Being able to read your own unique-to-you astrological natal chart is one of the most amazing tools for self-discovery and self-awareness out there. Get ready to make many connections and to be blown away! 🙂
I’ll never forget the very first time I went to see an astrologer around my birthday in December, 1998 – I had just turned 32. He had me in tears within the first five minutes (wounded inner child: Chiron conjunct Saturn in the 5th house! Who knew?) and told me who I was and even who my mom and dad were and how they had split up when I was young. How on earth could he see my parents in my chart, I wondered!?? The implications of this (all time happens at once, all ‘agreements’ between souls/people happen at once?) lit a fire in me and I realized I just had to learn how to do this myself. The great thing about George Strutch, the astrologer, was that he wasn’t acting like he was psychic at all….being a Sagittarius he was very teacherly about it – explaining why he was saying what he was saying. Which, of course, I loved!! I wanted to learn! I remember that when I walked out of his office, I felt like the top of my head had exploded open and the magic of the Universe and Life was streaming in and out in a brand new way that I had never felt before! It was the kind of magic that I’d yearned for my whole life but had been too ‘rational’ to think could exist. Sooooo…if you have the opportunity to go to a really good astrologer, do it!
One of the things that I love the most about astrology is that when I notice that I am feeling differently (the key is to notice! 🙂 ) I can just take a few minutes to figure out which planets, energetically, must be the culprits of this new energy I’m feeling. Say, I am feeling unloved and like I don’t like anyone….I’d think….well, Saturn has to be involved because he is such a bugger ( 🙂 ) and he is on the depressive, flattening side of things….and, likely, Venus is involved because Venus is related to Love and Relationships. Only after I make my own guess do I check my ephemeris (the book that tells you where the planets are) to see if I am correct and lo and behold there it is: Saturn conjunct Venus (never very fun – but it can be a great time to focus on your creativity and really figure out what it is you like, what your values are). It is wonderfully affirming when you are right! And it is great practice so that you learn how to differentiate the feeling of the all the different energies. Once the transit is identified you can then see if the transit is a short one or a long one. With an end in sight, we can all deal with what’s thrown at us, right? And knowing what energies you are working with gives you an objective perspective that takes you out of that rather subjective helpless place – ya know?
I don’t use astrology as a tool that is going to ‘tell me my future’, nooooo…I use it as a tool to help me work with the energies available at the most productive level possible. Co-Creation!
How astrology actually works is pretty fascinating and will likely remain as much of a mystery as life itself. (understatement 🙂 ) But what blows my mind is that even in our modern era we’ve got ‘rational’ scientists naming our more freshly-discovered planets after ancient mythological beings and gods: Uranus, Neptune, Pluto (still a planet, believe me!) and Chiron. And….what do you know? The energy of that planet takes on the energy of the myth it has been assigned by some left-brain, rational man! It’s kind of mind-boggling isn’t it? But what does it suggest? I’d say that it suggests that we are all, indeed, co-creating the world we live in. We’re all in agreement.The collective consciousness is at work here as each of us participate and co-create this dream we call Life on Earth. I think that’s pretty amazing and very empowering!
So, here’s to being Empowered!! Empowered through self-awareness, through feeling sure of your own unique Path…!
Let’s get going!,
Generate your western astrological chart here
1. If you don’t already have an Astrodienst account register here: www.astro.com, it’s free!
2. Add your birth information. (and up to 100 people)
3. Click on “Free Horoscopes”
3. Scroll down and click on “Extended Chart Selection”
4. Choose who the Chart will be for
5. Select Natal Chart and Transits*
6. Web default style is fine
7. KOCH House system
8. Click to show the chart!
…and, voila…there’s your chart!
Now, let’s take a look at your chart…
The planets in black inside the ring are how the planets were situated in the night sky the moment you were born.
The blue and red lines that connect your natal planets show the dynamic tension and challenges (red lines) and the easy, harmonious (blue lines) energies at play in your chart.
I like to describe how these challenging and harmonious aspects function as being related to the waves created in music and water. Like the jarring sound of two chords that sound awful together or the choppy, chaotic wake that is created when two speedboats speed by perpendicular to each other, the Square (the red lines that join planets that are 90 degrees apart – for example, above, Neptune squares both the Moon and Jupiter) joins two or more energies together that just don’t go together. The blue lines, on the other hand, are like the harmonious notes that flow beautifully and easily together and are like the waves that slip together in a gentle and easy dance.
