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What is a Birth Chart?

The first step in birth chart analysis is to obtain your complete, fully calculated birth chart – and you can get yours here, completely free!

We just need your name, date of birth and time of birth if you know it; if you don’t, just check the ‘I don’t know my time of birth’ box. Next up, give us your city of birth, your current location and your email address – that’s it!

What Does My Birth Chart Mean?

Your birth chart – also known as your natal chart or your astrology chart – is a map of the heavens as they were on your date of birth, at your time of birth, as seen from your place of birth. The circular birth chart wheel shows the locations of all of the planets in relation to the zodiac signs and the houses of the natal chart. Fun fact: the correct name for your birth chart wheel is ‘horoscope’ – from the Greek hora (time) and skopos (observation). So really a horoscope is the chart wheel itself, not the short forecasts we now associate with the word horoscope!

Your natal chart is an essential tool in astrology – nothing happens without it! It’s quite complex to calculate by hand, but fortunately these days modern programs can do it in seconds – and our free birth chart calculator will create yours for you in the blink of an eye.

Once you have your birth chart wheel in hand, you can start to uncover the secrets of your astrological being. We do this through birth chart analysis. It’s fun to give it a try yourself to see what astrological influences you were born with!

Are Birth Charts Accurate?

Good question! The short answer is yes – provided the time of birth is accurate that’s why it’s really important to check the “unknown birth time” box rather than guess.

Although most planets move relatively slowly (except the Moon), some important angles in the natal chart can change very quickly. The degree of the Ascendant or rising sign changes every four minutes, for example. And these angles are often used in the calculation of other important parts of the chart, so if the birth time is inaccurate, there can be a domino effect with the accuracy of the rest of the birth chart.

Fortunately, our free birth chart calculator can handle unknown birth times, by using a special calculation process which helps to eliminate the uncertainty. An astrology chart with an unknown birth time will never be as complete as a birth chart wheel with a correct birth time, but it can still be very useful and insightful for astrological analysis.

How Do I Read My Natal Birth Chart?

There are two parts to reading a natal chart: first of all, you have to understand what everything on the chart is, and then you have to interpret it. The second part is where the real skill of birth chart analysis comes in which typically takes years to learn. However, it’s easy to learn the different glyphs and sections on your birth chart wheel, and then you can start to take the first steps of interpretation yourself.

Your birth chart explained:

Your natal chart will look like a large circle, containing lines, symbols and a smaller central circle.

First of all, look around the edge of the wheel. You should see that it has been divided into twelve segments, each bearing the symbol of one of the zodiac signs.

Next notice the twelve lines radiating outwards from the central circle. These split the chart wheel into twelve ‘slices’ which probably don’t line up exactly with the zodiac sign segments. These slices are the astrological houses, and they will be numbered 1-12, starting from the 9 o’clock position on the chart and moving counter-clockwise. Each astrological house represents an area of your life: for example, the fourth house is all about your home and family life, while the 7th house is about love and relationships.

Look again at the 9 o’clock position on your chart. You’ll notice a line going to that point, and it will be labelled ‘ASC’. This is your Ascendant; the part of the sky which was rising in the East at the moment of your birth in the place of your birth. Whatever sign is on the edge of the chart at that position is your Ascendant sign, a very important part of your natal chart.

Next look at the various symbols written within the birth chart. Most of these are the symbols for the planets. Astrologers call these symbols glyphs. The Moon is an easily recognizable one being shaped like, well, a Moon – helpful! Find the Moon in your birth chart wheel and notice which astrological house it’s in. You’ll also notice that it has a little marker attaching it to the edge of the chart, thereby telling you which sign it’s in. One you know the symbols for the rest of the planets, it’s then an easy job to work out which planet is in which sign and which astrological house. These are the major building blocks of astrology, so now we’re getting somewhere!

You’ll also notice some lines on your birth chart wheel, connecting some of the planets to some of the others. These are aspect lines. Aspects are significant angles made from one planet to one or more others – for example, if two planets are 90 degrees apart, they are said to be in square aspect. Aspects modify how the energies of the two planets interact, and this is something else which must be factored into any astrological interpretation.

Now you have all this information from your birth chart wheel, you can take the first very basic steps in astrological interpretation. Each planet has a particular type of energy, expressed in the manner of the sign it’s in, and directed principally towards the area of life represented by the house it’s in.

Essentially planet + sign + house is enough to work out a basic overview of each planet in your natal chart. Then we factor in the aspects and a host of other nuances, and you’re good to go!

Does Your Birth Chart Change?

No. But sometimes, kinda yes.

Since you cannot change your date, time and location of birth, your basic natal chart will always remain the same – remember, it’s a map of the heavens at that time – the moment of your first breath when you entered into this amazing world.

However, astrologers can manipulate your natal chart in a number of useful ways in order to give insight into how your life has developed and changed.

One of these methods is called progression. When we use progression, we symbolically move every planet in your astrology chart forwards by one degree for each year of your life. So, if you’re 35 years old, we would move each planet forwards by 35 degrees and then re-asses the chart. This would then be called your progressed chart, not your birth chart, but it is essentially the birth chart wheel moved forwards in time.

There are many other techniques for birth chart interpretation and natal chart interpretation is a great first place to start!

A Brief History of Astrology

What Is an Astrology Report?

What Is an Astrology?

The Myth of Ophiuchus

What Is a Birth Chart?

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