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Astrology 101

Answers to all your basic Astrology questions

Whether you're just getting into Astrology or looking to brush up on Astrology basics, we've got answers to all of your frequently asked questions about Astrology, horoscope signs, planets, aspects, transits, birth charts and more. Many people don't realize how much more there is to Astrology than your Sun sign, but that's really only the tip of the cosmic iceberg.

Learn the basics of Astrology below, and if you have questions of your own please leave us a comment. We're happy to answer all of your cosmic questions!  

What can Astrology do for me?

Anyone can follow Astrology. It’s important to understand that your Sun sign and birth chart don’t define who you are, but Astrology is rather an outline to help guide you through life. Sure, horoscope signs help explain a person’s personality traits, but everyone is a mixture of all twelve signs combined. It’s just that one person, let’s say a Leo, may display more outgoing and brazen traits than, say, a Libra, who is more inclined to hold back than go full-force.

From choosing a career path to your approach to love and romance, applications of Astrology are almost endless -- following Astrology and your horoscope can open your eyes to a new way of thinking, and an outlook that could quite possibly show you more about yourself and those around you than ever before.

Why is my birth time important?

The planets are constantly moving around and switching from aspect to aspect, so the difference of an hour can affect your birth chart, Moon sign and Rising sign -- and in turn, this will affect who you are. You can find your birth time information from your birth certificate or by asking your parents. The closer you can get to your specific birth time, the better. Then you can look up your Essential Birth Chart Report and start exploring yourself further.

What’s a horoscope?

Daily horoscopes are the most commonly recognized form of Astrology in the world. While it’s difficult to write an accurate and detailed horoscope that speaks to every single person’s specific situation, horoscopes can be a wonderful tool for getting the general astrological "lay of the land," and a good daily astrologer is expert at keeping us apprised of general conditions. Meet DailyHoroscope.com's Master Astrologers here and watch their video horoscopes.

What’s a birth chart?

A birth chart, or “natal chart” is your horoscope or astrological chart or graph drawn at the exact time of your birth. In order to get the most accurate birth chart possible, you need to know your time and date of birth, and your location of birth. Your birth chart explains everything Astrological about you, aspects that help define you based on when and where you were born.

What’s a Sun sign?

Your Sun Sign is crucial to your birth chart, and represents your general temperament. It is determined simply by the day and month of your birth.

While it’s is a mistake to think that knowing about your Sun Sign is going to deliver information about how you process things, interact with the world or deal with emotions and relationships, it does represent your basic individuality and forms the foundation for your horoscopes. Going further into your horoscope, more specific aspects of your being are reflected by other heavenly bodies and how they all are "aspected" to each other. Your Sun sign is just the beginning, but it’s a great place to start!

What’s a Moon sign?

Every 2 and 1/3 days, the Moon moves from one sign to the next, taking a total of 28 days to do a complete trip around the zodiac, stopping for a visit in one of each of the twelve signs of the zodiac before starting the same journey all over again. The Moon moves quickly, which speaks to your ever-changing moods and emotions.

If your Rising Sign represents your "external" self, it can be said that your Moon Sign represents your "inner" or "emotional" self, or the way you handle your emotions and the way you truly feel, whether you reveal it or not. To most astrologers, the moon is also about your intuition, your inner vulnerabilities, your fears as well as the things that can stir your heart. As is the case with the Ascendant, your Moon Sign may be entirely different from your Sun Sign, and reading your daily horoscope for your Moon Sign can also provide yet more insight into your personal astrological makeup. Learn about all the different Moon signs and how they shape your inner self.

What is a Rising sign?

Your Rising Sign or "Ascendant" reflects that 1/12th slice of the sky that was ascending on the Eastern horizon the moment you were born, and is located on the cusp of the First House of your astrological chart. Knowing your birth time is a necessary piece of information to determine your Rising Sign.

Your Rising Sign is an important part of your astrological chart, because it represents the way you project yourself outward, the way you're seen and perceived by the rest of the world and the general "impression" that you make on others. It is frequently the case that a person will have a Rising Sign that is entirely different from their Sun Sign, and learning about your Rising Sign, and even reading your daily horoscope for that sign, can provide greater insight into your personal astrological makeup.

What’s the difference between a planetary transit and an aspect/alignment?

A transit refers to the passage of each planet through a particular horoscope sign or house in the birth chart. Planetary aspects, on the other hand, are angles created by the varying positions of the planets in the sky in relation to one another. For example, Neptune may form an aspect to the Sun while it is transiting through Pisces. Learn more about all the different planetary aspects (sextiles, trines, oppositions, conjunctions and more.)

What does it mean if I’m “on the cusp?”

Let’s say you were born very late at night on February 18. The Sun enters Pisces on February 19, so you’d be “on the cusp” between an Aquarius, the sign that comes before Pisces in the zodiac, and a Pisces. You would share a combination of the two signs' personality traits! Lucky you! Read more about all of the horoscope cusps.

Tarot Reading from Tarot.comStart exploring your personal Astrology with an Essential Birth Chart Report from Tarot.com.

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2 Comments to "Astrology 101"
The profile picture for nancy pod.
nancy pod says:
Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:23

thank you for warning me of any major changes for my business nancy pod

The profile picture for melodie.
melodie says:
Sun, 08/14/2011 - 09:05

Will my parnter marry me in the near future?

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Nov 12, 2014

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In my work as a counseling astrologer, I tend to get right to the point.

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by Emily Trinkaus

The Sun's entry into Capricorn on December 21 marks the official start of winter and the longest night of the year. But the Winter Solstice (summer in the Southern Hemisphere) is also when the light returns -- the rebirth of the Sun God. This ancient holiday is a time for both deep reflection and celebration. ... continued »

by Stephanie Dempsey

The winter months invite us to turn away from social pursuits and attend to our personal needs. Too often, the demands of modern life tempt us to forgo rest and relaxation. This can create a terrible imbalance. This winter, take your cue from nature and turn inward. ... continued »

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Venus, the planet of love, acceptance, pleasure and the arts, moves into serious Capricorn on Dec. 10, 2014. Venus in Capricorn is an interesting combination of soft and hard. ... continued »

Around the holidays, buying "things" for people is the standard, and sometimes, "things" -- a new iPhone, a diamond bracelet or a pair of shoes -- can be great ... really great! But since we're all about good karma, we're giving you ideas for gifts that put out positive energy; "things" that take gifts one step further to make them even more meaningful for you, the person to whom you're giving and thus, the world around us. ... continued »

by Simone Butler

Decorating your home for the holidays isn't just about decking the halls with bright lights and shiny objects. It's about creating a happy, peaceful atmosphere that will brighten every day of the festive season for you, your family and friends. What makes your horoscope sign happy could be an all-out Las Vegas style Christmas tree with flashing, colored lights, or a more minimalist approach with simple, serene touches here and there. ... continued »

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