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Want to learn more about how to do astrology? You've come to the right place!

How to Read a Natal Chart

Ashley Thiessen

If you are curious about astrology and interested in learning how to do what astrologers do, this is a great place to start. In fact, this is the place to start. You can study the signs and memorize all the character traits of each different one, but if you really want to know just how in-depth personal astrology readings go, you first have to get a copy of your Natal Chart.

What is a Natal Chart? Also called a Birth Chart, it is a snap-shot of where celestial objects were the minute you were born. This is the diagram that professional astrologers look at when they give you a reading. If you are already familiar with what your Sun sign is, great! But what you might not know is that you also have a Moon sign, a Mercury sign, a Venus sign, a Mars sign, and so on, with each of those planets representing a different piece of your personality. Your Natal Chart is a picture that shows you where ALL those planets were in at the moment you were born. And if you are going to be practicing astrology, you are going to need one!

Getting one is free, simple, and very quickly done. First, you find a Natal Chart calculator online. Then, you plug in the following information:

  1. Date of Birth (month, day, year)
  2. Place of Birth (city, country)
  3. And whenever possible, an accurate Time of Birth, which may be on your Birth Certificate if your parents do not remember

The computer program will instantly calculate the planetary positions and spit out a copy of your Natal Chart. But which calculator should you choose? Google can take you to tons of different sites which offer this service. My favourite (which I put in my previous blog post) by far is, and that is the one I am going to be showing you how to use today. (I will note once more that this is not a sponsored post. I honestly feel that this is a wonderful website and I recommend it to everybody.)

Step 1: 

Go ahead and click on that link, and make an account. If you plan on getting seriously into astrology at all you will be using this site a lot, trust me. 

Step 2: is the best place to get a Natal Chart drawn up, so start there.

From the Home Page, select My Astro on the far right-hand side of the toolbar. This will take you to your archives of all the saved data you have on your account. 

Step 3: 

You can save tons of different charts on your account, which is one of the reasons I love this site.

Select the person whose chart you want to do. If it is a new person, select "Add new Astro data" and plug in their info real quick.

Step 4:

Astrodiest gives you access to hundreds of different charts drawings and styles, so as you learn more you can play around and find what best suits you.

You will be taken to a chart selection page. Scroll down and under the bottom right colum, under "Horoscope Chart Drawings", select "Extended Chart Selection".

Step 5:

I use Chiron and Ceres and I will be teaching you what they mean, along with all the other planets, later on in this series.

Now we are just going to do some basic set-up. Don't worry if you don't know what this means yet; later in this course it will all make sense. Make sure under "House System" you have selected "Placidus". And then, under "Additional objects" select both "Chiron" and "Ceres". Then hit the blue button at the bottom that says "Click here to show the chart".

Step 6:

And this is what a Natal Chart finally looks like!

And now you have a copy of your Natal Chart! Hit that button at the top that says "Save default setting"; this will save the setting you made on the previous page so you always have that house system and those two additional asteroids shown on all the charts you do from now on. See on Step 4 how right above "Extended Chart Settings" you have one that says "Chart drawing, Ascendent"? You can go ahead and just click on that one every time you want to look at your chart from now on. Step 5 was just to adjust the settings on your account.

You can save this image onto your computer. And I would suggest printing off a copy if you can too. In Part II, we will go through this complicated-looking diagram and I will show you what all of these letters and lines and symbols actually mean. Turns out, while it takes some memorizing, it is actually much simpler than you might think. 

Now, if you print off a hard copy, you can watch the video below and follow along, labeling what each symbol on the chart stands for. This will make it super easy for you to carry on throughout the rest of this series, as you can keep this diagram handy and refer back to it as you learn more along the way.