For millions of women throughout history, childbirth has been a traumatic, often fatal experience, natural or otherwise. The first reference of a baby being cut out of a womans body was recorded around 298 BCE, when Queen Durdhara had accidentally ingested poison from sharing the Kings food, (his Minister added poison to his food to strengthen his immune system) she was 7 days away from giving birth, as she began to die, her husband cut off her head and opened up her belly up with a sword to save the child. The baby was Bindusara, the second Emperor of India.
The term Caesar / Caesarean has come to be translated as ‘Emperor’s Cut’, rooted in Latin and Slavic languages, which regarding Emperor Bindusara’s entrance to the World, makes sense, however, the Sanskrit equivalent is unclear. The etymology of ‘Caesar’ is much debated as it appears that Julius Caesar who is often cited as the namesake was not born by or had any hand in the development of the method, it was being performed well before his time. The relevance may be found from the Roman Royal Law that required that the baby of any mother who died in childbirth be cut from her womb, as it was a cultural taboo for mothers to be buried pregnant.
The practice of the Emperor’s Cut has been carried out with varying degrees of success in a number of countries for thousands of years but women rarely survived the process, however, the majority of Caesarean Sections were performed on women who ha already died. One of the the first accounts of a woman surviving Caesarean Section was, Beatrice of Bourbon, Queen of Bohemia in 1337. There may have been more survivors as Caesareans were evidently observed being performed in Africa, where alcohol was used as an analgesic and herbal tinctures applied for wound healing.
In 1862, the mortality rate of Caesareans in Great Britain and Ireland was 85%
It is harrowing to read that uterine suturing (sewing up the uterus after the cutting) was only introduced in 1882 as a method of reducing this death rate.
As it the case now, Caesareans were performed when women were in difficulty, sick, at risk or deceased, it is an unfortunate outcome, die from giving Birth or die from having a Caesarean.
To think these days, women are routinely and casually booked in for their Caesareans with high tech teams at hand ensuring, in the majority of cases, safe arrival of their babies.
In 2015, 32% of deliveries in the US were by Caesarean Section and in the UK the figure for 2014 sits at 26.2%.
The point of this introduction leads on to electing to choose the day and time of Birth for a child as opposed to the natural process of allowing it to arrive when it is ready from the instinctive hormonal surges from the baby that precipitates their birth. It is these hormonal communications from the baby that start the ball rolling. The baby ‘chooses’ when t is ready to be born.
Why is anyone concerned with the time of Birth? Well, time of Birth in Astrology, in this case when the baby emerges from the womb and breathes its first breath of Earth air, clicks the Chart into place, the planetary placing and the function of the Houses become focused and the destiny or potential can be seen more clearly. Even Bindusara wasn’t considered ‘born’ until 7 days after he’d been removed from his Mothers womb, the court Astrologer must have been on hand making sure he had the Chart of a Great Warrior!
Birth Charts reveal oodles of information without the time of Birth, but the curiosity of Astrologers make them hanker after accuracy.
For instance, the Soul that resides in a Human has decided it wanted to be born at a certain moment, thus ensuring a Birth Chart with attributes that lend themselves to the chosen experiences it wants to have during this incarnation, but while gestating in the Uterus the obstetrician / surgeon decides on the day / time of Birth, instead of the Soul itself? Has the Soul foreseen this and allowed for such intervention?
There is discussion in Astrological circles about the morality of electing a Birth time to give a ‘favourable’ Birth Chart, which may by pass the true desires of the Soul.
What if the Soul of little Timmy wanted the experience of being a Train Driver this time around, yet the parents want little Timmy to be a Nuclear Physicist and choose a Birth Day / Time and Elective Caesarean to procure a Chart with these elements.
Is that fair?
Conversely, the Soul wants to be a Dancer, yet the procedure is carried out with no interest or knowledge of Astrology, at a time when the Birth Chart lends itself to Accounting. Again, has the Soul bargained on the input of other factors in the equation? The Souls of the parents, surgeon and little Timmy, did they all hatch the plan before any of them incarnated onto Earth, making time of Birth perfect no matter what, or can that outside interference be confusing and distressing for the Soul, who gets derailed from its purpose?
With ‘Natural’ Birth this is less of an issue, even though the various methods used to induce labour can delay or stop the impetus from the hormonal surge of the baby at the actual moment it feels right for it to be born. Therefore little Timmy’s Soul wanted to be born on 7t November 1999, at around 3.33am in Padstow, Cornwall, UK (made up, fictitious details!) and therefore began the hormone conversation with his Mother a few weeks earlier to bring this about. He gets to be born when he desired, with a Birth Chart he knows will facilitate the lessons he wanted to receive. Everybody’s happy.
Timmy’s Chart shows much potential for a dedication to material gain, will steadily and relentlessly pursue his goals, strong self worth and the ability to structure other peoples possessions, a great communicator, able to see past what is being presented, highly perceptive, not afraid of telling it like it is, caring, charming, diplomatic whose assets lie within him being himself and leading by example.
Any Astrologer knows that there can be huge potential in the Birth Chart for all kinds of actions, adventures and career, yet often these are not realized as the navigation of Journey of Life with its countless variables can be rather distracting!
The Birth Chart can be full of contradiction and polarity, a gift of helping others navigate deep psychological problems can sit right next to the need to explore all taboos in life, be a damaging antagonist, with a propensity for mental health issues themselves. Someone with a real talent to develop new unique ways of social insight, can get lost in their addiction to sensual pleasures. It is all about experiencing life and overcoming, exploring and getting the best out of the Self, that is the Magic of Astrology.