BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Most of us read our horoscopes at some point, skeptic or not. Most of us also only read our Sun sign horoscope, when in reality, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our Sun sign is only one facet of our personalities (according to astrology). So, while I’m a Sagittarius, for instance, it’s just as important that my Moon is in Scorpio, and my Rising sign is in Virgo. (Yes, I’m hella intense and complicated.)
The point is, your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs are the trifecta you’ve always been looking for. While you should utilize and study your entire birth chart, along with where the planets align each month, to give a full picture, the trifecta (as I like to call it) is a good way to read your horoscope every month without short-changing yourself.
So, the right way to read your horoscope is simple – it just takes some basic knowledge of how astrology all works. Because there's also more to astrology and horoscopes besides signs, like planets and houses. Read on to figure it all out.
1. Check your Moon, Sun, and Rising signs to get a more specific reading and analysis.
If you don’t know them, you can easily find out for free yourself online. So, for instance, even if you’re an Aries, which is a fire sign, you might actually be super chill because you have a lot of earth and water in your chart.
Here's the breakdown:
Sun sign tells you the general themes in your life and how you are positioned to react (to things like break ups, for example).
Rising sign focuses on the timing of when things will happen (like a new job, relationship, etc).
Moon sign is all about your emotional inner self—your true self.
Clearly, you need all of these things to be a fuller version of you.
2. Get with the elements and how they affect you.
There are four elements in the zodiac, which are split between the 12 signs.
What are they?
Fire Signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) are known for being passionate, opinionated, and bold.
Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are sensitive and deeply intuitive, idealistic, and altruistic.
Air Signs (Gemini, Aquarius and Libra) are all about expression, being extroverted and fluid.
Earth Signs (Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo) are pragmatic, stubborn, logical, and practical.
3. Know your houses.
What are houses, exactly? Well, it depends on the time of your birth. The house system is divided into 12 sections, and each tells you something different about yourself and your life. Your first house is determined by which constellation was rising on the eastern horizon at the moment you were born, and the rest follow suit. Where the signs fall in each house illustrates why you might be super ambitious or not, why you have a temper, why religion is important to you.
Here they are:
1. The First House = self-image
2. The Second House = money
3. The Third House = platonic relationships and surroundings
4. The Fourth House = family and childhood
5. The Fifth House = expression and creativity
6. The Sixth House = work and health
7. The Seventh House = long-term partnerships
8. The Eighth House = change and sexuality
9. The Ninth House = belief and spirituality
10. The Tenth House = careers
11. The Eleventh House = dreams and ambititions
12. The Twelfth House = your private inner life and karmic energy
4. Don’t forget the planets – and the three categories.
The three categories of planets are inner, outer, and social. Why is this relevant? Each sign is ruled by a planet, which has a set of attributes. So, for instance, Venus rules romance, while the moon rules your inner emotional life, and Mars is all about likes and dislikes.
So, the inner planets:
Mercury, Venus and Mars are called the inner planets due to their proximity to earth. The signs in these planets dictate your personality, what you want, and what you need.
Mercury is the ruler of communication, so depending what sign falls in Mercury will depend how you communicate (openly, hesitantly, shyly, etc).
Venus is the planet of love, so what you want, how you express love and affection, all depends on where you fall. Are you really romantic, or kind of standoffish?
Mars is the planet of conflict and action, which comes out with your career, sex life, and how you express anger.
The outer planets:
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have the longest and widest orbits, which makes them generational placements, since they stay in place the longest. So, generational attributes are all because of them.
Uranus rules change, so how you deal with change and what kind of change happens over the course of your life is dependent on this planet.
Neptune rules dreams and ambitions, so this affects how you get and pursue what you want.
Pluto is all about power, which will affect how you use it, harness it, and how much of it you even want. Are you a leader or a follower?
Onto the social planets:
Jupiter and Saturn’s orbits are wider and longer than those of the inner planets, but smaller and shorter than those of the outer planets, so they’re right inbetween. This means they’re about how you are perceived.
Jupiter is the planet of luck, knowledge and learning, which means how you relate to the world, how you invest in knowledge of others, yourself, and the world around you, is paramount. This also includes your spiritual beliefs.
Saturn is the ruler of boundaries, which affects how you respond to situations beyond your control.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (Operating System, 2017), Sexting Ghosts (Unknown Press, 2018), Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), and is the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is the founder of Yes, Poetry and the managing editor for Civil Coping Mechanisms and Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Brooklyn Magazine, Prelude, BUST, Spork Press, and elsewhere. Joanna also leads workshops at Brooklyn Poets. joannavalente.com / Twitter: @joannasaid / IG: joannacvalente