What is a Birth Chart?
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This is what a birth chart looks like! The two photo’s above are birth charts, one for Gandhi and one for Leonardo DiCaprio. Look at the two side by side and notice all the difference. A birth chart is a map of the planets (and other celestial objects), their position in the sky at the moment of your birth, from your vantage point on Earth. The two charts above show symbols on the outer edges of the circle that represent the planets that are mapped based on when you were born. To get started it may be helpful to find your own birth chart, to have something to reference throughout this article! Or you can use one of the many provided on this page!
If you’re an absolute beginner check out these posts before continuing!
How to Find your Birth Chart?
Birth Chart Instructions
Your birth chart is based on the day, time, and location you were born so it is required that you know the exact time of your birth and the name of the city you were born in. (For most of your signs, if you don’t know the time you were born then you won’t know for sure your ascendant and sometimes your moon, but still give it a try! They will give you the information known for sure.)
1. Click this link.
2. Fill the information out on the page. Choose what city you were born in after you type it in the box. Click Submit.
(There is ALOT of information on this page feel free to explore this but don’t be overwhelmed.)
3. Scroll down to the 2 tables that should look something like this:
This table is a list of the facts that are on your birth chart. In the first table it gives you your Sun sign, Moon Sign, All of the planets, Your Lilith Sign, and Your North Node! In this chart similar to mine above the sun is in Libra, Moon in Aquarius, etc. It also gives you what “degree” your sign is in. This information will be very useful later. Here are more examples of more tables to show the differences:
The second table on the right hand side, shows you the “houses in astrology“. This won’t make much sense until the end of the article so hang in there. The first house is also known as your rising or ascendant sign. The chart shows where (in which zodiac sign) each of the houses begin, and therefore which zodiac sign rules your personal house.
4. Scroll to the bottom of the Astrocafe page with your tables and information, and you will find your own birth chart! It should look similar to this, it will be at the bottom of the page-
You may notice on the birth charts what things are visually similar and what are visually changing! They are all a wheel, separated into 12 equal potions. All of the symbols are going to be the same on each chart, but they will all be in completely different positions. The zodiac signas are on the out side of the wheel, while the planetary symbols are located inside of the wheel. The ‘shapes’ or lines (called aspects) in the center of the circle also change with each chart. Each aspect means something different, you can tell aspects apart by their color in the charts above.
The Symbols on a Birth Chart
You will see the following symbols on your birth chart, these are the 12 astrological signs and also all of the planet’s symbols. Each planet and zodiac sign has traits and characteristics unique to it’s own, examples below.
Quick Reference to Planet Meanings in Astrology
The following are simplified meanings to what the planets represent in astrology! This will help you through the rest of the article!
Sun- Ego & Identity
Moon- Inner Emotions & Mood
Mercury- Communication & Thoughts
Venus- Love & Relationships
Mars- Passion & Aggression
Jupiter- Luck & Abundance
Saturn- Duty & Achievement
Uranus- Rebellion & Revolutions
Neptune- Creativity & Imagination
Pluto- Purging & Catharsis
Ascendant- Attitude & Instincts
Planet Positions in your Birth Chart
The wheel above shows us that, Saturn is in Aries, Mars is in Leo, and Venus is in Leo, Mercury in Virgo, Sun in Libra, Pluto in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Capricorn, and Neptune in Capricorn, Uranus in Aquarius, and Moon in Aquarius. We know all of this because the symbol of the planet is placed on the chart in the area of that zodiac sign. The symbol for Saturn is right in front of the symbol for Aries (Just make sure to check the boundaries of the zodiac signs). Each of these associations “Mars in Leo, Pluto in Sagittarius, etc.” represents a set of traits that come with each placement. To simplify this concept read what the planets mean above and think of that being ruled by that zodiac sign. This person: Achieves like an Aries, is like a Leo when Aggressive, Handles relationships like a Leo, Communicates like a Virgo, Ego of a Libra, Catharsis of a Sagittarius, Luck like a Capricorn, Etc. We found all of this information by simply looking at this birth chart!
