By: Ashley Noack, CCH
“He who does not understand astrology is not a doctor, but a fool”– Hippocrates
“What’s your sign?”—A phrase that we are all familiar with, but beyond pick-up lines and newspaper novelties may hold very little meaning. Astrology is the study of how the positions of the heavens influences humanity and earthly events. Around the world, civilizations recorded the movement of the cosmos, making predictions for the harvest, marriage, natural catastrophe, political upheaval, and epochs of innovation and spiritual enlightenment.
Understanding the relationship of these astral bodies to one another was once considered inseparable from mysticism, medicine, physics, and beyond. Medical astrology, specifically, correlated this wisdom to our own anatomy and physiology and was a cornerstone in the treatment and diagnosis of disease. Knowledge of astrology to the ‘natural philosopher,’ known now by another name—scientist, was elementary in unveiling the mysteries of the universe.
Our awareness of this ancient art remains and we at Golden Poppy are excited to introduce a line of hand-made herbal products inspired by the stars.
Each month, a new zodiac-inspired creation will be released, with health and healing for that sign and season in mind. The following is a guide to understanding astrology’s basic principles as a tool for insight and personal growth as you follow our journey through the stars.
Astrology is a path to understanding our human potential. This framework begins with the map of constellations that wraps around our earth called the zodiac. The zodiac is divided equally into twelve signs, which include: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each sign describes a personality—physical, emotional, and mental experiences.
The signs occupy space in our sky for approximately one month every year as we revolve around the sun. These signs mirror our seasons, so we experience dynamic and pioneering Aries at the onset of spring, while careful and resourceful Virgo shows her face at harvest time in the late summer. These cyclical patterns give rise to the qualities that each sign possesses.
We experience every sign regardless of what our sun sign, our time of birth within the solar calendar, is. This is because we all have each sign somewhere in our natal chart, a great circle showing the positions of the signs and planets at the time of one’s birth and is known also as a birth chart.
These twelve signs rule over 12 different houses, which describe different arenas of our human experience, and are equally divided to comprise the whole of this wheel. The signs sit on the outer rim of this wheel and change positions from one individual to another. The houses at the center remain fixed in the same position with the stars moving around them.
In the space between, each planet, including our sun and moon, has a place in your natal chart. These planets correspond to a sign and house that is completely unique to that person. To describe this, a person might say their ‘Moon is in the 12thHouse in Virgo.’ Planets bring their own energy to the picture but use the style of the sign to express this energy. The house where the planet lives is the arena of life where that energy just described has the most influence in a person’s chart.
These planets, furthermore, form angles to one another that are further described as aspects. These aspects can show harmony and dissonance in one’s chart and are areas of exploration along with transits, the current motion of the planets, during the chart readings rendered by astrologers.
When all of these elements are considered, they appear in such colorful, fine detail and the stars reveal the portrait of the person.
As with any work of art, though, it is best to begin with broad strokes. In astrology, arguably the most influential positions in a person’s chart are the placement of the sun, moon, and rising signs.
Not all of us feel connected to our ‘sign,’ but this is only one portion of the bigger picture. The sun describes our vitality and how we express our life force in the world. The moon explains our feelings and what supports us feeling emotionally secure. In fact, some cultures considered the moon more important than the sun, because our feelings arise from our unconscious mind. When we are unconscious about an influence in our life, we are often unaware of its’ power over us.
Finally, the person’s rising sign, or ascendant, is the sign that appeared on the horizon at the moment of one’s birth. The rising sign is the way we are seen by the world and who we are upon first impressions. As you explore your own natal chart, each of these key signs will bring you more depth and awareness for your personal healing.
Astrology is not a choice between fate and free-will, but a map of potentialities. By becoming consciously aware of how each sign, particularly our sun, moon, and rising, manifest in our lives the better we can optimize our wellbeing in accordance with the rhythms of the seasons and the tendencies of each sign. As you become curious with each sign over the course of the year and beyond, we hope that you will also learn to appreciate yourself as a force of nature, made from heaven and earth.