No one is born with the ability to interpret a natal chart. Talented astrologers got that way because they developed astrological interpretation skills. Interpreting a natal chart isn’t a simple skill. It’s not even a complex skill. Interpreting a natal chart is a process.

Principles of Practical Natal Astrology demonstrates, step-by-step, how to create detailed, specific, practical interpretations of any natal chart. Interpreting a natal chart is like painting a portrait. In both instances, the objective is to capture a likeness of the subject. You can capture the essence of a person without copying their appearance. The events in your life, your behavior, and your choices are external, and relate to appearance. Astrology looks beneath the surface to reveal the essence.

One of the most important skills in astrology is the ability to connect the appearance of a client with the essence of the natal chart. Principles of Practical Natal Astrology will help you to develop this skill.  

Principles of Practical Natal Astrology is perfect for astrologers and astrology students at every level of experience. If it’s your first astrology book, you’re in good hands. But chances are, you’ve come to this book (and this website) with a reasonable amount of information about astrology. You’re considering buying this book because you can’t use that information. 

Knowing about something isn’t the same thing as knowing it. When you know about something, it lives in your head. When you know something, you embody it. To move from knowing about astrology to knowing it, you have to go back to the beginning and be willing to question everything.


Part 1: Principles of Practical Astrology

Part 1 sets up the foundation by establishing the fundamental principles of practical astrology. Chapter 1 defines practical astrology. Chapter 2 explores how to become a talented astrologer. You learn about deep practice, the secret of developing astrological skills, and you get an overview of the process of natal chart interpretation. Chapter 3 explores the art of astrological interpretation, and Chapter 4 introduces you to the concept of a three-dimensional natal chart interpretation.

Part 2: Grammar and Syntax of the Language of Astrology

Astrology is a language. Language communicates through content and context. The words make up the content, but the meaning of the words comes from the context. This is why you can’t translate between languages using only a dictionary.

The rules of grammar and syntax in the language of astrology help you to translate between the language of astrology and English without changing the meaning of the sentence. The relationship between planets, signs, and houses is specific and objective, and the order of the words matters. Remember, the sentence, “John ate the cake” uses the same words as the sentence “The cake ate John,” but they don’t mean the same thing. The correct use of grammar and syntax can help you to avoid carnivorous desserts.

In Part 2, you will learn how to work with the different parts of speech in the language of astrology: planets, signs, houses, and aspects. You’ll use fill-in-the-blank blueprint template sentences to maintain the correct syntax, and these blueprint sentences will guide you when you create your final interpretation.

You’ll also learn how to work with the Essential Dignities, the heart of traditional astrology, in the context of a three-dimensional natal chart interpretation. The “Board of Directors” approach allows you to access a wealth of detailed, specific, practical information from any natal chart.   

Part 3: Systematic Approach to Synthesized Interpretation

Part 3 uses Sally Ride’s chart to explore the process of creating a written, synthesized interpretation of a natal chart.

The chapters in Part 3 alternate between exploring how to approach each section of the interpretation (Personality, Relationship Needs, Relationship Wants, and Career), and demonstrating the process using Sally Ride’s chart. The example chapters include illustrations from the Chart Interpretation Worksheet, completed blueprint sentences for each relevant part of the interpretation, and examples of the Notes and Sketch Sentences.

Part 4: The Spice Rack

In cooking, you use spices to enhance the natural flavor of food, not to disguise the flavor of it. You add spice at the end. It’s optional, and a little goes a long way. Too much spice, or the wrong combination of spices, can ruin a dish.

The same principles apply to astrology. A pinch of spice can improve an interpretation. A pound of spice will ruin it.

The meat of your natal chart interpretation is your analysis of the planets, signs, houses, and aspects. You can enhance your interpretation with a variety of astrological spices. In Part 4, I introduce you to some of the spices from my personal spice rack. In small doses, these spices can enhance a practical natal chart interpretation.

Chapter 23 explores sensitive points in the chart, including the Moon’s Nodes, the Part of Fortune, and the Vertex.

Chapter 24 explains how to create a Dispositor Tree for a chart.

