|Sign name||Element||Planet||Period of birth|
|Aries||Fire||Mars||March 21 – April 20|
|Taurus||Earth||Earth||April 21 – May 20|
|Gemini||Air||Mercury||May 21 – June 20|
|Cancer||Water||Moon||June 21 – July 22|
|Leo||Fire||Sun||July 23 – August 23|
|Virgo||Earth||Mercury||August 24 – September 22|
|Libra||Air||Venus||September 23 – October 23|
|Scorpio||Water||Pluto||October 24 – November 22|
|Sagittarius||Fire||Jupiter||November 23 – December 21|
|Capricorn||Earth||Saturn||December 22 – January 19|
|Aquarius||Air||Uranus||January 20 – February 18|
|Pisces||Water||Jupiter||February 19 – March 20|
The Zodiac, which is fundamental to the system of Western Astrology, is a device for locating the position of the Planets as they travel, at different speeds across the sky. The word Zodiac literally means ‘ring of animals’ – it is an imaginary belt in space encircling the Earth – made up of the twelve familiar Astrological Signs.
To us on Earth, The Sun, Moon, and Planets appear to be weaving their way through this ring of Signs. It is the Sun – apparently moving at about 1 degree per day – that determines which Sign of the Zodiac an individual belongs to. For example, whilst the Sun is moving through the section of space which is assigned to Libra, all people born within those thirty days are Librans.
On the day we are born, the Sign that the Sun is travelling through determines our general characteristics – and the Moon and Planets provide substance to our personalities, by adding ‘colour’ and ‘flavour’ to our makeup. More important is the position of the Planets, and the specific relationships they form with each other. These relationships are believed to exert particular energies which directly affect our lives, guiding and shaping them from the outset.
Having observed the movements of the individual Planets, and noted the corresponding events on Earth, the Ancient Astrologers gave particular attributes to each of the heavenly bodies – in addition to this, each was said to ‘rule’ a particular Zodiacal Sign, all with different personal characteristics.
Since there are twelve Signs and only ten Planets, two of the faster moving Planets perform dual duty and take rulership of two Signs each. These are Mercury – which governs both Gemini and Virgo. The other is Venus – which rules Taurus and Libra.