Astrology 101

Chances are, you’ve stumbled across a horoscope or other ecological information before. Sometimes it can seem impossible to understand. As it is such a complex system with a seemingly infinitive amount of information, it can be hard to figure out where to start. This guide will cover the basics you need to understand your sign better! To better understand your zodiac sign, there are a few concepts you need to be familiar with. Each sign has an associated element and mode. Astrological elements include fire, earth, air, and water and describe other personality traits and each sign’s needs and desires. There are three modes, cardinal, fixed, and mutable, and they represent the way energy flows through each of the signs. 

Elements: 

  • Fire signs are known to be passionate, enthusiastic, energetic, and idealistic. They bring creative energy that is known to motivate and inspire others. 
  • Earth signs are known for their practicality and realism. They are stable, dependable, and recognized for their financial intelligence. 
  • Air signs are known to be social and intelligent. They excel in communication and enjoy problem-solving. 
  • Water signs are intuitive and empathetic. They are ruled by their emotions and consequently are adept at understanding the feelings of others. 

Modes:

  • Cardinal signs are the first sign of each new season and are known to be instigators. They’re energetic, proactive, and generally unafraid. 
  • Fixed signs persistent and stable. They are reliable and determined, though resistant to change. 
  • Mutable signs are known for their flexibility and general “go with the flow” attitude. They’re good with multi-tasking but are also easily distracted. 

It’s also important to be familiar with the concept of planets. Ten planets rule over different areas of your life. Looking at your planetary alignment can help you understand your universal opportunities.

 

There are twelve Zodiac signs, each one corresponding with specific dates on the calendar. Each zodiac season lasts roughly a month, and your birth date determines this ruling sign.

Aries: March 21 – April 19

Element: Fire

Mode: Aries is the first of the cardinal signs.

Characteristics: Aries are known for their natural leadership. They generally have adventurous spirits and fearless attitudes. 

Strengths: Aries’s strengths lie in their ability to take the initiative. They’re direct, don’t hold a grudge, and can react quickly in the face of fear.

Weaknesses: Because of their direct attitudes, Aries may come off as harsh or cruel. They tend to lack patience, communication skills and have trouble taking advice.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20

Element: Earth

Mode: Taurus is the first of the fixed signs.

Characteristics: As a fixed Earth sign, Tauruses are incredibly dependable. They’re methodical, patient, and very self-aware.

Strengths: The strengths of a Taurus lie primarily in their patience. They’re resourceful, productive, consistent, dependable, and creative.

Weaknesses: As we often see, the great strengths of Tauruses are directly related to their most significant weaknesses. They are quite adverse to change and incredibly stubborn, leading to them getting stuck in ruts of unmotivation. They can also be picky and materialistic and tend to let others walk all over them.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20

Element: Air

Mode: Gemini is the first of the mutable signs.

Characteristics: As a mutable air sign, Geminis are incredibly adaptive. They tend to assertively engage with the outside world as curious, explorative, and social creatures.

Strengths: Geminis are known for their incredible intelligence and communication skills. They’re always searching for their next adventure and are very hard to bore. They’re fun-loving social people who can easily blend in with social situations.

Weaknesses: Geminis can be overly intellectual and can struggle with helpfully applying intelligence. Since they’re always looking for something new, others can see them as noncommittal, flaky, untrustworthy, annoying, or even cruel. They are often anxious and emotionally evasive.

Cancer: June 21 – July 22

Element: Water

Mode: Mutable

Characteristics: Cancers are known to be contemplative, sensitive, protective creatures. They’re natural leaders, nurturers, and caretakers, well suited to these roles because of their empathetic and sentimental nature.

Strengths: Cancer’s kind nature and cautious approach to life are a great strength. They can put others at ease and are great at reading emotions.

Weaknesses: Cancer’s can be easily stuck in their ways, which means they often hold grudges. They are generally fearful of the outside world and are slow to touch new people. They can be vulnerable to enabling toxic relationships.

Leo: July 23 – August 22

Element: Fire

Mode: Fixed

Characteristics: Leo’s are known to be dedicated leaders. They’re pretty courageous and are often set at the center of every interaction.

Strengths: Leo’s are confident, courageous, and very self-assured, making them well-suited to leadership positions. They’re generous with others and are active artists. 

Weaknesses: Leo’s are notoriously stubborn and prideful. They often come off as insecure, vain, and jealous.

Virgo: August 23 – September 22

Element: Earth

Mode: Mutable

Characteristics: Virgos are very engaged with their inner-selves. Diligent, dedicated, observant, and adaptable with healing energy gives these signs the ability to revamp disjoint relationships.

Strengths: Virgo’s are mentally agile with a remarkable ability to discern which information is essential in any given situation. They have strong communication skills and a robust emotional vocabulary in particular. They are compassionate animal lovers and environmentalists who are happy to help those they care about.

Weaknesses: Their overactive minds lead to worry, anxiety, and insomnia. They often give too much of themselves. As they are overly critical of both themselves and others, they can easily succumb to doubt and worry.

