What Is Psychological Astrology & How Can It Help You Grow?

Psychological astrology — sometimes called astro psychology — is the joining of depth psychology and astrology. This particular branch of psychology focuses on the unconscious, as it manifests through imagination, dreams, and the deepest parts of the human experience. Psychological astrology uses your birth chart as a way to gain a core understanding of the planetary alignment at your birth. With this unique personal mapping from your natal chart, the psychology component comes in by factoring in how you were raised, what survival traits you developed in childhood, and how these strengths and setbacks shape your behavior today. It's a way of understanding why you are the way you are.

What's so compelling about psychological astrology is that it's not about forecasting upcoming events, nor does it promise to predict your future. It takes your foundational self into account from your birth chart and combines that information with the dynamic, lively unconscious self that was shaped by your biology and family of origin. This provides a much deeper, filled-out understanding of who you are.

When examining this, it's possible to work with a psychological astrologer who is both a trained psychologist and an astrologer. They can provide you with a comprehensive reading, but it's worth knowing that you don't need to treat this like regular therapy. Psychological astrologer Dr. Jennifer Freed told Refinery29 that you really only need one reading a year, and the information gleaned from psychological astrology can help you thrive in several areas of your life.

How psychological astrology works in real life

Your natal chart is a snapshot of the planets' locations at the time of your birth. It offers information about your sense of self, your communication style, how you attract abundance and more. Since the psychological component of this takes into account how you were nurtured, you may be able to recognize patterns in yourself.

For example, the ascendant sign (or First House) has to do with your sense of self and temperament. If Gemini is in your First House, for example, you're going to be inquisitive and excited by several different ideas, but you may also struggle with exhaustion from too many options. Add in your childhood — say you didn't have the autonomy to make your own decisions, so it feels foreign to you. This combination of astrology and psychology gives you the awareness that making a decision and sticking with it is difficult. You can take this awareness and practice self-forgiveness, and bring in actionable support. If you have big decisions to make, working with a therapist or close friend can be helpful.

The wealth of self-understanding that comes from psychological astrology can result in healing and self-compassion. If Virgo is in your Fourth House, which has to do with home and family, you'll know that there's a sense of lack and instability in your sense of home. This may align with your childhood experience of family and give you insight into why security in your domestic space is so important.

Psychological astrology strengthens romantic relationships

Psychological astrology can impact your relationships with others. Firstly, it can give you an understanding of your desires and proclivities when it comes to romantic relationships. The Seventh House is the house of relationships, so if Cancer is here, you might be more emotional in your relationship. In turn, you may need a partner who can create a safe emotional space for you, full of reassurance. The psychological side asks how you were nurtured in childhood and what triggers these emotional flares of neediness.

This awareness can also foster empathy and understanding in romantic relationships. If you know that your partner has Leo in the Seventh House, you'll know that they need attention and can't help but lead the relationship. Rather than getting frustrated, you can expect occasional insecurities to crop up, and you can affirm them as needed. It amplifies patience and understanding of the differences you find in yourself and your partner.

The self-awareness that comes from psychological astrology can strengthen your relationship. "In my experience as a couples therapist, the more each partner is aware of themselves and their patterns, the easier they can relate to and understand their partner," therapist and astrologer Lauren Donelson told SheKnows. "Astrology can help us identify and affirm parts of ourselves that aren't necessarily celebrated by our culture."

How psychological astrology can help your career and creativity

Psychological astrology can also guide your career and creative pursuits. The Fifth House is about pleasure and the creative urge. If Capricorn is in your Fifth House, you can expect a struggle when it comes to taking time to recharge. Your work drive is so strong that you're at risk of burnout and need to watch this. The psychological component would come in as you ask why you define your sense of worth by doing. The psychological side could examine why you're so resistant to slowness and rest, particularly when creativity needs a balance of energy and rest.

The Tenth House has to do with success, ambition, and professional careers. It's the sign that dictates how we want to present to the world. If Sagittarius is in your Tenth House, you'll notice a desire to combine work and travel, but you also need to watch out for overthinking. The psychological components here might look at why you don't feel secure in following your instinct. The opportunities lie in knowing your pitfalls based on your natal chart and the psychological motivations that move your unconscious. The advantage of psychological astrology is to be aware of natural tendencies that trip you up, combined with psychological motivations, to help you understand your behavior. It can help with your career path if you feel off-course, and it can also offer a lot of compassion if things feel slow.