Astrology Glossary & Study Resources

Signs are 12 slices of the zodiacal pie of 30 degrees each. Since the Greeks liked order, these 12 signs are equal size, which is not the case of the constellations in the heavens. Therefore the 12 signs may use the symbolism of the constellations, but do not correlate in the exact position to where the baby was born in relation to the sky.

Planets refer to the celestial bodies that move; planet is wanderer in ancient Greek. An astrologer’s use of the word planet is frequently misunderstood because we use it for the Sun, Moon, and other bodies that are not designated a planet by astronomers.

Elements divide the 12 signs into 4 qualities. This is from ancient physics: earth, air, fire, and water.

  • Earth signs see the world in ways they can touch, feel, and smell. They have strong practical sides and are bound to the body. Said to be similar to Jung’s “sensation” type…realistic, down-to-earth, sensible, plodding. The 3 earth signs are Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo.
  • Air signs are in their head. They talk, gather information, and value verbal communication. They are the “thinking” type… analytic, objective, worry, spinning wheels – Air signs are Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini.
  • Fire signs act on intuition. They function best when inspired. They are people who respond to hunches, speculation, fantasy, imagination, impulsive – Fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
  • Water signs are the “feeling” personalities. They sense what’s the value of a situation and people’s reaction to it. They are the “gut” people: subjective, personal, valuing intimacy, humane, overly sensitive – Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

Modalities are the 3 characteristics of the 12 signs:

  • Cardinal (beginning, starts the seasons, impatient) are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.
  • Fixed (stubborn, persistent, slow to change) are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.
  • Mutable (flexible, resourceful, indecisive) are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.

Where’s that Moon? The Moon sign and its phase is tremendously important to the astrologer. The Moon in your horoscope represents your emotional body: how you react to things, your habits, memories, and how you nurture, among other things.

Void of Course Moon When the moon is “void of course” or VOC, it will make no other geometric connection to any planet before it moves into the next sign. At this time, we tend to have no emotional attachment to the outcome, so it is not a good time to begin any endeavor in which you have great interest.

For instance, when the moon is VOC, you would not want to sign a contract for a new job or a home, nor would you want to pitch a proposal. That is why usually it is recommended to organize, edit, and meditate instead of initiate.

HOWEVER, if the VOC moon touches a significant point in your PERSONAL horoscope, this could be a game-changer. This is a karmic moment, which means you could be in a position to make a decision or start something that has a destined purpose. This is why it does matter to have dates checked by a professional if something important is at stake unless you can make this calculation yourself.

One of the best libraries on the web for basic astrology to advanced is Astrodienst.