a lot with Stanislav Grof. And he looks at how babies born naturally arrive in the world where they are equipped, they’ve had an intense survival experience and they’ve learned to have the drive and the need to be birthed. And he’s very concerned about when human beings don’t have that, then they don’t have that drive, they don’t have that survival technique really that humans are born with. So that’s a different angle from that point of view, but there’s many consequences that I don’t think we even know at this point.
CB: Yeah. Well, it raises a lot of questions since astrologers often debate like how astrology works and what the basis is of why a birth chart says anything about a person’s life and to what extent there is a biological component or other components that are tied in with either the gestation or the moment of birth that are relevant in explaining the astrological effects or whatever that is.
WS: Yes. Well, exactly. And we may end up starting to think about conception, those sort of things, which we can’t determine at this point. We are unable to do that unless it’s outside of the body.
CB: Could you expand on that? Why can’t you determine conception?
WS: Well, because sperm can live up to seven days, so I guess you could do it if you were monitoring it. If you do it in a dish, you can see when conception starts, I guess. So that makes it easy to determine with conception. And it would be very interesting. I would be very interested to know when conception takes place, but I wouldn’t want the technology intervening. But if we are not going to be giving birth in the same way, which I believe we won’t be at all, we will not be having natural births in 30 years time unless by accident. It will be by accident that that happens. Then when a baby is going to be born, if it is outside the womb, will be an interesting thing to… It will be birthed at a time when we believe that the gestation period has ended. But I don’t know how that will play into astrology, which I think perhaps why we would be more interested in conception perhaps at that stage.
CB: Sure. So that was interesting. I’d heard that before, but maybe some listeners haven’t, that conception can happen up to like seven days after like intercourse basically, right?
WS: Yeah, because sperm can stay alive up to that time. Yeah, we never really know exactly when an egg is fertilized exactly. We don’t know.
CB: Right. It’s just interesting because astrologers have sometimes debated that like the birth chart versus the conception chart and some ancient astrologers had conception charts, but they seemed to just rectify it for whatever, however they did that.
WS: Well, yeah, there used to be the… What is the name of the… There is a study done which doesn’t really hold up to be honest. I can’t remember it now. Sorry, Chris.
CB: That’s okay.
WS: It will come to me. But yeah, based on the Moon’s longitude and things like that, it will come to me during this session. But yeah, it doesn’t hold up, but it is the only astrological theory or research done on that subject. But it doesn’t hold up in northern latitudes and it doesn’t hold up for twins. So it doesn’t really work as far as I’m concerned.
CB: So you think, you said that you think it’s going in that direction, so that at some point in the future this is gonna be like 100%. Is that aside from accidents or?
WS: Well, yeah, that’s what the head of Queen Charlotte wants, which is the biggest training hospital probably in Europe really or certainly one of the largest. And if the head of… And there’s many women obstetricians as well. I mean, when you go back to that Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo, which I am one of, there’s a lot of people have attributed caesarean section and the baby conveyor belt sort of thing to men. A lot of feminists discuss sort of that men are controlling women and birth and that sort of thing. And to a certain extent it is. But what I found fascinating because I interviewed a lot of mothers who’d given birth by caesarean section, and the ones of my generation, the ones with Uranus-Pluto in Virgo, when I interviewed them, the narrative that came from these women were I wanted to know everyone was doing their job, I wanted to make sure that the clinic was sterile, I wanted to make sure this and that and this and that. And it became very clear that these women wanted to organize their birth, it’s a Virgo thing. So Uranus-Pluto in Virgo, even wanting to know the sex of a baby is partly because of organizing after their birth. It’s a very Virgo thing. And you know, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s healthy. Again, it’s very Virgo, but these women did want to know because it’s all about organization. So it’s not always about control, it’s actually just about organizing, I think. And I think that that’s paved the way of no return. And it’s not just that generation of mothers, it’s the fathers, the health professionals, so everyone’s sort of all on this same wavelength, if you like, a mindset of an organized birth is a good one.
CB: Okay. And you said that sometimes there’s like an aesthetic like component just as there’s been a rise in like plastic surgery and things like that. This is a component or contributing factor for some people.
