Getting Started With Rectification: Trutine of Hermes and Animodar

Chart rectification can be a very involved process. Quite often a birth certificate has a time that is either on the hour or half hour. It is sure to be rounded, as the chances of being born exactly at these times is possible but highly unlikely. How does one begin? Where can one find a basic orientation? One possibility is to use the Trutine of Hermes as a first step. I would like to demonstrate this technique with a chart from my files (it is not my own).

The Trutine of Hermes has as a working premise that the placement of the Moon at the time of birth is that of the Ascendant at conception, and that the degree of the Ascendant at birth is that of the Moon at conception. But how does one find the date of conception? Lilly discusses the method on pp.502-505 of his Christian Astrology.

  1. First we need to locate the Moon in the unrectified chart, let us call it the ‘base chart’. Is it above or below the horizon?
  2. Next we need to calculate the distance from Moon to Ascendant (if the Moon is under the horizon) and from Moon to Descendant (if the Moon is above the horizon)
  3. After that we refer to the table provided by Lilly (If the Moon is above the horizon every twelve degrees between Moon and Descendant  is incremented by a day, beginning with 258 days gestation. If the Moon is below the horizon each 12 degrees between Moon and Ascendant is incremented by one day, beginning with a gestation period of 273 days – you can refer to the article The Moon and Gestation here at Altair Astrology for more detail)
  4. Once we have the number of days of gestation we need to find the day. Convert the birth date into the Julian day and then subtract the gestation period, then convert this Julian Day back to the Georgian date. The Calendar Converter at fourmilab can do this, but most astrology software should have this function.
  5. Once we have the date we can refer to an ephemeris and see if the Moon is indeed near the Ascendant degree of the base chart.
  6. If it is, then we can use the rectify function of our astrology programme to enter the Moon’s position as the Ascendant for the day found.
  7. What is the Moon’s position for the conception chart? We note this, then we recalculate our base chart with this degree as the Ascendant and note what the birth time would be for this new position. In fact this chart is now our new ‘base chart’ and we can use it for checking primary directions.

Now for the example. This is for a base chart with a birthdate of April 6, 1959. The time is 4:00 GMT 10e59 49n28. The Ascendant is at 18 Pisces 19, the Moon at 23 Pisces 37. This is all we need to know.

  1. The Moon is below the horizon
  2. The distance from Moon to Ascendant is 5 deg 18 minutes
  3. This distance is closest to 0 signs 0 degrees from the Ascendant. The gestation period is 273 days
  4. Convert April 6, 1959 into the Julian date = 2436664. Subtract 273. 2436664 – 273 = 2436391. Convert back to the Georgian date. This is July 6, 1958
  5. Refer to ephemeris. On July 6, 1958 at midnight the Moon was at 10 Pisces 17 . This is close to the degree of the Ascendant and worth pursuing further.
  6. Using the rectification function of my software I place 23 Pisces 37 on the Ascendant for July 6, 1958. The Moon is at 21 Pisces 26
  7. Still using my rectification function I adjust the Ascendant of my base chart to 21 Pisces 26 (I make sure I have the base chart! 🙂 ).
  8. This gives a birth time of 4:05 GMT, which is about 5 minutes from the birth time of the base chart. This is a reasonable time to use as a new birth time. Now I can begin looking at the primary directions for selected events

Once we have an adjusted time using the Trutine of Hermes it is a good idea to check it using the Animodar. This is a very quick check as all we have to do is see what degree the Moon was at the syzygy (i.e. New or Full Moon) before birth. In the chart used above the previous Full Moon was on March 24, 1959. It was at 3 Libra 26. This information can also be found in an ephemeris. Which planet has the most dignities at 3 Libra? Both Venus and Saturn are candidates. (Venus in domicile, Saturn by exaltation and term) Now in the base chart both Venus and Saturn are strong. If we check their positions we find Venus at 19 Taurus and Saturn at 6 Capricorn. Now 19 degrees is close to (and between) both the base Ascendant (18 degrees Pisces) and the adjusted Ascendant at 21 Pisces. So our adjusted Ascendant is a good base. I have ignored Saturn as his degree is neither close to Ascendant or Midheaven of the base chart.

In the next article I will do some of the initial calculations for primary directions for the adjusted birthtime of our example.


14 thoughts on “Getting Started With Rectification: Trutine of Hermes and Animodar

  1. Hello Thomas, what an interesting subject!

    If it can be useful I checked my notes, and we can even consider aspects to the sizygy in order to decide which is the ruler and which planet has most rights.

    In your chart Saturn is squaring syzygy, while Venus is inconjunct, true? I almost became mad to cast a chart without a place to put in SF, shame on you 🙂

    But yes, if Saturn is far both from the degree of Ascendant and the degree of MC, we have no choice, I agree with you.

    Now let’s see directions…..


  2. Hello Margherita,

    Yours will be the first comment that is answered with the new email answer function. So far it hasn’t arrived! LOL Maybe the first comment will arrive sometime tomorrow…

    Thank you for looking into your notes. Could you tell us please what SF means?

    best regards,

    PS the next part of my comment should arrive soon…………………………

  3. Hello Margherita,

    There are always choices to be made, and as we have learned the chart will usually give the conclusive clue…

    best regards,

  4. I always agree with good sense words.
    And with the fact that just directions could give a confirmation.

    SF is simply Solar Fire, it hates the fact one doesn’t say where s/he is.
    And in every case I have my technique to discover secret places 🙂


  5. Hello Thomas,

    Very nice article! A technical question: when the Moon is above the horizon, don’t we take the distance from the Descendant rather than the Ascendant (see Step #3 above)? Your article on the Moon and Gestation implies as much.

    How would you proceed if the Trutine and Animodar don’t match up?



  6. Hello Christopher!

    Thank you for pointing this out. Very perceptive of you. Now there is a reader that any author would wish for! 🙂 It is as you say. If the Moon is above the horizon the distance is taken from the Descendant. I will change the article accordingly so that this is clearer!

    If there is no match between Trutine and Animodar, I would look at how large the difference is. Also which one gives a more plausible time for a birth-certificate notation. If the Trutine is off by six hours then it might be a good idea to check the calculations or consider the MC . Each chart holds its measure. Do you have a chart where there are no correspondences. Please send the details. It would prove to be very interesting.

    best regards,

  7. Greetings Thomas!

    Here’s a chart that might present an exception: Natus, Nov. 8, 1965; 14:48 CST +6:00; Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; 88W27 33N39. Ascendant 2 Aries 09. Moon 12 Taurus 22. The SAN is conjunctional in 00 Scorpio.

    The Trutine date and time are Feb. 5, 1965, 10:48:29 AM CST +6:00. This confirms the recorded birth time to the minute, with an adjustment to 14:48:02. But then we’d expect precision from a military hospital!

    However, if I’ve understood the procedure, the Animodar would have us adjust the MC to the degree of Mars (25 Sagittarius 55), giving him an Ascendant in 22 Pisces. This would require a birth time correction of almost a half hour. Not implausible, but it seems a stretch.

    I’d be interested to see how you would tackle this.

    All the best,

  8. Greetings Christopher!

    Thank you for sharing this chart. I will certainly look into it and get back to you soon, probably a follow up article would be the best.

    best regards,

    • Hello Paiva,
      Thank you for your comment. One has to start somewhere. So it is best to take the time given and see where it leads. After that begins the more time consuming process of adjusting the chart.

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