21. Your zodiac/horoscope and whether you think it fits you
Oh boy. Here we go.
Again, if you are passingly familiar with me or my blog, you know I know me some astrology. I read charts as a hobby. And I’ve preached the word of not just looking at your Sun sign when reading a horoscope. In fact, I firmly believe it’s better to read your Rising sign [aka Ascendant] because it will assume the correct Houses.
Back up a minute. Let’s talk about astrology in basic terms first. A Sun sign is determined by which sign of the zodiac the sun was in when you were born. Because the sun makes roughly the same transit every year (our year is defined by the sun’s seeming motion through the signs, though really it’s Earth that is moving), the zodiac signs are static for each sign give or take a day. What I mean is, Sagittarius is more or less always November 22–December 21. But depending on the year, the sun might move into Capricorn on the 20th or whatever. Dates and times are important in astrology in order for charts to be exact—you need to know, in a snapshot, where all the planets were at any given moment. In particular, the moment of your birth. (But you can do a chart for any moment in time, and I do a yearly Solar Return chart for myself as well.)
I’m using Sagittarius as an example because my Sun sign is, in fact, Sagittarius. But there are more important things in a Natal chart (what we call that snapshot for the moment you were born) than where your sun is. Or, if not more important at least as important. The Rising sign is one of these.
When you read a generic newspaper or online horoscope for a sign, you have to wonder: How can this be true for the billions of people that share this one thing in common—that the sun was in the same place in the sky when they were born? And the answer is, it can only be true in a very superficial way. And not everything you read will even apply because of other aspects in your chart that may be stronger or weaker than what the astrologer is assuming for the sign.
And here’s why I say read your Rising sign more than your Sun sign. When an astrologer writes a horoscope for a sign, it assigns that sign as the First House and reads the chart from there. But your Rising sign is your First House in your chart! So if you want the horoscope you’re reading to better reflect where planets really are in your chart, read your Rising sign. (Mine is Aquarius, btw.)
How do you find your Rising sign? You need to know not only when you were born, and where, but the exact time of day. If you know all this, I recommend going to astro.com, plugging in the info, and getting your chart made for free. Your Rising sign, or Ascendant, will be whatever sign is at 9:00 on your chart. Astrological charts are read counterclockwise from 9:00.
I could go on and on (and feel free to post questions if you have any), but today’s prompt was to answer whether I think my sign fits me. Well, my Sun sign is Sagittarius, and I think it fits. I do love travel and philosophy and higher learning and publishing. And my Rising sign is Aquarius, and I think that fits, too. My Venus is in Scorpio, and that definitely fits. My North Node sits directly on my Midheaven and that accurately describes the direction of my life. So yeah, I think my chart is accurate for me, and why wouldn’t it be?
The truth is, we all have every sign in our charts. We all have bits and pieces of each personality, and our charts show where and how those bits and pieces flare up. What sparks them. But it takes time and learning to read everything in those charts; there are a lot of moving parts. “Venus in Scorpio in the Ninth House” means something very specific. “Venus in Scorpio in the Ninth House square Saturn in Leo on the cusp of the Seventh House” means something even more specific. And these are aspects that highlight parts of my personality. Having learned how to read my chart, I see myself reflected in it quite clearly.
Many people would say that people who read horoscopes will always try to twist the facts to make it seem like the horoscopes are true. But I see it the other way around. For so long I felt like horoscopes didn’t make sense, they were never right. When I learned what to really look for, though, I was able to distinguish the accurate ones from the glib. Better yet, I can look at my chart on any given day and guess for myself what I might be facing. I don’t though because it’s not worth the time and effort to do it every day. Only for special occasions. And that yearly birthday ‘scope that gives me an idea of the year to come.