Astrology is the study of how the planets and Earth interact with each other. With the help of mathematical tables to construct a horoscope and a rich history of correlating myths and symbols dating back to ancient times, astrologists operate under the belief that each planetary position correlates with a particular aspect of yourself or life, and that the position of the stars, the sun, the moon, and the planets at the moment and location of your birth lay out a blueprint, or astrological chart, for your life.
The history of astrology dates back to 3000 B.C. in the region of Mesopotamia and other ancient cradles of civilization. Ancient societies looked to the sky, where they believed the gods and goddesses dwelled, overseeing the lives of the mortals below. Observing and charting the movements of the planets, they began to correlate patterns of planetary positions and movements to archetypal personality traits and events, while seeking to broaden their understanding of the world and what is to come. Throughout history, astrology has evolved as an art and science for understanding personality and forecasting the future. While today we are less likely than the ancients to view astrology in literal cause and effect terms, modern astrologers see the planets and their movements as exerting energetic influence over our lives.
To answer the question “how does astrology work?” we start with the concept of synchronicity, the idea that 2 seemingly unrelated events can be tied together when meaning is ascribed to them. Without meaning, those two events can appear random or coincidental, but when meaning is ascribed, it can often feel like things click into place and begin to make sense. That meaning, in astrological terms, is the shared experience between what is happening on a planetary level, and what is happening internally in our lives, which then becomes manifested in external events. It’s an invisible thread that connects each of us to the cosmos in our own unique and personal way.
Most people know their “sign” (aka Sun Sign) without fully understanding its meaning or the full context of their personal astrology. This Astrology Guide goes beyond “sun-sign astrology” and aims to fill out your understanding of how astrology works by delving deep into the rich information not just about your sun sign, but also the planetary positions, astrology elements, astrology houses, astrological aspects, and returns and ways to understand all of the descriptive and predictive aspects of your natal chart, all of which work together to put meaning to those synchronicities at work in your life. At the very minimum, you should gain an appreciation for your Sun Sign, Rising Sign, and Moon Sign, as this combination of planetary influences will more accurately describe you than your Sun sign by itself.
While many of us are familiar with Western astrology, the East has a rich astrological tradition as well. The two most well-known astrological traditions of the East are Chinese and Vedic astrology. Vedic astrology is lunar-based. Chinese astrology is a lunar-solar hybrid. Click here to learn more about Eastern Astrology and the Chinese Zodiac.
Vedic astrology is also known as Jyotisha or Jyotishya. Originating in India, it incorporates the Hindu concept of karma. There are twelve signs that roughly correspond to the western ones. But in Vedic astrology vs Western astrology, the calculations for the rising and sun signs are based on sidereal astrology rather than tropical astrology. This means that some additional math is done to account for the slight wobble in the earth’s rotation (taking about 26,000 years to complete a cycle) when determining the sign. In addition, those signs are further divided up into 27 lunar mansions or Nakshatra. In Hindu myth, the moon is male and visits each of his 27 wives as he goes through his rotation in the sky. The Nakshatra the moon was in when you were born is a very important part of your astrological chart.
Click here to learn more about Vedic Astrology.
Though sometimes you’ll see the words zodiac, astrology, and horoscope used interchangeably, they don’t all mean the same thing. The difference between horoscope and astrology is one of scale. Astrology is an umbrella term for the whole study of the influence of celestial bodies (the moon, sun, planets, and stars) on ourselves and our world. The two main areas of astrology are natal, which deals with one person, and mundane, which studies large communities of people. As mentioned above, plenty of cultures around the world practiced or continue to practice astrology, including the Greeks, Chinese, and Mayans. In fact, many believe that our modern astronomy evolved from astrology. In Western astrology, the placement and movement of the heavenly bodies are visually depicted in a horoscope. The horoscope provides clues to explain who we're attracted to and why, as well as our strengths and weaknesses.
A horoscope refers to the interpretation of the meaning of the specific positions those celestial bodies were in at a particular moment, like the time of someone’s birth. Zodiac relates specifically to the 12 signs used in astrology. The most well-known astrology reading is the horoscope, and the most popular horoscope is the sun sign, or zodiac sign. However, horoscopes can go a lot deeper than that.
Since the sun sign horoscopes found in many magazines and newspapers are created for the millions of people who share the same birth date range, they are very simple and generic. On the other hand, an experienced astrologer takes into consideration the positioning of the sun, moon, planets, and stars to provide a far more in-depth and personal horoscope. Horoscopes are often used to predict your day, week, month, or even your upcoming year.
Astrologers believe that their positions at the exact time of birth have a direct impact on our personalities and relationships with others. An astrology reading takes into account the houses, planets, and signs that make up your natal chart. Astrologers use this alignment to provide insight into your personality, desires, motivations, and potential outcomes.
Astrologers have identified 12 positions, or astrological signs, that the sun, moon, and planets appear to move through. These signs are simply ways of mapping the night sky based on the relative position of the planets and stars within a zone determined by the relationship between the Earth and the Sun at a given place and time. Instead of referring to their position in degrees, we use the names ascribed to these specific orbital positions.
The word zodiac means “Circle of Animals” and most of the signs, with the exception of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are depicted by animals that represent the energy of that sign. There is numerological significance to the number 12, a sign of completion that unites the creative force of a 1 with the duality and interdependency of a 2. You can learn more about numerology meaning in our exclusive Numerology Guide.
The position of the sun at the time of your birth holds a special place in your astrology chart because the sun is the star of our solar system around which all the planets orbit. Your sun sign influences your primary character traits and reflects your ego and determination. But the influence of the sun is felt in combination with the influences of all the other planetary positions. For example, you also have a moon sign, which influences your innermost being, and a rising sign that represents your outward personality and style. In an astrology reading, each of these planetary positions is analyzed alone and in relationship to each other. Armed with the Psychic Source Astrology Guide and the information contained in your astrological chart, you can click on the sign below to look up what each of the astrology signs signifies, depending on where it appears in your natal chart.
When the sun is in one of the 12 zodiac constellations at the time of birth, a fairly consistent pattern of personality traits emerges. It’s not coincidental! As unique as every individual is, astrology supplies the meaning which connects the dots and explains why people born under the influence of a specific sign share common traits.
