The Art Of The Birth Chart

Astrology is “the divination of the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs and terrestrial events by their positions and aspects,” as defined by Merriam Webster.

But what does that really mean? Many people know their sun sign -- which is determined by what month of the year you were born -- and that’s as far as it goes. Astrology is a lot less face-value than that though; each person has 11 different signs that make up their birth chart. Your chart is determined by the month, day, year, place and specific time you were born. It’s essentially a snapshot of the stars from the day you were born. 

A birth chart contains the following components: Sun, Moon, Ascendant (or rising), Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Mars. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all that coming at you at once, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick guide to each sign and how to figure yours out. 


Your sun sign is the core of your personality. It’s basically a general picture of who you are, and what makes you an individual. It provides an overview of what the stars say about you -- which is probably why it’s the most widely known. It’s determined by the month you were born.


Your moon sign is based on where the moon was in the sky when you were born. This sign may feel more in line with how you see yourself than your sun sign since it’s all about emotion. It can tell you how you -- or a partner -- might act in a relationship. You can find out your moon sign here.


This sign, which is often referred to as “rising,” is essentially the mask you wear. People are complicated, and you inside your own head isn’t the same as how others perceive you. That’s where your rising sign comes in; it shows how you present yourself. To find out your rising, you have to know the specific time and place you were born. Here’s a good rising calculator.


This is where things start getting unfamiliar for most. Your Pluto represents your inner power-struggle. It’s associated with big changes and transformations and how you react to these. 


This is the most whimsical of the signs-- controlling imagination, dreams, creativity and fantasies. Neptune has a long way to orbit since it’s the outermost planet in our Solar System, so it will stay in one sign for about 15 years. Because of this, whole generations have the same Neptune sing.


Uranus is the punk rocker of the zodiac. It’s all about individuality. According to Astrology42, “Uranus’s energy is usually described as suddenness, revolution, change, shock, and disruption to everyday life.” It determines how you react to patterns and break up your everyday routines. 


Your Jupiter sign deals with generosity and how you deal with concepts like spirituality. It can determine how giving and warm a person is. It’s also known as the luck sign. Jupiter takes 12 years to finish its orbit, so it spends about a year in each sign; so, your Jupiter is determined by the year you were born. 


Oh, the dreaded Mercury. Your Mercury sign represents communication and the way you think. It determines how you interact with and understand others. That’s why when Mercury is in retrograde-- that is, appearing to spin backward-- it can lead to big miscommunications. 


Saturn is sometimes nicknamed “Father Karma,” which makes sense when you think about what your Saturn sign says about you. It shows you the lessons you most need to learn, which are often the hardest. Your sign in Saturn determines how you deal with discipline and leadership


If you love love, you’re going to love Venus -- that’s what she’s all about! Your Venus sign determines your love language. What do you love, and how do you show that? Understanding your Venus sign can make answering that question a little easier. 


Last but not least, we have Mars. Your Mars sign is passionate. It represents anger -- how you respond to others’ and how you show your own, but it also deals with sexual energy. It generally deals with how you assert yourself.Understanding your birth chart can help you answer some questions about yourself that you may be struggling with. It can help you recognize the good things in you but also see your weaknesses. It can be a helpful tool for self-reflection or just a fun thing to figure out with your friends.

And that covers it! Are you an expert in the art of the zodiac yet? You could go through and figure out your sign for each planet individually, or you could just use a natal chart calculator. Some good ones can be found on Cafe Astrology, Sanctuary, or Co-star. Happy horoscopes! 


Edited by Katie Carnefix