Astrology 101: Introduction to Natal Charts

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Hello, everyone! Welcome to Astrology 101: Introduction to Natal Charts. I am your instructor, Fa Alanis, cosmos enthusiast and advocate for the right to believe in astrology despite the mean looks of the skeptics out there. But more on that later. I'm so glad you decided to join me in class today. Keeping things real, this is a one-session crash course... for now, and I'm not an expert astrologer, but I do know a thing or two.


For example, I know that the Earth is round (don't try, flat-earthers), we would be dead if it weren't for bees, Rihanna is never giving us what we've been asking for, the moon causes the tides, and that it's sort of naive to think that it, along with other celestial bodies, don't have an effect on us, considering we're made up of mostly water. We can't, of course, blame our whole sack of life problems on the movement of the planets and the moon. However, we can be conscious of the energies they control the flow of and use them to our advantage.


The required books for this course are just this workbook I made, which includes all key concepts with useful keywords and a blank birth chart for you to fill out and decorate to simply have, to frame, to gift away... you name it. Now let's begin.


 


Every good class starts with a definition; here´s mine: what is astrology? What are birth charts?


Astrology (/əˈsträləjē/) noun

The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.


The Babylonians divided the sky into 12 sections, each named by the largest constellation it contained, and from there, the zodiac calendar was born. Those were the origins of astrology, which at the time, was put at level with medicine, philosophy and science. Nowadays, it is often mocked by only giving it the purpose of measuring compatibility instead of predicting the results of a harvest, but many still are witnesses to the real power of astrology.


Natal charts (/ˈnādl CHärts/) noun

Also known as birth charts, they summarize the location of the planets and celestial bodies in the sky at the time of one's birth. The interpretation of birth charts can be used for purposes of self-discovery.


 


If you know your date and time of birth as well as the place, you can obtain your particular birth chart on a website, an app, or by visiting an expert on the topic. Once you do so, you will notice that the structure of a natal chart consists of 3 elements: houses, zodiac signs, and planets or celestial bodies.



The following is a visual aid of a birth chart, with the area each component can be found at, colored as marked above.

The ascendant line is the eastern horizon, from which the sun rises, a fact responsible for the other way to refer to the sign that rules the first house: rising sign. It marks the beginning of the chart, which then follows a counter-clockwise motion. The descendant line, naturally, represents the western horizon. Midheaven, on the other hand, shows the highest point of the sky visible at the time of your birth.


 


You might've heard someone who's really into astrology talk about their sun, moon, and ascendant or rising sign. The reason for this is that those three make up the primal triad, the most important signs of your entire chart. They give a general sense or summary of who you are but give more insight than if you simply focused on your sun sign. Here's what each of them means.


A way to phrase this would be:

I am a ____(sun sign)_____, with the soul of a ____(moon sign)____, wearing the mask of a ___(rising sign)___.


In each blank, write the archetype you identify with the best from the corresponding sign. The archetypes can be found on the workbook.


 


So, now that you know the basics, let's apply those to a real example.

Let's say your Mercury, the planet connected to communication, is placed in your Seventh House, which is ruled by Aquarius.


1.

As said earlier, the planet answers the question of "what?". What exactly are we examining here? In this case, the function of the mind we will focus on is communication.


2.

Next, we tackle the zodiac sign, which responds to "how?" or "why?". Think of the sign as an adverb, in which way is the action being done? Aquarius is a sign usually rich in freedom, independence, truth and individuality.


3.

Last, we focus on the house in which all of the above takes place. Remember houses dictate the areas of life that present the matter at hand. In our case, we are set in the seventh house, the house of intimate relationships.


We might arrive at the conclusion that perhaps you communicate in a very free and authentic way in your romantic relationships.

It's important to clear up that there's no wrong or right way to interpret a chart, but personal insight can be extremely helpful. So by learning to read natal charts in this post, you will be able to read your own chart better than anyone else ever could.


I would love to go more in-depth about what the rest of the placements mean, but if I did, this post would be eternal. However, you can find keywords for almost all of it in the attached workbook.


 

IMPORTANT Please be careful about who you share your complete chart with. It is believed by some that people can use the information found on your birth chart against you with the intent of harm. This is superstition, but if you feel safer being more discrete about it, like I do, it is completely understandable.



One of the resources that I found recently when researching the topic again to present it to you in the best way possible, was Lavendaire's video. In it, she explains sort of the same things I spoke about here in a very clear way. If you wish to review the course content, I recommend you watch it.


Once having done that and having read and filled the course's workbook, I congratulate you, for you have officially graduated Astrology 101: Introduction to Natal Charts and are ready to go into the real world of astrology. You've been a great student, and I can truly say that you will be missed... until next Friday.


I would love it if you shared your finished birth chart from the printable workbook (or a sneak peek of it if you feel safer that way) on social media by tagging me.


Cheers,


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