Chart Planets

How To Read A Birth Chart... In Minutes!


Wouldn’t it be great to know how to read a birth chart and quickly see the person's life path and personality?

Here’s how.

First, you will need a birth chart. This is also known as a natal chart or simply an astrology chart.

Let’s use yours as an example.

If you don’t have it available, you can use my simple and easy-to-use birth chart calculator.

Keep in mind this calculator uses the actual sky, called sidereal astrology. So you might notice some of your signs are different.


Houses in the astrology chart

The houses represent the sky at the time of birth, divided into twelve parts. More specifically, the ecliptic, which is the path the planets move across in the sky. The houses form the skeletal structure of the chart and are always in the same location for everyone. They are numbered one through twelve.

In a western chart, like the one we are using, the beginning of the first house is the eastern horizon. This is also known as the rising sign, or the ascendant. This is the beginning of the chart and the houses start here. Beginning with the first house moving counterclockwise through the twelfth.

(Note that there are different house systems used by astrologers. The ascendant might be somewhere in the first house, or you might notice the houses aren’t equal. The system we are using is the equal house system. This divides the ecliptic into twelve equal parts, starting from the ascendant. Feel free to use whichever system you prefer.)

Opposite the ascendant is the descendant. This is the western horizon, or what’s setting. The top of the chart is the highest part of the ecliptic in the sky. The bottom of the chart is what is underneath the horizon, or the non-visible sky.

Since the houses represent the areas of the sky, in astrology the houses represent the areas of life.

For example, the first house represents all areas of life associated with the self. This includes our self-image, motivations, goals, and appearance. The houses represent what we call “areas of life”.


Signs in the astrology chart

The signs represent where along the ecliptic the zodiac signs were at the time of birth. What sign was rising, which setting? This is where interpretations can begin, now that we have two components of the chart to compare.

The signs show the characteristics of the sky at the time of birth. So an easy way of remembering what they represent is to think of them as the characteristics of life.

For example, the directness and assertiveness of Aries. The zodiac signs show the qualities that come through our life.


The transient planets in the sky mirror our transient experiences on Earth. These experiences shape our personality.

The house a planet is in shows what area of life shapes our personality. The sign shows what characteristics shape our personality.

The easiest way to think about planets are as the experiences of life which shape our personality.


In natal chart analysis, we want to start with the most fundamental elements first. In other words, the most fundamental elements of your personality.

Four main components of the chart show this. The four main components are the Sun, Moon, ascendant, and the ascendant’s ruler (also known as the chart ruler).

We are looking for the house and sign position of these four components. (Note that the ascendant only shows the sign).


Sun and Moon symbols

The Sun and Moon represent the most fundamental, yang and yin, elements of the self. The Sun represents the outwardly focused, expressive, and masculine side. The Moon represents the inwardly focused, reflective, feminine side. Together these planets make up the bulk of the outer and inner personality.

Find the Sun and Moon in your chart. Write down your Sun sign and house, along with your Moon sign and house. You can use this house-meaning PDF and sign-meaning PDF to uncover these fundamental elements of your personality.

Remember that the house placements show the areas of life that are important to you. The signs show the characteristics that come through your personality. Your Sun represents your outward self and Moon your inward self.


Ascendant symbol

These elements show how your life unfolds. They show what shapes your personality over time. They are like your Sun and Moon, except they are more like your life path. They show the life events that shape your personality through time. You might think of them as showing who you are becoming.

Your ascendant sign shows the qualities you are developing. There is only a sign associated with it because it is always associated with the beginning of the first house. (Remember the ascendant is the line at the beginning of the first house.)

Let’s identify your ascendant sign. Look up the characteristics of this sign using the sign PDF we used earlier. These are the qualities that come through your life experiences and shape who you are becoming. These are very important qualities to develop in your life.


Your chart ruler is the planet that "rules" your ascendant sign. The house and sign of your chart ruler shows not only what characteristics you are developing, but the area of life as well. Use this ruler PDF to get a list of rulers for each of the ascendant signs.

Once you know your chart ruler planet, locate the house and sign placement the planet is in. Use the house PDF and sign PDF to identify what areas and characteristics shape your personality. The chart ruler shows who you are becoming, and through which area of life.


Astrology chart

At this point, you’ve uncovered the four most important elements of reading a birth chart. Analyzing these four components will result in a good understanding of who you are and your life path. You can apply this same process to any person’s chart.

If you want to take the analysis further, you can look at the associations between these four components and other planets in the chart. These associations are called aspects. The aspects are the lines in the center of the chart. Here is a PDF of what the different aspects mean, for your further analysis.

Next, you can look at the inner planets: Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The middle planets: Jupiter and Saturn. The outer planets: Uranus and Neptune. Then Chiron and Pluto. Read their house and sign placements.

As you move further out to the more distant planets the personality becomes deeper and less noticeable. Much like an onion. The outer layer of our personality represents the four main components we covered. Followed by the inner planets, middle, then outer at the center of the onion.

Pay attention to any planets in the first house, they will come through strongly in the personality. Here is a list of the major planets, it shows what elements of the self they represent.

By focusing on the four main components of the birth chart... you now know how to analyze a birth chart accurately in a matter of minutes.

To see our full interpretation of your natal chart get your full report with e-reading.


Birth Chart

Birth Chart Calculator

What is Sidereal Astrology?

House Meanings List

Sign Meanings List

Ruler List

Aspect Meanings List

Planet Meanings List

Get the full interpretation of your natal chart
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