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The Science and Art of Rectification (Part Two)

I my last article I attempted a rectification of the horoscope of Alexander Hamilton. (Click on Alexander Hamilton to see that article.) Reading about Hamilton got me interested in the life of his famous nemesis, Aaron Burr. Burr is another person for whom we are unlikely to ever have a time of birth, so I decided to apply the same process of rectification to his chart.

 With Alexander Hamilton we first had to deal with different opinions about his year of birth. That’s not a problems for Aaron Burr. We can say with great assurance that Burr was born on Feb. 7, 1756. He was an Aquarian by Sun sign and we know his Moon was either in Aries or Taurus. In terms of rectification, the uncertain sign placement of the Moon is actually a gift. It provides us with our first clue in timing Burr’s birth.

The circumstances of Burr’s birth were quite different from those of Hamilton. While Hamilton was born illegitimate on a distant Caribbean island, Burr was born into one of the more prominent families in colonial America. His father was a well-known minister and his mother was the daughter of Jonathan Edwards who was a major figure in the religious movement called the First Great Awakening. Aside from this, however, Burr and Hamilton had much in common. Both were orphaned at an early age (Burr at age two). Both (most likely) had genius IQs and their intellectual gifts were noted while they were still young. Both cut short their education to join the battle for independence from British rule and during that conflict, both displayed outstanding courage and commitment to the cause.

Burr’s eagerness to go join the fight against the British is a strong indication that his Moon was in Aries, not Taurus. Someone with a Taurus Moon would be more concerned with establishing their economic security than fighting a war. Burr joined an ill-fated attempt by American troops to invade Canada just a short time after the war began and he continued to be at the forefront of the fighting until he was struck down by heatstroke during the battle of Monmouth in June 1778. In “Father Sun, Mother Moon” I say of the combination of an Aquarian Sun and an Aries Moon “You are the Sun sign Aquarius who will take action.” Young Aaron Burr was an Aquarian idealist who was willing to fight for what he believed.

The problem for Burr was that his hard work and heroism never got the notice that he felt it deserved. While other men, like Alexander Hamilton, were praised and promoted. Burr felt that he was being passed over. For a person with the Sun trine Jupiter, which indicates a substantial ego, this lack of recognition would have been particularly galling. In 1779, using ill-health as an excuse, Burr resigned from the army.

Burr’s inability to get the recognition that he felt he had earned gives us a second clue. In order for the Moon to be in Aries, Burr would have had to have been born early in the morning, before 10AM. That limits the possible house placements of the Sun to the Third, Second, First, Twelfth and Eleventh. In “Behind the Horoscope” I point out that people with the Sun in the Twelfth are often disappointed in their efforts to expand the ego through accomplishment in the outside world. The function of the Twelfth is internal. It pushes one toward self-examination and the evaluation of spiritual and psychological issues.

Burr grew us in a religious environment. It was expected that he would become a minister like his father and grandfather. But Burr left divinity school to become a soldier and he never looked back at his religious past. His focus was on finding a way to “shine,” first in war and then in politics. Burr was one of many talented and ambitious men during this period, including Alexander Hamilton. But, unlike Hamilton, Aaron Burr never completely aligned himself with one political philosophy. He was perceived by many as an opportunist who would say and do whatever was needed in order to advance his own career.

All of this speaks of both the Sun in the Twelfth House and Pisces Rising. By denying his familial heritage, Burr also denied the mission of the Sun in the Twelfth House. This is not unusual. A lot of people with the Sun in the Twelfth try to skip the inward journey it calls for and go out and get famous. Things tend to go badly for such people. No matter how hard they try to become winners, the circumstances of their lives very often point in the opposite direction.

Pisces Rising puts Burr’s Moon in the Second House where it is nicely aspected by Mars and Mercury (a mark of intelligence) but square Saturn. Burr’s wife died when he was relatively young. This was a huge emotional blow. She was probably the only woman he ever loved. It was also a financial blow. She was rich and Burr’s penchant for land speculation was a constant drain on his finances.

These house and sign placements give us a basic picture of the horoscope, but in order to find the exact angles we have to look at the major events in Aaron Burr’s life. Again we are looking for those events that do not correspond with major transits or secondary progression to other placement in the horoscope.

The events I used for Aaron Burr were:

    The death of his mother. Saturn was at 1 deg Pisces but moving fast.
    The Battle of Monmouth in which Burr suffered heatstroke. Uranus was at 16Gem42.
    The final resolution of the election 1800 (in which Burr and Thomas Jefferson were tied in the electoral college.) Pluto at 3 degrees Pisces.

Click on Aaron Burr to see the rectified chart. Note that the chart places Burr’s Venus to Uranus conjunction in the First House. Burr was a charming man and, if his portrait is any indication, rather good looking in his youth. However, he was also perceived as inconsistent, erratic and untrustworthy. His actions after 1805, which were both mysterious (Pisces Rising) and involved what could have become a major disruption of the status quo, certainly have a risk-taking Uranian ring.

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