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Beginning Astrology: My Journey Into Interpreting the Stars
How I Got Started
Growing up I didn't know a thing about astrology or even what it was. I couldn't have told you the difference between Aries and Aquarius if I'd tried. In my family, we scoffed at astrology, considering it about as authentic as alien photos from supermarket tabloids. Not until my late teens would I become curious about what those twelve signs listed in the newspaper's horoscope section meant.
By this time I'd become jaded with things of a mystical or esoteric nature. I loved the idea that everyone had a 'sign' and that we got certain traits from them, but I doubted astrology would prove to be anything real or useful in my life. I had no interest in being told what to believe so I shunned books on the subject and decided to do my own research. I began simply and tried my best to avoid being swayed by anyone's idea on the subject. I told no one what I was doing, I just started studying in my own way and as of 2007 I still consider myself to be studying, though more openly now.
The Dates of the Signs
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
I Made A List
So how did I go about researching astrology? Well, first I made a list of the dates that encompassed each sign. There are a total of twelve signs in the zodiac (a Greek word meaning 'circle of animals' or, some say, 'path of animals') that the Sun and other celestial bodies travel through. At the time of a person's birth the Sun's position in the zodiac is noted. When you ask some "what's your sign?" they'll be telling you what is called Sun Signs because that's what sign the Sun was in when they were born. For example, April 7th is Aries whereas October 11th would be Libra. It takes about a month for the Sun to travel through each sign.
Below is a list of the signs with the dates that span each one. Keep in mind that depending on the year, the dates can vary slightly due to the adjustments we make for leap years. Those born towards the beginning or ending of each sign are considered to have been born on the 'cusp' of that sign. Those people will need to check their exact time of birth in order to know their true sun sign.
So with this list typed up on my computer, I began my research. I didn't read descriptions of the signs. I wanted to create my own! I went about my daily life the same as before at work and school, but now I started trying to figure out what sign everyone was born under. I didn't want to ask people directly because alot of people will either lie about their sign to look cool (there are alot of Scorpio wanna-be's out there!) or simply be incorrect on what sign they fall into. Instead I began paying attention to people's birthdays. Almost everyone will happily discuss their own birthday with you because most everyone loves to talk about themselves! I took notes when I could and if possible I figured out the year they were born, too.
Defining the Sun Signs
Now, after a few months I had quite a list of names and birthdates or atleast birthdays. Right away I began to notice similarities in people's personalities who were born in the same signs, especially if they'd been born within the same month. Astrology started looking suspciously true to me, particularly when it came to Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus - which I'd later learn were called the Fixed Signs. I began to record my observations on the computer, just little notes of what I felt the people I knew within any given sign had in common. I started to have a general idea of the overall traits each sign seem to possess.
So now I had a grasp on astrology that was all my own. I'd avoided being influenced by outside opinion or being criticized by doubters at the same time! I was ready to hit the books.
Help Researching Astrology
Of course, first off I wanted to see how my own opinions on the Sun Signs lined up with what those who studied astrology would say. I picked up books, visited websites and hung around astrology chatrooms online so that I could figure it all out. I quickly learned that the astrology I'd based my research off of was referred to as Western Astrology and had it's roots in Greek and Roman cultures. There's also Vedic Astrology from India and Chinese Astrology, among others, but those were different systems altogether.
It felt like a whole new world had opened up to me. Learning the signs of the zodiac seemed like learning a whole other language, a new way to think about people and their relationships to one another. The observations I'd made and conclusions I'd come to regarding the Sun Signs turned out to jive well with the rest of the written body of work regarding Sun Signs. What a relief! Without using any real advice I'd basically studied people I knew and come to the same conclusions as the astrologers who wrote books and ran professional websites. Now that I'd gained this initial confidence, I wanted to go further and learn more.
Beginner Books on Astrology
My Advice For Beginners in Astrology
I bought many books during my college years and I absolutely recommend that those new to astrology do the same. My route to learning the Sun Signs took a long time, over six months, and was exceptionally tedious. Books are a much quicker way to learn, but please, if you are going to go the book route do yourself a favor and purchase MANY books on the subject. Read each of them and get different viewpoints. After hanging around with lots of different astrologers and students of astrology, I can promise you that there are few things more irritating to be around than a person who read one book on astrology and parrots what they've read as absolute fact.
So do buy books, study them at a pace that works for you and put them to good use. Remember, the more you learn about the various ways of interpreting the signs, planets and their relationships, the stronger your interpretive ability will become. Start with the Sun Signs and move right on from there! It's lots of fun to tell your friends about (provided they're open to the idea of astrology to begin with) and I've found that even my family enjoys hearing what I've learned because they've gained actual insight into each other through it.
I hope this page encourages you on your own personal journey into the study of astrology. It's been more than rewarding for me, so it's my wish that it will be equally so for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them for me and I'll do my best to respond as soon as possible. Also, I plan to bring out more pages which I'll be listing on this page so I can share more of what all I've learned over the years.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you bookmark this page so I'll see you back here soon!
You're invited to check out my other Astrology Hubs by clicking the links below: