Natal, Transit, and Synastry Zodiac Charts: What’s The Difference?

Written by Dayva Segal
Published: August 26, 2023
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Astrology is the study of the stars, but not from a scientific perspective. Astrologers use ancient systems to ascribe meaning to the positions of the planets, luminaries, asteroids, and other objects in the sky. Some people believe that astrology is a divination tool, while others believe it can predict the best days and times to do specific activities. Still, others believe it is more of a psychological tool that can help people interpret their personalities and grow into their best self.

If you have begun exploring astrology, you may have come across the terms natal, transit, and synastry. These terms describe different types of zodiac charts that you can evaluate for different purposes.

What is a Natal Astrology Chart?

Woman astrologer draws a natal chart. Selective focus. Astrology chart.

Some people calculate natal astrology charts by hand.

©Anna Solovei/iStock via Getty Images

A natal astrology chart is a snapshot of the sky at the moment you were born. To get your natal astrology chart you need to know the exact time and place of birth. Some people calculate these charts by hand. However, increasingly, people use online calculators to see their full birth charts.

When people say, “I’m a Taurus,” they are most likely referring to the Sun sign found on their natal zodiac chart. However, natal charts contain more than just a Sun sign, including information about each planet, luminary, and asteroid at the time of birth.

What is a Transit Astrology Chart?

The planets are always on the move. In astrology, transits refer to how the current positions of the planets interact with the planets on your natal chart. A transit chart is often a chart for a specific day and time. It may be overlayed on top of your natal chart to see how the planets are interacting. You may also simply receive a list of the planets and their aspects with each other.

People use transit charts for both the past, present, and future. They use them for the past to see what astrological aspects may have contributed to a past event. They use them for the present and future to see what astrological aspects are contributing to present and future events. People also use future transit charts for “electional astrology.” This form of astrology tries to determine the best dates to do things like get married, launch a business, or go on a trip.

Some astrologers offer special reports that give you information on important planetary transits for a whole month or year. Because it’s not for a specific moment in time, it would be a written report that would tell you certain dates that may be especially easeful or challenging for you, instead of a chart.

What is a Synastry Astrology Chart?

Astrology birth chart compatibility for partner with heart. Astrological Compatibility men and women, synastry layout. New age astrological

This synastry chart compares two people’s natal astrology charts in one image.

©Worarat Ngamkamollert/iStock via Getty Images

Synastry is the astrology of compatibility. A synastry chart compares two peoples’ natal astrology charts to see where the energy in their relationship may flow and where it is blocked. The chart allows astrologers to see the aspects between the two peoples’ natal planets. Another name for a synastry chart is a relationship chart.

Some astrologers believe that the most important bodies in a synastry chart are the “big three” of astrology: the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant, as well as the Venus. However, each placement is important and has the potential to influence the relationship. For example, Mercury, the planet of communication, can have a huge bearing on romantic relationships because communication is so important.

Are There Other Types Of Astrology Charts?

Yes, there are several other types of astrology charts in addition to natal, transit, and synastry astrology charts. These charts may not be used as frequently in Western or Modern Astrology but may be more popular in other parts of the world.

1. Astrocartography Chart

This type of chart lays the natal chart on top of a map of the world. Then, each line on the resulting chart represents one of the planets. Each planet’s line affects cities within 500 miles. People use astrocartography to learn where they might want to travel, where they might find love, and which city they might want to move to for ultimate happiness.

2. Vedic Astrology Chart

Vedic astrology uses the same signs as Western astrology. However, it is fundamentally different. If you get your Vedic astrology chart, you will probably have a different sun sign and a different sign for each of the planets than you do in your Western astrology chart. Some people try Vedic astrology if they don’t feel that their Western astrology chart resonates with them.

Vedic astrology differs from Western astrology because:

  • Vedic Astrology uses a Sidereal Calendar, which is based on the Earth’s actual position among the stars. So, the Sun Signs don’t always start on the same date from year to year. Western Astrology uses the Tropical Calendar which is based on the equinoxes and solstices, so the Sun Signs do start on the same date from year to year.
  • The houses are always the same and do not change based on the ascendant.
  • Vedic Astrology tends to focus on karma between lifetimes rather than independent psychology.
  • In Vedic Astrology, the Ascendant is more important than the Sun Sign.

3. Horary Astrology Chart

Astrologers use horary astrology charts to answer specific questions. It doesn’t require any information about the natal astrology chart. The client asks a specific question, then the astrologer looks at the current chart for that exact minute and divines the answer. It is similar to many other types of esoteric practices, like reading tea leaves and tarot cards or throwing bones. This type of astrology is not as popular now but was used by ancient astrologers.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Worarat Ngamkamollert/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Dayva is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering astrology, animals, and geography. She has over 12 years of experience as a writer, and graduated from Hofstra University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Music and a Minor in French. She has also completed course work in Core Strengths Coaching, Hypnotherapy, and Technical Communication. Dayva lives in the SF Bay Area with her cute but very shy cat, Tula.

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