Understanding Birth Chart Basics in 6 Steps

October 31, 2016 5:00 am Published by

So, you made birth charts for everyone you know but then they wanted to know what it all meant! Today, I’m going to help you decipher the lovely birth chart you made last week. Learning how to decode an astrology birth chart can be a little bit like going down the rabbit hole. Let me save you a headache and break it all down for you into six nice little steps!

If you want to brush up on your astrology terms visit the first post in this series here. If you need to, grab your free printable birth chart and learn how to make it click here.

First, a few things to point out about your birth chart. Think of your chart as a map of your potential. Sometimes you may get lost, take an alternate route, or change paths completely. Your birth chart is not your fate, but it can help guide you.

birth chart basics in 6 steps

Rising/Ascendant Sign

Your rising sign is how you present yourself to the world and is usually the first impression that you give people. Find your rising sign on the left side of your chart, you should have an arrow or a line pointing to what zodiac sign it falls into. Click here to learn more about your rising sign at Astro Library.


Sun & Moon Sign

Your sun sign is the core of your personality. Though your Ascendant sign might be what shows up first when you meet someone, your Sun sign is what comes out once you’ve gotten to know that person. Check out what your Sun Sign says about you here.

Your big, bright and bold Sun sign personality traits need some balance and that’s where your Moon sign comes in. Think of your Moon sign as your shadow side, more subtle and soft. Moon sign personality traits will often show up when you tap into your intuition. Check out what your moon sign says about you here.


The Other Planets

Though your Sun and Moon signs do bear a lot of weight when it comes to your personality, there 8 other planets that can shed light on your personality as well. Take a look at your chart to see which Zodiac signs your planets fall into, then check what they mean here.


The Elements

Take a look at where each of your planets falls on your birth chart. Each planet will fall into a zodiac sign, and each zodiac sign has an element assigned to it. Add up how many of each element is represented on your chart. Here’s a great link to understand how your prominent elements may affect you. See the guide below to know which signs fall into which element.



Each of your planets also falls into a house. These are the pieces of the pie that are numbered 1-12. Your houses will show you where your personality traits may manifest in this lifetime. Here’s a quick description of what each house represents. Dive deeper into understanding the different houses here.


Houses image ©Zenned Out 2017-Infinity. Please, credit when sharing.


You can use this reference to see what having certain planets in each house may mean for you.


This one was a challenge to fit into one step, but it’s an important one so here it goes! Your aspects indicate the relationship of your planets with each other. Their relations with each other are shown with all those crazy lines in the middle of your chart. Though the crazy lines on your chart do look pretty cool, this is one step that is worth referencing your computer-generated birth chart. I’ll be referencing the L shaped grid below your computer-generated chart for this.

Your aspects can make a big difference in your chart and leaving this step out wouldn’t give you a full picture of your life path. Your aspects indicate how your planets may manifest, each planet has a balance of positive and negative energy.

For this post, I’ll only be referencing the major aspects. You may see some symbols on your chart that aren’t represented here, those are minor aspects (another thing you can explore down the Astrology rabbit hole!). Here’s a chart that indicates what each of these symbols looks like and what they represent. Cross-reference with your chart to see how your aspects will affect the energy of your planets.


Addictively fun right?! Like I said, there are endless things you can learn about astrology and your birth chart.

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About Cassie

Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.