Knowing the fundamentals of astrology can help you become more self-aware and, at the very least, keep up with the crowd at brunch and on dating apps.
It is obvious that astrology’s popularity has risen and into the mainstream if you spend even a brief amount of time on social media or any dating app. But if words like Mercury retrograde or natal chart still make you feel out of the loop, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a language that even experienced, professional astrologers continue to learn and use throughout their lifetimes, so don’t feel terrible.
Here, we break down the core aspects of astrology to help you get a head start on learning the language of the sky and to ensure that you can follow along the next time your friend brings up their crush’s zodiac sign at lunch.
What is Astrology?
So, what exactly is astrology, and what does astrologers do? According to Denise Taylor, one of my mentors, “The study of astrology examines the relationship between celestial activity phenomena and earthly events. Astrologers are those who engage in the practise of astrology.”
Such terrestrial occurrences may include work, relationship, and wellness advice in your weekly or monthly horoscope. The most credible of these articles are published by professional astrologers who try their best to explain how the present positions of the planets impact you depending on where the planets were when you were born.
Experts also use planet movement to analyse or even predict current events, societal trends, and financial markets. We can also assess your personality or compatibility with others using your personal astrology — aka your birth chart. Charts can also be used to examine the characteristics and outcomes of events like a wedding or an election.
What Do the Planets Imply?
In astrology, each celestial body in our solar system has a certain function.
When it comes to your own astrology, each planet or luminary (the sun and moon) demonstrates various aspects of your personality and existence. Your sun sign, for example, talks about your sense of identity and character.
However, if we’re discussing what sign a planet or luminary is now in, we could describe a specific month. For example, you may hear that the sun is in Leo, a fire sign symbolised by the Lion, from July 22-23 to August 22-23 (the beginning and end dates for the sign vary from year to year), providing more confidence and motivating bold action.
The basic symbol for each of the primary planets, illumination, and points in the sky:
Sun: Self-confidence, self-esteem, a self – identity, and personality.
Moon: The psychological compass of the zodiac, which shapes a sense of security, intuition, and ideals.
Mercury: The planet responsible for communication, research, and data gathering.
Venus: The planet of beauty and love has an impact on your money, relationships, art, and interests.
Mars: The action you take, your vitality, your sexual expression, and your boldness are all elements of the go-getter planet.
Jupiter: The planet of fortune and prosperity.
Saturn: The planet of regulations, restrictions, limits, and discipline.
Uranus: The planet of revolution, change, advances in science, and unexpected occurrences.
Pluto: It is the planet of change, death, rebirth, and strength.
North & South Nodes: These figures on a chart are constantly in opposite to one another. The south node represents what you are already skilled in, perhaps due to early or prior life experience, whereas the north node serves as an astrological north star or the karmic path you are destined to move toward in this life.
Rising sign/Ascendant: Your rising sign, also known as your ascendant, is the sign that was ascending on the eastern horizon when you were born. In addition to providing insight into your abilities, skills, and potential career paths, it speaks to the public image you present to the world.
In addition, some astrologers use asteroids like Pallas, Vesta, and Juno, the minor planet Ceres, the comet Chiron, which revolves between Saturn and Uranus, and Pallas.
Interpretation of Your Birth Chart
If somebody asks you, “What’s your sign?” The 12 zodiac signs that the sun was in when you were born are the simplest way to answer this question. This, however, is only a minor part of a much larger, intricately detailed, one-of-a-kind picture that portrays your unique astrological story. Professional astrologers examine your entire chart, which is based on more than just the month and day of your birth but also the year, time, and location. You may think of it as an image of the sky at the time of your birth.
This indicates that even two persons who were born on the same exact day, month, and year but at different intervals and in different locations will have their own personal charts. This is because each celestial body passes through the signs at a different rate. The moon, for example, moves about every two and a half days. Mercury can stay in a sign for anywhere between 15 and 60 days, depending on its stages of retrograde motion. Moreover, it’s probable that you were born on a day when the sun or one of the planets changed signs.
