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There's More To Astrology Than A Horoscope
What’s the first thought you have when you hear the word, “astrology?” You probably answered “horoscope.” Horoscopes can be found in nearly all newspapers or magazines. They provide a quick prediction of what your day or week will be liked based on your sun sign, commonly referred to as your sign. Your sun sign is determined by the month and day you were born: Aries (March 21 – April 19), Taurus (April 20 – May 20), Gemini (May 21 – June 21), Cancer (June 22 – 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), or Pisces (February 19 – March 20); all found on Astrology.com.
A horoscope is either casted by your solar chart or a natal chart. A solar chart is constructed using your sun sign while a natal chart is done by your ascendant (or rising) sign – the solar chart is generalized and the natal chart is individualized to you by the exact time and date you were born (Martine Woolfolk, 258). Each chart is divided into 12 different segments, which represents a house of astrology; self, possessions, communications, home, creativity, service and health, marriage and partnership, death and regeneration, mental exploration, career, hopes and wishes/friends, and self-undoing. (Martine Woolfolk, 240). The horoscope is then predicted based on mathematical calculations of exact positioning of the planets and stars at specific times. While many people think astrology is a simple horoscope, it is far more complex.
It is essential to start at the basics and understand your sun and moon signs. Your sun sign is a very widespread perception of who you are. “The characteristics of your sun sign are the broad strokes that the artist first lays down on the canvas. (Martine Woolfolk, 3-4)” The most likeable and common traits are as follows: Aries – courageous, Taurus – dependable, Gemini – responsive, Cancer – loyal, Leo – exuberant, Virgo – conscientious, Libra – charming, Scorpio – idealist, Sagittarius – optimist, Capricorn – steady, Aquarius – friendly, and Pisces – compassionate (Martine Woolfolk, 8-60). “The Moon sign is the part of you that you see (Martine Woolfolk, 157).” The moon deals with your emotions, instincts, and unconsciousness. There are no set dates to determine your moon sign. Though your moon sign won’t change, it does cycle every 2-3 days. Meaning, if you were born June 13th or 14th, 1986, your moon sign will be Virgo. However, if you were born June 15th, your moon sign will be Libra. The moon intensifies the following characteristics to your personality: moon in Aries – more energetic and impatient, moon in Taurus – more trustworthy and overcautious, moon in Gemini – more versatile and cunning, moon in Cancer – more sympathetic and moody, moon in Leo – more exuberant and overbearing, moon in Virgo – more meticulous and argumentative, moon in Libra – more charming and self-indulgent, moon in Scorpio – more idealistic and secretive, moon in Sagittarius – more adventurous and uncommitted, moon in Capricorn – more disciplined and materialistic, moon in Aquarius – more tolerant and aloof, and moon in Pisces – more compassionate and vague (Martine Woolfolk, 160-177).
In addition to your sun and moon signs, you also have an ascendant sign. The ascendant (or rising) sign is always the first house of your chart; “self – your self-awareness, your self-sufficiency, your self-interest (Martine Woolfolk, 180).” The traits of your ascendant are generally the first impression you give off when you meet people while the sun sign explains more about your character and the moon details your emotions. “Your ascendant is the astrological sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth (Martine Woolfolk, 180).” This sign is not only determined by the month and day of birth, but the time and your birthplace latitude. The following are the personality traits of ascendants: Aries – outgoing personality, Taurus – strong, steady, and quiet personality, Gemini – talkative, witty, and youthful personality, Cancer – shy and sensitive disposition, Leo – friendly and self-confident personality, Virgo- intellectual and reserved, Libra – charming and creative, Scorpio – charismatic and magnetic, Sagittarius – adventurous, Capricorn – determined, Aquarius – unusual, unique and eclectic, and Pisces – gentle, thoughtful personality; found on Llewellyn.com.
Lastly, you also have planetary signs. “At the moment of your birth, the sun, moon and planets were in a particular arrangement in the heavens. This exact arrangement will not be repeated for 4,320,000 years (Martine Woolfolk, 191).” Each planet gives you a distinct influence on certain aspects of your life. All of the following was found on AstroGraph.com: Mercury, ruled by Gemini and Virgo, represents your thoughts, mentality and intelligence. Venus, ruled by Taurus and Libra, is the planet of attraction, love, and pleasure. Mars, ruled by Aries and Scorpio, is the planet of desire, physical energy, and aggression. Jupiter, ruled by Sagittarius and Pisces, is the planet of faith, luck, success, and optimism. Saturn, ruled by Capricorn and Aquarius, is the planet of boundaries, responsibility, and hard work. Uranus, ruled by Aquarius, is the planet of originality, break-through, and surprise. Neptune, ruled by Pisces, is the planet of dreams, mystery, and illusion. Pluto, ruled by Scorpio, is the planet of transformation and power.
Learning more about astrology can be beneficial if you need more personalized guidance rather than a ‘generic’ horoscope. Astrology allows you to discover new things about yourself or helps explain why you are uniquely you. You can use astrology to pick career paths, compatible relationships, and even great friends. You can learn about the strong and weak qualities you possess and then improve in the areas you need to. There is so much astrology has to offer for anyone who cares to study it.
Martine Woolfolk, Joanna. The only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need. New York: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2006.
“Zodiac Signs 101.” Astrology.com. 2000-2009. Aries Sun Sign, Taurus Sun Sign, Gemini Sun Sign, Cancer Sun Sign, Leo Sun Sign, Virgo Sun Sign, Libra Sun Sign, Scorpio Sun Sign, Sagittarius Sun Sign, Capricorn Sun Sign, Aquarius Sun Sign, and Pisces Sun Sign. iVillage Network. 20. Jul. 2010. <http://www.astrology.com/>
“The Planetary Bodies.” AstroGraph. 2010. AstroGraph Software Inc. 21 Jul. 2010. <http://www.astrograph.com/learning-astrology/planets.php>
“What Does Your Ascendant Mean? The 12 Faces We Show the World.” Llewellyn. 2008. Llewellyn Unbound. 22 Jul. 2010. <http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2010/03/what-does-your-ascendant-mean-the-12-faces-we-show-the-world/>