(I should like to apologise before I begin today’s article for not posting on Friday, I have been feeling under the weather the last few days.)
One of the abiding joys of my astrological life is the infinitely subtle art of rectification. Some of us are lucky in that we are somehow aware of the exact moment of naissance, but even the most observant of parents might be amiss by some minutes and in fact, often by even more than that if they are not so observant of the exact timings.
So when actually are we born? This ought to be the first question and when you consider the actual prosecution of a birthing there are a few likely candidates. Is it the moment the head pops out? When the whole body is free of the mother? When the cord is cut? These are all possibilities, however, in my view, it is the moment of the first independent breath, which is almost certainly the child’s first cry. It is this very announcement of oneself as a distinct and independent entity that is most crucial.
The reality of childbirth, especially for those of us who are less concerned with astrological issues rarely lends proceedings a great deal of exactitude; indeed, it can often be many minutes after the birth when somebody thinks to look up at the clock, and assuming in all the commotion that the birth happened some 15 minutes ago and rounding it to the nearest quarter hour a time is decided upon that seems more or less accurate and that is noted down. Often, this is a best case scenario: some parents can only recall that it was sometime before lunch and therein lies an entire mountain of uncertainty.
And too there is no question but that the timing of a birth is absolutely crucial, and even an apparently astonishingly accurate time can be considerably off the mark. I have rarely found a case where the purported birth time is especially accurate, and usually this amounts to at least a few degrees of arc in the actual astrology. This might not even be a problem except where one finds an Ascendant in the final or first degrees of a sign, in which case rectification is absolutely necessary since so many factors might otherwise be affected by the outcome. Consider the dilemma of being uncertain as to whether Gemini or Cancer were on the 7th cusp! The likely story would be dangerously different were that to be read incorrectly.
It is for this reason that I would usually ask for a few major event timings from any prospective client before I embarked upon any serious exploration of their astrology, most especially if the time supplied suggested more than one sign on the 1st or the 10th; and of course, for the purpose of accurate prediction an accurate time is beyond essential.
I have worked a great deal with Solar Arcs, and they are powerful and insightful beyond measure. Unquestionably, if the birth time is accurate all manner of events are able to be brought to light with very precise timing indeed. I intend today to delineate a broad methodology of rectification by Solar Arc; there are fine-tuning methods which are a little too advanced for this discussion, however, the expectation of pinpointing a birth time within 3 minutes is absolutely reasonable using this approach.
What it should also demonstrate is that you should not take your own time for granted even if it appears to be very accurate. I will use my own astrology to demonstrate the principles involved and I am sure that if you were to follow these same principles then you would quickly be assured of its veracity in your own case, however, this is a rather advanced method and you will struggle to manage it without the benefit of a computer software package which can calculate the very accurate timings required.
First then, a little about Solar Arcs. These are based upon a development of Ptolemy’s primary directions (wherein the beautiful and arcane day for a year system was first espoused) which he devised in the 2nd Century AD. These formed the basis for Antonius Maginus’ secondary progressions (in around 1600) and this theory was further developed by the great Johannes Kepler in the same period. Refinement after refinement was made, including Naibod’s contribution: the mean motion of the diurnal Solar movement (59°08″) which opened the way for the possibility of a Solar Arc theory. Of course, Solar Arcs only became possible once the accuracy of both mathematical theory and an understanding of orbital mechanics could catch up: the Sun does not move at the same speed every day of the year, so it requires a progression based upon the precise and individual daily movement of the Sun dependent upon which time of year you are born rather than a progression based upon Naibod’s mean daily motion. The system becomes unusable otherwise, unless you happen to be born on the one or two days of the year where the Sun’s daily motion happens to be exactly equal to the Naibod mean.
Fortunately, we do not ever have to worry about this potential discrepancy because our software allows us to be absolutely precise, but put simply, Solar Arc theory rests upon the premise that the year for a day system is absolutely defintive providing it is based upon the solar movement for that particular day, not some generalised constant. Once we have this understanding, we are in business.
Now, before we begin a word about broad strokes. With the rising sign, appearance is invariably pertinent and I have been caught out by this significantly in the past. Receiving an at-first-glance distinctly accurate time should not stop you having a look at that person to ensure that their appearance is a good fit with their rising sign. This is not always helpful with the presence of stressful aspects, tightly configured rising planets and so forth, but it is a good bet that there will be considerable strength lent to this or that candidate sign should two possibilities arise on the basis of appearances alone. Libra and Scorpio rising give entirely different looks of course and invariably Libra has a propensity for pastels while Scorpio likes burgundy and purple in their dress so you will normally be able to tell at a glance which of the two signs is the best bet. Then you can begin on the work of rectification.
This is how it transpired (broadly) in my own case.
I was told by my mother that I was born around 6 am. That’s the best information I had been given and no amount of haranguing her would evince a more accurate response, so I was prepared for a time anywhere between 5.30 and 6.30 with a probability that a time nearer to 6 would be more believable. Immediately I was faced with a dilemma since any time before 6:07 am on the day of my birth gives a Virgo Ascendant, Libra follows that time, so potentially I have both. Of course, my Sun is in Libra, so that might explain my Libran looks while the ruler of my Ascendant were it to be in Libra would be Venus in the first degree of Virgo and conjunct Jupiter in Leo (explaining my propensity for growing long hair), so I was not easily swayed to one sign or the other.
