Rectification: With a “W”?
In discussing possible topics for The Mutable Dilemma, Maritha reminded me that we had never carried an article on my methods of rectification; the “art” of finding a time of birth where this information is unknown or only approximate. We discussed the “Brady” technique in our Pisces 1984 issue, but found it undependable, confirming my original experience that there was no quick, easy method. Since I had published a whole book on the subject some years back, it had not occurred to me that readers might not have the book and a fuller statement than could be made in a journal article. But some additional remarks might be helpful, especially since I have done additional work on the horoscope of the present Pope, and it offers a good example of the process of trying to determine an unknown birth time.
As is explained more fully in my book Progressions, Directions, and Rectification, an early experience demonstrated the usefulness of the Moon in secondary progressions; the so-called “day-for-a-year” system. Major events in the life will be symbolized in the horoscope by a whole network of aspects between planets and angles, using both natal and progressed positions. If the birth time is accurate within a couple of hours, the progressed Moon will be connected as part of the network, aspecting several planets and/or angles. So my first step, when the birth time is totally unknown, is to look at the aspects formed by the progressed Moon to the rest of the natal and progressed planets, (all of which will be known within a degree or so from the day of birth), checking the possible Moon aspects on the ephemeris day that is equivalent to each of the major events in the person’s life. You do need at least ten to fifteen events to begin to do an adequate job, so it is very difficult to rectify the chart of a young person, or someone who has had a basically uneventful life.
Once you have located an approximate birth time (within a few hours), which is the best you can hope to do using the Moon aspects alone, you can start to think about possible signs on the angles and house placements of the planets. You can set up a chart in pencil (you are likely to do a lot of erasing before you are finished), just calculating the planets to the nearest degree, ignoring minutes, and start checking possible aspects between chart angles and planets; again looking at both natal and progressed positions.
When you have a promising time with appropriate aspects for all the major events you obtained from the subject, you can check the auxiliary Ascendants, the East Point and Antivertex, for natal or progressed aspects at the times of the events. If some events occurred in places other than the birthplace, you can then check the local angles (natal and progressed) for those dates. I have found the locality chart, erected as if the person had been born in the current place of residence, to be just as important as the natal one when there are aspects to the local angles. The locality chart is calculated for the place of residence, keeping the natal Greenwich time the same as the original calculations. The planets do not change, but the houses can be very different if the person has moved very far.
Remember that progressed aspects are limited to a one degree orb. Since the progressed Moon moves a degree or a little more in a month, you do need the month of most of the events you are using, but it is not necessary to have the day of the event. After you have the approximate time of birth within a few hours, you can use events for which you have only a year, since the progressed angles will move only about a degree a year. For still further fine tuning when you think you are very close, you can check the quotidian progressed angles which circle the zodiac in a year, moving about a degree a day. If you have the actual minute of an event (which is rare), you can check the transiting angles. It is the lack of transiting angles for events which has helped convince me of the greater value of progressions for rectification. Time and again, I have seen major events for which the transits seem totally inadequate. They are part of the picture, but I would hate to have to depend only on them.
The other system I have found very useful in rectification is solar arc directions. As I’m sure our readers know, the solar arc is the distance the progressed Sun has moved from the natal Sun. This distance is added to everything in the natal chart. The whole chart turns like a wheel, about one degree a year or 5 minutes a month. Using secondary progressions, the major planets rarely move far from their birth positions, but with solar arc directions, they move at the same speed as the rest of the chart and are useful clues to events when they cross the angles in the chart. The only possible aspects are from the new, directed positions of the planets and angles to the natal positions. Each aspect lasts about two years, but of course different aspects will be forming and ending all the time.
My last step in trying to rectify a client’s chart is to meet with them after I have used the preceding techniques to determine the chart that seems to best fit the list of events. In the course of the work, there will always have been aspects suggesting events at times which the client had not mentioned. I describe the set of aspects with the type of events suggested, and ask the client if such an event happened at that time in the life. If there was an appropriate event at the right time, it is further support for the birth time chosen. But we are seldom sure, no matter what technique we use. We have to continue to watch the life of the person, to see whether it continues to fit the tentative chart.
