The Challenge Corner
No one responded to our rectification challenge in the Pisces 1985 issue, so I don’t know whether anyone attempted to solve it. After working with the limited information which Vern Hoffman had received from the subject, I am even more impressed that he was able to get the accurate time of birth in one of his two choices. We really need more events, especially the marriage date since that is a very useful event and we can count on aspects to Juno and Venus, usually involving angles (natal or progressed).
One of the useful techniques for rectification involves quotidian progressed angles which circle the zodiac in a year so they move about a degree a day. They can be very helpful in fine tuning a chart when you are close to the accurate time. I must admit that I did not calculate the quotidian angles for all the events given for our subject, and they might have helped. I did them for the death of the mother and estimated them for the father’s trip and death since they were only a few weeks later. I also calculated them for the son’s move out of the home, since separation events are normally useful, being shown in the chart by one or more quincunxes or oppositions. However, in this case, there were aspects for both of the times which Vernon had selected. We might give an edge to the accurate time (3:45 A.M.) which put the quotidian progressed Ascendant leaving a square to Vesta (often associated with health issues), and entering a quincunx to natal Jupiter and Venus, a yod. The quotidian Ascendant had moved to quincunx natal Sun by the date of the father’s death.
Vern’s other chart, set for just before midnight, had the quotidian Ascendant conjunct Juno just past a sextile to Pluto and a quincunx to progressed Jupiter on the day of the mother’s death. It was also quincunx the progressed MC which is an appropriate aspect but we have to be cautious about aspects between angles since they tend to form such networks. To confirm a questionable time, we should have aspects between angles and planets. The daily motions of the planets, omitting the Moon, range from a minute or two for Pluto to a degree or a little more for Venus and Mercury, so there are relatively small changes in the aspects between the planets on a given day. The horoscope angles (MC etc.) shift in their aspects to each other during a day, but the changes are less radical than the changes in aspects between planets and angles. These planet-angle aspects are our primary tools to differentiate between twins or other cases of individuals born close to the same time, and to determine an unknown or uncertain time of birth. By the time of the father’s death, Vern’s P.M. chart had a strong quotidian Ascendant aspect conjunct the eighth house south node of the Moon. This chart also had aspects from the quotidian MC including a square to Uranus for the mother’s death and it was just coming to a conjunction to Saturn for the father’s death; the latter a very appropriate aspect!
Such exercises are very thought- provoking. Certainly one lesson to be drawn from the effort is the real challenge presented by rectification. I have struggled with it often, continuing to check more events and more techniques and more factors without reaching certainty. It is conceivable that there is more than one time in a day when we might enter the world and have a chart which presents a reasonable fit to our character and consequent destiny.
Even the progressed Moon can seem to fit more than one time, especially as we increase our factors, adding asteroids, the Antivertex and East Point, etc., and as we increase the number of aspects considered. But I have found the five asteroids which I use regularly and the two auxiliary Ascendants (Antivertex and East Point) to be so useful that I would not want to work without them. I am also convinced of the importance of the quincunx, octile, and trioctile which are omitted by some astrologers. Looking at Vern’s two choices, we see that in the correct A.M. chart, the Moon was sextile Uranus and we have to remember that natally it was opposite Uranus. Much of the time we will see such patterns. The progressed aspect shows the timing of the event while the natal aspect between the relevant planets shows the nature of the event, in this case, a separation. The P.M. chart had a highly appropriate Moon opposite Neptune at the midpoint of natal and progressed Saturn, so that it was coming to the conjunction of progressed Saturn when the father died. I can see why Vern picked that general time of day as a viable potential.
We did not have an exact day for the separation from the husband, but knowing that it occurred in the middle of the month, we can see that the A.M. chart puts the progressed Moon conjunct natal Mars in Aries, a very fitting pattern for going it alone. The P.M. progressed Moon would be leaving a semisextile to natal Juno and approaching an opposition to the progressed MC, also a fitting pattern for a change of home and status.