However, if you are able to pinpoint the exact time and place of your birth, you can take a precise photo of the sky at that moment. Then, using that information, you can create what is known as a natal or birth chart, which shows not only what signs the planets and luminaries (the sun and moon) were in at the time of your birth but also additional information that provides even more insight into your astrological wiring, such as houses, degrees, and aspects. These days, this is usually done via software, though it can still be done by hand. (There are many free websites out there where you can enter your information and get your birth chart in a matter of seconds).
The Twelve Zodiac Signs
The zodiac is a belt that is divided into 12 equal signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. It is located around 8 degrees on either side of the ecliptic, which is a circle that determines the obvious path of the sun among the constellations over the course of a year. Because planets and other celestial bodies move across this belt and spend some time in each sign, we may start saying things like, “The moon is currently in Pisces” or “When I was born, Saturn was in Capricorn .”
Each of the 12 signs has unique characteristics, wants, or, if you prefer, a distinct M.O. Fire, earth, air, and water are the four categories into which they are divided.
These are some things you need to know about:
Fire signs are aggressive, outgoing, active, and ambitious; nevertheless, they run the risk of fading quickly. They grow when they can find a way to put their enthusiasm to useful, long-lasting use.
Aries Zodiac (March 21 – April 19)
The vitality, impulsivity, and thirst for success of the cardinal fire sign make them interesting, fun, brave, and fearless. They’re your superstar lawyer, teammate, politician you’d drop everything for, and close buddy who will go to fight for you time and time again.
Leo Zodiac (July 23 – August 22)
The fixed fire sign demands attention in a way that is guaranteed to amuse, inspire, and attract others. It is vibrant and upbeat. You can depend on Leos in your circle to help you see the positive side of any circumstance and feel pumped up and ready to take on the world. They are self-sufficient and enthralling to be around.
Sagittarius Zodiac (November 22 – December 21)
The mutable fire sign likes to adopt a YOLO mentality. It is philosophical, inquisitive, playful, and driven to dominate life, love, and the world. They depict themselves as sociable, vivacious, and dynamic, making them the multi-hyphenate performers of the zodiac. They like learning everything they can, especially about different cultures, far-off places to visit, politics, and social justice.
Earth signs are indeed the perfectionists of the zodiac, known for being grounded, stable, hardworking, service-oriented, and well-organised. Even though their keen eye for detail and meticulous planning can be quite helpful, they gain from a self-care routine or support system that helps them see the wider picture.
Taurus Zodiac (April 20 – May 20)
The steady nature, pragmatism, patience, and love of elegance of the fixed earth sign make them dependable, genuine, loving, and calming to be around. Your favourite chef, Netflix buddy, concert date, or pal you can count on to create the most amazing spa day (even if it simply means wearing a fancy face mask and sipping rosé at home) are all examples of people you can depend on.
Virgo Zodiac (August 23 – September 22)
The mutable earth sign is full of useful information and practical advice because they are grounded empaths who love language, knowledge, and serving those they love. Moreover, they are often the first to lend a shoulder for crying out loud. They are the smart A-students of the zodiac, quick to impart what they know to lead the ship in the proper way — and if they don’t, they’ll start on a rigorous search for those “just-right” details.
Capricorn Zodiac (December 22 – January 19)
The cardinal earth sign is ever-inspiring due to their relentless drive and commitment to achieve their lofty goals. They are realistic, dependable, orderly, and stable. They then raised the bar even further for themselves, which amazed you and perhaps a little envious of their never-say-die attitude. They tend to be ambitious when it comes to taking care of their health, families, and lifelong connections, so their drive to strive tirelessly to reach the top of the career mountain extends to their personal lives as well.
Air signs are the connectors of the zodiac, focusing on intellectual and social endeavours but occasionally being eccentric and changeable. They grow best when they have a clear end goal to focus their mind energy on since they are driven to gather and share information.
Gemini Zodiac (May 21 – June 20)
The mutable air sign brings enthusiasm, active discussion, and fun-loving, energetic to the table. It is curious, enthusiastic, intelligent, and sociable. For Geminis, data, analysis, and the top trending news stories are like a go-to sugar fix, and they have a big appetite for talking about it all with anyone and everyone who is interested.
