What is a birth chart, and how do I get one?
Whether you are a fan of astrology or not, chances are you have heard the term "birth chart", or "natal chart". You may even know someone who has seen a professional astrologer for guidance and advice, and has perhaps paid to receive a birth chart.
But what exactly is it all about?
A birth, or natal chart is essentially a stylized map of the planets and their arrangement at the exact moment you were born. It is mapped out using the person's name, date of birth, location at time of birth (city, state, and country), and exact time of birth.
Each person's birth chart is unique, and this is because the planets are constantly moving both in their own courses of orbit, and through the zodiac. They are at a different position in the sky and the zodiac with each passing second. This is the reason each chart is unique to the individual it represents, and a big reason why the exact time of birth really helps accuracy. No two people are alike, and no two birth charts are exactly the same. However, they will all look a little something like this:
What will I learn from my birth chart?
While the image above looks a little chaotic, it is describing planetary relationships. The planetary relationships outlined in a person's birth chart can give insight into what a person's relationships will be like, challenges he or she may face, motivations, personal strengths/weaknesses, family and money matters, and one's life purpose can all be detailed within a birth chart. Yes, all of that information is contained in that colorful, seemingly non-sensical image!
How much does it cost?
Well, the cost really depends on who is doing the writing for you. Prices vary, and can be inexpensive (I've seen as low as $4.00) or they can be a bit more expensive. I've seen some going for $40.
There are also options online at varying websites that are offered at no cost. A well-known site is Astrolabe.
Really, you don't have to spend anything if you don't want to, but be aware that the free sites won't give you as much detail...you have to pay for the real juicy stuff.
Can I do my own birth chart? Do I have to pay for someone to do it for me?
Nope, you absolutely don't have to pay, and yes, you can do your own! It's not that difficult to write your own birth chart, either. Thanks to modern technology, computer software has made it much easier for us to draw up birth charts accurately and quickly. There's also a plethora of sources out there to assist you on your mission.
If you're entirely new to the subject of astrology, some books can actually be pretty dense and somewhat overwhelming. Astrology has its own language, and that language can be complicated at first.
If you feel that you're dedicated and up to the task of creating your own birth charts either for yourself or for others (it's a really fun hobby, and people will be amazed at your talent), there are a ton of great astrology books that can help guide you, whether you decide to take a serious approach to astrology, or simply want to have an enjoyable, refreshing hobby.
I hope this article was helpful for you. I highly recommend either having someone draw up a chart for you, or making one yourself. You'll likely find that it's an enlightening tool that will better help you to explore and understand yourself and what drives you.