Zodiac signs character

Zodiac signs character DEFAULT

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, and although these two fields have been disentangled over time, the mystical teachings of the cosmos still guide us today.

The study of astrology is expansive, complex, and transformative. Despite the nuances, the most fundamental principle of astrology centers on the 12 familiar star signs of the zodiac. Over the centuries, each sign has developed its own associations — including myths, animals, and colors — and its own characteristics. Every sign boasts an individual approach to life, complete with dynamic strengths and frustrating weaknesses.

The sun sign is the cosmic launching pad for both amateur and professional astrologers. Your sun sign is determined by your date of birth and represents your core personality, sense of self, basic preferences, and ways in which you move through the world. This astrological placement sheds light on your intrinsic gifts, as well as your blind spots. Joys, wishes, flaws, and fears are what make a sun sign special and unique. When combined with the other planets in your chart, it creates the distinctive profile that serves as your astrological fingerprint.

No sign is perfect on its own. The diversity of the zodiac completes the astrological wheel.

Ready to take your astrological knowledge to the next level? There are four triplicities and quadruplicities that further categorize the 12 signs. If these words sound like gibberish, don’t fret: The concepts are easy. "Triplicities" is astrospeak for elements, which include fire (the fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius), earth (the earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn), air (the air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius), and water (the water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces). Generally speaking, fire signs are passionate and exuberant, earth signs are practical and grounded, air signs are intellectual and curious, and water signs are intuitive and emotional.

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Quadruplicities are the signs’ qualities. Cardinal signs, which include Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, kick off new seasons. They are excellent at taking action and starting initiatives. Fixed signs, which include Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, occur in the middle of seasons. They are the steady, consistent forces that maintain movement. Each season concludes with a mutable sign — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces — that possesses effortless fluidity well-suited to change and transformation. As we continue layering astrological concepts, we uncover a rich and complex practice that delivers insight into our truest selves.

Sours: https://www.allure.com/story/zodiac-sign-personality-traits-dates

ICYMI, the most fundamental aspects of astrology are the 12 Sun signs and the veryspecific personality traits that correspond to each one. Your individual Sun sign is based on where "the sun was in the moment you were born," says Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer at Horoscope.com and Astrology.com, as well as author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power.

"[Your sign] is determined by the day, since the sun changes signs once a month. However, if a person was born on a day when the sun switches signs, their sun sign will be determined by the zodiac sign that the sun was in at the exact time of their birth." Noted!

And btw, that’s why "cusp signs," a.k.a. zodiac signs that straddlele two different signs, don’t really exist. Or at least they’re not recognized by many astrologers. “Technically, a planet cannot be stationed in two signs at once,” explains astrologer Sanasjia Clervoix. If you feel that you better embody the signs before or even after your sun sign, try getting your full birth chart read to understand where else these energies might exist in your chart, Clervoix suggests.

If you want to know even more about your sign's characteristics, look no further than "triplicities" and "quadruplicities," two important tenets of astrology. Each zodiac sign falls one of four triplicities (fire, earth, air, or water) and one of three quadruplicities (cardinal signs, fixed signs, and mutable signs). More on these below:

The Four Triplicities

“The concept of triplicities refers to the way the 12 zodiac signs are divided by element, forming a harmonious trine aspect with each other,” Montúfar says. “This indicates an easy and positive flow of energy with one another,” she notes.

Earth: The Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are all ruled by the earth element. This makes them symbolize personalities who — like the physical earth itself— are grounded, dependable, and hard-working, Montúfar says.

Water: This element is symbolic of emotion, dreams, healing, intuition, and as well as the cycles of death and rebirth, explains astrologer Valerie Mesa. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are all classified as water elements, thriving when they can go with the flow, as they prefer an emotional or intuitive approach to life, Mesa says.

Air: If someone is an air sign, they’re known for communication, intelligence, and versatility, Mesa explains. The air signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, all approach life from a logical standpoint, though at times can be indecisive or fickle, Mesa notes.

Fire: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are all ruled by the fire element. This makes them passionate, energetic, and creative, known for their spontaneity and knack for inspiration Montúfar says.

The Three Quadruplicities

Quadruplicities are another way the 12 zodiac signs are divided by modality, Montúfar says. They highlight the obstacles and challenges that eventually bring growth.

Cardinal: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are all a part of the cardinal modality, quick and ambitious, the initiators of the zodiac, Montúfar says.

• Fixed: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are all of the fixed modality, determined and stable, the signs that follow through on a project, Montúfar notes.

• Mutable: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces are the mutable modality, making them versatile and resourceful, the ones to put the final touches on projects, Montúfar says.

Now that you’re more informed on the basics of astrology, you're ready to get a little bit more specific. Here's exactly what you should know about the 12 zodiac sign’s dates, corresponding personality traits, triplicities, and quadruplicities, according to expert astrologers.

Sours: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/g/zodiac-signs-dates/
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Area of the sky divided into twelve signs

For the East Asian zodiac based on the Jovian orbital cycle, see Chinese zodiac. For other uses, see Zodiac (disambiguation).

The zodiac is a belt-shaped region of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are also within the belt of the zodiac.[1]

In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the star constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.[2][3]

These astrological signs form a celestial coordinate system, or even more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude and the Sun's position at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.[4]


The English word zodiac derives from zōdiacus, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greekzōidiakòs kýklos (ζῳδιακόςκύκλος), meaning "cycle or circle of little animals". Zōidion (ζῴδιον) is the diminutive of zōion (ζῷον, "animal"). The name reflects the prominence of animals (and mythological hybrids) among the twelve signs.


The zodiac was in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid-1st millennium BC), which, in turn, derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic.[5] The construction of the zodiac is described in Ptolemy's comprehensive 2nd century AD work, the Almagest.[6]

Although the zodiac remains the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy besides the equatorial one,[7] the term and the names of the twelve signs are today mostly associated with horoscopic astrology.[8] The term "zodiac" may also refer to the region of the celestial sphere encompassing the paths of the planets corresponding to the band of about 8 arc degrees above and below the ecliptic. The zodiac of a given planet is the band that contains the path of that particular body; e.g., the "zodiac of the Moon" is the band of 5° above and below the ecliptic. By extension, the "zodiac of the comets" may refer to the band encompassing most short-period comets.[9]


Further information: Former constellation

Early history[edit]

As early as the 14th century BC a complete list of the 36 Egyptian decans was placed among the hieroglyphs adorning the tomb of Seti I; they figured again in the temple of Ramesses II, and characterize every Egyptian astrological monument. Both the famous zodiacs of Dendera display their symbols, unmistakably identified by Karl Richard Lepsius.[10]

A 6th century mosaic zodiac wheel in a synagogue, incorporating Greek-Byzantine elements, Beit Alpha, Israel
Zodiac circle with planets, c – NLW MS C

Further information: Babylonian star catalogues and MUL.APIN

The division of the ecliptic into the zodiacal signs originates in Babylonian astronomy during the first half of the 1st millennium BC. The zodiac draws on stars in earlier Babylonian star catalogues, such as the MUL.APIN catalogue, which was compiled around BC. Some constellations can be traced even further back, to Bronze Age (First Babylonian dynasty) sources, including Gemini "The Twins," from MAŠ.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL "The Great Twins," and Cancer "The Crab," from AL.LUL "The Crayfish," among others.[citation needed]

