Riley’s Astrology Corner: Introductions and Uncertainty

Riley’s Astrology Corner: Introductions and Uncertainty

Hey there readers! Welcome to the revival of the astrology column of The Spectator! I know most of you are extremely desperate for yet another person to attack you via your astrological chart, but I promise I won’t be the one to do that this time. Instead, my passion is to make astrology more accessible and intersectional in all communities. My hope is to educate others on the reasons behind astrology-related emotions and events. Astrology should not scare you or make you embarrassed to even bring it up in conversations. Rather, it should be a way to connect with other beings and learn more about the planet we live on. It’s important that we understand the universe around us and feel comfortable getting in touch with our inner spirit. So be gone with the anxiety that is created from mean daily horoscopes and completely random TikToks! 

I won’t be giving average horoscopes that are too vague to interpret or categorize your zodiac sign into its basic stereotypes. Each week, I will provide an in-depth discussion on astrological events, any overall expectations and general information on astrology itself. This week is an introduction into astrology (for beginners) and talking about what’s occurring in our solar system this week. 

When introducing yourself to the basics of astrology, it is important to recognize its history first. Astrology isn’t just Instagram memes or a means of judging others—it has great spiritual significance in many cultures and, oftentimes, can be gentrified or misused. There should be an acknowledgment of the ancestors who created the origins of astrology and fought to make their practices respectable. Some of the first astrological charts came from the Babylonians and Egyptians, not the Greeks or the Romans, like many assume. Refrain from any cultural appropriation when studying astrology by making sure to respect the historical background and educating yourself before beginning. 

Now, let’s dive into the vocabulary of your birth chart to familiarize yourself with what you are reading. There are 12 astrological signs that each have different characteristics and patterns within them. I won’t be diving into each of them this week, but there are plenty of sources with more information on what each sign means! 

Planets and houses might be some of the first things you see in your chart, but what do they mean? There are eight planets in our solar system. However, in astrology, we include the Sun and the Moon as well (totaling 10 planets). Your sun placement, or what we often call our “zodiac sign,” is the planet that most people are familiar with. You can find your sun sign by matching your birth month and day with the corresponding astrological sign. Sun placements represent the core of what it means to be you. It connects to your personality, ego and how you appear from the outside. 

Your ascendant, or “rising sign,” comes from the time that you were born. Nicknamed the rising sign, as it corresponds with the rising of the Sun, Ascendants also offer a glimpse of who you are, but in regards to how you’re perceived by others. Rising signs are all about public appearance and who you are in front of others. 

Your moon sign matches with the month and day you were born, although it can be difficult to accurately match your moon sign, as it changes quite quickly. Moon signs represent your emotions and the self that you keep more hidden. I like to think of my moon sign as the baby or toddler inside of me. These three planets are the main placements that define most of your personality. Keep these three in mind when participating in any spiritual readings or connections. 

The eight planets that make up our solar system are actually the placements that are lesser-known. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto all have different meanings inside your birth chart. For now, I’ll keep it as simple as possible. 

Mercury is known as the “thinking” planet. You might be familiar with the Mercury retrograde event, which has become a popular joke among the astrology community. This event is often quite difficult for many people, as it causes blockages in the ways that we communicate as human beings. 

Venus is the “love” planet. It typically regards things like physical appearance, interests and attraction. Venus allows us to see the beauty in certain things and controls what we find ourselves attracted to. 

Mars is the “passion” planet. It controls things like anger, sex, confidence/self-image and motivation. Jupiter and Saturn are known as the “social communication” planets. Jupiter focuses on more positive aspects like kindness, personal growth, fortune and abundance. Saturn relates to the tougher aspects such as loyalty, strength, ethical dilemmas, productivity and overall tests of life. 

Uranus is the “individualism” planet. It fights for your true self, your spirit and your voice. Neptune is the “dream” planet. It is connected to the essence of sentient spirituality and demonstrates peace, tranquility and change. Finally, Pluto is all about transformation, which controls your destiny and the becoming of your highest self. 

All of these planets work in context with your birth chart, including the month, day and time you were born. You will have an astrological sign corresponding to each planet, which will tell you how you work in these certain areas. For example, if my Mars planet is placed in Scorpio, the passion in my personality will be intense and extreme. This is because Scorpios are already associated with passion and assertiveness. 

Just like how your planets align with astrological signs, they also align with the astrological houses. Most people are unfamiliar with how houses work and what they can show in your birth chart. Houses represent different components of life that can provide insight into how you will work with those components. There are 12 houses (just like there are 12 signs), but houses are dictated by the time and location in which you were born rather than the month and day. You may have multiple planets in one house, as it’s all related to where these planets are located on your chart. 

Similar to the sun sign, the first house controls your personality and appearance. Your second house controls money, abundance and more material aspects. Your third house controls communication and friendships whether it’s social, educational or work-related. The fourth house controls family structure and how you were raised as a child. The fifth house is about your child self, creativity, self-expression and everything joyful. Your sixth house controls your adult self with things like work ethic, responsibility and health. The seventh house controls relationships whether it’s romance or anything commitment-related. Your eighth house controls things that change such as birth, death, sexuality or your spirit. The ninth house controls subjects of broader thinking like spirituality, religions, morals and ethics, expanding your mind, education, etc. Your tenth house controls your career path and overall skills. The eleventh house controls your social self through your interests, hobbies, friendships and what you believe in. Finally, your twelfth house controls your ego, consciousness and inner issues. 

Remember, the houses work just like your sign placements. For example, let’s say your Moon places into the fifth house on your chart. Recall that your Moon is all about emotions and the hidden self. How does this relate to the fifth house that represents creativity and expression? This means that you express yourself through your emotions: you are a generally sensitive person, very connected with your inner child and use your creativity freely. However, it’s important to take hold of these emotions and not let them take over your logical thoughts. 

Now that we have taken a look at reading your birth chart and understanding your astrological self, let’s discuss the energies that are surrounding us at the moment. Astrology can be subjective at times so only take what you believe applies to your personal situation. Fortunately, Mercury retrograde has just ended! You should feel a more open sense of communication so encourage yourself to use this new freedom. Be proud of yourself for not texting your ex, but if you did, don’t be hard on yourself. Try to move on and understand any mistakes. As we draw towards a full moon Feb. 27, begin to focus on what’s next for you. 

Full moons are all about questioning what is working for us and what isn’t. This week is definitely a time full of change, so it will bring uncertainty within its energy. Don’t be fearful of this change—use it to your advantage. If you remain strong and positive, you will come out of this energy feeling renewed and clear-headed. Pisces season has just begun, so some of us may be feeling those water-sign emotions more than usual. Pisces can be very sensitive and emotional, but we can all use this energy to be more kind and empathetic to others. Remember that everyone is going through difficult times right now, so it’s important to always choose kindness over anything else. 

What does your birth chart look like? Send it over to me at [email protected]! I’d love to help you read it and understand it so you can find out more about your astrological self!