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It’s October 2016 And We’re Still Speculating About Hillary Clinton’s Missing Birth Data

It’s been an interesting week to be an astrologer. It all started when The Wall Street Journal published an article on September 29, Who’s Demanding to See Hillary Clinton’s Birth Certificate? Baffled Astrologers

That would be us. Astrologers are the new birthers.

As if on cue, The Wall Street Journal did its once-per-11-year front-page article on astrology. The last time was their piece on how astrologers were responding to the demotion of Pluto and the naming of Eris (that was in August 2006).

While the rest of the political dialog swirled around Donald Trump’s $900 million write-off, his tax returns, and his comments about an allegedly zaftig Miss Universe, the astrology world was abuzz with a newly revived discussion about Clinton’s missing data, thanks in part to Dow Jones and Company.

Why exactly is WSJ the only mainstream news outlet that takes astrology seriously enough to write a real article every now and then? Maybe they have fond memories of Evangeline Adams counseling J. P. Morgan about how to be a billionaire.

“There is one crucial detail Hillary Clinton hasn’t divulged to the American people, and it’s driving Michael O’Reilly bonkers,” the article by Yogita Patel begins. O’Reilly, from Bend, OR, has loads of other birth data on major political candidates, but he’s got nothing substantial on Clinton.

“Mrs. Clinton was born Oct. 26, 1947, at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Ill., according to the Cook County Clerk. After that, astrologers must play gumshoe to get any closer. There’s decent historical evidence for two times at either end of the day. The Clinton campaign declined to answer questions, ensuring the mystery will continue,” Patel writes. (quotes from WSJ article linked above)

This must be a running joke at both Clinton headquarters and Cook County Vital Records.

The article goes through the litany of birth times and various sources for them. Phoenix-based astrologer Patrick Watson provided the Journal with Clinton’s widely used 8:02 a.m. chart, which the newspaper published in the web edition. Watson used a whole-sign house version of the chart. Score one for Hellenistic astrology.

Although Watson provided the Journal with Clinton’s 8:02 a.m. chart, based on the Journal’s research, it would seem that the 8:00 p.m. time is better documented. With the 8:00 p.m. chart, Clinton would have the last degree of Gemini rising; at 8:00 p.m. and 47 seconds, it would be the first degree of Cancer rising. There are moments when the exact birth time matters, and this is one of them.

“The resulting evening chart, astrologers say, shows strong Gemini-Uranus influences, suggesting an erratic or unpredictable nature. Yet fast-forward the chart to 47 seconds after 8:00, and that could indicate a nurturing disposition,” the Journal informed its incredulous readers.

“There are two disappointing things about this article,” one reader commented. “One, that the WSJ published and printed it.? Two, I learned that I share the same sign as HRC. Keep me away from sharp knives and tall bridges!”

“In an era where the internet rules political discourse, and things which are demonstrably and empirically untrue can alter the thoughts of voters so dramatically, pandering to nonsense astrology is stupefying,” wrote another commenter.

“Nowhere in the article is the premise of these ‘astrologers’ questioned as they should be. You write their ‘conclusions’ without questioning their basis in empirical fact. This article contributes to the disarray in our political discussions. One cannot have rational discussion about irrational beliefs.”

You can say that again.

Adding to a week of intrigue, on September 25th, ISAR (the International Society for Astrological Research) announced that it would be revealing Clinton’s true birth data at its conference in California next weekend.

ISAR’s press release said that data collector Marc Penfield “will reveal the Democratic contender’s time of birth then, and the process he went through to find this KEY missing astrological link for forecasting the 2016 USA presidential election.”

Notably, this revelation was planned for the end of the conference, which would have kept the data concealed for all of the preceding discussions of the forthcoming election.

Other astrologers, not afraid to point out that this looked like a way to get people to come to the conference, put the pressure on ISAR and Penfield to reveal the data sooner. ISAR responded by releasing a video on Sunday, October 1st, in which Raymond Merriman and Shelley Ackerman interviewed Penfield.

Both are well known astrologers: Ackerman is reputed for having obtained Bill Clinton’s birth time from his mother in 1992. Merriman is a noted financial astrologer whose work is actually read by traders.

Introducing Penfield, Merriman said, “Marc has rocked the astrology world with the revelation of a new birth time for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the time that we’ve been seeking for so many years as astrologers.” Merriman said that this would be AA (double accurate) data based on a birth record.

Penfield, in the interview, said that this was actually old data, first published in March 2008 in the AFA Journal. He started with the story of how 2:18 a.m. data purportedly originated with an unnamed cousin of Hillary Clinton, who, in turn, got it from Clinton’s mother.

