January 3, 2009 by Nina Gryphon
NG: Can you discuss your use of the Arabian parts in natal delineation and rectification? On a theoretical level, why do you think they are so accurate, even though they are abstract points, rather than bodies?
DH: Arabic Parts (or more properly Hellenistic Lots) are essentially customized Ascendants for specific life activities. Take the 7th house. Its significations include the marriage partner, business partners, and open enemies. Now this is a real handful! How does one sort out one topic from the other? If someone ends up with a lousy mate, will they also be similarly doomed with business partners and open enemies? Or is there some differentiation between the three house topics? The first way these topics can be sorted out is a delineation technique attributed to Al-Andarzagar based on triplicity rulers of the sign on the house cusp. For whatever element falls on the 7th cusp, take the relevant diurnal, nocturnal, and participating triplicity rulers and assign them respectively to women, controversies, and entering into covenants.(footnote 3) Or in modern terms: marriage partners, legal conflicts with open enemies, and business partnerships.
The second way to differentiate these three topics is with Arabic Parts. There are specialized parts for marriage and lawsuits. There are no parts specified to open enemies I am aware of; apparently since they are ‘open’ enemies their actions are sufficiently obvious to void the need to fine tune with specialized parts. Returning to marriage, should the Part of Marriage be placed in a favorable house and by aspected by a ruler which is in good condition, this mitigates affairs for marriage.
This is not to say that a favorable Arabic Part configuration can nullify effects of a malefic on a house topic; yet a favorably positioned Part of Marriage adds some bounty to the marriage topic which might appear relatively bleak if a malefic otherwise rules or falls in the 7th house.
NG: You’ve tackled rectification. What’s next?
DH: As I have stated on my site, by the end of 2008 I plan on releasing my own rectification of the July 4, 1776 United States Declaration of Independence figure. It features a Sagittarius Ascendant, like the well known Sibly figure, but is a bit later. At this point the book is about finished.
Besides documentation of a few hundred solar arc and primary directions what makes this rectification unique is Abu Mashar’s System of Distributors and Participators which I also refer to as Directing through the Bounds in my book. What I found was directing the Ascendant through the Egyptian bounds yielded most major American social movements. I guarantee people’s jaws will drop to the floor when they read it.
Another project on my plate is physiognomy. It turns out that decans are in fact related to physical appearance as most texts indicate, but the Chaldean decan rulers do not work. One has to use the set of decan rulers based on triplicity (e.g., for the sign of Aries, the three decans are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius). It’s an important technique to master because if the Chaldean decan rulers do not work, we need to replace them in al-mubtazz scoring.
And if the decan rulers based on triplicity have an influence on physical appearance, then by default the ruler of the rising decan needs to be included in temperament computations. Nobody is looking at this issue at the moment. Because of the additional publishing expense for photographs, the web may be the best vehicle to present this kind of research.
Via the web, one can also keep adding entries to a physiognomy database as time permits. It would take a subscription service of something like $20/month for a subscriber base of 300+ individuals to make this a viable business model. I mention this not because I think such a market exists today, but with the power of these written words, such a market might exist in a few years. There is nothing I would rather do than pure astrological research: to create a rectified database of several hundred charts which would be fodder for testing of the complete range of medieval delineation and predictive techniques: everything from temperament to religious faith to friends and enemies. It’s a project which needs to be done and I am more than willing.
Footnote 3: Al-Qabisi: The Introduction to Astrology. London: The Warburg Institute, 2004. p. 53.
Read Part 1 of the interview with Dr. H. of Regulus Astrology here.
Read Part 2 of the interview with Dr. H. of Regulus Astrology here.
January 3, 2009 by Nina Gryphon
This is Part 2 of Gryphon Astrology’s three-part interview with Dr. H. of Regulus Astrology. Read Part 1 of the interview here.
NG: What is another technique you worked with that did not prove accurate?
