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Astrology for amateurs

Picture this: you start dating a new girl, and she asks you for your birth date and time. She tells you it’s because she wants to figure out your astrological chart. 

You’re a Gemini — at least you think you are — and you have no clue what else there is to it. 

Have no fear; I’m going to break down what an astrological chart actually entails and how to read yours. If you want to know what your chart looks like, you can find it here.

The big three

Your big three signs are arguably the most important parts of your chart. The big three consist of your sun sign, moon sign and rising sign.

Your sun sign has to do with what month you were born in. I was born in late March; therefore, I am an Aries. You probably know your sun sign because it’s the sign we most commonly look at when we read horoscopes, and it’s the easiest to discern. Your sun sign controls your ego and how other people perceive you. While your ego does guide a significant portion of your life, it’s not everything. If you feel like your horoscopes are consistently inaccurate, it’s probably because you resonate more strongly with your rising sign.

Your rising sign has to deal with what constellation was rising over the horizon when you were born. Because our sky constantly changes over the course of the night, rising signs change approximately every two hours. Therefore, in order to accurately calculate your rising sign, you need your birth time. Don’t worry; if your mom doesn’t remember it, you can probably find it on your birth certificate. 

Rising signs are important for two reasons: They dictate most of the placements on your chart and align most closely with how you view yourself. 

That being said, rising signs aren’t everything. Moon signs play a crucial role in the astrological chart by guiding your emotions. These signs are guided by the phases of the moon, which stays in the same sign for a two-day period. (The moon rises at different times depending on the phase, though, so moon signs can switch midday.)

The element of your moon sign also plays a significant role in how you express emotions. Water moon signs cry more easily and are more in touch with their emotions because they flow like water. Earth signs, on the other hand, often have steadfast and unyielding emotions, much like the solid ground beneath us. Individuals with earth moons may seem “emotionally constipated” and may struggle to be vulnerable with others. 

Venus and Mars

Your Venus and Mars signs go hand-in-hand. Venus, the ruler of love, deals with how you express and desire to receive love in romantic relationships. Mars, the planet of passion, deals with how you express and desire to receive love in sexual relationships. 

Certain Venus signs are more prone to romance than others. Individuals with Pisces Venus signs are hopeless romantics because Venus is exalted in Pisces and enjoys the creative freedom it provides.

People with Venus signs in Aries, however, thrive on competition and are obsessed with the chase because Venus is no match for Aries’ fire.

When Mars is in Aries, though, it’s another story. Since Mars rules Aries, this sign is most at home here, meaning that Aries Mars signs have quite the … libido.

On the other hand, when Mars is in Libra, it’s considered in detriment because Libra is the opposite sign of Aries. When Mars is in Libra, sexual relations usually aren’t a priority, and people with Libra Mars signs are usually quite picky about their partners. 

Venus usually changes signs about once a month, and Mars changes every six to seven weeks. 

Twelve houses

There are 12 houses, and your first is your rising sign. 

After your rising sign, here is what each house represents. Two is money, three is thinking and communication, four is home life, five is romance, six is health, seven is relationships, eight is intimacy, nine is travel, 10 is career and 11 is friendships. 

Your 12th house is your karmic house, and that determines what lessons you were meant to learn in your time here on Earth. In order to be truly happy, you have to overcome the issues presented by your 12th house.

Each house has a “ruling” sign, and your sign’s relationship to that ruling sign largely determines how you react to the aforementioned areas of your life. 

Ruling sign

In order to find your ruling sign, you must once again look at your rising sign. Then, look at the planet that rules your sign and see where it falls on your chart. 

For example, I am a Capricorn rising. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn, and my Saturn sign is in Taurus. Therefore, Taurus rules my chart and dictates how my other signs are expressed



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