Learning how to read an Astrology Chart is the first step in understanding horoscopes, and the art of delineation or “drawing lines”. Connecting the dots on an astrological chart forms angles (aspects) that help explain forces that influence all life and rhythms on Earth.

Components of an astrology chart:
The Planets – The “Rulers” of the signs. The Zodiac Signs – Constellations or areas occupied by the sun. The Astrology Houses – Areas of the sky determined by one’s “Ascendant“.

Astrology and Horoscopes do not predict an unchangeable future. A birth chart does not divine a fate etched in stone. The planets in a natal chart are forces both positive and negative, that may help or hinder progress toward our goal of self-realization. It is our choices, however, that define our lives, and not the stars. To “cast a chart” you need to know the place, date and time of birth.

An astrology chart records the positions of the planets including the Sun, Moon and large asteroids at a particular instant. These heavenly bodies, observed since pre-historic times, have been represented with various attributes of human personality. Besides ruling the astrological signs, these “planets” also have relationships amongst themselves – relationships both consonant and antagonistic. The planet(s) which has the best relationship with a sign is said to be in dignity or exaltation. Planets with stressful relationships to a sign are held to be in detriment or fall.

The Sun Keyword: Self, Ego
Represents: power urge, personality
Dignity: Leo
Detriment: Aquarius
Exaltation: Aries
Fall: Libra
Where you find the Sun in your natal chart is your center and “being” – the real you.

The Moon Keyword: Emotions
Represents: domestic, nurturing urge
Dignity: Cancer
Detriment: Capricorn
Exaltation: Taurus
Fall: Scorpio
The Moon, in the astrology chart, is where you will ride the roller coaster of emotions.

Mercury Keyword: Reasoning Ability
Represents: intellectual urge, avenue of expression
Dignity: Gemini and Virgo
Detriment: Sagittarius and Pisces
Exaltation: Aquarius
Fall: Leo
Mercury in your chart shows where and how you communicate best.

Venus Keyword: Affection
Represents: social urge, sense of value
Dignity: Taurus and Libra
Detriment: Scorpio and Aries
Exaltation: Pisces
Fall: Virgo
The location of Venus in your chart reveals what you really enjoy.

Mars Keyword: Energy
Represents: action, aggressive urge, initiative
Dignity: Aries and Scorpio
Detriment: Libra and Taurus
Exaltation: Capricorn
Fall: Cancer
Mars in your chart shows you where you will expend the greatest energy.

Jupiter Keyword: Expansion
Represents: benevolence, protective urge
Dignity: Sagittarius
Detriment: Gemini
Exaltation: Cancer
Fall: Capricorn
Jupiter indicates good fortune in that area of your chart, and where you enjoy spending leisure time.

Saturn Keyword: The Teacher
Represents: urge for protection and safety
Dignity: Capricorn
Detriment: Cancer
Exaltation: Libra
Fall: Aries
Saturn in your chart locates areas of insecurity in your life, and where you tend to overcompensate.

Uranus Keyword: The Awakener
Represents: freedom, urge, discontent
Dignity: Aquarius
Detriment: Leo
Exaltation: Scorpio
Fall: Taurus
Uranus points to where you will do the unusual.

Neptune Keyword: Intuition
Represents: spiritual and escapist urge
Dignity: Pisces
Detriment: Virgo
Exaltation: None
Fall: None
Neptune shows in what areas you deceive yourself and others; it is also where you seek the “ideal”.

Pluto Keywords: Transformation
Represents: destroying or reforming urge; fusion
Dignity: Scorpio
Detriment: Taurus
Exaltation: None
Fall: None
Pluto reveals the area in your life that is ready to change – the death of something familiar – that you will face alone and unaided.

Besides a “Ruler” each “Sign” is also associated with an “Element” and a “Quality” (or Mode).

The 4 Elements:
Fire – Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Air – Libra, Aquarius, Gemini
Water – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Earth – Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo

The 3 Qualities (Modes):
Cardinal – Aries Libra Cancer Capricorn
Fixed – Leo Aquarius Scorpio Taurus
Mutable – Sagittarius Gemini Pisces Virgo

Cardinal Signs are active, initiatory, and quick. Fixed Signs are persistent, practical, and stubborn. Mutable Signs are adaptable, subtle, and intuitive.

Aries March 22 – April 21
Element: Fire Quality: Cardinal
Dignity: Mars
Exaltation: Sun
Detriment: Venus
Fall: Saturn
Principle: Active Natural House: 1st
Keyword: Activity – Pioneering, executive, domineering, quick­tempered, competitive, violent, impulsive, eager, intolerant, hasty, courageous, independent, arrogant, independent, dynamic, selfish, lacks follow­through, lives in the moment.

Taurus April 22 – May 21
Element: Earth
Quality: Fixed
Dignity: Venus
Exaltation: Moon
Detriment: Mars/Pluto
Fall: Uranus
Principle: Passive Natural House: 2nd
Keyword: Stability – Patient, conservative, self­indulgent, stubborn, domestic, sensual, thorough, slow­moving, argumentative, stable, dependable, possessive, practical, greedy, loyal, artistic, materialistic.

