Is it Hard to Learn Astrology? Beginner’s Guide to Learning the Craft

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No one is born knowing what all of the symbols in a birth chart are, everyone has to learn. Even the best had to start at zero. I began learning astrology about a year and a half ago so I have a fresh perspective in what it takes to learn astrology. So would I say that it is hard to learn astrology?

Learning astrology can feel hard only because there is so much new vocabulary to learn, like a new language. Once you have the basics down you can start interpreting charts immediately. But, deeper and detailed readings, gaining intuition, and mastery of the field only come with practice and time.

So is it hard? It is one of those things that takes time and effort, but is absolutely worth it and definitely doable for anyone. Read on to get more information about how you can start down your astrology path today!

How long does it take to learn astrology

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Learning Astrology Basics

You can have the basics of astrology under your belt in a short amount of time, and even the basics will be useful and insightful. I would consider the basics to be having a general understanding of the signs of the Zodiac, the planets, and pulling out the “Big 3” on a chart, which is the Sun sign, Moon sign, and rising sign.

Reading about these and practicing with some charts would take a couple of months, but obviously the more you practice and read the more you commit these to memory. Many new astrologers use cheat sheets of some sort, or flashcards, that they can refer to during a reading to refresh them on the details.

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One of the keys to learning astrology successfully is to not get overwhelmed. To me, keeping my head from swimming is the hardest part. Only start with the basics and ignore the rest until you can use them easily and not have to use your cheat sheet. Commit the signs and the Big 3 to your long-term memory before you start stuffing more into your short-term memory!

Pushing Yourself Further in Your Astrology Studies

The next step would be learning the houses and aspects. Again, this requires adding many more things to your cheat sheet and more details to work with and try to keep straight. At first, your readings will seem kind of mechanical and like you are just pulling words out of a dictionary (your cheat sheet) and putting them together to make sentences.

There is nothing wrong with that and where everyone begins. With time and practice, you will begin to see a chart in a more cohesive way and also be able to interpret one more quickly.

After you have a working understanding of the houses and aspects, nailing down the planets would be a great next step. With this, you can start to interpret the planets in a chart that aren’t in the Big 3 and add much more dimension to your readings.

As long as you are putting your learning to use with practice, you can have a general, but a working understanding of all of that (without using a cheat sheet) in a year, give or take. There is so much more to learn after that, but with astrology, you can get as detailed and skilled as you wish to, adding more and more skills and tools to your tool belt. That is what is great about astrology. Once you have these basics down, you can stick with reading natal charts, which is just fine, or you can keep adding layers of understanding and work with more complex concepts. The choice is yours!

*Want to start learning about your rising sign right now? Check out our beginner’s guide here!

How do I start learning astrology

a book with reading glasses on top next to a cup of coffee

The most challenging thing about starting to learn astrology is to not get overwhelmed with all of the details out there that you can learn. Keep reminding yourself that learning astrology is a process and that you aren’t supposed to understand or remember all of it right away!

Get the Right Tools

The first and most crucial thing you will need when learning astrology is access to natal charts. The site that many beginners and even seasoned astrologers use is Astrodienst. This site is a treasure trove of information, but even more exciting is their birth chart maker. Not only will it create natal charts for you instantly, but it will also store them for you for free!

Another essential tool in learning astrology is a high-quality instructional book about how to read a natal chart. You want a book that doesn’t just read like a cookbook. Astrology is both a science and an art and if you are just using a cookbook-style book you miss out on learning the holistic and intuitive aspect of the practice.

Each person will find their own favorite book that they will refer to over and over for years, but I will share with you my pick and that is Steven Forrest’s, The Inner Sky. This book has been a staple for new astrologers since the mid-’80s, and for good reason! In this one book, he gives an incredible amount of instruction on how to read a natal chart, but also adds to it with a good deal of philosophy, storytelling, and insightful tips.

a kindle showing the cover to "The Inner Sky" by Steven Forrest, trying to answer the question, is it hard to learn astrology

I have most of my astrology books on the Kindle so that I can access them all easily, so here is my copy!

Write it Down

Behave like you are in school again, and as you are reading, take notes! I would suggest getting a notebook and section it off with an area where you write down information about each sign, another section for the planets, an area to write descriptions of the Big 3, one for houses, and one for aspects.

Why write notes if it is all there in your book? Writing something down helps you to commit it to memory so much better than simply reading about it.

However, if writing isn’t your thing you could also take notes online. You could start a file that you could add to and refer to for years. As you read and gather more knowledge and insight from other astrology authors you just keep adding to your file in an organized way. If you can view it on your phone you also have a huge resource that you can access anytime someone says “Oh, you know about astrology? Would you take a quick look at my chart?”

Find Your Astrology Mentors

Every astrologer is unique in their philosophy on exactly how to read a chart and what the placements show. So how do you know which ones to listen to?

There is no right answer here. Read and listen to as many different highly educated and experienced astrologers as you can. Chances are you will find nuggets of wisdom from all of them. At the end of the day, however, use your instincts. There will be some astrologers that you follow that just seem to “speak to your heart” more than others for reasons you can’t explain.

When this happens, try to get your hands on as many books from that astrologer as you can and try your hand at using their particular process for reading charts for a while to see how that feels. If you go looking there are a million different ways astrologers go about reading a chart, so finding “your mentor” and sticking only with their method for chart reading can help cut some of that down for you, helps you focus, and can prevent overwhelm.

Astrology Podcasts

One great place to find information about astrology is podcasts! They are free, offer both current astrological forecasts and instructional and informational recordings, and are entertaining!

Here is a list of a few to get you started:

Study, Study, Study!

a woman sitting at a table outside of a cafe and learning astrology online on her computer

Even though astrology is a lot of fun to learn, if you want to get serious about learning the practice, you must take it seriously and commit time to it.

Set aside time in your day for reading and taking notes. If time doesn’t allow for that as often as you’d like, that is when those podcasts come in handy as you can listen while in the car or doing other tasks.

Practicing is also essential. Once you have read the charts of as many family and friends as you can get your hands on, move on to celebrities. Astrodienst has a huge data bank of celebrity charts to choose from.

Can I teach myself astrology

Yes, you can teach yourself astrology. Computers create birth charts in seconds. The internet has made it possible to access wisdom from experienced astrologers at any moment, and there are many high-quality books available to help you learn. It has never been easier to teach yourself astrology.

If you have the will and desire, you will find the resources you need to put you on the path toward becoming an astrologer and push yourself to learn!

Can I learn astrology online?

Yes, there are many resources online to help you learn astrology. There are free courses to teach you the basics, paid courses that push your expertise to an intermediate level, and years-long certification courses that offer advanced techniques and a great foundation for a career in astrology.

The sky is the limit here as you can get as much of an online education in astrology as you are willing to pay for and put the time into.

Here are some courses to take a look at if learning through an online course is something you may be interested in:

*Start down your astrology path now with our beginner’s guide to your moon sign! Read it here.

What do you want to learn about next?

2nd House 3rd House 4th House 5th House 6th House 8th House 9th House 10th House 11th House 12th House Aquarius Aries Ascendant Aspects Bonus Cancer Capricorn Cardinal Chart Ruler Fixed Gemini Houses Jupiter Learning Astrology Leo Libra Modes Moon Mutable North Node Opposite Signs Pisces Planet Personalities Rising Sign Sagittarius Saturn Scorpio Sign Vs Sign Stellium Strengths and Weaknesses Sun Taurus top Venus Virgo

Where Does Your Soul Want to Lead You?


Discover your personal road map. Take our FREE mini-course and learn how Evolutionary Astrology can help you find more purpose and enhance your life!