However, he added that he got the same data from Zayin Cohen, who claimed to have got it from the Court Clerk of Cook County, Illinois. (Other versions of this legend have him getting the data from an unnamed source in “Israeli intelligence.”) Several political astrologers I spoke to said that over the years, Cohen has given out three different times for Clinton’s birth (1:18 a.m., 2:08 a.m. and 2:18 a.m.).

Penfield said, “I called the records office in Springfield, the state capitol, and I asked the gal there to verify this birth time for me. I knew that she could not give me the information verbally over the phone. So we worked out a deal which a lot of reporters do whereby if I’m wrong, you tell me so, and if I’m right, say nothing.”

Using this method, he determined it was a morning birth, thus eliminating 8:00 p.m. and 8:02 p.m. Then, he said, they went through a number of questions: “We worked around a couple of other times and I got down to 2:18, at which point she said nothing.”

“We saw that in All The President’s Men. Woodward and Bernstein used that device as well,” Ackerman said.

“This is a trick that reporters use all the time!” Penfield added. However, Penfield did not claim to have recorded the discussion, which would be required by most fact-checkers and editors. Many apps make this easy from a cell phone. He does not have anything on paper.

Patrick Watson, the Phoenix-based astrologer, said this scenario seems implausible, because revealing private records in the State of Illinois is a felony carrying jail time and a $25,000 fine.

So, it would seem that something intended to resolve the controversy over Clinton’s birth time has only added to it.


  1. Appreciate this post Eric, and would like to add that there is no reason on Earth that Marc Penfield would fabricate the exchange he had with the clerk in the Cook’s County Records’ Office. Lois Rodden always said that date collection is a communal effort. Hillary’s time of birth has presented an especially difficult challenge. We are all doing the very best that we can to get to the bottom of this.

    • You know, back in the day, (1947) the county generally didn’t record birth times. I know that’s a shocker for the post Linda Goodman gens but there you have it. I was born in Chicago in 1956 and the only reason I know my BT is because my mom kept my bassinette card. It’s isn’t on my Cook County birth certificate.

      • Actually many places in the 40s did include time. I was born in Texas in 1944 and it’s on my long form birth certificate. They always have that info but today some states won’t release a long form certificate even to the person who was born. It varies from state to state.

  2. I can’t vouch for Penfield and he’s not responding to my emails. His number is not published. Speaking as a reporter, right off the stick, I am skeptical.

    The potential motivation, however, is notoriety.

    And tying this to ISAR’s conference was not good optics. He was the founding treasurer.

    He has, if he’s going to play reporter, the obligation to meet reporting standards and practices. We have no name of his interview subject, and no recording. He did not state what day it happened.

    This is an interview that didn’t happen, by any objective metric except the say-so of one person. It’s uncorroborated. It’s 2016. Provide a recording. Provide a horary chart for the discussion. Don’t just say “you can trust me” and then call your data AA. Call it what it is.

  3. I found Penfield’s reliance on Hillary’s mother’s remark that H. was born “in time for breakfast” to be much more fitting for the 8:02 a.m. time than for the 2:18 a.m. time. Also, 8:02 a.m. gives H. a Scorpio ASC with her Scorpio Sun, something that fits her well, IMO.

    • Sounds like her to the T. Sneaky, Deceptive Yes Scorpio Asc. Interesting going to study this now…Thanks all

      • As a a person with a scorpio ascendent who deeply believes in integrity and service, I’ll try not to take that bit of prejudice personally. Be careful, your bias is showing.

      • Evolved Scorpios are NOT sneaky. We are however, prudent.

        • LOL. I think us Scorps just keep quiet because we are tired of seeing the worst in people. 🙂 I used to be cheery as all get out,.. but I’ve seen groups of people turn into terrors because of whatever happens to be lining up. This Eris-Uranus has been a nightmare of nasty hate and damage. I have a feeling that the Eris-Pluto hit will be even worse.

  4. Having read many posts recently about missing birth times & checking charts for times suggested. The Virgo time given on video w Ray, Shelley & Penfield for 2:18 AM just doesn’t resonate w me, bec. I can’t help but associate Ascendants w physical (especially facial) characteristics. I haven’t read that anyone has considered this. While highly unscientific & questionable to be sure, it just so happens that I automatically register rising signs from basic physical features. I wonder if any of you privately do this. I’m not overly concerned about this topic since I’m not publishing or doing research etc. nor American, she has some strong Scorpio facial markers. If 1st house is later in this sign I would expect the Sag hips as well. Proportionally, I see that even tho’ pant suits is common attire. Looking more closely at hands might give some clues.
    While I’m not seeking credibility by any means, & am airing a personal habit, I have wondered if anyone shares my thoughts. Seeing the 2:18 chart printed me to ask. By no means do I base my chart work on this one area, since there is such wide-spread controversy I felt compelled to ask. However, I fear to be lambasted by putting out these thoughts. 🙁

    • Hello Silke,

      What you mention has been a consideration of astrologers and astrology fans. The ascendant does indeed hint at appearances. However, it’s not the only thing that does, and vision can be needlessly subjective, though it’s one of the correct things to check when verifying a time.

