08 Jun The 7 Astrology Chart Shapes And Their Meaning
Before looking at the different astrology chart shapes, let’s start with the basics and make sure we’re all on the same page.
An astrology natal chart (also known as an astrology birth chart) is a map that shows where every planet on its journey around the Sun (as seen from planet earth) was at the exact date and time you were born.
In addition, reading a natal chart can help us learn about our strengths and weaknesses, the best time to execute certain important plans, and even show us our best opportunities for soul growth. With that in mind, if you don’t have access to a birth chart, here is a reliable source. All you need to avail it is your place, date, and time of birth.
But in case you do not know the exact time you were born (and asking your parents is not an option at the moment), just put in ‘at 12 noon’. There won’t be a big difference.
Now, for those of you who might want to take it a step further and learn more about yourselves (such as the sun signs you’re most compatible with or when you should do important stuff such as signing a business deal), then you may need to visit avid astrologers.
These people have extensively trained to turn every stone in one’s birth chart and tell you everything you feel uncertain about, including why you tend to react to certain situations the way you do.
Here is a list of the most basic things an astrologer will take into consideration when reading your birth chart.
- Your zodiac sign and the house every planet in the chart is in. There are 12 different houses in astrology.
- The Moon, Mars, and Venus’ house and sign for love. Note that the Moon and the Sun are counted as planets in the realm of astrology. Here is a detailed guide on planets in astrology.
- Jupiter for areas you could end up lucky and Saturn for areas you might need to start working harder.
- The angles or ‘aspects’ formed between any two planets. Here is a detailed guide on aspects of astrology.
- Does a natal chart have a stellium (more than two planets in the same sign)? If there are, then it usually ends up creating a heavy concentration of a specific type of energy for the person whose birth chart is being read.
- The nature of the balance of elements (planets in water, air, earth, and fire signs) in the natal chart. Here is a guide on elements in astrology.
- The nature of the balance of qualities (planets in fixed, mutable, and cardinal sings) in the natal chart. Here is a guide on qualities in astrology.
- Last, but by no means the least, the pattern formed by the planets on your birth chart. There are seven different classical chart shapes.
As you may have already noticed, today we’ll be expanding on the last point to help you understand what each shape means and how you (or your astrologer) can interpret it. Without further ado, let us skip to the main section of the post.
Astrology Chart Shapes: The Splay Pattern
If you’ve been following my posts, then you know I love starting on a high note.
Of all astrology chart shapes, the splay is the most common yet least clearly defined pattern, thanks to the fact its planets are spread too unevenly around the natal chart (as shown in the image.)
That said, in every splay pattern, there must be more than one cluster of planets, with all the others distributed randomly.
But sometimes expect the cluster to be made up of even up to three planets (which also end up being linked to one another in aspect patterns like a T-Square or a Grand Trine.)
People whose birth charts fall under this pattern tend to be too much of their own individuals and have a hard time when it comes to adapting to other people’s demands.
Characteristically, they love holding onto their perspectives tenaciously and are not tolerant of people who disagree with them.
But they’re also motivated by strong desires for freedom, which makes them very self-sufficient.
Astrology Chart Shapes: The Splash Pattern
When a birth chart takes the splash pattern, then it means all the planets have been evenly distributed all around the birth chart (usually with no or a few conjunctions and with as many sun signs occupied as possible.)
People that fall under splash patterns are less entrenched and focused than the others, thanks to the fact the chart itself indicates an open-minded approach to life as well as a correspondingly wide range of interests and abilities.
The keywords for these type of people are versatility and adaptability.
That said, even though all the aforementioned qualities award them the ability to move in any foreign environment, their ‘jack of all trades’ mentality tends to result in a lack of direction – and the effects of this downside can be seen in these people’s tendencies to spread their talents and energies too thin.
Astrology Chart Shapes: The Bundle Pattern
When a birth chart takes the shape of a bundle as shown in the image above, then it means that all planets have been grouped in one-third of the natal chart.
Even though this pattern is rarest of all seven, it reflects the narrowness of experience and vision. This implies that individuals born under the shape have a tendency to channel their energy into topics that relate to the section occupied, but at the expense of every other topic that falls in the unoccupied section of the natal chart.
According to astrologers, this pattern signifies people who are specialists in their field – but also have obsessive personality traits. On the bright side, this implies they can be extremely effective individuals in their limited areas of experience.
These people are also determined, tenacious, and have single-minded attitudes in sun signs and areas that the bundle occupies. They have a focused, self-contained personality and are likely to resourcefully concentrate their energy in a certain area of life. To expand on the negative, they have a small perspective even though they’re the most likely to develop their resources to the highest level.
If the bundle birth chart pattern falls in the upper half of the chart, then these people are more likely to be concerned with public affairs. But if it falls on the lower half of the birth chart, then the people are more insular and worried about personal affairs.
Generally speaking, these people’s fields of energies and interests are also likely to be concentrated and they are self-controlled, self-motivated, and have a strong sense of their own goals and desires.
Astrology Chart Shapes: The Hour Glass (or See Saw) Pattern
If you fall under this birth chart pattern, then the bad news is you’re likely to be in an unending race for a balance that you’re less likely to attain because you’ll keep veering from one extreme to the other.
