For birth time rectification, I am following the 3-stages of rectification as explained by Dr.H in his A Rectification Manual.
Stage 1: Determine the Ascendant Sign
Astrodatabank reports Leonardo da Vinci’s birth time as 9:40 p.m. with AA rating. This yields a Sagittarius Ascendant.
Sagittarius Ascendant is a no-brainer for the polymath whose mental pursuits included flight and flying.
Stage 2: Determine the Ascendant’s range within 1-4 degrees
Midheaven sign and bound
The midheaven sign of Virgo ruled by Mercury in the 5th house of entertainment is consistent with Leonardo da Vinci’s career as an architect and choreographer of plays, pageants, festivities, and court theatrics.
The bound of Mars also makes sense for the Midheaven. Leonardo’s career involved military designs and consultations and various hydraulic and engineering projects signified by Mars/Aquarius in the 3rd house. Also relevant is his interest in anatomy through dissection.
Selecting the Midheaven in the bound Mars/Virgo restricts the birth time to between 9:19 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. with ASC Range from 2SAG30’ to 7SAG38’.
For the final rectified time:
Lot of Accusation/Exile/Injury : 06ARI38’ Antiscia : 23VIR21’
On April 9, 1476, Leonardo was charged with committing sodomy. The 1475 Solar Return has Venus as the ascendant ruler and is placed in the 12th house (secret enemies and imprisonment) in 8ARI38’ conjunct this Lot.
Also transiting North Node was at 24VIR2’ conjunct the Antiscia of the Lot within a degree.
For the rectified time of 9:32:06 p.m. with ASC 5SAG4’55”, consider the following profected ASC (yearly) aspects.
Carnival in Milan
1-Mar-1482 Prof. ASC sextile Jupiter
23-Feb-1482: “Ambrosian carnival” held in Milan around the time of Leonardo’s arrival in the city.
Military engineer passport
23-Aug-1502 Prof. ASC conjunct Mars
18-Aug-1502: Cesare Borgia awarded Leonardo a floridly written “passport”.
Mars/Aquarius in the 3rd house is the military engineer passport. Also see Mars-ASC solar arc below.
Letters requesting painting of young Christ
5-Jun-1504: Prof. ASC conjunct Mercury
14-May and 27-May-1504: Letters from Isabelle d’Este to Leonardo da Vinci requested a devotional painting of “a youthful Christ of about 12 years old”.
Mercury/Aries represents the letters regarding 12 year old Christ. Mercury, placed in the bound of Venus, indicates the painting request.
Clay model of Sforza Horse exhibited at wedding
23-Nov-1493 Prof. ASC conjunct Venus
Nov-1493: The clay model of the Sforza Horse (that Leonard built) was exhibited in late 1493, during the marriage of Ludovico’s niece Bianca to the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian of Hasburg. The wedding was celebrated in Milan on November 30.
Venus is in its domicile in Taurus and it indicates the wedding, celebrations and the clay model of the horse.
Stage 3: Determine the exact second of birth
Registered as member of painter’s confraternity
11-Jul-1472 d.s.a Saturn conjunct MC 21-Jul-1472 c.s.a MC conjunct Saturn
In summer 1472 Leonardo officially registered as a member of the Compagnia di San Luca painter’s confraternity. He had completed his apprenticeship and was now embarking as a professional painter. Saturn in the sign of Venus in the 11th house is the painter’s confraternity.
Collaboration with architect friend
08-Apr-1492 c.s.a ASC square Saturn 24-Oct-1492 d.s.a Saturn square ASC
On March 29, 1492 the architect Donato Bramante began his project at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Also in 1492, the architect collaborated with Leonardo to lay out a new square in Vigevano. Saturn in Libra in the 11th house is a good match for the collaboration with an architect friend.
In October 1492, Leonardo was also discussing bronze casting problems with the architect Giuliano da Sangallo.
Employed as military engineer and designer
19-Aug-1502 c.s.a Mars trine ASC 13-Aug-1503 d.s.a ASC trine Mars
The above solar arc sequence times the period when Leonardo was actively involved as a military architect and engineer. On August 18, 1502, Cesare Borgia designated Leonardo as a “family architect and general engineer.” He was awarded a free passport to inspect fortifications and involve in military designs. During this period, he studied hydraulics, made maps, and designed military machines. At the end of the sequence, he was providing consultations for straightening the Arno river (July 1503). Mars/Aquarius in the 3rd house is a good match for these events.
Expenses for Battle of Anghiari cartoon
16-Jun-1504 c.s.a MC square Mars 11-Jul-1505 d.s.a Mars square MC
The Mars-MC solar arc sequence times the period when Leonardo was working on the Battle of Anghiari cartoon amid mounting expenses regarding the same. We have few important dates on record. On August 30, 1504, payments were recorded for iron wheels and parts for the scaffolding. In November and December, we see payment receipts for the purchase of paper and labor. The expenses continued in 1505 for the scaffolding, the last being April 30, 1505, where more assistants were involved in painting the mural. Leonardo has Mars in Aquarius conjunct the Lot of Fortune which indicates these expenses.
