As an astrologer for over 25 years, I remember calculating charts in the 70s. This is something most astrologers have no remembrance of doing. For those who have calculated charts by hand, they have an understanding of the astronomical reasons for movement, time, and space. There is something in the process of the calculations that somehow gave you impressions of the individual you were preparing to read. By the time the chart preparation was complete, you felt you already knew the person. It was like a meditation that gave you insights into the soul of the client before you met them. Even though this sounds very tempting, believe me, I do not want to go back to calculating charts again, but I am glad I experienced it. As a student I remember my teacher always warning me to be very careful with the time changes of the states that begin with the letter “I”. They called it the “astrologer’s nightmare”. Before the log rhythms, longitude and latitude books we always had to refer to Doris Chase Doane’s Time Changes in the USA or the World. This always was the very first step.
Now we trust our computer programs to have this all checked out for us. I am writing this article because of the problems with time changes especially with the state of Illinois. I feel it is my duty to inform new students to errors that can be avoided by this specific information.
A student of mine was born in Chicago in 1957 in August. I had done her Western chart previously years prior to this discovery. I checked and there was Daylight savings time, good, I did my careful checking before starting her calculations. Her reading was so accurate and uncanny that she became a student wanting to understand how such detailed predictions could have been made based on her birth details.
As I immersed myself in the study of Vedic astrology she had her chart done by the many teachers I sponsored at by center. They had given her readings that gave her incredible hope and anticipation for a bright future. I predicted the same based on the fact that she has a Sun and Mars conjunction in the first house in Leo, and she was about to enter her Sun dasha, leaving a final difficult dasha of Venus. She had been on a downward spiral for sometime and couldn’t wait for this needed positive change. The minute she entered her Sun dasha she lost everything. She lost her job, financial security, house, car and relationship. I couldn’t understand why a dasha of a planet in its own sign (Sun in Leo) with Mars (yoga karaka) in the first house, in major raja and dhana yogas would cause her to loose everything. I thought, how was the Western chart analysis so accurate? I knew something was wrong so I went to my Time Changes Book I’ve had for over 25 years and here is what I found for the state of Illinois: “Prior to July 1, 1959, United States Standard Time was used in reckoning the date and time occurrence in the preparation of official certificates of births, stillbirths and deaths, regardless of whether or not Daylight Savings Time, War Time, or any other advanced time, by whatever term known, was in effect.
On July 1, 1959 by Act of the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, the period between 2:00a.m.on the last Sunday in October, is known as State Standard Time, and is one hour in advance of the United States Standard Central Time. During the above period of time, reckoning of the date and time of occurrence in the preparation of official vital records is on State Standard Time.” (Time Changes in the USA by Doris Chase Doane) This was a separate note in the back of the book.
In other words when there was Daylight Savings Time it was still recorded in Standard Time. Computer programs will have it in Daylight Savings Time because it was in effect, but they do not make the adjustment that was made in recording the birth time. This is very clear with the state of Illinois.
The state of Indiana is more ambiguous: “The time is recorded in the legal time in that area at the time of the event. There are no statutes in this state dealing with “time”. The time of birth is considered confidential information and may be released only by court order.”
Iowa says: “Hour is recorded in the prevailing time at the date of the event” Sounds clear, but I’ve was warned to watch out for all these states in particular.
Idaho states there was no legislation on the matter of the hour of birth being recorded for many years. Idaho as a Western state probably does not follow the same rules, but because it begins with the letter “I” I included it here.
At any event if a client feels the reading doesn’t fit you need to be suspicious of error in the birth time. It is wise to pay careful attention when the state begins with the letter “I”.
As for my student I finally figured out when I adjusted her time to Standard time it gave her a Virgo Ascendant/Lagna, shifting her Leo Sun/Mars to the 12th house. Now her Sun dasha made perfect sense. She entered into a dasha of the 12th house ruler (Sun) with the ruler of the 8th (Mars). This was an entirely different picture and did indicate a most difficult period of her life with great losses, and this is exactly what happened. Another important lesson gained here is the question of the “self fulfilling prophecy”. Many have asked me; when you tell someone that life will improve isn’t that a “self fulfilling prophecy” and people will make it happen? My answer now is a confident “No”. My student was convinced she would experience good effects, and she couldn’t wait for the change. She believed it wholeheartedly. But the belief and expectation did not create the “self-fulfilling prophecy”.
Furthermore I realized why the Western chart reading was so accurate, because with the Daylight Savings Time it gave me the Virgo Ascendant/Lagna I got with the corrected Vedic chart. If I had corrected the time for this chart I would not have given the same reading.
I recently had a chart reading for someone born in Chicago during the summer in Daylight Savings Time before 1959, and I made the necessary adjustments. Meaning I manually took off the Daylight Savings Time the computer program automatically included. The reading went right on target. I felt confident as an astrologer knowing I had the necessary information needed to make accurate predictions.
I thought to call my software provider to ask if they were aware of this dilemma, and they informed me all they are aware of is when there was Daylight Savings Time, not the gory details as to how it is recorded. As a matter of fact they were the ones that recommended that I write this article informing students of this problem.
I think all these details should be included in programs such as it being listed as Daylight Savings Time/Recorded Standard Time, and the appropriate time automatically inserted.
Astrologers that are not initiated in the process of calculating charts by hand are not usually trained the way we were, and expect the computer programs to insert all the minor discrepancies that we were trained to look for. I hope that by writing this article it will help many future astrologers avoid the many pitfalls and problems we seasoned astrologers have experienced. That is why we are paving the way for our future astrologers.