Natal chart interpretation
The following definitions must always be kept in mind when interpreting the natal chart:
The elements in the chart indicate the types of energies with which we are more or less in synchrony.
The planets in the chart indicate the kind of experience
The zodiac signs in the chart indicate the quality of the experience
The astrological houses in the chart indicate the sectors of experience where planet and sign energies interact
The astrological aspects in the chart reveal how the various dimensions of experience are integrated in the individual
Natal chart interpretation - The disposition of Planets in the natal chart
The first step in interpreting the natal chart is knowing how to observe the overall chart, analysing its shape, sectors and zodiac signs that take up most space and the balances or unbalances that exist between the main astrological variables.
The disposition of planets in the astrological houses and zodiac signs immediately indicate which are the most important sectors in the life of that person and what types of experiences will be most significant in their lives. A birth chart where the astrological houses with the most planets are those found over the horizon, thus from the seventh astrological house on, is indicative of a person that feels like he belongs and thus needs to participate in society and make a living in a socially recognised role. How this goal is achieved, meaning the type of experiences that will be met, are indicated by the zodiac signs where the planets are found. When, instead, the astrological houses under the horizon are more populated, thus from the first to the sixth house, the search for personal identity is the heart and engine that drives the individual to face the experiences that come up in life.
To interpret a birth chart it is essential to focus your attention on your personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) and the Ascendant, and then on any other factor that changes or characterises them. The external planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) only and exclusively influence the individual through the relationship established with personal planets and through the astrological houses they occupy.
The more planets there are in one house, the more important that field of experience is in the person's life. A group of at least 3 planets in the same zodiac sign, or in the same astrological house, is called stellium and should be considered as a tight-knit family. The planets are reciprocally influenced and when one of them is touched by any transit, all the others are affected. Stellium planets acts like a whole and significantly strengthen the zodiac sign and astrological house where they are found.
Isolated planets in the birth chart, those that are not in aspect with any other planet, are of fundamental importance since, not integrated with the rest of the birth chart, isolated planets act autonomously, unrelated and coercively, expressing their energy without any consideration for the other aspects.
Interpretation of the birth chart - Analysis of the chart elements
After initially analysing the birth chart, the next step in interpreting the birth chart is to determine which are the person's basic energies, the ones with which he is most in synchrony. The elements in the birth chart provide us with a first and essential indication on the person's personality. It is a sort of atmosphere that we perceive like when we walk into an acquaintance's home for the first time.
If, for example, we are faced with a birth chart dominated by Fire and lacking Water, we can immediately state that the person is an extrovert, trusting, enthusiastic, dynamic, impulsive, idealist, etc, and can add that he is not really in touch with his emotions and feelings, does not show empathy, is too busy "acting" than "feeling". Differently, a strong predominance of Earth and lacking Air indicates that the person we are analysing is practical, realistic, concrete and reliable, but not very objective, elastic or flexible. A chart that shows a balance between the elements indicates that the four energies live in harmony in that person.
To correctly interpret the birth chart, however, never lose the overall view of the chart. In fact, an individual can be in synchrony with all the four energies but the planet analysis is so conflicting that he cannot express them harmoniously. The way the elements work in a personality, thus either cardinal, fixed or mobile, gives us other important indications: a predominance of the fixed way and a lack in the mobile one is obviously indicative of stubbornness, determination and constancy but also poor versatility, adaptability and the ability to compromise.
Interpreting the birth chart - Ascendant and personal Planets in the Zodiac signs and Astrological houses
The next step in interpreting the birth chart is the analysis of the personal planets and the Ascendant, in the zodiac signs, astrological houses and their astrological aspects. In general, we start by analysing the Ascendant along with the luminaries, the Sun and Moon. However, it is easier for the person analysing his own chart to identify himself, rather than in the Sun, in the Moon and Ascendant, which are instinctive and natural expressions of personality, while identifying with the Sun is more complex since the Sun represents the self, the entire natal chart, it is the project that the person is called to complete and thus it is easier to understand only after analysing the personal planets and thus collected a higher number of indications and helpful information.
In brief, the planet is the particular psychological dimension (for example Mars for aggression) in the person being analysed. The zodiac sign where it falls indicates the type of energy-substance this dimension is made of (i.e.: Mars in an air sign = air aggression = verbal), and the astrological house indicates the sector where this planet is more involved (for example, house 6 = work). Following are some examples that help us to interpret planets in the zodiac signs and astrological houses starting from the Ascendant.
The ascendant is the coat we wear, the way we present ourselves, thus if we have an Ascendant in Cancer, regardless of the position of the Sun, we behave more like a Cancer, thus considerate and friendly, but not very communicative. Instinctively we protect ourselves and it will be our sensitivity and our empathy that lets us come into contact with the surrounding environment. If, on the contrary, the Ascendant is in Gemini, we present ourselves to the world as extroverts, socialites, brilliant, fun and have no difficulty communicating and coming into contact with others.
The zodiac sign that holds the Moon tells us what types of experiences give us inner peace and tranquillity, that nourish our emotional security needs, and how we instinctively react to these events. Thus if, for example, our Moon is in Aries, our reaction is more spontaneous and impulsive, direct, that does not consider the consequences of our actions. Furthermore, the "things" that make us feel good about ourselves deal with new experiences, able to stimulate our need of self- affirmation. If, instead, our Moon is in Virgo, we react extremely pragmatically to events, trying to understand and analyse every detail of the situation before acting. We feel good if we feel useful and can orderly and precisely plan our everyday lives. The astrological house that holds our Moon is the sector where we tend to look for inner security, to meet our need for inner balance, this means we experience events in that sector with poor objectivity and rational because we are highly conditioned by our emotions.
