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.
- 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?
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Moon is below the horizon
- The distance from Moon to Ascendant is 5 deg 18 minutes
- This distance is closest to 0 signs 0 degrees from the Ascendant. The gestation period is 273 days
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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! 🙂 ).
- 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.