How to Make — and Understand! — Your Birth Chart



Jackie Richardson ’21 | Associate Editor

Of all the labels Smith students use to either playfully or seriously describe themselves, none has a greater potential to make or ruin a budding friendship or crush more than your astrological sign. Most people here go even deeper — they want your moon, your ascendant and even your whole chart. For the uninitiated, here’s your astrology primer so you at least have the basics down the next time someone asks you.

1. Make your birth chart

First things first: make your birth chart, a map of your personality and a snapshot of the heavens at the time you were born. To make your birth chart, you need a few pieces of information: your birthday (obviously), your birth place and birth time. After you have these ready, plug this info into a free website. My two favorites are and With cafeastrology, you even get a free report telling you what everything means!

2. Sun sign

After plugging your information into the website of your choice, you’ll most likely be greeted with a pinwheel divided into twelve sections, crisscrossed with red and blue lines, and covered with esoteric symbols. Don’t panic! The first thing to look for is your sun sign. This looks like a capital “O” with a dot in the middle. Your sun sign represents your personality as a whole, your life force and your ego; it’s what people are talking about when they say what their sign is. But it’s a mistake to only pay attention to your sun sign. Read on for two other essential parts in your chart — and the other two most often referenced.

3. Moon sign

If your sun sign represents the aspects of your personality you let shine freely on the world, your moon sign represents the parts of yourself you keep private. The moon represents your childhood, your deepest emotions, your subconscious mind. Studying your moon sign can tell you about what drives your impulses and causes your gut reactions to your environment. On your birth chart, it will look like a crescent moon.

4. Ascendant

Your ascendant is the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon when you were born; it appears as a line on the left side of your chart and will likely be labeled “AC.” Your ascendant is the world’s first impression of you; it rules your physical appearance and how you act around new people. If you find yourself acting completely different with strangers than with people you know well, your ascendant and sun signs are probably really different!

5. Venus and Mars

Now onto astrology’s real purpose: to get interstellar dirt on your crushes. Even people who don’t know anything about astrology probably know about these planets’ romantic connotations, so I’ll keep my explanations brief. Venus represents romance and beauty; Mars, sex and power. Venus is love as seduction; Mars is love as the chase. Study your crush’s Venus to see where they’ll take you for a first date; look at their Mars to see how they’ll treat you after.

Sophian Smith