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Astrological Sign

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Astrology

Background

History of astrology

History of astronomy

Astrology and astronomy

Traditions

Babylonian * Hellenistic

Islamic * Western

Hindu * Chinese

Sidereal vs. Tropical

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horoscopic astrology

Natal astrology

Electional astrology

Horary astrology

Mundane astrology

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Astrological signs represent twelve equal segments or divisions of the zodiac. According to astrology, celestial phenomena reflect or govern human activity on the principle of "as above, so below", so that the twelve signs are held to represent twelve basic personality types or characteristic modes of expression.[1] There are sun signs and moon signs, which both depend on your date of birth.

Various approaches to measuring and dividing the sky are currently used by differing systems of astrology, although the tradition of the Zodiac's names and symbols remain consistent. Western astrology measures from Equinox and Solstice points (points relating to longest, equal and shortest days of the tropical year), while Jyotiṣa or Vedic astrology measures along the equatorial plane (sidereal year). Precession results in Western astrology's zodiacal divisions not corresponding in the current era to the constellations that carry similar names,[2] while Jyotiṣa measurements still correspond with the background constellations.[3]

In Indian astrology, the twelve signs are associated with constellations, while in Chinese astrology and Western Astrology there is no connection with constellations, as it is simply the line of the equator that is divided into twelve equal segments.[citation needed]

In Western and Asian astrology, the emphasis is on space, and the movement of the Sun, Moon and planets in the sky through each of the zodiac signs. In Chinese astrology, by contrast, the emphasis is on time, with the zodiac operating on cycles of years, months, and hours of the day. A common feature of all three traditions however, is the significance of the ascendant or rising sign, namely the zodiac sign that is rising (due to the rotation of the earth) on the eastern horizon at the moment of a person's birth.

From the viewpoint of earth (geocentric), the Sun appears to move along a circular orbit across the celestial sphere, this circular orbit is called the ecliptic. The zodiac refers to the thin band along the ecliptic composed of the zodiac signs and constellations. The zodiac is divided into twelve different signs each of which is 30 degrees long and begins at Aries. In Tropical Astrology Aries begins at the vernal equinox. The order of the zodiac signs is Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. It is believed that the concept of the zodiac had evolved from Babylonian astronomy, and was later influenced by Hellenistic astronomy.

During ancient times, people monitored the passage of the sun because it was useful in predicting the change of seasons. Over time, however, people have begun to associate the zodiac sign, or Sun's position in the zodiac, with birth dates and characteristics.

Contents

1 Western zodiac signs

1.1 Zodiac symbolism

1.2 The four elements

1.3 The Three Qualities

1.4 Additional classifications

1.5 Planetary rulerships

1.6 Dignity and detriment, exaltation and fall

2 Jyotish or Indian zodiac signs

2.1 Nakshatras

3 Chinese zodiac signs

3.1 Zodiac symbolism

3.2 The twelve signs

3.3 The five elements

4 References

[edit] Western zodiac signs[edit] Zodiac symbolismMain article: Astrological symbols

The symbols used in Western astrology to represent the astrological signsThis table[4] shows the zodiac names in Latin with their English translation. It also shows the element and quality associated with each sign.

Symbol Sign names English name Element Quality Polarity Planet Period of birth[5]

Aries The Ram Fire Cardinal Positive Mars March 21 - April 20

Taurus The Bull Earth Fixed Negative Venus April 21 - May 20

Gemini The Twins Air Mutable Positive Mercury May 21 - June 20

Cancer The Crab Water Cardinal Negative Moon June 21 - July 22

Leo The Lion Fire Fixed Positive Sun July 23 - August 23

Virgo The Maiden Earth Mutable Negative Mercury August 24 - September 22

Libra The Scales Air Cardinal Positive Venus September 23 - October 23

Scorpio The Scorpion Water Fixed Negative Pluto (Traditionally Mars) October 24 - November 21

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