Seeing the Big Picture in Astrology: How Not to Take Things Too Literally

There’s a lot to learn in astrology and what people get most hung up on is taking things too literally!

I knew one woman who was interested in someone who had a sun sign that was traditionally not compatible with her own. She didn’t see the bigger picture of the entire birth chart, which makes up the many layers of a person’s desires and personality.

If astrology is taken too literally it can become a stumbling block. If you read your daily horoscope and think that what it says is absolutely going to happen, you could actually create more problems by holding onto these ideas too tightly. Astrology is a roadmap, not a sharp, clear picture of the future. It can only be understood in waves of emotions and energy, not in exact hard lines.

Using your intuition to both read your own birth chart and to understand the soup of planetary movements on any given day will help you use astrology to benefit you. Seeing the big picture will actually help you strengthen your intuition. For more about that, check out this article, How I Can Use My Birth Chart To Develop Intuition.

Here’s how to combine all the pieces of astrology to paint your bigger picture. It’s an art and a science, requiring both sides of the brain.

Know the Current Astrological Climate

First, you want to know what phase the moon is in. Is it moving from new to full? If so, then energy is building. Generally this is a time to take action on your goals. If the moon is moving from full to new, generally it’s not a time for creativity, rather it’s time to tie up loose ends and get organized so you can put more energy into new projects after the new moon.

Next, you’ll want to know what sign both the new moon and full moon are in for the cycle you’re in. This will point you to the area of life that will likely be affected or the general part of our psyche that will be activated so we can harness that energy. For example, if a full moon is in a fire sign like Aries, we can get a lot done. If it’s a full moon in Libra or Taurus, we may find love! But this isn’t a hard rule, just an influence that people might notice. Like colors bleeding into your mind, some colors will be more prominent than others at certain times, making us feel certain ways.

In addition to the moon cycles, it’s important to know about any planetary retrogrades. At least know when Mercury is retrograde, because this retrograde has such a noticeable effect and happens so frequently. Mercury in retrograde often prompts miscommunications and electronic malfunctions. Again, this is an observable effect, but it’s not the only thing happening in the sky affecting us. There are multiple energies hitting our psyche at once, making things complex. The more you know, the easier it will be to understand the complexities.

Finally, you’ll want to know what sign the sun is in, which will give you an idea of the month’s overall theme and energy. You’ll also want to look up any major aspects such as squares or major events like eclipses. Squares can make us face challenges and eclipses always bring change. Imagine you’re at a dance. Each person hears the same the music, but everyone will experience it through their own unique perception based on their astrological chart.

There is so much information to take in, but trust me, I’ve seen so many people break up on an Aries full moon and not know what hit them. If people just kept track of planetary events they would know in advance to be extra calm during a full moon in Aries, and to avoid serious blowouts and conversations for a few days.

How To See the Big Picture in a Birth Chart

The other part of this conversation is how not to put yourself or anyone else in a box based on their sun sign. What I mean by that is we cannot take one part of a birth chart too literally. We can’t define ourselves or someone else based on one description we read or one part of their chart. In Western astrology, often the general public will only know their sun sign. But there is a much deeper understanding of the many layers of astrology to be examined.

They may use their limited knowledge and end up limiting themselves.Someone might read an article on Taurus weaknesses and decide they are not intuitive and give up on their heart’s desire to be a healer. However, they may not know the rest of their chart is full planets in of Pisces and Cancer, planets that are super intuitive! What I’m saying is just because your sun sign sign says you can’t do something doesn’t mean you don’t have that strength somewhere else in your chart.

Your chart is merely a way to help you see your tendencies and natural skills. It’s not meant to limit you but rather to help you see your inner mind and emotional tides so you can navigate them or shift them at will. Anyone can put their mind to something and do it regardless of their sun sign, their north node, their moon sign, 7th house etc.

When it comes to your career, don’t get hung up on the careers that your sun sign is known to excel at. You may be better suited to go for something that resonates with your moon sign, 2nd house, north node, 10th house, or a combination of these. Don’t let your intuition and heart be overrun by something you read about your sign. Your intuition will usually be right on when you dig into the many layers of your chart and the things it says you came here to learn. For example, your north node represents what your soul came to learn, your 2nd house is telling of your natural skills, and your 10th house is your career or place in society. There’s a lot going on, right?


How do you navigate astrology without getting overwhelmed or too caught up on any one part? Be informed, but don’t set your expectations in stone. Astrologers can predict major changes, but they are guides, not rule books.

As far as compatibility goes, you’re much better off working with an astrologer who is highly experienced instead of just reading about your sun sign. Your soul may be drawn to someone because you have something to learn from each other. Don’t judge people and don’t throw something away because of fear.

When I first started learning astrology, I read my birth chart frequently. I kept learning more as the information digested over time. I would check with a daily astrological forecast and see how it matched what I observed during my day. For me, the most obvious effects happened during the new and full moon, mercury retrograde, and eclipse season. But that might be different for you, and that’s okay!

I hope this article was able to clear up any confusion you might be having regarding astrology!

Related Article: What Type of Love Do You Need and Express, Based on Your Birth Chart?

About The Author

Shannon Yrizarry

Shannon Yrizarry has taught metaphysical subjects since 2013 including the deeply esoteric lineage of kundalini yoga. She has worked as a healer, clairvoyant and card reader and been featured as a dream interpreter on Viceland’s Nuts + Bolts show as well as for Mercedes Benz and Refinery29. She has read Tarot for The Zoe Report, done readings for stars and aims to bring the empowering wisdom of astrology mainstream.With a bold voice, she wants to uplift consciousness to help us evolve to a healthier more spiritual society. Her classes can be found online at www.HOI.TV/authors/shannon and you can follow her daily inspirations on Instagram @shannonyrizarry. She also teaches kundalini yoga in Portland, Oregon. What gets her out of bed is helping people align with their soul purpose.Shannon is the author of two books published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Psychic Yoga and Modern Guide to Meditation Beads.
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