What's Your Sign: A Beginner's Thoughts on Astrology


I haven't always been obsessed with astrology. Case in point, when I was signing up for college classes I kept calling my astronomy class an astrology class. I didn't know the difference.

Now though, I find myself asking people what their sign is and drawing conclusions from their answer. I've caught myself describing the differences between sun signs, moon signs, and rising signs. I look for the nuances that make up an individual's personality in the positions of the stars.

Confession: I've gone a little woo-woo.


Why I Like Astrology

To me, astrology is a way of confirming that there are no coincidences. You came into the world at a specific time on a specific day when the stars were aligned in a certain way for a reason. This arrangement of the universe on the most momentous day of your life has a meaning - and it will carry with you throughout your journeys.

See, I told you - woo-woo.

I don't see astrology as a way of telling the future or predicting the ways in which we can affect it. I see astrology as a way of making what is cloudy, clear. For example, sometimes I get into a very bad mood for absolutely no reason. I stew in my anger/sadness/annoyance for hours, wanting to pull myself out of the funk but unsure of what caused it. Astrology can usually point me in a starting direction. Maybe Mercury is in retrograde, or perhaps relationships are a cause of worry for Pisces that day. I can use these general, broad prompts to examine my current situation and see if it fits.

That's another thing to know about astrology - sometimes it isn't correct. Sometimes the way that the stars are aligned has absolutely no effect on your wellbeing. You can take what you want or need from this practice and leave the rest.


What Are The Differences Between the Signs?

If I haven't lost you before this point then congratulations! You might be just as out-there as I am. Welcome to the club.

The next question that you might have could relate back to something I said at the beginning of this post. "What are the differences between a sun sign, a moon sign, and a rising sign?"

That was one of my first lessons in astrology: the zodiac sign that you've identified with your entire life is actually just a part of your overall natal chart. In fact, it's just your sun sign.

Your sun sign is your most prominent sign, the one that each other segment of your chart responds to.

A moon sign is a sign that describes your inner self, the part of you that you often hide from the rest of the world.

The rising sign is the sign that shows how you make a first impression on people. It's how you carry yourself and the initial vibe that you give off.

These are just a few of the signs that make up your natal chart. If you want to get really detailed, you have an astrological sign for each planet in the solar system and even some planetary objects like comets.

For our purposes, you really only need to know your sun, moon and rising signs. They are the reason that you, as a Scorpio, could meet another Scorpio and have absolutely nothing in common. You could have different moon signs and rising signs that play off that sun sign and create the unique personalities that make the world such an incredible place.


How Do I Figure Out My Signs?

You only need a few pieces of information to see your complete natal chart: your birth date, the time of your birth and the exact location of where you were born. To generate your natal chart, I would suggest using this website. You'll get a fully-detailed reading of your chart as well, which will fill you in on what each sign means.

I'm also a big fan of the app Co-Star, which uses your natal chart to give you a very personalized reading of the stars on a daily basis. It's also set up like a social network where you can connect with friends and check your compatibility!

Another website that I love is Nadine Jane Astrology. I found Nadine through Glossier's Instagram and have been following her Instagram ever since. Her aesthetic is so on point and her astrology knowledge so spot on that I was hooked. When she launched a website I sent it to all of my friends to check their signs and their decantes, which we can get into at a later date.

When it's all said and done, astrology is not a science. Although based on the true positioning of the stars in the sky, there is no proof that any of these things really mean anything. I look at it like I look at some religions - if believing in it makes you feel better, if it gives you some direction in life, then it doesn't hurt. Take everything you learn with a grain of salt and then relax into the possibility that this could clear up a few of your emotional blocks.

Happy natal chart reading!