Introduction to Charts
The easiest way to do an astrological reading is to make up a chart of the information needed. A chart is a snapshot of the planets at a specific time. We put the information on paper in a circular diagram using glyphs with the degrees and minutes written down so we know where all the planets and houses are located on a specific chart. We will look at an example chart in the next section.
The type of chart most frequently used in astrology is a birth chart. In this tutorial we will be using Albert Einstein's chart as an example. I picked him because he is a well known figure and because he's dead, so it is not likely I will offend him. I also can't help but to think it probably would not bother him. Although I have this chart included in this section, if you are reading this tutorial online, I strongly suggest you print out the chart so it is nearby for easy reference. If you have downloaded this tutorial, I still suggest you print out the chart for easy reference.
Take a look at Einstein's chart now. Notice there are twelve
dashed lines dividing up the circle into pie pieces. These are the 12
houses. Remember, I said earlier that the houses are usually not equal
in size. Often, though, astrologers will use a chart print out that
shows the houses as equal size. Many people find such charts easier to
read and to work with. It is a personal preference of mine to work with
the charts that show the houses as unequal.
This tutorial will not cover any charts other than
birth charts, however, it will help to know that there are many other
charts that can be done and that they all have their own uses. For
example, a transit chart would be a chart made for any particular time.
For example, if I did a chart for right now, I could compare it to my
birth chart. When I looked at the relationships of the planets in by
birth chart to the transit chart, I would have a good idea of what kind
of energies or currents are effecting my life now.
It is also possible to compare the charts of two people to see how they will get along with each other. We can also take the birth chart and use that information to make progressed charts, solar arc progressions, or other "progressed" charts. Without going into details, these "progressed" charts involve making projections into the future from someone's birth chart.
The Next Step
After you have learned to find the planets and house cusps and feel like a birth chart is not an arcane document, but something that you will soon learn to read and understand, it's time to start learning what the signs, planets, and houses mean. Then we can go on to reading good ol' Albert's birth chart.