My aunt taught me how to calculate charts by hand. We had no computer programs back then. Now, most of us rely on astrology software to calculate birth charts, so it’s always a good idea to double-check the chart before you spend time interpreting. This is simple and sound advice that my primary tutor, Penny Farrow, instilled in me years ago and a smart tip I continue to follow.
As we know, computer programs are only as good as the programmers! By double-checking the chart, Penny suggested that I enter the birth data into two separate programs and can proceed with confidence when the same chart results. Since 2003, I have used my professional, registered astrology software and a free downloadable astrology program as back-up. And I agree with Penny; it’s nice to verify and have the assurance when both programs calculate the same chart.
Another tip is to check to see what house the Sun shows up in when the chart is created. Having a general understanding of how the time of day and night is represented in the chart, you can verify that the Sun at the moment of birth is in an appropriate location. The First House represents dawn or sunrise, the Tenth House noon or midday, the Seventh House dusk or sunset, and the Fourth House midnight.
Now, depending on the season and the time zone, the Sun may end up in the house you expected it to or in a house on either side of the house you expected, so it’s important to understand that this is not a clear cut method for determining the exact house the Sun will occur in. But you will know something is wrong with the birth data or perhaps that you entered the information incorrectly when, for example, a 5:00 a.m. birth time shows the Sun in the Tenth House!
Most astrology software programs today do not have such errors but, as my own teacher had encouraged me, I now encourage you– it’s always a good idea to double-check!