The Basics of Astrology

Understanding the meaning behind each astral body can give you deeper knowledge in decoding any type of chart. Once you know what each luminary and planet represents, you can then build off of that with their house positions and sign placements, and then finally the aspects they make with each other. When you do this, you can begin to see the unique cosmic pattern that was created in the sky according to the time you specified.

Let's start with the two most important bodies in a chart; the Sun and the Moon, or the Luminaries. The Sun and Moon placements lay the groundwork for how our personal energy will flow and inhabit this Earth.  No two people born have the exact same planets in the exact same positions; the cosmos are in continual and everlasting movement.  This is why simply knowing your Sun sign is not enough; we are all as unique as snowflakes.

The Sun is representative of the Self.  In a chart, this is You; vitality, ego, consciousness.  Everything revolves around the Sun; it is the center. When your Sun is placed in Taurus, you exhibit the personality traits of a Taurus; earthy, stubborn, securing your finances with solid money management techniques, perhaps enjoying good quality fabrics over cheap ones.  When your Sun is in Aquarius, you are gregarious, participating in group activities, rebelling against the norm, enjoying a lot of mental pursuits.


In a chart, the Sun can indicate Father, Son, Husband, Authority or major masculine influences.


Leo is the zodiac sign associated with the Sun.  The 10th House is ruled by the Sun.





"The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection, in which are reflected the mythologems, i.e., the archetypes. In this vision astrology and alchemy, the two classical functionaries of the psychology of the collective unconscious, join hands."

 - C.G. Jung

The changeable Moon represents our feelings, emotions. subconscious..  In a chart, the Moon shows us how we express this. You must also take into account the house placement of the Moon. Having your Moon in Sagittarius can give you a very optimistic nature; you are never down for too long.  With your Moon in Libra, you are probably more diplomatic and yet indecisive in your feelings; balanced.


In a chart, the Moon can show us Mother, Daughter, Wife, or major feminine influences.


Cancer is the sign associated with the Moon. The 4th House is ruled by this luminary.






The Moon

The Luminaries

The Sun

The Personal Planets are those that can show you more of your inner workings or quirks.  These planet's placements show the intricate facets to your personality.  Basically, how you think and speak, what you find value in, and what you do to get what you value will be understood by their sign and house position.  Of course, it goes deeper than that, but this is the basic meaning behind Personal Planets.




The fast moving planet Mercury represents communication, letters, emails, phone calls, texts, travel, thinking, short trips. When your Mercury is placed in Virgo, for example, you are a highly analytical thinker, often good with detailed thinking.  When placed in watery Cancer, perhaps you are more of an emotional communicator with your thoughts  being colored by emotion.


But the placement of Mercury can also signify how you learn, how you think, how you communicate. In your chart, find the house position of Mercury and compare the sign it is in with your own communication style. Does it seem familiar?  Do you exhibit any of those qualities?


Mercury has the reputation of being the 'trickster' of the Zodiac.  He is the ruler of Gemini and co-ruler of Virgo.


The 3rd House and 6th house is ruled by Mercury.



Venus is the planet associated with love, money, aesthetics.  Where Venus is placed in your chart can show you what your love style is as well as what exactly you do love. Physically, it can tell you what type of 'beauty' you exhibit.


For example, if you have Venus in Leo, your appearance is probably regal, flashy, drawing a lot of attention.  A Venus in Virgo is much more modest, maybe more down to earth in her style (but not dowdy).


The position of Venus can also show you what you can do to make money.  When it is in Aries, you may have a very impulsive romantic nature, and spend money as fast as you make it.


Locate the house position and sign that your Venus is in, and this can tell you more about your own personal love and earning styles.


Venus rules the sign of Taurus and co rules Libra. The 2nd and 7th Houses are ruled by Venus.




Fiery Mars indicates the motivational side of our nature. Mars shows us how we expend our energy, by doing.  It can show us what we desire, or our passions, our rage, or simple basic sex and anger.  While Venus indicates what we want, Mars shows us what we do in order to get it.


