watercolor painting of a compass

Hi Curious Seeker! Are you here to learn astrology? I know the topic of astrology is massive, and can be overwhelming to tackle when trying to make sense of it all. That's why I've got this comprehensive guide for you.

I'll share with you a brief history, ways to use astrology, the core basics, ins and outs, and resources to help you get started in your own astrology learning path. Let's get started!

Don't forget to Bookmark this page, as it will continue to grow with more resources for you and your learning process. Let's get into it and lessen the mystery behind astrology!

A Brief History of Astrology's Long Past

watercolor painting of a starry sky

Astrology has a long history, and we humans have been fascinated with the stars since day one. We can go back in time, and see that astrology originated over 3,000 years ago in ancient cultures including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, and Greece.

The Babylonians first developed principles relating celestial observations to events on earth, while the Egyptians linked cosmic patterns to gods and goddesses. Vedic astrology emphasized mankind's fate, and Greek astrology focused more on individuals.

So captivated by the stars, ancient peoples created devices to measure the movement of the planets, such as the Antikythera Mechanism, and other known historical moon calendars.

By the late Roman Empire, natal astrology emerged, predicting life events based on one's exact birth time and location.

See a pattern? It's across the entire human experience. I promise you, our ancestors stared at the stars, interpreted according to their understandings and noted activities on Earth, and then made plans. All of the time.

Over the centuries, astrology has continued to capture the minds of students, leaders, and every new 20-year-old who is curious to know what the stars have to say about their life path and self-development. Astrology, as you'll soon see, can be a tool for both self exploration and timing for world events. It's a versatile tool that doesn't have to be hidden in the misunderstood realm of popular media and memes.

So, what is astrology? Simply put, and this is my belief, you may come to your own conclusion… Astrology is the observation of the interplay between the planets and our Earth, and conducting symbolic meaning from their associated meanings and placement in the sky.

You may have heard the term of “As Above, So Below”, that's what we're talking about here. Looking at what's happening above in the stars (aka planets), and what correlations we may find below, here on Earth.

The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection…

Carl Jung

What Can Astrology Do For You

drawing of colorful crossroads signs in watercolor

Almost any area of daily life can be illuminated with astrology. Some applications may seem unconventional, but an open mind will reveal the value this ancient language provides.

Here's a short list of how astrology can provide guidance and insight:

  • Personal and spiritual growth – Understand your strengths and growth areas based on your natal chart and current transits.
  • Major life decisions – Determine optimal timing for marriage, education, career moves, retirement, real estate transactions.
  • Initiate new projects and goals – Time your New Moon rituals to your chart, and maximize the lunar energy available. For example, a New Moon in the 11th House would be a great time for launching group projects, or getting interest from your social media circles.
  • Business applications – Apply astrological cycles to understand cultural trends, and how to maximize your efforts.
  • Health and wellness – Use astrology to address physical, mental and spiritual challenges.
  • Relationships – Gain insight into the personalities and compatibility with friends, family, partners.
  • Prosperity and purpose – Discover your talents, soul's purpose, and uncover opportunities perfectly timed to your chart.

This is just a glimpse of astrology's breadth. When applied with an open mind and heart, it provides a profound framework for understanding your own life and path.

Next up, the fundamentals of astrology. Bring out your favorite pen and journal to capture the core basics.

Astrology basics

a drawing of the zodiac wheel showing glyphs and drawings for each sign.

Embarking on a journey to learn astrology is as unique as you are, influenced by your own learning style—cue the 3rd House and Mercury vibes. Whether it's through an online course, guidance from a professional astrologer, or engaging with an astrological organization, every path is valid. Remember, there's no universal right or wrong way; it's about finding your own way.

How to Learn Astrology: Embracing Self-Guided Learning

And since you're here dear reader, I warmly invite you to embark on a self-guided exploration to learn astrology, using my blog as a guiding light filled with resources and insights for the spiritually curious. This type of journey promises a harmonious blend of personal discovery and real-world application, laying a solid groundwork for deeper understanding.

Ready to learn astrology? Great! Let's start with the 4 pillars of astrology, the essential building blocks that will anchor your astrological exploration.

