How to interpret a horoscope

This article assumes you already know how to create an astrological chart. If you missed my first article in this series, please have a look at How to start with astrology article, which describes all about how you can create a horoscope.

When it comes to interpreting the horoscope, this is where it starts to be more interesting. I will try to describe in this article what elements can be found in the horoscope and how are they used during the horoscope interpretation.

In general, horoscope contains four elements, which can be used to analyze a horoscope of someone or a horoscope of an event – zodiac signs, planets,  astrological houses and aspects. Their location in the horoscope created by free astrological software Astrolog 5.4 is shown on the next picture.



1. Planets


Each planet in the horoscope represents certain inner forces of your personality. The energy of the planets influences our everyday lives. In general, the closer the planet is to the earth and the bigger the planet, the more it influences us and therefore the position in the horoscope is more important.

In astrological terms, the following are considered to be the most important planets in the horoscope:

  • Sun symbol_sun- represents self, personality and ego, pride, leadership qualities, life force, health and vitality, creativity.
  • Moon symbol_moon- represents unconscious habits, emotions, moods, maternal instincts, home, need for security, mother element
  • Mercury symbol_mercury- represents thinking, communication abilities, schooling and education, transport over short distances, journalism and writing, information gathering skills
  • Venus symbol_venus- represents harmony, beauty, feelings and affections, urge to sympathize and unite with others, desire for pleasure, sensuality, comfort, romantic relations, marriage and business partnerships, arts, fashion, female sexual energy
  • Mars symbol_mars- represents confidence, self assertion, ambition, impulsiveness, physical activities, action, male sexual energy
  • Jupiter symbol_jupiter- represents growth, expansion, prosperity, good fortune, inner sense of justice and morality, higher goals, long distance travel, education, religion and law, urge for freedom and exploration, humanitarian and protecting roles, gambling.
  • Saturn symbol_saturn- represents limitation, restriction, boundaries, career, authority, conforming social structures, duty, discipline, responsibility, father element
  • Uranus symbol_uranus- represents inner forces that make someone stand out of crowd, unconventional ideas and discoveries, individuality, revolution, sudden and unexpected changes, freedom, originality, radical ideas, revolutionary events that upset established structures, chaos, freedom of expression
  • Neptune symbol_neptune- represents dreams, fantasy and imagination, idealism and compassion, illusion, confusion, spirituality and mysticism, creativity in art and music, drugs, extreme sensitivity, altered mental states, meditation
  • Pluto symbol_pluto- represents power, ability to manipulate masses of people, politics, someone who destroys in order to renew, transformation, big business and wealth

Note that the horoscope on the picture above contains more objects than the planets I mentioined. Astrolog 5.4 can be configured to only display planets and objects in the horoscope that you want to see. I suggest you remove anything that you don’t know if you are only starting with astrology, which will make interpretation easier for you. The most important elements are the planets that I mentioned above.


2. Zodiac signs


In astronomy terms, it is a zone of the sky that includes about 8 degrees on either side of the ecliptic. The apparent paths of the planets, sun and moon fall within this zone. The Zodiac is made up of 12 equal parts of 30 degrees each, which are called sun signs or zodiac signs.

Zodiac signs tell how the inner forces (represented by planets) express themselves. 

The following list contains all the zodiac signs. If you are serious about astrology, I would suggest you spend some time memorizing their symbols, as you will need it when you interpret a horoscope. Their order is also very important. I have included the “English names” of the signs as well as that is usually what is displayed on pictures of zodiac signs and also people from non-English speaking countries may know the zodiac signs under these names (of course after translation to the local language).

I have also included typical characteristics when the person has mastered the symbol and using it in a positive way and when the person has not mastered the symbol. Aspects of planets (see below) can be often used as a guidance to show what inner forces are likely to be mastered and what are not.

