Introduction to Astrology, part II. How to Cast a Chart (and what you need)

NatalChartAntiqueThe Birth Chart, or Natal Chart /Wheel, is a visual representation mapping the positions of planets in the sky at the time you were transitioning into this world. It is, in other words, a snapshot of the Cosmos on your Birth moment, capturing the cosmic forces that were playing out during your entrance into existance as an individual in your own right, separated by your mother. It is also, simultaneously, the most effective tool at your own disposal in learning Astrology – not to mention learning about yourself in the first place.
What you need to cast your chart are day, month, year and time of birth, alongside the coordinates of the location.
Being a visual representation centered on the individual, the Birth Chart is displayed as seen from the birthplace, making the latter a major key-element. While you can technically draw a chart without the Hour of Birth (which makes it a Solar Chart with the use of noon time), Hour of Birth is something that should not be left out. Celestial bodies (except the Sun, which transit is merely apparent) are in motion; planets move at different speeds in elongated orbits around the Sun, with the Earth itself turning on its axis, exposing us to the entire 360 degrees of the zodiac (a “strip” related to the location of the Vernal Equinox point).  Even within a single day, from morning to evening, the planetary positions can shift and change, especially in regards to the Moon, which spans around 13 degrees in a day. Hour of Birth and location are also essential for the calculation of the exact degree of the signs that are rising (the Rising Sign, or Ascendant, at the extreme left-hand side of the wheel, representing the Sign that is found over the orizon at the birth moment), setting (the Descendant), culminating up (the Medium Coeli ornatal-chart Midheaven or Zenith, the spot directly overhead), and culminating down (Imum Coeli or Nadir). These degrees, also known as the angles, beside being extremely sensitive points, are also essential for mapping the positions of the native’s twelve houses.
The Birth Chart is, in fact, divided into twelve sections, which are referred to as Houses. They bear an affinity with the co-significant signs of the Zodiac (Aries for the 1st House, Taurus for the 2nd one, and so forth), and the four sensitive points mentioned above are the cusps of the 1st, 7th, 10th and 4th House respectively (a cusp being the imaginary line that separates consecutive Houses, so the 1st House Cusp is the line that marks the beginning of the 1st House). With correct Birth Data, you are able to determine where (as in which Zodiac sign) do cusps and angles fall.
While planets are the forces (what), and signs are the energies (how the forces express themselves), houses represent the areas of life or the circumstances in which those energies operate.
Up to the rise of technology, Birth Chart were drawn manually consulting the Ephemeris, tables indicating the exact position of a planet for a given day and hour. Nowadays, the process is made much easier by softwares or even online calculators, even though not all of them are reliable. Creating a free account on AstroDiens allows you to obtain your Chart drawing and store it into a personal online database along with all the possible data of any other astrological profile/Birth Chart you might desire to keep. All it takes is filling a form with the birth data, and hitting submit. At this point, you will have you own personal Chart to print out and use as a reference.

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