The natal chart, or birth chart, is a circular map of the solar system, as seen from the Earth, at the time of birth.
To calculate your birth chart, you need three pieces of information:
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Time of birth
Don’t know your time of birth? An accurate birth time gives you a more complete picture, but you can still cast a valid chart without it. You may calculate the chart for either noon or sunrise on your day of birth.
- If you were born in the United States, your time of birth is probably on record in the state where you were born. Most states have an office responsible for vital statistics. Some will give you your time of birth on the phone, but others require you to order your birth certificate.
- If you order your birth certificate, make it clear that you want the time of birth displayed. Otherwise, it may be omitted.
- If you were born outside the United States, contact the government office in your country that keeps birth records.
Once I have all the information, how do I get a chart?
It takes a lot of work to calculate an astrological chart by hand. Some astrologers insist that hand calculation is the best way to do it. However, most prefer using a computer.
If you want to know how hand calculation is done, you can check out Chris Mitchell’s excellent step-by-step introduction.
There are several very good software packages available for chart calculation. In order to get started right away, though, I’d like to show you how to calculate your chart online.
Open up Astrodienst in your web browser.
Astrodienst, a company based in Switzerland, offers an invaluable service to the online astrology community. They offer services for sale, but use of the chart calculation feature is free and requires no registration.
Then enter your birth information. After you’ve entered the data, choose “Chart drawing” to view your chart.
Always check the birth information on your chart for accuracy. It only takes a few moments, and it can be really frustrating when you learn you’ve spent hours reading the wrong chart!
If you have trouble printing the chart from your web browser, try saving the file to your computer, importing it into a word processing or graphics program, and printing from there.