Number Sign English Name Symbol
Characteristics when under control Characteristics when not mastered
 1.  Aries   The Ram  symbol_aries
assertive, energetic, quickly reacting, action-oriented, impulsive, full of strength, eager, competitive, straightforward, headstrong, leader, freedom-loving, brave violent, impatient, fiery, arrogant, extreme, intemperate, rash
 2.  Taurus  The Bull  symbol_taurus
responsible, loyal, patient, stable, thorough, resourceful, sensual, comfortable, solid, strong, oriented to material possessions, especially money stubborn, indulgent, insecure, acquisitive, possessive, rigid, stodgy, slow 
 3.   Gemini  The Twins  symbol_gemini
versatile, inquisitive, intellectual, whimsical, nimble, articulate, lively, active, curious, independent, talkative, sociable, mercurial, and creative restless, scattered, dual or two-faced, inconstant, rash, gullible, gossipy and superficial
 4.   Cancer  The Crab  symbol_cancer
protective, sensitive, compassionate, tenacious, retentive, resourceful, empathetic, a great leader, charming, independent, mysterious, powerful, self-contained, intelligent, family and home oriented, maternal, security oriented, philosopher, honest, nurturing, motherly, warm, sympathetic, artistic, passionate, self-sacrificing, patriotic, sentimental, musical, emotional, and loving touchy, clingy, over-protective, moody and crabby
 5.   Leo  The Lion  symbol_leo
creative, generous, proud, fun-loving, dramatic, dignified, theatrical, passionate, affectionate, ardent, ambitious, loves attention, independent, noble, a leader, sunny, naive, magnetic, kingly, and powerful bossy, jealous, patronizing, promiscuous, snobbish, egotistical, boastful, over self-conscious, and arrogant
 6.   Virgo  The Virgin  symbol_virgo
practical, industrious, efficient, thorough, methodical, exacting, precise, detail-oriented, observant, intelligent, critical, work and service oriented, painstaking, pragmatic, modest, discreet, health and cleanliness conscious, mentally active, and flexible fussy, nervous, pedantic, petty, and over-critical
 7.   Libra  The Scales  symbol_libra
co-operative, diplomatic, sees both sides, open-minded, just, urbane, fair, partnership oriented, avoids conflict, refined, balanced, graceful, charming, debative, idealistic, egalitarian and sociable can sometimes also rationalize, be easily deterred, indecisive and lazy
 8.   Scorpio  The Scorpion  symbol_scorpio
passionate, secretive, powerful, penetrating, perspicacious, intense, determined, purposeful, imaginative, insightful, perceptive, deep, complex, analytical, inquisitive, resourceful, ambitious, shrewd, magnetic, hypnotic, creative and mysterious cunning, suspicious, compulsive, aggressive, jealous, and controlling
 9.   Sagittarius   The Archer  symbol_sagittarius
freedom-loving, extrovert, straightforward, benevolent, philosophic, idealistic, sincere, intellectual, knowledgeable, philosophical, broad-minded, truth-seeking and telling, just, fun-loving, athletic, adventurous, expansive, and optimistic blundering, careless, exaggerative, know-it-all, over-indulgent, tactless and scattered
 10.   Capricorn  The Sea-goat  symbol_capricorn
prudent, responsible, realistic, formal, patient, methodical, disciplined, traditional, cautious, conventional, hard-working, persevering, self-reliant, ambitious, businesslike, career-oriented, authoritative, conscientious, and competent rigid, suspicious, status-seeking, demanding, insensitive, inhibited and saturnine
 11.   Aquarius  The Water Carrier  symbol_aquarius
unconventional, detached, intellectual, objective, individualistic, inventive, tolerant, unique, rebellious, sophisticated, future-oriented, friendship-oriented, humanitarian, cause-oriented, believes in groups and society, attractive and progressive unpredictable, dogmatic, over-permissive, aloof, eccentric and elitist
 12.   Pisces  The Fish  symbol_pisces
compassionate, empathic, imaginative, sensitive, mystical, spiritual, dreamy, passive, easy-going, idealistic, visionary, inspirational, accepting, undiscriminating, charitable, believes in soul growth, self-sacrificing and artistic can also sometimes be distracted, detached, illusory, impractical, gullible, neglectful, escapist and lazy

