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Conception—Where It Came From and How to Find It

Important: this form of astrology is quite different from traditional Western birth chart astrology. You cannot properly read these charts using those methods no matter how good an astrologer you are. You will get some things right and many things wrong. Rules for reading these charts have been empirically-derived over 32 years and are exacting, so please defer to them when using this formula to find conception to test this astrology. Otherwise, you will believe the method does not work when in fact YOU are using it incorrectly. Or worse, you will go through considerable, painful anxiety believing something bad is going to happen to you from work you have done on your chart when, in fact, the astrology involved does not support such an interpretation. Here is the link to those princples: Chart Reading Rules

Where The Conception Came From
Now, briefly, since I am not an expert on the law of seven or Gurdjieff:

Mystic and spiritual teacher George I. Gurdjieff wrote a lot about the law of seven, also known as the law of ninefoldness, also called the law of Heptaparaparshinokh in his book, All and Everything. Everything, he states, is composed of seven separate elements. And, if you subdivide one of those seven, it will also break down into seven units, and each of those into seven, forever.

Seven (and three), in effect, was the number used to create this universe. That is not surprising since 1/7 (that is, one divided by seven) equals 0.142857142857142857 ad infinitum, thereby allowing for change as opposed, for instance, to the fixedness of 1/2 = 0.5000000 (no change after the first zero), or 1/3 = 0.333333 (no change at all). So, unity divided by seven results in a six-digit number which repeats itself forever. The three missing numbers are 3-6-9. They, apparently, were used in the law of threefoldness, one example of which is "holy affirming, holy denying, holy reconciling."

How does the law of seven become the law of ninefoldness? Using the do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si-do note model, when He created the universe the Creator put in two gaps--an elongated one at fa, called the fa bridge, and a shortened one between si and do. As a model for effort and its relation to results (in any enterprise), at fa one has to put in extra effort to get from mi to sol. At si no effort is required to get to the upper do. It represents an automatic event which must happen. For instance, birth absolutely implies death. And one has arrived at Si, death is on the way. Just the timing is in question.

Seven plus two equals nine.

There is a discussion on Youtube of Rudolph Steiner's understanding of music, vibrations, and the Law of Octaves at Gurdjieff, Steiner, and the Sufis.

Engineer and philosopher Arthur M. Young has an exploration of the uniqueness of the number 7 in Appendix II of his book, The Reflexive Universe. In addition, here is a quote from Young felt that the world as we know it could be elaborated into seven stages, which could be depicted as an arc. Process could be seen as a "fall" into the determinate constraint of matter followed by an ascent in which matter becomes free and indeterminate again. "The primary reality is this activity - which could be light, or it could be seeing, or it could be understanding -- not knowledge, but understanding or recognition. It's behind all the world of manifestation, and it's a restoration, in effect, of the spiritual nature of things."

How to Find Conception
There are twelve charts per person with this method, one for each house of the Western birth chart. They are created by adding to the birth and conception planets their differing harmonics for each chart. The result is twelve charts containing all forty planets--4 times the standard 10--birth, birth harmonic, conception, and conception harmonic. While birth and conception (and their harmonics) share the same axis, they retain their distinct Angles and houses. So, all twelve charts contain exactly the same birth and conception planets, and the same birth and conception Angles and houses, but they differ from each other in the positions of their harmonic planets. There are numerous examples of this in the papers on this site.

Conception date and time is found though the 7th chart.

Coming originally from Eastern astrology, the harmonic used to find each chart is always two more than the house we are expanding. So, the 7th chart is found through the 9th harmonic.

And the 7th chart is used to find date and time of conception because the harmonic sun in the 7th chart makes nine 40-degree revolutions per year to complete one full cycle. That is, starting from birth, each individual has a 7th-chart harmonic solar return which occurs nine times per year. And, they always occur at intervals of exactly 40° 00' 00" (or multiples thereof) from birth or conception non-harmonic suns.

For example, my harmonic sun in the 7th chart is at 10 Taurus 06. That is, both conception and birth harmonic suns are at 10 Taurus 06--in the 7th chart, which is the only chart in which birth and conception harmonic suns coincide! They are derived from birth and conception suns at 11 Libra ++ and 1 Capricorn ++. Every time the sun in the sky hits an interval which is an exact 40° 00' 00" difference from either birth or conception suns (which are 2 x 40° from each other in longitude), the harmonic sun is again at 10 Taurus 06. Nine of these intervals occur per year which yield the exact same harmonic sun at 10 Taurus 06. The moment and place they occur thus produce a "return" of the harmonic sun.

Birth, then, is the 7th (out of 9 possible per year) harmonic solar revolutions, or intervals, from conception, with the change from non-harmonic sun to non-harmonic sun for each succeeding return being exactly 40°.

Since we do not know conception, and we do know birth (exactly), we work backward through time from birth to conception. We can do this because they are linked to each other through the law of seven.

Conception derived this way uses the three important numbers: seven, nine, and forty--numbers which occur frequently in all religions, myths, folklore, and fairy tales.

