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