You may have seen dates associated with the above sun signs. This is quite common in sun-sign astrology (newspaper astrology), which is the form of astrology most commonly found in many newspaper and magazine columns. The dates associated with every sign represent the position of the Sun in each zodiac sign every year. The position is same every year, with minor differences. For example, Aries are often associated with the March 21 – April 20 period. Be careful though, if you were born on March 21, the Sun may have still been in Pisces. Accurate personal horoscope can always tell what sun sign was your sun in at time when you were born. It is worth noting as well that if a planet is on the boundary of two sun signs, both sun sign qualities should be taken into account during horoscope interpretation.

Each sign is associated with one of the four elements and is displayed in different color in Astrolog 5.4, based on the element the sign is associated with.

  1. Fire – Aries, Leo, Saggitarius – desires, creative energies, action, passion, energy, heat, confidence, initiative. People with a lot of fire in their horoscope are passionate, confident, bright, warm, exciting and easily take initiative. They are good starters.
  2. Earth – Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn – material resources, possessions, stability, practicality. People with a lot of earth in the horoscope are solid, dependable, thorough, responsible, cautious, overprotective, quiet
  3. Air – Gemini, Libra, Aquarius – thought, perspective, hastiness, communication. People with lot of earth in their horoscope are intellectual, objective, lively, idealistic and articulate
  4. Water – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces – imagination, human feelings, ability to love and sustain. People with a lot of water in their horoscope are sensitive, seductive, intuitive, imaginative, insightful, secretive, loving, learned and moody. 

Another division of zodiac signs is based on the three qualities:

  1. Cardinal – Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn – are associated with initiation and creativity. People with lot of cardinal qualities will be spontaneous, restless, good at organizing and natural leaders.
  2. Fixed – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius – are associated with focus, powerful concentration, determination and individuality. People with lot of fixed qualities will be stable, conservative, solid, reluctant to change, loyal, sometimes inflexible
  3. Mutable – Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces – are associated with adaptability, holism and resourcefulness. People with lot of mutable qualities will be flexible, good at serving others, have broader views, will be forward looking and have multiple talents.

I usually start interpreting the horoscope by finding out if there is a balance between the above elements and qualities or if any element or quality is stronger in the horoscope. Have a look what signs are most planets in to get an immediate idea about person’s tendencies. Keep in mind that Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are the most important planets for this analysis. Some astrologers even exclude the rest of the planets from this analysis. You should also include Ascendant into this analysis as it is another important point in horoscope (see below).

After you get an initial idea about the main elements, you can start analyzing planets and their positions in the zodiac. For example, if the Mercury which represents thinking and communication is in Aries, the person will most likely be very spontaneous when meeting new people, will start conversations with others quite easily, would have loads of new ideas, etc. Depending on aspects of Mercury with other planets, it may show areas that the person should be careful about, such as too quick judging of others, making conclusions too quickly, saying things which were not to be said, and so on.


3. Astrological houses


Astrological houses tell which area of life is influenced most by the forces. It determines to a large degree the area of life in which the planet “acts”, goals and activities on which its drive or impulse will be focused.

The astrological houses in the horoscope depend very much on exact time and location where the person was born. They represent the divisions of the path of the sun across the sky as seen from the earth at the time and place of the horoscope in question. Houses one through six are below horizon, houses seven through twelve above horizon.


