The placement of the planets at your time of birth form a shape or pattern. Astrologer Marc Edmund Jones identified seven major chart shapes, and what each of them means.
The planets are bunched into two opposing groups, like a bowtie.You may feel pulled in two contrasting directions; your life theme may be about learning compromise, being a mediator, or balancing oppositions in yourself.
All of the planets occupy half of the horoscope wheel (i.e., they are in 6 of the 12 houses). You may feel like “something is missing” and seek partners or experiences who balance you out.
All except one of the planets occupy half of the horoscope wheel. The lone planet across the wheel is the bucket “handle” and it’s especially emphasized as a life theme.
The planets are splashed all throughout the horoscope wheel. You have diverse interests, but can be easily scattered. You may need to work hard to prevent being a “jack of all trades, master of none.”
The planets are tightly bunched into no more than four of the zodiac’s houses. You may have extreme focus on one part of life. While you can accomplish a lot, you can also become obsessive, concentrating only one small area of your potential and ignoring the rest. You may need to be pulled out of your “cave” by friends!
The planets occupy only 2/3 of the entire chart (they’re in 9 of the 12 houses). The remaining 1/3 of the chart can be an unexpressed area—or, you may need to work harder to pay attention to this area. Locomotive people like to leave their stamp on the world.
The planets are tightly concentrated in a few different segments of the chart. You may have several strong interests or areas of strength. For example, a chart splayed in the 7th house of relationships and the 10th house of career could indicate a person who’s successful in both her work and love life.
Illustration source: http://astrology.about.com/od/thebirthchart/ig/Chart-Reading/chartpatterns.htm