The Fundamentals of Reading a Natal Chart Part I

I have always wanted to get into teaching astrology (and writing books!), and have recently started doing this teaching thang for clients that ask if I teach “courses” or things like that. These have translated into sessions that are more like “private lessons.” I like the one on one aspect of teaching this way, and it feeds into my tutoring roots (of which I have years of experience teaching kids and teenagers math & science). Anywho, it’s a lot of fun. So I figured I’d make a post about the bare bones basics on HOW to read a chart….because when you first start looking at them, they can look like some kind of fucking foreign alien language.

First things first: create your birth chart if you haven’t already. I know there are lots of popular apps and websites out there, but as far as I’m considered a lot of them produce charts that are a pain in the ass to read off of (I’m looking at you Co-Star and AstroCharts). While maybe not as “pretty” as some of the others, http://www.astro.com creates charts that are much easier to read (to put all the pieces of the chart together).

Also, when you pull your chart, whether on http://www.astro.com or elsewhere, you’re given both the natal chart wheel, and what I call the natal chart table. I see lots of people trying to read off of that fucking table alone (this is a bitching of mine lol), and if you’re only trying to read off of the table, it will be hard as hell to make the connections that you need to make when reading a chart. Astrology is incredibly visual, and it usually helps to look at the natal chart wheel to see HOW connections are made. Using BOTH the natal chart wheel and the table are how you really want to do this.

The main things to consider here:
*The PLANET represents WHAT ENERGY needs to be expressed.
(For instance, Venus needs to express “love”, Uranus needs to express “liberation,” etc).
*The HOUSE represents WHERE/THE AREA OF LIFE that the energy needs to be expressed through
(For instance, the 1st house represents the “self,” the 2nd house represents personal values & resources, etc).
*The SIGN represents HOW the “what” and “the where/the area of life” express themselves
(For instance, Capricorn expresses itself as mastery/authority, Pisces expresses itself clouded/creatively, etc).
**Mind you, these are very general keywords for what the planets and signs represents and may differ slightly depending on your chart….but I hope you get the idea**

The ASPECTS help to fill in the rest of the picture. The major aspects are:
*The Conjunction-When two planets are within 8-10 degrees of one another
—Can be either harmonious or difficult (a fusing of the planetary energy)
*The Trine-When two planets are 120 degrees apart (with an orb of 8-10 degrees)
—This is a harmonious aspect (the planets understand and “like” one another)
*The Sextile-When two planets are 60 degrees apart (with an orb of 8-10 degrees)
—This is a harmonious aspect (same as the trine, just to a lesser degree)
*The Opposition-When two planets are 180 degrees apart (with an orb of 8-10 degrees)
—This is a challenging aspect (the planets are on the opposite side of the spectrum)
*The Sqaure-When two planets are 90 degrees apart (with an orb of 8-10 degrees)
—This is a stressful aspect (the planets don’t “get” along and feel the tension)
*The Quincunx/Inconjunct-When two planets are 150 degrees apart (with an orb of 8-10 degrees)
—This is a stressful aspect (the planets don’t “see” one another)

Another thing that is super important are DISPOSITIONS. A house is disposed of by the house with the other house’s planetary ruler falling in it’s bounds. For instance, in my chart above, my 6th house is ruled by Taurus. Venus falls in the 1st house, which causes the 6th house to be disposed of by the 1st (since Taurus is ruled by Venus). This causes the 6th house to bend to the will of the first. This helps to flavor the chart in an even deeper way, like peeling a layer of an onion. It also helps one to understand the role that empty houses can play in one’s life. Just because my 6th house is empty doesn’t mean it’s not important, it just bends to the will of the 1st house. Even if the 6th house had planets there, it would STILL bend to the will of the 1st.

If anyone is ever curious about lessons with yours truly, I’d love to help you learn the basics (or even anything more in depth). Also! Soon I’m going to be coming out with some teaching materials, if anyone is interested 🙂 I’m really super fucking excited about this (muhahahaha!)!!

**If anyone is interested in another place to get advice or to ask questions to get down the fundamentals of astrology, check out the subreddit Beginner Astrology on Reddit. Lots of information and super nice people 😀

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