Now that you've learned about the Astrological Archetypes existing in nature, our psyche, and the whole human experience, we look to the birth chart to see how those archetypes show up for us as individuals and as a collective throughout time and space.
Your birth chart is a snapshot of the sky at the exact moment you exited the womb. The placement of the celestial objects, points, zodiac signs, and the geometric angles they make to each other serves as a map and guide of your soul's journey. To access a free birth chart, you can visit www.astro.com. Having an exact birth time is necessary while the general city or region is ok.
When studying the birth chart, it's typical to take a geocentric perspective, meaning that the birth chart is viewed as if Earth (You) were the center of the universe and all the planets are moving around us. Its also important to note that we perceive the birth chart from a bird's eye view - as if we were looking down on the birth chart - so the left side of the chart is considered the Eastern hemisphere, the lowest part of the chart is the Northern hemisphere, the Western hemisphere is the right half, and the Southern hemisphere is at the top of the chart.
When you look at the chart, you see a circle divided into 12 slices - usually unequal but that depends on the house system you use (topic for another article) - with the zodiac signs going around the outside of the circle and glyphs (symbols) for the celestial objects placed inside the circle. You may also see lines connecting 2 glyphs - these represent the aspects, which are the conversations being had by the represented planets. For simplicity purposes, we're going to break down the birth chart into 3 parts for this article: the celestial objects and points, houses, and zodiac signs.
Astrology takes into account a wide variety of planets, asteroids, stars, imaginary points in the sky and more. The main ones used are the sun, moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the lunar nodes. These objects represent things about ourselves and the collective, such as our personal belief systems (Jupiter) and values (Venus) and the beliefs and values of a collective or generation. How these "things" show up for us depends on the house and zodiac sign they fall into in our birth chart, as well the aspects (angles) to other planets/points in the chart.
The houses are shown by the 12 divisions made into the chart. Each of the 12 parts represents an area of life, your psyche, or human experience. The first line is considered the one on the Eastern horizon. The zodiac sign that this line falls on, is known as your Rising sign or your Ascendant and it encompasses the First House. The next line starts the 2nd house, and so on until you get to the last 12th house cusp. The line starting the 4th house is called the Imum Coeli (IC) or the Nadir, while the 7th house cusp is the Descendant (DC), and the 10th house cusp is the Midheaven or Medium Coeli (MC).
While there are housing systems that divide the houses into equal parts, many systems don't. Each astrologer has their own housing system preference according to the type of astrology they practice or the type of astrological chart being cast.
The zodiac signs also divide the circle into 12 parts, which don't necessarily align with the houses. There are 30 degrees in each zodiac sign and the signs make up the ecliptic path that the sun follows throughout the year. The planets and moon also stay in close proximity to the ecliptic path, while moving through each zodiac sign at different speeds. When houses and planets occupy a specific zodiac sign, that planet/house exhibits the style of that zodiac sign. For example, the house occupied by Capricorn often shows the part of life where you can have the most challenges, but also learn the greatest lessons and reap the biggest rewards.
Reading the chart requires you to weave together the different parts of the birth chart by blending together the archetypes of each house, planet, and zodiac sign. Further insight comes through the aspects that each planet/point is making to other planets/points. These aspects are conversations between archetypes that expand on the story of your soul. In Part 3 of Astro Virgins we'll dig deeper into aspects and how to understand them.