Once considered a legitimate science, Astrology’s roots date back to 1500 B.C.; what does your sign say about you?

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Once considered a legitimate science, Astrology’s roots date back to 1500 B.C.; what does your sign say about you?

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Throughout our history, humans have looked to the heavens for answers to life’s complex questions. Guided by the position of the moon, sun, and stars, our ancestors utilized astrological charts for navigation, for predictions of seasons and certain celestial events, and for rituals. 

Astrology is the study of the celestial bodies: zodiac transits, horoscopes, and looking for signs based on their movements. Many dismiss it as a pseudoscience apart from astronomy (the scientific study of the universe as a whole and of objects that exist naturally in space, such as the stars). However, they were once considered the same science.

 The Babylonians are credited with the creation of this ancient interpretation of the world beyond our reach. They had many divination practices and had already divided the zodiac into 12 equal signs by 1500 BC, according to Time Magazine; this ancient civilization also created a 12-month calendar that was based on the phases of the moon. 

The ancient Egyptians added that patterns of stars made up constellations which the sun appears to “move” through at specific times during the year. Today, scientists recognize that it is the earth’s rotation around the sun that causes certain stars which form the various constellations in the zodiac, or imaginary belt in the sky extending nine degrees on either side of the plane of the earth’s orbit and of the sun’s annual path, to be seen. 

When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 330 BC, all these ideas were culminated and transferred over to the Greeks, who codified and popularized the concept that there were 12 zodiac signs, each corresponding to the star constellations in the zodiac. They were matched up with dates based on their arrangement in the sky amongst the earth and sun. 

An interesting fact to note is that the earth has undergone a process known as precession, in which it has moved on its own axis, so the dates currently used to mark the signs actually do not correspond to their constellations in the sky during that time of the month. Instead, the zodiac sign dates point to the presence of the sun in the constellations of the signs that came before them, as affirmed by NASA in 2016.

 In addition, there has been scientific discovery of a 13th constellation called Ophiuchus, which the sun regularly passes through but is not considered a member of the zodiac. If you were born between November 29 and December 17, your constellation is now Ophiuchus, not Sagittarius, and many individuals previously under the Sagittarius sign would also be considered Scorpios (the sign that comes before Sagittarius – now changed to Nov. 23-Nov. 29 – when that constellation is actually in the night sky). Therefore, everything that we have been previously taught is technically wrong, yet we continue to follow the original zodiac wheel of the 12 constellations established by the Babylonians. 

Regardless, humans continue to trace their astrological fingerprints today for both spiritual guidance, romance, and fun. A person is assigned a zodiac sign depending on their birth date. It supposedly represents one’s core personality, sense of self, and basic preferences. Many also believe in horoscopes-birth charts that forecast an individual’s future based on the relative position of the sun, moon, and stars at the time of birth. 

What follows is a list of all the various zodiac signs in order of the traditional zodiac wheel and the traits commonly associated with each one. The signs are organized into four groups based on the elements: Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), Air (Libra, Gemini, Aquarius), and Earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn), each evoking a person’s unique characteristics. You can check for yourself to see if it is really fact or fiction!

Aries (March 21-April 19) Passionate and independent, a Ram will achieve anything he or she sets their mind to. They are typically bold, intelligent, and make great leaders, diving headfirst into the most challenging of situations. On the negative side, they have a fiery temper and get easily frustrated by minute details. They also have a difficult time listening to and accepting others’ viewpoints. But when not enveloped in anger, they are blindly optimistic, playful, and energetic; this type of individual can be seen speeding along the highway, organizing a party game, or defying the odds on the sports field. 

  • Element: Fire
  • Recommended Netflix show: The Umbrella Academy and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Recommended love interest: Libra, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon, Lady Gaga, Vincent van Gogh, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Frost, and Thomas Jefferson

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Symbolized by the bull and guarded by the planet Venus (also the Roman goddess of love, money, and beauty), they enjoy being pampered by their surroundings. Bulls are very sensual and bask in relaxing atmospheres full of soothing aromas and sounds. They are determined, materialistic, down to earth, and ambitious. Taurans live life at a slower pace than most people, analyzing and pondering almost every move they make. This makes them fairly decent investors; they prioritize financial security among other things. However, they are also notorious for their stubbornness and laziness. You can typically find one in a salon or massage parlor, or maybe just relaxing in bed.

  • Element: Earth
  • Recommended Netflix show: Salt Fat Acid Heat
  • Recommended love interest: Cancer and Virgo
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Adele, Dwayne the Rock Johnson, Audrey Hepburn, and Chris Brown, Cate Blanchett 

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Characterized as emotionally intelligent and two-faced, Geminis are represented by the Twins, Castor and Pollux. They tend to be popular, as they are talented at judging the atmosphere of a room and connecting with others. Their patron god is Mercury, the messenger god; thus, they are excellent at communicating their views and persuading others to their way of thinking. On the positive side, they are very adaptable and love to learn. 

