Since the dawn of time, humanity has craned its neck upwards in endless fascination with the skies above. This great, unending sheet above us blessing us with shimmering lights became a guide, a sign of hope, and a reminder that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. This is astrology.
The infinity of the universe may feel incomprehensible, yet ancient astrologers translated the skies, read the stars, and spoke their wisdom. Over hundreds of years, this has been spoken and written, in hushed tones and loud voices, to find you here today. By learning astrology, you join millions of people across time on an ancient journey of self-discovery.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with your sun sign, sometimes simply referred to as your zodiac sign. It is the sign you might have found yourself reading about in newspapers or magazines, attempting to deconstruct vague predictions about love and money. Or you might have written it off entirely, finding that the fire of an Aries sun just doesn’t resonate with you.
Astrology is so much deeper than just your sun sign. Astrology encompasses all the planets as well as different stars to paint a picture of your soul with depth and clarity. We look to different planets, their movements and placements in the sky, the sign they were in on our birth dates, and where they are now to guide us along in our journey through the universe.
‘The planets signify, the signs describe and the houses locate and empower’ – Deborah Houlding
Getting started in astrology is a daunting task, with an overwhelming amount of concepts, debates, and mathematics poured from the universe onto your page, but it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. To start to make sense of your chart, here is a guide to some basic concepts that will help you begin engaging with the cycles of astrology.
Your rising sign, also known as the Ascendant, is calculated using your birth time, which determines the houses in your chart (more on houses later). Your rising sign is the sign, or constellation, that was rising on the eastern horizon at the time of your birth. This sign changes approximately every two hours. The rising sign is the beginning of the first house, where the earth first touches the sky. It is the meeting of material and physical realms, playing a big part in how you come across to others.
In modern astrology, the sign your first house occupies rules your outward personality and behaviour. In traditional astrology, the description is similar, representing ‘life, formation of character and appearance’.
Your moon sign is the sign the moon was in at the time of your birth. The moon moves much faster than any other planet, spending only about two and a half days in each sign. As a result, you could share the same sun sign as someone but have different moon signs, which changes how your sun sign expresses itself.
The moon in modern astrology relates to emotions and adaptability. Your moon sign is how you react, your instincts, and that gut feeling.
The Zodiacal wheel encompasses all twelve signs and is divided into twelve parts by the house system. To understand the concept of houses as a beginner, it is helpful to use the whole sign house system, where the twelve signs occupy a house each.
The first house begins with your rising sign, and continues in chronological order. For example, if your rising sign is Virgo, your first house is in Virgo, second in Libra and third in Scorpio.
The houses rule over different facets of your life, and the signs and planets that occupy them can show you how these areas might play out. It can show you where you may encounter struggles, inner turmoils, and conflict, but also where you could find fortune, thrive and enjoy life.
As we journey through astrology, we unearth our true potential, learning to harmonise with the stars as they cycle through the sky.
This is the first article for dubble’s new astrology column. Stay posted for future entries, and be sure to check out all of dubble’s other great work while you wait.