In astrology, more specifically natal astrology, a natal chart is horoscope or an astrological chart created using the exact time of your birth at a certain place on Earth.
Unlike a star chart, a natal chart can gather more in depth information about the person's individual personality and traits. Natal charts may sometimes be referred to as birth charts, genethliac charts, radix, natus, or nativity charts.
A birth chart is dependant on two major components: the person's date of birth as well as their exact time of birth. The birth time is generally the time at which the person took their first breath and is when the chart is calculated from.
In addition to these two pieces of information, a location is also needed to properly calculate the primary angles of the chart with the most accuracy. These angles are the ascendant, also known as the rising sun, the imum coeli, the descendant, and the midheaven.
The astrological bodies, including the conjunctions and oppositions, are defined in the middle of the chart. The twelve Houses, more commonly referred to as the Zodiac signs or star signs, are located on the outer portion of the person's chart. The houses can be calculated any number of ways.
The most common way is to use the use the primary angles of the chart to create four separate quadrants, each of which contain three houses. Each of the quadrants will then include an angular house, which includes the angle that created the quadrant, the succedent house, and finally the cadent house, which is at the end of the quadrant.
Since the Sun, Moon, planets, and the stars are always in different positions relative to the Earth, and they are constantly moving, a person's birth chart is always changing. A birth chart is a very personal and unique system of astrology, taking into account the exact time the person was born, the location at which they were born, and their birth date. No two charts are alike, not even that of twins, which will slightly differ as they do not share the same birth time.
The only obstacle you may face when compiling a birth chart is the exact time of your birth. Though this can be found on your birth certificate, it is usually rounded to the nearest quarter hour or half hour, making the time on your chart approximate, but not exact.
So if you are planning to compile a birth chart of yourself, ask your parents what the exact time you were born at. More often than not, your parents would have written down the exact time you were born at. But an exact birth time is useless if your birth location is unknown.
Birth charts do not have to be based on Earth, and many astrologers base their charts from the sun. In this case an exact birth time is the only thing that is needed as the location would be the sun. Each chart has a different interpretation and a different construction, with the chart needing to be recalculated using points respective of the planet that is being used in the chart.
Andrew Gibson is MD of ScopeMyFuture.com. Your birth chart is read and Free Daily Horoscopes are emailed to you. Scope My Future reads your horoscope on a daily basis. Learn all about your daily horoscope.