How to Read Your Own Birth Chart

Where to begin?

If you are like I was, the first time I went to astro.com and printed my free birth chart it all looked like a confusing mass of symbols and lines splattered over the page with twelve pie slices and circular wheel. I printed out the computer-generated interpretive reading, which gave me all of these wordy descriptions, but it all seemed somewhat generic, vague and even contradictory, and it really did not make a lot of sense to me. In this post, I am going to lay out my best suggestions for how to get started understanding your own birth chart and making your own interpretations about it using the free online tools available. Below is an example of a natal chart.

Birth Chart for Freddie Mercury

First of all, if you did not already know this, you need three pieces of information: your birthdate, the EXACT time of your birth, and the location. The exact time can often be found on a birth certificate or other official birth record, and sometimes it is commonly recorded in a baby book or baby scrapbook if your family kept one of those. Then, go to one of the free sites like astro.com and print out the actual birth chart.

LEARN THE ALPHABEt

Just like when we learn to read, we have to start with the alphabet. To help you translate, print out a handy “legend” for decoding the planetary symbols and the zodiac glyphs. Being able to identify the symbols easily is akin to knowing your ABC’s. Without it, reading a chart can be painfully slow and confusing. In case you don’t have one, here is a basic PDF from http://www.physics.ncsu.edu. I also highly recommend drawing out a reference chart by hand which helps to cement them into your memory.

Build Sentences

In my first foundations class we were given many “keywords” sheets. There are keywords for the planets, the signs, and the twelve houses. The next step towards translating the meaning of a particular planet in a sign is to thread the keywords through each of the planets- sign-house into a meaningful sentence. By stringing together the keywords for planet, sign, and house you construct some basic meanings and can put together some initial interpretations. For example, what does it mean to have “Jupiter in Aries in the 3rd house?” Jupiter is the planet of “expansion and growth,” Aries is the sign of “impulse, instinct, survival, and pioneering leadership.” Third house is the house of communication, siblings, habitual learning and short distance travel. One might then interpret Jupiter in Aries in the 3rd house as a strong propensity to communicate forcefully or impulsively, or a desire to grow through communication and travel that is more impulsive or pioneering, or a desire to grow through relationships with the siblings where some travel and some risk is involved for example. This is what I mean by threading through the keywords from the planet-to its sign-to its house to hone in on a particular meaning.

For a free pdf of astrological keywords see below.

KNOW YOUR AXIS of TRUTH, or the angles of the chart

Every birth chart consists of a circular wheel. This axis is made of four angles that are essential to understanding the essence of a chart. For this explanation, I am going to use directional words top, bottom, left and right just to be clear.

At the left side of the chart is the ASCENDANT, abbreviated as ASC. The ASC is the location of the first house. At the bottom is the Nadir of the chart, or sometimes called the IMUM COELI abbreviated the IC. The nadir is the location of the 4th house. At the right is the DESCENDANT, abbreviated as DC. The DC is the location of the seventh house. And, lastly, at the top is the MC, or Medium Coeli, sometimes called the Midheaven and this is the location of the tenth house. Use the descriptions in the graphic below to help you identify the meaning of that angle of the chart. With this, you would take note of what sign appears on each angle. You would thread the keywords of that sign through the filter of the keywords for that angle.

The Four Angles of the Chart

sun-moon-asc

For many people, their first exposure to astrology is understanding that we have sun signs. But most would agree that it seems a little ridiculous to think of the entire population of billions of people on earth all neatly fitting into only 12 descriptions! Of course astrology is not at all that simple. One easy step to diversify and individuate further from the simple sun sign astrology is to understand the combination of sun sign-moon sign-ascendant sign. This gives a more complex combination of 12 x 12 x 12 types, or 1,728 combinations or types of expressions of the signs of sun-moon-asc. This is still not as complete of a picture as the entire natal chart, but it goes quite a bit further than simply 12 sun signs or even 144 with only the sun-moon profile. Therefore, take a look at the moon sign, and the sign of the ASC. The keywords below can help you to pair up the sun-moon-asc keywords.

