A beginners guide to the stars: the basics of astrology


Graphic by Haylee Griffith.

Astrology is an ideology that has been around since ancient times, yet many people still do not understand the basic inner workings of it. Due to rising popularity in recent years, astrology is bigger than ever, and getting started has never been easier.  

Astrology is defined by Oxford languages as “the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.”

In simpler terms, astrology is essentially how celestial bodies affect people on Earth which may seem random at first, but it can really open up one’s eyes to everything around them. There are many reasons people become interested in astrology, one the biggest being that it can tell so much about a person from so little information.

Hannah Tawney, a senior at A-West and also a proud Aries, reflects, “I like astrology for the fact that it can tell you a lot about a person like how they communicate, love, express their emotions, etc. Astrology also offers a lot of insight to self-development which I really appreciate because I think that everyone should work on being the best version of themselves.” 

Graphic by Haylee Griffith.

Astrology can be interpreted in many different ways and mean something different to each person which makes it so intriguing to people. This ideology, however, is very complex and it can be intimidating to get started and know what to look for when starting out.  

Senior Grace Hodson, a Pisces, advises, “Read as much as you can, talk to people, compare your charts with people, and things will kind of slowly start to line up.”

A key component to understanding astrology would be reading up on anything and everything about it. Talking to other people and getting to know their understanding of the ideology can only help, but be wary of disbelievers.

The idea that stars can dictate so much about each individual person on Earth can be an intense concept for some, explaining why many just brush astrology off completely as a hoax. Tawney has a foolproof way of properly handling the skeptics.

“First I would ask the person what their sign is and then what day, time, and place they were born. Then I would read some things about them, that usually blows people’s minds when they’re skeptical,” Tawney explains. 

With such a sudden interest in astrology, there are bound to be tons of places to receive false information which is something to avoid at all costs. An easy way to spread fake information would be with horoscopes, the most popular and well-known category involved in astrology. 

Horoscopes are usually the first thing people think of when talking about astrology because most people already know their zodiac sign without knowing anything about what it means. Knowing ones zodiac sign can tell a lot about a person since it is based on their birthday so a good place to start when entering the world of astrology would be to find out which zodiac sign someone is

After figuring out which zodiac sign one is, it will become easier than ever to read up on one’s specific horoscope. Since just about anyone can make up a horoscope or fake facts, making sure to only get information from credible sites and professionals is crucial. 

Horoscopes offer insights and awareness to individuals and checking up on them frequently can help to guide oneself in their daily life. While horoscopes are a great way to get started on one’s journey to astrology, that is just scratching the surface given how much more there is to explore.

Emma Baynes with UnpublishedZine states, “Horoscopes can be a positive guide, but it is also essential to understand that there are other aspects to astrology that can help guide every individual onto a spiritual path, such as analyzing one’s birth chart.”

Graphic by Haylee Griffith.

Birth charts are simple to make and can tell a lot about a person. A great place to start would be creating a personalized chart and then going from there.

Tawney explains, “Advice I would give would be create your natal chart, online there are a lot of different websites you can use, a good starter website is Cafe Astrology!”

It is easy to get started and these charts can help spiral into so much more and provide an even deeper understanding of astrology. Many people shy away from doing this, however, due to the constant backlash they receive from admitting they are into this ideology. 

Tawney explains the stigma around astrology in that, “I do think that there are lots of negative stereotypes around it. I see a lot of different people giving me nasty looks when I talk about it.”

Such a fun and harmless hobby gets waves of hate consistently when it does nothing but help people figure out more about themselves. 

“Astrology really is a look into myself. It’s a good way to learn how to better yourself because one aspect about me is I’m really stubborn so it helps me on how I can get away from that,” Hodson claims.

Astrology is a fun way for people to connect with themselves on a deeper level. This practice gives many a sense of relief and can bring happiness. It is an interesting way for people to understand themselves and those around them better. At the end of the day, astrology is a fun ideology to dig into because all it takes to get started is an open mind and a willingness to learn.