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Astrology 101

astrology101

Astrology goes way beyond the typical idea of your sign or daily horoscope. The science behind it is far more complex and personalized than most people realize.  In order to see the broader picture of this ancient art., there are a few key concepts to understand. We dive in head first to help you tackle the basics of astrology.

The Zodiac

The  Zodiac is a word that comes from the Greek word zodiakos that means “circle of animals”. The reason we associate this word with the 12 astrological signs is because the zodiac belt is the place in the cosmos which contains the 12 constellation we know as the astrological signs. Each sign has a constellation associated with it and an ancient origin myth that helps make up our understanding of each sign. When the word zodiac is used, it is in fact referring to the 12 signs and their accompanying constellation.

Birth Chart

Each person will have their own unique birth chart. A birth chart is a complete mapping of your astrological makeup. It will contain the common sun sing right down to what sign pluto was in at your time of birth. Each aspect of your birth chart will determine how your sign will be expressed in you. This is why there are no two Pisces who are alike just as a Virgo might see more of themselves in a Gemini description.

Sun Sings

When you’re asked what your sign is, the more correct term that should be used is sun sign. This is your astrological sign that is assigned to you based on your date of birth. Your sun sign is who you are at your core.That doesn’t mean every Leo is the same or that characteristics associated to other signs can’t be present in a Virgo. Your sun sign is just a starting point in your individual makeup.

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Dualities

The 12 signs were sorted into two groups: Masculine and Feminine. The six masculine signs are direct and energetic while the feminine signs are receptive and magnetic. However, these categorizations were made about 2,000 years ago so to modernize the descriptions “masculine” signs are outer directed and strong through action while “feminine” signs are self-contained and strong through inner reserve. These aspects of your sign have no bearing on your gender expression whatsoever.

Triplicities

Each sign is associated to an element forming four groups of 3 signs. The active and enthusiastic fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius while Taurus, Virgo, and capricorn are the stable and practical earth signs. You have Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio that make up the water signs which are known to be emotional and intuitive. Intellectual and communicative Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are your three air signs.

Quadruplicities

On top of all that, each sign has a certain quality based on their quadruplicities. Cardinal signs will be the initiators. They are outgoing Aries, Cancer, Capricorn, and Libra. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are your stubborn, resistant to change, and perfectionists finishers that make up the fixed group. The mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. These four signs are known for being adaptable, flexible, and versatile. No two signs will ever have the same classifications of dualities, Triplicities, and quadruplicaties making each sign configuration and expression of qualities unique.

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Polarities

Often, the signs are depicted in a wheel; this is done because each sign has a polarity, or an opposite. The signs adjacent to yours on the wheel will be the most similar in terms of qualities they posses while the one across will be your polar opposite. Each sign has one polaritie.

Even Deeper

Of course there are tons of unique elements associated with the signs. For example, they each have a ruling planet, a symbol, a glyph, and your birthstone is closely related to your sign but there are less obvious associated elements like your dominant word or the body parts ruled by your sign. There really are so many little things linked to each sign that can help explain why certain people are drawn to certain colours while others prefer certain cities.

Decantes

This is a word to describe which third of your sun sign you fall in. Whether you fall in the first, second, or third section, each decantes will attribute a new set of qualities and characteristics assigned to you based on where your birth date falls in the days that make up your sign.

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Cusp

This word just means that your birthday is so close to the preceding or following sun sign that you may possess many of the qualities associated to that sign as well as to your own.

Moon Sign

A lesser known but very important part of your birth chart and astrological expression is your moon sign. This is the sign associated to your birth date based on where the moon was located at your time of birth. It is a very specific calculation that requires the exact time and location of your birth and must be calculated according to the correct time zone. Your moon sign is like your inner self, it determines your emotions, instinctual reactions, and your unconscious. It’s the part of your that people don’t see.

Your sun sign represents your vital force, your external motivators, and how you go about achieving your goals. Your moon sign determines your unconscious forces. Your moon sign is like your driving force, the instincts that motivate you while your sun sing is how you will go about achieving them. Some astrologers believe that the moon sign is more important in understanding yourself as it’s linked to your inner thoughts. This element of your birth chart is incredibly important to look in order to see how your sun sign is expressed. Having polarizing sun and moon signs could explain why one person has never related to their sign while other pairings are harmonizing and enhance the best qualities in each other.

Ascendant

Your ascendant, or rising sign, is the sign that represents our outward demeanour. It’s the way the world perceives you at first. Your rising sign is kind of like your first impression on others. Often times, people’s personalities are a blend of their sun and rising signs.

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This was just a brief look at the world of astrology. What I’ve written here is barely scratching the surface. There are many more aspects that go into astrology but this is a good place to start. Once you dig deeper, you can learn which stones and crystals are best for each sign. Or you can learn to treat health concerns based on your sign. Things like why all the Pisces you know seem super spiritual or why you can never get along with an Aries. You can even use your sing to find your best love and friendship matches! If this post has sparked your curiosity, check out The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. It’s a super comprehensive book and the best place to start your journey into the ancient world of astrology.

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