Libra (September 22 – October 23)
The cardinal air sign is constantly working to make life lighter, more enjoyable, and more balanced. They are social butterflies who seek harmony and who are passionate about art, music, dance, and interacting with people. They are the zodiac’s architects, eager to bring beauty into any untidy area. When the scales of justice are unbalanced, they will seek equality.
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
The fixed air sign is dedicated to challenging and maybe outright rejecting the established quo. They are free-spirited, warm, affable, independent-minded, and humanitarian. Along with their propensity to ponder, consider, ruminate, explore, and experiment, they have a strong desire for the community.
Water signs are the deeply emotional, at least a little psychic empaths of the zodiac, dreamers and painters who treasure family. When they connect with their spirituality and transfer it into their preferred creative outlets, they are able to remain calm in that sea of emotion and let their big hearts run the show.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
The qualities of the cardinal water sign are caring, sensitive, compassion, self-preservation, stability seeking and offering, love, and a funny, ingratiating sense of humour. You can count on the Cancers in your life to provide a shoulder to cry on and freshly baked cookies since they have a habit to concentrate — and occasionally twist themselves into knots — to make the majority of people in their life feel even slightly more at ease and secure.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
The fixed water sign is very sensual (even if they’re not prepared to speak up about that side of themselves) and very private, if not secretive, about topics they consider to be close and dear to them. They often successfully control the attention thanks to their intense magnetic appeal. The Scorpios in your life will inspire and motivate you to discover and live your own. They are spiritual, smart, and seductive.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
The mutable water sign is undoubtedly the most creative sign in the zodiac because it is sympathetic, romantic, artistic, profoundly empathic, and sensitive. They feel more in control and enlightened when they use their chosen art form to express their emotions. Pisces are among the most mystical people you’ll ever meet, empathic and likely the most receptive to the metaphysical of any sign.
Other Important Birth Chart Information
Now that you know your sun is in Cancer and your moon is in Aquarius, you can also examine the houses that each celestial body “resides” in by looking at a real astrological chart that has been divided into 12 slices. The sun is at 13 degrees Cancer, the moon is at 25 degrees Aquarius, Mercury is at 4 degrees Virgo, and so on. You’ll discover how different pieces of your unique astrological puzzle connect with one another and with the planets’ present motions when you take into account all of these details.
Houses: There are 12 houses in your chart, each representing a particular aspect of life, just as there are 12 zodiac signs. And after you know your exact birth time, you can find out which house in your chart each planet, star, and other celestial object falls under.
Degrees: This is similar to the precise location of each planet within each sign, and it is useful when analysing transits, or how the astrology of the day, week, or month will affect your chart.
Aspects: What connections do the planets have with one another. An example would be if your Venus opposes your Jupiter or your moon is only a few degrees from your rising sign. Your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses, is revealed through these relationships.
You can understand why your chart will be much more unique and different than your sun sign alone given that there are 256 births per minute.
How to Advance the Fundamentals of Astrology
Most astrologers and astrology enthusiasts begin their study by learning the fundamentals of the birth chart and recognising their big three (sun sign, moon sign, and rising). From there, you can learn more about how planetary current events are often influencing you or “hitting” your chart. You can identify when it might be appropriate to take a step back and when there are chances for progress, from full moons to longer-lasting transits, like a Saturn return.
You can also use a technique known as synastry, where you take your chart and compare it to that of a friend or partner to help understand where you may struggle and how you’ll connect naturally.
You can find out more about how your journey, personality, and life focus are changing over time by using other prediction approaches like secondary progressions and solar arcs.
As if that weren’t enough, you have a variety of customs, structures, and branches to choose from.
It is entirely up to you how much astrology you want to include into your life, as well as how. Whether you choose to take an online course or visit a professional astrologer for yearly readings, you’ll discover that astrology is a multi-dimensional, complicated practise that may offer an endless source of knowledge. Onkarlal Sharma Prmad, a well-known Indian astrologer, said that although astrology is like a vast ocean, “Anyone can get wisdom by diving deeper into the water and getting some droplets of nectar of this holy knowledge.”