How to approach a chart
- Make sure you know about your “tools” before you start to avoid wrongly interpreting or missing something. These “tools” are knowledge of the basics/things like
- the flat wheel
- the elements
- the sign’s, planet’s, and house’s keywords / archetypes
- the modalities
- In an astrological chart, southern and sorthern as well as east and west are switched so south is up, north is down, west is right, east is left. (for A.1)
- Make sure you have birth data that’s as accurate as possible. We’re talking birth certificate or biography accurate.
- Clearly always feel free to add more as you please, but these things should be included to create a rough outline of any chart.
A) Overall Impression:
- Are more planets in the southern (upper half) or northern (lower half) hemisphere of the chart? Are more in the eastern (left half) or western (right half) part?
- Are there any interceptions/duplications? If so, where?
- Where are the angles?
- Any obvious chart patterns?
- Any big stellia?
B) Narrowing it down a bit - Sorting into categories:
- How much energy is concentrated in a certain element, modality, and polarity?
- How many bodies fall into angular houses/cardinal signs, how many into succedent/fixed and cadent/mutable?
- How many bodies fall into fire houses/signs, how many into earth, air, and water?
- How many bodies fall into an active/masculine house/sign, how many into a passive/feminine sign?
- Are there any significant lacks of a certain category? Does the chart significantly lack a certain element’s, polarity’s, or modality’s energy?
- How many aspects are present? Of what kind? How many conjunctions? How about sextiles, trines, oppositions, and squares?
C) Making it exact - Placement positions, major aspects, etc.:
- What houses and signs do the individual planets and luminaries fall in?
- What major aspects form between which planets?
- Are any planets strongly afflicted or beneficially aspected?
- What is the chart ruler and where is it?
- What house cusps do the signs fall on?
- Are any planets in retrograde?
D) Looking for details - Degrees, lords, rulerships, etc.:
- What decans do the planets fall in?
- Where are the lords of the houses seated?
- Are any planets dignified or exalted? In detriment or fall?
- Are any planets in an anartic degree?
- Where are the rulers of certain placements seated?
- What is the tightest aspect?
The actual delineation (= interpretation/analysis) of the chart can begin here. Taking the above steps shouldn’t involve active interpretation just yet as you are simply creating an outline for the chart and objectively view the distribution of energies in it. It is supposed to ensure having the big picture in mind from the beginning on as well as making sure that nothing is forgotten.