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The Western Wisdom Teachings
Junior Astrology Course
Lesson No. 3

Astrology Letter No. 3

These are lines by an unknown poet, but they ring absolutely true to the teachings of Christ in regard to the rich young man, and also to the teachings given in Paul's inimitable 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Love is the source of life; love alone makes life worth living, and therefore I feel that in a course of astrology from the Mystic's viewpoint the planet of love, Venus, has first claim on our consideration.

   You know that each house represents a certain department of life, and when you learn the intrinsic value of the planets you will be able to read a message from the stars independently of books and authorities. By exercising your own divine power of reason to combine the simple basic factors, you may become an astrologer (the name means reasoner concerning the stars); any brainless poll parrot can babble about what the books say. It is easy to read and recite; but it requires thought to reach an independent conclusion and give an adequate interpretation of the stellar script. That effort, however, is productive of wonderful soul growth, so I hope that you will read little but think much; then you will develop a deeper and more reliable knowledge than the most erudite authorities can impart and a soul-power of inestimable value, namely, intuition.

   I can teach you how to erect a horoscope; there are certain definite, hard and fast rules; but neither I or anyone else can teach you how to read in an adequate manner. The best method is to aid students to combine the basic factors of horoscopical judgment and to draw logical conclusions therefrom. This we will commence in our next letter.

Yours in Fellowship,
  Max Heindel

Astrology Lesson No. 3

Junior Grade

True Local Time

In our first lesson we spoke about time in general. We will now consider a special kind of time, namely, True Local Time. This is the same as Sun Time, which is gauged by the instant when the sun crosses the meridian (when it is directly overhead) at any particular place. This instant marks True Local Noon for that place. We will also learn how to convert Standard Time, the prevailing time in the United States, into True Local Time.

   Prior to November 18, 1883, the time used in any particular locality was Sun Time, that is, True Local Time.

   But since that time it has been found convenient to substitute what is called Standard Time, for Sun Time, particularly in America, and therefore the student should understand the division of the country into time zones, so that he may be able to make necessary corrections when calculating horoscopes for dates subsequent to the institution of Standard Time.

   This innovation grew out of the confusion which existed in railroad time-tables before its introduction. Where several railroads entered a city, each had its clocks set to a standard of its own, and in addition, the people in that city had their own local time. Sometimes the clock on one railway station varied half an hour from that of another railroad company, and both pointed to a different time from the timepiece on the city hall. It was therefore suggested that if the country be divided into time zones, each about fifteen degrees of longitude in width (this being the distance the sun travels in one hour), and all the clocks in each division set to one uniform time, gauged by a meridian located in the center of its time zone, the difficulty would be overcome. Accordingly, America was divided into four such zones by three imaginary lines, as illustrated in the diagram:

   In the Eastern Time Zone clocks are set to the 75th Meridian, 5 hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time.

   In the Central Time Zone time is regulated to the 90th Meridian, which is 6 hours earlier than Greenwich.

   In the Mountain Time Zone timepieces are governed according to the 105th Meridian, which is 7 hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time.

   In the Pacific Time Zone time is set to the 120th Meridian, 8 hours earlier than Greenwich.

   In all cities located on these Standard Meridians (indicated by arrows on our diagram), such as Philadelphia and Denver, Standard Time is also the True Local Time, and no correction is required in calculation of horoscopes. But Detroit, which you will see located near the dividing line between the Eastern and Central Time Zones, is 8 degrees west of the 75th Meridian, and its clocks are therefore 32 minutes faster than Sun Time, for when they show noon according to the 75th Meridian Standard, the True Local Time is 32 minutes before twelve. Chicago you see a little east of the 90th Meridian (2 degrees). When the clocks there are at twelve, it is really 8 minutes past the noon hour. San Francisco clocks show noon when the True Local Time is only 11:50 A.M., because that city is 2 1/2 degrees west of the Standard Meridian. Correction is therefore necessary because True Local Time must be used in all subsequent calculation of the horoscope. The rule for obtaining True Local Time is: to the nearest Standard Meridian Time, add four minutes for each degree the birth place is east of the Meridian corresponding to that Time.

