things you all ask me a lot
“where can i learn more about astrology”
I highly recommend books as the first place to start. There is a lot of information on the Internet, but diving in online can be somewhat overwhelming to a beginner. When I started learning about astrology, one of my favorite things to do was scour my local used bookstore. There are New Age sections at most used bookstores, and you can generally find some great stuff there! I always prefer books on astrology from the 70s/80s to new ones. I think used books just have a better energy, and it's great to recycle and practice sustainability with books when you can.
One of my favorite newer astrology books is Sun & Moon Signs by Julia & Derek Parker. It's a hefty, encyclopedia-type volume with information about the basic characteristics, properties, symbols, and concepts associated with the signs. It's a great place to start if you want something that will succinctly cover the basics. The book is a bit pricey but it's got the essentials covered and is a great reference volume.
I generally, as a rule, tend to stay away from astrology books that are published by magazines or celebrities as well as books that focus on astrology & love or similar combinations. I've found that they are generally not as helpful as books published by small, indie printing houses. In general, I would always recommend a book from a small publisher over one by a big corporate name. That doesn't mean that I'll never buy a book about spirituality or other occult topics from a big name, though. I just find that with astrology, the smaller the better. There are always exceptions, of course.
“what is the difference between your sun, moon, and rising signs”
Your sun sign is what you generally think of when people ask you what your sign is. It is dependent only on your birth date. The sun is one of the most important bodies in your chart - it can give you a clue about how you operate on a more masculine level. Your moon sign clues you into your feminine side. Moon signs govern emotion, souls, and the inner self. And your ascendant, or rising sign, tells you a bit about how you present yourself to others. It can also reveal the defense mechanisms you formed throughout childhood.
“where do zodiac signs come from”
The zodiac signs correspond to twelve constellations that are viewable on the path the Sun appears to take around the Earth. These constellations have been identified since ancient times. Their meanings have been developed and derived from a variety of things including the behavior of the seasons during specific constellations, their placement in the calendar year, and other ancient beliefs and practices.
The reason why I recommend books as the best way to learn about the signs is because there are a huge variety of opinions and theories about what each sign represents. I believe in combining information from a variety of sources and forming one's own opinion. While the calculations behind astrology are very much a science, the interpretation of them is not. Like all religions and spiritual practices, one must interpret and inject their practice with their own meaning. Studying astrology is a personal experience and you get out of it what you put into it. It is not a black and white field, but that's what makes it so fun! You can get very serious with it, or you can just learn the basics and have fun with it.
Each sign has an element and a quality attached to it. The elements are air, water, earth, and fire. To learn more about the elements, read here. Each sign also has a quality. The qualities are cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Read more on that here. Signs also, throughout the history of astrology, have taken on a variety of symbols. These include flowers, herbs, trees, crystals, spices, interests, and activities. These symbols are a part of our interpretation of the signs, they are not necessarily part of the science. Take these with a grain of salt, and follow your intuition when it comes to the particular elements associated with your sign that you identify with.