Time And Space

I had written a post before this to explain why time and space is so important to natal astrology. Then, after a good page or so of talking about the wobble of the Earth and ecliptic paths around the sun and so on...well, I started getting really technical. And boring. And complicated.

The "why" of it all is complicated, but maybe the explanation is not helpful for a blog. So let's head for Concise Junction, a place I rarely visit because I spend way too much time at the corner of Obsessive Detail and Accuracy Street.

For the time and place of birth, a few minutes or miles variance means very little in the grand scheme of things. Often, you don't know if the doctor took his sweet time filling out paperwork, or if a hospital is truly centered in a city or town. So being slightly off target is not only perfectly normal, but it also falls within what one might think of as "an acceptable margin of error."

(I just happen to have trouble accepting error.)

Anyhow, it is when you only know the date of birth that things become fuzzy. If the natal chart is a galactic snapshot of a birth, then time and space is the camera's shutter speed. With just the date of birth, an astrologer can generalize, but the outcome is sort of like using a disposable camera to take a picture of sign you're passing at 60 miles per hour. The personality can be seen...in all its fuzzy glory.

Of course, some important details might be lost for those planets that are close to the cusp, which is the transitional area between two signs. For example, this year Libra will begin in the early evening (GMT) of September 22nd. Last year it began in the late morning of September 23rd.

(Enter the convoluted explanation of a wobbling earth and ecliptic path here).

But by and large, what is really crucial about having the time and space of birth is not the planets, but the Houses. The planets of a chart are based on where they are in relationship to the Earth and so are easy to spot (seeing as they are pretty huge and relatively slow moving), but the Houses are centered on a point in space and time looking outwards, and the Earth's daily spin means any given point will be facing different places at different times of day. It's like this: if you were to sit down and stare at the Eastern horizon for one full day, by the end of the day you will have faced every one of the signs at least once. If I came to you at dawn, noon, and dusk and noted which sign you were facing, I'd get three different answers.

Side Note: The Eastern horizon is the start of the First House, more commonly known as either the Ascendant or the Rising Sign. It's all the same thing.

Anyhow, even being off by an hour means a marked change in the Houses (thus saying you were born "somewhere around noon" is simply not helpful). As Houses represent a good half of a chart, a lot can be lost without them. Roughly speaking, the planets are one's inner personality, but the way we relate to everything which is not "oneself" is shown by the Houses. In a way, the Houses are lenses through which your inner light is refracted. Though you are not your social circle, or your possessions, or your job, you retain a very personal viewpoint on how to treat all of them.

To generalize as an example: two people born on the same day might both be extremely serious about personal growth, but for one that could mean intellectual enlightenment, while for the other it is the numbers in their checkbook. Or, they may both burn bridges as a way of solving problems, but for one a "problem" may consist of the rise and fall of their social standing, while for the other social appearance means next to nothing...but "cross my family and we're through, buddy." You'd have to look close to see that they were doing the exact same thing, but concentrating it on two different areas of life.

So, regarding time and space:

Exact time, latitude, and longitude = amazing clarity and accuracy.
Day and Year of Birth = Rough generalizations.
Day of Birth = It's probably not even worth asking.


Blogger VW said...

This may be a little early in my learning (I have not received my Parker's or Goodman's books yet) but if both are serious about personal growth, how do you know which way it goes? Or do you just know it is personal growth and cannot get more specific for the individual? vw bug

12:29 PM  
Blogger Lasciate said...

You know where it is directed by the Houses. Please note that I am being extremely general here, but to look at that example a little closer:

A planet such as Jupiter governs personal growth. In this example it is in a "serious" sign, to mean one more concerned with actuality and hard reality. But there is no obvious definition or direction for this growth.

Adding the Houses gives it more apparent definition. While all steps for personal growth for such a person would be taken seriously, if Jupiter was located in the 2nd House (aka the House of Possessions), what is owned takes on extra-important meaning for how that person views growth. They would then likely consider themselves more or less successful based on their ownership, and take acquisition seriously.

If, as a contrast, the same Jupiter sign was found in the 9th House (aka the House of Philosophy), then growth is determined by what has been experienced or learned, and then added to the wholeness of living. Personal growth would then be measured by that scale, where the more wordly their understanding and the more varied the experiences they have under their belt, the greater their sense of "growing in life." Yet that too would be taken seriously, perhaps measured by cultures visited or subjects studied, and with each step approached with careful planning and intent.

2:53 PM  
Blogger VW said...

