What is a Natal Chart?
If you look at the words 'natal chart' you could read them another way 'birth
map' - this may help you understand what is being talked about. Basically, the
natal chart is a map of the sky including the positions of the planets for the
time that you were born. Where you are born has an impact on what is seen in the
sky, e.g., if two people were born on the same day and at the same time but in a
different city and country, what is seen overhead would be different. This would
mean that their natal charts showing planetary placements would be different
from each other.
So, the first step in using astrology is to draw a map of the sky for the
moment a person is born, this map includes all the planets, plus a few other
points of interest such as the horizon and the middle of the sky directly over
the birthplace. The time of birth is important for detailed work because it
affects the position of the various parts of the chart, in particular the zodiac
sign on the eastern horizon (this gives the Rising Sign/Ascendant) and position
of the point over the birthplace (this gives the position of the Midheaven).
If the time of birth is unknown it can be worked out through major life
events by an experienced astrologer who specialises in this branch of astrology:
this is known as rectification. To do this you would need to give the
astrologer as many major life events as possible such as: marriage; birth of
children; major moves; divorce; death; new business ventures or jobs; and/or any
other significant changes to your life.
Another way of finding out what time you were born is to contact the hospital
you were born in, in the majority of cases they have this information recorded
on the mother's file. I know this is the case in Australia but I'm not sure
about other countries but it is still worth a try!
Natal Chart Interpretations.
Once the natal chart has been prepared, the positions of the planets in
different zodiac signs (ie, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc) can be 'interpreted'.
This is an area that people interested in astrology usually become a little
skeptical about the validity of astrology because the interpretations can vary
greatly from one astrologer to another. One way to understand these differences
in interpretation is to understand that the planets and other points in the
natal chart are used as symbols: as such, they have quite a broad ability
to represent different qualities depending on the age, sex, marital status,
belief system, etc of the person whose natal chart is being interpreted.
Interpretation is also affected by the particular areas of interest of the
individual astrologer. For example, some of the areas of specialisation include
psychological, past-life, medical, child-based, and the list goes on!
The type of information gained from the natal chart includes understanding
the early home life, relationship with parents and how these affect adult
relationships. There are many others areas that can be looked at in quite a
comprehensive way such as how you are perceived by the people around you,
emotional needs, how you express love and affection, etc.
The information found in the natal chart can also provide an insight into
what talents a person may possess that have not yet been realised or used to
Natal charts offer the benefit of self-understanding which may give a person
a whole new perception of themselves, direction in life and open up
possibilities for new directions in life; both in the physical and psychological
Now that I have explained what a natal chart is, it's time to have a look at
a basic system of forecasting.
One way to understand what type of information forecasting can provide is to
think of weather forecasting: looking at the general conditions in a person's
life at various times - sunny, cloudy, windy, etc. Basically, if you knew it was
going to be raining on a particular day, you probably would organise a picnic
for another time. The same applies to using astrology for everyday life.
There are various ways to prepare a forecast, the simplest being transits.
Another word for transits would be movements - this refers to the movement or
transit of planets. If you think of the natal chart, this is a map of the sky
showing the planetary placements at the time, date and place of birth and does
not change or move. In reality the planets do not stop moving, but continue
their journey around the Sun - these continual movements of the planets are what
are being referred to when an astrologer talks about transits. The transiting
planets are then looked at in relation to the natal chart.
Forecasting can be a valuable aid in understanding and making the most of
opportunities coming your way and also in dealing with some of the difficulties
that life can bring.