What a Star Chart Is

17th March 2020

We all have at least one memory that involves us looking up at the sky and marveling at its vast magnificence and the many mysteries within. It’s a spectacular feeling – letting go of our surroundings and simply allowing ourselves to get lost gazing at the moon, the stars, the constellations.

Stargazing should be a mandatory activity for us all. It’s the ideal way to get back in touch with nature, our planet and the galaxies we take for granted. It forces us to slow down and remind ourselves that we are a miniscule part of a living, breathing piece of natural art. How else can you explain such beauty?

More importantly, we should all spend more time getting know the planet we live on, those that orbit it, and the twinkling stars around it. Some might not consider the positioning of the stars and the planets as a matter of great significance, but they are missing out on some fascinating knowledge.

If you’re looking to enrichen your life and open your mind by getting to know those brightly sparkling lights that should leave us all with a sense of wonder and curiosity, the best way to do so is via a star chart.

A Map of the Stars

You may have seen them pop up on Facebook – custom star maps that show the exact positioning of your stars on the date of your birthday or wedding.

These are lovely gift ideas for anyone prone to daydream with the night sky, and by learning how to chart the stars on any given day – past, present or future – you could be creating these kinds of keepsakes for your friends, family and of course yourself.

Astronomers have been using star maps or charts for centuries. Charts dating back up to 33,000 years have been discovered in different parts of the world including Spain, France, Kashmir and Germany.

In fact, the famous Nebra sky disc, an artifact from the Bronze Age Unetice culture featuring the different moon cycles, was found in Germany, and dates back to 1600 BC. Proof enough, really, that even our ancestors recognized the importance of charting the moon cycles, the stars and the planets.

Chart Like an Egyptian

As has often proven the case, the Egyptians were way ahead of the rest of the world in matters of astrology too: the oldest, accurately dated star chart on record appeared in Egypt in 1543 BC.

These star charts were often used to adorn the coffin lids, temples and tombs of Egyptian deities, perhaps as an astrological eulogy – a way to pay tribute to the person they were based on their own star charts.

Start charts map the night sky by dividing it into grids – this makes it easier to locate and track astronomical objects such as stars, galaxies, constellations and nebula. By referring to these charts, we can identify whether a certain planet is currently moving through one of the zodiac constellations, for example.

A Tool for (Self)Discovery

As you can see, star mapping goes so much deeper than teaching you about the eighty-eight, commonly recognized constellations and the planets’ movement. It is a tool that will open your mind to entirely new ways of thinking about our connection to the moon, the sun and the stars.

With the right experience and understanding of the galaxy’s make-up, a star chart can serve to guide you in mapping your own life. The stars and the planets ruling over your zodiac constellation know much more about you than you might think, and a star map will allow you to consult them for guidance any time you wish.