A Beginner's Guide to Astrology: Part 1

A beginner's guide to astrology part 1

At some point in time, I’m sure someone has asked you what your Astrological sign is. But what exactly is astrology, anyway? Simply put, astrology is a form of storytelling that interprets how the sun, stars, planets, and celestial bodies affect us. The concept of astrology has been around for thousands of years, and astrologers have used the stories and wisdom passed down over generations to describe how the positions of celestial bodies affect life on earth.

While Astrology may seem complicated, it begins to make sense once you understand the basic terminology.  Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know to become an astrology pro. 

The Zodiac

Think of the zodiac as a flat map of the sky that wraps around the earth. This map is divided into 12 different sections, each one representing a section of the sky. Each of these 12 sections are named for the constellations inside them. This is where we get the names of the 12 different Zodiac Signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. 

The Trifecta→ Sun, Moon, and Rising Signs

The three most important elements of your Zodiac are your sun sign, your moon sign, and your rising sign. While your Sun sign is the most well-known of the three, all three of these signs are needed to understand the fullest versions of ourselves. 

Your Sun sign (used interchangeably with star sign) is determined by where the sun was positioned in the zodiac when you were born. When someone asks you for your Zodiac sign, they are asking you what your Sun sign is. Your Sun sign reflects the essence of your personality; your radiance, essence, and authentic self are represented through your Sun sign. Once you know your Sun sign, you can begin to explore your inner universe!

Your Moon sign represents your emotional world.  Essentially, it is the soul behind our identities.  Our Moons represent the subconscious sides of ourselves and serve as the driving force behind our emotions. Your Moon sign is especially helpful in understanding how you will react in emotional situations.

Your Rising sign (also known as Ascending) represents how others perceive you.  It is the constellation that was rising on the horizon at the exact moment you were born. Your Rising sign represents your outlook on the world, and it also represents other people’s first impressions of you.  

The Sun spends 30 days in each sign, while the Moon only spends about 2-3 days in each sign. The earth takes approximately 30-31 days to orbit the sun, so each month, Sun signs change.  Everyone born within the same 30-31 day range shares a Sun sign.  The Ascendant (your Rising sign) changes every 2 hours or so, which is why it is super important to know your time of birth when calculating your Astrological profile!

To find out your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs, click here.

The Elements

There are 4 groups in Western astrology, which are divided into groups of 3 signs each.  The four elements,  Fire, Earth, Air, or Water, represent personal tendencies.  

Fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) are connected to action and passion. These signs are passionate, fiery, impulsive and assertive. 

Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) are  connected to nature and practicality. These signs are grounded, sensual, pragmatic and reliable.

Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) are connected to communication and friendship. These signs are light-hearted, curious, detached and intellectual.

Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio Pisces) are connected to emotions and creativity. These signs are intuitive, emotional, perceptive, and nurturing.


Similar to how each sign is divided up into 4 different elements, the signs are also divided into three different modes: Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable. Modes are a way to determine how that sign’s energy flows and how you operate. There is only one Element (fire, earth, air, or water) in each Mode category.

Cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn): Cardinal’s are always brimming with new ideas.  They’re innovative and love to try new things. They are not only dreamers, but they take action to bring their dreams to life. Although they are action-takers, Cardinals can be a little self-centered at times. Some notable qualities of Cardinal modes include assertiveness, leadership, change, and initiation. 

Fixed: (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius): Fixed energy is stable, meaning that Fixed signs are loyal, steadfast, and follow through when others don’t.  However, a downside is that Fixed signs can be resistant to change. Some notable qualities of Fixed modes are determination, persistence, power, and reliably. 

Mutable (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces): Mutable energy is flexible and fluid.  Mutable signs are often described as diplomatic and tend to assist others through challenging transitions. While mutable signs are deep-thinkers who withhold judgement, they do tend to be quite indecisive. Some notable qualities of Mutable signs include adaptability, sympathy, and flexibility.  


Click here to read part 2!

Written by: Jordan Peterkofsky

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