Zodiac Signs 101: the basics of Astrology
Would you like to know more about the 12 zodiac signs? Below are the characteristics that are associated with each of the astrological (or zodiac) signs.
We will start with Aries, as Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, or the beginning of a new astrological year.
The 12 zodiac signs explained
Aries, the Ram
Aries is the first sign of the astrological zodiac, thus embodying the epitome of independent initiation. They are the “do-er’s” of the zodiac. Considered the leader of the pack, they represent aggression, initiation, and an outspoken energy that only faces life “head-on,” like the Ram.
They are also ruled by Mars, which is the masculine planet of action, initiation, and perseverance. Being hot like fire and initiative like the cardinal signs makes for a strong will and confident personality in Aries. They have a fiery demeanor, are dynamic in every sense of the word, enjoy being the boss, and pioneering ideas.
Being a Fire sign, they can be intuitive, larger-than-life, aggressive, and passionate.
Aries is the cardinal sign of the fire element, so they initiate things directly and immediately with boisterous confidence.
Taurus, the Bull
Taurus, being both an Earth sign and a Fixed Sign, is the utmost of a stable and grounding individual. They also naturally possess intense stubbornness and loyalty. Taurus is ruled by Venus – the planet of love, passion, luxury and abundance.
This makes Taurus dualistic in its own nature: they are passionate and concerned with combining a love for others with practicality, while also having a love for material possessions and luxury (including food!). Taurus is depicted by the Bull: strong, tenacious and powerful. If you leave them be, they are peaceful… but when instigated, they will charge head on.
This dynamic is one of their most interesting qualities; they are strong and persevering, calm and easygoing. But when angered, the temper will reveal itself.
An Earth sign, they are realistic, stable, and enjoy tradition to keep them grounded and in touch with the senses. Taurus is the fixed sign of the earth element, so they are at times stubborn and unstoppable once they get moving.
Gemini, the Twins
Gemini is the epitome of representing communication of the “lower mind” here in the physical realm. Ruled by the communication planet Mercury, this sign reflects a love of exchange and interaction and they highly regard ideas and communication.
Gemini emanates a split personality of both inner and outer analysis – with a strong sense of mental logic. They embrace everything about this dual nature, as displayed as the ever adaptable and flexible split personality of their symbol, the Twins.
Sometimes, they can seem “two-faced,” in both the positive and negative connotations of the phrase, having a tendency to gossip. Able to switch gears quickly, they also leave you wondering why they acted one way today, and do a complete 360 tomorrow.
An Air sign, Gemini can be intellectual, deep thinkers with strong analytical and communication skills.
As the mutable sign of the air element, they’re adaptable while requiring constant flow of information and communication.
Cancer, the Crab
Cancer is the first water sign of the zodiac, and also the most nurturing. Cancer is the only sign ruled by the Moon, the feminine divine representation of our inner emotions and self. So Cancers possess a naturally feminine energy that is very in touch with domestic life/past, emotions, and other empathic abilities.
This sign has a hard exterior, and a very sensitive interior. This is symbolized as the Crab, who resists change by retreating inward to protect themselves. They crave security in domestic life, like the crab who carries their home on their back. The “nurturer” of the zodiac, Cancers are skilled at getting in touch with emotions, planting deep roots, and using heartfelt intuition over intellectual logic.
They hold onto anything they consider valuable, especially if they hold strong emotions, (like nostalgia), about it. They can be easily hurt, since they expect everyone else to value their emotions as much as they do.
A Water sign, they can be a natural born detective, holding intense emotions in both good and bad situations. Cancer is the cardinal sign of the water element, so they have initiative but sometimes want what they cannot have, as their emotions rule their desires.
Leo, the Lion
Leo is a fire sign in a fixed stance; they have the passion and ambition of the fire element, but are also very confident and comfortable in being who they are, bringing entertainment and enjoyment to those around them.
