This article is about chart rectification in Astrology: what it is and its three major types. I also explain that rectification can be performed with different types of Astrology, different approaches and techniques, but few of them work reliably when the time of birth is off by many hours or unknown.
What is chart rectification
Chart rectification aka birth time rectification aka horoscope rectification is an astrological procedure used to find the exact time of birth when it is unknown or approximate.
The premise underlying birth time rectification is that the natal chart of a person shows their whole life. Since the birth chart starts as soon as one is born, it shows a person’s past, present, and future. And because each moment is unique and can theoretically be replicated in 25,920 years, each natal chart is unique. Because of this, people are born different, have different lives and events, make different choices, etc. This is the foundation behind all Astrology.
Chart rectification is like a puzzle
Thinking of chart rectification like a puzzle is an apt analogy. This is because Ancient Astrology studies the whole life of a person. This refers to both the period of time as well as all the topics in one’s life.
What do I mean by this? There are 12 houses in Astrology which rule all areas of life. Each house has 4-5 meanings. Take a look at the primary meaning of each of the 12 houses in Ancient Astrology:
Say a male aged 30 contacts me requesting my birth time rectification services. That person says he was born somewhere between morning and noon. Because he is 30, he has already partly experienced some or most of the topics in the chart. He obviously has parents, he made or lost some money from children, he got sick from an inflammation, he has some poor friends, he is married to an older woman, etc.
The reason horoscope rectification is like a puzzle is because the astrologer has to match the character and events in the life of the native with the only possible chart that makes it possible for everything to align.
What I mean is the topics are fixed. The 1st house will always mean life, body, etc; the second one will always mean finances, moveable wealth, etc. However, the arrangement of the houses and hence the planets ruling them will be different for every person and he/she will have a different life. Therefore, and greatly simplifying, if the above native was born at a different time:
- He would not marry an older woman
- The native would not earn money from children but from something else
- This same person would not have poor friends but some other type
- He would not get inflammatory sickness but say one based on cold
Thus with chart rectification, the astrologer has pieces of the life of a person and has to arrange them in such a way so as to exactly match that native’s life. I have said it many times, the planets are not symbols in Ancient Astrology; they describe and predict objective reality.
The three types of birth time rectification
The three main types of chart rectification are:
- Within a short specified range – say between 3 and 6pm.
- Within an approximate time period – say sometime during the day
- Without a time of birth aka 24 hour rectification
The majority of astrologers offer rectification services above all for the first type, and partly for the second. There are very few astrologers in the world who offer chart rectification from unknown time of birth.
Chart rectification and creating subtitles
One can make an apt comparison between rectification and creating subtitles. This is because just as there are three types of chart rectification, there are three types of subtitles:
1) with time codes and a foreign language which the translator understands: the translator removes the subtitle text and merely replaces it by translating into his/her own native language
2) with time codes and with subtitles in a language the translator does not understand but can still use the time codes: the translator has to listen to the sound and then to translate what he/she understood without having to create and match the time codes
3) without time codes or subtitles in any language: the translator has first to listen to the sound, then to create and match the time codes and then to translate what he/she understood.
Subtitles No. 1 corresponds to the first type of rectification: within a few hours
Subtitles No. 2 corresponds to the second type: within an approximate period of the whole day
And No. 3 corresponds to the third type: without any time of birth
Birth time rectification with Ancient, Modern or Indian Astrology
Ancient, Modern and Indian Astrology are the three major types that use an Ascendant, require rectification, and to large extent use similar meanings of the same 12 houses.
Having said that, the Zi Wei Dou Shu and He Luo Li Shu types of Chinese Astrology also require an accurate time of birth. There is no method for chart rectification in Chinese Astrology and a result some practitioners use divination. I would not recommend this approach for a variety of reasons.
As I explained above, most astrologers, particularly modern ones, offer chart rectification services when the time of birth is within a few hours. The reason is because rectification requires advanced level and mistakes are easily made. This is not the case in, say, consultations. If the astrologer got some of their chart reading wrong there, he/she would still get some or more of it right. Because of this, the client would be able to take something useful from the consultation and apply it to their life. Since the majority of astrologers offer consultations, they do not follow their clients’ lives for a sufficiently long period of time. This is a major drawback and puts such astrologers at a disadvantage when it comes to birth time rectification, particularly of type 2 or 3.
Based on what I explained above, the theoretical premise for being skilled in performing rectification is that the astrologer should be good at making objective statements and predictions. And this is where a huge problem arises.
Modern Astrology methods for chart rectification are unreliable and not diverse enough
It is important to keep in mind that Astrology is a complex science which consists of a system of knowledge that was highly prized by kings, religious leaders, aristocracy, etc. Part of this knowledge was taught for centuries in some of the top universities in Europe (Bologna, Florence, Milan, Paris, Vienna, Oxford, etc). For reasons I will not get into in this article, this knowledge was reformed, watered down, censored, lost, etc.
Fast forward 400-500 years and Modern Astrology was created. Of course, as in any discipline, those that contribute and/or innovate or create, examine the tradition behind them. What happened was that a tiny few of the approaches and techniques of Ancient Astrology had survived and were available at this time. As a result, Modern Astrology is very deficient in the fundamental principles of the original tradition. This includes both reading a chart and making accurate predictions as well as doing chart rectification. As a result, the overwhelming majority of modern astrologers perform chart rectification above all only with transits, progressions, and solar arcs. As I have explained, the nature of these 3 techniques is identical, they are insufficient and they were not devised to do rectification of the horoscope when the time of birth is off by more hours, let alone when completely unknown.