Just a side note. My brother-in-law is coming to visit and I'm going to see if I can get a digital picture of him. In the same pose you have. I think I found a close double for you. Though you look skinnier. Freaked me out the first time I saw your picture. vw

12:14 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Excellent explanation. I've explored the subject as far as the planets go, but my familiarity stops where the Houses start. I did find the latitude and longitude of the hospital where I was born and had a chart printed, but, given my lack of understanding, it was not a particuparly useful exercise, however more precise it may be. I'll admit, it's interesting to look at. I recognize 10 of the symbols (planets) of the 13 that fall on the circle. And 10 of the 13 (not the same 10) fall into one third of the ring.

So, I guess that means I have a bunch of empty houses. That doesn't sound good to me...

I might also assume that my attraction to fire signs is related to the fact that have NONE (short of one of those irrecognizeable symbols that may be a lunar node?) in my chart.

Anyway, I'm reading up on all of this at astro.com's links. Whether or not I will be able to digest it is another question!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Lasciate said...

Empty houses implies nothing more than that they are not stressed with any great severity. The Houses provide viewpoints whether they are influenced by planets or not.

Attraction to Fire signs could be any number of reasons, though having none can create a magnetic effect due to polarity, especially if you have Air signs in the Moon and/or Venus. Even so, I can think of a number of "out of left field" possibilities that might also apply.

Good luck with astro.com.

7:29 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Water, water everywhere. Moon=cancer. Venus= scorpio.
I haven't quite figured out how to put the info from astro.com together and the cut-and-paste interpretations leave a lot to be desired.

I still see a number of things that don't fit me at all, at least not in the ways that are implied. I keep thinking that there is a way it will make sense, if I understand it well enough to put it together in the not-cut-and-paste way. It keeps coming back to certain Virgoan traits that I so clearly lack.

To quote the pre-fabbed interpretation, "Internally, you pay constant attention to detail, and this makes you a most careful worker. Because of the practicality of the sign of Virgo, sensible, necessary tasks are enjoyed and not avoided."

While I may be obsessive about detail in a cognitive way, for like you, "I spend way too much time at the corner of Obsessive Detail and Accuracy Street" and for me, that fact can be well manifested in conversation and debate (which pains my boyfriend who would gladly eschew those), I am not organized and struggle terribly with that, and I avoid sensible and necessary tasks to the fullest extent possible. (I do them when they reach a point where there would be great detriment in further avoidance.)

So, I'll plod on and see what kind of sense I can make of it all. You've renewed my curiosity (and I'll either be a killed or satisfied cat for that) and you're helping a lot in gaining a deeper understanding. I thank you for that.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Lasciate said...

Astro.com's Achilles heel is that pre-fab analysis...but it's done on purpose to encourage the purchase of a fully analytical chart.

So here's some food for thought: Virgo is highly oriented to sensory detail, and work. Water signs are oriented towards the fantastic and creative imagination, but not often towards working unless it is a means to security. So, that Virgoan work ethic is diluted by a lack of support from Water signs. A human mind would probably catch that, but an "auto-Virgo analysis" would not.

But then there's that Virgo detail awareness...the creative and artistic quality of Water certainly could certainly fit with the visual acuity of Virgo...

Your Lantana post comes to mind.

8:42 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Well, I guess having 6 planets (I'm counting Chiron) plus my Midheaven in water signs explains the dilution of a Virgo sun. I learned today that, according to Chinese astrology, I am a WATER tiger. It's everywhere.

With so many dots to connect, where/how do you really begin to put it all together? It seems like everything is a mitigating factor for everything else and I guess all the water in me is taking my Virgo earth and turning it into a lot mud. Uranus, the planet of" intuition...which transmits sudden inspiration and lightning insights....and an openness for all that is new, unknown and unusual," is in Virgo as well. Maybe that's why this is so muddy for me!

2:15 AM  
Blogger Lasciate said...

Practice...I mean, there's a reason astrologers are aways boasting of their years of experience (though they often forget it may not be fully impressive to those who don't know much about the subject). There are all sorts of dots to connect, and things to take into account.

It can be like moving through mud, or navigating through fog. It takes practice because you are absolutely right in your assessment: everything can be a mitigating factor, and so the trick is to learn which factors are more mitigating under a given set of circumstances. It can be overwhelming, especially for people who are used to picking up on things quickly. We are anything but homogenous and/or two-dimensional creatures, and so any study that truly attempts to understand our ways is going to have to make its way through a lot of complication. Learning to do that with great success takes time and practice.

5:41 AM  

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