A guide to Co-Star and astrology for beginners

Sanjana Ranganathan, Opinions Editor

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Co-Star has quickly become one of the most highly rated and used apps on the Apple store, standing at a steady 4.9/5 stars among 70.8k reviews and has had over 3 million downloads. And with Co-Star’s rise so has astrology’s general popularity – especially among Generation Z and millennials. 

While astrology definitely lacks a legitimate, scientific backing, it isn’t surprising why millions of people have become captivated by it.

Co-Star uses a combination of NASA data and Artificial Intelligence to simulate the way an actual astrologer would approach horoscope creation. Then, by correlating this information with your birth time and date, Co-Star compiles your natal chart and uses algorithms to provide eerily relevant horoscopes. 

In general, your natal chart is determined by where each celestial object is on the day you were born. For example, if your Sun is in Virgo, it means that the constellation Virgo was behind the Sun the day you were born. And if your moon is in Taurus, it means the constellation Taurus was behind the Moon the day of your birth. 

Beyond your sun sign (the answer you probably hear and give when someone asks you for your sign) you also have the sign of your moon, each planet, and your rising. These each represent nuanced parts of your personality and interactions. 

So, without further ado, here is a quick guide to what each part of your natal chart means!

  1. Sun: this is perhaps the most commonly known sign. The sun sign is determined by your date of birth and is a very general and overarching description of you as a person. My sign is a Taurus, which means I am practical, determined, and stubborn. However, while your Sun might be one sign, your moon, and other planets may be others.
  2. Moon: your moon represents your own perception of your emotions and fears. Because the Moon moves much quicker than the Sun, it changes constellations around every two days. So, even among people who share a Sun sign, each person could have a different Moon sign. This can help explain why even though you might have the same Sun sign as someone else, you may feel widely different than them.
  3. Rising: your rising sign is emblematic of your social interactions. In other words, it describes the way you present yourself to others and interact on a daily basis. Your rising is determined by what constellation is on the Eastern horizon when you are born. Thus, because the earth completes a full rotation of all constellations in 24 hours, your rising sign differs by around every two hours of your time of birth. In other words, make sure to be as precise as possible with your birth time!

These three signs should already give a pretty detailed description of your personality. But to break your natal chart down even further, we have to look at the location of each of the planets in relation to the constellations on the day you were born. Each planet represents a much more specific aspect of your being. 

As an overall rule of thumb, if you were born at a time when a planet was in retrograde (an optical illusion that happens infrequently where it seems as though a planet is moving backward) you will likely be more reserved in that area. For example, people born when Mercury (the plant dictating the way you communicate) was in retrograde are said to be more introspective and less talkative. 

While each planet could definitely get its own whole article describing its implications, for the sake of time I’ll keep it short:

  1. Mercury: the way you communicate with others. 
  2. Venus: who, what, and how you express love. 
  3. Mars: your motivation, confidence, and inner-drive.
  4. Jupiter: your ethics and general philosophy surrounding life; this sign can also predict areas where you will be more lucky/abundant than other areas.
  5. Saturn: your ambitions, life goals, and limitations/feelings of inadequacy.
  6. Uranus: what and how you are willing to stand out, seek freedom, or stay within existing boundaries.
  7. Neptune: the aspects of life that you are inspired by or tricked by, such as addictions. This sign is known for usually only correlating in hindsight of events in your life.
  8. Pluto: where you feel helpless and where you most want to make a change.

Ultimately, while the credibility and scientific backing of astrology is questionable, understanding the different aspects can definitely help everyone take advantage of Co-Star and all it really has to offer.