The easiest way to identify your sun sign is to compare your date of birth with a published reference chart, but there can be a few complications. When dates are provided for general reference, there can be slight discrepancies because depending on the year, the sun may have “shifted” to the next sign at a slightly different time. In some cases, this can make a difference.
It’s not that the sun is technically moving, but rather that as the Earth orbits around the sun, the sun appears to pass in front of different constellations, as seen from our reference point on Earth. In Western Astrology, we speak of the sun moving into the 12 zodiac signs as an Earth-centered way of describing what’s happening in the sky.
The cycle through all twelve signs of the zodiac takes a year. However, it actually takes 365 days, 4 hours, 35 minutes, and 12 seconds to complete a circuit, (which is why every four years we make up the difference with a leap year), but there’s no catch-up provision from an astrology standpoint. This is why one year the sun sign Aries could begin on March 22, while another year it might start minutes earlier and land on March 21. Depending on your time zone, that could further complicate the equation.
For people born in the middle of a sun sign, none of this matters. But for people born on the cusp, just about the time the sun shifts to the next sign, the question may feel more pressing. The good news is that “cuspers” are generally a blend of both signs. However it is quite possible that the sign you always thought of as your own based on the generally accepted dates just doesn’t fit, so take a deeper look at the dates for each cusp and read the descriptions of the two relevant sun signs. Pick the one that resonates most strongly as your primary identification. You can also ask an astrologer for help determining which sun sign holds the highest influence on your chart.
Pisces-Aries Cusp 3/17 - 3/23
The fire sign Aries is associated with Mars. Fiery self-will in action would describe people born under this sign. They seek both growth and improvement. They like to live on the edge and love challenges. In relationships, they need to find someone who can keep up with them. They tend to be adventurous, somewhat impulsive (at times to a fault), independent, confident, and opinionated.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Aries Zodiac Sign Guide.
Aries-Taurus Cusp 4/16 - 4/22
The Earth sign Taurus is associated with Venus. Stubbornness is the first word that comes to mind to describe people born under this sign, which, of course, can be a positive or a negative trait. Tauruses tend to be shy and stay away from crowds. They are likely to be goal-oriented, social though guarded, determined, and extremely practical. When it comes to friendship, they will only be as close as they want to be with you.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Taurus Zodiac Sign Guide.
Taurus-Gemini Cusp 5/17 - 5/22
The air sign Gemini is associated with Mercury. Geminis tend to have a dual nature or be moody. They are spontaneous at times and more reserved at other times. They tend to try to do too many things at once and they can also be indecisive. They are very good at seeing both sides of an issue. They like to make money and spend it. They want a partner who can keep up with them mentally and physically.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Gemini Zodiac Sign Guide.
Gemini-Cancer Cusp 6/17 - 6/23
The water sign Cancer is associated with caring and compassionate people whose emotions are up and down like the moon. Cancers are tough on the outside and soft on the inside. That’s why their symbol is the crab—they can be crabby! People born under the sign of Cancer tend to thrive on love and romance. They desire stability but seem to have ever-changing needs. They can be good healers and they tend to experience emotions intensely.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Cancer Zodiac Sign Guide.
Cancer-Leo Cusp 7/19 - 7/25
The fire sign Leo is associated with the Sun. Leo's do love to be the center of attention and may be referred to as drama Queens. They also tend to have charisma and a sense of style. They are leaders who like to be flattered and validated but not criticized. They’re faithful and devoted in relationships. In general, Leos have big hearts, positive thinking, and a good sense of humor.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Leo Zodiac Sign Guide.
Leo-Virgo Cusp 8/19 - 8/25
The earth sign Virgo is associated with Mercury. Virgo's tend to be very intelligent, but shy. They are organized and reliable and tend to make excellent employees. Virgos are kindhearted and find the good in people but can also be described as fussy and their perfectionism can lead to narrow-mindedness. They’re givers, companions, and advisers. Virgo's are often described as refined. They seek perfection and are often quite spiritual.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Virgo Zodiac Sign Guide.
Virgo-Libra Cusp 9/19 - 9/25
The air sign Libra is associated with Venus. Libra's are relaxed, mellow, with a love for beauty. They often have difficulty making decisions. They seek balance and harmony, but they may tend to be too trusting or gullible. Their lives will have dramas, false starts, broken hearts, and disillusionments. They are peacemakers. Libras could find love in exotic beautiful places or while running a bar or restaurant. They also could be designing beach or ski gear or sipping cocktails.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Libra Zodiac Sign Guide.
Libra-Scorpio Cusp 10/19 - 10/25
The water sign Scorpio is associated with Pluto. People born under this sign are intense and passionate. They also tend to be secretive about what they are really thinking. They like to appear strong and in control.
This sign has intense and dramatic relationships. Scorpios have passion, desire, and power, but they need to decide on the power of love or love of power. They wear masks and hide their true feelings. When Scorpios fall in love they can be faithful and dedicated, but don't hurt them because they won't forgive you.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Scorpio Zodiac Sign Guide.
Scorpio-Sagittarius Cusp 11/18 - 11/24
The fire sign Sagittarius is associated with Jupiter. Adventurous and optimistic, they love life and see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They’re most likely to get jobs involving media, outdoor work, or philosophical or humanitarian pursuits. Sagittarians can have big hearts—they’re generous, fun-loving, honest people. They tend to seek truth and be philosophical in nature. They want alluring things in life, such as a partner, dream job, or vacation.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Sagittarius Zodiac Sign Guide.
Sagittarius-Capricorn Cusp 12/18 - 12/24
This earth sign Capricorn is associated with Saturn. People born under Capricorn tend to be determined, motivated, and driven. They have a lot of integrity and moral courage. Capricorns are ambitious. They need to balance work and play. They’re cautious in relationships, but when in love, their sensitive and loyal hearts come out. As a career, Capricorns want to make a difference in the world. They may be prone to depression at times when goals are not met, but in general, they know self-soothing skills as well.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Capricorn Zodiac Sign Guide.
Capricorn-Aquarius Cusp 1/16 - 1/22
This air sign Aquarius is associated with Uranus. Aquarians are often referred to as eccentric or odd. They tend to be very intelligent with creative and busy minds. Aquarians also frequently report problems with insomnia as they may find it difficult to quiet the mind. They are often free thinkers with a strong humanitarian drive and may be described as being ahead of their time.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Aquarius Zodiac Sign Guide.
