How to Create an Astrological Chart

Two Methods:Sample Astrological ChartCreating an Astrological Chart

An astrological chart or, more specifically, a natal chart, is a symbolic representation of the position of the planets, the sun, and the moon at the moment of a person’s birth. Each planet occupies a particular zodiac sign at a given moment, and it is the interpretation of this placement that provides astrologers with insight into a person’s personality and behavior. Because an astrological chart is based on facts—-the actual positions in the sky (relative to earth) of heavenly bodies at a certain time—-it is more of an astronomical than an astrological endeavor. The following tips will help you create a chart for yourself or someone else.

Sample Astrological Chart

Sample Astrological Chart

Creating an Astrological Chart

  1. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 1
    Using a compass, draw three concentric circles on a piece of paper. The innermost circle should be fairly small relative to the outer circles.
    • Alternatively, obtain blank horoscope forms from an astrologer or astrological bookstore. Much easier than drawing circles by hand.
  2. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 2
    Divide the space between the outer two circles into 12 equal sections. Each section will symbolize one of the 12 signs of the zodiac (Cancer, Libra, etc.).
  3. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 3
    Label each section with its sign, represented by the sign's glyph (symbol). If you label one section as Leo, the next section (see sub-steps below) should be Virgo, the next sign of the zodiac in the yearly order.
    • If you know the birth time, determine the Ascendant (Rising Sign) before putting the Signs into their spaces.
    • If the horoscope is for a Northern Latitude location, put the Sign of the Ascendant into the leftmost section: this is East when looking toward the South from a Northern location. Then fill in the rest of the Signs in counter-clockwise order.
    • If the location is of Southern Latitude, put the Sign of the Ascendant into the rightmost section, and place the rest in in clockwise order.
    • Strictly Speaking: If the location is within about 27½º of Latitude, the Declination of the Ascendant should be compared with that Latitude to check whether the Ascendant is North or South of the place - hence which side it should be placed at. In practice, however, this is almost never done, so you should be safe using the general practice above!!
  4. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 4
    Divide each section (sign) into 30 equal degrees. The whole circle has 360 degrees, so each of the 12 equal sections will have 30 degrees. Using small notches on the second circle, mark each degree. You can mark only every other degree or so if you wish, but keep in mind that the angles between points on the circle will be critical in interpreting the chart, so accuracy is important.
    • If you use a "store-bought" chart form, this may already have been done.
  5. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 5
    Find the subject’s ascendant sign by looking up his or her birth date and time in an ascendant table in an ephemeris. An ephemeris is a chart of the positions of heavenly bodies at given points in time—you can purchase one or find one at the library, and several are available on the Internet. The ascendant is the sign of the zodiac that is rising over the eastern horizon at a given time (the time of birth, in this case) at a given place (the subject's place of birth) on Earth. Thus, in order to construct a very accurate chart, you will need to know the longitude and latitude of the subject’s birthplace (use an online search for "longitude of -name-" if you don't have a reliable map at hand), as well as the exact date and time. Computer programs available free on the Internet can provide you with the ascendant sign if you enter the necessary information.
  6. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 6
    Mark the ascendant sign on your chart. The computer program or ephemeris you use to determine the ascendant sign will tell you a location (in degrees) within that sign, for example 12 degrees Virgo. To locate the correct point, find the sign (in this case Virgo) on your chart, and, moving forward through the Sign, count in the number of degrees (in this case 12) from the Sign’s “beginning” edge. To put this example another way: if we imagine the circle to be a clock, and Virgo takes up the space between 9 and 8, Virgo begins at 9 (not 8), and you would count 12 degrees in from the 9 toward the 8 to find 12 degrees Virgo.
  7. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 7
    Determine the positions of the Moon, Sun, and Planets, and mark them on your chart. Consult the ephemeris or computer program again to find the locations within the zodiac of the major celestial bodies at the time, date, and location of birth. These locations will be denoted by both the sign and degrees within the sign, as for the ascendant. Also, as with the ascendant, you will need to adjust the locations given in the ephemeris to take into account the actual time and place of the subject’s birth. If you use a computer program instead of an ephemeris, this adjustment will be made for you. Mark the positions in the space between the inner two circles of your chart. Denote the positions with glyphs (symbols used to represent each of the celestial bodies), and write the location in degrees next to the glyphs.
  8. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 8
    Draw in the houses. The houses are imaginary divisions (usually twelve), each one signifying an aspect of the subject's life (money, children, family, personality, etc.). These are located in the large space in the chart between the inner circle and the second circle. The division method of the houses is controversial and there are several methods to choose from. One of these (perhaps the easiest) is the equal-house method, in which each house is 30 degrees wide. The “beginning” edge of the first house is drawn at the ascendant. If the ascendant is at 12 degrees Leo, the first house runs from there to 12 degrees Virgo, and the second house runs from 12 degrees Virgo to 12 degrees Libra, and so on. The houses are numbered 1-12 counterclockwise.
  9. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 9
    Calculate the aspects. An aspect is the angle formed between a pair of celestial bodies, with the earth as the center (or vertex) of the angle. You can estimate the aspects by simply looking at the chart. For example, if we imagine the chart to be a clock, if the sun is located in the 12 o'clock position and Venus is located at 3 o'clock, we can see that the angle between the two is 90 degrees. For more accuracy, you can calculate the aspects using the degree readings you recorded on the chart, keeping in mind that the entire circle has 360 degrees, and each sign has 30 degrees. You can draw in the aspects in the center circle if you wish.
  10. Image titled Create an Astrological Chart Step 10
    Consult a book on the interpretation of the planets in each sign and house and make observations on the subject's personality and behavior.


