Did you know that Netflix has all of Season 2 of Riverdale available now? I sure did know, and I sure did binge this teen thriller like a box of chocolate-covered cookie dough. And I'm not sorry! While this show attempts to harken back to the era of Archie comics with candy-chrome color schemes, the characters are anything but two-dimensional. The plots and partnerships shift and pivot, unveiling the shrouded nature and unspoken truths of the citizens of Riverdale—and that's what made choosing the astrological signs for some of my favorite characters especially difficult. Like attracts like, or so I've experienced.
I know that in a perfect world, all the main characters would be different signs, filling out a web of zodiac relations. We know that in real life this is rarely so, and that most communities are full of astro-clumps. For example, I spent my last year in grad school hanging out with three Taurus fiction writers and two Sagittarian poets who were born on the same day. That being said, I've decided to give some of the more fleshed out characters Sun and Moon signs and to incorporate a couple of the scene stealers from Season 1 as well.
Veronica aka Ronnie Lodge
Capricorn Sun, Aries Moon
Listen, you might take one look at Veronica Lodge with her all-black wardrobe and her sexy shenanigans, and yell out, "SCORPIO!" but you’d be wrong. Scorpios are subtle, my friend, they slither in when a room darkens and fuck up your whole life. Veronica is anything but subtle. She lives in the material world, and she’s a material girl. She wants what she wants, and she has a very calculated plan to get it, because “Veronica Lodge is nothing if not an informed consumer.” That’s what makes her a sexy Capricorn, a total femme daddy—the kind that arrives with gifts for when you’re sad and headbutts anyone who tries to harm you. Speaking of head butts, I’d like to propose that Ronnie carries within her an Aries moon, which makes the likelihood that she’ll lock horns with you twice as nice. (Just ask Reggie.) Ronnie isn’t afraid of a fight she believes in, and her Aries moon shines through both seasons, from the episode where Chuck slut-shames her—“I don’t follow rules, I make them. And when necessary, I break them”—to her ultimate refusal to fold neatly into her family’s story.
Betty “I catch bad men” Cooper
Cancer Sun, Scorpio Moon
Betty has Cancer written all over her, that soft pout and her pastel palette, which somehow always looks comforting and never twee. Betty may look like a good girl, but the one thing she’s really good at is protecting the people she loves. With her eyes already welling up, she’s ready to show up at the biker bar and at the podium if it means defending you and your cause. Betty loves checking in on her loved ones and wants to believe in the ultimate goodness of people, but fool her once, and you’re out of her good graces forever—remember the way she growled at Cheryl, “Get out of my house before I kill you”? That’s Cancer anger, and it blends ferociously with her Scorpio moon, that darkness she keeps hinting she carries within her. Moons are a private business, but Betty’s moon is more than just private, it’s a secret underworld, making its first appearance at the Chuck-bait pool party wearing a black wig, a bustier, and a psychotic break. Betty’s Scorpio Moon is the Nancy Drew decoder book through which the Black Hood communicates to her; it’s what makes her a sleuth and a keeper of secrets. It’s also the serpent in her, the one who’s willing to make a sacrifice of another person, the thing that winds her around a pole when she stands before a crowd, proving her devotion to Jughead and the “bad side” of the tracks.
Archie “Archiekins” Andrew
Sagittarius Sun, Gemini Moon
Listen, I know Archie can kind of be a doofus, but he’s a lovable, righteous doofus. Archie embodies the American boy next door, he’s a muscle pony out on the football field and a sensitive songwriter with his guitar strapped across his chest. He’s charming and polite, a great date to a formal or a maple-tapping ceremony. For these reasons and many more, there’s just something deeply Sagittarian about him. “I was born alone, I’ll die alone, I’ll sing alone, I’ll be okay,” Archie claims confidently, just to make Valerie feel fine about ditching him. He wants to do right by everyone he’s ever met because he’s mutable as fuck, but, more than that, he wants to find out for himself what the right thing is. His moral quest is deep and dysfunctional, and while most Sagittarians tend to wander toward the occasional drinking bender, Archie is much more prone to seeking out violent situations just to test his limits. What he struggles with, and what doesn’t make his search for truth any easier, is his Gemini Moon which keeps elevating information above intuition. Archie’s got to learn that his word isn’t bond if his word is offered to the wrong person—and he’s got to learn that information means nothing without checking his sources. Isn’t it the ultimate Sag/Gemini conundrum? The more he gets sucked into the idea of avenging his father, the more he goes about betraying him.
