Astrology: The 12 Signs of the Zodiac

Historical Background

The stars in the sky have been there for billions of years, but it was only in the 2nd century that the Babylonians began to arrange a system to interpret them. This was done by constituting celestial omens related to one’s birth. Over the years, the system evolved into the present astrological system, which originated in Asian and Middle Eastern cultures.

Astrology provided the very first evidence of astronomy in the history of mankind. The first recordings of the movements of the sun, moon, and the planets were made to predict the future. It was also related to the seasons and used to predict the output of a harvest. There are three types of astrology in existence today, namely, the Vedic astrology, Chinese astrology, and Western astrology. Among these, the Western astrology is the most common form, and it is used by many people who wish to take a peek into their future. This system has twelve signs of zodiac, which represent the twelve basic traits of human beings, and they are:

Aries – The Ram (March 21 to April 19)

This is the very first zodiac sign. The glyph of Aries is a Ram, and its origin is shrouded in mystery. The symbol saw its very first appearance in Ancient Egypt. The planetary ruler of Aries is Mars, and the God of War in Greek mythology was called Ares. Aries personalities are enthusiastic and sociable in nature, and they make good politicians or business leaders.

Taurus – The Bull (April 20 to May 20)

The glyph of Taurus represents the bull, and it symbolizes love and peace, which is surprisingly the opposite of the nature of a bull. People born under this sign are dedicated, patient, and practical in nature. Though friendly in nature, they can be forceful at times.

Gemini – The Twins (May 21 to June 20)

The glyph of Gemini is the twins Pollux and Castor, who were heroic brothers in Greek mythology. The ruler of Gemini is Mercury, which symbolizes communication, intelligence, innocence, and eloquence. Gemini people are very sociable and popular.

Cancer – The Crab (June 21 to July 22)

The glyph of Cancer is a crab, and it was assigned by the ancient Assyrians who believed that a crab carries its home on its back. The ruler of cancer is the moon, which is in turn the ruler of emotions. People under this sign are extremely emotional and they enjoy staying at home.

Leo – The Lion (July 23 to August 22)

The glyph of Leo is a Lion, which is the king of the jungle. Therefore, people who are under this sign are born leaders. The ruler of Leo is the sun. Just as the sun is the center of the solar system, Leos are the center of everyone’s attention.

Virgo – The Virgin (August 23 to September 22)

The glyph of Virgo is a virgin, which is a symbol of justice and purity. The planetary ruler of Virgo is Mercury, which is the same as that of Gemini. Therefore, people born under these two signs get along very well. Virgos are very meticulous in whatever they do. They are practical and intelligent, and they tend to be modest when they achieve something. They are also perfectionists, which can be both a positive and negative trait.

Libra – The Scales (September 23 to October 22)

The glyph of Libra is balance scales, which denotes that Libra falls during equinox when day and night are equally distributed over time. The ruler of Libra is Venus, and therefore, Librans are the most romantic people. They are also emotional and kind in nature as well as generous and companionable. They never make anyone feel lonely, even if they don’t like the person.

Scorpio – The Scorpion (October 23 to November 21)

The glyph of Scorpio is a scorpion, which symbolizes power and fertility. This complex sign has two planetary rulers, which are Mars and Pluto. As such, those who are born under this sign possess the power and passion of Mars, as well as the secrecy and mystery of Pluto. They like to be in control of themselves as well as others, and they are determined, intuitive, and passionate all at the same time.

Sagittarius – The Archer (November 22 to December 21)

The glyph of Sagittarius is represented by Centaur, who is a half-man and half-horse with a bow and arrow. The symbol represents wisdom and intellect. The planetary ruler of Sagittarians is Jupiter, which symbolizes largeness, and therefore, people born under this sign are big-hearted and well-built.

Capricorn – The Goat (December 22 to January 19)

The glyph of Capricorn is a mythical being that is half-goat and half-fish, a creature that was derived from Greek mythology. According to a story, Bacchus was threatened by a monster, and he disguised himself as a fish underwater and a goat on ground. The planetary ruler of Capricorn is Saturn, which represents sacrifice and sin. People who are born under this sign are workaholics, but they are also very caring and sensitive. They are intelligent, and they have respect for tradition.

Aquarius – The Water Bearer (January 20 to February 18)

The glyph of Aquarius represents a young boy pouring water. This boy is Ganymede, who was so handsome that Greek gods assigned him the job of bearing water for them. The planetary rulers of Aquarius are Uranus and Saturn. Aquarians are humanitarian in nature, and they are very sensitive to other people’s needs and problems. They are level-headed and fiercely independent.

Pisces – The Fish (February 19 to March 20)

The glyph of Pisces is two fish facing opposite directions, which symbolizes dual nature. This symbol was also derived from Greek mythology, where Cupid and Venus were attacked by a monster and they disguised themselves as fish to save themselves. There are two planetary rulers of Pisces, namely, Jupiter and Neptune, and they represent emotion and imagination respectively. As a result, people who are born under this sign are extremely sensitive and very creative. Pisceans have a happy disposition, but they can be overly emotional too.

Though astrology requires a lot of research to arrive at accurate predictions, it is not considered a science in itself. It has gained importance over the years, and many cultures have accepted it as a separate subject of interest.

Check out the following links to know more about astrology and its history:

  • Astrology: A comprehensive account of the history of astrology.

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