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Whether you’re checking up on your horoscope on the reg or rolling your eyes at that friend who blames everything on Mercury in retrograde, let’s face it: We’re all a little intrigued by the whole thing. So we reached out to Ruby Warrington, founder of The Numinous, a website for stylish people who happen to be interested in mystical pursuits. Taking some pointers from her new book, Material Girl, Mystical World, Ruby gave us the “SparkNotes” version on how to understand your birth chart in six easy steps.

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Desktop Astrology
Dana Dickey

1. Calculate Your Chart Online
Early-day astrologers used complicated sums to calculate a chart. In 2017, we have…the Internet! All you need to know is the date, place and ideally time (to the nearest hour) you were born. Create yours here, then take a screenshot and print it out so you can make your own notes. (Don’t know your time of birth? No prob—you can still access plenty of info.)

2. Say Hello to “You”
See the circle in the center? That’s “you.” In the actual solar system, the planets revolve around the sun. But in astrology, we get to sit at the center of the universe (yay), and your birth chart is like a snapshot of the sky at the exact moment of your birth.

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The Numinous

3. Follow the Signs
Divided into 12 sections around the inner circumference are each of the different zodiac signs. Every chart, and therefore each of us, contains all the signs, and in astrology they represent the various parts of our personality. (And here we thought we were Gemini through and through.)

4. Go Around the Houses
If you have the time of your birth, you’ll see the outer ring of the chart is also divided into 12 sections with numbers. (If your birth time is MIA, the ring remains blank.) These are the different “houses” of your chart, and each numbered house corresponds to an area of life (i.e., work, health, relationships, etc.). For example, the third house rules communication, the fourth house family and the fifth house creativity and self-expression.

5. Which Planet Are You On?
The colorful symbols on the outside of the chart represent the different planets and celestial bodies of the solar system, and you’ll see they each have a line placing them in a different house and therefore signs. The planets represent your motivation in life, with the house they sit in giving clues as to how you direct this motivation. For example, Mercury rules ideas. In the chart pictured, Mercury is in the second house of finance and the idealistic sign of Pisces, suggesting an individual who may view her money situation through rose-tinted glasses!

Material Girl Mystical World 728x418
Book Cover: HarperElixir; Background: Twenty20

6. The Fun Part—Interpretation
Look at the traits associated with each house, sign and planet—Warrington provides a primer in her book—and how they work together in the different combinations shown in your chart. For example, if the moon (emotions, needs) is the seventh house of relationships and the sign of Sagittarius (travel), you could interpret that you need a degree of freedom within your relationships to explore and see the world. See what you just learned about yourself? At the end of the day, even if you’re doubtful about this mystic stuff, a little self-exploration can’t hurt.

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