Prediction is tricky, whether you are an astrologer, an economist or the weatherman. You seek the best data you can find and use methodologies you trust to evaluate that data. In 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump published his birth certificate. But does it really list the correct time? Christine Arens takes us on an astrological detective story as she tries to find
The REAL Donald Trump
Last fall, before the Presidential elections, many – if not most – astrologers predicted Hillary Clinton would win. How could so many astrologers be wrong? The answer may be simple: They were probably looking at the wrong chart for Donald Trump.
Allow me to explain. This story has evolved almost like a mystery novel, and now spans input from astrologers living on three continents.
Earlier this year I was asked by astrologer Donna Woodwell to join a panel of eclipse specialists to do a special program for the website AstrologyHub. I was honored, and agreed to participate. Donna and I were joined by some exceptional astrologers, Christeen Skinner, Dr. Bernadette Brady, Adam Gainsburg, and AFA board member Dr. Benjamin Dykes.
The initial interviews and introductions were done online in May. During this early part of the program some passing comments were made relating to the eclipse and the chart of President Donald Trump. All of these eminent astrologers (myself included) used charts with 29 Leo on the Ascendant, based on Trump’s birth certificate time of 10:54 am EDT
Click on the image of the two charts for Donald Trump to enlarge in a new window.
Following this introductory session I was contacted by email by Radu Serban, who joined the group online from his home in Australia. In his possession is a copy of a little-known book written by astrologer Lynne Palmer, entitled “Gambling To Win” (AFA, 1994). She used Donald Trump’s chart throughout the book, but the chart she used gave a birth time of 9:51 am EDT, which gave her a chart with 17 Leo 34 on the Ascendant. The chart itself as reproduced in the book was prepared by Astro Numeric Services, which was a chart calculation service often used by astrologers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She apparently did not quote the source of this birth data, but did use this time.
Radu continued in his email that he had also attended a presentation by astrologer Alphee Lavoie, and that by rectification Alphee arrived at a birth time very close to what Lynne Palmer had used. At this program one of Alphee’s comments was very persuasive: Does Donald Trump demonstrate a 12th House Mars (chart with 29 Leo Ascendant), or a 1st House Mars (chart with 17 Leo Ascendant)? In addition, Radu said he had read a recent article in an astrological journal which also used the chart with the 17 Leo Ascendant, based on information from an interview with one of Donald Trump’s ex-wives.
His email to me was indeed persuasive, but it contradicted the ‘sterling’ AA Rodden Rating of the birth certificate. In response to his email, I provided him with a copy of this document.
The Friends of Astrology, Inc. Connection
For many years the Friends of Astrology has hosted a Summer Seminar, with the intention of bringing a “world-class” astrologer to Chicago for local astrologers who often are unable to attend national or international conferences. This year was no different, and through the sustained efforts of Vice President Joe Polise and President Omari Martin the astrologer Bill Meridian was invited to be the guest speaker. Since I am the past President of the organization, this is one event I always attend.
Bill’s presentation was two-part: the first part covered eclipses, and included some insight into the coming August 21 US eclipse; the second part was on using cycles to time events – and his expertise was/is on timing financial trading.
And there in that first part he touched on Donald Trump’s chart and the August 21 eclipse. To my amazement the chart Bill was using had 17 Leo 34 on the Ascendant – the exact same chart as used by Lynne Palmer! One of the Seminar participants asked him about that 17 Leo Ascendant, since it contradicted the generally-accepted chart with 29 Leo on the Ascendant. Bill’s response was simple and matter-of-fact… this was the time provided by Trump’s mother!
But that was not all Bill had to say on the chart! He added that among his contacts is an astrologer (unnamed) who had been consulted by Melania and one of the Trump daughters (also unnamed), and THIS is the chart (17 Leo 34 Ascendant) the Trumps themselves use!
The Astro-Databank Connection
In the week following the FOA Seminar, I received several questions about that 17 Leo Ascendant. My response was that I believed that to be the correct chart, even though I myself had been using the 29 Leo Ascendant chart up until that point. So I decided to do some ‘digging’.
Yes, in the online Astro-Databank Donald Trump’s chart did have the AA Rodden Rating, and a 29 Leo Ascendant. However, if you scroll all the way down to the end of the complete entry, a look at the “Source Notes” is revealing.
Yes, a copy of the birth certificate is available online. However, the next sentence in those “Source Notes” advises “caution”. Even though the document appears unaltered, it was apparently posted by Trump himself.
It may be that Trump wished to “prove” his US citizenship, especially since he firmly believed Barak Obama was not a US national. His objections to Obama were loud and long, and unfortunately misinformation repeated loud enough and long enough tends to become “believable”.
However, it may also be that Trump was aware that his true birth time and chart had already been publicly published, and this was a deliberate attempt at deception. He is, after all, a native Gemini, and duplicity is indeed a potential characteristic of this sign. And in these first few months that he has held office the world has been introduced to the concept of “alternative facts”.
