Astrology 101: students discover complicated world of horoscopes


Blake Jocuns

What each planet affects when it comes to horoscopes.

Blake Jocuns, Copy Editor

Humans have been looking up to the stars for centuries, and civilizations all around the world have looked up into the sky in an attempt to discover what lies within, and thus astrology was born.

Astrology has been around for a very long time, with the oldest variation dating back to ancient Babylonian times. With plenty of different versions in other cultures, astrology can look daunting to newcomers. The aspects and complexities of only western astrology which is the most well known version, and birth chart, which covers a person in the long term.

“Astrology is not something that I want to base my life off of, or something that I want to over-influence my decisions,” senior Lucy Blazquez said. “It is a unique and fascinating blended study between astronomy and psychology and it is super entertaining to research each sign and to connect traits to peers.”

Each zodiac sign is not based on the constellations themselves, but on 12 30-degree quadrants in the sky named after each zodiac. The placement of a person’s signs are from the perspective of Earth; therefore, celestial objects are mapped as if they are revolving around Earth and not the sun. 

To add to astrology’s complexities, there are two separate ways to map a chart, Sidereal and Tropical. Both the two ways use Aries as their starting sign, but the main difference between them is the point of reference that is used and the dates in which each sign occurs. 

An article by The Peoples Oracle explains that Sidereal is mapped through using something called the Aries Point, which shifts with the changing movement of the stars, thus causing the dates of the signs in a sidereal chart to be different and constantly moving.

With Tropical mapping, the most important difference is that the dates of each sign are fixed and are calculated by dividing sky into its 12 parts from where the sun is placed during the spring equinox. 

In order for a person to get a full read of their birth horoscope, their birth date, time and place is needed for the calculation; this is the same for both Tropical and Sidereal methods.

The first thing a person will see when they get their horoscope results is their planetary chart. When looking at a chart, each planet will be placed with a zodiac sign correlating to what portion of the sky that planet was in, at birth.

Each planet has its own dedicated traits and governs certain aspects of a person’s life and each planet’s placement shows how this aspect will be affected.

“In ancient times, the planets were personified as deities, and just as Rome and Greece placed distinct values on their Gods,” Blazquez said. “For example, Mercury represents intellect and reasoning, Venus is love and attraction, Mars is action and competition, and Saturn is structure and discipline.”

The celestial bodies that have the most meaning in a planetary chart are the “Big Three” and are said to affect the core personality. An Enso article explains that a person’s “Big Three” is going to be their Sun sign: the core personality, their moon sign: the internal mind and their rising sign: the social personality. 

A rising/ascendant sign is found by what sign a person’s most eastern horizon is in at the time and place of their birth. Not only is the rising sign a part of the “Big Three”, it is also used to find the houses. Unlike the planetary chart, the houses are far more specific in what aspects they affect. The houses one through six are said to be the personal houses, while seven through 12 are the interpersonal houses. 

By using a person’s most eastern horizon and the planet’s placement and angle in relation to the horizon, it allows the mapping of the houses and other charts in an individual’s horoscopes. 

“I didn’t realize that [astrology] was more than the date you were born. The general horoscope sign that people know themselves as is the tip of the iceberg,” junior Jordan Elasfari said. “ There are a bunch of other planets and placements that describe astrology. It gets pretty complicated.”

There are many apps and websites that say they can calculate a chart. The most in-depth and widely used website for astrology is Cafe Astrology, where a person can find both sidereal and tropical calculation methods, and a 36-page explanation of a person’s chart and what it means. If in need of something simpler that allows chart comparison with friends, try Costar.

“The best advice I can give to someone looking to get into astrology is to keep an open mind, and to maintain a rich curiosity,” Blazquez said. “Reading or researching about any topic is only optimized when interest and passion are involved.”