What is a birth chart or natal chart?
When working with astrology, the birth chart, which is also known as a natal chart is a way to see the positions of planets and other aspects as well as astrological houses in the way they are at the time of your birth.
What’s the difference between a natal chart and a horoscope?
When I write a horoscope- bear in mind, this feasibly encompasses something like 7 billion people on the planet. While each astrologer who writes horoscopes has their own tool belt: most base this on more general positions of planetary aspects, mostly: the Sun. This is why when you pick up a newspaper or view a basic “Sun Sign” horoscope, you may find it a little vague.
The best way to get the most accurate horoscope will be to have your natal chart drawn up or utilize a service that crafts custom horoscopes based on your chart. This is because your birth chart is going to include all sorts of information that the Sun sign alone just can’t. This isn’t to say a Sun sign horoscope isn’t helpful, but, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
What can we find in a natal chart?
When we look at a full natal chart, you’re looking into different planetary positions and their relationships to one another. This provides a deeper look into our strengths and weaknesses, but also, the potential challenges and aspects we may face based on those influences.
Do you really need my accurate time and place of birth to make a chart?
Yeah, pretty much. Each house in the zodiac moves a degree about every 4 minutes. Because of this, without an accurate time of birth- you’re really not getting the best and most accurate chart you could be. There is a method to correct this, called rectification: but it can be really time and effort intensive. It’s also not 100% foolproof.
Of course, there are methods using astrology which don’t require time and place of birth. There are things that can be looked at: but, you need to be very careful you are dealing with an honest astrologer on this front. If you have ever wondered the potential differences, let me illustrate a solar chart vs. a natal chart with correct birth time.
Now, to go into this, I am going to continue using the amazing free tools at www.astro.com and you are definitely encouraged to check them out as well. I mentioned before why I feel potential clients and otherwise need to have access to these sorts of things. I’m going to continue exploring that way so you can see how useful it may be to you if you need something for free.
Not too long ago, I had occasion to pull up someone’s chart. This is something I’ll further explore as we go along: but, our subject’s birthday is April 16, 1991. He was born at 4:07 AM, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For context, this was a professional inquiry, not a personal one, though I’ll take you through the basics of his love life information purely for display purposes. However…first:
Let’s take a look at what the differences are and why they matter. First off, I think looking at the side by sides- you can easily see that solar chart’s just a wee bit off, right?
But if you don’t know astrology, what’s off?
Well, in the natal chart, we see: He is an Aries. His rising sign is Aquarius. Moon is in Taurus. Surely at this very basic juncture- oh, oh, nope. In the solar chart: He is an Aries, still, sure. Sun sign, remember. Moon sign’s still Taurus. However- his rising is now Sagittarius.
Ask an Aquarius if they are anything like a Sagittarius and vice versa, would you? Because no, no they really aren’t.
What’s that rising sign mean, anyway? Does it matter?
The rising sign, also known as the ascendant and frequently abbreviated ASC is the Zodiac sign that is rising on the Eastern horizon when you are born.
This aspect is one of 3 that collectively come together to describe you. The Sun is the sort of core attributes that tend to remain constant- kind of the basic personality, the Moon is the emotions and the guts of you: basically, the you that those close to you may see, and then, the Rising? That’s your public face. More than that? The rest of your chart tends to hinge on this positioning.
In short: Yeah. It matters. A lot.
Want to know how much? Look at these two signs:
First- the incorrect one: Sagittarius
Quite a capable leader, a Sagittarius rising male leads with authority and commanding presence- he doesn’t have time for your shit and tends to make no bones about that. With his innovative mind, he’ll have ideas that blow the doors off of everyone else. However, he is more likely to put the “greater good” above the individual and can often be a bit insensitive.
But, his Rising makes him Aquarius Male, so professionally:
As an Aquarius rising, he can be very adaptable and an excellent leader. He’s usually intelligent and logical, but also highly compassionate and sensitive. He has a natural charisma that makes him magnetic and influential. Though he also doesn’t have time for your shit, he’s nicer about conveying that. He is likely to be able to find a way that puts the “greater good” in with the individual in a sort of symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone.
Do I even need to go into the differences of these two in love? I thought not. Let’s move on.
What are the differences in these two charts if I am looking at career?
Oh, big differences. First off, whenever I look into someone I’ll be working with. Now, I’m a Pluto heavy Capricorn with Libra rising: so, if I see potential, I can adapt to almost any personality. What I cannot stand, however, is a Know It All.
