How Horoscopes Work

How Horoscopes WorkMillions of people read their horoscope. How do they work, being that astrologers can’t study the individual charts for each of those people? This post explains how horoscopes are created, how to read yours with more accuracy, and even how to create your own personal horoscopes.

(Warning: this post is a bit technical.)

How it Works

Horoscopes work based on the premise that the Sun is the heart of the natal chart, much like how it’s the center of our solar system. Most people don’t even know anything else about their charts other than their Sun sign; it’s that significant. A horoscope puts the Sun at 0º of each sign and then determines where current planets are in relation to that point.

If your Sun is at 3º Cancer conjunct the Moon in your natal 4th house, you probably relate to everything about your Sun sign because you are very Cancerian. But if you have Sun at 26º Leo conjunct Neptune in H12, you may not relate to all things your read about Leo, including your horoscope.

Erecting a Solar Chart

Horoscopes are determined by first erecting a solar chart for each sign, which puts 0º of that sign on the Ascendant (see Virgo example below). It then divvies up the rest of the Zodiac into 12 sectors. A Virgo horoscope has 0º Virgo on the first sector, then 0º Libra begins sector 2, 0º Scorpio begins sector 3, etc.

Once a solar chart is created for each of the 12 zodiac signs, current planetary transits are placed around the wheel. If the Sun enters Scorpio for our Virgo example, the Sun is entering Virgo’s 3rd sector, otherwise known as the communications sector (see next section).

Understanding the Sectors

The sectors are like the houses in a natal chart. They represent similar life areas:
Sector 1: Planets in this sector are in your sign, and tend to make you stand out in various ways to others (Venus makes you more charming when it’s in your sign, the Sun gives you more attention, etc). This sector also corresponds to body, appearance, and identity.
Sector 2: Values and security: personal assets/finances including real estate, self worth, and personal values/ethics.
Sector 3: Communication/information: verbal and written contracts, siblings and neighbors, community/neighborhood, short distance trips, and basic schooling.
Sector 4: Domestics: physical home, and your family unit. Also your family tree (ancestry).
Sector 5: Creativity: self-expression through talents/hobbies/passions, love affairs, and children.
Sector 6: Routines: work, health, personal habits. Also, pets, and people that work for you in a service manner.
Sector 7: Relationships: personal and business partnerships, and legal issues involving said partnerships. Fairness, social awareness, appropriateness, and diplomacy. Also, debates and open enemies.
Sector 8: Shared resources: taxes, loans, inheritances, partner’s funds. Physically and emotionally intimate relationships. Death. Also, occult matters and psychology interests.
Sector 9: Opportunities: long-distance travel, higher education, legal matters, religion/spirituality, philosophy. Also covers foreign cultures and learning about them.
Sector 10: Career: professional/public image, and professional relationships (particularly with superiors).
Sector 11: Friendship: your network, social groups, humanitarian work. Also, wishes and hopes, aspirations. Considered the lucky sector, and where you obtain fortune from career pursuits.
Sector 12: Hidden things: secret fears and hopes. That which you cannot see clearly, though others may see it (blind spots). Hidden enemies. Unconscious actions.

Virgo Solar Chart Example

How Horoscopes Work

As an example, I have erected a Virgo solar chart (above). A daily horoscope would likely focus on the Pisces Moon traveling through Virgo’s partnership sector (the Moon moves so fast that it is often used for daily horoscopes). A weekly Virgo horoscope might mention Mercury in the assets sector, or the stellium of planets in the sign of Virgo. A monthly horoscope would mention the Scorpio Sun entering Virgo’s area of communication. Yearly horoscopes generally focus on Jupiter, which takes a year to travel through the zodiac.

To paint a more detailed picture, planetary aspects are observed. For example, Pluto in Virgo’s sector of self-expression is in a helpful trine to the Venus/Mars/Jupiter stellium. However, Pluto is squaring Mercury in Virgo’s assets sector, a jarring aspect.

This is where the astrologer’s expertise and personalization comes into play. They must determine how to translate transits: “Moon in your sector of partnerships” can be explained as “emotions are focused on your relationship,” for example.

Reading Your Horoscope

When you read your daily horoscope, if you were born closer the next sign (or between the 12th and 22nd of the month, give or take), you may want to read the horoscope for the sign after yours, because it will line up your sectors more accurately. I often do this, because my Sun is at 23º Aries (see below).

Additionally, you can read the sign that corresponds to your natal ascendant. It will place the planets in your personal house setup. For example, if you are a Gemini with a 4º Scorpio rising, try reading both and blending the two meanings. If your rising is 29º Capricorn, try reading the Aquarius horoscope because your houses line up with that solar chart’s sectors.

Creating a Personalized Solar Chart

To create your own personal solar chart, you need to know the degree of your Sun. Use a blank natal chart wheel, and place your Sun on the ascendant. For example, as I said earlier, my Sun is at 23º Aries. So, to erect my solar chart, I place 23º Aries on the Ascendant line, and then 23º Taurus at the 2nd house/sector mark, etc. I created mine at astro.com using an equal house system, as you can see in the illustration below. (I had to do a little guess-work on the time to get it right.)

How Horoscopes Work

So, this week the Virgo Venus/Mars/Jupiter stellium is clearly in my creative sector, which indicates this is a good time for me to work on the details (Virgo) of a creative endeavor (Sector 5). However, because Pisces Moon is opposing that stellium from my friendship sector, this particular day may be challenging because emotionally (Moon), I am pulled towards blending (Pisces) with the group (Sector 11).

This solar chart method is also very useful for those that don’t know their birth time. Natal charts provide the most accurate reading, but if you don’t know your time of birth, you may not have that option.

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