WS: Oh yeah, the aesthetics of it. Yeah, very much so in terms of… Well, for example, Brazil with diminished sexual experience. I mean, there’s that, and there’s a disconnection with the reproductive organs as well. I mean, some women or some men have said that after they’ve watched birth, that they find it difficult to see a woman’s parts as a sexual organ after that. So, you know, there is a lot of aesthetic but that’s what it is. It’s a sexual organ, it’s for procreation, giving birth, so there’s a real disconnect from that. And that’s very strange.
CB: One other thing we haven’t touched on yet is that if it’s all happening Monday through Friday, then the planetary weekdays sort of thing sort of gets blown out of the water a little bit as well.
WS: Yep, absolutely. Yeah, and to be honest, most of the births are done earlier in the morning and Monday to Thursday, less on Fridays. Yeah. So and of course, Christmas, Boxing Day, Easter, bank holidays, really low rates of birth during those holiday periods.
CB: That’s so funny. So there would be certain like degrees of the zodiac with the Sun that would just be blocked out or would just be much lower for different age groups like Christmas Day. I’m trying to think of that’s like Sun is Capricorn. So we won’t have any of like that degree of Capricorn births or at least they’ll be much more rare.
WS: Well, yeah. I mean, there’s always been certain peaks, particularly around September, it’s sort of post New Year’s Eve thing. And there’s actually been some interesting studies on Baby Boomers. America had a big baby boom or mini baby boom, I should say, after the power cut of New York for seven hours, things like that.
CB: What happened with that?
WS: So I think it was in the late ’70s, I maybe wrong on that, but the power went out for seven hours. People trapped in elevators and everything, and there was a mini baby boom nine months after that. Okay. So I sort of explored these sort of types of research. What I found a little bit disheartening was I went to Massey University in New Zealand, and one of the guys there did a study on little mini baby booms in New Zealand because no one could work out why there was these peaks and troughs over certain amount of decades. But this particular researcher nailed it and he found that they were associated with All Black wins. So when the All Blacks won rugby in an international game, nine months later there’d be a baby boom. So I thought that was a bit… Yeah.
CB: Yeah. Well, that’s really funny just how different societal, just going back to the societal thing, how little things like that can sometimes have like a huge generational impact in these clustering of people born at the same time.
WS: Yeah. Well, and of course we also got China who has a predominantly male society, one child family. So and sociologically when you’ve got a population of mostly men, then quite often that leads to war when you’ve got a very margin population. And so we are living in some very interesting times right now in this generation, it would be interesting how it plays out, I think. It’s gonna be…
CB: Yeah, are there any other interesting ones like that in terms of holidays? Like in the US sometimes they talk about like Valentine’s day and…
WS: Sure. Yeah. So, well, there’s seasonal too, there’s like seasonal births. For example, northern latitudes where it’s winter for six months and summer for six months, there’s less births because women actually don’t menstruate as much either. So they’re not as fertile when there’s no Moon, when they’re living in the dark for six months, so there’s a lot less births from that. I think that applies to all northern latitudes where it’s dark. So there’s seasonal things with birth too. But then there’s always been these patterns, there has always been these patterns, and I would imagine even the lunar [face] would actually play into that too.
CB: Sure, in terms of like how bright it is outside at night versus how dark it is.
WS: Yeah. And well, you know, and also on a different level, like there’s lots of studies done in psychiatric units. I think the book The Moon and Madness is an excellent book written by a psychiatric nurse who did an overall study of all that had been researched on Full Moons and hospitals. So from A&E to cardio departments to psychiatric, and he found behavior different. So I think that would play into that as well, perhaps also looking at emergency caesareans cause it’s more crisis-orientated, I think.
CB: When you went into this, I’m sure you found some things that were unexpected that you didn’t expect to find. How did that affect your views on astrology in general? I mean, even just doing this research cause I don’t think a lot of astrologers focus on statistical research, for example, or like look into hard numbers.
