As we shall see, each chart has a variety of classifications and each one must be examined through separate perspectives. In considering the birth chart, the chart itself must be arranged into different levels of classi-
Where do we begin? Well, many centuries ago (and still today in a few countries), sunset marked the beginning of each new day. Sunset began as the matrix of what was about to transpire for the next 24-hour period. Although there is no absolute proof that the ancient astrologers used the method I am about to describe, we can ask our self, what could possibly be useful to astronomers / astrologers during their nightly vigil?
My sunset chart hypothesis presents a bold idea that is unique to astrology. And yet, there is a hauntingly familiar feel to what I call the Chaldean sunset system. By starting with sunset, the astrologer can easily examine various planetary classifications and configurations in a unique way to help his clients integrate and reflect cosmic influences to their fullest potential.
The sunset chart becomes the matrix foundation by which any and all charts are examined. This holds especially true for the birth chart because the time-of-birth chart lies within the scope of the 24-hour period that the child chose to be born. At present, the timing of an individual's birth declares a rising sign by degree to allow astrologers to distinguish character traits between other individuals born on the same day. Similarly, the birth chart is to the sunset chart what the Ascendant is to the Sun sign in today's astrology. The most unique point about the sunset system is it creates a synastry between the time of birth (the individual) and the world at large. Something no other astrology system has ever accomplished!
The Chaldeans developed their style of observation over a period of many centuries and it may be said that their observations marked the beginning of an empirical mathematical astronomy.
What the scribes observed in the evening and morning skies stamped the beginning of what we call synodical periods i.e., the interval when a planet is exactly in the same aspect from the Sun based on a previous time (van der Waerden called this the solar distance principle). For example, Mars in the sign Aquarius in an exact square aspect to the Sun in Taurus; the passage of time it takes for Mars to be in Aquarius and reach the exact same degree and square aspect to the Sun in Taurus is 32 years plus 11 days. But planets beyond Mars have much longer synodical periods and therefore cannot relate to human existence.
The synodic periods are the basis and formulation for this research. Babylonian scribes would observe the planetary degree (called žs) by its relation to its first appearance on the horizon until the rising Sun appeared or, in the evening they would count the degrees between sunset and the planet that set thereafter. It was the time interval between these phenomena and their reoccurrence that the scribes were interested. It is the solar arc "time periods" in which we are interested as well.
Keeping this thought in mind and using the idea of the chaos theory of scaling (reducing an object or design to a smaller scale, similar to scale models of aircraft etc.), I retained the idea of synodic periods and restructured the idea into a daily routine. Whereas the position of the planets in the birth chart, in relation to the position of the planets of the sunset chart, fulfills the requirement of synodic motion originally set by the Chaldean observers.
Therefore, rather than taking many years to accomplish this task of lengthy synodical returns, the sunset chart, in combination with the birth chart, creates its own synodical reference within a single 24-hour period. This is accomplished by retaining the sunset chart as the prima facie (first point of reference) with which all other astrological phenomena can be determined. •