It’s in the STARS

Angie Cummings, Sam Guernsey, and Grace Rowell

Photo by Ryan Gwyn

Background 

Around 4th century BC, Babylonians studied the sky and noticed that the stars and planets moved. This started the art of astrology. Romans later adapted this concept to predict life events. Many leaders used astrology to make decisions, for example, when to start a war, or when to harvest crops. At first, astrology was used to predict weather patterns throughout the year, primarily for agriculture. Then, the Babylonians began to use it to predict natural disasters and events in the course of human interactions, such as war and large successes. Because of this, it was customary to have astrologists to counsel kings, emperors and later on, everyone else. Astrology is the study of  movements and positions of celestial bodies in relation to the the earth, and  is used to predict traits, personal emotions, and interpersonal events and interactions. Because of this, it is not an exact science and its accuracy is determined by each person who observes it. When you are given a horoscope, whether it be for one day or even a year, your moon and sun sign, corresponding house and ruling planets, among other factors, are brought into account. Ultimately, it is up to you to interpret what astrology means. When astrology was created, it was believed that earth was the center of the universe. While this theory has proven faulty over the years, astrology has evolved to become the study of how everything in the universe moves in relation to us.

Zodiac Signs

The 12 zodiac signs are represented by 12 constellations that correspond with each month of the year. Your zodiac sign is dictated by where one of these 12 constellations is in the sky on the day of your birth. The 12 signs are divided into four groups. Fire signs include Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. Earth signs consist of Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn. Air signs are Gemini, Libra, Aquarius. Water signs include Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Fire signs are usually passionate and temperamental. Earth signs tend to be grounded, loyal and stable. Air signs may seem forgetful and spacey on the surface, but deep down are full of action and ideas. Water signs are typically sensitive, impulsive and imaginative.

Photo by Ryan Gwyn

Retrograde

When astrology was created it was believed that the planets and stars orbited around the earth. Everything humans saw and understood was from the viewpoint of earth, and because the planets and stars actually orbit around the sun, from an earthly perspective, it can appear that other planets are “moving backwards.” This period of time where a planet appears to move backwards is known as retrograde. Depending on the planet and what parts of your life it governs, it is said that you will encounter different challenges during a period of retrograde. For example, Mercury is in retrograde more often than not, thus influencing communication, travel, transportation, and technology. There is always a retrograde in process because the planets are constantly moving. Because of this, there are ways to use this time to renew and rebuild. During Mercury’s retrograde, you can get in touch with old friends, study, complete a project, or clarify your thoughts. It all depends on the planet!

Ruling Planets

Astrologers have assigned each planet to a specific zodiac sign, adding depth and quality to each one. Additionally, each planet has unique actions and events that are associated with it. When referred to as the “planets,” astrology is a term of convenience, as the Sun and Moon are included. The remaining eight of the ten planets of astrology are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Sun Signs and Moon Signs

While your sun sign dictates your personality, your moon sign represents your emotions and mood. The moon is the second most important factor in your horoscope, the sun being the first. Your moon sign is determined by the exact time, date and location of your birth. Your sun sign is only dictated by your day of birth.

Photo by Ryan Gwyn

Astrological Houses

Similar to a clock, the zodiac chart is split into 12 sections, or houses. Each house is associated with a set of traits and one specific sign. The first house is located near the 9 o’clock position on a standard clock, and throughout the year, it moves counterclockwise. As the year goes on, every planet and constellation cycles through all of the houses. When the chart is rotated, the planets begin to highlight the traits of that specific house, thus demonstrating the parts of your life that will be focused on. There are four main astrological houses and eight less significant ones. The planets are affected by the characteristics of the house they are in. The main four houses have to do with the most important aspects of your life. The first house is the house of self. When your sign resides in this house it will influence your personality and how others perceive you. The second house has to do with your possessions, values, and self-esteem. The third house is the house of communication, including your immediate environment and intellect. The fourth house refers to home life, roots and upbringing.