What is a Zodiac Sign?
The Zodiac originated as a device for measuring time. No one knows how it first became involved in the classification of personalities or attempts to predict the future, although the first known personal horoscope dates back to 410 BC and the zodiac certainly existed by 500 BC.
The Zodiac Signs surround the Earth. Each is identified by a grouping of stars which, over the centuries, have been assembled into patterns (constellations) that roughly outline the symbols of each sign.
In Western, or occidental, terms, you are classified as one of 12 monthly Sun Signs that are named after gods and beasts of ancient legends. All of the Signs are believed to bestow different characteristics to an individual.
Tropical Zodiac and Sidereal Zodiac
Horoscopes are based on two types of zodiacs. Vedic astrology is dependent on the sidereal zodiac, while western astrology follows the tropical zodiac. Sidereal astrology follows the original constellations upon which the zodiac signs are based. Tropical astrology, on the other hand, uses the tropics as a point of reference.
Several millennia since early astrologers plotted the star signs, the tropics are said to have drifted away from the constellations due to the precession of the equinoxes.
Unlike its sidereal counterpart, tropical zodiacs are said to have a more symbolic or metaphoric meaning. The star signs of the sidereal astrology are more instrinsic in meaning.
In terms of planetary positioning, the sun at the vernal equinox is considered the first degree of the star sign Aries for the tropical zodiac. The result of these differing ways to read horoscopes and astrology shows that the zodiacal coordinating system drifts apart at an average annual velocity of about 1.4 degrees per century.
This change also accounts for the difference in dates associated with each star sign. For instance, Aries according to the tropical zodiac spans March 20 to April 19. For the sidereal zodiac, it starts on April 14 until May 14.
Understanding Sidereal Zodiac
The Vedic tradition of astrology uses sidereal zodiac which links the twelve signs of zodiac to their original constellations. The western horoscope, on the other hand, follows the topical zodiac. The difference is basically rooted in the precession of the equinoxes. Over the centuries, the twelve zodiac signs of the topical zodiac no longer correspond to the same part of the sky as their original constellation.
The mapping of the zodiacs in sidereal astrology is essentially different from topical zodiac, which makes the dates that are associated with the horoscopes different as well. word Tropic relates to the apparent reversal or turning of the direction of the sun. its highest or lowest point in the sky for the year.
The following list of dates and zodiac are the break down of the sidereal vs the tropical date of the constellations, This band is divided into equal 30º segments, each one of which corresponds to a fixed set of dates in the calendar year.
|Zodiac Sign||Tropical date||Sidereal Date|
|Aries||March 21 to April 20||April 15 to May 15|
|Taurus||April 21 to May 21||May 16 to June 15|
|Gemini||May 22 to June 21||June 16 to July 15|
|Cancer||June 22 to July 22||July 16 to August 15|
|Leo||July 23 to August 22||August 16 to September 15|
|Virgo||August 23 to September 23||September 16 to October 15|
|Libra||September 24 to October 23||October 16 to November 16|
|Scorpio||October 24 to November 22||November 16 to December 15|
|Sagittarius||November 23 to December 21||December 16 to January 14|
|Capricorn||December 22 to January 20||January 15 to February 14|
|Aquarius||January 21 to February 19||February 15 to March 14|
|Pisces||February 20 to March 20||March 15 to April 14|
What’s Your Zodiac sign?
When people ask this, they are usually asking what part of the zodiac the sun was in when you were born. Each sign has qualities unique to it, and when your sun (your fundamental nature) expresses itself, it will be in terms of these qualities.
The pages in this section describe some of the essential qualities of the Zodiac Signs, as well as associations which have been made over thousands of years of observation and study. Parallels are also drawn between different systems of human study, such as the Tarot and the Kabbalah.
It would be a mistake, however, to read your Sun Sign description and assume that it tells the whole story. The sun, although very powerful, is only one of the planets and luminaries, all of which have an influence on your personality. The sun sign forms a broad framework for understanding your basic nature, but the positions of the other heavenly bodies, particularly the moon, will determine how that sun energy is expressed.
Each of the planets represents an aspect of your personality. Where it lies in the zodiac and how it is placed in relation to the others determines whether you have an easy or a difficult time. An understanding of these dynamics can give you a valuable tool for knowing your strengths and weaknesses, so that in your day to day life you can build on the strengths and compensate for the weaknesses.
Understanding the dynamics is a complex process, but a rewarding one. If you cannot afford the years of study required, consultation with a professional astrologer will give you insights into your life that are beyond price.
How To Find Your Zodiac Sign?
