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Image courtesy of Anaya Mitchell
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

If you ever feel like the idea of stars, planets, and their alignment can be daunting to interpret, I promise you’re not alone. This article will potentially break down the fundamentals of astrology and help you explore your cosmic self. So if you’re seeking answers to retrospective questions, read ahead because this article is for you! 

Understanding Signs

You may have come across the “Big Three” several times. The Big Three refers to your Sun sign, Moon sign, and Rising sign — aka your Ascendant — on your natal chart. All three, along with the position of the planets, dictate certain aspects of your personality. 

    1. Sun is Yourself

  • Sun sign is what you tell people when they ask for your zodiac sign. It essentially tells where the sun was positioned at the time of your birth. Your sun sign determines how you shine out to the world, the specific set of qualities and traits that you will inherit to achieve your goals. Essentially, your sun sign tells what you want out of this life and helps you understand your self-expression. Your sun sign is the key ingredient in this cosmic fusion that is so unique to you!

   2. Moon is Your Shadow

  • Moon sign is the driver of your emotional reactions and your subconscious. Unlike the sun, which sheds light on what the world already knows about you, the moon sign gives an insight into your inner-self. Your moon sign will differentiate you from the person who shares the same sun sign as you. This is why not all Scorpios are secretive haha. In a nutshell, moon sign is your emotional getaway that taps far into your potential. 

FUN FACT! When a person’s sun sign and moon sign fall under the same zodiac, they generally tend to have a deeper understanding and a clearer perspective on life.

    3. Rising is How You Look

  • Rising sign rules the first house of your natal chart. It determines how the world perceives you at first glance. Rising works in tandem with your sun sign to project your personality into the universe. 

Zodiac signs on building
Photo by Josh Rangel on Unsplash

Understanding Planets

The location of the planets in the sky at the time of your birth can provide deep insights into your motivations, personality, and desires. Understanding their influence is essential to understanding their impact in your chart. Here’s a quick breakdown of what aspects of your personality are impacted by certain planets. 

  1. Mercury is the way you think.

  2. Venus is your desires, in terms of values, aesthetics, or beauty.

  3. Mars is how you deal with life.

  4. Jupiter is your luck, how you’re rewarded, and how you blossom.

  5. Saturn is your responsibilities. It is a great teacher, after karma, of course!

  6. Uranus is how unique you are and the areas where you shine. 

  7. Neptune is your imagination and intuition. The position of Neptune can also determine how creatively inclined you are. 

  8. Pluto is your transformation. It represents the intensity with which you regenerate. 

How Do I Piece This Together?

Astrology Divination Chart, Aquarius
Photo by MiraCosic from Pixabay

In order to come up with the best interpretation, you need to know your planet, sign, and house (check your natal chart here). Planet + Sign + House together will give you the best interpretation. For example, if your Venus is Sagittarius in the VIII house, then you’re less likely to commit to a relationship as easily as others. You can get more information here

Lastly, there’s so much more to you than astrology could ever represent! Have fun with the idea and let the universe tell you how wonderful you are. There’s nothing better than a good old cosmic therapy!

Priyanvada Darshankar

U Mass Amherst '24

Priya is a Content Writer for Her Campus Media and a freshman at the University of Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. She loves Sushi, Bubble Tea, and practicing Yoga! She is big on Psychological Thrillers and admits to watching David Fincher movies over and over. When she is not writing, you will find her annoying her cats and playing the guitar on a sunny afternoon. You can follow her on her socials, she would love to get to know you!
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst