Intro to Zodiac Signs
One of the single most basic parts of astrology is the thing that probably everyone starts with - the Zodiac signs! Many are familiar with Zodiac signs when it comes to their horoscopes. This correlates to your Sun sign, the Zodiac sign the Sun was in when you were born. But there are the ten planets who are in their own signs, the 12 houses who are in their own signs, thousands of asteroids in their own signs, and more!
What are the Zodiac signs in astrology?
There are 12 Zodiac signs in astrology. In order, they are:
Each Zodiac sign builds on the previous sign, so each sign comes with the lessons learned of the signs before it. The final sign, Pisces, is seen as knowing all experience as a result, while the first sign, Aries, is seen as the newborn of the Zodiac.
Each sign has an opposite sign with similar yet opposite energy. The opposing signs are:
Aries opposes Libra
Taurus opposes Scorpio
Gemini opposes Sagittarius
Cancer opposes Capricorn
Leo opposes Aquarius
Virgo opposes Pisces
How are the Zodiac signs split up?
There are two ways that the Zodiac signs are split up: by element and by quality (or modality). By element, they are:
Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
By quality, they are:
Cardinal: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
Fixed: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
Mutable: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces
The Elements & the Zodiac Signs
Zodiac signs of the same element have a natural base energy that's the same. They're highly compatible, so this is a big part of relationship astrology to gauge compatibility.
The fire signs are highly energized, enthusiastic, and creative. The earth signs are highly practical, productive, and stable. The air signs are highly sociable, intellectual, and diplomatic. The water signs are highly emotional, intuitive, and nurturing.
The Qualities & the Zodiac Signs
Zodiac signs of the same quality also have some base energy that's the same, but there's usually more friction involved. Signs of the same element have a natural ease and harmony between them. Signs of the same quality can have more heat, but also butt heads.
Cardinal signs are the ones who take action. Fixed signs are the ones who keep things going. Mutable signs are the ones who adapt.
Zodiac Signs & the Planets & Houses
Each Zodiac sign has a natural ruling planet, and a house that it naturally connects to. They are:
Aries: ruled by Mars, connects to the 1st house of the self
Taurus: ruled by Venus, connects to the 2nd house of money
Gemini: ruled by Mercury, connects to the 3rd house of the mind
Cancer: ruled by the Moon, connects to the 4th house of home/family and emotion
Leo: ruled by the Sun, connects to the 5th house of love and creativity
Virgo: ruled by Mercury, connects to the 6th house of work, health, and daily life
Libra: ruled by Venus, connects to the 7th house of relationships
Scorpio: ruled by Pluto, connects to the 8th house of transformations and shared resources
Sagittarius: ruled by Jupiter, connects to the 9th house of expansion and higher learning
Capricorn: ruled by Saturn, connects to the 10th house of goals and direction
Aquarius: ruled by Uranus, connects to the 11th house of friends and dreams
Pisces: ruled by Neptune, connects to the 12th house of spirituality and endings
How the Zodiac Signs Build on One Another
Aries is the first sign, and is the astrological newborn. This makes Aries the sign that wants to take initiative and get things started. Aries has lots of energy as a fire and cardinal sign. It can be impulsive and impatient, but also pioneering.
Taurus is the second sign, and has learned patience that Aries lacked. Whatever Taurus starts, it wants to finish once it does. Taurus takes its time, not feeling the rush. Taurus is highly grounded as an earth and fixed sign. It can be stubborn and stuck, but also sensual.
Gemini is the third sign, and has moved from action and being in the body to focusing on the mind. Gemini wants to come up with ideas and plans. Gemini sees the value in social connection and engagement. It can be scattered and anxious, but also adaptable.
Cancer is the fourth sign, and has moved from the mind to emotions. Cancer wants to give and receive emotional stability and security, nurturing and encouragement. It can be subjective and sensitive, but also understanding.
Leo is the fifth sign, and is okay with emotion, but wants to focus on the positives with it. Leo is highly creative, and can express itself through creativity and be seen and heard. Leo wants love and affection. It can be selfish and dramatic, but also sweet.
