zodiac baloncici

This page will have definitions and other astro basic stuff as I progressively add it. Credit to umpteen different references for the information. 

Some Astro Basics

Each sign is a combination of element, modality and masculine/feminine (introverted, extroverted) energy.

This is what makes each of the signs individual.

Note, all fire and air signs are also expressive masculine energy and all earth or water are the more softer feminine energy.

Sign Element Modality Yin/Yang
Aries Fire Cardinal Masculine
Taurus Earth Fixed Feminine
Gemini Air Mutable Masculine
Cancer Water Cardinal Feminine
Leo Fire Fixed Masculine
Virgo Earth Mutable Feminine
Libra Air Cardinal Masculine
Scorpio Water Fixed Feminine
Sagittarius Fire Mutable Masculine
Capricorn Earth Cardinal Feminine
Aquarius Air Fixed Masculine
Pisces Water Mutable Feminine


Fire is creative and stimulating- think sparks. Fire is motivated by movement, action and creation.

Earth is practical, stable, responsible and goal focused- think structure. Earth is motivated by physical and material security.

Air is perceptive, social and communicative- think headspace and messages. Air is motivated by communication.

Water is emotional, intuitive, empathetic and creative- think feelings. Water is motivated by emotional security and connections.

Want to work out what your elemental composition is? Check out Elementally Speaking

Check out also Essential Nature


Cardinal signs initiate

Fixed signs solidify

Mutable signs adapt

Putting it all together

The Basics

When people talk about their “Star sign” they are actually talking about the sign that the sun was in at the moment of their birth. So in effect, the star sign is actually your Sun sign. This is the most basic astrological fact about you. The Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto each occupied their own little space in the sky at the moment you were born & each will affect you in a different way.

Your chart is divided into 12 (usually) uneven sections known as “houses”. Each of the houses represents a different part of life. Where each of the planets fall into the houses in your chart will tell more about how that planet operates in your life.

With all of these factors combined, no two Geminis are the same, no two Pisceans are the same… this is why we can’t simply divide the entire world population into 12 neat packages… there are in fact many possible combinations (although being a Piscean & having little interest in data, I am not going to go into specifics on this…).

The Personal Planets

The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus & Mars are known as the personal planets. These planets move between signs fairly quickly & for this reason are the planets which form your personality.

They determine such things as:

  • Your ego
  • Your motivations
  • Your Identity
  • Your motivations
  • Emotions
  • Communication
  • Primary Challenges
  • Relationship style

The sign that these planets falls in describes how they work in your life and the contacts they make to other planets show how easily or challenging they are able to operate.

Whilst your sun sign defines your ego, motivations, needs & approach to life all the other planets have a say in who you are & what your motivations & challenges may be. This is why sometimes you may not behave in the way that your sun sign says you should- particularly if a lot of planets occupy signs other than your sun sign.

The Luminaries

The Sun:  Who YOU are, what motivates you, your ego, self expression, your overall attitude to life.

The Moon: Your instinctive and most basic emotional reactions, what makes you feel safe & what nurtures you.

The Other Personal Planets

Mercury: How you think, how you learn, how you communicate and how you process all the data that hits your brain during a normal lifetime.

Venus: What makes you feel good, how you approach relationships, what you find attractive, how you dress/ decorate yourself. In a mans’ chart Venus also is an indication of qualities (physical & otherwise) that he looks for in a partner.

Mars: Your drive, your energy, what turns you on, what you desire, what you go after, your temper, how you assert yourself. In a womans chart Mars is an indication of the qualities (physical & otherwise) that she looks for in a partner.

Jupiter: your attitude to risk and good fortune, how you expand your boundaries, how you experience life.

Saturn: your fears, your boundaries, how you set goals and accept responsibility.

Outer or Generational Planets

For traditional astrologers, Saturn was as far as they could see- the outer planets have only been discovered relatively recently. Uranus was the 1st in 1781 to be discovered using a telescope.

Whilst the visible planets influence our behaviour & personalities, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto define generations. The sun swings through all 12 signs in a year, but Uranus takes 84 years, Neptune 165 years & Pluto almost 250 years to complete their trip through the zodiac.

As a result, these planets have little effect on day to day behaviour & don’t distinguish you from people of the same generation. They are, however, the major culprits behind life-changing and transformative shake-ups. Where they fall in the chart & the aspects they form to your other planets, will determine the nature of their effect.

Uranus– independence, freedom, rebellion- where you need space

Neptune– intuition, escapist, dissolution of boundaries- where you may sacrifice yourself, where you may delude yourself & where you may be deluded.

Pluto– transformation, power, control, obsession- where you will obsess, where you will be transformed, and where you will transform others.

Planetary Rulerships

All signs are said to be “ruled” by one (or sometimes, two) planets. The ruling planets are at home in these signs:

Aries is ruled by Mars

Taurus is ruled by Venus

Gemini is ruled by Mercury

Cancer is ruled by The Moon

Leo is ruled by The Sun

Virgo is ruled by Mercury

Libra is ruled by Libra

Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Pluto

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn

Aquarius is ruled by Saturn and Uranus

Pisces is ruled by Jupiter and Neptune

Aspects with Planets

I am not even going to try & explain these. Suffice to say, there are essentially 2 types of aspects:

  • Harmonious or flowing aspects which show those talents & expression which come fairly easily. Harmonious aspects are trines & sextiles. Sextiles normally need a little more work than trines. Trines are 2nd nature stuff- as such, we often take these energies for granted rather than actively use them. Conjunctions are also nice- depending on the planets involved.
  • Dynamic or challenging aspects usually require some sort of action or challenge. These are squares & oppositions. Not necessarily bad, they indicate areas of life where we can learn & grow.

The Houses

In astrology, there are 10 planets & 12 houses, so not all houses may be “occupied” by planets at the time of birth.

Where there are no planets in a particular house, it usually means that area of life is not of as great an importance to you as those areas where 1 or more planets reside- these houses are a source of vitality to you & represent areas of life where growth can occur.

In terms of importance, always look at the 1st house, the house where the ruling planet lives & houses where there may be heaps of planets doing their stuff. In your chart, the planets are almost in a see-saw pattern with an emphasis on the 6th and 11th house.

House Meanings

House House Meaning/ Key words
ASC/1st Health, the Body, self esteem, appearance. This is your mask & how you face the world.
2nd Personal money, personal values, “emotional bank account”, possessions. The things & concepts that we value.
3rd Communication, early learning, siblings, routine, short routine journeys.
4th The home, the family, roots, history. The father. This is the IC.
5th Creativity, children, pleasure, love affairs. The things we take risks on, have fun with or give birth to.
6th Sickness, servants, pets. The stuff we outsource.
7th Relationships- marriage, professional partnerships, open enemies. This is your Descendant.
8th Death, transformation, other people’s money, the money of the partnership.
9th Travel, spirituality, higher education.
10th Career, public persona. Mother.  This is your Midheaven or MC.
11th Groups, community, friendships. Hopes and Dreams.
12th House of self undoing, escape, institutions.


  • Antiscia is from the greek word for shadow- but this is more about reflection- or mirror image.
  • It’s as if the planet has an alternative placement in the antiscion degree- the contacts have a sense of hiddenness.
  • Look at the diagram above & the line drawn down between the solstice points. If something is 2 degrees on one side of the line, at 2 Cancer, it will be 2 degrees on the other side of the line, at 28 Gemini, by antiscia.
  • Original degree + antiscion = 30
  • Eg 16 Pisces has its antiscia at 14 Libra. 16 + 14 = 30
  • Only the conjunction or opposition is appropriate and they must be exact- use orbs of no more than 1 degree
Planets in… Have their antiscion degree in…
Aries Virgo
Taurus Leo
Gemini Cancer
Cancer Gemini
Leo Taurus
Virgo Aries
Libra Pisces
Scorpio Aquarius
Sagittarius Capricorn
Capricorn Sagittarius
Aquarius Scorpio
Pisces Libra


6 comments for “Basics

  1. Siobhán
    June 29, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Hi Jo – quick question. If a person was born in one country but living in another – should they ‘convert’ their chart to the latitude/longitude of where they reside now when checking in on transits? Thanks for all the astro pearls of wisdom – my day wouldn’t be the same without them!

    • Jo Tracey
      June 29, 2013 at 8:10 am

      No, you don’t really need to, well, I wouldn’t bother ;)-but you will need to change your location when doing return charts. It would also be interesting to look at your chart from an astro location base…

  2. Urvi
    August 26, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Hi Tracey
    I just read your article on debilitated mercury. My son is one and half year old and he has a debilitated mercury (the most debilitated it can be!). So far my son doing well. he is actually quick learner and action oriented, but i am still concerned about his debilitated mercury. He has exalted Saturn in third house, leo ascendent with mars in first house and arise Jupiter in 9th house, Taurus venus in 10th house in conjunction with ketu, moon of Sagittarius in 5th.
    Btw mercury is in conjunction with sun in pisces in 8th house.
    What can I do to assist him in his learning process as you grows up?
    Reading everything else on internet really worries me.

    • Jo Tracey
      August 26, 2013 at 7:27 am

      If it makes you feel better, I have the worst Mercury in the world (Pisces, 12th house, Rx), yet did extremely well at school. I read voraciously and absorbed almost by osmosis. Saturn in the third house can make early learning an issue- not necessarily that it will be a problem, but that it might be seen to be a problem. People with Saturn on the third often grow up thinking that they arenn’t as clever as others or as great as communicating as others, even though in reality they are. This will be especially the case with him as he has a Leo Ascendant. With Merc & the Sun in the 8th house, as he gets older, you might find that he wants to read and explore subjects that are deeper than you would expect. The one thing I would encourage is reading- all Pisceans need a world to escape to and reading will allow him the private time that he needs & will also allow him to learn the structures without knowing he is doing so. With Saturn in the third, I would also take every opportunity to boost his confidence as regardless of his results, Saturn in the 3rd will never think they are good enough.

What do you think?