An astrology chart is a map of the past and future of a soul. It describes past and present incarnations.
There are 3 main elements of an astrological chart, the Planets with the Sun and the Moon numbering 10, the Signs of the Zodiac numbering 12 and the Houses also numbering 12. It seems like a lot but the good news is that you only need to learn 12 archetypes to master all 34 of these symbols.
The 12 archetypes are the following:
Aries, Mars and the 1st House
Taurus, Venus and the 2nd House
Gemini, Mercury and the 3rd House
Cancer, the Moon and the 4th House
Leo, the Sun and the 5th House
Virgo, Mercury and the 6th House
Libra, Venus and the 7th House
Scorpio, Pluto and the 8th House
Sagittarius, Jupiter and the 9th House
Capricorn, Saturn and the 10th House
Aquarius, Uranus and the 11th House
Pisces, Neptune and the 12th House.
The convention when reading an astrological chart is that the 1st House starts, as if reading the face of a clock, at the 9:00 area (see the image above, labelled I) and moves around counterclockwise with each of the Houses taking up 30 degrees (of course there is 360 degrees all the way around and 12 Houses so each House is 30 degrees). The archetypal zodiac wheel will have Aries on the start of the 1st House which is also called the cusp. The rest of the Houses are numbered counterclockwise. When we look at a chart of a person we may see any of the Signs of the Zodiac on the cusp of the 1st House (called the Ascendant, AC above) and then the other houses start with the next sign going sequentially in order. For example, if there is Scorpio on the cusp of the 1st House then the Sign on the 2nd House will by Sagittarius and the Sign on the 3rd House will be Capricorn and so on. The time and place of birth determine what sign is on the cusp of the 1st House because it is the constellation situated on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth.
The interpretation of an astrological chart is made simple because if you understand the 12 Archetypes of the Zodiac then all you need to learn to do is to blend one archetype with another. We will work on this over time. For example, if you are looking at a chart and see there is Mercury in the 5th House you will blend the Archetypes of Gemini (Mercury) with that of Leo (5th House).
There is a 4th layer to interpretation because the positions of the Planets are not acting alone, they are in a relationship to the other Planets and just like anything, the context is important. If there is, to carry on the example above, Mercury in the 5th house situated right next to Venus there would be an influence and blending of the expression of both Mercury and Venus each being changed by the Archetype of the other.
Not too complicated, right? We will next begin to understand this process through discussing each Archetype in turn. Stay tuned!