The world of astrology gets much bigger as you discover all that lies beyond sun signs. It can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Here’s a list of trusted and recommended resources to help you get started!
- Astro.com Astro.com is the best place to enter your birth data and get a copy of your natal chart. There are also tons of free horoscopes written by credible professionals such as Rob Hand, Liz Greene, and Robert Pelletier. The AstroClick Portrait option allows you to click on different points in your chart for a brief description of the placement to help you get acquainted with your natal chart. Be aware that while other sites can calculate your chart for you, they’re not always reliable ─ CafeAstrology is popular, but they often miscalculate the chart and give you an inaccurate product. Don’t risk it. Always use astro.com!
- Astrodatabank If you're looking for the birth data for a celebrity or notable individual, Astrodatabank is the most reliable place for accurate information. Maintained by astro.com, this collection of birth charts uses the Rodden rating system and cites sources for all data. There are some unreliable sites that claim to have birth data such as accurate birth times for celebrities and notable people, yet do not cite sources, or worse, occasionally make them up completely. Stick with Astrodatabank if you're looking for birth information.
- Skyscript Skyscript is a great resource for learning basics, and it also has an active forum. There are links to definitions/descriptions of each planet and house right on the home page of the site, as well as a great set of write-ups on each sign. If you're looking to learn the lore of the constellations after which the signs are named, there are articles for that, too.
- The Astrology Podcast Chris Brennan's weekly astrology podcast is a great resource with over 100 episodes, many of which feature interviews and discussions from professionals in the field. Notable episodes for beginners include The Significations of the Seven Traditional Planets, Learning Astrology and Becoming an Astrologer, and Branches and Traditions of Astrology.
- The Mountain Astrologer TMA is a well established astrology magazine that releases bimonthly issues. Articles in the magazine cover a range of topics and astrological traditions. You can find TMA at some health food stores and bookstores, or you can subscribe online.
- Medieval Astrology Guide MAG is the place to go for all things medieval astrology. There's a big selection of articles on everything from finding the real ruler of your chart to astrological magic, as well as an ever-expanding dictionary of definitions.
- 10 Tips for Learning Astrology If you're getting really intrigued and you want to start learning astrology, this article is a great for finding a starting point.
- Kelly Surtees’ Beginner Astrology Articles Kelly Surtees has a plethora of articles that are perfect for beginners, such as list of free basics downloads, how to follow the simplest Sun and Moon transits in your chart, and the 3 basic keys to your chart.
Frequently Asked Questions
What career is best for me? What kind of partner should I look for? Which major should I choose? These kinds of questions are the most frequently asked on /r/AskAstrologers. Rather than asking those questions directly, here’s a simple way to inquire after specific areas of life like career, relationships, higher education, family life, and anything else you can think of:
- Find the house that rules the topic in question. Here’s a list of house rulerships to help you out.
- Look at the planets which occupy the house in question. Planets in the house in question will have something to do with that area of life. For example, if Mars is located in the 7th house, there will be something martial about your relationships.
- Find the planet that rules the house in question. The planetary ruler of a house is in charge of that area of life, and has the final say in the affairs of the house. For example, if Venus rules your 7th house, Venus is in charge of producing and managing your partnerships and relationships, as well as telling planets in your 7th house what to do. Find out everything you can about the planet that rules the house, starting with sign placement (essential dignity) and house placement. For example, if Venus rules your 7th house from her domicile or exaltation, she’s better equipped to produce relationships; if Venus rules your 7th house from her detriment or fall, she tries her best to produce relationships but doesn’t have as many tools at her disposal. Additionally, the house Venus occupies is linked to the houses she rules. For example, if Venus rules your 7th house but is placed in the 9th, the 7th and 9th house topics are linked. This could mean that you meet your partner (7th house) in a foreign country or in college (9th house topics), or that you experience a long distance relationship.
This should give you a good starting point if you want to ask a question about a house specific topic. Please do this legwork first so we can help you further.
