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The Birth Time of Barack Obama:  Out-of-Sample Tests

Published June 20, 2008

Updated December 30, 2008

This article is to document procedures for confirming a rectified birth time which may vary from a reported birth time.  In statistics, this procedure is labeled an ‘out-of-sample test.’  Testing continues to support the proposed rectified birth time of 7:54:28 PM despite the official birth certificate time reported as 7:24 PM. 

No predictions are made, implied, or offered in this article or by the author.


As the year 2008 began, a reported birth time of 1:06 PM was provided by Fran McEvoy to Astrodatabank who said ‘she couldn’t remember who gave it to her.  She said that the person reportedly obtained the time from Obama and wished to remain anonymous.’[1]  Fast forward to May 15, 2008 when Joni Patry made a dramatic announcement at the opening ceremony for the United Astrology Conference that Obama was born at 7:11 PM.  Patry ‘said she obtained it from a client who works for the Obama campaign.  She in turn obtained it from a “campaign manager” who accessed the data through a closed-access government database.’[2]

The plot thickened when rumors began to circulate concerning Obama’s heritage.  Jim Geraghty of the National Review challenged the blog Daily Kos to produce Obama’s birth certificate in order to squash rumors that Obama was born in Kenya (making him ineligible to run for the office of the Presidency) and that Obama’s middle name was ‘Muhammad’ not ‘Hussein’ (with potential to further inflame rumors that Obama is a Muslim, not a Christian).  Daily Kos did so on June 12.  One day later the birth certificate was available directly through Obama’s official campaign website. 

Stated birth time: 7:24 PM


Compare the stated birth time of 7:24 PM to three different rectifications.

In Working Paper #1 published on November 20, 2007, I proposed a rectified time of 7:54:28 PM, with methods fully disclosed in my book: A Rectification Manual.  Separately, two Vedic astrologers proposed slightly earlier birth times in posts on the Mundane Astrology Yahoo group.  On March 2, 2008, Ron Day proposed 14 Capricorn (sidereal zodiac), or 6:49:25 PM.  On April 18, 2008, Ron Gaunt proposed a similar time of 6:56:43 PM.  All three rectifications yield Aquarius rising in the tropical zodiac.

Mercury as the Astrologer

Before giving a brief update here, let me make an important observation about what the discovery of Obama’s birth certificate tells us as about astrology and astrologers.  In medieval astrology, Mercury signifies all things written including astrology.  For Obama, Mercury is in the sign of Leo and moves quickly towards the Sun as a morning star.  What does this tell us?  Mercury under the sunbeams is considered a debility by medieval astrology because planets under the sunbeams are ‘blinded by the light’ and lose proper function.  Two things mitigate this condition for Obama:  (1) Mercury is in the bound of Jupiter; and (2) Mercury falls in the same sign as the Sun which rules Mercury.  As astrologers attempting to recover the birth time (either directly through receipt of the birth certificate or indirectly through rectification), what does Mercury’s condition tell us about Obama’s birth certificate as a written document? 

Consider Fran McEnvoy’s 1:06 PM time:  she could not remember the name of the individual who provided the time who requested to remain anonymous in any case.  Consider Joni Patry’s 7:11 PM time: this was obtained third hand from a secret database which could not be independently confirmed.  In both cases, the secrecy involved confirms the debility of Mercury under the sunbeams as ‘blinded by the light’ which makes Mercury’s actions hidden.  The photograph of the recovered 7:24 PM birth certificate raised some questions as well because it was evidently a copy made in 2007.  But the format is a common type for copies of birth certificates in the state of Hawaii.  Still, it was a copy and not the original. 

Now consider the interchange between Daily Kos and the National Review over rumors of Obama’s heritage which triggered disclosure of the birth certificate.  An important concept in medieval astrology is a planet’s ruler is both the source and outcome of a planet’s effects, an adaptation of the Aristotelian form-matter paradigm.  In this example, Mercury rules the Moon.  Moon/Gemini signifies rumors and gossip about heritage because the Moon’s placement in the 4th house of father, ancestry, and homeland ties the Gemini Moon’s need for information to 4th house affairs.  Mercury/Leo is one significator of Obama’s favorable press in the blogger community (and elsewhere including the astrology community) because Mercury’s placement in Leo adds the optimism of Leo, doubly emphasized because Mercury is received by the Sun.

