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Astrological Chart Basics and Free Astrology Printables

Astrological Chart Reading

Astrological Chart Basics and Free Astrology Printables

People have been gazing at the night sky since the dawn of humankind, whether in wonder, awe, or maybe even in hopes of finding the answers to explain life on Earth. Eventually, people began to take a more measured approach to their explorations of the sky above. Many ancient civilizations began to study the stars and planets in the night sky and made efforts to map them, but the charting of the planets from the Babylonian and Roman civilizations is what gave birth to the astrology that we know today.

It’s important to note that astrology is different from astronomy, though they are closely linked. Astronomy is the study of the celestial bodies outside of Earth’s atmosphere, as well as how they move and how they are positioned. Astrology considers these findings and is the study of how they affect people here on Earth. In a sense, astrology has science at its heart but is also the crossroads of science and some epic folklore.

Review these astrology basics to develop a deeper understanding of how celestial bodies can affect you. To help, we have created several astrology printables designed to aid you in reading and understanding each of the signs of the zodiac, as well as birth charts, sun, moon, and rising signs.

Horoscopes Versus Birth Charts

Your Horoscope and Birth Chart

Whether you know your zodiac sign well and want more complete information or are an astrology newbie, it’s important to learn more about the various readings available on your journey.

The two most common you’ll see are your horoscope and your birth chart. A horoscope is typically a monthly, weekly or daily reading of each zodiac sign based on your birth chart. Horoscopes can illuminate your daily experiences and help you track planetary movement – such as Mercury’s retrograde – and make helpful life changes depending on your findings.

Your birth chart is created with information about the time and place of your birth and considers where each planet was during that time. This chart, also known as a natal chart, gives you insight into how you are as a person and why. Analyzing your birth chart can help you uncover your desires, motivations, and personality traits.

Creating a birth chart for yourself or others is very easy!

Use this free birth chart printable sheet to fill in your information and better understand your horoscopes. With the blank birth chart, you can make your DIY birth chart in 10 steps.

Step 1: Gather Your Birth Information

Firstly, you need to know the exact date, time, and place of your birth. This information is crucial as it determines where each planet was at the time of your birth.

Step 2: Understand the Elements of a Birth Chart

A birth chart consists of planets, houses, and aspects (the angles that planets make with each other). Familiarize yourself with these elements to better understand your chart.

Step 3: Use an Online Astrology Calculator

There are many online calculators available that can help you plot your birth chart. Simply enter your birth details and let the calculator do the rest.

Here is one we like:

Step 4: Plot the Planets

Once you’ve calculated your planetary positions, plot them on your birth chart printable sheet. Each planet represents different aspects of your personality and life.

Step 5: Understand the Signs

Each planet in your birth chart is in a specific zodiac sign. These signs can give you insight into how you express the qualities of the corresponding planet.

Learn more about each zodiac sign below.

Step 6: Plot the Houses

In astrology, the sky is divided into 12 sections, known as houses. Each house represents different areas of life, from self-image to career and relationships. Identify which houses your planets fall into on your chart.

Learn more about birth chart houses below.

Step 7: Identify the Aspects

Aspects are the angles that planets make with each other on your chart. They can be harmonious or challenging, influencing how the energies of the planets interact.

Step 8: Interpret Your Chart

Now comes the exciting part – interpreting your chart! Look at the interactions between your planets, signs, and houses. Do you have a lot of planets in one sign or house? What does that say about you?

Step 9: Dive Deeper

If you’re interested in going further, explore other elements such as asteroids, nodes, and more. These can add additional layers to your understanding of your birth chart.

Step 10: Reflect and Journal

Finally, take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Remember, this is a personal journey of self-discovery!

Download our Free Birth Chart Printable here
Using our astrological chart printable, you can continue to explore your planetary alignments. Download it for free here!

Birth Chart

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A Bit About the Zodiac Signs

The zodiac refers to the twelve divisions of the night sky and constellations originally created by the Babylonians, who are sometimes thought of as the founders of astrology. Everyone has a zodiac sign that is tied to their birthdate, and people who are born under a certain sign are said to share similar qualities. Then, the additional celestial information on the birth chart can be used to glean more information about your unique traits.

It’s essential to recognize that the signs do not follow the 12-month progression of the Gregorian calendar but instead begin in March with Aries.

All told, the signs of the zodiac, in order, are:

  • Aries: March 21 – April 19
  • Taurus: April 20 – May 20
  • Gemini: May 21 – June 21
  • Cancer: June 22 – July 22
  • Leo: July 23 – August 22
  • Virgo: August 23 – September 22
  • Libra: September 23 – October 23
  • Scorpio: October 24 – November 21
  • Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21
  • Capricorn: December 22 – January 19
  • Aquarius: January 20 – February 18
  • Pisces: February 19 – March 20


It’s also interesting to note that astrologers describe each sign as being associated with a particular element that describes, in part, its general tendencies. Consider first that the four basic elements (fire, air, water, and earth) have long been assigned physical characteristics: fire is dry heat, air is wet heat, water is wet cold, and earth is dry cold.

