Natal Chart Symbols and What They Mean

Patricia Lantz C.Ht.
astrology charts

A birth chart is easy to get online; however, once you have one, you need to know how to read it. Astrology is a language written in hieroglyphics. Each symbol or glyph represents a single word. Use a handy reference for recognizing and understanding the most commonly used astrological glyphs.

Astrological Glyphs Printable

When you first start interpreting charts, it helps to have a glyph legend handy to jog your memory until you have all the glyphs and their meanings memorized. To download charts of the most commonly used astrological glyphs click on each image below, download, and print. If you're unsure, you'll find all the information you'll need in this Adobe printable guide.

Astrological Sign Glyphs and Symbols
Planetary and Other Important Glyphs
Major Planetary Aspects

The Astrological Planets

The astrological planets are key to all natal chart interpretations because each planet represents a different and essential aspect of the human psyche.

Planet symbols

Sun: "I Am"

The Sun, the ruler of Leo, is symbolized by a circle with a dot at its center. The Sun represents your vitality, ego, and creative self-expression and holds sway over colors the entire horoscope.

Moon: "I Feel"

The Moon, the ruler of Cancer, is symbolized by the crescent moon. The Moon represents emotions, instincts, habits, and moods.

Mercury: "I Think"

Mercury, the ruler of Gemini and Virgo, is symbolized by the head and winged cap of Mercury surmounting his caduceus. Mercury is the planet of intellect, logic, thinking, and communication.

Venus: "I Love"

Venus, the ruler of Taurus and Libra, is symbolized by the hand mirror of the goddess of love. Venus is the planet of, socialization, pleasure, romance, love, and femininity as well as values and money.

Mars: "I Act"

Mars, the ruler of Aries, is symbolized by the shield and spear Mars, the god of war. Mars is the planet of aggression, drive, sex, desire, competition, and courage as well as your impulse to take action.

Jupiter: "I Grow"

Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, is symbolized by a hieroglyph of the eagle. Jupiter is the planet of luck, growth, expansion, optimism, but also excess.

Saturn: "I Achieve"

Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, is symbolized by an ancient scythe or sickle. Saturn is the planet of limitation, boundaries, structure, discipline, responsibility, authority, obligation, and ambition.

Uranus: "I Evolve"

Uranus the ruler of Aquarius, has two symbols that are used in astrology; one is the Sun topped by the spear of Mars and the other is taken from the first letter of the last name of its discoverer, William Herschel. Uranus is the planet of individualism, eccentricity, liberation, rebellion, and sudden inspiration.

Neptune: "I Dream"

Neptune, the ruler of Pisces, is symbolized by a trident (long three-pronged fork or weapon). Neptune is the planet of nebulousness, illusion, delusion, imagination, escapism, dreams and spirituality.

Pluto: "I Empower"

Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio, has two symbols that are used in astrology; one is a monogram made up the initials of Percival Lowell, the man who predicted Pluto's discovery and the other combines the circle (spirit) over the crescent (receptivity) and the cross (matter). Pluto is the planet of power, transformation, metamorphosis, death, and rebirth.

Other Important Glyphs

There are other important glyphs in natal astrology that can help to further define an individual's inner nature.

Chiron, Nodes, Lilith

Chiron, The Wounded Healer

Chiron, whose symbol resembles a skeleton key, has been classified as both a comet and a minor planet. Chiron represents the inner wounds of body, mind, and spirit. It also facilitates healing and re-integration.

The Lunar Nodes

The glyphs of the North Node and the South Node resemble horseshoes. The Lunar Nodes are mathematical points that fall directly opposite each other in the horoscope. The Nodes are used in Evolutionary astrology. Together, they answer questions about past life habits and traits and the current life's direction. However, this is not from the perspective of ego and personal ambition, but from your soul's evolutionary perspective.

Black Moon Lilith

Lilith, whose symbol is a black crescent underpinned by a cross that resembles an upraised hand, is not a planet. As with the Lunar Nodes, Black Moon Lilith is a mathematical point that lies between the Earth and the Lunar apogee. Lilith represents repressed anger and the shadow self.

The Glyphs for the Astrological Signs

The astrological signs can be thought of as the roles the various planetary bodies and important points play. They modify the behavior of the planets. The astrological signs are divided into three groups; personal signs, social signs, and universal signs. Please remember that what's written below is about the basic astrological principle.