You are also constantly concerned with your relationships and are aware of the alternatives that your life presents.
On an even positive note, you learn through experiences.
At times, it may feel like the pattern of your life is individual or unique with a good dose of the unexpected popping up on your face at every turn.
But no matter what life throws at you, it’ll always feel like you have more than one direction in life as well as different sets of motivation.
Note though, this might sometimes seem confusing and other times can be a great source of creativity.
Astrology Chart Shapes: The Locomotive Pattern
When a birth chart takes the locomotive pattern, then it implies that the planets are (more or less) perfectly spread over 2/3 of the chart (also known as the equivalent of nine consecutive sun signs.)
People whose birth charts fall under this pattern are dynamic, at times irresistibly so, and tend to apply their energy to challenges indicated by houses found in the occupied area. That said, the vacant region of the birth chart in a locomotive pattern represents the areas of one’s life that the person is not experienced to handle (or at the very least feel missing in the person), and indicate the vulnerable parts of the personality. This means that they need careful handling.
These people are also self-driving.
If you fall under this pattern, the 1st planet leading the others (in the clockwise direction) around the birth chart is the driving force that will be indicative and most significant to the way in which you’ll instigate action
When coupled with the house position, the planet will also show the part of your personality that is the motivating force as well as the type of experiences you’re more likely to seek out.
My favorite astrologer (the one that introduced me to the realm of astrology) defined this first planet as the engine of the locomotive pattern – and its house and sun sign position as the energy that fuels your drive. This further implies that your energy will likely be applied in a powerful and driven type of way (depending on the nature of your planet engine.)
Astrology Chart Shapes: The Bucket Pattern
When a natal chart takes the shape of a bucket, then all planets (except one) are on the same side of the birth chart. The remaining planet (also known as a singleton planet) is usually on the opposite side of the other planets.
Since it’s the only presence in the mostly empty half of the chart, a singleton planet tends to act as the counterbalance to all the other planets and is regarded as the channel through which every energy in the natal chart is getting channeled.
Every planet within the filled half of the circle that aspects the singleton adapts the energy flow’s nature.
People that fall under the bucket-shaped birth charts are usually goal fixated individuals, thanks to the fact they are able to concentrate all their energy on attaining a specific aim with a single-minded determination. The house and sign position of the singleton planet will show what areas in life (and how) this determination should be mostly directed.
Also, as you will notice after looking at the next astrology chart shape in this list, the bucket pattern closely resembles the bowl pattern, the only difference being that the bucket pattern has the singleton planet in the opposite side of the birth chart, hence providing a route to the other side of the realm.
If you fall under this shape, then understand that the singleton (which acts as the handle of the bucket) will always be an extremely essential focal point in your life. You will channel all of your energy through this handle of the bucket.
Moreover, the house and sign position of the handle will further indicate the type of energy you’ll most frequently express and the areas of life through which you should seek satisfaction.
To top it off, the planet that serves as a handle for the bucket birth chart will also play an important role in helping you understand your horoscope.
Astrology Chart Shapes: The Bowl Pattern
When a birth chart takes the shape of a bowl, then it means all planets have been concentrated on one half of the chart, at times sealed by an opposition. If you’ve checked out the guide on aspects I linked above, then you know the opposition is one of them.
Anyway, reflecting on the shape of this birth chart pattern, people with bowl-shaped natal charts are often said to be extremely resourceful and self-contained. They only downside is that they also tend to be one-sided, which means their lifelong challenge most of the time is to integrate the empty side of their chart.
In addition to that, if the bowl pattern forms above the horizon (also known as the Ascendant axis ‘as shown in the image above’) then the person is expected to take a more objective or extroverted to life.
If the bowl pattern has its planets below the horizon, on the other hand, the person’s approach toward life tends to be a more subjective and introverted perspective.
If the bowl birth chart pattern faces the right (or east) of the Midheaven axis, then the person’s emphasis is on creating social outlets that aid personal initiatives. If the chart pattern faces the left (or west) of the Midheaven axis, on the other hand, then the person will primarily be concerned with establishing a balance between relationship and personal needs.
Also, the person can function in a more self-contained style in houses that are occupied by the planets, while at the same time focusing on achieving everything in the unoccupied region of the birth chart.
The 1st planet in the bowl birth chart pattern (in the clockwise direction) indicates the energies that will come in handy as the person tries to fulfill his/her needs.
If the bowl birth chart pattern faces the lower side, the person is most likely to be an introvert, lack confidence in most situations, and only stay concerned with private affairs. But if the pattern faces the upper side, then the person is usually confident and extroverted in public (but still has a hard time relating with others on a personal level.)
In houses 1 – 3, the person whose birth chart shows a bowl pattern is independent and self-contained with leadership qualities. But in houses 4 – 10, the person is dependent on other individuals and usually has to follow what others dictate.
People under the bowl pattern (regardless of the side of the planets) also tend to have energies that are directed and concentrated to help them define their goals. These people’s realm of interests is focused and defined, and will usually be somewhat interested and self-contained when it comes to the purpose of their experiences (whether philosophical or practical.)
Those are the 7 astrology chart shapes. If you like the post, then I’m confident you’ll love this one on the 8 phases of the moon in astrology and their meaning.