Horoscope: The complete guide to understanding the 12 zodiac signs

Astrology fascinates you and you want to know everything about your zodiac sign? Here is all the information on the origins, dates, ascendants, decans and more...

The complete guide to the 12 signs of the Zodiac
© Alex Andrews / Pexels
The complete guide to the 12 signs of the Zodiac

Who has never consulted their horoscope to know what could happen in the life of each of the twelve signs of the zodiac from Aries to Pisces every day, every month, for the year or for specific areas such as love life, money or work?

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But do you really know the meaning of these zodiac signs, their origin, how they are determined and most importantly your zodiac sign? Here is everything you need to know about astrology and your birth chart.

Where do the zodiac signs come from?

If you don't believe in horoscopes, astrology fascinates many people and even the most skeptic know their astrological sign.

Astrology, not to be confused with astronomy, is based on the study of the stars and their position in the solar system in order to learn about our life, our character, and our faults and to study the way they influence our behaviour.

There are many similarities between the signs in terms of personality or values, but also astrological compatibilities between signs (or not).

This discipline, which may seem whimsical, does not date back to yesterday. Historians have proven that the study of the stars has been used to interpret omens since the Mesopotamians, i.e. since two millennia BC. The Greeks also used the stars and the movement of planets such as Mercury, Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter or Neptune to draw omens.

Everyone is free to believe in it, astrology can give us food for thought, and give indications on the possible consequences of the stars on our daily life, but it has no immutable and irrefutable value.

How are the zodiac signs determined?

To know your sign, you just have to look up and observe the sky chart at the time of your birth. However, the methods of calculation differ depending on the method. The most widely used method is that of tropical astrology.

The sky is divided into 12 zones of 30°, so we go to Aries when the position of the Sun enters a zone from 0 to 30°, then under the sign of Aquarius from 30° to 60° until the natives of Pisces from 330° to 360°. This distribution is made from what is called the ecliptic plane, that is to say, the orbit of the sun around the earth, the movement of the sun seen from the earth (because no, it is indeed the earth that moves).

There are other ways to determine the dates of each sign, notably through the constellations. We enter the period of the sign of Aries when the Sun is located at the level of the corresponding constellation. However, this division, which also includes 12 astrological signs, has very unequal periods and can vary. This is what is known as sidereal astrology as opposed to tropical astrology.

The list of the 12 signs of the zodiac in order and by date.

These signs are determined by the position of the planet Earth in relation to the stars. There is therefore a very precise astrological calendar that allows us to determine which sign we are according to the day we were born.

In order, we have:

  • Aries

Aries is traditionally the first sign of the zodiac for people born between March 21 and April 19.

  • Taurus

Next is the Taurus sign from April 20 to May 20.

  • Gemini

Gemini follows from May 21 to June 21, until the summer solstice.

  • Cancer

From June 22 to July 22, individuals are those born under the Cancer sign.

  • Leo

Leos are those whose birth date falls between July 23 and August 22.

  • Virgo

At the end of the summer, Virgo is found with dates from August 23 to September 22.

  • Libra

The Libra sign runs from September 23 to October 23.

  • Scorpio

Next comes the Scorpio sign which begins on October 24 and ends on November 21.

  • Sagittarius

Sagittarius then takes over from November 22 until December 21.

  • Capricorn

People born between December 22 and January 19 are Capricorns.

  • Aquarius

All those born between January 20 and February 18 are then part of the Aquarius sign.

  • Pisces

Finally, Pisces closes the circle between February 19 and March 20.

And a new one has even appeared recently. Have you ever heard of the Snake sign? Yet it could be yours! Indeed, with the sidereal calculation mode, the position of the sun evolves and makes the dates when the star passes in front of such or such constellation vary.

Astrologers have even realized that there is a 13th sign which is located between Scorpio and Sagittarius, from November 30th to December 18th.

Each sign is itself divided into 3 parts, called 'decans', according to the dates. These decans bring subtleties in terms of personality, but also in terms of the impact of the stars.

That is to say that the position of a particular planet can have a stronger impact on the daily life of people in the first decan and conversely, have no potential effect on those in the last decan even though they are of the same sign. So there are many subtleties to know in order to understand the totality of your natal chart!

How to know your zodiac sign?

Our astrological sign depends on our date of birth and especially on the position of the stars, analyzed by an astrologer who then publishes horoscopes.

Our astrological sign, our ascendant or our Chinese sign are always determined according to our birth date, year, time and location.

For the ascendant, for example, it is not the astrological signs of our parents, but the zodiac sign that is in the east on the celestial map at the time we were born.

Finally, for your lunar sign, it is enough to base yourself not on the position of the sun (as for the classic zodiac signs) at the time of your birth, but on that of the Moon.

To know all the subtleties and the complexity of our birth chart, there are many sites that allow you to enter information such as your date, place and time of birth, which will automatically give us an overview of the stars at the time of our birth. You can thus know your sun sign, your moon sign and your ascendant in one click!

The elements of the zodiac signs

The astrological signs that we know are classified into 4 categories that correspond to each element: Earth, Fire, Water and Air.

These elements would also have an influence on our temperament. For example, no one will be surprised to know that a Capricorn is part of the Earth signs for its very grounded and reliable side, while an Aries is ruled by Fire, which implies an impulsive temperament, but also courage.

  • Fire Signs

Fire signs include Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

  • Air Signs

Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are Air signs.

  • Earth signs

Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are Earth signs.

  • Water Signs

The element of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces is water.

The fact of belonging to a particular element can also play a role in terms of love compatibility between signs. Just imagine the meeting between water and fire to understand that some personalities will have much more difficulty to get along than others, like earth and water.

The other astrological signs

Not everyone uses the same signs or the same way of defining them. In Asia, the 12 signs that make up Chinese astrology are determined according to the year of birth and they are not mythological creatures but animals. You can therefore be :

  • Mouse or Rat
  • Buffalo or Ox
  • Tiger
  • Hare, Rabbit or Cat
  • Dragon or Lizard
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Goat, Goat or Sheep
  • Monkey
  • Rooster or Phoenix
  • Dog
  • Pig, Boar or Elephant

African astrology is composed of 12 other signs that borrow symbols from daily life and African traditions and are also based on the dates of birth of individuals. These signs include :

  • The baobab
  • The amber and silver goods
  • The family
  • Small services rendered to the neighborhood
  • The market
  • The ancestor
  • The judge
  • The kola nut
  • The traveler
  • The remoteness
  • The child of the word
  • The harvest in the attic

This article was translated from Oh!mymag FR.

Taurus, Scorpio, Pisces: Beware, these zodiac signs hold the most grudges Taurus, Scorpio, Pisces: Beware, these zodiac signs hold the most grudges