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Birth Times and Improving Data Collection Efforts

Birth Times and Improving Data Collection EffortsIn episode 41 of the podcast Patrick Watson and Nick Dagan Best join the show to discuss the topic of birth data collection.

We start by answering some fundamental questions about why the birth time is important in natal astrology and why data collection is crucial for different types of astrological research.

Later we launch into a broader discussion about the subject of data collection and provide a guide for those who are interested in getting involved, as well as some ways that we can still improve this effort as a community.

Ultimately the show is supposed to act as a call to action for the younger generations of astrologers to get involved in birth data collection and related research, since it seems like focus on this area has waned somewhat over the past decade or so.

Patrick, Nick, and Chris share different anecdotes about their own attempts at collecting different pieces of birth data from notable figures, and try to convey the sense of the interest and excitement that is involved when one gets involved in data collection.

Since we tried to cover a lot of ground this ended up being the longest episode of the podcast so far, clocking in at a solid 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Broad Outline of the Episode

Below you will find an outline of some of the different topics that we touched on during the course of the show, followed by links to download or stream the recording.

  • Why is the birth time important in astrology?
  • Why is birth data collection important?
  • What are the primary collections or repositories for birth data?
  • Discussion about AstroDatabank, its founder, history, and structure.
  • Overview of the Rodden Rating system and the different levels:
    • AA – Exact data as recorded by the family or state.
    • A – Data as quoted by the person, kin, friend, or associate.
    • B – Biography or autobiography
    • C – Caution, no source
    • DD – Two or more conflicting quotes that are unqualified.
    • X – Data with no time of birth
    • XX – Data without a known or confirmed date
  • Discussion about the accuracy of birth times.
  • Pros and cons of rectification.
  • Areas where existing data collections can grow and improve.
  • Call to action for more astrologers to get involved in birth data collection.
  • Some tips or guidelines for collecting birth data and learning how to order birth certificates.
  • Different sources for birth times.
  • States and countries that record birth times.
  • Open versus closed states and countries for ordering birth certificates.
  • AstroDatabank Data Collector’s Handbook
  • Discussion about the ethics of birth data collection.


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 41 transcript

Listen to This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:

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  • Hi Chris, I better start considering a Patreon subscription as I’m getting addicted to these podcasts. More seriously, I’m a dual citizen and lived in Saskatchewan, Canada for 7 years doing readings there. One of the big challenges there was the time zone, which was not uniform until 1966 and even now the time zone doesn’t change to Daylight Savings time. Now I am in British Columbia, where parts of the province are using Mountain time because it works better for people involved in the oil industry in Alberta. There are a couple of astrologers in Saskatchewan and Alberta who’ve done a bunch of research on the timezone changes here in Canada. The point is that when tracking time, validating time zone is important too.

    Also a side note, it was mentioned that in Washington State birth times were not put on birth certificates till 1966 (?). Perhaps it was made a standard. However I was born way before that in Seattle and my birth time (grateful!) was on my birth certificate. Also in Illinois, I was able to, as ex-wife, get my ex-husband’s birth time. He was born in Joliet. There were no questions. I wrote a letter, we had the same last name. No one asked for proof.

    Glad for this show and will place more importance on sources.

    Shawn Limbach

  • Regarding the ‘Aurora Killer” – are you aware that the accused killer was actually mind controlled to appear as the killer AND that this even was a FALSE FLAG. His traits and vulnerability are what allowed him to be manipulated. If you believe everything main stream media tells you . . you are part of the problem.

    • Hey Colleen,
      yes i agree totally ! So many rampages especially in the US look like mind control operations and false flag attacks. read the trilogy sinister forces by Peter Levenda.
      Cheers from Vienna !

  • Dear Chris , Nick and Patrick ,
    First of all i liked the discussion very much bcause birth time and rectification is essential before delineating a natal chart . I do not trust all those celebrity charts and most birth times of public persons are sketchy for me anyway. I only wanted to recommend two birth time rectification methods developed by two german astrologers.The first is by the Bavarian astrologer Wolfgang Doebereiner who died unfortunately last year in April 2014. He assigned planetary qualities to the the degrees of the Zodiac, like the 17th degree of libra is a Saturn/Uranus degree for example(meanig “separation” or “two inconsistent things”) there is a list of his degrees on the astrowiki site. By using one degree per year directing the ascendant one can rectify the birthtime very accurately.He created also a very sophisticated atrological delineation system which he called “Muenchner Rhythmenlehre”(Munich theory of Rhythms) and he calls his list of degrees “Gruppenschicksalspunkte” or in english (i try a translation) :”group fate degrees”. The second astrologer who created a birth time rectification method via degrees was Michael Roscher who died in 2005 and was from Cologne. He also assigned to the degrees of the zodiac two or three planets with specific meanings. He created two sets of degrees one for the birth chart itself and one set of degrees for prediction.
    He uses the mean solar arc progression also used or even developed by Mr. Nabod often wrongly spelled Naibod(the mean motion of the sun for all factors of the natal chart like the other planets ,ascendant ,MC and the other house cusps)
    Unfortunately their work and books are mainly available in german but i could help out if some people are interested.

