How to Read a Birth Chart

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Feeling a bit perplexed when you are trying to figure out how to read a birth chart? Birth charts have a language all their own. This is the language of symbolism. The key to learning how to read a birth chart with ease is to know what each symbol stands for. Luckily in today’s modern world, most birth charts have keys/legends available that help you to decode the symbolism. However, if you want to learn how to read a birth chart without feeling overwhelmed, break it up into steps. 

Step 1: How to read a Birth Chart-Learn what the symbols mean

If you are really into Astrology, learning the symbols of the planets and zodiac signs would be your best first step. Memorizing these symbols and their related meanings will make reading birth charts easier for you. The more you know what the symbols stand for, the easier the process will become.  There are plenty of free resources out there to help you learn astrology symbols. Here is a great video on how to read a birth chart. 

Step 2: How to read a Birth Chart-Identify where your Sun, Moon & Ascendant are 

The Sun and Moon are considered the major luminaries.  These are like the heart or core essences of the birth chart. The placement of the Sun will be how you determine your Sun sign.  Your Sun sign describes your spirit life force and identity. It also represents your ego, or conscious self. It carries a masculine energy.  You will be heavily influenced by the zodiac sign your Sun is in during your time of birth.   The placement of the Moon will determine your Moon sign.  Your Moon sign refers to the inner you, or your shadow self. It can also represent your unconscious self.  It carries a feminine energy. The ascendant is the point most often located on the first house cusp and determines what your rising sign is.   Your ascendant (or rising sign) describes your primary motivation in life and the face you show the world. There are other points on the birth chart such as the mid-heaven and lunar nodes. However, these are secondary energies that can be decoded later. The Sun, Moon and ascendant are most important when you are first learning. 

Step 3: How to read a Birth Chart-Learn the Houses and their meanings

The next thing you should learn about are the twelve astrological houses that comprise a birth chart. These houses represent twelve main archetypes of life as we know it. Each house has multiple related meanings and life themes. Once you learn the houses you will better understand what it means when certain planets are present within them. Here is a brief idea of what each house means:

1st house-how you express yourself, your vitality

2nd house-material possessions, money, emotional attachments

3rd house-your immediate environment, siblings, neighbors

4th house-Family, ancestors, the Father

5th house-pleasures, entertainment, children, love

6th house-service and work

7th house-love partnerships, work partnerships, opponents 

8th house-partner’s or other people’s money or assets, wills, death, transformation

9th house-Higher learning, philosophy, foreigners, travel 

10th house-Career, social status, rank, promotion

11th house-Friends, colleagues, benefactors

12th house-Isolation, Health, Secrets

Step 4: How to read a Birth Chart-Learn the Aspects and what they mean 

To build upon your knowledge of how to read a birth chart, start to learn about the Astrological aspects. There are major and minor aspects in Astrology. Only after you have mastered the major aspects should you then move on to the minor aspects. Aspects refer to the number of degrees and the type of alignment that is present between planetary bodies. Once you know them well, you will be able to understand what they mean within a birth chart much easier. 

Step 5: How to read a Birth Chart-Look for Patterns in the Chart

The arrangement of planets in a birth chart form a specific shape and/or pattern.  Some are easier to see than others depending on the birth chart. It would be helpful for you to learn these seven major shapes/patterns of a birth chart: bowl chart, seesaw chart, splash chart, bundle chart, bucket chart, splay chart and locomotive chart. 

Step 6: How to read a Birth Chart-Putting it all together

The birth chart is like your cosmic blue- print. It is a work of unique sky art. You can start to decode the meanings of the charts by recognizing how each piece of the chart relates to another. Go house by house and see which planets are present in each.  Look for aspects between planets and which houses they are connected to.  

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