Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Illinois Birth Time Mysteries


March 18, 2005


Hello Eric,

I’ve been a subscriber to your website and fan of yours for a couple of years. I just read your Q&A’s on Jonathan Cainer’s site where I check in every week. I don’t know if I have a clue as to why Andrea from Chicago had three astrologers wig out about her chart, but there is a synchronicity here that I wanted to share with you.


Like Andrea, I was born in Illinois during the 1950s (Sept. 2, 1955 at 10:23 am in Galesburg).


I’ve only been a student of astrology for 2-1/2 years or so. I had my first chart cast in 1980 when computer software was new. About 10 years ago I had a computer chart done by the Liz Greene organization. Almost a year ago I got access to the Solar Fire software. In all cases my chart came out with a Scorpio Ascendant. So I’ve been living life as a Scorpio.


On last Monday night’s (March 7, 2005) Star Talkers radio show, Jeff Jawer and Rick Levine took a call from someone born in Chicago in the 50s. They explained that in the 50s, Illinois had a crazy law that required that hospitals record all births at CST -- even in the summer during daylight savings time. They asked the caller if his birth time was clock time or CST. He knew the answer because for a while he had it wrong. He said the first chart had a Leo ascendant, which never felt right and that the Virgo ascendant fit.


Naturally, I started researching my birth time. Fortunately, I have the family albums and my mother has a pretty good memory of our births. It became clear to me that the 10:23 am time is clock time, or CDT. I went back to the two old charts and -- voila! -- they were calculated in CST. I went into the ephemeris in Solar Fire and found no time zone listings for the 1950s! It defaults to CST. (Solar Fire now gives me a warning when I enter a chart with these parameters).


It turns out I have a Libra Ascendant. It has been a funny feeling to switch over. It’s fun to have a whole new chart to explore. I like the new chart even though in some ways it’s tougher than the first. I’m getting to the point where I am doing charts for family and friends and I think having had this experience will really help me in my interpretations. After all, I know from experience that we all have each of the sign energies in ourselves. With a Scorpio Ascendant or a Libra Ascendant -- I’m still me.


Maybe this doesn't help with answering Andrea’s riddle, but it is a juicy coincidence to see that Andrea’s birth time and place could put her in the same quandary.


Thanks for all you do, Eric. You are making the world wiser and more fun!





Dear Julia,

I just calculated your stated birth time in Io Edition (Time Cycles Research) for Macintosh, and the atlas returned Central Standard Time for your county in the summer of 1955, and gives you Scorpio rising. If we use daylight time -- which my atlas says was not in effect the summer of your birth -- we come up with Libra rising. So the real question does not involve the Illinois law alone, which I have confirmed (in Mercury Hour magazine and which was not necessarily followed everywhere!) was indeed in effect; it was; but rather, the real issue is whether the county of your birth was on CST or CDT the summer of your birth. And I get that Daylight Time was not in effect.


This does not make it true. Your family may remember differently. Their memory may be hazy or incorrect or correct. It was, after all, half a century ago (not to make you feel too old, how about, it was 1/20th of a millennium ago!) and you were being born, which was the bigger deal than Daylight Time. As you can see, getting certain facts straight can be challenging and requires devotion, thought and luck. But this fact can be researched, mainly through the county government. You were born in Knox County, Illinois; you might want to the County Clerk's office a call. It will be one of the more interesting calls they get that day. In olden times, some counties used daylight time and some did not, and some switched every few years. The world was not obsessed with perfect consistency like it is today.


The charts program I use utilizes the ACS Atlas -- reputed to be the best in the business, which software companies purchase and add to their own program. It was researched meticulously by Neil Michelson (author of the American Ephemeris). It's considered such a good atlas mainly because the team researched whether every one of the approximately 4,000 counties in the United States was or was not observing daylight time any given summer. It accounts for a variety of other changes, such as War Time (during WWII) and Oil Time (under the Carter administration). But think of it this way. The atlas would be useless otherwise.


And this atlas is telling me that the summer you were born, 'clock time' was Central Standard Time in your county. This leaves you with Scorpio rising. Are they correct? We need to fact check their work. Every time, with maybe one exception, that I have suspected the ACS Atlas of an error, I was the one who turned out to be wrong, so in my experience it's pretty dependable. However, I will place a call to them today and ask them what's up.


However, I suggest you look further into this matter with your local officials, while I will provide you with an alternate astrological theory that may account for your feeling of relief and shifting energy.


Let's presume you were born with Scorpio rising. This would be in the tropical system of the zodiac (described above in the intro), or what some call the Western horoscope. If we take your exact data and cast your chart in the Sidereal horoscope, the one used by Indian astrologers, your ascendant (like everyone's) goes back about 23 degrees. And that makes you Libra rising in the Indian or Vedic system.


This is a truly important chart from the Vedic standpoint, and I think for any student of astrology. It is your 'other chart'. When a person is about your age or maybe a little younger, the Vedic chart is the one that may begin to take precedence. It is somehow closer to the core of who we are. My old client, photographer (and amateur astrologer), the brilliant Billy Name, once described the difference between the two charts. He said that his Tropical chart was like a bright tattoo that faded from the time of his birth. But his Vedic chart was actually him, his actual skin.


So you may have taken the long way around to getting to your Vedic chart. This is, I feel, a necessary phase of (prolonged) exploration for anyone who takes astrology seriously enough to get their chart done in the first place. You will notice that not only the ascendant but many other planets change signs -- but they keep their original aspects, as their relative positions do not change. Here is your Vedic chart.


You will note that your Sun becomes Leo (more powerful, in its ruling sign) and your Saturn in the ascendant becomes Libra, which the Vedic astrologers just love. And you wind up with an Aquarius Moon, which I suggest you ponder for a few years and tell me if it's not a more accurate picture of who you are.


If you learn more about what was going on in Knox County, Illinois, at the time of your birth, please do let me know.