A natal chart is the astrological birth chart of an individual. It shows the position of the Sun, Moon and other planets at the exact time and place of a person`s birth on earth. To cast an accurate birth chart, exact time of birth, place of birth and time of birth is of vital importance. Birth chart helps you discover who you really are. It reveals how the planets and houses shape you as an individual, provide challenges and also give you opportunities to grow.
The positions of the Sun, Moon, Planets, earth at the time of birth of an individual reveals a person`s personality, strengths, interests and character traits. The three main components of a birth chart are: zodiac signs, houses, planets. As told by an astrologer,” The planets show what is happening, the zodiac signs show how it is happening and houses show where it is happening.”
Zodiac Signs or Rashis
The night sky has been divided into 12 rashis or 12 zodiac signs. They are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. The signs influence a person at all times from birth. The 12 zodiac signs through their placement indicate our basic temperament and attitude towards life.
Houses or Bhavas
There are 12 houses. They are called Bhavas in Sanskrit. Each house represents a department in life. They rule the actual things in our life. They are sections in space surrounding us at all times. The 12 bhavas are lagna, dhana, parakrama, suhrda, suta, roga, Kama, mrithyu, bhaghya, karma, aya and vyaaya.
Planets or Grahas
There are 9 planets or the navagrahas and each planet is in a house and in a zodiac sign. Each planet has a characteristic energy and that energy can be expressed either positively or negatively. Each planet in one`s natal chart represents a function in a person`s personality. For eg,the position and condition of Moon in the natal chart is of crucial interest to a Vedic astrologer as it will show a lot about the personality of a person and the passion and the areas of interest in a person`s life.
Basic Birth Chart details
In a birth chart, we can see the Ascendant, Ascendant Lord, Moon Sign or Rashi, Moon Sign Lord, Birthstar or Nakshatra, Birthstar Lord, current vimshottari dasa, and whether one is running a Sade sati period. By studying the chart, a Vedic astrologer will tell both the good and bad times in one`s life. Dashas are often used to determine the events bound to unfold in one`s life. Dashas are planetary ruling periods which help predict trends, changes and events in a person`s life. A chart is judged by the Ascendant or the rising sign. The sign that appears on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth is called the Rising Sign or the Ascendant. The Ascendant causes the differences in temperament, disposition, physical appearance and personality of individuals. Ascendant is also called lagna. There are 27 Nakshatras in the 360 degree zodiac and each represents an area ruled by a planetary ruler. Nakshatras reside in the 12 houses. Studying their position in the chart will give a deeper understanding of an individual. Vedic astrology uses Nakshatras as the frame of reference for calculating the movement of planets. Planets will continue to move around the Sun and it is called Transit when a planet moves from one sign to another. When this planet works with the fixed planet in one`s chart, then they create changes in a person`s life. Transits help in forecasting events, know of the opportunities coming one`s way and help deal with difficulties that come in one`s life. Study of natal chart helps in understanding oneself more, giving new perception of oneself, giving a direction in one`s life and helping one understand one`s potential and talents even more.