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birthtime fallacy

"astrological dogma "

© 2001-2019 John J. Falone

All serious astrologers, at some point, consider joining a professional organization designed to maintain standards of practice. However, reading the "fine print," reveals a very peculiar stipulation, almost an "oath," that actually forbids any member to EVER accept a client or even engage in "reading" or analyzing a chart when the birth-time cannot be verified! (for the layman; do not confuse the "birth-time" with the "birth-day")

This stipulation raises some serious issues that are counterintuitive to the vast archives of human knowledge through time. Let us take, for example, the time of Nostradamus, an indisputable master of the craft. Clearly, in his day, a birth time was, by far, the exception to the rule, as only the wealthiest of individuals possessed a timepiece. Moreover, many who had the means to document a birth time, had no reason to do so.

As you might guess, over many centuries, the current dogma regarding birth-times would clearly have eliminated almost every person from having an accurate and viable astrology reading. Obviously, Nostradamus managed to be quite prescient without such limitations.

So how is it that modern astrologers came to regard an absolute, accurate birth time as their statistical "holy grail," without which an accurate reading, indeed, any reading, is considered taboo, or even some form of professional heresy?

The answer is that it became so only upon the "discovery," more accurately the realization, that the "Rising Sign," or the sign (constellation) appearing on the Eastern horizon at the moment of one's birth, yielded important clues to a person's personality traits. This realization was quickly adopted as the new dogma that modern astrology claimed to be a superior evolutionary technique.

However, there was a very large "fly" in the ointment. A person's so-called rising sign, also termed the "ascendant," changed with the rotational speed of the Earth, rather than the position of the Earth in the Solar system. That means that a person's ascendant Sign changed roughly every 2 hours! But it gets worse, when we consider a person born toward the end of one rising sign and/or the beginning of another. Because it implies that a discrepancy of a mere minutes in a person's moment of birth can make the difference in which sign is considered a person's ascendant sign!

flawed Assumption 1

In truth, there are some critical flaws in this concept of a rising-sign, or ascendant, as a fundamental premise of modern astrology. So, we must first question the assumptions underlying the concept of the moment of birth.

The first fundamental consideration is: what exactly constitutes the "moment" of birth? Almost everyone, including most astrologers, believe that the moment of birth is a foregone conclusion. However, upon scrutiny, we find only unsubstantiated assumptions and no definitive facts upon which to make them.

Given the critical timing of a few minutes difference of a person's birth-time in determining the ascendant, or Rising Sign, that common assumption becomes subject to a confused debate. In other words, is the moment of birth: when the baby's head appears? Its entire body? When it cries, or takes its first breath? Or is it during the passage through the birth canal? we could go on, but you get the point. The fact is that these fundamental questions have ever been definitively answered.

Flawed Assumption 2

In addition to the debatable questions stated above, we are confronted with another assumption, regarding the moment of birth—the numerical notation on the birth certificate. Again, the validity of such a document is only assumed to be accurate, as if it were written in stone, as it were. However, the reality is that a birth certificate, as official as it is clamed to be, is not based upon a failsafe procedure.

 In other words, no doctor, nurse or other personnel involved in the actual moment of birth (even assuming we agree on when that is) is bound by any protocol, procedure, or law that guarantees its veracity! Moreover, there is no single individual dedicated to and responsible for an absolute, precise notation of a birth-time.

Again, we assume such things, but we do not know for sure. The fact is that, even during a normal birth, noting the time is NOT a priority in such a critical moment. And it most certainly is NOT a priority during an emergency, whereby the life of the mother and/or the baby hangs in the balance. The reality is that someone may or may not glance at a clock or a watch (assuming those are properly set) at the moment of birth.

This also raises the question of memory. That is, since there is NO precise procedure to document a birth-time at that exact moment, someone present must "remember" the time. So, when is it written down? The answer is that the time of birth is actually noted after the fact, sometimes hours, or even days later when the forms are filled out. Therefore, the actual time of birth is subject to the memory of someone on the hospital staff.

