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A deep dive into the world of astrology

January 20, 2022

The stars and the moon have always been in the sky, looming over us, showing us the way to new lands and controlling the tides.

The latest generation of youth has cultivated a new wave of exploring the way these space elements control us. The phenomenon of checking our horoscope and comparing our birth charts has grown due to internet culture connecting us and giving us the opportunity to share everything. The last thing we have yet to share is our exact time and place of birth, which could potentially rule our personalities.

Until now.

However, even with more information than ever on the study of astrology being shared, vague information still circulates on what these planets actually do to affect us. Many have heard of the sun, moon, and rising charts, but don’t quite understand the effects of what each planet has to offer to the individual. 

Laura Lynne Crandall and Dawn Botke-Coe are expert astrologers in the East Lansing area, both graduated from Michigan State and were pursuing different fields until astrology seemed to take over their lives.

These women have found the insight many on the internet are looking for such as what is actually happening in the sky in relation to our birth charts. 

“The sun is probably about 70 percent of your chart,” Botke-Coe said.

She said that this sign, which is the most influential, represents the position of the sun on your birthday and is your main and basic horoscope sign that reveals our daily lives and ego. This sign is the product of what we show to the world. On the other hand, your moon sign, which represents the moon’s position on your birth, reveals the opposite such as our emotionality range and makeup.

Crandall said that the moon represents your reflective and receptive side, along with the flexibility and changeability of personality.

Crandall said that checking the compatibility between the sun and moon signs could reveal the potential of a loving relationship. While the sun sign is your most defining feature, the ascendant or rising sign could be more revealing. This is the zodiac that occurred on the eastern side of the horizon when you were born.

Crandall said our rising sign is “the filter you see the world through and the way you appear to the world.” Astrologists believe that you grow into this sign and it “is one of the first things astrologists look at.”

It may also dictate your relationships with people of the corresponding sun sign, creating a subconscious bond. These signs are coined as the “big three” of your chart, which reveal your biggest and broadest personality traits that create the basics of a birth chart and horoscope reading, Botke-Coe said. 

However, birth charts become more complicated as you follow them further into the details of “houses.”

Crandall explained that there are 12 houses in a person’s birth chart, which pertain to separate areas of one’s life that one can focus on based on what they are looking to resolve or deal with.

The key is to focus on the sign in the house and the planet that rules the house. The planets in your chart explain which constellations they were passing through the day of your birth.

Crandall said houses can also indicate compatibility in certain aspects of life with other zodiac signs by comparing the values and traits ruling these houses. Those with signs or houses opposite of us may be attractive to us, yet the ones adjacent to our sign may not have compatible beliefs with our own. 

“When planets are in an opposition aspect, it can force you to be good at looking at both sides of situations,” Botke-Coe explained on how planets can pursue resolving conflict.

The planets can often explain one’s fate as well, coined with the term “destiny planets.” Crandall said each sign has strong positional relationships with planets that rule their natural houses, revealing one’s fate.

She said around the age of 26, Pluto and Neptune usually settle in conjunction, creating conflict between reality and the hard truth in contention with passion projects and having dreams and goals. The resolving of this in the stage of young adulthood usually sets the tone for a career path and starting an independent life. 

Planet movement has also been able to predict large world events, Crandall said. In January of 2020, Saturn and Pluto settled into conjunction while Neptune was in Pisces. In these conditions, infectious disease spread could be possible. Only a month later, the first case of COVID-19 was found across the world.

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While astrology has a strong following of believers, many scientists — specifically astronomers — still hold it as a pseudoscience, since the study of astrology split from astronomy 2,000 years ago, Shannon Schmoll, Director of the Abrams Planetarium, said.

Schmoll explained that other than the zodiac constellations all falling along the ecliptic plane, there is no scientific evidence that these star movements have any special properties.

The main reason that astronomers hold a critical stance is the fact that the position of our zodiac constellations have changed since the creation of the Greek horoscope.

Schmoll explained that our North Pole, which points exactly towards the North Star — which controls star position — wobbles every 20,000 years, corresponding to a shift of about a month on the ecliptic plane. This means that most of our sun signs actually should be the month before, so most Tauruses are true Aries in the modern timeline rather than the horoscope dates created 2,000 years ago. This constant shift has made it harder for astronomers to believe in concrete evidence of personality traits created by specific planet placements created in ancient times.

No matter the reality of astrology, it is obvious it matters to people.

“It has been extremely popular in East Lansing; people are wanting to study themselves, and that's what a lot of this is," Botke-Coe said.

The giant, unknown world above us will always be something people look to for guidance and while some just see stars, others will see answers.


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