   If the birth place is West of that Meridian, subtract four minutes for each degree it is West thereof.

   To illustrate, we will find the True Local Time for a birth at New York, July 23, 1912, 5:56 A.M., Standard Time. By reference to the map we find that New York is in about 74 degrees West Longitude, which is one degree east of the nearest Standard Time Meridian, namely, the 75th meridian. Following our rule, we add one times four, or four minutes to the time shown by the clock (5:56 A.M.), obtaining thereby 6:00 A.M., which is the True Local Time of birth.

   Similarly, for a birth at New York, July 28, 1912, 9:56 P.M., we find that the True Local Time is 10 P.M.

   Note specially, however, that this correction of Standard to True Local Time applies only to the United States and is required only for dates subsequent to Nov. 18, 1883, when Standard Time was adopted. But, in such other countries as have special time regulations, these must be taken into account in calculating True Local Time.

Greenwich Mean Time

   We are now to learn about another kind of time. Suppose that we have a pole many billions of miles long, and that the earth is sufficiently soft so that we can imbed the pole therein. Then, as we look out along our pole, we shall find it pointing directly at one of the fixed stars. As the Earth turns upon its axis, our pole will point to different stars at various times, but from the time it is in line with one certain star to the next time it reaches that position, the Earth will have made one complete revolution. This is a Sidereal Day an our only absolutely correct measurement of time.

   When you look in your ephemeris on March the 21st, you see in the column marked "Sidereal Time," the figures 23 hours, 54 minutes; the next day has a different sidereal time, and so has every day through the rest of the year. You may therefore think our statement wrong, but there would be no such difference if the Earth were stationary in space. In addition to revolving upon its axis, however, it also travels in an orbit around the Sun, and so if the pole, which we imagine stuck in the Earth, points to a certain star on the noon of March 21st, it must move a little further to catch up with the Sun (which marks our noon), on March 22nd. On March 23rd, it must have moved still a little further after passing the marking star, and yet further for every succeeding day in the year. Moreover, as the speed of the Earth is variable at different times of the year, so also the difference in time between the sidereal clock and the solar clock varies. Therefore we cannot even use Sun time in our civil life, but are forced to average these differences in time, and thus we get what is called mean time. Further, as the greatest observatory of modern times is at Greenwich, England, the world sets its clocks by the timepiece there, and calls it Greenwich Mean Time.

   The ephemeris gives us the Longitude of each planet at noon, Greenwich Mean Time, for every day in the year. If we were all born in Greenwich and at twelve o'clock noon, we might just set the figures given in the ephemeris for our birthday, down in the horoscope without further calculation. But as most of us were born at places east or west of Greenwich, a correction is obviously necessary, and the fact that people are born at all hours of the day necessitates a further correction, so that the position of the planet may be accurately calculated for the birth time at the birthplace. How this is accomplished and the philosophy of the correction will be seen by the following illustration:

   Any circle, as you know, is mathematically divided into 360 degrees, and you may with profit look up what is said about this in Lesson No. 1, where the Sun's motion in its orbit was the theme. That revolution takes one year, and thus the Sun's seeming daily motion is about one degree. But the Earth also describes a circle upon its axis in twenty-four hours, and so appears to move one degree of space in four minutes, or fifteen degrees in one hour. New York is located in about 74 degrees west longitude, and the Sun must therefore travel 4 hours, 56 minutes from the noon mark at Greenwich to reach the midday position at New York. And when the Sun is at the zenith in Greenwich, and the clocks there strike twelve, the rays of the morning Sun are only peeping at New York, and its clocks point to 7:04 A.M.

   A little child born in New York at 7:04 o'clock in the morning and another child born in London at noon would thus be born at exactly the same moment, though the clocks differed at their birthplaces. But it would be necessary to correct the New York birth time to Greenwich time, in order to use the ephemeris calculated for the latter place. This is done by adding to the True Local Time of birth, four minutes for every degree of longitude, if the birthplace is west of Greenwich, or subtracting four minutes for each degree of longitude if the birthplace is east of Greenwich.

