How To Understand Your Birth Chart And Where To Start

Reading your own birth chart gives you deeper understanding, compassion and space for yourself. Reading other people’s birth charts allows you compassion and insight into the inner worlds of others.  Awareness is power. Here are the basics and three wonderful books to get you started on understanding birth charts.

What is a Birth Chart? –

A birth chart is a snap shot of the planets and their placements, at the time of birth. Many people know where the Sun was when they were born and can usually identify with some of the traits of that placement. Only knowing your Sun sign is like reading one chapter of a book and claiming you know the whole story.

There are 10 planets regarded in Astrology and a handful of other contributing celestial bodies (asteroids and midpoints). Each placement plays a role and has an effect on you and your life. As the planets and asteroids orbit the Sun in their own time, the collective locations of all planets will not repeat for approximately 24,000 years. With this information, it is clear that Astrology is not about fitting you into 1 of 12 boxes. The possibilities and combinations are incredibly vast. With regard to the placement of all planets, you will find yourself an in depth and specific description of you.

I always felt that Astrology had more to offer me than simply what its like to be a Taurus. When I started to read what each planet placement had to say, the story of my inner workings started to unfold and the healing really began.

When you begin to read about the placements of each planet, you realise the processes and patterns of your inner being are predictable in their patterns.

Why you should read your Birth Chart –

Your birth chart is a map of your inner world – a gift from the stars.

The way your mind works, emotional patterns, personality quirks, talents, skills, shortcomings, different challenges and areas of growth are depicted by the stars. What gets you motivated and what makes you stuck? What areas of life can you glide through with ease and what challenges you and pushes you to grow? How do you interact with every different aspect of your life?

The good, the bad and the ugly – it is all accessible for you to read, reflect and reintegrate by bringing it to your awareness.

Let me say this again – AWARENESS IS POWER.

When you are aware of your own behavioral patterns, they no longer become an automatic reaction. All of a sudden, you begin to look at yourself from an objective perspective and you are given choice of action.

The gift of Astrology is the realisation that my less favourable traits were a part of me. I am not broken or any less of a human because I am a sensitive empath with a mind for philosophy and magic, but because it was written in the stars. Something incredibly important to note is that EVERY placement has its light and dark traits. Like Yin and Yang, a planet placement is neither good or bad – it just is.

It is up to the patterns the planets play which create our habitual reactions to situations. But at the core, it is the choice of the individual whether that planet is expressed through light or dark. The choice remains with the individual but the possibilities and traits are painted by the stars. The aim is to master the planet’s placement with awareness and positive action to further allow us to become the masters and creators of our realities.

Where to start?

Step 1 – Everything you’ll need

  • Birth date
  • Birth location 
  • Exact time of birth – Having an incorrect time of birth can throw off the whole chart. Using key events in your life, an experienced Astrologer, can determine the time if unknown.
  • Internet access


Step 2 – Get online and get a visual on your chart

Once you have gathered this info, head to a birth chart calculator. I find Astrotheme to be the easiest to interpret. Type in your details and hit next. The next page will be to confirm the information. Hit next again and your chart will appear.

Emma Watsons birth chart


Here is an example of what your chart will look like. This chart belongs to Emma Watson, born at 6pm on April 15th, 1990 Paris, France. 

The markings on the chart are as follows:

  • outer symbols are planets – express parts of ourselves
  • inner symbols are the zodiac – through which energy the planet is expressed
  • numbers are houses – which represent different parts of life. Personality, finances, career, relationships etc.

Check out the chart below to decipher what symbol means what.

Image result for zodiac symbol chart


Step 3 – Three books, I use and recommend. Gain a deeper understanding about your chart and how to read it.

Now that you have the map, it is time to explore the information it has to give you. Astrotheme will give you a lot of information to read about each planet placement. You can access this by clicking on each planet, which will bring up the information.

When reading about a planet placement, be aware that it is just one person’s interpretation. I have found that you will gain the most insight by cross referencing different websites and books. You will find similar themes of course but each Astrologer will use different language which may allow you to understand the information in a different way.


The Complete Idiot’s Guide – Astrology Dictionary by Ariene Tognetti and Stephanie Jourdan, Ph.D with Cathy Jewell

Image result for complete idiots guide astrology dictionary

I originally picked this book up from my local library and absolutely loved it! It covers a lot of bases and really does help when you are coming across new language as you study the sky.

You can easily look up planet placements in the zodiac and houses, as its a dictionary everything is alphabetised. Its written in a very factual and easy to understand way. For each zodiac and planet, this book gives a fantastic description to really get your head around the background story of each element.


Spiritual Astrology – A Path To Divine Awakening by Jan Spiller and Karen McCoy

Image result for spiritual astrology jan spiller

Reading into your birth chart can be extremely confrontational, especially when a placement highlights our flaws or something that we are self-conscious of. There is a very important message within this book – each placement can express itself to be dynamic or static. Light or dark. When we are in alignment we can allow the energy of the planet to flow through us and create harmony for ourselves and those who come in contact with us. The opposite is true when the planet is static.

This book gives you the harsh truth of what a static planet looks like but then explains the dynamic expression of the planet and how to alter your energy to flow that way. This is the most direct and personalised self help I have ever received from a book.


Llewellyn’s Complete Book Of Astrology – The Easy Way To Learn Astrology by Kris Brandt Riske, M.A.

Image result for llewellyn's complete book of astrology

If you’re anything like me, its all well and good to hear what someone else’s interpretation of my chart is – but how the hell do I read it!?

This book is pre-mo! Get your highlighter and page tabs out because this book is chockers full of useful information. You will learn about the zodiac, houses, planets and aspects. It has a little bit of everything and will give you the basics on how to start interpreting charts yourself.

Quick tip! – Get a print out of your birth chart and stick it on the inside of the cover. I did this and found it super useful for quick referencing back to my chart!

Astrology Koh Phi Phi.png


My best tip is once you learn how to read your own, start looking up the charts of your loved ones! Don’t stop there, check out charts of celebrities using google. Its as easy as putting “Leonardo DiCaprio’s birth chart” into google and checking it out.

Keep reading as many charts as you can and what you will find is that you can learn so much from a book about a planet placement but the best teacher of each placement is the person who’s chart you are reading.

Please feel free to comment on this post and let me know what you thought about the article! I love to hear your feedback.








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