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There Are (At Least) 9 Types of Astrology—Which One’s Right for You?

Since the dawn of civilization, people have been using different types of astrology for everything from timing when to harvest their crops to choosing dates for their wedding to finding a lost pet. Much more than just a personality test, astrology isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Choosing an astrologer or type of reading can resemble the process of comparing different kinds of specialty doctors to cure your very particular medical ailment. So, what type of astrology is right for you? Here’s an easy-to-digest breakdown of six major types to get you started.

Natal Astrology

A natal chart reading is a “classic” birth chart session meant to get you in touch with the shape of your life as described by the position of the planets and luminaries in the sky at the moment and location of your birth. You can get a natal reading in many styles including (but not limited to) the following:

1. Modern (or, Psychological) Astrology

  • Reading Type: Varies in length (sessions usually 45-90 minutes), plenty of practitioner availability
    Best For: Those who are new to astrology and searching for something personality-based and easy to digest

Reading Type: Varies in length (sessions usually 45-90 minutes), plenty of practitioner availability
Best For: Those who are new to astrology and searching for something personality-based and easy to digest

Reading Type: Varies in length (sessions usually 45-90 minutes), plenty of practitioner availability
Best For: Those who are new to astrology and searching for something personality-based and easy to digest

Drawing on the archetypal work of Carl Jung who pioneered incorporating astrology into psychoanalysis, what we call “Modern Astrology,” is many people’s first introduction to this expansive world—it’s the basis of most of the memes, after all. A reading with a modern astrologer will give you an overview of your life’s joys and challenges as well as a better sense of why you are who you are and do the things you do.

2. “Traditional” Western Astrology (Hellenistic, Medieval etc.)

  • Reading Type: Varies in length (sessions usually 45-90 minutes), many practitioners are beginning to specialize in this type of astrology so there’s a lot to choose from!
    Best For: Those who are new to astrology looking to evaluate life circumstances and plan for future events

Reading Type: Varies in length (sessions usually 45-90 minutes), many practitioners are beginning to specialize in this type of astrology so there’s a lot to choose from!
Best For: Those who are new to astrology looking to evaluate life circumstances and plan for future events

Reading Type: Varies in length (sessions usually 45-90 minutes), many practitioners are beginning to specialize in this type of astrology so there’s a lot to choose from!
Best For: Those who are new to astrology looking to evaluate life circumstances and plan for future events

The astrologers of early modern civilizations were much more interested in fate than they were in individual ambition. That said, in “Traditional” Astrology, not every part of the chart is necessarily about you. The chart also represents the places you go and people you interact with along the way. A reading with an astrologer who specializes in any form of Traditional Western Astrology (Hellenistic or Medieval are the most common) can help you reckon with your personal circumstances, untangle events from the past, or prepare for what’s to come in the future.

3. Evolutionary Astrology

  • Reading Type: Varies in length (sessions usually 45-90 minutes), more of a specialty so there may be less availability
  • Best For: Soul-searching types who have some experience with astrology and want a deep, unique perspective

Evolutionary Astrology was first practiced in the 1970s and can be described as a combination of metaphysics and humanistic psychology. Primarily using the planet Pluto and the lunar nodes as touch points, Evolutionary Astrology can tell you not only about your current life but about your past lives as well. The idea is that our souls are on a path of self-discovery and empowerment. Through understanding our soul’s mission, we can heal and evolve into our best forms. Evolutionary Astrology is definitely the most woo-woo of any of the types listed here, so it’s definitely for those who want to embrace astrology’s poetic side.

4. Vedic Astrology

  • Reading Type: Lengthy (sessions can be 3 hours+), usually very expensive
  • Best For: Those with some astrological experience who are serious about holistically integrating astrology into their lives

Vedic Astrology, also known as Jyotish, is rooted in the Vedas, the oldest texts written in Sanskrit, which inform Hindu religion and philosophy. Unlike other types of astrology, Jyotish has been practiced uninterrupted for thousands of years in India and beyond. This continuous application allows for a deep rigor and precision in a Vedic reading that you don’t get with other types of astrology. The Vedic tradition is rooted in spirituality and meant to be integrated holistically into your life. You will leave a reading with remediation suggestions—such as mantras, offerings or dietary adjustments—to improve your circumstances, based on your chart.

Beyond Natal Astrology

Most people think astrology is just about birth charts, but that's just one branch of astrology. You can meet with an astrologer to learn about dates for important events, figure out the location of lost objects or discover the best city for you to live, all without even mentioning your individual birth chart.

5. Horary Astrology

  • Reading Type: Quick (written reports or a 15-20 minute session typically), inexpensive
  • Best For: Very specific questions within a closed timeframe

 When you’re in a pinch for an answer, Horary Astrology is the way to go. A reading is like doing a quick three-card tarot pull. The idea is that you must come to an astrologer with a very specific question (ie, “Where are my keys?” or “When will I hear back about my job interview?”) that can’t be answered any other way. The astrologer then draws up the chart of the moment that your question was asked to delineate the answer. None of your birth info is necessary! Just because it’s quick doesn’t mean it isn’t potent as this method usually gives spookily accurate results as long as the question is legitimate.

6. Locational Astrology

  • Reading Type: Done as a report or a one-on-one reading; astrologers usually “specialize” in this modality so it can be more expensive
  • Best For: Those who are looking to move or see how moving might change their life

Locational Astrology can help you find your soulmate—if your soulmate was a city that is. Astrologers who specialize in this technique can give you a rundown of your “compatibility” with specific cities or geographical regions to help you decide about a job offer or making a move for love.

7. Electional Astrology

  • Reading Type: Easy delivery (report or quick one-on-one session), but usually expensive
  • Best For: Those looking to find the best dates for a wedding, business launch or other important event

Whether you’re looking for the best time to finalize your divorce papers or the ideal date to launch your next entrepreneurial venture, Electional Astrology can help you pick a moment that’s aligned with the stars. Electional astrologers work with you to—ahem—elect auspicious dates in the future that will give your contract, business or relationship the best chance of success.

8. Relationship Astrology

  • Reading Type: Lengthy, often quite expensive
  • Best For: Committed couples looking to better understand each other

The most common questions astrologers get are about love and money. Though you can tell a lot about your partner from your individual chart, getting a joint reading that describes your synastry (another word for astrological compatibility) can enhance your relationship on a cosmic level. Ethical astrologers won’t do this type of reading unless both parties consent to it, so make sure your partner is really down before you schedule the session!

9. Medical Astrology

  • Reading Type: Lengthy, usually an ongoing relationship with the astrologer, expensive
  • Best For: Those who want to understand medical conditions from a perspective outside of Western medicine

So you know that Pisces are spacey dreamers but were you aware that Pisces rules the feet? Since the earliest practice of astrology, the signs and planets have all had body correspondences. Through the Medieval period, medical astrology was even included in a doctor’s professional training. Sometimes a transit makes you think certain things but often, it also makes you feel a certain way in your body. To this day, medical astrologers—like Claire Gallagher, whose recent book Body Astrology breaks down this method so it’s digestible even for beginners—chart how the stars affect these ebbs and flows.

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