So I employed Solar Arc theory.
First I took a number of significant events in my life and determined to look for these based upon the Arc system. This is not especially easy because we are invariably event-driven in our grasp of this life, rather than feeling-driven which says rather more about the experiential nature of the Solar Arc. Thus we might consider that the day our father died to be profoundly significant (and it is), but perhaps we had known it was coming for a long time and we were shocked by it and actually maybe we did not mourn him all at once and thus the process of losing our father happened over a 2 or 3 year period, so it is never easy to assume that an event, simply because we think it ought to be important, is going to show up in the Arc. I settled in my own case on 3 specific happenings, and these were:
- The day I was sent to boarding school in September 1979.
- The birth of my daughter in May 1996.
- The occasion where my business partner stole £100,000 of my money and left me facing bankruptcy and ruin in late 2005.
These were all profoundly powerful occurences in my life and there was no question about the vagaries of timing in each case. Events 1 and 3 were profoundly traumatic: when I was sent to school it was whilst my parents were getting a divorce – which was a difficult transition for me . The birth of my daughter by contrast was one of the happiest and most positive occasions of my entire life thus far, she was a beautiful, sunny, healthy child who enriched my world no end. The last event caused an incredible crisis in my life of course: I had spent 10 years working on creating software for Nortel only to have the whole lot stolen by my business partner (who was the “sales and marketing guy” of the operation) and who then used the money that was rightfully mine to fund a legal defence of his actions which I simply did not have the money to fight, and in fact I spent my savings on attempting to see some justice done to no avail when spurious technicality after spurious technicality was brought to bear to use all my resources. It was a very depressing time and a hard lesson in trust for me too, and it was at that point that I decided to go back to my previous vocation of astrology.
So, to the Solar Arc theory once more. There is really only one key understanding that is required and this is that major upheavals and events in life are determined by Solar Arc directions to the angles. That really is it and you should work primarily with 4th harmonic aspects too, since they appear to be far and away the most effective in predictive matters.
Here then is the biwheel depicting the natal and SA correspondences for Sept/Oct 1979 with my birthtime set at 6am:
In the diagram the outer circle are the Solar Arc directions and the inner circle the radix (natal) positions).Now the arcing planet will always have a profound impact upon the resultant experience and since my Mars is in the 3rd (school) and with the aforementioned birth time is only a degree and a half from the IC, I was quite confident that the 6am time I had been given was close. Now crucially, one degree of arc is equal to 4 minutes of time (the Ascendant moves fully through the zodiac in a day, 1440 minutes in a day: 1440/360=4) so a degree and a half suggests that my timing was around about 6 or 7 minutes off exact. So next, I look at the birth of my daughter:
Here then is the arc corresponding to the birth of my daughter, and rather suspiciously you can see yet again that it has overshot the mark (in this case the Ascendant) by a similar margin. Now Venus applying to the Ascendant very often signifes a birth, so I knew that here again, the same measure was being mooted by the arc differential. Here the discrepancy was almost exactly the same – in the case of Mars and school 1°17″ and here with the birth of my daughter 1°13″, a mere 4 minutes of difference for two of the biggest events of my life some 17 years apart!
The last example was marginally more problematical since it was rather an insidious process. The point at which I learned that my business partner had been setting me up was quite considerably after the point at which he had started actually planning it, and this seemed to me very in keeping with the nature of Neptune: deception, duplicity and disappointment and certainly all these themes featured very heavily in the process and the result of course forced me to reevaluate my life in rather less materialistic terms, another key tenet of Neptunian understanding, so the arc was wider in this case, but undoubtedly the deceit had begun long before. I was not at all put off by this, in fact it fit the guise of Neptune perfectly!
Just a little more than 2 degrees at the point which I became aware of the problem, and it all fits. I needed to rectify my chart by a few minutes forwards in time dependent – of course – upon the unique Solar movement of the day that I was born. I rectified my chart accordingly to place all these events on their respective angles and came up with a time of 6:10am. Now this is only 10 minutes off the time my mother gave me so it seems accurate enough, but of course my Ascendant sign changed from 28°Vi47″ to 00°Li32.
And what’s more I was then able to move back and forth through the months of my life and see a “hit” occur on one of the angles. Pluto conjunct Ascendant? My grandmother died and I was utterly devastated. Uranus conjunct Ascendant in 1971? My father adopted me (a complete change of life direction and meaning). Jupiter conjunct Ascendant? I was offered a prominent research position at Cambridge University. Everything fits: perfectly.
Now, what’s more intriguing is that I can scan forwards in time and see when the next major hit will occur. December 2012 Moon = MC by SA. Might be interesting!
Now there are methods of refinement since invariably the Secondary Progressed Moon or a major outer planet transit will trigger a Solar Arc event and this should enable you – particularly by using the SP lunar motion of a degree a month to pinpoint with fair accuracy the timings of the SA events thus refining things further, but usually this is not necessary.