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Formal definitions of Rodden Ratings (devised by Lois Rodden), based on objective evidence about the source of the data.
AA: Accurate Data as recorded by the family or state. This includes BC (birth certificate), and BR (birth record), that which is not an official document but a quote of the birth record from the Registrar or Bureau of Records, the baptismal certificate, family Bible, or baby book. These data reflect the best available accuracy.
A: Accurate Data as quoted by the person, kin, friend, or associate. These data all come from someone's memory, family legend, or hearsay. The quote may be substantiated by a qualifying statement such as, "My grandfather wanted me to be born on his birthday and my mother said that I almost made it. I was born three minutes before midnight." When the information comes from an astrologer's client, it is considered reliable, since a client is investing money for the astrologer's time and expertise. When the quote is from a public figure given in public, it may be questionable. Please keep in mind that public figures, especially politicians, answer a question in public to be accommodating; therefore, the time given may not be accurate. When the quote is from one of a group of people who were asked casually, it might be questionable. Rounded-off time such as 6 AM or midnight might also be questionable.
B: Biography or autobiography. When these data are substantiated by a quote that qualifies the information, they are considered reliable. An example: "His grandmother arrived at 9 in the morning and barely had time to remove her coat before mother gave birth." Or, "Though she claims to have been born in 1946, state records clearly give September 5, 1942" or, "family legend reports 'before noon'." When the quote is vague, such as, "It was a wild and stormy night," a specific time may simply reflect the biographer's literary license. At times public figures lie about their age. Biographers who market scandal and gossip may actually create misinformation for the sake of book sales. When data from books are specifically attributed to birth records, they are given a Rodden Rating of "AA".
C: Caution, no source. These data are also listed as "OSNK, Original Source Not Known". They are undocumented data, often given in magazines or journals, with no source, or an ambiguous source such as "personal" or "archives." When a magazine, journal, or astrologer, is quoted without the original source of the information, the quote is a reference, not a source. There is no way to know if the datum is valid. If the person making the quote was proven unreliable in the past, any future quote automatically falls in the C category unless attributed to a specific source. Rectified data from an approximate birth time have a valid place in astrology and fall in the C category unless there are contradictory rectified times, which nudges it into DD.
DD: Dirty Data. Two or more conflicting quotes that are unqualified. These data are offered as a reference in order to document their lack of reliability and prevent their being presented elsewhere as factual. They are often sincere attempts to find a birth time that have met with ambiguous results. In many cases, the presentation of Dirty Data leads to the discovery of an accurate source and the data are updated to a category of greater accuracy.
X: Data with no time of birth. Untimed data may be of interest in the examination of planetary patterns. It can also form the basis for a solar chart. Rectified times that don't start from an approximate time are still given an X rating.
XX: Data without a known or confirmed date. Historic figures or certain current news figures may be of interest even with speculative birth dates.