Vernon Hoffman

Note by Zip: I would like to invite our readers to try their skill with Vern's data, to see if they can do as well as he did. You could try with the life events alone, which I have moved to the beginning of the article from Vern's placement in the middle. If you don't want to work that hard, then see if you can choose between Vern's two preferred possible times. Charts are included. The answer will be in the next issue of The Mutable Dilemma, along with my comments. Consider this a Challenge Corner. We have been crowded for space, so have not had one in several issues.

Birth Data: Female, born in Schenectady, N.Y. (42N39 73W56) on March 12, 1936. Eastern Time was in effect.

The events listed below are the ones which she considered significant for which she could remember the approximate date of the event. All the events occurred while she was in the Schenectady area.


The events given below were obtained from the woman in November 1983.










Note 1



Lose perfect attendance record


Note 1



Marry, Leave home


Note 2



Daughter born




Move from Mobile Home to Parent's home


Note 3



Move to New Home




Son Born




Diagnosis of Mother's cancer


Note 4



Mother's death




Father leaves for Italy




Father's sudden death


Note 5



Separation from husband


Note 6



Son leaves home


Note 7

Note 1 Experienced as traumatic at the time.

Note 2 Given as mid-September

Note 3 Given as end of April

Note 4 Given as mid-May

Note 5 She felt guilt as well as grief since she had urged her father to go to Italy following the mother's death.

Note 6 Given as mid-April

Note 7 Left her living by herself

I have been interested in chart rectification almost from the very beginning of my study of astrology. The original reasons for this were a desire to work with accurate charts and the lack of certainty about the times of birth for myself and my friends and relatives.

Early on I obtained a copy of a book titled Progressions, Directions and Rectification by Zipporah Dobyns. Using the methods described in the book I was able to verify the apparent accuracy of several charts including my own. I also developed a chart for my late father which made sense to me although I had no way to verify the time.

After developing several charts for other people who did not know their times of birth (only the date and place), I began to think that I should test the methods against actual recorded birth times. In one of these cases I developed two charts which both seemed plausible using secondary progressions for events which I had at the time. That is in each case there seemed to be an involvement of the appropriate symbols for the event on each of the two charts. I had to admit that without anything else to help me I would be guessing at which chart was correct.

It turned out that one of the birth times which I had developed was in agreement with the recorded time of birth to the minute. The other chart was for a birth time more than 16 hours away from the recorded time. I realized that I needed to be a better astrologer, have more events, or accept more uncertainty about the results of a rectification.

It occurred to me to ask a better astrologer at the next opportunity. So at the next intensive with Zipporah Dobyns and Maritha Pottenger at the Feathered Pipe Ranch in Helena, Montana, in June, 1984, I mentioned this to both instructors. It was suggested that I write this data up for a working problem for those interested in rectification. Some general information about the woman might help supplement the list of events. She is an attractive woman, about 5 ft. 2 in and 115 pounds in very good athletic shape. She is a drafts-person and graphic artist for a large local electrical/industrial company. She has worked steadily at her job for many years and considers the steady performance important. She has played tennis regularly for many years and is very good at it. She especially enjoys groups and being with friends. She is somewhat of a religious seeker interested in the psychic realms although of traditional Catholic upbringing.

Outline of Methods:

The approach was to tabulate the possible range of movement in the zodiac of the secondary progressed moon for each event considering that the birth could have been any where from midnight the start of the day to the next midnight—then look for the possible aspects to natal and progressed positions of the other planets and the moon's nodes. Major aspects in zodiacal longitude were used. Asteroids were not used.

A range of calculated dates and the corresponding birth times were estimated for each progressed moon aspect. Then clusters of these possible birth times were looked for. These clusters would indicate probable approximate birth times. These times could then be improved by working with the angles of the charts.


There were some groupings of possible birth times in the early morning, say 2:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. and late in the day, say 8:00 P.M. to Midnight.

Next trial charts were computed for times in these ranges. Then possible aspects between progressed midheavens and planets which might occur with the death of a parent were looked for in the June/July, 1972 period. After a second round of trial charts, charts for 3:44 A.M., and 11:59 P.M. were selected as promising. These charts were adjusted after going over aspects of progressed charts event by event (using one degree orbs) to 3:45 A.M. and 11:57:30 P.M. At this point no definite choice could be made.

Once I set about writing this up, it occurred to me to try and find a third possible birth time which might appear to work for the given events. A time of 10:02 P.M. also yields a chart which has some merit in fitting the progressed aspects with the events.

The strongest fit does appear to be the chart for the recorded time, followed by my second choice, and distantly the 10:02 P.M. chart. However, it appears that one does need more than getting progressed angles and progressed moon positions to generally fit the symbolism for a set of events. I do not have the experience to have much more comment. I feel certain that astrologers experienced in rectification could much more readily sort out inappropriate charts which appear promising to the beginner. It does seem clear, though, that you need a lot of strongly defined events and a careful comparison of the strength of the aspects before endorsing a trial chart more than tentatively.

Final note by Zip: Amen to what Vern has written about being tentative and needing lots of events! I would also suggest looking at solar arc directions and transits once the secondary progressions have narrowed the original 24 hours to a couple of good prospects.

Copyright © 1985 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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