How To Read Your Natal Chart & All Its Aspects

For a lot of people, the term "astrology" means a one-sentence magazine horoscope that tells them how their day will unfold. And, more often than not, those forecasts are too general, incredibly random, or just totally incorrect. How can everyone in the world be categorized by only 12 signs? That’s because most people don’t know how to read a natal chart.

Real astrology examines not only your “main sign,” but at least nine other planets that fall into a sign at birth. Everyone has a sun sign, moon sign, rising sign, Mercury sign, and so on. But even knowing the three “big ones” could change your mind about how accurate astrology is.

With 12 possibilities for each planetary placement in your natal chart, no two natal charts are exactly alike. (Cast your natal chart here, and make a note of where your sun, moon, and ascendant fall.) If this seems like a lot of information, here are the most important things to remember:

The 3 Most Important Parts Of Your Chart

1. Sun: Your sun sign is your overall “self,” personality, and who you grew up to be.

2. Moon: Your moon sign is your emotions, your hidden self, and who you were as a child.

3. Rising/Ascendant: Your rising sign is how the world sees you, how you relate to other people, and the personality you project.

Inner Planets And Your Personality

There are plenty of other factors influencing who you are. Every planet in the solar system landed in a sign when you were born, and each one represents something within you. (Note: Sun and moon are considered “luminaries" and astrologers don’t count Earth.)

4. Mercury: Your natal Mercury represents how you communicate, your mind, and how you learn and process information.

5. Venus: Where Venus was placed when you were born is how you express femininity; it’s the love language you speak and how you act in partnerships.

6. Mars: The placement of Mars is how you express masculinity, anger, aggression, and passion.

7. Jupiter: Jupiter’s place on your chart dictates your luck, your personal belief system, and how you broaden your horizons.

8. Saturn: Where Saturn was when you were born translate to the restrictions and challenges you may face, how you handle responsibility, and your career(s).

Outer Planets And Your Personality

The outer planets are considered generational because they move around the sun much slower than inner planets. They stay in each sign for years, and have a lesser effect on your daily life due to their distance.

9. Uranus: The placement of Uranus on your chart shows your visionary side, how you rebel, and represents flashes of genius and inspiration.

10. Neptune: Neptune on your chart affects your dreams and fantasies, and represents how you escape this reality.

11. Pluto: Pluto’s placement shows how you will experience death and rebirth, transformations, and your karma/fate.

How To Read Your Unique Chart

Getting a handle on these key placements in your chart will paint a much fuller picture. Remember: The rising sign represents your public face, the sun shows your basic way of being, and the moon encompasses your heart. Take the time to study the traits of all of them.

What zodiac sign elements are your sun, moon, and rising signs? Do they complement each other? Which planet rules your sun sign compared to which planet rules your ascendant? Are your emotions (moon) in a difficult aspect to your ego (sun)?

Are your moon and your significant other’s moon vibing with each other? Then, you can study your communication style (Mercury), your style of harmonizing with others (Venus), and how you go after what you want (Mars).

Say you’re a Libra sun, but a Capricorn rising with a Scorpio moon. You’re probably a lot more serious and private than the pure Libra stereotype. People who meet you take you seriously because of Capricorn’s earthy, commanding presence. Relationships will be committed, bordering on obsessive because of Scorpio’s influence on the moon.

There are endless ways to examine a chart, and so many resources online, such as Cafe Astrology, to help you learn more about each placement. Once you become more knowledgeable and advanced, house placements add another layer of complexity.

Being reduced to one sign out of twelve is simplistic; astrologers completely agree with that. Astrology is enriching when you dive beyond the surface, so don’t knock it until you look beyond your sun sign. Taking time to study your emotions, relationship styles, and your means of communication are great ways to grow. Everyone is complicated, and real astrology should always recognize that and celebrate it.

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