The Outer Circle: Your chart has two circles; one is bigger than the other. When stacked on top of each other, the bigger circle peaks out around the edges of the smaller circle. The outer circle is cut into twelve equal sized sections. Each of those sections is named after one of the constellations. They are always in the same order as they occur in the seasons, they never shuffle or get mixed up: Aries (beginning of spring), Taurus (mid-spring), Gemini (end spring), Cancer (beginning of summer), Leo (mid-summer), Virgo (end-summer), Libra (beginning of fall), Scorpio (mid-fall), Sagittarius (end fall), Capricorn (beginning of winter), Aquarius (mid-winter), Pisces (end winter), and back to Aries (beginning of spring). They always are shown in this order, because the seasons never change.

The Inner Circle: The inner circle is also cut into twelve sections. However, it is more like a pizza that sometimes has wide slices and sometimes has narrow slices. The slices that are on opposing sides are always the same width. So if section 1 is narrow, so is section 7 directly across from it. If section 2 is wide, then so is section 8. The opposite sides always mirror each other. The twelve sections within the inner circle are called “houses” and they each govern over certain aspects of our lives.

The Houses: Different charts have different sized houses. Some people have houses that are mostly equal in size and others have a couple of really large houses and a lot of really tiny houses. This indicates that the planets have had more time to affect certain areas of your life and less time to affect others. A big house means that the planets have had more time to make good or bad things happen to you. The planets are displayed inside the inner circle’s houses. Therefore we could say things like “She has Mercury in the second house” or “He has a tenth house sun.” Having a lot of planets in one house does not bless or curse that house. It just means that you will put a lot of importance on the topics governed by that house.

Next, imagine that someone anchors these circles together by poking a pin through the middle of both circles that will allow both wheels to spin around independently of each other, but without actually separating from each other. You can move the outer wheel’s zodiac signs to match with the various houses. For example, you could spin them around so that Aries lines up with the third house or so that Taurus is halfway across the seventh house and halfway into the eighth house. Now when we read someone’s chart we can say things like “She has Mercury in second house Virgo.” Or “He has his sun in tenth house Leo.” The inner circle tells us which house the planet is in and the outer circle tells us which zodiac sign it is in.

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