Reading Your Birth Chart

This is a Quick Start Guide to understanding your Horoscope, a manual for your life. So lets begin!

Having your own natal chart to refer to is necessary. When you look at a chart for the first time it may seem quite confusing with strange symbols and colored lines. Some basics will help you to grasp how astrology works so that you may begin to look into your own planets and aspects. We will cover: Symbols, Signs & their Rulers, Houses, Planets and more.


Astrological language is made of symbols. Here are the symbols in the birth chart. This will be handy for you later when you wish to delve further into the meanings in your chart.

For example, it will be easy for you to locate the symbol for Neptune that looks like a trident in the table, and then locate Neptune in this chart. You see it is on the far right side of the chart below. The set of symbols on the right includes the planets or points and each astrological signs of the Zodiac. There are aspects, elements and houses which we will cover later, for now lets become familiar with the basics.

The chart shown below is my natal chart calculated at 2:55 am, in Merced, California, on April 24th 1952. It represents a picture of the sky at that moment and place, time and space of my birth.

It is helpful to draw and write the names of the symbols to become more familiar with them and understanding the deeper meaning of each glyph.

For example, the symbol of Venus is created from a circle ( O ) and a ( + ) cross. The circle of spirit over the cross of matter, oneness with reality, love over conflict. Its symbolic meaning shows each of us what we love, what brings harmony, comfort and beauty. In a man's chart Venus represents the feminine characteristics they love and appreciate while it represents a woman's nature in her chart. Each of these symbols have meanings beyond the glyph but first things first is to recognize where they are located in the chart.

You may notice that there are some black symbols in my chart that are not mentioned on the above table. These are asteroids and we will cover these at a later time as well. Not all astrologers include the asteroids but I find them extremely helpful.

Signs & Their Rulers

When a chart is erected, it is put on a 360 degree wheel with 12 signs of 30 degrees each. These signs are named for constellations of stars such as Aries, Taurus and so forth. Notice the outer ring with the zodiac symbols in between numbers. The numbers are the degree locations of each house based on the degree in the sign. For example, on my chart, at the far left side I have Pisces at 06'52 degrees.

On this chart, at the far left side I have Pisces at 06'52 degrees. Notice the outer ring with the 12 zodiac symbols in between the numbers. The numbers are the degree locations of each house based on the degree in the sign. These signs are are constellations of stars such as Aries, Taurus and so forth.

These signs are named for constellations of stars such as Aries, Taurus and so forth. The inner circle which is bisected by lines represents the 12 houses. The planets and points located within the signs are marked with a degree of the sign they are in. The Sun is at 4'12 and Moon is 5'59 both in Taurus in the Second House in my chart. Once you begin looking at other people's charts and recognizing the symbols you will find it easy to recognize the differences and remember the names and meanings.

Each of the twelve signs represent archetypes or universal qualities. In human psychology it would be seen as personality types such as The Initiator, The Communicator, The Philosopher, and so on.

Sign Ruler Archetype
Aries Mars The Initiator, Pioneer, Warrior
Taurus Venus The Earth Spirit, Manifester, Builder
Gemini Mercury The Communicator, Networker, Student
Cancer Moon The Nurturer, Mother, Water Child
Leo Sun The Leader, Golden Child, Performer
Virgo Mercury The Server, Healer, Worker, Humble One
Libra Venus The Harmoniser, Diplomat, Relator
Scorpio Pluto, Mars The Transformer, Seeker, Psychologist
Sagittarius Jupiter The Philosopher, Explorer, Wise Teacher
Capricorn Saturn The Purposeful One, Father, Time Lord
Aquarius Uranus, Saturn The Humanitarian, Reformer, Global One
Pisces Neptune, Jupiter The Compassionate One, Mystic, Dreamer

The Chart shows on the left the first house and the sign Aries. This shows how the original astrological system is based. The first house and Aries share the same type of energy, or personality in that it represents or is ruled by Mars and this sign has energy, desire, drive and talent. On the right side you see Venus and the Sign Libra representing the house of partnership, love and fulfillment.

The graphic below shows where the Ascendant and Midheaven are located. Notice how east is left and west is right and South is at the top. This is because Western astrologers, use as a starting point the position of the Sun within the landscape of the stars at the Northern hemisphere vernal equinox (i.e. when the Sun position against the heavens crosses over the plane of the equator from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere of the planet making day and night of equal length. It occurs about March 21st in the Northern hemisphere and Sept 23 in the Southern hemisphere) each year.