Gemini May 22 – June 21
Element: Air
Quality: Mutable
Dignity: Mercury
Exaltation: None
Detriment: Jupiter
Fall: None
Principle: Active Natural House: 3rd
Keyword: Versatility dual, congenial, curious, changeable, ungrateful, adaptable, expressive, quick­witted, scatterbrained, restless, literary, inventive, lacking in concentration, clever, dextrous, scheming

Cancer June 22 – July 21
Element: Water
Quality: Cardinal
Dignity: Moon
Exaltation: Jupiter
Detriment: Saturn
Fall: Mars
Principle: Passive Natural House: 4th
Keyword: Devotion – tenacious, intuitive, maternal, brooding, touchy, domestic, sensitive, easily hurt, good memory, helpful, negative, manipulative, sympathetic, patriotic, over­protective, selfish, traditional.

Leo July 22 – August 21
Element: Fire
Quality: Fixed
Dignity: Sun
Exaltation: None
Detriment: Uranus
Fall: Mercury
Principle: Active Natural House: 5th
Keyword: Magnetism – Dramatic, idealistic, vain, status conscious, proud, ambitious, good leader, childish, overbearing, creative, dignified, cruel, fears ridicule, romantic, generous, self­assured, boastful, pretentious, optimistic.

Virgo August 22 – September 21
Element: Earth
Quality: Mutable
Dignity: Mercury
Exaltation: None
Detriment: Neptune
Fall: Venus
Principle: Passive Natural House: 6th
Keyword: Practicality, industrious, studious, scientific, critical, petty, methodical, discriminating, self­centered, melancholy, fact­finding, exacting, picky, hypochondriac, shy, neat, humane, perfectionist, skeptical.

Libra September 22 – October 21
Element: Air
Quality: Cardinal
Dignity: Venus
Exaltation: Saturn
Detriment: Mars
Fall: Sun
Principle: Active Natural House: 7th
Keyword: Harmony, Cooperative,
persuasive, fickle, apathetic, companionable, peace­loving, refined, loves intrigue, peace at any price, judicial, artistic, pouting, diplomatic, sociable, indecisive, suave.

Scorpio October 22 – November 21
Element: Water
Quality: Fixed
Dignity: Mars/Pluto
Exaltation: Uranus
Detriment: Venus
Fall: Moon
Principle: Passive Natural House: 8th
Keyword: Intensity, Motivated,
penetrating, vengeful, temperamental, executive, resourceful, secretive, overbearing, violent, determined, scientific, investigative, sarcastic, suspicious, sex­obsessed, passionate, aware.

Sagittarius November 22 – December 21
Element: Fire
Quality: Mutable
Dignity: Jupiter
Exaltation: None
Detriment: Mercury
Fall: None
Principle: Active Natural House: 9th
Keyword: Visualization, Straightforward,
philosophical, argumentative, exaggerating, freedom­loving, broadminded, talkative, procrastinating, athletic, generous, optimistic, self­ indulgent, blunt, religious, just, scholarly, impatient, likes gambling, pushy, hot­headed, enthusiastic, breezy.

Capricorn December 22­ January 21
Element: Earth
Quality: Cardinal
Dignity: Saturn
Exaltation: Mars
Detriment: Moon
Fall: Jupiter
Principle: Passive Natural House: 10th
Keyword: Ambition, Cautious,
responsible, egotistic, domineering, scrupulous, conventional, unforgiving, fatalistic, businesslike, perfectionist, heartless, stubborn, traditional, practical, hard­working, brooding, inhibited, economical, status­seeking, serious.

Aquarius January 22 – February 21
Element: Air
Quality: Fixed
Dignity: Uranus
Exaltation: Mercury
Detriment: Sun
Fall: None
Principle: Active Natural House: 11th
Keyword: Imagination, Independent,
inventive, unpredictable, temperamental, tolerant, individualistic, progressive, bored by details, cold, opinionated, progressive, artistic, scientific, shy, eccentric, logical, humane, intellectual, radical, impersonal, rebellious, altruistic, likes good causes.

Pisces February 22 – March 21
Element: Water
Quality: Mutable
Dignity: Neptune
Exaltation: Venus
Detriment: Mercury
Fall: None
Principle: Passive Natural House: 12th
Keyword: Understanding, Compassionate,
charitable, procrastinating, over­talkative, melancholy, sympathetic, emotional, pessimistic, inhibited, sacrificing, intuitive, timid, impractical, musical, introspective, indolent, feels misunderstood, martyr complex, artistic.

The Astrology Houses-
The astrological houses represent the 12 divisions of the Zodiac applied to the hours of the day (relative to your position on earth which the planets move through on a daily basis. They are the 12 areas of activity in human life. Each sign has a natural house. Houses represent the places or scenes in which the actors (the planets) in their roles (the signs) perform their play.

Aspects of an Astrology Chart:

When a planet forms an angle with another planet it is called an aspect. Aspects are relationships between planets. There are 6 major aspects.
Flowing aspects are the conjunct, trine and sextile. Challenging aspects are the square, inconjunt and opposition. Below are major aspects with keywords.

Conjunct 0° Accentuate
Sextile 60° Opportunity
Square 90° Test
Trine 120° Progress
Inconjunct 150° Adapt
Opposition 180° Vulnerability

Continue to the next lesson Astrology Chart Elements, or go back to the top of Astrology Chart.

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