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Zodiac Signs – What Are They And What Do They Really Mean?

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Open up a magazine or newspaper, and you’ll likely find a horoscope section in the back claiming to be able to predict something about your personality or your future based on when you were born. Most of us know what star sign we are, but very few of us know where this trend originated from and what the zodiac signs mean, so here’s a quick guide to all things Zodiac.

What does Zodiac mean?

Zodiac is a word derived from the Latin, zōdiacus, and the Ancient Greek, zōidiakòs kýklos, and can be translated to mean “circle of little animals’. The term, Zodiac, has long been used to refer to the pattern of animal shapes that can be interpreted in the night sky, which have in turn come to be known as zodiac signs.

What are the zodiac signs?

Although there are officially 88 constellations in the night sky, 13 of them are Zodiac constellations because these are the ones found on the Zodiac Belt that sits on the elliptical. But, despite there being 13 zodiac constellations, only 12 of them are Zodiac signs, because these are the constellations used to split the Zodiac Belt into 12 equal parts. The 12 zodiac signs are as follows:

Aries
Taurus
Gemini
Cancer
Lio
Virgo
Libra
Scorpio
Sagittarius
Capricorn
Aquarius
Piscis

These 12 zodiac signs are not only named after their constellations but also represent parts of the body of the cosmic man, also known as Kalapurusha. Each of the 12 Zodiac signs also has a planetary ruler and is grouped by one of the four elements, Fire, Water, air and Earth.

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Planetary rulers

The planets that circle the Zodiac are known as planetary rulers and rule over certain personality traits and characteristics that are then passed onto those born within their sign. Although technically not planets, the Sun, the Moon and Pluto are included as planetary rulers in this instance. Here is a list of which planets match up with which sign and what characteristics they rule over.

Sun
The Sun rules over essential personality traits and is connected to the Leo astrological sign.

Moon
The Moon rules over moods and emotions and is connected to the Cancer zodiac sign.

Mercury
Mercury rules over mind and communication and is connected to two signs, Virgo and Gemini.

Venus
Venus is predictably associated with love and attraction and is also connected to two signs, Libra and Taurus.

Mars
Mars rules over the characteristics of drive and energy and is the ruling planet of the star sign, Aries.

Pluto
Pluto rules over the characteristics of power and transformation and is connected to the star sign Scorpio.

Neptune
Neptune is the ruling planet of dreams and healing and is connected to Pisces.

Saturn
Saturn is the ruling planet of fears, challenges and discipline and is connected to Capricorn.

Uranus
Uranus rules over Aquarius and is responsible for change and originality.

Jupiter
And lastly, Jupiter rules over luck, wisdom and growth and is connected to the star sign Sagittarius.

The elements
As well as being ruled by a planet, each of the 12 zodiac signs is also connected with one of the four elements, Fire, Water, air and Earth.

Fire
The Fire element is generally associated with positive qualities such as passion, courage, individuality, love and zeal but is a temperamental element and can also represent destruction. Representing light, Fire is the element of the star signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

Earth 
The Earth element is connected with Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn and represents realism and practicality. The Earth element is often associated with people who are builders and who have a strong foundation and is a more stable element than Fire.

Air
The Air element is associated with the star signs Gemini, Libra and Aquarius and is a powerful force not to be reckoned with. Separated from the Earth, the Air element represents action and change, and like Fire can at times be temperamental.

Water 
Lastly, the Water element is associated with Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces and is closely connected with feelings of security. As expansive as the ocean, those associated with the Water element are believed to be able to feel a range of emotions as vast as the sea.

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The 12 zodiac signs and their characteristics
Many people believe that a person’s personality traits can be explained by their zodiac sign. Although there’s no science to back this up, horoscopes and spiritualists have been using star signs to explain behaviour for many years – here are some of the key positive and negative characteristics for each zodiac sign.

Aries
Aries, the ram, is the zodiac sign for anyone born between March 21st, and April 19th. With Mars as its ruler and Fire as its element, Aries characteristics are dynamic, adventurous and active, but can also be selfish, short-tempered and aggressive.

Taurus 
Taurus, the bull, is the zodiac sign for anyone born between April 20th and May 20th and ruled by Venus. With the Earth as its element, those with Taurus as their star sign are loving and dependable but can be greedy and hateful.

Gemini 
Gemini, the twins, is the zodiac sign for anyone born between May 21st and June 20th and is ruled by Mercury and is connected with the Air element. Characteristics of those born in the Gemini star sign are versatility, intelligence and wit, but they can also be superficial and inconsistent.

Cancer 
Cancer, the crab, is the zodiac sign for anyone born between June 21st and July 22nd. This sign has the Moon as its ruler and Water as its element giving those born within its period the characteristics of affection, sensitivity and protectiveness, but also making them temperamental.

Leo 
Leo, the lion, is the star sign for anyone born between July 23rd and August 22nd and is ruled by the Sun and associated with Fire. Although faithful, brave and loving, Leo’s can also be intolerant but generally make good leaders.

Virgo 
Virgo, the virgin, is the star sign for anyone born between August 23rd and September 22nd and is ruled by Mercury and associated with the Earth element. Although dependable and practical, Virgo’s can also be overcritical of themselves and others.

Libra 
Libra, the scales, is the star sign for anyone born between September 23rd and October 22nd. Ruled by Venus and connected with the Air element, Libras are diplomatic and balanced but can be gullible and changeable.

Scorpio 
Scorpio, the scorpion, is the star sign for anyone born between October 23rd and November 21st and is ruled by Pluto. With Water as their element, Scorpios are passionate and emotive but can quickly get jealous.

Sagittarius
Sagittarius, the archer, is the star sign for anyone born between November 22nd and December 21st and is ruled by Jupiter and associated with the fire element. Although at times irresponsible, Sagittarius’ are also wise and optimistic.

Capricorn 
Capricorn, the goat, is the star sign for anyone born between December 22nd and January 19th. Connected with the Earth element and ruled by Saturn, Capricorns display ambition and patience but can be stern and uptight.

Aquarius 
Aquarius, the water bearer, is the star sign for anyone born between January 20th and February 18th and is ruled by the planet Uranus. With air as their element, those in the Aquarius star sign are loyal and independent but can at times be unpredictable.

Pisces 
Lastly, Pisces, the fish, is the star sign for anyone born between February 19th and March 20th and is ruled by Neptune. Connected with the water element, Pisces’ are spiritual and emotional but can also be vague and weak-willed.

So there you have it – a quick guide to the zodiac signs, what they are and what they mean. Which zodiac sign are you? Do you believe that zodiac signs can determine your personality traits?

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