Jughead “sardonic humor is just my way of relating to the world” Jones
Scorpio Sun, Aquarius Moon
Listen, this boy has been brooding since he was born, and that’s what makes him a Scorpio. Jughead’s voice opens the show in Season 1, as the narrator and witness. He describes a scene where he, Betty, Archie, and Veronica share a booth as one with only three people in it. He imagines himself a spider on the wall, a watcher, even if he steals almost every scene he’s in—and Betty’s heart to boot. Jughead’s obsession with his role as darkness detective and scribe is some Scorpio man bullshit, but it’s the kind of bullshit we can believe in. His loyalty is unparalleled. For proof, recall the scene where the Andrews family bails him out of jail and his father arrives blathering and drunk after the fact. Jughead wants to be warm and comforted, but he sucks it up, blinks back his tears, and carries his drunk father to the car. It’s easy to see that Jughead is a man of his word. He never compromises his beliefs and rarely changes his mind, he’s the kind of guy that will chain himself to an old school to prevent demolition and sacrifice his very body if it means his community will be set free from psycho Penny. This sort of devotional/martyr optimism is exactly where his Aquarian Moon comes in. He’s a weirdo, he doesn’t fit in and he doesn’t want to! Jughead wants so deeply to save the South Side, to imagine a new world and will it into being, he’ll just about die for it.
Cheryl “I’m an experience” Blossom
Leo Sun, Gemini Moon
There is no world in which Cheryl isn’t a Leo IMO, not with her take-charge fireball energy and her signature red mane. Cheryl is the queen of her queendom, the bitch on top, and she’s not interested in compromise. If you hurt her, you’re gonna get hurt, and if you stand in the way of her light, she’s gonna make sure you feel the fire of her fury. In every scene, you can bet on Cheryl making an appearance just to round out the drama and make herself the center of it which makes the fact that Cheryl is also deeply sensitive and painfully insecure a little difficult to reconcile with, but not outside the realm of Leo behavior. A Leo needs to be adored, and when they’re not, they can resort to self-sabotage. Cheryl’s Gemini moon makes sabotage a fun game where information is a tool and a weapon. Gemini anger is nothing to sneeze at, look again at the scene where Cheryl, feeling left out of a couples weekend, reveals a secret kept between Betty and Archie just to make sure that, if she’s not having fun, then no one is. When Toni rightly points out that Cheryl might be acting from a place of pain, Cheryl falls back on her Leo pride, brushes her off, and storms out—despite desperately craving companionship.
Gemini Sun, Virgo Moon
Kevin, our favorite young strapping lad with a penchant for forest trysts, is most certainly a Gemini. He might have a good heart, but god bless him if he encounters a fierce wardrobe and a cutting wit. I’m talking about Cheryl, of course, and his inability to deny her his attention. “It was evil,” Kevin might recall of some cruelty Cheryl uttered, ”but it was a really good line.” Kevin isn’t really interested in high ground. He just wants to know what his playing field is before he tosses the die. Moose doesn’t want to kiss on the mouth? That’s cool, “I love a closet case,” Kevin muses as he leads the way down the dirt path. Kevin is risky but never messy, opinionated but observant of rank (“Betty’s ponytail is iconic and beyond reproach,” he informs Toni), and his Virgo moon really supports his need to understand the hierarchy of power while consistently stepping to the side of it. Kevin’s not the kind of guy who will betray his own needs (not even if a homicidal maniac is cruising his utopia), but he is the kind of guy that will rat Betty out to Chick cuz “he felt bad,” or welcome Chuck Clayton into a musical so Chuck can sing alongside women he's hurt.
