Your Cosmic Love

How To Read An Astrology Chart

They say human beings don’t come with an instruction manual. We beg to differ! Your astrology chart holds the key to your personality and path. An astrology birth chart—also called an astrology natal chart—is a map of where all the planets were in their journey around the Sun (from our vantage point on earth) at the exact moment you were born. You can think of your chart as a “selfie” of the cosmos at the exact moment you were born. When you learn how to read an astrology chart, it can reveal your strengths and weaknesses, your opportunities for soul growth and the best timing for your most important moves.

Steps for how to read an astrology chart

Step #1: Create Your Chart

The first step to read an astrology chart is to actually cast the chart itself. Before the digital age, astrologers had to map these out meticulously by hand. Nowadays we are lucky to have computers do the heavy lifting for us. You can do your birth chart for free right here on our site

The information that you’ll need for a chart is:

  1. Date of birth
  2. Place of birth
  3. Time of birth (if available)

Don’t know your time? Start by checking your birth certificate. If it’s not there or you don’t have the certificate, you can write to the Office of Vital Records in your birth state (if you were born in the U.S.) for a copy. If that doesn’t yield a birth time, resort to old-school tactics. Ask any relatives who were there to get as close of an estimate as possible, or (if that doesn’t work) use 12:00 noon. Without the correct time, however, you won’t have an accurate rising sign or house configuration. But there is still plenty to discover by learning the planets in  your chart!

Step #2: Learn About Each Planet to Read Your Astrology Chart

In astrology, the planets represent the parts of your nature. If your life was a movie, the planets would be the actors cast to play specific roles. Even though they aren’t technically planets, we include the Sun and moon in this list, along with a couple special points—your rising sign (ascendant) and lunar nodes.

Sun Personality, how you shine
Moon Emotions, security needs
Rising/Ascendant Outward expression
Mercury Communication style
Venus Romance, aesthetic tastes
Mars Drive, lust
Jupiter Luck, risk profile
Saturn Where you need structure, restriction
Uranus Where you’re a rebel
Neptune Spirituality, what you fantasize about
Pluto Unconsciousness, shadow side
Lunar Nodes Karma and destiny

Read more about every planet’s role in the chart!

Step #3: Find What Zodiac Sign Every Planet Is In 

The planets were all visiting specific zodiac signs when you were born. Zodiac signs “modify” the planets, adding nuance to their characters. The zodiac begins in the spring with Aries, which is the first sign, and travels through to Pisces, the last sign.  

In the movie of your life, the zodiac signs determine the roles the actors (planets) play, or the costumes they wear. For example, if you were born with romantic Venus in fiery, impulsive Aries you may fall in and out of love quickly. Restrictive Saturn in Aries would wear this “costume” differently, perhaps making you hesitant to embrace the go-getter energy of this sign. Some people might have both Venus and Saturn in Aries. In cases like this, they would have to balance those competing characters. Astrology, just like life, is highly nuanced!

The zodiac signs are broken into four elements: fire, earth, air and water.

Additionally they are grouped into three modalities: cardinal (leaders), fixed (experts) and mutables (ambassadors)

Aries Cardinal fire
Taurus Fixed earth
Gemini Mutable air
Cancer Cardinal water
Leo Fixed fire
Virgo Mutable earth
Libra Cardinal air
Scorpio Fixed water
Sagittarius Mutable fire
Capricorn Cardinal earth
Aquarius Fixed air
Pisces Mutable water

Learn all about the 12 zodiac signs here!

Step #4: Find What House Every Planet Is In 

The 12 houses of the zodiac all represent different parts of your life, from work to home to relationships to career. The houses follow the progression of the zodiac signs—for example, the first house is associated with Aries, the zodiac’s first sign. The seventh house is associated with Libra, the zodiac’s seventh sign, and so on. The planets are the “residents” of these houses, traveling through each in their journey around the Sun. 

In the movie of you, the houses are the “sets” where the scenes of your life take place. 

In solar astrology (like our daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes), we place your Sun sign in the first house and count around from there. This is a broad-stroke interpretation of your life and very useful!

1st House Self exploration, beginnings
2nd House Values, work
3rd House Friendship, communication
4th House Home, family
5th House Creativity, romance
6th House Work, wellness
7th House Relationships, contracts
8th House Investments, sex
9th House Travel, study
10th House Career, leadership
11th House Community, innovation
12th House Spirituality, healing, endings

When you cast your free natal chart, the houses are different, as they are based specifically on your time of birth. There are endless configurations of houses, and your chart is totally unique! We have a very slightly different chart as twins born 4 minutes apart. Think of this as the fine-brush painting of you.

Read all about the 12 Houses here!

Step #5: Explore the Aspects (Angles) Between the Planets

Once you understand the planets, signs and houses, you can add another piece to the puzzle to read an astrology chart. Aspects in astrology describe the distance between any two planets and zodiac signs in your chart. Aspects are also referred to as angles.

Here’s a metaphor to understand an aspect: The planets are like actors in the movie of your life, trying on different roles and costumes as they move through the zodiac. Often, these actors will have a “scene” together. Will it be a shoot-’em-up action plot, a romantic tearjerker or a “bromantic” comedy? That depends on the TYPE of aspect these two (or more) planets are forming.

Aspects are measured by mathematical angles—but we’ll skip the geometry lesson for now and introduce you to them all. There are seven major aspects that astrologers look at—and we reference them all the time in our daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes.

There are 7 significant angles that astrologers look at (and more than that if you’re talking to a true astrogeek). If the planets in your chart form any of these, they are blending their energies in a specific way. 

Conjunct Same sign, intense
Semisextile 1 sign apart, awkward
Sextile 2 signs apart, friendly
Square 3 signs apart, challenging
Trine 4 signs apart, harmonious
Quincunx 5 signs apart, karmic
Opposite 6 signs apart, dynamic

Read all about the aspects here!

Step #6: Check Out Current Transits

Your birth chart is a selfie of the sky when you were born. A transit chart, on the other hand, captures the planets in motion at any given day. You can use a transit chart to “plan it by the planets,” or look back and review a particular date in your past. Some people pick their wedding date by running transit charts. You can use a transit chart to 

When transiting planets are over the same zodiac point as natal planets (in your birth chart), they wake up those planets’ energy. Imagine the natal planet was lounging on the couch watching TV and suddenly, the transiting planet burst, glides or struts into the room. (This all depends on if we’re talking about Mars, Neptune or Venus, of course). There is a reaction as the two energies combine. 

The same is true if transiting planets are “aspect” one of your natal planets, landing at a 90º square or 120º trine, for example, on the zodiac wheel.

This is advanced information! If you’re new to astrology, you’ll need to book a reading with a professional astrologer for detailed transit reading of your specific chart. 

Our daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes are essentially transit charts that look at your Sun sign compared to the other planets in the sky.

Step #7: Use Free Will 

Lastly, never forget that you have free will. The stars are a profound guide to your personality and an incredible way of tracking opportunities and challenges coming your way. At the end of the day, it’s your choice whether to act upon these cosmic offerings or not when you read an astrology chart. Life greets astrology just as astrology greets life. What you might find, however, is that you’ve been in tune with the cosmos all along!  

What zodiac sign is your relationship?

Learn the secrets of the composite (blended) chart in What Sign Is Your Relationship?, a cosmic care and feeding manual for any relationship. Written by The AstroTwins, astrologers and matchmakers for Amazon Prime Video’s Cosmic Love.