In the beginning the first astrologers knew what brain scientists and geneticists have only recently learned: that when you go exploring you need a good map. And in the ancient past they discovered a map that facilitated the exploration and study of the human mind.
Their map of the heavens, once called a horoscope or nativity, is known today as the birth chart. It’s the hallmark of astrology and you have a birth chart.
The mind your chart maps is a complex thought system with a lot of moving parts. It’s an organized body of thoughts, feelings and impulses and those that stream into your brain and attain objective consciousness constitute your conscious mind and those that don’t constitute your unconscious mind; and your unconscious or not-conscious mind is your soul.
Your not-conscious soul-mind is where your backstory, as states of consciousness, is saved in memory and your past, present and future is neatly packaged in your birth chart. So it’s the best tool ever for acquiring self-knowledge. It knows more about you than you do and Aquarian Age technology has made its calculation fast and accurate.
There are some backward thinkers who claim that knowledge of the chart’s construction ensures a better understanding of its data but that’s delusional nonsense.
You don’t need to know how to write a book to know how to read it; you don’t need to know how to build a car to know how to drive it; and you don’t need to know how to calculate your birth chart to know how to assess its data and understand what it has to say about you. Its calculation is complex and time-consuming and best left to computer-age technology.
For your information…
The calculation of your birth chart starts with your standard time of birth. Corrections are made to find your sidereal time, and equivalent Greenwich Mean Time, of birth. A reference book called a Table of Houses provides data pertaining to signs on house cusps. They’re calculated for your sidereal time of birth. A reference called an Ephemeris provides data pertaining to the planets positions. They’re calculated for your equivalent Greenwich Mean Time of birth. The math is tricky and complex and very few people have learned how to calculate an accurate chart.
In 1900 it didn’t matter: an accurate chart was considered unnecessary. Birth times were mostly speculative so fortune-tellers applied Ptolemy’s astrology to inaccurate and unreliable charts. The promotion of easy-to-understand Sun-sign astrology was inevitable and successful.
In 1930 the only organization teaching students to calculate a birth chart correctly was Elbert Benjamine’s Church of Light in Los Angeles, California and there were very members who could master the math. It was a major problem as it severely hampered the widespread use and application of its astrological product – Hermetic astrology.
The scientizing of Hermetic astrology was a 30 year project. It required the statistical analysis of accurately constructed birth charts and the 5,800 charts used in phase-1 of the Church of Light’s astrological research were calculated by Lenora Conwell. She holds the world record for calculating charts. There has been no astrological research done since 1954 so Hermetic astrology’s knowledge base has been at a standstill since then.
There’s no doubt that the calculation of the birth chart using computer technology was the best thing to happen to astrology. It has allowed untold numbers of people, who otherwise wouldn’t, to have easy access to their own charts.
If you believe your birth chart is a just an array of mystical symbols that have no personal importance or relevance then any chart will do. But if you believe it’s a map of your astrological heritage, character, life here and now and destiny as a participant in God’s great cosmic scheme then it should be calculated for reliable birth data.
This data is your time, date and place of birth and a chart calculated for reliable birth data and the Placidus house cusp system will depict an accurate astro-image of your character and facilitate your exploration of your soul.
The onus is on you to track down your birth data and ensure that it is as accurate as possible and while your birth date won’t be a problem your time and place of birth may require some investigation.
When were you born?
Hopefully your birth time is recorded on your birth certificate or some other written document; but if there’s no written record you will have to rely on your mother’s memory or the recollections of other family members.
Whatever… your birth chart should be calculated for this time; but here you confront a problem that currently has no solution.
From an astrological perspective your birth time is not the time recorded on your birth certificate or saved in someone’s memory. It’s the moment – the minute and second – you took your first breath and a chart that’s calculated for this time is your absolutely accurate birth chart.
But it’s highly likely that your true birth moment – the time you took your very first breath – is not the time recorded on your birth certificate so the chart that’s calculated for your recorded birth time, which is a freeze-frame of a perpetually moving sky-scape, will be slightly different to your true birth chart.
This time difference could be seconds or minutes but as it increases so do the chances for the chart calculated for your recorded birth time to provide life-data that is not quite reliable.
Any error, which specifically relates to the house positions of the planets, will become evident when you’re assessing your chart and find that chart-data is not verified by real-life experience.
It’s an unfortunate fact that you will never know for sure the precise moment your life as a human soul commenced. And this problem, which confronts everyone, will only be solved when it’s recognized that the moment a baby takes its very first breath is its true birth time and the time that should be recorded to the second.
Where were you born?
Place influences your chart’s accuracy so you should track down the precise suburb or town where you were born. And if you wish you can determine its exact latitude-longitude coordinates.
