A birth chart (also known as a natal chart) is a stylized map of the universe with the “native” (the individual or subject to be studied) at the center. It is calculated for the exact time and location of the native’s birth for the purposes of gaining insight into the native’s personality and potential. The chart shows the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and potentially other celestial objects, all referred to as the native’s “planets,” within the frames of references defined by the astrological signs and houses.
The accurate birth time (generally agreed upon as the first breath or intake of air) and location are necessary for the calculation of the exact degree of the signs that are rising, setting, culminating up, and culminating down, known respectively the ascendant (rising sign), descendant, medium coeli (midheaven), and imum coeli (lower midheaven). These degrees, also known as the angles, are essential for mapping the positions of the native’s twelve houses.
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