Five Things to Know About Astrology: What it is and how to find out your different signs.

Astrology is a touchy subject; some people believe in it, others don’t. However, not much is known about astrology by the general public. Most people are aware of their sun sign (I’m a Sagittarius), but so many people are unaware of the nuances of astrology, and I’m here to help you.

First, astrology has been around for centuries. The twelve signs of the zodiac were originally divided by the Babylonians in the 1500s BCE, but with different names (their names at the time were those of constellations). The Ancient Greeks, however, were the first to give these signs their names as we know them today. The Ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy later popularized the signs of the zodiac in his book Tetrabiblos.

Second, while astrology is not technically a religion, it can be considered divine. Astrology, in the most basic terms, is the study of the phenomena of the planets and stars. Now, whether these phenomena means something is up to you. There is a huge debate as to whether astrology is even real, but just as Christianity (or any other religion) is unique to each person, so is astrology.

Third, 12 is a magic number in astrology: one’s chart has 12 planets, 12 signs, and 12 houses. Each planet, sign, and house has its own unique significance and meaning in astrology, and once they are combined, the results can be surprisingly accurate.

Fourth, one can easily draw up a chart online for free! Through websites like AstroDienst (Astro.com), applications like Co-Star, and other astrological resources, one can plug in three basic pieces of unique information to get a nicely drawn chart. The three things that one will need are birth date, birth location, and birth time (if you don’t know the time you were born, ask your parents or make an estimate). Once a chart is created, it may look confusing. Please don’t worry; a quick search on Google can explain the nuances of a chart.

Fifth, one’s daily horoscope should be based on the rising sign, not the sun sign. While sun signs tell us our basic identities, rising (or ascendant) signs tell us the first impressions we give off. Our rising signs rule our first house, the house of beginnings and self. Thus, rising sign horoscopes tend to be more accurate than sun sign horoscopes. If you are looking to find your rising sign, just follow the instructions in number four.

Sources: Time, Astro.com