Tbe following are answers to a few questions that both those who are new to and those who have some knowledge about Astrology might have. Do you have one that’s not here? Let us know and we’ll try to answer it for you…and add it to the list!

The Prague Astronomical Clock , with Sun, Moon, planets and zodiac calendar, was installed in 1410. We can’t help but wonder how accurate the recorded birth times were back then! Photo By: Maros

Why is having my birth time so important? The key to a birth chart is the locations of the Celestial Bodies (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto) and angles/points (North Node) at the exact time of your birth. It is also the only way to accurately determine your Ascendant, or Rising Sign, which in turn determines the houses in which the CBs and Nodes reside in your chart. And, to be fair, even a birth certificate might not be wholly accurate. Things happen during and after that incredible moment. Including forgetting to record the exact time of that moment, which in turn could lead to some fudging on the ‘ole certificate!  If it’s more than a few minutes off of your true birth time, it will produce information that is incorrect. This we would know if there is some information that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It is possible to rectify a chart to come up with the correct birth time, but this is still not the most accurate and it takes more time and will cost more.

What is an Ascendant?  In basic terms, it is the zodiac sign that was rising on the eastern horizon (or the First House) at the time of your birth. The traits and qualities of this sign manifest in your outward appearance to others. By knowing what is in your First House, we can determine what Houses (there are 12 total) everything else falls into in your chart. If we only have your birth date and year, we can determine the signs of your CBs but not the Houses or degrees. For more detail on this and the basic structure of a birth chart, read the post, Basic Architecture of a Birth Chart.

How do I get my birth certificate? If you were born in the United States, contact the county records office for the city in which you were born. Generally, you can go to that county’s website and you can find a page regarding birth certificates. There you’ll find instructions and related fees on how to request your birth certificate. Some even offer an online service to order them through, but it costs more.  In European countries, some hospitals might still maintain copies, but usually they will refer you to the city court, registrar or administrative office for the city or district in which you were born. If you use the good old fashion snail mail route, the process can take 10 days or more (especially if you are ordering one from overseas).  However, you can speed it up if you order it via an online option, if available, simply because you save time on the front end by not having to mail the request to them. It will still be sent to you via regular mail.

Can’t they just give me my birth time over the phone? Oh, that would be nice, but we’re pretty sure you will be met with a firm “No”…

Isn’t just reading a daily horoscope about my Sun sign all I need?  While daily horoscopes for your Sun sign can be entertaining, they are a superficial treatment. First, because your Sun sign describes only a part of who you are. There are two other critical astrological signs to your personality: the Moon and Ascendant (or Rising) signs. Second, the daily horoscopes do not take into account the position—and, as a result, the signs and houses—of the Celestial Bodies in your birth chart.  So, while now and then,  a daily interpretation might hit the nail on the head, it is speaking in general terms of your Sun sign only. Just that logic alone begs the question: How can everyone who is that sign, have the same prediction for the day when there are so many other variables?

I’m afraid to have my chart done because can’t you see “bad” things in it?  This is a good question and actually warrants an article devoted to it. But, for now, we’ll keep it simple. The information a birth chart imparts is treated objectively — a planet or house or sign is not good or bad. Just as a definition of a word does not make the word good or bad. 2) At we believe in free will, that we have some choice in how we lead our lives, and thus it is a variable that can significantly affect outcomes.

Remember, it is our goal to give you information to use as a helpful tool in reaching your potential. What you do with it is up to you. For instance (and again simply speaking), if we were doing a Major Transiting Planets Analysis against your birth chart, and certain transiting celestial bodies aspect your chart in such a way that they indicate an environment for accidents, such as in a car, etc., then it is our hope that you will choose to be more cautious than normal when driving while the transit is in effect. Don’t run that yellow light like you might normally do. Look both ways when the light turns from red to green before driving through an intersection. So you see, that kind of information, seemingly “bad” on the surface, is actually a good thing!