Virgo is the sixth sign, and moves from play to work. Virgo wants to get things done and tackle the details. Virgo sees daily life, and understands what must be done. It can be anxious and timid, but also productive.
Libra is the seventh sign, and moves from work to relationships. Libra wants to come together, to compromise and mediate. Libra wants balance and equality and fairness. It can be superficial and flighty, but also just.
Scorpio is the eighth sign, and wants to deepen those relationships. Scorpio wants everything to be intense and passionate, and won't settle. Scorpio craves intimacy and wants to transform for the better. It can be obsessive and demanding, but also loyal.
Sagittarius it the ninth sign, and it wants to let loose. Sagittarius wants space to roam, to explore, to experience life on its own terms. Sagittarius is an eternal student of life. It can be a runner and all talk, but also a great teacher.
Capricorn is the tenth sign, and it wants to clamp down and make progress. Capricorn has goals it wants to achieve and milestones it wants to hit. It has a plan, it has a focus, and it has direction. It can be distant and overly-ambitious, but also responsible.
Aquarius is the eleventh sign, and it wants to go from the traditional to the unconventional. It wants to break the status quo and push toward the future. Aquarius doesn't want to be boxed in. Aquarius has big dreams. It can be aloof and out of touch, but also independent.
Pisces is the twelfth and last sign, so it wants to ascend into the spiritual. Pisces understands all emotion and experience intuitively, and can be ultra compassionate. Pisces is imaginative. It can be sacrificing and self-sabotaging, but also inspired.
Mercury madness! It's time for another round of Mercury retrograde, and this one occurs entirely in water sign Cancer. Let's dive in!
BTW, if you want to make sure you're keeping track of the planets every month (including things like Mercury retrograde!), make sure you're signed up for the free monthly worksheet!
The basics - What is Mercury retrograde?
A retrograde occurs when a planet appears to be moving backwards from our vantage point here on Earth. It isn't actually moving backwards, it just appears that way. Mercury turns retrograde most often, about 3-4 times per year, and lasts for several weeks. When a planet retrogrades, what that planet rules tends to be thrown off, along with what the sign it's retrograding in rules.
With Mercury retrograde, we experience a shadow and a storm. The shadow period starts when Mercury first hits the point in the Zodiac it will turn direct at, and ends when it last hits the point in the Zodiac it will turn retrograde at.
Most people don't feel the effects of Mercury retrograde until it enters the storm period though. The storm period of Mercury retrograde is when Mercury is moving at its slowest, less than 40 minutes per day. Mercury is a fast-moving planet and hates it when it's moving slowly. There's usually two storm periods, one around the time Mercury turns retrograde, and one around when it turns direct.
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer 2020 Key Dates:
Mercury Retrograde Effects:
The second round of Mercury retrograde in 2020 comes to use in water sign Cancer, the sign that rules emotions. This increases emotions for everyone, making us more sensitive, more subjective, and more easily prone to fits. We can take everything personally, and feel slighted over any little thing. We can lash out irrationally, and this can cause problems as a result. It's important to give yourself support and make sure your support system is solid and secure in order to cut through the emotional drama.
Cancer rules the home and family, so we may feel less patient with our families, get into little fights with relatives, and feel less connected to them. Issues with them may have existed for a long time, and this retrograde just brought them to the surface. Work on the issues to improve the relationships. It can be a good period to reconnect with family you haven't seen in a while.
Homes may have all sorts of little things go wrong, like leaking pipes and electric shocks and infestations. Have a good plumber and electrician on standby! And try to take deep breaths when little things pop up. This period can be excellent for renovations, remodels, and redecorating, as well as revisiting places you've lived before.
Cancer is the very bottom of the Zodiac and relates to our core, our foundation, our roots. We may feel shaken at the core, or feel insecure about unstable foundations. It's important to strengthen ourselves internally and strengthen the foundations of anything in our lives that are shaky. It can be good for reconnecting with our roots and getting back to basics.
