The ancient Babylonians created the zodiac by dividing the sky into twelve sections, each named after the largest constellation it contained. The zodiac calendar both tracked time and provided predictions: The Babylonians observed that the movement of planets, called transits, corresponded with both auspicious events and misfortunes on earth.
The Romans adopted the zodiac at the dawn of the first century, expanding the roles of the stars and planets through mythology. It was at that intersection of meticulous observation and epic folklore that astrology was born. For centuries, astrology was at the heart of science, medicine, philosophy, and magick. The Hermetic axiom "as above, so below" signified the belief that the vast, mysterious macrocosm of the universe reflects the microcosm of humans' experiences.
The advent of the telescope and corresponding discovery of the so-called "modern planets" — Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto — completed the celestial puzzle. Though the function of astrology has changed it's now more frequently used to gauge romantic compatibility than to predict the fate of the harvest , today we still observe the planets as the ancient Babylonians did. Though astrology is a vast, complex, and highly specialized study, the core principles are straightforward: A birth chart is a snapshot of the sky at the moment of your birth you can calculate yours here.
It reveals the precise location of each of the planets and which constellation they occupied. In some birth charts, all the planets are in the same constellation; in others, they're spread across the sky. The distance between these planets is important since each has its own celestial function.
Let's take a look at each significant entity in the sky. When someone asks you what your sign is, whether or not they know it, they're asking about the position of the sun at your moment of birth. The sun symbolizes our fundamental essence.
This vibrant celestial body represents our ego, sense of self, basic personality, and general preferences. You can read more about what your sun sign says about you right here. The sun governs the zodiac sign Leo, the vivacious, dynamic fire sign that exudes both bravery and theatricality. It takes approximately one month to transit — or move across — a zodiac sign. The moon's gravitational pull regulates the climate and oceanic tides.
Within astrology, the moon represents our emotional inner world. While the sun exposes our outer experience, the moon symbolizes everything beneath the surface. It represents the spiritual retreat of our most private selves. The moon governs the zodiac sign Cancer, the sensitive, protective water sign that defines nurture, comfort, and security.
The moon is the fastest moving celestial body in the sky and takes approximately two and a half days to transit a zodiac sign. The smallest and innermost planet of the solar system, Mercury is named after the Roman deity who served as a messenger to the gods. Within astrology, Mercury symbolizes communication.
While the moon reflects our emotions, Mercury reflects logic and rationality. Mercury uses its clever intellect and relentless curiosity to analyze, sort, and classify, helping us synthesize and articulate complex ideas.
What do the planets symbolize?
Mercury takes 13 or 14 days to transit a zodiac sign and goes retrograde three or four times per year. Named after the enchanting Roman goddess, Venus is the vibrant planet that represents beauty, love, and money. Known in traditional astrology as a "benefic" Jupiter is the other benefic , Venus boasts an auspicious influence. Indulgent Venus is happiest when luxuriating: Fine wines, extended baths, and aromatic moisturizers align with the Venusian spirit.
Venus's highbrow tastes reflect our interest in art and culture, while its romantic sensibilities reveal our idealized perception of love. Both earth sign Taurus and air sign Libra are ruled by Venus, each representing a different side of Venus's expression: Taurus is physical, while Libra is cerebral.
Venus takes approximately four to five weeks to transit a zodiac sign and goes retrograde every 18 months.
The Red Planet is known for its battle cry. Named after the Roman god of war, Mars symbolizes action, determination, and aggression. Its impassioned spirit often manifests when we're racing to meet a deadline, running to catch a flight, or competing for a selective position. Mars is the fire under our ass, providing the adrenaline-charged boost of energy that fuels movement.
It also reflects our physical passion and lust. This planet governs Aries, the impulsive fire sign known for its high-octane vivacity. Mars takes approximately six to seven weeks to transit a zodiac sign and goes retrograde every two years. The largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter — or Zeus, in Greek mythology — is recognized for its colossal presence.
Referred to as the "Great Benefic" in traditional astrology, Jupiter symbolizes fortune, philosophy, abundance, and spirituality. This generous planet governs expansion, encouraging us to widen our scope and broaden our horizons through philosophy, spirituality, and education. Jupiter governs Sagittarius, the adventurous fire sign known for its thrill-seeking disposition.
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Jupiter takes approximately 12 to 13 months to transit a zodiac sign and goes retrograde each year for around days. The ringed gas giant is associated with time, regulations, and restriction. On a good day, Saturn symbolizes hard work, professional achievements, and steadfast resilience. On a bad day, however, Saturn can be harsh and unemotional, forcing us to learn through tough love and difficult challenges.
Though this planet has an odd way of showing its affection, Saturn does have our best interest in mind. It simply wants us to play by the rules. Saturn governs Capricorn, the enterprising earth sign known for its tireless ambition, and takes approximately two and a half years to transit each sign. It goes retrograde each year for around days. Fittingly, Uranus symbolizes technology, rebellion, and innovation.
This revolutionary planet hates the rules and is always eager to facilitate groundbreaking, dynamic change. Uranus can have surprising effects after all, the planet loves shock value. It governs Aquarius, the free-thinking air sign recognized for its eccentricity and nonconformity. Uranus takes approximately seven years to transit each sign and goes retrograde each year for around days. Neptune's vivid azure color perfectly complements its astrological significance.
So, ready to get astrolofied with the best of 'em? Before you download any of the apps, make sure you have your exact time, date, and location of birth handy.
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Send your mom a text and ask her to reminisce about those long hours in labor, if necessary. Also, prepare to be full-on seen by the cosmos because once you input your birthday logistics, there's no more denying the power of astrology. Below are my top three astrology applications, ranked from the one I use most to the one I use least. I still highly recommend all three apps, especially to those trying to get a better understanding of astrology, but No.
The TimePassages app sits directly over my Messages icon because I use it every single day. This app gives you an instant astrological analysis of your birth chart — featuring a visual chart interpretation along with a user-friendly list of astro aspects — and a Daily Horoscope tool, integrating your individual birth date along with the current astrology transits taking place at the moment.
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For the record, that's not something you see every day; horoscopes are typically ambiguous for this reason because you need an exact time, date, and location of birth for an accurate assessment The downside to this is there is a small cost — unless you purchase the unlimited feature for a one-time price — but you have the option of astro-analyzing family, friends, and romantic prospects via the Compare Charts option to see whether y'all are compatible.
You're welcome. Now do yourself a favor and download TimePassages for iOS. Don't get me wrong, TimePassages is my personal fave, as I've been studying astrology my whole life.
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Co-Star, however, is more sleek, modern, and millennial-friendly for a number of reasons. For starters, the visual interpretations are easy to digest and the horoscope updates have interesting sections such as Power, Pressure, and Trouble. This makes it easier for the user to understand where they can expect to see some challenges, unless there's a harmonious astrological aspect in favor, of course.
Something else I appreciate about this app is the use of terminology.