View Full Version : need help understanging instructions in K.I.S.S. Guide by the Parkers

21-01-2005, 17:13
I've only gotten as far as finding my ascendant, and it's already confusing! :(

First of all, it says "First, in your atlas, find the latitude (the north-south line) for the city or town of your birth." I thought latitude ran east-west! I was taught to remember that latitude lines run like a ladder. I'm confused already.

Then it has these charts in the back. "How to find your Ascendant." "Locate the longitude of your birthplace and your time of birth. Turn to the table here closest to the latitude of your birth." Why do you have to find the longitude, but then look for the latitude in the chart?!!

Anyway, I was born in San Diego--that is latitude 32, longitude -117. But I don't see that anywhere on this chart! All I see is numbers like "51(degrees) 2'N" and "41(degrees) 7'N". Those are Calgary, Canada and Tashkent, Russia respectively. That do those numbers and letters mean?!

I feel really stupid.

So these are the 32's:
Nanjing, Jiangsu 32(degrees) 3'N
Fremantle, Australia 32(degrees) 3'S

THAT'S IT!! I'm going to cry. :(

21-01-2005, 17:20
Oh wait! I turn the page, to a page that says "How to find your Midheaven" in large letters at the top, with charts that are a different color than the previous page. But San Diego is on this page! 117, which is the longitude, not the latitude (which it says to look for)! And the reason I was only looking on the first page, was because the instructions said, "Now turn to the tables on p.414 (the chart I need is on 416) and find the line of latitude closest to your birth latitude."

What poorly written instructions. :( And I was so happy to find a book that told you how to draw up your chart. I hope the rest of the instructions are more clear.

21-01-2005, 17:26
Any way to email the publisher about it? They need to know if their books are causing more confusion than necessary. If the index pages don't have a website listed, try searching online, there should be a 'contact us' selection on their main site.

21-01-2005, 17:33
Thanks, I am definitely going to do that.

I just realized that the second page of charts are only for doing the Midheaven. So now I'm still stuck trying to find my ascendant. I mean, I already know what it is, but I want to be able to figure it out for myself also!

This is so disappointing. =/

21-01-2005, 18:22
All this time I've been skipping over a very important sentence, which I just now noticed for the first time: "If your city or town isn't displayed, choose the latitude of the nearest major city."

That would have helped a lot had I read it in the first place, instead of getting stuck on the part that says "find the latitude (the north-south line)..."!! Jeez, I feel silly.

They do have the meanings of the words latitude and longitude mixed up, though.

21-01-2005, 20:40
Longitude is the East West position of your place of birth. There are quite a few Atlases on the web that will give you this. You need the longitude to establish the time difference between where you were born and the Greenwich meridian, as most tables of houses, planetary positions, etc use GMT.

The calculation of the Ascendant is complex using sidereal time tables and tables of houses, as well as the time difference from GMT. The tables of house need the latitude of your place of birth, that is it's position North or South of the equator - for you you will need a table for the Northern latitudes. This again provides some calculation challenges as you will have to 'interpolate' (estimate) it for your birth location, unless you luckily lie on one of the latitudes in the table.

To help you get started, San Diego is 8 hours behind GMT, so in order to use an Ephemeris of planetary positions you will need to add 8 hours to your birth time. Be careful, this might well take you into the following day. So if your birth date is say, 21st January you might find that you need to use the Ephemeris for 22nd January when you have adjusted to GMT.

Adding 8 hours will give you a reasonable approximation of GMT for your time of birth, however strictly speaking time changes in a continuous fashion, not in jumps at each time zone. For each degree West from Greenwich, time goes back 4 minutes. So in your case the real time difference is 7 hours and 49 minutes! You would be better using the latter figure when you come to calculate thd Sidereal Time at the moment you were born.

If you want to check your way through the calculation, I'd be happy to help but this will involve disclosing your birth date and time.

21-01-2005, 21:18
I don't understand how longitude can be east-west. You mean the horizontal lines right? San Diego's longitude is -117. If it were east-west, it would be a positive number because we're above the equator.

I found LA on the tables, and that's how I finally got the right Ascendant. LA's latitude is 34. Ours is 32.

21-01-2005, 21:51
Yes it is confusing but Longitude is definitely East/West. San Diego lies 117 degrees 9 minutes and 23 seconds West of Greenwich. Local Time in San Diego is 8 hours behind Greenwich so to find San Diego time given Greenwich time I have to subtract 8 hours. That is where the 'negative' comes in. Negative longitudes (West) are less than the time at 0 degrees. Measuring longitude acurately is actually quite difficult and was only acheived when they invented an accurate clock (chronometer). So it is longitude that is related to the time difference. The confusion is that when you look at lines of longitude they run from North to South poles. However if you think of them as the segments of an orange, their purpose is to tell you which segment you are looking at - that is how far round the orange you are. Just keep associating Longitude with time and you won't go far wrong.

You mentioned the analogy of the ladder for latitude, Latitude measures the distance North or South of the Equator, in degrees They do run 'around' the globe but if you think of these lines as steps on a ladder, moving from one to another takes you further north, going up or further south when going down. Latitude is more easily measured - you do it from the position of the Stars, or more particularly the Pole Star. You will need the latitude of San Diego to calculate the Ascendant.

For each meridian of longitudethe Midheaven is the same, no matter how far North or South you are - so the longitude of San Diego will give you the Midheaven when you allow for your time of birth. But the Ascendant changes the further North you move from the equator. So you need the latitude of San Diego to get a fix on the sign rising at your point of birth.

