There are many methods based on the birth chart that require a fairly exact time. Yearly forecasts are difficult without a close time. Relocation is next to impossible without a fairly accurate time. For relocation, here’s a good way to think about it. The globe can be represented as 360º – but also as 24 hours. Astronomers actually use the 24 hour notation in their system of right ascension. If your time is off by four hours, then that’s 1/6 of the day. Thinking in terms of the circumference of the globe at the equator as being roughly 24,000 miles, each hour of error in the birthtime equals 1,000 miles. While those distances are less in the temperature zone where most of us live, you can easily see that an hour of error can make a huge difference in where a “line” (area of influence) would be. Suddenly, instead of San Francisco, you might be looking at Las Vegas!
Most astrologers are fairly comfortable adjusting a chart by 15 minutes plus or minus from the given birth time. This becomes fairly obvious in studying the person for a couple of years: predicted dates fall consistently early or consistently late.
But what if there’s a problem with your time that’s more than a few minutes?
Your birth certificate may not have a time on it at all. Different states have at different points changed their regulations about whether a time is recorded.
You may still be in luck: hospitals began to do early diagnostic tests on infants that require doing observation in the first few minutes of life: accordingly, you may be able to get access to hospital records of those measurements. But then, you may not have been born in a hospital.
Your mother may remember your time as considerably different than your birth certificate time. My own mother remembered my time as roughly three hours earlier than my recorded time.
There may be a problem with your birth record that obscures the time, such as a smudge on the original.
The process of studying life events in order to estimate the correct birth time is called rectification. Actually, the methods are very old, because astrologers seldom had access to accurate birth data, since clocks were often either unavailable, or the time was not recorded at the time. And thinking about the frequency of women giving birth five, ten, or fifteen times, how much could you trust her recollection decades later of one birth among so many?
Although the general techniques are very old, rectification is considered a specialty. This was often because it was so time-consuming to do, that many astrologers simply didn’t want the work. Now there are computer programs to help the scanning process – but the scan is only the first step. The resulting possibilities need to be checked, in order to propose a time with any confidence.
Here’s how Lee works. First, she will give you a questionnaire asking for biographical information, and the ten most important dates in your life. These might include: births of children, death dates of parents, graduation dates, traumatic events, medical issues, etc. She will ask about specific things in your life. She will then use these events to scan for likely times, and then check those times against astrological events drawn for those times using at least three entirely unrelated systems. If more than one time potentially checks out, she may send you some descriptions based on the “finalists” for your input. There is usually one or more rounds of follow-up questions once Lee has received the questionnaire.
One caveat: the smaller the range of time, the better the results are likely to be. Four to six hours or less is a good time range for doing this sort of work. Larger time intervals are likely to result in several possible times, and it may be difficult to extract only one. The longer the time range beyond six hours, the more time intensive this process becomes. Please check with Lee first if your unknown period is more than six hours, because an additional fee may be required.