What Exactly Is Astrology? A Beginner’s Guide to the Stars
Spend a few minutes on TikTok or any dating app, and it’s evident that astrology’s popularity has risen and entered the mainstream. But if you’re still confused when you hear terminology like Mercury retrograde or natal chart, you’ve come to the correct place. And don’t worry, it’s a language that even seasoned, professional astrologers continue to learn and practise throughout their life.
Here, we lay down the fundamental astrological building elements to help you get started with the language of the sky — and keep up the next time your pal brings up their crush’s zodiac sign at breakfast.
What exactly is astrology, and what do astrologers perform? One of my mentors, April Elliott Kent, explains it this way in her wonderful primer The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology: Everything from Zodiac Signs to Prediction, Made Easy and Entertaining “The study of the relationship between celestial activity phenomena and earthly events is known as astrology. Astrologers are those who perform astrology.”
In your weekly or monthly horoscope, such earthly occurrences could include job, relationship, and wellness insights. The most trustworthy of these columns are published by professional astrologers who try their best to explain how the present movements of the planets impact you depending on where the planets were when you were born.
Professionals also use planet movement to explain or even predict current events, societal trends, and financial markets. We can also examine your personality or compatibility with others using your personal astrology — aka your birth chart. Charts can also be used to analyse the characteristics and consequences of events such as a wedding or election.
What the Planets Indicate
In astrology, each celestial body in our solar system performs a role.
When it comes to your personal astrology (more on that later), each planet or luminary (the sun and moon) provides insight into distinct aspects of your personality and existence. Your sun sign, for example, talks to your sense of self and identity.
However, if we’re talking about what sign a planet or luminary is now in, we could be defining a certain 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 finish dates for the sign vary from year to year), providing increased confidence and fuelling aggressive action.
The fundamental symbolism of the major planets, luminaries, and points in the sky:
Sun: Self-esteem, self-image, sense of self, and identity.
The Moon is the zodiac’s emotional compass, shaping our sense of safety, security, values, and intuition.
Mercury is the messenger planet, in charge of acquiring information, conducting research, and communicating.
Venus: Venus, the planet of love and beauty, has an impact on passions, relationships, pleasure, art, and money.
Mars: The action-oriented planet governs your energy, sexual expression, and courage.
Jupiter is the planet of good fortune and abundance.
Saturn is the planet of constraints, boundaries, and discipline.
Uranus is the planet of upheaval, rebellion, breakthroughs, and unexpected happenings.
Pluto is the planet of death, rebirth, and strength.
North and South Nodes: On a chart, these mathematical points are always opposite one another. (They are currently in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius.) The north node serves as an astrological north star, or the karmic route you’re destined to follow in this life, whereas the south node represents what you’re already well-versed in, possibly as a result of early or past life experience.
Rising sign/Ascendant: Your rising or ascendant is the sign that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the time of your birth. It speaks to the picture you portray into the world and provides insight into your skills, talents, and tactics for navigating life.
Some astrologers also make use of Chiron, a comet that orbits between Saturn and Uranus, Ceres, the dwarf planet, and asteroids such as Pallas, Vesta, and Juno.
What Does Your Natal (or Birth) Chart Indicate?
The most basic answer to the question “what’s your sign?” is one of the 12 zodiac signs the sun was in when you were born. But that’s just one small component in a much broader, multi-layered, intricate picture that depicts your unique astrological story. We expert astrologers examine the entire chart, which may be thought of as a snapshot of the sky when you were born — based not only on the month and day of your birth, but also on the year, time, and location.
This means that even if two persons are born on the same month, day, and year, but at different times and in different places, they will have their own unique chart. This is due to the fact that all celestial bodies move at different rates through the signs. For example, the moon moves every two and a half days. Mercury can stay anywhere from 15 to 60 days in a sign, depending on its retrograde phases. Furthermore, it’s possible that you were born on a day when the sun — or any of the planets — changed signs.
However, if you know the exact time and location of your birth, you may construct an accurate image of the sky at the time of your birth. (That’s why those of us in the know ask app matches or possible partners to check their birth certificate or question their parents.) And from that information, you can create a natal or birth chart, which shows not only what signs the planets and luminaries (the sun and moon) were in when you were born but also other information that offers even more insight into your astrological wiring, such as houses, degrees, and aspects. (There are other free websites available, such as cafeastrology.com or astrology.com, where you can enter your information and receive your birth chart in seconds.)
What are the 12 Zodiac Signs?
The zodiac is a belt divided into 12 equal signs within about 8° either side of the ecliptic — a circle that defines the apparent passage of the sun among the constellations over the course of a year. Planets and luminaries pass through this belt, spending time in each sign, which is why we say things like “the moon is in Libra today” or “Mars was in Capricorn when I was born.”
