I remember how I felt when an astrologer first put my natal chart in front of me because I didn’t know the basics of astrology.

Overwhelmed. Confused. Pretty much WTF.

To the untrained eye, an astrology chart is a pretty daunting thing to look at yet when you understand the basics of astrology it can provide you with amazing meaning.

So today I am going to explain all the components of a birth astrology chart (otherwise known as a natal chart) so you understand the basics of astrology. To see how to run a business chart read this blog.

Astrology Basics

In this blog I am going to introduce you to the basics of astrology:

  • Zodiac signs
  • Houses
  • Planets
  • Aspects & Aspect’s grid and
  • Elements grid

How to create your Birth Chart

Firstly if you don’t have a birth chart watch this quick video below to create one – I like to use astro.com

Zodiac Signs

There are 12 zodiac signs represented by glyphs around the chart, your rising sign will be shown on the middle left and the signs are placed in order around the circle each representing 30 degrees with notches for every 5 degrees (larger notches for every 10 degrees).

Each zodiac sign has its own personality including both light and shadow (or negative and positive) traits. In addition, each zodiac sign belongs to a certain element (air, water, earth, or fire) and orientation (cardinal, mutable, or fixed).

The Houses

The houses are all the pie-shaped sections numbered from 1-2 in the center of the circle. Each house represents a different aspect or theme of life and they give the placement of the planets specific meaning.

Under the tropical natal chart method, each house is not an equal size on your chart – some will be smaller and others larger.

Some houses will likely not have any planets placed in them, but this doesn’t mean this aspect of your life is not important or will occur e.g no signs in the marriage and partnership or career house doesn’t mean you won’t get married or have a successful career.

The planets are always moving and will trigger points in each house and the placement of your planets natally (when you were born) over the course of your life. But this blog is not about transits!

The Planets

Most charts will include the main inner and outer planets including the placement of your sun, moon, mercury, and venus (inner planets) and your Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Pluto (outer planets) as well as Chiron and your North Node. The planets each have a specific symbolism in your life such as bravery and action, vision and spirituality, healing and wounding, etc…

In the lower section of your chart, all of your planets and their exact degree and zodiac sign placement will be listed.

So on your chart, we have the zodiac signs, the houses, and the placement of the planets within these signs and houses.

Aspects & the Aspect Grid

Next, you’ll see a heap of red and blue (and green) lines that can send you a little crazy. These are your aspects. The red ones depict challenging aspects (or challenging relationships between the planets). The blue lines represent harmonious aspects ( or harmonious relationships between the planets). As you learn to interpret these aspects you’ll look at the zodiac signs and houses involved and see how they relate to you and your life.

Down the bottom of the chart, you can see a grid, this is an aspect grid where you can look for major and minor aspects between any two planets.

Most astrologers will focus only on major aspects including conjunctions, opposition, square, trine, and sextile.

Understanding the placement of individual planets can provide an amazing level of insight but seeing how they interact with each other takes it to another level.

Elements Grid

The smaller elements grid is a quick reference for which planets are placed in zodiac signs of which elements (air, fire, earth, and water) and of which orientation (fixed, mutable, or cardinal).

Putting the astrology basics together


There are a number of different explanations of how to understand the Natal Chart but I like to think of it this way.

The Planet is the ‘what’. What are you trying to understand more about in your chart e.g. North Node (your soul purpose) or Mars (how you take action and are brave)?

The Zodiac Sign that this planet is in is the ‘how’. How does this planet express itself and how will it play out? Look to the description of that zodiac sign as well as which element (Air, water, fire, earth) and the descriptive words for the relevant element. For example, my Mars is in Capricorn. This means that I am disciplined and hard-working with taking action – I’ll work hard towards my goals.

The house is the specific aspect of your life that is most affected or the ‘where’.

My Mars is in my fourth house of home – I like to think of this as reflecting my ability to be focused and disciplined working from home. Being an entrepreneur working from my home office really works for me! But it also reflects my bravery as I am very willing to stand up and be brave for my family and have often been called to be the warrior woman in my home.

I’ve also heard it referred to like the actors, the personality of the character, and the stage.

Want more?


If you would like to go through a FREE live astrology training then join Astrology Basics Live on the 19TH & 20TH MARCH 2024 – click here to register.

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