Since the rise of modern psychological astrology and more and more apps and blogs about astrology everyone is starting to look up their charts. If I had asked someone for their rising sign 10 years ago no one would have even known what I was talking about. While I am personally very happy to see so many people find an interest in astrology these days sometimes I still see a lot of misunderstandings or false information out there – and I am not even an expert myself. As someone who has studied astrology as a hobby for a few years now I would love to tell you all some things about the basics so you can start finding out more about your own chart – which is basically like a map of you and your life. So, let’s get right into it!
WHERE TO FIND YOUR CHART
The most important part before we dive into some astrology basics: Where can you find your whole birth chart? If you are interested in astrology you might be using apps like Co-Star already. However, I strongly urge you to look up your whole chart somewhere else and delete Co-Star while you’re at it as they have been in many controversies before and the founder even admitted to sending negative notifications to users to troll them.
Cafeastrology is nice to get a first overview as a beginner. Astro-Seek and Astrodienst are my personal favorites though. Learning how to read an actual chart instead of looking at a table is definitely the way to go. If the circle chart confuses you at first start with Cafeastrology and ease yourself into more advanced astrology. You’ll get there! It takes some time to understand the many aspects of astrology. I am personally still learning a lot even though I have studied astrology for some time now. Now, let’s get into this general overview of some of the astrological basics!
THE 12 SIGNS AND THEIR MODALITY
As you probably already know there are 12 signs and four elements: fire, earth, air and water. What do the elements mean? Is there even meaning to it? Yes!
Fire signs are passionate, courageous and assertive. They are creative and a ton of fun to be around. Earth signs are reliable and therefore really remind me of stability. You can always depend on them. They are usually really practical. Air signs are known for their intellect and communication. Water signs are emotional and often have great intuition. They just know things. The elements kind of sound like the Hogwarts Houses don’t they? However, none of this means that signs of the other elements don’t have these characteristics at all. Therefore, be careful with associating one thing to only one element, especially since everyone has different and often even all elements in their chart.
On top of that, there are three modalities or qualities: fixed, cardinal and mutable signs. Each modality includes one sign of each element.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Fixed signs are known for their endurance and strength but also for their stubbornness or at times the feeling of being stuck. It is often difficult for fixed signs to let go of things. Fixed signs may find themselves overthinking or being nostalgic of the past and they can even be resistant to change quite often. However, it also means they hold onto things that they deem important. This makes them very loyal friends and quite strong people.
Cardinal signs are the initiators of the Zodiac. Have you noticed how each of these signs are connected to the beginning of a season? It makes a lot of sense actually! Cardinal signs pave the way for others and face every challenge with courage. They are motivated and action-oriented ‘doers’. This can make them amazing leaders. However, they can either get bored or impulsive quite easily and need to learn to take a step back from time to time.
Mutable signs are the most adaptable and flexible no matter what life throws at them. Therefore, they are also pretty easy going people and more instinctive. On top of that, mutable signs are connected to ideas, from information, knowledge and facts to philosophy and beliefs depending on the sign. Due to them being more go-with-the-flow type of people they sometimes tend to be flaky, not too opinionated or even unreliable, but they usually don’t mean to hurt anyone.
Whatever modality is most dominant in your birth chart can say a lot about you overall, from your biggest strengths to some of your biggest challenges. Please remember though: no modality is better or worse than the others! If you want to know which modality is dominant in your birth chart you can use tools on the internet or simply look at your personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) as well as your ascendant/rising signs. Some people count all their inner planets. Now you are probably wondering: What are inner planets?
THE INNER PLANETS 🌞
Each sign is also ruled by a specific planet. The luminaries (🌞 & 🌛), Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are the seven visible planets also called inner planets that traditional astrology focuses on. What does each planet mean?
The Sun represents the ego. It is one of the two luminaries. The sun also shows how we let our personality ‘shine’ and can also represent the father figure in our charts. Of course this father figure is not bound to a gender or actual blood relation for everyone.
The moon is the planet that represents our emotions – even though it is a satellite. It is the other of the two luminaries and shows our emotions and inner self. It can also show how we nurture ourselves. The moon represents the maternal figure, but as stated above this figure is not always bound to a specific gender or blood relation.
Mercury shows how we communicate and debate, how we make sense of things and how we process knowledge and information. It is also often connected to education.
Venus rules everything we want to indulge in or find pleasure in. From food, to nice scents, to love and even money. Venus represents creativity and also shows what we value most and how we love or want to be loved.
As Mars – also known as the God of war – represents anger, passion and how and why we assert ourselves in the world and in fights. It can also show how we compete and can give insight into our sex lives (Venus plays a role here too – keyword love).
Jupiter is the planet of joy and luck. However, opportunity might be a better word than luck. It can also show our philosophical beliefs and our spirituality. Jupiter expands and is often connected to wealth, higher education and travel.
Saturn teaches us hard lessons. It also shows where we might have conservative beliefs or structures in our lives. On top of that it represents authority figures.
THE OUTER PLANETS 🪐
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are the outer planets which got added later and are especially important in modern astrology.
