Your Astrological Birth Chart, Broken Down by an Astrologer (2024)

If you've ever been asked your birth time by a dating-app match or astrology-loving friend, there's a good chance you're already familiar with the concept of an astrology birth chart. For those of you who aren't on the astrology train, though, your birth chart (also called "natal birth chart") is a multilayered picture of your astrological profile.

Not only does your astrology birth chart take into account your zodiac sign and your "big three" (which includes your sun sign, moon sign, and rising sign), but it also looks at the degrees the planets were in at the exact time you were born.

Similarly to how your zodiac sign can reveal key personality traits (and even who you may be sexually compatible with), your astrology birth chart explains everything to know about why you are the way you are.

As an astrologer, I understand it can be hard to understand your astrology birth chart. To help, here's everything you need to know about your astrology birth chart, including where to find yours and how to read your natal chart yourself. Welcome to birth chart 101, my friends.

What Is a Birth Chart?

Your astrological birth chart is a snapshot of the sky, documenting where the planets, the sun, the moon, and other key celestial points and bodies were at the precise moment you were born.

In your birth chart, the position of the planets, the sun, and the moon are depicted in a circle chart, which represents the sky (though some apps or websites present it in a list format). All these different points combine to create an astrological profile that's uniquely you. (For example, check out how Harry Styles's birth chart totally makes sense for him, as does Doja Cat's.)

Say your birthday is Aug. 3. While the sun might have been in Leo, the moon, which moves pretty fast — it switches signs every two to two-and-a-half days — could have been in mutable water sign Pisces or cardinal air sign Libra. And the rising sign, which is the sign that was rising (or ascending) on the eastern horizon at the time of your birth, shifts throughout the day, spending about two hours in a sign. Depending on what time you were born, you'll have a different rising sign from someone else with the same birthday.

All of these "placements," as they're called in astrology, change from year to year. So while someone born on Aug. 3, 1993, at 1:30 a.m. in Chicago is a Leo with an Aquarius moon and Gemini rising, another Aug. 3 baby who came into the world in 1987 at 3:30 a.m. is a Leo with a Scorpio moon and Cancer rising.

That said, while both people might have their sun in Leo, their other distinctive placements show how they experience emotion (which can be represented by their moon sign) or come off to others when they're out in the world (which can be represented by their rising sign).

All of this is to say, your full birth date, time, and birth place are essential for calculating your highly unique birth chart.

How to Calculate Your Astrological Chart

Once you have your birth date, time, and location ready, there are a few quick and easy ways to cast your astrological chart:

  • Google "free astrological birth chart," and you'll find lots of sites that offer software to do it. As an astrologer, I personally recommend CafeAstrology or
  • Most personal astrologers offer natal chart readings, during which you'll not only get a copy of your chart but also a one-on-one consult that walks you through it.

How to Read Your Natal Chart

If you're just diving in and exploring your birth chart, here's some of the key info and elements that will help you read your natal chart.

The Planets

Each planet or key angle (the rising sign, for example, is one of four angles) in your chart represents a different aspect of your perspective and your personality's wiring. Here's a brief overview of the meaning of all the planets in your birth chart.

  • Sun: Your core identity, self-image
  • Moon: Your emotional compass, what brings you security, how you like to nurture and be nurtured
  • Mercury: Your communication style, how you think, and how you listen
  • Venus: How you relate, how you show affection, your sense of beauty
  • Mars: Your energy, how you take action, your sex drive
  • Jupiter: How you make your luck and experience abundance
  • Saturn: How you face restriction, challenges, life lessons, and responsibilities
  • Uranus: How you rebel and embrace what makes you different
  • Neptune: How you imagine and dream
  • Pluto: How you claim your power and experience transformation
  • Rising Sign (also known as ascendant) (ASC, the cusp of the first house): How others perceive you
  • Medium Coeli or Midheaven (MC, the cusp of the 10th house): Your professional image and destiny
  • Descendant (DC, the cusp of the seventh house): How you approach partnership
  • Imum Coeli (IC, the cusp of the fourth house): Your inner life

The 12 Zodiac Signs

Each of the above planets, luminaries, and points will fall into one of the 12 zodiac signs, and how the planet expresses itself in that sign offers intel on your personality. For instance, being born with Mars — the planet of action — in earth sign Taurus means you're anything but fast-paced and impulsive when it comes to moving the ball forward on your goals.

