I became intrigued watching coach Pharrell Williams on NBC's The Voice. As an astrologer, I couldn't help but think he must have a Libra Ascendant. Here's why:
For starters, Williams' is a huge fashion icon and creative genius (voted Best Dressed Man by Esquire in 2005).
On The Voice, after a great performance when asked for his comments, Williams stands up and says to the audience, "What does EVERYONE ELSE think?" Libras are concerned with WE: what WE think, what WE will do together. His entire career is based on collaborations with other people (Libras usually don't like to work alone). As well, his comments are always gracious, polite and complimentary.
Typical of Librans, Williams struggles with making decisions about which team member to pick during The Voice's Battle and Knock-Out Rounds. The show has literally had to take a commercial break just to wait for Pharrell's answer. It's become a running joke. Libras usually have a difficult time making decisions, as they are overly concerned with what other's think, needing to please others and gain their appreciation.
All good and well, however this is not how birth time rectification should be done in a subjective way, but it does give the astrologer a starting point. And this is where I began the birth time rectification for Pharrell Williams, born on April 5, 1973 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. [At the time of this writing, his birth time is unknown].
Keep in mind that major life events occur when outer planet transits and solar arcs hit the Angles of the birth chart (and/or the natal Sun or Moon). The Angles are dependent on an accurate birth time.
Working with a Libra Ascendant, I began the rectification to see when transiting Pluto and transiting Uranus would hit the Angles of the birth chart for major life events.
Here is what I found using my proposed birth time at 5:48 PM (Ascendant 8 Libra 19'; Midheaven 9 Cancer 18') with an impressive lineup of major events taking place in 2012 and 2013 in his personal and professional life:
On May 12, 2012: Williams launched a multimedia creative collective and record label called, "i am OTHER," as part of YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative [exact retrograde hit, tr. Pluto opposed Midheaven (MC) on May 13, 2012].
On July 18, 2012: he became engaged to his current wife, Helen Lasichanh [between the exact first and retrograde hits, tr. Uranus opposed Ascendant on June 19th and August 6th, 2012, respectively].
On October 16, 2012: he published his book, "Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've Been," and made book signing appearances [exact final hit, tr. Pluto square Ascendant on December 2nd, 2012].
On March 26, 2013: Robin Thicke's hit-single "Blurred Lines" was released, written and produced by Williams [exact last hit, tr. Uranus opposed Ascendant on March 25, 2013, and first hit, tr. Uranus square MC on April 11, 2013].
On October 12, 2013: he married Helen Lasichanh [exact last hit, tr. Pluto opposed MC on October 24, 2013].
On November 21, 2013: William's released his hit "Happy" [exact retrograde hit, tr. Uranus square MC on November 5, 2013].
On January 26, 2014: Pharrell won four Grammy Awards [exact last hit, tr. Uranus square MC on January 27, 2014].
Further, the last time transiting Uranus was square the Ascendant, and opposed the Midheaven was in 1990 when Williams' bought his first album, and explained that A Tribe Called Quest's 1990 album, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, caused a "turning point" in his life, which "made him see that music was art."
Now we need to test the Angles of the horoscope for major life events using Solar Arcs. Solar Arcs represent a background theme of development, encompassing a period of twelve months (six months before hitting exact, and six months after hitting exact).
Solar Arcs are a definitive technique for testing the accuracy of a birth time, since planets and points (such as Angles) arc or move one degree for one year of life, and further one degree equals 4 minutes of birth time.
In other words, if solar arcs measurements involving the Angles of the horoscope are off by more than six months before or after the timing of major life events, then the birth time is off (since 1 year = 1 degree = 4 minutes of birth time).
Using my proposed birth time at 5:48 PM, here's how Solar Arcs involving the Angles lineup with major events in Williams' life (events are listed with their exact dates if known, and with the year if unknown):
SA MC square Uranus (exact June 1985, age 12):
At age 12, Williams met his partner Hugo at a summer music program called Center for the Gifted Arts (i.e., summer 1985).
