Basic Chart Interpretation – Step 3 – Margin Notes

Basic Chart Interpretation – Step 3 – Margin Notes

by Alison Price

This post is part of a series on basic chart interpretation and how to read a natal chart. The other steps are listed below and will be developed soon.

Step 1 – The birth chart data – time, date and place.

Step 2 – The physical chart – printing and highlighting main features.

Step 3 – Preparing for the interpretation – margin notes

Step 4 – Your interpretation – detailed notes

Preparing for the Interpretation – Margin Notes

Once you have the correct chart data, have cast the chart and printed it with the appropriate coloured highlights on the page the next step is the written notes you will make and first you will do the margin notes.

At this stage your are not using you astrology journal to take notes for a client that will be used to capture basic astrology interpretation meaning.

You will typically use loose paper with lines and, wait for it, a margin.


The margin is the column on the left side of a ruled page.

Margin notes are any notes you put in a margin. Simple.

Yes, but exactly what notes will you put in a margin when you do a chart interpretation?

Margin notes can be either handwritten astrology glyphs or astrology short form codes (used when typing or emailing).

Example Chart – Stephen King

Below is Stephen King’s chart.


Five Main Points for Chart Interpretation

The five important details for margin notes are:

  • The Balances
  • The Ascendant Complex
  • The Chart Ruler Complex
  • The Sun Complex
  • Major Aspect Patterns

Example Margin Notes for Stephen King

The Balances


Active = 4 and passive = 3.


NH = 6, SH – 1, EH = 4 and WH = 3.


Q1 = 3, Q2 = 3, Q3 = 0 and Q4 = 1.

The Ascendant Complex

ASC 29CA51.

Ascendant aspects

ASC-60-SU, ASC-60-VE, ASC-0-MA, ASC-120-JP, and ASC-120-NN.

First House Planets

PL and SA.

The Chart Ruler complex

MO SG 5th

Aspects of the chart ruler

MO-120-SA, MO-120-PL and MO-60-ME.

The Sun Complex

SU VI 3rd.

Sun aspects

SU-0-VE, SU-90-UR and SU-45-PL.

Major Aspect Patterns

Mini grand trine 1


ME focal planet 4th

Mini grand trine 2


ME focal planet 4th

Subsequent Margin Notes

After the five main points you will list in order:

  • The Moon complex (if not already done as the chart ruler)
  • The final dispositors complex (if not already done as the chart ruler)
  • The rest of the planets in order in the houses by angular, succedent and cadent

At the end, you will have everything listed in the chart. But the first five things will be the important issues and the ones that the client is dealing with already.


Interpreting a chart is easy when you break down the steps and do them in order of importance and order of relevance.

You do not need to be looking at a Chiron semi-sextile the North Node aspect as the first thing you consider.

Nor do you interpret from the planets in Aries first and then Taurus. Understand the weight of the planet and its prominence within a chart.

Get to love margin notes.



Your Most Elevated Planet and How to Find It

Your Most Elevated Planet and How to Find It

Most Elevated Planet

Only One Planet is the Most Elevated Planet

In your chart there will be one planet that is the most elevated planet.

This special planet is the one near the top of the chart.

It is the planet that was highest in the sky at the time of your birth.


Not all most elevated planets are made equal and in some charts, they will be stronger than in others.

If you have a well placed most elevated planet you can use it towards supporting your career, reputation and public image.


How to Find Your Most Elevated Planet

The most elevated planet is the planet closest to the Midheaven (MC) in degrees of longitude on either side of the MC.

The MC is the intersection between the prime vertical and the plane of the ecliptic.

The most elevated planet is frequently in the ninth or tenth houses or close to the Midheaven, but can be in any house in the chart.

The Dispositor of the MC and Most Elevated Planet

If the MC is in a sign which is disposed by the most elevated planet (by essential dignity) it gains weight.

Rulership and exaltation of your MC add to the power of your most elevated planet.

Detriment and fall reduce the effect of your most elevated planet.

Examples If your Midheaven is in Libra…

  •  and if the most elevated planet is Venus, it will add power to the most elevated planet because Venus rules Libra.
  • additionally, if your most elevated planet is Saturn, it will add weight to the most elevated planet due to the fact that Saturn is exalted in Libra.
  • aa well as if your most elevated planet is Mars, it will reduce the power of Mars as the most elevated planet as Mars is in detriment in Libra.
  • and if your most elevated planet is the Sun, it will reduce the potency of the most elevated planet because the Sun is in it’s fall in Libra.

Read more on essential dignity here.


