How Daylight Saving Time Can Mess With Your Horoscope

Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
Like it or not, daylight saving time is coming for us (well, most of us) this weekend. The official reason for DST is to adjust the time in a way that makes the most of our daylight hours, but most people prefer to focus on the inconveniences that come with the initial onset of DST. We lose an hour of sleep, our internal clocks are thrown off, and we're just in a general fog for the first few days of the new schedule. And for anyone born around the time that DST takes affect (which will be at 2:00 a.m. on March 12 this year), springing forward can even throw off your astrological identity.
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Astrologers determine your sun, moon, and ascendant signs (the three main astrological signs in Western astrology) by drawing up your birth chart, which is basically a snapshot of the celestial bodies' placement in the sky at the moment you were born. In order to create an accurate chart, they need to know where you born and your exact time of birth. Here's where DST can gum up the works, particularly in terms of your ascendant sign.
The ascendant sign is the sign on the Eastern horizon when you were born. Each sign spends about two hours on the horizon, and shifts one degree every four minutes. In other words, just a slight difference in when you were born can have a major impact on the nature of your ascendant sign. If daylight saving time isn't taken into account (and you were born on or around the time the clocks changed), you could end up thinking you have a completely different ascendant sign than you actually do.
Luckily, most astrologers now use software that resolves most DST-related confusion while generating charts. We say "most" because birth charts will always be tricky for those born before 1975 — DST was not exactly a hard and fast rule until then. In these cases, astrologers will calculate your chart twice, once with your time of birth in DST and once with it in standard time, then present you with both. This is where DST actually makes astrology a little more fun: You may then choose which one speaks to you more.
So, when the time comes to spring forward this weekend, make sure your birth chart has been calculated correctly. It just might be time for an update.
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