With Cancer being the bottom, we may see some things/people/groups "bottoming out" or "hitting bottom". This can be an emotional experience, but it may end up being for their own good in the end. This especially ties into the Cancer solar eclipse on June 21st.
The Eclipses & Mercury Retrograde
As mentioned, there's a Cancer solar eclipse on June 21st; this eclipse isn't conjunct Mercury retrograde, but it is in the same sign. That eclipse occurs at 0 degrees Cancer, which is the very very bottom, hence the potential for something bottoming out.
Then there's a Capricorn lunar eclipse on July 5th, and that eclipse is actually opposed by Mercury retrograde exact on June 23rd. So, around them, we may see important developments related to the lunar eclipse (to do with goals, responsibilities, direction, countries/corporations, the traditional and conventional). Perhaps tying into the ever-changing new normal? Watch that space!
Venus Retrograde, Saturn in Capricorn, & Mercury Retrograde
Venus is retrograde when Mercury retrograde starts, until June 25th, and it's in a sign that Mercury naturally rules, Gemini. So communication is a hugely important part of these retrogrades, and with Mercury turning retrograde in Cancer, it becomes important for us to not just get lost in our heads but also remember what we feel. Feelings may be even stronger and more out of control if we don't find some balance between the head and heart.
Saturn gets in the mix as this planet retrogrades back to Capricorn on July 1st and is at a sensitive degree for the first half of the month, so later in the Mercury retrograde. Capricorn opposes Cancer, so we may be feeling at odds in some ways, like we have these polar opposite focuses or concerns or responsibilities or dramas. A juggling act? Practice now!
Mercury Retrograde in Cancer 2020 Aspects:
During the retrograde, Mercury makes 3 major aspects to the other planets:
- sextile (positive aspect, two signs away) Uranus on June 30th (the first Mercury retrograde this year also sextiled Uranus; helping us think about the future, be independent, and work on change)
- conjunct (aligned with) the Sun on July 1st (this is the Inferior Conjunction, a positive point in the retrograde for starting something that can be a focus for the next 6-8 weeks; find where 9 degrees 44 minutes Cancer falls in your chart, and that may be where you can start something)
- square (hard aspect, three signs away) Mars on July 8th (bringing out frustrations, fights, and increasing tempers when emotionally provoked; in need of a healthy outlet for anger)
Moons of Mercury Retrograde:
The Moon is in play for this Mercury retrograde in a short period of time. It's in Gemini, naturally ruled by Mercury, June 18th (5AM ET) to June 21st (2:01AM ET), where it enters Cancer, the sign of the retrograde, until June 23rd (8:33AM ET). It's in Virgo, naturally ruled by Mercury, June 25th (1:04PM ET) to June 27th (4:27PM ET). So basically, June 18th - 27th, the Moon will be in play with this Mercury retrograde, which includes when the eclipses are in play. This is pretty much right as the retrograde kicks off, and it also includes when Mercury is at a critical degree, 13 degrees of Cancer, June 22nd - 25th, plus the tail end of Venus retrograde. Eeks!
Going into this retrograde is probably going to be rough. The Moon naturally rules Cancer, so we're going to feel the Moons stronger that tie into this retrograde. We'll likely feel the retrograde energy stronger, and see it play out in ways that feel very personal. Try to find some objectivity, give yourself some space where you can, remember to have a healthy outlet for what you're feeling, and get and give emotional support.
The retrograde begins at 14 degrees Cancer, so those of you Cancerians born July 3rd - 8th may feel the start of the retrograde most. The retrograde ends at 5 degrees Cancer, so those of you Cancerians born June 24th - 29th may feel the end of the retrograde most.
For the rest of you, check the house(s) Mercury will be retrograding in of your own natal chart, and any aspects Mercury will make during its retrograde to your natal planets, to fully understand how it will impact you personally.
If you have Mercury retrograde in your natal or progressed chart, you may not feel the worst of this. Those individuals generally don't experience the difficulties of the retrograde because it feels more natural to them. Of course, chances are everyone else around them doesn't have the same aspect, so they can still experience difficulties brought on by others. If it's in your natal chart, check out this article about Mercury retrograde in the natal chart.
