I swear to you, astrology changed my life and made me a better person.
No, really. It did!!!
Since discovering astrology, I’ve learned how to understand the people around me better, which has improved all my relationships.
It’s also helped me to improve the most important relationship of all – the one I have with myself. And that’s why I love it so much. It’s helped me to know and understand myself 10x better.
Life, in general, has also improved because I know how to time things so I can get the most out of everything I do. The creation of this blog was timed with astrology because I know the best times to start new ventures and take opportunities. I also know the best times to stop, relax and lay low.
Now I want to show you how to use it so you can do the same, and the good news is, it doesn’t take a huge amount of effort to learn. There is a lot of information though, so you do need to have a genuine interest in astrology.
Anyyyyhooo, there’s a lot of ground to cover – so much that I’ve had to split this post into multiple parts. So let’s get right into part one: using astrology to discover the true essence of who you are.
Why a basic sign description won’t cut it…and the one astrology tool you need instead
Ever read a basic zodiac sign description?
If you have, you probably know a few traits that are generally associated with your sign. There are probably some that make sense to you and some that you don’t identify with at all. It’s all very general and vague, isn’t it?
Here’s why – these general descriptions are just a tiny part of a HUGE picture.
What if you could read something that told you about you – and I mean every part of you, your appearance, the inner workings of your mind and your experiences? How you communicate, how you view others and the world, how you view yourself, the first impressions you give to other people, your approach to relationships, where your talents lie and so much more?
Here’s where you’re gonna get excited. You can!
All this information is revealed to you in what we call a natal chart (aka birth chart). I’ll show you mine so you can see what it looks like:
YES. This snap of my natal chart is telling you all that information above, and so much more about me.
Now if you have no experience with astrology you’re probably thinking HOW THE HELL does this tell you anything. But a natal chart is surprisingly easy to decipher.
I love the CafeAstrology ones because they come with a whole report packed with explanations, and general interpretations of everything in the chart (which are actually spot on for the most part) AND ITS FREE GUYS.
Get yours here – but you need your exact time of birth for an accurate reading, and you need to make sure your birth time is correct – no guessing or estimates.
But WTF is a natal chart though???
It’s basically a snapshot of the planets and their locations at the exact moment you were born.
This is significant because everything in this life is connected. Even us, to the universe. This is through energy, which is everywhere.
The same energy that affects the planets moving around up there is the same energy that affects us here on earth. That’s the connection.
The natal chart pictures the energies of the exact moment you were born. The fact that you were born in that moment, into that energy, is significant.
To get an accurate natal chart reading, you’ll need your date of birth, which hopefully you know!
You also need your location of birth but most importantly, and I cannot stress how important this is enough – you will need your exact time of birth. The time of birth is what gives you your rising sign (which is just as important as your sun sign), and the areas of life that each planet influences in your chart (more on that later).
The rising sign: how other people see you
In astrology, your rising sign (aka ascendant) is kind of like your mask. The traits from your rising sign are the ones that people will see when they first meet you. They hide your true essence – your sun sign traits. When you calculate your natal chart with an accurate time of birth, your rising sign will be here:
The start of the chart – section number one where it says AC (ascendant).
Your rising sign is so important that astrologers say when you read your horoscope, you should read for both your sun and your rising sign.
Finding out I had Scorpio rising was a revelation for me, and it made everything about my personality make sense.
I have sooo many Scorpio traits – more than Virgo traits, for sure. And when you know your rising sign, you’ll probably realise that too. You get a huge number of traits and tendencies from your ascendant.
That’s why there are some people you would never believe belong to a certain sign. You know when you meet someone – and they seem like such a Capricorn, and then it turns out they’re a Gemini? It could be the rising sign traits that you are seeing.
I highly recommend you confirm your time of birth however you can, so you can find out your rising sign – it’s a crucial part of your astrology. If your parents aren’t sure, do some investigating. My Mum didn’t know, but I found my time of birth written down in some cards and a hospital tag she kept from my birth in an old photo album.
How you’re likely to respond in different areas of life
See those numbers surrounding that small circle in the middle of the chart?
Each of those represents an area of life, which is known as a ‘house’ in the natal chart. Each one of the 12 signs has a house they naturally belong to in the chart – and the issues related to that house are the deepest concerns of the sign. Here’s a brief summary:
Take a moment to think about your number one concern or goal in life. Is it owning your own home and feeling a sense of security? Is it starting a family or getting to the top of your career? Travelling the world, maybe?
Whatever it is, if you calculate your natal chart and then refer to the table above, you’ll probably find that it falls into the area of life that your sun sign is associated with.
When you calculate a natal chart, the house numbers stay the same, but the signs on the cusps of the houses change.
So using my chart as an example, I have Scorpio in the 1st house, which means my appearance and identity have Scorpio qualities (hence – the rising sign and the obsession with dressing head to toe in black!).
