Digging Up Trouble
I’m writing a column for the bimonthly Infinity Astrology Magazine called Phenomena, taking a more general look at the zeitgeist. Here is my first piece.
My uncle spat into a small test-tube, sealed it, and put the test-tube in an envelope. He was, quite casually, sending off a sample of his saliva to be analysed for DNA. Who would have imagined 20 years ago that mapping the human genome would have become so commonplace.
This year, 2018, Jupiter, the planet of expansion, is in Scorpio, the sign of secrets, but also a sign associated with analysis, depth and detective work. Companies were licensed just last year to sell the DNA testing kits directly to consumers. Since then finding out your own genetic code has become quite the thing. All you have to do is send a sample of your saliva to one of the myriad companies that offers a DNA sequencing service.
Some of you may already have done this, maybe even encouraged by your doctor for health reasons.
The other planet we might look to is Pluto, of course, Scorpio’s ruler, currently in Capricorn. Pluto wears many hats. He can be capo, crime lord, detective inspector, archaeologist — in Capricorn he’s more plutocrat This year he’s been co-operating with Jupiter in Scorpio. The two of them have been sextile for much of the time. So you could say we have an investigator, Jupiter, and a businessman, Pluto, working hand-in-hand.
Capricorn is the sign of big corporations — and DNA sequencing has become big business, and it’s projected to grow even more in the next few years. DNA sequencing services make money from selling their huge collections of data to insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Jupiter acts in funny ways. Discovering that you’re part Native American or Congolese may be a delightful surprise. But how about finding out that your father is not your father? Or that you have a secret half-sister? Quite a few of my clients this year have done the test — and come up with some unexpected results. This is thanks to the automatic matching service provided by some sites. Your DNA is matched with other samples stores by the company that seem to be close relatives. This has, to put it mildly, disrupted some people’s identities in unexpected and sometimes unpleasant ways. In fact, there’s already a Facebook support group for you if you find out you’re not who you thought you were.
You can imagine the potential complications. What was Daddy doing in 1968?
On the day the Human Genome Project was officially “completed”, April 14, 2003, the Lunar Nodes were at 00’00 degrees Gemini-Sagittarius, the axis of information. Uranus, the planet of scientific discovery, had just spent seven years in its own sign, Aquarius, as that great international project developed and grew. The HGP was a wonderful example of altruistic co-operation between scientists around the globe in the name of wissenschaft. But by April 14, 2003, Uranus had reached Pisces and was resting just past one degree of the sign of boundlessness, on the bendings of the Nodes. All that data was about to diffuse out into the world. The wheel of fate was given a spin.
This summer, Uranus, reached that same degree of practical, fiscally conservative Taurus. There will doubtless be some brilliant, practical scientific discoveries in the coming years, but also money will be made from science.
My uncle’s saliva test did have some strange results — but that is a family secret.