How do we get angry? How do we drive ourselves? What do we get passionate about? What type of lover are we? How competitive are we?


A lot of this is indicated by the placement of Mars in the chart.  Look to the house position and sign on the house cusp to see what qualities Mars will exhibit.


Mars rules the sign of Aries and co rules Scorpio.  This is why Mars is the ruler of the 1st house and co ruler of the 8th.






The Outer Planets effect you differently, but still effect you.  They are slower moving, and they represent more of the forces occurring outside an individual. True, they do still color the personality, but only when they are activated by aspects to the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars.






Buoyant Jupiter is everyone's favorite, unless you are trying to lose weight.  The energy of Jupiter is filled with good fortune.  It is expansive, and when placed near another planet, has the effect of magnifying the energy.


An example of this is action. is when Jupiter is in trine with Uranus; expect unexpected opportunities to spring forth from seemingly nowhere.


Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius and is co ruler of Pisces. Jupiter is the ruler of the 9th House.





Saturn is one of, if not the most, least liked planets out there.  Whereas Jupiter expands, Saturn limits and contracts. Saturn is considered the stern teacher, forgiving a lazy pupil nothing.   Where Saturn is placed in a chart indicates an area where much discipline and hard work is required.


The trick with Saturn is to just accept the lessons being forced on you, or the consequences of your actions, and simply mature.  He is there to teach you something. The more you fight against Saturn, the more painful the outcome.


Saturn has rulership of the sign of Capricorn and co ruler of Aquarius. It is the lord of the 10th.



Uranus is the planet of unexpected events and the precipitator of change.  When it is transiting or activating another planet, expect sudden surprises.   People with Uranus heavy charts can be seen as rebels or liberators, depending.  While a lot of people seem wary about what energy Uranus brings, Uranus can be perfect for shaking things up and getting us out of stagnant situations.


Uranus is co ruler of the sign Aquarius and governs the 11th House.





Nebulous Neptune is slightly hard to pin down.    It is referred to as the higher octave of Venus.  It can show a person the need for  a higher level of spirituality/feeling for mankind, but Neptune can also leave you constantly guessing.  Neptune is associated with illusion, fantasy, high ideals, dreams, mystery, drugs.  A lot of drug addicts have afflicted Neptune. aspects.


When transiting a personal planet or chart angle, a lot of people feel confused, uncertain.  This is the Neptune effect.


Neptune is the co ruler of Pisces.  It governs the 12th House.

Explosive, forceful transformation  are the best words to describe this planet and its influence.  Pluto brings change whether someone wants it or not, often leaving a path of destruction in its wake.


This is not always terrible, because along with the transforming death experience, the welcomed rebirth or regeneration follows.


Pluto is co ruler of Scorpio, and governs the 8th House.


Each house possesses the energy of its ruling sign and the planets associated with the sign.  But this is why it is critical to know the exact time and place of birth. The birth time and place is used to calculate, basically, "what goes where".  Every house in the wheel represents different parts of our lives if we even have them in our lives at all; careers, health, relationships, family, children, money. The celestial objects placed in a house further tell us more about those particular circumstances.


Planets do not all behave the same in each house.  And they certainly do not all interact the same way with each other. The aspects or type of energy exchange between them explain the how and why of their placements.

  • 1st House/Ascendant

    This is the house of the Ascendant, Rising Sign, self, or how we present ourselves to the world.  The cardinal sign of Aries is what governs this house, with the energies of Mars ruling it.  The Sun’s energies are exalted or highly functioning in this house, which is a powerful boon for development of self. If Venus is placed in this house, its energies are in its detriment here, which means it has difficulties functioning properly.  With Saturn’s energies in this house, they are very debilitated, or in their fall in this placement.


    This is the first of the 4 angular or cardinal houses in a chart, which deal with creating and action.  With a planet placed in an angular house, its effects are the strongest, being potent than when placed in a succeedent or cadent house.