WS: Yeah. No, I’m not a statistician by any means. I’m much more for qualitative, you know, but I use both. I think mixed methodologies, but you need the numbers to understand. So I would be interested to know how many, just even nocturnal, diurnal people within the last two generations, last two decades. And I think you’ll find there’s a huge discrepancy between that. But very difficult to get that data. I was very lucky to get the data that I did. I looked at 90,000 births from the four Bristol hospitals. And I was very lucky that the company gave me the data and I got mother’s age and method of delivery, exact time of delivery and that sort of thing. So I explored 90,000 data of all births over 18 years. So the statistics on that is just incredible and it’s not sophisticated. It’s very easy, it’s all done in hours. So it’s very easy to do, but I mean, just looking at how many caesareans are born at nine in the morning, there’s just off the scale peak. And we need those in order to understand what’s going on, but I’m not a stats person at all, this is more about number counting.
CB: Yeah. But I mean, it’s important that, I mean, I’m sure it’s something that was new to you just because it’s not something that astrologers usually do a lot of, and at least insightful in seeing that sometimes certain patterns are the result of outside intervention or things that can be explained, that you have to be careful to take those like sociological explanations into account instead of immediately jumping to maybe some other astrological conclusion or something like that.
WS: Well, absolutely. And I wouldn’t have actually thought about the Uranus-Pluto in Virgo generation, even though I’m one of them, had I not interviewed women and heard them just using all these very good keyword words which made me think… I never ever thought that’s where it was gonna lead. So and I’m quite happy to, this is very organic for me, I’m happy to go wherever it takes me. And I don’t have any particular direction I want the research to go, I would be more interested in looking at the what has not been done. There’s only one study ever been done on looking at the effects of caesarean section from a psychological point of view. I think that was more about emergency, and as astrologers, we’d probably agree. And it was a very small study done on children and as they’re young how they perceive the world. And I mean, this is very brief, and this is not a blanket interpretation, but, for example, if someone had Pluto on the Ascendant, my question is, what was your birth like? And the psychological traits that go with Pluto on the Ascendant correlate with the study that’s been done on children that were born by caesarean. So I’d be interested in looking at a social psychological to see how that actually… Because it’s a pretty traumatic experience, but in a different way than people have been born before.
CB: Right, that makes sense. So one of the things that we started talking about a little bit and we’ve touched on a few times is just generational changes and some of those transits, but there’s some transits coming up to, you really focused on the Pluto in Virgo generation and then how there were some babies and some things coming in during that Capricorn stellium in the late ’80s and early ’90s, but now there’s some transits coming up to that, right?
WS: Yeah, absolutely. And that particular generation is now coming of age for first child age. So that’s roughly the 30 years, which is the age of mother at first birth today. So yes, they are coming up to their age and they’re being hit with certain Pluto conjunction in Capricorn followed by Jupiter later this year. And so I think that’s gonna have a bearing on terms of the, you know, Capricorn is a parental sign. So I think there’s going to be quite a lot of interest in how to change childbirth as it currently stands in a natural form. It’s going to challenge the status quo that’s out there. And there is a breakdown of the nuclear family. This is a generation where it was normal for parents to be divorced, have up to eight grandparents. So their whole nuclear family is sort of broken up anyway. There’s less children being born within families, no children being born. So we’re already on a path of changing family and childbirth. And as Jupiter-Saturn go into Aquarius next year followed by Pluto, it’s gonna bring in quite radical ways of childbirth, I think. Aquarius prefers being with likeminded people than with blood relations or with humans at all. So I think that the technology that’s gonna be introduced with that and the uniformity of birth in quite a different way is going… And I think it’s going to move very fast, very fast. I mean, we’ve moved a long way in two decades. When all these three planets move into Aquarius, it’s going to spearhead us into something quite unprecedented and irreversible.
CB: Yeah. It’s interesting thinking about the age of Aquarius and the way technology obviously has suddenly and very rapidly come into everybody’s lives. But it’s interesting thinking about it affecting something so fundamental like this, like when people are born and creating greater uniformity in that.
WS: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, this is a generation… Part of other research I do is looking at this particular generation with the stellium in Capricorn, and the incredible amount of anxiety that comes with that generation, Capricorn is anxiety, and I worry about this generation. I think it’s being left to sort of raise itself if you like and had to create its own regulations and things like that, particularly with social media. So I think the anxiety around childbirth, I think there’s gonna be a real disdain for it. And the anxiety of pregnancy and childbirth may be the catalyst in creating technologies to avoid carrying babies and giving birth.