    Anyway way thanks again for the show !

  • Sorry for some misspellings in my first comment , greetings from Vienna and good luck to all of you !

  • Hi Chris, loved this podcast! As a professional astrologer I have some personal experience with birth time accuracy in Ireland.
    So five years ago I gave birth to my son in a Dublin maternity hospital. I told my husband (who attended the birth) that I wanted the birth time to be as accurate as possible. And because he understood how important that was for me; he agreed to help make this happen.
    I wanted my son’s time of birth to be recorded as soon as he took his first breath, not when the cord was cut. The plan was I would watch for my son’s first breath immediately after delivery, and then yell out: TIME! Luckily everything turned out as arranged and my son’s birth was recorded as 23:11 20 seconds. Surprizingly the midwives at the hospital were also ready to record the birth time at the same time we were (!) and they weren’t aware about our reasons. So in contemporary Ireland – from my experience – they’re recording the moment the baby is born.

    Anyway, keep up with the lovely podcasts.
    I’m addicted.

    Catherine Canning (Astrology for the Masses).

  • 1) for the data collectors: have you considered Reddits AMA’s (ask me anything) sessions as a source where you can go to ask celebs for their birth times directly? Even still, sometimes as with the John Kerry example in the podcast, you have to wonder if they just say anything as a joke to a kind of offbeat question.

    2) You need to be careful when dealing with summer births and birth times off birth certificates. In Pennsylvania, standard time is written on birth certificates year round. for ex, if you are born in august at 6 am, your birth certificate will read 5 am (someone told me there was no clarification that this is STANDARD time not DST). So if you use a computer program, you must add one hour to the time on the birth certificate in order for the correct chart to appear. For summer births, i always ask where they got the info (from parents or certificate and then cross check the two)

    3) one of the cool things about the astrodatabank software was the ability to do searches (like all people with mars on the asc). Is this possible on astro.com, because I cant find it. I know they say they cant even give the software for free cause of font licensning, etc. but it could be cool if they gave it away to someone who could mod it and make it up to date or replace the fonts. It doesnt work on my windows 7.

    4) The astrotheme guy is a collector on astrodatabank, but if you search his submissions they are sourced from “email to lepoivre” or IMDB!!! I have seen charts with an A rating which use an IMDB trivia section birth time (imdb is user based, its worse than wikipedia, almost anything makes it on) it makes me think the astrotheme guy is trying to salvage/build his reputation by appearing on astrodatabank, and could even be putting the imdb birth times on himself, so he can then use it as evidence for astrodatabank. they also have screenshots of a twitter posting via an instagram page where both the instagram and twitter accounts have been deleted as “proof” . heard of photoshop? This is for lana del rey and gets an A rating. should totally be dirty data. (also mtv has del reys chart, with the faulty birth year, however, as 9 am, so where did that time come from? )

    So many charts from Lepoivre only have him as the source, and it just seems to be clickbait for his site.

    I feel maybe astro.com people are older and not as clued in about the internet and the astrotheme guy is using this to get aournd sourcing. Its so easy to fake an email header and make it seem real. Another dubious entry is Oscar Pistorious. He states an email from his aunt. he doesnt name the aunt/source so you cant google her. it states the aunt as saying about Oscars birth ” I remember that it was ‘tea-time’ in South Africa – more or less between 10h30 and 11h30 “, but tea time in south africa is in the afternoon. In France, it is normal to have a coffee/tea break at 10:30. and ” Oscar’s grandmother received the call on her mobile phone – Most likely most correct estimate would be 10h30 – morning -” VERY few people had mobile phones in 1986, and they were usually really rich or really techy, not some elderly woman in South Africa. Another A rating where the source as being kin not verified and extremely dubious.

    another one he uses a youtube video, where the guy states he had an idea at 3:13 on his birthday, as being 3:13 as his birth time.

    I use to trust the ratings on astrodatabank, but after looking at stuff they gave A ratings to (screenshots), they are ruining it as a resource. it would almost be better to have the historic archives by rodden, and the newer stuff with submissions from astrotheme as two different archives. If astro.com doesnt have the resources to properly verify things or give a stricter rating, they are better just not updating it.

  • My birth time on my certificate has xs and slashes over the letters AM while PM has nothing. Am I born in the AM or PM?