|Note on the New Year
The birth symbol you are about to calculate will be according to the solar calendar. The New Year therefore commences not in February (as per the Chinese lunar calendar) but with the Winter Solstice which occurs a few days before the end of the previous (western) year.
This explains why the yearly "elementary" values (EARTH, METAL ...) for births in January and (part of) February will differ from what you are familiar with. You are simply in a new year already according to the solar reckoning! This small discrepancy brings to mind Buddha's reminder of not confusing the map with that sought by means of the map.
Five prerequisites to calculating a Yin Yang Horoscope
Birth time including hour The exact minute of birth is not important.
If you have an approximate notion, like "sometimes after three in the afternoon", then enter
15:15. (Note the 24 hour format.) Had it been "half past three" you would probably have remembered
that! If you only have an "around three in the afternoon" to go by, use 15:00.
DO NOT attempt to subtract Daylight Saving Time (DST, Summer Time) at this point, you will indicate
the use of such later!
Time zone (TZ) This is for converting the time of Winter Solstice from GMT (Greenwich
Mean Time, also called UT, Universal Time) to your local time zone. Enter negative hours for time
zones West of Greenwich. Some examples: -8 for a birth in California, -5 for New York State. Enter
positive hours to the West. Births in Central Europe (using CET) would be (+) 1 hour relative to GMT.
Establishing the time of local Winter Solstice is important because the
commencement of the Chinese months are calculated from it. Even though one month instantly changes into
the next, every now and then a birth date demands the accurate time zone for the resulting horoscope to
be the right one.
The calculation of the local Winter Solstice and the commencement of the 12 months is accurate to a quarter-hour and most years considerably less than that. Since this is not a case of rocket science, this
degree of precision has been found sufficient. At any rate, it is more precise than in China when this system first saw the light of day.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) YOU MUST KNOW whether it is a case of a birth during DST! If so, one (1)
hour has usually been included in the recorded birth time. If you don't select the appropriate offset, you
will receive the wrong birth omen! If born shortly after midnight the subtraction of DST may result in a
true local birth date during the very end of the previous day!
Please note that the DST offset option should also be used in cases of War Time, which actually amounted
no more than permanent DST being in effect during World War 2. Extremely rarely this may cause a birth on
January 1st, just after midnight, to become a birth on December 31st the preceding year! Certain other
adjustments during the calculation may lead to similarly unexpected corrections, but the result is the
needed true local time of birth.
Unusual example of simultaneous DST and WarTime: For rock star Mick Jagger, who was born in the UK during
DST Summer 1943 when also WarTime was in effect, a 2 hour DST must be indicated.
Longitude If you don't have a map at hand, you may wish to consult www.astro.com (opens in a new window) which has
an impressive Atlas tool for finding the longitude for lots of cities worldwide.
Find out the birthplace longitude, Eest or West of Greenwich, England (which
is zero degrees. There are sixty minutes to each degree of longitude so if you are born at, say, 14:29 West,
round it out to 14 degrees. If, on the other hand, the birthplace is located at 14:31 West round it out to the
next whole number, 15 degrees. If it is precicely 14:30 (that is, 14½ degree), do as you will! Slight
imprecisions won't seriously affect this type of horoscope.
Latitude Look up the birthplace on a map and make sure its latitude is North of the Equator. Should
it be to the South, calculations are not "officially supported" although a visitor assured me in no uncertain terms
he has obtained absolutely (to his mind) valid results. After trying out the late singer Freddie Mercury's birttime
(born in Zanzibar, South of the Equator) I am inclined to agree.
As it turned out, he received the same birth symbol as Liberace, another glamorous star known for being a poseur and for
having had an excessive lifestyle!
Overinterpreting the omens is easy, but the hexagram in question surely does describe someone entering a stage
and overshadowing it completely. Although the original text refers to an officiating high priest or even the
Emperor himself, is this not roughly equivalent to the superstars showing off in a materialist society as the western?
(Their common symbol is Kuan, hexagram 20, line 5, for those interested in contemplating these matters further.)
So, for calculating births in the Southern hemisphere you may just leave the value of latitude in its default position.
The exception to the rule:
In certain places in the world there have been deviations from the standard time zones. Hawaii, for instance,
during a number of years (in the 1930's) had the time zone 10.5 hours that would require an extra adjustment to
bring the birth data into alignment with the closest standard time meridian. For a preview, experiment with
adding or subtracting an extra TZ hour to see whether this will lead to different birth horoscopes. Then
you'll know what birth symbol will result.