The Software Connection
Like many astrologers I have used the astrological software program “Solar Fire” for many years. In the early releases of this program came with a set of what were called “Clifford” charts, which included notable individuals – royalty, politicians, musicians, artists, etc. Also included in these charts was Donald Trump, with the comments as follows:
- From Trump’s mother (A)
- A real estate developer, Trump’s flare for self-publicity and grandiose buildings made him a celebrity in the Eighties. He survived near-bankruptcy in 1990.
It would seem those early versions of Solar Fire were using Lynne Palmer’s birth chart and time.
In more recent versions of Solar Fire the original Clifford.cht file is included as the file Clif2000.cht file, but this has also been expanded to some additional files, notably Corporate, Entertainment, Infamous, etc. While the original entry for Trump’s chart is unchanged in the Clif2000.cht file, a second copy of Trump’s chart is now included in the Corporate charts.
And this is where things get “interesting”…. And this depends of WHICH RELEASE of Solar Fire 9 you are currently using!
In the “earlier” releases of Solar Fire 9, the Trump entry under the Corporate files reads:
- From Birth Certificate (AA)
- Donald John Trump
- American Business Magnate, Author, TV Personality.
- Donald John Trump, Sr. is the Chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, a US-based real-estate developer. Trump is also the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which operates numerous casinos and hotels across the world. Trump’s extravagant lifestyle and outspoken manner have made him a celebrity for years, and more recently with his NBC reality show, The Apprentice (where he serves as host and executive producer). Donald Trump is considered a possible candidate for President of the United States in 2012. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_trump).
- DATA SOURCE: Sy Scholfield © quotes a copy of the BC released by Trump to the media on 29 March 2011.
This is a reasonable entry, and directly gives information (and the source) for Trump’s birth certificate. It is also a fitting description of the larger-than-life individual he had become in the early 2000s. THIS IS THE ENTRY IN SOLAR FIRE 9.0.13. It must also be noted that the Wikipedia entry has now changed (and been lengthened) to reflect Trump’s election to President. The blog reference is indeed interesting, and provides a link to Trump’s “Certificate of Live Birth” issued by the hospital. A copy of Trump’s formal birth certificate can be found here: https://skywriter.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/see-donald-trump%E2%80%99s-official-birth-certificate-and-chart/
HOWEVER, in later versions of Solar Fire, THE COMMENTS ON DONALD TRUMP HAVE BEEN REVISED!
In the past several days I have tried to contact astrologers who use different software, as well as different versions of Solar Fire. Many (if not most) software programs include a set of ‘celebrity’ charts, and it appears the reference for Trump is now to the AA Rodden Rating birth certificate time.
BUT these later revisions to Solar Fire 9 now read:
- From Trump's mother (A)
- Donald Trump
- A real estate developer, Trump's flare for self-publicity and grandiose buildings made him a celebrity in the Eighties. He survived near-bankruptcy in 1990. The late 1990s saw a resurgence in his financial situation and fame. He remains a major figure in the field of casino/hotels in the United States and a current celebrity for his prominent role on American television reality show The Apprentice.
- From the Clifford Chart Compendium compiled by Frank C Clifford.
While I am not sure exactly when this was changed, this is the entry as it reads for Solar Fire 9.0.25. My version is 9.0.26, and is identical. So somewhere between Solar Fire 9.0.13 and 9.0.25 this was CHANGED.
The TRUE Time of Birth
The timing of the “first breath” is what an astrologer wants in preparing a natal chart. However, this true time is often elusive. While more recent births tend to be more accurate, there can still be conflicting information on the birth certificate – the recorded time of birth vs. the “first breath”. The paperwork is usually the last thing the doctor will deal with, and often that recorded time varies from that “first breath”.
But that is not the only issue that can be involved. My late husband Norman actually had a client with a birth certificate where the recorded time was pm. But the chart didn’t “work”. He finally asked the client directly: Could it be that your time is am and not pm? At that point the client’s husband (who was present) interjected that was what her mother had always said! The birth certificate was WRONG!
In my 40+ years of chart work I too have seen a number of charts where the recorded time is not correct. In each instance the true time (where the chart “worked”) was EARLIER than the recorded time. This is most likely to be the case where there are complications in the delivery process, and as stated earlier, the paperwork is the last thing the doctor will deal with.
Then we also have the issue of Daylight Saving Time. In the November issue of the AFA Bulletin (“Today’s Astrologer”) I wrote an article on twins born the night DST ended. The older twin was born before the clocks were set back, while the younger twin was born after clocks had been reset. However, on paper it appears the younger twin is actually older!
We as astrologers should be using the chart with the Ascendant of 17 Leo 34 as the correct chart for Donald Trump.
This is based (from all of the above) on:
1) The originally published chart by astrologer Lynne Palmer (1994).
2) The compelling question posed by astrologer Alphee Lavoie.
3) The off-hand comments made by astrologer Bill Meridian.
4) The Astro-Databank “Source Notes” for Trump’s chart.
5) The ‘flip-flop’ in the data source/comments in Solar Fire.
6) Trump’s own penchant for misleading and misdirected information.
Up until now astrologers (myself included) focused on the August 21 Total Solar Eclipse and how it relates to Trump’s chart. We should, perhaps, all be more focused on the August 7 Partial Lunar Eclipse.