The Nature of Your Most Elevated Planet

As the MC is the most elevated point in your chart any planet is measured for most elevation in relation to your MC.

Therefore any connection between the MC and the most elevated planet by aspect reinforces the potential of the most elevated planet in your chart.

The Midheaven shows for what the world knows you.

Any planet connected to the Midheaven (as in a conjunction, sextile or square) will influence this.

What this means is, if your most elevated planet has an aspect to the MC then it gains weight or power in your chart.

In Aspect to Your Midheaven

If your most elevated planet is in aspect to your Midheaven it supports the meaning of the planet.

If it is not in aspect to your Midheaven it has a neutral influence.

Conjunct your Midheaven

This is the power position for the most elevated planet as it could not be more elevated than the Midheaven.

Any planet conjoined your Midheaven will be a huge focus in your life.

Almost as if it is lighting the way for you like a torch. When the most elevated planet is conjoined the MC think star over stable in Bethlehem.

Sextile your Midheaven

A most elevated planet sextile the Midheaven will work together with the meaning of the Midheaven and support the nature of the Midheaven.

Planets is this position usually indicate latent talents which can be utilized by the Midheaven for your career and public image.

Square your Midheaven

When your most elevated planet is square your Midheaven it is in an aspect of tension.

However, this is an aspect where progress is strived for, in the nature of the most elevated planet.

This will not always be easy, in fact it can be difficult at times, but squares will always be on the front burner of your chart.

Weaker Below the Horizon

Depending on the latitude of your birth place, sometimes the most elevated planet can actually fall below the horizon.

That is under the ascendant/descendant axis or in the northern hemisphere of the chart.

Although the planet will still be most elevated it loses much of its potency when it is below the horizon.

In this case it can be dismissed as a strong influence on the MC.

Generally a most elevated planet works well for you if it is high in the chart, aspects the MC and disposes the Midheaven by rulership.

Not all most elevated planets will benefit you.

If you do have a well placed most elevated planet it makes sense to work it to your advantage as best you can for career, reputation and public image.


Stephen King

In Stephen King’s chart below it is quite clear that Uranus is his most elevated planet.

The birth chart of Stephen King

Want more information about your chart?

Receive a PDF copy of your natal chart suitable for use in astrology exploration or, you can get your personalized one hour reading from me.


A Day in the Life of an Astrologer

A Day in the Life of an Astrologer

by Alison Price

They used to say “If you want something doing give it to a busy woman.”

I suppose now it would be a busy person. But it seems that the more you do the more you can do.

The less you do the less you want to do.

How to find the time

After years of tweaking I have settled on a loose timetable that suits my family. I say loose because that is what it is, flexible and evolving.

My work week

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

My full workday follows much the same pattern all week from Monday to Thursday. Friday and the weekend are different.

5:00 – 7:00 – Writing time.

7:00 – 8:00 – Family breakfast.

8:00 – 10:00 – Client or class prep for that day.

10:00 – 12:00 – Client consultations.

12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch.

12:30 – 1:00 – Walk outside in the fresh air.

1:00 – 2:00 – Emails and catch-up.

2:00 – 4:00 – Client consultations.

4:00 – 7:00 – Family time and dinner.

7:00 – 9:00 – Evening classes.

If I don’t have clients or classes in a particular day then the prep and consultation time goes to writing.

I teach assorted astrology classes for four days a week. Each course is over six weeks at a time. Courses are usually in the fall, winter and spring. Sometimes I offer classes in between as well if there are overflow students on the wait list. This is also the time when I do one-to-one mentorship or speciality classes like student exam prep.

Writing means working on my client written astrology reports, book manuscripts, articles, eBooks, preparing lecture notes, blog post prep and other writing. This is creative time and not answering emails or queries which is done later in the day.


On Friday mornings I work until noon just like the other days. Then I have a standing lunch date with the love of my life and take the rest of the day off and spend time with him.

The weekend starts here.


Sometimes I have afternoon classes or lectures but not every week.

Saturday is the day for workshops and more group activities. I also like to browse the book shops and spend some time in the great outdoors.


I like a slow Sunday morning.

I pick up some magazines or read the astrology trade periodicals and have coffee and brunch. Maybe I’ll take a nap in the afternoon.

I read somewhere that Oprah stays in her PJs all Sunday. I think she has something there.

When our children were younger we had a “No other people’s kids in the house on Sunday” rule.

This meant all sleepovers when other people’s kids came to stay in our home had to be from Friday to Saturday so we could have Sunday in peace.

Sunday is like the twelfth house in a chart and a time to reflect, replenish and recharge.