My Stars, Our Future: Astrology and Hemophilia

Do you believe in astrology? The idea that the alignment of the stars at your time of birth can determine personality traits and more?
I’m a Scorpio, and according to the books, a near-perfect one, personality wise. Intense, probing, passionate. Right down to the fact that we love wearing black. 
Our colleague Richard Atwood of North Carolina has uncovered a fascinating history of hemophilia and astrology, which he writes may have more in common than might be
expected. —Laurie

Hemophilia and other genetic disorders have been
specifically studied in the field of medical astrology. The vision that medical
care would be enhanced and better understood through astrology never
materialized, but it leads to speculations on what might have happened to
hemophilia if medical astrology had become a legitimate discipline of inquiry.

 John Addey (1920-1982) wrote the article “Harmonics, Genetics and Disease” and Charles Harvey (1940-2000) wrote the article “Hemophilia – An Inherited
Disease.” Cambridge
Circle, Limited, published these two articles in a 19-page, single-stapled
pamphlet with the identifier New Directions 1. This implies that the pamphlet
is intended as the first in a series. No date of publication for the pamphlet
is provided, yet Addey mentions his new book, Harmonics in Astrology.
Never stated as such, that book was published in 1976.1  

Addey broaches the topic of medical astrology and the
relationship between astrology and heredity. He asserts that “a knowledge of astrology is a
valuable adjunct to the healing art.”
Then in a statement combining realistic pessimism with opportunistic
optimism, Addey adds, “Unfortunately,
astrology is not part of the conceptual framework of modern medicine, but we
can be assured that this state of affairs is about to change.” Unfortunately for Addey, his
prediction remains unfulfilled. 

 Addey asserts the argument that because natural characteristics
are defined by laws of heredity and natural characteristics are calculated by a
horoscope, it follows that the astrological code must be in agreement with the
genetic code. This point of view assumes that physiological transmission of natural
traits and cosmic transmission of natural traits are parallel expressions of
the same theme. To an astrologer, this argument is evident so it must be true. 

 Proving his point, Addey cites the research by Michel Gauquelin.
Earlier in 1970 Gauquelin had calculated the horoscopes for time of birth for
28,000 parents and children. He found a statistically significant tendency for
parents to have the same planet rising or culminating as their children. To
Addey, this astrological relationship of planetary position, though general,
does exist, allowing him to build upon its foundation.

 Addey acknowledges some research obstacles. An absence of data on
recorded birth times poses research problems for determining horoscopes. Addey
is less concerned about the modern medical practices such as induction of labor
and contraception that cause disoriented births.

 To substantiate his point, Addey provides personal data on his
paternal grandparents, his father, himself, and his three children because he
knew all of their exact birth times. Addey
also provides data on Queen Victoria, a hemophilia carrier, who passed on the
hereditary blood disease to one son and two daughters. Citing Harvey’s article, Addey claims that
the affected descendants with hemophilia repeat the Saturn and Mars/Saturn
midpoint by 45º aspect
(involving appropriate significators) and within extremely narrow orbs. As a
final example, Addey presents the case of Helen Keller, who acquired her
hearing and sight loss due to scarlet fever at age 19 months, rather than by
genetics. Through extensive computations for the 5th harmonic chart, putting
the radical chart on to a 72º dial,
or a fifth of the circle, Addey concludes that probably the only major
indication of perception deprivation on Keller’s horoscope is the fairly close square of Saturn, ruler of
the third house, to Mercury. The origin of severe injury to the faculties of
perception and communication by scarlet fever is found when the very harsh
opposition falls with Saturn on the radical Mars. Addey proves his point
through obfuscation, using terminology familiar only to astrologers, so the
reader has to either acquiesce or give up trying to understand the complicated

 Harvey, in a much shorter article, focuses on just the descent of
hemophilia from Queen Victoria. Harvey discovers highly specific astrological
correlates for the 24 hemophiliac and hemophilia-carrier descendants plus
non-hemophiliac siblings for whom data are known. Strikingly, the sensitive
point of Queen Victoria’s
horoscope with Saturn at 28º46’ Pisces and her Mars/Saturn
midpoint at 8º10’ Aries are duplicated in her
descendants who suffered from or were carriers of hemophilia by 45º aspect. Harvey concludes that
Saturn and the Mars/Saturn midpoint symbolize the hereditary deficiency of
hemophilia. He explains that Jupiter has traditional rulership of blood while
Sun/Jupiter is related the the regeneration of blood. Harvey also provides a
simplified cosmic and hereditary pedigree for Queen Victoria over 4

  The pamphlet provides no information about the two authors. John
Addey was born on June 15, 1920, at 8:15 AM GDT in Barnsley, England (53N34;
1W28). After the World War II, he joined the Astrological Lodge of the
Theosophical Society in England and continued his astrological studies while
pursuing a Masters degree. Addey founded the Astrological Association and
published several books on advanced modern harmonics and the symbolic basis of
numbers. Charles Harvey was born on June 22, 1940 at 9:16 AM BST in Little
Bookham, Surrey, England. Having Addey as a mentor, Harvey earned his Diploma
of Astrology in 1966 and became President of the Astrological Association in
1973. As an astrologer, teacher, organizer, author, researcher, and counselor,
Harvey specialized in financial astrology and the astrology of world affairs.
He died from non-Hodgkin’s
lymphatic cancer.

