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Astrology 101



An Introduction To Astrology

Astrology is a complex art and science which applies symbolic meaning to astronomical information as it existed over two thousand years ago when the practice of astrology was first documented in writing by ancient astronomers and astrologers.

Western astrologers use the ancient positions of the constellations and Sidereal (aka Vedic or Hindu) astrologers use current astronomical positions. The two systems are very different, but work equally well.

Astrologers begin by erecting a natal chart, or horoscope, based on the date, time, and place you were born. Today, most charts are done on a computer which makes them very accurate. But, they are only as accurate as the information you provide. Any reputable astrologer will advise you to obtain more accurate birth information or to have your chart rectified if you only know that you were born "around 5 p.m."

Astrologers interpret everything in your chart individually and then integrate it all for you into a picture of you and your life. Interpretations come in many forms: basic insight into your personality; examining specific trouble spots in your life; comparing and contrasting your chart with that of a loved one, friend, co-worker, etc.; looking at career options and financial indications; finding the best place to live; forecasting future opportunities; selecting the best time for a wedding, to start a business, etc.; spiritual growth; and, answering questions.

Most astrologers have a general practice which incorporates a variety of these services, and they may also have some areas in which they specialize such as relationships or careers.

The best way to use astrology is to learn to evaluate a problem on your own, to examine the choices you have to make in order to fix the problem, and then to consult your astrologer to see in which ways the possible solutions will work for you and when the best time is to make changes, take risks, be patient and wait, plan, etc. With all that information in hand, you will possess a powerful knowledge with which to solve your problems, change your life, and be the person you always wanted to be.


Astrology And Your Birth Chart

Astrology can be extremely accurate. But, it is only as accurate as your birth time, which is used to calculate not only the planetary positions, but also your Ascendant (Rising Sign), to the exact degree and minute. That calculation then determines the degree on the Midheaven and all of the house cusps. The cusps then determine in which house your planets will fall. Without an accurate birth time, interpretations and forecasts are invariably incorrect. All of this information is then used in interpreting personality traits, determining your career choices, comparing and contrasting your chart with those of other people you know, and forecasting events in your life.

Before you schedule a consultation or order charts and reports, you should obtain a copy of your birth certificate. If you do not have a birth certificate, if the time is not stated on yours, if you suspect your birth certificate is in error, or if you have only an estimated birth time, you can have your chart rectified (see next section).

But what about your birth certificate? How accurate is it? It may not be as accurate as you think. It's not hard to get the date and the place correct, but birth times are an entirely different story. Since doctors and nurses are not usually astrologers, they give little attention to the exact time of birth. For example, they may round off an 8:38 birth time to 8:40 or 8:35. A doctor may fill out the birth certificate later on and use an estimated birth time that could be far earlier or later than the true time of birth, or then the time recorded on the delivery room records.

Depending on where and when you were born, your birth certificate may not even have a space for the time of birth. Some people have no written birth certificates at all because they were born at home, or during times when birth certificates were not considered necessary, or in countries where birth certificates are or were not issued. Some parts of the United States have other problems with birth certificate times. For example, during certain years in the state of Illinois, War Time, the precursor to our modern Daylight Savings Time, was in effect but was not observed by all hospitals, many of which continued to operate on Standard Time. That means that if you happen to have been born in Illinois during those times, your birth certificate could be off by an entire hour. So as important as that may be, you can work with or without your birth time.

Without an exact birth time, astrology in general, and predictive astrology in particular, can sometimes be less accurate but may give a loose generalization of things to come or personality traits. There may be some general information and interpretations that are correct, but take predictions with a grain of salt. - which is good practice anyway, as things are always constantly changing!

You can always use 12:00 as your 'I don't have an exact time' time. Some prefer to use their Angel number (11:11, 2:22, 3:33) whichever they see most frequently or feel a connection to the most!


The Elements And Astrology

The 12 signs of the Zodiac are separated into 4 elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. By examining the different planets in these signs astrologers can draw an in-depth profile analysis of a subject.

Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. People with fire signs are explosive, for better or worse, and almost always energetic in everything they do. They are leaders, inventors and adventurers. Their weaknesses are the tendency of doing their work to their extremes and burning themselves out. The Fire attributes are best to be counterbalanced by Earth signs.

Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn. People with Earth signs are practical, cautious and reliable. If they are lacking (few Earth signs) they lack imagination and creativity, which are almost always always compensated for with ambition and personality.

Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius. Air signs are responsible for intellectual activity, thought and philosophy. People who possess many planets in the Air signs are good planners. Without Air signs, subjects may have difficulty in communication, and be weak in artistic inclination. The excess of planets in Air signs are best to be counterbalanced by planets in the Water signs.

Water: Cancer, Scorpio,Pisces. These are emotional in-tune signs. The planets in Water sign moderate the practicality of Earth, the ideas of Air, the careless energy of Fire.

In astrological interpretation, the element analysis is the most traditional. For example, many planets in the Fire sign of a chart is indicative of the subject being very lively and enthusiastic. Though this interpretation is simplistic and direct, astrologers must also consider the effect of the Qualities and Aspects of the subject's birth chart to draw a complete personality profile.


Using Astrology And Intuition To Help Guide Us

The term Intuition is used to refer to the ability to perceive things that are hidden to ordinary senses through means of extra-sensory perception. While the term astrology is defined as the study of the relationships between people and events on earth, and the cycles, movements of the planets and how they influence the lives of peoples. Intuition and astrology can help people to make decisions about love or career, and can steadily point people in the right direction on their life’s path.


Nowadays many people use astrology and intuition for guidance on personal matters as well as business. When you develop your intuition you start to tap into the spirit that accompanies us through our everyday life. Our senses will pick up smells and sounds, and we may even see things and we often put it down to logical reasoning. It is easy to explain away these things. Being open minded and listening to your natural intuition can help improve many aspects of a person's life.


Becoming aware of your inner potential to connect with your highest self, and to know that you are at one with all around you. You are a spiritual being having a human experience; This is a natural part of life, be open and let astrology and your intuition guide you!



Astrology: Elements, Modalities, And Zodiac Sign

Astrology is defined as ‘the art or practice of determining the supposed influences of the planets and their motions on human affairs and human disposition’. From this practice a horoscope can be produced which is a diagram (or chart) of the relative positions of planets and signs of the Zodiac at a specific time, usually the time of birth.


Western Astrology originated around 500 BC, with a concept called the Zodiac. This consisted of an imaginary sphere surrounding the earth, which followed the path of the Sun through the constellations during the year. The Zodiac was split into twelve sections, each named after the specific constellation noted in that area.


Many ancient philosophies used a set of classical elements to explain the way nature behaved. Each sign was connected to one of the classical elements (fire, earth, air, or water) and was also related to a region of focus; social, personal or universal.


  • Water signs are related to growth processes, identification and emotion. In tandem with the other elements, water feels that fire will make it boil, air will evaporate it, but earth will shape and channel it.

  • Fire signs are related to action, passion, and energy. In tandem with the other elements, fire feels that earth will smother it, water will drown it, but air will fan and enliven it.

  • Air signs are related to thought, perspective and communication. In tandem with the other elements, air feels that water will obscure it, earth will suffocate it, but fire will inspire and uplift it.

  • Earth signs are related to sensation, stability, and practicality. In tandem with the other elements, earth feels that air will dry it, fire will dry it, but water will refresh and nourish it.


Each sign is connected to one of three modalities; cardinal (sometimes referred to as movable), fixed, and mutable. There are four quadrants following the order of the zodiac signs, with three signs in each. Each quadrant describes a season, beginning with a cardinal sign, continuing to a fixed sign, and ending with a mutable sign.


  • Mutable signs are related to adaptability, resourcefulness and holism. They are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

  • Fixed signs are related to determination, focus and individuality. They are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

  • Cardinal signs are related to creativity and initiation. They are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.