Practically speaking, then, the sidereal conception (i.e., non-harmonic) sun is exactly 80° 00' 00” (ahead of in longitude but behind in date) from the sidereal birth sun.

I could simply have stated that conception sun is 80 degrees 00' 00" from the birth sun, but that is not how I found conception. I, myself, would never have believed 80 degrees an effective conception except that I found it the way I did, through the law of seven.

According to the Wikipedia article on gestational periods, human gestation from conception to birth is about 40 weeks. Forty weeks times seven days per week equals 280. Human gestation, the article states, typically occurs between 254 and 294 days from conception. This puts our astrological conception solidly in the area of physical conception.

Counting up the days (I sometimes mix up degrees and days and they are not equal) between my own conception and birth, they add up to 286 days in a non-leap year.

Here is another opinion on the length of gestation, from, 5/29/10:
What is the “normal gestational term” for humans?
Naegele’s Rule: The standard definition for gestational term is 266 days from conception to the date of the baby’s birth. This is also defined as 280 days, or 40 weeks, from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period, a definition which assumes that the mother ovulates on day 14 of a 28 day menstrual cycle. The formula used to calculate due date is: (not included here).

In order for 80° 00’ 00” to be a meaningful difference between birth and conception suns, one must start with the EXACT degree, minutes, and seconds of the birth sun---that is the one given us by the birth date and time. Why?

The sun in the sky changes longitude an average of 2' 30" per hour (with 24 hours yielding a change in the sun's position of approximately 24 x 2' 30" = 60', which = approximately 1° per day). 2' 30" longitude per hour is also equal to 150" longitude per hour. Which is equal to 2.5" (seconds) of longitude per minute of real time (which has 60 minutes in every hour--150' divided by 60 = 2.5"). The Midheaven of a chart changes approximately one degree of longitude for every four minutes of real time. If you had, for instance, 40" (seconds) in the longitude of your birth sun which you did not include (because you didn't know it) when adding the 80° 00' 00", then birth time would be off by 40/150 of an hour, which equals 0.2666 of an hour, which equals 16 minutes of real time, which equals an error of approximately 4° in your object Midheaven. A 4° error in Midheaven is unacceptable for research. And with exact birth time, it is unnecessary.

I have written a paper discussing the practical difference between tropical and sidereal astrology entitled “Tropical and Sidereal Astrology—A Discussion." Here is the link: Tropical vs. Sidereal Discussion.

Probably all astrology software offers the option of using tropical or sidereal astrology. Mine does, too.

But mine did not give the exact degree, minute and second of the sidereal (or the tropical) sun in the chart itself. Following through several tabs put me in the position to find the exact degree, minute, and second of the tropical sun. The ayanamsa, or Sinetic Vernal Point, or SVP for that date is the conversion factor for going from tropical to sidereal positions for any planet. So its value is added to the value found for the birth sun. (Note that the sign will fall back by one. That is, if your tropical birth sun is in Scorpio--unless you were born late in the last five degrees, then your sidereal birth sun will be in Libra.)

The following is the rule of thumb used for finding approximate date of conception:

Manually add 2 months and 20 days (approximately 80 days) to the birth month and day, then drop back a year.

That yields the approximate date of conception. It can be used to erect a chart close to conception which yields a sun within degrees of the desired conception sun. Use of the rectification technique, using the sun, further refines the position of the sun until it is exactly where required. That resulting chart is the conception chart.

Birth and conception charts are combined into one chart, retaining separate houses but sharing the same axis.

As a check when finished finding conception, make sure its 9th harmonic sun is in the exact same sign, degree, and minute (harmonics don’t usually give seconds) as the birth chart 9th harmonic sun. This, of course, can only happen with the 7th chart. For all other charts, harmonic birth and conception suns are not identical.

The Egyptian Harmonic
Most astrology software has the harmonic option.

I have given directions for finding the Egyptian harmonic from the normal one in my paper "About This Method," link below, but here, too, is the link: About This Method. It is the Egyptian harmonic, and not the "regular one," that has produced the excellent results of this method.

Once erected, this birth/conception chart should be read using the principles, consolidated over the past 30 years of research on real life experiences and conditions, for reading charts of this method : Empirically-Derived Chart Reading Rules. They are different from those of standard traditional Western astrology. The reasonable assumptions of established astrologers using other methods that they will be able to construct these charts and immediately "read" them are mistaken.

For one thing, number of valid aspects used are far fewer, with only the conjunction, square, and opposition being used. For another, acceptable orbs are much smaller. And for another, there is a clearer hierarchy of the strength of various astrological conditions, ranging from the most important and strongest to those which hardly count at all until activated by progressions or transits.

While it is true valid aspects are limited to conjunctions, squares, and opposition, harmonics re-introduce the complexity which makes the huge variety of human conditions and events possible. It is easy to find out which harmonics create new squares, conjunctions, and oppositions from sidereal planetary positions. For example, to see which harmonic recognizes the semi-square (45°, not recognized as a valid aspect with this method) of traditional astrology, erect a chart with your software for any date and time. Correct it so that any two planets are, for instance, exactly 45° apart. Then look at their harmonics--3 through 14 for the twelve charts—to see which produce new squares, conjunctions, or oppositions. Those are the harmonics that "recognize" a 45° aspect. This can be done with any difference between two (non-harmonic) planets. (Many of these are now shown in a table in the paper on Chart Reading at bottom of this page.) It won’t, however, expose new relationships between harmonics and the original birth/conception sidereal planets. The only way to see those is to erect the whole chart.

