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Astrology & the signs of the Zodiac: Your birth sign details

Updated on February 14, 2015
Astrology: Signs of the Zodiac etching
Astrology: Signs of the Zodiac etching | Source

The Western world has been fascinated with Astrology since Roman times. This essay takes a brief look at the signs of the Zodiac, giving details about each birth sign.

The twelve signs of the Zodiac originate from the Babylonian division of the heavens into twelve 30˚ segments, which were based upon the apparent course of the Sun throughout the year. As time progressed the Babylonian representation of the zodiac was embraced and enhanced by a number of cultures. Greek and Roman philosophers and academics welcomed the science of astrology, which was held in great esteem, and the casting of personal horoscopes and birth charts soon became commonplace.

Reading personal, daily horoscopes and understanding the traits common to individual birth signs is common practice in the modern world. A short description of the twelve signs of the Zodiac and the associated, astrological characteristics for people born under each sign follows.

Aries
Aries | Source

Aries: March 21 - April 20

Aries (The Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac and a typical birthsign trait is to consider oneself a leader of the pack. In general, an Aries prefers to initiate tasks rather than complete them, so if you need a project kickstarting consult an Aries individual, however don’t expect them to stay the course and finish job. Personal magnetism, pioneering, energy and enthusiasm are all traits of the Aries individual, which belongs to the Fire element and signifies ability to jump wholeheartedly into new ventures. Impulsiveness, independence, vitality and drive signify Aries characters who are ruled by the planet Mars, the Roman god of war. Some of the negative characteristics associated with the sign are arrogance and a tendency towards a domineering personality. Socially you can expect an Aries to be a well-loved, but competitive, member of social groups, while romantically they can be playful and ardent lovers.

Taurus
Taurus | Source

Taurus: April 21 - May 21

Taurus (The Bull) loves reward of any kind, whether physical pleasures or material goods, the Taurean revels in excess. Taurus is a Sun sign and renowned for its love of comfort and ease, with a delight in sensuality. Love of the arts and perhaps even creating their own art is a typical Taurean trait. You can expect Taurus individuals to be a little bull-headed and stubborn, as these are fixed qualities of the star sign, so persistence is one admirable symbol of the typical Taurean, who also tend to be reliable and practical. Taurus is ruled by Venus, the ancient Roman goddess of love, beauty and pleasure. Taureans want beauty in their lives, epitomised by a happy home life, in a stable relationship. Harmony in personal life is an essential feature for Taureans, who will work hard to keep their mates content, having traits of romanticism and loyalty. The element associated with Taurus is Earth, with a tendency for practical and conservative natures. Although renowned for their patient nature, the Bulls can be argumentative when roused, although subside quickly too. As Taureans are fairly strong characters they often enjoy hiking or mountain climbing, where they can be close to the earth. In romance, Taureans can be devoted, romantic and a little possessive.

Gemini, the constellation
Gemini, the constellation | Source

Gemini: May 22 - June 21

Gemini, The Twins, is an Air sign and renowned for its love of people and chatting. Geminis are intellectuals and forever in search of information. Geminis tend to be bright and quick-witted and love to be the centre of attention in social situations. Their intellectual natures mean that The Twins sign individuals are quick to see both sides of issues and arguments, although they can often be considered fickle and restless. The Gemini character is renowned for changing its mood or mind, often on a whim, and is also adaptable but generally displays a lack of follow-through and determination. Geminis are ruled by Mercury, the messenger god of Roman mythology, and can be curious and clever, charming and congenial. Usually Geminis prize intellect, considering it the key to all things, and are clear thinkers within the workplace, although they may not take a lead role in projects. In personal relationships, Geminis are able to bring objective reasoning and logical thought to bear, thus can be perceived as cold or unemotional. Physically Geminis enjoy team sports, whether tennis or volleyball, but are just as keen on indoor games and activities. In romance, Geminis tend to be playful and flirtatious and have great ability for effective communication love of companionship.

