12 Zodiac Signs: Dates, Meaning and Characteristics
|12 Zodiac Signs: Dates, Meaning and Characteristics|
Humans have pondered the mysteries of the universe for millennia, tracking the sun’s vibrant motion, the moon’s beguiling cycle, and the swirl of boundless stars overhead. Astrology and astronomy were inextricably linked for thousands of years. Although these two fields have been disentangled over time, the mystical teachings of the cosmos still guide us today.
While zodiac signs only make up one piece of the puzzle when it comes to astrology, it is often the most popular. There is something quite fun about learning all the zodiac signs and their characteristics, especially when it comes to pointing out characteristics about yourself of those that are close to you.
"On a universal level, astrology makes us believe that each part of humanity has a purpose"
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
Meaning and Characteristics
The constellation of Aquarius, the Water-Bearer, is one of the oldest of our current zodiac. Harking back to Babylonian times, the Aquarius constellation was associated with the protective god Ea, who carried an overflowing vase of water.
The Egyptians associated Aquarius with the flooding of the Nile, which was believed to occur when the Water-Bearer dipped his pitcher into the great river. The swelling of the Nile then corresponded to the commencement of Spring, a fertile time of growth after the flood of water to the region.
Aquarius is the eleventh sign of the zodiac, and Aquarians are the perfect representatives for the Age of Aquarius. Those born under this horoscope sign have the social conscience needed to carry us into the new millennium. Those of the Aquarius zodiac sign are humanitarian, philanthropic, and keenly interested in making the world a better place. Along those lines, they’d like to make the world work better, which is why they focus much of their energy on our social institutions and how they work (or don’t work).
Aquarians are visionaries, progressive souls who love to spend time thinking about how things can be better. They are also quick to engage others in this process, which is why they have so many friends and acquaintances. Making the world a better place is a collaborative effort for Aquarians.
Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
Meaning and Characteristics of Pisces
The constellation known as Pisces has been associated with many divine figures in history, such as Poseidon/Neptune, Christ, Vishnu, and the Sumerian goddess Inanna. Pisces is the Latin word for “fish,” and in Greek mythology, this constellation represents the koi fish that saved Aphrodite and her son Eros from the sea monster Typhon.
As a reward, the two fishes were placed in the heavens to shine for all of eternity. Venus, the Roman version of Aphrodite, is said to have an exalted position in Pisces, an affinity that echoes back to her gratitude for the fishes’ hospitality and help.
Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac, and it is also the final sign in the zodiacal cycle. Hence, this sign brings together many of the characteristics of the eleven signs that have come before it. Pisces, however, are happiest keeping many of these qualities under wraps. These folks are selfless, spiritual, and very focused on their inner journey.
They also place great weight on what they are feeling. Yes, feelings define the Pisces zodiac sign, and it’s not uncommon for them to feel their own burdens (and joys) as well as those of others. The intuition of the Pisces-born is highly evolved. Many people associate Pisces with dreams and secrets, and it’s a fair association, since those born under this sign feel comfortable in an illusory world.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Meaning and Characteristics of Aries
The Aries zodiac symbol is the Ram, named for the stellar constellation this sign corresponded to by the astrologers of the old world. The astrological symbol of the Ram goes back to Babylonian times when it was associated with agriculture and the god of shepherds.
Amon-Ra ruled over fertility and creativity, vital forces that set Spring and regeneration in motion. In Greek mythology, the Ram saved Phrixus and Helle, whose golden fleece became the prize in the story of Jason and the Argonauts.
As the first sign in the zodiac, the presence of Aries always marks the beginning of something energetic and turbulent. They are continuously looking for dynamic, speed and competition, always being the first in everything - from work to social gatherings. Thanks to its ruling planet Mars and the fact it belongs to the element of Fire (just like Leo and Sagittarius), Aries is one of the most active zodiac signs. It is in their nature to take action, sometimes before they think about it well.
Aries rules the head and leads with the head, often literally walking head first, leaning forwards for speed and focus. Its representatives are naturally brave and rarely afraid of trial and risk. They possess youthful strength and energy, regardless of their age and quickly perform any given tasks.
Facts about The 12 Zodiac Signs
Zodiac signs represent the division of the zodiacal circle into twelve equal parts, starting from the point where the Sun located at the beginning of spring. This means that no sign is defined by any constellation, but by pure geometrical approach based on the seasons of the year.
Each astrological sign takes full 30 degrees of a circle and represents the beginning, the continuity or the end of one season. If you imagine each season as breathing of time, you will see it breathe in where the cardinal sign is set, hold breathe with fixed quality, and exhale through mutable signs.So spring will begin in Aries, find its full bloom in the fixed sign of Taurus, and slowly end in Gemini, followed by the next cardinal sign to represent the first breath of summer – Cancer. The quality of the signs reflects on their character and everything they have to offer to us through planets or house cusps found inside them.
