The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac - Horoscope Signs in Zodiac Astrology
"'We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else." - Carl Jung
The twelve signs of the zodiac in western astrology are understood by many people to imply that there are only twelve kinds of people on the planet. Thus, many dismiss horoscopes entirely as too general to be useful. We've all read our sun sign horoscope and wondered how it could apply to everyone born in a given month. In truth, our astrological makeup is comprised of much more than our sun sign. It follows that, while sun sign horoscopes are the most common type of horoscope, they are perhaps the least useful. There are many astrological influences that can offer insight into our personality and inner experiences. Still, sun sign horoscopes are somewhat useful and are a good starting point to understanding astrology and the zodiac.
Few who have ever considered interpretations of the signs would dispute from experience the fact that knowing that someone is a Virgo or a Pisces, for example, can be a useful tool for understanding more about that person. Sagittarius is very different from Aries, as Leo is from Gemini or Cancer is from Capricorn. Taurus differs from Aquarius, as Libra does from Scorpio.
Sun signs can help you understand more about yourself. There are many other factors, but we'll begin by describing what a sun sign is and what it is usually interpreted to signify in astrology and horoscope forecasts.
What are Sun Signs?
In western astrology, a sun sign represents the constellation where the sun is located in a person's birth (natal) chart. During a given astrological month, the position of the sun lies within the same astrological constellation for every person born during that month everywhere on the planet. This is why everyone born in a given month has the same sun sign.
While this is very important and generally grasped, there is far greater complexity in astrology, just as the universe is complex and human beings are infinitely unique. In fact, the characteristics, traits and influences of all twelve zodiac signs are present in every individual. Each person's natal chart is as unique as every individual. How can this be?
Astrology was born from astronomy. The constellations were given names when the heavens were mapped and the zodiac is comprised of the twelve constellations corresponding to the signs. The map of the universe contains the twelve signs of the zodiac, generally drawn as a circle with 360º representing the earth, with your location and the horizon as an orientation point. The twelve signs are divisions of the circle. Each of the twelve divisions is known as a "house". The motion of the constellations across the sky around the earth is as constant as the earth's motion, but ever-changing. The earth itself is a fixed reference point.
All celestial bodies are in constant motion, and the movement of the planets, sun, moon and stars is ever changing. However, at the moment of a person's birth, depending upon the exact location, i.e. latitude and longitude, the relative position of every planet and other heavenly bodies can be precisely known. The location of each planet, the aspects and angles of the planets to one another and the location of the moon have a bearing on a person's unique astrology and horoscopes. To get the clearest picture, it is useful to have a natal chart cast. These are freely available and it can be worthwhile to obtain an in-depth analysis from a professional astrologer. Some astrologers offer natal horoscopes and free birth chart analysis, which provide horoscope forecasts, predictions and interpretations based on your exact time and place of birth.
Two people born in the same exact place at the same exact time would have identical natal charts, but of course they wouldn't be precisely the same person! Many influence outside of astrology determine a person's makeup. The universe is not entirely deterministic. Quantum physicists think of things as more probabilistic. While there is nature, all would agree that nurture plays an important role in a person's psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual composition. Astrology influences, but it doesn't dictate. Many different astrological influences are at work at any given time, and we all have free will to heed or ignore them.
The other major signs are interpreted based upon the planet on the horizon and location of the moon at the time of a person's birth in the place they are born. These are known respectively as the rising sign, or ascendant, and the moon sign.
What are Rising Signs and Ascendants?
Your rising sign, or ascendant, represents your personality and is determined by the planet on the horizon on the day you were born in the place you were born. This changes approximately every hour. Knowing the month, day, time and city of your birth, astrologers can determine which planet was on the horizon and thus determine your rising sign and ascendant, which are synonyms.
Most astrologers will tell you that your rising sign is as important as your sun sign. While the sun sign represents a person's inner self and inner experience of life, the rising sign is generally interpreted as your outwardly appearing self.
Many people, when guessing a person's sun sign, might actually infer their rising sign and ascendant as they are so closely related to personality. Many things about a person that aren't explained by birth sign are revealed by their rising sign.
What are Moon Signs?
As you may have guessed, your moon sign is calculated like your sun sign and represents the constellation in astrology in which the moon was located at the place and time of your birth.
The moon's influence on earth is great. Just think of the tides. No less great is the moon's influence on people, over 70% comprised of water! We've all heard of lunatics, which comes from luna, meaning moon, and werewolves changing under the full moon. Symbols such as these remind us of just how closely tied the moon's cycle of waxing and waning over the course of each month can be to our emotional, psychological and physical state. Problems tend to come to a head and issues reach their culmination at the full moon. The new moon is thought to represent fresh beginnings.
In this vein, a person's moon sign is considered in astrology to be closely tied to their emotional makeup and feelings.
The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac
The astrological year, unlike the calendar year, begins in Spring at the vernal equinox with the sign of Aries, symbolized by the Ram. Taurus follows Aries and is symbolized by the Bull, running April 21st through May 21.
Taurus is followed by Gemini, symbolized by the Twins lasting from May 22 through June 22. Cancer, the Crab follows Gemini and begins June 23 ending July 23.
Cancer is followed by Leo the Lion, which is ruled by the Sun itself, on July 24. Virgo follows Leo and is the sixth sign of the zodiac. Virgo coincides with the harvest running August 24 - September 23 and is symbolized by the Virgin.
Libra's month is September 24 - October 23, symbolized by the Scales. Interestingly, Libra is the only inanimate symbol in the entire zodiac!. Scorpio, symbolized by the Scorpion runs from October 24 through November 22.
Sagittarius, the Archer, runs from November 23 - December 21 following Scorpio, right around the time of the winter solstice. Capricorn, The Goat, kicks off the winter.
After Capricorn, Aquarius is symbolized by the Water Bearer, running from January 21 - February 19. Following Aquarius, Pisces the Fish ends the astrological year running February 20 - March 20.
Each of the twelve zodiac signs are shown below. Click on any of the signs to reach a detailed description. Daily horoscope forecasts, weekly horoscopes, love horoscopes, your monthly horoscope and 2017 horoscope forecasts are also available. Zodiac sign horoscope compatibility can be explored too!
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Favorite Astrology Quote: "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and
the stars. You have a right to be here. And whether or not it is
clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." - Max Ehrman