Suggested Reading: Mercury, Venus, and Mars Retrogrades page for general interpretations of Mercury retrograde in the houses and aspects
Eclipse season is here! June comes with 2 of the eclipses for 2020, a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius (first one in Sagittarius) and a solar eclipse in Cancer (last one in Cancer).
Want to keep track of the new and full moons every month? (and their eclipse counterparts) Make sure you're signed up for the monthly worksheet so you can follow them as well as the transit planets each month!
What is a solar eclipse?
A new moon occurs when the transit (moving) Sun and Moon are in the exact same position in the Zodiac (called a conjunction). New moons are related to beginnings, have high energy, and are enthusiastic. Solar eclipses occur when new moons are within 18 1/2 degrees of the lunar nodes, the points in the Moon's orbit where the Moon crosses the ecliptic.
What is a lunar eclipse?
A full moon occurs when the transit (moving) Sun and Moon are in the exact opposite positions in the Zodiac (called an opposition). Full moons are related to endings, culminations, and are emotional energy. Lunar eclipses occur when full moons are within 18 1/2 degrees of the lunar nodes, the points in the Moon's orbit where the Moon Crosses the ecliptic.
Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius: June 5th 2020 (3:13PM ET/12:13PM PT)
The lunar eclipse comes to us in Sagittarius, and the first thing to know about this eclipse is how much it'll likely push us to want to escape. We want freedom, we want to run, we want to roam! *cue Roam by the B-52's* The more we feel like we've been stuck, held back, boxed in, kept from pursuing what we want, the more we;ll push against that. I am certainly thinking of all of the stay-at-home orders; people may be defying that left, right, and center if they're still in effect for this eclipse! Sagittarius does rule space, so we may stick to the social distancing thing, anyway.
Sagittarius rules our beliefs, so we can defend them much more strongly. We feel incredibly close to what we believe, like it's a vital part of who we are. But, this may come at a cost, and it may not be very healthy, or even realistic. Are you sure that what you believe positive syncs with who you are now, or are you clinging to outdated beliefs that no longer serve the person you've changed into? Our beliefs should change as we do, and reflect the changes we undergo. When they're positive like that, we can be more passionate, more convincing, and more confident.
Sagittarius is a communication ruler, and we may be talking up a storm, sharing big stories, and engaging in lively debates. This is good, until we start with white lies that turn into real lies, and become all talk and bluster and don't back it up with action. Words are empty when they're not backed up by anything. Make sure your words aren't empty.
Sagittarius is the optimistic sign, so we'll likely not be super pessimistic with this lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipses can be super emotional, but we may want to focus on the good and not get stuck in emotion. So if things get rough, we can make it through because we're trying to be positive!
The aspects this lunar eclipse makes are NOT helpful: opposite Venus retrograde in Gemini, square (hard aspect) Mars in Pisces, and square Neptune in Pisces (a little wide though). Ouch! Square the retrograde Venus is likely going to make communications so. much. worse. Nasty words flying everywhere, no one knows what's true and what's not, bad news coming out that upsets everyone. Be careful with words, people! And make sure you give you mind a healthy outlet so you're not taking stress out on other people.
The square to Mars increases agitation and frustration, and this can lead to lashing out irrationally from subconscious issues. If you're mad, reeeeally ask yourself why. It's probably not for the reason you think it is on the surface. Get below that. The square to Neptune adds to the subconscious issues, and brings in the Neptunian fog, so it can be a challenge to actually see what's right in front of us.
I also have to note, just as a warning, I'm getting a "crash" or "accident" vibe from this energy involving water (like a plane crashing into water, a train derailing into water, a ship or ferry having an accident, or something with water causing an accident, like severe rains/flooding that collapses a bridge, maybe an earthquake + tsunami, etc.). Maybe stay off of the water, if you can!
