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October 19, 2007 – 3:23 am | 62 Comments

So you want to learn about astrology? Not the generalized Sun-sign stuff that you find in newspapers and magazines, but serious astrology. The advanced type where you can actually determine specific information about a person’s life through the observation of the planets and other celestial phenomena. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Home » astrology news

Astrologer Asks Jon Stewart For His Birth Time

Posted by on October 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm23 Comments

Jon StewartA few days ago someone attended a filming of an episode of The Daily Show and asked Jon Stewart for his birth time.

Stewart mentioned the question on the show, and the clip has been doing the rounds in astrological circles on Facebook for the past couple of days.

Obviously it was an astrologer in the audience who went out of their way to ask Stewart the question, as astrologers are often trying to acquire celebrity birth data, and most of the time the only way you can do that is by asking the person directly.

It is kind of a tough job, but it is usually the only way to gather the data that we need in order to study the charts of eminent individuals, in order to see what makes them tick.

Unfortunately in this instance the astrologer came up empty handed.  While Stewart acknowledged it as “the greatest question I’ve ever had in the audience,” he proceeded to crack a joke and say that he didn’t know what time he was born.

Here is the transcript and the clip:

I had the greatest question I’ve ever had in the audience today.  A gentleman stood up and very quietly said “What time were you born?”  Now…  I don’t know if your mother’s vagina had a clock in it…  … But I, obviously I was born in the early 60’s – because back then it was just sundials.  (Wispering) I have no idea what time I was born.  How the hell should I know?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Intro – Jon’s Time of Birth

I don’t know who the astrologer was, but even though he didn’t get a birth time, at least he tried, and I would like to shake his hand.  More astrologers need to be doing this regularly.

If you look through the data in AstroDatabank you will see a lot of birth times from celebrities who were popular in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but then that seems to drop off pretty sharply in the past 20 years.

It seems to me that there were a lot more astrologers who were going out of their way to ask celebrities for their birth times in the last generation.  As a result, we are missing a lot of important or interesting birth data from the more recent generations of celebrities and high-profile people, simply because we don’t have as many astrologers on the ground trying to acquire it.

Now, I’m not saying that there is no one doing this work, because in point of fact there are quite a few dedicated astrologers who are out there in the field collecting data and finding new and innovative ways of cataloging it.  Frank Clifford has an excellent article in the latest issue of the NCGR Research Journal that discusses some of the background behind this work.  Also, Astrodienst did a huge service to the community last year by making AstroDatabank freely available through their website.

So, there is a lot of work being done in the area of data collection already, but we could do more.

Every astrologer should make it their personal duty to acquire birth data for notable individuals and events when they find themselves in a position to do so.   In this way we will be able to create a much richer archive of data to study, in order to both test and refine the techniques of astrology.


Thanks to Maria, Nick and Melanie for bringing the clip to my attention.

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About Chris Brennan

Chris is a practicing astrologer from Denver, Colorado, USA. He is the former President of the Association for Young Astrologers, as well as the former Research Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research. He offers personal consultations and teaches online classes through his website at

Hellenistic Astrology Course


  • NR says:

    Donna Cunningham was saying the other day that it was easy to get birth certificates once upon a time. But now because of identity theft such information is not accessible. She echoes what you said, that we don’t have enough confirmed data for younger celebs.

  • Part of the problem is who Rodden went after toward the end of her life. The whole Astrodatabank database is skewed toward older people, and there is no longer a central collection point that is actively maintained. We need this, or we’ll soon be returning to the old days of unattributed data. Rodden was the turning point — before Lois, data attribution was sloppy and actual research was nonexistent. After Lois, we began taking the process more seriously.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that since microfilm gave way to computers, many 60s, 70s and 80s births don’t have times on the replacement certificates. Hospitals have closed and/or merged and/or been taken over by megacorps; birth certificates are harder to get; and I think that as the 70s became the 80s, many people have taken astrology less seriously, viewing it as a kind of ‘period thing’ related to Linda Goodman.

    I never miss the chance to ask a celeb I have contact with for their birth time. Some I publish, some I don’t — but I am happy to entertain proposals for collaboration on articles, or use of data in my files.

    Part of what we need to do is establish our credibility and use the data ethically. The more people see we care, and are sensitive in their chart readings, the more freely they will give it.

  • Kristina says:

    The problem with birthtimes is it’s always an odd question, and a majority of people do not know. There is no need to know, really, unless you’re an astrologer of some sort. It’s as important as your middle name though, and is and should be documented. The mother and father usually know when a birth happened;) unless the mother was drugged up and the father in the waiting room, that is,

  • @kristina: i agree, most people don’t know their birth time. i don’t for example, and it’s a constant frustration (especially for a virgo wanting an exact astrology chart), not knowing if your ascendant is sag or scorp.

