zodiac signs

Zodiac Signs

Zodiac Signs in Order + Astrology Questions & Answers

Zodiac signs have played an important role in society since Babylonian times. Astrologers predict your personality traits and future events. They do this by calculating the position of the sun, the moon and other celestial objects at the time of your birth. You can find your tropical sign of the zodiac in the table below.

Astrology 101. FAQs Questions and Answers
  • What is astrology?
    Astrology is the study of the relative positions and movements of celestial bodies. Astrologists believe this offers insights into human affairs and outcomes.
  • Who invented astrology? When was astrology invented?
    Like all ancient civilizations the Babylonians had astronomers who observed the stars. Sometime after 3000 BC the Babylonians created the first zodiac. It was a useful concept to both astronomers and astrologers.
  • What is the zodiac?
    The zodiac is a “celestial belt” of star constellations which lie across the “ecliptic plane”. It’s defined by the path of the Sun across the sky over a year. Imagine a line drawn from Earth through the Sun to the stars beyond. This line sweeps out a flat disc called the ecliptic plane.
  • Are all stars, planets and other celestial bodies included in the zodiac?
    No. Only the star constellations within 8° of latitude, above and below the ecliptic plane, are included in the zodiac. The signs of the zodiac were named after star constellations introduced by Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer, during the second century AD. Ptolemy took the names from earlier Babylonian texts.
  • What is a star constellation?
    A star constellation is the name of a group of stars that looks like something when you join the dots. The stars are otherwise unconnected to each other. In 1930 the International Astronomical Union officially listed 88 constellations. They divided the “celestial sphere” surrounding Earth into 88 regions. All stars within each region are now part of that constellation.
  • How is your birth sign calculated?
    To locate your birth sign in the zodiac a line is drawn from Earth through the Sun at the time of your birth. The star constellation which lies behind, or closest to, the sun is your birth sign. There are many free birth chart calculators which will do the calculation for you.
  • Why are there 12 signs of the zodiac?
    Because the lunar based Babylonian calendar had 12 months to a year. They divided the zodiac into twelve equal 30° “slices” of longitude. Each “slice” was assigned one of the 12 classic star constellations. The Babylonians were aware some of the constellations were bigger than others. This means each constellation is behind the sun for a different number of days. For example, Scorpio is only behind the Sun for 7 days, compared to Virgo at 45 days.
  • Are there other star signs?
    Yes. Babylonian astronomers were aware of Ophiuchus (⛎) a 13th star constellation behind the sun for 18 days, 11 days longer than Scorpio. Ophiuchus was ignored because it did not fit into the Babylonian 12 month lunar-based calendar. Other civilizations and cultures have named around 24 constellations in the zodiac.
  • Do the dates for zodiac signs change?
    Yes. Earth’s axis changes because, like a spinning top, it has a wobble. As a result, roughly every 2150 years, each zodiac sign occupies the place of the preceding sign. This process is called “Axial precession”. Over a lifetime the date for each star sign changes by around a day.
  • Why are there different types of astrology?
    There are two main astrological systems called Tropical astrology and Sidereal astrology. Both are based equal-sized signs named after constellations but they define the year differently:
    • Tropical astrology (Western astrology): The solar year / tropical year / year of seasons (365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 46 seconds) is based on the seasons using the position of the “vernal equinox” in the northern hemisphere. Tropical astrology uses the classic twelve zodiac signs.
    • Sidereal astrology (Hindu astrology): The sidereal year (365 days 6 hours 9 minutes 10 seconds) is the time taken by the Sun to return to the same place against the background of the stars. The Sidereal system was used by the Egyptians, Persians, Vedics, Mayans and in Hindu astrology today. The dates for the classic zodiac signs are different and Ophiuchus (⛎), the thirteenth zodiac sign, is inserted between Scorpio and Sagittarius.
    • Astronomic zodiac: In the late 20th century Stephen Schmidt and Walter Berg introduced zodiacs based on the actual width of each constellation which included other constellations in contact with the ecliptic.

