Do-It-Yourself Astrology Part 1: Natal Chart

Astrologers are just humans. Yes, I know that comes as a shock to those who thought we had special powers. I thought we had special powers, too, until I realized that the doors to the grocery store opened automatically. So much for telekinesis. But even if I had the abilities of a superhero and the selfless devotion of Mother Teresa, I still would not be able to do the charts of everyone I encounter in the world. I’m not even sure that I could do my own chart without the crutch of my computer.

But since we all have this powerful tool at our disposal, you may be surprised how easy it is to do your own Natal Chart and a lot more. Thanks to the website AstroDienst, there is an extensive online resource for professional and amateur astrologers alike. It offers a great deal of information for free, but many services are limited for those without paid accounts. We won’t need a paid account to explore our Natal charts, but it’s highly recommended for the next lesson in this series: Transits.

Here’s how to get the most from this amazing resource for FREE:

1: Go to (easy enough to remember). BOOKMARK THIS PAGE!
2: Click on “My Astro” at the top of the page. Then click on “Stored Astro Data.”
3: Click on “Add new Astro Data” in the middle of the page.
4: Fill out the text fields with your name and birth date/time/place. (Repeat this step if you’re doing multiple charts.)
5: Click on “Horoscopes” on the top left side of the page.

Cookbook Interpretations

Now that you have your information saved, you can begin to learn about yourself by reading the aspects of your birth chart. Your birth chart describes the characteristics of your personality that will follow you through this life. When you’re reading the individual aspects of your chart, it’s essential to keep a couple of things in mind, most notably the concept astrologers call the “cookbook interpretation.” Think of your chart as a complex recipe. Reading each aspect in your chart is like reading a detailed description of each ingredient. The dish may have rosemary in it, but the dish is not rosemary. And you may not even taste the rosemary once it blends with the other ingredients.

You may read something that doesn’t sound like you; it may even sound like your opposite. But just like the list of ingredients in a recipe, you need to blend these elements in your mind to understand how prominently they appear in your behavior patterns. Sometimes you’ll read two aspects that seem contradictory, which may lead you to think that astrology cannot be accurate if the information contradicts itself. But look around you, do you see contradictions in the world? And take a very honest look at yourself. Are you not a walking contradiction in some way? Sometimes opposites don’t create a contradiction; on the contrary, they balance each other out so that neither extreme is expressed.

AstroClick Portrait

From the “Horoscopes” page, under “Personality,” click on “Astro Click Portrait.” If you added multiple charts to your account, make sure that you have the correct one selected. You can change charts by clicking on a new name in the drop-down menu at the top of the page and clicking “Go.” Once you have your chart displayed, you can begin to interact by clicking on the planetary glyphs (or symbols) to reveal a list of aspects. Notice how red and blue lines connect some of the planets? You will always experience these planets as connected in your chart, often working together, sometimes against one another.

You can click on the glyph for any planet in any order, but I recommend the following sequence:

Uranus: ♅

You can also click on “AC” to read your Ascendant or “Rising sign” and any aspects to your ascendant. If you’ve already read each planet’s aspects, you will see all aspects to the AC and MC (or Mid-Heaven) in those lists. When you click on each planet in the order above, you will see many aspects repeated. All aspects involving two planets are listed under both planets. To prevent re-reading the same aspects, only read those that begin with the planet you have currently selected.

Begin by clicking on the Sun’s symbol: . A list appears on the right sidebar with the Sun’s sign and house placements and a detailed interpretation of each aspect it makes with other planets below. Once you’ve read your Sun’s house placement, you can click on the Sun’s sign placement and read that interpretation. When you

finish reading through your Sun aspects, you can click on the Moon’s symbol () and repeat the process. If the Sun and Moon are in aspect, you can simply skip those that begin with Sun as you’ve already read those in the previous list.

Know Thyself

When you’ve read through each planet’s aspects and your Ascendant, take a moment to let these


interpretations blend in your mind. I sometimes refer to one’s Natal chart as their “owner’s manual.” But it’s no joke; this is a powerful reference guide to your drives and behavior patterns that could help you and the people you interact with understand your quirks. Learning the aspects of our natal chart is perhaps the most one can do to unfold the mystery inscribed in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, to “Know thyself.”

Don’t just read your chart once; read it once in a while. When I ask people about their charts, they often respond, “I had my chart done once a long time ago.” and I reply, “Your chart is never done.” Our Natal chart is not some cooky caricature to be drawn up one summer at the county fair and then stuffed into a scrapbook to be forgotten. This could be the most important information you will ever read. Just be sure it isn’t the most important information that you never read.

Go Pro!

You can cast your own chart and read the cookbook interpretations of each aspect, which I highly recommend. But you can and should have your chart read by a professional whenever possible. No cookbook interpretation can reveal every ingredient, especially the secret ingredients. Only when completely blended do we get a taste of what we’ve been cooking up. You are a complex dish with a variety of rich flavors that wash over the senses. If you’re feeling hungry for a Natal Chart reading, Click Here.

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