CB: Sure. And do you feel like, I mean, with some of these things, especially like aesthetic trends, sort of wax and wane in different years and different generations from decade to decade, like maybe, and this will be something where it’s a trend, but perhaps sometimes there might be a counter trend at some point so that it maybe doesn’t go as far as it could, even though it’s on that trajectory now.
WS: Sure. Well, the other side of the Aquarius of course, is being a little bit more mindful of humane, more humane practices, that sort of thing. So that may be the other side to that. And of course the shadow side to Aquarius is Leo, and whenever I talk about this, I always put on Bonhoeffer’s quote that says, “The measure of a society is how it leaves it for its children.” Cause I always feel that it may be the children in this particular era that we are living in that will not be counted, will not be valued. And yeah, we do not know what we really, we don’t have the facts, we don’t know what the implications of this particular method of delivery has psychologically. We can see it sort of culturally, sociologically, but psychologically we don’t have information.
CB: Yeah. Well, and it’s funny cause that’s one of those interesting problems that we’re sort of seeing the beginning of in many ways now, but it’s something that astrologers will have to deal with in the future that’s almost not fully our problem yet, but we can sort of see that it may be at some point. Like astrologers often get the question of like, what happens when people are born on the Moon or Mars or something and can you still do astrology there? And it’s sort of like an interesting thought experiment, but it’s really something that future generations are gonna have to deal with.
WS: Yeah, absolutely. Even space stations and things like that. Creating new coordinates for everything and you know, yeah, exactly. So that’s not unrealistic. I mean, NASA’s been planning that since the ’70s. If we need to have space stations that cater for populations, it’s not at all to think that this is not gonna happen in the next decade. There’s also, you know, with the Aquarius, the Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Aquarius, it’s gonna be quite a different world, it’s gonna be quite a different world. And particularly technologically and that sort of thing. So I think children are going to have to… Because of the Capricorn generation and going into Aquarius, I think they’re gonna have to grow up a lot faster. I mean, one thing that concerns me, it’s a little bit way out there, but Ray Kurzweil, who writes about the singularity, the American, he’s advisor to three presidents and he’s got 13 honorary PhDs from Ivy League universities. And he believes we will be able to download the brain within a couple of years, he said by the late ’20s. And what he means by that is personality, skills, memory. And if we are able to do that, then we’ll also be able to upload the brain as well. And what that means for child development when you can upload to a two-year-old every language in the world, engineering degree, this is really so close now. It’s not even farfetched. 10 years ago, it would’ve been, but it’s already happening.
CB: Sure. Well, that makes me think also of like the movie Gattaca from the ’90s, where they had people picking like biological traits and trying to eradicate biologically like imperfections or things like that, like genetically inherited disease. But we kind of are like astrologically with some astrologers doing like electional astrology for births, that gets tied into… You’re not a fan of that?
WS: Well, if they have to have a caesarean, then fine. But there’s no good or bad child. You don’t ever look at a child and go, “Oh, that’s terrible.” And you can’t put a child back in either. So it becomes very judgmental, becomes too black and white. I have elected a child for a friend, and she was about 46 when she had to have a caesarean. And she had that because of a blood transfusion she’d had several years ago. But then with all elections, sometimes it’s not within your hands, and it was fine. But I think if you have to, you know, if there is gonna be… It’s a bit like having any operation really, but I would do it more about the operation rather than try to design the perfect baby cause this is a problem. I’ve had a quote on my fridge for about 15 years and it’s from The Economist. And it says, the Smiths told the Jones how much they’d paid to have their daughter to have blue eyes. And the Jones couldn’t believe it. They thought, “Why didn’t they put that money to making her more musical?” And this is how it is though. And we do this now, for example, you can have an abortion up to 24 weeks due to unfavorable results, paper results. Yet you have a baby and it can survive at 22. So we’re all sort of getting into these sort of very weird gray areas where it’s gonna test our morality, I think, a little bit more. And the Aquarius will hopefully do that, the planets moving into Aquarius will shift their moral compass, I believe.