Cancer, the Crab
Cancer, the Crab | Source

Cancer: June 22 - July 22

Cancer, The Crab, is a water sign and common traits for the sign include possessing highly emotional natures and being caring, generous and intuitive. Cancer individuals are renowned for being highly evolved, spiritual beings with refinement of spirit. Adaptability is key to the Cancer character, who may also act as a great support for family and friends. Cancer individuals often ignore their own judgment, or the advice of others, and act on intuition. Nurturing is just one element of Cancer characters, indicating that they often achieve success in the caring professions. Cancerians may often be receptive to the environment and other people around and their intuitive ability often leads them to absorb and reflect the emotions of others. Social success and creative enterprises often go hand in hand for many Cancer characters, who are also renowned homemakers and often good businesspeople. Cancer is ruled by the Moon. In romance Cancer characters are steadfastly loyal and an intriguing mix of toughness, romanticism and softness.

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Leo
Leo | Source

Leo: July 23 - August 22

Leo, The Lion, is a Sun sign and loves being the centre of attention. Leos often have immense personal magnetism, ambition and strength of purpose, and can also be creative. Acting is a popular profession for the Leo individual, as they love being in the limelight and have talent and a flair for the dramatic. Leo individuals are dignified and strong and display leadership skills such as drive and power. Leos sometimes have a tendency to be overbearing and a little autocratic, opinionated and set in their ways. Leo is ruled by the Sun and Lions are outgoing, self-assured with enormous zest for life. The element associated with Leo is Fire with individual characteristics being fearlessness and impetuosity. Enjoyment of fun and playing sports is a typical Leo characteristic, whatever the game. In romance Leos are true romantics with a healthy dose of added fun.

Virgo sign
Virgo sign | Source

Virgo: August 23 - September 23

Virgo, The Virgin, characters may be characterised by modesty and humanity and are renowned as being exacting and a little “picky”, showing great attention to detail. Virgos may be industrious, methodical and efficient and may work in professions geared towards the greater good. Virgos tend to be practical and logical, often excelling at fact-finding. Virgo is ruled by Mercury and a Virgo's brain may be in overdrive much of the time. Virgos can be studious, analytical and able communicators, although they have a tendency towards scepticism. Virgo is an Earth element, so Virgo characters tend to be grounded and fairly easy going, although they do enjoy material possessions and are very discriminating. Exercise and physical work outs are essential to Virgo characters as they like to be at peak fitness levels. In romance Virgos are devoted lovers, although they may be prone to jealousy at times. The greatest Virgo strengths are their characteristics of practicality, sharp minds and keen attention to detail, which combines with their willingness to serve.

Libra: September 23 - October 23

Libra, The Scales, is ruled by Venus, the Roman goddess of love and Librans are symbolic of partnership-oriented characters. Librans are associated with the Air element, and hate being alone, although they also have a tendency towards developing the higher mind. Librans are the epitome of harmony and a sense of fair play. Librans are team players at work, but make fantastic marriage partners. Libras hate conflict and have objective natures, always investigating every angle to achieve a sense of peace, although this may often give an appearance of indecisiveness. Librans are good organisers and strategists and expert at completing jobs. Librans are sociable and may often be cultured and refined, displaying a love of beautiful things and attractive people. Some of the more negative characteristics of Librans can be the tendency to become apathetic and lazy. When it comes to physical activity, the Librans sporting activity needs to have an element of the social about it, so gym membership is an ideal leisure activity, although they also love walking and the outdoors. In romance Librans display immense loyalty and devotion to their chosen partners.

Libra
Libra | Source
Scorpio sign in architecture
Scorpio sign in architecture | Source

Scorpio: October 24 - November 22

Scorpio, The Scorpion, is a Water sign, ruled by Mars and Pluto, the gods of war, and one of the most common traits of Scorpios is their immense curiosity. For Scorpios the world is viewed in black and white, with little concern for greys, and they are probing people with a love of investigation and keen sense of intuition. Scorpio characters are in control of their own destiny and, although others may find them overbearing at times, they have a determination to succeed that often results in success. Intense, passionate and motivated characters, Scorpios are complex individuals who can also be secretive, suspicious, bad tempered and even vengeful. Scorpio is not a typical Water sign, although individuals may be emotional, it is unlikely they will display this fact. To the Scorpion, emotions are better being repressed and displayed on another day. Their lack of fear means any losses will always be recouped as they are simply an opportunity for future victories. When the Scorpio feels slighted they may often take insignificant matters and turn them into huge insults and their capacity towards vindictive natures can drive their desire for revenge. When it comes to physical activities Scorpios excel at competitive events and extreme sports can be very compulsive for them. In romance Scorpios can be caring and devoted partners, with a tendency towards clinginess.