But be aware that your birth time – not your birth place – is by far the more important factor influencing your chart’s accuracy. That’s because the Earth rotates through one minute of longitude in 4 seconds of time and one angular minute of longitude on the Earth’s surface equals 1.2 miles or 1.8 kilometers.
And finally you need to confirm the time zone of your birth place.
Your may have been born when Daylight Savings Time was in effect but the chart calculation program should automatically consider this contingency.
You need to know that the computer calculated birth chart you’re observing is far superior to the hand calculated charts used in the near and distant past and that not quite reliable birth data will calculate a chart that provides character and life data that is also not quite reliable.
That’s why it’s important to have birth data that is as close to error free as possible.
Your computer calculated birth chart
At first glance you’ll observe that your birth chart is a circle that has lines and strange symbols placed in and around it.
It actually depicts a wheel with 12 spokes with each spoke ending in a strange symbol accompanied by a number and some of the spaces between the spokes contain symbols accompanied by a number.
It looks quite unintelligible and there are some oddities.
Like any sky-map it’s divided into two equal halves by the horizon. The top half displays the visible sky and the bottom half displays the sky that is below the horizon; but unlike other maps – even the road map you consult when traveling – the top represents the south and the left side is the east.
The spokes divide the circle into 12 segments called mundane houses.
The term mundane means of, or relating to, or typical of this world and a house is a dwelling place. So the term mundane house identifies a section of your birth chart pertaining to the affairs of earthly life where a planet may or may not dwell.
The point where a spoke meets the outer circle is called a house cusp.
The houses are numbered 1 through 12. The point on the eastern horizon is called the ascendant; and the south point – the apex of the chart – is called the Midheaven
The zodiac signs and planets are depicted by their astrological symbols so in order to identify them you will have to learn and memorize their symbols. This is not difficult.
The inner circle symbolizes the Earth and your place of birth and the outer circle depicts the entire zodiac belt. A degree and minute of a zodiac sign is located on each house cusp.
Occasionally a zodiac sign appears on two house cusps and two signs or maybe four appear to be missing, but they’re not. They’re actually located in sequence between the signs located on the house cusps.
These apparently missing signs are referred to as intercepted. The qualities of an intercepted sign are latent or dormant and only express under environmental stress. You may have intercepted signs in your birth chart.
Each planet is placed in the chart – between the small inner circle representing the Earth and the large outer circle representing the zodiac – in the degree and minute of the zodiac it actually occupies, which then locates it in a house.
These mundane houses represent life-matters and by coordinating the zodiac signs and planets with the affairs and activities of life your birth chart maps your backstory and indicates the trajectory of your character development and life story due to previous experience.
Each planet not only wanders along the zodiac belt – its zodiacal position – but has a movement north and south of the celestial equator – the projection into space of the Earth’s equator. And this position, as so many degrees and minutes north or south of the celestial equator, is called its declination.
Through investigative research Hermetic astrology discovered that the ascendant and Midheaven in many respects act like planets and their declination positions are also calculated.
Occasionally a planet, not the Sun or Moon, due to its rate of motion in relation to the Sun and Earth, appears to reverse its forward motion and move backwards through the zodiac. It’s just an illusion caused by differences in the planet’s orbital speed so no planet actually moves backwards.
In your birth chart a retrograde planet is marked with the letter R.
A retrograde planet indicates a not-conscious repression or repressed desire and not a past life karmic misfortune as is commonly believed. You may have one or more retrograde planets in your birth chart.
Fortune-tellers who have no understanding of scientific astrology place any number of non-astrological effects in birth charts to stimulate their hunches, feelings and psychic impressions to divine events. But as your birth chart is a map of your not-conscious soul-mind it should only depict astrological markers that observation and statistical research confirm transmit astrological vibrations and have identifiable equivalents in your thought and feeling world.
Your computer calculated birth chart should not picture the Moon’s Nodes, Chiron, Vulcan, Transpluto, asteroids such as Ceres and Juno, any of the fixed stars, the part of fortune, other so called sensitive Arabian points, the east point or midpoints because these objects and things don’t have identifiable equivalents in your not-conscious soul-self and don’t transmit observable astrological vibrations.
Your computer calculated birth chart is all about you and you should get to know it very well. You should observe it regularly and study its lay out. Get to know the planets and where they are located by sign and house.
Your chart is a pattern of astrological energies that have their correlates in your not-conscious soul-mind. It’s a map of your soul and its data pertains to your innate qualities and abilities, life here and now, and glorious destiny. It’s your only source of a personal truth.
Astrology for Aquarius – sharing our knowledge