Astrology Book Review: A Rectification Manual – The American Presidency (Regulus Astrology/Dr. H.)

April 18, 2009 by  

Scholar - Astrology Book Review

A Rectification Manual, 2nd ed., is an ambitious, no-holds-barred traditional astrology book on this often difficult subject.  Rectification is the process whereby an astrologer uses known facts about an individual (appearance, past life events, personality traits) to determine their birth time or even birthdate.  The pseudonymous author, Dr. H., rectified the horoscopes of all U.S. Presidents through George W. Bush, using traditional techniques and comprehensive life event databases. 

His goal is twofold; first, he wishes to have birth times rectified “within 30 seconds of accuracy for 90%” of the included horoscopes, so that the reader can rigorously test astrological techniques on reliable charts of well-documented individuals.  Second, his goal is to restore the rigorous methods of pre-20th century rectification to their rightful place.  He succeeds most impressively in both aims, producing perhaps the most rigorous and detailed book on traditional horoscope delineation, prediction, and rectification available today.  Gryphon Astrology has interviewed Dr. H., where he gave more information about his methods and projects.

Briefly…

Make no mistake about it; A Rectification Manual is an intermediate-to-advanced text.  Intermediate astrologers, especially those unfamiliar with traditional astrological techniques, will likely find plenty here that is new, but the author gives sufficient detail and examples that with a little effort and patience, one can follow along with ease.   The best way to approach A Rectification Manual is a a workbook, not only for rectification, but also for delineation and prediction once accurate birth data has been calculated. 

The author writes in the Preface how to use the book: “Choose a single President.  Read at least two biographies – one for the subject directly and another for a family member or other significant professional colleague.  Create an event database and work sequentially through delineation and prediction techniques outlined in Parts One and Two.  After recreating measurements presented in the rectification database, test additional events against the full battery of predictive techniques…There is no better way to learn astrology than to study actual people and past events.” Yes, it sounds like work, but the more one puts into this book, the more one will get out of it, with rich dividends.

Contents & Structure

A Rectification Manual is composed of two main sections; the first is delineation, predictive methods, and rectification methods, while the second contains empirical tests of hotly-contested astrological methods, and rectification details for each American president, a longevity prediction and significator table for each president, and trial rectification data for all of the First Ladies. 

Part I deals with Delineation, that is, the process by which one assesses the potentials in the natal horoscope.  Chapter 1, Planets in Signs, uses case studies to show the effects of planetary sign placement, with a special section devoted to the minor dignities of bounds/terms and dwads (2.5˚ divisions).  Chapter 2, Modern Planets, discusses the role of the outer planets in natal delineation (hint: it’s more of a bit part than a role), utilizing primary directions of the outers to show the ways in which they can be integrated into delineation. 

Chapter 3, Planets in Houses, discusses house systems and why they matter, concluding with a case study of Thomas Jefferson.  The author uses both quadrant houses, such as Alcabitius, and whole signs, similar to Robert Zoller’s approach.  Chapter 4, Arcus Vitae (“Arc of Life”), explores the method of determining an individual’s longevity using the hyleg/alcochoden method, and then finding the candidates for the anareta, or killing planet.  In traditional astrology, the primary direction of key points in the horoscope to the killing planet, or vice versa, determines the most likely time of death.

Part II describes various predictive methods available to the astrologer once the natal delineation is complete.  Chapter 5 deals with “The Problem of Under-specification.”  The author describes this as the problem of life events “improperly attributed to various predictive techniques because the modern predictive toolbox [consisting of transits, progressions, and solar arc directions] is incomplete.”  Here, the author explores the massive 1834 fire that destroyed a large portion of Andrew Jackson’s Nashville estate.  Dr. H. first uses modern techniques, then traditional methods to delineate the fire in Jackson’s horoscope.  Chapter 6, Temporal Indicators, uses several traditional methods, including differentiating between New Moon and Full Moon births, to describe the ways in which one’s characteristic traits or luck changes throughout one’s life. 

Chapter 7, Planetary Period Methods, explores the very old, accurate methods of dividing the life into several periods, each ruled by a planet.  The strength or weakness of the planet gives a broad-brush description of the given life period.  The author uses the triplicity ruler method, Firdaria, and planetary days and hours.  Chapter 8, Directions and Progressions, introduces Dr. H’s Primary Direction Sequence, generating a set of dates by computing the same primary direction with zero and full latitude for both the natal and the directed planets.  The dates correlate with key events corresponding with the natal promise of the planets in question. 

Chapter 9, Solar Returns: Profections and Time Lords, explores the technique of profections (assigning each year of life a whole-sign or equal-sign house, starting with the Ascendant), and the interlocking relationship between annual profections and the solar return.  Chapter 10, Solar Returns: Delineation and Prediction, describes the author’s findings on some popular variants of this predictive technique; precession and relocation.  He then goes on to show the steps of delineating the solar return and using it for timed predictions for the following year.  Chapter 11, Solar Returns: Arabic Parts describes the Parts’ use in prediction in the solar return, and also their role in rectification.  Because the Parts change very quickly, they are invaluable in determining the position of the Ascendant/Descendant axis.  There are 23 presidential nativities given in this chapter, including the Part of Fortune calculation for Richard Nixon.  Nixon’s Fortuna fell in the 12th natal house, showing “money from secret and illegal dealings.” (205)  The Part of Fortune was activated in the solar return for 1952, when Nixon was accused of conflicts of interest relating to an unreported campaign fund. 