Around the end of the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers divided the ecliptic into 12 equal "signs", by analogy to 12 schematic months of 30 days each. Each sign contained 30° of celestial longitude, thus creating the first known celestial coordinate system. According to calculations by modern astrophysics, the zodiac was introduced between and BC and probably within a very few years of BC.[11] Unlike modern astrologers, who place the beginning of the sign of Aries at the place of the Sun at the vernal equinox, Babylonian astronomers fixed the zodiac in relation to stars, placing the beginning of Cancer at the "Rear Twin Star" (β Geminorum) and the beginning of Aquarius at the "Rear Star of the Goat-Fish" (δ Capricorni).[12]

Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the time of year the Sun is in a given constellation has changed since Babylonian times, the point of vernal equinox has moved from Aries into Pisces.[13]

Because the division was made into equal arcs, 30° each, they constituted an ideal system of reference for making predictions about a planet's longitude. However, Babylonian techniques of observational measurements were in a rudimentary stage of evolution.[14] They measured the position of a planet in reference to a set of "normal stars" close to the ecliptic (±9° of latitude) as observational reference points to help positioning a planet within this ecliptic coordinate system.[15]

In Babylonian astronomical diaries, a planet position was generally given with respect to a zodiacal sign alone, less often in specific degrees within a sign.[16] When the degrees of longitude were given, they were expressed with reference to the 30° of the zodiacal sign, i.e., not with a reference to the continuous ° ecliptic.[16] In astronomical ephemerides, the positions of significant astronomical phenomena were computed in sexagesimal fractions of a degree (equivalent to minutes and seconds of arc).[17] For daily ephemerides, the daily positions of a planet were not as important as the astrologically significant dates when the planet crossed from one zodiacal sign to the next.[16]

Hebrew astronomy and astrology[edit]

Knowledge of the Babylonian zodiac is also reflected in the Hebrew Bible; E. W. Bullinger interpreted the creatures appearing in the book of Ezekiel as the middle signs of the four quarters of the Zodiac,[18][19] with the Lion as Leo, the Bull is Taurus, the Man representing Aquarius and the Eagle representing Scorpio.[20] Some authors have linked the twelve tribes of Israel with the same signs or the lunar Hebrew calendar having twelve lunar months in a lunar year. Martin and others have argued that the arrangement of the tribes around the Tabernacle (reported in the Book of Numbers) corresponded to the order of the Zodiac, with Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan representing the middle signs of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, and Scorpio, respectively. Such connections were taken up by Thomas Mann, who in his novel Joseph and His Brothers attributes characteristics of a sign of the zodiac to each tribe in his rendition of the Blessing of Jacob.[citation needed]

Hellenistic and Roman era[edit]

The Babylonian star catalogs entered Greek astronomy in the 4th century BC, via Eudoxus of Cnidus.[21][22] Babylonia or Chaldea in the Hellenistic world came to be so identified with astrology that "Chaldean wisdom" became among Greeks and Romans the synonym of divination through the planets and stars. Hellenistic astrology derived in part from Babylonian and Egyptian astrology.[23]Horoscopic astrology first appeared in Ptolemaic Egypt ( BC–30 BC). The Dendera zodiac, a relief dating to ca. 50 BC, is the first known depiction of the classical zodiac of twelve signs.

The earliest extant Greek text using the Babylonian division of the zodiac into 12 signs of 30 equal degrees each is the Anaphoricus of Hypsicles of Alexandria (fl.&#;&#;BC).[24] Particularly important in the development of Western horoscopic astrology was the astrologer and astronomer Ptolemy, whose work Tetrabiblos laid the basis of the Western astrological tradition.[25] Under the Greeks, and Ptolemy in particular, the planets, Houses, and signs of the zodiac were rationalized and their function set down in a way that has changed little to the present day.[26] Ptolemy lived in the 2nd century AD, three centuries after the discovery of the precession of the equinoxes by Hipparchus around BC. Hipparchus's lost work on precession never circulated very widely until it was brought to prominence by Ptolemy,[27] and there are few explanations of precession outside the work of Ptolemy until late Antiquity, by which time Ptolemy's influence was widely established.[28] Ptolemy clearly explained the theoretical basis of the western zodiac as being a tropical coordinate system, by which the zodiac is aligned to the equinoxes and solstices, rather than the visible constellations that bear the same names as the zodiac signs.[29]

Hindu zodiac[edit]

According to mathematician-historian Montucla, the Hindu zodiac was adopted from the Greek zodiac through communications between ancient India and the Greek empire of Bactria.[30] The Hindu zodiac uses the sidereal coordinate system, which makes reference to the fixed stars. The tropical zodiac (of Mesopotamian origin) is divided by the intersections of the ecliptic and equator, which shifts in relation to the backdrop of fixed stars at a rate of 1° every 72 years, creating the phenomenon known as precession of the equinoxes. The Hindu zodiac, being sidereal, does not maintain this seasonal alignment, but there are still similarities between the two systems. The Hindu zodiac signs and corresponding Greek signs sound very different, being in Sanskrit and Greek respectively, but their symbols are nearly identical.[31] For example, dhanu means "bow" and corresponds to Sagittarius, the "archer", and kumbha means "water-pitcher" and corresponds to Aquarius, the "water-carrier".[32]

Middle Ages[edit]

Angers Cathedral South Rose Window of Christ (centre) with elders (bottom half) and Zodiac (top half). Medieval stained glass by Andre Robin after the fire of

During the Abbasid era, Greek reference books were systematically translated into Arabic, then Islamic astronomers did their own observations, correcting Ptolemy's Almagest. One such book was Al-Sufi's Book Of Fixed Stars (), which has pictorial depictions of 48 constellations. The book was divided into three sections: constellations of the Zodiac, constellations north of the zodiac, and southern constellations. When Al-Sufi's book, and other works, were translated in the 11th century, there were mistakes made in the translations. As a result, some stars ended up with the names of the constellation they belong to (e.g. Hamal in Aries).

The High Middle Ages saw a revival of interest in Greco-Roman magic, first in Kabbalism and later continued in Renaissance magic. This included magical uses of the zodiac, as found, e.g., in the Sefer Raziel HaMalakh.

