A Hope and a Let Down
One of the activities I enjoy most in astrology is trying out new techniques or tools such as the new asteroids. The subject of this article is a new technique brought to us from Australia via Rob Hand. Rob returned from attending the bi-annual conference in Australia with two new techniques; a variant form of primary directions and a method for rectification that lends itself to computer application. The latter sounded almost too good to be true. Readers are well aware of my distrust of quick, easy answers, especially in rectification. But Bernadette Brady, the developer of the technique, claimed that she had discovered the accurate time of birth for a number of individuals who knew their times but gave her only a list of events in their lives.
The principles of the technique are quite simple. The degrees of the transiting planets are listed for the dates of the events, ignoring signs, and the number of hits in each degree is counted. Where the time of the event is known, the Moon can be used. Where only the date of the event is known, the Moon is omitted but the rest of the planets are included. If only a week or month is known, only the outer planets are included. When the hits in each degree are counted, a histogram (a form of bar graph) is constructed with a higher bar for the degrees occupied by more planets at the series of events.
Ms Brady’s claim was that after the planets in the natal chart were matched by the emphasized degrees, the remaining degrees with a high number of hits were the Ascendant, MC, and Vertex. She said that there would only be one time with the specific three degrees on those three angles. She had improved her success with a complicated rounding procedure, rounding in the direction in which the planet was moving if it was less than 12 minutes into the degree. For example, if the planet was retrograde and over the degree and 48 minutes, she would round up to the higher degree from which the planet was moving. If the planet was direct and under the degree and 12 minutes, she would round back to the preceding degree.
Rob arrived enthusiastic about the potentials of the technique and eager to test it. I was equally eager to try it, hoping that it might work on some on the mundane charts I have struggled to rectify during the past two years. Rob worked out a computer program and tried the Brady technique (as we named it) on his biographical data for Winston Churchill, for whom he had a very large number of dated events. In addition to the degrees with many hits which corresponded to planets in Churchill’s chart, there was an emphasized degree within one degree of Churchill’s MC and Ascendant. Conclusion: promising.
We also ran Rob’s program on 24 events in the history of the United States, and got two peaks in the histogram which did not match planetary positions. One was just a degree less than the Ascendant I have been using for the Declaration of Independence chart. The other peak (at 15 degrees) remains unexplained, though Saturn is in 14 degrees in the Declaration chart and the East Point in the chart of the Constitution falls at 15 degrees along with Sun and Chiron at 14 degrees and MC and Saturn at 13 degrees. The Sun is also 13 in the Declaration chart. Since I have found it necessary to allow a wide orb on transits, these results still seemed promising, worth further exploration.
If the technique proved dependable, in addition to the hope that it would pick out the degrees on the angles, it offered the possibility of spotting power points in a chart which might be formed from a collection of planets and midpoints in a network of aspects, and it might help us choose the most useful chart of several possibilities in the mundane work where countries and organizations have several charts marking different stages in their development.
Since the two weeks of research, conference and counseling were pretty hectic, Mark was not able to get the Brady technique running on our computers until after the crowd departed. I immediately tried it on about 24 events in the history of Russia, and was still hopeful. Out of several possible charts including some for the revolutionary period in Nov. 1917 and one for the unification of the country the end of 1922, the latter the date they celebrate as their national beginning, the degrees marked by many hits did seem to favor the 1922 chart though there was nothing conclusive.
My next trial was on the stock market, using about 22 events, all I had been able to gather from my own sources and the material sent by Helen Clerf. The degree I am using as an MC was one of the high ones in the histogram, and the degree I have on the Ascendant was moderately high. But I was a little uneasy that the highest degree had only Ceres in the chart and the next three highest degrees did not connect to anything in the chart.
As alert readers will have noted, so far I had been testing charts for which I lacked a time, so these efforts were not a real test of the effectiveness of the technique. Mark then tested it on his own chart for which we have a firm time, and it bombed! No other word for it; it was a total failure.
Mark had 6 timed events; 16 in which the day was listed; and one for a month. They included all the important changes in his life so far. The highest degree in the histogram was 29 which is unoccupied in Mark’s chart unless we go to the new asteroids which were not included in the program. He does have Diana and Dudu at 29 degrees. The major configuration in Mark’s chart includes his Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, all at 19 degrees of their respective signs. 19 degrees in his histogram was the third from the lowest. 20 degrees (his Saturn position) was the second to the lowest degree in the histogram. The fourth lowest degree in his histogram is the one which holds his MC, Ceres, East Point, Venus, and south node of the Moon. The eleven highest degrees in his histogram are occupied by only north node of the Moon, Antivertex, Juno, and Vesta. A more sweeping failure could hardly be produced.
So what comes next? As our readers know by now, I believe that our lives are shaped by our beliefs. Since my experience has been that transits are less important in individual charts than in mundane charts, my experience with the Brady technique may support that belief. I do plan to try it on additional charts of individuals where the birth time is known with certainty, though present priorities suggest the effort may be delayed a considerable time. I have not given up on it, especially as a potential tool for mundane charts; countries, organizations, etc. But we did feel a let-down at the total failure with Mark’s chart; hence the title of this article. Mark tried every possible variation, including with and without the special Brady rounding, leaving out the inner planets, omitting only the asteroids, etc., but nothing helped. That mysterious 29th degree still loomed above everything in every histogram, and 3 and 19 degrees remained the next to lowest in every graph. Maybe we’ll be able to explain the results someday, but at this point, my lack of faith in transits for individuals has been reinforced. Back to progressions and solar arc directions.