As a cultural expression, astrology is all about the future. We view our horoscopes to gain a little insight on what’s in store for us, and sometimes we wear a symbol of our star sign to manifest good things ahead. But to understand the meanings of the zodiac and why so many of us love to look to the stars, we first need to take a look backwards to where astrology, as we know it, got started.
Where did the star signs come from?
So, Western astrology is just one system of belief. This system, with its 12 zodiac signs, traces back to Ptolemy – a mathematician and astrologer from way back at the beginning of the first Millennium CE. You’ve probably heard of him (even if you can’t pronounce his name).
What are the zodiac signs?
So, what exactly were these ancient astrologers looking at? The zodiac signs as we know them today are based on 12 different constellations that the Earth moves through on its annual journey ‘round the Sun.
The Western astrological calendar begins in March with Aries, because in Ancient Greece this corresponded with the beginning of Spring and the harvest.
Each star sign has a name and a symbol, which is drawn from the appearance of its constellation in the sky – for example, the lion for Leo and the scales for Libra. And from these symbols are drawn some noteworthy personality traits that are attributed to people based on the sign they’re born under.
Here are the 12 zodiac signs of Western astrology and some of their key traits. Does your sign sound like you?
March 20 – April 19
Honest, ambitious, optimistic
April 20 – May 20
Sensual, tenacious, loyal
May 21 – June 20
Energetic, curious, social
June 21 – July 22
Intuitive, charismatic, loyal
July 23 – August 22
Regal, confident, protective
August 23 – September 22
Kind, meticulous, clever
September 23 – October 22
Creative, charming, diplomatic
October 23 – November 21
Passionate, enigmatic, fearless
November 22 – December 21
Adventurous, independent, captivating
December 22 – January 19
Driven, wise, intuitive
January 20 – February 18
Free-spirited, independent, original
February 19 – March 20
Soulful, creative, romantic
Why are star signs relevant today?
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