Zodiac

How To Read & Interpret Your Birth Chart

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birth chart and astrology symbols

In astrology, your birth chart is the key to understanding yourself and your life path more deeply.  

Your birth chart is unique to you, meaning that while planets are constantly moving and shifting in different ways, their influence on you will differ from those with different placements.  

Understanding what sign and astrology house the personal and generational planets are in gives you the knowledge to understand who you are, how you communicate, how you love, and even how to move through challenges with greater ease. 

Understanding your birth chart can profoundly change how you approach life and even the relationship that you have with yourself.  

RELATED: How To Find Your Soulmate In Your Zodiac Sign's Natal Chart, Per Astrology

How to calculate your birth chart 

Because your birth chart is specific to you, it requires certain information. To get the most accurate birth chart reading, you'll need to know your birth date, location, and time.

Your birthday gives you your Sun sign, or what people most commonly refer to as their zodiac sign. But a full natal chart goes much deeper than that.

The location of your birth is essential for many of the same reasons, as depending on the time zone that you were born in, the planets could be in a different arrangement than they were in a different geographical area.

Knowing your time of birth can affect your birth chart significantly as some planets can change signs throughout the day. So, for example, if someone was born on the same day and at the same hospital as you, you could still have completely different birth charts if that person was born in the morning and you in the evening.

You can plug this information into a free birth chart calculator.

Of course, if you do not know certain specific information about yourself or even a prospective romantic partner, you can still get a more general reading, just knowing that it may not be completely accurate.  

RELATED: The 10 Most Challenging Zodiac Placements In Astrology

How to read your birth chart 

Once you've entered your information, the birth chart calculator will create an astrological map of your unique placements.

Each birth chart includes astrological symbols representing the different houses, zodiac signs, planets, and lines and degrees representing the aspects each makes to one another.

Astrology houses 

One of the most important aspects to look at when reading your birth chart is what houses your planets fall within. 

The astrology houses are split up into twelve different sections, each influencing a different area of your life: The self, value, communication, home, creativity, health, relationships, intimacy, luck, career, friends, and your subconscious.  

The planets in each house determine the lens through which you view that area of life, specific challenges our triumphs you may experience there, as well as when certain big moments of change would occur within those areas of your life. 

House placements can help you understand for instance what career is best for you, how you prefer to communicate, or what you may need to focus on to become your healthiest and best self.  

Just because there are twelve houses doesn’t mean you will have planets in every house, and those houses that are absent of planets may still be influenced by other factors in the chart, such as that house's ruling planet and zodiac sign.

Zodiac signs 

So often, when you think of what your sign is, you are only thinking of what sign the Sun was in on the date of your birth

This is part of who you are, of course, but think about all the people that are born during Pisces season, for example; they certainly are not all exactly the same, and this is why the zodiac signs that your other planets are in matter greatly.  

There are 12 zodiac signs total, beginning with Aries and followed by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and ending with Pisces.  

Each sign holds different qualities and is ruled by a planet whose qualities influence the sign. In addition, each planet in your birth chart is located in a sign which affects you and hints at how to best work with its energy. 

Personal planets

In astrology, personal planets are those that change signs more often thanks to their orbital speed, which means they tend to change the energy and focus of your life more frequently.

The personal planets are Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

These end up being the planets that are closest to the Sun and have shorter phases of rotation which means they may change zodiac signs as fast as every few days, like the Moon, up to once a month, like Mercury. This quick rotation is what makes them 'personal,' as they vary widely from person to person.

Often, you hear about the big three in astrology, which consists of your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs. These planet placements tend to affect your life more dramatically.  

It also is these planets that affect the areas of your life that you are concerned with the most, including how you appear to others, who you truly are, how you communicate, what you need from love, and your level of ambition to achieve all you desire.  

Generational planets

On the other side of that are the generational planets, which are not necessarily spoken about as frequently but tend to set the tone for longer periods of your life or hold secrets to some of the major lessons that you will be moving through in your life. 

The generational planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. 

These planets are further from the Sun, meaning they change signs less often and therefore represent broader cycles within your life. 

For instance, Uranus changes signs usually about every seven years and, in reflecting back or even in seeing what is to come, you can see the themes that those periods of time represented for you.  

These slow-moving planets are significant because they often affect entire generations. For instance, Neptune has been in Pisces since around 2012 and will remain there until about 2026, so all of those born between those years will have a Pisces Neptune sign.  

RELATED: How Your Zodiac Sign Changes Over Time (And How It Affects Your Life)

Birth chart interpretation 

Now comes the fun part: what does all of this mean, and how can you apply it to your life?

When you are looking at your birth chart, it is important to take all of it into account. The zodiac signs and how the planets interact to create a full story. Looking at just one placement — for instance, your Sun Sign — is like reading only one chapter in a book and expecting to understand it.  

A beginner's cheat sheet for how to interpret your birth chart

Astrology TikToker @thespiritualsunflower created a cheat sheet for how to interpret your birth chart.

She posted a number of combinations of the personal planets and how those signs influence your life. 

   

   

Sun sign + Moon sign = your personality in its purest form

While your Sun sign determines your strongest, most noticeable personality traits, your Moon sign represents your emotional side that only those closest to you get to see.

Together, these two signs make up the two most important pieces of your personality.

Sun sign + Rising sign = your aura

Though your Sun sign is representative of your most obvious traits, your Rising sign (also called your Ascendant) is where your true personality lies. It's always located in the first house, the house of the self, so it is indicative of the lens through which you view the world and yourself.

The combination of your Sun and Rising signs gives a complete view of your world.

Sun sign + Mercury sign = your voice and thought process

Mercury is the planet that rules how you think and how you speak. When combined with your Sun sign, it represents how you express yourself to others through words and writing. 

This allows you to depict yourself in the most authentic way possible.  

Sun sign + Mars sign = your drive and energy

Your Sun sign always holds reign over your first house, which represents your sense of self and personal beliefs. As it joins with Mars, the planet of ambition and action, you are able to find what uniquely motivates you.

This is the energy and interests that push you forward through any obstacle in order to accomplish your dream. 

Sun sign + Venus sign = your love style

When it comes to love your Sun sign represents how you love while your Venus sign signifies how you need to be loved by others. 

Together they form the total picture of not only what your love language is but what you need from your partner to feel truly connected and valued. 

It's the perfect recipe for love. 

Moon sign + Venus sign = your heart and how you feel

In astrology, your Moon sign always represents your emotional self. This is often considered to be the truest part of who you are, even if you don't often show it.

Your Venus sign is how you interpret and show your feelings to others.

When you look at how they work together you're able to see that your Moon and Venus signs speak to the truth of your emotions and help you always follow your heart. 

Moon sign + Mars sign = your natural instinct

While your Sun and Mars signs combine to help show you what motivates you into action, your Moon and Mars signs speak to your intuitive or natural instinct. 

The Moon is your emotional self and Mars represents your innate passion for life. When these two aspects of your natal chart are combined, they help you understand more how you operate within life, especially when it comes to your emotions. 

Venus sign + Mars sign = your sexuality

Venus is the sign that represents love and romantic relationships while Mars represents sex and passion. 

These two are known as the cosmic lovers because in totality they represent how you operate within relationships.

When combined it speaks to your sense of sexuality, the importance of it, your sensuality, and overall how you express love and physical desire in relationships. 

RELATED: How To Use Your Birth Chart To Get Rich

Kate Rose is a writer, spiritual astrologist, relationship and life coach, and motivational speaker. For more of her work, visit her website

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