Astrology Terms: A Comprehensive Guide to Basic Astrology Terms

Astrology, an ancient discipline, has intrigued humankind for countless years. It provides a fascinating approach to delving into one’s personality, interpersonal relationships, and significant life occurrences, but it can also seem complex for those unfamiliar with the subject. To help you successfully navigate the domain of astrology, we present an all-encompassing guide containing the foundational astrology terms necessary for grasping and interpreting astrological charts.

The Zodiac Signs

  1. Aries (March 21 – April 19)
  2. Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
  3. Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
  4. Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
  5. Leo (July 23 – August 22)
  6. Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
  7. Libra (September 23 – October 22)
  8. Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
  9. Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
  10. Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
  11. Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
  12. Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

The twelve zodiac signs are based on the position of the Sun at the time of your birth. Each sign has its unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.

Astrology Planets

Astrology associates each zodiac sign with a ruling planet, which is said to have a significant influence on the sign’s characteristics.

Here are the ruling planets for each zodiac sign:

Aries – Mars

Taurus – Venus

Gemini – Mercury

Cancer – Moon

Leo – Sun

Virgo – Mercury

Libra – Venus

Scorpio – Mars (ancient) / Pluto (modern)

Sagittarius – Jupiter

Capricorn – Saturn

Aquarius – Saturn (ancient) / Uranus (modern)

Pisces – Jupiter (ancient) / Neptune (modern)

Essential Astrology Terms

Natal Chart

A natal chart, also known as a birth chart, is a snapshot of the sky at the exact moment you were born. It maps the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and other celestial bodies at the time of your birth, which are believed to influence your personality, relationships, and life events.

Ascendant or Rising Sign

The Ascendant or Rising Sign is the zodiac sign that was on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth. It represents your outer self, the way you present yourself to the world, and how others perceive you.

Sun Sign

Your Sun Sign is the zodiac sign the Sun was in at the time of your birth. It represents your core personality, ego, and identity.

Moon Sign

Your Moon Sign is the zodiac sign the Moon was in at the time of your birth. It represents your emotional nature, inner self, and subconscious mind.


In astrology, the sky is divided into twelve sections known as houses, each representing a different aspect of your life. The houses are numbered from 1 to 12, beginning with the Ascendant, and they’re associated with specific life areas such as relationships, career, and personal growth.

Planetary Aspects are the angles established between celestial bodies and points in an astrological chart. They illustrate how the energies of the planets interact, resulting in either harmonious or challenging influences. Several common aspects are:

  1. Conjunction (0 degrees) – When two planets are in close proximity, their energies intensify.
  2. Sextile (60 degrees) – A favorable aspect symbolizing collaboration and opportunities.
  3. Square (90 degrees) – A difficult aspect representing tension and conflict.
  4. Trine (120 degrees) – A beneficial aspect signifying smoothness and ease.
  5. Opposition (180 degrees) – A demanding aspect that denotes polarity and balance.

Astrological Elements

The twelve zodiac signs are divided into four elements that exhibit distinct temperaments and traits:

  1. Fire – Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Fire signs are passionate, energetic, and spirited.
  2. Earth – Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earth signs are pragmatic, grounded, and reliable.
  3. Air – Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Air signs are intellectual, expressive, and sociable.
  4. Water – Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Water signs are emotional, intuitive, and perceptive.

Zodiac Modalities

Zodiac signs are also categorized into three modalities that describe their approach to life and problem-solving:

  1. Cardinal – Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Cardinal signs initiate and lead.
  2. Fixed – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Fixed signs are steady, tenacious, and averse to change.
  3. Mutable – Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Mutable signs are adaptable, flexible, and resourceful.

Retrograde Motion

A planet is considered to be in retrograde when it seems to move backward in the sky, as observed from Earth. This visual illusion results from the relative motion of Earth and the other planet. In astrology, retrograde planets are believed to exert a more introspective and internalized influence on our lives.

Zodiac Cusp

A cusp refers to the boundary separating two zodiac signs. If your birth falls on a cusp, your Sun Sign may embody traits of both signs. Nevertheless, your precise Sun Sign can be determined using the exact time and location of your birth.

Astrological Transit

An astrological transit takes place when a planet or point in the sky forms an aspect with a planet or point in your natal chart. Transits are employed to foresee current and future trends, events, and possibilities based on the positions of the planets at any given moment.

Wrapping Up

Astrology is an intricate and fascinating field with numerous astrology terms and ideas to delve into. By acquainting yourself with these fundamental terms, you’ll be better equipped to understand and interpret astrological charts, as well as gain a deeper comprehension of your own life and the lives of others. Enjoy your celestial explorations!

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