astrology chart elementsAn Astrology Chart applies the name “Aries” to a thirty-degree sector of space that commences with the vernal equinox. The other zodiac signs follow in order from this point, the “Aries Ingress”, where the Sun crosses the equator on its journey into the northern hemisphere. This point (0° Aries) is not located in the constellation of Aries now, but in the constellation of Pisces due to “precession”. The Earth wobbles on its axis once every 26,000 years, so it will be a bit of a wait until the Aries Point is once again in its named constellation.

The “Tropical” astrology chart places the Aries Point at the left (eastern) side of the horizontal line on the chart. This point is the “cusp” or dividing line between the twelfth and first astrological houses. One of the most important factors in astrology and horoscopes, it is the Ascendant or rising sign. Moving counterclockwise around the chart, each following zodiac sign (Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, etc.) is assigned a 30° section of its own. 12 signs X 30° = 360° – a circle, and another year.

As mentioned in the previous lesson on the astrology chart, each zodiac sign is associated one of the 4 Elements and one of the 3 Modes or “Qualities”. These particulars are to be memorized, if you hope to become proficient at reading astrology charts.

Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are Fire – passionate, enthusiastic, impulsive, self-sufficient and romantic. They can be arrogant and overly aggressive.

Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are Earth – practical, dependable, cautious and sensual. They covet material comforts and have strong physical constitutions. They can be tedious and mercenary.

Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are Air. They communicate well, are intellectual, and well suited to abstract reasoning. Logical, liberal, idealistic and unprejudiced, they can be cold and unrealistic.

Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are Water. Sensitive, receptive, emotional, and intuitive, they are moody and easily influenced by their environment. Water is found in three forms – liquid (Cancer), ice (Scorpio), and vapor (Pisces). Water is self-indulgent, self-pitying and ditzy.

The zodiac sign of each astrological house (30° section) has priority (rulership) of that house. For example, Fire houses are the 1st (Aries), 5th (Leo), and 9th (Sagittarius). The 6th house (Virgo) is Earth, and the 11th house (Aquarius) Air, etc.

The Cardinal signs represent the four cardinal points of the compass and order the change of season – Aries/East (Spring), Libra/West (Fall), Cancer/North (Summer), and Capricorn/South (Winter). Cardinal signs are initiatory, active, ardent, ambitious, enthusiastic and independent. Their minds are quick and insatiable. Used negatively, they can be hasty, inconsiderate and domineering; they may fail to finish what they start.

Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, are the central months of their respective seasons, “Fixed” between Cardinal and Mutuable signs. The Fixed signs are stubborn, focused, static, dignified, shrewd, egotistical and calculating. They realize their goals slowly but surely.

Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces are the Mutable signs, closing each season, and preparing for the change to come. Versatile, adaptable, subtle, sympathetic, resourceful and intuitive, their minds are inventive and flexible. They are also cunning, devious, capricious and undependable.

Continue to the next lesson Astrology Chart Houses, or return to the top of Astrology Chart Elements.