Health problems are especially useful for rectification, and in this case we had only the early case of measles. The A.M. chart does seem a little stronger here, with the progressed Moon octile progressed Jupiter and quincunx its own south node while the progressed Ascendant was square Uranus. The P.M. chart had the progressed Moon sextile Vesta, East Point, and progressed Mars, all harmony aspects and less likely to accompany illness. The progressed Ascendant was quincunx the south node, so we could not rule out that chart.
One of the helpful tools in rectification was missing in this case; local houses for events occurring in areas other than the birthplace. It is harder to rectify charts when the person remains in their place of birth. Those extra sets of angles can be very valuable tools.
The two chosen birth times were widely spaced in the day, so the positions of the natal Moon are quite different in the two charts. If we examine the solar arc directions, concentrating especially on the Moon’s movement in the year that both parents died, we would probably be inclined to favor the P.M. birth. The directed Moon in the A.M. chart has not quite reached the appropriate square to Saturn, while the directed Moon in the P.M. chart is conjunct Jupiter square the fourth house Sun. I find Jupiter often involved in death, and we have the further fact that the father died in a foreign country. Solar arc directed Saturn is quincunx the MC in both charts in that year of the parental deaths. You can see why Vern felt that both charts were reasonable! Solar arc directed Ceres, usually a key to the mother, also looks more significant in the P.M. chart conjunct the second house cusp and opposite the eighth cusp. Both the MC- IC axis and the 2-8 axis are likely to have aspects when we are closing chapters and letting go.
Even the harmonic arc directed Moon had appropriate aspects in both charts. In the A.M. chart, the Moon was square the natal Ascendant-Pluto opposition. In the P.M. chart, it opposed natal Vesta. Transits offer us an interesting Neptune conjunction to the Moon in the A.M. chart, and transiting Mars was semisextile the early birth time Moon in mid-September. Transiting Saturn was octile the natal Moon in the P.M. chart. Transiting Neptune was conjunct the P.M. Ascendant for the parents’ deaths, but, pointing back to the A.M. birth time, transiting Mars opposed the natal Ascendant and transiting Venus was quincunx it on the day the mother died. Transiting Venus returned to the same aspect on the day the father died. Transiting Saturn was conjunct the natal Moon and Venus sextiled it in the A.M. chart when the son left home. The transiting nodes of the Moon were widely semisextile and quincunx the natal Moon in the P.M. chart.
At such times, you either keep looking at more tools and techniques (I did not run all of our 229 asteroids), or you try to get more data from the subject, or you decide someone else can have the pleasure of rectification. It takes a strong letter 6-8-10 person to stay with it.
Our new challenge for this issue of the journal offers you a set of triplets! They are all female, with a younger brother born about 1964. Their mother committed suicide on May 4, 1969. She shot herself with a gun used for hunting.
The triplets were born on November 16, 1956 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The times of birth were 9:28, 9:40, and 9:47 A.M., Eastern Standard Time. All three charts are presented for your study, thanks to Astro Computing. [Note: these web pages are not using the original printed charts.]
One of the three arrived in the U.S. in September 1981. During the two months before coming here, she gained 30 pounds. She smokes. She has had an allergy since arriving in Los Angeles. Her shoulder was injured, out of its socket, on July 8, 1979. She is a secretary but wants to learn graphic art. She is single and wants to find a close relationship.
Another of three is also a secretary. She is very stable and very serious. She married on July 9, 1983 but has no children so far.
The other is a hair dresser who likes to travel, is adventurous and very independent. She has been involved with people who do past-life regressions but has not yet tried to do it herself. She has been hypnotized to try to cure her fear of spirits (ghosts). She has a regular boy friend. She enjoys painting. Both the last two triplets that I described still live in Quebec.
The preceding information offers more data than many of our earlier challenges so I hope that some of our readers will be able to guess which description fits which chart.