Astrology is one of the most ancient arts in the world
There are many moving parts and SO many elements to Astrology, but the most foundational, are the 12 signs of the zodiac.
What is the Zodiac?
Ancient astrologers segmented the skies into 12 basic parts. These are known as the “signs” and together, form the “zodiac”. Often confused with the constellations (which is easy to do, seeing as they share the same names) the 12 zodiac signs are actually segments of space. (want to know more about why they share the same name but aren’t the same? READ THIS).
Each of these 12 zodiac signs has a particular energetic frequency, a “flavor” with its own special themes and influences. It’s a little like walking through different neighborhoods in your town, or through the rooms in your house – they have different moods, are decorated or built differently and serve a very different purpose to the whole.
What do the Zodiac Signs DO?
The energy of each zodiac sign is transmitted, or infused into a planet (or another celestial body), house or significant point in space (like an aspect) which happens to fall within it.
This is true for daily life (like when Mercury moves through Pisces and communication gets imaginative!) Or in your natal chart, where the Sun may have been transiting Leo, lending you a big firey burst of passion that you carry through your life with you. So the Zodiac has a personal, and collective influence.
About Modality and Elements
Within the Zodiac, the signs are split into groups. These groups are modality, and element.
Modality refers to how the sign operates, and the way it moves energy. There are 3 modalities: Cardinal, fixed, and mutable.
Cardinal Signs: Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn
- These signs are initiators.
- When the Sun enters into each of these signs, a new season is being ushered in. They lead the way, have original ideas and tend to be the first to do something.
Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
- These signs are sustainers. When the Sun enters into each of them, we are midway through a season.
- Their energy tends to be consistent, devoted, and focused.
Mutable Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces
- These signs are flexible. When the Sun enters into one of them, the season is changing.
- This energy is varied, enjoys movement and deals well with change.
Element refers to the qualities that a sign holds. There are 4 elements: fire, earth, air, and water.
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- Fire signs are creative, passionate and temperamental.
- They can burn hot and wild, yet will not survive without the right fuel and nurturing.
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
- Earth signs are grounded, steady and reliable.
- They are masters in shaping physical reality, yet can be stubborn and materialistic.
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.
- Air signs are ideas-focused, communicative and need movement.
- They usually have a way with words and can be strategic and good planners.
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
- Water signs are emotion-focused, they are intuitive and sensitive.
- Their modus operandi tends to center around how they relate to others.
The Zodiac Signs
If you only know ONE thing about your personal astrology chart, it’s probably the sign that the Sun was in when you were born. Most people refer to this as their “Sun sign”, “star sign” or their “horoscope ”. Or you may simply know that you’re a Libra or an Aquarius.
But where your natal Moon sits, or your natal Mercury, Venus or Mars also has as big a bearing on your personal makeup. This is where astrology starts to get a little more involved, so for now let’s look at the 12 signs of the Zodiac, in relation the central star of our solar system: the Sun.
**Date ranges refer to when the Sun transits a sign.
Date Range: March 20 – April 20
Ruling Planet: Mars
Keywords: Initiating, pioneering, new beginnings, bravery, passionate, willful, spontaneous, strong
Date Range: May 21 – June 21
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Keywords: Sensual, physical, practical, sustaining, dependable, persistent, abundant, finances.
Date Range: May 22 – June 21
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Keywords: Communicative, connective, sociable, many ideas, quick, restless, changeable
Date Range: June 21 – July 22
Ruling Planet: The Moon
Keywords: Emotional, sensitive, caring, nurturing, intuitive, maternal, feminine, home.
Date Range: July 23 – August 23
Ruling Planet: The Sun
Keywords: Self-expression, courage, loyalty, love, creativity, generosity, empowerment.
Date Range: August 23 – September 22
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Keywords: Practical, organized, productive, analytic, service-oriented, health-focused.
Date Range: September 23 – October 23
Ruling Planet: Venus
Keywords: Balance, diplomacy, equality, sense of fairness, aesthetically-focused, beauty, love.
Date Range: October 24 – November 22
Ruling Planet: Pluto(traditionally Mars)
Keywords: Intensity, depth, mystery, transformation, intimacy, possession, power, sex, money.
Date Range: November 23 – December 21
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Keywords: Adventurous, expansive, philosophical, learning, teaching.
Date Range: December 22 – January 20
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Keywords: Long-term goals, investments, finances, commitment, rewards, maturity.
Date Range: 21 January – 18 February
Ruling Planet: Uranus (traditional ruler: Saturn)
Symbol: Water Bearer
Keywords: Rebellious, progressive, eccentric, emotional detachment, collaboration.
Date Range: 19 February – 20 March
Ruling Planet: Neptune
Keywords: Sensitive, intuitive, spiritual, subconscious, dreams, healing
So when you’re checking out your horoscope in that glossy magazine, this is what you’re looking at – your Sun sign. And it can only be so accurate – imagine the number of other humans born within the same 30-day window as you! So to gain a deeper understanding of your horoscope, you need to begin to get into the details. But for now, this is a great starting point.
Next, check out these posts:
One more thing to note: this is Western astrology.
There are other astrological systems, like Vedic astrology and Chinese astrology, and whilst there are overlaps between them, they aren’t the same.