Zodiac Signs Dates, Meanings, and Compatibility

The term "Astrology" is derived from the two Greek words "Astron" which means a constellation or a star and "Logia" which means the study of a certain object. Literally, astrology means "knowledge of the stars." In fact, astrology is the study of the close relationship between the positions and the movements of celestial bodies (such as the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets) and terrestrial life. It is believed that astrology has a huge impact upon all human beings here on planet Earth.

Astrology has been around for as long as humans have observed the activities of the skies. The ancient Egyptians are the people that are widely credited for the discovery of the astrology and later introducing this science to the Babylonians. Ancient people have carefully watched and studied the heavens and then they began charting the movement of the planets and stars. In ancient times, astrology was mixed with religion and the astrologers were considered priests for years.

Over time, celestial patterns have appeared and it was finally possible to predict the frequency of some cosmic events which had a huge effect of terrestrial events such as weather and plant growth. The early astrologers then found out that if they observe the natural bodies outside of the Earth's atmosphere they will be able to predict the fate of the humans by casting a horoscope.

This new science of the heavens has expanded into other areas in the world, merging with other predictive methods and eventually developing into the basic form of Astrology that is used to present day.

Most of us know very little about astrology, but almost everyone can tell you their zodiac sign. The Sun is the king of the stars and the center of the universe, so according to astrology, there is a center within each human being that represents the Sun. This core is known as your sun sign and is actually determined by what time did the Sun rise upon the moment of our birth. Our zodiac sign can affect our personality, behavior, future, as well as our astrology compatibility with other signs.

Astrology by tradition

There are many traditions, systems and branches of astrology and most of them share similar features. However, the four main traditions used by modern astrologers today are Western astrology, Chinese astrology, Hindu astrology and Hellenistic astrology.

Western Astrology

Western astrology is a system of astrology that is extremely popular in Western countries. This system of astrology is based on Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos, which was basically a continuation of the Hellenistic and the Babylonian traditions and old beliefs. Western astrology is largely horoscopic and is based on the construction of a horoscope or a birth chart for the exact moment in which various celestial bodies are believed to have an influence. Unlike Chinese and Hindu astrology, Western astrology is mainly focused on sun sign astrology, which is associated with one's date of birth, or to be more exact, the position of the Sun at the time of one's birth.

Chinese Astrology

Chinese astrology, on the other hand, is based on the traditional astronomy and zodiac calendar. The beginning of the Chinese astrology is tied to the beginning of astronomy, which became very popular during the Han Dynasty. Chinese astrology uses the principles of yin and yang and concepts that can't be found in Western astrology such as the ten Celestial stems, the wu xing teachings, the lunisolar calendar, the twelve Earthly Branches as well as the time calculation after year, month, day, and shichen. The Chinese zodiac is called Sheng Xiao and is based on a twelve-year cycle; each year in the cycle is related to a different animal sign. The twelve zodiac symbols in Chinese astrology are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

Hindu Astrology

Hindu astrology, also known as Vedic astrology and Jyotisha (light, heavenly body), is the traditional Hindu system of astrology. According to evidence passed on from generation to generation, horoscopic astrology in India came from Hellenistic influences. Hindu astrology is divided into three main branches: Siddhānta (Hindu astronomy), Samhitā (Mundane astrology), and Horā or 'Jātakā' (Predictive astrology). Siddhānta calculates the position of the planets and other celestial bodies, while Samhitā predicts important events related to entire countries, such as important political events, earthquakes, financial positions, house related matters and so on. Horā is predictive astrology where the astrologers make predictions about future events in people's lives based on their birth charts.

Hellenistic astrology

Hellenistic astrology is a type of astrology that was largely practiced in Greek and Roman empires, as well as all around the Mediterranean region, in the late Hellenistic period or sometime around the 1st century BCE. It is widely believed that the Hellenistic astrology has marked a new beginning in the history of astrology and is also known as the root of the Western astrology. This type of astrology disappeared sometime around the 7th century CE, when the Western Roman Empire started to fall. Since the Hellenistic astrology involves semi-legendary and semi-divine figures, it is impossible to trace its origin and its authorship more precisely than this. However, that doesn't change the fact that the Hellenistic astrology played the pivotal role in the history of astrology.