The Four Core Pillars of Astrology

Astrology is fundamentally composed of four basic principles, each essential for a comprehensive understanding of any astrological analysis. These 4 elements are the building blocks of an astrological chart, often known as a natal or birth chart for individuals.

To deeply know, and learn astrology, one must have a basic understanding

  1. Zodiac Insight: The 12 Zodiac signs are more than just symbols; they represent distinct periods of the year, each with its own energy and archetype. Understanding the differences between systems like Western, Chinese, and Vedic astrology can deepen your insight into how these signs influence us differently.
  2. Planetary Power: The ten planets in astrology aren't just celestial bodies; they're powerful symbols representing different aspects of the human experience. From the Sun's vitality to Saturn's discipline, each planet has a unique role in shaping our lives.
  3. Houses Explained: The 12 houses are key to unlocking where life's events will unfold. Each house governs a specific area of life, from personal identity in the first house to career ambitions in the tenth. Understanding these houses can provide a roadmap to your life's journey.
  4. Aspects: The Angles of Influence: Aspects are vital in revealing how planets interact and influence each other. They range from conjunctions, indicating new beginnings (like the New Moon), to oppositions, highlighting challenges and growth opportunities.

Simplify it: In astrology, planets represent the ‘What' – the energies at play, signs show the ‘How' – the manner in which these energies express, and houses reveal the ‘Where' – the areas of life most impacted.

1. The Zodiac: 12 universal Archetypes

watercolor drawing of zodiac archetypes as colors

The zodiac represents 12 universal archetypes that can be applied to understand personality traits, cycles of growth, and human behavior. These 12 archetypes beginning with Aries and ending with Pisces provide an overview of the range of qualities and characteristics found in humankind, and within YOU.

Yes, you have all twelve signs within your chart, and therefore represented to some extent in your life. Most people don't understand that you are more than your Sun sign (some people just refer to it as a star sign).

You also have a Moon sign, Venus sign, Mars sign, and so on. You're an individual, with a unique birth chart. Lucky you! The chances of having a chart twin exist, but I bet you'll be completely different, yet similar in ways. I have a chart twin, I'll share more about that later.

Let's move on to the zodiac signs!

Aries (March 21 – April 19) – Cardinal Fire, Ruled by Mars
These bold rams charge ahead with fierce independence, directness, and zeal, rushing headfirst into new endeavors, battles, and experiences. They embrace action, initiative, and following their strong impulses.

Like the fiery red planet Mars, Aries natives are courageous, energetic, and enterprising trailblazers who build things from the ground up. Think red, war, headstrong. If this is you, then don't miss my guide on the best crystals for fire signs. I promise there will be at least one crystal you haven't thought of.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) – Fixed Earth, Ruled by Venus
Slow and steady Taurus natives are grounded and appreciate simple pleasures like good food, music, beauty, and nature. Like their symbolic bull, Taureans enjoy routines and dislike sudden changes, preferring to ponder decisions methodically.

Ruled by romantic Venus, those born under this sign often have fine tastes, sensuality, and a love of the arts, music, and poetry. Think green, throat, reliable.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) – Mutable Air, Ruled by Mercury
These quick-witted twins are flexible, high-spirited, and articulate. Geminis have sharp intellects and love circulating in social arenas to exchange ideas, news, gossip, and witty banter.

With ruler Mercury, the messenger planet, Gemini natives get bored easily and thrive on keeping conversations lively, searching for information, and stimulating their agile minds in different ways. Think hands, arms, flexible.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) – Cardinal Water, Ruled by the Moon
Compassionate Crabs create cozy, secure homes filled with good food, nurturing, and comfort. With the emotional Moon as ruler, Cancers are sentimental, intuitive caretakers who give strong parental instincts and loads of hugs.

Their hard outer shells can conceal vulnerability when their private inner world feels threatened. Think breast, stomach, emotional.

Leo (July 23-August 22) – Fixed Fire, Ruled by the Sun
Dramatic Leos shine brightly with bold, spirited style. Like their governing luminary, the Sun, Leos have vibrant personalities and love being on stage.

Generous, confident, and creative, Leos have hearts as big as their manes and enjoy leadership, performance, and lighthearted fun. Their humor and dignity makes them natural superstars. Think heart, spine, generous.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) – Mutable Earth, Ruled by Mercury
Diligent Virgos have a keen eye for detail and love analyzing, organizing, and improving things around them. These well-mannered mermaids serve others with practical wisdom and holistic care as long as things meet their high standards.