DH: A more general delineation technique I have had problems with is the hierarchical style of evaluating planetary condition by both quality and quantity. Much of this can be traced to Bonatti (if not earlier) with his demands that planets be ‘fortunate and strong’ to deliver effects. In my early student days, I was led to believe that should one of the Ascendant rulers be in detriment/fall and located a cadent house (usually 6th or 12th) that surely the person would reject significations of that planet as a life outlet for something better signified by a planet with some essential dignity in some other succedent or angular house. But this doesn’t hold water.
In the example I gave – an afflicted malefic in the 6th house with some claim to the Ascendant – whenever the malefic in the 6th was activated dynamically the individual suffered tremendous pain, illness, or took on a position of servitude. The individual appeared incapable of choosing a better life outlet. While this is a natal example, this kind of behavior has important implications for mundane astrology.
Bonatti, for instance, rejects a planet conjunct the Midheaven in an Ingress figure as Significator of the King should it have no essential dignity. So he would discard Saturn/Aries on the 10th cusp in favor of some other planet to delineate the actions of the King. Maybe Bonatti is wrong. Perhaps the planet most closely aspecting the MC signifies the King whether or not it has any essential dignity.
NG: I think you’re right about Bonatti’s rejection of potential significators of the King if they had no essential dignity, or other afflictions. Do you think this is more an issue of bad astrology, or more of self-protection or buttering up the boss by the astrologer? If we use Bonatti’s method, as in your example, it would mean nothing bad could ever happen to the King.
DH: First off, even if the significator of the King is itself benefic, an aspect from a malefic can still harm the King so I have to disagree with your last comment. The March 2008 Aries Ingress is a good example with Sun/Aries a logical significator for the King in many geographical locations yet the Sun is square Mars/Cancer. This does not bode well for the King.
In any case, I don’t think it’s self-protection because the only way an astrologer can truly protect himself is to quit his job if he sees bad events for the King on the horizon, especially if a fall from power is forecast. I don’t think it’s buttering up the boss either because the only way the King would know the astrologer is buttering him up is for the King to have a sufficient understanding of the methodology that the King would know the astrologer was intentionally biasing his predictions. Since most Kings probably did not have that level of expertise this is really a moot question.
But more to the point: why would Bonatti go to such lengths in creating a checklist of over 50 questions for determining the significator of the King if instead he could just lie and make something up! Instead I think what’s going on here is Bonatti’s hierarchical style of delineation reflects his own personal philosophy which is extremely class conscious. That’s my instinct based on my read of Bonatti.
Besides Kings, another example is his discussion of sexual proclivities when delineating marriage. When he starts delineating conditions for ‘foul and filthy coitus’ we should ask ourselves: foul and filthy for whom? Heads of state wouldn’t want to get caught up with this. But suppose one is dealing with a professional hooker whose life is enhanced by ‘foul and filthy coitus.’ Is this such a bad condition for a hooker assuming she uses condoms for protection? Maybe not.
Regarding other techniques I tested, I also have problems with the notion of quantity: that angular, succedent, and cadent planets respectively deliver 100%, 50%, and 25% percent of their power. Consider the delineation of children. In Bonatti’s approach, children are promised if any significator of children (Jupiter, Venus, Moon, Mercury, Lord 5th, P.Fortune, P.Children & their lords) are located in houses favorable for children (1st, 11th, 10th, 7th). Significators must also be in the fruitful water signs or the rather fruitful signs of Taurus, Sagittarius, and Aquarius. As an example, both Mercury and Venus in the sign of Taurus are correct planets in the correct sign; but if placed in the 12th house children would not be predicted.
DH: A rectified chart can be likened to an econometric model whose independent variable is time and whose dependent variable is life. Models are based on a data sample; for rectification the sample consists of life events. Out-of-sample data is simply life events which occur during a time period not used to build the model.
A second approach is to use all life events to date as the sample used to build the model. Then treat new events which occur in real time as out-of-sample events. Test these events against the model in real time. The second approach is what I have taken with Obama.
For Obama, I published a rectified time of 7:54:28 PM, Ascendant = 27AQ09’17”, on November 20, 2007 and have been watching the chart unfold ever since. Any predictive method used to create the rectification model can be employed in a real time test. Some techniques, like monthly profections, can help confirm the Ascendant sign. Other methods, like directions and dynamic activity to Arabic Parts, can confirm the exact degree and minute of the rectified Ascendant. So let’s get our hands dirty.
Consider this solar arc direction:
July 24, 2008. direct solar arc Ascendant trine Sun.
This is actually the only solar arc direction of a planet to either the Ascendant or Midheaven for the entire calendar year of 2008. So for using solar arc directions as a tool for out-of-sample tests, this is it.
Sun is the universal significator of fame and power. In the sign he rules, Sun/Leo is flamboyant and should produce an event conducive to projecting fame and power which is long lasting. What happened? This is the exact date Obama spoke at the Victory Column in Berlin, the most high profile campaign event of the year prior to the Democratic National Convention. The following day he met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In mundane astrology, France is assigned to Leo. Obama met with the French (Leo) President and discussed what amounted to a partnership with France for defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan. Business partners and open enemies are assigned to the 7th house, the location of Obama’s Sun.
This event appears a match to the solar arc direction. It is evidence in favor of the rectification, but more events need to be tested. Arguably, one could make the case that this solar arc Ascendant trine Sun should really time his August 28 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, meaning the rectified time is in error by four minutes of degree, the amount needed to change the birth time to push the recomputed solar arc Ascendant trine Sun measurement to August 28 instead of July 24. One can go crazy with this, making adjustments for every new event. I prefer to wait at least six months and preferably a year before making an assessment.
One also has to realize that making these micro adjustments not only changes the Ascendant trine Sun direction but literally every other direction measurement used to build the initial model.
Dynamic activity to Arabic Parts is also helpful for out-of-sample tests. I first started to look at the Part of Servants 25AR54 and its antiscion 4VI06 after Obama’s foreign policy advisor Samantha Power was fired after making some ill-mannered comments about Hillary Clinton. It turns out that Power’s March 7, 2008 resignation was timed by the transit of Saturn located at 4VI08, only two minutes of degree from the antiscion of the Part of Servants. Continuing the saga was Jim Johnson’s forced resignation from the Vice President vetting committee on June 11, 2008 timed by the converse transit of the South Node located at 4VI05. Finally, after Saturn went direct and passed over the part’s antiscion again, Wes Clark stuck his foot in his mouth on June 29, 2008 when he made the following comment on John McCain: “I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.” Saturn was positioned at 4VI25 on that date, a bit wide of the part’s antiscion, but still close.
While Clark was not officially employed by the Obama campaign as far as I know, he was up until this time a contender for the VP slot. Shortly after his June 29 gaffe he disassociated himself from the Obama campaign. Maybe the Wes Clark gaffe is irrelevant. But there is no doubt that Samantha Power and Jim Johnson were employees and were terminated from the Obama campaign.
Identifying Saturn and the South Node as significators for the termination of employees is crucial to the logic of this out-of-sample test. Employees are assigned to the 6th house. While some might assign employee termination to the 9th house (4th of the end-of-the-matter from the 6th by derived houses), I have found the 1st house (8th from the 6th) more reliable for employee termination. For Obama, Saturn rules the 1st; South Node is positioned in the 1st. Both Saturn and the South Node are significators for the death and/or termination of employees based on rulership and position.
There are some other events I have looked at, such as the transit of Pluto to the Part of Faith as a timer of Obama’s earlier Reverend Wright fracas. Overall I remain happy with the rectified model despite the official birth certificate time of 7:24 PM posted on June 12 by the Daily Kos blog. At the end of the day it is the horoscope which consistently works on an out-of-sample basis that I will always choose as a professional astrologer.
This is hard work; real roll up your sleeves kind of stuff. After doing it awhile one gets a better appreciation of why dedicated medieval predictive astrologers can take on only a handful of clients. I doubt I could ever service more than two or three clients if I use all the tools at my disposal.
Footnote 2: b. May 28, 1944, Brooklyn, NY, 6:02:37 AM EWT, Ascendant – 14GE454; Dr. H’s rectification.
Read Part 1 of the interview with Dr. H. of Regulus Astrology.
