"Celebrity astrologer, Chani Nicholas, read my birth chart. This is what happened."

It’s been five days since I got my birth chart read by celebrity astrologer, Chani Nicholas, and much to the detriment of my friendships, I haven’t shut up about it.

As someone who’s moderately well-versed in astrology, I’ve used apps like Co – Star, follow my fair share of Instagram astrology meme pages, and know the difference between a rising, moon and sun sign. However, this experience was vastly different.

Let me explain.

What the star signs are like when there’s a problem at work. Post continues below.

Video by MMC

But first, what exactly is a birth chart, and how do you ‘read’ one?

These were the questions I had for Chani, who was recently in Sydney for the launch of Spotify Cosmic playlists. The feature customises musical playlists for each star sign based on the astrological activity of each month, and the LA-astrologer is the woman behind the horoscopes.

“A birth chart is a snapshot of the sky, the moment you took your first breath, and it contains information about any aspect of any person’s life,” she explains.

“It’s about the relationships between the different planets, and where they are all mean something very specific.”

astrology birth chart
Chani read singer Lizzo's birth chart earlier this year. Image: Getty.

Although you can generate your birth chart through apps and websites like Cafe Astrology and Co - Star, a reading will give you much more nuanced information about your 'astrological personality,' so to speak.

For example, normal horoscopes exclusively focus on just sun sign (which represents your ego) and are just a snippet of your entire birth chart, which also looks at things like:

  • What part of the sky each planet was in, and what that planet was 'saying'.
  • What that planet's condition was, and its quality of light.
  • What part of the cycle that planet was in.
  • How it relates to other planets.

What can you get from a birth chart reading?

Here's where the misconceptions start. A birth chart, and astrology in general, isn't meant to be prescriptive of your future, but it could explain how you "interact with the world", says Chani.

"You understand that two people can be born in the same hospital at the same moment, and have very different socio-economic statuses and therefore have a very different experience of life, even though they have the same chart," she continues.

"More than personality, the way I look at chart is the condition of the life. So what parts of life are going to be accessible for the person and easy, and possibly where there are gifts and where there are challenges.

"It's really about you understanding who you are and what you're capable of."


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Chani says the best readings work to enforce and cement what you already know about yourself.

"If an astrology reading goes well, it's really only going to tell you what you know about yourself, it's not going to tell you something you don't. So there's not going to be any great shock," she says.

"The only thing that might feel jarring is to have a stranger tell you something you know about yourself. You go 'why would that be?', because they're just looking at a piece of paper. That experience seems to do something for human beings."


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What happens in a birth chart reading?

There are a few things you'll need for a birth chart reading. Prior to our interview, I had emailed through my date and time of birth, and which city I was born in. The more accurate these details are, the better.

Starting off my reading, I was asked: "My question to you is, how can I best serve you in this reading? Is there anything that you want me to focus on, is there anything you're hoping I talk about, or touch on, or are you just down for the ride."

I picked the latter option.

From there Chani went through: the placement of my rising sign, or how you portray yourself to the world and what motivates you (Pisces); my moon sign, which represents your inner emotional realm (also Pisces); and my sun, or the ego (Scorpio). She then correlated which planets sat in which sign.

astrology birth chart
This is what a birth chart can look like. Image: Getty.

An astrologer can also give you insight into what they call 'transits'. In astrology, cycles are measured in 29-year periods, which symbolise transformation and growth, and your chart can give you an idea of what shifts might be coming your way and how you might handle them.


While astrology in mainstream culture is concerned with interpreting meaning from the signs - Scorpio, Taurus etc. - a birth chart reading will also look at the placement of each planets, each of which also symbolise different things.

For example in my chart, my ruling planet Jupiter - the planet which rules luck, fortune and the exploration of knowledge and spirituality - sits in the ninth house of Scorpio, which represents a need for travel, philosophy and religion. Therefore you could interpret that as me having a predisposition to areas and careers that involve exploring meaning and ways of thinking and living, which makes sense considering I chose to study journalism.

What surprised me most throughout the reading was how Chani managed to communicate elements of my personality and purpose in a way I've always found difficult to articulate. True, the reading technically didn't teach me anything new, but it helped align, and reinforce my personal goals, in a way I found profound.

So, why would I get a birth chart reading?

During the reading, Chani joked that she has the ability to make people cry during her sessions, and while I didn't tear up, there's a sense of vulnerability you feel when someone is relaying you aspects of your personality you don't put on show.

As for how someone would use this information, "That is the question, how do you use it?" she says, answering my question with a question.

"That's up to you, I can't tell you that, you tell yourself that, or you tell me that.

"But how do you work with any information someone gives to you? Hopefully with a grain of salt and remember that you know yourself the best.

"No astrologer, doctor, or therapist really ever has the answer for you, but if they're any good at what they do, they hold space for you to find that for yourself."

But, like me, you might just leave with a little more insight to yourself than you bargained for.

Chani Nicholas' curated Spotify playlists and astrological readings are available on the streaming service now.

Have you ever had your birth chart read? Tell us in a comment below.

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