Birth Chart 101: How to read your birth chart and how to use it

A birth chart is something that every person has. Astrology believer or not, the cosmos will always have something to say about you!

In recent years, birth charts have become increasingly popular among the youth as astrology is gradually making a comeback in popular culture. Increasing demand for this astrological reading tool effectively made it one of the most popular online services today.

But let’s take a step back- what even is a birth chart? And why do people scramble just to get their hands on one?

Meaning of Birth Chart

What is a birth chart?

Simply put, a birth chart (or a natal chart) is an indispensable tool in the world of astrology. It shows the exact positioning of the cosmic bodies at the precise moment that you were born.

Knowing which stars or planets were harnessing their powers on your natal day is essential in helping you know yourself better. Your coming into this world had a purpose, and so, it makes sense that the heavens will give you the necessary abilities to help you become your very best.

What’s in a birth chart?

As said, your natal chart contains cosmic information about your birth. In the Western astrological tradition, these are circular, a nod to the eternity of life and the heavenly cycles that dictate the world’s energy flow.

One of the first things that you will notice in your chart is the presence of different symbols along the edges. These are glyphs signifying the Zodiac sign ruling over a specific region of heaven.

Take note, though, that the Zodiac signs are arranged counterclockwise. This positioning highlights the direction that the earth spins around its axis.

Some of these glyphs will be inside the chart too. These signify the planets and their exact position during your birth.

baby feet

Now, you may be pretending that those lines all over the chart do not exist, but just like those shapes that are giving you geometry war flashbacks, these astrological lines are essential.

You may notice that each Zodiac glyph is inside a specific “slice.” As said earlier, these are the regions where each one holds court.

Since there are twelve signs, the chart is also divided twelve times into 30-degree segments. This totals to 360 degrees, which is a full circle.

Now that we’ve established these Zodiac segments let’s go back to the planetary glyphs. When a planet goes inside a particular sign, they start to highlight the similar traits they have with the said Zodiac.

For example, Venus is the planet of love. If your chart happens to have her hanging around the sign Scorpio, it signifies how you are a profoundly passionate lover. Still, you have a dangerous jealous streak that could just erupt anytime.

Take note, though, that all nine major planets should be present in your chart. However, this does not mean that all Zodiac signs will hold at least one planet within their jurisdiction.

In some cases, all planets converge in one Zodiac alone. There are no known cases, though, of a person who had all the Zodiacs filled in with at least one planet. If that ever happened, that person would undoubtedly be one of the luckiest to ever live!

But it’s not all planets and Zodiacs! There are also equally essential elements in a natal chart, such as the ascendant, moon, sun, houses, among others.

We’ve already made extensive articles about these topics, so be sure to check them out! Still, we will breeze through them since they are essential in our understanding of a natal chart.

Let’s start with your sun. This [link to general zodiac article] is just the Zodiac sign that was dominant when around your birth. This is usually the sign that you know since this is the one perpetrated by mainstream media.

So if you were born around April 21 to May 21, you are generally headstrong yet softhearted. You also want stability and aren’t a big fan of sudden changes.

An ascendant is the “rising” Zodiac sign at the moment of your birth. Simply put, it is the constellation that is coming up the horizon as the earth spins around its axis. It is also denoted by an arrow facing upwards.

Your ascendant is the facade that you show the world. If your ascendant is in Scorpio, people usually see you as mysterious and unfeeling, regardless of your real personality.

If you know your time of birth, you are in luck! Finding your ascendant will be very easy, and it will no doubt be accurate to you. If you don’t know the time, you can use the placements at noon on the day of your birth as your reference. It will not be as reliable, though.

The moon represents your inner desires and fears. Think of it as the hidden dark side of your psyche!

Like ascendants, this needs an accurate birth time since the moon transits every two to three days. This will entirely determine the moon’s position in your natal chart and see where it exactly was during the moment of your birth.

Birth Chart Astrology

For example, your moon is in Taurus. This indicates how you value material wealth so much, and you just want to “have it all.” It also shows that you crave nothing more than stability in every aspect of your life.

Another element of the natal chart is the astrological houses. These relate to your personal views and your place in society.

They can be quite complicated to understand, so it’s better if you do a deep dive through our in-depth articles. However, do know that the houses have different positions in the natal chart, making their lines overlap with the Zodiac areas.

All these cover the basic things that can be found in a natal chart. However, there are still too many things in a natal chart, such as the angles, nodes, among others. 

However, these elements would not be discussed here since they are better off addressed on their own. Nevertheless, the interactions between these factors make for the complexities of a person’s personality, attitudes, and general direction in life.

How can I get my birth chart?

You have two options: either go to your local professional astrologer or boot up your favorite astrology website.

The first option may be a bit time consuming (calculating takes some time, you know). But it will allow you to have a more in-depth understanding since your reading will be more personal.

The second one is quicker and can be for free. Since numerous internet websites offer such services, you can simply choose one that suits you.

However (and we can’t emphasize this enough), you need to know your birth’s exact date and time. This is essential to ensure the accuracy of your natal chart.

As said earlier, if you do not know your birth time, you can use the default time of noon. But this will render your chart a bit handicap as your ascendant may not be accurate since this changes every two hours.

What are other uses for my birth chart?

Natal charts are useful when trying to understand someone. However, it is also handy when trying to see how certain astrological phenomena will affect you.

Many astrologers recommend taking a close look at your natal birth chart at the start of the year then comparing it with the year’s astrological predictions. This will help you prepare for the year ahead, especially during hard-hitting events such as retrogrades and eclipses.

You can also use your natal chart to help you go through tough times. It may sound cheesy, but having it can remind you of your innate worth as a person and that you are destined for far greater things.

Final Word

Your natal birth chart tells so much about who you are and what you will be. All you need to do is to take a close look and understand!

Understanding will be quite tricky at first and may overwhelm you with the number of symbols scrawled all over. With enough practice, you will be able to understand the workings of the stars.

When that time comes, you will be able to understand the meanings behind your natal chart. After all, everything has a reason for existing- especially you.

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