26 February 2015

Astrology Lesson #01 ; The 12 Zodiac Signs


The polarities are a basic principle that divides the signs into positive and negative or masculine and feminine signs. These qualities are often misunderstood though, they neither have anything to do with good and bad nor do they have anything to do with gender identity.
It more so describes the polarity of yin and yang - receptive&passive and assertive&active, respectively.
Those are the best ways to describe the polarities, I think.

Elements (Quatriplicities)

The signs are then sub-divided into the elements. A signs element describes its basic nature.
The positive elements are fire and air and the negative elements are earth and water.

Fire: enrgetic, passionate, inspirational, motivational
Air: mental, intellectual, rational, curious, intellectual

Earth: physical, practical, reliable, down-to-earth
Water: emotional, feeling, compassionate, impressionable

Qualities (Triplicities)

In each set of elements, these three are then divided into one cardinal, one fixed and one mutable sign each. These quilities describe how the signs tend to act.

Cardinal: action-oriented, direct, leading
Fixed: security-oriented, rigid to change, traditional
Mutable: adaptable, flexible, open-minded

Since the signs are ordered through triplicites and quatriplicites, we get a 3x4 table that lists all the 12 resulting zodiac signs, each one having a specific combination of an element and a quality:

Above you can also see the symbols relating to the elements:
A triangle pointing upwards indicating masculine polarity, pointing downwards indicating feminine polarity

In the correct order of the zodiac wheel, it would look as follows:
  1. Aries; Cardinal Fire
  2. Taurus; Fixed Earth
  3. Gemini; Mutable Air
  4. Cancer; Cardinal Water
  5. Leo; Fixed Fire
  6. Virgo; Mutable Earth
  7. Libra; Cardinal Air
  8. Scorpio; Fixed Water
  9. Sagittarius; Mutable Fire
  10. Capricorn; Cardinal Earth
  11. Aquarius; Fixed Air
  12. Pisces; Mutable Water

The Zodiac Symbols

As you can see in the table above and on the list in the side, every zodiac sign has an ascribed symbol. These are the meanings of the respective symbols:

Aries - a source from which life springs, birth

Taurus - mother earth, the nurturing mother cow

Gemini - the dualism of night and day, light and dark, etc

Cancer - the ascending and descending, the cycles of the moon

Leo - symbol of sun, life, energy, immortality

Virgo - the time of reaping

Libra -scales or sunset, symbolizing harmony and balance

Scorpio - rune of death with a scorpions tail

Sagittarius - an arrow pointing to the sky, the pursuit of something higher

Capricorn - the symbol of the rising sun (winter solistice)

Aquarius - the forward-movement of water, infinite progression

Pisces - two fishes who are tied together but swim in opposing directions

The Zodiac Wheel

The zodiac signs are not actually organized in a list or table. The "zodiac" we are referring to when talking about the signs, is a circle or a wheel.
It is the division of the ecliptic into 12 equal parts.
The ecliptic is the apparent motion of the sun, meaning that, as seen from the earth, the sun travels across the sky throughout the year - this path that it apparently travels (although in reality it is the earth that travels around the sun) is called the ecliptic.
This 360° circle is divided into 12 equal parts of 30° each. These are the 12 zodiac signs.

It's important to realize that western tropical astrology (what we're talking about here) does not consider the actual constellations of stars when talking about zodiac signs.
It's merely parts of the sky that are fixed, dont change and do not disappear (contrary to stars) that were named after those constellations and are kind of permanent representations of them.

Astrology is not geocentric either. Although the sun is seen as moving through the sky when it comes to the idea of the ecliptic, this is merely because astrology is human-centric - it considers the celestial bodies in relation to the person on earth.
That is why knowing someone's time of birth as well as latitude and longitude of birthplace is crucial.

Astrology does not say that the earth is the center of the solar system. It says that the indvidual is the center of their own microcosm. If you were born on mars, your astrological chart would have mars as the center of the solar system.

The Seasons

As you know, the zodiac sign someone is born under depends on the day they were born, and these periods of the years are the zodiacal seasons.
Each season starts with a cardinal sign, proceeds with a fixed sign and finally ends and transitions with a mutable sign.
The zodiacal year starts with the Aries season, since this is the first sign of the zodiac and March 21st is the first day of spring!
As the earth travels around the sun throughout the year, the sun apparently travels through the sky as seen from the earth and therefore passes through all 12 zodiac signs on the ecliptic.
It takes the sun about 30 days to travel through a sign.
One sign makes up 30° of the ecliptic, meaning that the sun's apparent motion is ~1° a day.