Each of the 12 signs has its own own personality, desires, or M.O. They are divided into four categories: fire, earth, air, and water. A few facts about each:
Fire Warning Signs
Fire signs, which are demonstrative, outgoing, active, and ambitious, can become energised rapidly but risk burning out quickly. They thrive when they can channel their passion in a long-term, practical approach.
The sign of Aries (March 21 – April 19)
The vitality, impulsivity, and thirst for triumph of the cardinal fire sign make them exciting, fun, courageous, and fearless. They’re your rockstar lawyer, teammate, politician you’d drop everything for, and best friend who will go to bat for you time and time again.
Here’s more on Aries.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
The fixed fire sign is vibrant and upbeat, commanding the spotlight in a way that will entertain, engage, and inspire people. You can count on Leos in your circle to help you see the bright side of any circumstance and feel fired up and ready to take on the world. They are independent-minded and mesmerizingly enjoyable to be around.
Here’s more on Leo.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
The mutable fire sign is philosophical, curious, fun-loving, and determined to take on life, love, and the universe by storm, drinking up knowledge at every turn. They are the zodiac’s multi-hyphenate entertainers, coming across as sociable, lively, and dynamic, and they love learning about different cultures, faraway travel locations, politics, and social justice.
Here’s more on Sagittarius.
Signs of the Earth
Earth signs are the perfectionists of the zodiac, known for being grounded, stable, hardworking, service-oriented, and extremely ordered. Although their attention to detail and planning skills are invaluable, they benefit from a self-care practise or support network that allows them to view the larger picture.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
The strong temperament, practicality, patience, and love of luxury of the fixed earth sign make them loyal, genuine, loving, and relaxing to be around. They’re your favourite chef, Netflix and chill partner, concert date, or pal who can create the most unforgettable spa day (even if it simply means putting on a luxurious face mask and sipping rosé at home).
Here’s more on Taurus.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
The mutable earth sign is full of useful information and action steps for grounded empaths and lovers of language, knowledge, and being of service to those they love. They’re also among the first to provide a shoulder to weep or lean on. They are the zodiac’s A-students, eager to contribute what they know in order to lead the ship in the proper direction — and if they don’t, they’ll embark on a merciless chase for those “just-right” information.
Here’s more on Virgo.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
The cardinal earth sign is industrious, practical, dependable, organised, and stable, and they are continuously inspirational due to their unwavering drive and resolve to achieve their ambitious goals. Then they raise the bar even higher, leaving you impressed — and possibly envious of their no-fail go-getter spirit. Their desire to work tirelessly to reach the summit of the professional mountain extends to their personal lives as well, as they are often ambitious in caring for their health, families, and long-term connections.
Here’s more on Capricorn.
Signs in the Air
Air signs are the zodiac’s connectors, focusing on intellectual and social activities. They can be unique and adaptable. They perform best when they are driven to obtain and exchange information and have a precise objective to focus their mental energy on.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
The mutable air sign is curious, enthusiastic, clever, and kind, and you can expect on it to bring excitement, animated conversation, and fun-loving, lively energy to the table. Data, research, and top trending news articles are like a sugar fix for Geminis, and they have a voracious appetite for discussing it all with anyone and everyone who is willing to engage.
Here’s more on Gemini.
Libra (September 22 – October 23)
The cardinal air sign, with its heart pulled to art, music, dance, and connecting with people, is on a constant drive to make life more cheerful, pleasant, and fair. They are the zodiac’s designers, eager to bring beauty into any cluttered setting, and in circumstances where the scales of justice are skewed, they will pursue equity.
Here’s more on Libra.
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
The fixed air sign is committed to challenging, if not outright rejecting, the established quo. It is free-spirited, pleasant, likeable, independent-minded, and humanitarian. Their desire to be a part of a community is likewise inspiring, as is their proclivity to question, think, contemplate, investigate, and experiment.
Here’s more on Aquarius.
Water signs are the zodiac’s intensely sensitive, at least slightly psychic empaths. They are family-oriented dreamers and artists. They prefer to let their enormous hearts run the show, and they can stay afloat in that sea of emotion by connecting with their spirituality and pouring it into their favourite artistic pursuits.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
The cardinal water sign is known for being caring, sensitive, sympathetic, self-protective, security-seeking and offering, loving, and having a silly, endearing sense of humour. They prioritise — and occasionally twist themselves into knots — in order to make the majority of people in their lives feel even slightly more comfortable and secure, so you can count on the Cancers in your life to offer a shoulder to cry on and freshly baked cookies.
Here’s more on cancer.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
The fixed water sign is exceedingly private, even secretive, about issues close to their hearts and being intensely sexual (whether or not they are willing to open up about that aspect of themselves). They are extremely magnetic, effortlessly commanding the spotlight. Spiritual, insightful, and captivating, the Scorpios in your life will inspire and empower you to find and live your truth.
