If you’re anything like us, you’re a sucker for digesting your monthly horoscope as a prediction for the month. What if we told you this is just the half of it (more like a fraction really)? Beyond our trusty magazine horoscope, there are endless layers of astrology to discover. In this article on Astrology for beginners, DOSE writer Emily shares an introductory guide to get you started on your cosmic journey…
Ever wondered why your best friend has the same star sign as you but is completely different? That’s because your star sign (also known as your Sun sign) is just a minuscule element of your being. The tip of the iceberg.
There are depths more astrological influence from every other planet and star making up who you are. Not just the Sun. As so much more than just a weekly or monthly horoscope, astrology is based on the placement of the stars and movement of the planets, and what their position in the sky means on any given day. And depending on (exactly) when and where you were born, these impact your core moods, personalities and even milestones throughout your life. Whether you believe in the stars or not.
ASTROLOGY FOR BEGINNERS – WHAT IS ASTROLOGY?
We spoke to leading astrologer Francesca Oddie to dive even deeper into the fundamentals of astrology. Francesca says: “Astrology is a language read from the sky at the precise moment and location of your birth. There’s no one else exactly like you.
Each planet in the sky traverses the solar system and the zodiac signs are ways to label each section of the sky. You can say ‘I’m on the M1 south at junction 15’ and people will know where you are. In astrology, you can say you were born at a Full Moon in Taurus, with Mars at 19 degrees of Leo and Mercury Retrograde in Virgo at 8 degrees, and it tells astrologers where you are coming from.
“Everyone lives their chart truth with or without astrology readings”
This information describes your preferences, talents, inhibitions, desires, pitfalls and potentials; it is a seed of everything that you could be. Everyone lives their chart truth with or without astrology readings, and many people who follow their nose, and do what calls them, will live their chart without ever knowing what’s in it.
In a world where parents, friends, the media and everyone you have encountered have projected their ideals onto you, it’s very easy to get lost, especially if you’re sensitive! Astrology is powerful because it reminds you who you are. It affirms your choices and quietens down the noisy voices that leave you feeling lost.”
So basically, at the precise moment you were born, a snapshot of the sky relative to the Earth is generated. A unique cosmic blueprint of the sky, fundamentally making you, you. Sounds pretty cool right?
ASTROLOGY FOR BEGINNERS – READING & UNDERSTANDING YOUR BIRTH CHART
The first step to understanding the universe and how it works within astrology for beginners is your place in it. Aka reading your birth chart – the fun bit! We’ll delve into where you can get your chart read in depth later, but to find out easily (and for free), you can use Cafe Astrology or Astro All-Starz. Don’t forget to pre-warn your parents that you’ll need your exact time of birth (yep, time for those old baby books to come back out).
Before we dive into the planets, zodiac signs and how these come together to make up your chart, it’s crucial to know that each planet has its own properties and every zodiac sign also has its own individual characteristics. So, think of the planet as being the energy and the zodiac sign as how we express this energy. We’ve broken it down below to make it easier to digest and refer back to on your journey:
For example: your Sun sign is Leo... Sun (planet) + zodiac sign (Leo) = Sun (ruling core personality) in Leo (fiery, creative and passionate)
Another way to think of it is as types of Tea (we know it’s random but it’s relatable). The planet would be the Tea, the actual beverage itself, while your zodiac sign would be the endless flavours on offer. So, let’s use the same example with a different formula:
For example: your Sun sign is Leo... Sun (Tea) + Leo (Ginger or Lemon flavour) = Sun (ruling core personality) in Leo (fiery, zesty and tangy).
Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at the planets in the sky as they all play a role in your chart.
ASTROLOGY FOR BEGINNERS – THE PLANETS
Each planet has certain energies and representations that affect you depending on their position. Not just when you were born but also throughout your entire existence. The planets are always moving, so we’re always evolving.
THE THREE KEY SECTIONS OF YOUR CHART
The sun (your ego)
We take it you’re familiar with your Sun sign: the essence you shine into this world and the entire business of being you. The Sun in your chart represents your ego, basic personality and individual power.
The moon (your emotional self)
The second most influential planet in your chart (if not more than the Sun) is the Moon. The Moon represents your emotional self, how you feel safe and secure and symbolises everything under the surface. Ruling how you feel pleasure, pain, sorrow and joy, this side of you can feel vulnerable. It’s likely that only your closest friends and family have seen you express it. Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed by this side of you, that’s normal. As the fastest moving celestial body in the sky, the Moon is fluid and can be as inconsistent as our emotions. Simply use it as a chance to delve into your self-reflection, basic needs and inner world.
The ascendant (your rising sign)
This is the third most prominent in your chart, so pay extra attention to these three. The ascendant isn’t calculated by a single planet but by the unique placements of all the planets. In other words, it’s the entire architecture of your birth chart. Generated by whichever zodiac sign was on the Eastern horizon at the moment you were born, the ascendant defines how others perceive you on a surface level. Seasoned astrologers often refer to this side of people as the ‘mask’ they wear in public. Think window shopping but with humans.
