in my most innocent pre-astrology days, like most folks, I knew what my
"astrological Sun sign" was from reading the daily horoscope
predictions in the local newspaper. And like most folks... I was totally
clueless that my “Sun Sign” was just the metaphorical tip
of a vast, expansive iceberg called Western Tropical Astrology.
one point, during my slow and arduous journey out of my personal "Kingdom
of Cluelessness," I briefly became pals with a professional astrologer.
Much to my surprise... my new astrologer pal insisted that - in order
to accurately calculate my horoscopic chart - it was crucial that she
know as exactly as possible (down to the minute) my time of birth.
going in search of (and dusting off) my birth certificate, for the very
first time my astrologer pal was able to provide me with a print out of
my unique birth chart based on the exact time, location, and date of my
What my astrologer pal then very likely attempted to explain at the time
- that flew in one ear and out the other - is that the time of birth determines
the exact location of two of the most important symbols in the horoscopic
two important points are the very fast moving Ascendant
and the Midheaven. The time of birth is important because
these two important points both make a full cycle through all 12 signs
of the Zodiac every 24 hours. Without getting too technical.... these
two important points, in turn, then determine the placements of the planets
in the 12 houses of astrology.
are that you’ve never even heard of these two incredibly important
and speedy points, the Ascendant and the Midheaven?
The Ascendant (or Rising Sign) is the Zodiac sign that was rising (and
racing) on the horizon at the exact moment of your birth. The Ascendant
represents the exact dawning of your life on planet Earth. It's the part
of the Sky that came to meet and greet you at the exact moment of your
Ascendant aids us in answering the question: "who am I in this world?"
The Ascendant acts as an "I am filter" through which we process
all of our life experiences....
Ascendant (or Rising Sign) is where you find your most natural expression
in the world. That's a simply a fancy way of saying that it's the way
you present yourself to folks when they are first getting to know you
on a personal level. It's how they will tend to initially see and experience
to archetypal astrologer Dr. Karen Hamaker-Zondag, the Ascendant is analogous
to an outer doorway leading to our innermost and private sanctum, a sanctum
that we most normally keep hidden away from others.
Ascendant reflects a person's natural way of acting, his/her habitual
external behavior, and his/her way of responding to new impulses and
impressions... It is an important part of our character, sometimes so
natural that when people call attention to our traits, we often have
difficulty in recognizing these traits as being a part of us or being
'like us.' Only when we have carefully observed ourselves over a period
of time, will the Ascendant characteristics become clear to us."
“Foundations of Personality”
Dr. Hamaker-Zondag is absolutely right. Further along my journey out of
total cluelessness, I happened to meet up with someone that was able to
tell me which one of the 12 zodiac signs my Ascendant was located in,
and then went on to explain to me some of the major characteristics of
the time, I thought this person was absolutely nuts! In retrospect this
particular person probably was nuts... nevertheless, they were correct
about my Ascendant zodiac sign and that it fit me perfectly.
Next up is the Midheaven. Generally speaking, the Midheaven is a point
on your birth chart that reflects your public "reputation" and/or
how you'd like to be known or seen by others in society.
to Dr. Hamaker-Zondag, the Midheaven is analogous to a flag waving from
the highest tower of your castle that tells other folks a little something
about the nature of your kingdom (who you are) while they're still approaching
your castle from a great distance.
often the Midheaven reflects your chosen career or perhaps, some other
avocation or interest to which you ascribe import. The Midheaven closely
resembles the Jungian term, "the persona." The persona is the
outer, external, and impersonal mask that we each construct to protect
the true "inner core" of our psyche from the everyday, bumps
and bruises of the external "real world."
Maps - Celestial Mirror
At the moment of your birth, the various characters contained in your
unique horoscopic chart mirror back a reflection of "who you are"
in the world.
that I just chose to use the word “mirror.”
zodiacal placements of the planets and assorted other celestial points
in the birth chart do not cause you to be "who you are." Nope.
They don't cause you to be "who you are," any more than your
reflection in the bathroom mirror on any given Monday morning causes you
to look like you do.
functioning as a celestial mirror of the inner-world of your psyche, the
various characters contained within your unique horoscopic chart do reflect
back and provide a pretty accurate map of where you've been, who you are,
and where you're going.
natal (or birth) charts are special "sky maps" that reflect
(mirror back) the exact moment we drew our first breath. And with that
first breath, we each began our own incredible hero's journey through
life on planet Earth... The birth positions of the Sun, the Moon, Mercury,
Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto all play their
own unique symbolic roles as celestial messengers and ambassadors of the
A Recorded Time of Birth If You Can
Through years of experience Dr Z has learned that "Mom's memory" or "Uncle
Fred's memory" are seldom going to be all that accurate when it comes
to remembering your birth time (unless they happened to be astrology enthusiasts).
always... (let's repeat that) always preferable and highly recommended
to have and use a recorded birth time such as the one that can often be
found on one's birth certificate.
please... please... go ahead - dig a little deeper and take the extra
effort and time to locate your recorded birth certificate time (or another
recorded time source)! It's in your best interest to exhaust all of the
regular options and/or channels of locating a recorded birth time, prior
to "giving up the ghost."