Aquarius-Pisces Cusp 2/15 - 2/21
The water sign Pisces is associated with Neptune. Spiritual, caring, and sensitive people, Pisceans crave deep interpersonal relationships, but sensitivity and shyness may impede them. When Pisces fall in love they fall hard. They tend to be dreamy, warm, compassionate, and talented.
Read more about the qualities of astrology Pisces Zodiac Sign Guide.
Astrology has four basic elements Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. All 12 of the astrology signs fall under one of them placing three sun signs under each element. Knowing which element rules your sun sign will help you understand your own temperament, as well as that of other people. Without knowing all the details of each sun sign, understanding the four elements is like having a cheat sheet for understanding yourself and others:
Even at this very basic level, you can begin to predict compatibility just by understanding the way the elements relate to one another. As a general rule of thumb, people whose signs are ruled by the same element experience easy compatibility – they “get” one another. Knowing which element rules each sign provides a quick way to apply natural law to make sense of relationships. We’ll go deeper into compatibility for each sign on their specific pages, but the elements provide a helpful context and metaphor for how the signs relate with one another, whether analyzing the compatibility based on sun signs, rising signs, or moon signs.
Fire signs express action. They are temperamentally creative, impulsive, enthusiastic, and “on fire” especially in the company of others.
For Sagittarius, the drive for action may be expressed through a need for travel, education, or crusading for the underdog. An Aries expresses action through speed, taking charge, and the love of adventures. And a Leo expresses their drive for action through loyalty, big style, and strong leadership. Listen to how the Fire Signs manifest their desires in this free podcast for Fire Signs by Psychic Source Astrologer Moira.
Earth signs want to build, and they’re really good at it. They are temperamentally practical, grounded, collaborative, and know what it takes to get things done.
A Capricorn expresses its Earth energy by striving to create a generational foundation, a legacy that endures. A Taurus expresses its love of building by creating a home and family with a sturdy foundation and first-class style. And a Virgo is all about building the whole by attending to practical details for example, by keeping an eye on the budget, timelines, and little details. Listen to how the Earth Signs manifest their desires in this free podcast for Earth Signs by Psychic Source Astrologer Joy.
Air signs love ideas, analysis, and data. They are the communicators and “people persons” of the zodiac, easily making friends and engaging with people from all walks of life.
For Aquarius, the love of ideas is expressed through flashes of insights, picking up on future trends, and a need to apply intellectual prowess to improve humanity. For Gemini, a love of ideas is expressed through the written word from books and music to public relations. And for Libra, there’s nothing like the exchange of concepts with others, combining fair play and beauty. Listen to how the Air Signs manifest their desires in this free podcast for Air Signs by Psychic Bonnie.
Water signs express the need to nurture, in emotional, intuitive (often psychic), and spiritual ways. Temperamentally they are compassionate, creative, and caring people with a lot going on below the surface.
The drive to nurture is expressed in slightly different ways depending on the sign. Pisces expresses its love of nurturing through great kindness and compassion, offering healing gifts that can restore a lost soul. For Cancer, nurturing centers around the home and family, cooking up a feast for the body and soul. And for Scorpio, nurturing is expressed through deep sensitivity and listening on a soul level to create profound changes. Listen to how the Water Signs manifest their desires in this free podcast for Water Signs by Psychic Carmaleena.
When it comes to astrology and horoscopes, just about everyone knows their “sign,” referring to the sign of the Zodiac the Sun was in when they were born, also known as your Sun Sign. However, when it comes to your “sign,” there’s really so much more!
First, the reason an astrologer (or astrology website) will ask for your date of birth, as well as, the exact time of birth and the location you were born, is so they can create a Natal Chart or Birth Chart (that circle pie-chart-looking thing with all the signs of the zodiac) that specifically relates to you. And, like a snowflake, no two charts are the same. This is a chart that represents the precise location of heavenly bodies when you were born. Think of your Natal Chart like your very own celestial road map that gives a look into your personality and character, in addition to forecasting major life events, by examining the position and location of the planets in the heavens when you were born.
Much like a tarot reading, an astrologer interpreting your natal chart can uncover deep answers about your behavior and personality. Astrologers use this chart to help a person better understand himself or herself and the situations he or she is going through. The more specific information you can give, such as the date, time, and place of your birth, the better your reading will be. These readings typically include information about your personality, your relationships with others, and your future. If you have birth information about a significant other, you can even use an astrology reading to compare your charts, explore compatibility issues, and gain a better understanding of your future relationship with that person.
The three main parts of a natal chart are the signs, the planets, and the houses. Okay, think of a big circle, which represents you. Now, picture a horizontal line splitting that circle into two equal parts, which is the horizon line. Your Ascendant is at 9 o’clock on the left, and your Descendant is at 3 o’clock on the right. The planets that were visible at the time you were born are placed above the horizon line, while the planets that were not visible are placed below the horizon line. Next, the circle is divided equally into the twelve sections, which represent the 12 signs of the zodiac, also called houses. You read your natal chart in a counterclockwise direction, with the Ascendant's horizontal line delineating the First House.
The big circle of your natal chart is divided into twelve sections. Each section represents the 12 signs of the zodiac, which on your Natal Chart are known as the 12 houses.
It's also important to remember that each of the houses do not have any special "energy," like the planets and the elements. The houses are simply the location where the planets and elements, with their unique energies, happen to show up in your Natal Chart. (Basically, it's where they are "housed.")
You may be wondering why you'll sometimes see that houses are depicted in different sizes in different natal charts. That's because there's more than one way to calculate astrology houses. Without getting too deep in the weeds, there are systems that do divide the circle of your birth chart into 12 equal 30 degree pieces (Whole Sign and Equal House systems) but there are some like the Placidus system (the most commonly used one) that involve mathematics that take things like latitude of your place of birth and the hours of sunlight on your birthday into account.
To learn more about the 12 houses of Astrology, click here for a detailed view into each house and its significance.
