Being in the sapphic space long enough, you’ll start to get a basic intro to the Zodiac practice. I’ve always been a big fan of reading my horoscope, and have been known to ask everyone the classic, “what’s your sign?” But astrology goes super deep, way past just your “Big 3”. So naturally, I’ve done a deep dive, because I want to be able to add “birth chart reading” to the list of skills on my resume. If you’re interested in getting into astrology, here’s where I recommend you start:
Intro Course: The 12 Zodiacs and Sun Signs
To understand astrology, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the 12 Zodiac signs. Everyone has a Sun sign which is determined based on the date they were born. The Sun sign determines basic personality traits, and is your answer when someone asks, “what’s your sign?” I’m a Libra, which typically means I love harmony, strive for balance, and can be a bit indecisive. By knowing some basic characteristics of each of the signs, you’ll be able to have some light conversations with others about what their sign might say about them.
Astrology 101: The Big Three
If you find yourself in conversation with other people who are already into astrology, it’s good to know your “Big Three”. Even if you don’t know what they mean, whoever you tell can likely share some insight. The “Big Three” refers to your Luminaries, which is your Sun, Moon and Rising sign. Your Sun we’ve already covered, but the Moon and Rising also make up parts of your basic personality. You need to know just your birthday to determine your Sun sign, but you’ll need your birth time and place to get the other two. I recommend putting that information into an astrology app or website to determine your placements. If you want to join the conversation more, understand the “Big Three” and how it plays into our personalities. *If you don’t need to get into the secondary level courses, skip to the Advanced course for some easy and fun party tips.*
Astrology 201: The Personal Planets
This is where you start to get past what’s considered common knowledge in astrology. If someone is talking to you about your Personal Plants, they know more than the average person. These planets play into our actions, such as how we love, think fight, and more. Attention sometimes goes to Venus for governing love and desires, so that could be fun to compare with significant others. But learning about the Personal Planets will definitely give you more insight than the average person.
Astrology 301: The Generational Planets
If you’re reading someone’s birth chart and you’ve gotten to the Generational Planets, you’ve gone pretty deep! These are sometimes called the Outer Planets because they are the furthest away, and nicknamed the Generational Planets because they move so slowly that large groups of people (or entire generations) often share the same sign. For example, most millennials have their Neptune in Capricorn, where as many of Gen Z have their Neptune in Aquarius! Knowing what all this means is definitely advanced knowledge that’s super useful if you’ve already mastered the above courses.
Graduate Level: The 12 Houses
If you’ve made it here, you’re pretty much a pro in my book. Personally, I like reading the planetary placements more than the Houses, but I will admit that these are important. The Houses align around the birth chart wheel to have one sign in each House, each representing a different area of life. Your Rising sign is always in your First House, and it goes chronologically from there. Having different planets in different Houses can play into your career, family life, and so much more. If there are no planets in a House, that typically means that energy will be better spent in other areas to achieve a balanced life… not to go all Libra on you!
Advanced: Midheavens, Stelliums, Descendants, and More
Whether you’re wrapping up your skills with these items, or maybe you’ve skipped ahead to learn some cool party tricks – either way, these pieces are not to be ignored! These different items are relevant to points in our chart that close the circle of who we are. Knowing one or two of these things can be fun when reading your friends charts, because they are quick and easy to look for. For example, a Stellium is when someone has 3 or more planets under one placement – which is relatively easy to spot in whatever birth chart format you are looking at. Once you have looked into the items above as well as Stelliums, Midheavens and ICs, Descendants, and more – I’d say you can consider yourself an expert!
Disclaimer: Like I said, I’m self-taught and there’s so much to this practice that I don’t know, and I’m not sure that anyone could ever know it all! Also, every individual is totally different, and so many factors in your chart and life will affect your personality and tendencies, so nothing is complete fact when reading someone’s chart. (If you read just one book on the topic, make it What’s Your Sign? by Santuary, and you can also download the Santuary app for your personal chart and horoscopes.)
I won’t always get it 100% right, but I do feel super confident after going through these “courses”. So that being said, if you want a self-taught amateur to read your chart, reach out to me!
Thanks for reading.