What is it and What can we Learn from it?
Zodiac, Planets and Constellations
A birth chart is a snapshot of the heavens at the moment of your birth. The inner circle of the chart represents you at the moment of birth. The outer circle of the chart represents the zodiac wheel, which is the circle of twelve constellations that surround the earth. A constellation is a group of stars that forms a shape in the sky. The zodiac constellations represent the astrological signs. For example, a constellation that looks like a scorpion represents the sign of Scorpio. There are 360 degrees in a circle, and twelve zodiac signs, 30 degrees each.
Sun, Moon and Planets
A snapshot of the heavens refers to the positions of the sun, the moon, the planets and other cosmic bodies, in relation to the zodiac wheel. In other words, if your birth chart shows that your moon is in Cancer, it means that if someone stood by your side at the moment of birth and looked at the sky, the moon would appear in the area of the sky where Cancer constellation was located.
Houses, Rising Sing and Cardinal Points
In addition to the division of the twelve signs, the circle of the natal chart is divided into twelve houses. Unlike the signs, the houses are not equal in degrees.
The first house always starts at the ascendant, which is also known as AC or rising sign. Why is it called the rising sign? Since it represents the constellation that shows on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth. If the birth chart was a clock, the ascendant would be located at 9 o’clock.
The ascendant is one of the four cardinal points, which are key elements to understanding a birth chart. The other three are the descendant or DC, the point of relationships; midheaven or MC, the point of career and public persona, and Nadir, Imum Coeli or IC, which represents home and childhood.
Understanding the Birth Chart
Reading a birth chart means understanding how cosmic bodies’ positions in the signs and houses, and cardinal points’ positions in the signs, are expressed through the personality.
Each cosmic body and cardinal point explains a certain aspect of your personality. For example, Mars represents how you act to achieve your goals, and the Moon represents how you process emotions.
The signs represent the way in which the various aspects of your personality will be expressed. For example, Mars in Gemini means that you achieve your goals through socializing and networking, while Mars in Capricorn means that you achieve your goals through hard work and discipline.
The houses represent the area of your life where the aspect of your personality will operate. For example, Mars in Capricorn in the 2nd house means that your disciplined (Capricorn) actions (Mars) will be devoted to gaining financial security (2nd house). Mars in Capricorn in the 9th house means that your disciplined (Capricorn) actions (Mars) will be dedicated to philosophical and spiritual studies and teachings (9th house).
Other Things You Can Learn from your Birth Chart
Elemental Balance – Are you driving with the right amount of air in all your tires? Maybe one wheel is inflated or deflated? Then you don’t drive efficiently. Learning your elemental balance can teach you a lot about yourself. My teacher, Debra Silverman, wrote a whole book about the subject, The Missing Element, which I strongly encourage you to read.
The relationships between the sun, the moon, the planets, and the cardinal points are called aspects. They tell us a lot about our strengths and challenges. The signs are also in relationships with one another. You can learn more about that by reading about the three modalities and about zodiac signs relationships.
You can learn about the career that best fulfills your destiny through understanding your Midheaven. You can learn about the habits that hold you from fulfilling yourself and the evolution that is required from you though understanding your south node and north node.
There is so much more you can learn from your chart, but right now, let’s stick to the basics.