For me, astrology is a guide that gives words, meaning, and deeper insight into myself and the world around me. It’s the language of the cosmos, interpreting the past, present, future and their collective themes. The snapshot of the sky at the exact moment you were born can unveil how those collective threads influence us on a personal level. It’s a practical yet mystical tool for self-discovery that can also help you better understand the people in your life and the environments you inhabit. We all have free will to make our own decisions, and this celestial language is but one - yet very potent - way to help you learn, heal, evolve, and choose the most aligned paths for you.
Your unique birth chart holds the keys to unlocking the hidden facets of your inner world. This cosmic blueprint reveals the significance of planetary placements, reflecting back to us how (zodiac sign) and where (house placement) we may experience their effect, providing a window into our personality, purpose, emotions, relationships, communication style, motivation and so much more.
In this post, we’ll delve into the natal placements that have cracked open the doors of my curiosity and understanding, along with some practical ways to infuse astrological insight into your daily life.
But, before we dive in, here’s a mini guide from one of my favorite astrologers, Chani Nicholas from her book: You Were Born For This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance:
Planets are the Who The different characters in the play of our lives. Signs are the How Each sign has its own way of functioning, its own flair, its own signature style. Houses are the Where If the planets are the actors and the signs are their styles or costumes, then the houses are the sets where their stories are lived out.
For most of us, our introduction to astrology came through none other than our Sun sign. Whether you poured over horoscopes in the pages of Cosmopolitan or discovered the astrotwins through elle.com. Or like me, had a family friend who prepared your natal chart on a good old fashioned typewriter before you could even read. This foundational component of your astrological makeup represents your core essence, and like the Sun, illuminates how and where you shine the brightest.
Each Sun sign brings with it specific traits and characteristics that can influence your personality. For example, Leo sun signs (like moi) are generally known for their confidence, loyalty, generosity, and a just a tiny little flair for dramatics. With my Leo sun in the 7th house of partnership, I really thrive in one-on-one relationships and the collaborative projects and conversations where I feel most lit-up.
If the sun is our personality and how we express ourselves out in the world, the moon illuminates our inner world of emotions and subconscious. It reveals how we process our feelings and our emotional needs. Here’s an example: with a moon in dreamy compassionate Pisces, you may be highly intuitive and in touch with your emotions. On the other end of the zodiac wheel, with a moon is in Aries, your approach to handling emotions might be more action-oriented and assertive.
Rising on the east horizon at the moment of your birth, is your ascendant, also known as your rising sign. Located in the first house, some astrologers describe the ascendant as first impressions and outward appearance. However there is much more to tell here. The name itself indicates an ascension, into who you are becoming, what you want to be known for, and your motivation for life. Because of this outer expression, your rising sign provides valuable insights into your skills, talents, and the best strategies for you move through and co-create your life's journey.
Let's take a quick look at how your rising sign can influence your career and personal branding. Scorpio rising for example, are intense and resourceful and can apply that to work as entrepreneurs, in psychology, or investigative fields. And their personal brand might highlight themes like transformation, depth, and determination.
These layers of learning, like the sky and the multitudes of wondrous complexities within you, are endless. You can spend years exploring just those three components of your chart as each day's celestial transits will highlight and inspire new parts of yourself to uncover.
“The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection…” - Carl Jung
Since ancient times, astrologers have looked to seven classical planets which represent “basic human drives,” from the more personal planets of individual characteristics or desires to the “social or transcendent” planets that shift us from personal to broader societal influences. We’ve already covered two of those personal planets: the Sun and Moon, and now we’ll get into the remaining three personal planets, which hold a world of wisdom from relationships, communication style, and how we’re best designed to take action.
One needs only to look toward the archetype of the Goddess Venus to understand how this planet influences the way we approach love and relationships. It can represent your appreciation of beauty and aesthetics, even what qualities you find attractive in others. Where Venus lands in your natal chart can help you embody your capacity for pleasure, joy, and harmony. Let’s look at two examples that lie on opposite sides of the zodiac wheel. With a Venus in Cancer, you might be more nurturing and emotional in your relationships and in return, desire that same sense of emotional security and sentimental acts of service. Whereas in Capricorn, you may crave stability, shared goals, ambition, routine and quality time.
Another important piece of all relationships and life in general is how we communicate. Mercury, the planet of communication and information - you know the basics of mercury retrograde right? Double check your emails, try not to sign contracts, and give yourself plenty of time for delays. Well when it comes to how you process information and how you express yourself, whether that be through speaking, writing or even how you make decisions, there is much to gather from this planet. With Mercury in its home sign of Gemini, you have a natural, lively flow with words and ideas. In its other home sign, Virgo, your style of communication is likely more detail-oriented, practical, and analytical.