  • If this all seems a little complicated, you can get a personalized chart in seconds by entering the necessary information in any number of free chart programs on the Internet. If you doubt the accuracy, try a couple for a second opinion. While these are certainly quicker than doing it yourself, you’ll miss out on the chance to gain greater insight into astrology.
  • You can construct a natal chart without the exact time or location of birth, but it will be incomplete and less accurate.
  • If the subject's date of birth is on the cusp, two to four days on either side of the beginning of a Zodiac Sign, his or her personality traits may draw from both Signs.
  • In order to estimate a subject’s ascendant sign without the aid of an ascendant chart, find out the time of sunrise for the subject’s date and location of birth (see external links for a tool to assist you). If the person was born at sunrise, his or her ascendant sign would be the same as his or her sun sign (the sign which most people consider to be their “sign”). For about every two hours (but remember that this differs for different Signs) after sunrise, the ascendant proceeds forward one sign (i.e. from Leo to Virgo). Thus, if sunrise on the subject’s date of birth at the subject’s birthplace was at 6:15 A.M., but the subject (a Leo) was born at 11:15 A.M., you would proceed two signs from Leo—because the subject was born more than 4 hours, but less than 6 hours after sunrise—and you would find that Libra is the ascendant.
  • When consulting an ephemeris, exercise care to correctly adjust the local time of the subject’s birth to the time listed in the ephemeris. Usually an ephemeris will give you the positions of celestial bodies at midnight (00:00) Greenwich Mean Time, so you will not only need to interpolate the positions for the actual time of birth, you will also need to adjust for time zone differences and daylight savings time, if applicable.
    • But note that the above is a very rough approximation, and could have an error of two or more Signs. Signs do not rise at the same speed, because of the angle of the Ecliptic to the Equator, and the specific rate depends also upon the terrestrial latitude of the place. If you do estimate from the above, the results should be verified/corrected as soon as possible.
  • Use a pencil while constructing the chart, as you are likely to make a mistake or two at first. You can then trace over the pencil lines later.
  • The time of birth is generally regarded as the moment at which the baby first breathes. Birth times are often rounded to the nearest half-hour or quarter-hour on birth certificates and thus may not accurately show the actual time of birth.


  • Possibly the most common error in casting a horoscope is to fail to correct for daylight savings time, or other adjustments to standard time. Take the time to research this and the proper time zone used, before casting the chart.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Subject's birth information (including date, time, longitude and latitude of place of birth)
  • Reliable ephemeris or computer program
  • List of zodiac signs, the months and days they occupy, and their glyphs.
  • An astrology book containing interpretations of signs and planetary placement in those signs.

Sources and Citations

  • Offers free Astrological charts and sample readings.
  • Article on horoscopes, with plenty of links to more detailed astrology information
  • Astrodienst One of several fairly comprehensive ephemeris tables available online
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