      The Moon can be truly visual, and physical, and she has a Pisces Moon in all iterations of her chart.

      Virgo and Pisces have a tendency to morph between one another and to look like one another (scratch a Pisces, find a Virgo, as Patric Walker said). Take a look at some childhood photos of her and she looks like a mermaid (that was not a scientific statement).

      Her Virgo tendencies – to be studious and lawyer like and to organize information and work tirelessly – can be associated with her Virgo MC.

      However, all roads lead back to Scorpio in both the 2:18 am chart and the 8:02 am chart. For example, 8:02 has a Virgo midheaven (the 10th is the house of high office) and Mercury is in Scorpio. For Virgo rising, Mercury in Scorpio would be a potent influence. So pretty much no matter what you do, you end up with some mix of Virgo and Scorpio.

      The argument for Pisces Moon in the 7th is that Hillary becomes what she’s needed to be. She shifts shape, like you might expect Pisces Moon 7th to do — but that’s not enough for me. The argument against all four angles being mutable is that you would not expect the kinds of rooting in society that she has (again, subjective, but something about her PERSISTENCE hints at fixed angles. The angles are one place where you get a grip.

      The most interesting thing about this Scorpio rising chart are how the classical and modern rulers of Scorpio end up in a conjunction in the solar 10th (Leo) and quadrant 9th.

      That BLEND of 9th and 10th is what I find so interesting. (I think that the most interesting thing about whole sign houses is the 3-D image you get when you superimpose whole signs over quadrants and read the stories that emerge.)

      She aspires to be up front and in charge, and has ended up Queen Consort, Madame Secretary and senator by marital right (from a state she really does not represent, New York, though there’s a tradition of that here in NY). That sounds like mutable 10th, but she is ambitious in the style of Mars and Pluto in Leo, her whole sign 10th. Both stories fit!

      For me the Scorpio rising chart’s moment was a recent progression between the Moon, Sun, Mercury and Neptune that coincided in a very, very strange week in Mrs. Clinton’s life, the one where we were hearing about body doubles, being sick with some serious illness (with coughing fits and the sensation of drowning – pneumonia) and where she seemed to collapse and was hoisted into an SUV on video.

      Here is my analysis of the Scorpio rising chart, with rectification notes, from Planet Waves. Thanks for commenting and don’t be a afraid of flamers. This is a genuine astrology lesson.

      One other thought. Hillary has what I call a spinning chart. She has about six birth times. That is a symbol we can read. Astrology is all about symbols after all.

      • Hello Eric
        Thank you for your extensive review to ideas about HRC’s birth time blues. You are too right about Virgo in particular picking up on opp. Pisces esp. the eyes. Often ppl look more like Moon sign or Sun sign.
        But thanks for not dismissing me as a basket case, bec. I’m a zero us, seasoned astrologer ( read old! ?).
        I enjoyed your original, well written article (“zaftig”! What a great German metaphor, nicht wahr?).
        I posted your response to me to twitter bec. it too contained some useful reasoning arguments exploring various avenues for consideration on this popular topic. Thanks for your scholarship & patience.
        It gives me personally less temerity about posting my ideas.
        Good luck in your ongoing query ???

      • Have to admit Eric,.. with Jup in the first, considering the amount of money she managed to get from others with this election, seems pretty right on,….

  5. Thoughtful inspection of her charts. Probably is a Scorpio ascendant, makes sense plus all those planets in her 12th house. The bit about her wanting/need for power combined with her frustration vying for POTUS (in the body of a woman this time around) ~ I am recalling your query about unfair gender politics pointed her way. Which makes her ambitions all the more difficult to achieve in our world of male cronyism. Still waiting for Mr. Assange and his attempt to abort her quest for power with an October surprise. Now, there is a power struggle combined with state secrets.

  6. Dear Eric,

    “She aspires to be up front and in charge, and has ended up Queen Consort, Madame Secretary and senator by marital right . . . ” This sentence was a lightning strike — yes, of course!

    Hillary’s JUNO (and she is indeed Hera/Juno) is 29 Sagittarius conjoined to Bill Clinton’s Pallas (27 Sagittarius). This is a marriage based on the construction of a power dynasty. A strategic (Pallas) politically based marriage (Juno). The goal, which is known publicly, was to propel both of them to the presidency. Hillary’s progressed Juno is 24 Capricorn, within 3 degrees of conjoining the USA’s power-based Pluto/Plutocracy and is opposite USA’s natal Mercury (thoughts, motives). Hillary/Juno is the subject of one conspiracy theory after another re power and its use or misuse. [The USA’s Mercury opposite Pluto seems to highlight our country’s propensity for finding and enemy or boogeyman under every rock].