Now that you understand the wheel of the zodiac, let’s look at how the sun, moon, and planets appear in their houses in your chart. Your starting place is the sun because it represents who you are - your basic characteristics and identity. It is generally the strongest influence in your astrological chart. Next, your Ascendant (or Rising Sign) and the sign of your Moon are the next two significant parts of your chart to understand, since they are vital in getting a more rounded viewpoint on your nature. Your Ascendant affects how you present yourself to others (your self-image), while your Moon reflects your emotional personality and behavior. Your Sun Sign, Ascendant, and Moon are what are known as The Big Three" in astrology, forming the foundation of your personality.
Sun signs are undoubtedly the best known of the three of these. But to get a more complete picture of your personality, you need to take all three into account. If you’ve ever felt like your sun sign doesn’t fully encompass every aspect of you, that’s probably because you didn’t know or understand your moon and rising sign too.
The moon moves through the Zodiac, changing signs (roughly) every two and half days. It is associated with the oceans changing tides and powerful emotional shifts. The moon's placement in your chart signifies your capacity to adjust, and how you move with the ever-changing pressures and challenges of everyday life. Your moon sign (the sign the moon inhabits at the time of your birth), represents your intuitive process, that which is inherent to you. It also represents fourth house signatures, the feminine influences of your life, the home, and that which formed you.
Astrologically speaking, the sun represents the self; it is the representation of conscious desire, and our potential, whereas the moon embodies our dreams, and the unconscious expression of personality. While your sun sign largely dictates your personality or outward mood, your moon sign reveals your private emotions or inner expressions. Think of your moon sign as your inner child. Moon signs are key to understanding ourselves. While your sun sign determines zodiac personality, your moon sign is the second most important influence when it comes to horoscope charts. Your moon sign represents your inner mood and emotions.
Your moon sign can affect the strength to which your sun sign is expressed in your personality. Moon signs that align with sun signs can bring out the characteristics even more strongly, while moon signs that counteract sun signs can dampen the effect of your sun sign on your personality. Take a Scorpio, a water sign, who also has a watery moon sign in Pisces. This person might be even more intuitive and emotional since both are traits of water signs. On the other hand, the aggressive nature of an Aries can be tempered by a calm Taurus moon.
If you're looking for a soulmate, finding someone whose moon sign is compatible with yours is a good bet. Sun and moon signs can also sit in similar signs to make a good match. Having moon signs in similar elements — water, air, earth, or fire — is one of the best ways to determine how well people will emotionally connect.
Click here to learn more about the 12 moon sign meanings and what your moon sign reveals about how your inner emotional landscape.
If you're a fan of podcasts, Psychic Moira reveals the Moon Sign meaning and how it affects you in this podcast "What Your Moon Sign Means."
If you want to learn about personality through astrology, don't forget about the rising sign. Also known as the ascendant, this sign was actually the dominant indicator of a person's nature until the early 20th century. Today, this sign is less well known than the sun sign and even the moon sign. That doesn't mean it's not significant. Your rising sign plays a huge role in how others perceive you. Along with your sun and moon sign, your rising sign is an important component of determining your astrological personality.
Your rising sign also represents the environment into which you were born, so it often reflects your upbringing and childhood along with your outward appearances. No matter how fully you feel that you identify with your zodiac sign, those around you may have a slightly different impression of you and your nature. That’s because your rising sign often has a substantial impact on both your spontaneous reactions to stimuli and the energy you put out into the world.
In fact, when people first meet you, they’ll often meet your rising sign instead of your sun sign or the zodiac sign that you hold closest. From your attitude to your appearance, your ascendant sign impacts your outward self and the first impression people will have of you. Do you like bold colors or soft neutrals? Are you quick to jump into the conversation or need time to warm up? Your ascendant sign influences all these factors and more.
Your rising sign isn't your whole personality, but it's a big part of it. Most people project a self that's a perfect mix of the sun sign and the rising sign. The rising sign reflects an outward personality, one that's more superficial. It's an important part of how you appear to other people and how you function in the world around you. It's different, though, from a sun or moon sign because it has more to do with outward appearances. You won't be a Scorpio because you have a Scorpio rising sign, in other words, but you'll outwardly display some Scorpio traits.
For many people, learning about the role that a rising sign can play answers many questions that a sun sign-focused astrology reading simply can’t address. For example, if friends, coworkers, or acquaintances have described you in a way that doesn’t quite seem accurate or they’ve highlighted the differences between the first impression you make and the characteristics that emerge once you get closer to someone, the dichotomy between your rising sign and your sun sign may explain everything.
Click here to learn more about the rising sign meanings and what your rising sign reveals about how you interact with the rest of the world.
Psychic Jasmine sheds some light on Ascending Signs and how they affect you in this podcast What Your Rising/Ascendant Sign Means.
Sun signs are easy to figure out. Those signs almost everyone knows are calculated easily based on the month and day of your birth. Getting familiar with your moon and rising sign isn’t as simple. If someone took a picture of the sky the moment you were born, you would have your birth chart. But since many of us don’t have that we’ll need to do a little work to figure it out.
The easiest way to find your moon sign is to use our free online moon sign calculator but only a knowledgeable astrologer can both calculate and interpret the meaning of your chart. To start, you’ll need to have your complete birth date (month, date, and year) as well as the location of your birthplace and time of birth. Your birth certificate may have all that information. With that data, you can accurately determine the position of the stars and the prominence of the signs.
An exact time of birth helps the most, but if you know the approximate time of your birth, an astrologer can help determine what your moon sign is. Because the moon shifts quickly around the zodiac, the time of birth is key to placing your moon sign accurately — especially if the moon is about to move to the next sign on your birth date. The moon takes only a month to touch all the signs, and it stays in each sign for about two days.
Your rising sign is the Zodiac sign that was ascending at the eastern horizon at the exact moment you were born. This ascendant is specific to a precise place and time, so as with your moon sign, you'll need to know the date of birth, city of birth, and the exact time of your birth to get the most accurate assessment. The ascendant sign changes every two hours, so it's important to have your exact birth time or an approximate that's as close as possible. Again, speaking to a professional astrologer can help with both the identification and interpretation.
In general, those who were born during the day under a shining sun and those with an ascendant that falls close to the beginning of the sign tend to feel the strongest effects of their rising sign. In contrast, those born at night or those with an ascendant that falls near the end of the sign may exhibit more muted effects of the rising sign. Another quick rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if you were born just before or just after dawn, your rising sign is likely the same as your sun sign. On the other hand, if you were born right before or right after sunset, your rising sign is likely the exact opposite of your sun sign.
