Learning Astrology is overwhelming, even for those who have been studying this magical art for many years. It seems as if there’s so much to learn. And the more you learn, the less you know, as they say.
Most of us will have dipped our toes into the world of Astrology, only to discover that there’s so much more that lies beneath the surface – so much more than just your ‘star sign’. And once the bug has bitten, we can be eager to gobble up as much astrological knowledge as possible.
But where do we start? How do we structure it? What do you need to know if you’re starting out as a beginner?
Firstly, you’ll need to keep things super simple. Learn the foundations of Astrology – the ‘layers’, so to speak, and once you’ve got a handle on these, you can start doing more complex Astrology. And remember, it can take years of practice to grasp the foundations.
As you learn, you’ll need to attend workshops, courses, read books, scroll through reputable websites run by proper Astrologers (so not just what you read on a random online magazine’s page, for example – that’s often not real Astrology) and eventually, you’ll start getting an idea of what you’re doing. Astrology is a language, and like any language, it takes constant practice.
To break it down, there are four layers of Astrology –
These four astrological layers tell you everything you need to know, and are the four main building blocks.
Layer One: Starting With The Planets
Most people are under the impression that Astrology is all about zodiac signs. That’s just not true. Astrology is actually all about planets. Because planets are the actual, living, physical energies, energies linked to mythologies of Gods and Goddesses. They move around in the heavens, reflecting events here on earth time and time again. They’re what we need to understand, first and foremost.
Planets symbolize parts of us, different aspects of ourselves that make up the whole. Think of yourself as a car, for example. You get the steering wheel, the engine, the body and all the other components that help the car to function. That’s a bit like how planets work.
There are ten planets that we focus on in Astrology. And in case you were wondering, the Moon and Sun are also considered planets in Astrology, even though the Moon is technically a satellite of earth and the Sun is a star.
Our ten planets are as follows:
All of these planets are different archetypical energies that are placed in a certain pattern, in certain zodiac signs, that give us a complete picture of who we are.
For example, the Sun – the ‘star sign’ in mainstream astrology – is your essential Self, your Identity and your general Personality. The Moon represents our emotions and feelings, and how we respond and react. It’s different from the Sun, as you can see. Our identity is not the same as our emotions, in other words.
Each planet represents something about us, so a good place to start learning Astrology is what all these planets mean.
Next Up: The Signs
Now we can deal with the zodiac signs. Think of signs like adjectives to describe how the planet behaves.
For example, let’s say we have our Sun, representing our Identity and Personality, on our birth chart in the sign of chatty, talkative Gemini. Our Personality is going to have Gemini characteristics.
See, it’s a matter of bringing together keywords of the planets with the keywords of the signs. When you know your keywords of each, you can play mix and match. An idea is to create a table of keywords for each planet and sign, like so:
|Venus||Love And Relationship Style|
|Aries||Headstrong, Adventurous, Leader|
|Taurus||Stable, Stubborn, Sensual|
|Gemini||Chatty, Curious, Restless|
|Cancer||Nurturing, Moody, Intuitive|
So, the next thing you need to do as a beginner is to go out there and search the characteristics of all the different signs – all twelve. Then, compile a list of keywords and have this handy with your list of planetary keywords.
Now comes the fun part: cast your own Astrology birth chart. Then, choose two or three planets to start with, such as the Sun, Moon and Venus. Learn their keywords and what they stand for. After that, note down which signs these planets are in. These signs will tell you how that planet behaves.
My Sun is in Cancer:
My PERSONALITY (Sun) has Cancer characteristics – I’m sensitive, empathic and moody in my personality.
My Moon is in Libra
My EMOTIONAL STYLE (Moon) has the characteristics of a Libra – I tend to be light, airy and graceful when expressing my emotions, I seek emotional balance, relationships stir up my emotions.
My Venus is in Leo
My RELATIONSHIP STYLE (Venus) has Leo qualities – I love in a warm, passionate and grand way, my relationships are fiery and dramatic, I love with all of my heart and I want lots of attention in my relationships.
Getting it? Good! Let’s move on.
Layer Number Three: The Aspects
If you’ve been researching Astrology as a beginner, it’s likely that you’ve heard some gobbledygook along the lines of this planet squares that one, and there’s something called a trine between some planet and another. And it’s all probably quite confusing, to say the least.
Look, the aspects aren’t easy. They can take a lifetime to master, so before you beat yourself up, realize that you’re dealing with quite a complex part of Astrology.
Essentially, aspects are how the planets communicate with each other – whether they help or hinder one another. Technically speaking, it’s the distance between one planet and another, using mathematical degrees.
There are 5 main aspects we use in Astrology:
- The Conjunction – two planets within 10 degrees of each other. You can see them right next to each other on your astrological birth chart. These symbolize a merging of their energies.
- The Square – two planets 90 degrees apart, forming a square shape. These planets block or hinder each other, creating tension.
- The Opposite – two planets opposite to each other, creating a flip-flop energy, a bounce between polarities. depending on what each of them symbolizes.
- The Trine – two planets within 120 degrees to each other. This is helpful and harmonious; these two planets help each other and are gifts to each other
- The Sextile – similar to the trine, these two planets are within 60 degrees of each other and are resources you can draw upon - when you’re aware of them.
The easiest way to understand aspects is by using the internet – profusely. Note the aspects in your own birth chart (using the aspect grid/table usually on one side of the chart) and Google it. For example, you may see that your Venus is opposite to Saturn. You go and google “Venus opposite Saturn”. Voila! Do each aspect one by one, even if a single planet has many aspects to it.
Finally – the Last Layer: Houses
Houses are a wondrous part of Astrology. They tie things up all neatly. You’ve worked on your planet; you know what it means and how it behaves, using the sign and aspects to that planet. Now all that remains is to see where in life that planet plays out and does its thing.
Houses are the “where”. They represent areas of life, like your money your career, your relationships, your children, your friends, illnesses you are prone to and much more. Planets in (and ruling, but we’ll leave that for another time) these houses affect this area of life and tell you how that area of life will be experienced.
If, for example, you have your Venus in the 10th house of career and reputation, you can have a Venus–like profession, such as a career in fashion, the arts, working with people, building relationships or working with money – all these topics come under the domain of Venus.
But, if you have Uranus in your 10th house, your career is more likely to be one of a freelancer, an unusual career, a career involving technology, a career that is a roller-coaster of change. These are all things that Uranus represents.
This part is easy – all you need to do is note where your planets are (i.e., in which house they are placed) and use Google to search the meaning of the planet in the house. You’re welcome.
A Final Word: Tying It All Together
This is the hardest part of learning Astrology as a beginner. Being able to put each layer together and tell a story, basically. This is where you’ll need a lot of practice using all kinds of different birth charts (famous people’s birth charts are always a win), and where you’ll have to be most patient with yourself.
It takes time to paint a complete picture, and you won’t always have a neat and tidy story. In fact, you’ll have a very complex one, because we as human beings are complex. Our different parts will behave differently, and that’s okay.
Take it step by step, one thing at a time, and don’t try and tie it all together, because all you’ll do is confuse yourself. Remember – keep it simple.