Books by Stefan Stenudd:
Components of the Classical Horoscope Chart
A celestial geocentric diagram
at a certain time, from a certain location,
is the horoscope.
The foremost tool of astrology is the horoscope, a chart of planetary and other celestial positions at a certain time, as seen from a certain place. Where there is a time and a place, a complete horoscope chart can be made.
The most common one, nowadays, is the birth chart, or nativity, based on the time and place of a person's birth. But horoscopes can be made for other things as well - countries, companies, projects, as long as a time and place can be established.
There are four components of a horoscope:
Western astrology is clear on the number of Zodiac signs and Houses, but astrologers differ on how many planets and aspects to include in the horoscope. Still, there is consensus on which are the most important ones.
GeocentricIn the complete horoscope chart, the above components are marked at their respective positions, as seen at the time and place of the horoscope in question. The perspective is geocentric, ie. as seen from earth - although the planetary movements are heliocentric, around the sun. What matters in astrology is how the sky looks from our viewpoint.
ChartsThere are many ways to design a chart. In Greece and in Europe, up until recent times, the most common way of drawing the horoscope chart was the so called envelope design, where each triangle of the figure represented an astrological House. See the horoscope of Martin Luther below.
Horoscope in envelope design of Martin Luther (1483-1546).
Nowadays, the circular horoscope chart is used by most astrologers. In it, the outer circle marks the Zodiac, where each of the twelve Zodiac signs is 30° of the total 360° circle. They are placed in a counter-clock order. Inside of that circle, the positions of the planets are marked. Also, there is the twelve part division of the astrological Houses. The aspects between planets are marked with straight lines between them (in this case the lines of the innermost circle).
Here is a modern style circular horoscope chart:
Circular horoscope chart.
The ascendant, the Rising point in the east, should be at the left side of the horoscope, and the Medium Coeli somewhere on the top halft of the horoscope. That means the horoscope east is to the left, west to the right, south is up and north is down. The horizon is represented by a line from the Ascendant to the Descendant at the opposite side of the horoscope. So, what can be seen of the sky at the time and place of the horoscope, is only what is above that line.
ReadingIn astrology, the components above are interpreted in a combined way. A planet, its Zodiac sign, House and aspects - it's all brought together in the search for the specific meaning in the horoscope. That is not an easy task, and astrologers may come to different conclusions - although they agree on most of the basics.
For more about the basics on the astrological components, see the links below.
I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. Apart from fiction, I've written several books about astrology and spirituality. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Google Profile. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com
Classical astrology is according to the age old astrological principles, which are just as relevant today. The complete horoscope chart consists of many more components than your star sign (where the sun was at your birth). The latter has quite limited applications, which should be respected. This website deals mainly with the complete horoscope, and states clearly when that's not the case.
About This WebsiteWelcome to the world of astrology and horoscopes! Here you find an introduction to the basics of astrology, in-depth presentations of the Zodiac and your sun sign, astrological predictions based on the outer planets, famous horoscopes and elaborate forecasts.
Mundane AstrologyHere are also several examples of mundane astrology - astrological principles applied to institutions, countries and the whole world. This way of using astrology was in the past much more common than personal horoscopes.
Astrology BasicsThe astrology basics present the astrological components and their significance in the personal horoscope. They are the twelve Zodiac signs, the twelve planets, the twelve Houses, and the five aspects.
There are astrologers who use additional celestial bodies, as well as additional aspects. I stick to the horoscope fundamentals specified by Ptolemy, the Greek mathematician of the 2nd century CE, in his classic on astrology: Tetrabiblos. It's the primary source to western astrology.