Astrology

How To Read Your Horoscope Like An Astrologer

These cosmic tips are game-changers.

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I don't know about you, but reading a daily horoscope is an integral, must-have part of my morning routine. Because in a reality as wild and unpredictable as ours, it's nice to have a little cosmic insight into what to expect from your life over the coming 24 hours, and maybe a few hints as to how to manage your day, too. As an astrologer, I can look at the current planetary happenings on my own and get a pretty good idea of how the cosmos might affect me personally — but that doesn't stop me from reading my horoscope as written by other astrologers, just like everyone else does. Every astrologer interprets the planetary alignments differently, so it's nice to get perspective.

A good horoscope is a thoughtful art that takes ancient cosmic wisdom, applies it to the current position of the planets in astrology, and interprets how those influences might play out in a person's life. It's a way to connect the mundane aspects of your day to the vast, ancient practice of astrology.

Can I let you in on a secret, though? There are actually some insider tips that can help you get way more out of your daily horoscope by using just a basic background in astrology. So if you want to make the most of your daily 'scopes, then knowing how to read your horoscope like an astrologer is an infinitely helpful skill. More good news? It's super easy to do.

Here's how to get the most out of your horoscope and connect with your daily astrology on a new level.

Get To Know Your Birth Chart

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If you really want to read your horoscope like an astrologer, the most important thing to start with is a basic understanding of your astrological birth chart. Your birth chart is a pie-shaped map that depicts the stars and planets' placement in the zodiac at the moment you were born. You'll need an exact birth date, location, and time in order to whip this up accurately, so dig out ye olde birth certificate! There are lots of helpful astrology apps for your birth chart that can help you get started on this exploration — and once you get the ball rolling, you can either start reading your birth chart at home or consult with a professional astrologer who can guide you through the ins and outs of your personal astro map.

Your birth chart contains 12 astrological houses, each of which represents a different aspect of your life and yourself. Once you know where in the zodiac each of your 12 houses fall and which sign rules each of them in your chart, you can start looking at where the planets are in the zodiac and figure out which of your houses (or which parts of your life) those planets are activating, or transiting through. These houses (along with the major planets in astrology) are what astrologers look to when drafting up your daily, monthly, or yearly horoscopes, so it helps to develop an idea about what they represent.

Read Your Horoscope For Your Rising Sign

It's time to start reading your horoscope for your rising sign in addition to your Sun sign (aka your regular ol' zodiac sign), because you'll likely find that it's a lot more accurate. It might feel odd to read the horoscope for a sign you don't immediately identify with, but give it a try — and watch your mind be blown when you realize how much it actually resonates.

"It’s important to read horoscopes for your ascendant sign, as well as your Sun sign because they will make more sense and resonate on a deeper level that way," astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Bustle. Here's why: Your rising sign, also known as your ascendent, is one of the most important pieces of information that you'll glean from your birth chart. It refers to the zodiac sign that the cusp of your first house falls into — which means that this sign dictates the placement in the zodiac of all the other houses that follow. (You can read all about what your rising sign means and how to calculate yours if you're unfamiliar with it!)

But if horoscopes are more accurately written for our rising signs, then why does everyone read them for their Sun signs? Well, all you need in order to know your Sun sign in most cases is a birth date, which makes it super easy to calculate off the top of your head. That's why pop astrologers back in the day starting writing "Sun sign horoscopes," which assumes the Sun sign is the sign of the first house and uses it in place of the rising sign — that way people could read their horoscope while casually flipping through a magazine without having to find their exact birth time and calculate an entire birth chart.

This isn't to say that reading your horoscope as you usually would is totally inaccurate — the Sun is the most important and influential of the planets in the zodiac game. But if you want a slightly more accurate 'scope that reflects your life in a more all-encompassing way, try reading for your rising sign from now on, too, and watch as things start to make sense.

Keep Track Of The Moon In The Zodiac

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The Moon in astrology is known as one of the most influential planets of the bunch, as it rules over our emotions, moods, and inner selves. It's also the fastest-moving planet, as it only spends about 2 and a half days in each zodiac sign before orbiting into the next one (the other planets spend anywhere from a few weeks to a few years in each sign, for comparison!). That means its influence on us is constantly changing, and as far as your day-to-day astrological drama goes, looking to the Moon can offer a lot of insight. That's why astrologers use the Moon so often when writing horoscopes.

If you want to start getting yourself a little more in sync with astrology in general, download an astrology app that will you show you what zodiac sign the Moon is in and examine the ways in which you're feeling that sign's vibe throughout the day. For example, if the Moon is in Libra, you might feel a little more social and relationship-focused, whereas if the Moon is in Capricorn, you'll be more goal-focused and preoccupied with work. You can also look to which house in your birth chart is ruled by the sign that the Moon is currently traveling through — this will show you the part of your life that is being lit up by the Moon's energy all through the day, and the area where you're most likely to feel its influence. You'll likely see these themes reflected in your daily horoscope, too.

Once you whip up your birth chart and calculate your Moon sign, you can use it to start getting a more emotional view of your daily horoscope as well. "You can read a horoscope for your Moon sign to get in touch with your emotions," Stardust says. Instead of applying your Moon sign's horoscope to your life on the whole, as you would with your Sun or rising sign's 'scopes, think of it as a more private horoscope that tells you about the landscape of your inner world and emotional state.

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When it comes to astrology and horoscopes, interpretation is everything — that's why you can read 10 different astrologers' horoscopes and get totally different vibes from each one. They're all looking at the same planets, but those planets might speak some different truths to every person who analyzes them, and that's OK. That's why getting in touch with your own astrology and understanding how to read your horoscopes more effectively is a great way to get more out of the practice — and to take ownership of your own interactions with the cosmos on the whole.