  • AstrologyCom says:

    I always liked Jon Stewart – Funny Funny guy, I really enjoy his take on life and the jokes he made, my god… Thanks for the good post, always nice to get a different spin on people…


  • Hi, Chris, I, too, have been concerned that finding accurate birth times for notables is becoming less and less of a community concern in our field. Here’s what I believe is happening:

    1) Lois Rodden made birth information her passion and spent decades spearheading the search for information from birth certificates and other reliable sources. She had a variety of helpers who participated. Now she and many of her regular helpers have passed on.

    2)The next stage was that the founder of AstroDataBank, Mark whose last name escapes me at the moment, took the collection and turned it into a brilliant and invaluable software program with periodic updates, corrections, and additions of birthdata. The program was never a money-maker and eventually he sold it to someone who kept it going and updated for a few years.

    3)Eventually, it sold to AstroDienst, and they put the data collection online for free use. (The research function,however, is not included, and is really valuable.)

    4) Now nobody in particular is coordinating or encouraging data collection to some central place, so it just isn’t happening.

    5)AND it is no longer possible to get birth certificates of notables from the Vital Statistics Bureaus due to our fear of IDENTITY THEFT.

    So, I fear that the quality of birth data will gradually diminish and that we won’t have birth information on younger and newer celbrities and newsmakers. A shame! Lois Rodden was one of my heroes and it’s too bad we’re losing ground on her standards for birth data. Donna Cunningham

  • Cosmic help says:

    Love the conversation between the two

  • Rhonda Busby says:

    Even if the celebrity gives their birth time, I’d be suspicious. Bill Gates has been asked in public several times and he always gives a different answer. No one knows why, but being a very private person, he’s probably politely evading the question. If they tell you a birth time, where is that coming from?

  • NR says:

    We’d have to check it out against events, see if it’s valid.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Good point Rhonda. Good to see you here! I didn’t know that about Gates, but that was one of the stories going around during the last presidential election in the US, that Hilary may be actively giving out false data because she didn’t want people to know. Then of course there was a whole debacle over Kerry’s data during the previous election. This will probably only get worse as time goes on, as more people realize why someone would want to know that information.

  • Courtney says:

    It is always hard for me to remember my exact time of birth.
    I feel like John Stewart would know his time of birth, but I understand why he would want to keep that private. It would be interesting for all of us to know; but if I were a celebrity I would probably be anxious about giving out that info.

  • Hello Chris & Company,
    For some background, a birth time has been required, by all states, since around 1900. Hospital birth records are always sent on to the state’s Vital Records department, usually in the state capital, but New York City has its own bureau at – if memory serves – 125 Worth Street, lower Manhattan. Other big cities might be similar.

    If I’m not mistaken, Lois Rodden had contacts in various state capitals that would get her birth data, under the counter. This was the result of her own hard work over the decades, making contacts. Data was important to her.

    Actual get-your-hands-dirty research might give results. Most births are announced in a local newspaper, these announcements sometimes include the time of birth. Microfiche of these papers are often kept by local libraries.

    So far as Stewart is concerned, I wanted to start a new feature in my weekly newsletter, the Chart of the Week. I picked Stewart for the first one because he’s popular and, heck, he’s funny.

    But then I found his birth data was a can of worms. No less than three purported birth places, two in Jersey, one in NYC. So I thought, okay, I’ll have a stab at rectifying it. I rectify by trait. Stewart is bright, he’s witty, he’s on TV every day. To me, that’s third house, or maybe the 9th, I dunno.

    If our astrology is any good, we ought to be able to do this. Take a well-known person with an unknown time of birth, and put a floor under him. Give him a rising sign. Argue our position.

    In Stewart’s case, he’s a new Moon Sagittarius. Sun & Moon together. That’s going to make an impact in some specific house. So what house does Stewart best express? Fifth? Eighth? Tenth? First? Third? Maybe third.

    Which would give him a Libra rising. Libra rising, ruled by Venus in Scorpio, retrograde. Venus double-debilitated, the gate-keeper to Stewart’s chart. That’s going to be a sore point!

    Then we notice that Mars in Leo rules Venus in Scorpio, and that the two are square. In a Libra rising chart, that Mars is in the 11th, of “friends”.

    On Stewart’s Wiki page it says he was bullied as a child. That was more than 30 years ago. It must have been pretty intense to get mentioned in Wiki all those many years later.

