Does your or your kids' horoscope take daylight savings time into account?
If you live in Atlanta, GA, USA, then on Sunday, November 1 2015 2:00:00 AM, the clocks would be turned backward 1 hour. Your mobile phone and your computer will automatically take care of this. But your microwave clock or car clock would not. You would have to manually set it.
This is a moment of transition from Daylight Savings Time (DST; also called as Summer Time) to Standard Time. This practice is observed in many countries (though not in India) to make better use of natural daylight.
Your family members’ horoscope would most probably be correct if the birth was in India. India doesn’t observe DST. But outside India, the rules are not only different but also confusing. In USA, prior to 2007, DST began on the 1st Sunday in April. However, from 2007, it was changed to 2nd Sunday in March. You might want to read National Geographic’s humorous and informative article on how confusing and hodgepodge the DST have been (Daylight Savings Time: 7 Surprising Things You May Not Know). The beginning and the end of DST follows no strict pattern as the rules are often revised by the local government.
During the DST period, the clock is usually advanced by +1 hour. Therefore, if you or your kid(s) were born in a country or a territory where clocks are manually adjusted in accordance with DST rules, and if the birth was when the DST was in effect; it would be time for you to make sure that the horoscope was calculated taking the DST factor into account . A birth time that could be incorrect by 1 hour will undoubtedly result in an inaccurate horoscope.
Should you be worried? Yes and No.
The good news is that these days one can find on the web, extensive historical data on DST and how it is (or was) observed (or not observed) in various parts of the world. There are a few very credible timekeepers helping the Jyotish community overcome the DST confusion. Thanks to them, a few sites (mostly on Western astrology) offering free horoscopes are now able to integrate this data and make auto correction for the reported time of birth. But most of the sites leave it for the user to make the necessary correction.
But what about those years when the internet was not around to provide the historical DST data that easily? Many good timekeeping websites have come up only recently in the last 5-6 years. Many Jyotish web sites are required to pay a fee in order to integrate reliable DST data. Therefore, it is usually left to the user to manually adjust the DST setting. Here is an example:
Date of birth: 1st-September-2010
Place: Atlanta, GA USA
Time: 11.00 am
Clock changes in Atlanta during 2015.
2015 Sun, Mar 8, 2:00 AM EST. Clocks advanced by +1 hours. EST or the Eastern Standard Time becomes EDT or Easter Day Light Time from this moment.
Sun, Nov 1, 2:00 AM EDT or DST ends. Clocks reset by -1 hours. EST begins.
Our Example birth-particulars fall in the DST range.
When you navigate to free Vedic horoscope sites; you are presented with forms such as below requesting the birth-data.
Both of these forms assume that you are aware of the day light saving time at the place of birth for the given birth-date.
The truth is that once the DST starts; very soon we forget about it and tend to treat the DST time as the standard time. In a way, we become oblivious to it. Now, if you contact a pundit or a Jyotishi and request him/her to cast a horoscope for the birth-particulars, you would probably never mention about the DST, and the Jyotishi is likely to be equally indifferent. This is going to result in an inaccurate horoscope. All Jyotish readings thus, would be based on an incorrect horoscope.
I have seen many such cases where a clueless user has been carrying his/her inaccurate horoscope and approaching various Jyotishis for a reading. Not all Jyotishis would take time to rectify and ensure that the horoscope is correctly casted.
But I believe that user should not be concerned about the DST, and once the time of birth (hospital birth-certificate, wrist-watch time or smart-phone time) is noted and provided, it is the responsibility of the Jyotishi to ensure that DST factor is taken into account while casting a horoscope.