Notice though, that the 12 houses are in their original location. The wheel of Houses should always be laid out like this, with the first house on the left; the zodiac wheel along with the planets in the heavens is what gets rotated according to birth data. Notice the planet glyphs arranged on the chart, labeled with their degrees of position.
At Cafe Astrology, calculate your birth or natal chart using this free interactive tool . Astrology: Free Natal Chart (Horoscope) from Astrolabe, the leader in automated birth printed on the free birth chart wheel graphic included with your report.
The Houses progress counter-clockwise around the chart. The degree measurements labeled around the outside edge give the position of the House cusps in relation to the Zodiac wheel. Four of those cusps have special names in most House systems. The 1 st House cusp is called the Ascendant ; the 4 th House cusp is called the I.
You will learn their meanings in a later lesson.
For now, you need to know that, of those four, one has extra-special significance. It is the Ascendant, the cusp of the 1 st house.
In the chart above, the Ascendant is in Virgo because the cusp of the 1st house is in Virgo. You can immediately tell the Rising Sign on a birth chart because it is the sign directly left of the center. In the sample chart below , the Sun is in Leo ; most people would label this person simply as a Leo.
But look at the Moon in the chart; it is in Taurus. To differentiate further, the Ascendant is in Scorpio.
Here you can begin to see why simply knowing your Sun sign is not enough and why the popular daily Sun Sign "Horoscopes" amount to a bunch of silliness. To really understand your own natal chart, you must understand all the Zodiac signs because every chart, as you can see, includes the entire Zodiac. The sign on the cusp of each house denotes our attitudes in the department of life designated by that House. Then, any planets in the house also affect our affairs in that area. And of course, the signs that the planets are in will modify how all this is manifested.
In the example below, the inner wheel with blue planetary symbols is our birth chart—which is a fixed map that never changes. The orange planetary symbols in the outer wheel represent the transiting moving planets on January 1, A trained astrologer would compare and contrast the two charts.
When a transiting orange planet makes contact with one of the natal blue planets, it activates specific energy, one that can be either opportune or challenging. Knowing this allows you to plan ahead. Like we said—this can take years of practice or a trained astrological eye to interpret, but the foresight can be a game-changer!
You can plug in any date, past or future, and run a transit chart that compares the planets in motion your birth chart.
Transit charts are super helpful for planning. Transit charts are also great for historical perspective: You can look back at important moments in your life—new love, relocations, deaths, breakups, career coups, job losses. Do a chart or an estimated one to see what was happening in the stars then.
Example of a natal plus transit chart via Astro-Seek. The short answer is yes — if the time of birth is accurate. Although most planets move relatively slowly except the Moon , some important angles in the natal chart can change very quickly.
The degree of the Ascendant, or rising sign also called your Sun sign changes every four minutes, for example. And these angles are often used in the calculation of other important parts of the chart, so if the birth time is inaccurate, there can be a domino effect with the accuracy of the rest of the natal chart.
Fortunately, our free natal chart calculator can handle unknown birth times, by using a special process that helps eliminate the uncertainty. An astrology chart with an unknown birth time will never be as complete as a birth chart wheel with a correct birth time, but it can still be very useful and insightful for astrological analysis.
There are two parts to reading a natal chart. First, you have to understand what everything on the chart is, and then you have to interpret it. The second part is where the real skill of birth chart analysis comes in, which typically takes years to learn. Your natal chart will look like a large circle, containing lines, symbols and a smaller central circle. Look around the edge of the wheel. Notice the twelve lines radiating outward from the central circle.