How Important Is Birth Time In Astrology?

Astrology is often “debunked” by many modern thinkers because of their limited belief that astrology is all about Sun sign predictions. I have written about this myth in my recent article.

But just as important to Astrological predictions is the time of birth of the subject. It’s vital. Let me give some astronomical background on why birth time is important and what you should and shouldn’t do when the exact time is and isn’t known.

SEE ALSO: How To Tell If You’ve Found Your Twin Flame

The Zodiac and the Ascendant Sign

Zodiac is a 360-degree belt that has 12 signs starting from Aries, Taurus, Gemini through Pisces and each sign is 30 degrees in length (360/12). Since astrology is the study of planetary influence on humans on earth, the earth is taken as the point of observation. The Ascendant sign is the eastern point of the sign viewed from the earth at any point in time. The Earth takes 24 hours to complete its self-revolution so the eastern point of the sign viewed from earth will vary for every ~2 hours (24 hours/12 signs). For example, if you wake up 6AM in the morning and view the eastern side you would see the Sign Aries, by 8AM your eastern point would shift to the sign Taurus and in 24 hours the eastern point would come to the sign Aries again.

The Importance of Ascendant Sign

In the astrological analysis, the ascendant sign is taken as the starting point to find the relative position of all other planets. Hence fixing the ascendant sign is the first task for an astrologer to predict life events. As mentioned earlier, the ascendant changes for every ~2 hours and hence the astrologer would inquire for the correct time of birth to fix the ascendant sign in the horoscope. Once the ascendant sign is fixed based on the time of birth of the subject, an astrologer should be able to predict life events with greater accuracy.

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How to Go about when the Exact Time of Birth is not Known?

There are techniques available to arrive at the time of birth when the accurate time of birth is not known. The astrologer will usually inquire about the approximate time of birth when the exact time of birth is unknown. For the current context let me talk about a couple of the scenarios here:

When the Approximate time of birth is known

When the approximate time of birth is known the astrologer would calculate the ascendant sign with this time. As mentioned earlier, the length of each sign in Zodiac is 30 degree summing up to 360 degrees for 12 signs. So if the ascendant sign that was calculated falls above 4 degrees and less than 26 degrees then slight variation in time of birth doesn’t matter. Let me give a simple step that I use,

  1. For the approximate time of birth if the ascendant sign in Rashi chart (which is the main chart used for prediction in Vedic astrology) is not varying within +-30 mins of birth time then we can fix the Rashi chart.
  2. For the same approximate time of birth if the ascendant sign in Navamsha (second most important chart in astrology for predicting life events) also doesn’t vary for +-10 mins of the birth time then we can fix the navamsha chart as well.
  3. If in Step 2, the Navamsha chart varies then we can only fix the Rashi chart, all other divisional charts(I will talk about divisional charts in a separate post) can’t be calculated.
  4. Any skilled astrologer can predict major live events with only Rashi chart.

In some case the astrologer would go for birth time rectification, I do not discuss them here because it has a lot of technical jargon. For those who are interested to know about birth time rectification can go over my post here

When the Approximate time of birth is not known

When the approximate time of birth is not known then we can’t find the ascendant sign for the horoscope. But still, prediction can be made by the moon sign, which will usually be based on the date of birth of the subject — but again, the accuracy of the prediction will be compromised.


Next time when you hesitate to read your horoscope because of not knowing the exact time of birth, try and work with your astrologer to find the best method to predict your future. Feel free to post your comments!


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Muthu Vijayan Elango

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Muthu Vijayan Elango is an astrologer and a certified life coach at He learnt astrology from his father Elango…

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