Unfortunately, even well-known and presumably competent astrologers can be guilty of changing charts with recorded birth times; making the chart fit their preconceptions about astrology instead of learning something by working with the accurate chart. I was reminded of this just a few days ago when a client born in Chicago came for personal counseling. As most astrologers know, Illinois had a state law up to 1959 requiring birth registration in standard time, even when daylight or war time was in effect. If hospitals had always complied with the law, there would be no problem. But they were not consistent, so it is necessary to check anyone born in Illinois up to 1959 if they were born when daylight or war time was in effect in the local area. Chicago, like New York, had daylight time every summer starting with the First World War.
Consequently, for my client this past week, I ran two charts for the possible times, planning to check after she arrived to see which one fit her events. But when she arrived, she had a third chart which had been “rectified” (read “wrecktified”) by a well-known astrologer who had subtracted 40 minutes from her recorded birth time. When I checked her events, the recorded time (using standard) fit her events like a glove. She had a Saturn in Scorpio in the fourth house, closely square her Ascendant. At less than one year of age, when the progressed Ascendant moved to the one degree orb of the square, she had a life-threatening illness. In her teens, when the progressed MC moved to oppose Saturn, her father died. These are only samples of the appropriate aspects, and I am just appalled that a supposedly competent astrologer will change a chart which is so clearly accurate. The moral of the story is, please do not tamper with recorded birth times unless you have VERY good reason to doubt the time. But there will be plenty of times when you have to try to pin down an elusive missing or uncertain time, so first practice the technique with charts where the time is known.
I began my effort to determine a birth time for Pope John Paul II as soon as the newspapers printed his date and place of birth. I got one of the first biographies of his life, published soon after his election to the Papacy, and I watched for any other information about dated events. The dates of each of his ordinations into higher levels in the Catholic hierarchy were easy to obtain, and eventually I found the day his mother died when he was not quite 9 years old, but I was never able to get more than approximate periods for the death of his only brother, his father, and for his own two life-threatening accidents which occurred during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
Working with inadequate data, I still tried to find an appropriate chart for him, and in an earlier issue of The Mutable Dilemma I printed one of these. But when the Pope was shot on May 12, 1981, I threw out my earlier attempts. The aspects were not adequate. For a while, I worked with a chart with early Scorpio rising, putting progressed Mars on the Ascendant for the shooting and the attempted stabbing a year later. But I was not really happy with the chart. I felt that his life devoted to work, the intellect, and travel, should show with a major emphasis in the mutable houses.
In July, shortly before the AFA conference, I was scheduled to teach a class on rectification. I pulled out my list of events and several speculative charts on the Pope, and went at the effort again, and this time, I am optimistic that I may have a good chart.
Set for a UT of 5:51 P.M., the chart gives him a later Scorpio rising with the Sun in the seventh house, fitting his showmanship and impact on people, but putting the rest of his Taurus stellium in the Virgo house for the concentration on work. Neptune and Jupiter, our primary keys to the search for God, are in the ninth house in Leo along with Saturn in Virgo, fitting his religious devotion and religious career. His immense competence and commitment to his work is also shown by Vesta in Capricorn just two degrees from the Antivertex which is also in Capricorn. Activity in all the air houses is still more support for the chart, again emphasizing a life in the mind with people and ideas.
The close T-square of Moon, Saturn, and Uranus (the last in the third house of siblings), fits the early loss of the mother who died giving birth to a daughter. The baby also died. Karol idealized his father as a boy (Saturn in the ninth house). The close relationship between the boy and his father is also suggested by Dembowska (which I read as another Saturn) within two degrees of the Ascendant. But he also lost his father through death while still a young man, with Dembowska in Scorpio and Saturn participating in the mutable T-square. The loss of the only brother around age 12 also fits the mutable T-square, with one end in the third house for brother and infant sister; the other corners formed by Moon (mother) and Saturn (father).
But I consider house placement to be only support for a possible time. By far the most important evidence comes from the progressed planets and angles. As examples of this technique, Scorpio rising with natal Pluto in the eighth house in a trioctile (sesquisquare) to the Ascendant is an appropriate pattern for someone who will face death while young and perhaps repeatedly. As the chart is set, progressed Pluto reached the one degree orb trioctile to the Ascendant the year that Karol’s mother died. Progressed Jupiter reached the one degree orb of a square to the Ascendant the year that Karol was shot. I’m sure that the event was a shock to his faith, though he appeared to handle it magnificently.
