I understand that right now, fellow star-gazers, you may miss Rob Brezsny. When I was younger I’d run and grab copies of Metroland — the Hudson Valley’s version of the Advocate — just to read the latest from the astro guru. I don’t attempt to fill those shoes. I’m here to start an astrological discussion.

Once a month, the Advocate astrology section will feature “Living by the Stars,” a column about what it’s like to incorporate astrology into daily life. But first, a little about me and my astrology philosophy.

Since I was a freshman in highschool, I’ve scoured astrology books and online pages in my spare time. I’ve kept a mental log of people’s birthdays and, over the years, have begun to connect the dots to form a constellation of knowledge that I find helps me in the day to day. I’m not here to try to prove anything to you, but the evidence in astrology’s favor warrants a deeper look. Plus, it’s plain fun to think and read about.

We’ve all heard those skeptics: “There’s no way the billions of people out there in the world fit into those specific molds.” I’m looking at you, Pisces. To them I say, it’s not that simple.

Yes, there are 12 sun signs we all fit into based on our birthdays. But did you know that your sun sign can reveal whether you’re an old soul or young soul? Aries marks the astrological beginning, then Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces — in that order. That means those toward the “younger” end of the spectrum tend to be more fresh-faced and doe-eyed, while at the other end you have people who tend to be wiser and occasionally jaded.

Before you say, “He has the same sign as me and we’re totally different people,” consider that there’s far more than just your sun sign that plays into your key personality traits. You have many signs: sun, moon, rising, etc. Plus, if you’re born in the first or last week of your sign, you’re closer to the cusp and therefore less in-line with your sign.

One’s rising sign, or ascendant, can be just as influential as their sun sign. A sun sign encompasses one’s whole self, but the rising forms the personality’s foundation. Take me, for example: I am a Taurus, but since Leo is my rising, I think like a Leo. My thoughts and ambitions are expressed through the Leo lens, meaning on the exterior I’m calm, grounded and indulgent, but on the interior I’m fiery, ego-driven and ambitious. Traits suggested by one’s rising are less readily visible, especially to mere acquaintances — they typically are only noticeable to those who know the person well.

Last weekend I met someone at a party and we instantly had a mutual feeling of having met before, yet neither of us could place it. The feeling was ethereal, as if I had met her in a past life. After hours of periodic chatting, throughout which we seemed to agree on every point, we discovered that we both have an upcoming birthday. We very quickly after that discovered that not only do we have the same birthday, but the same rising sign.

Meanwhile, your moon sign directs your emotions. Do your emotions change like the wind? Chances are your moon sign is an air sign — Gemini, Libra or Aquarius. More quick to anger and long to let go? You probably have a fire moon sign — Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. More emotionally sensitive and quick to cry? Likely a water sign — Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces. Emotionally grounded and hard to rattle? Chances are you’re an earth moon sign — Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn.

Unlike the sun sign, rising and moon signs, your midheaven doesn’t suggest qualities you actually have, but instead those you strive to have and hold dear. Taurus, for instance, is marked by love and loyalty. Since Taurus is both my sun sign and my midheaven, the love and loyalty I hold dear are also those qualities I emanate.

And sun signs, rising signs, moon signs and midheavens are just the tip of the astrological iceberg, dear reader. Get your chart by going to astro.com and clicking on “free horoscopes” to enter in your information.•

Contact Amanda Drane at adrane@valleyadvocate.com.