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort the zodiac signs. Click the + icon to expand columns on tablets and mobiles. Resize browser to see more/less columns.

Zodiac signsFromToSignElementPersonality strengthsCharacter weaknessesBirthstones
Aries21 March.20 April.Fire.Arians are often dynamic, spontaneous and courageous. Honest, open, powerful, helpful, tolerant and spirited.Arians can be argumentative, aggressive, self-centered, short-tempered, impatient, unreasonable and bullheaded.Aquamarine and diamond.
Taurus21 April.21 May.Earth.Tauruses are typically steady, persistent and relaxed. Patient, honest, hardworking, natural, diplomatic and practical people.Taureans can be jealous, defiant, stubborn, hot-tempered, unstable, opinionated, conservative and phlegmatic.Diamond and emerald.
Gemini22 May.21 June.Air.Geminians tend to be curious, flexible and versatile. Active, sociable, adaptable and quick learners.Geminians can be ambivalent, impatient, superficial, hasty, torn, changeable and sometimes spiteful.Emerald and pearl.
Cancer22 June.23 July.Water.Cancerians are often sensitive, thoughtful, loyal and family-oriented. Helpful, caring, creative, domesticated and imaginative.Cancerians can tend towards melancholia, self-doubt, anxiety, introversion, moodiness and a secretive nature.Pearl and ruby.
Leo23 July.22 August.Fire.Leos are commonly generous, fair, helpful and freedom-loving. Optimistic, active, determined and passionate.Leos can be wasteful, boastful, proud, extreme, domineering and self-centered.Ruby and peridot.
Virgo23 August.23 September.Earth.Virgos are typically dutiful, patient, reliable, realistic and determined. Orderly, efficient, and domestic.Virgos can be serious, down to Earth, petty, skeptical, jealous, miserly and often perfectionist.Peridot and sapphire.
Libra24 September.23 October.Air.Librans are often diplomatic, friendly, balanced and neutral. Adaptable, caring, orderly and loyal.Librans can be fickle, depressive, possessive, dominant, self-righteous and moody.Sapphire and opal.
Scorpio24 October.22 November.Water.Scorpios are typically persistent, passionate and determined. Intuitive, critical, decisive, versatile and profound.Scorpios can be jealous, short-tempered, possessive, moody, contradictory, cool and authoritarian.Opal and topaz.
Sagittarius23 November.21 December.Fire.Sagittarians are usually loyal, frank, honest, steadfast and curious. Domestic, familiar, committed, optimistic and active.Sagittarians can be moody, ambivalent, strong-willed, stubborn, hypocritical with a tendency to overestimate their abilities!Topaz and turquoise.
Capricorn22 December.20 January.Earth.Capricorns can often be self-confident, ambitious, controlled, educated, exudes security, reliable and persevering.Capricorns can be unduly strict, know-it-all, resentful, thrifty (often stingy), thirsty for glory, cool and closed personality.Turquoise and garnet.
Aquarius21 January.19 February.Air.Aquarian traits are typically honest, selfless, freedom-loving, active, creative, versatile, imaginative, intuitive and open.Aquarians can be vindictive, vain, critical, do-gooder, eccentric, loud, hectic and provocative.Garnet and amethyst.
Pisces20 February.20 March.Water.Pisceans are often sensitive, patient, gentle, tolerant and romantic. Idealistic, modest, social and attached to home.Pisceans can be vindictive, chaotic, complicated, unpredictable, jealous, submissive and timid.Amethyst and aquamarine.

Whatever you think about astrology most people know their own star sign. Lots of people enjoy astrology as a fun part of their daily lives. Most newspapers have a resident astrologer. Star writers reveal what the future holds for you on a weekly or daily basis. Believers may even consult an astrologer before making important decisions.

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