How to Read Sun Sign Horoscopes

There are those who think Sun Sign horoscopes are complete and utter nonsense; “how can you group everyone in the world into 12 categories and tell them what is going to happen to all the people in each group!?” And then you get those who won’t leave the house without checking their horoscope app or newspaper column to make sure they aren’t going to get hit by a bus today or that their other half isn’t going to dump them. I’m here to tell you that they’ve both gotten the wrong end of the stick.

The Sun Sign horoscopes you read at the back of a magazine do have some weight to them, and, believe it or not, are calculated using a system that actually makes sense – just not for your Sun Sign*! This is quite a confusing statement; why are they called Sun Sign horoscopes when you don’t look them up for your Sun Sign? The average person has heard of the 12 signs of the zodiac, many can name at least 8 of them, and most know their own Sun Sign. So much emphasis has been placed on the Sun Sign that it has become the main focus of astrology for everyone but those who are serious about astrology. Very few people have heard of a Moon Sign or an Ascendant, or are aware that the other planets in our solar system play a part in our personal natal charts, so Sun Sign horoscopes have become increasingly popular.

When calculating Sun Sign horoscopes, most astrologers place the Sun in the first house of the 12 house chart system. There is only a 1 in 12 chance of one having a 1st house natal Sun, and even then, unless one was born right along the equator line at or just after sunrise with a new sign at 0 degrees of the horizon, the horoscope will be inaccurate. I say this because if we are using the placidus chart system, where the latitude and time of year of one’s birth details changes the sizes of the houses, being born any time along the equator line gives one more or less an equal house chart by default. Not only this, but the time of birth should be exactly as a new sign (the Sun Sign) is coming over the horizon, at precisely 0 degrees. This gives one an equal house chart, with the Ascendant and each subsequent sign starting at the cusp of each house and the Sun, rising with the horizon in the first house means that it and all transiting planets will be in the ‘correct’ house for prediction. With this combination, and only with this combination, one can use Sun Sign horoscopes accurately*.

You might need to read that last paragraph again! It took me a a few tries to explain it in as basic terms as I could. If you’re still not following, I invite you to watch my video on the same topic where I explain this with charts.

Most of the horoscopes you find will be calculated using the planet’s position in the houses. For example, you could have a natal 10th house Leo Sun, with Mercury transiting your 7th, making a square aspect to your Sun. The magazine horoscope will place the Sun for a Leo Sun Sign prediction in the 1st house, and transiting Mercury would then be in the 11th. The horoscope might suggest tension or miscommunication with your friends or teammates (11th house pertaining to friends and groups), but this translation has nothing to do with what Mercury is actually stirring up in your chart, because Mercury is transiting your 7th house, not your 11th; so you may indeed find there is tension and miscommunication (Mercury square Sun), but it’s with your spouse or business partner (7th house) rather than with your friends.

So now that we are armed with this information, is there anything useful we could do with it, or should we forget Sun Sign horoscopes altogether? Personally, I do not read Sun Sign horoscopes, but that’s partly to do with the fact that I could simply check out my transits and make out what’s coming up for me without the aid of another astrologer. If, like hundreds of thousands of people out there, you enjoy reading your horoscopes whether for entertainment or to get a heads up, I recommend reading the horoscope for your Ascendant sign. This is the sign that is on the cusp of your 1st house (the sign that was coming up over the eastern horizon when you were born). This way the planets will be in more or less the correct houses. Bear in mind, however, that most of us will not have equal houses or signs that begin at 0 degrees of each cusp. There will usually be quite a bit of overlap, so it’s always best to find out the exact degree of a transiting planet so that you can see what house it falls in, in your chart. Those whose Ascendant signs occupy a minority of the 1st house should also read the horoscope for the following sign. For example, I have Scorpio on the Ascendant, but two thirds of my first house is Sagittarius, so I would read the horoscopes for both Scorpio and Sagittarius.

If you’re serious about reading Sun Sign horoscopes, you could experiment with making notes for both your Ascendant and the sign following it for a few months and look back to see which has proved to be more accurate. Years ago when I was experimenting with this idea, I spent a whole year making notes for the predictions of my Sun, Moon, Ascendant and sign following the Ascendant, and the latter two proved to be more useful.

Another thing to understand when reading your horoscopes is that all they can predict is the energy that a planet transiting a house or aspecting a natal planet is bringing into your life. Astrology can suggest possibilities by analysing the energies, but it can not tell you exactly what is going to happen and remembering this is key to successfully incorporating horoscope forecasts into our daily lives.

*Provided the Sun Sign horoscope is calculated with Sun in the first house.