What if some of the information you tell me makes no sense at all? Well, there are several possibilities here. First, if a majority of it is way off base, we’d make sure we have your accurate information, including your exact birth time. If you didn’t get your birth time from a birth certificate, but it is the time your mother thinks you were born, it could be that the time is wrong. So, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to acquire your birth time from your birth certificate. And as we mentioned earlier, if that’s not available, we can rectify your chart but that is more involved and still not foolproof. Second, say we do have all the accurate information and we see several things in your chart that indicate that you are likely to work from your home, but you don’t and you’ve never had the desire to.  That doesn’t mean it won’t happen down the road.  Our lives unfold over the course of a lifetime. And so it is with a birth chart. Indicators can point to something that occurred in your youth, that is occurring now or that will occur later in your life.

What is the difference between my natal planets and “transiting” planets? First, when we say “planets” we say this loosely and also mean it to include luminaries (Sun and Moon) and significant points or angles (North Node). So we will reference them as Celestial Bodies. Each one of us has the same CBs in our birth charts. Everyone has a Sun, a Moon, a Mercury, and so forth. The difference is in their positions at the time of each person’s birth. Imagine that a chart’s wheel is like a lock’s tumbler, you “turn” it until it clicks into place, finding the  “combination” for the celestial bodies at your birth time. And there they will remain for your entire lifetime. Maybe a simpler analogy is that it’s a snapshot or birth print of capturing the sky’s architecture at time of your birth. As a result, if your Sun sign is 16 degrees Libra in the 6th House, it will always be 16 degrees Libra in the 6th House. If your Mars is 13 degrees Pisces in the 12th House at the time of your birth, your natal Mars will always and forever be 13 degrees Pisces in your 12th House (that planet of action is going nowhere!) This snapshot or birth print is exactly what we look at in the Birth Personality Profile.

Now, onto transiting “celestial bodies”. First, celestial bodies are not “ours,” they are the universe’s. As you know, the celestial bodies are constantly in motion, or orbit. When one or more of these transit, or come into  contact with, one or more of our natal celestial bodies, during its orbit, this contact might impact you in some way. This is exactly what we are looking for in the Major Transiting Planets Analysis….If the transiting CBs are contacting one or more of your natal CBs at a certain time or period of time and, if so, how it might affect you. Look for a future article specifically delineating the Celestial Bodies. But suffice it to say that the transiting CBs, depending on which ones they are, can have brief influences lasting less than a day to several days or even years as they come into contact with each of your natal CBs. Knowing this additional information can be very helpful to each of us in navigating through our lives.

Is Astrology a valid science? Astrology is the study of planets, stars, satellites, and angles, and their positions (astronomy), as they correlate to time of your birth and, thus, your personality. So in that way it’s a correlative science. Your chart is calculated by complex mathematics and angles that show us where the Celestial Bodies are placed, precisely, at the time of your birth. It is how these placements in the sky might affect your personality here on Earth. We have yet to meet anyone who does not think the Moon has no influence on the human psyche. Or even the Sun, for that matter. If the Moon and Sun can effect us, why couldn’t any of the other celestial bodies? You answer, “Well, the Moon is a satellite to the Earth and the Earth a satellite to the Sun, so that’s understandable.” Well, don’t forget that the other eight planets (we consider Pluto a planet still and it will always be a CB) join Earth as satellites to the Sun, too. So how can we logically say with surety that the others don’t have any impact on us? Astronomy is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, sciences around that identifies and explains the “sky”. Astrology basically is its offspring, offering meaning of this “sky” to humans. True, there might not be a body of testable explanations…after all you’re dealing with the human psyche and they’re called celestial bodies for a reason. Still conflicted? Maybe this will help: ask yourself if Faith is a science. Astrology is ahead of Faith in that regard (there are no mathematics involved in Faith), though it does take some Faith to open your mind to Astrology and all things human personality. And by the way, how did all those CBs manifest anyway? In the end, if it helps you to better understand yourself and others, does it matter if it is scientific or not?