THE REST OF THE PLANETS
There are nine other planets fabricating your birth chart. A very ‘play-by-the-rules’ kind of planet, Saturn rules destiny, fear and self-discipline. It can be harsh and unemotional in the way it forces us to learn, so any tough love you receive is probably coming from the position of Saturn.
Mercury symbolises how you communicate and reflects your logical mind. It identifies your thoughts, beliefs and reasoning function. You might have heard that it goes retrograde up to four times a year but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Venus, the third most vibrant planet in our solar system, embodies how you love, your desires and relationships and boasts an amorous and sexual energy.
Named after the God of War, Mars represents action, assertion and freedom. It exudes a real adrenaline-type energy, so whichever zodiac sign you have in Mars essentially represents how you get the job done in life.
How you expand, grow and manifest abundance into your life all stems from which sign you have in Jupiter. This generous and giving planet also impacts how you expand your faith and spirituality.
Don’t forget about the final planets Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. These also affect your make-up, but for now let’s leave those ones for lesson two of astrology for beginners…
THE 12 SIGNS OF ZODIAC – ASTROLOGY FOR BEGINNERS
Now you understand the properties of each planet, let’s talk zodiac signs. This is where it gets juicy. As we’ve mentioned, in your chart each planet will be in a specific zodiac sign based on their position when you were born. It’s good to get acquainted with the characteristics of each zodiac sign as we all have a variety of them knocking about somewhere in our chart. Each zodiac sign is associated with one of four elements: Fire, Earth, Air or Water.
Aries (the Lady Gaga’s)
Referred to as The Warrior, Aries are bold, courageous and here to fight the good fight. Typically the known adrenaline-junkie, they’re fearless, impulsive and independent. Be careful though, they get bored quickly so be sure to keep the Aries’ in your life on their toes. Examples:
- Moon in Aries: is courageous, romantic and free spirited in their emotions
- Saturn in Aries: is effective, persuasive and precise in their self-discipline
Leo (the Barack Obama’s)
You can rely on the Leo’s in your life to be your biggest cheerleader. The ‘go-getter’, Leo’s are born leaders, naturally strong and loyal. Usually the all-eyes-on-me type, they’re outgoing, brave and passionate. No one welcomes a compliment quite like a Leo, so be sure to give them lots of love. Watch out, they’re fiercely protective (think a Lioness with her cubs) so be sure not to cross the Leo’s in your circle. Examples:
- Sun in Leo: has a fiery, charismatic and confident ego
- Jupiter in Leo: is generous, fortunate and big-hearted in the way they give
Sagittarius (the Miley Cirus’)
Adventurous, optimistic and enthusiastic, Sagittareans, are the epitome of positive thinking. If you’re looking for some spontaneity and unplanned fun in your life, go make friends with a Sag. They’re always looking for ways to develop their mind, body and spirit and because they think things will go well, they will (but even when they don’t, they’ll be grateful).
With infectious humour that spreads like wildfire, Sagittareans inspire people others to be the best versions of themselves. Their glass is always half full and don’t worry if yours isn’t, they’ll have enough to share. Examples:
- Mercury in Sagittarius: is boundary-pushing, a picture-thinker and sarcastic in the way they communicate
- Ascendant in Sagittarius: comes across as always on the move, open-minded and super-sociable
Taurus (the Adele’s)
The most free spirited of the signs, Taureans are known for their sensuality, resourcefulness and creativity. They like to get on with life without any dramas (pull a fast one on them and they might not forgive you). They just like to get the job done. If you have any Taureans as work colleagues, keep them close! They crave serenity and love an outdoorsy date. Examples:
- Mars in Taurus: is patient, practical and sensual in the way they assert themselves
- Venus in Taurus: thrives off romance, indulgence and very relaxed in relationships and friendships
Virgo (the Mother Teresa’s)
In true minimalist style, Virgo’s keep the good in their life and rid things that no longer serve their purpose. They’re very efficient, professional and if attention to detail was a person, they would be most definitely a Virgo. The quietest of achievers, Virgo’s core desire is to serve. So their line of work may involve helping people or the planet (they are an Earth sign after all). Virgo’s three C’s are calm, confident and creative. Examples:
- Moon in Virgo: is analytical, structured and organised in the way they deal with emotions
- Jupiter in Virgo: manifests abundance in a detailed, rational and intellectual way
Capricorn (the Dolly Parton’s)
Setting their sights high and rarely failing, Capricorn’s are responsible, realistic and will literally laugh in the face of procrastination. They like to earn their success so wasting time isn’t on their agenda. However, their huge ambitions (read: potential workaholic) means they don’t take much time for themselves. Be sure to tell the Cap’s in your life to chill, they need a push sometimes! Examples:
- Sun in Capricorn: a naturally high-achiever and has a motivated ego
- Mars in Capricorn: asserts themselves in a quietly strong, strategic and money motivated fashion
Gemini (the Marilyn Monroe’s)