The First House where Aries is natural, is the beginning point. It is the point rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth, also known as the Ascendant. Your Rising Sign or Ascendant is your persona and how the world sees you and how you see through it into the world. We will cover this further in Part II, however it is important to note now that this sign starts your wheel and the rest of the signs follow in order in the various houses.


The Stage, the 12 Universal Departments of Life or Fields of Experience

Notice that the inner ring is also divided into 12 pie-shaped sections or houses. Planets and signs and everything changes and moves in a chart, except the houses and their locations. The 1st House is located in every chart at the middle far right and flows counter-clockwise. This is why it is referred to as the stage where influences play out. Each astrological house influences different areas of your life, as shown in this graphic. Have a look at your natal chart and note the planets within the various houses.

The Planets

Psychological urges and needs or aspects of the personality ~ The Actors

Now look at your own chart. What sign is at the 1st house? What planets are inside the 1st house? These planets represent different facets of who you are, expressing their energies through the signs that they occupy in your chart.

Planet Symbol Description
The Sun
Creative potential,personal identity, the urge to create and to be
The Moon
The past,nurturing, receptivity, the urge to nurture, respond and feel
Thinking, analysing, networking, the urge to know, to think and to communicate
Relating, love and beauty, sense of values, the urge to love, appreciate and relate
Energy, aspiration, motivation, sexuality, the urge to act and motivate
Expanding, philosophising, searching for meaning, the urge for growth and meaning
Boundaries, limitations, concretisation, the urge to build structure and stability
Healing, integrating, whole-making, teaching, mentoring, the urge to be healed, to heal, teach and mentor others
Collective mind, illumination, awakening, the humanitarian urge
Collective feeling, universal love, imagining, the spiritual urge and the need for unity
Transformation, purpose, regeneration, the urge for evolutionary growth
North Node
The path of future growth
South Node
The past, karma, inherited potential

Now lets have a bit of fun...
Here is a Quick reference to use to get a basic understanding of the interplay of energies in your chart. Look at your chart, what planets are in Aries? If you look at my chart on the top of this article you will find, in the middle ring, Mercury at 9'52 Aries, Venus at 17'49 Aries and Jupiter at 28'56 Aries. Again, do you see the tiny symbol for Aries in between the degree numbers?

Now look up your planets on your chart and find them in the table below. Write down the keywords. Keep going until you have all the keywords for all the planets in all of the signs.

Use the single word descriptions to create and understand the energy produced through the interaction of sign and planet. For instance if you have Mercury in Aries your Mind is Fast. If you have Mercury in Capricorn it is Executive. Have fun with this to begin to interpret your chart and perhaps those for your friends.

Sun Moon Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto
Aries Energy Drive Fast Attractive Competitive Freedom Boundaries Electric Idealism Power
Taurus Substance Security Slow Fertile Industrial Abundance Property Magnetic Pragmatism Provide
Gemini Mind Curiosity Dual Natural Cooperative Education License Atomic Commerce Publish
Cancer Emotion Compassion Inner Personal Community Family Consideration Galactic Population Express
Leo Light Enjoyment Actor Popular Organized Regal Dominion Solar Entertainment Perform
Virgo Service Fulfillment Editor Proper Skilled Methodical Work Genetic Factual Perfect
Libra Harmony Order Clear Grace Network Ethical Law Bonds Utopian Truth
Scorpio Desire Secure Forensic Treasure Connection Psychological Economic Nuclear Psychism Secret
Sagittarius Search Transcendent Proclaim Elegant Travel Political Doctrine Spiritual Religion History
Capricorn Power Purpose Executive Precious Success Business Rights Planetary Realism Authority
Aquarius Spirit Companionship Associate Brilliant Humanitarian Futuristic Responsibility Astrological Unification Advancement
Pisces Soul Believer Artist Exalted Visionary Minister Resolution Magical Absolution Understanding

There is much more to learn, stay tuned for other articles. Register now if you wish to receive formal instructions.

There are many other factors and much more detail involved which I will cover later but this will get you started. This is where it begins good luck. Join, subscribe, like our videos and get a natal chart to begin your journey.

Next article, coming soon "Wealth in Your Stars" Learn how to reveal the best avenues for your wealth, abundance and future through your charts.