Basics of Astrology


by Hermotimus

Astrology is the science that predicts (based on the time and place of birth) 
the physical, emotional and social aspects of an individual for his or her 
lifetime. Astrology is based upon the idea that the positions of the stars, 
planets, moon and sun at the time of birth influence and affect every part of a 
person's life. Just as the sun, moon and planets affect and create the tides in 
the earth's oceans, they also affect the tides within each individual. These 
effects are predictable (as are ocean tides), and through accumulated knowledge 
an accurate prediction of the basic characteristics of a specific person can be 

The chart of the positions of the stars, planets, moon and sun at the time of  
birth is called a Natal Horoscope or Birth Chart. It is comprised of several 
different elements: The 12 houses of the horoscope, the twelve signs of the 
Zodiac, the planets of our solar system and the moon and sun. In creating this 
chart, the Astrologer assumes the Earth is a fixed point and that all other 
cosmic bodies revolve around it on a daily basis. Thus each of the 12 houses of 
the horoscope represent two hours of the day.

The celestial heavens make up a circle which contains 360 degrees. The 12 signs 
of the Zodiac divide this circle into 30 degree sections. Each of these sections 
are divided into three 10 degree segments called decans. Each decan has a 
planetary ruler and specific characteristics associated with it. (The numbered 
cards of the Minor Arcana of the tarot deck are assigned one to each decan and 
take much of their meanings from the decans.)

Each of the twelve houses of the horoscope represent a different part of the 
life, character and emotions of the person. They are as follows:

First House: The personality, disposition, health, temperament, physical build 
and appearance, and one's outlook on life. It has a bearing on manners, and 
forms of outward behavior.

Second House: Possessions of all kinds, and the person's attitude towards them, 
and worldly resources which support the physical body, also moral values and 

Third House: Family ties, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. School life, 
education, communications, letters, books, short journeys, cars, bicycles, 
public testimony and speech. This is the House of Communication.

Fourth House: The beginning and end of life; the home as a base. This house has 
a certain bearing on parents, their abilities (and their ability to fulfill 
their commitment) since personal status and home life depend to some extent on 
them. Houses, land, foods, household items and private life are also related to 
the fourth House.

Fifth House: Creativity, children, pleasures, holidays, enterprises and new 
undertakings. Pleasures, love affairs, and the object of  instinctive affection. 
This is the House of romance and creative expression.

Sixth House: This House rules work; also subordinates, providing a strong 
pointer aimed at people's attitudes towards servants. This is also the House of 
health and service, although physical well being cannot be entirely assessed 
from it.

Seventh House: Indicates those who are in close relationships of an emotional 
and business nature. Also close friendships, legal affairs and contracts.

Eighth house: Represents money from legacies, shared feelings, life force 
elements of sex, birth and death, and attitudes towards death and the afterlife. 
In addition, high business; the stock exchange and insurance companies. This is 
also the House of crime and other people's money.

Ninth House: Further education, study in depth of profound subjects, and mental 
exploration; also long distance travel, foreigners, languages, This house also 
has a bearing on moral ideals, conscience and dreams.

Tenth House: Aspirations, ambitions, public standing. All matters outside the 
home; the career or profession, and attainment in that field, social status and 
responsibilities, a sense of discipline, and matters affecting outward 
appearances and the personal image.

Eleventh House: This house influences friends and acquaintances, clubs and 
societies. Objectives in life, and the more detached contacts made in day to day 
affairs. Intellectual pleasures, as opposed to more physical or sporting forms 
of relaxation. It is known as the House of friendships.

Twelfth House: A need for seclusion; service to others, such as hospital 
visiting, self-sacrifices (often as a result of a partner's illness). Bad 
habits, things done secretly, and self-undoing. It is called the House of self-

The twelve signs of the Zodiac also have specific characteristics for persons 
born under them. The sign of the Zodiac are divided in several different ways:

First, they are divided into the four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. These signs represent the spiritual 
world, and persons born under these signs have many spiritual qualities.

Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces representing man's emotional nature.

Air signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius represent the mental part of  man's 
nature. Persons born under these signs tend toward the intellectual.

Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn represent people who are more 
physical in their nature.

The next division of the Zodiac is into Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs.

Cardinal signs are pioneers, activists, reformers, and seekers of new conquests. 
The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

Fixed signs represent conservatives, they are slow to change and suspicious of 
new ideas. The Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.

Mutable signs are the counselors and compromisers, striving to bring harmony. 
The Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.

The signs of the Zodiac are also divided into Masculine and Feminine aspects.

The Masculine aspect is considered to be active, powerful, outgoing and 
electric. Masculine signs are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and 

The Feminine aspects is considered to be passive, inward looking and magnetic. 
The Feminine signs are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces.
The Signs of the Zodiac each have specific characteristics for people born under 
each sign. They are as follows:

ARIES: March 22 to April 20. Masculine, Fire and Cardinal in nature. Its 
positive traits include pioneering, competitiveness, courage, independence and 
quickness. its negative traits include domineering, quick-tempered, violent, 
intolerance and self-centeredness. Aries governs the head, face, brain and upper 

TAURUS: April 21 to May 21. Feminine, Earth and Fixed. its positive traits 
include practicality, patience, endurance, and persistence. Negative traits 
include possessiveness, laziness, inflexibility and stubbornness. It governs the 
throat, neck, ears, vocal cords, thyroid, tongue, mouth, tonsils and lower jaw.

GEMINI: May 22 to June 22. Masculine, Air and Mutable. Positive traits include 
adaptability, versatility, intelligence and a fine sense of newness. its 
negative traits include restlessness, changeability, nervous energy and 
inconsistency. Gemini governs the shoulders and upper chest.

CANCER: June 23 to July 23. Feminine, Water and Cardinal.  Positive traits 
include kindness, sensitivity, imagination and sympathy. Negative Cancerian 
traits include emotionality, weakness of character and instability of effort. 
This sign governs the arms and hands.

LEO: July 24 to August 23. Masculine, Fire and Fixed. Leo's positive traits 
include generosity, enthusiasm, broadmindedness and drama. Its negative traits 
include dogmatism, snobbery, intolerance and conceit. Leo governs the heart, 
sides and upper back.

VIRGO: August 24 to September 23. Feminine, Earth and Mutable. Its positive 
traits include discrimination, modesty, tidiness and analytical judgment. 
Negative traits include fussiness, worrisome, finickyness and conventionality. 
Virgo governs the intestines, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, lower plexus and 
upper bowel.

LIBRA: September 24 to October 23. Masculine, Air and Cardinal. Libra's 
positive traits include charm, easy going nature, romantic and diplomatic. Its 
negative traits include lack of decisiveness, resentfulness, flirtatious and 
gullibility. It governs the kidneys, lower back, adrenal glands and appendix.

SCORPIO: October 24 to November 22. Feminine, Water and Fixed. Scorpio's 
positive traits include strong feelings and emotions, a sense of purpose, 
imaginative and discerning. Negative traits include jealousy, resentment, 
obstinacy and suspiciousness. It governs the genitals, bladder, rectum and 
reproductive organs.

SAGITTARIUS: November 23 to December 22. Masculine, Fire and Mutable. Its 
positive traits include joviality, optimism, open-mindedness and adaptability. 
Negative Sagittarian traits include exaggeration, extremism, and 
irresponsibility. It governs the hips, thighs and upper legs.

CAPRICORN: December 23 to January 19. It is Feminine, Earth and Cardinal. 
The positive traits include reliability, ambition, carefulness and prudence. Its 
negative traits include a rigid outlook, pessimism, conventionality and 
miserliness. Capricorn governs the knees and lower legs.

AQUARIUS: January 20 to February 19. Masculine, Air and Fixed. Its positive 
traits include humanitarianism, friendliness, loyalty and originality. Negative 
traits include unpredictability, rebelliousness, tactlessness and 
unconventionality. Aquarius governs the ankles.

PISCES: February 20 to March 21. Feminine, Water and Mutable. Its positive 
traits include humility, compassion, sympathy and sensitivity. Negative traits 
include vagueness, carelessness, indecision and secrecy. Pisces governs the 

The planets have meanings that depend on what sign or house they appear in, and 
the relationships of the other planets to them. This allows me to give you only 
a very basic description of their characteristics along with their symbols:

THE SUN: Its symbol is a circle with a dot in the center, and represents 
individuality with its creative ability. This is the life-giver, the center on 
which all else depends. It represents the creative urge, the will to lead. Its 
attributes are bigness of heart, nobility, sincerity, pride and ambition. It 
brings intensity to all situations.

THE MOON: Its symbol is a crescent, usually shown as a half moon. It suggests 
reflection of individuality, just as the Moon reflects the Sun's light. It 
brings fruitfulness to things under its spell. It is impressionable, changeable, 
frank and open, refined, kind and modest.

MERCURY: Its symbol is a circle with a crescent above it and the cross below. It 
represents the mental processes, when the entire nature of man discusses with 
itself the course on which it finds itself and methods of improving it. It is 
quick, mental, imaginative, studious, sharp, logical, and fond of oratory. It 
brings keenness of mind to its affairs.

VENUS: Its symbol is a circle with a cross below it. This means the 
individuality has conquered the materiality, the nature becoming friendly and 
altruistic. It represents the beautiful, the harmonious, and friendly. It is 
affectionate, sympathetic, refined, fond of pleasure, social and artistic. It 
brings softness and smoothness to its affairs.

MARS: Its symbol is a cross above a circle, although the cross has been altered 
slightly to have it appear as an arrowhead. Its meaning is that materiality has 
conquered individuality, resulting in greed and war. This is the  planet of 
force and energy. It is good or bad depending on the way man uses it. It is 
constructive, courageous, fond of the outdoors, hot-tempered, aggressive and 

JUPITER: Its symbol is a crescent above a cross. It means the personality is 
master of the materiality; a jovial exterior hides the crass earthliness of the 
physical nature. It is a symbol of happiness and expansion. It expands, 
enlarges, brings good fortune. It is noble, sincere, kind-hearted, religious, 
honorable and faithful.

SATURN: It shows the cross of materiality above the crescent of  personality, 
the basis of the word saturnine or sadness. Material and physical woes have 
mastered the urge to be free of trouble.  Life's great teacher or taskmaster, 
this is the planet of experience. It limits, and by limiting bestows wisdom. It 
tends to subdue enthusiasm and zealousness. It is reflective, chaste, careful, 
fearful, and economical.

URANUS: Its symbol consists of the cross above the circle, the cross bordered by 
two crescents. This is the symbol of Mars with the double symbol of the Moon. It 
is the symbol of rebellion and revolution, when the personality desires to free 
itself of the symbols of greed and war. It is liberty-loving, original, abrupt, 
boldly romantic and philosophical.

NEPTUNE: Its symbol is the cross above the circle with a crescent running 
through the cross. It suggests mystery, for there is a subtle partnership 
between the personality and the materiality of man; a psychic path winding 
itself through the physical body. It teaches awareness of the unseen worlds. 
Psychic ability, mysticism, introspection and carelessness about material 

PLUTO: Its symbol is the circle above the crescent above the cross. It means the 
individuality is on top, preparing something new. Thus Pluto is the planet of 
far-reaching changes, and gives a strong inner desire to upset the old order and 
inaugurate something new. This not done in haste but with careful planning.