Understanding the Zodiac Signs

The Horoscope is a very important aspect of astrology. The term "Horoscope" is derived from the Greek words "Hora" and "Scopos", which mean time and observer. A horoscope is an astrological chart also known as a diagram for a person based upon the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets, at the time of the moment of that person's birth. The horoscope describes what a person can expect on a certain day, week, month or a year. The origins of horoscope date back to the time of the ancient Babylonians and the use of horoscopes is apparent throughout many eras in history. If you're wondering: "What does my horoscope say today?" , you can find horoscopes in many daily newspapers, weekly, and monthly magazines, as well as on hundreds of different web sites.

The Zodiac is a belt of heavens that represents the constellations that the Sun passes through in its path across Earth's sky. The word "zodiac" comes from Greek terminology and it literally translates as "circle of animals". The zodiac dates are specific times of the year that correspond to each of the twelve signs of the zodiac. A lot of factors influence the Zodiac and one of them has been the actual horoscope dates. The Zodiac is divided into twelve equal divisions or sun signs and they are Aries (March 21 - April 19), Taurus (April 20 - May 20), Gemini (May 21 - June 20), Cancer (June 21 - July 22), Leo (July 23 - August 22), Virgo (August 23 - September 22), Libra (September 23 - October 22), Scorpio (October 23 - November 21), Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21), Capricorn (December 22 - January 19), Aquarius (January 20 - February 18), and Pisces (February 19 - March 20).

The twelve signs of the zodiac are further divided into several sets of groups. The signs are categorized into two's (dualities), three's (triplicities), and four's (quadruplicities). Each zodiac sign is unique and has its own combination of Duality (energy), Triplicity (element) and Quadruplicity (quality). This means that each sign will express the characteristics of its quality, element and duality differently, making every sun sign different and fun to learn about.

Dualities

The 12 signs of the Zodiac are divided into two groups, Masculine, and Feminine. Six of the horoscope signs are masculine and six are feminine. While the six Masculine signs are very dynamic, energetic and direct, the Feminine astrology signs are self-contained, magnetic and receptive.

The Masculine signs are:

  • Aries
  • Gemini
  • Leo
  • Libra
  • Sagittarius
  • Aquarius

The Feminine signs are:

  • Cancer
  • Virgo
  • Scorpio
  • Capricorn
  • Pisces
  • Taurus

The signs of the zodiac are also divided into four groups containing three signs each. Each group is associated with a particular element that symbolizes a fundamental characterization of the sign. The four elements in astrology are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Each group expresses energies and personality traits that represent one of the four elements.

The Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

They are restless, fiery, courageous and enthusiastic. These astrological signs have dominant attitude and are can be very bossy. They have big hearts, but their ego can make people around them feel offended.

The Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

They are usually very stable, balanced and practical. These zodiac signs are extremely down to earth and are very dependable. The Earth signs know exactly what they want in life and will do whatever it takes to get it. Even though they are usually trustworthy, they can become very materialistic from time to time.

The Airs signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

They are very communicative, intellectual and calm. These signs love to analyze and solve problems. They have the ability to make people around them feel at ease and are very friendly and cooperative. The Air signs are generally well liked, but they can become problematic when things don't go their way.

The Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

They are extremely emotional, sensitive and highly intuitive. Their emotions guide them in whatever they do in life and they have a strong empathy towards others. The Water signs are very artistic and like to make others happy. The bad thing about these signs is that they often let others take advantage of their kindness. When this happens, they are devastated and might retreat into their imaginative world.

Quadruplicities

The star signs are also divided into three four-sign groups which are called quadruplicities. Each group represents one of the three qualities which are Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. These qualities signify the sign's interaction with the outside world.

The Cardinal signs are: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn

The Cardinal signs are initiative, outgoing, active, ambitious, restless, creative, independent and spontaneous. These signs are highly dominant and can be excellent leaders.

The Fixed signs are: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius

The Fixed signs are usually resistant to change. They are determined, stable, reliable, confident and hard-working. At times, these signs can be stubborn and have a tendency to believe that they are always right.

The Mutable signs are: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces

The four Mutable signs are highly adaptable and versatile; they are able to adjust to different circumstances easily. These birth signs are communicative, restless, and resourceful.