Rounding out the personal signs is Mars, the god of war, or in astrological terms the planet of action, drive, motivation, and insatiable ambition. What desires are driving you? How do you take action on your goals and passions? What about conflict and challenges? Your Mars natal placement illuminates how to overcome obstacles and dig deep into your well of willpower and motivation. Even in its detriment sign like Libra, you can find your unique approach through diplomacy, and fairness, that flourishes when you work towards goals in harmony and partnership. Across the zodiac, in Mars, lives fiery Aries which thrives in its bold and direct approach to seizing their desires.
The positioning of the planets, signs, and houses at the precise moment of your first breath creates a map for your soul's journey on earth. Each placement has it's own unique way of painting the various pictures of your essence. This vast tool of exploration can and should be approached through your personal level of curiosity and interest, and while there are multitudes of ways to apply astrology, I find that trying to learn it all up front can be pretty overwhelming! Like any of the teachings that I love to get lost in, the goal is to make the unconscious conscious, to build self-awareness and ultimately self-acceptance, so we can bring out the highest - best - truest parts of ourselves and consciously move through the ups and downs of life with compassion, ease, and joy.
I wouldn't be me without introducing a few ways to experiment, reflect, and play with your astrology, because personal growth can be as fun as it is deep and reflective. Here's a few ideas for you:
Journal on your strengths and opportunities to grow and expand through your natal placements.
What are some qualities or characteristics you believe are associated with your Sun sign? How do you express these traits in your daily life? What challenges, if any, might be associated with your Sun sign?
Take some time to reflection on your inner emotions, and how you respond emotionally in your life. How does your moon sign influence you? Are there any situations of people who trigger specific emotions and how do you handle those experiences?
How does your rising sign influence your first impressions? What specific behaviors or characteristics in these interactions align with your rising sign?
Start your day by tuning into your inner emotions. I love to do this while lying in bed and placing one hand on the center of my heart space and the other on my stomach, and then check-in. What emotions are you feeling? Where in your body do you feel them?
How might your Moon placement, that provides insights into your emotional needs and tendencies, affect your mood and feelings throughout your day?
Set the Intention to embrace your emotions and honor the influence and expression of your moon's placement by making choices that align with your true self and emotional well-being.
I have a Taurus moon which very much translates into my love for the little comforts and pleasures in my home and daily life. It's the mood music in the background, slowly easing into my mornings, reading in the breakfast nook snuggled up with the dogs, and taking breaks throughout the day to sit on the front steps, basking in the sun. On the other hand, taurus moons aren't necessarily known to gracefully embrace change or disruption to our cozy little flow. After all, the moon itself controls the tides of the earth so it's no surprise, the powerful impact of our moon sign on our emotional waves. For me, setting the intention to embrace my emotions and the way taurus (in my 4th house of foundations & home) wants to express itself might sound like:
"Today I will enjoy the simple pleasures and prioritize my self-care and I will remain open to change and be adaptable when unexpected challenges arise. I find harmony and balance between my comforts and my growth."
Conscious Communication Become more mindful of your conversations with family, friends, and colleagues by looking to the strengths in your mercury sign for guidance and alignment. With Mercury in say, Virgo, we know that one would likely communicate with attention to detail and be more analytical. In practice, this could like embracing that methodical approach while at the same time, building more awareness of when you become overly critical and focusing on how you can give constructive, thoughtful feedback in your exchanges.
Amplify Your Energy
Remember that inner well of motivation and drive that Mars provides? Why not tap into the qualities of your Mars placement when you're feeling a dip in energy. For example, with Mars in adventure seeking Sagittarius, you might incorporate new or exciting activities into your day to day, like spending time outdoors, picking up a new hobby or skill, or planning your next trip.
I hope that this mini dive into the personal planets has sparked something in you. My intention is to offer straightforward and practical approaches to engaging with astrology. It's common to get so engrossed in the profound depths of esoteric knowledge without pausing to embody it fundamental aspects. A few thoughts I'll end with, astrology is a wonderful tool for self-reflection, discovery, and more that blends ancient and modern psychological insights. It is a framework, but it does not dictate your life or free will. Nor will it provide the supreme end all answers to your life's questions. It can open the door to self-awareness and illuminate your true essence so that you can make the most informed, intuitive, and aligned choices, regardless of what is happening around you.
If you want to dive deeper, drop into the comments or send me a note!
Resources to keep exploring:
Get your free chart with insights from astrologer Chani Nicholas
My personal favorite astrology app
Intuitive Daily Horoscopes to your inbox
AstroSeek for free tools to generate natal charts, transit charts, and compatibility reports, along with detailed interpretations