Those knee-deep in astrology (like us) have probably heard the terms 'natal' or 'birth' chart a lot more than necessary. But if you're someone who's just a rookie (and we're all here for you!), this is the point where you close your tab -- because let's face it -- it is confusing to a point where you can't fathom.
But you're not the only one who feels that way. A birth chart often talks about terms like "house", "planets" and is nothing like the regular zodiac signs that are effortlessly available online. It is individual for everyone, and it also gives you deeper insights instead of a blanket statement about your star sign.
What is a birth chart?
Simply stated, a birth chart tells you about the position of the planets during your birth. "At the moment of your birth, the planets were spread out in a specific formation, each one located in a specific house," Susan Miller, an American astrologer, writes on her blog. "This pattern made by the planets and their locations, called the "natal horoscope", is nearly as individual to you as your fingerprint," she further adds. Astrology, more or less, is about how the placement of stars affects your life. So, it is more than just a broad bracket of your zodiac signs, and it can be further narrowed down using a birth chart. The more accurate a chart is, the more relevant it gets for you.
What does a birth chart signify?
According to Susan — after each planet works its way through the twelve constellations, (which make up the twelve signs of the zodiac) — it passes through one of the twelve houses of each of those signs. Each of these houses governs a different area of life. "This includes relationships, marriage, and children, to your career, co-workers, study, travel, and the home — one of them even rules your identity and appearance," she adds. So, to sum it up, your birth chart talks about certain phases in your life, according to the positions of these planets.
Zodiac signs often talk only about your sun signs. But your birth chart will mention the traits of your Moon sign -- along with the other planets. Which means that it will not only talk about the sun and Moon but other planets as well from the day you were born. Here's what each of them signifies:
Sun: The Sun often reveals your career path. So, the position of the Sun on your birth chart will talk about your 'brightly lit' future. Understanding its position on your chart can help clarify several career-related queries.
Moon: The Moon governs your emotions and comfort needs. If your sun sign feels driven towards your professions, you can always turn to your lunar sign to know what your feelings signify.
Mercury: As mentioned in one of our articles last week, Mercury rules communication and intellect. It reveals details of how you express and interact with other signs around you.
Venus: Venus is the planet of love, charm and romance. The position of Venus on your birth chart reveals a lot about your relationships and how you tend to perceive love. Of course, that also makes it a lot of people's favourite!
Mars: The ruler of passion, attraction and action -- Mars is what fuels your sex drive. Mars on your birth chart tell you more about your intimate secrets and tendencies.
Saturn: Stability, success and strictness all sum up to Saturn! And although it sounds boring, it is often direct you towards the right path to progress and how to reap its benefits.
Jupiter: Jupiter is the planet of growth and abundance — so if you're hoping to find out more about your status in life, this is the planet you should be studying on your birth chart.
Uranus: If you're seeking the unconventional side of your life, Uranus is your planet. It speaks about technology, innovation and unusual experiences. After all, it is the only planet that spins on the side!
Neptune: Neptune talks about spiritual healing and creativity. So, owe all the glamour in your life to Neptune. And if it is positioned closer to your Sun or Moon placements, you're probably going to benefit from its effects a lot more than others do!
Pluto: Pluto gives way to tremendous growth and sudden change. While it may seem worrying for some to spot it evidently on a birth chart, it is crucial to be unafraid of what development brings to your life!
This is where it probably gets confusing -- but we'll try our best to simplify it for you! As Susan mentions in her blog, each house is ruled by a zodiac sign. Just as each of the planets signifies something about you, so does the houses. Read on to find out what this means for you:
1st House: Your 1st House is ruled by Mars and Aries, this house is often referred to as the 'ruler' house. This house represents how the world perceives us and is the side of us that is most prominent.
2nd House: The 2nd House represents personal goods, material wealth and self-confidence. Ruled by Venus and earthy Taurus, this house can drive you to earn big bucks.
3rd House: Mercury and Gemini in the house — quite literally! So, expect everything in your 3rd House to be about communication and relationships. These include your interpersonal relationships, with your siblings, co-workers or parents.
4th House: Your 4th House signifies familial relationships. Governed by the water sign Cancer and the Moon, the 4th House is ideal if you're hoping to understand your bonds or the environment you live in within your society.
5th House: Ruled by the spirited Leo and the Sun, your 5th House denotes fun and all things entertaining. It depicts your love affairs, creativity, flirtationships and entertainment.
6th House: The 6th House signifies health and wellness. Ruled by Virgo and Mercury -- it helps you understand personal health, daily routine and your household better.
7th House: Venus and Libra together govern the 7th House. Which means this House is crucial to understand all sorts of relationships in your life. If you wish to understand your marriage and long-term partnerships better, this is where you should tap into.
8th House: Scorpio and Pluto, a dynamic duo, together rule the 8th House. Understand sex, mystical practices and intuition using this House on your birth chart.
9th House: Everything beginning from your higher education to philosophy belongs to the 9th House. Ruled by the lucky Jupiter and optimistic Sagittarius, it tells you about any upcoming travel or wisdom.
10th House: Saturn and Capricorn are in charge of your 10th House. So, your prestige, reputation and public appearance fall under this sector of your birth chart.
11th House: Gemini and Aquarius together govern the 11th House of your friendships. It reveals the connections you tend to make with your society and those surrounding you.
12th House: The House of eternal mystery and unseen enigmas! Neptune's dreaminess and Pisces' intuition brings in change, secrets and deep desires. Not a lot of people have any planets in this house, but if you do, you have a journey of mystical transformation due for you.
Where can you get a birth chart made?
Thankfully, because of technology, you can get your birth chart made almost anywhere. Several astrology apps also give you a detailed idea about the planets and their placements on your natal report. Some of which include Co-Star, UpAstrology and Sanctuary. All you need is your time and place of birth, along with your birth date. Most of these apps also give you a detailed description of your life at a nominal or no cost.
While it might take some time to read and understand your birth chart, there's no harm in getting started slowly with some basics. Even though several apps now can give you an insight into your life with ease, this guide can help you understand the significance of each house, sign and planet. If you're hoping to get a little more idea about this phenomenon, watch this space for another guide on astrology for you in the near future.