Now that we've looked at "The Big Three," let's dive in a little deeper. Each planet in your natal chart denotes other aspects of your personality. Understanding the planets and where they fall into the houses in your chart help color in the details, the nuanced touches that make you unique. The planets are grouped into two categories: Personal Planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) and Outer Planets (Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto).
Mercury – Mercury is all about communication, how you express your thoughts and listen to others. It can point to situations where you find you feel more naturally clever or quick-thinking. It can also highlight ways your communication style can get you into trouble.
Venus – Venus is known for being linked to romance, and where it falls on the chart can tell you what you need to feel loved and how you show love. But there’s so much more to this planet than that. Knowing where Venus falls in your chart can tell you about all the things that bring you pleasure, not just romantic partnerships.
Mars – Mars is the god of war in Roman mythology. Where it falls in your chart will tell you what you think is worth fighting for and areas where you are likely to be more aggressive. Sometimes that aggressiveness can work in our favor, especially in ‘no risk, no reward’ situations. Other times, it will tell you which situations will bring out your reckless side
Now, the Outer planets: Jupiter represents your growth, ability to mix with society, and your life path. Saturn represents responsibilities, the rules you follow, and the necessary restrictions imposed for the growth of your consciousness. Uranus represents your ability to gain insight into life obstacles and new levels of understanding. Neptune represents your ideals and imagination, psychic abilities, and sense of harmony. And Pluto represents your process when it comes to inner growth and change.
The zodiac's pleasure gauge, Venus represents romantic love as well as attitudes about luxury and money. It’s the sultry voice in your head telling you who and what you want. Chiefly occupied with the business of attracting enjoyment and love, Venus doesn't get her hands dirty with the work of acquiring things. Instead, like a magnet, Venus draws the heart’s desire inward.
Wherever you find your Venus will give you a clue to the things that really touch your heart and how you show your emotions. Venus points to the way you express love and sexual enjoyment. Your Venus expression is your approach to coupling and the way you show love for your partner. In relationship compatibility, Venus represents your feelings about your own desirability, personal beauty, and the type of relationships that most satisfy you.
If the rare case of Venus in retrograde in the natal chart (approximately 7-8% of the time), expect there to be some secrecy about love life or finances. Relationships are taken very seriously, and there may be some self-sabotaging behaviors related to insecurities or issues with self-love. There may be hesitancy to get into or out of a relationship, even when it’s toxic. They may take years to heal from a breakup.
In addition, Venus’s relationship to the positions of the other planets (more on that in the section on aspect patterns) has an effect on how easy or hard it is for Venus’s energy to flow. A harmonious aspect with Jupiter for instance could be beneficial for finances. An less harmonious one may indicate some challenges to overcome. And the placement of Venus and Mars, also known as "synastry", will help you understand key aspects of sexual and relationship compatibility.
Click here to learn more about the meaning of Venus in astrology and placement in your chart.
Learn About the Zodiac Signs' Expectations in Relationships
While Mars does not have as notorious of a reputation as Saturn does in classic astrology, it is associated with having some problematic aspects. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, Mars influences our gut reactions, especially our primal instincts around fight or flight. Our Mars placement tells us a lot about who we are when our backs are against a wall, and sometimes that’s not pretty. Secondly, Mars is an energetic powerhouse, but in the way a small child at a fair hopped up on sugar is energetic. Its placement also lets us know what brings out our impulsivity or where our Id or Younger Self is more likely to shove our more mature self out of the driver’s seat.
It's very important to be aware of this placement because once we understand how our inner caveman reacts in stressful situations and/or what our inner toddler needs (and what we need to baby-proof) we’re able to act from a place of knowledge. Remember, an astrologer can dive more deeply about the combination of the sign and the house effecting how Mars expresses itself in you.
Click here for an overview of Mars in the twelve houses to understand how Mars shows up for you.
In Roman mythology, Mercury ruled over communication and had the reputation of being the cleverest of the gods. However, he is also the god of thieves and trickery. The planet brings out similar aspects in us. How well (or not) we communicate to others, where our natural brilliance lies, where we might try to push our luck—that’s all Mercury.
When Mercury transits into the same sign as the one in your birth chart (or in a harmonious sign), you may find you are luckier during those time periods. Interestingly, if you were born during Mercury retrograde, whenever Mercury hits retrograde in the same sign it is in on your birth chart it won’t affect you as badly as it affects everyone else. Talk to an experienced astrologer to get a more in-depth view to Mercury’s effect on you.
Click here for an overview of Mercury in the twelve houses to understand how Mercury influences you.
Okay, so now you know three important parts of your Natal Chart – The Signs, The Houses. and the Planets. At times, they individually may make a lot of sense, but when you combine all three parts, you get a revealing glimpse into your very own character.There’s one last foundational piece to cover, which has to do with theprecise placement of each of these elementsat the moment of your birth.
Once you start getting deeper into the study of astrology, you'll find the phrases aspect pattern or aspect pattern astrology begin to pop up. Whole books can be written about the analysis of the different combinations of aspect patterns, but it can be very helpful to be aware of the general qualities of the major types.
Planetary aspects refer to the relationship formed by the positioning from one planet to another at any given point in their travels. If you look at a picture of your natal chart, you'll see it's arranged in a circle. The planets carry certain associations to them depending where they are arranged in the circle, but where other planets are located relative to them can shift the energy expressed, perhaps even enhancing or blocking it. Let's look at some of the most common types of aspects of planets in astrology.
Conjunction is the easiest astrology aspect to spot---both planets are right next to each other on your chart. They have a way of intensifying each other's energy, for both good and ill. It can be especially fraught if the planets in question have opposing energy, like say jovial Jupiter and taciturn Saturn. But a lot depends on the sign and house they find themselves in. Even unlikely pairings can be allies with a favorable placement.
Sextile occurs when the planets are 60 degrees apart. Those planets will often be in signs where the elements complement each other (Air and Fire, Water and Earth). Although the energy isn't as potent as the one found in a trine, there are still gifts that can be found here. Talking to an expert astrologist can help pinpoint the hidden treasure in your chart and how it can help you.