The Personal Astrological Signs

The personal signs focus inward and on the personal development of the self.

Personal astrology signs

Aries

Aries, the Cardinal Fire sign, is the archetypical warrior. Its glyph symbolizes the horns of a Ram. Aries is fierce, forceful, courageous, impulsive.

Taurus

Taurus, the Fixed Earth sign, is the archetypical farmer. Its glyph symbolizes the head and horns of a Bull. Taurus is sensuous, peaceful, stable, obstinate.

Gemini

Gemini, the Mutable Air sign, is the archetypical jester. Its Glyph, the Roman numeral two, symbolizes the twins. Gemini is mental, communicative, perceptive, and superficial.

Cancer

Cancer, the Cardinal Water sign, is the archetypical mother. Cancer, whose glyph symbolizes breasts, is nurturing, emotional, intuitive, empathetic, and moody.

The Social Astrological Signs

The social signs have to do with establishing contact with others in terms of "I and you."

The Social Signs

Leo

Leo, the Fixed Fire sign, is the archetypical hero. Leo, whose glyph symbolizes the head and mane of a lion, is kingly, expressive, self-confident, and ego-centered.

Virgo

Virgo, the Mutable Earth sign, is the archetypical virgin. Virgo, whose glyph M with a loop turned inward symbolizes the crossed legs of a chaste virgin, is virtuous, detail-oriented, serving, and perfectionistic.

Libra

Libra, the Cardinal Air sign, is the archetypical judge. Its glyph resembles both the scales of justice and the rising Sun. Libra is balance, harmony, reconciling, and indecisive.

Scorpio

Scorpio, the Fixed Water sign, is the archetypical magician. Its glyph is an M with a scorpion's tail stinger. Scorpio is intense, instinctual, sexual, and secretive.

The Universal Signs

Understanding and appreciating how the world operates on the grandest scale is primary for the universal signs. They represent humanity's higher vision, growth, achievement, evolution, and love for all.

Universal Astrology Signs

Sagittarius

Sagittarius, the Mutable Fire sign, is the archetypical explorer. Its glyph is the archer's arrow. Sagittarius is friendly, open-minded, philosophical, and imprudent.

Capricorn

Capricorn, the Cardinal Earth sign, is the archetypical father. Its glyph is intricate. It represents the goatfish, with its tail in the water and its head above the water. Capricorn is practical, ambitious, and masterful.

Aquarius

Aquarius, the Fixed Air sign, is the archetypical reformer. Its glyph resembles electric waves. Aquarius is revolutionary, inventive, abstract, intelligent, and unpredictable.

Pisces

Pisces, the Mutable Water sign, is the archetypical martyr. Its glyph resembles two fish tied together, swimming in opposite directions. Pisces is selfless, mystical, compassionate, imaginative, and over-sensitive.

Astrological Aspects Glyphs

When you look at a birth chart, you'll see an aspect grid below the chart that contains the glyphs of the various aspects. Aspects are also represented by the lines you see in the middle of a chart. The aspects describe how various parts of the psyche relate to one another. The aspects represent the number of degrees between the planets. The closer the aspect is to exact, the more powerful it will be. Astrologers use many aspects; however, those listed below are considered the main aspects.

Aspect symbols
  • Conjunction (0°): A conjunction two planets or more merge, blend, and unite. This can be positive if the planets work as a team, but negatively it can be a blind spot.
  • Sextile (60°) The planets that sextile each other are compatible and easily work together. Planets is a sextile aspect cheer each other on and create opportunities
  • Square (90°): A square creates between two parts of the psyche, but this eternal war makes each stronger and can over time produce rich rewards.
  • Trine (120°) A trine creates a harmonious, creative, and smooth flow between these parts of your personality.
  • Opposition (180°): In an opposition, the two planets are polarized and this can create a constant tug-of-war within the psyche.

The Adventure Begins

Learning to read an astrological natal chart is a bit like learning to read a new language and the glyphs are astrology's ABCs. Recognizing and understanding the symbolism of the astrological glyphs are only the beginning of your adventure into learning how to read a horoscope. Then comes to the chart angles, the houses, and much, much more.

Natal Chart Symbols and What They Mean