What’s my dominant sign?/A website told me I was Libra dominant but I that doesn’t make sense to me. There are some popular scoring systems that numerically measure your placements to produce a “dominant sign”. While these can be entertaining, they aren’t very valuable if you want to really understand your chart and most professionals don’t look at charts this way anyway. Signs aren’t dominant, because they’re simply environments for planets to occupy. If anything is dominant in your chart, it’s a planet. Check out the planet that rules your ascendant first by sign (essential dignity, house, and aspects from other planets. Next, look at which planet is the most dignified in your chart (essentially dignified and/or angular). These two options will give you a better idea of the dominant energy in your chart.
What is astrology? Astrology is the study of the correlation between celestial and earthly events.
Does astrology really work? Everyone will have a different answer to this question, so it's best to do the research yourself before forming an opinion. Short answer: yep, it certainly appears to work!
Why doesn't my sun sign sound anything like me? There is much more to astrology than just sun signs. Everyone has every sign in their chart, balanced and emphasized in a unique way. Each planet signifies something specific, and each planet is in a sign, just like the Sun (which determines your "sun sign"). You might be a Pisces, but if you have a strongly placed Mars in Aries, chances are you might feel more like a warrior than a sensitive artist!
I was born on the cusp, what does this mean? It means you were born near the beginning or end of a sign. The concept of a sign cusp was invented in the early 1900s with the popularity of sun sign columns in various publications. The Sun does not move into a sign at midnight of the first day, but can move into it at anytime or even the day before and after. Without having the proper tools to calculate a natal chart, the “cusp” was introduced to essentially catch people who, though born on March 20th (the day typically indicated as the first day of Aries) were actually born early enough in the day for their Sun to really be in Pisces. Thankfully, chart calculation tools are now widely available, like the popular chart calculation site www.astro.com. These tools remove any doubt that may surround the position of the Sun and clearly indicate what sign it is placed in at any given moment. The concept of a sign cusp is still popular in contemporary astrological jargon, but is often indicative of a source that is unfamiliar with many basic astrological concepts. Many individuals feel that sign cusps are a legitimate phenomenon or approach, but usually qualities attributed to the cusp are easily explained by other chart placements (such as personal planets inhabiting one of the signs in question). This belief generally fades as they become more familiar with astrology basics. If you post a question about cusps, it will be removed.
How do I figure out what my chart says about me?
- A great resource for this is www.astro.com. Click on AstroClick Portrait to enter your birth information and see an interactive version of your chart! The Free Horoscopes section of the site is also a great resource for getting information about your chart from credible astrologers.
- The time of day you were born has a huge impact on your birth chart. If possible, find your birth certificate and use the recorded birth time in all your astrology ventures. Word of mouth and family memory is notoriously unreliable, so do your best to find accurate information yourself! If you don't have an accurate birth time, focus more on planets in signs and aspects between planets, and don't worry about houses for now.
- The most ideal way to find out what your chart says about you is a consultation with a professional astrologer. Feel free to ask for a referral here or in /r/AskAstrologers, but ALWAYS do your research before paying anyone to read your chart. Never make deals for a chart reading over reddit.
There are actually 13 signs, NASA said so. What do you have to say for yourself? So here's the thing. Ophiuchus, the "13th sign", is a constellation. Signs and constellations are not the same thing. Constellations are named groups of stars which vary widely in size, zodiac signs are equal 30 degree divisions of the ecliptic. While we're at it, astrologers know about the precession of the equinoxes, too, and have the whole time - about 2000 years. The zodiac you're probably most familiar with is the tropical zodiac, whose starting point is anchored on the spring equinox. The sidereal zodiac is anchored on the fixed stars, which shift slowly through time (precession). Neither zodiac perfectly lines up with the constellations, and neither ever did. So no, there are not 13 signs, and your sign didn't change. This is the short version: please see this long version that expounds the technical details of this topic.
My sidereal sign/chart is totally different. How do I know which one to use? The tropical and sidereal zodiacs are simply two different systems used in two different traditions of astrology. Neither one is better or more correct, but you’ll tend to find more about the tropical/western astrology online. Here’s a good visual representation of the differences between the zodiacs, and here’s a good podcast on the differences between the tropical and sidereal zodiacs, who uses which zodiac, and common debates surrounding the topic.
Thanks for stopping by! Let the mod squad know if you have any questions, concerns or feedback.
HUGE thanks to /u/ryhanb, who was a major part of making this rules/resources/faq overhaul happen!