Uranus is innovation. It can even be rebellious and shocking and shows where we might have unconventional views or beliefs. Next to the common pronunciation (ur-anus ha-ha) most astrologers pronounce it like u-ra-nus (kind of like yu-ri-nus or sometimes even yu-rah-nus).
Neptune is most known for illusions and dreams. However, its placement can also show psychic abilities and intuition. Because it is the planet of illusions – imagine wearing rose coloured glasses – it is also the planet of confusion as we might end up in a fantasy world or see things not as they really are.
Pluto is death and rebirth – how we transform ourselves through crisis. It is intense and can even represent psychology and manipulation.
THE SIGNS AND THEIR RULERS
Aries is ruled by Mars, the God of war. Aries are born leaders who are passionate. They are strong-willed but at times they can be a little impulsive. However, they are up for any challenge and are very fun to be around, especially when they let out their inner child.
Taurus is ruled by Venus. They are unbelievably loyal and the epitome of chill people – unless you really anger them or hurt the people they love. Taureans are practical and sometimes stoic but they have a heart of gold. Anything Venusian like luxury and love is important to them and they like being comfy.
Gemini is ruled by Mercury. Geminis are known for their intellect and their ability to discuss and debate things. Next to knowledge and seeking information, talking is probably their favorite thing to do. They are funny, smart and usually easy going people – unless they want to win a debate.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon. Cancers are emotional, protective and very nurturing, especially when it comes to the people closest to them. They also have an amazing intuition. As the Moon changes every two days Cancers might often have mood swings.
Leo is ruled by the Sun. Leos are loyal, ambitious and passionate. They like attention and life is a stage for them. Their ego and pride is very important to them. Leos are warm people, are often very talented and often come off as confident or regal as lions.
Virgo is ruled by Mercury. They are logical and pragmatic people. Structure and organisation are very important to them. They are detail-oriented and supportive friends. They choose the people around them carefully as they can be quite critical of others and and even often of themselves.
Libra is ruled by Venus. Represented by the scales ⚖️ Libra is a diplomat. Peace and balance are important to Libras. This can sometimes make them people pleasers or mediators. Overall, they are very charming and funny people.
Scorpio is traditionally ruled by Mars and ruled by Pluto in modern astrology. Scorpios are brave, intense, loyal and emotional. They don’t reveal themselves to just anyone and are often either loved or hated. Their type of passion and intensity just isn’t for everyone.
Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter. Sagittarians are courageous, creative and spiritual. They are often interested in philosophy and are also quite poetic people. Sometimes they come off as quite blunt or one dimensional. However, they always seek the truth and love knowledge.
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn. Capricorns are practical, pragmatic and reliable. They are hard-working and determined people. Even if they don’t always show it they are quite sensitive and emotional people and often had to grow up quite fast.
Aquarius is traditionally ruled by Saturn and ruled by Uranus in modern astrology. They are known for being innovative, wise, community-driven and for being the humanitarians of the Zodiac. Even though Aquarians are also known for being detached this does not mean that they are not emotional beings.
Pisces is traditionally ruled by Jupiter and ruled by Neptune – the God of Sea – in modern astrology. People with Pisces placements are emotional, dreamy, imaginative and creative. Pisces is often connected to music. Because Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac it is said to have aspects of every single other sign.
THE HOUSES AND TRANSITS 🏡
Your rising/ascendant always falls into the first house and therefore is a big indicator for your chart, because it determines the order of your other houses. What even are houses? Why are they important? When looking at life events you have to check your so-called transits. This means that planetary positions fall into specific houses of your chart at each moment in life which can change specific areas of your life right in that moment. So, because of your rising sign the rest of your chart is determined and houses play a huge role for your birth chart and your transits.
So, what does each house represent? Here is a short overview:
how you value things
how you let others value you
romance & sex
things you enjoy
workplace & co-workers
animals (e.g. pets)
relationships (romantic, work, etc.)
other people’s money
your first experience with society
your most inner self
Venus falling into your third house is very different to someone’s venus falling into their fourth house for example. While a person with their Venus in the third house could look for intellectual communication when it comes to their partner or find an interest in books or languages a person with their Venus in their fourth might long for a nice or beautifully decorated home life and especially values family.
CHART RULERSHIP 👑
Let’s go a little further and say Aries is your rising sign. That would mean that your chart ruler is Mars. You can then look at your Mars sign, its degree and in which house it falls to understand even more about your ascendant and your chart. For some people their chart ruler can be very prominent. For others it’s either their more dominant sign – the sign that you can find most in your chart-, their rising sign, sun sign – the sign you call your zodiac – or their moon. It always differs for everyone, but looking at your chart ruler may be helpful too!
WANT A PART TWO? 👀
All this information is probably a lot to take in. Do you have questions or want to learn more about your specific chart and how to apply these basics? Let us know on Instagram so we can make a part two and dive even deeper into astrology together. In part two we can apply all of these astrology basics to an example of a random chart so you can learn how to read your own birth chart or even your transits. But first, look out for some astrology related fashion advice coming very soon.✨