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Beyond Horoscopes - Personalizing Your Understanding of the Wonders of Astrology

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

I find it incredible that we can harness a tool of knowledge like Astrology, ancient and studied for Millenia, and be able to use it to our advantage in areas of self-discovery, personal growth, and deeper understanding of our innate patterns and gifts. As society rapidly grows and expands, it also invites new opportunities for that matched potential within ourselves. This ancient method could be a lifeline for advancing our modern era while honoring the Spiritual and Sacred.

Questions with enlightening solutions that may be brought to light with Astrology:

What is my purpose?

What am I meant to do in my life?

Why do I keep running into the same problem over and over again?

Why are my relationships not succeeding as I hope?

How can I be better at what I do?

What are unlocked strengths and talents I carry?

Why was my childhood like that?

How can Astrology bring awareness to such broad, open-ended questions? The road down this ancient study isn't to know it all, it's to further understand the key elements of our lives that feel hidden or confusing to us. Bringing light to a shadow element of ourselves is how we can harness the power of our being and use it as a gift.

Although Astrology is esoteric and mysterious in nature, I am here to (hopefully) detach the stigma of this practice being guarded with secrecy. The continuation of this post will be guides and tools to use for your own studies, or just simply something to gloss over to understand how your Astrology reading with me is interpreted.

The Basic Elements

Here we will use my chart as an example. I have generated it using Astro Charts which is great for beginner use. For more advanced users and what I use for my readings, I would recommend Astro Dienst.

This chart represents the sky at the exact time, day, and place that I was born, therefore representing the energies of who I am and my lessons, patterns, gifts, and potentials. At first glance it seems confusing to be able to read from a strange, geometric, symbol-ridden pie. However with a proper breakdown of chart elements it'll become much easier to understand.

These elements are:

1) Houses - The "Where"

We have 12 houses in our chart, each representing a specific area of our life. These are sectioned out to look like pieces of a pie in our circular chart. Notice the numbers in the center of the wheel - these are the house numbers.

Quick meanings of each house:

House 1: The house of self and how we are perceived

House 2: The house of value, what we value, and personal finances

House 3: The house of close community, siblings, ritual, research, education

House 4: The house of home, what home we want, childhood, ancestry, our mother

House 5: The house of pleasure, creativity, children, our father

House 6: The house of daily routines, health, wellness, pets

House 7: The house of relationships, both romance and business partners

House 8: The house of the occult, life, sex, death, rebirth, money, power, taxes

House 9: The house of philosophy, higher learning, travel

House 10: The house of career and professional/public standing

House 11: The house of larger influence, friendships, worldwide community, hopes, wishes

House 12: The house of the mystical, fantasy, dreams, all things hidden, psychic, hospitals, prisons

2) Signs - The "What"

Each sign sits in a house. Depending on which housing system you use, there may be two or sometimes 3 signs in a house. For the sake of simplicity we will use Whole Sign Calculation, which means that each house only consists of one sign. Each sign has a natural planet and house that it is ruled by/rules over which will be listed along with the signs. This will be important when bringing it together.

Aries: Symbolized by the Ram and is cardinal fire. Key terms: leadership, passion, warrior, independent, athletic, driven. Mars and the 1st House.

Taurus: Symbolized by the Bull and ruled by fixed Earth. Key terms: value, luxury, finances, Earthly possessions, gardening, cooking/baking. Venus and the 2nd House.

Gemini: Symbolized by the Twins and ruled by mutable Air. Key terms: witty, intelligent, lover, researcher, communicator, idea machine. Mercury and the 3rd House.

Cancer: Symbolized by the Crab and ruled by cardinal Water. Key terms: homemaker, caregiver, nurturer, humble, emotional, empathetic, "home is where the heart is", mother. Moon and the 4th House.

Leo: Symbolized by the Lion and ruled by fixed Fire. Key terms: loyalty, spotlight, chivalry, actor/ess, passionate, bright, fierce, father. Sun and the 5th House.

Virgo: Symbolized by the Maiden and ruled by mutable Earth. Key terms: routine, health, wellness, holistic, refined, graceful, pure, clean, methodical, detailed, analyzing. Mercury and the 6th House.

Libra: Symbolized by the Scales and ruled by cardinal Air. Key terms: balance, beauty, luxury, art, peacekeeper, law-maker, diplomacy, fairness, sense of Justice. Venus and the 7th House.

Scorpio: Symbolized by the Scorpion and ruled by fixed Water. Key terms: rebirth, transformation, knower of secrets, intuitive, investigator, deep emotions, subconscious access. Pluto and the 8th House.

Sagittarius: Symbolized by the Centaur and ruled by mutable Fire. Key terms: philosopher, adventurer, traveler, "whole new world", open-minded. Jupiter and the 9th House.

Capricorn: Symbolized by the Sea-Goat and ruled by cardinal Earth. Key terms: structure, stability, authority, industrialism, business, CEO, leader, mentor, wise beyond years. Saturn and the 10th House.

Aquarius: Symbolized by the Water-Bearer and ruled by fixed Air. Key terms: rebellion, revolution, techy, inventor, humanitarian, road less traveled, quirky. Uranus and the 11th House.

Pisces: Symbolized by the Fish and ruled by mutable Water. Key terms: imagination, empathy, intuition, dreams, fantasy, compassion. Neptune and the 12th House.

