Although determining the exact birth moment—first appearance of the baby's head, delivery, severing of the umbilical cord, first breath, first cry, etc.—has sometimes been the subject of debate, the consensus among most astrologers is that the natal chart should be cast for the individual's first breath. Clients sometimes tell astrologers that their nativity should have been earlier or later than was recorded on their birth certificate (i.e., that the chart cast for their moment of birth is somehow wrong, because they were born premature). Such people misconceive the nature of astrological influence: The individual's first independent breath is like the clicking of a camera shutter, exposing the "film" of their soul to the imprint of celestial influences.
Bach, Eleanor. Astrology from A to Z: An Illustrated Source Book. New York: Philosophical Library, 1990.
Leo, Alan. The Complete Dictionary of Astrology. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1989.
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