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The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac

Blue zodiac small

The word Zodiac literally means animals and refers to the patterns or configurations of creatures as seen in the twinkling stars at night. The Zodiac belt is the great circle around which our luminescent Sun apparently moves month by month throughout the year, transceiving the energy of those different constellational signs and thereby transmitting the celestial radiations to our Earth. As the planets revolve around the Sun in their respective cycles we can observe the influences associated with those celestial movements.

Broadly speaking, the 12 signs of the Zodiac can be divided into both masculine and feminine, positive and negative, or, active and passive. The masculine signs are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius, whereas the feminine signs are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces. If you are unsure about your sign, click here to find out.

The word "zodiac" means animals and usually has reference to the twelve heavenly constellations through which the sun travels apparently at the rate of about one degree per day. To the Astrologer, however, the Zodiac is the Earth's orbit around the Sun. To make this plainer, the Earth makes one complete revolution around the Sun in a year, but since we look from the Earth, the Sun appears to move in a contrary direction just as do objects from a moving train.

Want to learn more about your star sign? Click on yours

Aries   |  Taurus  |  Gemini   |  Cancer  |   Leo   |  Virgo |   Libra   |   Scorpio  |   Sagittarius   |   Capricorn   |   Aquarius   |   Pisces

The Signs

The Zodiac the Astrologers use is not, the Zodiac of the constellations, which are irreguiar in length. The Astrologer uses the Zodiac of the Signs, which are thirty degrees of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, and therefore merely sections of space determined by the phenomenon known as the Vernal Equinox. The Zodiac of the Signs consists of twelve equal divisions and each sign has the same name as the constellations with which it coincided many ages ago, but from which it has separated.


The names of the signs can be memorised by using the following jingle:

The Ram, the Bull, the Heavenly Twins
And now the Crab, the Lion shines,
The Virgin and the Scales.
The Scorpion, Archer and The Goat.
The Man that bears the Watering Pot,
And Fish with glittering tails.

After you know the order of the signs, you can learn all about the astrological icons and the symbology of astrology. The Astrologer always uses the symbol rather than writing the sign when making a chart, and one needs to know the symbols so well that they can be made almost without thought. The symbols are the alphabet of Astrology.

These 12 signs of the zodiac also represent parts of the body in the form of the cosmic man or as vedic astrologers call it the Kalapurusha. The following table illustrates how each sign of the zodiac represents a different part of the human body. These are a general representation only. 

Aries     - the head   

Leo       - spine and heart

Sagittarius  - hips and thighs

Taurus  - the throat and face

Virgo     - groin and intestines

Capricorn   - knees

Gemini  - shoulders and arms

Libra      - kidneys and bladder

Aquarius    - ankles

Cancer  - breast and chest

Scorpio  - reproductive organs

Pisces       - feet

The Quaternaries

Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable Signs

We divide the houses of the zodiac-into three kinds, and likewise we can divide the signs of the zodiac into three kinds, called Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. These are the Quaternaries,for there are four signs in each kind.

¤ Cardinal

Cardinal Signs (or the Cardinal quaternary) are those that, in the natural or usual chart (that is, a chart that starts with Aries in the east), form the four cariinal points. They are all signs of great activity. firey consist of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Note that in this four, the rulers of the signs are Moon, Saturn, Mars and Venus. It would seem as if the fitful, changing Moon, acting on the desires which cardinal rate in the three planets, of Saturn (for position), Mars (for self), and Venus (for the mate), caused all these four signs to become as restless as herself. The Cardinal signs are much of the same active nature as the angular houses to which they naturally belong.

¤ Fixed

Fixed Signs (or the fixed Quaternary) are those that in a natural chart would come in the Succeedent Houses. They are signs of great fixity ofpurpose and will power. They resist change. They comprise Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Note that in this four the ru1ers are Sun, Saturn, Venus and Mars. It would seem as if the unchanging Sun, acting on the three planets of desire, Saturn (for hopes, wishes and friends), Venus (for money and possessrons), and Mars (for reproduction), causes all these signs to hold on resistlessly to their desires. The Fixed signs are of the same fixed nature as the Succeedent houses to which they naturally belong. 

