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Astrology 101: First Steps to Read your Birth Chart

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, astrology means “the study of the movements and positions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars in the belief that they affect the character and lives of people”. Although it’s right, it’s too superficial for the real meaning of astrology. “People usually think that to read your birth chart you need to know all the planets and the zodiac signs that they’re related. But it’s not simple as that, there’s a lot behind it”, tells Mayara Maciel, a self-learner in astrology. In Brazil, it’s hard to be a formed astrologer. You need to do a specific course or learn by yourself and have a test at an association later.

But let’s go to what matters: how to read your astrological chart. First of all, yes, you’ll need to know the planets and their meanings. Mayara explains to us: the planet tell us what, the sign tells us how, and the house tell us where/on what.

Sun: Is your ego, what you can do best, it’s “me” in the most basic way. It tells how you understand your power and your identity, showing how you act.

Moon: It’s your emotional. For some, is considered your weakness, as it tells about your emotional side, fragilities, humor, etc. It shows how you react emotionally to situations in your life.

Mercury: It’s the opposite of the moon, so it’s our rationality, our mind, our communication, our argumentation and even our intelligence!  It reveals the way you express yourself.

Venus: It represents the beauty and love. It shows how you deal with love and what you value the most in people and in things in general. It represents your feminine side.

Mars: It represents your masculine side. It tells you about your capacity of action, where do you enforce yourself. It shows mostly your relation with situations that require effort and strength. 

Those are called “personal planets”, as they show things about yourself only. The next ones are called “social planets”, as they show you how you handle questions in general, how you live in society and how you deal with it.

Jupiter: It shows your opportunity, personal growth and life goals. This planet will show you how you’ll seek for a meaning in your existence. Faith, philosophy and your view of justice are also shown by this.

Saturn: It shows your insecurity and moralities. Also, how you pretend to stand-out, the rules that conduct your life and the choices you may do. Saturn tells you about responsibility in questions that aren’t personal.  

Now there’s the “transcendent planets”. As the personal ones talks about our personal life and social ones about our actions in society, the transcendent planets, as the name says, tell us about things beyond life, beyond our minds and rationality. According to Mayara, the traditional astrology doesn’t recognise those planets as transcendent ones.


Uranus: For the modern astrology, talks about your originality, your inventions. It shows you your will for the unknown and also where resides your contradictions and mental confusions.

Neptune: Tells you about illusions, dreams, mystic things, the way you create a social mask to hide something that ain’t real. Normally, where Neptune stand on your birth chart shows you what you should see with more clarity. 

Pluto: It shows you how you deal with questions related to death and rebirth. Pluto represents a power bigger than you and tells you how you’ll deal with it when you find it out. It’s related to cycles of life, changes, fears, etc.

As told before, signs tell you how, planets tell you what and houses represent areas in life, which means “where” or “on what”. There’s 12 houses, and they work as a clock. It’s important to know that not always everything will be perfect. It’s possible that sometimes there’s no sign or planet in one house, or that there’s more than one, or even that there’s a sign/planet in between of two houses! Those things can happen and can be professionally interpreted by an astrologer.

1st house: It represents you. The first impression you cause, the self and appearance, leadership, the way you act and feel.

2nd house: Income, money, self-esteem. It will show you, according to the sign and planet that’s on it, how money will come to your life and how will you deal with it. This house also covers you immediate material environment.

3rd house: Rules your communication and also covers siblings, and your family in general. If you have a sister for example, is most likely that there’s a “female” planet or a “female” sign in this house. If you have a brother, the opposite. If you have more than one sibling, signs such as gemini and sagittarius (which represent plurality) may be in this house. If you don’t have a brother or sister and there’s a planet in it, it may represent someone in your family who’s close to you.

4th house: Represents the “foundation” of all things, including your house, privacy, your parents (particularly your mother), children, etc. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have your mother’s or father’s sign in this house, but the sign that represent the most the relationship between you two.

5th house: Creativity, self-expression, drama, color, attention, fun and play are some things that this house tells you about.

6th house: It represents health and service. Your organization, schedules, routines, diet, exercise, how you like to work… Also, depending on which sign you have on it, this house can represent some kind of disease you have or had when you were young! That happens because each sign represents one part of your body, so, if you had some really bad headaches when you were little, is most likely that aries is on this house, as this sign represents your head.

7th house: Represents your relationships. This includes not only romantic ones, but business too. Also, it represents contracts, marriage and business deals. But hang on! This doesn’t mean that you’ll marry someone from the sign that’s in this house! This means that you’re attracted to people with some personal attributes from that sign.

8th house: This house is a little “deeper” and “darker” than the others. It represent changes, death, mysteries and all. Depending on which sign and planet you have on it, it can mean that you’ll face some changes on your love life, in your family, etc etc etc.

9th house: This house covers your university, studies in general and big travels. It can show you what’s best for you on those areas.

10th house: The 10th house is your “career path” house. It governs structures, fame, achievements and awards. It’s one of the most important houses! If you can interpret it correctly, you can have an awesome view of your future, as it shows what kind of professional stuff you love and which career you’ll get along (it’s important to know that this house is related to the 6th). But as the 7th house, this one shows you what you’re most likely to enjoy, not what career you need to follow.

11th house: This one represents your friendships, groups, society and humanitarian causes. It rules how you deal with your intellectuality as well.

12th house: The last house, such as the 8th is a little more “mysterious”. It represents your spirituality, in other words, how you deal better with yourself (if it’s best for you to meditate, to have sometime to yourself, to speak to others, etc).

Astrology in fact is more complicated than it seems. There’s a lot behind a birth chart – as there’s a lot behind everyone. Everyone is unique, with its own histories, challenges and battles. However, it’s nice to know more about yourself and here’s the basics for you to achieve that. We need to remind that we’re our best friends and knowing ourselves better can help us a lot to get things right and love ourselves more.

Consulting an astrologer is still the best thing to do if you want to learn everything you can, but we hope that from here you can have your first steps to this amazing world called astrology.




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Andressa Isfer

Casper Libero '18

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