This information is helpful if you're uncertain of your exact birth time. Please read through carefully to determine your next course of action.
Help! I don't know my exact birth time!
The accuracy of one's birth time is very important for a full and complete birth chart interpretation. The time of birth determines the Ascendant (or Rising Sign) of the birth chart, as well as the placement of the planets in the houses. The Ascendant is the sign that was rising (ie. on the horizon) at the time/place you were born. The 12 Houses of the birthchart represent different areas of life experience and play a key role in understanding who is involved in, and where and when life events happen.
Birthchart rectification is a process where the time of birth is determined by gathering personal life information including specific dates of biographical significance and correlating the celestial events with the earthly.
Kaypacha works with another astrologer who offers birthchart rectification - Jessica Bourque at templesofthemoon.com. Upon receiving your correct time of birth you can return to New Paradigm Astrology and purchase a reading with Kaypacha or one of the Dream Team Astrologers!
Note: If you choose not to use birthchart rectification, your birthchart will be drawn up for 12 noon on the day of your birth (or the closest time that you are aware of). In this case, the planetary positions should be similar to your exact birth time, but the reading will not be precise and the timing of some events uncertain.
Do I really need to get my birthchart rectified?
This is a tough question, as there are many factors involved and many things to consider including your financial situation, as a rectification will cost over $100. While it is no question at all for some who are totally committed to plummeting the depths of their soul for answers as to who they are, were, why they are here, and what is their destiny (exactly!), others may have more reservations. It becomes more and more of a question as the time of birth narrows from, say "afternoon or middle of the night," to between 12 and 1pm, to "around 2:30am," to the "birth certificate says 5pm". At what point is enough enough? Many astrologers still rectify their birthchart using life events even when their birthtime is known!
First of all, know that most all the planets, except for the Moon, will be within one degree or less within a given 24-hour period. Therefore, the planetary sign location and aspects will almost all be the same (Sun in Virgo square Mars in Sag, Pluto in Scorpio opposite Venus in Taurus, etc.). What changes with the time of birth is the relation of the planets to the horizon, otherwise described as their "house" location. This, along with the fact that the Moon moves approximately 12 degrees a day so can even be in a different sign, is the biggest factor to take into consideration.
While much information can be gained from the sign location of planets and their aspects, the rising sign (Ascendant) and house location of the planets provides a focused context and often critical information regarding the time and place of the manifestion of energies, be they soul potentials, karmic events, relationships, comings, culminations, and goings within the life of the native. While you may learn much about your life purpose from a "Solar chart" (the most common chart cast with an unknown birthtime), when it comes to transits, i.e. what is going on now, and when a particular change is due, or what "realm" of life (one of 12 houses) is expanding, contracting, or transmuting, the more an accurate birthtime is necessary. As these questions are the ones most often brought to the astrologer, a rectified birthchart significantly enhances the possibility of the clients questions being answered accurately.
So the first question for the client would naturally be, "What is it that you want to know?" The more specific the questions the more necessary a rectification becomes. For those who have no idea whatsoever, only very vague and general questions can expect to be answered well so rectification becomes that much more vital for a good reading. For those who have their time narrowed down within hours, most often the astrologer will draw the chart for the midpoint between times (between 12 and 12:30 will result with a chart drawn for 12:15). As the Moon moves a degree or so every 2 hours, this chart will result with her being very close to accurate (as well as the sign rising) and a satisfactory Natal Chart Reading may then be had. However, as the Ascendant/Rising degree changes one degree every 4 minutes, the timing of transits (life events) can be off anywhere from weeks to years depending on the transit.
With an example of a chart where the person knows they were born between 12 and 1 pm, we know that the Rising degree (and 12 subsequent house cusps) would vary 15 degrees. As a sign contains 30 degrees (as does an average house) the house position of some, most, or all of the planets could change as well as the Rising sign itself. The houses of the zodiac answer the question "where," or "what field of human experience" is this energy going to manifest. When a planet changes houses, the expression of that planet is going to change dramatically, reflecting at times an entirely different soul intention, purpose, past, reality. A Mars or Jupiter transit through a house could be weeks or months off and a Pluto transit to the Ascendant could be 10 years!
As an astrologer, wishing to provide my clients with the best possible reading, containing the truest, most accurate and timely picture of their soul's evolution, I, of course, advise anyone with a question about their time of birth to have it rectified. If the time is known within 20 minutes or so, and it is the individual's first chart reading, and they are just beginning to explore the vast wisdom revealed through the stars, they will still gain great insights from a "near accurate" chart (particularly if they are financially pressed). To everyone else I say, please consider that you may receive inaccurate information resulting in a severely compromised reading the farther off your birthtime is, and it is not the fault of astrology or the astrologer.