Again positive latitudes are those North of the equator, negative latitudes are to the South, though it is much easier to give compass direction for latitudes and longitudes than the confusing plus or minus.

You will need to establish the Sidereal Time of your birth and this can bring further confusion because Sidereal Time is slightly different from Solar Time - the Sidereal 'clock' is a more accurate measure of the Earth's rotation around the Sun in terms of time. Please post any questions you have on that and we'll talk you through it.

From what you've said you've got an Ascendant based on LA at 34 North. If you want to get a more accurate fix on San Diego look down the rows to the latitude below. I'll guess that this is 30 degrees. From the MC that you've used to get your Ascendant, take the average of the Ascendant at 34 degrees and at 30 degrees and this wil give a reasonable approximation for San Diego. Incidentally it doesn't matter which house system you are going to use - the calculation of the Ascendant is the same.

21-01-2005, 21:58
Ohhhhh you mean it's east/west of Greenwich!!! See, I thought you meant longitude lines run east/west, as in they are horizontal on a map.

The reason I brought up housing system didn't have to do with my Ascendant--my own result matched the one from the chart I already had printed for me at a book store. But when I used the charts in the K.I.S.S. guide to place my planets, my Mars and Venus weren't the same as on the birth chart I already have. :(

21-01-2005, 22:04
You got it!!!!!!!!!!!

I've edited my post to deal with your comment on using LA latitude to get the Ascendant. If the next row is different from 30 degrees then you'll have to aportion the difference to get Dan Diego.

21-01-2005, 22:10
Forgot to add that once you've finished your calculations check your chart against one of the free web sites such as Astrodienst


or I can check it using my computer program. Either way you know whether you got the right answer.

21-01-2005, 22:13
Goodness I feel so dense! It's just sunk in that I should have used the table that has the city of Nanjing, which is at 32 3'N. I just tried it and it came out with the same sign in the same position as with Los Angeles. So I think I've gotten that all figured out. Now there's just the business of seemingly misplaced planets. And that's probably just a matter of me misreading a sentence or something as equally silly.

21-01-2005, 22:22
Glad you've sorted it. The 32 degree row is near enough to get a reasonable accurate chart.

Misplaced planets ?????????? - sounds painful :)

21-01-2005, 22:27
It is painful! It's giving me a headache!! :)

I went to that site and did my chart (I already have one, but left it at home). It placed my Venus in Gemini, just like the one I have at home. But when I follow the instructions in my book, my Venus goes in Taurus.

The book says: "To find and place Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter on your chart, refer to the tables starting on p.402, just as you did for the Sun. There is a set of tables for these four planets. In each planet's table, find your year of birth at the top of the table and your month of birth on the lefthand side. Read down and across to where they meet, and you will see what signs the respective planets moved into on the day of your birth."

So I go to 1983 in Venus' table, and go down to the 4th month, and there is a symbol for Taurus in the third section, which is the 19th-30th (I was born on the 25th).

I can't figure out what's going wrong. :(

The weird thing is that Venus in Taurus suits me much better.

21-01-2005, 22:41
Wow you have the same birthday as my daughter!! though she's four years older.

Venus entered Gemini on 13th April 1983 and by the 25th was around 13-14 degrees depending on your time of birth.

However as Venus had entered Taurus on 19th March I suspect that you are reading from the March positions not the April ones. Or the table in the book is misprinted :)

21-01-2005, 22:42
You are to be congratulated for taking the time and making the huge effort to learn how to calculate a chart by hand using tables (and a calculator?). You will find later on that your understanding of astrology in terms of progressions and return charts will be greatly aided by the effort you are making now. Good luck. And, as Minderwiz says, any of us will be glad to help you at any step of the way -- just ask. Dave.

22-01-2005, 15:31
Thank you dadsnook! :)

I left my book at home tonight because I didn't even want to look at it anymore, but in the morning I will double check the tables, even though I have done so a million times!! My Mars ended up in the wrong place, too, but I don't have the book with me so I can't describe what it says or how I'm doing it.

22-01-2005, 19:56
Well good luck with Mars - it ought to end up around 14 degrees Taurus but if you can't get it to work just give us a shout :) There's one thing - once you've sorted this out you can cast charts for other people.

You might find this online ephemeris helpful.


Just scroll down to April and then read off the planetary positions for the midnight prior to your birth. This will give you the approximate position. You can make it exact by adding one twenty fourth of the planet's daily motion (midnight to midnight after your birth) for each hour you were born after midnight GMT.

23-01-2005, 19:34
Well it appears I just can't win. The problem was that I was looking at Mars instead of Venus. This book is so confusing! The sun tables start on one page, and when they end, there is a picture of Mercury and the Mercury tables start. So, silly me, I assumed that the tables after the picture of Venus would be the Venus tables!! But the tables actually start on the page facing the page with the picture of Venus. The Mars tables start after the picture of Venus. This book makes me feel so dumb. :(

Well, at least there's a little hope now. I'm alsmost scared to continue, though.

23-01-2005, 19:55
That book does seem to be extremely badly laid out. I actually have the 'Parker's Astrology' volume they wrote (someone gave it me as a present) - I don't rate it as much as the Campion volume but it does seem to have reasonable tables.

The calculation is bad enough anyway but to have poor instructions or poorly presented material is just too much.

isthmus nekoi
24-01-2005, 10:36
Oh don't feel dumb! I've only gone so far as drawing up a chart's ASC. :D Most people jump right to the software, kudos to you for giving it a shot!