Why It’s Needed
Astrology, at the most fundamental level, is all about time and space. As a system of divination, it involves interpreting a map of the solar system, plotted against the backdrop of the Zodiac, for a specific moment and a specific place. In astrology, it is this map or ‘horoscope’– the main tool of the trade – that is the key to decoding the valuable information revealed by the positions of the stars.
Natal astrology, widely used as an accurate method of personality analysis, is based on a chart drawn up for the time and place of birth of one individual. Synastry, or the art of relationship analysis – the branch of astrology with which we are mainly concerned here – requires a detailed comparison of two people’s birth charts, erected for their respective time and place of birth.
The Three ‘Golden Nuggets’
The three “golden nuggets” of information required to cast a horoscope are PLACE, DATE and TIME of birth. The place of birth provides us with the necessary geographical coordinates on which the map of the heavens is to be based. The date and time of birth are needed to create an instantaneous ‘snapshot’ of the ever changing configuration of the planets at the relevant moment in time.
Of these three pieces of data, place and date of birth are essential – without them, it simply isn’t possible to produce a valid chart. Time of birth is optional but preferred. You can manage fine without it, but having it is likely to provide you with more comprehensive and accurate results. You’ll need these items of information both for yourself, and for everyone else you wish to run through the website.
Finding Out Your Own Time of Birth
Except under very unusual circumstances, you will always know your own date and place of birth. As for your time of birth, in many countries of the world you will find it entered on your birth certificate (although notably not in Great Britain or its territories, where the birth time is recorded only in the case of twins).
To obtain a copy of your birth certificate, call the birth registry office in your place of birth and order a copy of the certificate, specifically asking that your time of birth be included on it. Vitalchek.com lists the relevant contact details for birth registry offices throughout the USA and a number of other countries.
If your birth time is not recorded on your birth certificate, ask your mother whether she recalls it. If there was something significant about your time of birth – or there’s some story connected with it – she will often know it exactly. Alternatively, you could ask another close relative. Or you may find it entered in your “baby book” or some other form of family records. Failing this, it’s worth asking the hospital where you were born, or the doctor attendant at the birth, to check their records.
Obtaining Someone Else’s Birth Data
After you’ve made contact with a prospective partner – and preferably before your first date – you need to find out their birth data as soon as possible. Picking the appropriate moment is critical though – requesting any kind of personal data prematurely can appear rude and/or suspicious.
Depending upon who you are dealing with, there are various ways of broaching the subject of their birth information.
1) The Direct Approach
The most straightforward approach is simply to ask them outright for their place, date and time of birth, maybe adding that you’re interested in astrology or that you’d like to take a look at their birth chart. If you’re uncomfortable with this (or you think they may be), the following simple tactics are more subtle and less in-your-face.
2) The More Subtle Approach
Firstly, find out their PLACE of birth by asking if they were born in the town/city where they currently live, and if not where they were actually born.
Find out their DATE of birth by first volunteering your own star sign. Depending upon their response, follow this up by asking them for their star sign, then their actual birthday. You can easily work out their YEAR of birth from their age, which – if you've met them through a dating or social networking site – should be stated on their personal profile.
Of course some people will tend to lie about their age! But of those who do, most will confess – and admit their true age – when you eventually meet up, realizing that they’re bound to be found out. If you’re suspicious that someone is being dishonest, you can always run an online birth date check on them (try anybirthday.com or birthdatabase.com in the USA).
Finally, find out their TIME of birth by asking if they know their Rising Sign. You may need to explain exactly what this is and that, unlike Sun Signs, it depends upon the time you were born. Tell them your own Rising Sign, if you know it, in order to get the ball rolling. (See our Article on Rising Signs).
If they don’t know their time of birth, suggest they look on their birth certificate, ask their mother or a close relative, or phone the hospital where they were born. Even a very approximate time of birth is better than no time at all, so simply knowing they were born sometime during the night, or between breakfast and lunch, will be useful for our purposes.
3) The Downright Sneaky Approach
This may be needed if you’re confronted with someone who’s sceptical, or totally dismissive, of astrology. If they refuse to discuss star signs, you’ll have to approach the issue of their date (and time) of birth by a more roundabout route.
Because the subject of food is generally a safe conversational bet, start off by discussing mutual food preferences, then mention a great restaurant you visited on your birthday. After this, you can quite easily slip in the question “by the way, when’s your birthday?”
To obtain their time of birth, follow up the topic of birthdays with a jokey comment about the time of day you were born. For example you could say something like “my mother said I was born just in time for breakfast/lunch/dinner, which explains why I’m so mad about food!” (Okay, you may need to bend the truth a little!). Then again, the natural follow-up question is “do you know when you were born?” A bit corny? Well possibly, but if it gets you the information you’re looking for, who cares!
When Warning Bells Should Ring!
It’s worth taking some trouble to find out your date’s birth details because they’re going to be incredibly useful to you. However, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Provided you approach them in the right way and at the right time, most people will be more than happy to give you this basic information about themselves without any hesitation. If they aren’t, the question is why not?
The obvious conclusion, when someone is unwilling to reveal their birth data, is that they may have something to conceal. Maybe they’ve lied about their age – or maybe they aren’t really who they claim to be. In either case, the chances are they’ll be somewhat reticent about telling you their date of birth. If so, those warning bells should immediately start to ring. Anybody with secrets to hide deserves a very wide berth!