In my opinion, Obama’s favorable media publicity (media as Mercury/Leo) caused political opponents to start rumors about his heritage in attempted smear campaign (rumors as Moon/Gemini) which in turn were squashed with publication of Obama’s birth certificate (astrology as Mercury/Leo). 

The fact that the Gemini Moon was interested in 4th house affairs (ancestry, heritage, homeland) and not 3rd house affairs is another event which confirms the general configuration of Obama’s chart based on the 7:54:28 PM rectification because in only this later proposed time does the Gemini Moon fall near the 4th house cusp.  In both 7:11 PM and 7:24 PM birth times, the 4th house is Taurus, not Gemini.  And no matter what time is used, Taurus is the 4th house cusp by whole sign houses.

Finally a comment about what Mercury tells us about astrologers.  Mercury in the sign of Leo is optimistic, especially here because Mercury is received by the Sun.  However, just as Mercury’s placement under the sunbeams created problems for uncovering Obama’s birth certificate, so too does it pose problems for astrologers.  Mercury’s weakness means that astrologers are also ‘blinded by the light’ in their optimism for Obama’s fame and will bias their predictions accordingly.  This is something that needs to be watched. 

Out-of-Sample Tests

For many astrologers, production of a birth certificate copy with a time of 7:24 PM is sufficient to settle the debate.  For myself, whether a natal birth time originates from a birth certificate or a rectification, it requires out-of-sample tests to confirm.  On April 2, 2008, I published two out-of-sample tests on my rectified birth time of 7:54:28 PM on this site.  I compared dynamic activity to relevant Arabic Parts for the resignation of Obama’s foreign policy advisor Samantha Power and for the Rev. Wright fracas.  I updated the post slightly on June 20, 2008; adding Ascendant profections to the out-of-sample tests.  What follows is my ‘end-of-year’ wrapup of out-of-sample tests for all of 2008.


Measuring dynamic activity to Parts (more accurately named Hellenistic ‘lots’) is an excellent method not only for rectification but for out-of-sample tests.  Because most parts include the Ascendant and two other planets, Parts are essentially customized Ascendants for specific life topics.  The additional specificity offered by parts goes along way to rescuing rectifications from an underspecified predictive model which assumes all major life events are timed by transits, progressions, and directions to the angles.  

There are two ways that parts can be tested against life events.  First to examine aspects between solar return planets and parts (see A Rectification Manual, Chapter 11).  Second to examine dynamic activity of any kind to parts (see A Rectification Manual, Chapters 5, 15, 16).  Let’s apply these methods to the Part of Faith and the Part of Servants.

Part of Faith.  28SA24; antiscion, 1CP36

Obama was baptized in 1988 (no exact date published).  Assuming the baptism followed his August 4, 1988 birthday, note that Venus 28GE14 and Saturn 26SA26 align with the Part of Faith in the 1988 solar return.  By whole sign houses, Venus and Saturn rule the natal 9th by sign and exaltation.  In the 1988 return Saturn is conjunct the part; however Venus opposes and separates from Saturn.  Bonatti would say when Saturn is with the Part of Faith, men belong to a severe and laborious faith whose members wear black vestments.  This certainly fits the pessimism of Saturn in Sagittarius; but consider that Venus also has claim over the natal 9th house and separates from Saturn.  I suggest that in 1988, Venus delivered Obama from Saturn’s pessimism.  Venus/Gemini signifies love of talk; lord Mercury/Leo signifies a flamboyant speech.  This delineation appears a match for Wright’s ‘Audacity of Hope’ speech which triggered Obama’s decision to convert.

I present this background because Venus is important to judging Obama’s Part of Faith and the Reverend Wright affair of 2008.  Natal Venus 1CA48 falls in the Part’s antiscion.  So not only does Venus rule the natal 9th house (by whole signs) but Venus is the planet which most closely conjoins natal Part of Faith by Ptolemaic aspect, antiscia, or contra-antiscia. 

