How DOES Astrology Work?


How does Astrology work? How do the seasons relate to the zodiac signs? Once you know the answers to those questions, reading your horoscopes will make more sense. You will be able to see the connection between human behaviour and the seasons! This guide will help you understand the very foundations of astrology.

All the star signs have seasons where they are working at their optimum depending on where the Sun is in their horoscope each month. In this article, I will help you understand when these peak star season times might occur and what to do for the other two-thirds of the year!

Of course most of the time we want peak luck and success. We are constantly asking astrologers. Is this month good for Aries? Meaning, gimme love, money, fame etc.. Other times we will need to follow nature’s wisdom and just learn to let go of constantly desiring.

The cycles Of Achieve, Receive & Recharge

Living cyclicly is very hard to do in a linear world. We are expected to work like automatons and achieve 24/7. But nature and your horoscope are just not like that! It’s a cycle and planets revolve. I have simplified the cycle into three words ACHIEVE, RECEIVE & RECHARGE! It’s easy to understand once you get a grasp on how the Seasons, Elements and Modes play together.

  • The Seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)
  • The 4 Elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth)
  • The 3 Modes (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable)

Is There Any Science Behind Astrology?

There are four seasons and there are three months in each season. Four primary qualities form the foundation of natural law. So we have HEAT that causes DRYNESS which becomes COLD and creates MOISTURE that evaporates back into HEAT and so on..

So HEAT is active, yang, masculine. COLD is passive, yin, feminine. MOISTURE blurs the lines and binds. It creates harmony and empathy. DRY separates and divides. It defines and makes us individuals.

The elements in astrology

  • FIRE ~ Hot & dry. Resonates with Summer
  • AIR ~ Hot & wet. Resonates with Spring
  • WATER ~ Cold & wet. Resonates with Winter
  • EARTH ~ Cold & dry. Resonates with Autumn

The planets also can be classified in this manner.

  • SUN ~ Extreme hot and dry.
  • MOON ~ Cold & Wet.
  • MERCURY ~ Tends towards dryness but mimics what it touches.
  • VENUS ~ Cool and wet.
  • MARS ~ Very hot and dry.
  • CERES ~ Cool and dry. (My interpretation)
  • JUPITER ~ Hot and wet.
  • SATURN ~ Extreme cold and dry.
  • URANUS ~ Very hot and extremely dry. (Just extreme!)
  • NEPTUNE ~ Very cold and wet.
  • PLUTO ~ Hot and dry. (but hard to define.)

The modes correspond to the changes in season

  • CARDINAL ~ Start of season. Taking action, budding and a creative surge.
  • FIXED ~ The height of the season. Blossoming. Little variation. Stable weather
  • MUTABLE ~ Flux, unpredictability. Endings and beginnings. Ebb & Flow.

You can see these qualities in the signs which are in essence, seasons. Those born within these sectors are rather like flowers that grow at a particular time of the year. You can clearly see the characteristics and traits showing up within the different zodiac signs.

So let’s go through all the signs alongside the flowers that are associated with them. I hope they will aid your understanding of the principles of tropical astrology. This is the system we use in the west where the seasons are extremely important to our well-being and indeed our survival.

The Zodiac Signs As Flowers

ARIES The Thistle

Aries is Cardinal Fire. It is hot and dry. Ruled by Mars. So this sign is the fastest, hottest, fastest sign in the whole zodiac and it is the FIRST. The cardinal mode makes this sign impulsive and born to be a front-line warrior. The thistle is spiky (Mars) and looks like a crown. Befitting a confident leader.

TAURUS The Foxglove

Taurus is Fixed Earth. It is cold and dry. Ruled by Venus. (And I think Ceres, but that’s another story..) Cold is passive and dryness is self-sufficient. The fixed mode makes this sign very stable and receptive. Very Zen! The foxglove symbolises creativity and intuition. It is magical and frilly (Venus) in appearance.

GEMINI The Lavender Bush

Gemini is Mutable Air. It is hot and wet. Ruled by Mercury. Moisture makes Gemini want to connect and the heat makes it extrovert and flirty. The mutable mode makes this sign adaptable and unpredictable. Lavender gets EVERYWHERE once it’s established, but finds it had to root initially. Just like a Gemini, it faces many directions, you can smell it coming and its aroma lingers..

CANCER The White Rose

Cancer is Cardinal Water. It is cold and wet. Ruled by the moon. Cold is passive, yet the water element will make this sign want to reach out and flow with others. Cardinal mode will mean this sign is not as soft and mushy as it seems. It has a protective shell and tenacious claws remember? The lunar white rose also has its thorns. Appearances can deceive.

LEO The Sunflower

Leo is Fixed Fire. It is hot and dry. Ruled by the Sun. The flames of inspiration burn strongly here while the dryness means Leo is a solo act. Creative and unique traits in fixed mode make for an invincible artistic king or queen. The dramatic Sunflower with its oversized head sometimes has to watch its ego. But usually, it just loves to smile at the Sun. (Or bask in the spotlight like a typical Leo diva!)

VIRGO The Buttercup

Virgo is Mutable Earth. It is cold and dry. Ruled by Mercury. Cold gives passive aggression (The critic) and dry so needs hermit time after serving others. Its mutability means it merges with others but can lose itself. So just like Virgo, the neat little buttercup is inoffensive and blends into the surroundings. Joyful and light, BUT poisonous to animals. It is considered a noxious weed. Never cross a Virgo.

LIBRA The Red Rose

Libra is Cardinal Air. It is hot and wet. Ruled by Venus. The wetness means Libra needs relationships while the heat means it is extrovert and sociable. The cardinal mode makes Libra someone people want to follow. The romantic red or pink rose is Libra’s flower. A dozen red roses are THE classic expression of love. A little shmaltzy perhaps, but still guaranteed to knock you off your feet. Yep. That’s Libra.

SCORPIO The Geranium

Scorpio is fixed water. It is cold and wet. It is passive in its reception and what is fixed water but ice? Still, when Scorpio ice melts it desires to connect with others DEEPLY. The fixed mode will make them extremely loyal. Dark red Geraniums are Scorpio’s flower and have many facets. The Greeks named it after the Crane bird. Like the Scorpio, it can seem aloof. There are 400 types of geraniums. Unique and unfathomable.


Sagittarius is mutable fire. It is hot and dry. The heat brings active creativity while the dryness wants the freedom to be individual. Mutability means it cannot keep still and is in constant flux. Carnations are a symbol of devotion and admiration. Sagittarius loves to worship, so can idolise partners. Carnations are said to have grown from the Virgin Mary’s tears of mourning. So like Sagittarius, these blooms are bitter-sweet and religious.

CAPRICORN The African Violet

Capricorn is cardinal earth. It is cold and dry. Very much a winter vibe here with passivity and separation. Cardinal earth folk carry the heavy burden of responsibility and it can be lonely at the top. The African violet is Capricorn’s flower. Understated, yet its velvety soft petals feel luxurious to touch. This dainty, purple flower is associated with motherhood, virtue and protection just like the parental qualities of Capricorn.


Aquarius is fixed air. It is hot and wet. The moisture gives a need to connect with others and the heat makes it proactive and outgoing. The fixed mode brings a fixation on ideas but is weirdly resistant to change. The enigmatic orchid is Aquarius’s flower. This plant can’t help standing out with its unique shape and funky colours. Its name derives from the Greek ‘Orchis’ which means testicles. Revolutionary Aquarius truly has balls!

PISCES The Water Lily

Pisces is mutable water. It is cold and wet. Extremely passive and receptive, it totally goes with the mutable flow. Wetness merges with others and blends with its environment. The water lily is the official flower for Pisces. Worldwide this flower is associated with spirituality. It represents rebirth and peace, but also simple pleasures. Like the Water Lily, Pisces can be the worst hedonist without a spiritual purpose!

How does Astrology work?

