How to Understand Your Horoscope

If you’re anything like me, astrology is something you’re fascinated by. When I was a kid, I would always read my horoscope in the newspaper and they would rate what kind of day you were going to have from 1-5 stars based on your sign. I loved telling everyone in my family what star day they were going to have and would even cut out the “if today is your birthday” section every January 24th. Skeptics hate astrology, but I always stuck with the belief that they just didn’t understand it. I don’t really understand it either and I’m still learning, but here are some basics that every beginner astrologer should know.


If you haven’t taken the time to learn your birth chart, this is a good place to start. It shows every planet corresponding with a sign based on various factors from the instant you were born. The first step to knowing anything about astrology is that you are more than your main sign, your sun sign (based on the day you were born). Your big three refers to your sun sign, your moon sign, and your ascendant (rising). Your birth chart and corresponding planets can tell you a lot, but for beginners like myself these three are complicated enough.

  1. 1. Sun Sign 

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    The one you’re probably most familiar with, comes from your birthday. This is supposed to be your identity, center and core. Your main personality traits. 

  2. 2. Moon Sign


    Your moon controls your emotions. Some say it is also who you truly are when you’re alone. 


  3. 3. Ascendant

    Your rising sign is often referred to as a “mask” or how you present to the world. It can also be your most surface level identity when meeting someone new. 

  4. 4. Elements 

    This is another widely known element of astrology. Each element- earth, fire, water and air- has 3 signs that fall under it. Elements tend to have certain similar traits. For example, water signs are in tune with their emotions, fire signs are very passionate, earth signs are grounded and air signs tend to be more curious. These are basic descriptions but similarities are often seen between signs when they fall under the same element. 

  5. 5. The Houses

     I personally find houses the most confusing as someone new to astrology but here's how I understand it. The zodiac cycle is represented by 12 houses which is basically the sky divided up into 12 parts. Each house represents different parts of your life and each sign has a corresponding house. Planets shifting in the sky go into different houses which affects you based on your chart. 

  6. 6. Modules 

    Another way signs are divided up is in modes. There are three- cardinal, fixed and mutable. Modes are found based on where your sign is in a given season. For example, I’m an Aquarius which is fixed because it is in the middle of winter. Fixed signs are in the middle of seasons. Cardinal signs begin each season and Mutable signs end each season. Like elements, signs with the same mode have similarities. 

This seems like a lot. And it is. While cynics debate the legitimacy of astrology, there is no denying its complexity. Other than that, it's just fun. It can add a lot to your life if you take the time to understand your chart and its meaning. We’re all incredibly multifaceted people and astrology is a tool on many people’s journey to find themselves. 

Here’s a list of books any new astrologer who's interested in learning more about astrology should keep on their bookshelf!

Edited by Sam Lacey