Astrology Novice

So, you don’t think you could ever make sense out of all those little squiggly lines, learn the math or the meaning of aspects? So much significance…


Finding out a couple of basics about your own horoscope makes the project a lot more fun because you can learn things about yourself at the same time you learn astrology. These days software makes the math a cinch. For a quick start, you can easily find your rising sign before reading on.

Actually, the math is more like complicated geometry and that’s what puts astrology in a class all by itself. It’s a mathematical science; factual and evidential time after time. You don’t have to be psychic to be a good astrologer and your intuition will develop as you practice “reading” charts. You’ll come to “know” the aspects just as well as you know that 1 + 1 = 2.

Now, as far as the planets having an “influence” over us; that isn’t all that far-fetched an idea really. We’re learning about the synergies in everything. Energy melding with energy produces a new energy, whether it is person with person, or with anything else. Everything contains energy; the planets too. And after all, they do share our solar system.

Regardless of any “influence”, however, the heavenly bodies “reflect” conditions on earth and with individuals. Like looking into a mirror, one can “see” what is happening at any given time; past, present or future. See Outwitting the Stars, a story from a yogi about astrology.

A person responds to the planetary energies that are prominent in the horoscope. In other words, a planet of strong position in the horoscope reveals much about an individual and about evolving situations in life.

To see into the chart of an individual accurately and precisely, the exact time, date and place of birth is needed. And, yes, the time is important. Check the birth certificate if possible rather than relying on anyone’s memory. A couple of minutes will greatly alter the accuracy of a reading for someone aged 30. The location of birth is needed to establish longitude and latitude. This is High Math, remember..?

Still, all that is in case you really want to become astrologically adept. The first and possibly the worst part of learning astrology involves memorization. You have to memorize the symbols of the planets and signs, the key meanings of the houses, planets and signs and finally the key meanings of the aspects. These are called Keys because they are a one word or short phrase of description. Go directly to the Tutorial to get all the tools you’ll need to get started.


The Horoscope Houses

The background of the horoscope is a circle made up of twelve segments, like twelve pieces of pie. These are the houses and they remain stationary. Each house corresponds to a specific area in life as well as all the people representative of the area. You can see this structure in the Astroclock below.

The First House governs your personality, temperament, appearance and health. Attributes of the First House shows the color lens through which you view the world and the experiences you attract according to the first impression you make on others. The cusp of the first house is also called the rising sign or Ascendant.

The Second House governs your resources and earning power, while the Third House is a house of communications. The Fourth House governs home, family, parents, heritage and real estate. The Fifth House governs children, romance and artistic expression. The Sixth House governs daily routine, occupation, health maintenance and pets.

The Seventh House governs “others” who attract your attention, including marriage partners. The Eighth House governs death, taxes, insurance, inheritance and shared property. The Ninth House governs higher learning and the abstract mind. The Tenth House governs your public reputation and honor. The Eleventh House governs friends, social groups, long-term hopes, wishes and ideals. The Twelfth House governs subconscious drives, secrets and confinement.

All together, the houses govern every single activity, association, interest, etc. Any question can be answered by looking into the area governed in the horoscope to see the current influences at work. A more complete discussion of each house is found in the Tutorial – click here.


Your Rising Sign

The sign on the First House cusp, also called the Ascendant or Rising Sign of the horoscope is of utmost importance. The sign of the zodiac that was rising over the eastern horizon at the moment of birth is placed on the 1st house cusp and this sign’s characteristics will color your personality and outward appearance regardless of what you are like on the inside. If you haven’t yet, Find your rising sign now.

The rising sign and degree determines the rest of the chart, including the house placements of all the planets. After the rising sign, the remainder of the signs are placed in sequence around the circle in a counterclockwise direction, with one sign on each of the cusps. The cusp is the dividing line between houses. If you have Libra Rising, Scorpio would be placed on the 2nd house cusp and that sign would influence the affairs of your earnings and possessions. Ruled by Pluto, Scorpio on the 2nd house cusp shows that you’re forever stimulated to regenerate your available resources and value system. Depending on the aspects to Pluto, you’re probably quite resourceful. See more about each of the Zodiac Signs.

