I want to tell you briefly about an ancient astrological system which is though related to well known 12 signs of the zodiac, yet very different and interesting. It is about nakshatras.
This is a unique system found only in traditional Vedic astrology as it came to us from ancient times. Basically it divides ecliptic onto 27 parts, 13.2 degrees each. They are related to the Moon, as moon traverses approximately 13.2 degrees each day (it is said that all 27 nakshatras are the wives of Chandra (the Moon) actually).
Imagine a planet (let it be the Sun) moving gradually across the zodiac. We all know that it takes a month for the Sun to cross one zodiac sign. Now try to imagine how many people can be born during one month. It would be quite naïve to think that such big amount of people would carry characteristics of one sign, related to the Sun. This is where subtle astrology comes into play – nakshtras. For instance, person born in the second half of November would have Sun in Scorpio and person born in the first half of December would also have Sun in Scorpio. But the former person would have Sun in Anuradha nakshatra, whereas the letter in Jyeshtha nakshatra.
But that is not all, as each nakshatra is divided by 4 parts (they are called padas), each 3.20 degrees. And two persons born with interval of 3 days of, let’s say, second part of November would have quite different personalities (related to significations of the Sun).
One important thing to know about nakshatras is that every one of them has its ruler (one of the 9 planets in Vedic astrology). For instance, Anuradha nakshatra is ruled by Saturn and Jyeshtha is ruled by Mercury. Every one of 4 padas of each nakshatra also has its ruler.
There are many useful techniques involving nakshatras. You could use them for better understanding of personal traits of someone by looking at what nakshatras their Moon, Ascendant and Sun are positioned. Traditionally it is the Moon, which considered the most important planet regarding personal traits (as the Moon represents our mind). So, the sign which the Moon is, can reveal a lot about a person, but if you know the Nakshatra of the Moon (and pada), you may be able to know much more.
Of course you would need to know more about nakshatras (their symbolism etc.) to grab the meaning of planetary positions, but the general rule is that each nakshatra carries qualities of the ruling planet. For example, Moon in Pushya nakshatra would have certain qualities of the Saturn, as Pushya is ruled by Saturn. Also keep in mind that all planets may behave in different ways in one and the same nakshatra, as some energies are conducive to expression of atributes of a certain planet and some are not.
I believe that everyone should know at least a nakshatra, in which the Moon was at the time of birth, as it can be really helpful in understanding our own personalities and perhaps making some adjustments.