The Basics of an Astrological Chart

Your astrological chart can be considered a metaphor for you. The chart shows the position of the heavens for the day, time, and place that you were born. As such, it is also known as your birth chart. The symbols on the chart represent the locations of the planets.

To understand the chart, it is helpful to think of the center as the position of the earth and the placement of the planets as what was in the sky on your day of birth. The highest point of the chart, the upper vertical line, represents the highest point that the sun reached on that date. This is your midheaven, which represents your goals, career, social roles, and public image.

How to read a birth chart

The horizontal line is the horizon. Everything above the line was in the visible portion of the sky at your moment of birth and everything below the line was not visible. Different from a regular map, the left end of the line is the east, and the right end of the line is the west.

The sign at the easternmost end of the line is your ascendant or rising sign. This is the face you present to the world. The sign at the westernmost end of the line is your descendant sign. It represents how you relate to others.

The lowest point in the chart, the lower vertical line, is found on the exact opposite side of the earth from the midheaven. This is your lower heaven, which represents your psychological roots and your life’s foundations.

How do you read an astrological chart ?

Each of the 12 sun signs is categorized by energies, qualities, and elements. Energies refer to whether the energy is yang–direct and externally oriented or yin–indirect and internally oriented. Yang signs tend to be action oriented, rather than waiting for things to happen. Yin signs tend to focus on what is needed to attract and create the desired outcome.

Qualities are concerned with different types of activities and stem from where in a season a sign falls. Cardinal signs begin a season, fixed signs are in the middle of a season, and mutable signs occur as the season is ending or making the transition into the next season. Cardinal quality signs are independent, proactive and enterprising, and seek to move ahead and start new things. Fixed signs are determined, persistent, consistent, and reliable. Mutable signs are quick to learn, adapt easily, and are resourceful and flexible.

There are four elements, which describe the nature of the signs and of life. These elements are fire, earth, air, and water, and each represents distinct temperamental characteristics. Fire signs are idealistic, assertive, energetic, courageous, and often visionary. Earth signs are skillful, practical, and good at managing assets, both physical and financial. Air signs are skilled at thinking, developing ideas, communicating, and social relationships. Water signs are emotional, intuitive, and sensitive, think with their feelings, and are often romantic.

Understanding the Astrological Chart

Individuals born under signs with the same energy, quality, or element will have certain traits in common. However, each combination of energy, quality, and elements appears in only one sign. For example, Pisces has a yin energy, a mutable quality, and the element of water. Virgo shares with Pisces a yin energy and mutable quality, but has a different element–earth.

While your sun sign is the position of the sun at the time of your birth, your birth chart is what tells who you are. The odds of someone having the same birth chart as you are astronomically small, approximately 1 in 10 billion. Having your birth chart done will show you just how unique you are!