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Birth Charts

One of the most important things for anyone who knows about or is studying Astrology is the birth or natal chart.

Here we break down the basics of what a birth chart entails, why they look like they do.

Including the layers of a birth chart that add to their complexity.

Let’s take a look at Birth Charts.

 

Image of Saturn Return Graphic for Astrology 42

What Are Birth Charts?

What are Birth Charts?

A natal birth chart is a map showing the positions of the planets at the time of someone’s birth.

This is a birth chart of Hollywood star Brad Pitt.

Think of a birth chart as a picture of the solar system, or stopping the cosmic clock and taking a photograph of the sky and studying the positions of the planets at that moment at the moment you were born.

This map is from our vantage point on earth.

A chart is taken for any moment in time—past, present or future—which allows for observations of the past and present, as well as predictions of future events.

Some of the other names for a birth chart include a natal chartstar chart, and horoscope. Don’t worry, though; they’re all the same thing. Then is no right or wrong term to use.

On this website, we generally use both birth chart and natal chart.

Throughout an entire lifetime, a person’s chart will never change. However, the influences acting upon the chart are continuously evolving, and these forces bring change to an individual’s life.

The chart shows detailed information the positions of the sun sign, moon sign, rising sign, all of the planets, and potentially other celestial objects; all referred to as the native’s “planets” when they were born.

Transit charts can show things like Mercury Retrograde.

Originally, birth charts were always hand drawn and calculated manually. Even though this technique is still practised today, most chart calculations are done automatically using online software. Most online software accounts for daylight savings and time zone variations.

Birth Chart Creation

With all birth charts and natal chart events, you need to have a birth date, birth city and birth time (aka birth data).

  • The birth date is the most important.
  • The birth city is normally to identify the time zone and whether daylight time is involved in the calculations.
  • The birth time needs to be as close to the exact time as possible.

Birth Charts Wheel

What Astrological Birth Charts Look Like

Because the charts are often calculated automatically online, lots of different websites use different styles.

Below are some styles of birth charts that exist across other astrology websites.

These are styles of charts and not necessarily TYPES of charts.

This one has the planetary symbols on the outside.
This one is a more simple design.
This one has some great information on Astrological Aspects.
This chart does not have the traditional chart “structure.”
This one is taken from Astro.com. It is one of the most popular chart designs online today.

Birth Chart Calculator

We will look at general birth charts as a whole, but maybe you will find it more appealing if you are reading about YOUR natal chart. Then you can use your free report chart and apply what you are learning.

If you do not know what your birth chart is, you can use our own Birth Chart Calculator which will tell you what your Birth Chart is, plus all the other planets as well.

 

Birth Chart Meaning

Below is a slideshow explaining the construction of a birth chart that tells about the natal chart and how it is made up.
 

A Natal Chart

So firstly, we have a basic chart wheel. The twelve subdivisions of the circle, or ‘wedges of the pie,’ represent the 12 signs of the zodiac.

360° Degrees

The circle divides into 360 degrees; each sign occupies 30 degrees, making up a total of 12 signs.

Each degree is equal to 60 minutes (minutes here is a unit of measurement, not of time).

Astrology Signs

Now, we add the astrological symbols.

Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

The symbols go around the chart COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. The reason for this is because we see the stars and signs from the earth.

(Although, I think it works fine clockwise…..just saying)

Astrological Elements

The main difference in this one is that the symbols are now in their respective elemental colours.

  • The red symbols are the fire signs.
  • The green symbols are the earth signs
  • The yellow symbols are the air signs
  • The blue symbols are the water signs.

Astrological Houses

As well as 12 signs, the Natal has 12 houses as well, which are represented by the 12 numbered ‘wedges’ that divide the chart.

These houses represent focal areas of expression in the birth chart. The size of the houses and house positions varies depending on where in the world you were born and at what time.

Also, the house system (like Placidus) will also determine how the houses appear on the chart.

Note: An unknown birth time would affect the accurate data of an astrology chart, although some software programs can help people who don’t know when they were born by providing partial information.

Astrological Planets

Once you have created your birth chart, then you will then have all of the planet placements as well.

The standard will contain the personal planets.

  • Sun
  • Moon
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Mars

Also then you will have the outer planets

  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluto

You can add sometimes add asteroids like Vertex, Chiron, Juno and so forth.

Astrological Aspects

Once you the planets, there is normally a series of lines interlinking the planets of varying lengths, angles and colours.

The lines connecting the planets are known as Aspects and are very important in understanding the relationships of the planets in a person chart.

Birthchart Meaning

Now that we have all of the information regarding the building blocks of a birth chart, we can start to example the pieces bit by bit, including;

  • Elements
  • Modes
  • Signs
  • Planets
  • Houses
  • Aspects

Birth Chart Calculator

We will look at general birth charts as a whole, but maybe you will find it more appealing if you are reading about YOUR natal chart. Then you can use your free report chart and apply what you are learning.

If you do not know what your birth chart is, you can use our Birth Chart Calculator which will tell you what your Birth Chart is, plus all the other planets as well.

 

What Is Astrology Guide

Astrological Elements

Planets Of Astrology

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