What's more, each sign spans zero to 30 degrees, so you'll note that your Venus, perhaps, falls at a particular number of degrees of a sign — for instance, two degrees Virgo. (Check out the section on Aspects below to understand how those degrees often come into play.)

It can also help to take a sign's ruling planet into consideration, as the terrain that the ruler oversees influences the sign's expression as well. For example, Taurus and Libra are both ruled by Venus and are therefore relationship oriented and drawn to artistic pursuits.

  • Aries (ruled by Mars): Competitive, playful, action-oriented
  • Taurus (ruled by Venus): Pragmatic, luxury-loving, sensual
  • Gemini (ruled by Mercury): Curious, communicative, quick-witted
  • Cancer (ruled by the moon): Nurturing, sentimental, security-seeking
  • Leo (ruled by the sun): Charismatic, driven, optimistic
  • Virgo (ruled by Mercury): Service-oriented, cerebral, sensitive
  • Libra (ruled by Venus): Diplomatic, partnership-loving, social
  • Scorpio (ruled by both Mars and Pluto): Private, powerful, intimacy-loving
  • Sagittarius (ruled by Jupiter): Free-spirited, unfiltered, adventure-seeking
  • Capricorn (ruled by Saturn): Hardworking, ambitious, traditional
  • Aquarius (ruled by Uranus): Humanitarian, unconventional, future-minded
  • Pisces (ruled by Neptune): Empathic, spiritual, imaginative

The Elements

The 12 zodiac signs are divided up into four zodiac elements: fire, earth, air, and water. Each one has its own expression and indicates various qualities. For example, water signs tend to be the most intuitive and emotional of the zodiac, while fire signs are go-getters. Earth signs are generally pragmatic planners, and air signs tend to be cerebral and social. There are three signs per element. Here's how those break down:

  • Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
  • Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
  • Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

The Qualities or Modalities

Now you know there are three signs per element. Each sign is also assigned a quality or modality: cardinal, fixed, or mutable. There are four zodiac signs per modality. The cardinal signs are the initiators of the zodiac who may struggle with follow-through; they kick off a given season. The fixed signs are the most resolute (and also most stubborn) of the zodiac and fall at the heart of a season. And the mutable signs are the most adaptable — but also wishy-washy — signs, and they transition us from one season to the next. Here's how those look:

  • Cardinal: Aries (beginning of spring), Cancer (beginning of summer), Libra (beginning of fall), Capricorn (beginning of winter)
  • Fixed: Taurus (midspring), Leo (midsummer), Scorpio (midfall), Aquarius (midwinter)
  • Mutable: Gemini (end of spring), Virgo (end of summer), Sagittarius (end of fall), Pisces (end of winter)

The Aspects

Once you have noted the signs that each of your placements fall in and are familiar with the signs' elements and qualities/modalities, you can better understand how your various natal chart placements relate to one another, which offers a complex but important layer of intel. Here are the most common, significant aspects to know about:

Conjunct: If you have placements that are in the same sign, they are considered conjunct and work in tandem, which can be quite powerful. In general, a Venus-Mercury conjunction, for example, will make for someone who's as charming as they are adept at self-expression.

Trine: If you have placements that are in the same element — say, your moon is in Cancer and Mars is in Scorpio — they form a harmonious angle in which they're able to help one another's function.

Square or Opposition: If placements are the same modality, they'll either be square or opposite one another. Signs that are three signs apart are square, while signs that are six signs apart are in opposition. For example, if you have your Mercury in Gemini and rising in Virgo — two mutable signs — they square one another. If your Mercury is in Capricorn but your rising is in Cancer, that's an opposition. Placements that square one another create tension that can be irritating or activating. Placements that oppose one another can be at odds with one another, but if you can work with an opposition's "two sides of the same coin" energy, you can find balance and growth.