The zodiac is found in medieval stained glass as at Angers Cathedral, where the master glassmaker, André Robin, made the ornate rosettes for the North and South transepts after the fire there in [33]

Mughal kingJahangir issued an attractive series of coins in gold and silver depicting the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Medieval Islamic era[edit]

Circular brass time measurement device with engraved Arabic toponyms and zodiac symbols.
Ottoman-style sundial with folded gnomon and compass. The sundial features engraved toponyms in Arabic and zodiac symbols. Debbane Palacemuseum, Lebanon

Astrology emerged in the 8th century CE as a distinct discipline in Islam,[34]:&#;64&#; with mix of Indian, Hellenistic Iranian and other traditions blended with Greek and Islamic astronomical knowledge, for example Ptolemy's work and Al-Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars. A knowledge of the influence that the stars have on events on the earth was extremely important in Islamic civilisation. As a rule, it was believed that the signs of the zodiac and the planets control the destiny not only of people but also of nation; The Zodiac has the ability to determining physical characteristics as well ones intelligence and personal traits.[35]

The practice of astrology at this time could easily be divided into 4 broader categories: Genethlialogy, Catarchic Astrology, Interrogational Astrology and General Astrology.[34]:&#;65&#; However the most common type of astrology was Genethlialogy, which examined all aspects of a person's life in relation to the planetary positions at their birth; more commonly known as our horoscope.[34]:&#;65&#;

Astrology services were offered widely across the empire, mainly in bazaars, where people could pay for a reading.[36] Astrology was also valued in the royal courts, for example, the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mansur used astrology to determine the best date for founding the new capital of Baghdad.[34]:&#;66&#; However, whilst horoscopes were generally widely accepted by society, many scholars condemned the use of astrology and divination; linking it to occult influences.[37] Many theologians and scholars also thought that it went against the tenets of Islam; as only God should be able to determine events rather than astrologers looking at the positions of the planets.[36]

In order to calculate someone's horoscope, an astrologer would use 3 tools: an astrolabe, ephemeris and a takht. First, the astrologer would use an astrolabe to find the position of the sun, align the rule with the persons time of birth and then align the rete to establish the altitude of the sun on that date.[38] Next, the astrologer would use an Ephemeris, a table denoting the mean position of the planets and stars within the sky at any given time.[39] Finally, the astrologer would add the altitude of the sun taken from the astrolabe, with the mean position of the planets on the person's birthday, and add them together on the takht (also known as the dustboard).[39] The dust board was merely a tablet covered in sand; on which the calculations could be made and erased easily.[36] Once this had been calculated, the astrologer was then able to interpret the horoscope. Most of these interpretations were based on the zodiac in literature. For example, there were several manuals on how to interpret each zodiac sign, the treatise relating to each individual sign and what the characteristics of these zodiacs were.[36]

Early modern[edit]

A volvella of the moon. A volvella is a moveable device for working out the position of the Sun and Moon in the zodiac, 15th century

An example of the use of signs as astronomical coordinates may be found in the Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris for the year . The "Longitude of the Sun" columns show the sign (represented as a digit from 0 to and including 11), degrees from 0 to 29, minutes, and seconds.[40]

The zodiac symbols are Early Modern simplifications of conventional pictorial representations of the signs, attested since Hellenistic times.[citation needed]

Twelve signs[edit]

Main article: Astrological sign

What follows is a list of the signs of the modern zodiac (with the ecliptic longitudes of their first points), where 0° Aries is understood as the vernal equinox, with their Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and Babylonian names. But note that the Sanskrit and the name equivalents (after c BC) denote the constellations only, not the tropical zodiac signs. Also, the "English translation" isn't usually used by English speakers. Latin names are standard English usage.

The following table compares the Gregorian dates on which the Sun enters a sign in the Ptolemaic tropical zodiac, and a sign in the sidereal system proposed by Cyril Fagan.

The zodiac signs in a 16th-century woodcut

The beginning of Aries is defined as the moment of vernal equinox, and all other dates shift accordingly.[45] The precise Gregorian times and dates vary slightly from year to year as the Gregorian calendar shifts relative to the tropical year. These variations remain within less than two days' difference in the recent past and the near-future, vernal equinox in UT always falling either on 20 or 21 March in the period of to , falling on 19 March in the last time and in the next. Except for and , the vernal equinox has started on 20 March since , and is projected to until [46]

Depiction of the southern hemisphere constellations in an 11th-century French manuscript (from the Limogesarea, probably in the milieu of Adémar de Chabannes, fl. &#;)

As each sign takes up exactly 30 degrees of the zodiac, the average duration of the solar stay in each sign is one twelfth of a sidereal year, or standard days. Due to Earth's slight orbital eccentricity, the duration of each sign varies appreciably, between about days for Sagittarius and about days for Pisces (see also equation of time). In addition, because the Earth's axis is at an angle, some signs take longer to rise than others, and the farther away from the equator the observer is situated, the greater the difference. Thus, signs are spoken of as "long" or "short" ascension.[51]


Equirectangular plot of declination vs right ascension of the modern constellations with a dotted line denoting the ecliptic. Constellations are colour-coded by family and year established. (detailed&#;view)
18th c. star map illustrating how the feet of Ophiuchuscross the ecliptic.

In tropical astrology, the zodiacal signs are distinct from the constellations associated with them, not only because of their drifting apart due to the precession of equinoxes but also because the physical constellations take up varying widths of the ecliptic, so the Sun is not in each constellation for the same amount of time.[52]:&#;25&#; Thus, Virgo takes up 5 times as much ecliptic longitude as Scorpius. The zodiacal signs are an abstraction from the physical constellations, and each represent exactly one 12th of the full circle, but the time spent by the Sun in each sign varies slightly due to the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit.

Sidereal astrology remedies this by assigning the zodiac sign approximately to the corresponding constellation. This alignment needs re calibrating every so often to keep the alignment in place.

The ecliptic intersects with 13 constellations of Ptolemy's Almagest,[53] as well as of the more precisely delineated IAU designated constellations. In addition to the twelve constellations after which the twelve zodiac signs are named, the ecliptic also intersects Ophiuchus,[54] the bottom part of which interjects between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Occasionally this difference between the astronomical constellations and the astrological signs is mistakenly reported in the popular press as a "change" to the list of traditional signs by some astronomical body like the IAU, NASA, or the Royal Astronomical Society. This happened in a report of the BBC Nine O'Clock News and various reports in and [55][56][57]

Some "parazodiacal" constellations are also touched by the paths of the planets, leading to counts of up to 25 "constellations of the zodiac".[58] The ancient Babylonian MUL.APIN catalog lists Orion, Perseus, Auriga, and Andromeda. Modern astronomers have noted that planets also pass through Crater, Sextans, Cetus, Pegasus, Corvus, Hydra, and Scutum; with Venus very rarely passing through Aquila, Canis Minor, Auriga, and Serpens.[58]

Astrophotos of the twelve zodiac constellations

Some other constellations are also mythologically associated with the zodiacal ones: Piscis Austrinus, The Southern Fish, is attached to Aquarius. In classical maps, it swallows the stream poured out of Aquarius' pitcher, but perhaps it formerly just swam in it. Aquila, The Eagle, was possibly associated with the zodiac by virtue of its main star, Altair.[citation needed]Hydra in the Early Bronze Age marked the celestial equator and was associated with Leo, which is shown standing on the serpent on the Dendera zodiac.[citation needed]Corvus is the Crow or Raven mysteriously perched on the tail of Hydra.

Precession of the equinoxes[edit]

Further information: Axial precession, Epoch (astronomy), Sidereal and tropical astrology, Astrological age, and Ayanamsa

Path taken by the point of the March equinoxalong the ecliptic over the past 6, years

The zodiac system was developed in Babylonia, some 2, years ago, during the "Age of Aries".[60] At the time, it is assumed, the precession of the equinoxes was unknown. Contemporary use of the coordinate system is presented with the choice of interpreting the system either as sidereal, with the signs fixed to the stellar background, or as tropical, with the signs fixed to the point (vector of the Sun) at the March equinox.[61]

Western astrology takes the tropical approach, whereas Hindu astrology takes the sidereal one. This results in the originally unified zodiacal coordinate system drifting apart gradually, with a clockwise (westward) precession of degrees per century.