    Nice touch, that sentence, Mr. Francis!

  7. Re: comment on Hillary vying for POTUS, this time in a female body…. I asked my guides who she was in her last life and it came back as ” John Adams”….this time standing up for women and education and equal rights which got left out of the deal in the last life!

    • interesting

    • That’s a fascinating side note. Her birth chart has several similarities to John Adams. His nodes Aries/Libra fall (C rated time) across his 1st and 7th, as hers do with 8:02 am time. Both with enduring marriages integral to their lives. Both Venus’s at exactly 16 Scorpio along with Suns and Mercury very closely matched. Her Mercury conj SNode is conj Adams Mercury/Saturn opposition.
      She’s described her relationship with Bill as a ‘conversation started that has never ended’. That describes John Adams and Abigail too.

      I think the 8:02 am chart fits her to a tee. Except for the gentle, quiet and compassionate Pisces moon in a very private 4th house. She hides her hurts well behind a thickened skin. The 8pm chart puts that moon in the 10th, a compassionate public servant fits perfectly there too.

      I was born in 1946. The county I was born in didn’t have a spot on the birth record for a time, so a time was not entered. I only have my Mother’s rather vague memory. It may be that in post war 1947, birth record requirements were not standardized across the country, do we even know if Cook County hospitals recorded the birth times?

  8. My notes following Penfield Interview by ISAR:

    Marc Penfield believes the 2:18 AM birth time for Hillary Diane Rodham, October 26, 1947 in Chicago’s Edgewater Hospital, merits an AA Rodden Rating for accuracy, for the following reasons:

    1. Astrologer Zayin Cohen reported the time in September 2007. Cohen wrote that he observed the birth record as filed in the Cook County Clerk of Court in 1992.

    2. That birth record happened to state the same time of birth as reported by Hillary’s cousin also reported in late 2007. According to Penfield, in 2007, he typed into an internet search engine “Hillary Clinton’s birth time,” and a “new birth time” cropped up. It was the third item on the list written by a reporter who reported that Hillary’s cousin was interested in astrology and asked his/her mother about Hillary’s birth time. The mother said that Hillary was born at 2:18 AM, according to this internet article.

    Marc does not know if the cousin and Zayin Cohen knew one another. Both reported the same birth time, in different reports, in 2007.

    3. In late September 2016, Penfield called the state birth records division located in Springfield, IL. He asked a clerk about the birth time. She could not answer that question directly. However, Penfield told her he was only trying to “verify” the birth time, and not “procure it,” which got him into the door in the first place according to a later interview of Penfield, conducted by respective astrologer Steven Stuckey. Through an investigative reporting technique, the clerk consented to say “no” when Penfield asked a question that was incorrect, and she could remain silent if he asked a question that was correct. The first question Penfield asked was whether Hillary’s birth record had a PM birth. She replied “no.” He then asked her a couple of specific times, and she replied no. When he asked about 2:18 AM, she was silent. She never verbally gave out HRC’s birth time.

    These steps would qualify for a RODDEN AA rating. However, there are some issues to be considered:

    1. How credible a source is Zayin Cohen, who originally claimed to have seen the birth record of 2:18 AM as he reported in September 2007? Cohen has recently written that the 2:18 AM was a typing error. The time he actually saw on the birth record was 1:18 AM. He himself now claims neither time is correct. Question: was 2:18 AM a typing error? Is Cohen’s claim to have seen the birth record reliable? Is Cohen changing the “time,” to throw astrologers off track?

    2. Penfield does not claim that he himself actually saw the birth certificate or birth record. He is recounting the citing of the birth record by another, and a story quoting a relative (cousin) as reported in an internet article, and his own interrogation of a clerk in the Illinois state records division, who remained silent when he recited the 2:18 AM birth time, after saying “no” to other birth times he proposed.

    That is as far as we can go with this investigation for now. It is up to each astrologer to decide whether to use this birth time, or one of the others that have no citing of an actual birth record.

    As a side note, if you now google “Hillary Clinton’s birth time,” as I did yesterday, you will find that comes up immediately, quoting the time of birth as 2:18 AM, but rated DD (Dirty Data).

    The interview has produced a lot of discussion (not all favorable) in the astrology community. The subject is controversial and has elicited many emotional reactions –and some measured, well-thought-out replies too by those who actually watched the whole interview and began studies on the chart of the 2:18 AM time, without a preconceived bias.

    I would like to thank Shelley Ackerman, Robert Corre (who work with me on Publicity for this event), and all of you on this panel who have contributed to this effort to determine the birth time for Hillary Clinton. As mentioned, it has produced great interest, controversy, and lively discussion. The thing is, this has been both serious discussion AND a marketing effort for the event. One does not negate the value of the other, as some are trying to posture. They are both important aspects to the conference success and ISAR’s commitment of service to the astrological community.

