Creating A Natal Chart

Blank Natal ChartFrom The Guide to Astrology; Understanding the secrets of the stars and planets
By Lori Reid, 2008

A horoscope, literally meaning “a picture of the hour”, or a birth chart, is a diagram that represents the heavens at the moment of birth. How a personal chart looks – which signs line up with which houses, and the location of the individual planets – depends on three key factors: the date of birth, the exact time, and the geographical place of birth.

The basic wheel

In astrology a person’s birth chart is drawn up in the shape of a wheel cut through by spokes to form 12 segments. Each segment is known as a “house”, which describes a particular pat of the skies and plots the Zodiacal sign and planets that were inhabiting that sector at the moment of birth. The spokes, or dividers, are called cusps. Although the wheel itself and the arrangement of houses is similar, everyone’s chart is different.

Think of the horoscope as a clock face. At 9 o’clock is the ascendant. This is the point in the sky that was coming into view on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth. The sign, and any planets, that cover this area describe how a person looks to the outside world and the characteristics that a stranger would pick up on a first meeting. This is the outward persona – often quite different to the “real” person that is described by the sector in which the Sun is located.

Creating your birth chart

You can create a chart for yourself or anyone else if you know the exact time and location of birth. If you do not know the exact hour and minute, then use noon as a guide, although the chart will not be as accurate as it could be.

There are some good websites that can automatically calculate the cosmic positions for anyone’s moment of birth over the last 100 years or so. This is the easiest way to have your natal chart created within seconds. Alternatively, you can consult published ephemeris tables to draw up a chart manually. Once you have the chart, you can see which planets and signs fall into the segments, or houses. You can then use the guide to houses [below] as the starting point for interpreting your personal chart.

The houses on the birth chart

1. The first house

This house describes your basic personality; the picture you paint of yourself for the outside world to see; yor physical appearance; your well-being. Any planets in this segment add extra detail to your looks and behavior.

2. The second house

This house governs material possessions. Here you will find information relating to your earnings and income, and your sense of personal security.

3. The third house

This house is the key to communication. The sign and planets dexcribe how you express yourself. They also reveal your relationship to siblings and neighbors, and to your immediate environment.

4. The fourth house

This house is about your home and family. It reveals essentals of your childhood, blood-bonds, roots, and importantly, your mother.

5. The fifth house

This house deals with leisure, pleasure, children, creativity, and romance. The sign and planets here reveal uor level of physical and mental fertility; your hobbies and spare time pursuits. It also highlights your luck and good fortune.

6. The sixth house

This house governs health, work, and well-being; day-to-day activities; hygiene and sanitation are shown here. Essentially, this house deals with the way we accept our responsibilities and carry out our duties.

7. The seventh house

This house represents partnerships and relationships, both intimate and professional. This part of your birth chart describes your marriage and partners in life.

8. The eight house

This house deals with serious and somber issues, such as mortgages, wills, legacies, and escrow. So are the issues of surgery and death. Sexual attitudes and preferences are also revealed by the sign and planets in this area. 

9. The ninth house

This house deals with education and higher learning, along with philosophy, religion, and law. Travel to distant places and faraway affairs are revealed by what is placed here.

10. The tenth house

This house is the midheaven of the chart. It deals with worldly affairs: reputation, ambition, status, and career. Authority figures, your father, and your boss or main clients, are described in this zone.

11. The eleventh house

This house governs relationship with friends, associates, group affairs, and generally how you get along with other people. Hopes and dreams are also highlighted here.

12. The twelfth house

This house reveals your innermost fears, dreams, and secret fantasies. This is where we hide away from the world. It deals with seclusion, hospitals, prisons, and our own self-undoing.

See also: 7W – European Zodiac


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14 thoughts on “Creating A Natal Chart

  1. Symbol Reader June 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Good for you! Are you more into Vedic or Western? I think it may be hard to learn both at the same time. But hey, maybe you are the only person who can do it.

    • thesevenminds June 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      As I am working on the Vedic posts for tomorrow, I must say that Vedic astrology makes more sense. To call the ascendant the horizon seems to make more sense to me. But, I am just getting started (again). I am glad that I understand the houses now. It is a bit like numerology, but then with signs and planets giving meaning to the character. 🙂

    • Julianne Victoria June 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Western has the Ascendant on the horizon too, but called the Rising sign. From my experience though, reading a Western chart based on the Sun chart has been more accurate, whereas Vedically the Asc chart works better.

    • thesevenminds June 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Ah, thanks. I was wondering about that. I see the W readings start with the Sun and not the houses. But, to learn the craft, starting with the signs and houses works better. And, I am still to type out the introduction post on the planets later this week. 🙂

    • Julianne Victoria June 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      In a W sun chart, the sun resides in the first house and the house follow from there.

    • thesevenminds June 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Ah. Sun chart versus birth chart. I found the missing marble. 😉

  2. Julianne Victoria June 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm Reply

    If you’d like another layer of meaning for each of the houses: The first house has attributes of Aries/Mars, the second of Taurus/Venus, third of Gemini/Mercury, etc. This is for the houses in general, such as why the third house is about communication, internet, short distance travel, etc.
    Are you a Gemini or Virgo, or both (Sun and Moon or Sun and Ascendant…)?

    • thesevenminds June 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      I just tried to comment on your post, because I am posting on the Nakshastra and Bhavas tomorrow, but the reply got lost in virtual space. I was just stating that I was going to take a front row seat for your series.
      I appreciate the comment, because yesterday I looked into the meaning of empty houses, and was not satisfied with the answer that supposedly there was no issue in those houses until a problem would show up. So, to read that the empty house will be ruled by the standard (general) ring of signs makes more sense. I will adjust it in my birth chart and see if it makes sense.
      On your question, my answer is: uh?! I will have to check on that. After I finish the Vedic posts. 🙂

  3. Julianne Victoria June 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm Reply

    Cool, thanks! Yes, empty houses have meaning. In Vedic the house ruler is what’s most important. In Western empty houses seem to worry people more. The descriptions of the house in the post above (to me) have a more of a Western feel, though they are very similar between the W and V.
    I study both, but like you V resonates with me better personally. 😉

    • thesevenminds June 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      It is interesting how V and W have the same source (I believe it is KMT), but how much more important the lunar positions are in V. But, then again the V system has so many more elements than the W system. So much to learn, so little time. 🙂

  4. Julianne Victoria June 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply

    So true! I will definitely be studying this for at least a few more lifetimes!

    • Julianne Victoria June 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      But W also looks at the asteroids and has different house systems: all 30 degrees or all different lengths depending on how much space they span in the heavens. Studying both at the same time may make you go cross-eyed for a while! 😉

    • thesevenminds June 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      😀 😀

  5. […] one scientific, and the other philosophical. Assuming that life starts with the first breath, a natal chart is drawn up for the time of a person’s birth, taking into account the geographical location, […]

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