We turned our attention to the heavens and local astrologer Rachel Lang to answer some of our urgent questions about astrology. If you have questions that you would like answered—let us know!
Should I believe the astrology pages in magazines? 
Astrology is so much more than your sun sign. Sun sign columns just consider one aspect of astrology. So, it’s more accurate to receive a reading from a professional or even to read your customized astrological transits from a site like astro.com or an app like Time Passages. That said, I know excellent astrologers who write horoscopes for magazines and websites. If you’re looking for guidance, astrology columns can be a source of inspiration. 
What’s a rising sign? 
Your rising sign is the eastern horizon at the time of your birth, and it represents your first impression. It’s the face you show the world. It’s a significant factor in determining the way you look and your personality. It also represents how you interact with the world around you. 
What’s this Mercury-in-retrograde we keep hearing about? 
It’s actually Mercury retrograde (no in)! 3-4 times a year, Mercury gives us the appearance of going backward in the heavens. It’s similar to the optical illusion you see when a car is driving right next to you at approximately the same speed. Mercury is the planet of communication, our thinking patterns, and transportation. When Mercury goes retrograde, we have a chance to reflect on how we communicate as well as what we’re holding back that needs to be said. It’s a more introspective time. So, sometimes, we do deep personal reflection and have insights about our lives. It is always a good idea to back up computers and communication devices. Also, if you have delays, be patient! Mercury is a trickster and lets us know if we’re taking things too seriously.
Is astrology a science?
Astrology is similar to psychology in that our knowledge of astrology is based on observation and case studies over thousands of years. We can watch cycles repeat themselves over and over, and each time a cycle retreats itself, we see similar themes playing out in our lives and in the world. It works with archetypes and symbols, and astrologers interpret these symbols to gain context for what’s happening here on earth. It maps out the skies for any moment in time, like your time of birth. So, many of my astrological colleagues know astronomy and math. 

Meet Rachel Lang

Rachel Lang is a professional astrologer, healer, and psychic medium who has worked for the past 15 years with businesses and individuals, including A-list celebrities, tech startup entrepreneurs, bestselling authors, activists, and students. Rachel holds a master’s degree in theology from Loyola Marymount University and as an internationally recognized speaker, she offers classes, lectures, and workshops on a variety of topics to her clientele.  Some of her business collaborations have included workshops on Goddess asteroids, Solar Returns, Money and Love, Astrology 101, among other topics.  She serves as the Vice President of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR), is the Outreach Director for the international board of the NCGR, and is also a member of the International Society for Astrological Research.  Additionally, Rachel writes a monthly horoscope column for the Omega Institute’s Omega News, as well as LVBX Magazine and she has contributed to publications such as Bustle, Well+Good, and Romper. Rachel recently released her book, Modern Day Magic, across the US, UK, Canada, and Australia via publisher Hardie Grant.