  9. Penfield’s story has been thoroughly debunked here by someone who spoke to the Cook Co. Vital Records director and recorded the conversation:

    I can’t believe ISAR would so willingly fall for something like this under the “why would he lie” banner.

  10. Raymond, This is still not Rodden AA material. No reliable birth certificate has been produced.

    I am concerned about the ethical issues involved. Regardless of what we think about closed birth certificates as good or bad law, the Illinois Vital Records Act clearly states that birth certificates are closed except to a few clearly specified individuals: the person named on the birth certificate, parents or guardians of a child, or people with a pressing legal need to know: such as law enforcement, a pension fund administrator, or a lawyer in a paternity case. (See especially secs. 24, 25, 27.)

    Assuming Marc Penfield faithfully reported his conversation with a clerk at the Vital Records office, my reading of the Act (and I am not a lawyer) is that the law was broken. Penfield can take his chances, but the clerk’s job may be jeopardized if word gets back to her supervisor.

    Penfield has no verification that the clerk actually gave him the correct time.

    There are big discussions of this issue over at the Skyscript forum and on the latter pages of the “presidential” thread at Astrodienst, with some credible people doubting that Penfield actually could have obtained Clinton’s TOB information over the phone. One person spoke extensively with staff at the Cook County recorder’s office about their practices. The previous Zayin Cohen claim of 2:18 has also been seriously questioned as lacking in verification.

    Obviously Penfield is “innocent until proven guilty” and his time may well be correct, but his stated actions raise some serious questions.

  11. I called Marc Penfield on Monday Oct 3rd. We spoke for nearly 2 hours. I don’t know Marc personally, but we struck up a quick rappport and wound up talking about many things, including places we have lived in common in past years, both of us worked in book stores on Hollywood Blvd in the past (he at Cherokee Books and myself at Pickwick), his historical research on the US chart and the Los Angeles charts etc.

    I asked him about the details involved in his getting the 2:18 AM time.
    He called the State of Illinois birth records dept (in Springfield, IL) and requested to “verify” a birth time, rather than “obtain” a copy of the document. He gave the clerk the birth date and name: Hillary Diane Rodham. He was prepared to give them the parents names, but they didn’t ask. He said they brought up the document immediately ( I am assuming they had it on computer) and he asked his questions and per the youtube video. When he came to the 2:18 AM time the clerk said nothing, as per their agreement at the beginning of the conversation. Marc told me the whole process took less than 2 minutes.

  12. Steven, It might be helpful to unpack the difference between “verify” and “obtain” a document in this instance.

    According to Penfield’s comments on the ISAR YouTube video, he gave the clerk a series of birth times, and asked her to say “no” if they were false, but say nothing for the one that was correct. How this process could take under 2 minutes I am unclear. But let’s assume this is correct.

    Sec. 24 (1) of the Illinois Vital Records Act deals with state and county employees with entitled access to birth certificates. It reads:

    “…access to vital records, and indexes thereof…is limited to the custodian and his employees, and then only for administrative purposes, except that the indexes of those records in the custody of local registrars and county clerks, originating prior to January 1, 1916, shall be made available to persons for the purpose of genealogical research….It is unlawful for any custodian to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in, vital records, or to copy or permit to be copied, all or part of any such record except as authorized by this Act or regulations adopted pursuant thereto.”

    I read Marc Penfield’s phone call as at a minimum compromising the integrity of the clerk, who was prohibited from “disclos[ing] information contained in vital records.”

    The Act contains a specific list of individuals or agencies entitled to vital records information, but astrologers are not among them.

    Sec. 27 (1,e)identifies “Any custodian of a vital record who willfully and knowingly violates the provisions of Section 24 or Section 25 of this Act; or
    “(f) Any person who willfully and knowingly furnishes a certificate of birth, or certified copy of a record of birth with the intention that it be used by a person or persons other than those recited in Section 25(4) of this Act is guilty of a Class 4 felony.”

    Sec. 27 (2, c) “c) Any person who willfully neglects or violates any of the provisions of this Act…. is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

    While Penfield did not obtain a copy of the birth certificate, Zayin Cohen claimed to have done so, and this was apparently the basis for Penfield’s surmise. There nonetheless seems to have been a violation of Sec. 24 (1) of the Vital Records Act somewhere along the line, in the “disclosure” over the phone of birth certificate information.

    Moreover, obtaining an actual copy of the birth certificate would be a Class 4 felony. A Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, a less serious charge, can carry a jail sentence up to one year or a $2500 fine.

