Like most things in life, astrology carries a great deal of uncertainty with it. I don’t mean in terms of whether or not it’s real (it’s as real as the air we breathe and I won’t be told different), I mean as in like, how does it work?
Whenever I tell people that I’m an astrologer, I’m always bombarded with the same questions so I thought it’d be useful for me to spell them out for you below.
‘Cos after all, understanding astrology helps you understand yourself (and those around you).
What are astrological houses?
When you suss out your daily horoscopes, you might read something like, ‘As the Sun enters your financial house, you’ll see an upturn in finances.’
No, this is not a literal house filled with money (can you imagine?), each of the 12 houses of astrology relate to a different part of your life, from your relationships to your finances to your spirituality. Each one is designated based on your exact time of birth.
It’s a pretty tricky concept, but all you need to know is that a planet falling into your specific house impacts the aspect of your life it’s connected to, which is usually stipulated in your horoscopes.
What are astrological aspects?
As the planets make their way across the universe, they form angles to one another. These angles indicate the relationship between two planets and how they will work together and, in turn, impact your life.
Six of the most common astrology aspects are: conjunctions, sextiles, squares, trines, quincunxes and oppositions. Some planetary aspects have a positive influence on you, while others are negative.
Astrologers use these aspects to predict the energy and events that will occur in your life.
What is the difference between my Sun, Moon and Rising sign?
Ever been asked about your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs and you’re like, ‘WTF, I thought we only have one sign?’
Well, everyone has a full chart of astrology signs that they correspond to based on the time and place they were born, but the most important ones that define your personality are the Sun, Moon and Rising.
Sun Sign (the essence of you): That’s your main one. The one your birthday falls under. This one is basically the all-rounder that captures the essence of you are and how you think, which is why when you read your horoscopes, you needa suss out this one.
Moon sign (your emotions): Because the moon rules the tides, it also tells us about our feelings and all those emotions that are deep under the surface – the hidden parts of your personality that may not be immediately obvious.
In order to calculate your moon sign, you’re going to need a full birth date, year, and exact time/time zone. When you’ve got that, you can either consult an astrologer or use an online moon sign calculator (see below) to find out what sign rules your lunar self.
Rising / Ascendant sign (how you appear to the world): The version of you that people see at first glance. It’s likely that an astrology-loving mate may have assumed that you were this sign in the past ‘cos this is how you appear on the outside (in tandem with your sun sign).
In order to calculate your rising sign, you’re going to need your exact birth time and place (in addition to the date and year, of course), as rising signs change approximately every couple hours — meaning that even people born on the exact same date are likely to have different rising signs.
I’ve always used this fabulous calculator by AstroSofa.com that’s easy as and v. accurate.
Are cusps bullshit?
Ah, the age-old question: are cusps legit or nah?
In case you’ve never asked said age-old question, a cusp is when you’re born within a few days of the Sun’s transition from one sign to the next. This includes the following dates:
- Aries-Taurus, aka the Cusp of Power: April 16–22
- Taurus-Gemini, aka the Cusp of Energy: May 17–23
- Gemini-Cancer, aka the Cusp of Magic: June 17–23
- Cancer-Leo, aka the Cusp of Oscillation: July 19–25
- Leo-Virgo, aka the Cusp of Exposure: August 19–25
- Virgo-Libra, aka the Cusp of Beauty: September 19–25
- Libra-Scorpio, aka the Cusp of Drama: October 19–25
- Scorpio-Sagittarius, aka the Cusp of Revolution: November 18–24
- Sagittarius-Capricorn, aka the Cusp of Prophecy: December 18–24
- Capricorn-Aquarius, aka the Cusp of Mystery: January 16–23
- Aquarius-Pisces, aka the Cusp of Sensitivity: February 15–21
- Pisces-Aries, aka the Cusp of Rebirth: March 17–23
The belief is that being born on the cusp of two signs gives you a combination of traits from both, but this has been widely debated among astrologers for ages.
Personally? I reckon there’s definitely something to it. Despite astrology’s reliance on dates, times and planetary alignments, it’s not an exact science (obvs).
For example, whenever there’s a Full Moon, it’s believed that its powerful energy is accessible days before and days after. Also, when it’s Mercury Retrograde, there’s always what’s called a shadow period, where we’re likely to feel its impacts before and after it’s gone retrograde.
So by this logic, of course there’s a chance that our astrological traits are taken from two different signs if it falls while the Sun is transitioning.
What the hell is Ophiuchus and has my sign changed?
So basically a few years back, a rumour was floating around that NASA had “discovered” a 13th zodiac sign called Ophiuchus, otherwise known as the serpent-bearer.
Based on this logic, anyone born between November 29 and December 17 would no longer be a Scorpio or a Sagittarius, but an Ophiuchus.
As mass panic spread across the woo-woo community, NASA publicly told everyone to calm the fuck down as their discovery has no bearing on astrology.
“We see your comments about a zodiac story that re-emerges every few years,” the space agency wrote in a tweet. “No, we did not change the zodiac.”
👀 We see your comments about a zodiac story that re-emerges every few years. No, we did not change the zodiac.
— NASA (@NASA) July 17, 2020
This story seems to resurface every few years so let me put it to bed once and for all: stop trying to make Ophiuchus happen. It’s not gonna happen.