Search for “Moon in Aquarius” or “Jupiter in Aries” online if you’d like specific and detailed position explanations!
The Wheel and “The Houses” in a Birth Chart
This is what an empty birth chart looks like! The numbers in the wheel represent the 12 astrological houses in astrology (meanings below). When you see the place of your planet in this wheel you will know what area in your life the planet is influencing/affecting. This is a bit of a complex idea for beginners in astrology, and takes a few lessons to understand completely. Right now you know that the planet has meaning, and the sign that the planet is in also has meaning. To add another layer to that; the planet is also located in one of the 12 “houses” on the chart.
This tells us what area of life this planet is going to be effecting! As you will read bellow, each house represents an area of your life. For example, any planet in the third house will directly effect the way you communicate! (More examples bellow) The following list gives a summary of the house meanings in astrology
I First House (Ascendant) – Self
II Second House- Possessions
III Third House- Communication
IV Fourth House- Home
V Fifth House- Love
VI Sixth House- Health
VII Seventh House- Relationships
VIII Eighth House- Death
IX Ninth House- Exploration
X Tenth House (Mid heaven)- Career
XI Eleventh House- Groups
XII Twelfth House- Wholeness
The first house is also known as your ascendant sign, then the II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IIX, IX, MH (Midheaven), XI, XII houses. These roman numerals (circled in green on the chart bellow) represent the “houses” in your birth chart.
These sections are the houses of astrology! Each birth chart will have different signs and planets in their houses! The placement of these columns numbered 1 – 12 will not change but the signs and symbols do move around them. (There are a few different ways to calculate the houses depending on which astrology you follow. So keep in mind these houses may not be equally spaced!) However, generally, the positions of the numbered houses do not change! The first house will always be on the left hand side in the center at the 9:00 mark of a clock. The first house / your ascendant is the constellation of the zodiac sign that was on the Eastern horizon when you were born. That is why the birth chart always starts with your ascendant as #1. This sign changes about every 2 hours and is specific to your location at birth.
Notice above that Libra is in the 1st house, Scorpio in the 2nd house, Sagittarius in the third house, Cancer is in the tenth house
In the birth chart and corresponding table above, we can see that the ascendant or first house is in Sagittarius, we can see that Capricorn is in the second house, we can see that Aquarius is in the third house, (here is that photo zoomed in)
If it were a clock the ascendant would be at the 9:00 place. The ascendant sign is in Sagittarius, which is also the first house, Second house in Capricorn, third house in Aquarius, Pisces in the fourth house, Aries in the fifth house and Taurus in the sixth house. That is how you find out what sign your house is in. Let’s look at one more example and then I will explain what this means. In the photo and table below-
The ascendant is in Pisces, the second house is in Taurus, third house is in Gemini, the fourth house is in Gemini, the fifth is in Cancer, the sixth house is in Leo and so on.
Now for the explanations! I have interpreted in a post what the sun, moon, & Ascendant signs are and what they represent (Astrology 101- The Sun, Moon, and Ascendant / Rising Sign Meaning) so I’ll be using these as examples! In the photo below can you tell me what house the sun, moon, and ascendant sign is in?
In the chart above the sun is in Gemini, and the sun is also in the third house. (Find the sun symbol and look at the house it is in, and then the sign it is pointing to.) The moon is in Pisces, which is also in the twelfth house. The ascendant is also in Pisces, which is in the first house.
(Any of these phrases alone can be googled for a complete explanation: try “sun in third house” or “Jupiter in fifth house”)
1. If we look above at the summaries we know that the sun sign represents ego and is in the third house which represents communication. That means that all of the issues, obstacles, success, and lessons that they will have that pertain to their ego will be dealt with like a Gemini by communicating.