SA Mercury opposed Ascendant (exact February 1993, age 19):
In 1992, Williams and Hugo (called the "Neptunes") got their early break when producer Teddy Riley discovered the duo in a high school talent show. [Transiting Uranus was also square his natal Sun in 1992].
In 1993, Williams and Hugo signed to Arista Records.
SA Mercury square MC (exact February 1994, age 20):
In 1994, they got their second big break producing the track "Tonight's the Night" for R&B vocal group Blackstreet.
SA Saturn conjunct MC (exact February 1997, age 24):
In 1997, they hooked up with hip-hop rapper Noreaga, writing and producing his single "SuperThug" (released in 1998). For the first time, Williams and Hugo as the Neptunes gained attention from the music industry, and work started pouring in.
SA MC opposed Mars (exact October 2001, age 28):
On August 6, 2001, N*E*R*D consisting of Williams, Hugo and Haley, released their first album, "In Search of..."
On September 24, 2001, the Neptunes produced and released Britney Spears' single, "I'm a Slave 4 U" gaining their first worldwide number one.
SA MC opposed Jupiter (exact May 2002, age 29):
In 2002, their reproduced first album was released worldwide, and the Neptunes reached number one in the U.S. with Nelly's single, "Hot in Herre" released on April 16, 2002.
In August 2002, the Neptunes were named "Producers of the Year" at both the Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.
SA Neptune square Ascendant (exact February 2005, age 31), and SA Neptune opposed MC (exact February 2006, age 32):
Williams was voted "Best Dressed Man in the World" by Esquire in their September 2005 Issue.
On July 25, 2006, Williams released his debut solo album, "In My Mind."
In 2006, his relationship ended with designer Vashtie Kola who Williams had dated since 2003.
SA MC square Moon (exact June 2014, age 41):
On March 3, 2014, Williams released his second album, GIRL.
On March 31, 2014, Williams was announced as a new coach for the seventh season of The Voice.
SA Ascendant opposed Moon (exact June 2015, age 42):
On March 10, 2015, a jury found Thicke and Williams liable for copyright infringement for their hit single, "Blurred Lines," awarding Marvin Gaye's family US$7.4 million in damages. [Note the natal Moon in the 8th house of other people's resources, possessions and money.]
Unfortunately I was not able to find any information about major life events in Williams' childhood (from birth through preteen). However based on what we do know, I believe 5:48 PM stands up as a very strong possibility for his birth time.
I would like to make a few additional comments about two rectified birth times listed on Astro.com (Astro Databank) for Pharrell Williams: 1:45 AM with a Capricorn Ascendant, and 4:00 AM with a Pisces Ascendant.
If Williams was born at 1:45 AM (Capricorn Ascendant), transiting Pluto would have been conjunct his Midheaven in 1988 at age 15. There are absolutely no supporting events for this kind of powerful 'once-in-a-lifetime' transit that would have certainly impacted Williams and/or his family in a very significant way.
Further tr. Neptune would be conjunct his Ascendant in 1993 when he signed with Arista Records. This doesn't fit, as Neptune to the Ascendant is usually a very challenging aspect most often manifesting as an ego-wipeout and disappointment, and not success signing a record deal at age 20.
If Williams was born at 4:00 AM (Pisces Ascendant), transiting Neptune would have been conjunct his Ascendant in 2012 and 2013. Again, based on the major life events presented above, this was a very significant time of success and recognition. Therefore this transit just doesn't make sense.
Further tr. Pluto would have been conjunct his Midheaven in 2001, but again releasing an album and producing a hit for Britney Spears doesn't cut it for this kind of a transit. After all, Williams writes, produces and collaborates songs for many artists.
When transiting Pluto hits the Angles of a horoscope, we expect major life events personally and professionally, such as those that occurred in 2012 and 2013 when Williams married, released his huge hit, "Happy" shooting him into stardom, and wrote and produced the hit, "Blurred Lines," which ended up causing a major scandal and expensive lawsuit.
Yes, Pluto transforms us in very significant ways, but it also digs deep to expose whatever needs to be purified and brought into the light. It can bring a person to great heights but also knock them off their pedestal.