For the tropical zodiac used in Western astronomy and astrology, this means that the tropical sign of Aries currently lies somewhere within the constellation Pisces ("Age of Pisces").

The sidereal coordinate system takes into account the ayanamsa, ayan meaning transit or movement, and amsa meaning small part, i.e. movement of equinoxes in small parts. It is unclear when Indians became aware of the precession of the equinoxes, but Bhaskara 2's 12th-century treatise Siddhanta Shiromani gives equations for measurement of precession of equinoxes, and says his equations are based on some lost equations of Suryasiddhanta plus the equation of Munjaala.

The discovery of precession is attributed to Hipparchus around BC. Ptolemy quotes from Hipparchus' now lost work entitled "On the Displacement of the Solstitial and Equinoctial Points" in the seventh book of his 2nd century astronomical text, Almagest, where he describes the phenomenon of precession and estimates its value.[27] Ptolemy clarified that the convention of Greek mathematical astronomy was to commence the zodiac from the point of the vernal equinox and to always refer to this point as "the first degree" of Aries.[62] This is known as the "tropical zodiac" (from the Greek word trópos, turn)[63] because its starting point revolves through the circle of background constellations over time.

The principle of the vernal point acting as the first degree of the zodiac for Greek astronomers is also described in the 1st century BC astronomical text of Geminus of Rhodes. Geminus explains that Greek astronomers of his era associate the first degrees of the zodiac signs with the two solstices and the two equinoxes, in contrast to the older Chaldean (Babylonian) system, which placed these points within the zodiac signs.[62] This illustrates that Ptolemy merely clarified the convention of Greek astronomers and did not originate the principle of the tropical zodiac, as is sometimes assumed.

Ptolemy also demonstrates that the principle of the tropical zodiac was well known to his predecessors within his astrological text, the Tetrabiblos, where he explains why it would be an error to associate the regularly spaced signs of the seasonally aligned zodiac with the irregular boundaries of the visible constellations:

The beginnings of the signs, and likewise those of the terms, are to be taken from the equinoctial and tropical points. This rule is not only clearly stated by writers on the subject, but is also especially evident by the demonstration constantly afforded, that their natures, influences and familiarities have no other origin than from the tropics and equinoxes, as has been already plainly shown. And, if other beginnings were allowed, it would either be necessary to exclude the natures of the signs from the theory of prognostication, or impossible to avoid error in then retaining and making use of them; as the regularity of their spaces and distances, upon which their influence depends, would then be invaded and broken in upon.[29]

In modern astronomy[edit]

Astronomically, the zodiac defines a belt of space extending 8°[64] or 9° in celestial latitude to the north and south of the ecliptic, within which the orbits of the Moon and the principal planets remain.[65] It is a feature of the ecliptic coordinate system – a celestial coordinate system centered upon the ecliptic, (the plane of the Earth's orbit and the Sun's apparent path), by which celestial longitude is measured in degrees east of the vernal equinox (the ascending intersection of the ecliptic and equator).[66] The zodiac is narrow in angular terms because most of the Sun's planets have orbits that have only a slight inclination to the orbital plane of the Earth.[67] Stars within the zodiac are subject to occultations by the Moon and other solar system bodies. These events can be useful, for example, to estimate the cross-sectional dimensions of a minor planet, or check a star for a close companion.[68]

The Sun's placement upon the vernal equinox, which occurs annually around 21 March, defines the starting point for measurement, the first degree of which is historically known as the "first point of Aries". The first 30° along the ecliptic is nominally designated as the zodiac sign Aries, which no longer falls within the proximity of the constellation Aries since the effect of precession is to move the vernal point through the backdrop of visible constellations (it is currently located near the end of the constellation Pisces, having been within that constellation since the 2nd century AD).[69] The subsequent 30° of the ecliptic is nominally designated the zodiac sign Taurus, and so on through the twelve signs of the zodiac so that each occupies 1/12th (30°) of the zodiac's great circle. Zodiac signs have never been used to determine the boundaries of astronomical constellations that lie in the vicinity of the zodiac, which are, and always have been, irregular in their size and shape.[65]

The convention of measuring celestial longitude within individual signs was still being used in the midth century,[70] but modern astronomy now numbers degrees of celestial longitude continuously from 0° to °, rather than 0° to 30° within each sign.[71] This coordinate system is primary used by astronomers for observations of solar system objects.[72]

The use of the zodiac as a means to determine astronomical measurement remained the main method for defining celestial positions by Western astronomers until the Renaissance, at which time preference moved to the equatorial coordinate system, which measures astronomical positions by right ascension and declination rather than the ecliptic-based definitions of celestial longitude and celestial latitude.[69]

The word "zodiac" is used in reference to the zodiacal cloud of dust grains that move among the planets, and the zodiacal light that originates from their scattering of sunlight.[73]

Unicode characters[edit]

In Unicode, the symbols of zodiac signs are encoded in block "Miscellaneous Symbols":[47]

  1. U+ &#x;ARIES (HTML )
  2. U+ &#x;TAURUS (HTML )
  5. U+C LEO (HTML )
  6. U+D VIRGO (HTML )
  7. U+E LIBRA (HTML )
  10. U+ &#x;CAPRICORN (HTML )
  11. U+ &#x;AQUARIUS (HTML )
  12. U+ &#x;PISCES (HTML )

There is also a character defined Ophiuchus: U+26CE ⛎OPHIUCHUS (HTML )

See also[edit]


