The fundamental question is about what needs to be considered as a zero point in a person’s life – conception or delivery. I don’t want to start a debate on abortion here, but just wonder what Indian astrology considers to be the zero point of a person’s life. The answer to this question can determine the effectiveness of Indian astrology, even assuming that it is ok that it hasn’t been recalibrated for a few millenia.
Now my argument here is about the numerous instances in Indian mythology where the child’s future is written down by an astrologer even when it is in its mother’s womb. If an astrologer can tell a child’s future when it is in its mother’s womb, isn’t it an indicator that it is the position of stars at conception that matters more than the position of stars at the time of delivery?
The thing is that no one really knows when a child was conceived. Hence, the time of the child’s delivery is usually used as some sort of a proxy to determine when it was conceived. So basically astrology in its current form has a formula to calculate time of conception based on time of delivery, and so effectively what we have as astrology now is a product of two vectors – one that transposes time of birth to time of conception, and another that translates time of conception to position of stars at conception which then gives rise to the horoscope.
I suppose you can understand that there is obviously one source of error in this – regarding the determination of time of conception at the time of birth – basically no two kids born at the same moment would have been conceived at the same moment, right? So this introduces a fundamental error into Indian astrology.
And as if it were not enough, technology has (as usual) stepped in to hinder religion. The concept of Caesarean section has ended up playing complete havoc with the time-tested formulae of determining time of conception based on time of birth. The concept of Caesarean section has ensured that children need not remain in their mothers’ wombs for a “fixed quota” of time, and there is a very good chance they get released early.
So my argument is that Indian astrology as it stands now is inappropriate for people who were born through Caesarean section, since the error in determination of time of conception is extremely high. Also considering how discontinous things are – there are cases where a half an hour’s change in birth time can completely change a person’s horoscope – the impact of this error is too large to be ignored.
The most common use of astrology in recent times is that horoscope-match is considered by some as a necessary condition for matchmaking. Thinking about it, it is bad (and inaccurate) enough if one of the two parties has been born by Caesarean section. I wonder if it has any impact at all if both parties have been born by Caesarean section!
PS: Back when I was in the arranged scissors market, and my mother was around, this is the argument she would give to people who would demand to see my horoscope in the course of matchmaking. That it didn’t make sense given I was born through Caesarean section.