Karma is such a powerful force of the universe that it actually shows up on the birth chart sometimes. There are certain telltale signs that may mean that in this lifetime, you are destined for some karmic payback. By examining your natal chart, you may be able to glean insight as to when you can reap what you have sown, for better or for worse.

What is Karma?

Karma is often misunderstood; it's not a punishment or a reward by any specific deity. It's the universal law of cause and effect. Like a boomerang, the energy behind your actions is sent forth only to pick up momentum and return to you. It's not an intentionally designed sentence or gift; it is the natural consequences of our actions over many lifetimes.

By examining your natal chart, you may be able to glean insight as to when you can reap what you have sown, for better or for worse.

Traditionally, karma has always been tied to reincarnation and the evolution of the soul. The karma you experience in this life is what was due to you depending on how you lived your previous life.
Some people do believe, though, that karma does not always wait for the next life, and that it can manifest within this lifetime.

Karmic Astrology

Everyone’s birth chart is unique. The higher self—that part of the soul that has all the answers of our lifetime—is inscribed with the specific set of conditions under which we’re ready to be born. This is why each person’s chart is so individualized—part of this timing is due to the processing of karma.

When the birth chart hints at karma, it’s not just a random event or influence. It’s an influence that is specific to your life, and the lessons that you need to learn. Try not to think of it as the universe ganging up on you, but as the celestial bodies at the moment of your birth giving you a glimpse into the things you need to pay special attention to in this life.

Pay Attention to Saturn

When karma is the question, usually the first suspect to look to is Saturn. Saturn is so tied with karma that it’s sometimes referred to as “The Lord of Karma”. Whatever the placement of Saturn is on your birth chart will tell you the areas you are going to have to work on in life if you’re ever to learn from your old mistakes.

There are 12 houses in your chart; each one rules over a specific area of influence. Where Saturn falls is going to be telling of those lessons, and what areas in life in which you can expect them to manifest.


Squares in the chart generally reveal the hardest lessons to be learned—once again, revealing karma. A square is when the planetary placements are at 180 degree opposition to each other with right angles, making a literal ‘square’ shape if you were to trace around those angles. The house position will tell you in which area the karma is going to manifest: matters of money, love, healthy, family, community, personal growth and so forth.

When planets are square, they indicate tension in the psyche, and when Earth is smack in the middle of this tension you can be sure that you’re going to be in for a wave of karma.

Take it in Stride

While karmic lessons are certainly situations in life to which you want to pay attention, don’t get so bogged down worrying about karma that you stress yourself out and make mistakes all over again. Remember, life is learning—there are bound to be bumps in the road, but try to navigate over them as best you can. It’s not meant to knock you down, but to build you up.