 Hemophilia is defined by Diane L. Cramer in the Dictionary of
Medical Astrology
(2000) as “malefics
in second-eighth axis, Mars Saturn stress aspect, Jupiter afflictions,
afflictions to Sun, Moon, or Ascendant.”
(p. 36). This definition is assumed to be self-explanatory as no further
information is provided. The four malefics are Mars, Saturn, Uranus, and
Neptune. A comparison of this dictionary definition of hemophilia to that
stated by Harvey was not attempted.

 More detailed astrological charts of Queen Victoria, Alexandra
the Czarina of Russia, and Czarevitch Alexei are readily available for
downloads from the Astro-Databank. The issues of privacy for personal and
astrological data are not addressed on these internet sites other than
statements that content is available under permission. Much of the personal
information on the European royalty is public knowledge, so their astrological
charts are easily computed.


Medical astrology never became enmeshed in modern medical care
even after John Addey proclaimed it would in 1976. Yet we can still speculate
on the changes if astrology were included in hemophilia care today. Hemophilia
treatment centers would now provide diagnostic, treatment, and forecasting
services. As part of the HTC social intake form, HTC staff would gather
detailed information on the exact date, time, and place of birth using GPS
coordinates. These same data would be collected on CDC surveillance forms and
processed by ATHN. In the beginning, these data would have been cumbersome, but
today computer software, and even smart phone apps, would simplify the
analysis. And to get the largest data set possible, the National Hemophilia Foundation
would initiate a program called My Stars, Our Future to determine the
astrological code of everyone with a bleeding disorder. We can always wish upon
a star.

1. The publisher Cambridge Circle is listed in the Notes with a Green Bay, Wisconsin address.

My Life, Our Future Enrolls 1,000!

Last summer, I blogged about a new program called My Life, Our Future, a nationwide initiative between NHF, ATHN, Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle and Biogen Idec that offers free genotyping to people with hemophilia in the US. As you may have seen around NHF’s Twitter chat on 7/23, the program has since successfully enrolled more than 1,000 participants! This is a significant milestone for the program and a great example of our community joining together and taking action to help advance scientific breakthroughs.
During the chat, the community showed great interest in the
program and how it works. There are two components to My Life, Our Future (or “MLOF”). The first is a blood test that enables people to learn more about the specific genetic mutation that causes their hemophilia. Already, 61 new mutations have been discovered through the
program. Participants also have the option to contribute their data and samples to a central repository. Once 5,000 people contribute to this research “bank,” scientists will be able to study the data and samples, potentially leading to improvements in care and treatment.
Getting Involved for Future Generations
Guy Law of Erie, PA, participated in MLOF for just that reason. “Hope comes to mind when I think of MLOF,” says Guy. “I hope my participation
in the program can positively impact families with hemophilia in the future.” Guy, who has severe hemophilia A and has long been an advocate in the
community, learned through MLOF he has a unique mutation. “I know the word “cure” gets thrown around and I’ve accepted the fact that in my lifetime there may not be one,” he said. “But if I can contribute to a research project that may eventually lead to a treatment breakthrough, I’m happy to.”
Dr. Barbara Konkle, director of clinical and translational research at Puget Sound Blood Center, hopes that everyone with hemophilia A and
B participates in MLOF because of its value today and tomorrow. “Genotyping provides meaningful information about a person’s hemophilia,” said Dr. Konkle. “By building a robust bank of data and blood samples for researchers to study, we can deepen our understanding of the disorder and hopefully advance the science.”
Interested in participating? The program is currently available at 42 HTCs across the country, and expanding to additional locations regularly. Visit the MLOF site to see if your HTC is offering the program.
MLOF By the Numbers

MLOF is now available at 42 hemophilia treatment centers in 26 states

80% of participants have opted to participate in the research repository

61 new mutations have already been found

Once 5,000 people have consented to participate in research,
scientists at academic institutions or companies can apply to study the data
and samples

Great Book I Just Read

Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival  
by Laurence Gonzales
Sioux City, July 1989: one of the worst aviation disasters ever. A DC10 cart wheeling on the tarmac
after the hydraulics completely fails. Gonzales tells the story of the crash
over and over, through different angles by probing the different experiences of
many involved: survivors, crew, rescue workers. His excellent research in interviewing
so many who lived through this puts you there; he also delves deeply into the engineering
flaws that led to the crash. You will learn a lot about titanium. And that so
much of survival in an airplane is sheer luck. It is amazing that so many
survived the crash; the pilots were absolutely heroic. Gonzales is an expert on
survival, and follows the survivors just after the crash and then a year later.
The testimonials are surprising—what goes through someone’s mind, as a plane is
disintegrating—and poignant. The most important thing in our lives is
relationships, most conclude. Four/five stars.