If you see a lot of red, challenging lines in your chart, don’t panic! It makes you interesting! Ha! 🙂 But, really, if you only had blue, harmonious lines you might be very passive with not much dynamism going on (or it might be your turn for an easy life after a difficult one!) We all need a little dynamic tension in our lives, it’s what makes it, and us, interesting and forces us to learn and grow. Also, people with squares and oppositions and challenging conjunctions will often become really good at the two energies that are challenging them when they learn to use them and integrate them. Lots of very masterful people have squares in their charts 🙂
Now take a look at the green planets circling the outside of your chart. They are moving counter-clockwise and represent where the planets are right now. Although you can’t see it in this chart there are invisible red and blue lines connecting the outer planets that are doing their thing right now with the planets you were born with. Get it? Some planets are interacting with the energies you were born with in a harmonious manner and others are interacting with your energies in a challenging manner.
Options on How to Learn to Read your Chart
1. Stay on the Astrodienst site and click on “Free Horoscopes”. There you will find a ton of free horoscopes that take into consideration the fact that you are not just a Sun Sign (like the newspapers would have you believe!) In fact, you have ten ‘planets’ all creating a super-unique you and the Astrodienst free horoscopes are great for discovering the basics about all your own energies and those of your friends and family, every easily. Plus, it’s free! 🙂 Under the “Free Horoscopes” click on ASTRO-CLICK PORTRAIT for an interactive account of your chart 🙂
Check out the AstroClick Travel link, too – it’s fascinating! Basically it’s a Relocation chart without you having to interpret it yourself. Where do you feel pulled to travel to in the world? Perhaps the energetic reason will be very interesting!
2. Go to this excellent learning website here so you can being interpreting your own chart. It is an excellent resource!
3. Check out my hand-picked astrology books to get you started. Some of them aren’t beginners books but they are the ones that helped me the most and, in my opinion, are the most intelligent!
4. Check out what I’ve written on basics on the Planets, Signs, Houses and Aspects below 🙂
Ascendant (1st house) – the lens through which you see the world. how others see you.
Sun – who you are and who you are becoming. your life force. your vitality. your father. for women: your animus
Moon – your emotional life. what makes you feel safe and secure. how you feel. your mother. your habits. for men: your anima
Mercury – how you conceptualize. how you communicate.
Venus – your values. who and what you like. relationships. beauty. love. for men: the kind of woman you like (anima)
Mars – how you get what you like! where you put your energy. your ego. libido. your action. for women: the kind of man you like (animus)
Jupiter – where there is abundance in your life. your belief system. where you expand and grow. how you are lucky. how you are guided.
Saturn – your life lesson. your challenge and your gift. what you fear. past life indication. authorities in your life. how you are restricted. what you need to focus on.
Uranus – your unique spark. where you might be rebellious. personal freedom. where you are original.
Neptune – your spiritual self. higher vibration of love. acceptance. intuition. dreams. poetry. music. but…also drugs, drinking, self-delusion, fogginess, confusion. Neptune is not of this world!
Pluto – where your power lies. transformation. intensity. past life indication. healing.
North Node – this looks like the ‘eye’ in the ‘hook and eye’. I love the north node – because it shows you where your soul wants to go, in this life time. If you look exactly opposite the north node that is where the south node would be, if it were shown in the chart. This is where your soul is coming from (past life indications) and where it feels comfortable. But…you can’t rest there in this life – you must leap towards your north node. Steven Forrest has an excellent book called, “Yesterday’s Sky” that’s all about the South and North nodes and past life indications. You should check it out.
Ascendant and 1st: the lens through which you see the world. Your Personality. Persona. How others see you. Any planet in this house is extremely important to you.
2nd: Self-value. Money and possessions. Resources (both inner and outer). Body
3rd: Communication, writing, short journeys, neighbours, siblings.
IC and 4th: Your past (even past lives), childhood, family, home. Your ‘inner home’ within.
5th: Fun, pleasure, love-affairs, self-expression, creativity, children, real joy.
6th: Service, day to day work, employers, the feeling of ‘duty’, the need to be talented and useful.
7th: Relationships. Any one-on-one relationships business or romantic. Marriage. Contracts.
8th: Sex, death, other people’s money. Strange house, I know! It belongs to Scorpio/Pluto. (there ya go!) All the ‘mysteries’ and taboo subjects that people don’t usually want to talk about. Deep psychological processes.
9th: Long distance travel, foreign places and ideas, philosophy, religion, law, consciousness expansion, publishing.
MC and 10th: This is the absolute top of your chart….imagine that you’re climbing up a mountain: the mountain of Awareness…..Freedom. Or….Career, Calling and Life Objective. Your reputation. Your desire for status or respect. This is a very public house.