Bonatti says when Venus is connected to the Part of Faith, the native ‘will be of good will, a lover of games and joys’ [3].  This is cookbook; we can do better.  Viewed against the position of Venus in the July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence figure, consider that Venus falls in the sign of Cancer and the bound of Mars/Cancer for both the USA figure and Barack Obama’s natal horoscope.  As I have delineated in my new study of the Declaration of Independence figure, USA Venus/Cancer in the bound of Mars/Cancer signifies white racism [4]. With Venus/Cancer falling in the contra-antiscion of Obama’s Part of Faith, medieval delineation rules state that white racism has influenced Obama’s religious faith.  Sermons preached by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, released on March 13, 2008, confirmed white racism as a theme espoused by Barack Obama’s religious mentor.

Why did the Wright affair emerge during the 2008 campaign?  Both Mars and Pluto appear the culprit, and though I am not a big Pluto fan, it does appear relevant here as a disruptive (Pluto) critical (Virgo) force in the 8th (12th from the 9th – secret enemy of religion) which consistently timed key moments in the Rev. Wright fracas. 

Though the Mars Cancer Ingress on March 4, 2008 - entering the sign of Venus in Obama’s horoscope - is sufficient to set off criticism of Wright (Mars – like Pluto – also in Virgo and in the 8th), I suggest the transit of Pluto to the Part of Faith and its antiscion is the principal timer of the Wright affair.  Consider first that Pluto at 26SA34 in the 9th house of the 2007 solar return is conjunct the natal Part of Faith within two degrees.  Though Pluto did transit the Part of Faith in early 2007 when Obama’s relations with Wright started to rupture, consider that the most destructive part of the Wright affair occurred during the 2007 solar return year proper (e.g., between August 2007 and August 2008).  Here is the complete event list:



Dynamic to Part of Faith 28SA24; antiscion, 1CP36


Wright disinvited to announcement of Obama’s Presidential bid (10-Feb).

tr. Pluto 28SA18


New York Times reported disinvitation of 9-Feb-2007

tr. Pluto 28SA48


Good Morning America airs video clips of Wright

tr. Pluto 1CP03; also Mars Cancer Ingress on 4-Mar-2007.


Obama delivered speech on Race in America

tr. Pluto 1CP05


Wright praised Farrakhan at National Press Club talk, dissed United States

tr. Pluto 1CP00 - retro


Obama quit membership at Trinity United Church of Christ; followed 29-May-2008 rap against Hillary Clinton by Trinity priest Michael Pfleger.

tr. Pluto 00CP19 - retro


Rev. Wright sex scandal pushed in media cycle.

tr. Pluto 28SA29

What I also find of interest is Pluto did not quite reach 1CP36 in the spring of 2008 before it went retrograde at 1CP08 on 3-April-2008.  Similarly, Pluto’s direct station on 10-Sep-2008 at 28SA30 followed another Wright scandal by just two days. 

The major limitation of this analysis of the Part of Faith is that arguably the transits of Pluto could be read as afflicting the planet Venus (only) and not the Part of Faith which could fall at some other degree.  Nevertheless, delineating Pluto/Virgo/8th as enemies/critics of Obama’s religious faith does appear a delineation match to the events as they transpired.

Part of Servants.  25AR54; antiscion, 4VI06

There were three high profile employee departures during the 2008 campaign:

7-Mar-2008.  Resignation of Samantha Power, foreign policy advisor.

11-Jun-2008.  Resignation of Jim Johnson, VP selection committee.

29-Jun-2008.  Disassociation of Wes Clark after making McCain comments.