The resultant whole charts are rich in valid aspects. So using any aspect other than the conjunction, square, and opposition is not only unwarranted, it introduces practices into this method which don't apply to this method. But the difference lies not only in the fewer acceptable aspects (which with this method are called "sets" to help keep clear that they include only several of what traditional astrology calls aspects). It occurs through their different hierarchical relevance. So ignoring the empirically established principles for reading these charts because one already "knows how to read astrology charts" can easily result in large errors in interpretation. This method is different and mastery of it requires different understanding than that established through traditional astrology,

About Standardization
In the art of astrology, the astrologer's personal flair is usually a good thing. It adds color and beauty to the chart's presentation, stirs the imagination, and is good for business. In the science of astrology, standardization is a must.

Here charts have been standardized in the way they are presented.

One standardization is that birth and conception planets share the same axis while retaining their individual house cusps. That is, there are not two charts--birth and conception--but one, the birth/conception chart in which all the planets work together to produce our experience of life. There is no preference for birth over conception or vice versa. They are equally valid placements.

No software does the complete chart for this method. Data comes from four different software pages (that is, the page for birth planets, the page for their harmonics, the page for conception planets, and the page for their harmonics). So, the charts used in this method have to be hand-drawn.

It is necessary to color-code these planets according to whether they are birth, conception, or their harmonics. Their identities have to be retained because (1) only birth planets rule birth houses (and only conception planets rule conception houses), and (2) progressions for each set are distinct and done separately. Harmonics of planets "progress" much faster than the planet from which they are derived. It is necessary to know their exact position and know which is which.

The outer planets saturn, uranus, neptune, and pluto often do not move more than several degrees during an individual's whole lifetime. But harmonics of their progressions, which move much faster that their parent planet, are often important. They often form new aspects during a lifetime. At the same time, they move slowly enough to stay in a set for many years, thereby changing the meaning of the set for those years.

So, one must at all times be able to distinguish birth planets from conception planets and their harmonics--each from each. I used the colors shown in my papers because those inks are most prevalent in stores. For Internet charts I ended up using red for conception, blue for birth, black for conception harmonics, and green for birth harmonics.

It was no longer useful to put the Ascendant at the East (9:00 a.m.) Point of the chart because there are two Ascendants--birth and conception. The best form for presenting, viewing, comparing, and discussing these charts turned out to be the use of a blank twelve-times divided circle with the sign Aries at 9:00 o'clock and the other signs following in order around the circle. That provided a standard form for filling in birth and conception planets in which place of signs around the dial were constant.

In addition to color coding, as a standardization conception planets and their harmonics were placed outside the twelve-times divided "Aries" chart, and birth planets and their harmonics were put inside the circle. This only makes a difference if comparing with other astrologers. Then, if not standardized, it gets much harder to see what is occurring in charts.

Checking Your Results
This site contains hundreds of examples of charts erected using the guidelines for doing astrology with this method. Accordingly, those examples can always serve as cross-checks for individuals just learning this method. Birth and conception data for each individual written about are found at the bottom of papers under "Data Acknowledgments."

Not apparent on my website, the individuals I wrote about who I believed might have found it offensive were told and given the option that I remove the material. So far not one has so chosen.

With some exceptions about public information, I believe no one should have to hear or see astrological information about himself or loved ones unless he so chooses. Except for classes of research, which can be impersonal indeed, please keep this astrology in that area of “gift-to-those-who-seek.”

Astrology, the Sacred Science
I believe astrology was once socially considered a sacred science and that it will be again. Please treat this astrology, which contains so much information about the individual, accordingly.

About Doing Your Own Chart and Those of Loved Ones
This method can show you things in your or loved one's charts you could wish you had not seen. It is not so easy to "un-see" such revelations. Keep that in mind when volunteering to do charts, for instance, for family or friends, or when, for instance, doing your own future progressions.

I understand that all astrologers use their own charts to learn some of the astrology that eventually becomes their understanding of the field. With this method, too, some things in our own charts deepen our understanding. But, the broad base of learning astrology, and of learning with this method in particular, comes from years of research on known conditions and events in charts of strangers. That is an interest in astrology. Looking first and only into one's own chart is not. There is no such thing as being able to see reality, or properly affect it, when one has a deep desire to change what is. And it is nearly impossible to have no desire to change what is, or what one thinks is about to be, when one believes--correctly or often incorrectly with new learners--they are heading for a very difficult, painful, perhaps even life-ending experience.

So, generally speaking, if you want to learn astrology using this method with its fascinating results and implications, you should do so by using it to do research into the reality of our human condition, not your own. Because it is not possible through this method to objectively see your own condition when that is all you are interested in seeing.

Chart Reading Rules
About This Method
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Last revised September 2013.