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Beginners Astrology Tutorial

Index of lessons

The purpose of these lessons is to assist students who do not intend to learn the details of chart errection, but want to understand the principles of what is shown in an astrological chart.

Note: If you wish to study the errection of an astrological chart, Junior Astrology lessons 1-9 are available online:

  • Free course in astrology: Junior Lesson 1-9 in .pdf file (975K) for USA

    1. Time and Place.

    Even if you use a computer to calculate a chart, the understanding of time and place is essential for getting correct results.

    Please first read Chapter II in Simplified Scientific Astrology:
    (at the site)


    Now that you have read the principles of Time and Place, answer the following questions:

    Telling time by the Sun
    Note the graphic to the right which is a screen capture of a computer program to calculate horoscopes. The top line asks for your name. The next 3 lines ask for the month, the day and the year you were born.

    Note the next 2 entry boxes and the Radio check boxes for AM or PM. Enter your birth hour and birth minute. Check the AM (morning) or PM (afternoon) Radio checkbox as as appropiate. If your birth time was recorded in the 24 hour format, and you were born in the AM (morning) just enter the hour and minute and check the AM Radio checkbox. If your birth time was recorded in the 24 hour format,and you were born in the afternoon (time greater than 1200) then subtract 12 hours and check the PM Radio checkbox.

    The next line asks for the Time Zone of your birth place.
    To review the principles of Time Zones, Click here.(Image/offsite)

    or entire Chapter II of Simplified Scientific Asgrology (offsite)
    In the graphic of the computer program, note the letters in red color to the right of the Time Zone entry box, "TZ Help." Clicking on this box will bring up a box with Time Zone information. A sample of such information follows:
    Alaska/Hawaii Daylight Time		- AHDT =   9.0
    Alaska/Hawaii Standard Time		- AHST =  10.0
    Australian Eastern Daylight Time	- AEDT = -11.0
    Australian Eastern Standard Time	- AEST = -10.0
    Indian Time				- IST  = - 5.5
    You will note that India is listed as -5.5 hours. This is the value that should be entered into the Time Zone entry box. The .5 (half) hour is because the clocks in this zone are set to the meridian of 82 degrees 30 minutes East which is half way between the 'hour' meridians of 75 degrees East (-5 hours) and 90 degrees East (-6 hours). To convert degrees to hours divide degrees by 15. If degrees are East of Zero Greenwich then the value is negative (-).

    Note also that Daylight Time, also known as Savings Time, Summer Time, or in the USA as War Time is always 1 hour "smaller" than Standard time.
    Alaska Standard Time zone = 10 hours minus 1 hour = 9 hours.
    Australian Eastern Standard Time = -10 hours minus 1 hour = -11 hours. (!!)
    Changing the Time Zone is how this program deals with the question of Savings Time.
    Other programs may expect you adjust the Clock (savings) time back to Standard time. If the program asks for both birth time and Time Zone, which is typical, you may use either method as long as you do not do both. (That is, if you change the zone to reflect that savings time is in use, then do NOT change the clock time. If, however, you change the clock time back to standard time, then do NOT change the zone description.)

    If there is any doubt (frequently the case) about the time zone that was in use at the date of your birth, consult a time change book.
    Three books that are popular in the USA are:

    Time Changes in the USA
    Time Changes in Canada and Mexico
    Time Changes in the World (Except Canada, Mexico, USA)
    Doane's 1981-1985 World Wide Time Change Update
    All three books, and the fourth booklet above are authored by Doris Chase Doane and are available from:
    American Federation of Astrologers, Inc.
    P.O. Box 22040
    Tempe, AZ 85285-2040 USA
    Madagascar and part of East Coast of Africa
    Consult a good 'Time Change Book' for time zones and dates of Savings (Summer) time.
    Principle time zones of the World.
    to GMT
    States and Countries observing.
    180 +12[International Date Line West]
    165 W+11Western Samoa
    150 W+10Alaska, Hawaii, Oceania (Tahiti)
    135 W+9Yukon Standard Time, 135 degrees.
    120 W+8PST (USA), British Columbia, Zone I(Mexico)
    105 W+7MST (USA), Alberta Canada
    90 W+6CST (USA), Manitoba Canada, Zone II Mexico
    75 W+5EST (USA), Ontario Canada, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru.
    60 W+4Atlantic Zone in Canada, Chile, Argentina, part of Amazon
    45 W+3Most of Eastern Brazil. West Coast of Greenland.
    30 W+2Azores
    15 W+1Gambia
    00England, Ireland and Scotland. Part of W. Coast of Africa
    15 E-1Most of Western Europe, Sweden and Norway.
    30 E-2Egypt, Turkey, Ukrane, Moscow and Leningrad.
    45 E-3Madagascar and part of East Coast of Africa
    60 E-4Kazak (Central), Uzbek, Turkmen, Ural (Central).
    75 E-5Kazak (East), Siberia (West) and Ural (East)
    82.5 E-5.5India and Tibet
    90 E-6Siberia (Central)
    105 E-7Siberia (East), Mongolia and Vietnam.
    120 E-8East Coast of China, Taiwan, West Coast of Australia
    135 E-9Japan and Korea
    150 E-10East Coast of Australia
    165 E-11Kamchatka
    180 -12New Zealand, International Date Line East
     * Read the instructions for your program to be sure that you are entering data correctly formated.

    Some computer programs will ask for "Time Zone" in degrees instead of hours. The above table shows the standard time zones in degrees in the first column, the time zone in hours in the second column and some places which use these time zones. You have probably noted that the degrees for the time zone divided by 15 equals the hours. (Zones are 15 degrees wide on an average, although some times zones use boundaries which follow political lines rather than exact mathimatical divisions.)

    You will notice in the grafic to the right that the next 2 entry boxes are for:
    Long Degrees
    Long Minutes
    And to the right of these two boxes are radio buttons for E or W.
    This combined, three part, entry is for the birth Longitude in Degrees and Minutes. The radio button must be checked either East or West.

    In a similar manner, birth place Latitude is also asked for.

    To review CHAPTER II, on The Rosicrucian fellowship site:

    You may be able to read that 117 degrees 23 minutes West longitude and 33 degrees 12 minutes North latitude has been entered in our example. These coordinates are for Oceanside, California, USA.
    Remember, a wrong place of birth entered into the program will give a wrong calculation for the horoscope. It is usually quite good enough for most students to enter the coordinates of the nearest large city or town.

    How does one find the longitude and latitude of birth?
    Again this program will often supply the answer. You will note the Red colored letters near the top right of the graphic, ACS Atlas. If you have the Atlas installed you may use it. If you do not have it installed you may use a paper atlas or some maps provide longitude and latitude. The Simplified Scientific Tables of Houses available from The Rosicrucian Fellowship also contains a list of major cities in the USA as well as the world.
    However, we have not exausted the capabilities of our program. The program input window is much bigger than shown above. Not shown here, but placed to the right of the names input box, is a bar:

    In the actual program, clicking this bar will bring up a list of cities with their longitudes and latitudes. Clicking on the city of choice will automatically enter the time zone, longitude and latitude into the data entry boxes. If your birth time was during a period when savings time was in effect, be sure to check the time zone entry and change if necessary.

    Double check the data you have put in the entry boxes to see if you have entered the right name, date, time, time zone, birth longitude and latitude.
    If you intend to work with this chart data again, which is likely if it is for your own birth, click the :

    When the data is correct, click on the

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