2. If we look above at the summaries we know that the moon sign represents inner emotions and is in the twelfth house which represents wholeness. That means that all of the issues, obstacles, success, and lessons that they will have with their inner emotions will dealt with like a Pisces and will determine their sense of wholeness.
3. If we look above at the summaries we know that the ascendant sign represents attitude and is in the twelfth house which represents wholeness. That means that all of the issues, obstacles, success, and lessons that they will have with their attitude/mask will be dealt with like a Pisces and will determine their sense of wholeness. (like their moon sign.)
One more example, same concept, try to find what houses their Venus, Mercury, and Mars are in
1. Venus is in the tenth house which is in Libra. This shows that love is going to be found through their hard work, career, and ambitions and that they will love like a Libra.
2. Mars is in the eleventh house which is in Scorpio. This shows that their passions, and aggression will be acting as a Scorpio while dealing with groups and the community.
3. Mercury is in the ninth house which is in Virgo. This shows that their communication will resemble a Virgo while exploring or trying different ways to communicate.
Aspects in Astrology on a Birth Chart
Finally we get to the last step of learning how to completely read your birth chart, aspects. As you have probably noticed in the photos above, birth charts have shapes in the middle of them! These shapes in the chart are made by “connecting the planets”. The planets are the symbols around the outside of the charts. They are in these positions on your chart because this is where the planets were on the day of your birth! Aspects relate the planets to each other depending on the number of degrees they are separated on a birth chart.
The photo below shows how birth charts connect planets. Venus is connected to the moon (The pink symbol is Venus and the moon symbol is the moon.) This is because they are 180 degrees apart from each other, making them on opposite sides.
This photo below will give you an idea of how all of the planets connect to make the different aspects in our birth charts! Venus is connected to the moon, and Mercury (on the left) is connected to Saturn (on the right). This is because they are 120 degrees apart on the chart.
Each planet is connected to other planets by how many degrees they are apart. In astrology we mainly look for planets that are 0, 60, 90, 120 and 180 degrees apart. There are seven major aspects: Conjunct, Sextile, Square, Trine, Quincunx, and Opposition.
There is a 7-8 degree ‘wiggle room’ when finding aspects, it’s called an orb. So if a planet is 126 degrees away it is still considered a trine, if a planet is 5 degrees away it is still considered a conjunct. As a reminder, each zodiac sign has 30 degrees so it is easier to determine aspects.
A conjunct aspect in astrology happens when planets are close traveling together on your chart. The energies of the planets blend and work together. This occurs when a planet is 0 degrees apart from another.
A Sextile occurs in astrology when planets are 60 degrees apart, these planets reveal hidden talents that you might have. This is a positive aspect and brings help and ease in that area of life.
A Square happens when two planets are 90 degress apart, if you had four of them they would make a square! These planets cause tension between each other. This will be an area of your life that is difficult and will cause obstacles.
A trine occurs in astrology when a planet is 120 degrees apart. If you were to place three of these aspects together you would form a triangle. These planets represent talents that come natural and work harmoniously together.
A Quincunx forms when planets are 150 degrees apart from each other. These two planets do not understand each other and can be at odds sometimes. Dealing with these two planets can feel like multitasking two opposite tasks.
An Opposition in astrology is created by dividing the circle by 2 at any angel. These planets are going to be 180 degrees apart and directly across from each other! The planets create a feeling of un-sureness, imbalance, and a tug of war affect.
In conclusion! How to Continue Studying my Birth Chart?
To continue studying your birth chart take a few moments to read over your table and do research on individual pieces of your chart. For example, google what your mercury sign means by typing in “Mercury in ” and then the sign next to mercury on your chart! If you need a bit more basic understanding of astrology check out:
Do you see a Trine on your birth chart? Click this link to find out what that means!
Stay tuned for more in depth astrology explanations!
Thank you for running into my blog I hope you learned something while reading this article! Have a wonderful day and happy searching!
Any thoughts? Leave a comment!