Beliefnet
Astrological Musings

by Lynn Hayes

The other day I wrote on Dave Letterman’s chart as it affects his situation at the moment, embroiled in a blackmail scheme and needing to make major apologies to his wife and staff.  My anonymous commenter Chiron questioned the birth time of 6 am which has been put forth by the wonderful people at Astrodatabank which is now posted on astro.com and is listed with a Rodden rating of A.  
Rectification is the art, or fantasy depending on how you look at it, of assigning a time of birth to a person where no birth time is known, using the astrological correlations with certain events in a person’s life.  
Rectification is more reliable when we have a smaller time range, for example, if I know that someone was born in the afternoon I can generally narrow down the time using rectification methods.  But if we have no birth time, such as in the case of a celebrity, and we rectify based on what we THINK we know about that celebrity, we are not doing ourselves or the field of astrology any favors.  
The example of what happened with Susan Boyle’s birthchart is a good one.  Susan Boyle, as you may recall, exploded into public view overnight.  Nothing was known about her, but when a birth time was found astrologers all over the world began publishing what we thought were extremely accurate portrayals of her birthchart using this birth time.  Unfortunately for us, that birth time turned out to be incorrect and the correct birth time did not appear to be so accurate based on what we assumed we knew about Susan Boyle.  (You can read more about that drama here.)
That said, the 6 am time for Letterman comes from a staffer and from his biography so it is reasonably reliable although when I see a rounded-off time I am always somewhat skeptical.  Still, this time does set up a chart that appears to be accurate when we look at certain planetary transits to the angles (the angles are the ascendant and midheaven, and they are dependent upon the time of birth). 
For example, in January of 2000 David Letterman was rushed to the hospital for quintuple bypass surgery.  At the time, his progressed Midheaven was exactly square to his progressed Sun within minutes.  The Sun, either in the birthchart or by progression, is nearly always implicated in diseases of the heart and aspects from the progressed Midheaven often indicate a major change in a person’s life.  The Midheaven also in some cases represents the father, and Letterman’s father died of a heart attack so this event certainly would have been a major turning point for him.
The timeline of the current extortion attempt is also reflected in the chart provided by Astrodatabank with the 6 am birthtime.  Letterman said Thursday night that three weeks before he was approached by the blackmailer.  At the time, transiting Mars (aggression) was conjunct his progressed ascendant (his public persona) and transiting Mercury (messages) was opposite Mars (war and defense) in his natal chart.  Any one of these events could have brought about an event of aggression, but the combination of the two would have accelerated the drama of the event.
Shortly thereafter, on September 20, transiting Mars made a challenging square to his progressed Moon, threatening his security and that of his family (Moon) but at the same time, transiting Chiron (wounding and healing) was in a harmonious trine to his Sun (Self), facilitating his desire to work through the problem rather than allow it to bury him in disgrace.  
Mars has been very active throughout the period from September 14th to the present, activating Letterman’s chart and energizing him for the conflict to come.  But what clinches the deal for me is that on October 1st when Letterman made the announcement, transiting Mars (conflict) sat right on the Nadir of the chart, opposite the Midheaven which is the point at which we project ourselves into the public arena.  The Nadir/Midheaven polarity requires that we balance our inner world (Nadir) with the outer world of our profession (Midheaven), and in Letterman’s announcement he was seeking that balance in a very public way.
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