Intro to Astrological Terms

Oct 25, 2017 | Introvert Bubble, Ultimate Scopes

I’ve noticed some folks on Twitter calling me an astrologer.

I am no astrologer.

I love astrology. I collect astro resources. I celebrate the work of astrologers and assemble my favorites. I am an astrology geek. Reading mainly about Western astrology, and some Eastern. How else will I know which one I like?! If I geek it long or thoroughly enough, I will become a student in earnest, just as it went with tarot. But that is not today. Or even this year.

That said, as we work through your Ultimate ‘Scopes, I’m going to refer to astrology terms.

They won’t be fancy. Even if I were an astrologer, I’d want you to understand what I’m saying. You may already be familiar with them. You may know more about them than I do! If I get something wrong with astrology, call me out (and quote your sources). I’m always on the lookout for quality astrology resources.

I talk about astrology, even though I’m not an expert, to bring you the relevant snippets that you’d love to harvest yourself but might not have the time or energy. I geek astrology as a service. I made a big fuss about charts on the Ultimate ‘Scopes sales page:

While the Ultimate ‘Scopes will be packed with astrological information, I am not an astrologer, and this offer will not include a detailed analysis of your birth chart.

It’s true. No detailed analysis. But there may still be analysis. And if you aren’t in the habit of studying your chart, then it’s a fair bit more analysis than you would have seen otherwise. And, if I get excited about it, which tends to happen with information, the level of detail will increase throughout the year.

Exciting stuff, right? But also pointless if you don’t know what I’m ranting about. So let’s start with an introduction to the basics.

What is an astrological birth chart?

Astrologers are a sneaky sort that use math and wizardry to know everybody’s business. A birth chart is the cheat sheet that they use to spy on us and know all-the-things. It tells them where the planets were at the time of our birth and in relation to one another.

If you’ve ever gotten an astrology reading on the fly, you’ve seen an astrologer whip your chart out and peer at its confounding contents. But, “Siobhan,” you might ask, “how’s this possible when they only looked for a second at their phone?

Where do I get my birth chart?

There’s an app for that. I assume this is for the fancy people who need to cofound the laymen like us (or for astro geeks). The rest of us use what used to be known as Astrodienst and is now called

What’s in a birth chart?

Notice the symbols in the outer ring. Those are the signs of the zodiac.

There are 12 of them, and each of them has a little chunk of the sky. Think of this as the year’s playlist. 12 months. Each slice of the sky has a theme song. We all hear the same song and get in a particular mood.

You know how you used to feel when “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette used to come on? That’s the dark side of Scorpio season. No, it’s not the same mood for everyone. It’s not always dark. No, it’s not absolute. But man if it doesn’t get interesting to think of it this way and then watch the news and everyone’s timelines…


We just entered Scorpio season. Scorpio is associated with sex, death, and secrets. What’s in the news right now? Harvey Weinstein, a famous Hollywood person [POWER] is on blast for multiple allegations of varying levels of sexual misconduct [SEX] which in turn triggered a cascade effect outing other sexual predators who had escaped notice. [SECRETS] Not everyone will experience epic fails season to season (thank goodness!) but the zodiacal themes seem to touch all of us one way or another.

Looking again at the chart above, the circle just inside the outer ring with the zodiac signs has degrees (math wizard stuff). The circle inside THAT is a little different than the outside one. They just snuck that in there didn’t they?

This “different” inner layer corresponds to 12 astrological houses.

These are houses in the way that the neighborhood is your life. One house for fame, one for friends, one for partnerships, one for work and so on. The neighborhood is your life.  Get it?

In this inner area, we see some tiny symbols and more math-wizard numbers.

These are planets and stars in the locations where they were the moment you were born. They tell us where the “action” is at and when. They tell a story about your life. All the characteristics of the planets, stars, houses, and zodiac signs interact with each other and super fancy wizard people, also known as astrologers, look at this and know-all-the-things.

You may be thinking, What’s that line-mess in the middle?

THAT, my friends, is where my brain threatens to melt just a little. Those are measurements of the angles (relationships) that planets have with one another also known as aspects. This year we’ll talk about everything happening OUTSIDE of this line mess, and maybe we’ll deal briefly with line messes themselves.

We’ll talk about significant planetary aspects for the year and some for the month. We won’t usually talk about daily aspects. If you get curious about that level of astro-detail, check out my twitter feed where I’ll undoubtedly be retweeting astrologers that I respect who talk in more detail about the line mess.

Do I need to look at my birth chart for the ‘Scopes?


I bring it up to introduce you to the terms:

  • birth chart
  • zodiac signs
  • houses
  • aspects
  • return(I skipped this didn’t I? A return is when a heavenly body goes back to the place it was when you were born.)

So when I say we are entering the sign of Scorpio, you can either imagine that slice in the sky or hear Alanis Morissette angrily serenading your ex. So when I say that Venus is returning to your second house, you’ll know that the planet Venus is going back to the location in the sky it was when you were born and that, while it’s there, the focus will be on the characteristics of “Venus” in the neighborhood of your life related to things that you value.

I may not always bring these things up. When I do, I will use the most relatable terms possible. I’ll try anyway. (We can’t all be Alanis fans I guess…) Now that you know all that let’s get to your Ultimate ‘Scopes!

And now for a Scorpian theme song!