The zodiac wheel is made up of twelve Houses. Each House contains a Sign. The starting point is always with Aries. The zodiac wheel as we know it today is derived from ancient Greek and Roman astrology. Their calendar year always began with the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, on or about March 21 every year, when the Sun was in the constellation Aries. Thus, the order of constellations begins with Aries, and this is what is called the natural zodiac to differentiate from all other charts based off of either your personal birth data or rising sign info.
Aries: March 21 - April 19
Taurus: April 20 - May 20
Gemini: May 21 - June 21
Cancer: June 22 - July 22
Leo: July 23 - August 22
Virgo: August 23 - September 22
Libra: September 23 - October 22
Scorpio: October 23 - November 21
Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21
Capricorn: December 22 - January 19
Aquarius: January 20 - February 18
Pisces: February 19 - March 20
At the moment of your birth, astrologers look to the eastern horizon to see what constellation is appearing. In astrology, the constellation is known as the Sign.
The Sign that appears over the horizon at the moment of your birth is then in turn referred to as the Ascendant, or Rising Sign. The natural zodiac has Aries as its Ascendant.
The Ascendant is the first sign astrologers base the rest of the wheel upon. Therefore, the Ascendant always goes in the 1st sector - the 1st House - of a natal (birth) chart.
Once the Ascendant is known in a birth chart, the rest of the wheel can be constructed, following the signs and dates of the natural zodiac.
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A natal birth chart will differ radically from the illustrated wheel above, because the signs and planets are always moving. The wheel above indicates the lordship or ruling state of the signs and planets in the natural zodiac.
In a natal birth chart, the time of day you were born is very important, because it determines exactly where the planets fell in each constellation at the moment of your birth, creating you as a unique, one-of-a-kind person.
If say, the constellation Libra was rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of your birth, we call this your Rising Sign, and place the sign of Libra in the 1st House.
From there, we can create the rest of your chart; if Libra is in the 1st House, then Scorpio is in the 2nd House, Sagittarius is in the 3rd House, and so on around the chart, following the original order of the natural zodiac until every house is filled.
Next, we will go over what Houses are in a natal chart.
The Houses |
The planets |
Astrology 101 |