What are Placements in Astrology? A Quick Beginner’s Guide

Placements in astrology refer to the planets and nodes that are arranged in your birth chart at the moment you were born. Your placements help set the foundation of your mind, heart, and soul.


So how can the different birth chart placements influence your life and how do you find them in your chart?

a natal chart in space and words that say "what are placements in astrology, quick start guide"

What Are Placements in Astrology?

Your birth chart placements are the “players” in your chart. Where and how they are placed influences how you think, feel, and experience life.

Below is a list of the important placements you need to know about in your natal chart along with specific ways they could be arranged.

Before you go any further, we made you a Birth Chart Placements worksheet that goes along with this article, FREE when you sign up for our newsletter below!

Planets in Astrology

The leading actors when it comes to birth chart placements in astrology are your planets.

In an astrology reading, there are 10 planets routinely examined by astrologers. Some of them aren’t planets in scientific terms but are still considered to be planets in astrology. 

  • The Sun ☉
  • The Moon ☽
  • Mercury ☿
  • Venus ♀
  • Mars ♂
  • Jupiter ♃
  • Saturn ♄
  • Uranus ♅
  • Neptune ♆
  • Pluto ♇

Each planet in astrology represents a different part of our psyche, an area in our mind, heart, or our soul.

The sign and house of a planet clue you in on the style and ways in which you may think and communicate (Mercury), connect with the higher power (Neptune), or show love to others (Venus).

Depending on their placement in the birth chart, planets can also interact with each other, forming relationships that can either feel supportive or unfriendly.

The Big 3

Even though there are 10 planets or more than an astrology reads in a birth chart, some planets hold a bit more power than others.

Your Sun and Moon are two of the most important planets in your natal chart and astrologers generally look to these planets first when beginning a reading.

These two planets plus one line called your Ascendant are together referred to as your Big 3 in astrology.

Interpreting your Big 3 gives you a great start when it comes to understanding your chart, offering up clues on how you experience emotions (Moon), view the world, and present yourself to others (Ascendant) and the core of who you are (Sun).

You can learn much more about your Big 3 in our article all about it found here.

Chart Ruler in Astrology

There is one planet in your chart that automatically gains authority in your birth chart and that is your chart ruler.

Your chart ruler is a placement in astrology that astrologers will look to early on in the reading and will consider a “major player”.

The chart ruler in your chart is the planet that rules your rising sign (the sign your 1st House Ascendant sits in).

Whichever sign and house this planet inhabits will add more detail to the impression you give off to others and the way in which you view the world.

Who is your chart ruler in your natal chart and how does this placement influence your life? Find out in our article all about chart rulers here.

infographic showing 7 types of birth chart placements you should know

Nodes in Astrology

Planets aren’t the only players you should be on the lookout for when considering your placements in astrology.

Another type of birth chart placement is the Nodes of the Moon.

You have two Nodes, your North Node ☊ and your South Node ☋.

In the type of astrology I practice, Evolutionary Astrology, your Nodes describe the karma you bring into this life and also how you can heal that karma.

Their signs and houses will reveal patterns of behavior that may have followed you through multiple lifetimes (South Node), and also what you need to do in order to grow out of these patterns (North Node).

The Stellium

When thinking about birth chart placements in astrology, where and how the planets are positioned is also vital information.

Some ways in which the planets are arranged in your chart add extra meaning, and one of these types of placements is called the stellium.

A stellium is when 3 or more planets are placed within the same sign or house. You can see an example in the chart below.

chart detail showing a stellium of the sun, saturn, and venus in Aries

These planets blend and cooperate together, and also the sign or house they inhabit can be experienced more strongly in your life.

You can think of a stellium as one big super planet, and if you spot a stellium in your chart, it is a placement that can’t be ignored and should be considered early on in the reading.

How do you know if you have a stellium and, if you do, how could this natal chart placement affect your life? Find out in our articles about stellium in signs here and stellium in houses here.

Empty Houses in Astrology

There are generally 10 planets that astrologers consider in an astrology reading, but there are 12 houses in a birth chart.

It is inevitable that you will find empty houses, houses with no planetary placements, in your chart.

Here is an example of an empty house in the chart below.

example chart showing an empty 1st house

Are your empty houses something you should be concerned about or not? What do empty houses mean in astrology?

You can find out much more in our article dedicated to empty houses in astrology found here.

Hemispheres & Quadrants in Astrology

Sometimes, placements in astrology are concentrated in certain areas of your birth chart.

If you notice that most of your planets sit in the top or bottom half of your chart, or if they are even mostly crammed into one corner, then you may need to learn more about the hemispheres and quadrants.

There are four hemispheres in your chart, the north, south, east, and west.

natal chart showing the northern and southern hemispheres
chart showing the eastern and western hemispheres

The lines that divide the hemispheres and quadrants are the Ascendant/Descendant line (AC/DC) and the Imum Coeli/Midheaven line (IC/MC).

Each hemisphere represents a general structure for how you may experience life.

Will the most important work in your lifetime be done outwardly, for all the world to see, or will it be done through internal work and personal growth?

How will these major life shifts occur, will they be things that you initiate and put energy toward, or will fate take the reigns and synchronicity and chance will usher in the most important changes in your life?

Find out more by reading our guide to the hemispheres found here and the quadrants found here.

Don’t forget to download your Birth Chart Placements worksheet, FREE when you sign up for our newsletter below!

a pinterest pin about birth chart placements

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>North Node in Aries