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How To Read A Birth Chart: Components & Methods

Astrology and jothishi

Reading your birth chart can be the most engrossing affair once you get the tricks of doing so. A birth chart gives you details of the past, present, and future through the means of either in a tabular form as in Hindu Vedic Charts, in a circular form as in the Gregorian birth chart, or it can be an explanation of yin and yan as in Chinese birth chart. The ability to read a birth chart also depends on your interest in it. If you are ready to take out time to understand yourself and your life, reading a birth chart is going to be fun and enlightening.

Types Of Birth Chart Reading

As you know, the birth chart showcases the position of stars and planets at the time of your birth. Hence, the professional who is making the birth chart must have a profound knowledge of the positions and the importance of those celestial bodies. He should be able to judge how the placement of these planets affects the life of an individual on earth.  You can also get a birth chart online by putting these three vital pieces of information:

  • Date of birth
  • Time of birth
  • Place of birth

Different culture and traditions provide different presentations of your birth chart. If you go for a western birth chart reading, they will create a circular diagram of your birth credentials. The definition and explanation will be far from Vedic explanation. The Chinese yin-yang concept is further distant than any of the earlier two.

Components  Of A Birth Chart

How To Read A Birth Chart
Vedic Birth chart with their houses

Three Main Factors or Triad

Though, there can be many factors on which a birth chart is drawn. But the three main foundations of the birth chart are:

  • The Sun
  • The Moon
  • The Ascendant

The Sun

The Sun in your horoscope explains who you are irrespective of your circumstances. It tells you who you are and how you are important in this life. Hence, the position of your son is the most vital detail in your birth chart.

The Moon

The moon is the second most important factor in the birth chart. The position of the moon denotes your moon sign. The moon sign will show your emotional self. The moon sign will speak about that side which you hardly know of, which you never talk about. The exploration of your feelings, emotions, your need for security and love will gradually reveal that side in you. Especially, at times when you need to take major decisions, the moon sign will help you judge and follow your heart.   

Your Ascendant Sign

The ascendant sign is the third most important factor in your birth chart. This is also seen as the rising sign. It highlights the constellation which was at a rising position at the time of your birth. Rising position refers to the planet which was on the ascending side of the sun. The rising sign is considered to influence your character the most. When you meet people the first thing that impresses or intimidates you will be the result of the rising sign in their horoscope.  

Since the planets and constellations are always on the move, the planets ascend or descend every two hours, hence you must mention your correct time of birth when creating a birth chart. 

Reading A Western Birth Chart
Reading A Western Birth Chart

These three factors form the three corners of the Triad. Besides, these three main factors there are inner planets like Mercury, Venus, and Mars, which influence your core personality, needs, and desires on the earth. Mercury rules mind and communication, Venus rules love life, and Mars rules actions and overall energy. Besides, there are outer planets like  Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto which reflect your ambitions and purpose on earth. Jupiter rules luck and progress, Saturn rules fears and self-discipline, Uranus rules change, Neptune rules dreams, and Pluto rules power and transformation.

Nine Planets

The nine planets or celestial bodies which comprise a birth chart are:

  1. Sun
  2. Moon
  3. Mars
  4. Mercury
  5. Venus
  6. Saturn
  7. Jupiter
  8. Rahu
  9. Ketu

The Sun Signs

Sun Signs determines the month you were born in but the actual personality traits are definitely defined by ascendants and sun and moon signs.

  • 1 – Aries 
  • 2 – Taurus
  • 3 – Gemini
  • 4 – Cancer
  • 5 – Leo
  • 6 – Virgo
  • 7- Libra
  • 8 – Scorpio
  • 9 – Sagittarius
  • 10 – Capricorn
  • 11 – Aries
  • 12 – Pisces

12 Houses 

Western Birth Chart
Western Birth Chart

There are 12 houses on a birth chart and each ruled by a particular sun sign.


House of Physical Traits and Personality takes care of first impressions, new initiatives, fresh starts, and beginnings. Aries rules it.


The second house is ruled by Taurus and is House of Material Values.


The third house takes care of all forms of Learning and Communication. Gemini governs this house.


The Cancer-ruled fourth manages your ‘foundations’. This is a house of Home and Family.


The fifth house is ruled by dramatic Leo and is also called House of Romance. It governs self-expression, drama, creativity, fun, and play.


The sixth house is the House of Health and Work. Virgo rules the house.


The seventh house is the House of Marriage. It governs all partnerships, both business and personal. Libra governs this house.


The eighth house is referred to as House of Resources. It determines your talent, energy, your work life. Scorpio rules this house.


The ninth house covers the areas like your philosophies, morals, and ethics. Sagittarius controls the house.


Capricorn rules the tenth house and is called House of Career. It governs public image.


The eleventh house or House of Social life determines your friendships and social networking. Ruled by Aquarius is the master of this house.


This is House of Subconscious. Since Pisces is the ruler of this house it takes care of imagination and creativity.

Houses in Indian Birth Chart
Houses in Indian Birth Chart

Making Sense

First of all, you have to understand the planets. The planets answer the ‘What?’ in your birth chart. For example, what are your mental functions or your activities? Once you identify the planets, then you interpret your signs. The signs answer the How and Why in your birth chart. Signs are the one that influences your personality. Therefore, it is the personality trait that determines your material functions. After this, you look at the houses. Houses refer to the questions regarding Where in your birth chart. Where is all your material functions happening in – in studies or in relationships?

The combination of houses, planets and sun signs can give you a clear picture of your birth chart. If you read carefully and slowly, you will definitely be able to decipher a pattern in your reading of the birth chart. In the case of the western wheel birth chart, if most of the planetary movements are in the northern hemisphere of the chart then that shows that most of your life challenges are going to be in the public field. On the contrary, if it’s in the southern hemisphere then it means that most of your challenges are going to be subjective within yourself.

Birth Chart Calculator

In case, you do not want to waste your brainpower on how to read a birth chart yourself, you can use the birth chart calculator available online. Once, you insert your natal information like birth date, time and place it will present your birth chart on your computer screen. It will explain to you your vitals at the time of your birth. You will be told about your ruling sign, the position of your constellations, the ascendant and other effects of various constellations. It will define your personality traits and probable occupations you might opt according to your personality. 

How To Read A Birth Chart In Vedic Astrolog

Vedic Charts are similar to western charts, in the manner that they are stated. They also give you a combination of planets, houses and sun sign. The difference is that they are in a tabular form instead of the wheel birth charts of western astrology. 

The abbreviation used for the nine planets in Vedic chart is:

Su for Sun, Mu for Moon, Sa for Saturn, Ra for Rahu, Ke for Ketu, Ju for Jupiter, Me for Mercury, Ve for Venus and Ma for Mars.

Reading Vedic Birth Chart
Vedic Birth Chart

In the Vedic chart also, there are 12 houses. The first house is in the top center. 

The Ascendant or rising sign determines the outlook, the mental makeup and the appearance of an individual. 

In Vedic Chart the Ascendant moves in an anticlockwise direction from 1st to 2nd, 3rd, 4th,  5th, and towards the 12th house. Then you will observe that there will be numbers in each house. These are numbers of the sun sign(given above). The sun sign which is rising in the eastern horizon at the time of a child’s birth becomes his/ her rising sign. Hence, his basic characteristics, his mental stamina, and his ambitions will be decided by the rising sign. The movement of planets at the birth time around the signs determines your life on earth. So, you will need to see which sign numbers are placed in which house and which sign is ascending in a house.

Each house has its own features. Therefore, the ascending sign will determine your performance in that house.