Your Rising Sign colors the lens through which you view the world. It reflects the personality and the image we create. The sign placed here shows how we appear to others on superficial contact. This may or may not be what we are like on the inside, or the way we see our self; that is shown in the 4th house. This explains why certain people are labeled this way or that, but once you get to know them, they may be quite different.

Many things in life are based on these first impressions; there isn’t always time to get to know everyone we meet or for them to really know us. The way the world sees you is what it expects from you initially. The 1st house cusp is also the doorway through which all daily experience enters our lives. The sign placed here shows the general kind of treatment we receive from others. The type of work or job assignments that are naturally attracted is shown by the 1st house regardless of what we are trained for or attracted to.

The 1st house also shows the general condition of the health and body while the 6th house shows other health peculiarities. If the 1st house contains one or more planets – especially if within 10 degrees of the Ascendant – it will influence the appearance and intensify the personality according to the planetary nature. See more about how the planets influence the personality and appearance below.

Astrological Clock

Astrological Clock

The Astrological Clock can be used to easily get a familiar “eye” on a horoscope map and to find the house occupied by the Sun in your horoscope. Click the image to see the structure of the houses.

If you were born at noon, your Sun will be near the top of the horoscope and your Sun Sign would be found governing the 10th house. If you were born at midnight, your Sun will be found in the 4th house and your Sun Sign on that cusp. If you were born at sunrise, your Sun will be near the Ascendant and your Sun Sign is also your Rising Sign, giving you an emphasized or “double” sign influence. The way you appear on the outside is a good reflection of the way you are underneath.

Sometimes, the sign on the Ascendant is misleading and one is cast into a role that is at odds with the character. Say someone with Leo as the rising sign and a Pisces Sun. Here, the sensitive Pisces is treated as a powerful and undaunted Leo. He may feel the weight of the world is upon him by the leadership role he’s cast into. So, when you begin to look at a horoscope, check this combination right at the start to see how a person projects himself as compared to his deeper characteristics.

The Sun in the horoscope, by sign, reflects ego characteristics. By house, it tells of the individual life purpose and the area we are to gain mastery over in order to teach others. Link to Cosmic Calling for more about your Sun.


The Planets

With the planets also distributed throughout the horoscope, bringing special emphasis to certain houses, it’s easy to see how every horoscope is unique just as we are unique individuals.

The Sun is associated with character and ego as suggested by the sign it occupies. It also indicates vitality, inherent to the sign it occupies. For example, in the sign Leo, the Sun is strong because that is the sign it rules and is most efficient in. The house that’s naturally associated with the Sun is the 5th. So, if you have a Leo Sun or your Sun is in the 5th house, you may enjoy special benefits on that account alone. The Sun is the most important feature in a chart; it’s position and aspects will be the major determining influence in the life. No matter how many other “good” aspects there are in the chart, they will not make up for a severely debilitated Sun. If weak by position and afflicted by squares and oppositions, the vitality is impaired accordingly. The reverse is also true. A dignified Sun with many beneficial aspects will go a long way to offset harsh aspects among the other planets.

Associate this with the Sun as the central heavenly body. We revolve around the Sun. There would be no life on Earth without it. Strongly Solar type people are much the same way. They are a central force and others tend to revolve around them. They are honorable leaders with a natural sense of drama, absolutely aware of the effects they invoke and quite appreciative of respect and the limelight. Someone with a strong but afflicted Sun would tend to misuse this energy. For example, with an opposition to Pluto, there could be manipulative practices unless another aspect offsets such a tendency.

This gives a brief introduction to the symbolism of the planets and gives you an idea of why the Sun Sign is the prime topic of newspaper columns. But it’s only the beginning. For more about each planet and the inside scoop, go to the Tutorial. And, the next time you read your daily horoscope in the paper, check the reading for your rising sign.


Planetary Influence on Appearance & Personality

Each of the planets have a specific influence on the appearance and demeanor if within 10 degrees of the rising degree. Sometimes there’s a combination of factors at work if multiple planets are positioned there.