When a certain quality combines with one of the four elements, a special nature is born, specific and unique. Each of the twelve signs represents one attitude, a character’s bunch of desires, and convictions in relation to other people, oneself and life. This is why our Sun sign will tell a lot about our character and will, while in-depth personal interpretations show each human as a unique individual, with numerous traits connected into one whole, different from all others.
Astrology is based on planetary positions projected to the ecliptic belt in the moment of birth. It is an analysis of the image of the sky and allows you to figure out one’s fears, flaw, tastes and qualities. Learning about each Sun sign helps us understand the nature of each sign itself and makes it easier to set up a good basis for any sort of personal chart analysis. No matter which celestial body is in a certain sign, knowing the sign’s characteristics through the Sun sign will help us connect any planetary nature with it. To start understanding each individual sign’s nature, it is wise to start with understanding the elements.
There are four basic elements in nature – Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Each one of the twelve signs of the zodiac belongs to a certain element, and each of the elements represents one form of energy that we need to feel and build our character on.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Meaning and Characteristics of Taurus
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Taurus – the Wandering Bull Being the one who betrayed their best friend, goddess Hera herself, this is an unfortunate being that has to wander the Earth in order to find freedom. As if something was always poking them behind their back, reminding them of happiness that once was, stinging and pushing forwards, they close up in their own worlds, lonely and separated from their core. To find love, a Taurus has to travel the world, change perspective or make a shift in their entire belief system and their system of values.
Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac and the ruler of the second house, is all about reward. Unlike the Aries love of the game, the typical Taurus personality loves the rewards of the game. Think physical pleasures and material goods, for those born under this sign revel in delicious excess. This zodiac sign is also tactile, enjoying a tender, even sensual, touch.
Taurus zodiac sign adores comfort and likes being surrounded by pleasing, soothing things. Along these lines, they also favor a good meal and a fine wine. The good life in all its guises, whether it’s the arts or art of their own making (yes, these folks are artistic as well), is heaven on Earth to the Taurus-born.
Gemini (June 21 - May 20)
Meaning and Characteristics of Gemini
The Gemini zodiac symbol of the Twins is based on the half brothers Castor and Pollux from Greek mythology. These legendary brothers, also known as the Dioscuri, were the children of Leda, who was seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan. Leda laid two eggs as a result of this union, and Castor and Pollux were said to have hatched from each of these along with their twin sisters, Helen and Clytemnestra.
Expressive and quick-witted, Gemini represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face. They are sociable, communicative and ready for fun, with a tendency to suddenly get serious, thoughtful and restless. They are fascinated with the world itself, extremely curious, with a constant feeling that there is not enough time to experience everything they want to see.
The sign of Gemini belongs to the element of Air, accompanying Libra and Aquarius, and this connects it to all aspects of the mind. It is ruled by Mercury, the planet that represents communication, writing, and movement. People born under this Sun sign often have a feeling that their other half is missing, so they are forever seeking new friends, mentors, colleagues and people to talk to.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Meaning and Characteristics of Cancer
Cancer - the Brave Crab Sent to this Earth by something they believe in, only to mess with someone bigger than they are, this isn't an animal aware of their strength. Patriotism can make them endanger their own wellbeing, fighting for someone else's cause, as if others can become their higher power. The Crab knows where they're going, but this is often in a wrong direction, at least until they learn their lessons and start relying solely on themselves.
Cancers are maternal, domestic, and love to nurture others. More than likely, their family will be large, too—the more, the merrier! Cancers will certainly be merry if their home life is serene and harmonious.
They also tend to be patriotic, waving the flag whenever possible. A Cancer’s good memory is the basis for stories told around the dinner table, and don’t be surprised if these folks get emotional about things. Those born under this sign wear their heart on their sleeve, which is just fine by them.
Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Meaning and Characteristics of Leo
Leo - the Lion in the Cave The story of the Lion always speaks of bravery. This is an animal fearless and impossible to challenge, hurt or destroy, their only weaknesses being fear and aggression towards those they confront. Living in a cave, a Lion always needs to have one, nesting and finding comfort in hard times. However, they should never stay there for long. With their head high, they have to face others with dignity and respect, never raising a voice, a hand, or a weapon, bravely walking through the forest they rule.
People born under the sign of Leo are natural born leaders. They are dramatic, creative, self-confident, dominant and extremely difficult to resist, able to achieve anything they want to in any area of life they commit to. There is a specific strength to a Leo and their "king of the jungle" status. Leo often has many friends for they are generous and loyal. Self-confident and attractive, this is a Sun sign capable of uniting different groups of people and leading them as one towards a shared cause, and their healthy sense of humor makes collaboration with other people even easier.
Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
Meaning and Characteristics of Virgo
The stellar constellation of Virgo has origins in Babylonian society, where it was associated with the goddess Shala, who was depicted holding an ear of grain. To the Babylonians, this goddess ruled over fertility and the harvest, connecting Virgo to some of its earliest archetypal associations.