Genotyping: Helping You, Helping Our Future Families

Laurie Kelley with Cindy Komar

I attended the excellent annual meeting of the Arizona Hemophilia Association this weekend, invited by Cindy Komar, executive director and mother of a child with hemophilia. (Cindy is an awesome exec director and lady, if you haven’t met her!) It was great to catch up with so many Arizona families I know.

I did the keynote presentation yesterday but I myself didn’t find that half as interesting as a fascinating new program for families with hemophilia: called “My Life, Our Future.” The name is a bit nebulous, but the program is important. NHF has teamed with Biogen Idec, Puget Blood Center and ATHN to create the first genotyping of families and patients with hemophilia in the US. John Indence, from NHF, and Jennifer Dumont, director of scientific affairs from Biogen Idec Hemophilia, presented.
John summed if up first: this is NHF’s most important project. One blood sample per patient will reveal vital information on the patient’s specific hemophilia type, propensity to develop inhibitors, and more. A short movie featured NHF CEO Val Bias, who stated that this will help families understand their personal genetic profile, and also help researchers learn more about the genetics of hemophilia, as the data will be pooled. Best of all, the testing will be offered at no or low cost.
John explained how ATHN currently holds the most information/data on hemophilia patients in the country. Information is supplied from HTCs, who obtain patient consent; privacy of course is key, and ATHN assures complete privacy. And Puget Sound is one of the top HTCs in the country, and one of the top genotyping centers.

Laurie with Rachel Stuart, RN

John noted that everyone in Spain and Ireland has been genotyped, and it’s time for the US too. As early as 1998, MASAC (NHF’s Medical and Scientific Committee) advocated for genotyping. IN 2008, the initiative got a boost when the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed, making it more reassuring for patients to share their personal health information.

In 2002, the human genome was sequenced at a cost of $3 billion; now, genotyping is much cheaper and the price per family keeps dropping. Genotyping helps uncover the causes of disorders, like hemophilia. It requires an analysis of the population, not just the individual, and the purpose of testing the individual is to aggregate the data to study the entire population. So, this new program requires the data of thousands of participants!
Jennifer Dumont then spoke and gave an excellent description of how genotyping works. She noted that 99.9% of our genetic makeup is the same! It’s the 0.1% that makes us all different. A genotype is “a description of the gene mutation that is caused by a certain condition or disorder.” A mutation is a change in the DNA sequence of a gene. It can happen in different ways: nucleic acids can be inserted, deleted or substituted in DNA, leading to a misreading of information in directing cells how to function.
There are diseases where one mutation leads to one disease, such as sickle cell anemia. Hemophilia is different: there are many possible mutations, such as missense, nonsense, frame shift, deletion and insertion. For factor VIII and hemophilia A, there are 2,513 currently identified mutations; for factor IX, there are 1,094 currently identified mutations.
Jennifer illustrated what each mutation might be like if we used a sentence as a DNA sequence (three-letter words are similar to the DNA sequence of three-letter codes): “The One Big Fly Had One Red Eye.” Each mutation makes the sentence read strangely! The body can’t figure out how to produce factor properly when the instructions are so scrambled.
After the presentation, some great questions were asked, such as will Spanish-speaking services be included in the program to help Latino families? Answer: not at the present but this is something that NHF is keenly aware of.
Another question: If HCPs (Heath Care Providers)  know the risks of inhibitors from the genotyping, what can be done to prevent them form happening? Will it affect choice of product or treatment? Jennifer replied that it shouldn’t affect choice of product since there is no difference in the incidence of inhibitor development with different products, but physicians may closely monitor people in the first several exposure days to factor and possibly change how they dose if there is a known risk of inhibitors.

With the BioRX ladies!
Deena Lapinski and Laurie Kelley
John also mentioned that if you’ve been genotyped before outside this program, you’d need to be genotyped again. And someday NHF hopes to open the program to those with VWD and other bleeding disorders.

The presentation was well done and gave rise to much discussion. The bottom line: to support NHF’s research efforts on the causes of hemophilia and its functioning, something that may help future children by our research now, ask your HTC how to participate in the genotyping program “My Life, Our Future.”

Great Book I Just Read
Gifts from Eykis by Wayne Dyer
In this fictional tale, the narrator somehow visits an identical civilization to Earth’s, in every way, though he is on Uranus. But he learns that the thought processes and psychological lifestyles of these people are strangely different. They experience positive human emotions naturally. They experience negative human emotions only through machines designed to elicit them (very creatively told!). On Earth, we create negative emotions when they don’t really exist, or don’t need to exist, because there is no external “machine” that prompts them. Jealousy on Uranus is caused artificially. The parable is that we create our own misery and can just as easily rid ourselves of it through free choice. Eykis, a beautiful Uranian inhabitant, comes to Earth to observe and then leave us her gifts of observation, in how we can take advantage of our freedom not to engage in negative thinking, such as anger, anxiety, fear, jealousy, and above all, blame. Everyone is responsible for their own emotions. Great story, simply told, easy read, powerful message. Four/five stars.
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