There are two types of people in this world: the people who live by their daily horoscope reading, and those who can’t even spell “horoscope.” Zodiac signs have taken over the world as a way to discover your personality, find the perfect college fit, and discover what age you’ll get married. Who would have known your birthdate could be so critical in discovering the future? Some people, like me, are fluent in the language. Others, not so much. These signs may seem complicated and unnecessary, but they are actually rather easy to understand.

The first step in analyzing your horoscope is learning your birth chart which provides all the information on your zodiac chart. This website from Cafe Astrology gives an accurate zodiac reading, and even provides each placement. After you provide your birthdate, birth time, and birth location (all which can be found on your birth certificate or from a guardian) you will see a long and detailed chart stating your Sun, Moon, and rising signs, and others. To understand the planetary positions, you first need to know what makes each sign different from one another. 

If you’re an Aries, you are described as the wild sign. A quick-witted and adventurous soul. Think of it this way: if there’s a devil on your shoulder, that devil is probably an Aries.

Moving on to the reliable and warm-hearted Taurus. Some describe them as lazy, but in reality, they just like to take things slow and focus on the good things in life. 

The witty and lively Gemini is one that catches a ton of heat in the media due to their straightforward nature. I, however, don’t understand the unnecessary Gemini hate.

That hate was probably spewed by our lovely Cancers. This is the most emotional and intuitive sign, but don’t be fooled, these signs can change moods in a matter of milliseconds. 

However, the Cancers are no match for the Leos. Living up to the meaning of their name, “lion,” they’re bold and extroverted. Leos are typically one of the most intimidating signs because of the sheer dominance they assert in every relationship.

Moving on to, in my opinion, the best sign. Virgos. It may be because I myself am a Virgo, or because I’m a huge Zendaya fan, but Virgos definitely do it best.They are intelligent and practical, quick on their feet but even quicker with their responses.

And now, the Libras. Everyone loves Libras. And it makes sense: they are charming and outgoing. Imagine Barbie but in a normal person’s body—basically perfect. 

Scorpios are Aries’ cooler older siblings. With their straightforward and free-spirited nature, Scorpios are always up for a good time. 

Sagittarius… Imagine Leos but amplified about 50 volumes. Straightforward and bold, they will never stop talking, but in a good way (mostly). 

And now for the exact opposite of Sagittarius: Capricorns. An ambitious and reserved sign, Capricorns are set on goals, and they get what they want.

As a die-hard Harry Styles fan, Aquarius’s are definitely #2 in my book. Not only are they loyal, but they’re also intelligent. An Aquarius is a person you should seek out because they’re good friends.

And finally, Pisces. Pisces are very similar to Cancers. They are mocked for their “overly emotional” personalities, but in reality, they are the most sympathetic and kind hearted sign. They are different from Cancers because instead of acting emotionally, they use their pure intelligence to navigate sticky situations.

Those 12 beautiful signs are just the foundation of  astrology. Now for what they mean. Sun, moon, and rising, otherwise known as the big three. These are what matter. We’ll use my chart as an example. I am a Virgo sun. The sun sign represents your core personality, your sense of self, your preferences, and just generally the way you deal with different issues in the world. I am a cancer moon, which represents the way I handle my emotions. Your moon represents how you deal with personal relationships and how you value others’ feelings. And the rising, I am a Libra rising. Your rising represents how others see you. Whether it be physically or emotionally, your rising is the way you are perceived by the general public. You can put it all together to form a reading. Here’s my personal reading: I am a person who lives life through an intellectual eye. I am quick witted and I usually handle things with sarcasm. I am very in touch with my emotions and I will usually handle my personal relationships with a lot of care. From the outside, I am a put together person. People view me as social and charming. Now your turn! Read through your chart using [link again]. 

Now time to answer some very common questions. “Can I change my zodiac sign?” Unless you find some secret way to change your birthday… no. You’re stuck with your chart for the rest of your life. 

“Do your birthstones and zodiac signs represent the same things?” No, they don’t. You could be born in November and be either a Scorpio or a Saggitarius, but your birthstone will be a topaz no matter what. Birthstones do not have much meaning outside of representing the specific month. So to put it into simpler terms, zodiac signs don’t change depending on the month. Depending on the constellation that the sun was “in” on the day you were born you may have a different zodiac sign. A birthstone is a representation of a month. 

“If Zodiac signs are real, why is every daily horoscope reading so wrong?” Probably because the people who write those horoscope columns are generalizing each sign into the stereotype that has been created for them. Not each Cancer cries every time someone looks at them wrong. So I would say not to trust those teen magazine horoscope readings because while they are fun, they are usually fabricated. 

And finally, “what is a retrograde, and why does everyone keep talking about it?” The retrograde is caused by the planet moving in the opposite direction of Earth. Planets usually move from east to west, but during the retrograde it is moving from west to east. All planets go into retrograde, typically two or three times a year, but in the astrological world Mercury’s retrograde is the most infamous for stirring up issues. Astrologers believe that this backward motion forces you to have a communicative stump in your daily life. This typically means that you have a hard time handling relationships and coming to understanding with others. But don’t worry, every retrograde ends. They only last for 3 weeks, and only occur 3 or 4 times a year. 

Now you know the basics of astrology. Even though the astrological world is filled with fun self discoveries, it is important to remember not to let your chart decide who you are. Your chart is meant to help with realizations, not with creating a new identity. So in the end, have fun and learn more about astrology. But please, don’t start acting like a Leo when you’re actually a Cancer.


Ellie Hultgren is a senior at M-A this year and this is her second year writing for the Chronicle. She loves learning more about M-A’s community and the student body.

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