Born 15 March 1933 in Brooklyn New York, USA to struggling Jewish parents, Ruth Bader Ginsburg rose to become the force majeure and focal point of equality and justice for women in the law. At the time of her death, she was the only female justice on the US Supreme Court. We have a date of birth for her, but no time. What follows is a study of the rectification of her chart – the hunt for her moment of birth.
When doing a 24 hour rectification, we have to fist eliminate as many possible rising signs as possible. For this I use two books,
E. C. Matthews – ISBN1425486002 ©1960 kessinger.net
Judith A. Hill – ISBN9780945685210 ©2011judithhillastrology.com
Using the images in these two books and as many pictures of Ruth as I could find online I set about eliminating rising signs that did not fit. When doing this, it is important to respect the influences of planets close to the horizon.
Here is an example of a person who came to me claiming he had Cancer rising.
Cancer has rounded or stooped shoulders and a Moon-shaped face, a dewy complexion and a paleness to the skin. There is a very low chance that this person has Cancer Rising. Since in this case, I only had three signs to consider (a time window of fewer than 6 hours) I played with Gemini and with Leo. The redness of the complexion indicated Leo, but the eyes were too small in the face for a Leo ascendant. Placing Saturn on the horizon solved the problem. Saturn limits, and in this case, the eyes were limited in size. It also gave much nicer bone structure than one might expect in a pure Leo Rising.
If you look closely at early pictures of Justice Bader Ginsburg, you will note a slight triangularity of the face. This often indicates a Gemini or Virgo ascendant or Mercury on the horizon. There is also a sharpness in the bone structure almost a chiselled look. This can be a Scorpio AC or sometimes an Aries AC, because of the Mars influence in both of those signs. Occasionally, it can indicate a Capricorn AC and we are not in a position to narrow down too tightly at this point. In a runway photo from https://www.lofficielusa.com/ you can see that her torso is almost as long as her legs.This is a big indicator of a Virgo signature. So, I started with Virgo.
There are several planets in Virgo and also in Pisces, which is “the other end of the broomstick” from Virgo and so can influence the physiology.
Jupiter offers ruddiness and girth, Neptune a spaced-out, kind of dreamy quality and Mars a wiry, quick moving, strong and athletic frame. On the other end of the stick, the Sun would offer an ethereal lightness, possibly red or blonde hair, Venus would offer a great and mysterious beauty. There is no doubt that Ruth was, and still is, quite a looker, but I think it rather more interesting that until close to her death, she worked out daily lifting weights with a personal trainer! I chose Mars and placed him on the horizon as a starting point.
Now to begin verifying our proposed birth chart. Ruth’s older sister died in Ruth`s second year of life – Ruth was almost two. That sister had nicknamed her Kiki as she was a “kicky” baby. Ruth has continued to use that pet name all of her life. If I move the AC back so that we have a square of the Progressed IC to Mars in the 12th house at age two, then we have a working time of 4:24 pm. It also puts her converse IC into Scorpio at the age of two.
Ruth’s mum passed away when she was 15 – a day before her high school graduation, so sometime in the spring of 1948. I used Vincent Goodbout’s https://mastroapp.com/en transit curves to see what the proposed time of birth would offer. The results were interesting. We do not have a date of death, but there is a cluster of keywords around loneliness, mourning and death at the end of May of that year.
Let’s keep going. If this time is correct, her progressed IC will change signs from Sagittarius to Capricorn in 1951. The ruler of Capricorn, Saturn, is in her 6th house of daily routine and work. It rules her fifth house of love and her sixth house of health, habits and routine. Ruth met the love of her life on a blind date in 1951. By converse progression, the proposed IC contacts her intense passionate Scorpio Moon that same year. Ruth states “We decided when we met — I was 17, he was 18 — that we were going to be together “
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/fashion/ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-gloria-steinem-on-the-unending-fight-for-womens-rights.html They chose law and forged duel professional careers at a time when both of them were routinely chided and pressurised for this decision as the beliefs of the time were that: “a woman’s place is in the home”.
With this working time, let us see whether the map bears any resemblance to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s demeanour and personality. Virgo is ruled by Mercury in the 8th House in Aries. Aries in turn, is rules by Mars in the 12th house (in classical terms the 1st) house in Virgo. In this individual, passion, drive and mental and verbal acuity are a formidable team. Mercury also rules the proposed Midheaven, meaning that it is likely the person will find a way to make a career out of these intense words and ideas.
For a person of such passion in the belly, Ruth is repeatedly described as reserved, even shy, with a soft speaking voice. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2018/11/ruth-bader-ginsburg-in-praise-of-difficult-women-book/ and https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/15/ruth-bader-ginsburg-film-supreme-court It is the way of the Virgo Ascendant to listen more than to speak and only say something when one is absolutely certain of the message.
Justice Ginsburg was 60 when, on 14 June, 1993, she accepted the Supreme Court nomination that had been over a year in the making. The Progressed Sun had just crossed the Black Moon Lilith – a symbol of the rage of women in most astrologies world-wide. Progressed Mars is conjunct the proposed natal ascendant and the progressed ascendant makes a Yod with the natal and progressed suns on Uranus and the Natal Point of Fortune in pioneering Aries in the proposed 7th house of law.
Justice Ginsburg died during the day, 18 September 2020 in Washington DC. This chart is set for 11 am, due to a news article about the vigil held for her wherein it is mentioned that she died “earlier in the day” – but there is no publicly available time of death.
Transiting Pluto is exactly opposite her progressed Pluto. This sets the scene, but we would expect something a bit faster-moving to describe conditions that might lead to death. To clarify: death is impossible to predict using astrology. The closest one might offer is a health crisis. It is common to see Jupiter aspects, especially trines, at time of death. Since they occur at many other times as well, again, not a predictor per se.
Jupiter is in exact trine to her natal Jupiter on the day of her death, The Sun has just passed an opposition to her natal Sun, the transiting nodes are square her natal Sun and, if the time of death is around 11 am (speculative) the AC is quite close to the proposed progressed AC. A last thought about the proposed time of birth – Justice Bader Ginsburg dies of pancreatic cancer – the pancreas being ruled by Virgo.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a fascinating person, both gentle and flint hard, silent by times and yet the detail and insight of her decision and dissents have forged a path for equality for women in her home country, and by shining example to women worldwide. I would encourage the reader to continue working with this rectified time and see how it holds up to other dates. In rectification, we are never finished verifying the working time, we must continue testing and improving.
Mj Patterson, BA BSc, BEd, MEd, CA-NCGR is founding Director of the Atlantic Professional Astrologers’ Association, past Research Director NCGR the ISAR Global Director for Canada and co-chair for Education for the AFAN Sterring Committee. Specializing in rectification, with clients worldwide, Mj teaches and consults in French, Spanish and English in person, through Halifax Astrology School and weekly radio programme The Astrology Show. Mj is also a technical writer and web designer. She remains always a grateful student of Monsieur Axel Harvey of Montréal. Contact the author on +1-902-880-0771 or Mj@HalifaxAstrologer.com