Have you ever felt like you couldn’t participate in astrology because you didn’t know your birthday or birth time? Because astrology relies on the details surrounding when and where you were born, it can feel exclusionary to those who don’t have access to that information. However, there is a way to correct your birth time, especially if you’re willing to work with an astrologer who specializes in chart rectification.
Being the Astrology Editor at StyleCaster, I eat, dream and sleep all things zodiac. And when I found out that two of my co-workers did not know their birth time—and one didn’t even know her exact birth date—I knew it was a beautiful opportunity for them to try chart rectification.
The process of “rectifying” your natal chart and uncovering your exact moment of birth is a mystery. It is the furthest thing from simple or straight-forward. Not every astrologer understands chart rectification, making it a skill that is difficult to find. However, I had previously booked a session with Hellenistic astrologer Ursula Rising, who has an incredibly unique technique for chart rectification. Because this skill is so hard to acquire, astrologers that practice chart rectification are often highly protective of their method.
Luckily, Ursula Rising was available to rectify the birth charts of my co-workers Katie Decker-Jacoby and Kaili JiMei. And she was able to identify the specific moment of their births all the way down to the exact minute. In their own words, Katie & Kaili tell us what their experience with chart rectification was like (and whether it worked for them):
I remember the first time I heard about sun, moon and rising signs. I attended a Friendsgiving gathering at a friend’s apartment, and the attendees included a mish-mash of people from different social circles. What better way to break the ice than to go around and share our signs? While I thought all I’d have to say was “Leo,” I quickly found out it wasn’t that simple. While everyone listed off their sun, moon and rising signs, I thought I was hearing a foreign language rather than popular astrology jargon. I asked about the terms and realized I couldn’t participate in most of the discussion because I didn’t know my moon and rising signs due to the simple fact that I was adopted from China. If you’re an astrology newbie like me, to nail down your sun, moon and rising signs, you need to know your exact birth date, time and place (AKA the major unknowns of adopted individuals).
Once I got back from Friendsgiving, I remember heading straight to Google to try to uncover a loophole that would somehow grant me access to this information. My primary conclusion: Astrology calculators truly will not work without your birth date, time and place. Thankfully, my unlucky streak ended when StyleCaster’s Astrology Editor, Roya Backlund, told me about this very complex and under-the-radar process called chart rectification. Sounds pretty serious and oddly clinical, right?
If you find yourself in the same boat as me, let me (try to) explain. Chart rectification calls on other personal information—think family, friends, relationships, interests, careers, character traits, perceptions and more—to piece together your exact birth time and signs. This sounds pretty straightforward, but I can assure you, it wasn’t. Ursula Rising, as she immediately mentioned to me when we first hopped on a Zoom call, rectifies charts with her own unique system (or what she refers to as her “secret sauce”). She started with general questions about relationships, hobbies and identity. We experienced breakthroughs when I brought up topics like sports, baking, painting and drawing, the nature of my job, a police station, my siblings, social butterflies, my parents, large groups and social media. Everything felt a bit random in the moment but ultimately helped to clarify my chart. In addition to answering questions about me and my life, I read passages from a book (each blurb represented a degree in the zodiac birth chart), and each one was very abstract, poetic and philosophical. My objective was to decide which ones resonated with me the most.
At times, I questioned the process. What did this have to do with astrology? Couldn’t a passage speak to literally anyone? Isn’t this all so subjective to the person and the astrologer? Whenever these thoughts popped up, though, I had to remind myself to keep an open mind in order for this process to work. After all, “intuition” was the word of the day. As someone who tends to lean on the more rational side, this was difficult at times. It was also emotional at other times. For some of the heavier passages, I immediately knew they weren’t what I truly felt inside. For others, I had to face the fact that I did connect with bits and pieces of the words in front of me. The passage reading involved being vulnerable, uncomfortable and honest. And while being 100 percent open and truthful would typically force me back into my shell, I actually started to let my guard down and feel less anxious about the whole process.
After my session ended, I was surprised that I got so immersed in some of the passages, seeing as most of them initially sounded like gibberish to me. There was one in particular that reached out to me the most and sparked strong emotions. It was a line about how in this wild, uncertain world, creative forces are set free that could’ve never even surfaced or been liberated in any other way. I realized that I deeply resonated with this sentence because of why I was at this chart rectification session in the first place. I was adopted from China when I weighed just eight pounds. Somehow, this whirlwind of a world found a way to unlock something greater for me, which, in my unique situation, was a better life.
