Last updated on September 25th, 2023.
Astrologers have been around in human society for thousands of years, but even though it’s 2020, there are still many people who aren’t sure precisely who astrologers are and what they do. The art of astrology has always been shrouded in intrigue and mystery.
So, what do astrologers do? Astrologers interpret the position of the stars and planets into patterns of human behavior according to the placement of the constellations of the Zodiac, a series of symbols that are associated with regional lore as well as the personalities, histories, and life experiences of individuals.
Astrologers use planetary alignment as an occult means to try to predict how people will react and how their personalities are developed throughout their lives. Keep reading to find out more about astrologers and how astrology works.
What Do Astrologers Do?
While the practice of astrology is the practice (some call it an art, others a science) of interpreting planetary and stellar positions into predictable patterns of human behavior. Assuming general personality traits based on a person’s astrological background, an astrologer can then predict how a person will or should act in any given situation.
Under the concept of astrology, humans are fundamentally affected by the alignment of the stars and planets on the date of their birth. This planetary alignment is then said to affect and influence the rest of a person’s life.
Some planetary influences (such as a person’s rising sign) are dictated by a small snapshot of a person’s life, such as the hour of their birth. Other planetary influences, such as the influence of Pluto, are generational influences and influence groups of people over decades of their lives.
What is the Work of an Astrologer?
When applied as a service, astrology is performed for money, usually in the form of a consultation. After learning an individual’s natal birth chart, the astrologer can make predictions and advise about the various aspects of a person’s life, such as the following:
- Love life
- Aspirations and goals
In many ways, the work of an astrologer is similar to that of a therapist or counselor. However, the astrologer is using an esoteric system to predict and assume aspects of a person’s personality rather than interviewing them over a series of sessions. Astrologers not only use divination to predict a person’s situation and offer advice, but to also get context clues assembled during the reading.
The most famous astrologers in history are just as studied in human behavior as they are in astronomy, and use a background of study in self-care concepts, conflict mitigation, and interpersonal relationships to enhance their interpretation of celestial alignment.
Part therapist and part New Age priest, astrologers are an exciting combination of both spiritual and practical guidance. Astrologers rely on a combination of technical information and intuition to interpret an individual’s situation and help them brainstorm ideas and tangible action steps on how to proceed in their lives. This is especially important during a time of personal crisis.
There is some skepticism as to the authenticity of astrological arts. Still, celestial divination has been around for thousands of years. Given a renewed popular interest in witchcraft and New Age concepts in the 21st century, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
What Is Astrology and How Does It Work?
For thousands of years, humankind has used astrology as a method of personal divination using the alignment of the stars and planets. In the theory of astrology, it is assumed that human personality and fortune are linked with the celestial placement of the stars and planets at the time of their birth.
Using these placements, people are then categorized into zodiacs. In Western astrology, a zodiac is a section of the sky within eight degrees of the ecliptic. This section of the sky shows the positions of the moon, sun, and planets.
The Different Types of Zodiacs
Zodiac astrology systems differ from culture to culture, but they are generally divided into sections either by month (as in the case of the Western zodiac) or into birth years (as in the Chinese zodiac).
Each zodiac represents a month or year with a themed representation.
- The Western zodiac revolves around famous constellations, each assigned to a month of the year.
- The Chinese zodiac runs on a twelve-year cycle, with each year corresponding to a representative animal.
In both Western and Eastern zodiacs, a person’s zodiac sign based on the month or year of their birth is said to dictate not only a person’s general personality traits but also their relationship compatibility with others based on those traits.
What are Natal Birth Charts?
In Western astrology, a person’s natal birth chart is dictated by the following variables:
- Birthplace and hour of the day of birth
- Day, month, and year of birth
Using this information, astrologers draw up a natal birth chart that shows the exact placement of each of the planets in the zodiac at the time of a person’s birth. When broken down further, this information is used as a more nuanced way of predicting an individual’s behavior than assessing their zodiac sign alone.
The following are the significant signs that dictate a person’s birth chart:
- Sun sign: The sun sign of a person’s birth chart is the sign that they’re most likely to be already familiar with, as this is also the sign associated with a person’s traditional zodiac sign. The sun sign is considered an individual’s heart—the core of their personality traits. A person’s sun sign also dictates their horoscope.
- Moon sign: The moon sign of a person’s birth chart is the sign that represents how they act when they are comfortable, usually in private or intimate settings. A person’s moon sign can be radically different from their sun sign. A moon sign is also representative of how a person displays their emotional and spiritual side.
- Rising sign: The rising (or ascendant) sign of a person’s birth chart is the sign that represents the person’s “persona,” or how they are perceived by friends and strangers. For example, a person with a Cancer rising sign might feel pressed to be seen as nurturing by others, or a person with a Leo rising sign might want to come off as the life of the party even if they’re not. A person’s rising sign is dictated by the hour of their birth.
The placement of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Mars, and Pluto are also said to have profound effects on the development of a person’s personality. The placement of these planets is believed to affect everything from a person’s temperament to their ambitions and fashion sense.
In most cases, the planets are associated with their divine Roman namesakes—a person’s birth chart placement in Mercury dictates their communication skills (as Mercury is a god dedicated to messengers) and the placement of Venus dictates their love life. Each planet corresponds with a particular set of personality traits or areas of interest.
What Are Horoscopes?
When it comes to astrology, horoscopes are the aspect of astrology that people are most likely to encounter in day-to-day life. A horoscope is a prediction based on a person’s zodiac sign that is supposed to dictate their future luck based on the celestial alignment of the stars and planets during that period.
Horoscopes can vary wildly from astrologer to astrologer and are mostly a matter of personal interpretation. Horoscopes are popularly published in magazines and newspapers as a lighthearted diversion, as many astrologers are unconvinced of their authenticity, and only around a quarter of the population believes in astrology at all.
Unlike natal birth charts, which tend to be extremely specific, a horoscope is usually a more vague piece of fortunetelling advice that is easy for the receiver to interpret in several ways.
(I know what your thinking. Can astrology really tell the future? Find the answer in that article!)
What Are Planetary Retrograde Cycles?
In astrology, planetary retrograde is when the planets appear to go backward in their orbits because the Earth has outpaced them in its orbit. In astrological terms, a planetary retrograde is blamed for troubles in the planetary area of the planet that is in retrograde. For example, when Venus is in retrograde, it is common for astrologers to predict difficulties of the heart.
The most common retrograde is the Mercury planetary retrograde, since this planet goes retrograde multiple times a year for three to four weeks at a stretch. According to astrology, this commonly leads to breakdowns in communication, quarrels, and crumbling plans.
In astrological practices, planetary retrogrades are often used as a valuable time to try and repair issues in these areas of life. A person dealing with a Mars retrograde may make attempts at anger management or forgiveness in a fight. Likewise, a person dealing with a Uranus retrograde may be tempted to curb their rebellious tendencies, as this planet is associated with a contrary attitude.
Astrology Is A Fascinating Relic from Our Ancient Past
Despite the advance of science and the eroding popularity of religion, astrology has maintained a loyal following ever since its inception in ancient Babylonia.
A majority of modern society might doubt its authenticity. However, this form of divination is still popularly used alongside an astrologer’s intuition to help their clients introspect about their own identity and work through their problems. If you want to learn more or are ready to study and take that leap into become a certified astrologist we recommend checking out the best astrology certification courses online.