The zodiac sign where Mercury is found tells us which experiences stimulate our curiosity, our ability to learn and our need to come into contact with our surroundings to exchange and receive information, as well as the type of intelligence we have. Thus if our Mercury is in Taurus, our mental abilities are especially influences and stimulated by practical considerations. Our intelligence is "ruminant" meaning we tend to learn slowly, holding and storing information to later put them into practice. If our Mercury is in Aquarius, ideals and social considerations stimulate our minds. Our intelligence is abstract and experimental, an objective mind open to the new and unusual. The astrological house that holds our Mercury is the sector where we are most mentally stimulated. This means that, regarding the typical experiences in that sector, our mind is more active, more open to gather and transmit information.
The zodiac sign that holds Venus tells us which experiences have emotional value for us, the experiences that give us pleasure, that meet our need to be loved and appreciated. It also tells us how we experience love and how we want to be loved. It also indicates how women spontaneously express their femininity. In men, it indicates the women that physically attract them. If our Venus is in Gemini, we need to express our feelings through words. Communication is essential for us to be intimate with others. Female Gemini femininity is mental, not highly sensual, intellectual and social. If, however, our Venus is in Pisces, we feel the need for magical atmospheres, emotional involvement and deep fusion with others. The Pisces femininity is romantic, sensual, exciting and fleeting. The astrological house that holds Venus is the sector where we look for gratification and satisfaction and the experiences tied to this field have high emotional value for us.
The zodiac sign that holds Mars tells us what experiences stimulate courage, initiative, strength and aggression in us as well as how we act to satisfy our desires. In a man it also indicates how he expresses his sexuality and, in women, the type of man she is physically attracted to. When, for example, our Mars is in Cancer, we act indirectly, trying to avoid conflicts and with highly defensive attitudes. Our aggression is especially stimulated by the need to protect those we love. With Mars in this sign, a man can only freely express his sexuality if he feels loved and protected. A woman is attracted by the image of a man tied to the feminine values of Cancer, thus a protective, sensitive, sweet and considerate man. When our Mars is in Aries, we act directly and frankly. We lower our heads to face obstacles with strength and courage. Our aggression is stimulated by the need to compete and compare ourselves with others. Men especially love the "chase" and thus best express their sexuality during the courting stage, when the challenge, desire and passion are high. Women like the type of men who have Aries features thus adventurous, courageous, daring and passionate. The astrological house that holds Mars is the sector where we are most highly stimulated to take initiative, where we are most competitive and most energetic. The experiences tied to this sector stimulate our aggression and our need for self-affirmation.
The ascendant in the chart indicates where we come into contact with our surroundings and express ourselves. When a planet is conjunct to the ascendant, it becomes our expression channel and indicates how we try to have our presence felt by others. If, for example, Uranus is conjunct to our Ascendant, our individuality, the anti-conventional and unforeseeable way we react to situations, is the most striking. If, instead, Jupiter is conjunct to our Ascendant, we instil trust, optimism, hope and our nature is expansive and highly idealist. Venus conjunct to the Ascendant gives us charm, taste, pleasure in fashion and behaviour and a sweet and social temperament.
Interpreting the birth chart - External planets in the Houses and in aspect with personal Planets
Jupiter in an astrological house or in astrological aspect to a personal planet indicates that we are highly confident and optimists in that field and in that dimension of experience. Those experiences that help us to expand our knowledge and make our existence more significant. If Jupiter is in aspect with our Mercury, it means that are minds are open to everything that surrounds us. Our mind is stimulated by the need to give meaning to things. It loves to investigate many fields, expand and put together information from the outside. Our way of thinking and communicating is optimistic and confident.
Saturn in an astrological house or in aspect with a personal planet indicates that we experience that field or that dimension of experience intensely, responsibly and with duty. It is a key factor in our lives. Almost always what we believe is too important is often our biggest problem because we are too involved. If Saturn is in aspect with our Venus, this means that love relationships are the most important thing that take up all our energy to achieve a satisfying and happy love life or that our fear is we won't be able to escape it. Our attitude towards relationships is serious and responsible and the people we love can always count on us.
Uranus in an astrological house or in aspect with a personal planet indicates that we are intolerant of closed minds, limited and highly restrictive thinking in that field of experience. In that sector of our lives we need to freely express our unique and original personalities, we have to more or less consciously give our contribution to the community. If Uranus is in aspect with our Mars, this means that our way of presenting ourselves is rebellious, original, non-conventional, thus free of any influence but it may become collaborative and motivated by social work.
Neptune in an astrological house or in aspect with a personal planet indicates the field of experience where we are less in contact with reality, where we tend to idealise and avoid the routine or oppressive and frustrating situations. Neptune experiences help us to come into contact with our imagination and our need to transcend. If Neptune is in aspect with our Moon, we are people emotionally nourished by dreams, romantic ideals. We have the intimate need to escape the daily routine and connect to a more spiritual dimension of life.
Pluto in an astrological house or in aspect with a personal planet indicated that in that sector of our lives, such as health, or in the experience of that psychological dimension, such as love or capacity of initiative, we easily meet ghosts or unconscious fears. What Pluto touches is shown in different ways of behaviour and absolutely coercive thinking, as when Venus is in aspect with Pluto. It is our way of loving and desire to be loved to be influences and these become insatiable and coercive in suspect and assumptions. These are the dark sides of ourselves which, sooner or later, we meet through the experience of love.