As you learn, you will want to analyze your own horoscope, or those of your family and friends.

You can quickly find out the positions of the planets in your horoscope by looking up the Ephemeris for your date of birth. If you think you were born on the cusp of a sign, make sure to read the post titled Ephemeris – Born on a Cusp. The Moon sign might be hard to pin down if you don’t know your time of birth, see Ephemeris – Universal Time for an explanation.

For the most part, you can use the Ephemeris to get a quick sense of how the planets line up in various signs/elements, especially for friends or colleagues whose birth times you may not know. I know a lot of people who are just dying to ferret out info about their manager or someone they came across on social media. All you need is their birth date and the ephemeris!

If you know the time and location of birth, your best bet is to cast the horoscope. I recommend that you use astro.com for horoscope drawings. It’s a free website that has a wealth of information and articles on astrology, and offers a mind-boggling selection of chart drawings. You will need to sign up, and enter your birth information. You may also want to set a reference place (where you live, if it is different from where you were born) for certain types of horoscopes.

Once you have entered all this information, go to the Free Horoscopes item in the navigation list towards the top of the home page, then choose Extended Chart Selection. The default selection is a natal chart for you. In the Chart Drawing Style combo box, select Anglo. This is a clean and simple style that is most like the charts shown on this site, which are drawn using Lifespan. The natal chart is the place to start for core horoscope interpretation.

An absolutely essential tool if you plan to analyze horoscopes of famous people is the Astro-Databank database at astro.com. Click on All About Astrology at the top of the home page, then select Astro-Databank from the options. Go to the section on Quick Access, and select from the alphabetized list of Public Figures. When you select a person, their horoscope details will appear on a separate page, along with Biography. The top left box on the page is the summary of the horoscope, including accuracy of source–accuracy meaning exactness of birth time. AA is the highest accuracy rating, A is next. I would generally not use anything other than an AA or A rated horoscope, if I am interested in the position of the angles, or the Moon. Clicking on the horoscope wheel box at the top right corner of the page brings up the horoscope wheel, from which you can read off all the details. If you have trouble reading the symbols (also known as glyphs), you can get the complete list of planet and sign glyphs in the post on Ephemeris – Foundation of the Horoscope.

Another extremely useful product at the astro.com site is the Ephemeris. You can get the Ephemeris for practically any year in the past, and going up to the 22nd century. Go to All About Astrology in the top navigation list, and select 9000 Years Ephemeris. The ephemeris is a must-have tool for any astrologer.