An astrological natal chart is a snapshot of the sky taken at the moment, location, and time of birth. It reveals your innate personality, your automatic responses, your hopes, your fears, your stumbling blocks, and more. It can be used for examining yourself, your family, your relationships, your career, and your place in the world.
Natal Charts: Your Cosmic Fingerprint
Understanding someone's astrology begins with calculating a natal chart. The natal chart is a circle that represents the Earth's revolution around the sun. It's divided into 30° segments that represent approximately one month in Earth time, these segments (or houses) contain symbols that represent the position of celestial objects in the sky at the moment of an individual's birth. Every natal chart is unique to the moment and place of a person's birth. Even identical twins may have a slightly different natal chart, as they aren't born at the same specific moment, so there are tiny variations in their birth charts based on the position of the heavens at the moment of their birth. This means that your natal chart is unique to you and to your time and place of birth. And this positioning creates a cosmological imprint on your life that affects your personality, preferences, choices, and more.
Calculating Your Natal Chart
The first step in getting to know more about yourself or another person in astrology is to calculate a natal chart. To do this, you will need:
- Date of birth (day, month, year)
- Exact time of birth
- Location of birth
With these three pieces of information, you can calculate a complete natal chart. If you don't know the exact time of birth, you can still calculate a natal chart, but you won't be able to calculate some aspects of the chart such as the rising sign, houses, and degrees. However, you will still be able to calculate the placement of the planets in the chart. There are many tools you can use to calculate a natal chart.
Deciphering a Natal Chart
Your personal combination of zodiac signs, planets, aspects, angles, and houses combine to create a symbolic portrait of you, known as the natal chart. The use of transits and progressions to your natal chart can also give insight related to past, present, and future happenings in your life. Thanks to the internet, an astrological enthusiast can easily calculate a free and accurate natal chart online, but deciphering the free chart is not quite so easy.
The Astrological Symbols
The symbols (also known as glyphs) are used to represent the signs of the Zodiac, the planets, and other points in the horoscope.
The Astrological Signs
The astrological signs of the zodiac are only one piece of a natal chart, but they are something almost everyone knows. The signs are archetypal in nature and give a sense of understanding and purpose. The astrological signs help answer questions such as:
- What's my purpose in this world?
- How do I best deal with problems?
- How can I be my best self?
The Astrological Planets
The planets represent different parts of your psyche; different desires and needs that create who you are.
The Astrological Houses
The houses represent different areas of your life; they give the context needed to assess the information in a horoscope.
The Astrological Aspects
The aspects are the geometric angles the planets make to one another, as well as to the angles of the horoscope and other points of astrological interest.
The Astrological Angles
The angles are the backbone of a horoscope and the most personal part of a natal chart because they are based on the exact time and location of birth. The angles are essential for understanding the meaning of a birth chart and for accurate forecasting.
Reading a Natal Chart
However, once you understand everything above, reading a natal chart can still be tricky because you have to bring all of its symbology together into a meaningful interpretation. Additionally, a natal chart has general themes; it doesn't tell you anything specific about an individual's life. It's when the symbolism in a natal chart is superimposed on an individual's unique life story that the reading of a birth chart comes alive.
Celebrity Natal Charts
The lives of the famous tend to be well documented. The media pays attention to what they're saying and doing, as well as the important events in their lives and are quick to report everything. Therefore, anyone can have a general understanding of who they are and what they've done. When you're famous, there are few secrets. Celebrity natal charts are a great way to see a natal chart in action, demonstrate the use of specific astrological techniques, and see examples of how major events in their lives could have been forecast.
Satisfy Your Curiosity
Interest in astrology rarely starts with a costly personal reading with a trained astrologer. Some get their astrological curiosity peeked from Sun sign columns in magazine, surfing online, or from a computer-generated personalized report, but somewhere along the line they get hooked and want to know how to read their own birth chart as well as those of their family, friends, and lovers. Find out the most you can to understand your self and those around you.