The 2nd house is Sagittarius, which means my approach to earning money has Sagittarian influences.
My third house is ruled and influenced by Aquarius, fourth by Pisces and so on.
This is the thing that a lot of people don’t realise. Each one of our personalities is actually a blend of all 12 signs because we approach the issues of each house with the qualities of the sign on the cusp.
How your planets influence your personality traits
The placement of the planets in our natal charts can give us clues into our personality and destiny.
If you don’t know your time of birth, you can still do a natal chart to discover the signs that the planets were in on the day you were born – this is very important information to know. (You’ll just have to ignore the house numbers and rising sign as they won’t be accurate).
Alternatively, you could look up your planet placements online, there are calculators and tables everywhere and I’ll be linking to some in my astrology resources post.
Why do the planets matter?
Each planet rules a house in the chart and each one of our signs. An easy way to get your head round it is like this: we have the houses in the chart, and then we have the tenants – the people that live there – (the signs). Then we have the landlords, the owner of that house and sign – these are the ruling planets.
Each planet gives you the qualities that affect how you deal with the issues related to that house.
Here’s a quick summary:
So – as a very basic example, if you had Mars, the ruling planet of Aries and the planet responsible for courage, energy and ambition – in your 2nd house of earned income at the time you were born, you might approach your money making ventures with Arian qualities – confident, ambitious, relentless.
Another thing to consider with planets is how many of them you have in each sign and element. Beyonce is a Virgo but she has 5 planets in Libra, which would give her a lot of Libran, and air traits.
You might be a Leo but if most of your planets are in water signs, that could change everything. You might be more emotional or intuitive than the average fire sign. Another very important thing to consider is:
Your moon sign
All the planets give us important information about ourselves – but the moon sign is the next thing you should check out after your rising sign. As you can see in the table above, the sign that the moon was in when you were born will tell you how you’re likely to handle your emotions and feelings.
Our emotions are the driving force of our life – they make us who we are, and how we handle them is a big part of our character, making the moon sign a very important piece of our personality puzzle.
Learning my moon sign explained SO MUCH. My moon is in Pisces, which helped me to understand why I can be so emotional at times. I am an earth sign because I am Virgo, but having the rising and moon sign both in water elements also makes me a double water sign – hence the emotions!
I’m also very intuitive – to the point that I actually think I’m psychic sometimes – also very spiritual and creative. These are all more typical of the Pisces sign and water elements than Virgo and earth. See how much influence the moon sign has?
The moon sign can change everything. It can soften some qualities that may be typical of our sun signs. A fire sign with a Virgo moon may not be so outgoing. A Libra with a Sagittarius moon may not be so relationship-oriented. You see where I’m going with this.
If you read for your moon sign you’ll almost always find it’s spot on.
You can find out your moon sign here – you don’t necessarily need your birth time unless the moon changed sign the day you were born (which isn’t unlikely as it changes sign every 1-3 days). If you don’t know your birth time, enter your birth details and use the time 12 AM.
Take note of the sign that is calculated, and then repeat with the time 11.59 PM. If a new sign is calculated, that means the moon changed signs the day you were born and you’d need an accurate time of birth to confirm which one you are.
Discover your life purpose
Finally – I’m going to show you a VERY basic technique those of you with birth times can use to interpret your chart.
This is only using planets and houses – to get a full and more accurate picture, you’d have to take more complex things into consideration like the distances between the planets, how they’re interacting with each other and the directions they’re moving in, transits, progressions, aspects… it’s a whole other post and something that would be better explained by a professional astrologer (but I’ve got you! I’ll link you to some in an upcoming post).
Let’s say you want to find out what your natal chart says about your ideal career.
- First, look to the 10th house of career and honours. What sign is on the cusp? The qualities of that sign will tell you how you’re likely to approach your career. What planets are in the 10th house? The sign that planet is associated with can tell you more about what kind of industry it may be in (Mercury – technology, communication? Venus – a beauty-related field?)
- If there are no planets in the 10th house, (this does not mean you won’t have a career BTW!) find the ruler of the sign on the cusp and note the qualities of the sign and house it’s in.
- Look to the 6th house, your house of day to day work and repeat the process– what sign is on the cusp, what planets are in the house, where is the ruler of the house?
- Repeat the process in the 2nd house of earned income, and then the 8th house of money given to you by others
You’ll start to notice themes, patterns and connections that can give you clues as to what type of career you are destined for.
So that’s it! Those are the very basics of a natal chart and how to use it discover more about your personality than one of those generic sign descriptions could ever tell you.
I could honestly talk to you about astrology all day, this post only very gently scratched the surface of everything that you can do with a natal chart. I hope I’ve encouraged you to check out your own, and learn more about astrology! It’s so interesting and makes such a difference in life.
The next post is all about how to understand other people and tips on assessing romantic compatibility. Also check out my list of astrology resources if you’re ready to start applying it to your life!
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