The Lion of the zodiac is represented by the king of the jungle: regal, strong, loyal, and heroic. However, when a lion is backed into a corner, they reveal their value for dignity, never forgetting anyone who has wronged them. This is only if those subjects do not show loyalty they so respect, by apologizing. They then show a humble and sincere sense of forgiveness. The only sign ruled by the Sun, their masculine power calls attention to themselves, and they love it.
They never fail to impress others with success in projects that most others would never dare attempt. Leos put their heart into any task they take on, including being the entertainer and host/hostess of the zodiac.
A Fire sign, they can be intuitive, larger-than-life, aggressive, and passionate.
Leo is the fixed sign of the fire element, so they are sometimes unable to be moved in their ways, being resistant to change. However, they are very creative, pouring their heart into everything they do.
Virgo, the Virgin
Virgo is the zodiac sign most reflective of humanitarianism and perfectionism. Being a mutable Earth sign, they feel most grounded when things are in their place, and relationships are sound and secure. They have zero tolerance for slacking off, whether in the mental or physical realms, (including hygiene!).
Represented as the symbol of the Virgin, they are also ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication (like Gemini). Virgo embodies the epitome of innocence and organizational skill. They are hard-working, analytical, critical and detail-oriented, which will manifest physically on the Earthly plane given their strong intuition, communication skills, and adaptability.
They like to keep themselves very busy, paying attention to even the smallest of details and being the sign that changes the world, making it a better place.
An Earth sign, they are realistic, stable, and enjoy tradition to keep them grounded and in touch with the senses. Virgo is the mutable sign of the earth element, they are extremely adaptable to the world around them, as long as they can analyze the inner workings of what is going on around them.
Libra, the Scales
Libra is reflected by the Scales, which reflects their dualistic and polarity-seeking nature. The Scales are the epitome of justice and balance so this sign seeks balance in all partnerships, including our soul’s desire for spirituality versus our ego/shadow side in the physical.
Libras are the most connected to relationships and partnerships, so they are most at peace when there is no injustice or conflict. They crave fairness and diplomacy, while finding an incredible balance between passion and intellect. They greatly enjoy the company of others, though they do not enjoy confrontation and have a strong need to be “liked.”
Libras have a beautiful combination of both wit and charm, and are flirtatious romantics that enjoy long lasting partnerships. This can include relationships of all kinds, such as within love, business, and friendships. Their interest in anything will be halted, however, if there is a lack of either intellectual and physical satisfaction, and are very strong-willed in their opinions.
An Air sign, they can be intellectual, deep thinkers with strong analytical and communication skills. Libra is the cardinal sign of the air element, their initiative lies in relationships, partnerships, and making flirtatious encounters an often occurrence.
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Scorpio is well-known for having a calm demeanor, unless they are tested. This is why they are represented by the Scorpion, which may appear easy-going – however, if a Scorpion feels threatened, they will sting with the strongest and quickest of actions.
This is reflective of how a Scorpio is rarely combative, unless they feel cornered and it is their only option. They are highly competitive, combining their intuitive nature, emotional strength, and high sense of self-sufficiency. Seemingly stubborn and set in their ways, (thanks to their fixed quadruplicity), they also possess a sense of tenacity to complete any task at hand.
On the other hand, Scorpios are very protective of themselves and their feelings. They fiercely hold back pieces of themselves until they decide to reveal something on their own schedule, (and once they decide the person is worth opening themselves up to). Since they are so intuitive, they are interested in the darker sides of life and are extremely psychic.
Their emotions are strong and fixed in nature, they are psychologically in touch with the unseen parts of the world, and have a strong sexual side. This should become obvious, as they are ruled by both Mars and Pluto.
A Water sign, they can hold intense emotions in both good and bad situations, like the Cancer. The fixed sign of the water element, they are at times very resistant to change, especially if emotionally passionate about the issue at hand.
Sagittarius, the Centaur Archer
Sagittarius reflects the “higher mind,” and is represented by the Centaur Archer, which is half horse/half man. This represents the duality of their fiery personality and higher minds. They have a strong connection with both the physical world where the animal resides, and the spiritual intuition the man’s mind can contemplate.