This lunar eclipse occurs at 15 degrees 34 minutes Sagittarius. The aspects made to this eclipse are:
Conjunction: 10 degrees 34 minutes - 20 degrees 34 minutes Sagittarius
Semisextile: 13 degrees 34 minutes - 17 degrees 34 minutes Scorpio or Capricorn
Sextile: 10 degrees 34 minutes - 20 degrees 34 minutes Libra or Aquarius
Square: 10 degrees 34 minutes - 20 degrees 34 minutes Virgo or Pisces
Trine: 10 degrees 34 minutes - 20 degrees 34 minutes Aries or Leo
Quincunx: 13 degrees 34 minutes - 17 degrees 34 minutes Taurus or Cancer
Opposition: 10 degrees 34 minutes - 20 degrees 34 minutes Gemini
Solar Eclipse in Cancer: June 21st 2020 (2:42AM ET/June 20th 2020 11:42PM PT)
Cancer is the sign that rules the home and family, so we can devote more energy to home and family matters with this solar eclipse. We may want to make changes at home, renovate or move, or make changes with our family, planning gatherings or expanding our family. We can be more positive with these dealings, and want to make things better.
Cancer rules emotions, and solar eclipses tend to be enthusiastic, so we can focus on more positive emotions and positive uses of what we feel. We can use what we feel as motivation to act, and emotions can drive us and inspire us. It just feels right!
Cancer rules internal foundations, so we may want to work on strengthening our own internal foundations, or strengthen the foundations of aspects of our lives. The stronger the foundation is, the better we feel and the more stable and secure everything is. So think about what foundations you can work on in your life.
Cancer is the very bottom of the Zodiac wheel, which can prompt us to get back to our roots, get back to basics, and start from the very bottom with something. We may see a big shift in some way that starts from the bottom and works it's way up over the years. This can be something you work on personally, and can be something we see happen in the world.
This is the last eclipse in Cancer, so there may be some degree of finality associated with this eclipse, and we feel like we're closing a chapter in some way, moving on in some way, or see the culmination of something.
This eclipse occurs at a sensitive degree, 0 degrees of Cancer. 0 degrees of the cardinal signs are critical degrees and relate to the Aries Point (0 degrees Aries). There's major outward, tangible energy with 0 degrees of the cardinal signs, and we want to take the internal and bring it out. We may be concerned with trying to make things happen in our home and family lives, with our emotional desires, and can see this with towns/countries as well.
This eclipse makes 2 aspects, a quincunx (challenging) to Saturn in Aquarius and an out-of-sign square to Mars in Pisces. So the lunar eclipse is also square Mars, which means we're going to have some super frustration and agitation this eclipse season! Lots of anger and annoyance to manage, and we need to work on controlling this better and having better, healthier outlets so we're not just rage-aholics. Try to pinpoint what exactly is the root cause of the anger and frustration to begin with, and work to remedy the situation.
Quincunxes are erratic energy requiring adjustments and flexibility, and this can be a bit of a challenge with Saturn. We may have to work on being less rigid and structured, and more open to new ways of doing things. We have to be mindful of not giving in to impulse. Impulse control may not be great with this eclipse!
This solar eclipse occurs at 0 degrees 21 minutes Cancer, so aspects to the eclipse are:
Conjunction: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 5 degrees 21 minutes Cancer
Semisextile: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 2 degrees 21 minutes Gemini or Leo
Sextile: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 5 degrees 21 minutes Taurus or Virgo
Square: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 5 degrees 21 minutes Aries or Libra
Trine: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 5 degrees 21 minutes Scorpio or Pisces
Quincunx: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 2 degrees 21 minutes Sagittarius or Aquarius
Opposition: 0 degrees 0 minutes - 5 degrees 21 minutes Capricorn
Since this eclipse is so early in Cancer, it can also make out-of-sign aspects (as if it were in the previous sign, Gemini). Those out-of-sign aspects are:
Conjunction: 25 degrees 21 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Gemini
Semisextile: 28 degrees 21 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Taurus or Cancer
Sextile: 25 degrees 21 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Aries or Leo
Square: 25 degrees 21 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Virgo or Pisces
Trine: 25 degrees 21 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Libra or Aquarius
Quincunx: 28 degrees 21 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Scorpio or Capricorn
Opposition: 25 degrees 21 minutes - 29 degrees 59 minutes Sagittarius
Suggested Reading: The New & Full Moons page for interpretations
Intro to Planets in Astrology
Astrology focuses on a variety of points to interpret to glean information from, about your personality, your life, your past, and your future. One of the most important points? The planets! So when you're getting started with astrology, you need to understand the planets in astrology.
