My Sign Says
Natal Chart

Astrology 101: What Is a Natal Chart?

A natal chart–also called a birth chart–is a unique reading based on your exact time and place of birth. It can reveal far more to you than a generic horoscope.

What Can a Natal Chart Do for You?

A natal chart calculates the exact position of the stars and planets at the moment you are born. This information will help you understand why you behave a certain way, or why the same things seem to keep happening in your life.

Interestingly, natal astrology isn’t just a Western tradition. It’s also important in Indian and Chinese cultures as well.

A natal chart shows which house–or Zodiac sign–each planet fell in when you were born. It also calculates the angles, or aspects, between the planets to help you understand the paths of energy in your life.

How to Read the Chart

Your chart will consist of a circle with the 12 houses of the Zodiac arranged around the edge, kind of like a clock. You’ll also see the planets, as well as the moon and sun, charter with their position relative to each house.

You already know your sun sign–that’s the Zodiac sign you use now, determined by the position of the sun on your birthday. It is key to how you see yourself. But the signs that aligned with the planets and the moon are also important to understanding yourself.

The moon sign is a much more mysterious, private part of your personality compared to your sun sign. It influences your decision-making and sense of purpose, as well as your emotional well-being.

The other major piece of information you’ll learn from a natal chart is your ascendant sign. The ascendant, or rising sign, is the main reason why you need to include your exact birth time when preparing your chart.

The wheel of the Zodiac slowly rotates relative to the Earth, and the constellation that was on the horizon when you were born is your ascendant sign. This influences how others see you–your public face, versus the private face of your moon sign.

One Word of Warning…

A natal chart requires that you know the exact time and place of your birth. If you aren’t able to find the time (down to the minute) on your birth certificate or from a family member, then you may be able to find out from the records office in the place where you were born.

The birth time will reveal your rising (or ascendant) sign as well as the exact houses each of the planets were in at the moment you entered the world. That’s all really important, so if you don’t have that information, you might reconsider getting your birth chart prepared by an astrologer.