An online program designed to help medical professionals swiftly identify optimal dates for fertility treatments based on astrological indications may be coming soon to a clinic near you.
Astrologer Pat Harris, PhD, reports that a system based on ground-breaking research she completed for her doctorate thesis at the University of Southampton, UK, is in the early development stage. The research, titled Applications of Astrology to Health Psychology: Astrological Factors and Fertility Treatment Outcomes, successfully demonstrated that certain angular relationships of Venus and Jupiter to planets in a woman’s natal birth chart can identify those years in a woman’s life when she is more likely to bear children.
The research makes it easier for interested patients and clinicians to incorporate astrology into fertility treatment plans. Women can now find optimal dates for successful conception – with or without assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Dr. Harris is Editor of Correlations, a journal published by the Astrological Association of Great Britain (AA). She also earned a masters degree in health psychology from the University of Southampton, and has been a consulting astrologer for more than 30 years.
“I have clients who have been with me for more than 20 years who keep returning for life management advice. Some would ask if they would marry and have children and when this would be. I used traditional astrology to locate the years when there was a strong likelihood of these events happening in their lives.
“Astrology didn’t let me down as I had considerable success with these forecasts for natural conceptions,” she said.
Dr. Harris says a decision to look at astrology and fertility treatment outcomes was made because the treatment process is stressful and invasive as well as being expensive. And because the rate of success is poor – only one in four in the UK.
“If a new method could be found to reduce the number of treatments needed to succeed this would be invaluable in every way to women who hope to have children through assisted reproductive technology,” she added.
In an interview with the Astrology News Service (ANS) Dr. Harris provided the following insights:
ANS: Can astrology bring you a baby?
Dr. Harris: Based on my research I believe the answer to this question is a very clear yes. Clinicians may wish to consider use of astrology to select dates for embryo implantation because of its potential to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. However, it is very important that the patient understands that astrological indicators do not guarantee success. My research shows only that attempts to conceive during optimal times have an increased likelihood of success (the birth of a live baby) compared with attempts made when the indicators are not present. It should also be made clear to patients that the absence of favorable astrological indicators means only that the chances of succeeding may be lower and does not portend a failed outcome.
ANS: When and how was your research carried out?
Dr. Harris: Between 2000 and 2002 I collected data from woman volunteers in the U.S., Australia and the UK who had undergone fertility treatment and were willing to let me explore their outcomes. I looked at the volunteers’ birth charts and the dates at which they underwent embryo transfers, including IVF (in vitro fertilization); ICSI (intra-cytoplasm sperm injection); IUI (donor insemination); and other forms of treatment, such as GIFT (gamete intra-fallopian transfer) and ZIFT (zygote intra-fallopian transfer).
For the study I used a very sophisticated statistical model called logistic regression. With this model, different variables can be considered together to see if any of them might account for the apparent significance of another. With this model I was able to consider many different variables like age, belief in astrology, location of clinic, experience of depression, levels of anxiety and reproductive health problems together with astrology to see if any of them had an impact on any significant finding regarding astrology and treatment outcome.
The first exploratory study looked at 114 treatments and found that astrology, clinic location, and family history (reproductive health problems) all had significant associations with success and failure of outcome.
Between 2003 and 2005 I gathered new data from women patients attending to National Health Service (NHS) clinics and one private clinic for a replication study that was intended to test only the factors found to be significant in the first exploratory test. In the second study I examined 55 treatments and ran the model developed for the first study. This time, only astrology was significant with a 94 percent likelihood the result was not a chance finding.
ANS: What astrological methods did you use?
Dr. Harris: I developed the astrological model by referring to authors such as Ptolemy and William Lilly (17th century), who had described particular associations of astrology with times in a woman’s life when she was likely to have children. Using these and other sources for information on ancient astro-fertility associations I divided the 114 treatments from my exploratory group into two treatment outcome groups: successes (resulting in the birth of a live baby), and fails (a live birth not achieved). I checked the astrology for each group using the women’s birth charts and time of embryo transfers. To be determined was the absence or presence of astrological transits or secondary progressions that, traditionally, are believed to be present when children are born.
By carefully assessing the differences in each group I was able to build up a picture of a collection of astrological contacts that were significantly more likely to be present at embryo transfers for a successful outcome compared with embryo transfers that resulted in failure.
ANS: What are transits and secondary progressions?
Dr. Harris: An astrological birth chart (or natal chart) is a map of planetary positions in the sky at the time, date and place of birth for any individual. But the birth chart isn’t static; it continually evolves or progresses over time.
As they orbit the sun transiting planets form new stressful and/or helpful alignments with the planetary placements in an individual’s birth chart. In the fertility study, the only significant transits observed involved transiting Jupiter aligned with or conjoined with either natal sun or natal Jupiter in the birth chart.
To find secondary progressions astrologers advance planets in the natal chart using a day-for-a-year formula. Simply, in the progressed horoscope, planets in the natal chart are advanced the exact number of degrees they have actually traveled in a single day, either forwards or backwards. For example, to find out how far planets have symbolically progressed by age 30 the astrologer counts forward 30 days from the date of birth and casts a new chart for that day using the time and coordinates for the place of birth for the original birth chart.
Progressed planets can form new angular relationships with either natal or progressed planets in an individual’s birth chart. In the fertility study a number of progressed alignments were significant when fertility treatment was carried out during the windows of time when these astrological progressions and/or transits were active. These included:
- Progressed sun and Venus making exact contact (a conjunction) within six months each side of the date when the contact became exact in the year or years being forecast..
- Progressed moon making exact contact with natal Venus within two weeks on each side of the date when the contact became exact in the year or years being forecast.
- Progressed Jupiter making contact with natal sun, moon, Venus or Jupiter. Or Jupiter contacting the major angles (ascendant ad midheaven) of the chart – all within three months on either side of the date when the contact became exact in the year or years being forecast.
- Progressed ascendant or midheaven making exact contact with Jupiter and Venus within six months on each side of the date when the contact became exact in the year or years being forecast.
ANS: What can we take away from your fertility study?
Dr. Harris: The research did not directly confirm ancient writings on fertility indications in astrology. But it did clearly support the association of Venus and Jupiter with fertility and an increased likelihood of having children.
My original research increased the likelihood of a successful outcome when fertility treatment was timed to coincide with my researched astro-fertility windows by 10 percent when the birth time was known to within half an hour and 14 percent when the exact birth time was known. Continuing research with new data has enabled me to increase that percentage to 21 percent and 23 percent respectively.
ANS: What does the future hold?
Dr. Harris: I’m currently working on additional data and with alternative healthcare professionals with the objective of further improving the model and its effectiveness as a diagnostic tool. Importantly, the data I’ve continued to collect in my practice has supported the original study findings.