3) Planets - The "Who"

Although houses and signs help us understand the energies that add personality to the areas of our life, it's the planets that give us the real details of the reading. In baseball, the stadium can be at any location with any teams, but when you watch the game, the planets are the players - the real action that you come for when you read a chart! Who is batting? Who's throwing to who? Who's the star of the game? Who's arguing and who are teammates?

Sun : Our life force, what makes us shine, our innate way of being, what we shine light upon, our father

Moon: Our subconscious, our emotions, emotional reactions, emotional baggage, intuition, our mother

Mercury: How we communicate, how we learn, how we express, how we move

Venus: How we love and want to be loved, how we express artistic talent, how we view luxury

Mars: What type of leader we are, where we take action, how we show up as a "warrior", what our willpower and drive is like

Jupiter: Our luck, what part of our life is expansive, how we receive benevolence, overindulgence

Saturn: Where our lessons are, the great life teacher, responsibility, health issues, hard work, slow growth with big rewards

Uranus : Lightning strike of change, sudden upheaval, doing something differently, being different or quirky

Neptune: Higher love, compassion, illusion, fantasy

Pluto: Deep transformation, extremes, life, death, sex, rebirth

3) Aspects

What energies are our planets speaking to each other with? Are they cohesive and helping each other? Do they conflict in order to help us grow? Are they combined? These are explained by aspects, or the colorful lines in the chart. The colors can change depending on the software.

Conjunction: Planets that are "on top" of each other or within a 6 degree orb. Their energies are combined and attached to each other, it could be harmonious or challenging.

Trine: An effortlessly harmonious relationship between planets. Planets that form a 120 degree angle and the aspect line is green in this software.

Sextile: Planets that are at ease and help each other. Planets that form a 60 degree angle and the aspect line is purple in this software.

Square: Planets that clash with each other but ultimately help each other grow. Planets that form a 90 degree angle and the aspect line is red in this software.

Opposition: Planets completely opposite of each other, which means their energies and areas of life are opposite as well. Finding balance between two parts of your life. Planets that form a 180 degree angle and the aspect line is blue in this software.

Bringing it all in:

I will use my chart as an example for a quick reading. Let's pick out a placement in my chart, and use the elements listed above to bring together an interpretation.

The original chart simplified to see what we are reading

In my chart, my 4th House is ruled by Capricorn and contains Jupiter. I will form an interpretation based off of my guidelines above - it might be useful to write it down when doing your own interpretations:

Step 1

To start with absolute basics, I will simply look at a placement and copy/paste the definitions listed above.

4th House ("Where" in life): The house of home, what home we want, childhood, ancestry, our mother

Capricorn ("What" the energy is): Structure, stability, authority, industrialism, business, CEO, leader, mentor, wise beyond years.

Jupiter ("Who" is involved): Our luck, what part of our life is expansive, how we receive benevolence, overindulgence

Step 2

I will begin to form an interpretation based off of the information above.

'The area of my life that has to do with my home life, my dream house, my family, my ancestry, my mother, and childhood (4th House), contains the energy of structure, stability, authority, and wisdom (ruled by Capricorn). My planet of expansion and luck (Jupiter) resides here, so these themes in this area of my life will be amplified by Jupiter being here.'

More possibilities with this placement include:

  • The house I want to live in will take slow growth and responsibility to have but will be a huge reward in the end

  • The family/family members growing up were very structured and that plays an expansive role in my life

  • I have luck in terms of my ancestry or inheritance

  • My family is expansive

  • I dream of a big house, or will have luck in attaining my dream home.

  • With Jupiter in Capricorn, my luck comes from slow growth, hard work, and effort

  • My luck is stable and earthly

  • I have luck and expansion in the realm of business and leadership

Step 3

Now, let's add in aspects to other planets.

My Jupiter in Capricorn squares (red 90 degree angle) Saturn in Aries.

Further translation using guides:

'My planet of luck and expansion (Jupiter) feels like it needs to be responsible (in Capricorn), while my planet of responsibility (Saturn) feels fiery, impatient, driven, and passionate (in Aries). I will need to harness my need for structure and stability and learn how to use it along with my desire to be independent and driven by my own passions (Jupiter Square Saturn).'

Step 4

And voila... bringing it all together with all of the interpretations?

'Growing up my luck and benevolence (Jupiter) was with my mom (4th House) who was very structured, stable, and held authority (in Capricorn). This also supports my dreams for a big house (Jupiter in the 4th) and a home life that helps me to feel stable and secure (Capricorn in 4th House), and while I have benevolent support for this dream (Jupiter in the 4th House), my natural reaction to structure is fiery and wants to be independent without slowing down (Saturn in Aries). My natural luck in business and earthly success comes with slow growth over time (Jupiter in Capricorn), so I must balance my need for independence, my dreams, desires, responsibilities, and actions so that I can build slowly to my dream home (Jupiter in Capricorn square Saturn in Aries).

Copy. Paste. Repeat the process for the planets and areas of life that you're curious about.


I feel as if this is such a rapid stop - I want to keep going! I feel though that sharing these tools will help to take easy first steps and not be so overwhelming. This isn't all there is though - we still have important angles like the ascendent and midheaven, mathematical points like the part of fortune, asteroids, the nodes, sabian symbols, fixed stars... the list goes on! Stay tuned for more advice and helpful tips for learning about your chart. I hope it helps lead you on a wonderful path of self-discovery.

For personal readings from myself via in-person or Zoom/Facetime, please feel free to reach out to my booking link above or contact me by phone or email.

With gratitude,

Hannah Cavalier

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