Read Part 3 of the interview with Dr. H. of Regulus Astrology.
January 2, 2009 by Nina Gryphon
I am very pleased to present an interview with a rising star on the astrological scene, Dr. H., the anonymous author of two recent books on predictive traditional astrological techniques. The first is A Rectification Manual: The American Presidency, first published in 2007, where the author uses medieval methods to find the birth times of all U.S. Presidents and their spouses, and then applies various predictive methods to determine the usefulness of such methods. Primary directions, for instance, are found to be more reliable than solar arc methods. The most recent edition of the Manual also includes rectified times for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election candidates.
Dr. H.’s latest book is America is Born: Introducing the Regulus U.S.A. National Horoscope, where the author uses mundane events to rectify the birth horoscope of the United States, and while he is at it, conducts a test of the efficacy of Egyptian vs. Ptolemaic bounds. He also introduces Abu Ma’shar’s method of participators and distributors (the mingled effect of the rulers of bounds through which directed planets are passing as they make aspects), and applies it to the U.S. horoscope.
His books have reawakened my own dormant interest in primary directions, and I suspect this is the beginning of a new resurgence of this topic, as serious astrologers rediscover its efficacy.
NG: Tell us about your preferred astrological techniques. You are a traditional astrologer; what methods do you use for natal delineation and prediction?
DH: Unlike many astrologers who seem to gravitate towards a particular favorite technique, such as transits or progressions, I do my best to use all the tools all the time. That said, the nature of my current practice has focused my attention on some specific delineation topics and specialized tools. Delineation techniques which allow me to profile an individual I may never interview, meet, or know is my current focus. Techniques including the Al-mubtazz Figurae (“ruler of the chart”) and character profiling based on analysis of the Moon, Mercury, and their rulers are the two most helpful methods for this purpose.
In profiling, I am interested in how benefics and malefics impact an individual. Is the person fundamentally good or evil? And do they stay that way? Do crimes signify a person who has been irrevocably lost to the dark side? or do crimes signify a temporary lapse of an otherwise good person? Are malefics a sign of an evil person or do they signify malefic events an otherwise good soul must suffer? And if people suffer, how do the malefics impact job performance? Does a physically impaired individual have the ability to focus his mind and achieve brilliance like Stephen Hawking or do physical limitations create obstacles too large to navigate? These kind of questions really cut to the core of the horoscope.
After reviewing the Al-mubtazz Figurae and analysis of the Moon and Mercury, I might examine how the Al-mubtazz Figurae interacts with the good spirit of the 11th house and the evil spirit of the 12th. By ‘interacts’ I mean examining how relevant aspects apply and separate (by zodiacal degree or antiscia) and which planet ultimately wins out through rulership and reception.
I also like to see how the Moon separates and applies. If the Moon applies to the 12th house ruler or a planet in the 12th, there will be some kind of problem. Usually the person becomes evil or suffers some other type of 12th house effect. If benefics are properly configured, some good may result of a 12th house confinement. Frida Kahlo comes to mind with her artistic career triggered by a crippling automobile accident which required multiple surgeries and a lengthy period of physical confinement.
As for prediction, because directions rank at the top of the predictive hierarchy for their ability to time discrete events within 24 hours, they rank among my most frequently used tool. Besides primary directions which are the mainstay of the medieval toolbox, I am an ardent supporter of the more recently discovered symbolic directions known as solar arcs.
NG: Your recent work, A Rectification Manual, is the fruit of many years’ astrological research and testing. What were some of your goals in your research and writing the book?
DH: There seems to be a consensus one needs to work through 200 charts before reading a chart professionally for a client. In attacking that goal as a student, I faced a problem common to all astrologers: how can one be sure the chart under study is accurate? Because the last thing anybody wants to do is waste time studying an incorrect horoscope. The answer today is to rely on third party databases for accurate birth data; North American astrologers primarily use Astrodatabank. As much as reference databases like Astrodatabank are helpful, I consider their data as starting points for investigation.