5 celebrities

With the Sun rising, the first impression is of a commanding presence. The eyes are most striking, with a forceful, direct look. This position tends to a well-proportioned stature; clear complexion and light hair with a tendency toward pre-mature balding. The jaw line and chin are definite; the mouth wide and firm. These individuals exude a presence of leadership. Nicolas Cage has the Sun rising.

A rising Moon inclines to a round face, snub nose and cheeks that are fairly flat. Natural worriers, these people often have frown lines and a mouth that turns down at the corners. Sympathetic, the feelings usually show in the expression like a beacon, as they are super sensitive to subtle messages around them. Of small stature and “chunky” hands and feet, there’s a tendency toward plumpness in later years. With a rapidly flowing variability of mood, these people are prone to phases and often quite “personable”. See the chart of Madonna who has a rising Moon. James Van Praagh also has his Moon rising.

Mercury rising inclines to an oval face, high cheekbones, pointed chin, a thin nose and slender features overall. The eyebrows are arched over intelligent eyes and the mouth, though wide may lack decisiveness. There are signs of much mental agility and sometimes, restlessness. The hands are also slender and add an expressive dimension to the demeanor. A forever-youthful appearance goes along with Mercury in this position. George W. Bush and Madonna and Nicolas Cage and Ted Turner have Mercury rising.

When Venus is rising, the personality is pleasing and the voice gentle. The nose is slightly pointed, eyes calm; often blue or brown and the hair soft. These individuals incline to a short and well-proportioned stature. With elegance, grace, poise, beauty and a vivacious manner, these are the socialites and mediators of the zodiac and generally welcomed in any circle. Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz and Bill Clinton are examples of Venus rising.

Mars rising inclines to heavy eyebrows over direct or piercing eyes and the overall demeanor is of decisiveness and forceful energy. With high forehead and cheekbones, the nose is long, the mouth chin firm. Mars gives a strong and stocky body and a ruddy complexion from excess iron in the system. The hair may also be red and is usually curly or wiry. There could be a mole or mark on the face and the temper often shows livid. Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have Mars rising. So does Neil Armstrong.

Jupiter rising gives an oval, aristocratic face; quite refined with a long straight nose and pointed chin. The hair is wavy and the kindly, expressive eyes are wide set and almond shaped under arched eyebrows. The manner is paternal and the stature is well formed, with a tendency to portliness in later years. Jane Fonda and Clark Gable are examples of Jupiter rising.

Saturn rising inclines to a serious expression that may best be described as grim. Deep furrow lines on the forehead and shrewd eyes accompany a reserved set to the mouth and jaw to show ambition and perseverance. The bones are large and the body slender and there may be signs of stooping with age. With curly hair, the skin is often darker than ordinary from excess sulfur in the system or else it is more pale than ordinary. Sean Connery and Clark Gable are examples of Saturn rising.

Uranus rising tends to light and lively eyes that are brilliant and keen. With a strong nose and wide mouth there’s an air of nobility and an aloof glamour. The jaw line tends to be fleshy. These individuals are original if somewhat abrupt in manner and there’s a somewhat spasmodic nature about them. These individuals show length of limb and a tendency to the slender side. Often there’s at least one effeminate feature no matter the gender. John Travolta has Uranus rising and could this be the dimple in his chin?

Neptune rising tends toward finely organized features and oval face, with a small nose and pointed chin. The eyebrows are arched over large round, hypnotic eyes. The hair naturally retreats from the temples. With a somewhat ethereal look, there’s a mystical quality of charm and the mouth may be sensual. Due to a tendency toward the loss of vital fluids, the face may wrinkle prematurely. Marilyn Monroe showed the alluring appeal of Neptune rising.

Pluto rising tends toward a dark and swarthy appearance with penetrating eyes under heavy eyebrows. The cheekbones are flat and somewhat fleshy, with a firm mouth and determined chin. The build is rugged and sturdy with physical strength that is greater than the body size suggests. The skin is delicate and except for fine hair on the head there’s little on the rest of the body. Michael Moore and Leonardo DiCaprio shows traits of a rising Pluto. JFK Jr. also had this Pluto position and with the North Node attending, his height was increased beyond the average.

See more celebrity charts in Fame or Chart Pattern Types.