    I am not a lawyer, but I think at a minimum, no one should suggest a Rodden AA rating for Penfield’s new birth time for HRC. And maybe not make a big deal out of it.

  13. Waybread,
    It’s good to know all the potential legal implications that are involved in an attempt to get data from
    a State or County office of records. It’s sobering and should give us all pause before we ever consider such an action. At the very least, a clerk involved in giving out data illegally, could be subject to reprimand or firing, but it’s not something that one always thinks about when in the hot pursuit of data (I speak from personal experience). Astrologers are often faced with many ethical considerations, such as keeping the privacy of their clients’ information or whether a birth certificate of a public figure, even if obtained legally, should be published without his or her consent. Somehow we tend to think that if an astrologer asks a public figure for their time, for instance at a political rally, that that time is publishable to the whole world without the person’s consent. If we were to go back through the Rodden database and ‘purify’ all such records based on the above criteria, whether A or AA rated, I’m sure that many of them would have to be ‘disappeared’.

    In the case of Marc Penfield however, I am fine to leave all the above legal and ethical considerations to his own conscience and did not call him with the intent to put him under the moral microscope.
    I only called to satisfy myself that he did in fact make the call to the records department that he said he made. I was especially unhappy with fellow astrologers casting accusations and innuendo that Marc had outright lied about it. I was surprised to find out, during the call, that he had not yet received a single call from anyone else. Call me old-fashioned, but I personally believe that if you want an answer, you should go directly to the source. I recently did this very thing, after finding the long-lost article in the Chicago Sun Times that Francis McEvoy had quoted. It was published in January, 1993 (and not 1992 and Francis had stated) and I called and spoke with the article’s author Lynn Sweet. BTW, this now appears in the Source Notes on Hillary at the ADB.

    After questioning Marc to my own satisfaction about the “call”, we had time to discuss many other things and it was a very enlightening and satisfying conversation. I am personally convinced, after speaking with Marc, that his account of what happened is truthful. Naturally I could be wrong, as I have my own fallibilities, as do we all-—but it would take a lot of other types of proof to convince me that he was lying. As I stated above, I only called him to satisfy myself (call me selfish) and had no intention of necessarily delivering this message to the community, but felt compelled to publish this information to at least offer another side to the argument.
    As far as AA versus DD, I really wouldn’t worry about that, as there are so many unsubstantiated times at this point, that it’s doubtful Alois Treindl will ever make this AA unless he has a document in his own hand.
    I might suggest that if another call is made to Marc, that someone representing the community should make the call and that this person could be picked by consensus of his peers. Marc is not in the best of health and if he is inundated with calls, I might guess that we will never get the more definitive answers from him that we are looking for.

  14. Thanks, Steven.

    What we need now is a call to a supervisor in the Office of Vital Records at the Illinois Department of Public Health in Springfield, IL, not another call to Marc Penfield.


    I thought about it but (a) I have no way to record the call, and (b) there is some risk of getting a low-level clerk in difficulties. On the other hand, it may be possible to reach her directly and get her version of events, or learn from her supervisor in a general way without naming names what is the official policy on responses to calls such as Penfield’s.

    Do you know if Marc Penfield gave his name to the clerk over the phone? Did he give you the date and approximate time of his call?

    I think the Rodden AA criteria are clear.

    I don’t have a pony in this race, incidentally, other than a personal interest in ethics in astrology.

  15. Waybread,

    I don’t know if Marc gave his name or not and he did not give out the name of the clerk he spoke with. I have no date as to when the call was made–you or someone else could easily make a call to Marc and simply ask him in a straightforward manner.

    Your attempt to call a supervisor in this case, to verify if Marc was in fact telling the truth, could easily get someone in trouble, despite your best efforts to avoid such a thing happening. As far as I know, you can’t record a call unless the party is advised that you are doing so, and it wouldn’t be exactly ethical IMO to do so regardless of the law,unless the person knew they were being recorded and agreed to it beforehand, which I can guarantee, is not going to happen. Even if by some chance you should reach the same clerk, you would have no idea if your call was being monitored or recorded by a supervisor.

    If there was even the slight possibility of such a risk, why would you entertain the idea at all?

  16. This whole story of Penfield’s is a complete fabrication and I have the emails and phone recordings from both Cook County and Springfield Vital Records to prove it. Both agencies’ Directors have been advised of Penfield’s statements and given the links to the YouTube video and to this TMA article. If ISAR and Merriman don’t retract their claims due to lack of proof, I will publish my recordings and emails after the conference.

    Ray Merriman said above: 1. “Astrologer Zayin Cohen reported the time in September 2007. Cohen wrote that he observed the birth record as filed in the Cook County Clerk of Court in 1992.”