Sagittarius: November 23 - December 21

Sagittarius, The Archer, is ruled by Jupiter, ancient Roman king of the gods, and, as such, some of the traits of Sagittarians are generosity, clear-thinking and intellectualism. Sagittarians seek out the truth and have a broad-minded approach to life, often with a quest to find the meaning of life. Downsides to the birthsign are that Sagittarians can be argumentative, impatient and plain spoken. Sagittarians may often be lucky in life and are willing to take a gamble in many aspects of life. Sagittarius is a Fire element, so a further aspect of their character is the propensity to flit from activity to activity, as life is all about activity and adventure, hopefully leading to conclusions. In sport, Sagittarians are often athletic and enjoy challenging activities, such as boat racing or climbing. When it comes to romance the Sagittarian is playful and flirtatious and generally takes the lead.

Sagittarius mosaic in Naples

Sagittarius
Sagittarius | Source
Capricorn
Capricorn | Source

Capricorn: December 22 - January 20

Capricorn, The Goat, is a Sun sign and individual traits include: realism; dedication, ambition; and capacity for hard work. Capricorns want to gain success in their chosen field of work and can be domineering or egotistical in their route to the top. Although they have immense ambition to succeed, Capricorns are patient and can be conventional in their attitude towards business and life in general. They understand that playing it safe may often be the best way to eventually succeed in life. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the ancient Roman father to many of the gods. Capricorn is an Earth element and individuals are not interested in wild ideas or daydreams. They are the businesspeople of the zodiac, dedicated to getting a job done in the best way possible. Capricorns tend to enjoy leisurely sporting activities, such as golf and in romance tend to be devoted and steadfast companions.

Aquarius
Aquarius | Source

Aquarius: January 21 - February 19

Aquarius, The Water Bearer of Byzantine astrologers, is an Air sign and displays traits of humanity, philanthropy and a sincere urge to make the world a better place for everybody. Aquarians are sociable characters and keen to share their thoughts and ideas with others. They can become impatient or temperamental when thwarted however. Aquarians tend to be individualists who may enjoy travel, they can be sympathetic, although they do like to get their own way. The planetary rulers are Saturn and Uranus and the combination of planetary energies ensures Aquarians love to think and have visionary spirits. They have been accused, however, of being unpredictable, impersonal and at times cold in their approach to the world.

Aquarians enjoy team sports and also have a liking for swimming, in romance they are playful lovers without a hint of jealousy.

Pisces
Pisces | Source

Pisces: February 20 - March 20

Pisces, The Fishes, is a Water element sign and the final sign of the zodiac, combining many of the characteristics of the preceding signs. Common traits of Pisceans include emotionalism, helpfulness, spirituality, generosity and focus on their own inner journey. Many Pisceans are extremely intuitive and as Pisces is a water sign, it is easy to say that a common characteristic is the ability to “go with the flow” epitomised by an easy-going nature. The representation of two fish for the sign indicates a certain duality within Pisces individuals, which is in keeping with their introspective abilities. One drawback for generous Pisces individuals is that their often timid character leads them to be taken advantage of by others. It is also possible for Pisces characters to fall into states of melancholy, pessimism and lethargy. Pisces is ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, rulers of the Roman gods and the seas, and their energies can lead to Pisceans attaining quite high levels in the arts and creative activities. Water sports are the preferred leisure activity of many Pisceans who swim for relaxation and to relieve stress. In love, Pisceans are caring and romantic and make gentle and creative partners.

Zodiac signs in India
Zodiac signs in India | Source

© 2014 Dawn Denmar

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