  1. ^"zodiac". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 September
  2. ^Because the signs are each 30° in longitude but constellations have irregular shapes, and because of precession, they do not correspond exactly to the boundaries of the constellations after which they are named.
  3. ^Noble, William (), "Papers communicated to the Association. The Signs of the Zodiac.", Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 12: –, BibcodeJBAAN
  4. ^Leadbetter, Charles (), A Compleat System of Astronomy, J. Wilcox, London, p.&#;94; numerous examples of this notation appear throughout the book.
  5. ^See MUL.APIN. See also Lankford, John; Rothenberg, Marc (). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  6. ^Ptolemy, Claudius (). The Almagest. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN&#;. Translated and annotated by G. J. Toomer; with a foreword by Owen Gingerich.
  7. ^Shapiro, Lee T. "Constellations in the zodiac." NASA. 27 April
  8. ^B. L. van der Waerden, "History of the zodiac", Archiv für Orientforschung16 () –
  9. ^OED, citing J. Harris, Lexicon Technicum (): "Zodiack of the Comets, Cassini hath observed a certain Tract [] within whose Bounds [] he hath found most Comets [] to keep."
  10. ^&#;One or more of the preceding sentences&#;incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain:&#;Clerke, Agnes Mary (). "Zodiac". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th&#;ed.). Cambridge University Press. p.&#;
  11. ^Britton, John P. (), "Studies in Babylonian lunar theory: part III. The introduction of the uniform zodiac", Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 64 (6): –, doi/SZ, JSTOR&#;, S2CID&#;,
  12. ^Steele, John M. () [], A Brief Introduction to Astronomy in the Middle East (electronic&#;ed.), London: Saqi, ISBN&#;
  13. ^Plait, Phil (26 September ), "No, NASA hasn't changed the zodiac signs or added a new one", Bad Astronomy
  14. ^Sachs (), p.
  15. ^Aaboe, Asger H. (), Episodes from the Early History of Astronomy, New York: Springer, pp.&#;37–38, ISBN&#;
  16. ^ abcRochberg, Francesca (), Babylonian Horoscopes, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 88, American Philosophical Society, pp.&#;i–, doi/, JSTOR&#;
  17. ^Aaboe, Asger H. (), Episodes from the Early History of Astronomy, New York: Springer, pp.&#;41–45, ISBN&#;
  18. ^E.W. Bullinger, The Witness of the Stars
  19. ^D. James Kennedy, The Real Meaning of the Zodiac.
  20. ^Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Vol. 1 (New York: Dover Publications, , p. ) argued for Scorpio having previously been called Eagle. for Scorpio.
  21. ^Rogers, John H. "Origins of the ancient constellations: I. The Mesopotamian traditions." Journal of the British Astronomical Assoc. (): 9– Astronomical Data Service.
  22. ^Rogers, John H. "Origins of the ancient constellations: II. The Mesopotamian traditions." Journal of the British Astronomical Assoc. (): 79– Astronomical Data Service.
  23. ^Powell, Robert, Influence of Babylonian Astronomy on the Subsequent Defining of the Zodiac (), PhD thesis, summarized by anonymous editor, Archived 21 May at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^Montelle, Clemency (), "The Anaphoricus of Hypsicles of Alexandria", in Steele, John M. (ed.), The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ancient World, Time, Astronomy, and Calendars: Texts and Studies, 6, Leiden: Brill, pp.&#;–, ISBN&#;
  25. ^Saliba, George, A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam. New York: New York University Press. ISBN&#; Page
  26. ^Derek and Julia Parker, Ibid, p16,
  27. ^ abGraßhoff, Gerd (). The History of Ptolemy's Star Catalogue. Springer. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  28. ^Evans, James; Berggren, J. Lennart (). Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena. Princeton University Press. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  29. ^ abAshmand, J. M. Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. Astrology Classics. p.&#;37 (I.XXV).
  30. ^James Mill (). The History of British India. Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. p.&#;
  31. ^Schmidt, Robert H. "The Relation of Hellenistic to Indian Astrology". Project Hindsight. Retrieved 4 July
  32. ^Dalal, Roshen (). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books India. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  33. ^King, David. 'Angers Cathedral’, (book review of Karine Boulanger's book, Les Vitraux de la Cathédrale d’Angers, the 11th volume of the Corpus Vitrearum series from France), Vitemus: the only on-line magazine devoted to medieval stained glass, Issue 48, February , retrieved 17 December
  34. ^ abcdAyduz, Salim (). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam. Oxford University Press.
  35. ^Andalusi, Salem (). Science in the medical world: 'Book of the categories of nations. Austin: University of Texas Press. p.&#;XXV.
  36. ^ abcdSardar, Marika. "Astronomy and Astrology in the Medieval Islamic World". Met Museum.
  37. ^Varisco, Daniel Martin (). Selin, Helaine (ed.). Astronomy Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Astrology. Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  38. ^WInterburn, Emily (August ). "Using an Astrolabe"(PDF). Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation: 7.[dead link]
  39. ^ abSaliba, George (). "The Role of the Astrologer in Medieval Islamic Society". Bulletin d'études orientales. 44: JSTOR&#;
  40. ^Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris for the year . London: Board of Longitude,
  41. ^MUL.APIN; Peter Whitfield, History of Astrology (); W. Muss-Arnolt, The Names of the Assyro-Babylonian Months and Their Regents, Journal of Biblical Literature ().
  42. ^"ccpo/qpn/Agru[1]". oracc.iaas.upenn.edu.
  43. ^Alternative form: ΣκορπίωνSkorpiōn. Later form (with synizesis): Σκορπιός.
  44. ^American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 3rd ed., s.v. "Pisces."
  45. ^""Why is the vernal equinox called the "First Point of Aries" when the Sun is actually in Pisces on this date?" | Planetarium | University of Southern Maine". usm.maine.edu. Retrieved 9 February
  46. ^See Jean Meeus, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon, and Planets, published by Willmann-Bell, Inc., Richmond, VirginiaArchived 9 April at the Wayback Machine. The date in other time zones may vary.
  47. ^ ab"Zodiacal symbols in Unicode block Miscellaneous Symbols"(PDF). The Unicode Standard.
  48. ^Powell, Robert (). History of the Zodiac. Sophia Academic Press. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  49. ^Dates are for a typical year; actual dates may vary by a day or so from year to year.
  50. ^Not in use in either astronomy or mainstream astrology, based on Cyril Fagan, Zodiacs Old and New ().
  51. ^Julia Parker "The Astrologer's Handbook", pp 10, Alva Press, NJ,
  52. ^James, Edward W. (). Patrick Grim (ed.). Philosophy of science and the occult. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN&#;.
  53. ^Peters, Christian Heinrich Friedrich and Edward Ball Knobel. Ptolemy's Catalogue of Stars: a revision of the AlmagestArchived 29 August at the Wayback Machine. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Ptolemy () [2nd cent.]. "VII.5". In R. Catesby Taliaferro (ed.). Almagest. p.&#; Ptolemy refers to the constellation as Septentarius "the serpent holder".
  54. ^Tatum, Jeremy B. (June ). "The Signs and Constellations of the Zodiac". Journal of the Royal Society of Canada. (3): BibcodeJRASCT.
  55. ^Kollerstrom, N. (October ). "Ophiuchus and the media". The Observatory. KNUDSEN; OBS. : – BibcodeObsK.
  56. ^The notion received further international media attention in January , when it was reported that astronomer Parke Kunkle, a board-member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, had suggested that Ophiuchus was the zodiac's "13th sign". He later issued a statement to say he had not reported that the zodiac ought to include 13 signs instead of 12, but was only mentioning that there were 13 constellations; reported in Mad Astronomy: Why did your zodiac sign change? 13 January
  57. ^Plait, Phil (26 September ). "No, NASA Didn't Change Your Astrological Sign".
  58. ^ abMosley, John (). "The Real, Real Constellations of the Zodiac". International Planetarium Society. Retrieved 21 March
  59. ^ abThe Real Constellations of the Zodiac. Lee T. Shapiro, director of Morehead Planetarium University of North Carolina (Spring )
  60. ^Sachs, Abraham (), "A Classification of the Babylonian Astronomical Tablets of the Seleucid Period", Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp.&#;–
  61. ^Rochberg, Francesca (), "Babylonian Horoscopes", American Philosophical Society, New Series, Vol. 88, No. 1, pp i
  62. ^ abEvans, James; Berggren, J. Lennart (). Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena. Princeton University Press. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  63. ^"tropo-". Dictionary.com. Random House, Inc. Retrieved 21 May
  64. ^Holmes, Charles Nevers (November ). "The Zodiac". Popular Astronomy. 22: – BibcodePAH.
  65. ^ abEncyclopædia Britannica. "Zodiac". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 7 May
  66. ^Encyclopædia Britannica. "Ecliptic". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 7 May
  67. ^"Zodiac". Cosmos. Swinburne University of Technology. Retrieved 31 May
  68. ^"International Occultation Timing Association". 18 December Retrieved 6 March
  69. ^ abEncyclopædia Britannica. "Astronomical map". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 7 May
  70. ^G. Rubie (). The British Celestial Atlas: Being a Complete Guide to the Attainment of a Practical Knowledge of the Heavenly Bodies. Baldwin & Cradock. p.&#;
  71. ^The Astronomical Almanac for the Year , Washington D. C.: U.S. Government Publishing Office, October , pp.&#;C6–C21, ISBN&#;
  72. ^Clark, Alan T.; et&#;al. (). Observing Projects Using Starry Night Enthusiast (eighth&#;ed.). W. H. Freeman. p.&#; ISBN&#;.
  73. ^Licquia, Timothy C.; Newman, Jeffrey A.; Brinchmann, Jarle (August ). "Unveiling the Milky Way: A New Technique for Determining the Optical Color and Luminosity of Our Galaxy". The Astrophysical Journal. (1): arXiv BibcodeApJL. doi/X//1/ S2CID&#;

