Your Birth Chart is a map of the heavens, as they appeared at the exact date, time and place you were born. It is your unique cosmic-spiritual blueprint, for although there will be some people who have the same birth chart as you, how the astrological forces impact their lives will not necessarily affect yours in the same way: although the birth chart indicates what particular energies will focus strongly in our lives, we all have free will, and are be born into different environments, exposed to varying circumstances & parental/peer-group influences – all of which are factors that contribute to how we evolve as distinct individuals. So each person will play their birth chart out in their own individual way.
INTUITION AND READING THE BIRTH CHART
Interpreting the birth chart , from my own personal experience, involves a strong element of intuition or “psychic insight”, – the language of the symbols & connotations of the aspects within the birth chart speak to me in a way that goes beyond intellectual analysis, or “thought”. When I look at someone’s birth chart, I begin to form intuitive impressions from the overall layout, specific patterns and individual aspects. I rarely refer to book interpretations anymore, as after 16 years of study, I’m very familiar with the associations attributed to the planets, houses, aspects and so forth, and this, I find, frees me from “typical interpretation” and allows for broader and more free-flowing insight . I suspect a lot of Astrologers work the same way, and this method of birth chart analysis is an important factor when, for example, I am presented with a set of charts for identical twins. It might sound a little fey, but I do receive what I can only call “psychic impressions” of the actual person, simply by meditating on their birth chart. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t met them, there is simply, to me, an instant connection to that person through their birth chart. And that is quite handy when I have to come up with a different take for identical birth charts!
SIGNS & SYMBOLS ON THE BIRTH CHART
The 12 Zodiac Signs and Planets
Around the edge of the birth chart wheel are glyphs representing the 12 signs of the Zodiac. And within the birth chart wheel are glyphs that represent the various planets (in Astrology, the Sun & Moon are also called planets). Everybody has these on their birth chart, but in different places. It is this order of things that makes each chart unique. Each planet is in a sign AND a house. Depending on when and where you were born you can have any planet in any sign and in any house ! Some astrologers also include minor asteroids, moons and other celestial points around your birth chart for interpretation , such as Chiron, The Vertex, The Part Of Fortune & Lillith – I personally only add Chiron, as feel the other various options superfluous, as do the majority of Astrologers.
The Twelve Houses Around Your Birth Chart
Within the inner circle of the birth chart are numbers, 1-12. These are called HOUSES. Each of the astrology houses represents a different area of life. Houses are simply divisions of the sky above and below the birthplace, based on the horizon at your time of birth. Houses begin with House 1 at the 9 o’clock position, where your astrology rising sign (Ascendant) is found, and proceed in anti-clockwise fashion around the birth chart wheel. The zodiac sign/s each house “covers”, and any planets in a given house are important points of birth chart interpretation for an astrologer.
Chart Division and Empty Spaces In Your Birth Chart
ZODIAC signs are measured by dividing the part of the sky astronomers call the ecliptic into 12 equal slices. Some of the zodiac signs in your birth chart will be empty – ie, there are no planets in that sign. Some of your houses will be empty too. It is possible that most of your planets can be found bunched together in one small section of your birth chart, or you could find them fairly well spread out throughout the birth chart. It varies tremendously from birth chart to birth chart. Chart shapes and empty houses can also be factored into your birth chart reading, but don’t play a major role.
Elements and Qualities
Each zodiac sign has an element attributed to it – Fire, Earth, Air or Water, and each sign also has a quality attributed to it – Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable. Totting up how many of your signs are in certain elements & qualities is an important initial step in birth chart analysis, for it gives an astrologer an idea of which basic energies are at the foundation of your temperament & personality.
THE LINES DRAWN INSIDE THE BIRTH CHART
The lines that you see linking the planets together in your birth chart are called aspect lines. When a planet is linked to another planet in a certain way, it is called an “aspect”. There are various different aspects that form the main basis for birth chart analysis – some of these will be important, others are minor. Some will be positive or easy, others present more of a challenge. Sometimes, individual aspects link together in the birth chart and create “aspect patterns” – geometric shapes that stand out in a very obvious way – like the 5 pointed star shape on my birth chart (click here), or other shapes such as rectangles, big squares, a triangle, etc. Some such aspect patterns are rarer than others, but all are further important points in birth chart analysis.
These are some of the main factors that form the framework for analysing your birth chart, and hopefully this basic introduction has helped you to understand a little of what’s involved. If you’d like to read about birth chart analysis & astrology in general in a little more depth, some useful links appear below. Keep checking back to the tarot-astrology articles section too, as new articles will be added regularly.