Written in the Stars: Astrology Basics

Astrology has been around since humans first began to explore the world around them. It is used as a divination practice, where analysis of the star positions at a person’s time of birth is used to predict their personality traits, career success, wealth and more. Some people take astrology very seriously and consult with their astrologer before making important decisions. Other people use astrology as a form of entertainment and only look up their sign if it comes up in conversation. 

Regardless of which part of the spectrum you fall on, let’s go over the basics and see how well your zodiac sign can predict what you would like to read. 

What Is Astrology?

Astrology is primarily used as a self-help tool to provide a deeper understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, thought patterns and habits. It can also be used as a way to understand others and how your personality, relationship or work style interacts with theirs. In that way, astrology is similar to other personality tests like DiSC, opens a new window, Meyers-Briggs, opens a new window and the Enneagram, opens a new window.

What Is a Zodiac Sign?

  • There are 12 Western zodiac signs whose dates are based on the lunar calendar. 
  • A person has multiple different zodiac signs based on factors like geographical location, time of day, month and more.
  • Since the zodiac signs are based on the lunar calendar, they cross over two months. These time frames are referred to as seasons.
  • A person’s personality is a reflection of three dominant signs, their Sun, Moon and Rising (or Ascendant) sign.              
    • Your Sun sign is the sign of common personality traits. For example, a Capricorn Sun might prefer to save money rather than spend it. 
    • Your Moon sign is a reflection of your passions and what drives you. If someone has an Aries Moon, they might be driven by a need to stand up or fight for others. 
    • Your Rising sign is representative of your physical body and style, both of which are influenced by your inner self. Someone with a Taurus Rising might appear soft and nurturing, despite their strong will hiding underneath.
  • You can get a copy of your birth chart (sometimes called a natal chart) for free from many sources such as Café Astrology, opens a new windowCo-Star, opens a new window or determine it yourself with our astrology resources. 

Zodiac Signs and the Elements

The 12 zodiac signs are divided into elemental groups: air, earth, fire and water.

  • Earth signs include Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. These signs are known for being grounded, down to earth and dependable.
  • Air signs include Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. They are usually known for being outgoing, friendly and big-picture people.
  • Fire signs include Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. People with these signs are known for their exciting, inspiring and passionate natures.
  • Water signs include Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio. Water signs are often empathetic, intuitive and emotionally driven people. 

What To Read for Your Season

Each month we'll be creating lists of recommendations for the different seasons and adding them to this list.


(January 20-February 18)


(February 19-March 20)


(March 21-April 19)


(April 20-May 20)


(May 21-June 20)


(June 21-July 22)


(July 23-August 22)


(August 23-September 22)


(September 23-October 22)


(October 23-November 22)


(November 22-December 21)


(December 22-January 19)

Don't want to wait? Discover our nonfiction top picks for each sign.

Nonfiction Reads for Your Zodiac Sign

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