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac

Astrological sign

Not to be confused with Constellations.

"Birth sign" redirects here. For the album by George Freeman, see Birth Sign (album).

Twelve 30° sectors of the ecliptic, as defined by Western astrology

In Western astrology, astrological signs are the twelve 30 degree sectors that make up Earth's degree orbit around the Sun. The signs enumerate from the first day of spring known as the First Point of Aries which is the vernal equinox. The Western astrological signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. The Western zodiac originated in Babylonian astrology, and was later influenced by Hellenistic culture. Each sign was named after a constellationthe sun annually moved through while crossing the sky. This observation is emphasized in the simplified and popular sun sign astrology. Over the centuries, Western astrology's zodiacal divisions have shifted out of alignment with the constellations they were named after by axial precession[1] while Hindu astrology measurements correct for shifting.[2]Astrology has developed in Chinese and Tibetan cultures as well.

Astrology is a pseudoscience.[3] Scientific investigations of the theoretical[4] basis and experimental verification of claims[5] have shown it to have no scientific validity or explanatory power.

According to astrology, celestial phenomena relate to human activity on the principle of "as above, so below", so that the signs are held to represent characteristic modes of expression.[6] Modern discoveries about the nature of celestial objects have undermined the theoretical basis for assigning meaning to astrological signs, and empirical scientific investigation has shown that predictions and recommendations based on these systems are not accurate.[7]:&#;85,&#;&#;[8]:&#;&#; Scientific astronomy used the same sectors of the ecliptic as Western astrology until the 19th century.

Various approaches to measuring and dividing the sky are currently used by differing systems of astrology, although the tradition of the Zodiac's names and symbols remain mostly consistent. Western astrology measures from Equinox and Solstice points (points relating to equal, longest, and shortest days of the tropical year), while Hindu astrology measures along the equatorial plane (sidereal year).

Western zodiac signs[edit]


Main articles: Zodiac and History of astrology

Further information: Babylonian astrology, Hellenistic astrology, and Ancient Egyptian astronomy

The twelve ecliptic signs. Each dot marks the start of a sign and they are separated by 30°. The intersection of the celestial equator and the ecliptic define the equinoctial points: First Point of Aries (Aries.svg) and First Point of Libra (Libra.svg). The great circlecontaining the celestial poles and the ecliptic poles (P and P'), intersect the ecliptic at 0° Cancer (Cancer.svg) and 0° Capricorn (Capricorn.svg). In this illustration, the Sun is schematically positioned at the start of Aquarius (Aquarius.svg).

Western astrology is a direct continuation of Hellenistic astrology as recorded by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. Hellenistic astrology in turn was partly based on concepts from Babylonian tradition. Specifically, the division of the ecliptic in twelve equal sectors is a Babylonian conceptual construction.[9]

By the 4th century BC, Babylonian astronomy and its system of celestial omens influenced the culture of ancient Greece, as did the astronomy of Egypt by late 2nd century BC. This resulted, unlike the Mesopotamian tradition, in a strong focus on the birth chart of the individual and the creation of Horoscopic astrology, employing the use of the Ascendant (the rising degree of the ecliptic, at the time of birth), and of the twelve houses. Association of the astrological signs with Empedocles' four classical elements was another important development in the characterization of the twelve signs.

The body of the Hellenistic astrological tradition as it stood by the 2nd century is described in Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. This is the seminal work for later astronomical tradition not only in the West but also in India and the Islamic sphere and has remained a reference for almost seventeen centuries as later traditions made few substantial changes to its core teachings.

Western astrological correspondence chart[edit]

The following table shows the approximate dates of the twelve astrological signs, along with the classical[10] and modern[11] rulerships of each sign. By definition, Aries starts at the First Point of Aries which is the location of the Sun at the March equinox. The precise date of the Equinox varies from year to year but is always between 19 March and 21 March. The consequence is the start date of Aries and therefore the start date of all the other signs can change slightly from year to year. The following Western astrology table enumerates the twelve divisions of celestial longitude with the Latin names. The longitude intervals, are treated as closed for the first endpoint (a) and open for the second (b) – for instance, 30° of longitude is the first point of Taurus, not part of Aries. The signs are occasionally numbered 0 through 11 in place of symbols in astronomical works.

The 12 astrological signs represented by their symbols

The twelve signs each have opposites, resulting in six opposite couples. Fire and air elements are opposites, and earth and water elements are opposites.[12] Spring signs are opposite to autumn ones, winter signs are opposite to summer ones and vice versa.[13][14][15][16]

  • Aries is opposite to Libra
  • Taurus is opposite to Scorpio
  • Gemini is opposite to Sagittarius
  • Cancer is opposite to Capricorn
  • Leo is opposite to Aquarius
  • Virgo is opposite to Pisces


In Western astrology, the polarity divides the zodiac in half and refers to the alignment of a sign's energy as either positive or negative, with various attributes associated to them as a result.[17]Positive polarity signs, also called active, yang, expressive, or masculine signs, are the six odd-numbered signs of the zodiac: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius. Positive signs make up the fire and air triplicities.[18][19]Negative polarity signs, also called passive, yin, receptive, or feminine signs,[18] are the six even-numbered signs of the zodiac: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces. Negative signs make up the earth and water triplicities.[19]

The three modalities[edit]

The modality or mode of a given sign refers to its position in the season it is found in. Each of the four elements manifests in three modalities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable.[20] Since each modality comprehends four signs, they are also known as Quadruplicities.[21][22] For example, the sign Aries is found in the first month of spring in the Western Hemisphere, so practitioners of astrology describe it as having a cardinal modality. The combination of element and modality provides the signs with their unique characterizations. For instance, Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign, impressing its association with action (cardinal modality) in the material world (earth element).[24][25][26]

ModalitySymbol[27]Keywords[28][29]Fire signsWater signsAir signsEarth signs
CardinalCardinal symbol.svgAction, dynamic, initiative, great forceAriesCancerLibraCapricorn
FixedFixed symbol.svgResistance to change, great willpower, inflexibleLeoScorpioAquariusTaurus
MutableMutable symbol.svgAdaptability, flexibility, resourcefulnessSagittariusPiscesGeminiVirgo

Triplicities of the four elements[edit]

Main article: Triplicity

Further information: Classical element

The planets' sign positions on May 16, The signs are colored according to the associated element. Each planet is represented by a glyphnext to its longitude within the sign. Additional symbols may be added to represent apparent retrograde motion(Retrograde-symbol.svg), or apparent stationary moment (shift from retrograde to direct, or vice versa: S).

