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A Birth Chart is a unique karmic map that presents an opportunity for a person to know about his or her past and present, and also delve into the future. Also called the natal chart, it holds the key to understanding oneself on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes.
A birth chart is an astrological chart or diagram representing in it, the positions of the Sun, Moon, the planets and other astrological aspects like primary angles (the Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant and Imum Coeli). Popularly known as the horoscope, it serves as a map of the heavenly bodies over a specific location at a particular moment in time, which normally will be the place and time of birth. All the planets including the Sun and Moon (astrology and hence the birth chart also, regards Sun and Moon as planets) are placed in various positions in the chart, as they are astrologically located at any particular time. The chart also depicts the lunar nodes,Rahu and Ketu, and includes other astronomical factors like the Zodiac signs.
The Zodiac is a zone or a belt in space through which the planets move. There are twelve Zodiac signs, reperesented by figures of animals. The ‘houses’ are a series of twelve sectors or divisions of the plane of the ecliptic, which represents the sun's celestial path during a year. The positions of these houses remain fixed. The Zodiac signs and the planets keep moving through the twelve houses during the course of a day, while the planets move through the signs over the course of months or years. The chart thus begins with a framework of these 12 houses, upon which the Zodiac signs are superimposed. After establishing the relative positions of the Zodiac signs in the houses in a chart, the Sun, Moon and the planets are then plotted at their celestial longitudes, as they are at any particular time and place.
Correct reading of a birth chart or horoscope is the key for knowing almost everything about an individual, including the future. While analysing a chart and arriving at predictions is an elaborate and a painstaking process, charting reading can be stated very briefly, as under:
These are the basics of a birth chart, after ascertaining which, one can use one’s knowledge of astrology and start interpreting, what each piece of the data contained in the chart, means and indicates.
Let the study begin with the reading of one’s own chart, which can be used as a reference for understanding ourself, in relation to the world. It can then be seen that a birth chart will remain as the core of our own awareness about ourselves and will help to unlock our own inner knowing.