Getting Started On Your Birth Chart
The first pieces of information a computer program needs to create your birth chart are your date, time, and place of birth.
The time of your birth
The time of your birth should be as exact as possible. As little as a few minutes can mean the difference in the sign or house in which a planet appears, and this can be a significant difference.
If you are unable to determine the exact time, astrologers can do what is known as a rectification of your birth time. A rectification is a consultation in which you tell the astrologer about important events in your life and how you behaved under various conditions. The astrologer can then determine your birth time, by working backwards. Essentially, the process is like finding your birth time by doing variations to your birth chart until events line-up.
In addition to the rectification procedures, another technique can make up for unknown birth time, which is known as a composite refinement. This method will incorporate the most salient points for the 24 hour day of birth, which are applicable to the individual. Using this method is also known as making a solar chart.
You also need the exact location where you were born. Every location on earth can be translated into latitude and longitude, and your birth place must be stated as precisely as possible so that the computer can translate it into these coordinates.
Computer programs for birth charts do the work of a number of books which are important in astrology, including an atlas, book of time zone changes, ephemeris, and table of houses.
- An atlas shows the latitude and longitude of your place of birth.
- A book of time zone changes indicates when and if the place in which you were born switches back and forth between Standard and Daylight Saving Time.
- An ephemeris shows where the planets are everyday at midnight or noon Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich Mean Time is a time standard. It is four hours later than Eastern Daylight Time and five hours later than Eastern Standard Time.
- A table of houses is used to find your ascendant, midheaven, and house cusps. In a table of houses, the charts are arranged in one-degree increments of longitude. Most people were born in between these one-degree increments.
Based on your birth information, the computer calculates your house positions.
You can either do your birth chart on your computer, by using the appropriate software package, or you can get your chart done for you. If you chose to get your chart done, there are four options. One, you could have it done at a local metaphysical bookstore. Two, you could send your birth information to a company who does charts by mail. Three, you could consult your local Yellow Pages for “astrologers.” Four, you could find an astrologer on the Internet and arrange for a consultation.