As most of you will be aware, Bill Cosby is facing serious but as yet unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct. Perhaps it is part an understandable desire to want to know intimate details of a man who has been married to the same woman for fifty years, is father to five children, referred to as “America’s dad” yet standing accused of rape. This has no doubt contributed to the onslaught of an astrological fury which has even resulted in inauthentic charts being discussed.
However, it is my strongly held conviction that it is not our business as astrologers to put living celebrities on trial using astrology. In this respect I concur with John Frawley who has spoken out against public readings of famous people. It is one thing to want to know the likes and dislikes, the opinions and tastes of celebrities who interest. us – to that extent they are public figures However, it is quite another matter to bare the deepest recesses of the soul for public exhibition and perhaps even ridicule.
The internet is filled with gratuitous discussion by so-called astrologers who assume Cosby’s guilt and read the chart accordingly. My friend and colleague Steven Birchfield refers to this as prediction after the fact.
Nevertheless, my principal concern is to point out how easily the wrong chart can become accepted by tens of thousands of people. It can then be interpreted and misinterpreted and take on a life of its own in a very short time. The wrong chart for Cosby is everywhere. Many students of astrology like to take charts and reverse engineer them to make them *fit* Simple precautions can make it clear that you have a fairly accurate chart or not.
The natal information for Cosby’s chart is said to be “from memory” at is 12:30 AM. 12 July, 1937 in Germantown Pennsylvania. Memory can be problematic, not least because he was born around midnight in a 1930s hospital which apparently pre-empted the possibility of a birth certificate. Perhaps the certificate was lost and not replaced or there was some reason Cosby or a family member decided not to reveal it. We don’t know.
We are not told whose memory or when the birth was actually recorded. It look rounded off as well, so might be off by several minutes. However, it’s the only time we have, so next we have to see EDT was in effect.
Some sources say it was, but both Solar Fire and Janus made the correct adjustments, which I then verified by referring to municipal and state sources which concur with the programs.
This gives us a significantly different chart from the one accepted with the Aries Ascendant. That uncertainty of the time and discrepancy of Ascendant should signal that great care should be taken. My first indication that soemthing was wrong was that I couldn’t reconcile an Aries Ascendant with Bill Cosby, including his physical appearance.
When the time is corrected according to Eastern Standard Time, we are in fact given a Taurus Ascendant. It is very easy to distinguish an Aries from a Taurus Ascendant. With the former, the features are sharper. The body is slighter and not stocky as is common with a Taurus Ascendant. It may surprise many how many incorrect charts go unchecked.
I met someone who told me her chart gave her Saturn in the 12th House. Saturn in the first house is very different from Saturn in the 12th and I felt sure there was some mistake. Three otherwise reputable astrologers had all given her the wrong chart. The problem was with failing to take the time change into account. In that part of the world the DST had been somewhat erratic and nobody had bothered to check
These are are just a couple of simple methods that may be employed for preliminary rectification. Finer tuning may be had using a number of much more complicated and time consuming methods, the discussion of which is beyond the scope of this article.