  • 2nd House

    This is the house of materials, possessions, self worth, what we value.  Taurus is the sign that governs this house, with the energies of Venus ruling it.  With the Moon being placed here, its energies are exalted or highly functioning in this house. With Mars placed in this house, Mars’ energies are in its detriment and cannot function properly.


    The 2nd house is a succeedent house, which means any planets that fall into a succeedent house do not have as much dynamic force as those in the angular houses.



  • 3rd House

    This is primarily the house of communication but it also deals with transportation, siblings, neighbors, the mind. Gemini is the sign that governs this house, with the energy of Mercury as its ruler.  No planet is necessarily exalted here, but Jupiter’s energies are in their detriment here.


    The 3rd house is a cadent house, which means planets placed here are operating at their weakest capacity.



  • 4th House/Imum Coeli/IC

    The IC or Imum Coeli is another angular house.  This is the house that deals with family, home, property, childhood, domestic life.  Cancer is the sign that governs this house, with the energy of the Moon ruling it.  Jupiter is exalted or highly functioning in this house, with Saturn in its detriment, and Mars in its fall here.



  • 5th House

    This is the house that deals with children, romance (but not true union), creativity, arts and leisure.  The sign of Leo rules here, with the energy of the Sun permeating it.  Only Saturn is in its detriment in this house.


    This is a succeedent house.



  • 6th House

    This house focuses primarily on work and health, and daily routine.  Virgo is the sign affiliated with this house, with Mercury ruling.  Jupiter is its detriment here, with Venus in its fall.


    This is a cadent house.



  • 7th House/Descendent

    This is the point in an astrology chart directly opposite the Ascendant, and another angular house.  The theme of the 7th house is committed relationships, partnerships, marriage, and it can show the theme or what you need or look for in those types of relationships.  The sign of Libra is associated with this house, and its ruler is Venus. Saturn is exalted in this position, and Mars is in its detriment here, while the Sun is in its fall in this position.



  • 8th House

    This is a succeedent house that deals with taxes, sex, death, inheritances, taboo subjects, and rebirth/regeneration.  The sign of Scorpio and its ruler Pluto governs here. Venus is in its detriment located in this house, with the Moon in its fall.  Often, those with planets in this house can have a more serious or darker mentality, colored partly from the energy of Scorpio.


  • 9th House

    This house deals with higher learning, voyages of all kinds (both concrete and abstract), long distance travel, philosophy.  Sagittarius is the sign located here, with its ruler Jupiter.  Mercury is in its detriment in this position.


    The 9th house is a cadent house.



  • 10th House/Midheaven/MC

    This is the last of the angular houses. The MC or Midheaven is the house of status, public prestige, career, success, and ambition. Capricorn is the ruler of this house, with the stern energy of Saturn governing it.  The placement of Mars is exalted in this house, while the Moon is in its detriment, and Jupiter in its fall here.



  • 11th House

    This house is about dreams and wishes, friends, and group activities.  Aquarius is the sign ruler, with Uranus as the planet whose energy pervades.  The Sun is in its detriment in this succeedent house.




  • 12th House

    The least understood house is the 12th house.  Hidden things, secrets, solitude, drugs, fantasy, confinement (either self imposed or not) are themes of this particular house.  The sign of Pisces and its ruler Neptune oversee the subjects of this house, with Venus exalted here, and Mercury in its detriment.


    The 12th house is a cadent house. It should be noted that the nebulous and hazy energy of Pisces/Neptune really dims or make the effects of any planets placed here much less palpable, as though they were submerged in a fog. This is why it can be difficult to grasp the message of this final house.




  • Conjunction

    When two planets are conjunct, this is understood as a blending, uniting, merging of both their energies. This is even more intensified if this involves the personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars).


  • Sextile

    The sextile is a benefic aspect, showing how two energies flow together.  It is more recognizable than a trine, in that it expresses these energies more outwardly. You are more likely to notice the effects of the sextile.