The life and soul of any party, you can take a Gemini anywhere. They’re passionate yet easy going, super-sociable and ‘the gift of the gab’ was basically named after them. Be wary though, their social butterfly status means they can get lost in a good old gossip. They tend to be a bit indecisive, so if you’re making a plan with a Gemini, just call all the shots. Examples:
- Ascendant in Gemini: comes across as talkative, curious and like their mind is generally going a mile a minute
- Venus in Gemini: is a social chameleon and attracted to someone’s personality when it comes to friendships and relationships
Libra (the Will Smith’s)
Literally referred to as ‘The Peacemaker’, Libra’s just want harmony in life. They crave equality and balance, strive for justice and have a gracious approach to life. They listen to all sides of a discussion before forming an opinion (but their outcome will always be idealistic). It’s good to know that they hate confrontation, so don’t push the Libra’s in your life too much as they might not stick up for themselves. Examples:
- Moon in Libra: is peaceful, respectful and balanced in their emotions
- Saturn in Libra: is a natural diplomat, super-cooperative and harmonious in their self-discipline
Aquarius (the Oprah Winfrey’s)
Human rights is the Aquarian’s second language. Not only do they have a desire to save the world, they know exactly how they’re going to do it. Imaginative, intellectual and assertive, this change-maker sign brings clarity and awareness to anything they do. They dream big and won’t stop until they’ve achieved their goals. Examples:
- Jupiter in Aquarius: expands abundance in a free spirited, persuasive and slightly rebellious way
- Sun in Aquarius: has an eccentric personality and makes decisions with their mind over their heart
Cancer (the Frida Kahlo’s)
Cancer’s. Aka, the Mother. Referred to as the Moon child, Cancer’s are caring, protective and compassionate. Their circle of family and friends are everything to them but they’ll take anyone under their wing who needs it. As the most inward of the signs, they pick up on every emotion around them. These empathetic tendencies might cause them to feel overwhelmed so if they retreat to their comfort shell to recharge, don’t be offended. Examples:
- Sun in Cancer: has a naturally nurturing, loving and security-seeking personality
- Moon in Cancer: is emotionally sensitive, empathetic and thoughtful
Scorpio (Leonardo DiCaprio’s)
Intensity, intensity oh and intensity. Scorpio’s are deep feelers craving intimacy, commitment and passion. They have a real tribe-vibe and are fiercely loyal (but don’t cross them because forgiveness doesn’t come easily). They’re the greatest of friends and make for a super-resourceful colleague with their huge life ambitions. Examples:
- Mars in Scorpio: asserts themselves in an energetic and obsessive way
- Ascendant Scorpio: comes across as mysterious but is always tuned in to the conversation
Pisces (the Rihanna’s)
You definitely want at least one Pisces in your corner. Gently wise, creative and highly intuitive, Pisces soften the harsh lines of reality and explore the mystical side of life. Their main goal is to feel bliss and their romanticism, sensitivity and compassion usually gets them there. As an empath with a soft heart, they’ll do anything to make the people around them feel happy. Pisces can come across as closed off but don’t take it personally, they’re just busy visioning up their dream life. Examples:
- Sun in Pisces: has a mellow, giving and daydreamy personality
- Jupiter in Pisces: grows from their intuition and deep understanding of life
Tapping into this cosmic energy helps us act more intuitively. Knowing your birth chart and using it as something to muse upon each day brings balance, clarity and trust. If this article on Astrology For Beginners has caught your eye and you want to go deeper, here are some next steps:
– Get your birth chart read professionally by Francesca Oddie, astrology is her first language after all. Other options include Bex at Cosmic Cures, helping you get cosmically aligned and tap into your highest vibration, or the resident astrologers at She’s Lost Control can help you tune into your soul’s purpose
– Follow astrologers on social media for ease of access and daily doses of what’s going on with the universal energy. We love Francesca Oddie, Cosmic Cures, Moon Omens and Kirsty Gallagher
– Read some Astrology For Beginners books! Every modern mystic’s best friend is Star Power by Vanessa Montegomery
– Download Co-Star. It’s like social media but for the stars. Simply tap in your birth details and you’ll be gifted with daily updates on the planets, when they’re moving through certain constellations and how this is affecting you – astrology for beginners on-demand!
– Reclaim your power, enjoy learning and don’t forget to use your mystical superpowers responsibly
Francesca Oddie began studying astrology for real in 2014 and is passionate about its ability to nourish, support and inform every facet of life. She brings humour and fun to her events and readings because “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, oh and she’s a Sagittarius, so. She has recently launched an online community for Astrology For Beginners where astrology lovers can connect, learn and benefit from the acceptance of others who take you as you are. Find out more and book your birth chart reading here: www.francescaoddie.com
Liked this article on ‘Astrology For Beginners’? Read this article on ‘Planetary Energy – Harnessing The Special Vibe Of Each Day’.
Get your weekly DOSE fix here: SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER