Astrology helps you gain a deeper understanding of your life paths and experiences. Here is your beginner’s guide to astrology.
It’s helpful to understand what astrology is exactly before we dive into the beginner’s guide to astrology. Human beings have been measuring the stars and planets since the dawn of civilization. But astrology has evolved over eons.
As astrologer Kevin Burk puts it in Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart: “Astrology is the study of cycles. By observing the cyclical movements of the planets, we are able to gain a greater understanding of the cycles and patterns in our own lives. Astrology can be a powerful tool for healing and transformation, and it can be a key that can unlock a greater spiritual connection to the universe.
“Although astrology is not fortune-telling, when skillfully applied, astrology can be an extremely effective predictive tool. On a personal level, astrology can be used to gain a deeper understanding of our individual life paths and life experiences. [It] can give us insight into our personal issues, our patterns, our fears, and our dreams. We can gain insight into our purpose in life and gain a stronger sense of self. Astrology is a tool that can help us understand and unlock our highest potentials, and that can teach us how to live in harmony with the universe.”
How to learn astrology, for beginners
Free will and astrology
As you learn about astrology, you’ll probably start doing your friends’ charts, or looking up zodiac signs of romantic partners and coworkers, family and friends—even “frenemies” and exes (try our free chart tool). As you hone your new starry superpowers, you’ll want to use them responsibly. Before looking at anyone’s chart or zodiac sign, take a moment to remind them (and yourself) that human beings have free will, because we have consciousness. That means we can always make our own choices, no matter what the stars are doing. Even if we don’t like the circumstances that the stars seem to have caused, we can always choose how we respond to them. Astrology is not meant to be a substitute for personal responsibility or self-awareness, but rather, a tool to enhance it.
Your astrology chart gives you a blueprint—your “factory settings,” we like to say. And the paradox is, the more you understand how you’re wired astrologically, the more free will you gain. It’s like doing any personal growth work: you become aware of your “blind spots,” or the places where you were unaware. The lights go on. You can see more—and that sets you free.
We are not victims of the stars, but rather, co-designers of this awesome cosmic canvas called life. So as you share this information as a healing tool, be sure to emphasize that the goal is enlightenment, never fear. That is the crux of your beginner’s guide to astrology!
Is astrology a science?
Is astrology a science, a superstition, something in between? It depends who you ask, of course. While astrology is not a science by today’s definition, many astrologers follow the true scientific method of observing first, then drawing conclusions based on the evidence they gather. Astrology is based on mathematical principles and measurable planetary movements. But also it’s also an intuitive art, since forecasts and chart readings rely on human interpretation.
Skeptic or cynic? A clarification
Many times, we’ve heard people say they are “skeptical” about astrology, when they are really just dismissing it without any knowledge or experience. While we’re no astro-pushers, we have developed an intelligent response to the naysayers. Our suggestion? Rather than blindly “believe” in astrology, follow the path of a true skeptic: someone who suspends judgment and observes before drawing conclusions. Otherwise, you are actually a cynic. We encourage everyone to take a true skeptical approach as you learn astrology: try out the system of astrology (perhaps with a chart reading) before shooting it down. Johannes Kepler, the great 17th century (Capricorn) mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, put it best: “[My] belief in the effects of constellations derives…from experience, which is so convincing it can be denied only by people who have not examined it.”
A valuable tool for self-awareness
A personalized blueprint of basic human urges possessed by all people of all cultures and all time
A treasure map leading its owner to the goal of a lifetime: self-actualization
An imprint of the cosmic/universal forces operating at the time of your birth, and a picture of the part your soul chose to play in the story
A study of synchronicity
A lifelong study & pursuit
A practical guide to the constructive use, direction & development of your unique energies
A way of understanding the people you’re drawn to (or clash with)— and why
Your own personal myth or “hero’s journey”
A scientifically-based philosophy… and a philosophically based science
Astrology is NOT…
A substitute for free will and choice
A tool to manipulate others
A fated destiny (we are always making choices)
A cosmic mistake
Learned without effort, study and observation
The Beginner’s Guide to Astrology: The 3-Part Puzzle
When we put together an astrology chart, we focus on three areas that may help you understand how astrology works.
1. Planets: The Parts of Your Nature/The Actors.
In the “movie of your life,” the planets are the actors: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Each planet governs a specific aspect of your character or identity. For example, Jupiter shows where you’re lucky, Saturn reveals your challenges, Mercury determines your communication style, Venus influences your romantic and aesthetic style.
2 . Zodiac Signs: What Are You Like? The Roles.
The planets were all visiting specific zodiac signs when you were born.
The zodiac signs determine the roles the actors (planets) play or the costumes they wear.
Zodiac signs “modify” the planets, adding nuance to their characters. The zodiac begins in the spring with Aries, which is the first sign, and travels through Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capircorn, Aquarius and finally to the last sign, Pisces.
3. Houses: The Areas of Your Life/The “Stage”
The 12 houses of the zodiac all represent different parts of your life, from work to home to relationships to career. The houses follow the progression of the zodiac signs—for example, the first house is ruled by Aries, the zodiac’s first sign. The seventh house is ruled by Libra, the zodiac’s seventh sign, and so on. The planets are the “residents” of these houses, traveling through each in their journey around the Sun.
The houses are the “movie sets” where the scenes of your life take place.
Interested in learning astrology online? The AstroTwins library of articles in our LEARN section of Astrostyle.com can help. Or take our video course on how to learn astrology that we created in partnership with MindBodyGreen.com.
Photo by Soulful Stock via Unsplash