For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. Shanker Adawal

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20200425

'Accuracy' and 'Precision' in Astrology


A word here will not be out of place regarding the expressions accuracy and precision. Unless the birth time is known to within less than one minute, it is impossible to calculate the figure correctly to within less than about 15' on the cusps of the houses; and to calculate a figure correctly to 5" one would need to have the time known, exactly to within less than one-third of a second!

Therefore, while it is quite possible to calculate a figure with great precision for any instant of time, unless that instant is known to be the correct birth time, the labour spent in obtaining such precision is - except as mental training - merely thrown away. 

It should be clearly realized that because a figure is only computed to the nearest degree it is not on that account less accurate (provided no actual mistakes have been made) than one calculated to and it is only less precise.

And in any case astrological judgments are seldom or never based on any fraction of the zodiac less than the degree. But it is important that the student should have a clear conception of the 'limits of precision' that he is dealing with; let him understand and know with certainty whether his figure is correct to within a degree, to within half a degree, or to within a degree and a half. 

For confusion and dissatisfaction are far more likely to arise from indefiniteness and vagueness of thought in his respect, than from want of precision in working, or through absence of all the needed corrections during the calculations. For these reasons, then in the following illustrative examples the correction from mean to sidereal time will be ignored except when it nearly approaches one minute or two minutes.

There are many who desire to set up a map for an approximate time, correct say within a quarter of an hour, who have neither time nor aptitude for the rather tiresome minutiae sometimes introduced. And it is for these that the present section is mainly intended.

Probably we shall find that two or three examples will be more instructive than a series of rules and therefore after enunciating the "golden rule," we shall at once proceed to calculate sundry horoscopes by way of showing the way of going to work.

Dr. Shanker Adawal,
Email: Connectingminds@gmail.com,
www.ShankerAdawal.com,
www.ShankerStudy.com