7.20.2017

Total Newbie's Guide to the Natal Chart (+ a Workbook!)

A natal chart - or birth chart - is an astrological snapshot of where the planets were (in relation to earth) on the day of your birth.  Analyzing your natal chart can give you an in depth look at who you are & tell you where you may want to focus your efforts in order to become the best person you can be.  You'll learn that you have these little quirks for a reason and may figure out the hidden meaning behind a certain habit of yours.  I know I'm learning a lot from mine
Newbies Guide to Reading a Natal Chart
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
One of the best things about the internet is you can generate your birth chart, for free, on quite a few different sites (this is the one I used).  These sites will give you all sorts of in depth information on your chart but it can be hard to sort through.  Two of my favorite resources are Cafe Astrology & Dark Pixie Astrology.  You can also get a chart reading by a professional - that is the route I went when I was first interested in my natal chart.  I worked with Madeleine Jones.

If you're down to learn a bit on your own, here are the three sections of your chart that can help you get started understanding this snapshot of yourself:

Sun, Moon, & Rising Signs

If you've ever read your horoscope, you've probably read for your Sun sign.  This is the sign that is based off of the month you were born.  For example, I was born 12/15 so my sign is Sagittarius because that date falls with in the range of November 22 - December 21.  You may not know your moon or rising sign.  Generating your birth chart will tell you both of these by utilizing the exact time of your birth as well as your location.
Sun Moon and Rising Signs
This gives you a better idea of your whole self. If you just rely on your Sun sign you're getting a limited view of who you are.  Your sun sign is how you feel about yourself.  It is the key essence of who you are.  Your moon sign represents your passions & emotions.  Your rising sign represents what you aspire to be & is how others see you.  Your rising sign is what you try to present to the world.  All three of these signs have traits that make up our whole selves and when reading 

Wheel of Houses

There are 12 astrological houses that correspond to the same signs as the zodiac.  However, the zodiac wheel and the wheel of houses are two different things - The Wheel of houses in your birth chart is based on the earths rotation on it's axis in a 24 hour period.  Your personal Wheel of Houses is determined by your birth time and location.  It is a map of the sky at the time and area of your birth.  
Wheel of Houses Birth Chart
Various planets fall in your houses on your birth chart - the planets (including planets like Mars, Jupiter, etc + the Sun and the Moon) of the chart show how the signs in the houses express themselves.  The houses show in what area this will play out.

So for example - I have Aries on the seventh house cusp + Jupiter in the 7th house, therefore Jupiter shows how the sign of Aries plays in my house of Marriage & Relationships.   The 12 houses are:
  1. Self
  2. Possessions
  3. Communication
  4. Home
  5. Creativity
  6. Service & Health
  7. Marriage & Relationships
  8. Death & Regeneration
  9. Mental Exploration
  10. Career
  11. Community & Goals
  12. Inner or Hidden Self
If you imagine your birth chart as a clock, the first house falls below the 9 o'clock position.  Then you work counter clockwise around.  The 12 house then falls in the 10 o'clock position.  These houses are the main sections of your life.  The planets that fall in these houses or specifically rule these houses have an impact on those areas of your life.
Reading a Birth Chart

Planetary Relationships

The relationships of the planets to each other is another key part of reading your natal chart.  These are degrees of separation between the planets.  These relationships allow for more fined tuned understanding of the planets and show us where positive or negative or ease or difficulty expressed in these relationships.  This is also an important layer of your chart, just like only reading your sun sign gives you a limited view, ignoring these aspects gives you a limited view of how your planets interact.  

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Now, this obviously isn't all there is to know about natal charts.  I'm just a newb sharing what I've learned so far, in the easiest way possible.  So you may be wondering how you should put this into action for yourself.  I suggest starting with your Sun, Moon and Rising signs as well as the characteristics of each of your houses.  For example - my house of Communication (the third house) has Sagittarius on the cusp, so I'm talkative (check) and love to learn (check).  My moon sign is Libra which speaks to how I have a desire for a calm and balanced life.  Libra as a moon sign also apparently leans towards an extreme dislike of manual labor and I truly hate yard work...so there's got to be some validity here.
Creating a Natal Chart
Learn these guys and how the relate to you, first.  The first step here is to gain a better understanding of yourself.  I've seen that working with your natal chart can help you discover the small tidbits of yourself you can't put into words or, even better, the tidbits of yourself that seem contradictory. These small sections will help you get a good snapshot of who you are.  If you assemble this and think 'hey, this is cool!' you may be pointed into the next steps to take to work with more parts of your natal chart.

You don't have to do it all at once.


My current trajectory with my natal chart is to work the rising new moon energies into the house it is currently rising in.  For example, in May the new moon rose in Gemini.  Gemini is my house of Mental Exploration.  Gemini is also about communication.  So my work that month was in listening & learning and working with the Throat Chakra.  However you feel called to work with this chart is how you should work with it.  I plan to continue this work in the foreseeable future and then work in the aspects and planetary relationships when I am ready.
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I've put together a little workbook here for you to assemble all this knowledge & get to know yourself better through your natal chart.  If you sign up for the newsletter above you not only get the monthly newsletter but you'll also get New & Full moon emails!  We'll work together during the moon phases to manifest our goals & release what isn't serving us.  Most of the time we'll work with a chakra that corresponds to the sign the moon is rising in.  You can follow along with your own natal chart or just work with our collective goals for the month.


This little workbook is sized perfectly to fit into an A5 planner.  These guys can print back to front (refer to your printer's instructions for duplex printing) on a standard letter size page.  Trim down the center & then punch it into your binder.  Then get to know yourself!

I hope this loooooonnnnggg post has helped you learn more about reading your natal chart.  Like I mentioned, this is not a comprehensive guide...just something to dip your toes in!  Just like me!  If you haven't joined the Five Sixteenths Blog | Live Creatively group on Facebook...c'mon over there too!

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Looking for the Tarot deck used in the post?  It's the After Tarot & you can find it here.  Planner is from Simple Stories, find it here.

Are you interested in your natal chart?  Do you read your horoscopes?

xoxo, Moe

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