    Could Mars in 11 be bullies? In Sakoian & Acker I read, “With an afflicted Mars here, disagreements or quarrels with friends & group associations are probable.” (the hardcover, pg. 160)

    If that’s true, then as Mars has two affinities with Venus (square, and ruling it), Mars would tend to beat up on Venus. Especially as Venus, ruling Stewart’s ascendant, represented Stewart himself. Could Venus “fight back”? Launch a charm offensive? No, it’s retrograde. Charm isn’t something Stewart has a lot of, surprisingly.

    Using the Libra rising chart, how did Stewart feel about that? Venus is in the second house, of values. Getting beat up made Stewart feel worthless. First house ruler in the second: You are your values.

    Elsewhere I read that Stewart and his father haven’t spoken in decades, though they both work in Manhattan, probably within blocks of each other. Why is this?

    The Libra rising chart has Capricorn on the 4th, of the father. That’s not a very cheery thought. Ruled by Saturn in Aquarius, which is more or less in the 5th. Which is the second of the daddy’s. Daddy’s values were quirky. Saturn is widely opposite Mars, which was in the sign of Saturn’s debility. Which mean Saturn – Daddy – had no interest in Stewart’s friends. With Capricorn on the 4th house cusp, I get the impression daddy left his son to fend for himself. Well, they’re his friends. He should be able to deal with them. – Which Stewart neither forgot, nor forgave.

    Such is an analysis of Jon Stewart’s chart, and an example of the sheer power of astrology. Why doesn’t Stewart answer the question & give us his birth time? Because if my rectification is correct, his childhood was a nightmare he is still trying to run away from. I found myself poking at a very open wound. Not at all what I had hoped for.

    If Rodden were alive and handed you a 2:00 am-ish birth time, would anyone have thought to actually do anything with it? What good is accurate data if it’s not used? Jon Stewart, November 28, 1962.

    As for myself, I was deeply embarrassed to be an intruder.

    David R. Roell

  • NR says:

    That was an interesting analysis, David. I enjoyed reading it.

    Isn’t there a software that does retification? Donna mentioned it on her blog.

  • Hello NR,

    Alphee Lavoie has software that uses progressions/solar arcs to come up with likely ascendants. Which is the accident approach. A lot of people use accidents (eg, transiting events) for rectification. I think you can “prove” a rectification with accidents, but I am skeptical you can make a rectification using accidents, as there are so many different ways of making accidents work. (No rectification is ever finally proved, they are always speculative.)

    A better grasp of delineation and you can pit character analysis against accidents. This afternoon I was writing up notes on an AFA show, scheduled for September, on Traditional Astrology. Chris is one of the speakers, which is why I was looking at his site today & chanced across the notes on Stewart. Traditional Astrology will give you a lot of the same tools that I work with. I suspect I’m making better use of them than they are, but that might be my own bluster talking.


  • NR says:

    I haven’t ever attempted rectification. Daunting work!

    Guess the best thing is to have a known time and work with that.

    It’s fun listening to your “bluster.” 🙂

  • Hello NR,

    Rectification happens spontaneously when you have a chart with no time and you want to know more about it !!! Frustration drives you on.

    Rectification is like riding a bicycle. You fall off a lot at first. To do what I do you need a good grasp of the houses, what they mean. Carter is good for that, as are Robson, Sakoian & Acker, Alan Oken, March & McEvers, etc.

    Once you think you have a grasp of that, remember that the sun is the strongest planet in most every chart (but not Libra nor Aquarius). Considering a chart with an unknown birth time, what house does their sun best express? In other words, what’s the driving force in their life? Money? That’s the 2nd. Other people’s money (other people’s affairs)? Thats’s the 8th. Are they religious nuts or spend all their time day-dreaming in books? That’s the 9th. Do they change with every new girlfriend? That’s the 7th. Are they workaholics or hypochondriacs? That’s the 6th. Girls-girls-girls? Try the 5th. Patriotic? That’s the 4th. Busy, busy busy, or very literate: The third. Themselves first & foremost of all? The first. Spend all their time in public? That’s 10. Live for their friends rather than themselves? That’s 11. Or are they a plain puzzle, like my father. Don’t know anything about them? That’s the 12th. A sneaky one.

    In every case, the affairs of the house will be expressed by the sign the sun is in. Sun in Aries will be dynamic in whatever house it finds itself in. Sun in Leo will strut about & put himself first, regardless of house. Sun in Virgo is looking for details. Details about what? Money? (2) The house he lives in? (4) His girlfriend’s affairs? (7) How to better impress strangers? (10). Etc.

