Zodiac Signs: Characteristics, Meanings and Traits of the 12 Star Signs

Zodiac Signs: Characteristics, Meanings and Traits of the 12 Star Signs

Zodiac signs are the basic components of astrology and hence an indispensable element of the horoscope. The idea is to analyze the personality of human beings using the multifaceted character traits assigned to the twelve zodiac signs, which are also called star signs or simply signs. Knowing somebody else's zodiac sign can therefore be quite revealing, but it can also be very insightful to gain a better understanding of one's own personality. In other words, digging deep into the characteristics of the different zodiac signs is absolutely worth it because there is a lot of truth to the descriptions of their peculiarities.

Please choose your zodiac sign:

Zodiac signs as the basis of astrology

Astrology as we know it is based on the zodiac signs. Every human being is born at a specific time of day and on a specific day of the month and that individual birth date is assigned to a certain zodiac sign. Every zodiac sign symbolizes individual properties and therefore conveys certain and very unique features to a person's character traits and personality, and yet it would be a mistake to think that people with the same zodiac sign are identical or similar. In fact, they can be surprisingly different and that has nothing to do whether they are men or women. This rather peculiar aspect of the zodiac signs – meaning that individuals who have the same zodiac sign are quite different in character – matters in several areas of life, especially when it comes to love and relationship. In Western astrology, the twelve zodiac or star signs are assigned to the twelve months of the year. However, the beginning and the end of the twelve signs differ from the beginning and the end of the twelve months, so the transition from one sign into the next never happens at the beginning or the end of a month but somewhere in between, towards the middle. Consequently, someone who is born in January, for example, can be either Capricorn or Aquarius, because that depends on his exact time and date of birth. This is also one of the reasons why individuals with the same zodiac signs can be so different, because being born in the so-called 'cusps', which are the borders or transition zones between the zodiac signs, can in fact have an impact on someone's character.

Assignment of basic interpretations

In the late period of ancient Egypt, approximately between 664 and 332 BC, the Babylonian and the ancient Egyptian star signs, which had been known since the Third Millennium BC and were used in the astrological systems of the Babylonians, the Egyptians and the Sumerians, started to merge into one another. The idea of assigning specific characteristics and meanings as well as interpretations to the twelve sections of the zodiac was then adopted in the Hellenistic period, which lead to a further blending of the different schools of astrology. As a consequence, every section received more and more meanings and characteristics over the time until they finally were completed with the doctrine of the Four Elements, Water, Air, Fire and Earth, which were also seen as fundamental components of life in ancient Greek societies.

The calendar year starts with Aquarius

Aquarius is the first sign of the Western zodiac and is reserved for those who are born between January 21 and February 19. An Aquarius man or woman is a bit of a rebellious and a revolutionary spirit who can be very headstrong but at the same time pleasantly tolerant and benevolent.

Aquarius is succeeded by Pisces, which goes from February 20th until March 20th. Pisces people generally have a very sensitive and altruistic personality, although this zodiac sign is also known for its frequent self-pity.

Next in line is Aries, from March 21st to April 20th. Aries is the first sign of the Western zodiac and is known for its passionate and adventurous nature as well as for its egoistic and choleric temper.

Then comes Taurus, which covers the period between April 21st and May 20th. People with that zodiac sign are said to be rather stubborn and a little lethargic, but they can also be very determined and extremely reliable.

People who are born between May 21st and June 21st belong to the zodiac sign of Gemini. A Gemini personality is smart, witty and eloquent, but also rather impatient, restless and, truth be told, not exactly the most faithful sign of the zodiac.

Gemini is succeeded by Cancer, which starts on June 22nd and ends on July 22nd. People who are born under that sign are soft, caring and highly sensitive. For a Cancer, family is his number one priority.

The period between July 23rd and August 23rd is reserved for Leo man and woman. Just as the lion is the king of the animal world, Leo is the king among the zodiac signs. A Leo is known for his cavalier attitude, his pride and his self-confidence, which can easily turn into arrogance, but he is also a very sociable, magnanimous and generous character. Leo people usually love to be the center of everyone's attention.

Virgo, the astrological successor of Leo, is assigned to the period between August 24th and September 23rd. Her predominant properties are honesty, reliability and a very rational and disciplined attitude. With their natural coolness, Virgos can appear prudish and aloof to their environment.

Libra man or Libra woman, which is responsible for the time between September 24th and October 23rd, is known for her deep desire for harmony, her sense of beauty and aesthetics and her eloquence. Libras are also said to have a very strong sense of justice.

The Scorpio man and woman, the most mysterious zodiac sign of all, comes next. The Scorpio period lasts from October 24th to November 22nd. This sign is known for his extraordinary will power and his loyalty as well as for his ability to analyze and to get to the bottom of things. On the downside, Scorpios can be extremely jealous, revengeful and ruthless.

Scorpio is followed by Sagittarius, which starts on November 23rd and ends on December 21st. This zodiac sign is cheerful, open-minded and very optimistic, but Sagittarius people also have the tendency to overdo things and to appear boastful and superficial to their environment.

Last but not least, there is Capricorn, which covers the period between December 22nd and January 20th. People who are born under that sign are extremely diligent and ambitious and distinguish themselves with a great sense of responsibility and endless endurance. Despite so many positive features, Capricorn people tend to deliver a rather stodgy and sober image of themselves.

Extension of the doctrine of the Four Elements

In ancient Greek, the famous philosopher Aristotle started to extend the doctrine of the Four Elements by adding the concepts of Dryness, Humidity, Heat and Coldness to the existing elements. Hence, the Fire element received Dryness and Heat as an extension, Earth received Dryness and Coldness, Air received Humidity and Heat and Water received Humidity and Coldness. These assignments and extensions as well as the doctrine of the Four Elements itself inspired astrologers to interrelate them with the zodiac. To do so, they used a scientific approach based on physics and the course of the sun within one year. According to their calculations, the sun enters the sign of Aries at the beginning of the spring season and the sign of cancer at the beginning of summer. Accordingly, autumn starts with the Libra interval and winter with Capricorn. If you look at the four intercept points on a chart and connect them with straight lines, you get a square.

Connection between the horoscope and the zodiac signs

The horoscope and the profiles of the different zodiac signs are closely interconnected. It is possible to create a personalized astrological profile based on the horoscope data to analyze the character, the talents and the properties of an individual, which is why without a shadow of a doubt the zodiac signs are the key element of the horoscope. It's fascinating to see how the knowledge and the doctrines that have been recorded for millennia still prove to be true today and how they are blending more and more with our everyday lives and even with our speech. After all, how often do we say things like “that's typical of Taurus” or “he must be a Leo” and find it perfectly normal to do so?