Even accurate horoscopes backed up by birth certificates timed to the minute usually need slight adjustments before one can attack the figure with directions. And these are the best cases. I have found many Astrodatabank A-rated figures presented with times rounded off to the nearest half hour to be inaccurate. So much so that in a small sample I recently looked at, I determined that 15-20% of A-rated figures did not appear to have the correct Ascendant!
So the choice to tackle rectification was made in order to develop a set of accurately timed horoscopes as fodder for further educational study.
NG: Can you give a big picture overview of the method/order of operations you advocate in the Manual?
DH: I have outlined a three-stage rectification process:
1. Determine the Ascendant Sign
2. Determine the Ascendant’s Range within 1-4 degrees
3. Determine the exact Degree and Minute of the Ascendant
Stage 1 starts by confirming the Moon’s sign and proceeds to eliminate large sections of irrelevant time periods through planetary period techniques like Firdaria. The sequence of Firdaria rulers is different for diurnal or nocturnal figures. Usually the native’s life events can be easily matched to either the diurnal or nocturnal Firdaria sequence even without knowing the Ascending sign. Right away this knocks out about half the day’s 24 hours from consideration. There are some other techniques like the Moon’s separation and application which can also be used to cull large blocks of time from consideration. Using robust predictive techniques like Firdaria is quite effective in honing in on the correct Ascendant with very little effort.
Stage 2 begins with physiognomy in order to select the rising decan and proceeds to Arabic Parts which further narrow the Ascendant’s possible range. Arabic Parts are the bread and butter of Stage 2 rectification. I would go so far to say that no rectification can be declared successful unless event timing with Arabic Parts passes muster. Directions are used in Stage 3 to finish the job. They are the diamond drills of rectification.
NG: One of the topics you address in the Manual is the length of life and the potential cutting off of the predicted lifespan due to uncontrollable external influences, such as natural disasters. I am referring to the doctrine of subsumption (articulated by C.E.O. Carter); the natal chart is subject to bigger picture mundane horoscopes that can overrule it and produce death earlier than the individual horoscope shows. I am somewhat uncomfortable with this concept: shouldn’t major life events, especially death, be shown in the natal chart? How has this played out in your research?
DH: Considering American Presidents, there is only one individual I found whose natal horoscope did not indicate death: William McKinley. His assassination was timed by a Saturn direction in the Regulus USA National Horoscope of my own computation; to be released by year end 2008.
In making a more general answer, I will give you my thoughts but disclose they are not more than that; I have not undertaken any original research on this topic. I suggest that the larger the disaster, the less likely it will be promised in horoscopes of the dead purely on statistical grounds. Probably the best way to test this is to start with a small sample and then work larger.
Ken Gillman’s “Who Will Survive?” analysis of the Dunblane School shooting of March 13, 1996 is an excellent example of a small sample approach (footnote 1). Among his findings are angular benefics are helpful to survival and the presence of the Moon on the Ascendant-Descendant axis is not. It appears that angular luminaries make one stand out from the crowd. This is good for raising one’s status in society, à la Ptolemy’s Rank of Fame model, but not so great if one is trying to avoid an assassin’s gunfire. Also a reason why individuals with the Sun in 12th are able to fade into crowds without detection.
Now suppose instead of gunfire, Dunblane School was attacked with a nuclear bomb. I don’t see how having an angular Jupiter would be of much help in survival. So the larger the catastrophe, the less likely an individual with a ‘favorable’ delineation or ‘protective’ dynamic activity will be able to withstand the event.
NG: In researching the various traditional methods, you must have run into more than a few dead ends – methods that are esteemed but proved ineffective. Can you name a few such techniques?
DH: Treatment of latitude in primary direction calculations has been botched by most everybody. This business of reducing the latitude by one-half for sextile or trine aspects advocated by Morin and others is bogus. Probably the greatest technical discovery I made while preparing A Rectification Manual is the solution to the latitude problem. I call it the ‘primary direction sequence.’ I leapfrog the question of optimal latitude by computing a pair of directions for planet-angle directions; one with the full planet’s latitude and a second with a zero latitude planet assumption. This yields two dates. What happens are two events on each respective date, often linked, as is the time period between the two dates which tends to be marked by additional events whose nature conforms to the delineation of the planet involved in the direction.
