Astrology can be mind boggling to a beginner, but with some basic information, you might find that chart a little easier to comprehend. Of course if you are anything like I am, then you want to not only know what makes you tick, but how that particular conclusion was reached. You have a few choices:
You can take a course at your local night school
You can invest in some software that will do the calculations for you (this can be expensive depending on what software you choose to purchase if you cannot find a downloadable freeware program that suits your needs)
You can pick up a book on Astrology and use that as a reference guide as you go through your chart.
I have put some very basic, very general information on the linked pages, but I found it helpful to me when I first began trying to dissect how a chart was composed and what each part meant. I am not proficient by any means; but I no longer run away in fear whenever the topic of astrology is mentioned, and that is a good beginning. Just remember, that if you choose to chart by hand, then you will have to be able to do mathematical calculations, if not, then I suggest either having someone else put together the chart for you, or utilize a charting program.