Why An Accurate Birth Time Is Important
Copyright © 2009 - 2017 - Elbert Wade, PMAFA -- Worldwide Rights Reserved Also see: Learn About Horoscope Aspects | Moon's Nodes: North Node and South Node
Horoscope's Sun, Moon, Earth and Eight Other Planets -- Astrologically Considered
Horoscope Facts, Figures and Symbols | Part of Fortune: Pot of Gold -- or Not?
TOO often professional consultant astrologers, when asking for a client's time of birth, get such responses as these: "I was born between 3 and 4 AM." "I am not certain but it was around 8:30 PM." "Some time around noon." "I don't know but it was before midnight."
What's the serious consultant astrologer supposed to do? I certainly can't speak for everyone, but I will not attempt to "guess" anyone's birth time, and will decline accepting an order with such broad uncertainty regarding birth time. I had much rather lose the "business" than to read a horoscope which does not actually belong to that client. It is not right or fair. Not right to accept the client's payment and deliver a flawed reading; not fair to risk losing the opportunity to perform future services for that client, and lose the potential referrals that client might send if they had gotten what they paid for -- an in-depth delineation (explanation/reading) of an accurate horoscope (birth chart).
I always encourage these "uncertain-birth-time" potential clients to use every means possible to find an accurate time of birth, including: finding and consulting their birth certificate (which, unfortunately, especially if the birth was over 50 years ago, may not be that accurate); checking county or parish records; contacting their mother (or father), older siblings; contacting the attending physician's office or birth hospital; checking the family bible, 'baby book'; asking and searching local newspaper(s) archived files (microfish or other). Also, don't forget anyone -- other relatives, neighbors, friends of your mother (or father) who might actually have been present or very attentive or informed regarding your birth. (See: Resolving Unknown Birth-Times Problems for additional helpful hints and suggestions, plus techniques for getting more accurate birth-time information from others.)
You should be able to order (and pay for) an official copy of your birth certificate (US only) here.
Why all the concern about accuracy of the birth time? Simply because a natal horoscope calculated and read is actually revalent only to the degree that the birth time (hour and minute) is accurate. Blame the 'time' problem mainly on the Earth's rotation on its axis. Here are some very important details:
1) Each 4 minutes a new degree of a particular zodiac sign appears on the ascendant, (eastern horizon) and consequently an opposite-sign new degree appears on the decendant (western horizon), and most likely the midheaven (straight up) and the nadir (straight down), and this could possibly make sign changes on some or all the other eight horoscope house signs -- depending importantly on the latitude of the birth place.
2) Each clock hour Earth rotates 15 degree -- a full half a zodiac sign; in two hours 30 degrees -- a full zodiac sign.
3) Often the situation is further complicated because of the possibility of sign interceptions in two or more houses.
4) In some cases a 2 minute birth-time error could actually make the ascendant another sign (often happens with multiple births -- making for quite different personalities) -- and possibly cause other important horoscopic changes.
5) A wrong birth time could (depending on the size of the time error) result in the following possible horoscope errors: A different ascendant (rising sign) -- or a different decan of the same sign, and a different descendant (seventh-house sign/ruler) -- or a different decan of the same sign; different midheaven and nadir signs, different signs on some or all other houses; one or more planets in different houses; possibly place some planets in different signs (in some cases, even the Sun-Sign could change -- for example: change from Aries to Taurus, Taurus to Gemini, Gemini to Cancer, Cancer to Leo, Leo to Virgo, Virgo to Libra, Libra to Scorpio, Scorpio to Sagittarius, Sagittarius to Capricorn, Capricorn to Aquarius, Aquarius to Pisces); cancel one or more aspects (place out-of-orb), or create new aspects. Consider this astounding fact: There are potentially 1,440 -- 24 (hours) times 60 (minutes) -- different horoscopes for any single day a person is born at any one specific geographical location. Without any doubt, a correct birth time is of the utmost importance for a valid and worthwhile natal horoscope reading.
The following are comments excerpted from another page on this site: Horoscope Facts, Figures and Symbols.