The Wes Clark flap arguably does not belong because he was not technically an employee of the campaign; yet given his status as a VP contender, he is probably relevant.  How were these events timed?  Consider that employees are assigned to the 6th house.  I suggest that the 1st signifies death or termination of employees (8th from the 6th) and can be signified for Obama by either Saturn (by rulership of the 1st) or the South Node (placed in the 1st by position).  tr. Saturn 4VI08 timed the Power resignation; c. tr. South Node 4VI05 timed the Johnson resignation; and tr. Saturn 4VI25 timed Clark’s withdrawal from the campaign (a bit late).  These measurements are within a degree; the first two are within 3 minutes of one degree.  They suggest a commensurate level of accuracy for the rectified Ascendant.


Profecting the Ascendant at the annual rate of 30 degrees per year to planets and their aspects is one of several predictive methods which can be used to rectify or test charts.

For the 7:54:28 PM time, consider:




Ascendant trine Mars


Ascendant conjunct Saturn


Ascendant conjunct Jupiter

On 9-Jun-2008 Obama announced his proposal for a windfall profits tax on energy companies. Is this event a match to Mars/Virgo/8th?  Consider that Mars signifies cutting and Virgo is an earth sign.  In Working Paper #1 I delineated Mars/Virgo as the real estate developer Tony Rezko because cutting the earth is an action performed by most property developers.  In client work, I have also seen many examples of Mars/Virgo signifying natural resources development of all types – ranging from hard rock mining to oil well drilling.  I suggest placement in the 8th is consistent with taxation. 

The 12-Jul-2008 profection timed two events.  First is an injury which might be expected with Ascendant ruler Saturn in the 12th of self-undoing and hospitalization.  Obama saw a doctor on 27-Jul-2008 for a sore hip from basketball which had been bothering him for a few weeks.  In medical astrology, hips are assigned to Sagittarius; Obama’s Saturn/Capricorn is a miss.  Yet Capricorn assigned to the knees which is only one body part away from the hips.  It is quite possible that there was an unreported knee irritation in connection with hip soreness.  Sore ‘for a few weeks’ is a rough match to an injury occurring near the 12-Jul-2008 profection.

The second probably event match is Obama’s 21-Jul-2008 meeting with Iraqi officials where it was later reported Obama requested a delay in troop withdrawal until after the November 2008 US Presidential election [5]. For further discussion of this event, see A Rectification Manual, 2nd edition, p. 697.

The final profection for 17-Sep-2008 timed the campaign’s rollout of a new line of ‘faith merchandise’ in a move to attract religious voters.  Announced 15-Sep-2008, a series of buttons, bumper stickers, and signs including ‘Believers for Barrack, Pro-Family Pro-Obama, and Catholics for Obama’ were released.  This event was a delineation match to Jupiter (religion) in Aquarius (level playing field) ruling the 11th (politics).

Astute readers will note that Obama’s largest fall in the polls occurred between July and September.  The Ascendant conjunct Jupiter profection on 17-Sep-2008 marked Obama’s successful turnaround which Obama parlayed into his successful election victory.

Solar Arc Directions

24-Jul-2008.  d.s.a. ASC trine Sun.

Reliably, all Sun-angle directions have timed significant periods of fame for Barack Obama.  This solar arc direction marked the exact date Obama spoke at the Victory Column in Berlin, the most high profile campaign event of 2008 prior to the Democratic National Convention.  The following day he met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.  In mundane astrology, France is assigned to Leo.  Obama met with French (Leo) President and discussed what amounted to a partnership with France for defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Business partners and open enemies are assigned to the 7th house, the location of Obama’s Sun.

This concludes my comments for Barack Obama.  May the President-elect have great success in meeting the challenges facing America at this juncture in history!

Dr. H.


[1] http://astrodatabank.com/NM/ObamaBarack.htm

[2] http://planetwaves.net/pagetwo/2008/05/15/new-birth-time-for-obama-announced-at-uac/

[3] Guido Bonatti, Book of Astronomy, translated by Benjamin Dykes.  Minneapolis:  The Cazimi Press, 2007, p. 1327.

[4] For delineation of Venus/Cancer as white racism, see America is Born:  Introducing the Regulus USA National Horoscope, Chapter 14.

[5] Amir Taheri, ‘Obama Tried to Stall GI’s Iraq Withdrawal,’ New York Post, Sept. 15, 2008.




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