True Progress

That is not to say that astrology has not advanced during this galactic phase of our civilization, or that there is no room for discoveries. Indeed, astrology has evolved and continues to reveal powerful and important new insights into our natures in this dimension. Let us consider this progress for a moment.

We have come full circle to the opening statements in this consideration of birth-times as the primary indicator of a person's rising Sign or ascendant. To give credit where it is due, such a calculation is not without merit. Indeed, the research of many reputable and brilliant astrologers have indicated that the ascendant sign of a person can reveal some very unique insights. But that is not the point of this analysis. True progress is in discovering new knowledge and techniques that are more inclusive and universal, rather than exclusive and limited.

The first obvious example of true progress is the discovery of new or otherwise unknown planetary bodies such as Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846), Pluto (1930), and the many very important asteroids such as Chiron (1977), and many others.

The second obvious example is the advent of cheap computing power that opened new doors of powerful research by which to further validate the meta-science of astrology as an indispensable tool for understanding the human psyche, among other important events in life on this planet.

The third, and not so obvious example is a manifestation of the second one, which actually reinvents and improves some ancient techniques that successfully served astrology without the need for an absolute, accurate birth-time. This cutting edge research, largely pioneered by the Magi Society, dispenses with the dogma and arguments of an accurate birth-time, focusing instead on planetary geometry as its primary technique for analyzing charts.

Unifying Truth

Clearly, the solution to all this confusion, belief systems, dogma, and other perceptual biases is to avoid polarizing truth; that one concept must be wrong so that another can be right. Thus, the theory of the ascendant, or rising sign, that sets the position of the Zodiac wheel, is worthy of consideration, to be sure. However, it is not the "Holy Grail" of astrological techniques.

The principle reason that many astrologers adopted the aforementioned technique with fundamentalist fervor was a result of desperation to acquire a higher degree of accuracy in interpreting charts. In other words, astrologers found themselves with a tool-set that was too limited to account for the complexity of life. Thus, the principle of the ascendancy, requiring an accurate birth-time notation, grew as a result of its widespread use in our western society, providing, in turn, another tool, so desperately needed for all the above reasons.

Therefore, the concept of the Rising Sign, or Ascendant, while worthy of consideration in an astrological reading, should by no means occupy the highest priority in an astrologer's too-set of techniques. Given the ambiguous assumptions regarding birth times, accurate to the minute, we must focus, instead, upon the far more important, and accurate birth-DAY. Doing so prevents the adoption of arbitrary dogma that limits the scope of this most profound and important meta-science.

If we are to apply the highest frequency of metaphysical understanding to the study of astrology, we must realize that all astrological systems of knowledge have varying degrees of veracity that overlap, and should function harmoniously and inclusively, rather than combatively and exclusively.

The Big Picture

In Truth, life is very much analogous to a crystal. In other words, we can describe any facet of a crystal as we view it from different angles—or in this case, different charts or astrological systems—but we are still describing the same life. Different astrological techniques focus predominantly on one set of facets, while another brings a different set of facets in focus.

When we consider that every astrological system is developed in a different culture, astrology itself is subject to the same archetypal influences as individuals on this plane of existence. In other words, it is inevitable that astrological systems, within their societies, cultures, and the practitioners who employ those systems, will find that their particular system emulates one of the archetypes more than another.

Thus, astrological systems have their own personalities. There are some astrological systems that are more Neptunian, while others are more Uranian. So be it. Let us use them all for the ultimate goal of uplifting and empowering all souls who may benefit from its collective insights into the nature of life and their purpose and being within it.

Therefore, all astrology readings offered on this site make use of multiple disciplines, both ancient and time proven, as well as the latest cutting-edge techniques. This approach yields a profound vista of important knowledge that does not require an accurate birthtime. Birthtimes that are submitted are always used, but they are not the focus of the work. Using this methodology prevents gross miscalculations and the risk of basing an entire reading upon the questionable reliability of a birthtime.

"To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven."
These words are powerful, profound and timeless. How is it that we have forgotten the Truth we once knew?


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