Squares occurs when planets are 90 degrees (4 signs apart) from each other. When looking at your birth chart, if you were to draw a line from a planet to the center of the chart and another line from the center to the planet it squared with, it would form a 90 angle. There's typically a lot of friction between the energy of these two planets, so expect challenges to come up from these pairings. But there's also opportunity for growth too, if you can manage the tension between them.
Trine occurs when planets are 120 degrees from each other. The planets involved are typically in signs of the same element. Trines are gifts from the Universe. Wherever you see trines will indicate that the energy of the planets is going to express itself in a way that is naturally helpful for you. Try not to take these gifts for granted. You need to learn how to work with the energy to utilize it in a way that is most helpful for you.
Opposition occurs when planets are directly across from each other, 180 degrees. They will be in signs that have a complimentary element, but the same modality (Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable). Despite its name, the signs planets have some potential to work together harmoniously (much more so than if they were in a square), if the strengths of one planet can be used to balance out the weakness of another and vice-versa.
In the last few years, it’s become a lot more popular for people to talk about the planets when they go retrograde. But what does it mean when a planet is in retrograde? Firstly, despite the name, the planet is not actually going backward in its orbit. It's an optical illusion, caused by the path of the earth’s orbit in relation to the orbits of the other planets. Since those planets move at a different speed around the sun than the earth does, their movement may look strange to us from our vantage point on earth. If we were to view the whole solar system from a distance, we wouldn’t see any changes in their orbit.
Although a planet’s retrograde motion is an optical illusion, planets in retrograde can have some pretty big impact. Some of the more notable times of growth or conflict occurred during retrograde periods. As a general rule, expect any areas that fall under the retrograding planet’s rulership to be a little strange. You can further pinpoint the effects of the retrograde by seeing what sign the planet is traveling in when it goes retrograde, as well as compare where the planet is now with how it appeared in your birth chart. Those who were born with a planet in retrograde tend to ride out the highs and lows of the retrograde period of the same planet in the same sign as someone who doesn’t.
Mercury Retrograde refers to those periods of time when the planet Mercury appears to move backward in its orbit, from the perspective as seen from the Earth. One way to think about Mercury retrograde is to understand that this is the shadow side to wise, witty, and quick-moving Mercury. That side has strong trickster energy to it. So anything that has to do with the domains Mercury rules over – communication, the intellect, and travel for example – will go a little sideways during this period.
Mercury goes into retrograde three to four times a year. How long Mercury is in retrograde varies slightly, but it usually lasts around three weeks.
Read more about what happens in Mercury in Retrograde here.
Venus' retrograde periods occur roughly every year and a half for around 40 days. Venus is traditionally tied to money (including everything from income to contracts), love, and our value system, but it also reflects the principle of harmony. It also impacts creative projects, and what makes you feel good down to your toes. When Venus goes "Retrograde," that means something is out of harmony tied to your money, love life, or value system. It can test your patience with misunderstandings, especially as they relate to love, frustrations, and a sudden change in perspective.
The gift of time can often help provide you a better view of what needs to be fixed, talked about, or simply when it's time to take a break to rethink your personal direction. Keep in mind, this is not just about romance. It is important to keep your eyes on the bigger picture. Venus Retrograde brings us interesting times to revise issues in our life that can't be put off any longer.
Venus in the Water Signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are deeply invested in security, support, and control.
A few questions to consider:
Are you hiding your true feelings to control a relationship?
Are you wishing on a star and need a cup of reality?
Do you need more verbal security and don't know how to ask for it?
Venus in the Fire Signs of Leo, Sagittarius, and Aries are invested in independence, drive, and passion.
A few questions to consider:
Are you worried about the balance between your work and your love life?
Were you impulsive in a money matter that appears to have lost its shine?
Do you really want to go solo/single and don't know how to leave?
Venus in the Earth Signs of Virgo, Capricorn, and Taurus are invested in financial security, sensuality, and long-term commitments.
A few questions to consider:
Are you so overwhelmed by the details you are stuck in place?
Do you still think you can fix someone that you know is a lost cause?
Have you delayed investing in a relationship because of self-esteem issues?
Venus in the Air Signs of Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini are invested in humanitarian values, elegant diversity, and mental compatibility.
A few questions to consider:
Are you willing to talk about unfinished business?
Are you stuck between 2 people and can't decide who is best?
Are you suddenly in love with a friend and don't know how to tell them?
Mars has the fewest retrograde periods of any of the planets, occurring around every two years, lasting from anywhere from 58 to 81 days. Mars represents passion, action, and sexuality. People sometimes notice that their energy and level of motivation feel lower during this time. And since Mars is as much about loving as it involved with creating chaos, its Retrograde journey infuses us with the determination to honor our relationships.
During the period of Retrograde, Mars works behind the scenes, beyond the superficial, frequently carrying issues to the surface. It is during Mars retrograde when we are likely to confront some of our issues around anger head on---why we get angry, how we show our anger, and how we deal with conflict in general. Growth and awareness can come from accepting responsibility for decisions. Transformation will also follow if we allow emotionally painful attitudes to fall away and release their hold over the future.
Jupiter retrograde periods last roughly four months and occur roughly every thirteen months. As one of the outer planets, the period of Jupiter retrograde may or may not have a notable effect on you, depending on your birth chart. However, it's a good idea to give a trip to the casino a pass during Jupiter in retrograde because of its connection to luck. Businesses started in this period might grow in unexpected ways, so you'll want to make sure that you have the resources you need. It is a good time to go back to school or otherwise brush up on some skills. This time is also particularly conducive to self-reflection.
Saturn retrogrades occur roughly every twelve months and last for around four and a half months. Setting personal boundaries is always a good idea. But during Saturn retrograde you may find that you need to expend some extra energy to put them up or reinforce the ones you have. Now is also a good time to question if the boundaries you have put up truly come from a place of self-care, or were they put up due to fear. It's not a bad idea to spend a little time reflecting on the institutions that you are part of or spend a lot of time in. Is the structure they provide helping, or does it keep you boxed in? This is a good time to deal with any unpleasant tasks you've been avoiding.
