Astrology is not a new belief system. Dating back to 3000 B.C. the observation of planets helped structure our concept of the passage of time. This was determined in part through recognizing planetary movement, what we now signify as zodiacs, which led astronomers and philosophers alike to ponder the relation of celestial entities to the Gods and divinity. Gradually, astrology was pushed aside into the category of a pseudoscience as astronomers and the scientific community began to see astrological findings as predictions, and not concrete findings. Despite this, astrology remains central to popular culture to this day.
I’m sure we’ve all seen a Cosmopolitan article detailing our daily horoscope. Yet, I don’t believe that this is an accurate representation of astrology in the slightest. Astrologers are regarded highly in India where astrology is seen not as a science or a superstition, but as a guiding principle.
One of the misunderstandings about astrology is that a single astrological sign gives enough context on who a person is. Zodiac charts are multifaceted, and have their own language. The zodiac chart is circular, with the 12 zodiac signs aligned in sequential, counterclockwise order around the circle in 30 degree sectors. For example, the month of Aries lasts from Mar. 21 to Apr. 19, which is then followed by the month of the Taurus, Apr. 20 to May 20. This process repeats for all 12 signs, forming a complete circle that indicates where each planet is found in relation to Earth’s 360 degree orbit around the sun. Simply looking at the circle doesn’t show us much beyond placements based on one’s birth chart, but looking deeper into the significance of these placements is where one’s astrology is found.
Daily horoscope apps like Co – Star often misinterpret the zodiac chart when they only take a person’s sun sign into account. . For example, a common stereotype is that Geminis are two-faced, stemming from the twin symbol of the Gemini. Gemini is one of the most flexible signs on the surface because it is an air sign (free-flowing and adaptable). However, it’s impossible to classify all sun sign Geminis through this lens because it ignores their full birth chart – a zodiac chart that marks where all the planets were at the time of your birth. Typically, the sun sign is seen as our core, who we are and how we present ourselves externally, but the sun sign is not the end-all-be-all of someone’s personality. Let’s look at an example of a birth chart to illustrate its complexity:
Reading and interpreting this chart requires skill and comprehension of the language of astrology. In this chart, the sun sign is in Gemini, as indicated by the circle with a dot in the middle next to the square-like symbol for Gemini. Someone with their sun sign in Gemini is likely to be able to adapt to any given circumstance. However, this isn’t the full story, as we also see that the moon sign is in Taurus (the moon next to the T-like symbol). One’s moon sign is associated with their inner self, the subconscious. Gemini is an air sign, while Taurus is an earth sign. These two signs are conflicting, with air associated with freedom and earth associated with being grounded. Figuring out how these play into your everyday life and balancing parts of your chart which conflict is a great way to begin to understand your chart. When it comes to astrology, it’s all about looking deeper. If you’re interested in finding your own birth chart, I recommend Cafe Astrology.
I don’t view astrology or even reading my own birth chart as a solid determiner of who I am. Instead, I see it as common traits among the placements I have. Reading your own birth chart is illuminating, but instead of viewing astrology as a concrete profile that applies to a broad scope of people, I find it much more beneficial to dissect your astrological chart as your own personal map.
Everybody’s birth chart is distinctly their own, and taking the time to thoroughly understand it helps you understand yourself on a deeper level.
Embracing astrology as interpretation and understanding the history of astrology is crucial to recognizing the legitimacy behind the practice. You’re not supposed to know every destination, nor can your chart provide you with what each destination means. However, it can help to guide you in your journey through life.