This connection to the harvest continues into Greek mythology, where Virgo was connected with the goddess Demeter, who ruled over the bounty of the earth and agriculture as well. Virgo is also connected to Ceres through early Roman culture, where she was the ruler of the same agricultural themes.
Virgos are always paying attention to the smallest details and their deep sense of humanity makes them one of the most careful signs of the zodiac. Their methodical approach to life ensures that nothing is left to chance, and although they are often tender, their heart might be closed for the outer world. This is a sign often misunderstood, not because they lack the ability to express, but because they won’t accept their feelings as valid, true, or even relevant when opposed to reason. The symbolism behind the name speaks well of their nature, born with a feeling they are experiencing everything for the first time.
Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Meaning and Characteristics of Libra
Libra – The Measure of Our Souls The shortest myth of them all seems to present a good analogy to the shortest constellation in the sky, you might even say that it is non-existent, presented by the pliers of Scorpio. Libra is one dot of balance in the sea of different extremes, manifested only through the fifteenth degree of this magnificent sign, an object among animals and people. There is something awfully insecure about Libra, as if they were unsure which plate to burden next, aware that things pass and teach us to be careful around other people. Whatever we do in our lifetimes, only serves to point the way for our Souls towards that “higher power” to finally measure our existence. Telling us where we went wrong or what we did right, Libras unconsciously teach us that true liberation hides in lightness.
Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac, and it’s at this point in the zodiac that we start to see a shift. While the first six signs of the zodiac focus on the individual, the last six focus on the individual’s contact with others and with the world. The Libra zodiac sign is first and foremost focused on others and how they relate to them. We can call this the sign of Partnership with a capital ‘P’ because these folks do not want to be alone!
For a Libra, everything is better if it’s done as a pair. Libras are good when paired up, too, since they epitomize balance, harmony, and a sense of fair play. While they are true team players at work, their favorite partnership is at home: marriage. Libras feel most complete when they are coupled up with their lover, forever.
Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Meaning and Characteristics of Scorpio
The constellation known as Scorpio goes back to Babylonian times, where it was called “the creature with the burning sting.” Scorpio contains the red star Antares, which means “the rival of Mars,” and is also called “the heart of the Scorpion.” This potent fixed star is observed in various astrological and magical practices as having an intense Mars-like quality.
Those born under this sign are dead serious in their mission to learn about others. There’s no fluff or chatter for Scorpios, either; these folks will zero-in on the essential questions, gleaning the secrets that lie within.
The Scorpio zodiac sign concerns itself with beginnings and endings, and is unafraid of either. They also travel in a world that is black and white and has little use for gray. The curiosity of Scorpios is immeasurable, which may be why they are such adept investigators.
The folks with a Scorpio horoscope sign love to probe and know how to get to the bottom of things. The fact that they have a keen sense of intuition certainly helps.
Sagittarious (November 22 - December 21)
Meaning and Characteristics of Sagittarious
The Sagittarius zodiac symbol of the Centaur is based on the Greek mythological association with Chiron, the great teacher of music, medicine, hunting, and prophecy. Chiron healed the hero Achilles and mentored him in archery and many other great arts when he cared for him as a child. Achilles later grew to be victorious in the Trojan War, likely having learned to be brave and clever while under the tutelage of this benevolent centaur.
Curious and energetic, Sagittarius is one of the biggest travelers among all zodiac signs. Their open mind and philosophical view motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life.
Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. Sagittarius-born are able to transform their thoughts into concrete actions and they will do anything to achieve their goals.
Freedom is their greatest treasure, because only then they can freely travel and explore different cultures and philosophies. Because of their honesty, Sagittarius-born are often impatient and tactless when they need to say or do something, so it's important to learn to express themselves in a tolerant and socially acceptable way.
Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Meaning and Characteristics of Capricorn
Capricorn – the Goat of Fear A goat with the tail of a fish is created to face fear and create panic. It is the sign of decisions made to be protected from monsters in our minds, lives, and immediate physical surrounding. Always ready to transform into something that scares those scary things off, Capricorn speaks of each natural chain reaction of fear, where one scary thing leads to many others, rising up as defensive mechanisms that only make things worse. Immersed in their secrecy, they face the world just as they are – brave enough to never run away, but constantly afraid of their inner monsters.
Capricorn, the tenth sign and mountain goat of the zodiac, is all about hard work. Those born under this sign are more than happy to put in a full day at the office, realizing that it will likely take a lot of those days to get to the top. That’s no problem, since Capricorns are both ambitious and determined: they will get there. Life is one big project for these folks, and they adapt to this by adopting a businesslike approach to most everything they do.
Capricorns are practical as well, taking things one step at a time and being as realistic and pragmatic as possible. Those with a Capricorn zodiac sign are extremely dedicated to their goals, almost to the point of stubbornness. Those victories sure smell sweet, though, and that thought alone will keep Capricorns going.
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