11th: Hopes and Dreams for the future. Groups. Community. Friends. Entrepreneurialism. This house is hard to pin down – ruled by Aquarius/Uranus, it’s no wonder. ‘Expect the unexpected’ is the motto here. Soooo…it’s as unique as you are. Imagine a ‘community’ that works together and is comprised of highly individualistic people that have a deep appreciation for personal freedom…
12th: Deep, dark well: sink or swim in it. It’s the ‘other-worldly’ house. Non material. On a positive level shows you where you’re plugged in to your Higher Self. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to just not get what’s going on here (indicated by the planet that is in there). Hard to see through the veil or darkness. You need to TRUST in the energies represented by any planet inhabiting this house. Unfinished business from past lives.
Aries: Courageous. Youthful. Energetic. Action-oriented. Initiators. Competitive. Pioneer. Can sell anything to anyone! Create/Love Battles. Immature. Egotistical. Willful. A Fighter, Striver.
Taurus: Stable. Good-natured. Interested in art, music and love. Need material security. Money-oriented. Stubborn. Passive.
Gemini: Communicative. Loves ideas and facts. Quick-minded. Charming & Charismatic (will tell you what you want to hear). Needs variety or will become bored. Rational. (very few Gemini males believe in astrology or metaphysical stuff. If you can’t taste, see, feel, hear or smell it, it doesn’t exist!) They’ve got that Twin/Two Sides to themselves thing going on.
Cancer: Sensitive. Empathic. Nurturing. Moody. Great memory. Sometimes puts up a protective shell so that they don’t have to feel so much – which can make it hard for them to feel or for others to feel them. They need to work on the permeable shell idea. Emotions go straight to their stomach. Need to be needed.
Leo: Good-natured. Natural Leader. Warm. Well-developed sense of Self. Expressive. Likes attention. Likes glamour and prestige. Ego can get out of control.
Virgo: Orderly. Analytical. Practical. Detail-oriented. Creative. Likes ideas but only if they can bring them out of the realm of ideas and into the real, physical world, so they can be of use. (unlike Geminis who like ideas for the sake of ideas) Designers. Modest. Sincere. Anal. Health conscious. Sometimes insecure. Critical (of Self and Others)
Libra: Charismatic. Attractive. Loves harmony and harmonious and beautiful surroundings. Beauty-lover. Peacemaker. Likes to be in relationships. Doesn’t feel whole unless they are in a relationship with an ‘other.’ Cerebral when it comes to love. Fair. Talented. Dislikes disharmony so much will create harmony for harmony’s sake (even if it’s superficial harmony) Indecisive (because they like the balance of both sides!)
Scorpio: Intense. Deep. Secretive. (like to keep things to themselves for a few days to process it before revealing it) Magnetic. Can be jealous and possesive. Stings like a scorpion when provoked. If you make it into a Scorpio’s inner circle you’re in for life. Unless, of course, you do something so hienous that they have to X you out of their life completely! It’s all or nothing. Sexual – transcendent sex! Persistent. Will pull back the veil to reveal the ‘truth’ of the matter. Investigative.
Sagittarius: Idealistic. Optimistic. Adventurous. Needs Freedom. Opinionated and judgmental (unless evolved!). Truthful. Lucky. Astrologers say that if you get to be a Sagittarius this time around it’s due to work well done in a past life 🙂 The horse part can be very sporty and physical and the man aiming at the stars very philosophical and bookish. Curious. Jovial. Very black and white. Pedantic at times. Expansive. Is interested in Improvement. Teacher. Guide.
Capricorn: Patient. Ambitious. Likes to stay busy. Likes to Accomplish. Masterful. Climb the mountain to Success. Conservative. Perfectionist. Hard-working. Cautious. Fear of change. Traditional.
Aquarius: Eccentric and original. Hard to pin down – every Aquarius is different and unique! Needs to be separate from the ‘group’ in order to be an example of stepping-away-from-the-box but feels left out when not part of the group. Needs personal freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Unconventional. Rebel. Cool and Aloof. Independent. Humanitarian. Justice for all people. All people are equal.
Pisces: Sensitive and Idealistic. Dreamers. Brilliant but sometimes find it hard to bring it into the real world to make their brilliance a reality. Truly good-hearted people. Loves music. Mystical. Loves children and animals. Moody. Adaptable. Ephemeral. Psychic.
A little something on Aspects
Trines and Grand Trines are harmonious, flowing, easy, positive reinforcement of both or all the planets involved and take place between signs in the same element.
All signs in the same element ‘get along’. If two signs in the same element make an aspect to each other (a blue line) we say they are trine each other. For example (see my chart below), natally, my Sun in Sagittarius at 9 degrees is trine my Moon in Leo at 4 degrees. Or you could say that, right now transiting Venus (in green) in Cancer at 26 degrees is creating a grand trine with my Mercury/Neptune in Scorpio and my Chiron/Saturn in Pisces. All water signs. No wonder I am working on my website right now! (9th house rules publishing on the internet, too, of course 🙂 ) Also, with Mars in Leo transiting the very top of my chart (my Calling and Life Objective) I have energy (Mars) to Express myself (part of what Leo is about)…!
