What you need to know about the signs of the zodiac

July 28, 2015

The complex and arcane system of astrology takes as its starting point 12 signs determined by the position of the sun at the time of birth. Here's some general information about the astrological signs, you should know.

What you need to know about the signs of the zodiac

Understanding the zodiac signs

  • Aries the ram (March 21-April 19): Cardinal. Element: fire. Impulsive, strong-minded, honest and trusting, dominant, short fuse.
  • Taurus the bull (April 20-May 20): Fixed. Element: earth. Patient, dependable, resolute, practical, loyal, won't budge.
  • Gemini the twins (May 21-June 21): Mutable. Element: air. Versatile, expressive, silver-tongued, changeful, easily bored.
  • Cancer the crab (June 22-July 22): Cardinal. Element: water. Tenacious, intuitive, emotional, sensitive, empathetic, traditional, moody.
  • Leo the lion (July 23-August 22.): Fixed. Element: fire. Lion-hearted, idealistic, dignified, romantic, aspiring, overbearing.
  • Virgo the virgin (August 23-September 22): Mutable. Element: earth. Gentle, hard-working, reliable, sincere, methodical, worrier.
  • Libra the scales (September 23-October 23): Cardinal. Element: air. Artistic, eloquent, diplomatic, logical, passion for justice, indecisive, fickle.
  • Scorpio the scorpion (October 24-November 21): Fixed. Element: water. Passionate, loyal, resourceful, driven, private, temperamental, doesn't suffer fools gladly.
  • Sagittarius the archer (November 22-December 21): Mutable. Element: fire. Friendly, open-handed, open-hearted, confident, honest, fractious, blunt.
  • Capricorn the goat (December 22-January 19):Cardinal. Element: earth. Earnest, reliable, industrious, cautious, traditional, responsible, bears grudges.
  • Aquarius the water carrier (January 20-February 18):Fixed. Element: air. Independent, broad-minded, curious, penetrating, progressive, wilful.
  • Pisces the fish (February 19-March 20): Mutable. Element: water. Sensitive, humane, adaptable, idealistic, good intuition, vulnerable.

Know your element

Each birth sign is governed by a dominant element with symbolic meanings.

  • Fire denotes creativity, intuition, a spirit of adventure, the visionary.
  • Earth denotes practicality, objectivity, feet-on-the-ground stability – indeed, a sense of being 'earthed'.
  • Air denotes the thinker, with high principles and impartiality, the conceiver of concepts.
  • Water denotes a feeling and receptive soul, empathy, understanding and instinct.

Are you cardinal, fixed or mutable?

Additionally, the signs of the zodiac are divided into Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs.

  • Cardinal signs are characterised by enterprise.
  • Fixed signs are characterised by firmness and stability.
  • Mutable signs are characterised by adaptability.

Astrology can be confusing, but don't let it overwhelm you! Get started here and work towards a better understanding of the different signs.

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