This time of birth gives the Pope the same MC as President Reagan which is the same degree as our Declaration of Independence Ascendant and Constitution MC. As most readers know, Reagan appointed an Ambassador to the Vatican; a diplomat at a higher level than has been the case for many years.
The Pope’s Rome MC would be 4 Virgo with this time, exactly on Saturn, opposite Uranus and square Moon. Both his supreme power in that area, and his perpetual travels fit the pattern. His progressed Rome MC would have been at 2 Scorpio when he was shot, conjunct progressed Mars, and the aspect was still within orb the next year when a priest attempted to stab him in Portugal. The local cusps in Portugal included a conjunction of Jupiter and the MC (he was saved from injury) but progressed Mars was on the local Ascendant when the attempt was made, and it was also octile (semisquare) the progressed local Ascendant. Though the MCs in Rome and Poland are over 7 degrees apart, the two Ascendants are quite close. During the two years when the attacks were made, both the Polish and the Rome progressed Ascendants were opposite Pluto in the eighth house, one more support for this time. The progressed MC from his birthplace was square natal Jupiter.
Many more aspects might be cited, but perhaps enough has been said to clarify the principles. I would like to add that if this time is approximately correct (there is always that “if” with rectification), the latter part of both this year, 1984, and next year, 1985, present some stress aspects. I have spoken to Catholic friends in hopes that the word would be passed on to insure extra care of the Pope’s well being at these times. Progressed Moon will conjunct natal Mars in the latter part of 1984, and we have to remember that natal Mars was widely tied to the mutable T-square by an octile and two trioctiles. When planets which are in stress aspects in the natal chart move into similar patterns in the progressed chart, we need to be sure that we have resolved the inner conflict shown by the natal aspects. In the latter part of 1985, the progressed Moon will conjunct progressed Mars which is still in orb of the natal T-square. Even though Mars has been sextile Saturn and trine Uranus during these recent years, it has also been quincunx the natal Moon and has set off the natal T.
The mutable dilemma is typically a conflict involving faith and reality in some form. We may lack faith (clearly not the case here). We may have too much faith and have to be more realistic about the world and its angry inhabitants. There may be conflicts between our traditional beliefs and effective functioning in the world (in this case in such areas as abortion and birth control vs. over-population and starvation or at least poverty). Or our traditional faith (fitting Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn all in the ninth house) may be in conflict with modern science or new technology. We may just try always to do more than is possible. Some form of the mutable dilemma is clearly a challenge for the Pope in this lifetime.
I am really torn over wanting to write more about the new asteroids and fearing that many astrologers get a little overwhelmed by too many factors to juggle in a chart. But I can’t resist adding a little more before leaving the chart. If my time is right, Diana, which I have found sometimes profoundly ambivalent over marriage and/or parenthood, was exactly on the IC in the chart in Pisces. Of course, the Pope never married or had a personal family, but he is spiritual parent to millions of people.
The asteroid “Germania” (Germany?) is closely conjunct his Dembowska and within 3 degrees of his Ascendant. The Germans over-ran his homeland and he narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis during the occupation. For some time, he was hidden by the Cardinal and had a price on his head.
The asteroid “Arabia” (which might be expanded to include the Arab world in general?) was square progressed Mars when he was shot by a Turk. At the same time, progressed “Russia” was conjunct the Pope’s natal Mars. The evidence points to the attempted assassin being hired by Bulgaria under instructions from Russia.
Progressed Apollo (like another Sun as a key to fame or power?) was on his progressed Sun when he was elected Pope and for several years following the event. His progressed Sun was on natal Apollo at his first ordination, when he became a Priest.
Bacchus is looking more and more like another variant on Neptune. The Pope’s progressed MC was on Bacchus when he became Pope. He had also just had his progressed New Moon, the beginning of a new 30-year cycle.
Whatever else we might say about Karol Wojtyla, he does not do things by halves. He attracts intense love and bitter hate, and is likely to continue to do so. If this birth time is right, he has Eros on his West Point; shades of Reagan who continues to charm his victims with Eros on his Venus. Though I do not agree with his stand on bringing unwanted children into the world to starve or be mistreated, I admire his incredible energy and devotion to duty. I hope that his work for peace in the world will continue and will bear fruit.