Keywords for Sun and Moon
Keywords for Each Sign for the Sun
Each Moon Sign

LONGER CYCLES OF LIFE

There is a basic cosmic timeline of human development that provides a predictable sequence of meaningful transits. Understanding Jupiter and Saturn cycles will help you get a better picture of forecasting the longer range transits everyone can expect at predictable ages. This helps us to know what is coming on the horizon in one year, two years, five years, ten years, and so on. This can be very helpful in terms of setting goals, navigating life and expecting the coming changes.

Still lost? Got more questions? Ask in the comments section, or visit my learn more page, or sign up for a reading where I can personally orient you to your chart.

Full Moon July 13, 2022

For this Full Moon, I highly recommend listening to Mary Stewart Adam’s Story of Selene (appx 1-2 minutes.) Adams does an excellent job of using story and myth to weave imagery into the study of the sky. Virgo is on the ascendant at the time of the full moon. It seems the Sun, Mercury, and Ceres are partners at the top of the chart, while the Moon and Pluto are partner at the nadir. Venus and Saturn flank each cluster, evenly spaced at 29 degrees, creating a beautiful trine to the ascendant. Then within 60 degrees we have the rest of the planetary wanderers. By sidereal zodiac, both Jupiter and Neptune are in Pisces now, with Neptune at 0 degrees.

Chart of the Full Moon for Jul 13, 2022

Earth’s frenetic buzz of robust life

How can we achieve a balance between self-awareness and awareness of the world around us? There is the ordinary everyday life and there is life in the spiritual world, or spiritual truth, spiritual reality. This can also be considered in another way, as balance between self- awareness and that of another, or awareness between self and a group, or society as a whole. It seems this is a fundamental question we must resolve in the course of life. The battleground of the heart is fought on the pages of our calendars, where we give our time and attention. If we give too much attention to the mundane parts of life, then it can tend to lose its joy and meaning. If we devote our attention entirely to spiritual questions we may lose a grip on our closest and most endearing values, our relationships, or we may not manage our resources effectively or for the most benefit and enjoyment.

Isn’t it possible that the natural world is just as holy and just as sacred as the spiritual world?

One only has to plant a garden to consider this possibility.  The gardener marvels at his harvest.   He knows that he did not provide the rain, the sun, or the forces that make a seed sprout, nor the forces that make it bloom, grow, and reproduce.  All of those forces are inherent in creation itself. But a gardener does take part in this great dance. He does his part, observing his garden, observing the seasons.  He does his part to plant the seed, he tends it with his love and hard work and he reaps the reward of his dedication and hard work. This begins with observation and willingness to take part in the dance of creation and help it along.

It is a sublime lesson. The ordinary, simple and everything things in life are in fact quite spiritual. This then leads to an acceptance of ourselves and others.  Nothing is below us. Scrubbing the toilet is a necessary part of everyday life.  Changing a diaper, doing the dishes; these are all necessary.  We are all here to experience life from a certain angle or perspective which was provided at birth, and can be discovered in the birth chart, our astrological blueprint.

The intricacy of all living things, the manifold nature of the spiral teaches us!

We are doing a fabulously, wildly diverse job of experiencing life from billions of perspectives. An estimated 8 billion people all with unique perspectives, all inhabiting the planet at the same moment. Earth is teeming with human life, just bursting at the seams with it.  Humanity has probably never lived in a more frenetic time-space experience than now.  Our current times are a wildly robust. Appreciating that robustness of life with gratitude creates excitement for living. Understanding our unique perspectives and blueprints create more acceptance of self among diverse people from different times and places, something so greatly needed in our times.

Einstein told his son in a letter that carpentry was more important
that school because of what you could learn from it.

Sagittarius Full Moon

This week’s upcoming full moon occurs on June 14 at 6:51 am CDT in the sign of Sagittarius at 23 degrees. Sunrise will occur at 6:22 am CDT. Summer Solstice will follow on the 21st of June, exactly one week after.

According to numerology,

23 is one of the most fortunate numbers in the Chaldean system of numerology , giving you great potential for harmony, wealth, protection, and flow. The Tarot card that some numerologists associate with the number 23 is called the “Royal Star of the Lion” and symbolizes inner and outer abundance.

https://www.numerologistpro.com/numerology-numbers/numerology-number-23-meaning/#:~:text=23%20is%20one%20of%20the%20most%20fortunate%20numbers,the%20Lion%22%20and%20symbolizes%20inner%20and%20outer%20abundance.

