In an astrologer’s perfect world birth times would published right along the birth date. This would make our job easier and would eliminate what Lois Rodden would label DD, dirty data. Dirty data is anything along the lines of “my mother said” or “Auntie remembers it to be . . .”
A birth time is important because it fixes the ascendant and the moon, two of the the Big Three that includes the Sun, the three most basic markers of your personality. A birth time also fixes the position of the houses which important when it comes to making predictions based on the movements (transits) of the positions.
Whenever I give a reading that does not include an accurate birth time I tell the client straight up that the lack of the birth time can affect the accuracy of the reading.
Astrologers also have a technique called rectification that can pinpoint the possible birth time by matching life events against the chart to see which time makes the most sense in terms of what happened in an individual’s life. Rectification is a lengthy process, very technical, requiring a willingness to look at a lot of charts. Not all of us want to do that. Personally, I’d rather rip out my upper lip hairs with tweezers.
When researching the article on Amy Winehouse’s Addictions every source listed her birth time as unknown. Shortly after I posted the piece The Mountain Astrologer posted this on their Facebook Page:
Amy Jade Winehouse, R.I.P. Born 14 September 1983, 22:25 GDT, Enfield, London, England. Source: Frank Clifford quotes Winehouse’s mother to a mutual friend of astrologer Margaret Zelinski. RR: A.
This is about as dirty as data can get; not even a direct quote from the mom, but from a friend of a friend.
In the UK birth times are not recorded in the public records, so there is some reliance on these second hand accounts. But American astrologers, with access through their clients with birth certificates with recorded birth times, are squeamish about using such reports. So how do we know it is the correct birth time?
Let’s do some quick tests of this birth time.
When we rectify a chart we look for:
Physical features. Do they match the proposed ascendant? Can the physical features point to the ascendant?
Activation of the angles, the Midheaven, the Ascendant, the 4th and 7th house cusp.
Important transits of appropriate houses and/or natal planets.
First let’s look at some physical features, a test of the ascendant. With Gemini on the ascendant we can expect:
Face: oval, balloon shaped
Eyes: small/ triangular
Other: woman/small breasts
Well, these descriptions fit, so we can’t rule out a Gemini ascendant.
The release of her first album “Frank” was published on October 20, 2003 and quickly gained critical acclaim. The transits of the release date against her natal chart show Neptune right at the Midheaven, and Pluto at the cusp of the 7th house. Wow! Neptune transits to the Midheaven and the 10th house confers a “star quality” to the native, often signifying success in the performing arts.
Two years later as Pluto, traveling in the seventh house of relationships comes in a three degree orb her Neptune/Moon conjunction she meets future husband Blake Fielder-Civil in a bar in Camden, England and embarks on a tumultuous Plutonian relationship which resulted in marriage two years later and a divorce a year after that.
On October 30, 2006 “Back to Black” was released. In this chart the moon conjoins the Midheaven, and Neptune is still with 5 degrees of the Midheaven.
On May, 18 2007 Winehouse marries Fielder-Civil. On that day Jupiter conjoins the cusp of the seventh house.
In a true rectification, an astrologer would look at more events. But there is enough here to say that a 10:25 PM birth time is more than likely from the events in Amy Winehouse’s life.