When you consult an astrologer, you’re always asked for three things. Your date of birth, your time of birth and your place of birth.
Astrologers will say that a chart reading is of limited use without a time of birth, for a number of reasons.
We need to know what areas of life are going to be affected by the Sun, the Moon and the planets. We do this with reference to the physical horizon, and the horizon will do a complete circle in twenty-four hours.
So all things being equal, a person born at midday will be very focused on being successful, while someone born at midnight will be more introspective, and might put security before success.
There is also the question of the rising sign. This is the sign that is on the eastern horizon at birth, and it describes our persona, and the way in which we interface with the outside world.
On average, the rising sign, often known as the ascendant, changes sign every two hours. It’s therefore important to have some idea of what time you were born.
As far as making predictions is concerned, timing is crucial. In Western astrology one of the main predictive systems works on the basis that approximately four minutes of time equates to one year of life. So for every minute that your birth time is out, the prediction will be out by three months.
However I’m not convinced that a totally accurate birth time is always required. If you’ve got your birth time to within quarter of an hour that should be enough, and if you don’t require predictions, and you’re only interested in character analysis, then a rough time is often good enough. Such as ‘early morning’, or ‘late afternoon’.
Which brings me to the people I write about in some of my articles. Although I can often get hold of accurate birth times for enduringly famous people, I frequently have to deal with charts with no birth time whatsoever. So how can I justify using such charts?
I would argue that if you have someone’s date of birth, you can tell a great deal. You will know what sign most, if not all, of the planets are in, and if this person has done something incredible, extraordinary or terrible, you can use their non-timed horoscope to try to make sense of what has happened.
To go back to my original question, I believe that astrologers are able to work with only a birth-date, provided they and their clients understand the limitations of what they’re doing. You’ll get the broad picture, but detailed predictions will be thin on the ground.
Copyright © 2010 Archie Dunlop
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