- The 10 planets--the "what" of astrology since the energy comes from them;
- The signs these planets are in--"the how" of astrology because a sign is the "style" in which the planetary energy manifests itself; and
- The houses and their cusps--the "where" of astrology.
In a chart, you'll find the locations of the following planets based on their symbols.
Each planet has its own function, and the chart will tell you not only what sign and house each planet is in, but its relationship to other planets, known as aspects, which can significantly change the size and scope of the planet's role in the chart.
A chart is cast for a specific event, such as a person's birth, known as a natal chart, and while that is one of the most common reasons to cast a chart, it's far from the only one. You can cast one for any event you choose--your wedding, compatibility with another person, the date you started your first job, etc.--in the past, present, or future.
Astrologers love to look over charts of famous people, for example, but we also like to see what's coming in the form of progressions and returns. That way we can help people plan out when would be a good time to try to have a baby, open a business, start a product line, etc.
The reason why a lot of people look at charts and get nervous is because it LOOKS complicated. If you've ever played craps in a casino, you'll probably think the same thing. Take a look at this layout.
Unless you're familiar with craps, you're looking at this going "Holy shit! How can people possibly understand this, much less find this fun?" It's actually a really fun game once you learn the moving parts. Astrology is the same way.
Don't get me wrong...it can be challenging to INTERPRET an astrology chart, and it takes a long time to learn to do it well. But that's just experience, and there's no substitute for it, in astrology or playing craps or anything else. This was a lesson I was reminded of very recently as I struggled with a particular chart.
Anyway, the point is that if astrology interests you, start looking at some charts. You're not going to know much about what they mean at the beginning, but take a gander over a few, starting with your own.
Once you get over the fear of the chart and start to recognize some of the symbols, then you can start asking some questions about what's going on. If you're at all like me, at that point you're hooked and you just want to learn more.
Astrology is a fascinating discipline with 2,300 years of study and material to work with. Don't let that stop you from taking that first step.
Many Web sites will do your chart for free, but if you'd like your natal chart done professionally I hope you'll consider contacting me.
Friday's blog will contain a famous astrological chart: The chart for the birth of the United States, known as the "Sibley Chart". I hope you'll tune in for some insights about this great nation.