Aries; 21 March - 19 April
Taurus; 20 April - 20 May
Gemini; 21 May - 20 June

Cancer; 21 June - 22 July
Leo; 23 July - 22 August
Virgo; 23 August - 21 September

Libra; 21 September - 23 October
Scorpio: 24 October - 21 November
Sagittarius; 22 November - 21 December

Capricorn; 22 December - 19 January
Aquarius; 20 January - 18 February
Pisces; 19 February - 20 March


The days for the zodiacal seasons are slightly off each year so it's best to have your exact sign properly calculated with a birth chart, considering the proper time of birth.
If someone was born while the signs were changing from one to another it is said that this person was born "on the cusp".
However, you can only ever be one sign - it's all a matter of precision when it comes to calculation - the time of birth has to be considered when you are born on the day the sun changes signs.

This sign is, however, merely the sign the sun was in during birth.
It's important to know and understand that the reason somebody identifies with more than one sign or doesn't identify with "their sign"is because we have a whole chart of signs.
Every planet travels through the zodiac signs. More on that in later blogposts.

Zodiac Sign Traits

  • Aries (The Ram): quick, impulsive, uncomplicated, dynamic, reckless, impatient, unthoughtful, primitve, pioneering, independent, arbitrary, egoistic, irresponsible, optimistic, adventurous, courageous, fearless, confident
  • Taurus (The Bull): practical, realistic, determined, stubborn, slowly but steady, lazy, indulging, pragmatic, stubborn, slow, realistic, faithful, companiable, tender, caring, clingy, steady, possessive, greedy, jealous
  • Gemini (The Twins): rational, negotiating, critical, quick, clever, changeable, shallow, factual, critical, logical, intellectual, precise, analysing, quick, witty, cynical, lively, easygoing, curious, charming, entertaining, sociable, fair, shallow, fickle, distracted
  • Cancer (The Crab): instinctive, sympathetic, ambitious, motherly, selfless, shy, fearful, childlike, imaginative, dreamy, illogical, dependent, wishful, sensitive, romantic, impressible, naive, trusting, clingy, caring, manipulative
  • Leo (The Lion): confident, optimistic, determined, planning, expressive, organizational, self-centered, narcissistic, excessive, intuitive, intelligent, certain, humorous, benevolent, generous, passionate, dramatic
  • Virgo (The Virgin): zealous, tidy, industrious, reliable, thorough, fussy, distrustful, thrifty, smart, critical, sober, objective, pragmatic, adaptable, keen, cautious, reserved, chaste, critical, helpful, cold
  • Libra (The Scales): creative, peaceful, classy, tactful, tolerant, sociable, agreeable, indecisive, dependent, aloof, smart, visionary, open-minded, communicative, influencable, shallow, calculating, sociable, negotiating, balancing, need to be liked
  • Scorpio (The Scorpion): merciless, intense, instinctive, obsessive, determined, provocative, tough, deep, investigative, paranoid, analytical, unyielding, cynical, powerful,passionate, dark, jealous, vengeful, extreme
  • Sagittarius (The Archer): motivated, inspired, open-minded, graceful, idealistic, beguiling, self-righteous, intellectual, liberal, convinced, subjective, cocky, enthusiastic, sensitive to criticism, freedom-loving, fear of emotional exposure
  • Capricorn (The Seagoat): responsibe,eager, industrious, reliable, sober, realistic, consequent, joyless, pressured, competitive,precise, practical, concentrated, thick-headed, reasonable,serious, hesitant, reliable, dutiful, cautious, reserved, closed up, cold, depressed
  • Aquarius (The Watebearer):  independent, freedom-loving, smart, unpredictable, rebellious, sociable, witty, objective, future-oriented, funny, full of ideas, distanced, snappy,lively, uncommitted, friendly yet cold, isolated, anarchistic
  • Pisces (The Fish): sensitive, instinctive, passive, sacrificing, selfless, escapist, contradictory, seducable, chameleon-like,intuitive, phantastic, insightful, subjective, blurry, selfless, ready to make sacrifices, empathatic, understanding, longing, easily hurt and depressed, escapist

If you have any other questions, make sure to leave them in a comment below, and I'll try and answer them in more lessons to come! :)



  1. Super interesting post! I didn't know even half of this.

    Kindness is the best accessory,
    Rebecca - RebeccaKelsey.com

  2. Marina, your blog it's amazing! You really taught me a lot and I'm very grateful for that. I'm an Aquarius sun, Scorpio moon (Sorry for my bad english, because I'm a spanish speaker).

    1. Im so glad :-) dont worry about, your english is great!!

  3. I love astrology because it really helps me understand myself and others. Your blog is helping me learn even more about astrology! Thank you! ~Julian (Taurus sun, Aries moon)

  4. Amazing! Would love to no more on Leo woman and Aquarius Man


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...