Virgos thrive when their lives have order, integrity, and purpose. Their discerning minds empower them to separate wheat from chaff. Think nerves, intestines, perceptive.

Libra (September 23-October 22) – Cardinal Air, Ruled by Venus
Gracious Libras strive for balance, harmony, and beauty. As Venus' emissaries of peace, partnership, and diplomacy, Libras charm others through style, art, and an ethical point of view.

Idealistic Librans seek truth through concepts of justice, equality, and fairness. Their social butterfly wings spread goodwill and aesthetics. Think kidneys, partnerships, refined.

A zodiac wheel showing each zodiac sign glyph along the outside of the wheel.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) – Fixed Water, Ruled by Pluto
Passionate Scorpions experience life at its deepest emotional levels. These mysterious creatures probe beneath surface appearances, guided by their instincts and powerful emotions.

Scorpions long to understand what motivates people, embracing the cycles of death and rebirth. Their hypnotic gaze penetrates right to the core of matters. Think genitals, research, psychic.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) – Mutable Fire, Ruled by Jupiter
Optimistic, future-oriented Sagittarians gallop toward new adventures. Guided by lucky Jupiter's vision and ethics, these travelers seek wisdom through experience, stories, and exploring ideas.

Laughing centaurs are always moving, learning, teaching, and expanding their minds through cross-cultural connections. Think thighs, exploration, philosophical.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) – Cardinal Earth, Ruled by Saturn
Capricorns blend old and new into pragmatic strategies for success. These focused sea-goats build strong structures through practical management and responsible leadership.

Disciplined and reality-based mountain climbers, Capricorns make their dreams real through hard work, tradition, and accountability. Think knees, bones, time.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18) – Fixed Air, Ruled by Uranus/Saturn
Forward-thinking Aquarians pour out radical, inventive ideas for the future. As humanity's oddball Water Bearers, Aquarians think outside the box, make unusual friendships, and circulate new concepts, technology, and social change.

Eccentric yet friendly, these trailblazing rebels follow the beat of their own drummer. Think ankles, community, inventive.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) – Mutable Water, Ruled by Neptune/Jupiter
Dreamy, creative Pisces natives swim in mystical realms of music, poetry, imagination, and romance. Compassionate to the point of sacrifice, these spiritual chameleons feel emotions deeply and absorb others’ feelings as if by osmosis.

Pisceans live in a boundless sea of collective soul energy and shifting realities. Think feet, transcendence, empathetic.

2. The Ten Planets in Astrology

watercolor painting of 10 planets in astrology

In an astrological chart, planets serve as dynamic celestial forces, each carrying its unique energy and symbolism that influences your personality, experiences, and life path. The positions of planets at the time of your birth are meticulously mapped in the birth chart, shaping a cosmic snapshot of your potentials and challenges.

The interplay of these celestial bodies in specific astrological houses and signs unveils a nuanced narrative, providing valuable insights into the complexities of your life's journey.

Sun: The Sun represents your core essence, ego, creativity, and leadership style. Associated with the colors gold and orange, sunstone crystals, and the bold lion, the Sun governs self-expression, personal power, and illuminating your life purpose.

Moon: The emotional Moon reflects your soul needs, instincts, and inner world. Associated with silver and white, moonstone, and the protective crab, the Moon rules your habits, childhood, intuition, and nurturing style. Tip: Use crystals for new moon rituals to help increase your intuition, and amplify the Moon energy.

Mercury: As the messenger planet, Mercury governs communication, intellect and information exchange. Associated with yellow and pale blue, agate, butterflies and ravens, Mercury represents your curiosity, adaptability, humor, and intellect.

Venus: Planet of beauty, love and social bonds. Associated with pink and light green, rose quartz and emerald, and the peaceful dove, Venus governs pleasures, values, artistry, and relationships.

Mars: The planet Mars reflects your drive, energy, and assertiveness. Associated with red, rubies, and the wolf, Mars represents your courage, motivations, aggression, and entrepreneurial force.

The solar system showing Sun, Moon, Mercury, Saturn, and more.

