Constellation Crash Course: How to Decode Your Horoscope
It's the thing you see on the last page of low-budget magazines and clickbait online. It's that thing that girl with the crystals talks about while muttering about "retrograde" and tea leaves. It's your horoscope, and you have no idea what it is.
While there's nothing wrong with avoiding the pop culture of divinations, and skepticism regarding horoscope's ability to predict the future is more than fair, they can be a great way to understand ourselves, care better for the people around us, and evolve as individuals.
Horoscopes have appeared in some form or another in countless cultures —with various implications and a variety of methodologies—many use the time, date, and location of your birth to describe different aspects of your personality. To make sense of the seeming meaninglessness, enjoy this informative dive into the planets, the signs, the elements, and what that means for you.
Earth signs include Capricorns, Virgos, and Tauruses: the girl boss, the goody-two-shoes, and the "girl next door," respectively. To put it in concrete terms, Capricorns are the sales department: chatty, competitive, and consistent. Virgos are the accountants: practical, possessive, and mild-mannered. Tauruses are customer service reps: careful, kind, and considerate, but subject to being overwhelmed.
Libras, Geminis, and Aquari are the trifecta of air signs. As a whole, air signs are fun, emotional, and independent. Libras are natural leaders, people-pleasers, and romantics. Geminis are your typical rom-com best friend: always there if you need it but won't be afraid to unleash ire if needed. No two Aquarians are alike: they are the most individualistic and uncompromising of all the signs.
Categorized by an element like fire, it's hard not to conjure up extreme images of Fire signs. While they can be intense — they're known for their vanity and viscousness — they also have a delightful presence and an inimitable sense of self. If life is an award show, Leo wins Best Actor, Sagitarrius sweeps the production categories, and Aries takes home your date at the end of the night.
Cancers cry, Scorpios scorn, and Pisces are unpredictable - at least that's how the stereotypes go. Water signs are socially-driven, emotionally intelligent, and extremely true to themselves. A standard Scorpio rocks purple lipstick and combat boots, while a conventional Cancer always asks how you're really doing. Pisces won't miss out on the opportunity to tell you how they feel.
Your horoscope is more than a single sign, however. You can be a Libra Sun, a Virgo moon, an Aquarius Jupiter, or, heaven forbid, a Leo mars.
To carefully construct your complete sense of self, you need to recognize the dynamic and different parts of yourself. This is true of any person: You aren't just a student. For instance, you're also an artist, a sister, a boyfriend, a trained professional, a Liberal, or a technocrat. Through horoscopes, you can use the planets to paint the complete picture of yourself. Use sites like Co—Star and Cafe Astrology to get your full chart.
Your Big Three: Sun, Moon, and Rising
One's Sun describes their holistic self. When all the following planets are combined, that energy is encapsulated by your Sun sign. It is, in its essence, who you are. Alternatively, your most inner self is your Moon. This part of you pops up during late-night drives alone, heart to hearts, and all other moments when inhibitions are entirely shed. Your Rising, or "Ascendant," sign is essentially your first impression. Our Rising signs are how we present to strangers, new friends, and with people, we keep at arm's length.
So, if you are an Aries Sun with a Capricorn Rising and Libra Moon, you come across as an accomplished go-getter to strangers, but when they get to know you, they see that you are just as spirited as you are serious. Those who really get to know you see the "you" that exists almost secretly: someone who simply wants to be loved by others and see everyone treated fairly.
You and Others: Mercury, Venus, and Mars
Mercury pertains to communication and how you engage with other people. Much like its namesake, Venus refers to all things love; sex, romance, relationships, and revelations. Mars explains your anger and aggression.
A boss with a Taurus Mercury likes comprehensive emails that give them time to think through responses. In contrast, one with a Mercury in Cancer prefers face-to-face dialogue filled with transparent feedback and inherent reactions. A person with a Scorpio Venus is an attentive but needy lover, whereas a Virgo Venus needs space and a sense of stability. A sister with an Aquarius Mars might be prone to shouting when angry but will absolutely crumble when you raise a decibel; A Pisces Mars can take it as good as they give it.
Seeing the World: Saturn and Jupiter
Jupiter is the planet of optimism and idealism, whereas Saturn controls one's sense of fear and pessimism. Water sign Jupiters believe in the best in people, while Air ones are always a little skeptical. Earth Saturns won't be surprised if you let them down, but a Fire sign won't let you forget it.
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are generational signs — that change every seven, fourteen, and thirty years. Uranus rules a person's ambition and unconformity, Neptune controls dreams and the subconscious, and Pluto concerns one's sense of power and control. People whose Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are in Aquarius, for instance, are rebellious and unconventional, free-spirited, and independent.
You, Your Sign, Other People, and Their Signs
Whether they know it or not, many shows and movies pull from horoscopes when developing casts and characters. "Sex and the City" has a driven diva Fire sign, self-centered but dreamy Air sign, a grounded yet grumpy Earth sign, and an empathic, worrisome Water sign —Samantha, Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte, respectively.
Your spunky Fire signs are Mrs. Incredible, Sophia from Golden Girls, and Raphael the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. They often face charming conflict with Air signs like Rose, Dash Incredible, and Leonardo. Water signs, including Blanche, Violet Incredible, and Donatello, enjoy character arcs of finding their voice, while Earth signs, Dorothy, Mr. Incredible, and Michelangelo, bring realism and responsibility to the group. The more you look, every group has one of each: Jo is an Air sign, Meg is a Water, Amy is a Fire, and Beth is an Earth. Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk; Karen, Gretchen, Regina, Cady; Pippin, Samwise, Merry, Frodo. From "Entourage" to "Frozen," everyone organizes themselves around the elements. The characters of Avatar —well, that one might be too on the nose.
The best example of this might just be the Wizard of Oz because all the characters exemplify their signs and, equally as important, their biggest flaw. The tender Water sign needs to recognize her own strength, the bold Fire sign seeks the courage to combat his insecurities, the Earth sign is rusted into a life of pragmatism, and the ditzy but darling Air sign needs to hone their sense of self.
Knowing these dynamics can save us from hurt and help us to heal. Have you noticed you tend to wind up in relationships with self-absorbed people? Well, stalk your exes' social media and get their birthdays. Maybe they're just a confident Fire sign, and you, a lovestruck Air sign, should look for a more patient Water sign. Do you get tired of Air heads' inability to take anything seriously? Maybe you, an Earth sign, should consider befriending some Fire signs who have opinions on everything. When you have someone's birthday, you can get some insight into what they might be like based on their horoscope.