Toni “Southside Smurfette” Topaz
Pisces Sun, Aquarius Moon
It’s not just Toni’s mermaid hair that makes her a Pisces, although it doesn’t hurt. Truth is, Toni is just as likely to be an Aquarius with a look like that, and so I’m splitting it Pisces Sun, Aqua Moon for the sake of variance. What makes me so sure Toni is flooded with Pisces waters has everything to do with her attraction to evil queen Cheryl. Toni, new girl in town, arrives on the scene and spots a flaming archer, practically rips open her chest and yells, “Shoot here, Cheryl, I know your aim is true!” Only a Pisces can stand to be called a “Sapphic serpent” (like it’s a bad thing!) and spy the pain beneath the cruelty of a Leonine lesbian and tend to it with equal parts tenderness and measured restraint. Unlike other water signs, a Pisces need only make herself of use once or twice before love is thrown at her feet. Then, she’ll relax her roll until she needs to break you out of a prison. Toni’s Aquarius moon is highly interested in supporting unlikely love interests; what’s more, it’s fully interested in supporting other unlikely scenarios, like Serpent Revolutions, and can be credited for her yelling, “Tell her to go to hell!” while being tied up at knifepoint.
Josephine “Josie” McCoy
Virgo Sun, Cancer Moon
Josey is a Virgo, plain and simple. She’s got impossible standards for herself that she’ll never meet, a sweet voice, and a knack for putting herself in the right place at the right time. She’s a little bit oblivious when it comes to emotional manipulation, mostly because she’s goal-oriented, and being everyone’s therapist just isn’t her goal. That’s why she can’t see when Cheryl gets all Lionel Richie with a sketchbook on her. Josie isn’t really interested in what you’re doing unless it’s going to do something for her. And it’s not like she’s got the wrong idea, she's self-preservational. Half these kids are busy getting good and dead, while Josie is up on a stage singing about feeling love. Truth is, Josie doesn’t really feel the love, not with her dad disappointing her and her mother’s bad behavior. It’s the indignant Virgo in Josie that pulls her over to Kevin to reveal what she knows, but it’s the Cancer Moon that apologizes for acting out after and snuggles in for a movie date.
Aquarius Sun, Mystery Moon
Here’s where we begin to get into the less developed characters, though, as I understand it, Polly might have more to tell us come Season 3. However, it is my extreme suspicion that Polly is for sure an Aquarius, because she’s totally an alien interloper in the Cooper family (yes, Chick is instantly threatened by her because he is also an Aquarius alien, but with a Scorpio moon). Let’s not forget that Polly chose to move in with the Blossoms in Season 1, a choice that was only a hair less delusional than her plan to run away with Jason Blossom (the boy who scored their relationship in a notebook shared by his football team), all while carrying his baby and his drug money. Cool. Then she’s all like, “I know my mom committed me, and this other woman wants to declare me an unfit mother, but could you invite them to the baby shower?” No wonder she gets involved with a cult.
Valerie (of the Pussycats)
Sagittarius Sun, Libra Moon
Listen, I know she didn’t show up in Season 2 (WHERE IS SHE), but Valerie was a big part of Season 1, and I KNOW that we already have a Sagittarius (ye olde Archibald), but it’s just so clear that Valerie was a Sagittarius Femme. Look at her in every scene: pretty, smiling, direct, flirty, both candid and opaque. Who is she? A rare talent, an outspoken diva, a girl who isn’t interested in dimming her light just so you shine brighter, but who also isn’t willing to cause a scene about it either. “You want me to wallow with you?” Valerie asks Archie. “I don’t have time.” And, from then on, her Sag-ness is undeniable. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that Valerie, had she shown up in Season 2, would have revealed her Libra moon to us—just look how easily she forgives Josie for her bossy behavior and takes into account the pressure she’s under; that’s Libra reasoning—and perhaps it’s what gives her that sort of easy “cool with it” vibe that doesn’t actually seem cool with it at all.