Achieve, Recieve and Recharge

Back to the ACHIEVE, RECEIVE and RECHARGE idea. You will see each sign has its own kind of bio-rhythm. What blooms in the summer will be resting in the winter. On the other hand, a winter shrub could feel quite uncomfortable in the summer.

Some plants need gallons of water a day, just like water signs need to live near water so they can recharge. Others are mountain plants and thrive at different oxygen levels. We are all different plants! So no sign is bad, just as no season is bad either. Nature needs the winter rest to ensure a good summer harvest.

So when you read your sun sign horoscopes:

  • The ACHIEVE months should be when the Sun is in your angular houses. 1,4,7 & 10
  • The RECEIVE months should be when the Sun is in your succedent houses. 2, 5, 8 & 11
  • The RECHARGE month should be when the Sun is in your cadent houses. 3, 6, 9 & 12

Cadent houses were considered a bit degenerate by ancient astrologers due to them being in decline. Angular houses were always seen as the most alive, active and successful.

So during the astrological year, we should have the most energy when the Sun is in those angular ACHIEVE signs even tho technically the Sun is squaring our ascendant when it is in the 4th and 10th. However, squares deliberately get us working hard. It’s very hard to slack off during that time.

When the sun is in our succedent RECEIVE houses we should receive the rewards for our efforts. We might need to network so we are probably more sociable at this time. Receiving is Venusian in essence so this is quite a good time for our love life. We don’t need to be so proactive, things come to us, but only if we have worked hard in the achieve phase.

Why some people don’t like the cadent houses

When the sun is in our cadent RECHARGE houses, it’s time to rest and regroup. This is the time we might come down with an illness if we have been overdoing it. It is also quite a karmic place where we have to pay back any debts from being lazy in the receive stage.

For example, we didn’t work hard in the ACHIEVE stage, we didn’t receive anything in the RECEIVE stage so we borrowed money at that time. Now we have to pay the piper! However, there are the over-achievers who do not take time out to rest in the RECHARGE time which is just as bad as slacking off in the ACHIEVE stage.

Having this cycle going through the year is useful because it reminds us when we should be taking and breather and when we should be getting our skates on. Astrology is all about finding the balance. Astrology should be a map to tell you where you ARE, not a directive to tell you where you should go. You have free will, so it’s totally up to you.

Seasons & The Horoscope Map

So on this map (Ie. Your horoscope), there is a huge mountain (Saturn transit), but you are in a recharge phase. So you may not want to pick a fight with Mars at the top of that mountain right now. Again you have the choice to avoid difficult encounters. But you can’t avoid Saturn forever and nor should you. It’s great training. So you pick a month when the sun is in your angular houses.

Of course, seven other planets are doing their thang around your horoscope too and everyone will have a different emphasis. So you have to decide for yourself what months are best for these three behaviours. But since we are looking at seasons the Sun will be the most obvious indicator of where we are energetically in the year. That’s why horoscopes CAN be quite accurate if we read them for our ascendants.

Why Horoscopes Give Astrology a bad name

I wanted to write this article to show there is some science behind astrology. Unfortunately a lot of newspaper horoscope columns simple make stuff up which gives astrology a bad name. It’s also just too easy to write fanciful stories about the planets’ positions. While it is entertaining, I don’t think it is very educational. You can see the Achieve, Receive and Recharge cycles for your rising sign in the horoscope section.

I aim to make Darkstar astrology more of a learning website and a resource where you can learn the principles behind astrology. To write brand new horoscopes each month looking at other factors like aspects is too time consuming and there are so many other sites providing that information.

It is fascinating that every mineral, vegetable and animal on earth has some correspondence to the seven classical planets. In modern times we have lost the connection between astrology, alchemy, biology and chemistry.

I intend to create a Darkstar astrology course which will unite astrology, alchemy and planetary magic. At the same time, I want this information to be accessible to those at the horoscope reading level so keeping the horoscope page up is a way to funnel people into this more in-depth study. We all started with horoscopes after all. As Chris Brennan, another traditional astrologer put it, starsign columns are the gateway drug. Welcome to the mushroom trip that is astrology!