"Each Sign = 30 degrees, times 12 Signs = 360 degrees (a full circle of the heavens around Earth) Note: While each sign is 30 degrees wide, the constellations may vary -- especially when viewed from areas closer to the Earth's north and south poles; therefore, many charts will have two (or more) houses with "intercepted" signs, meaning there are three (or more) different signs (wholly or partially) within these houses.
"For those not born on the Earth's equator (imaginary line drawn around Earth separating it into two equal parts, the northern and southern hemispheres), the further the birthplace is north or south of the equator, the greater the liklihood of some of the horoscope's houses stretching beyond 30 degrees, thus causing other houses to contract to less than thirty degrees. This must be the case since there are only 360° (degrees) in a complete circle. If even one house stretches to say 45° (actually it will be two houses since the opposite house will also be stretched to 45°), then some other houses, of absolute necessity, will be reduced in size (space) in order to allow for the extra degrees used by the oversized (more than 30°) houses."
If a natal horoscope (also known as geniture, natus, nativity, radix) with such errors (in whole or in part) is read for a client it will not be that individual's horoscope and is not likely to "fit" or please the client. Consequently, it's unlikely that client will have any further interest or confidence in the science-art Astrology. [Personal experience observation: After over more than 40 years in my practice as a professional consultant astrologer I have found if I read a correct-time natal chart, that client will be very pleased, will return every year for a trends update, and that client will send new clients. If the birth time is wrong -- as suspected because too much of the reading does not "fit" that client the way Astrology teaches it should -- it's unlikely that client will return, or refer; instead they will go, unsatisfied, from one astrologer to another, or lose interest in Astrology. I know this is true because so many of my clients have stayed with me year after year for over 30 years; they would not have done so if Astrology didn't "work." Sadly, many have not. Unfortunately for the client, astrologers and Astrology, clients with major birth-time errors may never be heard from again.]
Shopping For A Bargain 'Quickie' Horoscope Online? Think About This
At best computer-generated horoscope reports (so-called personalized readings) are of little if any value because of their "canned" and "one-size-fits-all" mechanical nature. To add insult to injury, most (perhaps all) of these online "horoscope" merchants -- in an attempt to sell more products -- encourage you to use noon (or perhaps 6 AM) for your birth time if you don't know. Please don't waste your money to buy such misinformation.
If you read, understand and consider the factual information above, you won't even think of purchasing such a totally inaccurate and all but worthless "horoscope." You'd be much better off -- financially and save being misled, influenced and frustrated by wrong information -- just forgetting about having your horoscope done at all. [For example, see what a difference 4 hours and 34 minutes can make in a natal chart. CLICK HERE TO COMPARE. . Do you still want to buy a "noon" horoscope?]
There is a process called birth-time rectification ('to make right' or to find the actual hour and minute of birth) which could be used if all other suggestions listed above have left serious doubt about your time of birth.
Most consultant astrologers (including Elbert Wade) decline to do this because it is so time-consuming and consequently expensive for the client. Finding the birth time with this process requires the client to list several exact dates of important events in the life to the present. These include such things as marriage, divorce, birth of children, major health-related issuses (operations, accidents, illnesses), death of family members, long-distance travel, legal events, changes of residence, graduations, certifications, career changes, etc. (If you choose to go this route, research and exercise care to report all events' dates accurately.)
On search engines, using the term birth time rectification, it's likely you will find mainly Vedic astrologers advertising this service, some boasting they can find (rectify) birth time to the exact second. (Somehow such "exactness" seems somewhat questionable to me.) However, I can't be certain since I have never used or known anyone who used their services. Their fees seem to start at about $45.
You may find some individual astrologers who claim to rectify birth time, charging from $100 to $150 -- and up.
As suggested above, I strongly recommend you first exhaust every other means to discover your birth time before paying for a professional rectification. After all, I really doubt any of the "rectifying" astrologers offers any type of guarantee regarding accuracy -- and where do you stand on proving an error when you have absolutely no real evidence. [The only real way you will know if their rectified birth time is correct is after you have your natal horoscope read by an experienced professional cousultant astrologer -- and it "fits."] Good luck on your quest.