    First of all, the records are not and have never been kept with the Cook County Court Clerk. Vital Records holds birth records, the Court Clerk legal ones. Second of all, the physical birth records for ALL 1940’s birth certificates were NOT kept on site at the Springfield Vital Records office in 1992, or in 2007–they were archived off site. It would have taken three days to fulfill the request by Cohen, had be been entitled to it, and by state law he was not, so it would have been denied. So this never happened–it’s a complete fabrication.

    Steven: Calling reporters to try to remember things they wrote decades ago is not “going to the source.” The burden of proof is on Penfield to prove his claim, and he hasn’t even come close. The evidence from both the State and County, who actually have the record, show Penfield and Cohen are lying, period. All you and Merriman have is a guy with a bunch of hearsay from a relative who told a reporter something based on something the mother claims to have remembered (which contradicts Clinton’s own words of what she was told). Cohen most likely saw the Lynn Sweet article in the Sun-Times (I will be posting that soon) and repeated what the relative said in the story. None of those people have seen the actual birth certificate. None. Only the mother (and Clinton) would legally be entitled to it.

    You also don’t understand state and federal law regarding consent to record. Federal law permits recording telephone calls and in-person conversations with the consent of at least one of the parties. See 18 U.S.C. 2511(2)(d). This is called a “one-party consent” law. Under a one-party consent law, you can record a phone call or conversation so long as you are a party to the conversation. Reporters do it all the time. What they don’t do is play guessing games with government clerks, based on popular movie lore.

    You also have to understand that according to the Illinois statute, if what Penfield has said is true (highly doubtful), he is guilty of and admitting to a crime–the clerk getting in trouble is the last person you should be worried about. To openly brag publicly about violating state law (and someone’s privacy) to promote an astrology conference is a new low for astrology and it will not sit well with the general public at all. Maybe your next call to Penfield should be to get him to come clean, before I release my evidence that this whole thing is a complete fabrication.

  17. Pisceen,

    Your actions of notifying the Directors of both the Cook County and Springfield Vital Records seems quite precipitous and might I add, just downright vicious. And all the above without even bothering to give a simple courtesy call to Marc Penfield, to give him the benefit of the doubt, before pursuing such a reckless action, which many ultimately have legal implications for both Marc and the clerk he spoke with. Has someone appointed you moral authority, judge, jury and executioner in this case?
    I have just given a call to Marc to notify him of this latest fiasco and he seems to have taken it quite philosophically and with a grain of salt.

    Despite your claim of having solid proof that he didn’t in fact make the call (which he still, by the way, states that he did, to me this morning on the phone) I doubt that it is that solid, otherwise you would have not stated “if what Penfield has said was true”. Certainly no need for such a doubt *if* your have absolute proof to the contrary.

    As far as Lynn Sweet’s article, published Jan, 1993–had you bothered to pursue that yourself (and actually read it) you would have found out that she is indicating a possible PM birth and not AM–so your speculative claim that Cohen was somehow repeating something he gleaned from that article, has zero basis in fact.

    • Sorry Steven, but Mr. Penfield isn’t the victim here, no matter how much you keep trying to make him one. Talking to him repeatedly on the phone doesn’t constitute proof of anything. Mr. Penfield foolishly went public with his silly claims on a YouTube video. He willingly and publicly admitted to breaking the law and violating a person’s privacy, so he’s accountable for it–there is no “benefit of the doubt” for that. If either of you are so concerned about Penfield’s legal liability–and it’s clear his claims would violate the state statue–maybe he shouldn’t have claimed to have broken the law in the first place, and then publicly bragged about it online to promote an astrology conference. That I have to explain that to grown adults is absurd.

      Here’s a link to the IDPH Director’s email response to Penfield’s claims: And that’s before I publish the recordings addressing both Cohen’s lie and Penfield’s. So he can philosophize and take with a grain of salt whatever he wants, but he’s on the hook for his own stupid actions, not by my inquiry. Either way, he loses: He either broke the law if the story is true (highly doubtful), or he lied to the entire astrological community about it, which is far more likely based on the evidence I have in hand.

      If Penfield made the phone call that he claims he did, it’s simple: have him publish a screen shot of his cell phone history showing the date, time and number at Springfield Vital Records that he called.

      Re: Lynn Sweet’s article, I have read the abstract only, and requested a copy of the full text; it is en route to me to be published with the recordings and other evidence I have. I never claimed to have “actually read it.” I said above “I will be posting that soon.” And what I said above is that Penfield’s story based on Cohen’s lie seems to stem from what Merriman reported above in item #2:

      “2. That birth record (Cohen’s–see #1) happened to state the same time of birth as reported by Hillary’s cousin also reported in late 2007. According to Penfield, in 2007, he typed into an internet search engine “Hillary Clinton’s birth time,” and a “new birth time” cropped up. It was the third item on the list written by a reporter who reported that Hillary’s cousin was interested in astrology and asked his/her mother about Hillary’s birth time. The mother said that Hillary was born at 2:18 AM, according to this internet article.”