According to Lynda Hill’s description of the Sabian Symbol for this degree of Sagittarius,

This symbol for 23 degrees of Sagittarius “shows the promise of domestic bliss or making a house into a home. The ‘Bluebird’ brings a sense of ‘Good Luck and Happiness’ and is a sign of good fortune, a comfortable home, and a sense that one belongs, is safe and cared for. This is the archetypal cottage with the picket fence; the vision that many have of owning their own home. It also speaks of natural, positive, good will towards the inhabitants and, probably, towards the neighbors. There is a clear omen of good fortune at your door. Love and happiness come by being warm and inviting. Respond to your higher hopes, spread love to all who enter your house or live nearby.
Promise of happiness. Cottages and picket fences. Real estate – owning or renting. House maintenance. Messages of hope and happiness. Thresholds. Welcome mats. Songs of birds.

https://sabiansymbols.com/symbols/

Denying happiness or good news from entering. Feeling that the grass is always greener somewhere else. Thinking that buying things will make life happier.”

Mars and Chiron are exactly conjunct at 15 Aries with Jupiter in Aries at 5 degrees. suggesting healing, or other forms of positive benefit. There is also a separating quintile between the ascendant of this time and Chiron, suggesting this an in ideal time period for healing around issues with identity, assertiveness, or creativity. Here are a few of the other pertinent aspects during this full moon.

ASPECTS TO THE MOON

Retrograde Saturn sextile the Moon
Moon inconjunct her north node
Neptune square Sun/Moon

ASPECTS TO THE SUN

Retrograde Saturn trine the Sun
Neptune square the Sun/Moon
Sun conjunct ASC
Sun parallel ASC
Pluto/ASC Contraparallel – potency to moment

OTHER ASPECTS

Mercury and Venus closely parallel to Uranus and with each other – opportunity for change with impact on a personal level
Mercury semisquare Chiron – listening carefully before giving opinions is indicated
Mars/Chiron quintile – creative opportunity for self-assertion but must have certainty in oneself or one’s creative powers

spring equinox 2022

This year’s Spring Equinox will be Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 10:33 am. Neptune, Jupiter, Mercury and the Sun will all be in the sign of Pisces. The Piscean energy is a compassionate energy, shining a light on our sense of oneness with divine and our oneness with everyone and every thing.

Meanwhile, at the time of Equinox, we will have Gemini at zero degrees on the ascendant and Venus conjunct the midheaven at 13 Aquarius with Mars only three degrees away, conjunct at 10 Aquarius. Flanking both sides of the Mars/Venus conjunction are Pluto and Saturn. Pluto is at 28 Capricorn and Saturn at 20 Aquarius is a little closer to Venus. Several quintile aspects are giving opportunities for the creative.

Many people may be feeling a bit more connected to an image of the brotherhood of humanity, or a deeper sense of oneness, especially during this global conflict with Russian forces attacking the Ukraine. We might be viewing the struggles and hardships of this global situation as we watch it unfold in the media and sensing our humanity with more depth of compassion. We may all be feeling the need for action or want to help.

In the chart of the equinox, Mercury and Jupiter are conjunct at 17/18 Pisces. The Sabian symbols for both degrees have to do with communication and dissemination of information from someone learned and spiritual, like an evangelical or spiritual teacher, and/or teaching and learning from a spiritual “master.”

The world’s spiritual leaders have taken a stance on the current crisis. Pope Francis condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine two days ago. There is also the element of the “media circus” in the Sabian Symbol for these degrees. The Dali Lama is quoted as saying, “Our world has become so interdependent that violent conflict between two countries inevitably impacts the rest of the world. War is out-dated – non-violence is the only way. We need to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity by considering other human beings as brothers and sisters. This is how we will build a more peaceful world.” See the Dali Lama’s message here.

As the title of a Wayne Dyer book states, “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.” Avoid the media circus and be part of a spiritual solution. By setting aside some extra time for prayer, reflection and meditation, it may be possible to get more grounded, receive comfort, and needed inspiration during this Sunday’s equinox. Mars will be at 10 Aquarius, the Sabian Symbol for which is, “During a silent hour, a person receives a new inspiration which may change their life.” The only immediate action many of us may be able to take in the face of this situation is a spiritual one, but nonetheless, it may be the most effective. This Sunday, light a candle for peace, for the world, for Ukraine, and for yourself.

What is the Equinox?