Chapter 25 takes a more detailed look at Dignity and Debility. It explains how to work with the Essential Dignities in a two-dimensional context in the natal chart. You’ll learn the difference between Essential Dignity (which measures power), and Accidental Dignity (which either measures prominence or performance).

Part 5: Synthesized Natal Chart Interpretation Example

Part 5 is an astrological portrait of George Lucas. Chapter 26 includes all of the blueprints, notes, and sketches for the interpretation, and Chapter 27 is the final astrological portrait, created from the notes and sketches. 

Part 6: Appendices and Resources

When you know how to interpret a natal chart, you can identify the precise nature of the patterns and challenges in your life or the life of your clients. This is impressive and fascinating, but it’s not practical. Identifying a problem doesn’t address the problem. The precise, specific information you’ve obtained from your natal chart interpretation isn’t practical until you do something with it. Nothing changes at the level of the chart. Appendix A contains a series of simple, yet immensely powerful spiritual practices that will help you to move into right relationship with each of the Astrological Archetypes. These spiritual practices will help you to step out of Victim Consciousness and into integrity.

Appendix B provides instructions on how to access the Bonus Gifts that come bundled with Principles of Practical Natal Astrology. Bonus gifts include the Chart Interpretation Worksheet, additional examples of celebrity natal chart interpretations, bonus video content, and a free class on natal chart interpretation.

Appendix C is an overview of the Talented Astrologer Certification Program offered through The Real Astrology Academy.

And Appendix D is a comprehensive glossary of terms.

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ChrisBrennan“Kevin has done a masterful job of weaving together modern and traditional approaches to chart interpretation, and presenting them in a straigtforward and comprehensive manner. This book will reward those who read it with a solid foundation in natal astrology.”

Chris Brennan, author of Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune

DonnaWoodwell“Kevin Burk has created a masterful step-by-step guide for learning the traditional foundations of chart interpretation in a way that's accessible to the modern astrologer. Brimming with tips and techniques, it's fun and practical—the perfect addition to anyone’s astrological explorations.”

Donna Woodwell, MA, Kepler College Instructor, former Board Member, NCGR and ISAR

LutinPhoto“Kevin Burk, one of our favorite West Coast, no-nonsense astrologers, has put together an informative and fun book for lovers of astrology. In fact, as soon as it came in the mail, my assistant took it home for one night. Three weeks later, I had to threaten him to get it back. That’s got to tell you something!”

Michael Lutin, Sentient Being

BruceScofieldPrinciples of Practical Natal Astrology is unique in that it is the first book I’ve seen that teaches beginning astrology with an emphasis on the classical Essential Dignities. Prospective students of astrology could start their study of astrology with just this book and they will enter the subject with the basics, plus a solid knowledge of how the traditional system worked.”

Bruce Scofield, C.A., PAA-NCGR

JoePolisePrinciples of Practical Natal Astrology is more than your average introduction to horoscope interpretation. This is a groundbreaking textbook that helps the student to develop the skills intrinsic to becoming a talented astrologer. What makes this work so unique is how Kevin integrates the language of Classical Astrology, creatively restated in modern terminology, with the new discipline of Consciousness Theory. In a well-organized, enthusiastic manner, Kevin helps to bring astrological education into the 21st century by showing how we live out our charts on specific levels of consciousness.”

Joseph Polise, Vice President Friends of Astrology, Member NCGR-PAA Board of Examiners, former NCGR Education Director

“You’ve read the books, you’ve maybe even taken a course—and you still find synthesizing all that information tough going. Well, Kevin Burk’s got just what you need to take yourself from the ranks of cookbook astrologer to talented, thinking astrologer. His system, based on traditional astrology, will take you through the chart from beginning to end, smoothly and with confidence. This is a system that works in practice as well as in theory. You may not consider yourself a talented astrologer now, but no matter what your level, if you work with this system, your chances of becoming a talented astrologer are good. This is probably one of the best advanced beginner books out there in any system. I definitely recommend it!”

Donna Van Toen, CAP, NCGR-IV