5 Things You Need to Know About Your Natal (Birth) Chart

Five Things You Need to Know About Your Birth Chart, Astrology

More than just your horoscope…

Your astrological chart (natal chart, birth chart) offers a wealth of tools for self-understanding and self-empowerment. Understanding the placement of the stars and planets at the moment of your birth opens a new door to understanding, direction, and peace.

Your natal chart is the blueprint of your life that you co-designed with the universe. It is nothing short of a map -- your very own personal GPS -- outlining your life’s intended path, your greatest gifts, and highest potential, as well as areas of particular challenge. It can reveal the answers to so many of the questions you have about your life, whether about relationships, career, health, love or your future. But let’s start at the beginning with the 5 things you need to know about your chart…

5 Things You Need to Know About Your Natal Chart


Even if we don’t believe in astrology, many of us know our astrological Sun signs. I’m a Scorpio, you’re a _______. When reading your horoscope in a newspaper or magazine, you are looking solely at your Sun sign. This barely scratches the surface of who you are.

While Sun sign horoscopes do not give a complete picture of who you are, the placement of your sun is the key to unlocking your chart. All of the planets in our solar system revolve around the Sun. So it is in our astrological charts: your Sun sign is paramount - it represents our identity and self, and, how we direct our will. It is our vitality.

What is your Sun Sign and what does it say about you?


The Moon, by contrast, is our emotional interior, our feelings, how we interpret and digest stimulus on the deepest level.  

Only when we are very, very at ease, do we show our Moon and relate to others with it. We share our Moon, our true feelings only with those we love and trust such as family members and very old, dear friends. The moon also rules our mother, family, how we parent or nurture, food, cooking, home, our house/dwelling, biological inheritance (genetic and shared resources), and psychological roots.

Do you know what your Moon Sign is?


The Rising Sign is important because it is the starting point of your entire chart. It is the eastern-most point at the moment of our birth. Thus the Rising Sign determines where every single planet falls in our chart. The Rising Sign is the mask that we wear, our first impression we give to others and how they perceive us; it is also the lens through which we see the world.  It filters our initial reactions to the world, our perception of everything.

“It describes the part of the personality that is most easily expressed. It is also how a person allows others to see him.” (Jeanne Avery in The Rising Sign)

The Moon and the Rising Sign (Ascendant) must be looked at along with your Sun sign to get a better picture of who you are.


Except for the Sun and Moon, all planets turn retrograde. This is the “appearance” of a planet moving backward. It is an illusion due to our point of view on Earth, orbiting at a different speed around the Sun, like when you speed past a slower car on the highway. Each planet represents the way you use certain energy.

When a planet is retrograde in your birth chart, its energies may naturally turn inward rather than outward, may be felt more strongly, and can also be hidden. You may need to do some inner work in that area before it can be expressed outwardly. Basically, you will express that planet and its energy differently.

It is common for people to have 2-3 planets in retrograde.


What is your life’s purpose?  Where are you going? Where are you coming from?

The lunar nodes - the North & South Nodes - unlock these answers in your birth chart. They are invisible points exactly 180 degrees apart and therefore fall in opposite zodiac signs.  

The South Node is where we are coming from. It is our comfort zone, what we have already mastered and thus indicates the habits and patterns we are ready to release. It shows qualities we are leaving behind, both the challenges and gifts we carry from early parts of your life as well as from previous lifetimes.

The North Node is our True North. Its placement by astrological sign and house show where we are going and what qualities to develop in this lifetime. Our North Node describes our life purpose. We cannot “do” our North Node enough. It resembles a headphone set: so listen to the directions given by your North Node as it represents the path of future growth, the Karmic paths/lessons we came here to learn, new patterns, the way to fulfillment. Follow its lead.

Astrologer Hilary Harley

Liberate yourself through the timeless and miraculous art of astrology. Your chart is a life-coaching tool that will provide you with a wealth of self-understanding, allowing you to move towards a place of self love and acceptance. With increased personal awareness, you will have the necessary direction to take control of choices and opportunities leading to a more joyful and fulfilling life.

Hilary Harley is our Master Astrologer and will walk you through the map of your soul.

FREE Anatomy of a Birthchart, Astrology, glyphs, Hilary Harley, astrologer, natal chart


Have you ever wanted to understand all the symbols (glyphs) on your birth chart? Download Hilary’s ANATOMY OF A BIRTH CHART below