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ABC Basic Delineation #5 Date Published: 12/01/2000 by Marion March
Bio: Marion March

Marion March is a noted teacher, lecturer and writer on astrology, as well as a valued astrological counselor in her own right, and the mentor of many younger astrologers. With Joan McEvers, she is the author of a series of comprehensive instructional books: The Only Way to Learn Astrology in five volumes, which has gone through many editions, and has been translated (and published) in several languages besides English including German, Spanish and Portuguese.

Correct Birth Data

For the last four years I have discussed different aspects of "Basic Delineation," including the importance of the overview, of configurations, of house positions, rulerships, etc., but not once did I mention my pet peeve: inaccurate or sloppy birth data. Yet without the proper time of birth we cannot possibly have an accurate delineation!

My respected friend and colleague Lois Rodden has been the foremost crusader in this field and made us all aware of our gullibility. Time and again she has presented us with 2, 3 or even 4 different birth times. Her "The American Book of Charts" brims with DD (dirty data) horoscopes. A perfect example is architect Frank Lloyd Wright, supposedly born June 8, 1867 at 8 p.m. LMT.

States Rodden: "The Penfield Collection quotes documents at Columbia University for June 8, 1867, these include his mother's diary. He himself also stated that he was born in the evening in the middle of a storm. Yet the Church of Light (for many years a good source of data) quotes Ziegler at June 8, 1869 at 6:05 a.m.; World Book and other encyclopedias also quote 1869."

Rodden has divided her data into four categories: A = Accurate Date (birth certificate, in person, hospital records). B = Biographies. C = Caution (non-documented or no source origin). D = Dirty Data with two or more conflicting statements. In our book, "The Only Way to Learn Astrology," we [Joan McEvers & Marion March] have gratefully adopted this system. But I would urge even greater caution in accepting the personal testimony of birth time.

A case in point is the chart of psychologist and care for the dying expert Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. In a biography titled "Quest - The Life of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross" by Derek Gill and epilogue by Kübler-Ross, it states: "In the late afternoon of July 8, 1926 all appeared normal in the delivery room in Zurich, Switzerland... The fair-haired woman on the table seemed in the final stages of labor…as the delivery room drama moved to a climax, the obstetrician cupped her hands to receive the infant now struggling to escape the birth canal. One minute later a child was born…It weighed exactly two pounds. But shortly after Emma Kübler was delivered of a second child, a two pound replica of the first; a moment later a third child, weighing a healthy six pounds, was born…The firstborn [of the] triplet[s] was named Elizabeth..."

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
Zurich, Switzerland, 8E32, 47N23
July 8, 1926
First Time given: 5:30 p.m., Zone -1

A brief synopsis of Gill's biography will help in our delineation. This book reveals a life marked throughout by a sense of destiny, courage, resolution and service to others. She became almost an alter ego to her identical triplet Erika who was very sick as a teenager. At 18 she left home alone to see what she could do for the war-ravaged people of France and then Poland. Against the wishes of her formidable father she struggled to become a physician.

After her marriage to an American medical student and her emigration to New York, she became a psychiatrist working among mental patients labeled hopeless. With her determination and dedication, she brought many of them back to health. Eventually she was drawn to those most truly abandoned by our society, namely the dying. Her accomplishments in this field are legion; so was her best-selling book "On Death and Dying."

Kübler-Ross is an ardent hiker, mountain climber and skier. She admits to a short fuse, great highs and lows and an overly idealistic nature. She has an excellent memory, nearly total recall, and she is a workaholic. She has a son, Ken, born in 1960 and a daughter, Barbara born 1964.

You would think that a biography with an epilogue by the person in question signifies an endorsement of the facts stated in the book. Therefore "late afternoon" would be between 5 and 6 p.m. A chart erected for 5:30 p.m. and labeled "B" according to the Rodden system, has Sagittarius rising, the ruler Jupiter is in Aquarius in the 3rd house of communications and siblings. It is involved in a challenging T-square with Saturn in the 12th house of psychology and hospitals and with Neptune in the 9th house of philosophy and expansion. The sun is in caring and nurturing Cancer, is conjunct Pluto in the 8th house of death and dying. Pretty convincing case, wouldn't you say?

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
Zurich, Switzerland, 8E32, 47N23
July 8, 1926
Second time given: 10:15 p.m.

But read on! After a lecture by Kübler-Ross, Linda Clark, one of my students, questioned her on her birth data. The rather firm reply was: "I was born on July 8, 1926 in Zurich at 10:15 p.m." That chart has the Ascendant at 27 Aquarius. The ruler Uranus in the 1st shows her self-expression and unique approach to life. The Sun, Pluto and the Moon are in the creative 5th house, all in the caring sign of Cancer. The T-square, always an indication of how the planets integrate and where the individual will place the emphasis, falls in the 12th, the 9th, and the 6th house of health.

Again, a very convincing chart, and one rated "A" since the data was received from the lady herself. But read on!

In September of 1980, Lois Rodden received the copy of a letter from Mrs. Kübler Ross, written in response to seeing a published chart based on her own quote of 10:15 p.m. Part of that letter read: "I am aware that until recently I presumed my birthtime was 10:15 p.m., but recently I found out that it was 10:45 p.m. on July 8, 1926 in Zurich, Switzerland." She then goes on asking for some information regarding this new horoscope.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
Zurich, Switzerland, 8E32, 47N23
July 8, 1926
Third time reported: 10:45 p.m.

Well - now we finally have the real "A" data (we hope!) What does this chart tell us? A Pisces Ascendant, ruler Neptune in the 6th house of health and service, involved in the previously discussed and always important T-square with Jupiter in the 12th house of doctors and Saturn in the 8th house of death in the transmuting and transforming sign Scorpio.

The Sun and Pluto are still in the 5th house of love, children and creating; Uranus still occupies the 1st house to explain her uniqueness, but now we also find Mars there to explain her independence of action and self-determination. (Rather than Mars in the 2nd house of possessions and financial emphasis, as the 10:15 p.m. chart would indicate.) Venus, planet of affection, is located in the 3rd house of siblings.

What is the moral of all this? First of all, be very careful with your acceptance of data, especially when someone gives you the time without checking some birth records. Very few people have as good a memory as they think, and even those who do often juxtapose figures. I have learned the hard way that "mother said I was born at 9:07" is frequently 7:09 when the birth certificate or hospital records are consulted. "I remember exactly" often means as much as 12 hours off, since a.m. and p.m. become muddled in the mind as time goes by.

Secondly, please realize that you can find substantiation for many character traits if you look hard enough. In hindsight, or by knowing what to look for, you can easily fit a chart to a person; in fact, as you just saw, you can make 2 or even 3 charts fit. Therefore, approach each Midheaven and Ascendant with a grain of caution and distrust and rely on a more in-depth interpretation than just the house positions.


[This article first appeared in the Spring 1983 edition of Aspects Astrological Magazine.]


© Copyright: Marion March





Other articles by Marion March

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #1

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #2 – The Overview

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #3

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #4 – Britain Hails a Future King

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #6 – Correct Birth Data

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #7

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #8 – Basic Chart Patterns

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #9 – Basic Chart Patterns

March, MarionABC's of Delineation: The 'See-Saw' Chart Pattern

March, MarionA Different Approach to Vocational Aptitudes

March, MarionHey Baby! Interpreting the Chart for Small Children

March, MarionThe Many Faces of Pluto

March, MarionSaturn - Teacher, Taskmaster & Friend



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