What are the planets in astrology?
There are 10 planets in astrology. They include the Sun and Moon (called the luminaries), and exclude the Earth. In order, they are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Each planet rules a different part of our personalities and lives. Each planet rules different signs and houses. Each planet has its own energy.
Note: I personally also use Ceres, which is a dwarf planet (like Pluto).
What signs and houses do the planets rule?
Let's break down which signs and houses each planet rules:
The Sun rules Leo and the 5th house
The Moon rules Cancer and the 4th house
Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo and the 3rd and 6th houses
Venus rules Taurus and Libra and the 2nd and 7th houses
Mars rules Aries and the 1st house
Jupiter rules Sagittarius and the 9th house
Saturn rules Capricorn and the 10th house
Uranus rules Aquarius and the 11th house
Neptune rules Pisces and the 12th house
Pluto rules Scorpio and the 8th house
These are the modern rulerships; modern rulerships use Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. When we didn't have those three planets (before they were known), Saturn ruled Aquarius and the 11th house instead of Uranus, Jupiter ruled Pisces and the 12th house instead of Neptune, and Mars ruled Scorpio and the 8th house instead of Pluto.
Some current astrologers still use those old rulerships, depending on what kind of astrology they practice. There's really not a right or wrong, and you can experiment when you get further in your studies.
Ceres is argued to be the ruler of Taurus instead of Venus; I tend to use Ceres for prediction and consider both Ceres and Venus in the natal chart for Taurus.
Which part of your life and personality does each planet in astrology rule?
The Sun: rules the self, who you are to those who know you best, the true you; also rules your physical body
The Moon: rules your emotional self, what you need for emotional stability and security and how you express yourself emotionally; also rules your home/family and internal foundation/core
Mercury: rules the mind, how you communicate and express yourself and connect with your immediate environment; also rules your everyday life
Venus: rules money and relationships, what you value, your approach to relationships and commitment; also rules the other people in your life and the feminine
Mars: rules energy and drive, what drives you to take action and how you take that action when you do; also rules the masculine
Jupiter: rules expansion, how and where you can expand in your life and use opportunity; also rules your beliefs and higher learning
Saturn: rules limitation, the lessons you have to learn and where you can struggle in life until you learn them; also rules your goals and responsibilities
Uranus: rules change, how and where you experience or create changes in your life; also rules independence and your hopes/dreams for the future
Neptune: rules spiritual self, how and where you connect spiritually; also rules how and where you may struggle to be realistic
Pluto: rules transformations, how and where you experience and create deep transformations in your life; also rules shared resources and what you hold deep inside
Ceres: rules nourishment, support, resources, and finances
This is mostly focused on natal astrology.
What is the energy of each planet in astrology?
The Sun: shines a light, brings attention to whatever it's touching
The Moon: brings emotional energy and emotional focus
Mercury: brings mental focus, ideas, and increases activity
Venus: brings pleasant energy and ease
Mars: brings energy and drive, makes things happen
Jupiter: brings expansive energy, opportunity, and positivity
Saturn: brings restrictive energy, stability when positive
Uranus: brings change energy, sometimes erratic
Neptune: brings foggy energy, intuition and imagination
Pluto: brings transforming energy, can be destructive and powerful
Ceres: brings nourishing energy and focus on resources
This is focused on predictive astrology. As the moving planets make contact to your natal chart, this is the energy each planet brings to you. If you want to start tracking the planets every month, make sure to sign up for the free monthly worksheet!