Uranus retrograde periods occur once a year and last about five months. Unconventional Uranus may have us feeling a little rebellious when it's in retrograde. Uranus retrograde often has people questioning the status quo, but there is also the chance of its energy causing people to hold on more tightly to the past due to fear of change. Unsurprisingly, big social changes usually occur during this time period. But be aware there may also be a large release of built-up energy near the end or directly after the retrograde.
Neptune retrogrades last for about four months and come around every year. If you've felt disconnected from your spirituality or psychic gifts, Neptune retrograde is a perfect time to reconnect with them again. However, be aware that not all revelations are lovely ones. It can be painful to connect with some truths, especially if you find that you have been clinging to an illusion for far too long. You must consider what the most responsible use of your new knowledge is.
For five months every year, Pluto goes into retrograde. In some ways, think of a Pluto Retrograde like the universe handing you the Death Card from a deck of Tarot Cards, which actually means rebirth. Pluto destroys before rebirth can start, but you still have to work with it to get to the rebirth part.
Clinging onto the past and resisting change is what causes things to be painful. Once you're willing to let go, something else generally emerges - and that is the re-birth part of Pluto. Out of the ashes something amazing can truly rise with a new life and energy all of its own. Working with these energies simply means you have to let go of what is already slipping away, in order to let new things grow and appear in your life. Ask yourself, what things in your life need to change? Your life has been evolving, but what is still holding you back? This retrograde period is a good time to help figure that out.
When it comes to astrology, there's much more to know than just your zodiac sign. Planetary returns, those moments in time when a planet returns to the exact same sign and degree it was in on the moment when you were born, herald periods of astrological importance. Over the course of your life, you'll experience three key astrological returns that can each have a significant impact on your life path. Let's explore how the Solar Return, the Saturn Return, and the Chiron Return work and what they might mean for you.
Your Solar Return represents when the sun returns to the position it held at the moment you were born, otherwise known as the natal position. They occur once a year, typically on or around your birthday. A Solar Return chart can reveal major trends and events that will happen throughout the year. Since these complex charts require exact calculations, however, an astrology reading is the best way to understand what your Solar Return means for you.
Determine the ascending sign on your Solar Return astrology birth chart to understand how your approach to the world around you will change in a given year. Note the position of the sun, moon, and key planets to understand where to focus your energy and what type of issues might come to the forefront in your life.
Unlike the Solar Return, the Saturn Return occurs much less often. Since Saturn has such a lengthy revolution period, the planet doesn't return to align with your natal Saturn for about 29.5 years. That means you'll feel the Saturn Return as you're nearing 30 years old and again as you're approaching 60 years old.
As the best psychics will tell you, the Saturn Return is a sort of jolt back to reality. If you've spent much of your youth irresponsibly or you've made a series of careless choices in your 20s, the Saturn Return will ensure you feel the full effects.
Since the first Saturn Return occurs at such an important time in your career and personal life, this return can be particularly jarring. With this Saturn Return, you might feel some pressure to accomplish something big or turn your life around, and this can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. Instead of approaching Saturn Return astrology with apprehension, look at it in a positive light. After all, it arrives at the ideal time to make substantial changes that will have a lifelong impact on you and those around you.
The rarest of them all, the Chiron Return happens just once in your life. Chiron, which is represented by a mythical wounded healer figure, symbolizes a lifetime of hurt. In essence, Chiron embodies all of the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical pain you've experienced throughout your life.
If you're like most people, you'll experience the Chiron Return when you're about 50 years old. This means you'll have had decades to undergo a wide variety of wounds. Though you might have processed and moved on from most of them, some leave scars that are difficult to heal.
Like the Saturn Return, the Chiron Return can be challenging and fraught with fear. Instead, consider your Chiron Return as a welcome rite of passage and an opportunity to transform yourself and your experiences in a positive direction.
Read more about the Chiron Return and your zodiac sign.
A lot of people freeze in their tracks if you mention astrological timing, because they may feel intimidated by all the factors that could be used in determining the ideal timing for events in astrology. While it is true, you can get some very detailed information doing a deep dive of where all the planets are located at a specific time on a specific day, it's perfectly possible to harness astrological energy efficiently simply by taking into account the moon phase, or even just the day of the week. With a little planning, you can manifest goals or just improve the energy of a situation by using these two simple forms of astrological timing.
The moon is our closest celestial neighbor. It affects everything from tides, spawning time for ocean life, and our emotions and hormonal cycles. You don't need any special tool other than your eyes to notice what phase it is in. And the cycle time is very brief, so you don't have to wait too long to utilize the moon's energy.
When the moon is waxing, you can cup it in your right hand; it is growing larger. When the moon is waxing, think of pulling in all the beautiful, positive change you want in your life gently and magnetically.
When the moon is full, the sky is the limit, and work on finding the path to your dreams.
When the moon is waning, you can cup it in your left hand, it is growing smaller every night. This is the time to gently push away the obstacles to the positive change in your life.
The new moon, when you do not see the moon at all in the sky, is the time to get serious about moving on from bad behaviors and toxic relationships permanently.
The simplest way to use astrological timing to help get the energy flowing and for your goals to manifest in the easiest way is to use the days of the week and the moon phase. By pairing this metaphysical energy with your mundane actions, like filing out job applications or starting a new exercise program, you'll see the positive changes you want smoothly and gentle come into your life.
Let's first take a closer look at the days of the week.
Sunday: This is the day of the week dedicated to the sun and the god. Think success, strength, men's mysteries and bringing light to dark situations. For practical ideas, think of this day as a day to start that plan to raise your grades, fill out a new job application, or a time to visit a friend going through a rough time.
Monday: This is the day of the week dedicated to the moon and the goddess. Think psychic abilities, your emotions, travel, and women's mysteries. Think of this day as a day to work on your own psychic abilities, to look closely at your emotions, or plan that next vacation.
Tuesday: This is the day of the week dedicated to the planet Mars and the Roman god Mars. Think protection and standing up for what is right. This is a great day to look at what practical steps you can take, such as a self-defense course, to increase your personal protection. Writing letters to editors, senators, and CEO's would all be practical ways to use this day's energy for positive change.
Wednesday: This is the day of the week dedicated to the Norse god Odin and the Roman god Mercury. This is the day to look at communication, divine messages and luck. Practical ideas are to send that email or letter that will help build bridges and foster clear communication. Look more closely at the lessons of your faith on this day or start a gratitude journal.