The Greek philosopher Empedocles identified fire, earth, air, and water as elements in the fifth-century BC. He explained the nature of the universe as an interaction of two opposing principles, love and strife, manipulate the elements into different mixtures that produce the different natures of things. He stated all the elements are equal, the same age, rule their own provinces, and possess their own individual character. Empedocles said that those born with nearly equal proportions of the elements are more intelligent and have the most exact perceptions.[30][31]

The elemental categories are called triplicities because each classical element is associated with three signs[21][22] The four astrological elements are also considered as a direct equivalent to Hippocrates' personality types (sanguine = air; choleric = fire; melancholic = earth; phlegmatic = water). A modern approach looks at elements as "the energy substance of experience"[32] and the next table tries to summarize their description through keywords.[33][34] The elements have grown in importance and some astrologers begin natal chart interpretations by studying the balance of elements in the location of planets (especially the Sun's and Moon's ascendant signs) and the position of angles in the chart .[35]

Polarity Element Symbol[36]Keywords Sign triplicity
Positive FireAlchemy fire symbol.svgAssertion, drive, willpower Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
AirAlchemy air symbol.svgCommunication, socialization, conceptualization Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Negative EarthAlchemy earth symbol.svgPracticality, caution, material world Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
WaterAlchemy water symbol.svgEmotion, empathy, sensitivity Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Celestial body rulerships[edit]

See also: Domicile (astrology)

Representation of the western astrological signs in a Acta Eruditorumtable illustration

Rulership is the connection between planet and correlated sign and house.[37] The conventional rulerships are as follows: Aries (Mars), Taurus (Venus), Gemini (Mercury), Cancer (Moon), Leo (Sun), Virgo (Mercury), Libra (Venus), Scorpio (Pluto), Sagittarius (Jupiter), Capricorn (Saturn), Aquarius (Uranus), and Pisces (Neptune).[10][38]

Dignity and detriment, exaltation and fall[edit]

A traditional belief of astrology, known as essential dignity, is the idea that the Sun, Moon, and planets are more powerful and effective in some signs than others because the basic nature of both is held to be in harmony. By contrast, they are held to find some signs to be weak or difficult to operate in because their natures are thought to be in conflict. These categories are Dignity, Detriment, Exaltation, and Fall.

  • Dignity and Detriment: A planet is strengthened or dignified if it falls within the sign that it rules. In other words, it is said to exercise Rulership of the sign. For example, the Moon in Cancer is considered "strong" (well-dignified). If a planet is in the sign opposite which it rules (or is dignified in), it is said to be weakened or in Detriment (for example, the Moon in Capricorn). This may also be termed a "debility".[39]

In traditional astrology, other levels of Dignity are recognised in addition to Rulership. These are known as Exaltation, Triplicity, Terms or bounds, and Face or Decan, which together are known as describing a planet's Essential dignity, the quality or ability of one's true nature.[39]

  • Exaltation and Fall: A planet is also strengthened when it is in its sign of exaltation. In traditional horary astrology, this denotes a dignity just less than rulership. Exaltation was considered to give the planet's significance(s) the dignity of an honoured guest: the centre of attention but constrained in power. Examples of planets in their Exaltation are: Saturn (Libra), Sun (Aries), Venus (Pisces), Moon (Taurus), Mercury (Virgo, although some disagree with this classification), Mars (Capricorn), Jupiter (Cancer). A planet in the opposite sign of this is in its fall, and thus weakened, perhaps more than Detriment.[39] There is discord as to the signs in which the two extra-Saturnian planets may be considered to be exalted.[40]

The following table summarizes the positions described above:

In addition to essential dignity, the traditional astrologer considers Accidental dignity of planets. This is placement by house in the chart under examination. Accidental dignity is the planet's "ability to act." So we might have, for example, Moon in Cancer, dignified by rulership, is placed in the 12th house it would have little scope to express its good nature.[41] The 12th is a cadent house as are the 3rd, 6th and 9th and planets in these houses are considered weak or afflicted. On the other hand, Moon in the 1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th would be more able to act as these are Angular houses. Planets in Succedent houses of the chart (2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th) are generally considered to be of medium ability to act. Besides Accidental Dignity, there are a range of Accidental Debilities, such as retrogradation, Under the Sun's Beams, Combust, and so forth.

Additional classifications[edit]

Further information: Decans

Equirectangular plot of declination vs right ascension of the modern constellations with a dotted line denoting the ecliptic. Constellations are colour-coded by family and year established. (detailed&#;view)

Each sign can be divided into three 10° sectors known as decans or decanates, though these have fallen into disuse. The first decanate is said to be most emphatically of its own nature and is ruled by the sign ruler.[42] The next decanate is sub-ruled by the planet ruling the next sign in the same triplicity. The last decanate is sub-ruled by the next in order in the same triplicity.[43]

While the element and modality of a sign are together sufficient to define it, they can be grouped to indicate their symbolism. The first four signs, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer, form the group of personal signs. The next four signs, Leo, Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio form the group of interpersonal signs. The last four signs of the zodiac, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, form the group of transpersonal signs.[44]

Dane Rudhyar presented the tropical zodiac primary factors,[45] used in the curriculum of the RASA School of Astrology. The tropical zodiac is the zodiac of seasonal factors as opposed to the sidereal zodiac (constellation factors). The primary seasonal factors are based on the changing ratio of sunlight and darkness across the year. The first factor is whether the chosen time falls in the half of the year when daylight is increasing, or the half of the year when darkness is increasing. The second factor is whether the chosen time falls in the half of the year when there is more daylight than darkness, or the half when there is more darkness than daylight. The third factor is which of the four seasons the chosen time falls in, defined by the first two factors. Thus[46][47]

  • The winter season is when daylight is increasing and there is more darkness than daylight.
  • The spring season is when daylight is increasing and there is more daylight than darkness.
  • The summer season is when darkness is increasing and there is more daylight than darkness.
  • The autumn season is when darkness is increasing and there is more darkness than daylight.

Western sign gallery[edit]

  • Aries at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Taurus at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Gemini at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Cancer at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Leo at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Virgo at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Libra at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Scorpio at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Sagittarius at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Capricornus at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Aquarius at the Wisconsin State Capitol

  • Pisces at the Wisconsin State Capitol

Indian astrology[edit]

Further information: Hindu astrology

In Indian astrology, there are five elements: fire, earth, air, water, and ether. The master of fire is Mars, while Mercury is of earth, Saturn of air, Venus of water, and Jupiter of ether.