    Which is how it goes. Look at the timed charts you have, see if this is not true.


  • NR says:

    Thank you for this, I appreciate it. As a sixth house sun, I relate to what you say about it.

    The only chart I obssessed over was Anna Wintour’s. Someday, I’ll go back to it.

    In the meantime, I will save what you just said.

    What house is your sun in? Third?

  • Hello NR,

    My sun in the third?

    A good guess. (This isn’t such hard stuff after all.)

    No, I’m one of the Libra-Aquarian exceptions. Their suns don’t register as easily.

    You’ve picked up on my Moon-Pluto conjunction, which is, in fact, in the third. It’s a full moon, which means the Sun-Mercury conjunction is in the 9th.

    But in practice, if you had my chart in front of you, with no time, and you were trying to place that Sun-Moon opposition & all you knew about me was that I sell books, publish books & write a newsletter, you would rapidly gravitate to a 3 – 9 axis. You might put the Sun in 3 & the Moon in 9, but as you worked further with the chart (the rising signs, the positions of the other planets), the true state of affairs would become clear to you.

    Now. When I was in grade school there was a girl named Cindy who was born the same exact day, month and year. Her father ran the town’s funeral home, which she runs today. Dead bodies downstairs, family upstairs. We delivered their daily newspaper. I have no idea what time of day she was born, and I can no longer reach her, presuming I ever could. Using this one single fact – dead bodies in the house – how would you place the Sun-Moon opposition?


  • As I think of it, why are Libra & Aquarian Suns hard to spot?

    Because Libra & Aquarius are the signs of the Sun’s debility. Rulerships, exaltations, debilities, falls, these things are important in rectification.

    As are cardinal, fixed & mutable, air, earth, fire & water. All those details we so often gloss over become important.


  • NR says:

    Yeah, I was wondering if it might be in the ninth.

    Cindy: Moon conjunct Pluto in the fourth. She’s now the boss lady, so the sun on the tenth makes sense. And her father was the boss, too; so there again sun in the tenth makes sense. I hope this is correct. What was her mom like, did you know?

    Are you on Facebook/Twitter?

  • Hello NR,

    Regret I never met either of Cindy’s parents. I don’t know what time she was born, and 4 – 10 might be it. I had given death as a hint. That’s 8th, which would be a 2 – 8 axis. Money (2) from death (8) is an extraordinary thing. Would it appear in a chart? I don’t know, I can only guess. I last saw her in 1967. I think of Cindy sometimes as I wonder what my life would have been like if my birth time was just a few hours different.

    A boss or leader can be found in any house. You have to ask, “boss or leader of what?” Bill Clinton had his sun in the 11th, for example, and got to be president, in other words, leader of us all. George Bush has his Sun in 12.

    What is unique about the 10th is the public. Mercury in 10, public speaker. Venus in 10, always looks good before she goes out. Mars in 10, brawls in bars. Jupiter in 10, good things happen in public. Saturn in 10, avoids limelight. Moon in 10, knows what’s popular before anyone else – and may well fall out of favor. Sun in 10, feels comfortable in front of people. What will he be doing while he is? Again, that’s a function of the sign the Sun is in. In Pisces, he does whatever he’s told to do. In Aquarius, he looks for someone to replace him. In Virgo he’s critical. In Gemini he tells them stories. In Taurus he just stands there. In Cancer he can be easily hurt. In Libra he brings a partner. In Aries he leads. In Leo he commands.

    Born the same day: Charles Darwin & Abraham Lincoln. The Moon changed signs on that day. Johnny Cash was born February 26, 1932. Elizabeth Taylor was born the very next day.


  • NR says:

    I did think of the 8th first! But you said “dead bodies in the house” “bodies downstairs, family upstairs.” But that could well be the Moon-Pluto and, yes, 2-8 make sense.

    Thanks a lot , Dave. I enjoyed this mini-tutorial very much!

  • Hello NR,

    Always, always, go with your hunches. If you stop to think about it, your brain will get in the way & kill it. Because that’s what brains do. Kill things. Don’t let that happen.

    Instead, imagine if your hunch was right. What would that mean? In other words, what’s the next hunch? And the one after that? Spin out a story, make up a fantasy, see where it goes. And when you’ve done that,

    Then stand back and take a look at it as a whole. Does it make sense? Does it tell you new & surprising things? Could it (gasp!) be right?

    If it isn’t right, then by now it will be obvious. Details will be wrong, often very much wrong. If so, start over with some other hunch.

    Do this and you will develop a most useful mental tool.