Jupiter: Expansive Jupiter governs exploration, beliefs, and wisdom. Associated with purple and deep blue, amethyst and lapis lazuli, and the elephant, Jupiter represents your optimism, ethics, aspirations, and appetite for adventure.

Saturn: Saturn represents discipline, destiny, and focused effort. Associated with black, obsidian, and the goat, Saturn governs hard work, responsibilities, commitment, and lessons learned over time.

Uranus: Uranus governs revolution, originality, technology, and social change. Associated with electric blue, labradorite, and the lightning bolt, Uranus reflects your individuality, humanity, and connection to the future.

Neptune: Mystical Neptune rules spirituality, dreams, and imagination. Associated with sea green and turquoise, aquamarine, and dolphins, Neptune represents compassion, artistry, psychic ability, and transcendence.

Pluto: Pluto governs transformation, power, regeneration, and nature's primal forces. Associated with black, hematite, and the phoenix, Pluto represents purging, empowerment, intensity, and eternal life.

3. Aspects and angles

Aspects refer to the geometric angles that planets form between each other in the horoscope, as well as between points in the chart such as the angle between the Ascendant (Rising) sign and Venus. They indicate how planetary energies flow and combine.

Conjunctions occur when planets are positioned close together, within 0-10 degrees. Their energies merge and act in unison. For example, Venus conjunct Jupiter indicates harmony and optimism in relationships.

Squares form a 90 degree angle and indicate tension or obstacles between planetary energies. Venus square Mars could mean struggles balancing passion and partnerships.

Oppositions happen when planets are directly opposite each other, 180 degrees apart. This aspect juxtaposes the energies, highlighting contrasts. For example, the Moon opposite Pluto could reflect inner emotional transformation.

Trines occur when planets are 120 degrees apart, indicating harmony between their energies. For instance, the Sun trine Moon reflects alignment between your inner and outer self. The planets enhance each other smoothly.

Sextiles form a 60 degree angle between planets, facilitating cooperation between their energies. Mercury sextile Uranus makes for an inventive communicator.

Angles

Astrological angles shown as Ascendant (west), Descendent (east), Midheaven (north), and IC (south).

The major angles are the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven and Nadir. The Ascendant and Descendant form the relationship axis. The Ascendant represents your outward personality while the Descendant point reflects partnerships.

The Midheaven and Nadir form the career and home axis. The high point or Midheaven represents public life and achievement. The Nadir relates to home, family and inner foundations.

These four main angles in a birth chart divide the horoscope into hemispheres and represent key areas of life experience:

  • The Ascendant, also called the rising sign, is the start of the 1st house and represents your outward personality, appearance and approach to life. It's how you project yourself and meet life.
  • The Descendant, opposite the Ascendant, is the cusp of the 7th house of partnerships and social contacts. It reflects how you connect with others.
  • The Midheaven, at the top of the chart, is the cusp of the 10th house of career, reputation and achievement in the world. It represents your public life. Note, for some, that may fall in the 9th, or perhaps the 11th. We see differences based on birth location.
  • The Nadir, opposite the Midheaven, is the cusp of the 4th house of home, family, roots and inner life. It reflects your private self and foundations. Same is true here for the location of the Nadir, some could have it in the 3rd house …. location and how the chart is calculated determines this. More on that for a later post.

The angles activate the houses they govern and provide a framework for understanding your motivations, modes of expression, relationships and interaction between your inner and outer experience.

4. Houses: core areas of Life

multicolored sacred geometry drawing in watercolors

In astrology, a house is a symbolic division of the horoscope wheel that represents specific life domains and experiences. Each of the twelve houses corresponds to distinct aspects of your existence, ranging from self-identity and relationships to career, spirituality, and beyond.

As cosmic segments, these houses provide a framework for interpreting the celestial influences on your journey, offering profound insights into your personality, relationships, and life path.

First House – The House of Self (Ascendant): The First House represents the self, personal identity, appearance, and how one presents themselves to the world. It's the starting point of the astrological journey, influencing self-awareness and individuality. Personality, appearance, self-expression. A 1st House in Pisces, for example, would lend towards a more dreamy nature.

Second House – The House of Values and Resources: Governing material possessions, values, and personal resources, the Second House delves into matters of finances, self-worth, and the things one holds dear. It reflects attitudes toward money and the pursuit of stability.

