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You’ve been enjoying your horoscopes for a while now. Maybe you’ve figured out which astrological element is associated with your sign. You’ve read up on what Mercury in retrograde means and you’re aware that planetary movements can affect life here on earth. But you want to learn more. You want to explore astrology and dive deeper into what it means for you personally. You’ve heard a lot of talk about birth charts and natal charts, but you don’t know exactly what they are or how to read them. We’re here to answer all your questions so you can continue on your astrological journey without any unnecessary confusion!

What Is My Birth Chart?

Your birth chart is essentially a map of where all the planets were located at the exact moment you were born. It’s not just the location of the sun and moon that matter in astrology – the planets play a major role as well. Your astrology birth chart will tell you which sign each celestial body was residing in at the very moment you were born, which in turn can tell you a whole lot about yourself.

What Is a Natal Chart?

The term “natal” refers to the place or time of your birth, so a natal chart is just a fancier name for your birth chart. You may also see it referred to as your astrological chart, star chart, or astrology chart. Don’t let the different terms confuse you – they all refer to the same thing!

What Does My Birth Chart Mean?

Now you know that your birth chart is an astrological map that shows where the sun, moon, and planets were each located at the moment you entered the world. But why does this matter, and what does your birth chart mean? Just like the placement of the sun and moon can reveal key aspects of your character, so does the placement of the various planets at your birth. An astrologer can interpret your birth chart to reveal your strengths and weaknesses, key personality traits, opportunities for growth, and even the best timing to make your most important moves in life!

What Does My Birth Chart Say About Me?

Birth charts are a great way to gain insights and kickstart personal growth. Think of your birth chart as the ultimate astrological tool to help you learn more about yourself. Your birth chart is essentially a deep dive into your stars. When interpreted, your astrology birth chart can reveal unexpected insights about your patterns and preferences. This can help you understand yourself on a deeper level, including any “blind spots” you may have. Once you’re more aware of them, you can use the knowledge to nurture your previously undiscovered talents and qualities. You can also work on your weak spots to become an even better version of yourself than you already are!

What Is a Birth Chart Reading?

If you’re new to astrology, and especially if you don’t have much experience with birth charts, you may want to have a professional astrologer interpret or “read” your birth chart for you. Astrologers are specially trained to be able to offer you deep, personalized insights during your session. During a professional birth chart reading, you can expect your astrologer to ask for your birthdate and the exact time that you were born. Your astrologer will then create a birth chart for you and explain the different pieces of it. He or she will finish by “scoring” your birth chart. This “score” will show if there is either a shortage or overabundance of any one energy or trait in your chart. Your astrologer will then provide you with advice on how to balance the different traits and energies shown in your chart. This advice is meant to help you bring greater balance and awareness into your life.

How To Read Your Birth Chart

If you don’t want to pay for a birth chart reading, you can always interpret your natal chart yourself. When interpreting your own birth chart, be aware that there is a learning curve – revisit your chart regularly, because just like in your favorite book, you’re going to discover new connections and interpretations each time you read it. Be patient, trust yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask a friend or even a professional astrologer for help if you need it. Above all, have faith in yourself and the connections that you draw. After all, the cosmos are a vast mystery, and so are you – but no one is better equipped to decode you than yourself!

There are many different pieces of your birth chart to consider. All of the different symbols and numbers may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t despair! We are here to make it simple for you. Here are the major areas you’ll want to focus on when reading your own birth chart:

·      The Planets – What zodiac sign is each planet located in? Which of the Twelve Houses is each planet located in? What is your ruling planet?

·      The Moon – What zodiac sign is the moon located in? Which of the twelve houses is the moon located in?

·      The Sun - What zodiac sign is the sun located in? Which of the twelve houses is the sun located in?

·      The Elements – Which planets are located in fire, earth, air, and water signs? Is there a high concentration of planets located in one Element, or is your chart more or less equally balanced across all four?

·      The Qualities – Which planets are located in cardinal, mutable, or fixed signs in your chart? Is there a balance across all three, or does one Quality dominate your chart?

·      The Aspects – Aspects are angular connections formed between any two planets. You’ll want to take note of any that show up in your chart. Aspects can create either magnified or oppositional energy.

·     A Stellium – A stellium means that there are three or more planets located in one sign or house in your chart. It denotes strong energy, so you’ll want to take note if you have one.

·      The Pattern – This refers to the pattern formed by the planets in your chart. There are 7 classical chart “shapes” and each can indicate useful insights.

What Do the Planets Mean in Your Birth Chart?

If you’re going to read your birth chart on your own, it’s important to understand what each planet means. First, be sure you understand what each planet represents in astrology. Check out our planetary primer and you’ll be ready to go! You’ll also need to know the difference between the inner and outer planets in your birth chart. The inner planets – those with short orbits that move through the zodiac quickly – are Mercury, Venus, and Mars. These planets, along with the sun and moon, have a direct impact on your personality and day-to-day life. The planets with slower orbits – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto – relate to larger themes of your life as well as experiences that are shared by generations. For example, Saturn can show you where you may need to work harder, while Jupiter can show you areas where you have the potential for expansion and luck in life.

What Do the Houses Mean in Your Birth Chart?

In addition to learning about the planets, understanding the Twelve Houses of astrology is key to being able to interpret your birth chart on your own. To put it simply, your birth chart is divided into twelve slices, like a pie. Each slice is a house. Each house represents a specific area of life, such as personal finance, love, or philosophy. When reading your birth chart, pay close attention to which planets are placed in which houses – and what each house and planet represents. The placement of each planet in a house reveals a lot about you, from where you store your energy to what your strengths and weaknesses are. When making your interpretations, keep in mind the areas of life that a given planet and house are said to rule. Allure recommends following this easy-to-remember formula when interpreting your birth chart:

Planet + Sign + House = Interpretation

How To Use Your Birth Chart

It’s recommended to look at your birth chart twice a year – on your birthday and on New Year’s Day or Eve. Your birth chart is fixed and will never change. However, reviewing it each year can still be beneficial. Use the time to remind yourself of the character traits indicated on your chart and take a moment to celebrate all that makes you, well, you! You should also consider your strengths and weaknesses, and renew your resolve to be the best version of yourself that you can be. On these days, it can also be helpful to compare your unchanging birth chart to something called a transit chart – an astrological map of the current placement of celestial bodies – to see if there are any important insights to be had. For example, as Saturn approaches the place it was located in when you were born, you’ll start to experience a powerful phenomenon that astrologists call your Saturn return. Knowing when major events such as your Saturn return are coming can help you plan ahead and be more mindful of what you are giving your energy to. You can get a transit chart for free online from websites such as Astro-Charts.

How to Find Your Birth Chart

Before you can interpret your birth chart, you need to find it! The good news is that getting a copy of your birth chart has never been easier. Many astrology websites now offer a free birth chart calculator. Some even include an interpretation of some of the major elements of your chart to get you started! To generate your free birth chart, you will need to provide your birthday and exact birth time. Astrology websites like Cafe Astrology and AstroStyle offer free natal charts. Good luck and happy interpreting!