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(Investigator 176, 2017 September)


If astrology is scientific and the stars or planets that people are born under influence their lives for good or evil it would be important to delay or induce babies' births accordingly.

A long-ago Investigator Magazine investigation into this matter has turned out prophetic in that the astrological timing of births is now occurring, particularly among Hindus!


In 1991 the following letter was sent to Adelaide's Queen Elizabeth Hospital:

1991 August 1
Dept. of Obstetrics
Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam,

I respectfully request an answer to a question that has serious implications.

Michel Gauquelin, a French scientist now deceased, is noted for discovering the alleged "Mars effect".  He correlated the positions of the planets with the moment of birth of famous/talented people.

Obstetricians, nowadays, can induce or delay labour, safely by weeks. This is enough variation to change the constellations and planets a baby is born under and hence whether he'll be rich or poor, famous or ignorant, talented or stupid, etc. Get the timing wrong and a life is ruined!

In view of the popularity of astrology it may not be long before society's failures sue obstetricians for letting them be born under an unlucky star and denying them the good life that the planets of a week earlier would have bestowed.

All this places an awesome responsibility on persons in charge of maternity wards and I would like to know what's being done about it at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Yours faithfully,

A reply from the QEH was received and requested: "scientific evidence showing that delaying, or delivering early, changes a person’s future personality."

"Investigator" sent the reference An Astronomer Defends Astrology (Omni, December 1989) and a note stating:

If the stars and planets influence our general course in life as well as daily events then it is important to time the birth of babies as well as of surgical operations not by the urgency of the case or by the availability of beds or surgeons but by the calculations of astrologers!

If the Q E H has an Ethics Committee you will surely want to bring this crucial point to their attention!

No further response from the QEH was received.


Of course the 1991 investigation was "tongue in cheek". In Investigator #8 astronomer Michael O'Leary had referred to astrology as an "ancient superstition", given evidence against it, and concluded that "a little knowledge of Astronomy" exposes astrology "as an absurdity."

The implication for childbirth in the letters to the QEH was merely another way of suggesting that astrology is unscientific, therefore irrelevant in medical practice, and rightfully ignored whenever anything important is at stake.

However, the situation is different among Hindus and also changing in Australia at large:


Wikipedia says of astrology in Hinduism:

...astrological concepts are pervasive in the organization of the calendar and holidays as well as in many areas of life, such as in making decisions about marriage, opening a new business, and moving into a new home. Astrology retains a position among the sciences in modern India. Following a judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities offer advanced degrees in astrology. (The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of India in 2004)

Astrology remains an important facet of Hindu folk belief in contemporary India. Many Hindus believe that heavenly bodies, including the planets, have an influence throughout the life of a human being, and these planetary influences are the "fruit of karma." The Navagraha, planetary deities, are considered subordinate to Ishvara, i.e., the Supreme Being, in the administration of justice. Thus, these planets can influence earthly life.


In 2012 The Economist published a report on "Medicine and Astrology".

The report commences with a woman whose caesarian was timed for her by a Hindu priest a month in advance:

Her obstetrician, Pranathi Reddy, is familiar with such requests. She timed the Caesarean section so the baby would emerge, head first, at the prescribed hour...

Hindus believe that [fate] can be tweaked by picking subha muhurtha, as the lucky windows are known in Sanskrit. They marry, start a new job or set off on journeys on good days of the week...

Dr Reddy says over 80% of the mothers she sees want to give birth at an auspicious time if theirs is a planned Caesarean delivery. Those who plump for induced labour also plan ahead...

Rising incomes and a thriving health-care industry have pushed up the rate of Caesarean births in urban India, from 7% in 1993 to 17% in 2006...


Hinduism is becoming a major religion in Australia, sometimes labeled "the fastest growing religion", almost doubling since 2011. Census figures chart its progress:

Census Hindus
2006 148,000
2011 225,000
2016 440,000

The 24-page Government book Health care providers' handbook on Hindu Patients (2011) includes a brief mention of Hindu "Astrological Beliefs":

Astrological beliefs
• Many Hindus hold strong astrological beliefs and may believe the movement of the planets has a strong influence on health and wellbeing.
• Patients may wish to schedule appointments or surgeries according to these beliefs.

Of Australia's population as a whole over 40% take astrology seriously. A survey published in 2009 of the percentage of Australians who hold various beliefs included:

•    God 68%
•    Miracles 63%
•    Heaven 56%
•    Life After Death 53%
•    Angels 51%
•    ESP 49%
•    Evolution 42%
•    Astrology 41%
•    Hell 38%
•    Devil 37%
•    UFOs 34%

Several decades earlier astrology believers were estimated at 30% — therefore seem to be increasing.


Investigator's 1991 investigation seems to have been prophetic. With Hindus in Australia increasing, and astrology believers already numbering over 40% of Australia's population, the timing of births to coincide with favorable planets and stars could become serious medical and legal issues!


Astrology And Obstetrics, Investigator #23, March 1992

Health care providers' handbook on Hindu Patients 2011, Queensland Government

Hindu Astrology

Hinduism in Australia

O'leary, M. Reply To Astrology And The Art Of Writing, Investigator #8, September 1989

Sydney Morning Herald, December 19, 2009. Faith: What Australians believe in

The Economist