Libra: September 23 – October 22

Element: Air

Mode: Cardinal

Characteristics: Libra’s are unifiers, pioneers, and diplomats. They are natural leaders that are quick to forgive and do well in a crisis.

Strengths: Libra’s are great communicators and exceptionally skilled listeners. They are known to put others before themselves, don’t hold grudges, and seek justice and fairness. They assume the best in others. Libra’s are naturally creative and curious, being very in tune with their environment.

Weaknesses: They are challenged to spend time on themselves, and their low value of self can lead to a festering resentment in relationships. It is effortless for Libra’s to overcommit, and they are notoriously indecisive.

Scorpio: October 23 – November 21

Element: Water

Mode: Fixed

Characteristics: Scorpios are mysterious and intuitive. They can concentrate, are highly sensitive and secretive.

Strengths: Scorpios are pretty intense as they are known for their observant and determined nature. They’re receptive, fearless, empathetic, compassionate, and emotionally intelligent.

Weaknesses: Scorpios are resistant to adaptation and change. They are suspicious and slow to trust. Often, they can be emotionally manipulative and controlling. They are pessimistic, self-destructive thrill-seekers who find it hard to relax.

Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21

Element: Fire

Mode: Mutable

Characteristics: Sagittariuses are known to be enthusiastic, joyous, change-makers. They’re highly adaptive and often work to expand their perspectives.

Strengths: Sagittariuses are optimistic, bold, and joyful. They’re great storytellers with personal integrity who don’t hold grudges and have a firm conviction.

Weaknesses: Because their passions are always subject to change, many find them disorienting. They can be elusive, ungrounded, unrealistic, and can come across as condescending.

Capricorn: December 22 – January 19

Element: Earth

Mode: Cardinal

Characteristics: Capricorns are disciplined, determined achievers. They often set lofty goals for themselves that they can meet consistently.

Strengths: Capricorns are known for their perseverance and coolheadedness. They’re down-to-earth and loyal. They have a pragmatic and sober view of the world which brings them peace. They are often very successful.

Weaknesses: Capricorns are stubborn, relentless and hold others to the same high standards they hold themselves to. They can be judgy and unforgiving as well as radically self-reliant.

Aquarius: January 20 – February 18

Element: Air

Mode: Fixed

Characteristics: Aquarius are intelligent, dedicated, and tenacious. They’re reformers who enjoy challenging social conventions.

Strengths: Aquarius can keep a fresh perspective and can engage in abstract thought. They’re observant and impartial, as well as being good judges of character. They’re dependable and clever with a dry wit.

Weaknesses: They can come off as cold, distant, or unfeeling. Aquarius often reduce life to a series of puzzles and are overly theoretical. They harshly judge others and are known for holding grudges.

Pieces: February 19 – March 20

Element: Water

Mode: Mutable

Characteristics: Pieces are mystical, intuitive, and transcendental. They’re adaptive, sensitive, and soulful.

Strengths: Pieces are compassionate, empathetic, spiritual, and artistic. They often offer help and healing to those in need. They’re idealistic, imaginative, meditative. They’re open with other people, contemplative, and often described as old souls.

Weaknesses: Pieces are known to take comments too personally and are easily sidetracked. They’re vulnerable to toxic energies while being very needy and codependent. They often find it hard to materialize their interests into marketable livelihoods.

 

There are ten planets important to the zodiac, and each one is representative of an aspect of life. Your sun sign is often referred to as your zodiac sign and rules over your life and identity. Your moon sign rules over your emotions and security. Mercury explains your intellect and communication, Venus is in charge of desire and relationships, and Mars is aligned with your motivations and actions. Jupiter can help you understand your luck and abundance. Saturn can inform you of your lessons and limitations, and Uranus is in charge of your changes and rebellion. Neptune rules over hopes and fantasies, and Pluto holds the secrets of your transformations.

 

Now armed with a little more understanding of the Zodiac signs, the next step is to learn which categories you fit into. The easiest way to do so is to get a birth or natal chart. Many websites online can provide you with a free birth chart that details your sign and planet positions. https://cafeastrology.com/ is an excellent source to walk you through your natal chart.

 

SOURCES

“12 Zodiac Signs: All You Need to Know | Astrology.Com.” Astrology.Com, http://www.astrology.com/zodiac-signs. Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.

“All About Astrology: Zodiac Signs, the Planets, and Compatibility.” Tarot.Com, http://www.tarot.com/astrology. Accessed 16 Mar. 2021.

Molly Gauthier. “Earth Air Fire Water Signs • Your Secret Sauce (4 Elements).” Molly’s Astrology, 20 Feb. 2021, http://www.mollysastrology.com/topic/earth-air-fire-water-signs.

—. “What Are Cardinal Fixed Mutable Signs? Why Are They Important?” Molly’s Astrology, 28 Dec. 2020, http://www.mollysastrology.com/topic/cardinal-fixed-mutable-signs/#:%7E:text=The%20Three%20Modes%20or%20Qualities%3A%20Cardinal%2C%20Fixed%2C%20and%20Mutable%20signs,-My%20Courses%20How&text=Every%20sign%20in%20the%20Zodiac,important%20as%20the%20four%20elements.

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