They are always seeking the unknown and explore the unseen, which makes them the Archer of the zodiac. Sagittarius is constantly “pulling their arrow back, and shooting it out into the unknown.” Truth-seeking, philosophy, spiritual wisdom, and any kind of new knowledge is what this sign craves and is strongest at. They prefer to learn things on their own, through travel, experience, and intuition, rather than being told.
This independent nature makes it nearly impossible for them to be pinned down, causing them to seem reckless at times. They are ruled by Jupiter – the planet of expansion – so they become bored with anything that doesn’t hold their passionate interest of spiritual growth. Generally optimistic and enthusiastic beyond words, they can also be brutally honest and straightforward with strong opinions (that aren’t always asked for!).
A Fire sign, they can be intuitive, larger-than-life, aggressive, and passionate.
The mutable sign of the fire element, they are fluidly investigative, natural philosophers, and able to utilize their spiritual intuition to pull their arrow back into darkness before shooting it forward into possibility.
Capricorn, the Goat
The Cardinal initiator of the Earth signs, Capricorns are practical, organized, disciplined, and intent on using their ambitious nature to create foundational stability in their physical world. They hate being seen as weak, and find value in being admired or respected, as this is a sign of success. Yet despite this obvious pragmatism on the outside, many Capricorns have a low sense of inner-confidence, which causes them to be defensive at times.
Though they have a great sense of humor, they do not tolerate being ridiculed when it comes to them. As with their symbol, the Goat, they are extremely sure-footed and climb the highest peaks, even if it seems they shouldn’t be able to. Capricorns appear wise beyond their years, because they are the responsible, level-headed and career-centered sign of the zodiac. Assumed to be seemingly cold and emotionless on the outside, this is just because they only put their efforts into that which proves worthy of their time.
An Earth sign, they are realistic, stable, and enjoy tradition to keep them grounded and in touch with the senses. Capricorn is the cardinal sign of the earth element, so they know how to get to the top and create structures of lasting value.
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Aquarius is the epic sign most associated with being both an introverted analyzer, along with being an extroverted humanitarian. They have high aspirations and dreams, and are the idealists of the zodiac. They embody intellect, inventiveness, and humanitarianism.
This can be displayed as the “pouring out of life and spiritual strength to a tainted world,” like their symbol, the Water Bearer. They have a sense of determination to assist others by giving back the experience of their own beliefs. They are freedom-seeking rebels that possess extreme loyalty, being more interested in relationships and people over material gain.
Their fixed nature causes them to be uncomfortable with small changes, however, big changes are seen as a challenge they must conquer. An Aquarius has a strong sense of spirituality, constantly questioning authority and belief systems.
An Air sign, they can be intellectual, deep thinkers with strong analytical and communication skills. Aquarius is the fixed sign of the air element, so they continually push boundaries to be different, while being uncomfortable with change imposed on them.
Pisces, the Fish
Pisces is the final sign of the zodiac, which is symbolic of “coming around full circle” – both in physical growth and the growth and ascension of our soul. This sign has a spiritually-based mindset, making them tremendously intuitive, psychic and empathic. Pisces have a strong passion and interest in understanding all aspects of karma, religion, and the spirit world.
With the adaptable (mutable) and emotional one (water), Pisces are the most dreamy of all of the astrological signs. Seen as imaginative and affectionate, they sometimes find it difficult to deal with people who do not live up to their lofty visions.
Their compassionate and fair-minded nature makes for interesting personalities, those which are not afraid to break the rules if the result would be more humane from a spiritual aspect. Their spiritual strength, intuition, and psychic abilities can also lead to vulnerability of taking on others emotions, and confusing them as their own.
Pisces is both a Water sign and the mutable sign of the water element, so they like to dive deeply and seamlessly into both the spiritual and physical realms.
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- Quadruplicities of the Astrological Zodiac Signs
- Natal Birth Chart: everything you need to know
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