Wherever your opinion on star signs, you have to admit they’re spookily accurate sometimes. Like, “What, I’m going to be crap with managing my money this month?! That is SO me!” Or, “I’m going to have some emotional mood swings this month because Mercury is in retrograde? How does it know!?” Never mind the fact that that’s me, all of the time.
Jokes aside, horoscopes are fun and harmless. Sometimes they’re accurate, sometimes less so. But it turns out, your monthly horoscope based on your star sign are just a very small aspect of astrology. You may have noticed the little blurb at the end of your zodiac that go into things like planets, rising signs, houses and asteroids and skimmed past it, because you didn’t know WTF it all means. These correspond with your natal chart and it turns out, they can give you a much deeper look into your psyche than just your star sign alone.
Your natal chart, also known as your birth chart, takes into account the celestial formations that were in place at the exact time of your birth. There are a couple of different elements that come into it:
Your sun sign: Determined by which zodiac constellation is behind the sun on the date of your birth. This corresponds with what we traditionally think of as star signs.
Your moon sign: Determined by which zodiac constellation the moon was in at your exact time of birth. This tends to give you a deeper insight into your emotional nature, inner self and your subconscious thoughts.
The houses: The house system segments the sky into 12 ‘houses’, which all represent different things. Your first house is determined by which zodiac constellation was rising on the eastern horizon at the exact moment you were born (which is why you need the exact time and location of your birth) and the rest of the houses count up sequentially from there. You can check out what the different houses represent below, but your first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses are thought to be the most important.
The rising sign: Also known as the ‘ascendant’, your rising sign is the zodiac constellation that falls into your first house. To get an accurate reading of your rising sign, you need to know the time you were born down to the minute. This is said to give you a strong insight into things that affect your outward or public identity (ie. your fashion or beauty style) as well as how you react in certain situations.
The planets: This has to do with where the planet were at the exact time you were born. It’s broken down into the more important inner planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars) which give insight into your core personality traits and desires, the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) which represent power, dreams and change and the social planets (Jupiter and Saturn) which rule how you relate to society.
How do you determine your natal chart?
As you can see, it’s all quite complex. You could sit there and figure out all the different elements of your natal chart, but it’s much quicker and easier to plug your date, time and location of birth into a website like Cafe Astrology or Astrology.com. I did and it gave me some really fascinating insights into what makes me tick. For example, while I identified with many of the personality traits of my star sign, Aquarius, I never really gelled with its emotional aspects. However, upon learning I was a Piscean moon sign, everything made so much more sense and the description was freakishly accurate. Give it a go!