Most astrologers use a 6 degree ‘orb’ for aspects. So if, natally, you have a Scorpio Ascendant at 9 degrees and a Pisces Saturn at 22 degrees they are not going to be trine because the orb is too large: 13 degrees. There will be compatibility between them but not an energetic display of ‘trine-ness’ 🙂
If all three of the signs in the same element are aspecting each other we say it’s a Grand Trine. It makes a perfect triangle. A harmonious, positive, easy flow of energy. You can just rest on your laurels with trines and grand trines since they feel so easy and nice…but you can also consciously use them so that you gain the greatest benefit. 🙂
Sextiles are another positive aspect that can be described as a ‘creative opportunity’ between the planets involved.
All the Fire signs sextile all the Air signs and visa versa.
All the Earth signs sextile all the Water signs and visa versa.
So, an example of this would be that my Mercury/Neptune pod in Scorpio sextiles my Pluto/Uranus/Mars pod in Virgo. (water/earth)
Squares, T-Squares and Grand Squares are challenging aspects and create dynamic tension between the planets involved.
All the Cardinal signs create either squares to each other or oppositions.
All the Fixed signs create either squares to each other or oppositions.
All the Mutable signs create either squares to each other or oppositions.
Squares exist between two planets and represent tension and challenge.
T-Squares exist between three planets and indicate more tension and challenge!
Grand Squares exist between four planets and create even more tension and challenge! (You knew that was coming eh?)
I was taught that T-Squares, which you can visualize as highly unstable three-legged square tables, require you to leap over to the ‘missing leg’, energetically, in order to try to stabilize the T-Square. You can see that I have a T-Square in my natal chart. The ‘missing leg’ is opposite my Sagittarius Venus in Gemini in the 8th house so this would indicate that I need to bring more 8th house Gemini energy into my life and when planets transit that spot in my chart, to pay attention to the messages it has for me. I have noticed that some of my best friends were born with Jupiter in Gemini – so they help me to round out my T-square, in a really positive way, too! 🙂
Grand Squares create a lot of dynamic tension – but at least it’s a closed loop so the energy can really get going. I have seen very powerful people work well with their Grand Squares. It’s not debilitating by any means and having a Grand Square (or Cross) in your chart shows that your soul wanted the opportunity to rise to this challenge so you can make them work powerfully for you.
Conjunctions are when planets are sitting right beside each other, usually within 6 degrees.
I like to call my little conjunctions ‘pods’. Planets in conjunction influence each other. For example in my natal chart Mercury and Neptune are conjunct. This gives my Mercury (the way I communicate and conceptualize) a rather Neptunian cast. Words just flow out easily and intuitively when I’m writing or looking at a chart with a friend or….they don’t. I don’t feel like I have much control over it and I’m not at all good under pressure. I am interested in mystical topics. My visualization skills are stellar! 🙂 I dream ideas into matter (Merc/Neptune trine Saturn) And, of course, I usually have rose-coloured glasses on! (remember that Neptune is highly idealistic and sometimes deluded!).
Oppositions are when planets are directly opposite each other.
If you have oppositions in your natal chart it is an indication of two opposing forces within yourself that you project out into the world and into your relationships. Oppositions are always about relationships and relating to an ‘other’ across from you. A person with many oppositions in their chart is definitely here to work on how they relate to others! Sometimes you’re experiencing one end of your opposition and sometimes you’re experiencing the other end. The key is to integrate the two opposing energies and use them both – especially in your relationships.
When a transiting planet is opposing one of your natal planets relationship issues come to the fore.
These are the opposing signs.
Remember that, in relationship, planets that opposite each other are often magnetically attracted to each other:
Often people who are attracted to each other will have one or more of these planets in opposition: Sun, Moon, Venus, Mars, Ascendant, Uranus.
If you want to know what astrology books to buy, my shortlist is here! Nothing beats having an actual book to refer to! 🙂
That’s all for now!
I wish you many happy days and nights exploring your chart!
Oh, and if you’re concerned that your sign has changed please read Austin Coppock’s wonderfully clear and concise page on this matter here.
The media went wild with that information (perhaps because more people than ever were discovering that astrology really works and so they needed to nip that in the bud!?) The information they ‘discovered’ is old old old news and all astrologers know about it. Funny how one media blitz can make people unsure of Astrology. Just like that! Crazyness. You have to read Austin’s wonderful article. It’ll clear things right up for you if you still have doubts!