      So if the Sweet article in the Sun-Times hints at a PM birth as you state, then it’s Mr. Merriman who is in error, not me, because I said based on the evidence, both Cohen and Penfield are lying.

      So your desperate and fact-free defense of indefensible actions, poor inquiries to the wrong sources, and outright deliberate deception is quite irrational. It’s even worse that you are more interested in making Penfield the victim of his own poor decisions, rather than finding out the actual facts of the matter. If you, Penfield, Merriman, and ISAR want to continue your complicity with something that’s going to end up being a well-documented fraud, feel free to keep digging your hole deeper. Like I said, it’s a new low for the astrological community to stoop to something like this to promote ISAR. It’s even more appalling that people like you are condoning it.

      Generally, if you don’t want to get caught doing stupid things, rather than blame the person pointing it out, you probably should just not do stupid things to begin with.

      PS: Tone and content of my posts is irrelevant and trivial–my job is to report facts accurately. And generally fraud is not reported with kid gloves. The response on Facebook and elsewhere to Penfield’s claims have been overwhelmingly negative. They seem to smell a rat, too.

  18. Steven, Hopefully you are clear that I did not and would not phone the Office of Vital Records in Springfield, IL. Even if I had the means to record a conversation, I would ask the other person’s permission first. (The reason is to avoid someone thinking s/he speaks off-the-record when this isn’t the case.) But in a dilemma where the facts are in doubt, having a copy of communications is the best way to verify one’s statements.

    What (I hope) I said was that a call to this state office would be needed to help clear up the mystery. I think Pisceen has done everyone a service by doing so, even for those who don’t like the tone or content of Pisceen’s posts.

    I am not a member of ISAR, and what takes place at their upcoming convention really is not my concern. But I hope, at the least, the Penfield TOB for Clinton is not announced with a lot of fanfare as the new Rodden AA time.

    I do have a lot of interest in the whole arena of ethics in astrology. Astrologers, sadly, have enough problems with the public thinking we fabricate our craft, without rumors getting out that either an astrologer broke the law to reveal closed birth data, or that he misrepresented his efforts to get her TOB.

    Again, I am not a lawyer, but my reading of the Illinois Vital Records Act Sec. 27 is that copying a birth certificate for a non-eligible party is a Class 4 Felony, and revealing information on a birth certificate is a Class A Misdemeanor. Maybe someone here knows a lawyer who could correct me if I’m mistaken or overly dramatizing the situation.

    If I’m not, this is kind of serious stuff.

  19. What better expression of a Scorpio Ascendant than mystery about it, power struggles between astrologers over it, and repeatedly rebirthing and transforming her birth time?

    There is also the unique Scorpio situation of three symbols representing the sign of death, rebirth, transformation: scorpion, eagle, phoenix. So a Scorpio AC is likely to SEEM Mutable, (Virgo or Gemini like) as a Scorpio AC & Sun expresses their transformational essence in public life.

    Scorpion HRC = don’t bully me
    Eagle HRC = fidelity to the political marriage contract of two presidential Clinton US “eagles.”
    Phoenix HRC = Rising from the ashes of defeat to run for POTUS a second time

    These qualities would, I think, be more modified if HRC had a different AC from Sun sign. Yet they are so starkly evident and part of her public persona, suggesting AC.

    As for the astrology of the particularly venomous, poisonous, lethal toxicity of the US political scene in general, it strikes me as expressing the approach to the US Pluto Return. HRC seems to me the US President who fits the part of leading us into the US Pluto Return.

  20. It is evident that both mystery and discucion as to the time of birth of Hillary, together with numerous corruption scandals, political scandals, and economic and above all the scandals related to her husband, shows that NEPTUNE occupies an important place in the Chart.

  21. Pisceen was right, the entire story has been discredited in the Washington Post, where Penfield admits he lied about the HRC birth time:

    ” In an interview with The Washington Post, Penfield retracted his claim.

    “I tried to, she wouldn’t play along,” he said of trying the “Woodward and Bernstein” on the Illinois state employee.

    Penfield, who said he was 75 and in ill health, said he saw the 2:18 a.m. birth time reported on the Internet in 2007, but his comment in the ISAR video about confirming it was “a bit of an exaggeration.”

    “It’s part of my personality,” he said.

  22. Thank you Pisceen.

    Whatever we think about the right or wrong of birth certificates as closed records, this is the law in the state of Illinois. I think we need to respect it.

  23. I tried for more than 25 years to get a birth time to no avail. Then I was reminded that for many years the local paper published that information for the babies born each day (unless they were out of wedlock). I went to the library, looked up the date in the newspaper microfiche, and voila! There it was! Has anyone tried that?

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