In a similar way, each of the signs is said to be influenced by the characteristics of the elements.

  • Fire signs (extroverted, independent, and radiant): Sagittarius, Leo, and Aries, Leo
  • Air signs (socially adept, communication-focused): Aquarius, Libra, and Gemini,
  • Water signs (emotional, constantly changing): Pisces, Scorpio, and Cancer
  • Earth signs (practical and responsible): Capricorn, Virgo, and Taurus
Know, too, that the elements affect more than just your sun sign. You have planets in a mixture of different zodiac signs that are classified as air, fire, water, and earth, and your qualities are likely a mixture of temperaments influenced by these elements, as well as the positions of the other celestial bodies.

Learn more about how to read your birth chart according to the symbolism of these bodies below.

Symbolism of the Other Celestial Bodies

The overall study of astrology and how it considers the positions of the planets and constellations at a given time is nearly as vast as the universe itself. Fortunately, your birth chart gives you a snapshot of what position all the planets were in and the constellations they occupied when you entered this world. This chart can help you make deeper evaluations of your own personal characteristics and how they are affected by each celestial body’s significance in the sky. ‘

Below are the major celestial bodies and a brief explanation of their significance in your birth chart.


When someone says, “What’s your sign,” they are mainly asking for the celestial location of the sun at your time of birth. Thus, “your sign” is also known as your sun sign. However, the sun also has other significance in the study of astrology.

The sun represents our fundamental essence. This celestial body symbolizes many things, including how you view yourself, your ego, personality traits, and your unique preferences. The sun is also the major celestial body for the zodiac sign Leo, which contributes to the fire sign’s bravery and vivacious spirit.


As the moon regulates Earth’s gravitational pull and tides, it also regulates our inner emotional world. The sun illuminates our exterior experiences, while the moon can illuminate the happenings underneath the surface. Analysis of the moon’s position in the zodiac at your time of birth can reveal your moon sign, which describes your deepest desires and feelings.

Representing a calming oasis for your private self, the moon is also said to govern the Cancer zodiac sign. This protective and highly sensitive water sign perfectly depicts how those with this sign have innate nurturing and protective qualities and make those around them feel secure.


Mercury is the smallest planet and is named after the Roman god of the same name, who is the messenger for the gods. For this reason, Mercury represents communication as well as logic and rationality. In particular, Mercury represents the intellect and curiosity necessary to analyze, organize, and understand ideas. Mercury is said to represent both Gemini and Virgo, yet it displays a different expression for each of these signs – the chatty and outgoing Gemini and the analytical and inquisitive Virgo. For Geminis, it is an external communication, but for Virgos, it is an internal monologue.

This planet is also famous for its retrograde, which happens about four times yearly. Simply put, retrograde happens when Mercury – which typically moves faster than Earth in its orbit – begins to move slower, making it appear to move backward in the night sky. This time is infamous for miscommunications, issues when traveling, and getting a text from someone unwanted.


Venus represents love, beauty, and an abundance of luxury. This planet’s highbrow reputation might give us a little more interest in the arts and culture. It’s more passionate side reveals our ideal version of love and care. Both Taurus and Libra are ruled by this planet. Though each represents a different expression of the planet, Taurus is sensual and physical, and flirty Libra is more cerebral.

Like Mercury, Venus also has a retrograde period during which it may be risky to make decisions regarding your love life or appearance. During Venus retrograde, many people avoid making major changes to their appearances, such as a tattoo or haircut.


Mars represents both the actions we take to achieve a goal and the way we stick to the process needed to get there. It can also represent the aggressive nature of humans as we move towards our goals, including during looming deadlines or competitions. Its energy boost is fueled with adrenaline that often also reflects passion and lust.

Mars governs Aries, a sign best known for a vivacious spirit. During Mars’ retrograde, you might experience some trouble standing up for yourself or issues with confidence when being intimate.


Jupiter is best known as the most significant of the solar system’s giant planets, and it represents luck, wealth, and the dueling notions of philosophy and spirituality. This planet encourages us to expand our scope of life and broaden our horizons through education and philosophy.

Sagittarius is governed by Jupiter, and it’s not difficult to see the connection. Sagittarius is known for risk-taking behavior but also for its hunger for more through educational pursuits. Jupiter’s retrograde is often a time to seek philosophical and spiritual growth.


This giant ringed planet represents time, rules, and regulations. During good times, Saturn can also represent hard work, achievements, and resilience. However, if you catch Saturn on a negative day, it can be unforgiving and harsh. This can mean we’ll need to learn from our most difficult situations – a notion often known as “tough love.” Though Saturn can be harsh and a bit unforgiving, it has the best intentions for us, not dissimilar to the sign it governs.