Also relevant to this sequence is the introduction of Michelangelo to paint a complementary mural in the same space, the Battle of Cascina. This commission was awarded to him in August or September of 1504. Both men loathed each other and the tense working environment was probably one of the reasons why Leonardo didn’t complete the Battle of Anghiari.
Mounting the Copper orb on Florence Cathedral dome
PT 05-May-1470 (Jupiter/Libra) Saturn d. => MC PT 04-Jun-1471 (Jupiter/Libra) Saturn (l=p) d.=> MC
This primary direction sequence occurred when Leonardo was working with Verocchio, his master, to mount the Copper orb on the Florence Cathedral dome. From records we know that between July 7 and October 10, 1470, soldering work on the copper orb (palla) involved the teenager Leonardo da Vinci as Verocchio’s assistant. The actual mounting took place on May 27, 1471, an engineering feat that Leonardo would later recall. On May 30, 1471, a cross was placed on the ball as people gathered and sang the Te Deum for the occasion.
Saturn in exaltation in Libra in the 11th house and directed to the Midheaven matches this event perfectly.
Charged with committing sodomy
PT 09-Apr-1476 (Mercury/Scorpio) dex square Mars (l=p) c. => ASC PT 07-Jun-1477 (Mercury/Scorpio) dex square Mars c. => ASC
On April 9, 1476, Leonardo was charged with committing sodomy and may have been imprisoned briefly. The court hearing was held two months later on June 7 and the case was eventually dropped due to lack of any evidence. This event did leave a deep scar on Leonardo, as he was just gaining some traction in his career. The dexter square aspect of Mars lies in the bound of Mercury/Scorpio, which is placed in the 12th house.
Letter from Milan Ambassadar
PT 01-Aug-1488 (Saturn/Leo) opposed Mars (l=BI) c. => MC PT 24-Jan-1489 (Saturn/Leo) opposed Mars c. => MC PT 17-Jul-1489 (Saturn/Leo) opposed Mars (l=p) c. => MC
In 1488, Leonardo was working on the enormous bronze Sforza horse, a monument meant to honor Duke Francesco. This primary direction sequence times the difficult period that Leonardo went through when his ability and skills were doubted, as his patron Ludovico Sforza sought additional architects from Florence.
Specific to this sequence is a letter dated July 22, 1489 when the Milan ambassador Piero Alamanni wrote to Lorenzo de Medici in Florence that they sought “a master or two capable of doing such work.” Mars in Aquarius in the 3rd house is a match to this letter. Also relevant is that Mars rules the 5th house of ambassadors.
French troops occupy Milan
PT 04-Sep-1499 (Saturn/Leo) opposed Mars (l=BI) c. => Spirit PT 29-Dec-1499 (Saturn/Leo) opposed Mars c. => Spirit PT 22-Apr-1500 (Saturn/Leo) opposed Mars (l=p) c. => Spirit
This primary direction sequence times the period when French troops occupied Milan. The invasion began on September 9, 1499, and it was probably during this time Leonardo’s clay model of the Sforza Horse was destroyed. The Duke of Milan had already fled on September 2. In mid-December 1499, Leonardo transferred money to his bank account in Florence and left Milan. The Duke of Milan returned in February 1500, leading to his downfall at the battle of Novara on April 8.
Fall of Ludovico Sforza
PT 27-Jan-1500 (Mercury/Scorpio) dex square Mars (l=p) => MC PT 19-Jul-1500 (Mercury/Scorpio) dex square Mars d. => MC
Earlier we saw the dexter square of Mars directing to the Ascendant timing Leonardo’s sodomy charge. When the Midheaven was directed to the same aspect we see Ludovico Sforza, the Duke, returning to Milan in February 1500 and being captured and imprisoned. Leonardo had (most likely) collaborated with the French and the Duke’s return was not a good time for him to remain in Milan. Both the distributor (Mercury/Scorpio) and the placement (12th house) match this sequence of events.
PT 04-Nov-1518 (Jupiter/Libra) Saturn c. => ASC PT 28-Mar-1520 (Jupiter/Libra) Saturn (l=p) c. => ASC
Death: May 2, 1519
The primary direction of a malefic to the Ascendant is harmful to the native. In Leonardo da Vinci’s case, Saturn is the out-of-sect malefic.
For more examples of ASC-malefic directions, read The First House.
The rectification was carried out using a Gregorian calendar horoscope and adding a fixed offset of 9 days for the Julian calendar dates actually used during the period. For primary directions I am using calculations as described by Dr.H in his book, America is Born. The calculation methodology have been tested using Janus Astrology software as reference.
Images on this page
- leonado-da-vinci-rectified-birth-chart1: Chart created at astro.com