The Chart Schematic
The Chart is a Schematic or Map of the sky when you were born. It freezes or takes a snapshot of the energies that were catapulted into you when you were born. These weathers have an impact on who you are and how you grew & formed. The ancients said that when a being is born it's The Sun & The Moon that activate the chart once they leave the dark of the womb and enter the light of this world. The Sun shoots its light into the Right Eye and The Moon into the Left. If you visualize turning on a robot or android you can imagine how it looks when the light of the luminaries sparks the spirit in us to awaken.
This energy is then reactivated or "aspected" by the planets as they travel around in their cycles as we grow. When a transiting "active" planet comes to the same spot or "degree" of the planet in your chart you can feel or react to that tweaking.
Let's break down the chart.
Why is a Chart Round?
Because nature is a cycle and we never stop going around and around. However, it's helpful to imagine the chart is a spiral too. It is a strand of DNA, a Nautilus, a spiral staircase, a universe. The chart is not static or stuck. There is endless room for movement & opportunities to grow in & out of the original snapshot.
It is important to remember that you're not going to be the same Sun, Mars, Uranus, or Rising Sign person you started out as. You are always being altered and changed by the transits of the other planets to your natal chart.
Which spiral image resonates the most with you? Why do you think you like that image most?
Where Are YOU Now?
You are always in the center of the chart, on Earth. Unless you're in outer space this will remain the constant, the hub of the chart. You are always the center of attention of all the planets & the turning of the wheel.
On The Horizon
The natal chart can also be looked at the same way we view the horizon line. The Ascendant or Rising Sign is indicated by the First House. It is first because it is the Sign that is rising up on the horizon at that hour. The Descendant reveals what Sign is setting at that time.
We can also see the points of the Midheaven or MC and the Imum Coeli or IC indicating where the midpoint of the day and night are. So the MC points to the tippy-top they sky at the time of your birth and the IC points to the biddy-bottom of the sky on the other side of Earth at the time of your birth. If you were to drive stakes into the Earth at these points you'd have YOUR axis. These points are significant indicators of who you are, how you relate, how you are seen, and how you are private in this life. We will definitely cover this more but when you are looking at your three practice charts it's good to have this visual beginning to take shape as you compare the differences & similarities of charts.
Understanding the how's and why's of the Axis in a chart also begins to reveal more delicate layers of the personality. When you look at a chart are there a lot of planets on the top or bottom? To one side or another? How do you think that influences how the chart native behaves or reacts to the world?
You can take a look at each of your practice charts and layer this information on top of the discoveries you've made researching the Elements, Modes & Rulerships in the chart. What Element is at the top or Midheaven of the chart or on the Ascendant? What Mode is the Descendant? Where is the Chart Ruler placed and how might that influence the native? These are just things to be curious about at this point in your studies. As you feel your knowledge base grow, these will already be swirling around in your orbit, making their integration easier & more natural.
Day vs. Night
One last thing to consider when you're looking that the chart with these new eyes of yours: Is the Sun above or below the horizon line? If it is above this person was born during the day and if it's below then they were born at night. What is the difference between the light in the morning versus the light a 4 pm? What about the light in December versus the light in June? What kind of influences do you think the level of light would have on the native? If we accept that The Sun and The Moon (the luminaries) are the energy that initiates the animation of our spirits at the time of our birth how would the time of day we're born influence our personalities? Look at your three charts and compare whether they are day or night charts.
Phases of the Moon(light)
Consider this additional variable of the Sun's light: it's reflection off of the Moon during the different phases. Look at the Sun/Moon relationship in your practice charts and consider what phase each was born under.
Is Cancer Full Moon is going to be different than a Cancer New Moon? How? You may not be able to answer these questions just yet but being curious about these variations will bring you much more insight later. It's worth pondering.
If you're not sure how to calculate the Moon Phase by looking at the chart you can look it up online here by entering the date of birth to see the Moon's phase on that day.