10 Surprising Things Most People Don’t Know About Astrology

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

Whether you’re a firm believer in what the stars have to say about your life or you just like to have a little fun reading your weekly horoscope, there is so much more to astrology than most folks realize.

In fact, as a personal hobby of mine, I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the study of celestial bodies. But apparently I was only scratching the surface. There are plenty more fascinating aspects of astrology — especially when it comes to Mercury going into the always-dreaded retrograde phase.

Take a look to learn more about what might be hiding behind your horoscope. Chances are you’ll be inspired to have your own chart mapped out with your sun sign, rising sign, and everything in between!

Do you know someone who loves looking into astrology in their spare time? Be sure to SHARE this list of fun facts with them!

Thumbnail sources: Wikimedia Commons 1, 2

1. You Need Your Exact Time Of Birth For An Accurate Chart

astrology chart

Whether you’re using a convenient online astrology chart mapper, like the popular one provided by Astro Sofa, or seeking out an in-person consultation, you will need to check with your parents or birth records to know the precise time you entered the world. Only then will you be able to correctly pin down your various signs.

2. You Have Way More Than One Sign

zodiac signs

What you probably assume is your only sign, based only on your date of birth, is actually your sun sign. But there are several others, including ones for each planet and 12 different “house cusps,” all of which you will discover once a chart has been made for you.

The three biggest ones used while interpreting how they represent your personality are the aforementioned sun sign, the rising (also know as “ascendant” and “first house cusp”) sign, and the moon sign.

For example, I thought I was just a Taurus, but it turns out that Taurus is actually my sun sign, with another Taurus for my rising sign, and Aquarius as my moon sign. I guess I know why I can be so darn stubborn with that doubling up on Taurus!

3. Your Rising Sign Identifies Your Personality

cancer zodiac sign

In other words, according to Cafe Astrology, this sign is what determines the type of first impression you make on others, or the “mask” we tend to put on ourselves in public.

This is supposedly where the stubbornness comes in for me and my fellow rising Taureans. We prefer to “stand firmly on their feet.”

4. Your Sun Sign Inspires Your Goals

sun sign

With its connection to your heart, describes this as what drives your spirit and ego. Essentially, it motivates someone to reach toward their aspirations.

Continuing with my own chart as an example, having a Taurus sun sign can be interpreted to mean I’m more materialistic when it comes to my goals in life.

5. Your Moon Sign Represents Your Emotions

moon sign says this is the indicator for how our moods swing and in what way our instincts kick in, ranging from stone-faced stoics to hand-wringing worriers.

The final example from my chart describes my Aquarian moon sign as someone who likes to be neighborly and helpful, but also tends to prefer plenty of their own personal space.

6. Most People Have Aspects Of All 12 Signs

scorpio zodiac sign

If you’ve always been a skeptic about astrology, and the reason is that you don’t identify with the main traits of your sun sign as described in vague horoscopes over the years, this could be because you relate more to your Saturn, Pluto, or another planetary sign (or one of your other 11 “house cusps”) more than you relate to your rising sign.

7. Mercury Doesn't Actually Go Into Retrograde


According to Jean-Luc Margot, a planetary astronomer and professor at UCLA who discussed the phenomena with LiveScience, this term is a misnomer for what is actually happening.

To understand what’s really happening, imagine you’re in the fast lane of a highway, looking out your window at the cars going slower in the other lanes. From this perspective, it looks like they are moving backwards when in fact they are just going at a different speed. It is the same case for Mercury slowing down on its path, making it appear to be backtracking.

8. Other Planets Also Appear To Move Backwards

solar system

Though we tend to only hear about the way Mercury adversely affects us when it appears to be traveling backward, all of the planets — including Earth — can have the same appearance. Astrologers take them each into account while mapping out someone’s individual chart.

In fact, Mercury has one of the shortest retrogrades in comparison to the other planets in the solar system.

9. Sagittarius Is The Most Common Sign For Celebs

sagittarius zodiac sign

According to research uncovered by the Daily Mail, the folks born between November 22 and December 21 make up the largest number of zodiac signs in the entertainment business.

On the other end of the spectrum, Taurus was the least represented sign among famous celebrities.

10. Sign Compatibility Isn't As Trustworthy As You Might Think

aries and taurus

Asking someone about their zodiac sign isn’t just a cheesy pickup line. It’s also totally irrelevant, according to scientists.

Whether or not you believe in the traits assigned with each zodiac symbol, the Smithsonian Magazine cited several different studies that looked at the success rates of millions of couples and the so-called compatibility between their signs. They found empirical evidence that “astrological sign has no impact on the probability of marrying — and staying married to — someone of any other sign.”

More reputable astrologists have admitted to similar findings, so keep that in mind next time your horoscope says your relationship is doomed.

Did you learn something new about astrology? Be sure to SHARE all the fascinating information with your friends!