People new to astrology are usually surprised and fascinated to learn about how many systems of astrology there are in the world and how many kinds of readings are offered.
A natal chart is a picture of the solar system at the minutes the individual was born. In astrology it is believed that the infant’s first breath is when the soul fully enters the body and life begins. It is it that moment that generates the natal chart. Some astrologers reject the belief that life starts at the first breath and have created a new system of astrology based on the moment of conception. They follow the conception through the fetus’ evolution to determine future events, giving special consideration to solar and lunar eclipses.
The astrologer’s job is to provide a natal chart interpretation. Often the steps include identifying the pattern of the chart. For instance, if all of the planets and luminaries are contained within a third of the chart, except for one that sits opposite that group of planets, the chart is called a Fan chart and that one point that sits opposite is the stem of the fan that rules all the other planets. Another chart pattern would be a bowl chart where all of the planets are contained within half of the chart, the chart being circular.
The astrologer then identifies how many planets are within each element, those elements being fire, earth, air, and water. Chinese astrology also has metal as an element. The chart is divided into 12 sections that look like pieces of pie that are called houses. It is an appropriate term as the planets reside or live in those sections. Four of the houses relate to change and forward movement, another four relate to stability and strength and the final four that comprise the 12 houses are adaptable and accommodating. These are called modalities.
The astrologer then performs the natal chart interpretation by looking at the planet in relation ship to other planets, the sign that it is, the house that it is in, and whether the person was born during the daytime or nighttime. Most important are the relationships between the planets. Harmonious relationships are 30 degrees, 60 degrees, 120 degrees and 0 degrees. Challenging relationships are 90 degrees, 150 degrees and 180 degrees.
Another kind of reading involves a chart calculated at one’s birthday for when the sun reaches the same degree and minute as when the individual was born. This is a Solar Return Chart. The interpretation of the solar return chart guides the individual from the birthday in question to the subsequent birthday, and no longer.
Some individuals want to be able to make changes more actively by utilizing their natal chart interpretation. This can be done through a process known as Archetype Psychology. The astrologer conducts a guided visualization wherein the individual is led to meet the planets as people and to have a conversation with them about changes they would like. This is also known Inner Guide Meditation and Archetypal work.