CB: Sure. Well, and it seems like that’ll be a challenge ethically for astrologers then if the induced birth and scheduled birth rates do go that high, like astrologers are gonna get that question much more often it would seem like cause clients will naturally then say, “Well, if I need to schedule it, when should I schedule it and what things should I take into account?” Do you think if it went up to that high of a rate, does it become less of an ethical issue at that point or at what point is it something where you would feel comfortable?
WS: I think that would be normal. Well, it’s going on now in China and India. It’s already happening, and we just don’t have it here yet. So it’s gonna happen.
CB: I mean, how much of that is a natural outgrowth of astrology that’s acceptable in some sense versus how much is that philosophically like a, I don’t wanna go so far as to say a misuse of astrology, but is it problematic?
WS: Well, that’s questionable, isn’t it? Yeah. To what extent… Well, I guess with astrologers, sort of as we train, we learn about having a strong conscience and a high moral benchmark, but there’s still people that sort of elect terrible things, and they used to all the time, of course. When they would elect battles and wars, and so I guess it’s not new for us, but we haven’t sort of lived by those same parameters in the last 100 years perhaps or 70 years. But, yeah, I don’t know, but I think it will definitely, I mean, it’s already happening in places like China and India, trying to find auspicious times to have a child when they’re able to do so. And it will come to the Western world too, and it’s gonna bring up a lot of questionable practices for astrologers. Some people will think there’s nothing wrong with it. Yeah, not sure I’m ready for that yet.
CB: Sure. Yeah, the future is always very strange. Speaking of the future, where do you plan to go in terms of your research? Is this something that you’re gonna continue to work on and develop or are you moving into other areas at this point?
WS: No, I’m always, yeah, I’m always looking at developing the research. I mean, for me, I feel like it’s a lifetime project, and I can’t ever really not do this. And I’m interested in all types of different birth really and what that would mean astrologically and sociologically, psychologically. So yeah, I will continue to. You know, I’ve been putting this into a PhD for many years, but it’s not really about the PhD for me. It’s about… Well, it is in terms of taking it further, so that’s why I have to complete the PhD. But for me, it’s really about getting the work out there.
CB: Sure. And just raising awareness about this as a phenomenon that’s happening.
WS: Yeah. It is about raising awareness, particularly within the astrological community. Because it’s really the only… Well, maybe not the only, but the only discipline, I guess, that I know that can highlight this particular phenomenon. So I’m interested in making it more aware. So that’s the problem I have, whether I just publish everything or continue to study, which I probably will do because it just tends to grow and it’s really important, I think, to get out there.
CB: Have you ever gotten any pushback from astrologers or any debates about this of people, I don’t know, objecting to any conclusions or?
WS: Yeah. I mean, there’s some very strange… It’s always sort of tied up with fate normally, and people have said, “Well, this is how society wishes to present itself. This is how the cosmic is going to unfold.” And like I said, I keep coming back to the lunch hours and the Friday afternoons, and I cannot believe that obstetricians’ diaries are an advocate for fate because that just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t believe that is the case, but a lot of astrologers believe that if that’s what’s happening, then that’s what’s supposed to happen.
CB: The idea that like everything happens for a reason or something like that.
WS: Yeah. And it’ll all be okay. And I’m not really of that.
CB: Whereas you feel like this is not necessarily, this is not positive intervention of technology in society that’s kind of messing up the even distribution of an otherwise natural phenomenon.
WS: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely that. Yeah, this is intervention, and that’s exactly what it is. And even if astrologers believe fate, I mean, if that’s the case, then there needs to be some thinking about can fate be intervened then if that’s what people believe? Can fate be intervened with? Can you intervene with the gods if you like?
CB: I guess that’s been one of the questions with like electional astrology. Do you practice or do you believe in electional astrology yourself?
WS: Yes, definitely. Oh yeah, absolutely. And I use it myself and I… Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no, no, I do. Yes, definitely. And I lock my doors, and I don’t walk at two o’clock in the morning in a dark street. I think it’s important that there is a… If we believed that, then what is the point of having any free will then? There is no point. Sure. So yeah, I definitely believe in election, yeah. Is that what you mean by that?
CB: Yeah, yeah. I was just curious.
WS: Or do you mean it from the other side of it?
