What is a birth-chart and…

Article: What is a birth chart and how can it help me understand myself better?

“What is a birth chart and how can it help me understand myself better?” is a general interest question that I answered on Quora. Visit my Q&A Blog for many more questions and answers on astrology and other topics.

This is actually a big question and it’s in two parts.

I’m going to start with the “what is a birth-chart” part.

A birth-chart is a document drawn up from your time (the more accurate the better), date and place of your birth.

Here’s an example of a Western birth-chart for Mozart…

Mozart's birth-chart | 600x96 image

This chart includes the 12 zodiac signs that run anti-clockwise.

Mozart image1 the signs

It includes 10 planets (astrologers may use more components than the 10 planets – such as asteroids and nodes). By the way the Sun, Moon and Pluto are all treated as planets in astrology.

Mozart image_2 the planets

It includes 12 houses that run anti-clockwise off the ascending point. These are like a mundane zodiac. Think of it like your life split into 12 departments.

Mozart image_3 the houses

And finally we have the aspects, or the angular relationship between the planets and/or components of your chart.

Mozart image_4 the aspects

As you can probably anticipate, the resulting birth-chart provides you with a lot of information in symbolical form. It requires time, effort, study and skill to learn to read it. That is why it is important to get support to find your way around it.


So to your question: “How can it help me understand myself better?

Well I saw a video recently claiming that you could learn to read a birth-chart in a few minutes.

According to the reviews of this video, people seem very impressed with what this person was teaching them. Anyone who takes people beyond star sign astrology can only be helping in my opinion. But…

That said, I’m still making discoveries in my birth-chart many years on, so I have reservations about anyone proposing you can learn to read a chart in a few minutes. You might get to a general level of understanding of yourself (as similarly can be found through the Myers-Briggs type indicator – with its 16 types perspective) but if you want to really get to know yourself, and why you are here; that takes longer. But it is also an odyssey worth all the effort. No system of finding your Self can really be done overnight.

If you want to start somewhere (as every adventure does), you’ll get a useful building block overview of yourself by looking into your Sun sign, your Moon sign, Ascending sign and your Midheaven point.*

Your birth-chart represents your potential

What your birth-chart offers you is a representation of the Time situation you were born into. This situation is symbolical, meaningful and dynamic – it is the beginning point.
It represents your energy potential. This is how you can really get to know yourself – by studying your potential.

By the time we are mature enough to look out on the world, and place ourselves within it, we have already had our minds filled with experience by our family, our friends, our education, our religion, our environment – all experience we have, for the most part, unconsciously attracted (linking back to the beginning point) and contributes to who we have come to believe we are – whether fulfilled or unfulfilled.

This is the magic…

Your birth-chart allows you to go back to where it all started. From knowing your birth-chart, you can learn about your strengths and challenges better (in my opinion) than any modern psychological model can provide. You can learn to make different choices about your life, learn to work with and change your behaviour. You can gain insight into where your journey might be leading – giving your life purpose.

You’re the conductor of your orchestra (represented by your chart). What you have to learn is how to get to play the best tunes you are capable of playing. How to get the best out of your Time situation.

* You might look into a course I offer, go to Beyond Your Star Sign to find out more on this.

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