Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

November/December Gift Guide 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Examining a Natal Chart

This article was written by Gloria Star on January 15, 2004
posted under Natal Chart

Astrologers also look at chart patterns, such as planets falling more heavily in one section or on one side of the chart than another, or forming a pattern which looks like a kite or a bucket. There are many ways to look at a birth chart. Some people see the chart as a mandala, and use it as a focusing or meditational tool. Some astrologers draw artistic renderings of the chart, emphasizing certain colors or symbols which have outstanding qualities.

To most beginners, however, the chart just looks like a jumble of symbols! Even though you may know some of the qualities of these different symbols, you may still feel a bit confused about how to put it all together. It does take time and study to synthesize all these factors, but there are a few tips which can speed along your sense of the chart as a whole.

1. To synthesize the concepts of the heavenly bodies, signs, houses, and aspects, consider the basic principles behind each of their symbols and create descriptive sentences about them.

2. Remember, the Sun, Moon, planet (or asteroid) illustrate what the energy is; the signs show how the energy works, and the house indicates where the energy is focused. Aspects add emphasis, strength, or intensification to the meaning of a planetary energy, and may help you understand why the energy is directed in a particular manner in your life. If you use the model of a play or drama, think of the planets as the actors, the signs as their roles, the houses as settings and scenes, and the aspects as the interactions between the actors in the drama.

3. When looking at a chart, it is sometimes helpful to begin by looking at the placements of the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant. The Sun indicates the kind of person you strive to be; the Ascendant is what others see; and the Moon is who you are within. If these three positions are compatible with one another by element or sign, then there may be an easier expression of the personality. But if there is discord between them, then the personality may be more difficult to pinpointóa factor of complexity emerges.

4. Look at where the planets fall in the chart. Instead of interpreting each individually, consider them all as equal in influence for a moment. Do they scatter about the circle? If so, perhaps you scatter your energy too easily. Do planets cluster on one side of the chart, or on the top or bottom? The chart's left half is considered to represent self-direction and independence. The right side indicates the need for feedback from others, and an orientation toward relationships. The top of the chart is public and outwardly focused, and an emphasis on this half of the chart will indicate a life of strong public influence. The lower half of the chart is inner-directed, and adds a need to get to know oneself. Planets falling primarily in this half of the chart indicates the need to feel comfortable with oneself and one's abilities before striking out in the world.

5. Count the number of celestial bodies in each element. If there is a preponderance of any one element, the characteristics associated with that element will be strong in your personality. The same is true of the modes (thus, if you have seven planets in fixed signs, your personality will express the nature of fixity). Then you can combine the two. As an example, if you have predominantly Cardinal and Fire planets, your personality will be very much like the Cardinal Fire sign, Aries.

This overview gives you a good starting base. One thing you will learn is that nothing in astrology stands alone. There are always other features which relate to the qualities, planets, signs, and other elements of the chart. And remember, your chart indicates potentialónot a set of absolutes!

Sitting here in the dark, watching the moon shine over the autumn landscape (my favorite time of year) I find myself reflecting on the question that is most frequently asked of me: "How do I know if my house is haunted?" The question seems so simple, so endearing and direct, but it is as complex as the human mind or the spiritual realm and it... read this article
Chakras Around the World: Are There Really Seven Chakras?
How to Successfully Navigate a Mercury Retrograde
Psychic Vision: 3 Easy Ways
An Accessible Guide to the Thoth Tarot
How Strengthening My Spirituality Helped Me With My Cancer Diagnosis

Most recent posts:
How Many Chakras Do You Have?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Cyndi Dale, author of a number of books, including The Complete Book of Chakra Healing and the new...

The Paranormal Epiphany
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sarah Soderlund, author of the new Haunted by the Abyss. I have the honor of talking, lecturing, and...

A Fresh View of Judgement
In my opinion, the Judgement card needs a rename as much as the Hierophant. It is such an important card and so many people seem to misunderstand it....

Love in the Stars Love in the Stars
Find Your Perfect Match With Astrology

By: Brad Kronen
Price: $21.99 US,  $25.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$11.19 US,  $13.59 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2016 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Astrological Calendar
83rd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.99 CAN
$11.99 US,  $14.39 CAN On Sale!
Imbolc Imbolc
Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Brigid's Day

By: Carl F. Neal
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN