A birth chart (also known as a natal chart or astrology chart) is a map of where all the planets were in relation to the the Sun at the exact moment you were born.
To correctly calculate your natal chart, we need to know the exact date, time, and location of your birth—representing a snapshot of the sky at the moment you came into the world.
Keep reading to learn all about what your birth chart can tell you about yourself.
What Can Your Birth Chart Tell You?
Your birth chart is a fantastic tool packed with information about who you are astrologically. It can tell you about:
Who you are at your core
How others see you
Your areas of strength
Your weak areas
What career path best suits you
How the unique influence of each planet affects your personality
What lessons you need to learn in this life
Below is some of the technical information you can glean from your birth chart, which can then be interpreted to shed light on the areas we went through above.
In your birth chart, you can also see where each of the other planets were at your time of birth. Each planet has a different orbit around the Sun, so all the planets transit the zodiac signs at different rates.
Because it takes the outer planets longer to move houses and signs, whole generations can have the same planetary placements. The slower the planet moves, the more of us will share that placement and the qualities it brings with it. For example, anyone born between September 1975 and November 1981 will have Uranus in Scorpio because it takes the planet of innovation about seven years to change signs.
We know that planets in astrology bring a different energy and influence into our lives. Planet placement in your natal chart is very important in revealing your personality. Where your planets are placed will determine the influence on that house and or/sign.
- The Sun – Sense of Self, ego
- The Moon – Emotional Self, feelings
- Mercury – Communication, how you express yourself
- Venus – Love, relationships
- Mars – Activity, courage, how you assert yourself and get motivated
- Jupiter – Luck, generosity, opportunity
- Saturn – Discipline, ambition, commitment
- Uranus – Innovation, rebellion, change
- Neptune – Mysticism, intuition, imagination, healing
- Pluto – Power, transformation
Planets also make aspects with one another. A planetary aspect describes a planet’s location relative to another planet.
For example, Moon in opposition to Mercury would mean that the two planets are 180 degrees apart.
What is Your Primal Triad?
You can know a lot about a person just by knowing their primal triad! Pay close attention to your birth chart results—where are these signs?
1. Sun Signs
First, your Sun sign, also known as your zodiac sign or star sign, is determined by which zodiac sign the Sun passed through at the time of your birth. This sign represents your ego, the mark of the innermost structure of your character. This sign guides your actions, like your career and skill development, and how you perform in social interactions.
We respond at the deepest level through the filter of our Sun sign. It’s a mark of our developmental needs—our core personality.
2. Moon Signs
Next, your Moon sign, determined by where the Moon was at your time of birth, describes your inner emotional self. The Moon sign also affects your romantic behavior when in love. This sign represents your physical, emotional, and social needs. Since the Moon changes signs every 2.5 days, this helps you further narrow into your characteristics.
3. Ascendant Signs or Rising Signs
Finally, the Ascendant (also known as your Rising sign) is your exterior, the face you show the world and how you appear to others. If you see the surprise on the faces of those you reveal your Sun sign to, it’s probably because they are picking up on your Rising sign.
It can become the mask you wear that prevents the world from getting to know the real you. This is how we see the world and how the world sees us.
Before you dive into your entire natal chart, spend time discovering the Primal Triad. This could be very enlightening for you, as struggles you may have had in your past could come down to the difference between the perception you are putting out into the world (Rising sign) and your “real” inner personality.
Your Astrology House Placements
Just like there are 12 signs of the zodiac, there are 12 astrological houses that relate to certain areas of your life and personality.
Think of it like a clock.
At each “hour” lies a different astrological house, all of which can tell us about influences on our personalities, including how we manage wealth, how we feel about family, and how we communicate.
Which house a planet shows up in will impact how a person approaches the aspect of life that house represents.
Houses change signs every two hours, spreading us out even more. For example, people who are both Taurus zodiac signs will have very different personalities depending on which sign their 2nd House (Wealth and Values), 4th House (Roots and Family), and 11th House (Friendships) are in.
How to Read Your Birth Chart
Now that you are aware of the information your birth chart can give you, let’s see how all of it fits together.
The image below shows you the skeleton of a typical birth chart, with the zodiac signs as the outer ring, the astrological houses on an inner ring, and the planets, represented as glyphs, throughout the chart based on their location at the time of your birth.
The image below shows how the information in your birth chart gets more and more unique.
With the astrological houses changing signs so frequently, even two people born on the same day can present different characteristics. They will have a very different astrological chart, whereas people born up to 30 days apart can have the same Sun sign.
The Zodiac Signs in Your Birth Chart
Did you know that every zodiac sign is present in your birth chart in different ways? You can have multiple planets in one zodiac sign or a zodiac sign with no planets in it.
Here’s an overview of what each zodiac sign may represent in your birth chart.
Aries in the Birth Chart
If you have a planet in your birth chart in the Aries zodiac sign, that means the planet expresses its energy in an “Aries way.” This Fire sign is full of energy, so with it in your chart, you’re more likely to take charge, be more energized and enthusiastic, and be more open to new beginnings.
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and this “I’m number one” energy can be felt in this sign’s placements. If you don’t have any planets in Aries, you likely still have one of your natal houses in Aries. The house that falls in the Aries zodiac sign shows areas where you take the lead, are more driven and are more excited.
Taurus in the Birth Chart
Taurus is sensual, indulgent, grounded, and secure and is represented by the astrological bull. Taurus is the second zodiac sign. It comes after Fiery Aries, which is impatient and impulsive, so Earthy Taurus has learned how to slow things down and take a beat.
Your Sun sign governs your true self, your Moon sign governs your emotional self, and your Rising sign governs your outer self, so a Taurus Sun, Taurus Moon, or Taurus Rising is going to manifest the bull energy the strongest.
Gemini in the Birth Chart
The third sign of the zodiac, Gemini, is the Mutable, or go with the flow, Air sign. Geminis are categorized by their social nature, fun-loving attitude, and multi-sided personality—much like their symbol, the Twins.
When you have a Gemini Sun, your personality is magnetic, and you have a unique ability to connect with others, no matter their background.
When your Moon is in Gemini, you will generally have high self-confidence and a desire to impress others. This can work well in many social circles but can leave a Gemini Moon believing that their worth is only based on whether others approve of them or not.
With a Gemini Rising, the traits are projected outwards, making it a noticeable part of who you are to others around you.
Cancer in the Birth Chart
After communicative and intellectual Gemini, Cancer slows us down as the fourth zodiac sign, teaching us about our emotional, intuitive side.
Leo in the Birth Chart
Leo connects to the heart and rules joy as the sign of love. This sign wants to have fun and not focus on the serious at all. Fun only!
Leo is the fifth zodiac sign and comes after emotional Cancer, which makes Leo want to lighten up, but before hard-working Virgo, so Leo is the break before we get to work.
The natural ruling planet for Leo is the Sun, which makes it a sign that wants to shine bright and show its true self. It can also be more comfortable with attention and craves praise.
Leo is represented by the symbol of the Lion, proud and powerful and strong, so Leo is a proud, powerful, strong sign. Sometimes that can be their downfall, though, and pride can get in the way if it’s not controlled.
Virgo in the Birth Chart
Both Earthy and Mutable, Virgo has the best of both worlds: it’s grounded and practical, but it’s also flexible and adaptable.
Ruled by Mercury – the planet of communication and the mind – Virgo also isn’t afraid of speaking their mind. So, yes, Virgo may harbor a reputation for being a perfectionist at times, but they’re often the pair of eyes you’ll want on your major project or goal if you want something done right.
Libra in the Birth Chart
Known for their charm and a bit of indecisiveness (or a lot), Libra is not immune to garnering a reputation like other zodiac signs.
Well, Libra is Venus-ruled (ruled by the planet of love and beauty), so you can attribute plenty of the beauty and charm there. Plus, being an Air sign grants them a certain flair for communication, specifically, being able to direct a conversation with ease and finesse.
However, their love for diplomacy and keeping things 100% harmonic can certainly lead to some amount of indecision. Wanting to keep the peace and see all sides (or the beauty in every perspective) may prevent them from choosing one path and sticking with it.
Scorpio in the Birth Chart
If there’s one fact the veil of mystery surrounding Scorpio can clue us in on, it’s that Scorpio’s reputation of being deep, dark, and mysterious seems to hold some water.
However, water on its own isn’t inherently full of the dark and private energy that tends to make up Scorpio’s exterior. Scorpio is also ruled by Pluto, the planet of transformation, death, and rebirth (just in case the Watery layer of intensity wasn’t enough, of course).
Once a Scorpio’s guard is down, however, they can be the most loyal and powerful friends, lovers, and allies to have on your side.
Sagittarius in the Birth Chart
The wild archer leaves no small mark on our birth charts, and there really are very few exceptions to that rule!
Sagittarius holds true to many of the core traits of any Fire sign, being bold, spontaneous, spunky, and full of adventure (and perhaps a little mischief). Being the Mutable sign of the Fiery bunch, Sagittarius is all the more unpredictable and dislikes sticking with one thing for very long.
Perhaps if it weren’t for the influence of lucky and expansive Jupiter, we might see Sagittarius in a more chaotic or intense light. But this planet of growth and open-mindedness ruling the archer keeps Sagittarian energy feeling light, enthusiastic, and ready for anything!
Capricorn in the Birth Chart
Have you ever seen a Capricorn—wise and serious in stature with a bit of that Earthy mystery—and wished that was you? (Spoiler alert: you have that energy within you too, whether you know it or not).
As an Earth sign, Capricorn exhibits some similar qualities to their Earthy peers (Virgo and Taurus), capable of focusing on the long-term and putting down the effort where necessary.
However, as a Cardinal sign, Capricorns are actually the leaders of the Earthy folk, and the question as to why they hold that role as the wise goat in all affairs is thus obvious — they have to, to succeed!
Aquarius in the Birth Chart
If you have an Aquarius Sun, you may have felt like a bit of an outsider your whole life, with this placement actually being in detriment. Worldly and intellectual, your energy doesn’t always mesh well with the energy of the Sun, which is more focused on the self, representative of the ego.
However, the Moon sign allows you to connect with Aquarius in the emotional space (which can be acutely influenced by the world around you with this placement).
With an Aquarius Rising, the traits are projected outwards, making it a noticeable part of who you are to others around you — cue the eccentric style and rebellious flair!
Pisces in the Birth Chart
If you have a Pisces Sun, you strive for love, psychic awareness, and connecting with others on a deeply intuitive level. As the Sun is the ego and identity, it shows us how we set goals and grow as human beings.
The Moon, governing emotion and your inner world, allows you to connect with Pisces in the emotional space, with Pisces being particularly intuitive and emotional, as you may expect as a Moon sign placement.
With a Pisces Rising sign, the traits are projected outwards, making it a noticeable part of who you are to others around you — you’ve got a bit of a daydreamy and romantic vibe to you that others easily notice!