The Zodiac and Zodiac signs explained

The Zodiac

So what do you know about the Zodiac? Translated directly from Greek it means 'animals' and it actually denotes 12 equal divisions of the ecliptic - the path of the Sun across the constellations. In the West we use the Indian astrology Zodiac that comprises the 12 signs familiar to most of us [see the left hand nav for links to all of them].

Chinese astrology uses 12 animals with differing fortunes and misfortunes that relate to events that occur within the 12 equal periods. As you will probably be able to recall we are talking here about the 'Year of the Dog' or the 'Year of the Rat' for example.

The Zodiac signs :

Did you know that in essence the 12 signs of the Zodiac can be divided up in a number of ways? There's the masculine and feminine, the positive and negative, and even active and passive.

Masculine & feminine :

The masculine signs are :

Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius

The feminine signs are :

Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces

So what does this mean exactly:

What characteristics are there for masculine and feminine? The masculine signs tend to be more extrovert in nature. So think of words like brash and loud direct and sometimes lacking consequence for their actions. The feminine signs are throughful, quieter, cunning and downright crafty sometimes.

When we talk about the signs in more detail you can see that Water and earth signs are feminine, Fire signs and Air signs are masculine.


You can also group the signs by Quality - the way in which they tend to act. There are three groups of four signs which cover the Cardinal signs, the Fixed signs and the Mutable signs.

The Cardinal signs
These signs take action! Charging right in they either succeed and get the job done - or fall from a great height in failing. They embrace change and show vitality in the way they approach siutations and problems.

The Cardinal signs are : Aries - Cancer - Libra - Capricorn

The Fixed signs
These guys are into their stability. So let them run things and play boss - they are stubborn and can be petulant but will keep on going for ever - sometimes out os stubbornness more than anything else.

The Fixed Signs are : Taurus - Leo - Scorpio - Aquarius

The Mutable signs
These signs offer communication! Primarily they can act well as go-betweens for the other two sets if needed. Mutables are also pretty adaptable to new situations and can compromise if need be.

The Cardinal signs are : Gemini - Virgo - Sagittarius - Pisces


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By Zodiac Sign :

Aries  [21 March - 19 April]
Taurus  [20 April - 20 May]
Gemini  [21 May - 21 June]
Cancer  [22 June - 22 July]
Leo  [23 July - 22 Aug]
Virgo  [23 Aug - 22 Sept]
Libra  [23 Sept - 22 Oct]
Scorpio  [23 Oct - 21 Nov]
Sagittarius  [22 Nov - 21 Dec]
Capricorn  [22 Dec - 19 Jan]
Aquarius  [20 Jan - 18 Feb]
Pisces  [19 Feb - 20 March]