Sextile: Fire and air are classically compatible, as are earth and water. If you have placements that correlate in this way and are within three degrees of one another, they're considered sextile — a friendly aspect that's not as apparent as a trine but shows cooperation between two placements. Say your Venus (charm, beauty, relationships) sextiles Pluto (power). You're definitely the type to be in love with love and to magnetize people on a subconscious level.

Note that no matter which of these aspects you're looking at, the closer your placements are to one another (in so far as the degrees they fall at within a given sign), the stronger and more notable the aspect will be. If they're in the same sign but more than 10 degrees apart, it's probably not an especially noteworthy aspect in your chart.

The Houses

Every natal chart is also divided up into 12 pie slices or houses, each representing a particular area of life. Where your placements "live" — aka the house they fall into — is yet another layer you'll want to take into consideration while interpreting your chart.

Each has their own traditional ruling sign, the archetype of which you can also look to as a way to characterize the house. These are the 12 astrological houses:

  • First House of Self: ruled by Aries
  • Second House of Income: ruled by Taurus
  • Third House of Communication: ruled by Gemini
  • Fourth House of Home Life: ruled by Cancer
  • Fifth House of Romance and Self-Expression: ruled by Leo
  • Sixth House of Daily Routine and Wellness: ruled by Virgo
  • Seventh House of Partnership: ruled by Libra
  • Eighth House of Emotional Bonds, Sex, and Joint Resources: ruled by Scorpio
  • Ninth House of Adventure and Higher Learning: ruled by Sagittarius
  • 10th House of Career and Public Image: ruled by Capricorn
  • 11th House of Networking, Long-Term Wishes, and Friendship: ruled by Aquarius
  • 12th House of Spirituality: ruled by Pisces

Traditional rulers are different from the signs that actually rule the houses in your chart. Think of the traditional house rulers as the permanent, universal landlords of each house, while your house rulers are completely unique and based on your rising sign, which rules your first house, and the sign after that will rule your second house, and so forth and so on. (That said, if you happen to have been born with an Aries rising, then they'll actually match up.)

Birth Chart Reading Guidance

If this feels like a lot to wrap your head around, that's because it really is. Pros spend decades unpacking and interpreting all of these layers for themselves and for others. That said, although it can be challenging to figure out what it all means by yourself, there are plenty of tools online (such as websites like CafeAstrology and astrology apps like TimePassages) that will also help you understand all the details.

Thoroughly understanding your natal chart is far from something you can learn in an hour, an afternoon, or even after years of study. But by diving into self-study or working with a professional astrologer, you're sure to bolster self-awareness, enjoy personal growth, and become more fluent in the complex but incredibly useful language of the stars.

Maressa Brown is a journalist, author, and astrologer. Her areas of expertise include writing, reporting, and editing lifestyle, pop culture, and parenting content that's both conversational and substantive. In addition to contributing to POPSUGAR, she writes for a variety of consumer-facing publications including InStyle, Parents, and Shape, and was previously an editor at Cosmopolitan and CafeMom.

Your Astrological Birth Chart, Broken Down by an Astrologer (2024)


What does an astrologer find out from a person's birth chart? ›

An astrology chart—also called a birth chart or natal chart—is technically a snapshot of the position of the planets on the exact day, time, and location you were born. It contains powerful information about the types of energies you were exposed to at your precise moment of birth.

What is the most accurate astrology birth chart? ›

However, the Vedic chart is the most accurate, and the Western chart is inaccurate. The Vedic chart uses the sidereal zodiac, which properly aligns the zodiac with the constellations of the same name. The Western chart uses the tropical zodiac, which used to be accurate when it was first created around 275 CE.

What is the rarest birth chart? ›

The Grand Cross, or Grand Square, is one of the rarest natal chart aspects in astrology. A Grand Cross happens when there are four personal planets separated by 90 degrees on the birth chart, forming a square shape and cross in the birth chart.