Zodiac Partners

The zodiac sign opposite your rising sign points to the type of partners you are naturally attracted to. That sign “rules” your 7th house of intimate and business partners and “others” in general. This is, ideally, your personal balance. If born in the Continental US, you can find your rising sign and then read more about the partners you attract in Zodiac Signs. That sign will also tell much about the manner in which you handle relationships. For some informative guidelines on relationships of any type, see Compatibility.


Colors of the Zodiac

Following is a brief rundown of the the signs of the zodiac as they correspond to the color spectrum. Color itself corresponds to the sign Aquarius and an individual with Uranus prominent in the chart loves to use a lot of color. They are especially fond of patchworks and contrasting designs.

The sign ruling the Ascendant of your chart probably represents a color you favor. Any planet near this point would also influence the colors you choose to wear or surround yourself with. For instance, a lot of black may be the preference with Saturn or Capricorn on the Ascendant. Mars rising is so powerful that it often signifies a red head, or someone who drives a red car. Aries rising would show similar characteristics and tastes.

The color linked to the ruler of your Ascendant is probably stronger than that of the Sun sign, unless the Sun is prominent. If the Sun is prominent, the bright golden sunshine colors of Leo are chosen, giving an image of a natural born leader. Look to the planet closest to the Ascendant to see if it matches your color choices. The Moon is reflective in white or silver. Venus is passionate about pink or other pastels. Jupiter revels in shades of purple and Neptune is serene in subtle sea green. Uranus is unpredictable and relates to broken patterns and paisleys as well as electric blue. Pluto likes to take control without being obvious and corresponds to Scorpio’s color tastes of burgundy. Mercury is quite variable and may like all colors although yellow is a favorite. Preferences may correspond to either Virgo or Gemini, but if there is a planet making a close contact to it, that planet will influence the choices of Mercury.

TaurusAries color is red. It is stimulating, provides energy and shows ambition and initiative. Mars is the ruler of Aries and associated with an out rushing of energy.

TaurusBlue, Taurus’ color provides an image of relaxation and comfort. Wearing blue too often could actually reduce the metabolic rate and eventually incline to heaviness from inactivity. Venus rules Taurus.

GeminiGemini’s color is cheerful yellow, & shows an active mentality. Wear yellow to stimulate your mind and cheer yourself up. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini.

CancerSilver is Cancer’s color. It indicates reflection or illumination, much in the way that Cancer’s absorb and reflect the subtle vibrations from those around them. The inconstant Moon rules Cancer.

LeoLeo’s color is gold and orange. The combination of ambition and intellect equals authority. This is one of honor and high esteem. Wear orange to make a statement. The central Sun is the ruler of Leo.

VirgoVirgo has long been associated with nutrition and health and green is its color. It is also associated with the healing elements found in nature. The color shows resourcefulness, practical use of, and appreciation for nature’s gifts.

LibraLibra’s colors are pastels and the sign is associated with Venus. The pastel colors are great for stress and help restore harmony. Wear these to sooth those around you.

ScorpioBurgundy, Scorpio‘s color, combines red and black. This translates to intense desires, passionate seduction or subtle aggression and corresponds to Pluto.

SagittariusSagittarius‘ color is royal purple, indicating spirituality and distant dreams. Optimism can be created with the color purple and the natural ruler of the sign is Jupiter.

CapricornCapricorn, the business sign of the zodiac, is represented by black or dark grey. Black lends an image of structure and seriousness and is ruled by Saturn, the planet of ambition and practicality in your chart.

AquariusAquarius’ color is azure or electric blue and plaids. These show diversity, the need for freedom and non-commitment. There is concern for others and a humanitarian nature and the sign is ruled by Uranus.

PiscesPisces color is subtle sea green. Serenity, peacefulness, & tranquility are the image perceived. Pisces special source of power lies within and Neptune is the natural ruler of the sign.

Check out the links in the Astrology Novice menu above to find and read about your rising sign. Then you can go to the Library to find books for beginners, links for free chart readings or free astrology software in case you want to calculate your own charts. If you really want to get down to work and learn astrology from the beginning, go to the Tutorial with a copy of your chart.