Chapter 12, Lunar Nodes and Eclipses, are shown by the author to portend beginnings and endings, and so are some of the best predictive tools in astrology.  Their transits and those of the lunar nodes are useful for rectifying the angles of the horoscope.  Chapter 13, Transits, tests out the most useful transit aspects, orbs, and transiting planets’ contacts to planets, cusps, and parts. 

Part III gets to the titular subject of Rectification.  Chapter 14, Preparing the Event Database, walks the reader through the steps necessary to prepare a good list of life events by means of which rectification can occur.  Chapter 15, The Three Stages of Rectification, explains each of the key three steps of any rectification endeavor: Determining the Ascendant sign; calculating the ascending degree within 1-4 degrees; determining the exact degree and minute of the Ascendant.  Chapter 16, Rectification Case Studies, demonstrates the three rectification steps on five presidential nativities.  The Afterword shows the way in which nativities continue to work after death, for example through publications, or dramatic posthumous revelations, such as those about Thomas Jefferson’s relationship and children with his slave Sally Hemings.

The Appendixes comprise about one half of the Rectification Manual’s page count, to give you a sense of their importance.  Appendix A details the author’s study of directing planets through Egyptian and Ptolemaic bounds.  The Egyptian bounds come out the more accurate system.  Appendix B tests competing systems of calculating the Part of Fortune and Firdaria.  Appendix C, The Presidential Database, contains the rectified birth data of all of the U.S. Presidents through George W. Bush, and the 2008 Presidential nominees and their vice-presidents, while Appendix D details the rectified birth data of the Presidential spouses.  Finally, the author supplies a ten-page bibliography and handy biographical index.

Observations

This is an excellent study text for astrologers wishing to learn traditional techniques and see them in practice.  The ancient texts don’t give very detailed examples of the methods they describe, but this book fills much of that void, experimentally verifying the efficacy of competing methods.  A Rectification Manual works well as a drop-in reference book, too, for the more advanced reader.  For example, if one wishes to learn more about the interaction of solar returns and profections, one can turn to the apposite chapter and read up on that method and its application.  The author writes such that the chapters are largely self-contained – to the extent possible – making the book very useful for such mini-lessons.  Highly recommended.

—+++—

A Rectification Manual – The American Presidency

By: Regulus Astrology LLC (Dr. H.)

Regulus Astrology (publisher), October 2008, 2nd edition, 791 pages

$59.95

Available through regulus-astrology.com 

(more information on the data presented in the book, including errata, is available on the Regulus Astrology website)

Comments

5 Responses to “Astrology Book Review: A Rectification Manual – The American Presidency (Regulus Astrology/Dr. H.)”

  1. Herman on April 22nd, 2009 8:12 am

    Nina! So glad to see you posting again! (unless you ‘re a ghost-writer, lol).

    Actually, now I understand why we had to wait so long to get “un signal de vie” from your blog: reading these volumes (huge ones, somes of thems 🙂 must savour up quit a bit of your time, ha!
    (I volunteer to lighten this burden of yours, every now and then, lol).

    Warmly,
    Herman

  2. Nina Gryphon on April 25th, 2009 8:07 am

    Hi Herman!

    No, there is no ghostwriter. When I do a post, I try to do something that will be helpful. In the next month or two, I plan to do more book reviews, so stay tuned. Thanks for your kind offer; if I ever get swamped, I’ll let you know 🙂

    Best wishes,
    Nina

  3. Celice on April 29th, 2009 1:06 am

    Hi Nina
    This is of great interest to me. I have just completed a year’s study of Horary (and I am happy to say I passed). I will begin studing Traditional Natal next week. I know it will be another intense year of study ahead. I am also happy that we are able to rectify charts in accordance with the Tradition because according to my tutor, rectification is a waste of time, she says you work with what you have got. However, in Lilly’s book 3 he talks about “Of the Rectification of a Nativity by Animodar” . This makes sense to me because I doubt that people in Lilly’s day had access to their precise time of birth, except of course if you were royalty- and astrologers would therefore need to rectify their charts, in order to find the precise time of birth so that they would be in a position to give their clients precise advice. I would like to investigate this further – do you think Lilly is a good place to begin in this regard or should I just jump into the deep end using Dr. H’s manual? What would you suggest?

  4. Nina Gryphon on April 29th, 2009 6:40 am

    Hi Celice,

    I completely understand your dilemma. I see your tutor’s point, because most “rectified” charts out there are not worth much, given the sketchy techniques used. I am pretty confident, however, that Dr. H. is as close as we can get nowadays.

    As I understand it, in Lilly’s day, most people simply didn’t get natal readings, due to the birth time issue you mention and also the expense. Then, as now, horary was the less expensive option. That said, I think learning rectification – really learning and doing the traditional methods – can only be good for your development as an astrologer. It is by far the most difficult procedure in astrology, and if you can do it well, you can do just about anything.

    In terms of learning rectification; I would not start with Lilly. The methods he gives are not all that useful. I would suggest buying Dr. H.’s book, because it’s really a course in traditional techniques in itself, and very worthwhile. You may not be able to do everything in it yet, but you can work through it and wow your astrology teacher. You don’t have to mention you picked up these methods from a rectification manual 🙂

    Good luck!
    Nina

  5. Celice on April 29th, 2009 8:34 pm

    Thank you – I am definitely going to give it a go.

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