So, I’m an astrologer. Probably considered semi-professional since I do charts for other folks for pay. I also teach classes in beginning astrology. Today’s project is some chart rectification. Rectification is what is used to reverse engineer a chart. Most times I only need to rectify within 24 hours because I don’t have a birth time. But occasionally I will have to narrow down a much broader window.
There are several ways to do this. When it is a chart with no birth time, it is simply finding the houses that each planet belongs in. Usually the client will have a date and a place to work from. But when it is a broader window, for example in cases of adoption, we will have to put the planets into the right signs and degrees also. But for now, the chart I’m working today just needs a birth time.
Before I go into how I do it, I feel I need to say that this is a sort of advanced topic. I’m not a fan of avoiding the advanced stuff because one is new, but in this case there are several core skills that really need to be mastered in order to employ this art. So, if this article seems to go a bit fast, or comes with terms that don’t make sense, don’t give up, just practice those other skills first. I also must add that rectification is not an exact science, not that the rest of astrology is. It is speculative, different astrologers will arrive at different conclusions.
I also must say that rectification should be the last resort. When a client says ‘I don’t know’ try pursuing other avenues. In the case of natal charts, even stories from parents or older siblings may give you morning, evening, middle of the night, etc. Also, always check the official records. In the US each state should maintain something like a Department of Vital Statistics. Contact them, have your client request a copy of their birth certificate. It will cost a bit, but it is worth it. Most other countries have similar offices and record keeping methods. In other cases, again, check stories and legends. There are often clues hidden in many places. Do your research and pay attention to time telling words and descriptions. And of course do good research. Shoddy techniques lead to crappy results.
So, on to my methods for chart rectification. As with many other astrologers, in order to do rectification I use the whole house system. These days I’m even leaning more and more towards using whole house systems all the time. But, that aside, setting the chart with the signs and houses aligning brings the focus of the points for predictive astrology together. For we are simply working the predictions backwards.
The next step is to have a list of predictions to work backwards from. This means you need a list of major life events from your client. Or major events for the case. I prefer to ask for about 10-12 major life events that they have dates for. Spread out, a year or two in between at least is best. I try not to define what a ‘major life event’ is for the client. What they define as major and what makes the impression for them often helps with the rectification. I also explain I just need a brief description for each date, not a biography. For example; 3/12/88 – first child born, 6/14/84 – married, 7/9/80 – changed life paths, chose my new career as a public speaker, etc.
I start with a best guess chart. If they have no idea of the time, then I start with noon that day. If it was morning, then often around 10am, etc. Don’t get attached to this chart, it is hopefully going to change and get narrowed down. But you have to start somewhere. From this best guess chart, I do progressions and transits for each of the dates in the major life events list. I take my best guess chart and do the Arabic parts for all of those that don’t need house cusps for the calculations. I run both day and night calculations if I don’t know which kind of chart it is. For those important ones that do require house cusps, I will often run 12 of them, with each at the beginning or the middle of the sign all the way around the wheel. I have spread sheets set up to do these calculations quickly and easily. Where would we be without computers? If I’m having a tough time, or I’ve got less than I’d like to work with, I will do solar arcs for those dates also. But I tend to not use them as much.
Now, I identify all the sensitive spots in the chart, and eliminate those with natal planets already in them. Stuff happens when the four angles have transits or progressions. So if I’ve got a sensitive spot with no natal planet, it may be one of those four angles. The four angles are the Ascendant, Imum Coeli, Descendant, and Medium Coeli. The points we are looking for to determine birth time.
If I get lucky, I get 3 or more of the points lining up with one time and it is a pretty good indication that that chart is fairly close. Transits to natal planets must be eliminated as explanations for the events.
That sounds like a lot of work and a lot of charts. But, it is the collation of all that data that allows me to basically form a scatter plot and pick out the line that is most likely. If you are lucky and a good guesser you may only have to do this three or four times. Now, remember those stories? There is a downside. Sometimes the same wrong information is repeated again and again until it drowns out the original one. So occasionally, you will need to throw out that original best guess natal chart and try to plot a new one from the data you have, and see if that can match to a better possibility for a natal chart.
It is definitely an imprecise art. But the goal is to make a shot in the dark, with a few points of light to guide you.