CB: I was trying to think that the argument would be or how to frame it if there’s some astrologers that say this is just the way that it is and this is where society’s going, and no matter what happens, even if there’s intervention in the birth, the birth chart will still work and still be relevant because that was the chart the baby was supposed to have. Whereas it almost seems like you’re saying that maybe you’re concerned that this level of intervention might almost mess up the astrology or might…
WS: No, I don’t think that level of intervention messes up the astrology at all. And I do believe that every baby’s chart no matter how they’re born is the chart, that’s their chart. I definitely believe that. There are some people that don’t believe, like a lot of people at… Well, not a lot, but there’s a few people that have said, I was late or I was born premature, this is when I was supposed to be born. And it’s like, well, you’re born, you know, there’s nothing you can really do about that. And no one would ever know exactly when you were supposed to be born. And so even with going there really. So yeah, some people have different beliefs about birth, but some people also believe that babies are born, no matter how they’re born, they’re born at a time they’re supposed to be. And I do think that sort of cuts into, well, it certainly challenges… Well, it should challenge people’s beliefs on fate. So why have free will if everything is happening? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not that cynical in that I do think things are interconnected. But I do think there’s a lot of personal responsibility that needs to be taken as well.
CB: Sure. Yeah. I mean, and I’m sure there’ll still occasionally be those funny stories where like the doctor got in like a car accident and was late that day, and so the delivery occurred at like 5:00 PM that night instead of at nine o’clock in the morning.
WS: Well, and now in Brazil, there is a joke, the only way you can have a natural birth is if you get stuck in traffic. It’s a national joke. And how awful to have a baby in a car, in a traffic jam. So there is gonna be… And natural childbirth will be seen as archaic. And you can already see this generation not wanting to have the same… I’m sure there’s many that do, but there’s also a large group, I think, a large majority who don’t want to give birth naturally.
CB: Well, it’ll be interesting to see if that has an effect on the astrology and what effect it has in how astrologers cope with that in the future, let’s say like a century from now.
WS: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
CB: Good luck future astrologers.
WS: Yeah, good luck. Well, you have an interesting client base, you know, won’t be much deviation between it, you know, it’ll be…
CB: Yeah, no Pisces Suns with Scorpio rising, I think you said, cause that would be a night chart.
WS: Yeah. It’ll be like, “Oh my God, I had a third house Sun today. Oh my God.”
CB: Yeah, they were really chatty.
WS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. They seem to talk much more than everybody else. Yeah, exactly. All these sort of… It is odd, but like I said, it seems farfetched, but actually, you know, there’s a lot of things that people thought were farfetched 10 years ago that are already here, the technologies and stuff, so watch this space.
CB: Yeah. All right, where can people find out more information about you and your work in astrology in general?
WS: Well, my website, which should be updated within the next six weeks is wendystacey.com. And the school, which teaches and has webinars on the subject, specialized webinars, it’s not part of the curriculum. It’s the Mayo School. That’s mayoastrology.com. And yeah, if you wanna support the organization that supports astrology, then it’s astrologicalassociation.com. We have our annual conference and publications, the journal, online or hard copy. So, yeah.
CB: Yeah. The Astrological Association Journal is amazing. And you guys have made digital versions of all of the back catalog available online.
WS: Yeah, it’s all archived, it’s fabulous, it’s such a treasure, treasure chest of knowledge.
CB: That’s amazing for research astrologers to have access to that as members.
WS: Yeah. And for those interested in research, of course, we’ve got the archive of correlation as well, which you know, is really about quantitative research which has been done over the last couple of decades, which is really interesting stuff.
CB: Yeah, that’s one of the few journals like dedicated to sort of more scientific research and astrology.
WS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
CB: Yeah. And then finally, so The Astrological Association holds a yearly conference. You guys just did your last one last week and it was amazing. And so people that live in Europe or the UK or pretty much anywhere should just know that every year you’ll have an annual conference sometime around this time of the year.
WS: Yeah. June. Possibly, we’ve just moved the last couple of years to June from September, which we had 49 conferences in September except the eclipse one in ’99, which was in August. We are trying out sort of spring summer conferences to see how they go. Next year we think it will be around the same time.
CB: Okay, great. Well, people should definitely check that out. Thanks a lot for joining me today.
WS: Thanks Chris, been a pleasure. Thank you.