Here’s more on Scorpio.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
The changeable water sign is the obvious creative of the zodiac, being compassionate, romantic, artistic, profoundly empathic, and sensitive. They feel more centred and enlightened when they transfer their emotions into their chosen art form. Pisces are some of the most mystical people you’ll ever meet, being empathic and possibly the most in tune with the metaphysical of any sign.
Here’s more on Pisces.
Other Important Facts About Your Birth Chart
So you’ve determined that your sun is in Cancer but your moon is in Aquarius, and if you look at an actual astrological chart, cut into 12 slices, you’ll see the house in which each celestial body “resides.” You might even notice figures, such as the sun at 13 degrees Cancer, the moon at 25 degrees Aquarius, Mercury at 4 degrees Virgo, and so on. All of these elements will come into play when you learn how different pieces of your particular astrological puzzle interact with one another and with the present movements of the planets.
Houses: Just as there are 12 zodiac signs, your chart has 12 houses, each representing a distinct aspect of your life. When you know your precise birth time, you can identify which house your planets, luminaries, and other features or points in the sky are in.
Degrees: This is the exact location of each planet within each sign, which is useful when looking at transits or how the astrology of the day, week, or month will effect your chart.
Aspects: The interactions of the planets. For example, your moon may be only a few degrees away from your rising sign, or your Venus may be opposing your Jupiter. These partnerships reveal aspects of your personality, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
Given that 256 births occur every minute, your chart is certain to be significantly more distinctive than your sun sign alone.
You Should Unpack the Rest of Your Birth Chart If You’re Not Like Your Zodiac Sign
How to Take Astrology Fundamentals to the Next Level
Most astrology enthusiasts and astrologers begin their studies by learning the fundamentals of the natal chart and recognising their major three (sun sign, moon sign, and rising). You can then better grasp how planetary current events are “hitting” or influencing you on a regular basis. From full moons to longer-term transits, such as a Saturn return, you can discover opportunities for progress as well as moments when you should take a step back.
Alternatively, by comparing your chart to that of a friend or partner, you can better understand where you could clash and how you’ll most naturally connect, a method known as synastry.
Other forecasting tools, like secondary progressions and solar arc, can help you understand how your route, personality, and life focus are changing over time.
As if that weren’t enough, you can choose from a variety of traditions, systems, and branches to work with (some astrologers enjoy using horary astrology to answer specific questions at the moment, while some practise astrology to help people pick a wedding date and others are focused on the financial industry).
It is ultimately up to you how much astrology you want to incorporate into your life and in what form. Whether you consult a professional astrologer for annual readings or take an online course, you’ll notice that astrology is a diverse, sophisticated practise that may yield an unending quantity of information. “Though astrology is like a deep ocean…anyone can obtain wisdom by plunging deeper in water and getting some droplets of nectar of this holy knowledge,” legendary Indian astrologer Onkarlal Sharma Prmad said.
What other types of psychic abilities are there?
In Your Dreams
The interpretation of dreams to identify their underlying meanings is known as dream analysis. Symbolism is used in Freudian dream analysis. It is based on the idea that your unconscious mind protects you from your repressed impulses by expressing them in dreams and concealing them from your conscious consciousness.
Palm Reading Abbilities
Palm reading, also known as palmistry or chiromancy, is a global phenomenon with roots in Indian astrology and gypsy fortune-telling. The goal is to assess a person’s personality and parts of their life by analysing the palm of their hand.
Crystal Ball Reading
A crystal ball is a ball made of crystal or glass that is commonly used in the practice of fortune-telling. It is also known as an orbuculum and a crystal sphere. In most contexts, it is connected to the practice of clairvoyance and scrying in particular.
Math is a form of spiritual mysticism, and numerology is the mystical study of the significance of numbers and their impact on our surrounds. Pythagoras, an ancient Greek philosopher, believed that numbers generate energies that make up the physical world.
In Your Dreams
Tarot Card Reading
Choose your Medium
At Clairvoyant Mediums, we offer the most inexpensive psychic readings in the United Kingdom.At Clairvoyant Mediums, we offer the most inexpensive psychic readings in the United KingdomAt Clairvoyant Mediums, we offer the most inexpensive psychic readings in the United Kingdom.At Clairvoyant Mediums, we offer the most inexpensive psychic readings in the United Kingdom
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Everyone talks about spirituality these days. You don’t have to be religious to be on a spiritual path. For me, it’s a connection to something bigger than ourselves, whether you call it God, Spirit, or the Universe. We continue to look for and ask what life is all about. It’s about finding people who are on the same path as you and connecting with them. Your journey and the things that happen to you along the way.