Capricorn is perhaps best known for its never-ending ambition. Saturn governs Capricorn, lending its influence to those born under this sign. During Saturn’s retrograde, life may feel more restrictive, and we often have to work a bit harder to get things off the ground.


Uranus is the most unusual of the planets. It doesn’t play by the rules of science and has a tilted axis, which forces it to complete its orbit from its side. Interestingly enough, however, Uranus represents technology as well as rebellious and innovative spirits.

This planet governs Aquarius, who is commonly known for nonconformity and going-against-the-grain thinking. During this planet’s retrograde, we are urged to leave the past behind and continue with life. Uranus’ retrograde is also an excellent time to develop a different outlook.


Though no longer a planet in most textbooks (scientists have swayed between classifying Pluto as a planet, a non-planetary body, and a dwarf planet), Pluto still serves a purpose within astrological pursuits. Pluto governs Scorpio, the most elusive of the signs. It symbolizes power, transformation, and regeneration. During Pluto’s retrograde, we are encouraged to let go of what no longer serves us and transform into a better version of ourselves.


Neptune is known for its creative and psychic energies on a good day, and for its self-delusion and desire to escape on a rough day. Neptune is also known for its influence on Pisces, an emotive water sign known for their imagination and impressive psychic powers. When Neptune is in retrograde, secrets are often revealed, and astrology adherents make an effort to avoid trying to get away with capers during this time.

What Are Your Signs?

Zodiac Signs Collage

As mentioned, giving your sun sign is the best way to respond to people who want to know “your sign.” However, there are other ways to answer this question.

Your Sun and Moon Signs

Your sun sign, the position of the sun in the zodiac at the time of your birth, dictates how you present yourself to others in your life. In other words, a sun sign can describe your exterior personality. Your moon sign, the position of the moon at the time of your birth, can dictate how you interact with yourself as well as how you nurture yourself and others around you. Simply put, your moon sign can dictate your interior personality.

Most people have two modes: one for when you’re in the company of others and one for when you’re alone or only with a person who you are close to. Your sun and moon signs can be seen as influencing who you are in those two modes. In other words, the sun sign is who you are at a party, and your moon sign is who you are when you arrive home.

Your Rising Sign

Your rising sign is closely tied to your sun sign, as it is the sign that is “rising,” or on the eastern horizon, at the time of your birth. It is the way you want to be perceived by others. As a result, while the sun sign is how you are seen externally, the rising sign is a little different because it’s not a given that the way you want to be perceived is actually how you are perceived.

Generally speaking, if you are viewing a standard, circular astrological chart, you can find your rising sign by locating the horizontal line that moves through the center of the chart and following it to the left until you reach your rising sign.

Using this free printable astrology cheat sheet with the astrological chart basics, you can view your sun, moon, and rising signs.

free printable astrology cheat sheet

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Houses on a Birth Chart

Astrological Houses

The last piece of the birth chart puzzle is the houses. The houses are found on the inner circle of the birth chart, and there will be twelve of them, just as there are twelve zodiac signs. Some sections will have multiple planetary symbols in them, and some will be blank. This just means that those planets were in different houses at the time of your birth. If they are blank, it just means no planet was present during that specific moment.

So, how do you interpret your houses?

First, take a look at your sun, moon, and rising signs noted on your birth chart. Then, determine which houses have planets in them. Each house represents different areas of your life, and once you layer on the meanings of the various planets, you can get a nuanced view of your personality. Here’s a breakdown of how to assign the characteristics of the planets (noted above) depending on the houses they resided in at the time of your birth.

  • The First House – Sense of self, core identity, and how you present to others
  • The Second House – Finances, childhood friends, and self-esteem
  • The Third House – Communication, news, gossip, siblings, and travel
  • The Fourth House – Home life, personal beliefs, familial traditions, and ancestors
  • The Fifth House – Creativity, endeavors of inspiration, social parties, and children (keep in mind that astrologically speaking, children could mean anything you look after, such as a business)
  • The Sixth House – Health, self-care, and the people we see every day (friends, family, and even somewhat random people, too)
  • The Seventh House – All types of partnerships, including romance, friendships, business, and even enemies
  • The Eighth House – Intimate life, death, taxes, transformation, and debt
  • The Ninth House – Long-distance travel, philosophy, intellectualism, higher education endeavors, religious beliefs, and core values
  • The Tenth House – Career, your public image, and what you give to the world and community
  • The Eleventh House – Friendship, community, humanitarian endeavors, and astrology
  • The Twelfth House – Secrets, dishonesty, psychological or mental health struggles
It’s important to note that everyone will have “empty houses” on their birth chart. They represent areas in our lives that we struggle with or face challenges in. For example, if you have an empty eighth house, you might struggle with spending habits or debt.

Continue To Follow Your Stars With These Astrological Basics

Working on completing your birth chart

As you put together your birth chart and learn more about your houses and horoscopes, you might start to notice patterns within your life. The study of astrology is a constantly evolving individual study of oneself, and we hope the printables linked above can help you learn more about you!

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