“Astrology? Ha! No thanks…”
is the response you will hear from most people when asked what their zodiac sign is. This is a normal response given that most of what we know about astrology in western society comes from sitcom punch-lines and generalized predictions in pop culture magazines.
From horoscopes stating that you will “fall in love” to $5 psychic readings down the street — If anything has been proven true about astrology — it’s that it’s gotten a bad rep.
Despite the social stigma — astrology has maintained a dedicated following for centuries — stemming back to its Babylonian beginnings over 2,000 years ago. People have continued to look to the sky for answers about everything from the weather to their life path. The zodiac consists of 12 constellations also known as “signs,” which were heavily adopted in America back in the summer of love. In the late ’60s and ’70s, Astrologers popped up by the thousands…many having paved the way for what is known today as the “New Age” of astrology.
Today, astrology has found its way into minds and Google searches of millennials all around the world. Although, the internet continues to mislead us into thinking that astrology is here to tell us about our next relationship or the job we will get next week. The true value in astrology lies in the blueprint that it presents to help us better understand ourselves and our connection to the world around us.
Before we can see the true value of Astrology, we must first understand the misconceptions around it. What follows are the top 5 misconceptions about Astrology:
1. You Only Have One Zodiac Sign
Most people are familiar with the zodiac sign of their birth month, also known as their “Sun Sign,” but this is only one sign in your chart. Your Natal Chart is the unique map of the sky when you were born. It indicates where all of the planets were on your exact date, time, and location of birth, including which zodiac sign each planet was in. When professional astrologers read your horoscope, they do not simply look at where the sun was when you were born. They look at all of your zodiac sign placements, based on your natal chart.
For instance, I was born on January 12th. A quick google search would tell me that my zodiac sign is Capricorn, but this is only my sun sign, AKA where the sun was when I was born. A deeper look into my natal chart will show me where all of the planets were, including the moon and even asteroids. My personal natal chart has more Aquarius in it than Capricorn; thus, it is likely that I resonate more with Aquarius energy than I do Capricorn.
2. Only Your Birth Date Matters
Building off of the previous point, in order to know all of your zodiac sign placements, you must first know your birth date, location, and exact time of birth. All of these factors will lay out the natal chart that is specific to you. Resources such as CafeAstrology.com or Astro.com will generate a free natal chart based on these inputs.
Below is an example of a John Lennon’s natal chart. As you can see…it’s a bit more in-depth than a simple zodiac sign.
The goal here is not to immediately understand the complexity of these charts, but rather to understand that there is more than just a sun sign. Just as people are dynamic, so are natal charts!
3. You Should Only Read Your Birth Month Horoscope
In astrology, each planet and degree means something different. For instance, Mercury stands for communication, and Venus, for love. Thus, you cannot simply look at your sun sign to determine things about your communication or love style. You must also know the zodiac sign placement of your Mercury and Venus signs to truly understand your personal horoscope.
Below is an image of all of the planets considered in a natal chart, as well as the length of their respective
With all planets considered, it’s no wonder why only reading your sun sign horoscope can be misleading. A common practice for those familiar with astrology is to instead read both your sun sign & ascendant (rising) sign, which is based on your time and location of birth.
4. Astrology is Make Believe
It is long-debated as to whether Astrology should be counted as a “Science.”
Conclusive debates have deemed astrology to not be a science in itself but to rather build upon the science of Astronomy. This said, to truly understand Astrology, one must also understand Astronomy. Astronomy is based on the movement of the planets, stars, and moon, and the degrees between them. Astrology is rooted in the interpretation of these physical shifts in relation to their impacts to us on earth.
Without much knowledge of the movement and physics of the planets, it may be easy to dismiss their impact on us, but recent studies have found that planetary movements have a direct impact on the earth. This impact even extends to climate change, as stated by physicist Jerry Mitrovica:
“We’re showing for the first time that changes in the Earth’s shape, when coupled with the gravitational effects from other planets, can produce large changes in the Earth’s climate,” Science Daily
5. Astrology is Meant to Predict the Future
Fifth and finally, western media and television have led us to associate horoscopes with predictions about how our future will play out. The truth is, astrology is not meant to tell us our future, but rather to connect us to our present. Ancient societies used the stars to predict changes in the weather and seasons. Today, the sky is still used for that. However, looking at a horoscope, astrologers look at the transits in the sky to assess what energetic shifts will are currently present and how they may affect our personal energy or our personal natal chart.
In no way is this supposed to be deterministic. Astrology is not here to replace Free Will. Just as we can freely decide to avoid anything that has to do with astrology, we can also freely decide to learn more about it.
If you told me a few years ago that I would be studying and writing about astrology, I would’ve laughed in your face… but today, astrology has become another tool in my self-understanding and self-help toolbox.
It is true that Astrology still lacks significant scientific evidence, which is why it is left open to misinterpretations and misunderstandings, but for many, it is a resource for learning more about the energetic interactions that make up our reality and connect us to ourselves and the world at large.
In conclusion, I will leave you with a quote from Astrologer and Founder of Spirit Daughter, Jill Wintersteen:
“If the moon can change the ocean tides, and we are nearly 60% water, then imagine what it’s doing to us.”