  • Trine

    A trine between two planets is considered generally beneficial and harmonious. This is an easy going aspect indicating cooperation between the two planets. Energy here can be squandered or wasted if not taken advantage of.  This can be quite easy to do, due to effortless energy a trine provides. The trine is not always ascertainable.


  • Square

    A square is an aspect that is considered difficult, but if acknowledged and dealt with, can be a source of enormous opportunity.  Squares represent life challenges, blockages, hurdles that you must deal with head on.  If not, the same repeating themes presented by the square can haunt or follow you throughout your life.



  • Opposition

    An opposition is what it sounds like; a tug-of-war between two energies, tendencies, viewpoints. Often there is power struggle involved between the planets involved, with one taking the upper hand.



  • Semisquare

    The semisquare is related to the major square aspect in that it can be a difficult or challenging one.  It can represent blocked energy, dissatisfaction, but can give enormous perseverance and great satisfaction if channeled properly into something conducive of its efforts.



  • Semisextile

    The semisextile is of course, half of a sextile. It can represent energies, talents, or opportunities that possibly go unlooked or unnoticed.  This is one of the more positive minor aspects.  However, it is not as strong as a sextile, and as such, can be susceptible to stronger outside influences.




  • Quintile

    The quintile is a positive minor aspect in that it can show talents, energies, creative tendancies that become a part of our unique signature, or how we are known to the world around us.



  • Sesquiquadrate

    A sesquiquadrate is a combination of the square and semisquare aspects.  It is a challenging one to harness, but one that if tackled to the best of a person's ability, can lead to to tremendous strides and barriers broken in the areas in the chart/planets involved.


  • Inconjunct/Quincunx

    This is the last of the angular houses. The MC or Midheaven is the house of status, public prestige, career, success, and ambition. Capricorn is the ruler of this house, with the stern energy of Saturn governing it.  The placement of Mars is exalted in this house, while the Moon is in its detriment, and Jupiter in its fall here.



  • Biquintile

    Similar to the quintile, the biquintile also deals with creativity and the need for creation/making/doing.  It can be a powerful personal signature.











Chiron – The Wounded Healer.  The placement of Chiron in the chart signifies the deepest emotional woundings, and where we struggle profoundly. It’s placement can indicate what you are excellent at giving advice about, or demonstrating, or having deep knowledge of,  but when the time comes to apply that to your own life,  you are somehow unable to make it effective.


For example, if Chiron is in the 7th house, relationships and or partnerships will be the deepest source of emotional pain; you may give wonderful relationship advice and be the best at advising your friends with their relationship struggles, but when it comes to your own relationship, you may a miserable failure.  If Chiron is in the 3rd, communication themes are highlighted.  Misunderstandings may frequently happen, miscommunications may occur, or there could be some issue with your actual speech.


Eris is a minor planet who is likened to be the feminine equivalent of Mars, a veritable Goddess of War; the original female warrior.  Discord and strife are the hallmarks of Eris.  In mythology, Eris was not invited to a wedding, so in order to exact her revenge she threw a poisoned apple into the middle of the wedding party and invited the 'fairest' woman to enjoy it.  Well, needless to say, a full out war ensued as women fought over the right to claim the apple.  It is suggested that since Eris 'threw' the apple from her position into the wedding party, that you should look at the house opposite of where she sits  as the 'source' of your personal discord in order to get more of a clue on what you need to do to in order to handle her energy.


It is recommended that to handle Eris, you should be willing to compromise and adapt, to grow and learn.  It is thought that perhaps Eris is here to accomplish constructive change through the strife she is seemingly sitting directly in the middle of.

Pallas is an asteroid associated with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena.  Her themes are similar to the sign of Libra with balance and justice.  Astrologers associate intelligence, literacy, creativity with Pallas.  Where she is located in the chart can point to these talents.


Juno is considered an asteroid.  She is referred to as the Goddess of Marriage. Her position in the chart can point to where you may meet your ‘soul mate’.  Themes that follow with Juno are marriage, beauty, relationships and true love.


