Art Bell’s chart was discussed in the Virgo 1998 issue of The Mutable Dilemma. Unfortunately, his data proved to be “dirty,” to use Lois Rodden’s a-b-c-d nomenclature. “AA” data is from a birth certificate or other recorded source. “A” data is from the individual or an associate. “B” data is from a biography or autobiography. “C” data calls for caution. It may come from a source without a reliable reference. “DD” data is disputed (dirty) data. In this case, Bell’s data was given personally on the air in one of his radio broadcasts and was passed on to me by a listener. After publishing an article on it, a Mutable Dilemma reader reported that Mark Lerner had published a different birth time that was given to Lerner by Bell in a personal E-mail. Bell was born on June 17, 1945 in Camp Lejeune, NC. The birth time he gave in a broadcast in the fall of 1998 was 12:36 P.M. EWT. The birth time he gave to Mark Lerner was 12:23 P.M. EWT. Though there was only a 13 minute difference in the two times, the horoscope angles change about one degree for each 4 minutes of time. Planets may change from one house to another. The timing of progressed angles to planets will change by a year or more for each change of 4 minutes in birth time. The timing of progressed planets aspecting angles can be even more varied. Slow-moving, outer planets might never form an aspect to an angle for one birth time, or might hold one for years with a slightly different birth time.
I will include charts for both birth times, especially since we did not include Bell’s progressions in the previous article, and his life in the fall of 1998 was unusually dramatic. Readers can guess which chart is more likely to be accurate, and, hopefully, someone will contact Bell and confirm one of the times.
For the moment, I am guessing that the 12:36 time is right. It puts Bell’s natal Jupiter exactly on the Ascendant, and his natal Venus exactly on his Nevada (local) MC. However, Uranus almost exactly on Bell’s natal MC would also be very appropriate in view of his career of discussing unconventional topics including UFOs, aliens, psychic phenomena, etc. Uranus is conjunct the MC in both charts, but closer with the earlier birth time. The other reason for picking the later time is that it puts Bell’s P Sun exactly on his local Ascendant during the fall of 1998. He was certainly in the limelight when he publicly announced that he would no longer do his radio-talk show due to an unspecified threat to his family. That announcement was made at 2:55 A.M. on October 13, 1998 according to a Mutable Dilemma subscriber, so we will progress the chart to that date.
I will focus mainly on the angles of his horoscope, since the planets and asteroids are almost identical in the two charts. Another reason for tilting toward the later birth time is the P Ascendant conjunction with P Ceres and opposition to Mars. Several rumors are circulating about the reason for Bell’s departure from the airwaves. It was actually a relatively brief shut-down, but it got publicity in traditional news media which normally ignore his borderline show. As can be imagined, Bell gets a huge amount of mail from all over the world since his show is heard in over 400 radio stations in the U.S. as well as in many other countries. His letters were normally opened by his wife, and one story is that a letter received and opened some months ago had a message stating “now that you have opened this letter, you are dead.” The FBI was contacted, nothing unusual was found in the letter, but inevitable anxiety would linger. Another rumor reported that a psychic who periodically was a guest on the show predicted that unless Bell stopped the show for a time, he would have a fatal accident. A different version of this story was that Bell needed to move to another state to avoid a fatality. Bell has reported that he will reveal what happened eventually. Some suspicious reporters suggested that the whole episode was a publicity stunt, but Bell insists that was not the case. As mentioned above, the later birth time puts an angle for Bell’s personal action on Ceres, symbolizing his concern for his family, and opposite Mars in the 8th house, which would fit a fear of violence or death.
Natal Arthur, Bell’s personal name asteroid, was in 3 Cancer 10, conjunct Siva in 4 Cancer and square Neptune. The later birth time would put Bell’s local Ascendant at the midpoint of Arthur and Neptune, fitting his action in Nevada being focused on the areas of space and psychism. Mars would square the Ascendant/MC midpoint for the later birth time. Also, the P MC would have reached a conjunction with Pluto for the later birth time, an appropriate aspect for a power issue affecting his career. P Pluto in both charts holds a long conjunction with Juno, a square to Venus in the 8th house, and a quincunx to the south lunar node in the 4th house, which show the potential for power issues involving family and partner. The earlier birth time would put P Uranus in a square for years to Bell’s natal Ascendant, but the later time puts it square the East Point, an auxiliary Ascendant, so the Uranus aspect is a wash.
Turning to a few asteroids, which are not changed by the small difference is possible birth times, Vesta, the ultimate Virgo asteroid for work, is on Bell’s Saturn/south lunar node midpoint, pointing to a lesson connected to his job. Vesta is sextile his Sun/Moon midpoint, signaling his fame with the public, but it also squares Saturn and Aletheia, a goddess of truth, in 11 Cancer. Theoretically, Bell’s career involved a “search for truth,” but the aspects suggest a need for caution. P Aletheia and P Wisdom in 29 Cancer are octile Uranus, repeating the need for caution in evaluating the bizarre information presented regularly on his show, and they are also square P Vesta. Bell’s P Saturn is sextile Jupiter (and his later Ascendant), a reassuring aspect for the ability to integrate beliefs and realism. However, P Saturn was also opposite Kassandra, the psychic who made accurate though negative predictions, but was not believed. A lot of modern psychics make negative predictions which are wrong, but are believed by some people. P Kassandra is retrograding in 8 Capricorn conjunct the true south lunar node. In an intriguing combination, P Kurtz, the asteroid named for the professional debunker of any ideas beyond materialism, is on Jupiter, while P Epimetheus, the brother who looked to the past, is on Bell’s Ascendant for the later birth time.
P Arthur is just under 25 Cancer, sextile Fantasia in 24 Taurus on one side and Pallas in 24 Virgo on the other side. Bell was certainly successful in reaching a wide audience, including many people who are fairly conservative in most areas. He brought what may be fantasies to a lot of people. P Tantalus, whose goals were perpetually out of reach, is conjunct P Vesta (Bell’s work) on one side and P Interkosmos (an organization devoted to space) on the other side, in addition to holding a trioctile to natal Uranus and a trine to Mercury. The message keeps being repeated. Bell is an entertainer with several factors in Leo and the Sun near the MC, providing unusual information to the public with Gemini and Cancer in his 10th house and a Virgo Moon exactly conjunct Chiron, an alternate Jupiter. He is highly successful in his work with his dominant rising Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune, not to mention P Midas on his P Uranus. Since I have never managed to hear his show, if he does explain the reason for his brief absence from the air, and if his accurate birth time is discovered, I hope that someone will let me know.