Finally, here is a quick generalized summary of Zodiac Sign Characteristics:


  • Aries (cardinal, fire, personal): bold, ambitious, head-strong, competitive, passionate

  • Taurus (fixed, earth, personal): patient, indulgent, resourceful, thorough, devoted

  • Gemini (mutable, air, personal): quick, energetic, logical, inquisitive, emotional

  • Cancer (cardinal, water, personal): intuitive, protective, sensitive, driven

  • Leo (fixed, fire, social): theatrical, generous, proud, loyal, dramatic

  • Virgo (mutable, earth, social): logical, practical, efficient, consistent

  • Libra (cardinal, air, social): co-operative, fair, balanced, harmonious

  • Scorpio (fixed, water, social): mysterious, passionate, sensitive, emotionally energetic

  • Sagittarius (mutable, fire, universal): free-spirited, straightforward, adventurous

  • Capricorn (cardinal, earth, universal): suspicious, responsible, cautious, leader

  • Aquarius (fixed, air, universal): innovative, progressive, unconventional, revolutionary

  • Pisces (mutable, water, universal): intuitive, imaginative, sensitive, observant






Ancient Astrology

Astrology is a type of divination based upon the idea that information about the future or about a person's personality can be discovered through examining the alignment of stars, planets, moons and comets. Astrology attempts to interpret the influence of these celestial bodies on human affairs.


The practice of astrology has been prevalent since ancient times. Some well-known ancient civilizations used this field extensively. Greek astronomer Ptolemy was the first ever person to write a book on Astrology. He codified the sun sign astrology that we know today. Ptolemy tried to predict the positions of celestial bodies relative to each other and the earth through knowledge of their orbital motions. During his time, astrology was a part of astronomy. Later, astronomy became an exact science and Astrology remained a part of Theology.


Apart from being centers of medicine, Baghdad and Damascus were also known as centers of astrology and astronomy. Arabs were pioneers in astronomy before even the advent of Islam. Babylonians were the first to name the days of the week after the Sun, Moon, and planets. They were also the first to set out the twelve houses of the horoscope.


Egypt was one of the most important places in the development of astrology. It is thought that some of the astrological signs of the zodiac originated in Egypt.


Astrology was practiced even in the Vedic times in India. Astrology is one of the six disciplines of Vedanga. Hindus believe that human fortune or misfortune in life is due to karma, and karma is believed to be influenced by the movements of the planets.


Chinese astrology emphasizes the four elements: air, water, fire, and earth. Even the zodiac signs used by Chinese Astrology are different from other forms of astrology. China was isolated from the western civilizations for a long time. That is why for hundreds of years Chinese astrology was unknown to the western world.


In many places and backgrounds, astrology is extensively used to determine the future and improve life. It is used to make decisions about marriage, starting a new business, or moving into a new house.




The Sun, The Moon, And The Planets Influence On The Zodiac

When most of us think of astrology, we think about our natal signs and not much else. Do you know what some of the major influences are, though, that define these Zodiac signs?


First and foremost is the Sun. It is the center of all life and represents a person's personality and spirit. The Moon, on the other hand, gives us our Soul. The Moon is the ruling planet of the Zodiac sign Cancer. It is very much associated with the mother and with maternal instincts. In Chinese astrology, the Moon represents Yin, while the Sun represents Yang.


Mercury rules over Gemini and Virgo. It is the planet of the mind and of communication. In other words, it is the planet of the idea and the means to communicate the idea. The planet Venus rules over Taurus and Libra. Venus is associated with characteristics and principles of harmony and beauty. It is, of course, concerned with love. It is also concerned with the pleasure we derive from personal possessions.


Mars is the ruling planet for the dynamic Aries, and to some astrologers, Scorpio, although modern astrologers now determine that Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio. Mars is the planet that is concerned with the things you want, and how you go about getting those things. Jupiter is associated with pleasure and enjoyment. It is the ruler of Sagittarius and is also associated with principles of growth, religion and higher education.


Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is associated with principles such as reality and restrictions, boundaries and rules. Saturn was traditionally the ruler of Aquarius until the discovery of the planet Uranus. Neptune is the ruling planet of Pisces and is associated with deception, illusions, spirituality and psychic phenomena. The planet Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is associated with the concept of transformation.



The Takeaway

Now that you understand a little more about astrology, it's time to put your knowledge to good use! Below are a few links to Astrology journals and books for continued reading!


** Our viewers help support our website. We may sometimes earn a commission, at no additional cost to you, when you purchase through the links in our posts. Thank you for supporting witchcraft!**


Books on Astrology for continued reading:


Astrology journals are also a fantastic tool to use in your craft, here are a few highly recommended Astrology journals:



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