Jyotish astrology recognises twelve zodiac signs (Rāśi),[48] that correspond to those in Western astrology. The relation of the signs to the elements is the same in the two systems.


Main article: Nakshatra

A nakshatra (Devanagari: नक्षत्र, Sanskritnakshatra, a metaphorical compound of naksha- 'map/chart', and tra- 'guard'), or lunar mansion, is one of the 27 divisions of the sky identified by prominent star(s), as used in Hindu astronomy and astrology (Jyotisha).[49] "Nakshatra" in Sanskrit, Kannada, Tulu and Tamil also, thus, refers to stars themselves.

Chinese zodiac signs[edit]

Main article: Chinese zodiac

Chinese astrological signs operate on cycles of years, lunar months, and two-hour periods of the day (also known as shichen). A particular feature of the Chinese zodiac is its operation in a year cycle in combination with the Five Phases of Chinese astrology (Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Earth).[50] Nevertheless, some researches say that there is an obvious relationship between the Chinese year cycle and zodiac constellations: each year of the cycle corresponds to a certain disposal of Jupiter. For example, in the year of Snake Jupiter is in the Sign of Gemini, in the year of Horse Jupiter is in the Sign of Cancer and so on. So the Chinese year calendar is a solar-lunar-jovian calendar.

Zodiac symbolism[edit]

The following table shows the twelve signs and their attributes.

Sign Yin/Yang Direction Season Fixed Element Trine
RatYang North Mid-Winter Water 1st
OxYin North Late Winter Earth 2nd
TigerYang East Early Spring Wood 3rd
RabbitYin East Mid-Spring Wood 4th
DragonYang East Late Spring Earth 1st
SnakeYin South Early Summer Fire 2nd
HorseYang South Mid-Summer Fire 3rd
SheepYin South Late Summer Earth 4th
MonkeyYang West Early Autumn Metal 1st
RoosterYin West Mid-Autumn Metal 2nd
DogYang West Late Autumn Earth 3rd
PigYin North Early Winter Water 4th

The twelve signs[edit]

Chart showing the 24 cardinal directions and the symbols of the sign associated with them.

In Chinese astrology, the zodiac of twelve animal signs represents twelve different types of personality. The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat, and there are many stories about the Origins of the Chinese Zodiac which explain why this is so. When the twelve zodiac signs are part of the year calendar in combination with the four elements, they are traditionally called the twelve Earthly Branches. The Chinese zodiac follows the lunisolarChinese calendar[51] and thus the "changeover" days in a month (when one sign changes to another sign) vary each year. The following are the twelve zodiac signs in order.[52]

  1. 子Rat (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water): Rat years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Rat also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Rat are 11pm – 1am.
  2. 丑Ox (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Earth:[53]Ox years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Ox also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Ox are 1am – 3am.
  3. 寅Tiger (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Tiger years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Tiger also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Tiger are 3am – 5am.
  4. 卯Rabbit (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Rabbit Years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Rabbit also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Rabbit are 5am – 7am.
  5. 辰Dragon (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Earth[53]): Dragon years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Dragon also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Dragon are 7am – 9am.
  6. 巳Snake (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Snake years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Snake also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Snake are 9am – 11am.
  7. 午Horse (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Horse years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Horse also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Horse are 11am – 1pm.
  8. 未Goat (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Earth[53]): Goat years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Goat also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Goat are 1pm – 3pm.
  9. 申Monkey (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Monkey years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Monkey also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Monkey are 3pm – 5pm.
  10. 酉Rooster (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Rooster years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Rooster also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Rooster are 5pm – 7pm.
  11. 戌Dog (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Earth[53]): Dog years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Dog also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Dog are 7pm – 9pm.
  12. 亥Pig (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water): Pig years include , , , , , , , , , , , The Pig also corresponds to a particular month in the year. The hours of the Pig are 9pm – 11pm.

The five elements[edit]

  • Wood: The wood person has high morals, is self-confident, expansive and co-operative, with wide and varied interests and idealistic goals. The direction associated with Wood is East, and the season is spring, which makes it the fixed element for the animal signs Tiger and Rabbit.[53]
  • Fire: The fire person has leadership qualities, dynamic passion, and is decisive, self-confident, positive, and assertive. The direction associated with Fire is South, and the season is summer, which makes it the fixed element for the animal signs Snake and Horse.[53]
  • Earth: The earth person is serious, logical and methodical, intelligent, objective and good at planning. The direction associated with Earth is Center. The season for Earth is the changeover point of the four seasons. It is the fixed element for the animal signs Ox, Dragon, Goat and Dog.[53]
  • Metal: The metal person is sincere, has fixed values and opinions, is strong of will, and has eloquence of speech. The direction associated with Metal is West. The season for Metal is Autumn. It is the fixed element for the animal signs Monkey and Rooster.[53]
  • Water: The water person is persuasive, intuitive, and empathetic. The water person is objective and often sought out for their counsel. The direction associated with water is North. The season for Water is Winter. It is the fixed element for the animal signs Rat and Pig.[53]

The five elements operate together with the twelve animal signs in a year calendar. The five elements appear in the calendar in both their yin and yang forms and are known as the ten Celestial stems. The yin/yang split seen in the Gregorian calendar means years that end in an even number are Yang (representing masculine, active, and light), those that end with an odd number are Yin (representing feminine, passive and darkness), subject to Chinese New Year having passed.[53]


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  10. ^ abCarol Wills (). "Rulerships". astrologynow.com. Retrieved
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  12. ^"Opposition". dichesegnosei.it (in Italian).
  13. ^"The element of Air". dichesegnosei.it (in Italian).
  14. ^"The element of Fire". dichesegnosei.it (in Italian).
  15. ^"The element of Water". dichesegnosei.it (in Italian).
  16. ^"The element of Earth". dichesegnosei.it (in Italian).
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  26. ^As used in Sepharial's "The Manual of Astrology"-Brazilian edition () by Editora Nova Fronteira S/A, Rio de Janeiro
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  28. ^Arroyo (), p. 30
  29. ^Charlie Higgins (). "Astrology and The Four Elements". Archived from the original on Retrieved
  30. ^Ajay Mohan (). "Astrology and The Four Elements". Archived from the original on Retrieved
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  32. ^Arroyo (), pp. 30–34
  33. ^Hone (), p. 42
  34. ^Arroyo () pp.&#;–
  35. ^Glyphs from the alchemical symbology.
  36. ^Hone (), p. 22
  37. ^Shamos, Geoffery (). "Astrology as a Social Framework: The 'Children of Planets', –". Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. 7 (4): – doi/jsrnc.v7i
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  39. ^Hone (), p.
  40. ^"Accidental Dignity". www.gotohoroscope.com. Astrological Dictionary – 26 November
  41. ^Hone (), p.&#;87
  42. ^Hone (), p.&#;88
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  44. ^Rudhyar ()
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  47. ^Sutton () pp. 74–
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  52. ^ abcdefghijChinese Astrology: Exploring the Eastern Zodiac by Shelly Wu


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Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrological_sign

Signs character zodiac

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