Whether you consider yourself to be an expert or you always seem to remain skeptical, odds are that just about everyone knows someone who lives and dies by astrology. This makes sense given that there are practitioners of astrology in almost every country around the world. With roots in ancient Babylon, astrology was used as a way of “predicting the recurrence of seasons and certain celestial events.” The zodiac, which is one common element that many recognize in relation to astrology, refers to the 12 lunar cycles that it takes for the sun to return to its original position and is also where we get the 12 zodiac sign from. You’ve likely perceived an increase in people interested in and talking about astrology, but maybe you need a bit more convincing on how it all works before you embrace it into your own life. Well, look no further! This is your beginner’s guide to understanding how astrology can help you understand yourself and the world around you.
Reading Your Birth Chart & Unpacking Horoscopes
It is easy to feel distrustful of every horoscope you read when you don’t have the full story! That’s why one of the major keys [DJ Khaled voice] and basics of astrology is understanding your birth chart. Many of us know our Zodiac signs because it is simply based off of the month we’re born in and it takes barely any digging to find out. When it comes to reading your birth, or natal, chart, you have to spend a bit more time (and money if you decide to get your chart read by an astrologer face-to-face) to have it calculated. You’ll need to have a few personal details handy like the date, time, and location of your birth. There are several reliable websites that will help you figure out and understand the meaning of your birth chart like Cafe Astrology or Astrodienst.
It’s common to know your sun sign, — this is whatever makes you an Aries or a Pisces — but your moon and rising sign are an integral part to completing the whole. Once each piece of the pie has been identified, you can move on to the fun part: finding out what this all means! An astrologer or an expert friend can help you interpret your results, but it can easily be done on your own.
Once you’ve read your full birth chart, you will be able to make more sense of what your horoscope says. When searching for a site or app to check regularly, it is useful at first to read your horoscope from a few different places so you can compare amongst them. Don’t fall victim to focusing only on the horoscopes that you love. If you see something that makes you a bit agitated, this might be an excellent point to pause for reflection.
What Are Retrogrades and How Do You Navigate Them?
When things seem to be out of wack and you can’t figure out why, you can probably blame it on a planet in retrograde. Retrograde refers to a time when a planet is moving backwards. You may have heard folks say the phrase “Oh no, mercury is in retrograde!” Mercury retrograde garners a lot of attention because it rules all forms of communication, including “listening, speaking, learning, reading, editing, researching, negotiating, selling, and buying.” That said, it is very important to know what you should and shouldn’t be doing during Mercury Retrograde; check out Vashtie’s top 10 list of things NOT to do while Mercury is in retrograde. Venus can also cause some trouble while in retrograde and while the other planets do go into retrograde, they don’t seem to have as many visible effects. As long as you familiarize yourself with the period of time that Mercury will be in retrograde, you can prepare and schedule accordingly!
Check Out Some Experts!
Susan Miller of Astrology Zone is pretty much an OG! She started her website in 1995 and it is recognized as one of the most widely read astrology sites. Susan’s site is easy to navigate and is also very beginner-friendly. Astrology Zone offers daily and monthly horoscopes, an option to learn the deep history of astrology, and also a whole section on Life & Love. This site is definitely a one-stop shop for all of your astrology needs!
If you haven’t heard of Danielle Ayoka, known as MysticxLipstick on Twitter, it’s time to get with the program. Danielle, a millennial astrologer and energy healer, began using Twitter to share her work and quickly became loved for her ability to accurately explain different horoscopes. Check out Danielle’s website to learn more about her membership and subscription options, and don’t forget to get into her Twitter threads!
The most important thing to remember if you’re embarking on your journey into the world of astrology is that you can never learn too much! When you take your time to read and do the research, you can learn a great deal about yourself and reflect on the best ways to move through the world.