You can find your Zodiac Sign by identifying where your birthday falls. If your birthday occurs on the beginning or ending date of a Sign, you are on the cusp and may be one sign or the other (depending on the time of day that the Sun moved into the new Sign and the time of day that you were born.)
The signs of the zodiac, determined by the day and month of a person’s birth, reveals certain human attitudes in which the person seeks to integrate, to express and to project themselves. Because the human being is complex, so then, is their horoscope. Because each chart contains hundreds of different influences, many of the general qualities assigned to a particular sign may not be readily apparent for every person born under that sign. However, there will still be a great deal of truth to be found for each person in these general qualities.
Remember that your Zodiac Sign descriptions apply to all born within the same period as you. The true nature of the individual is only revealed by interpretation of the birth chart (horoscope). Note also that the personality descriptions that we have provided are generalized and are meant to merely “open the door” to the complex and detailed practices of personal astrology.
A Quick Tour Through The Zodiac Signs
We all have all of the signs within us; just different measures of each, and a properly calculated and interpreted astrology chart shows us the energy balance of these signs within us. The birthchart also reveals the potentials we have as individuals and also the purpose for which we are most suited. Sun signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini etc) are very general. We all have a Moon sign, a Rising sign, a Mercury sign, and many many other components in our charts that describe the individuals that we are. Nevertheless, people of the same Star sign do have many character traits in common.
What follows is a very brief description of and journey through the 12 signs of the zodiac.
Aries Zodiac Sign
Aries is the 1st sign of the zodiac. The modality for Aries is cardinal and its element is fire. The Sun is in Aries from approximately March 21st to April 20th. Aries people are quick to start things. They are impulsive, headstrong and impatient. They make decisions quickly, and have a lot of enthusiasm. The keyphrase for Aries is I AM. Aries is concerned with self, and survival of self. Arians love a challenge.
Read more about Aries Sun Sign
Taurus Zodiac Sign
The 2nd sign of the zodiac. The modality for Taurus is fixed and its element is earth. The Sun is in Taurus from approximately April 21st to May 21st. The keyphrase for Taurus is I HAVE. Taureans collect possessions and like a lot of security and stability in their lives. Unlike Aries, Taurus is slow to start things, but is steady, determined, deliberate, sometimes stubborn, and a lot more likely to finish something that Aries may have started but not completed. Taureans don’t like to be hurried or pushed around. They enjoy the pleasures of life, and can be quite self indulgent at times.
Read more about Taurus Sun Sign
Gemini Zodiac Sign
The 3rd sign of the zodiac. The modality for Gemini is mutable and its element is air. The Sun is in Gemini from approximately May 22nd to June 21st. Gemini‘s keyphrase is I THINK. Gemini is the sign of the twins, and Gemini can be many different people at once. As a man I know once said of his Gemini wife: “I am never sure of who I will wake up with the next morning”. Gemini’s tend to change moods and personalities often. They are usually quick and intelligent, and very versatile. Gemini rules the conscious mind, which tends to be very changeable.
Read more about Gemini Sun Sign
Cancer Zodiac Sign
The 4th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Cancer is cardinal and its element is water.The Sun is in Cancer from approximately June 22nd to July 22nd. Cancer‘s keyphrase is I FEEL. Cancer is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac. As Cancer is the sign of motherhood, the Cancerian person’s parents, especially the mother, and the home and family are very important to him or her. Cancerians are very moody people. And also very sympathetic, protective and nurturing. Their minds are strongly influenced by their feelings.
Read more about Cancer Sun Sign
Leo Zodiac Sign
The 5th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Leo is fixed and its element is fire. The Sun is in Leo from approximately July 23th to August 22nd. The Leo keyphrase is I WILL. Leo’s are strong, bold and courageous. They are usually warm, sunny, funloving and generous people. Leo’s often choose the wrong partner and end up with a broken heart. But they always survive, and bounce back to love again. Leo is the sign of Kings and Queens, and they are proud, dignified, confident people. Leo’s symbol is the lion, which is the king of the animal kingdom.
Read more about Leo Sun Sign
Virgo Zodiac Sign
The 6th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Virgo is mutable and its element is earth. The Sun is in Virgo from approximately August 23rd to September 23rd. The Virgo keyphrase is I PERFECT. Virgo’s are precise, very analytical and usually quite sharp mentally. They sometimes overload their minds with worry and stress in trying to attain perfection and by focusing on too many details. But they are usually hard workers, and tend to do a job properly. Virgo’s often have healing skills, and an ability with health foods and nutrition. Because they criticize themselves too much, they often criticize others also. But they are systematic, logical, down to earth people with many practical skills.
