A natal chart is cast using the time, date and location of birth and shows everything you bring into this life time. This chart is seen as a painting of your past lives, and the beliefs that you devloped in those lives. Examining this chart is useful in helping you to better understand and accept yourself, your lessons, and your purpose for being here.
The chart is divided up into sections called houses. They symbolize areas of life experience and show where you are most invested in the expression of your energy. Karmic Astrology uses an equal house system, therefore once the ascendant is determined, the chart is divided up into 12 equal sections using the ascendant as the starting point. Signs
The twelve signs of the zodiac are styles of expression. They show karmic patterns that have been developed, and the kind of historical experience being brought into the current life time. Every natal contains all twelve signs. Planets
The planets signify energy processes. For example, Mercury symbolizes your rational mind, and Venus symbolizes your capacity to give and receive love. The Sun and the Moon are also included in the chart, and so Astrologers may refer to the Sun and the Moon also as planets, though they are clearly not claiming that these two celestial bodies are planets. Some Astrologers also refer to the Sun, Moon and planets as "lights." Aspects are the way in which these energies do or don't work together. The signs are the styles through which these energies are most easily expressed, and the houses are the areas of life in which these energies are most naturally expressed. Aspects
Aspects are angular relationships between pieces in the chart. They symbolize the way in which these energies relate within you. The main aspects used are conjunction, sextile, square, trine, quincunx, and opposition. These show if the pieces are unified, in harmony or in conflict. Karmic Nodes
The Karmic Nodes are like snapshots that sumarize your karma. The south node shows the dominant karmic patterns that you have chosen to release in this life time. The north node shows the purpose for this life time. The north node is always directly opposite the south node. Only by releasing the karmic patterns of the south node and developing opposite patterns will the goal in this life be achieved. Numerology
The numerology of the degree and minutes of each piece in the chart provides great insight and definition for each piece. Synastry
Synastry is the comparison of natal charts. This comparsion shows how two people are alike or different, what kind of buttons get pushed by one another, what can attract or repel, etc. Transits
Transits are the current positions of the planets. Looking at where the transits are in relation to your natal chart shows you how the energy outside of you outside of you will or won't support you. Other Charts
In addition to the natal chart, there are other types of charts that Astrologers use that are based on the natal chart. One of the most popular charts after the natal chart is a progression. A progression is based on the natal chart, and shows the kinds of growth cycles, opportunities and challenges that you are inviting into your life now. A progression is useful for helping you to see where your energy may be best spent. It is easy for us to spin our wheels on things that are not relevant to our growth and happiness. By shifting our focus to the areas of life that our inner self is currently drawn to, we find that life is generally an easier and more fulfilling experience.