As if that were not enough, modern astrologers include psychology in delineation. As a result, a lot of them not only cannot make predictions but claim that Astrology was not meant to predict but to make a psychological profile of the client and empower them. This may be fine for some people but it is totally useless for chart rectification. As a result of this handicap, not that many astrologers who practise Modern Astrology offer birth time rectification services. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but based on the above, I would not recommend going to a modern astrologer for chart rectification.
Chart rectification with Indian Astrology
Indian Astrology aka Jyotish aka Vedic Astrology is very famous for its long tradition as well as being able to make excellent predictions. As a result, there are many, many practitioners who offer birth time rectification services with Vedic Astrology. Some do it with the Parashara type, others with the Jaimini one, and there are those that mix them. Indian Astrology was influenced by Ancient Astrology. In fact one of its types, called Tajika, actually means Perso-Arabic Astrology. The latter inherited a good amount of the knowledge of Ancient Astrology.
I will say it upfront: I only studied Parashara for 6 months, which is in no way sufficient to make a good judgement on it. Also, I did not reach to the stage where one learns horoscope rectification. Having said that, I have read and watched a number of astrologers do rectification with Indian Astrology. While their own approaches differ, what they have in common is that they introduce way too many variables in the chart rectification process. I understand their point of view in trying to rectify the horoscope from many angles. Nevertheless, this is a double-edged knife because it creates an environment where errors can easily compound and mislead the astrologer by taking him/her to just another wrong path.
My concluding judgment on birth time rectification with Jyotish is incomplete. Just like in Modern, far fewer practitioners of Vedic Astrology offer rectification services without a time of birth. If you need rectification, and want it done with Indian traditional methods, I would recommend that you seek out precisely those few astrologers.
Chart rectification with Ancient Astrology
I started studying Modern Astrology first, back in 2008. Then I moved to 19th century Astrology, then to Medieval and Robert Zoller’s 2 courses, then Traditional, then to Hellenistic, then to Babylonian and finally to Indian. Save for the Jyotish, I studied and practised these for years before I integrated them into a coherent system known as Ancient Astrology. Ancient Astrology represents the fullest development of the astrological science and such is the mother of Modern Astrology. This is crucial to keep in mind because by knowing the history of Astrology, how it came to be, what the original system looked like and to what extent it was transmitted to the other cultures, the modern practitioner can see how little of the ancient astrological knowledge was incorporated into Modern Western Astrology.
The history of Astrology is indeed interesting, but we are concerned with rectification. I am explaining this because it is good to know that there are some well-read astrologers in the West who know the history of Astrology and who practise Hellenistic or Traditional Astrology. Yet this does not necessarily make them sufficiently skilled at birth time rectification. Even if one reads all the classical astrological works, this will not make them an excellent rectification astrologer. The reason is because we do not have sources in the Western tradition that actually teach chart rectification without birth time. These English speaking astrologers may be good at writing articles about rectification, reading lectures at conference, etc, but I am yet to see them offer chart rectification services with Traditional or Hellenistic Astrology without a time of birth. Not just that, but they themselves are not offering to teach comprehensive rectification to those that want to learn it.
What I am saying is that despite the revival of Traditional and Ancient Astrology over the past 25 years, no one in the West was teaching birth rectification from unknown time of birth.
In 2017, I became the first astrologer actually in Western history to offer a 24 hour Astrology rectification course in which I teach how to rectify a horoscope without a time of birth. I consider this course of mine my life’s work so far.
Why getting chart rectification right is so important
Keeping in mind all the above, the accuracy of Astrology depends on the used data. If the data is wrong, so is the chart and so is the delineation and prediction.
Using the analogy above, can you understand a movie in a language you don’t speak? Of course not. The reason is the translator did not create the subtitles, or messed them up. In other words, the astrologer totally failed in the rectification.
Can you enjoy a movie in a foreign language which has subtitles, but the time codes are are out of sync? Of course not. It is because the translator did not sync the time codes. In other words, the astrologer did not sync the placement of the planets. Or he/she did not sync the sequence of events in your life with your chart.
Therefore, finding an astrologer that specializes in birth time rectification is a must. After all, we are talking about “the movie of a person’s life”.
Conclusion and some suggestions
I believe you understand how critical birth time rectification is to Astrology. It is also important to keep the above in mind: there are different types of approaches and techniques, as well as Astrologies. As such, I trust this will keep people from making incorrect assumptions that it does not matter what type of astrologer (and Astrology) they choose to perform chart rectification for them.
Be cautious with astrologers who say they use some very powerful method. In the West, they are primary directions and Truitine of Hermes and do not work when the time of birth is off by many hours, let alone when it is completely unknown. The point is that rectification is difficult and requires a multifaceted methodology that includes various approaches and techniques. No single approach or technique can be relied upon to do the job on its own on a consistent basis.
Also, keep in mind that there are astrologers who do not rectify the chart to the minute. Some rectify it within 15-30 minutes. This is not enough by far to apply serious Astrology on a chart other than for a short consultation, and even then there could be problems. I would advise people to stay away from such astrologers.
In addition, beware of astrologers who rely on software to do chart rectification almost entirely for them. This is a trap. No computer can substitute the skilled rectification astrologer and the complex synthesis they bring to the table.
As for myself, in my years of research and practice prior to writing my course on the topic at hand, I successfully rectified horoscopes, with or without a time of birth, from Asia (including China and India), Africa, Europe and North America. I did that by relying solely on the time tested ancient astrological methods and without being too dependent on astrological software.
These are my credentials for writing authoritatively on the topic as well as offering birth time rectification services.