Components of a Birth Chart

Components of a Birth Chart
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk:

Planets, Signs & Houses

Psychologically, the planets represent functions in the psyche like the will to assert oneself (Mars) or the desire to have emotional needs fulfilled (moon). Think about it like this, every planet has a job or role. The signs are energy signatures that describe how these planets prefer to go about whatever their job duty is. Will they try to assert themself in a way that is constantly aware of how they make others feel (lookin’ at you libra)? Do they have an emotional need to feel in control of their lives and situations (we ain’t mad at ya Scorpio) or to preserve their security (hey there, Taurus)? Sidenote: these are vague generalizations given as examples to help you understand, so please don’t take them too seriously!

Meanwhile, ‘the houses’ in a chart tell us where this particular planetary energy is likely to play out. The houses are calculated based on the specific time of your birth. Basically, the sky is divided into parts. On any given day, when someone is born the planets are in a particular part of the sky. These parts were given meanings thousands of years ago based on the planet's visibility in those specific parts. Were the planets easy to see or damn near invisible? (We can discuss more on how the houses got their meanings in another post.) You can see the houses on the innermost ring of the chart depicted by the numbers 1-12. (Refer to the last post, if you are lost.)

So looking at the houses and what planets are contained within them, may give us a clue as to why you have a pattern of meeting certain situations in your work life, home life, relationships with partners or friends, etc. 

The 12 energy signatures

The most important thing to know when you begin learning astrology (and as you can see from the picture in the previous post) is that we all have each of the 12 zodiac signs somewhere in our chart. Think of these signs as energy signatures. We have all 12 energy signatures somewhere within us, but where the planets fall in our chart will describe which energy signatures resonate with us the most deeply and the ones that we are here to embody the most. Every zodiac sign has light and shadow potentials (so stop giving Geminis and Scorpios such a hard time!) We can choose to deny or resist our main energy signatures. When we resist them, we may force them to operate on an unconscious level in our psyche, we seem to meet them in other people through projection, or we meet them through external events in our life. I believe by choosing to embody these signatures and engage with them on a conscious level, we can truly step into our personal power. This can help us feel more fulfilled on a soul level.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

What can my birth chart tell me?

"The higher purpose of astrology is not to try to change one's destiny, but to fulfill it through growing in awareness" -Stephen Arroyo

So what does it mean to have these celestial bodies placed in specific signs and houses when we were born? The birth chart can tell us aspects of our personality, our environment, lessons we are here to learn, types of events we may encounter, repeating themes and patterns in our life, and energetic resources we have to respond to life's many challenges. It is a chart of possibilities and potentials, not certainties. It can show what areas of life might be bigger focuses for us, the habits and instinctual patterns we fall back on, and the people and situations we may attract.