  1. House of Self – new beginnings and initiatives, self, who you are, what will you become, personality, approach to life, physical body and appearance, first impressions, ego
  2. House of Value (Possessions) – what you own and what you want to own, property, belongings, acquisitions, money, both material and immaterial possessions, concept of value, cultivation and growth 
  3. House of Communication – written and verbal communication, analytical abilities, use of conscious skills, intelligence, early education and childhood environment (teaching us how to communicate), short trips, siblings, neighbors
  4. House of Home and Family – roots and heritage, foundations, concept of home, domestic space which comforts us and nurtures us and provides protection, mother, family, traditions
  5. House of Pleasure – pleasure, acts of creativity, art, culture, music, dance, theatre, literature, self satisfaction and personal pleasure, romance and affairs, sex, gambling, willingness to take a risk, fun, games, hobbies, children as a source of pleasure, children, recreational and leisure activities, creative self-expression
  6. House of Health – work and service, employment, jobs, working for someone, work we do on ourselves, training, routine tasks and duties, responsibility, personal growth, health, diet, fitness, hygiene, taking care of yourself (how you dress, haircut, etc.), pets and domestic animals
  7. House of Partnerships - partnerships, both business and personal, agreements, marriage, contracts, treaties, negotiations, legal matters, cooperation, diplomatic relations, including open enemies
  8. House of Death and Sex – growth, rebirth of the soul, sex, death, rebirth, failed relationships leading to new ones, career changes, shared resources (inheritance, alimony, taxes, insurance), constraints given by society, restrictions, transformation
  9. House of Philosophy - search for meaning, exploring world, long distance traveling, higher education, concepts and theories that will enhance our world, philosophy, psychology, discovery, religion, publishing, multinational ventures, grandchildren and in-laws, search for meaning and truth, interest in other cultures and foreign countries
  10. House of Social Status – social grouping, career, role we take in our community, promotions, fame, professional goals, ambitions, motivations, employers and their rules, organizations that have ability to rule over us, government, relationship of an individual to a group and to society, authority, father or father figure
  11. House of Friendships – friends and acquaintances of like-minded attitudes, clubs, organizations, social groups, networking organizations, professional associations, activities we undertake within these groups, how we make a difference, destiny, hopes and dreams that we desire and want to achieve, what kind of friends we are, what we do for others, stepchildren, foster children, adopted children
  12. House of Self-Undoing, Unconscious - strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, subconscious perception, fear, sorrows, suffering and secrets we keep from ourselves and from others, karma, lessons learnt, boundaries in life, jails, hospitals, institutions, asylums, any space that inhibits freedom, secret enemies, positive transformations, mysticism, things which are not apparent to self, but are clearly seen by others

The cusp of the First House is called the Ascendant, the sign which was rising on the eastern horizon at the precise moment of the birth (event), sometimes called the “Rising Sun”. It represents the person’s awakening consciousness, in the same way that the Sun’s appearance on the eastern horizon signifies the start of a new day. It is another important point in the horoscope, the zodiac sign in which the ascendent is is of very high importance as it tells how this “awakening consciousness” expresses itself. Ascendant also represents the individual and the physical self. Many astrologers interpret ascendant along with the planets and take into account also aspects between ascendant and other planets.

The astrological houses provide us with an additional information about which area of life is influenced the most by the forces set up by a planet in a concrete zodiac sign. Extending the above example of Mercury in Aries, if this combination is in 7th house, the mentioned spontaneousness in communication is most going to be reflected in partnerships. The person would not find it difficult to flirt with others, and would use the agile mind mainly during negotiations, marriage, initiating contracts, etc. However, if the combination was in 4th house, the forces would be most reflected in relation with home and family – the person would be the one that organizes family events and would always do things to initiate communication within the family. 


4. Aspects


The aspects “connect” planets together for interpretation. They represent angular relationship between planets and also between other points in horoscope, such as Ascendant. It is an angle the planets make to each other in the horoscope. They show which parts of your personality have certain connections with other parts of your personality. 

For example, if the distance between Sun and Moon in the horoscope is 90 degrees, the horoscope has a “Sun square Moon” aspect in it. The exact distances between two points in the horoscope are rare, so astrologers use a toleration for aspects, called an “orb”. Orb is the difference between the exact aspect and the actual aspect. If an orb is 2 degrees, the aspect “Sun square Moon” would be in the horoscope even if the distance between the Sun and Moon was 92 degrees or 88 degrees as the 2 degrees is used as a toleration of the inexact angle. The more accurate the angle between planets is, the more strongly the aspect manifests. Astrolog 5.4 helps us identify the strength of aspects directly in the horoscope, it shows more accurate aspects as solid lines, less accurate with dotted lines. The more the dots are apart, the bigger the difference between actual aspect and exact aspect.

