The first born twin is always the oldest. Right?
Usually this is true and can easily be determined by checking the time recorded on their individual birth certificates. However, the exception to this rule is that one night each year when Daylight Saving Time ends and clocks are set back one hour.
This year’s end to Daylight Saving Time presented a bizarre situation for twin boys born in West Barnstable, Massachusetts near Cape Cod. On November 6, 2016, Samuel Peterson, the older twin, was born at 1:39 a.m. Brother Ronan arrived some 31 minutes later.
But here’s the rub. Because Daylight Saving Time ended and clocks were set back one hour, Ronan’s birth was officially recorded at 1:10 am. So, at least on paper, it would appear that Ronan is the older twin!
This is not the first time something like this has happened and, most likely, it will not be the last. A similar situation with twins born as Daylight Saving Time ended was recorded in 2007 in the state of North Carolina. Peter Cirioli was born at 1:32 am and his twin sister Allison was born 34 minutes later. But again, on paper, it appears that Allison, born at 1:06 am, is the older twin.
Blame Benjamin Franklin
The concept of Daylight Saving Time was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in his 1784 essay “An Economical Project.” He presented the idea as a way to best utilize natural daylight and to save on the cost of candles and oil for lamps. For more than a century it remained just that – an interesting idea.
World War I gave new meaning to the concept of saving fuel, only this time not just for cost efficiency but as a means of preserving fuel for the war effort. Thus War Time was observed both in Europe and the United States; Ben Franklin’s unique idea was actually put into action.
Following World War I many countries lapsed back into their previous ways of doing things. However, in some places, the Daylight Saving idea was acknowledged as beneficial, and Daylight Time continued in use during summer months. Then with the onset of World War II, in the United States War Time was mandated on a national basis and was observed year-around, non-stop, from February 1942 through September 1945.
World War I and World War II really began the chaos of ‘recorded’ time. If Universal Time using Greenwich Standard Time as a reference were used world-wide problems such as twins being born on either side of the reset clock would not be an issue. However, countries tend to be independent in their thinking – and in the way they choose to observe time. In some rare situations, whole days have been lost when places have decided to move from one side of the International Date Line to the other.
A Significant Challenge
The use of Daylight Saving Time presents a significant challenge to astrologers, who need the correct time to prepare an accurate astrological birth chart. Today most astrologers use computer programs to do the calculations for a chart, which means they are depending on the computer software to be correct.
This also means that the software used needs to be updated on a regular basis to accommodate the way time is recorded on a country-by-country basis. In the United States, in some locations, this means updating software on a local basis as well.
For decades individual counties in the state of Indiana had the option of choosing the time zone they wanted and whether or not they wished to observe Daylight Saving Time. This confusion was not rectified until 2008, when the state finally passed a law to clarify how each county was to observe time.
Today in Indiana Daylight Saving Time is observed statewide. While most of the state uses the Eastern Time zone some counties are now required, by law, to use the Central Time Zone instead.
An astrologer preparing a birth chart will ordinarily ask for the time recorded on the birth certificate when this information is available. But there are really two additional questions to ask.
First, was someone carefully and accurately recording the moment of the first breath? Amazingly, there are often discrepancies here as well. In one situation known to me personally the time on the infant’s hospital bracelet differed considerably from the time recorded on the birth certificate.
The second question relates to the use of Daylight Saving Time. For that one day in the year when the clocks are set back, does the astrologer really know what time it is?