A little and a lot
It’s a simple exercise, I ran into a client who “studied” astrology, and bent all theories around a single, derived point in a chart.
The first problem is the widely inaccurate birth time.
What I’m used to?
“Think I was born in the morning,” the most common expression I hear. Nothing is more amusing than a mid-term millennial texting a parental unit to ascertain an accurate birth time. Or a good guess.
As they say?
“Your mileage may vary.”
(see fine print for details)
I’ve been at this long enough, when someone tells me 8:53 AM, I trust that’s what the doula or delivery doctor saw, around the time of birth. Nurse, or whomever, recorded it thusly. I go with that.
Easiest way to guess at the birth time, though, is to use sunrise, while not always correct, it’s way better than the original (1970’s era) software that set all unknown birth times at high noon.
Then, too, that derived point, or a planet, or the Moon, near the beginning or end of a sign? Could go either way. Again, throws the derived points out of the window.
Recently, I got a client, told me “I think it was 5 AM, pretty sure it was 5.” In a subsequent follow-up e-mail, turns out it was 5 PM. Since the birth data was close, what I run with is the placement of the planets in signs, from Sun and Mercury, outward, for predictions, as those placements won’t shift much in the 12-hour window. Houses, and planets near cusps, rising and setting, plus the Moon, all that can change with the birth time.
I stumbled across a quick listing for “Star Destiny Reading,” I think that was the name, and it worked solely from the location — by house — of the Nodes of the Moon, specifically, the North Node. Again, this derives much from an accurate birth time. If that’s off, like 5 AM or 5 PM? It throws the whole set of definitions and interpretations out the window. 12-hour difference is like the difference between night and day.
While not always successful? Work with the material long enough, and there’s a practiced, easy feeling from just guessing, to an educated, and easily grasped set of fundamental clues.
Without that exact birth time? My work holds up, but some of this is more questionable.
Which points to the first problem with using a single data point as the only reference in reading a chart.
A little and a lot
A second problem with isolating a single data point and extrapolating the entirety of reading is that it all rotates around that single interpretation. In some cases, the Sun is most important, and in others, the Moon, and sometimes, the placement of Mars, and when looking at generations and then, subsets? The outliers are important.
Early in this career, I noted that any number of texts built from a single point, but as such, didn’t allow for any re-interpretation and assumed that everyone was equal.
One such example was an early text about Rising Signs, and then, assuming, that each house was equal, so the rising sign was immediately followed by the next, and the patterns, while whole in theory, have holes in practice.
One birth chart might be a simple example, with an intercepted house, where a whole sign is encapsulated in a house. Means the equal house interpretation falls short. If it’s Aries Rising, then the sign on the Fifth House should be Leo, but if Leo is “intercepted,” totally enclosed in the house, then Cancer is both the 4th and 5th House with Virgo being the 6th.
No Leo likes to be ignored.
That mistake is reiterated on the opposite side of the chart as well, with Aquarius in the 11th, totally contained within the guidelines, and makes for an uncomfortable, dual service for Capricorn, both the 10th and 11th. Most Capricorn people would shrug and accept the added burden.
The problem of houses, house systems, and planet placements in those houses? That’s part of the problem with a strict, just a single structure to build the entire understanding upon.
Theories are great, but as a generalist, I’ve found that multiple of sets of systems are far better than using just one. What happens if the submitted information is off?
A little and a lot
In my original text for the predictive astrology chart reports, now a book, Predictive Astrology, there was a disclaimer that ran at the beginning of each 1st House section, something about, “If the birth time is more than 20 minutes off, the results could vary drastically.” That was a quick disclaimer for all the data points, but as a guideline, not a rule, but as a guideline?
It points to the problem with subscribing to just one school of thought and building out from one that might, or might not, be erroneous.
Generalist or specialist?
One system that has to fit, or working with a variety of possibilities, and figuring out which one works best.
“I think I was born in the afternoon, but I’m not sure.”
Why I’m a generalist, not specialist.
Looking back? The phrase I used there, about looking at a situation with just one lens? Still applies.
Got one buddy, he’s got a hammer, and he can make anything fit, if he beats it long enough. I prefer access to more than one tool; I use what is best for the job — the chart I’m reading — what looks like the best fit.