Discovering my birth time and sun, moon and rising signs at the hands of the brilliant Ursula Rising was such a pleasure; an experience I’ll never forget. I left the discussion feeling immediately confused but also itching to Google the meaning of everything—and I was so ready to finally download the Co–Star app. However, I think my biggest takeaway, which Ursula Rising and I unpacked in one of the passages, is that at the end of the day, I’m just a person. It’s okay to feel the push and pull of life. It’s okay to play a game of internal tug of war. It’s okay to not know what the future holds. It’s okay to be insecure. It’s okay to grapple with identity. It’s okay to live in the grey area rather than in black or white. But at the end of the day, I’m just a person; a person who is very grateful for this experience and how it gave me reassurance and reminded me of the complexities, beauty and strengths of my very special and personal story.
Time of birth: October 13th, 10:13 am. Now that’s some numerology shit. For five years, this was my fake birthday.
I remember my first week of college. Everyone was adding each other on Co–Star, comparing their Big 3s, and figuring out who was going to be friends with who. Then there was me—someone who had no idea when they were born and always had to explain the “long story short” of my adoption, followed by a continued conversation of astrology. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in rooms smiling and nodding my head.
You can imagine how I felt when I was told I could get my chart rectified. But the feelings didn’t sink in until the 5 spare minutes I gave myself to mentally prep before my appointment. I should’ve given myself more time because my heart was raaaaacing. What if my whole life flashes before my eyes, and I encounter this whole personality crisis? And the biggest stock at stake: What if I’m not a Libra? I’ve loved sporting the indecisive yet charming little love-bot archetype my whole life.
Ursula really got me with the first question. “So what range of days or weeks off are we looking at?” And to that, I replied, “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” For some adoptions, the birth dates we’re given are doctor estimates. I had no idea how off I might be, but I told her I’ve always felt a strong connection to the number 13. It always appears in my life. Table 13s, gas pump 13s, my favorite teams leading by 13, etc. Ursula agreed 13 had to be my birth date, which narrowed the results of my moon sign.
For that, the question was what my comfort show is. Easy. Saturday Night Live. Lighthearted and silly. “So you do in fact have the Sagittarius moon. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, which has a lot of buoyant optimism, so it’s lighthearted and funny for you.” Woah. “So we’re looking at a birth time no earlier than 10:19 am.” big WOAH.
Next, she found my rising sign (and this is the one that really blew my mind). Somehow she took my connection to fire departments…tied it in with my love for journalism…wove in my story about wanting to watch a Martin Luther King documentary on MLK Day…and how much I cried when tWitch passed away. Boom—I’m a “big-hearted Pisces rising.”
Her process was out-of-this-world. It was like she was taking buckets and placing them in groups and then giving them names, all the while moving around dials on this pastel-colored birth chart. It only took us 19 minutes to find my Big 3! The rest of my appointment was a matter of finding the minutes, which by process of elimination and reading certain passages from Ursula’s “secret sauce”—a book thou shalt not name drop—was a little difficult. My eyes were doing that thing where they see words but don’t read them haha. Ultimately, we were able to nail down the exact time I was born, and the rectification was complete.
And you know the most unbelievable part? Walking away, I was 100% just… fine. I wasn’t worried she could be wrong. I wasn’t jumping out of excitement. I wasn’t crying from the overwhelmingness of the situation. I was fine. I didn’t take time to process when I got back to work. I didn’t immediately go and text my friends. It was a weird feeling—partly because I didn’t know 90% of what Ursula’s terminology meant (hello, new homework) and partly because all of my life astrology has been a language and community I could never see myself in.
It’s been 3 days since my rectification, and I’ve slowly started telling my friends. They’re actually really excited for me, and seeing their excitement makes me really excited. It really is a beautiful thing getting to finally participate in something as cool as astrology. Though everyone has their skepticism, astrology is what you make it, and I feel like a new long-closed door has just opened for me.
Yes, chart rectification worked for us, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone. While a lot of it relies on you being open-minded and vulnerable, it also depends on the astrologer. For Ursula, she asked that we be intuitive and creative rather than overly logical. So, as a good rule of thumb, be sure to always do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions beforehand.
Don’t get us wrong, we do know that not everyone has the means or access to chart rectification. In full transparency, a session can ring you up for anywhere from $100 to $500. We each paid $250 for a one-hour session with Ursula Rising and found this to be a reasonable price for an astrologer that has so much experience behind them. If you do have the means, we think it could be worthwhile and enlightening to get your chart rectified by a pro. We feel more in touch with ourselves and are reminded of how lucky we are to be able to share our stories with those who can relate.