   We will now calculate the Greenwich Mean Time for a birth at New York, July 23, 1912, 5:56 A.M., Standard Time. We found in the first part of this lesson that the corresponding True Local Time was 6:00 A.M., which we will use in the following calculation:

   New York is about 74 degrees West Longitude. Multiply that number by four minutes; the product is 296 minutes. As there are 60 minutes in an hour, we reduce the 296 minutes by dividing by that number; thus we obtain 4 hours and 56 minutes. This we add to our True Local Time of birth, 6 A.M., and obtain 10:56 A.M., which is our Greenwich Mean Time. That is to say, at the time when our child was born in New York, and the clocks in that place pointed to 5:56 A.M., the observatory clock in Greenwich, England, indicated the time as 10:56 A.M. When Greenwich Mean Time has been found, the student is advised to forget the birth time in further calculations upon that horoscope, for only Greenwich Mean Time is then used. Thus you see how by the above correction we have changed Standard Time to Greenwich Mean Time.


  You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include your e-mail address, full name, course name and lesson number in your e-mail to us.

1] What is the True Local Time when clocks set to Standard Time show 11:25 at Chicago; 9:30 at New York, 10:55 at Denver (all A.M.)?

2] What is the Greenwich Mean Time when it is 2 P.M., Standard Time, at Chicago?

Course Study Resources E-mail your answers to us.

  Notice: Please be sure to include all calculations in reaching your answers. Please do not fail to read and reread the pages in which you find the answers to these questions. After carefully studying the subject matter, strive to condense your answer as much as possible, taking into consideration the principal points.

Answers to Lesson No. 2:

1] The twelve signs are divisions of the heavens relative to the Vernal Equinox and the ecliptic, which are places of reference in space.

The twelve houses are divisions of the heavens relative to the birthplace and horizon, which are places of reference on the Earth.

2] The signs are derived from groups of relatively fixed stars along the Sun's yearly path through the sky - and always maintain the same relative positions to one another. The planets are heavenly bodies that revolve around the Sun, and are constantly changing their relative positions to one another.

3] A degree is approximate distance traveled by the Sun each day -- one three-hundred and sixtieth of a circle. 30 degrees in each sign.

4] There are 12 signs and 12 houses.

5] A planets' influence is determined principally by the angle of the ray. Although each planet has its own innate nature, the angle of the ray determines in what way, or how that influence will be exerted. The house that a planet is in shows the angle of the planetary ray relative to the Earth, and the sign that a planet is in shows the angle of the planetary ray relative to the heavens.

6] From Aries 1° to Aries 30° is 29 degrees; then from Taurus 0° to Taurus 15° is another 15 degrees. Added together total 44°.

Note: Any Zodiacal Sign starts at 0° and ends at 30°. It is possible to have a planet located at 0°13'36" of Aries (zero degree, thirteen minutes and thirty six seconds which is between Aries 0° and Aries 1°.

Lesson 1: Chart Erection
Lesson 2: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 3: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 4: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 5: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 6: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 7: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 8: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 9: Chart Erection [continued]
Lesson 10: Chart Interpretation
Lesson 11: The Fixed Signs - Part I
Lesson 12: The Fixed Signs - Part II
Lesson 13: The Fixed Signs - Part III
Lesson 14: The Fixed Signs - Part IV
Lesson 15: The Common Signs - Part I
Lesson 16: The Common Signs - Part II
Lesson 17: The Commons Signs - Part III
Lesson 18: The Common Signs - Part IV
Lesson 19: The Common Signs - Part V
Lesson 20: The Aspects and Properties of Planets and Signs
Lesson 21: Reading the Horoscope
Lesson 22: Reading Aspects by the Use of Keywords
Lesson 23: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part I
Lesson 24: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part II
Lesson 25: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part III
Lesson 26: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part IV

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