The following aspects are the most often used during horoscope interpretation:

  • Conjunction – 0 degrees, usually orb of 8 degrees – is the most important aspect. It is easy to find in the chart, it is a situation when planets appear to be in the same position from the Earth, therefore, the planets are situated closely together in the chart. Conjunctions add a great emphasis to the planets that are involved and the signs the planets are in. It makes their interpretation even more important. It combines the forces of the planets together. For example, Mars conjunct Venus can point to an assertive lover. Planets in the conjunction may even have an aspect to other planets as well, this should all be taken into consideration as it may even more intensify the conjunction. When more than two planets are in a conjunction together, they form what is called a stellium, which even more intensifies the sign the stellium is in. 
  • Sextile – 60 degrees, usually orb of 4 degrees – is traditionally considered to be a “positive” aspect, with a similar influence as Trine, but of little bit less significance. It indicates a compatibility and harmony between the two elements involved, there is an easy flow of energy between the elements. Sextile is displayed in bright blue color line in Astrolog 5.4. 
  • Square – 90 degrees, usually orb of 8 degrees – is traditionally considered to be a “negative” aspect, showing a hard flow of energy, friction between the two elements involved. It can sometimes lead to a pessimism and fearful approach to the life in the affected area. It indicates strain, tension, frustration, inhibitions, disruption and inner conflict. However, when mastered, it can make the person extremely strong and make the person overcome such limitations with much more strength, seeing the challenges as an opportunity to develop a strength of character. Square is displayed in red color line in Astrolog 5.4.
  • Trine – 120 degrees, usually orb of 8 degrees - is traditionally considered to be a “positive” aspect, and indicates an easy flow of energy between the elements involved. It represents harmony, fun, creativity, talent, pleasure, ease of doing things, minimal effort. Trines can balance out some less favorable aspects in the horoscope and can point out the way to resolve tensions of other aspects. Too many trines in horoscope may make it too easy for the person and therefore the person may become weak and unable to cope with adversity. Trine is displayed in green color line in Astrolog 5.4.
  • Opposition – 180 degrees, usually orb of 8 degrees – is easy to locate in horoscope as the planets are located opposite each other, displayed in dark blue line in Astrolog 5.4. They are the second most powerful aspect in the horoscope. It represents opposing forces, conflict between the two elements, but again, when mastered, after the energy conflict between the elements is “bridged” and resolved, can become great source of energy.

Note that although there are aspects that are considered to be positive and negative, all depends on individual that the horoscope is interpreted to. The positive aspects represent opportunities, it is up to the individual whether he or she takes them, it is still on them to make things happen. It is a good way for an astrologer to pick up strong and weak points of a person and should be presented in that way. For example, if Venus is in 7th house square Mars, the astrologer should not tell the person that he or she is never going to get married or that the person will suffer in relationships, because that is not necessarily the truth and can make it even more difficult to the person by making him or her believe that he can not do anything about this constellation (the Law of Attraction). The person should work on relationships with the opposite sex, and if the person masters and balances these forces, there is no reason to be unhappy. It only represents challenges, and is up the the person what they want to do with their life. If it can be harnessed effectively, strength and success will be the result.

The above was a quick start guide on how to interpret a horoscope. There are plenty of sources on the internet that describe the above mentioned points in much more detail and with more examples. Go ahead and search Google for more information, if you are interested: [ad#search_in_article]

As always, I am keen to hear your comments!

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4 Responses to How to interpret a horoscope

  1. Really fantastic your post. I look forward to future posts.

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  2. UK horoscopes says:

    A horoscope is the assembly of basic placements of planets at the time of birth. Effective astrological techniques are applied to assess horoscope. It can also be referred to as a map of the sky and the planets at a certain moment of a person’s birth. The concept of horoscope in the vedic system is by far the most accurate and sophisticated method of astrological predictions.
    UK horoscopes | horoscopes

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