If he was a Sagittarius rising, he would be. Now, he’d probably be right more often than not: but, for me, adapting to that means choking back a lot. Aquarius rising? Not so much. So, in this case: that rising sign difference is an asset.
So, where do I look if I am checking this guy out professionally? First, I’m going to look at the 10th house.
Oh, bummer deal, 10th house is empty in that solar chart. It is in the natal chart, too. Does this mean he’s got no career prospects? No. Actually, it doesn’t mean much of anything- but that’s another topic. So, we move on, what’s next? Well, being as this is a sort of partnership, I may peek at his 7th house. This is also the house most commonly used to look at marriage, but, partnerships, contracts and the like can also be looked at here.
And here’s where we get into a huge difference in the solar chart vs the natal because, in his solar chart, he’s got Venus in the 7th- actually kind of on the cusp of the 6th and 7th.
Now, whether looking at him personally or professionally: I’d be pretty happy to see this. Except…that’s not what’s actually going on here. In his case, the truth is both better and worse.
You see, he’s actually got Jupiter on that 6th and 7th cusp. And it’s in Leo. Be still my beating heart- purely from a practical, Capricorn perspective, of course. Professionally speaking, this is great. (Personally, on the other hand vastly depends on what kind of relationship you’re looking for with him.)
As long as he stays interested in a project and sees the value in it: he’s great. He’s charismatic and balanced, very capable of juggling a number of projects at once. He cares a great deal about fairness and he wants to find compromises so that everybody wins. More than that, when he becomes convinced of something: he’s extremely adept at getting others to go along for the ride.
Because Jupiter is in Leo: for him, his life works very much on reciprocity. That doesn’t mean he knows it, but, the more giving he is- the more he gets. As long as he remains on the positive side of this, he’s pretty unstoppable. Where he may find a hitch in that giddyup is that getting too cocky and full of himself will shoot him in the foot every time. Instead, if he allows his own inner child to run free, create, and share: he can create a really amazing positive feedback loop.
What about destiny?
Looking at karma and other things like that in a natal chart goes well beyond what I am showing here- remember, this is just an example. This holds true of any of these sections, but none more so than this one. Brevity’s never been my strong suit and I’m trying to keep myself succinct here.
I’ve got a wild fascination with the 12th house: the house of hidden things. Often, we will find out a little bit about someone’s destiny by this house, too. So, his solar chart shows Pluto in the 12th. Which, for me, would be incredibly appealing because I also have Pluto in the 12th. Sort of sprechen die gleiche seltsame Sprache- we’d speak different dialects of the same weird language. Problem is, this isn’t true.
He actually has two planets in that 12th house and neither one is Pluto. Matter of fact, what he’s got there in the 12th? Uranus and Neptune. Extremely different from Pluto. Howso?
Pluto: Lord of the Dead, explosive change, falsehoods dropped or ripped away sometimes rather violently. Powers of destruction and creation.
Uranus: eeeh, similar, but not quite. Lord of the Heavens, agent of enlightenment, progressive change. Powers of willfulness and originality.
Neptune: Lord of the Sea, agent of illusion, intuition. Powers of subtlety and inspiration.
Neptune is liar liar pants on fire, whereas Pluto’s more inclined to rip your pants right off. Uranus, same sort of thing. Put Uranus and Neptune together and well, you’ve got someone who can probably convince you to take the pants off entirely.
Being as we are talking about destiny- someone with Uranus and Neptune in that 12th house would make me think maybe he was like a revolutionary in a former life, which now carries over into this one- ever adaptable, thinks on his feet, and though he deeply desires stability, he may not wholly believe it’s even a real thing. Neptune? Maybe he was a French revolutionary with a bit of a morphine problem in a former life- but only because his poetic soul was so tormented. In this life? That’d make him exceptionally gifted spiritually, though he may not be aware, yet- but it’d also mean for him: his idealism may lead to a lot of hurt. Prone to putting people up on pedestals combined with dreams of that One Perfect Partner: he might find the reality of some people bothersome to say the least.
Okay, I totally made up the potential past lives on the fly, but the attributes are fitting.
If I were looking at this guy from his solar chart- that is, without the time of birth: I’d be looking at an almost entirely different person. What do I find in his natal chart? Well, his natal chart describes someone who is actually fairly deep, somewhat possessive, charismatic and who carries a deep idealism that enables him to be a creative innovator. He’s intelligent and diplomatic, someone who can really help a team run smoothly.
Not a bad way to start- but, can we work well together? Well, that’s where we get into a synastry report.