Breaking Down the Basics of Astrology

Do you feel that big sigh of relief in the air? That is Saturn finally turning direct after being in retrograde since April. If you’re like me and your summer has consisted of you not having your shit together or feeling like your life has had absolutely no structure, this frustrating time is over. 

And just in time for productive and proactive Virgo season! If you’re not into astrology, you’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about. What even is a retrograde? What does being a Virgo mean? What actually is astrology? 

I got into astrology my senior year of college (2014) because of my good friend Meg. I would go over to her apartment and she had a huge book called “The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need” (which I highly recommend reading if you are curious about astrology) and she read my crush’s sun and moon sign and what that means. It was all very complicated to me…but little did I know!

There is A LOT to learn when it comes to astrology. And whether you believe it or not, the topic of how celestial bodies in the universe (of which we derive from) affect us down here on Earth has interested humans for CENTURIES. 

Skeptics can say whatever you want, but this summer has been a whirlwind and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there were six planets in retrograde and three eclipses this summer. (Is anyone else ready for fall?) 

Of course, there will be plenty more astrology-themed blog posts but for now, here are my ABC’s of astrology!

Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Common traits of people who are air signs include communication, intellect, balance, and curious. 

Ascending Sign: Also known as your “Rising Sign.” This sign represents the way other people see you and your first impression on people. This is different from your sun sign! To find out your ascending sign, calculate your birth chart at Café Astrology.  

Astrology: The ancient study of the movements, positions, and transits of celestial bodies, and how they affect human affairs. There’s A LOT to astrology besides just reading your weekly horoscope, people. 

Birth Chart: Also known as your “Natal Chart,” this calculated chart explains where each planet was positioned during the exact moment you were born. You do need to know the time and location you were born in order to obtain a correct birth chart…so call your mother!

Cusp: When someone’s sign is “on the cusp” that means they were born right in the transition period between two zodiac signs. Because of this, you would have the traits of both signs. 

Direct: A planet goes direct after being in retrograde. When a planet is direct, this means it is in direct motion with the Earth. When a planet turns direct, the house in which it rules (i.e. communication, love, finances, etc.) is easier to manage in our lives and does not pose as big of a problem. 

Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn. Common traits of people who are earth signs include being “down-to-Earth,” grounded, hardworking, planners, and practical. 

Eclipse: Lunar and solar eclipses bring about change. They can uproot us, bring drama, and cause emotions, but in the end, they teach us something important about ourselves so we can move from one phase of our life to another. You CAN feel the effects of an eclipse even if you live in an area where you cannot see an eclipse. 

Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. Common traits of people who are fire signs include passion, understanding, enthusiastic, and creative. 

House: There are 12 astrological houses in astrology and each are symbolic of all the themes that make up our lives. This is the wheel that you commonly see when people are talking about astrology. Each planet and zodiac sign is naturally associated with a house.

1stHouse: Self, Physical Body

2nd House: Money, Possessions, Self-Esteem

3rd House: Communication, Intellect 

4th House: Home, Conscious 

5th House: Children, Creativity, Pleasure 

6th House: Work, Health 

7th House: Relationships, Love

8th House: Death, Regeneration, Transformation and Healing 

9th House: Philosophy, Religion, Law 

10th House: Success, Reputation, Status 

11th House: Goals, Community 

12th House: Subconscious, Karma

My personal birth chart!

Moon Sign: Your moon sign is what position the moon was in when you were born. Moon signs shape how you deal with your emotions and your subconscious. 

Retrograde: A planet is in retrograde when from the vantage point of the Earth, a planet appears to be moving backwards. The most famous retrograde, of course, is Mercury Retrograde, but ALL planets go through retrograde, sometimes multiple times in a year! Whatever the planet rules (i.e. Mercury rules communication, technology, and travel), usually goes a little haywire during a retrograde period. Mercury Retrograde happens three times a year and last about a month each time, but other planets’ retrogrades can last several months (yikes!)

Sun Sign: Your sun sign is what position the sun was in when you were born. Your sun sign is the most common thing people read their horoscope for, but you really should read your horoscope for your sun, moon, and rising signs. Sun signs mainly shape your personality. 

Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. Common traits of people who are water signs include intuitive, sensitive, emotional, and nurturing.

Zodiac Season: Each zodiac sign has a “season” or a four week period during the year in which the sign rules. During this time, the characteristics of each zodiac sign are heightened. 

Zodiac Sign: There are 12 zodiac signs which corresponds to the sun moving through the horoscope over the course of one year. The zodiac year begins in March with the first sign, Aries, and ends with the last sign, Pisces. Each sign has unique traits and characteristics. 

This is only just scratching the very surface when it comes to learning about astrology, but if you’re interested in learning more or have any questions, let me know by asking here! 

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