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A Rectification Manual

Book Review

A Rectification Manual: The American Presidency
by Regulus Astrology

ISBN: 978-0-9801856-0-7; available in hardback (796 pages) or ebook edition (pdf).
Published by Regulus Astrology LLC, 2007
Reviewed by Thomas Callanan

Price: $59.95

The title of this work, A Rectification Manual is accurate. That is exactly what this is, but think about how much solid astrology is required to complete an accurate rectification. The astrologer has to have quite a bit in his tool box. Along with a solid grasp of the basics, signs, planets, and houses, he needs to understand predictive technique. Rectification, after all, is prediction in reverse. He needs to understand how to relate the events in the life to the astrological symbolism, in other words, the astrologer has to know how to delineate. Delineation is "what;" prediction is "when." He needs to have a firm grasp of a variety of advanced astrological technique, knowledge of the widely disparaged, but rarely understood technique of physiognomy is helpful as well. The astrologer would benefit from an orderly mind as well as the patience of a saint. A few first rate astrology computer programs won't hurt either. That's all.

Now imagine teaching all that. Try to condense almost all of what you know about astrology and organize it around one method and explain it so that an intermediate or advanced student or even practicing astrologer can understand it. The result would be a sophisticated text book of post graduate astrology, which is exactly what we have here.

"Dr. H," a pseudonym for a very proficient astrologer presents us with a 700+ page handbook of rectification using mostly medieval techniques and as examples, every President of the United States. The result is a synthesis of the advanced techniques of medieval astrology plus some modern thinking (he actually uses solar arcs, albeit only a little bit) that gives point by point explanations that will ultimately serve to instruct the reader with more than just rectification technique. The techniques employed include, but are not limited to, delineation of the nativity with an emphasis on Maternus' observation of the importance of bounds (terms) and dwads (twelve-fold division of signs), primary directions (with and without latitude), SANS (lunation before birth), eclipses, Arabic parts, secondary progressions, transits, solar returns, profections, and firdaria. Not every technique is incorporated into every rectification project; astrology is not that mechanical or that simple. But along the way, we are instructed how to use all of them. We're also introduced to terminology, well old Arabic terminology, that is not that common in contemporary astrology e.g., Al-kadukhadah (aka alchocoden), Al-mubtazz (almuten), hilaj (hyleg), et al and their uses in medieval astrology.

The results produced some surprises. For example the birth time used for George Washington has generally been 10:00 AM, which gives Taurus rising. The time is supposedly documented in a family Bible (the quote is "about 10:00 am) thereby warming the hearts of those who are aware of Washington's deep love of agriculture and his luxurious home, Mount Vernon. He could also be as stubborn as a mule, when he wanted to. Dr. H's method gives us Aquarius rising, which will warm the hearts of modern astrologers looking at Washington as revolutionary.

And that is the problem with all rectification. The events used are almost always interpreted through the eyes of the rectifier. Was Washington a man of the land (yes he was) or was he a revolutionary (yes, he was that, too)? Washington was also the very essence of solar leader, and other rectifications have given Leo rising. Not to fear, unlike most rectifiers, who attempt a rectification with four or five well timed events, "Dr. H" urges the astrologer to build a data base consisting of dozens, if not hundreds of dated events. He even recommends reading biographies (horrors) of the famous people the astrologer wishes to rectify; thereby requiring the astrologer to apply the astrology to non-astrological topics. Oh I know this is starting to sound like work. And work it is, but as everyone has heard, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. If that results in rolling eyes accompanied by a groan, remember, we have computers, our ancestors didn't.

Will every reader be satisfied with every rectification? That's doubtful. Abraham Lincoln's rectified time of nearly 4:00 AM does not square with the recollections of contemporaries that Lincoln's father sent for the midwife "about Meeting House time," but those recollections were made long after Lincoln's death. Those statements, as honestly intended as they were, don't make "Dr. H" wrong either. People make mistakes.

We must admit that we've all experienced surprise at the ascendant of a timed birth. Sylvester Stallone "should" be a Taurus rising, but he isn't. And for those who absolutely insist that a particular rectification cannot be correct, "Dr. H" does not claim infallibility, so we may hold on to our pet beliefs, albeit with some difficulty, if we have not done some solid work ourselves. Still it is refreshing to see the birth times of some charts validated. The chart of George W. Bush for example, is rectified to a tiny difference (23 seconds) from the one we all use. Birth certificates do get it right now and again.

A Rectification Manual is not a beginner’s book and some intermediate astrologers might struggle. This should not be a deterrent. High quality Serious books explaining serious astrology are few and far between. One bookseller once told me that the good astrology books tend to disappear from print quickly while the junk goes on and on. Don’t let that happen here. Anyone serious about astrology, traditional or otherwise, needs to read and work with this most welcome and important addition to the literature.

Thomas Callanan
February, 2008