¤ Mutable

Mutable Signs (or the Mutable quaternary) are those that, in a natural chart, fall in the cadent houses. They are signs of adaptability, of inter-communication of ideas and thought. They consist or Gemini, Virgo Sagittarius and Pisces. Note that in these four the rulers are two 
only, Mercury and Jupiter. The two planets of mind, ihe former of the concrete mind, that deals with actual things, and Jupiter, the mind that deals with ideals and laws. Because these four signs desire less than the other etght signs, they are able to get along with people more

The Elements

What are the four Elements? The elements are as follows -

Fire Signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius
Earth Signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn
Air Signs Gemini, Libra and Aquarius
Water Signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces

¤ Fire Signs

There are three fire signs - Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.Fire signs give fire, give action, light and radiance. They are; therefore related to the qualities of enthusiasm and zeal, love, passion, courage, speed, enterprise, individuality and spirituality. Note that this triplicity has its beginning in the cardinai sign Aries which is the flrst sign, which rules the east or sunrlse or the beginning of self. The note that is struck in the beginning of a triplicity is the ruling note of that group of signs, hence the ruling note of the fire Triplicity is SELF.

Now when we speak of self, we may mean a vain egotistical kind o-f a person, but we ean also mean something much greater and sometimes very flne. We can meet a person who has developed his own innate powers to such an extent that he stands above all other people as being highly individualised. He is not conceited, not anxious to show off certain powers for example Prof Milliken, the great scientist who has discovered the Milliken Rays is not a vain man but he worked so steadily and so well in his science that he is sure enough of his own powers to know when he has something to present to the world. He is an Arian.

If a chart is found to have the majority of planets in fire signs, we shall find that with the finest types of people there will be shown: creative mind energy, invention, pioneer work, particularly if the sign Aries is emphasised. Radiative kindness, individualised effort, faith, particularly when the sign Leo is emphasised. Aspiration, the gift of intuition, the love of justice and religion, particularly when the sign Sagittarius is emphasised.

If, however, we are dealing with a very ordinary type of person, the planets will work out is making a selfish or egotistic type in the matters relating to the natural houses of the fire signs. Thus many planets in Aries will tend to make the person think almost entirely of himself, his appearance et cetera. His conversation is full of words "I", and "me". Many planets in Leo will tend to make the person think vaingloriously concerning his children. His conversation is full of the words 'my children' or he may spend his time talking about himself in relation to his love affairs or his speculations for these are also the 5th house affairs.

Many planets and Sagittarius tend to make the person think of himself in relation to 9th house affairs thus his conversation Is largely concerning "my travels", "my in-laws","my church, political opinions, philosophy, pleasures and games" it is evident than that the fire people can be first-class laws if they do not try to get out of the entirely personal life into something on which they can spend their enthusiasm.

Speaking of the signs in a larger cosmic sense, Aries is irresponsible naturally. His sense of responsibility is developed in the fixed sign of Leo, which rules children: thus he learns responsibility through children. Then in Sagittarius he learns a larger responsibility which has to do with people outside of his own family. So in Sagittarius he learns justice, law and religion and feels a responsibility toward living up to the noblest ideals that come to him and also a responsibility in presenting these ideas to humanity. For as we have said previously Sagittarius is essentially a propagandist.

Space is not consirered in western astrology and is assigned to Sagittarius.

¤ Earth Signs - coming shortly

¤ Air Signs - coming shortly

¤ Water Signs - coming shortly  

Sign Rulerships

The planets and signs are correlated by what is known as Sign Rulerships, each planet ruling two Signs. The Sun rules a positive and the Moon a negative Sign, and each planet rules one of each as follows -

Leo-Cancer Ruled by Sun and Moon, respectively
Virgo-Gemini Ruled by Mercury
Libra-Taurus Ruled by Venus
Scorpio-Aries Ruled by Mars and Pluto respectively
Pisces Ruled by Jupiter and Neptune
Capricorn  and Aquarius Ruled by Saturn and Uranus respectively
Sagittarius Ruled by Jupiter

Furthermore, each body has an exaltation sign in which it is especially strong and favourable. These are -

The Sun Aries 
The Moon Taurus      
Mercury  Virgo      
Venus  Taurus      
Mars  Capricorn     
Jupiter  Cancer     
Saturn  Libra

What is the Ruler or Lord, of the horoscope?

It is considered that one planet, or the sun or moon, which has in a special sense a prominence and stands out in the horoscope to the native or person to whom the nativity is erected, while the rest of the nativity represents aspects of his life which are external to him. For example his friends, occupation, wife or children. The body is called the ruler or Lord of the horoscope and it is to that which astrologers refer when they call a person a Martian or Venutian otherwise as the case may be.

It is usually the ruler of the first house but probably not invariably so, for if that body is weak, whereas another is much stronger, as by rising near the ascendant with strong aspects, especially to the sun, moon or Mercury or being on the midheaven, that is elevated at the time of birth, it may apparently become the ruler.


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Your Daily Horoscope

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