If readers take away a single topic from this interview, it should be the primary direction sequence. I name it the Holy Grail of Rectification because the odds of computing a pair of directions corresponding to a pair of life events – often separated by a year or more – is so low that the statistical odds of a correct rectification solution quickly approach 100%.
NG: Can you give an example of this method in a horoscope?
DH: Let’s turn to Barack Obama. As his campaign got underway in the spring of 2007 there were questions raised concerning stock market and real estate transactions. The real estate deal with Tony Rezko had been covered earlier in the local Chicago press but the stock market transactions were new charges. On March 5, 2007, thestreet.com broke a story that questioned the ethics of Obama’s purchase of two small cap stocks whose activities benefited from Obama’s legislative actions. Obama was forced to make a press conference on 7 March regarding his activities.
This event opened up a series of events which forced the Obama campaign to scrutinize its campaign donations. Financial dealings with Rezko and his associates resurfaced during this review process. Concluding this episode was the decision by the Obama campaign to make dollar-for-dollar donations to charities with the amount equaling the total campaign contributions received from associates of Tony Rezko. These donations were made on June 2 and June 8, 2007.
Now that the life event is outlined, let’s look at how this might be shown in the natal figure. Who is Tony Rezko to Barack Obama? He is (was) a friend, a valuable political alliance for his fundraising expertise, and a real estate developer. As of 2008, Rezko is also a convicted felon and has been a source of embarrassment to the Obama campaign for Obama’s prior financial dealings with Rezko. Because Mars cuts and Virgo is an earth sign, Mars/Virgo signifies the real estate developer Tony Rezko. Mars is the exalted ruler (and al-mubtazz) of the 11th of friends and political alliances and the 12th of enemies, using Alchabitius quadrant house cusps. Mars falls in the 8th house of investments. So by position and rulership, the houses Mars are involved in are consistent with Mars’ signification as Tony Rezko. Financial dealings can be sought from the Part of Fortune, especially with Obama’s criticized real estate transaction with Rezko because the Part of Fortune falls in the 4th house of real estate (whole sign houses).
Using primary directions software built by Janus 4.0 and choosing the Placidus under the Pole method of directing, compute the following direction:
Dexter square of Mars d. => Part of Fortune (POF).
Hold the POF constant and direct the square aspect of Mars until it meets the POF. So far so good. There are a few assumptions made here, but nothing out of the ordinary. It is at this point where the primary direction sequence comes into play. To handle the latitude of Mars [00n43’22”] compute two directions. First compute the direction using the full latitude of Mars. Second assume Mars has zero latitude.
The two dates are March 9, 2007 and June 2, 2007. This pair of dates essentially forms a set of bookends which match the events cited above. Considering the difficulty of computing a pair of dates using primary directions which matches a pair of life events, it is virtually impossible to make these kinds of calculations unless the rectified birth time is highly accurate.
Now it turns out this particular example is a bit more complicated because if one also includes solar arc directions (for which the latitude concept employed in the primary direction sequence does NOT apply), one finds converse solar arc POF opposed Mars computed for March 5, 2007. This is the exact date of the investigative report by thestreet.com. Sometimes it happens that with all permutations of directions (e.g., latitude assumptions, solar arc and primary directions, direct and converse motion) that this kind of overlap occurs. The trick here, and this is my own finding, is that solar arc directions tend to time events which have a distinctly public character to them. Press releases, promotions, this kind of thing. So often when I see a major life event which makes waves in the public sphere, I will look to the solar arc direction more than the primary direction when rectifying the event. Vice versa for events which are important but whose effects are felt within the normal realm of an individual’s sphere of influence.
Footnote 1: http://www.considerations-mag.com/articles/whoWillSurvive.htm
Read Part 2 of Gryphon Astrology’s interview with Dr. H. of Regulus Astrology
Read Part 3 of Gryphon Astrology’s interview with Dr. H. of Regulus Astrology