Read more about Virgo Sun Sign
Libra Zodiac Sign
The 7th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Libra is cardinal and its element is air. The Sun is in Libra from approximately September 24 to October 23rd. Libra‘s keyphrase is I BALANCE. Librans strive to be fair, and try to maintain a harmonious balance amongst other people, and within their own lives. They are diplomatic, friendly, and good at forming relationships with all sorts of people. They have an appreciation of the arts and culture. They love the luxuries of life – so much so that they are sometimes quite self-indulgent. Libran’s have a strong sense of justice, and expect themselves and others to be treated fairly.
Read more about Libra Sun Sign
Scorpio Zodiac Sign
The 8th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Scorpio is fixed and its element is water. The Sun is in Scorpio from approximately October 24 to November 22. Scorpio is the most intense sign in the zodiac. The keyphrase for Scorpio is I DESIRE. Scorpio’s are always deep, and often secretive. They feel the events of life very intensely. They tend to build a strong shield of defense because they are so sensitive underneath, but don’t like to show this “weakness” on the surface of their personalities. They tend to seek revenge on anyone that has hurt them until they learn to transform their personalities and use their power in a spiritual way. They may travel to hell and back before achieving this. Scorpio rules Birth, Death, Sexuality, Regeneration and Recycling.
Read more about Scorpio Sun Sign
Sagittarius Zodiac Sign
The 9th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Sagittarius is mutable and its element is fire. The Sun is in Sagittarius from approximately November 23rd to December 21. The Sagittarian keyphrase is I SEE. Sagittarians like to understand the truth about life, and pursue this truth physically through overseas travel, and mentally by studying different ideas and philosophies. Sagittarians don’t like too many boundaries or restrictions in life, and insist on personal freedom. Sagittarians are usually open and honest. But sometimes they fail to practise what they preach, or perhaps make promises that they don’t keep. This of course all depends on their level of personal spiritual development. They are generally goodhearted, generous people. Sagittarians are optimistic, and tend to create their own “good luck”.
Read more about Sagittarius Sun Sign
Capricorn Zodiac Sign
The 10th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Capricorn is cardinal and its element is earth. The Sun is in Capricorn from approximately December 22 to January 20. The Capricorn keyphrase is I USE. They are practical people who are good at making the most of the resources that are available around them. They are serious and ambitious people, but tend to come up against hardships, boundaries, limitations and restrictions in life. Yet, their perseverance gets them through many obstacles, and they learn many valuable lessons on the journey. Capricorns may end up teaching their wisdom to others in later life. They are good organisers, and work hard for their successes in life. They are able to carry a lot of responsibility.
Read more about Capricorn Sun Sign
Aquarius Zodiac Sign
The 11th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Aquarius is fixed and its element is air. The Sun is in Aquarius from approximately January 21st to February 19th. The Aquarian keywords are I KNOW. Aquarians receive intuitive insights about the future, and therefore may seem odd or out of place within current society, as they tend to follow their own vision rather than the prevailing trends within society. Aquarians love knowledge, analyzing, and using their minds, but sometimes need to develop their emotional natures a little more. Aquarians often rebel against convention in order to maintain their individuality, but at the same time they have a lot of love for the group as a whole. The Aquarian symbol is the water carrier – Aquarians fill their water jugs up with spiritual knowledge, and then share what they have found with people by pouring their knowledge out over all of humanity. Aquarians are always looking for more freedom than society currently has to offer.
Read more about Aquarius Sun Sign
Pisces Zodiac Sign
The 12th sign of the zodiac. The modality for Pisces is mutable and its element is water. The Sun is in Pisces from approximately February 20 to March 20. The keyphrase for Pisces is I BELIEVE. Pisceans tend to have a lot of faith, and plenty of compassion. This is the last sign of the zodiac, and Pisces is made up of the previous eleven signs that came before it. Pisceans can relate to all sorts of people and their problems, as if they have already been through all of these lessons. Pisces is the sign of universal love, and Pisceans can be very loving in an unconditional way. A negative expression of Pisces energy is indulging in drink, drugs, and feeling sorry for oneself. Positive Piscean expressions are forgiveness, developing a deep spirituality, and demonstrating universal compassion and love for others. Pisceans are quite psychic, and often experience E.S.P., or vivid dreams. Pisces is a very creative and often artistic sign. And so ends our brief tour of the zodiac.
Read more about Pisces Sun Sign
To read more about the characteristics that correspond to your Zodiac Sign, please click the appropriate link.