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Understanding Your Natal Chart


We popularly call it as 'horoscope.' It is a diagram, which defines the planetary positions influencing a person as per his precise time of birth. The diagram comprises of three basic aspects – planets, houses, and signs. Together, they can reveal your fate.

Birth ChartGenerally, a natal chart is drawn as a full circle. However, the shape can differ from region to region. Whatever be it, this form is nothing but the symbol of the person. The line bisecting the circle represents the horizon. Above it lie the planets that are 'seen' during the person's birth; below it lie the planets that are 'not seen.' The shape is divided into twelve equal sections which are known as 'houses.' The lines creating the divisions are known as 'cusps.' The twelve houses stand for the twelve zodiac signs.
A typical natal chart looks like this:

  • The Planets

  • The planets depicted on your natal chart can be categorised into two groups: Personal and Outer. Personal planets include the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The outer planets include Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu. We have discussed the nine planets in detail here. The personal planets stand for a person's overall identity, his purpose in life, his wish to live, his life experiences, emotions, memories, relationships, comfort zone, morals, values, desires, passion, and more. The outer planets refer to the person's life pattern – growth, abilities, responsibilities, success, failure, loss, and gain.

  • The Houses

  • The houses on your natal chart should be read starting from the Ascendant. They behave as 'reference frames' for detecting the planetary positions as per the zodiacs. Each house on the chart has 30 degrees. The first house is immediately below the horizon. You will find it in the middle left of the circle. You have to move counter-clockwise to get to the other houses on the chart. The first house represents the outer self of a being. The second house is related to monetary aspects and how wealthy the individual would be. The third house represents the worldly outlook of the person and speaks about his strength to explore the world. The fourth house stands for family ties and how secure the person would be. The fifth house bespeaks his creative mind and thirst for art. The sixth house covers his worldly responsibilities. The seventh house is for his bonds with the people he knows or comes across. The eighth house is for the motivation he draws from his environment. The ninth house reflects his religious and philosophical outlook. The tenth house determines his career. The eleventh house is for the social life of the person. Finally, the twelfth house determines the struggles in the course of his life.

  • The Zodiac Signs:

  • They are namely Aries, Taurus, Leo, Sagittarius, Virgo, Capricorn, Aquarius, Gemini, Libra, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. More than signs, they are part of our constellation through which the planets pass. The position of the planets on the natal chart in the relevance of the signs can reveal an individual’s traits and characteristics. Each zodiac sign has 30 degrees. For instance, if your natal chart has Mercury in Leo, it signifies the presence of the planet during the time of a Leo’s birth. Similarly, if it states the position of Mercury as ‘15 degrees,’ this signifies that the planet passed through Leo about halfway. Do keep in mind that all planets have to pass through all areas of the constellation pertaining to the twelve zodiac signs. And no matter what be the defined zodiac sign of an individual, all the twelve signs will exert their influence on him some way or another. If you look at the natal chart, you’ll see it looks like a circle within a circle, more like a wheel. The zodiac signs can be found in the space between the two circles and should be read counter-clockwise.

How To Read Your Natal Chart?


Before we begin, keep this in mind:

  • The planets will answer the 'what' queries.
  • The houses will answer the 'where' queries.
  • The zodiac signs will answer the 'how' queries.

You have to consider the entire chart while reading it. Predictions cannot be made using bits and parts of your horoscope. Everything must be synchronised and in unison. It is like watching a movie in instalments. You will never be able to figure out what the story really is. For instance, if Venus is in Leo by 15 degrees, it alone is not enough to define the person’s individuality. This will be a huge mistake altogether. Think about this – would it not generalise all people with Venus in Leo by 15 degrees in their horoscope?

Observe the chart and see which planet is in which house and contains what sign. A special note should be taken of the sign on the Ascendant. It largely rules your chart. The interpretations will be determined by the following positions:

  • Ascendant in any of the twelve zodiac signs.
  • Sun in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Moon in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Mercury in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Venus in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Mars in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Jupiter in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Saturn in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Rahu in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Ketu in any of the twelve zodiac signs / houses.
  • Each of the twelve zodiac signs in any of the cusps.

Here is a thumb rule to read your natal chart: Every time you interpret a planetary position on a certain house with a certain zodiac, make sure to compare it with the rest of the planetary positions, houses, and zodiacs.

What Does Your Natal Chart Tell You?


Please note that being able to read your birth chart won’t change your fate. What’s destined will happen. However, understanding the chart will help you realise your inner self. It will be like a guidebook telling you the reasons behind your behaviour, urges, desires, characteristics, and activities. It will also reveal what’s coming in the future and the things you are going to face. Most importantly, it will tell you about your hidden strengths and weaknesses. It is recommended that you have a thorough understanding of your natal chart to make the most of your life.

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