The Zodiac Signs: Astrology of the Signs

The Meaning of the Signs of the Zodiac

The names of the 12 signs of the zodiac are based on the constellations. But the signs through which the planets travel are actually a division of the sky into 12 equal segments of 30 degrees each. The meanings of the zodiac signs in astrology are detailed below, with a discussion of each of the signs’ ruling planets.

The Twelve Zodiac Signs

The astrological zodiac signs are as follows. The exact dates when the Sun passes through each sign varies slightly year to year, but here are the dates for 2007/2008, set for Greenwich Mean Time:

  • Aries (March 22 – April 20)
  • Taurus (April 21 – May 21)
  • Gemini (May 22 – June 21)
  • Cancer (June 22 – July 23)
  • Leo (July 24 – August 23)
  • Virgo (August 24 – September 23)
  • Libra (September 24 – October 23)
  • Scorpio (October 24 – November 22)
  • Sagittarius (November 23 – December 22)
  • Capricorn (December 23 – January 20)
  • Aquarius (January 21 – February 19)
  • Pisces (February 20 – March 21)

The Meaning of the Zodiac Signs

There is much more to astrology than just Sun signs, but every sign has its own “personality,” due to the signs’ planetary rulership. Here is the meaning of each sign:

  1. Aries (the Ram) – ruled by Mars, the God of War. Cardinal fire sign. Aggression, leadership, enterprise, warfare, anger, beginnings (Aries is the first sign of the zodiac), impulse, passion, inspiration, rapid movement, vengeance.
  2. Taurus (the Bull) – ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Love. Fixed earth sign. Stability/stagnation, beauty, pleasure, material things, love, debauchery, money, prosperity, maintenance of status quo, real estate, stubborness.
  3. Gemini (the Twins) – ruled by Mercury, the Trickster/Messenger God. Mutable air sign. Communication, cleverness, trickery, commerce, analysis, reason, dispersal, intellect, dispute, changeability.
  4. Cancer (the Crab) – ruled by the Moon, the lesser luminary. Cardinal water sign. Intense emotion, rapid movement, changeability, love of travel, need for variety, oracles and divination, adaptability, hidden things, beginnings (Cancer is a cardinal sign).
  5. Leo (the Lion) – ruled by the Sun, the greater luminary. Fixed fire sign. Royalty, nobility, stability/stagnation, inspiration, passion, leadership, maintenance of status quo, stubborness.
  6. Virgo (the Virgin) – ruled by Mercury, the Trickster/Messenger God. Mutable earth sign. Communication, material things, tangible reality, intellect, analysis, cleverness, trickery, commerce, real estate, changeability.
  7. Libra (the Scales) – ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Love. Cardinal air sign. Beauty, pleasure, intellect, communication, aesthetic senses, love, debauchery, analysis, reason, beginnings.
  8. Scorpio (the Scorpion) – ruled by Mars, the God of War. Fixed water sign. Warfare, aggression, intense emotion, hidden things, maintenance of status quo, vengeance, stubborness.
  9. Sagittarius (the Archer) – ruled by Jupiter, the Greater Benefic. Mutable fire sign. Expansion, learning, changeability, passion, inspiration, foreign countries, religion.
  10. Capricorn (the Water Goat) – ruled by Saturn, the Greater Malefic. Cardinal earth sign. Leadership, restriction, limitation, rapid movement, material things, tangible reality, real estate, beginnings.
  11. Aquarius (the Water Bearer) – ruled by Saturn, the Greater Malefic. Fixed air sign. Stability/stagnation, maintenance of the status quo, stubborness, restriction, limitation, intellect, analysis, communication, cleverness.
  12. Pisces (the Fish) – ruled by Jupiter, the Greater Benefic. Mutable water sign. Religion, expansion, learning, changeability, intense emotion, hidden things, endings (Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac).

Planets’ Strength and Weakness in the Signs of the Zodiac

Each planet prefers to be in certain zodiacal signs, and similarly, each planet will strongly dislike being in other signs! Example: if you can’t swim, would you rather be in an earth sign or a water sign?

Saturn – very strong in Capricorn and Aquarius (the zodiac signs ruled by Saturn), strong in Libra (the sign where Saturn is exalted). Very weak in Cancer and Leo (the opposite signs from Saturn’s signs), weak in Aries (the sign opposite the place of Saturn’s exaltation).

Jupiter – very strong in Sagittarius and Pisces (the zodiac signs ruled by Jupiter), strong in Cancer (the sign where Jupiter is exalted). Very weak in Gemini and Virgo (the opposite signs from Jupiter’s signs), weak in Capricorn (the sign opposite the place of Jupiter’s exaltation).

Mars – very strong in Aries and Scorpio (the zodiac signs ruled by Mars), strong in Capricorn (the sign where Mars is exalted). Very weak in Libra and Taurus (the opposite signs from Mars’s signs), weak in Cancer (the sign opposite the place of Mars’s exaltation).

Sun – very strong in Leo (the zodiac sign ruled by the Sun), strong in Aries (the sign where the Sun is exalted). Very weak in Aquarius (the opposite sign from the Sun’s sign), weak in Libra (the sign opposite the place of Sun’s exaltation).

Venus - very strong in Taurus and Libra (the zodiac signs ruled by Venus), strong in Pisces (the sign where Venus is exalted). Very weak in Aries and Scorpio (the opposite sign from Venus’s signs), weak in Virgo (the sign opposite the place of Venus’s exaltation).

Mercury – very strong in Gemini and Virgo (the zodiac signs ruled by Mercury), especially strong in Virgo, where Mercury both rules and is exalted. Very weak in Sagittarius and Pisces (the opposite sign from Mercury’s signs), especially weak in Pisces (the sign opposite the place of Mercury’s sign and exaltation).

Moon – very strong in Cancer (the zodiac sign ruled by the Moon), strong in Taurus (the sign of the Moon’s exaltation). Very weak in Capricorn (the opposite sign from the Moon’s sign), weak in Scorpio (the sign opposite the place of the Moon’s exaltation).