Third House – The House of Communication and Siblings: Communication, intellect, and relationships with siblings fall under the domain of the Third House. It influences how you express yourself, process information, and connect with your immediate environment.

Fourth House – The House of Home and Family: The Fourth House is associated with roots, home, family, and the nurturing aspects of life. It represents the foundation from which you draw emotional security and find a sense of belonging.

Fifth House – The House of Creativity and Pleasure: Creativity, self-expression, romance, and the pursuit of pleasure are encapsulated in the Fifth House. It's the realm of artistic endeavors, hobbies, and the joy derived from personal passions.

Sixth House – The House of Health and Service: Matters of health, daily routines, and service to others fall under the influence of the Sixth House. It guides you in maintaining well-being and emphasizes the importance of contributing to the greater good.

The astrological houses represented as a life cycle in nature, birth, death and rebirth.

Seventh House – The House of Partnerships: The Seventh House focuses on relationships, partnerships, and collaborations. It governs marriage, business partnerships, and the dynamics of one-on-one connections, reflecting the need for balance and harmony.

Eighth House – The House of Transformation and Shared Resources: Transformation, shared resources, and deep psychological insights are associated with the Eighth House. It explores themes of intimacy, joint finances, and the transformative nature of life experiences.

Ninth House – The House of Higher Learning and Expansion: The Ninth House encompasses higher education, philosophy, travel, and spiritual exploration. It encourages you to broaden your horizons, seek knowledge, and embrace diverse perspectives.

Tenth House – The House of Career and Public Life (Midheaven): The Tenth House is linked to career, public life, and ambitions. It reflects your professional path, public reputation, and the pursuit of long-term goals, providing a framework for achievements and recognition.

Eleventh House – The House of Social Groups and Aspirations: Social connections, friendships, and aspirations are governed by the Eleventh House. It encourages collaboration with like-minded peeps, emphasizing the role of community in personal growth. When a new moon in the 11th house transit occurs, you may start a group project, for example.

Twelfth House – The House of Subconscious and Endings: The Twelfth House represents the subconscious, solitude, and endings. It delves into the unseen realms of the psyche, highlighting the importance of introspection, spiritual pursuits, and the release of old patterns. This is specially true when you have Jupiter in the 12th House, helping to expand the need and desire to pursue these activities.

Putting it all together

watercolor painting of a journal and pen for analyzing a birth chart

Interpreting a birth chart requires looking at the full picture formed by the planets, zodiac signs, houses and aspects. The first step is identifying the planets and noting which zodiac sign each one was traveling through at the exact time and place of birth. The sign placements describe core personality traits and motivations.

Next, see which house each planet occupies, as the houses indicate where you will express that planetary energy in life. For example, Venus in the 10th house suggests expressing love through career.

The aspects between planets reveal strengths, challenges, and areas of harmony based on the angles formed. For example, a trine between the Sun and Moon indicates alignment between outer purpose and inner emotions.

Finally, sign rulerships provide another layer of meaning – Venus ruling the chart holder's moon sign would emphasize romanticism. Synthesizing these components provides insights into the characteristics, relationships, motivations and personal growth areas.

The birth chart is a map of the potentials seeking full expression through the journey of life. Wild huh?

resources

Now I promised resources for you, so let's get to it. First, I created this freebie to help you uncover the secrets of your own birth chart. Get out your favorite pen and journal, and get personal with your cosmic blueprint as you discover your gifts and challenges in this life.

FREE: Self Discovery: Journey of Birth Chart Analysis

Grab this Freebie Today, and Start Your Self Discovery Journey with Astrology

Reading Material

These are some of my favorite astrology books, and just a glimpse of what's out there. Start small, don't over do it.

  • The Inner Sky: How to Make Wiser for a More Fulfilling Life – Steven Forrest
  • Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche – Caroline Casey (a classic!)
  • You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance – Chani Nicholas

If you're also starting off on your Tarot reading journey, I recommend checking this honest quick tarot book and deck list. Trust me, start simple on that path too. It can also be overwhelming but complimentary to astrology.

Calendars

Crystals too?

Oh boy, ok. Here's two comprehensive posts on the best crystals for each zodiac sign and new moon magic.


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