Thursday: This is the day of the week dedicated to the Norse god Thor and the Roman god Jupiter. This is the day to look at what actions you can take to improve your health and bring abundance to your home. Today is the perfect day to start that new exercise program or taking a closer look at your budget.
Friday: This is the day of the week dedicated to the Norse goddess Freya and the Roman goddess Venus. Think love, caring, beauty, and romance. This is a great day to go to the spa, get that new haircut, or send that note in your child's lunch telling them just how proud you are of them.
Saturday: This is the day of the week dedicated to the planet Saturn and the goddess Hecate. This is a great day to move on from toxic relationships and to remove old behaviors that no longer serve you. Make room in your life for more positive people, and the best version of you on this day.
You can easily tie both of these together for a simple but amazingly powerful one-two punch. For instance, let's say you are looking for a new job. On Sunday, sit down and fill out the new job application. Do research about the company to make sure you are prepared for the interview. If the moon is waxing, visualize that new job coming to you in the best possible way. If the moon is waning, visualize the obstacles to the new job being gently removed.
See what amazing things can come into your life using some simple astrological timing. You really can make a beautiful life for yourself and those around you!
As you can see, a person's astrological sign goes much further than the readings in the newspaper or your favorite magazine. Astrological signs can help a person find the right career and understand problems within a relationship. Understanding your sign and talking with an online psychic can help you make important life decisions and have a happy, productive life.
Many people don’t think they are in full control of the direction in which their life is heading. Knowing your astrological sign can help you understand your life path and get it on the right track if your current path isn't making you happy. Psychics are especially effective at reading your energy and your astrological sign to help you understand if you’re currently on the right life path. A psychic can also help you see what is in store on your current path and how to handle these situations to ensure your happiness.
Each astrological sign has its own characteristics that people under that sign tend to have. Understanding your personality and talents can help you understand what type of career you are best suited for. It can also help you understand what jobs will urge you to work with other signs that are compatible with your personality and work ethic. If you currently have a career you enjoy, getting a reading can help you maximize your success in your career, also developing your talents in specific areas.
Finding lasting love is something everyone wants, but it is one of the hardest things to find. When it comes to relationships, many people rely on their gut or a spark to decide if it’s a person they want to continue to date or marry. Luckily, astrology can help!
There are many ways astrology can predict compatibility. One way is to compare their signs’ elements. The sun cycles through 12 constellations, passing through each one every four weeks or so. People who are born while the sun is in a certain constellation tend to share certain character traits. They are also aligned with an element (e.g. water, fire, earth, wind). The best relationships are between people with the same element (a match called a trine) or people in the same sextile — a set of different but compatible elements.
If you are already in a relationship, knowing your sign and your partner's sign can help you to understand problems that persist in your relationship. Getting a detailed psychic reading done can also help if you’re at a crossroads with a relationship, in order to better understand your compatibility and possible issues within the relationship.
It’s not just romantic relationships in which understanding your sign is beneficial. Knowing your sign and other people’s signs can help you understand your friends, family, and coworkers. For example, those who fall under the sign of the Gemini tend to have two sides or different personalities. Understanding those characteristics can help avoid conflict and choose friends that are compatible with your sign.
If you work in a business setting that has a lot of communication with other people, understanding your sign and theirs can help you excel in business. For example, if you are a manager hiring other managers, it helps to know that those who fall under the sign of Aries, Sagittarius, and Leo are natural leaders. Understanding other people’s personalities and signs can aid in making better business decisions within your company.
Life is full of unexpected struggles. You can't predict when something doesn't go as planned, causing you to make adjustments and life changing decisions. Consulting your astrology chart, however, can help you make a move in the right direction. Essentially, an astrology chart serves as a blueprint for your life. It looks at your birth date and time as it relates to the moon, stars, sun, and other elements. You may be surprised at just how much your astrology chart can reveal about you. Knowing and understanding your sign, as well as people with whom you often interact, can help you understand and strengthen your relationships. It also helps to aid important decisions in your life.
The first things you can learn from your astrology chart are your personality traits. Yes, you may already know most of these, but your astrology chart goes deeper to reveal strengths and weaknesses that you have not yet discovered. For instance, you may not realize that you are too bold in your romantic relationships, which could be the reason you haven't found love. You also might find out that you tend to eat more when you’re anxious or upset. After learning about your strengths, weaknesses, and other personality traits, you can make changes to improve your life.
Your astrology chart can also give you clues about what to pursue in life based on your natural aptitudes. For instance, you might learn that you are good with your hands and should pursue a career in that direction. Alternatively, you might learn that your musical abilities would be better off used as a hobby rather than a career path. Your astrology chart might even reveal some natural abilities that you have never thought to pursue before.
Life has a way of coming full circle. If you are always nice to other people, you’re a lot more likely to receive kindness in return. Your astrology chart can tell you where you sit in terms of Karma. For instance, if you did something particularly unkind, your astrology chart might foretell some bad fortune coming in your life. Ask an online psychic what you can do to turn karma back on your side. Your astrology chart might reveal that your karma is a lot worse or a lot better than you thought.
Other things you can learn from your astrology chart are clues about your future. It can’t tell you exactly when you’re going to get married or get a promotion, but it can tell you the type of experiences you are most likely to have. For instance, your astrology chart might predict medical procedures, divorce, new jobs, new relationships, etc. This will help you know where to focus your attention in life. Of course, there are limitations to the specifics that an astrology chart can reveal, but it can still give you a helpful overview of what to expect.
As you can see, your astrology chart is an excellent tool for guiding your decisions in life. It gives you purpose and makes your life more fulfilling. Consult an astrologer today to see what your astrology chart has to say. You never know what you might learn.
An Astrology Reading offers a way to make sense of your world and the parts of yourself you may struggle to understand. As much as you may resonate with the information in this Astrology Guide, the opportunity to speak one to one with an expert trained to see how all the pieces fit together and influence your past, present and future provides a valuable tool for navigating your life. It starts with an astrology chart – your personal life map – and it continues with information about how the ever-moving planets impact you in real time, and in the future.
Go beyond your daily horoscope to explore a cosmos of information, all about you.Get an Astrology Reading