Sweetpea & Reggie
Listen, I know they’re second string characters and they rarely get their chance at the podium, but it’s clear that these two are hotheaded alphas just looking for an in. They’re always questioning their “leaders,” Jughead and Archie, respectively, and consistently pushing back on orders they’re not interested in taking—even if those orders are in everyone’s best interests. Two sides of the same coin, they’ve got Aries Masc written all over them. Unlike Aries femmes, when these boys cause trouble, it’s anything but the sexy kind.
Taurus Sun, Pisces Moon
Never let it be said that parents don’t play a big role in a teenager's life, especially in Riverdale where so many of them seem to be playing out old drama like the cast of 90210 reuniting. I know that FP starts off as a complicated character, but by Season 2, it’s clear that he’s the one holding both the South and North sides up. His position as king of the Serpents, his endless connections, the many favors he’s owed and owes, are telltale signs of a Taurus. His inability to let anything go, including his love for crazy Alice, is another telltale sign, because one thing a Taurus can’t figure out is when they’ve given enough of themselves away to bad cause. Another sign that has a hard time figuring out when enough is enough is Pisces, and that’s the moon I pick up from him for sure. While his Taurus sun aches to move through this world with a certain measure of restraint and dignity, his Pisces moon has got him easily sucked into drama, burying evidence and making getaway schemes at the first sign of trouble.
Alice & Hal Cooper
Virgo Sun & Pisces Sun
Alice Cooper isn’t a bad mom per se, she’s just sort of unable to see past her own trauma. Growing up on the South Side, she really had her come up marrying Hal (the psycho Pisces) Cooper, and now she wants the best for her daughters. Too bad “the best” for Alice is some sort of Stepford fantasy world where Betty only wears pink, Polly goes back in time, and there are no secret babies because everyone knows how to keep their legs together and mouths shut. Alice craves control and is constantly trying to control others, because she’s clearly out of control, and everyone can see it. A Virgo in a bad way is a mutable mess, burning bridges rather than building them, corrupting facts rather than protecting them. Alice’s saving grace is Betty, who reminds her how good it feels to accept the freak within—something every Virgo must do. I actually can’t quite go into all the details about why Hal is a Pisces without spoilers, but suffice to say only a Pisces in a bad way could look so weak, act so victimized, and yet do so much damage.
Hermione Lodge & Hiram Lodge
Libra Sun & Scorpio Sun
Could Hermione be a more evil Libra? I think not. Listen, these two fall babies are the perfect pair for dark times, what with Hermione paving smooth the road for Hiram to slither in on. Hermione has all the attributes that make a Libra stand out: smooth-talking skills, impeccable taste, an inability to let even one ex-lover escape her emotional web. Just look at the job she did on Fred “definitely a Cancer man” Andrews. She might know how to subtly control someone who wants her with a good spin and a soft hand, but she’ll be damned if she gets out of a bad situation before she’s good and ready. That bad situation is, of course, her marriage to Hiram, and her codependency on him exhibits a kind of pride that makes me wonder whether she’s hiding a Taurus moon under all that air. Hiram’s secret plotting, his manipulation, his ability to suss out every person’s wound within minutes of meeting them simply screams Scorpio, but his work on the ground whispers Capricorn moon.
Cancer Sun, Taurus Moon
Listen, Fred is a Cancer man, and that’s just that. He’s got a deep deep well of feelings, and he’s not going to share all of them with you. Fred is a man of few words but many strong beliefs. He’s the kind of dad who will watch his own son betray him, and let him do it, because he knows that people have got to learn from their own mistakes. Fred will do anything for Archie and works hard to really see his son, and to accept and love him for who he is, even when Archie is basically running a fight club. He’s probably got a Taurus moon the way he’s secretly taking care of everybody from Jughead to Hermione to FP, but more than that, he’s got a strong sense of honor and integrity. He’s the kind of guy to whom evil men like Hiram tie their name so that they can look better. But it doesn't work forever, because a Taurus moon won’t be fooled for long.