What indicates wealth in a birth chart? ›

Check your birth chart and see which planet is in your 2nd house. If it's Jupiter, you're in luck. Jupiter is known as the planet of expansion and good fortune, and since the 2nd house represents finances and possessions, this placement suggests a natural knack for attracting wealth your way, says Wang.

What does astrologer predict? ›

Astrologers navigate the cosmic dance of celestial bodies, interpreting their positions to unveil insights about personality, fate, relationships, and life events through astrological charts and readings.

How do you work out your astrological chart? ›

To find your birth chart, you'll need three things: the date, time, and location of your birth. (Yep, you'll need to text your mom or dig up your birth certificate.) Once you have that information, head to an online birth chart calculator, such as Cafe Astrology, and fill out the form.

What is my birth chart ruled by? ›

The planet that rules over your rising sign is your chart ruler. This is because your rising or ascendant sign represents your first astrological house in astrology, or how you interact with the larger world.

What indicates success in a birth chart? ›

: The Midheaven, also known as the MC, is the highest point in your birth chart and represents your public image and career aspirations. Favorable aspects from benefic planets like Jupiter or Venus to the Midheaven can signify opportunities for growth, recognition, and success in your professional endeavors.

Which planet is most powerful in birth chart? ›

In astrology, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, healing, prosperity, good fortune, and miracles. Jupiter governs long distance and foreign travel, big business and wealth, higher education, religion, and the law.

What does the Bible say about astrology? ›

Believing in the power and authority of astrology goes directly against biblical wisdom and Scripture clearly states that chasing after false gods is a sin (Matthew 24:24, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Exodus 20:3). There is no biblical evidence that God has given authority to the stars or astrologists.

What is the most important chart in astrology? ›

Lagna (Ascendant): The Lagna chart, also known as the rising chart, is the cornerstone of Vedic astrology. It represents your "outer self," your personality as perceived by the world. The placement of planets in your Lagna chart influences your first impressions, approach to life, and overall well-being.

Which birthday is rare? ›

February 29th: February 29th (Leap Day during Leap Year) is the rarest birthday with only a one in roughly 1,460 chance of being born on this date. February is one of the least popular months for new births. The second rarest birthday is Christmas Eve, December 24th.

What are the 3 rare zodiac signs? ›

Zodiac Signs Ranked by Rarity

Based on both of these sources, here's a statistically-backed ranking of the rarest zodiac signs (going from rarest to least rare): 1st (rarest): Aquarius. 2nd: Aries. 3rd: Capricorn.

What zodiac is very rare? ›

Drumroll, please... Aquarius is the rarest of them all. Water-bearer babies tend to be few and far between because February is the least common birth month, according to the CDC. Additionally, the overlap period between January and February is the shortest astrologically, says Ash.

What does an astrological birth chart tell you? ›

By exploring our birth chart, we can better understand our personalities and desires, leading to greater self-appreciation, acceptance, and acknowledgment. An astrological birth chart serves as a snapshot of the planets at the date, time, and location of our birth.

What does astrology determine? ›

Astrology is a method of predicting mundane events based upon the assumption that the celestial bodies—particularly the planets and the stars considered in their arbitrary combinations or configurations (called constellations)—in some way either determine or indicate changes in the sublunar world.

What can astrology tell you about a person? ›

Astrology says the day you were born affects your personality. It gives you a zodiac sign based on your birthday. Each sign has its own traits. Understanding your sign can help you learn more about yourself, like what you're good at and what you can improve.

What part of your birth chart determines personality? ›

Our rising sign, also called the “ascendant”, is the zodiac sign that is at the beginning of our birth chart. It is the first impression that we give off to people + how we take on life. It is a very big part of our personality as well as our physical appearance + mannerisms.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Laurine Ryan

Last Updated:

Views: 6419

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Laurine Ryan

Birthday: 1994-12-23

Address: Suite 751 871 Lissette Throughway, West Kittie, NH 41603

Phone: +2366831109631

Job: Sales Producer

Hobby: Creative writing, Motor sports, Do it yourself, Skateboarding, Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Stand-up comedy

Introduction: My name is Laurine Ryan, I am a adorable, fair, graceful, spotless, gorgeous, homely, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.