Vesta is another asteroid. Astrologers identify themes of sexuality, comfort, keeper of the hearth, hospitality, security, and chastity.

Ceres is another asteroid that is sometime used by Astrologers when calculating charts.  Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of harvest, and her themes are those of fertility, agriculture, food, nutrition, domestic issues. Ceres can help show you an area you do best expressing nurturing, or how you can provide love.

Eros – Eros is an asteroid that indicates our erotic proclivities. The sign that Eros is in can tell you more about the nature of your desire, and the house Eros is in can tell you where you devote a good amount of passion.


The following are a handful of the minor planets and asteroids that Astrologers often use when casting a chart. Some do not believe they are necessary to include, but others see them as useful instruments to fine tune the themes already in place in the chart.

Astrology in Action

I Feel




Who Are You?


The Moon is our feeling. The type of Moon we were born under signifies the range of expression that our emotions and feelings will exude.


It is a scientific fact that the phases of the Moon have an effect on water here on Earth. According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, the lungs are about 83% water, the skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even our bones are 31% water.  This is one of the reasons why the Moon cycles have such significance in our lives; we are, in fact, impacted by them.  Knowing about them can give us insight, especially into our reactions with our environment and the people we interact with.


A moon is called a Blue Moon when  two new moons occur in the same calendar month.  "Void of course' is when the Moon is not currently making any major aspects.

Jupiter is the planet that shows you where you attract luck.


Jupiter trine Uranus in your natal chart gives the native occasions of just-in-the-nick-of-time good luck.  The same can be said when those planets trine in transit; expect flashes of luck to pop up out of nowhere.


Jupiter returns (when Jupiter travels back to its natal position) occur every 12 years, and those years are considered auspicious.


Jupiter ‘problems’ can be something like weight gain; in fact, one of the only qualms people have with Jupiter transiting their first house is the propensity to gain weight!




The difference between love and sex are found in the planets Venus and Mars. Venus is love, Mars is sex, pure and simple.


There is debate on how to read the Venus/Mars aspects in synastry in the charts of a same sex couple, as some people unequivocally relate Mars to the man and Venus to the woman. But all women are not strictly about ‘love’ and all men do not operate on the level of pure sex.


In a chart, Venus’s placement can also represent what we ‘want’, while the position of Mars explains what we ‘do’ to get it.


Saturn- called the Lord of Karma. His rings are said to symbolize the many Laws of Karma. As such, Saturn is seen as the Great Teacher. His presence can bring out limits and restrictions. People often fear Saturn because his lessons can be harsh to those who refuse to address what he is forcing you to focus on. There is simply no way to avoid what is Saturn’s job to teach you.  When you take the pain out of it, look at Saturn as an opportunity for growth, a challenge to be mastered.  Saturn will always reward you for your hard work.


Your first Saturn Return occurs in between the ages of 28-30. The symbol of Saturn is the symbol of Jupiter, inverted.


Nothing in this world is certain except taxes, death, and Saturn.


Ascendant (Rising Sign)  and the 1st House - The sign on the Ascendant of the chart tells you how the world sees you; the impression you make when meeting others.  Regardless of who you actually consider yourself to be or what you Sun sign is, this is the energy you convey upon first handshake. In horoscope reading, you should always read for both your Sun sign and your Ascendant (Rising) sign.


On the other side of the axis, the Descendant or 7th House tells you what you look for in a partner.  The sign on this house cusp can indicate not only the properties or characteristics of your partners, but also the energy that they exhibit in your relationship.


No astrologer can accurately predict a person's death.


In a chart, the 8th house and 12th house can deal with it indirectly, but there is no fool proof way to ascertain when a person will die. Any Astrologer who claims to be able to do this is not telling you the truth.


If there is one axiom in Astrology that everyone should remind themselves, it is the law of free will. We are all human and as such we are not infallible to anything.  We are all susceptible to everything.


We can painstakingly create or thunderously destroy our own destiny. We have free will.

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