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Astrology 101: A Basic Guide to Reading Your Chart This Year

Western astrology can be traced all the way back to ancient Greek times and is still going strong in today’s mainstream culture. But although the study of the cosmos has been around forever, it can still be pretty confusing! Astrology is the study of how the planetary universe influences our mood, personality traits, career, love life, and even our future. Whether you’re looking to get in touch with your spiritual side, or want to impress a special someone, we got you covered with the astrology basics. Plus, read ’til the end to find a sneak peak into the rest of 2023!

Courtesy of The LA Girl

Your “Big 3”

The Holy trinity of everyone’s chart is the Sun, Moon, and rising sign. They’re your astrological DNA. On top of your life path, your strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and guilty pleasures are all governed by your big 3. To find your personal big 3, you need the exact date, location, and time you were born. Here is a calculator to help find the Big 3.


Among all the cosmic chaos, one thing remains constant: the sun. Your sun sign is the nucleus, the main character, the source of existence among your big 3. It reveals who you fundamentally are and how you’ll spend your whole lifetime evolving to become. Mercury determines your communication style. Mars fuels your ambition. Uranus brings you chaotic breakthroughs. The sun speaks to your vitality and is the shimmering, heroic, best version of yourself.


Ruler of the “crybaby” and the mother of the zodiac signs (Cancer), the moon represents one’s inner world and emotions. Your moon sign reveals what heals you and gives you a sense of home, or belonging. It explains your emotional and spiritual journey, and how you deal with deep feelings such as pain. Connected to our instincts and subconscious, the moon sign offers insight on how we process and reflect on the world.

Rising (or Ascendant)

Think of your rising sign as your social personality and how you relate to the world and people around you. If you’ve had trouble resonating with your sun sign’s classic personality traits, that’s probably because you’re taking on the likes of your rising sign. As the foundation of your birth chart, the rising sign determines how the planets were positioned throughout the 12 houses on the day you were born.

The Right Way To Read Your Horoscope

The LA Girl’s in-house astrology enthusiast Risa Rometo reveals, “Not a lot of people know this. When you’re reading your horoscope, you’re supposed to read for your rising sign.” Many are accustomed to go off their birthday and use their sun sign to read horoscopes. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re aiming for a deeper understanding of yourself and others, your rising sign is the way to go. While your sun sign takes a big-picture view leading to broad cosmic awareness, your rising sign addresses the immediate details of your life’s here and now. So the next time you come across a horoscope list, make sure to check out your rising sign first.

Astrological Houses & The All-Knowing Birth Chart

Someone’s astrological birth chart is a snapshot of what the sky looked like when they were born. Everyone’s birth chart is made according to 12 different segments called houses. The houses are best organized as a wheel to represent the circular orbit of every planet. Normally, every person’s birth chart has specific marks and degree angles, but below is a general chart of the houses. Wherever the sun was rising at the moment of your birth is where your personal birth chart starts and also determines both your fundamental identity and your first impression to others. Astrologers continue to move throughout the zodiac wheel in a counterclockwise direction to decipher themes on relationships, career, luck, healing and growth in one’s lifetime. The first 6 houses, or the “personal houses” govern daily routine and personal growth, while the second half of the houses, also known as the “interpersonal houses”, relate to everything about travel, career, and relationships. Discover your birth chart here.

Courtesy of Astrostyle


BONUS: Major Shifts Happening in 2023

The sky’s slower moving planets are responsible for defining eras, and two of them are moving signs this year! With Saturn entering Pisces and Pluto transiting into Aquarius, 2023 screams “power to the people!”.

On March 7, 2023, Saturn moves into Pisces and stays there until February 2026. Saturn rules boundaries and endings and can manifest both as a wise mentor and (when we need it) a humbling whirlwind of tough love. On a personal level, Saturn makes us realize our potential, shift accountability to ourselves, and boldly claims what we deserve. But collectively, Saturn’s transits deal with monoliths, or society’s dominant institutions, bringing out the shadows of outdated systems and catalyzing long overdue change. According to astrologer David Odyssey, “Saturn often stands for the traditional, patriarchal, and capitalist, which must be reckoned with: either by rebellion, assimilation, or reinvention.” The sign of Pisces is the 12th and final sign in the karmic wheel and is associated with change, transformation, and transcendence like a rock-bottom experience leading to sobriety. As Saturn and Pisces meet, the chaotic demise of old social structures begins. Expect our individual roles in climate catastrophe and social disconnection to be thrust upon our consciences. In other words, expect to be brimming with activism and sick of the B-S.

Only weeks after Saturn’s inaugural transit, Pluto shifts into Aquarius on March 23rd for the first time since the 18th century. Because of its far position from the Sun, Pluto has a long orbit and takes about 12-30 years cruising through a single sign. As a result, its influences resonate culturally rather than individually (a.k.a. get ready for crazy!). Pluto brings us awakened consciousness for radical changes in public rights and order. Previously, Pluto was stationed in Capricorn where the shortcomings of generational power were revealed. The Black Lives Matter Movement was finally seen as a matter of humanity rather than politics. A worldwide pandemic just questioned hustle culture and the traditional in-person work environment. People are finally realizing the importance of voting and political action. If Capricorn awakened us to what needs to be fixed, Aquarius brings us ultimate redemption French revolution style. Aquarius is concerned with the bigger picture and focuses on which ideals and systems truly are for the greater good. While that idea sounds like church bells, Aquarius’s chaotic version of justice may come with collateral damage. After all, progress does come with a price.

Feeling inspired? Celebrate a quick break from Mercury Retrograde starting January 18 by using our guide to setting your best intentions for 2023!