If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of a birth chart, you probably thought it looked more like math theory than something that the average person could make sense of. And it’s true – birth charts are very complicated, and it takes time, patience, and an understanding of astrology to understand how to read them.

Don’t rule yourself out immediately – just because you have no experience in reading a natal chart doesn’t mean you can’t learn this years-old practice. This guide will discuss the ins and outs of reading your birth chart, from the planetary placements and what they symbolize, to how to gather this information and interpret it in your own birth chart.

Birth Charts: The Nitty Gritty

Analyzing your birth chart is incredibly rewarding (and it’ll give you much more accurate results than a free online birth chart calculator, by the way). It takes work, especially if you only know your zodiac sign right now – but you’re prepared for the challenge. It’s time to get started.

First off, you’ll need a few basic pieces of information that you hopefully already know about yourself, including your date, place and time of birth. You can then provide this information to an astrologer, who can create an astrology chart that’s tailored to you, mapping out where each planet was located at the time you were born.

It’s possible to find your birth chart online, which may be a more suitable option for you if you don’t want to pay for an astrologer to draw one up for you. Just keep in mind that you won’t quite get the personal touch from a generalized online birth chart as you can with an astrological chart that also takes into account the place you were born.

Interpreting The Planets


A natal chart is actually pretty simple in concept – it shows the exact location of the planets at your birth time and the constellation that these planets occupied. The positioning of these planets and space is between them, is an important factor when it comes to interpreting the meaning behind the material on your birth chart.

Let’s take a look in detail at the planets that are included in an astrological birth chart, and what each of these represents:

The Sun

The sun is one of the most popular planets in astrology, as the majority of us are as familiar with our sun sign as we are with our birthday. You probably refer to your sun sign when you read your horoscopes. The sun represents:

  • The self

  • The ego

  • The things that make us who we are – from personality to preferences.

The sun also governs Leo, a zodiac sign associated with the lion, fire and bravery.

The Moon

The moon represents our inner personal emotions – and in that sense, it’s the exact opposite of the sun.

It helps with decision-making and helps us to feel safe and nurtured. The moon governs Cancer, a zodiac sign that’s often associated with water and the crab.

Your Ascendant Sign

Here’s where things have the potential to get confusing, but we’ll keep it as simple as we can.

Your ascendant sign (or rising sign) is determined by whichever constellation was on the horizon at the time that you were born. Being accurate with your birth time and the day is important for accurately determining this, as your ascendant sign changes once every two hours.

The Outer Planets

The outer planets – Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn, Pluto and Neptune – are said to determine the things that make your life unique and special, from the moment you’re born to the moment you die.

Each outer planet has its own wealth of info, but we’ll keep things brief for the sake of simplicity. Jupiter is linked to progress and luck, while Saturn rules self-discipline and fears. With Uranus comes change, while Pluto brings transformation and power. Finally, Neptune rules healing and dreams.

You can judge these planets on your astrological birth chart to get a better idea of how all aspects of your life, from your relationships to your career, may be affected by their placement.

The Inner Planets

The sun, moon, Mars, Venus, and Mercury are all the inner planets. Though the meaning of each inner planet varies from one individual astrology chart to another, they tend to reflect your wants, needs, personality traits, behaviours and desires.

Most of us are already aware that Venus is related to love life. Mars is linked to your energy and actions throughout life, and Mercury rules over communication.

Your Ruling Planet

Prepare for another difficult part – your ruling planet is the one that’s linked to your ascendant sign (or rising sign). You can learn the most about yourself by consulting this planet, including your probable personality traits and what affects your behaviour.

Examining Your Chart: Getting Practical

It’s a lot to take in, and sometimes the best way to try something new is to jump right into it. To read your chart, make sure you have a large copy, as the signs and figures can often be quite small and difficult to see.

On your chart, you will see that each different zodiac sign is represented by its symbol around the border of the circle. The 10 different planets are also represented as symbols, and these will be located seemingly at random on your chart depending on the hour and day you were born.

Understanding The 12 Astrological Houses

You’ll notice that your chart is split up into 12 segments, and these are known as the 12 houses. You can picture these different houses as a clock face if you need help understanding what you’re looking at. Roman numerals in the middle of the chart name each of the houses, whether it’s the first house, second house, third house – all the way up to the twelfth house.

What Does Each House Represent?

Each house represents a specific area of your life – for instance, house of marriage, house of self, career, work or enterprise, and so on. There’s plenty of guidance online if your chart doesn’t indicate what each of the houses represents.

So, the different zodiac signs in astrology relate to different personalities and characteristics, as you’ll know if you’re a horoscopes fan. You’ll also know by now that the planets correspond to different mental functions, such as communication, thinking, and ego.

How The Planets Relate To Zodiac Signs

Begin by looking at the planets. The zodiac sign that each celestial body has landed in will help you to understand the how and the why behind the particular mental function represented by the planet.

Finally, the house that the planet is in will tell you what area of life this mental function will mostly be happening in.

Choose a celestial body – Venus, Mercury, the moon, whichever you prefer. You can analyze how the location of this celestial body corresponds to a particular house and sign, and what this means for your life.

The Takeaway

It’s confusing at first, we get it. If you’re happier knowing the basic aspects of your zodiac signs and your horoscope every day, that makes sense. But using an astrology chart to understand yourself on a deeper level can feel incredibly comforting, inspiring and eye-opening – and you may find yourself wishing you’d known what you know now years ago.

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