  • Element: Air
  • Recommended Netflix show: House of Cards and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Recommended love interest: Aries and Leo
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Azalea, Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Kanye West, Johnny Depp, William Shakespeare, Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Symbolized by the crab, cancers are creative, generous, extremely emotional, and resilient. They might seem stand-offish and cold at first, but once you get to know them, they’ll be your best friend for life. Psychic and loyal in nature, they are gifted at reading people and tend to prefer small groups over large parties. Cancers, like their celestial spirit, are guarded by a hard external shell and are, as a result, very protective and sensitive to their surroundings.  

  • Element: water
  • Recommended Netflix show: The OA and One Day At a Time
  • Recommended love interest: Taurus and Pisces
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Kevin Hart, Luke Bryon, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Robin Williams, Ernest Hemmingway

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Leos are represented by the lion constellation spirit, seeking to unleash their “roar,” or viewpoints onto others and eliminate injustice present in the world. They are pros at debating and getting people to agree with their side. Renowned as natural leaders, energetic, bold, and intelligent, they have the tendency to arrogantly put themselves first in plan-making. Lions also seek adventure, which they satisfy through their travels. While their voices might be loud, they make generous and loyal friends who put their hearts and souls into every relationship. 

  • Element: fire
  • Recommended Netflix show: The Crown and GLOW
  • Recommended love interest: Sagittarius, Aries, and Libra
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Barack Obama, J.K. Rowling, Madonna, Chris Hemsworth, Leonard DiCaprio, Kylie Jenner, Shawn Mendes

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) The gentle perfectionists of the zodiac, Virgos are incredibly hard-working and organized, and their diligence is contagious to those around them. They are keenly interested in discovering the “why” in everything, making them excellent reporters, teachers, editors, musicians, and lovers of research/learning. A Virgo’s friends might call him or her a “walking encyclopedia,” which refers to a Virgo’s practical, intelligent, and logical approach to processing information and solving problems. 

  • Element: Earth
  • Recommended Netflix show: Pretty Little Liars and Tidying Up
  • Recommended love interest: Cancer
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Zendaya, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Pine, Prince Harry, Michael Jackson, D.H. Lawrence, Elizabeth I of England, Lyndon B. Johnson

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) Librans possess an innate creativity, their minds occupied by boundless imagination. They don’t even need their smartphones or television sets to keep them entertained. Libras are especially known for their desire for peace and harmony. They sometimes place others’ interests and happiness before their own when forging compromises, which is easily done since they are master communicators and have a charisma that cannot be denied. 

  • Element: air
  • Recommended Netflix show: Friends and Making a Murderer 
  • Recommended love interest: Gemini
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Mahatma Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Carrie Fisher, Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, T.S. Elliot

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) Like their celestial spirit animal (the scorpion), Scorpios might seem prickly on the outside. As a matter of fact, many incorrectly denote them as the most despicable of the zodiac. However, underneath that hard external shell and deadly, protective sting is an extremely loyal, passionate, caring, and strategic individual who seeks both love and the unknown. They have an emotional curiosity that sometimes causes some to turn to the dark side, but many Scorpios instead transform that bravery into doing heroic deeds unsought by others. 

  • Element: water
  • Recommended Netflix show: Black Mirror and How to Get Away With Murder
  • Recommended love interest: Cancer
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Ryan Reynolds, Katy Perry, Kris Jenner, Anne Hathaway, Drake, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Theodore Roosevelt

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Independent and strong-willed, the archers under the Sagittarius constellation make excellent CEOs and trailblazers-natural leaders of the pack. Their energy is infectious to those around them, but sometimes they might take their “solo adventurer” nature too much to heart and put their needs before others. However, you can count on these blunt archers to tell you the truth no matter what because they are incredibly honest and trustworthy. Many Sagittarians also enjoy creative activities such as reading and visiting museums to explore the inner workings of their intelligent minds, and they especially love to explore the far corners of the world and venture into the most exquisite destinations this planet has to offer. 

  • Element: fire
  • Recommended Netflix show: Sense 8 and The New Legends of Monkey
  • Recommended love interest: Leo and Aries 
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, Vanessa Hudgens, Bill Nye, Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Andrew Carnegie

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Very organized and hard-working, sea goats will achieve anything they set their minds to with their intense determination.  On the flip side, this can lead to the common attitude of “I don’t need you” when their unwavering focus gets in the way of their relationships with others, making them appear cold or distant. Many Capricorns possess a materialistic drive to obtain financial security, and they are very cautious in decision-making. However, underneath the mask of what some call boringness and obsession with money/success is a loyal and compassionate individual. 

  • Element: Earth
  • Recommended Netflix show: Ozark and Sex Education
  • Recommended love interest: Virgo and Taurus
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Michelle Obama, John Legend, Steven Hawking, Elvis Presley, Isaac Newton, Muhammad Ali, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allen Poe, Martin Luther King Jr.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18) The non-conformist water bearers of the Aquarius zodiac sign are renowned for their “go with the flow” attitude and their “big picture” way of thinking. Like their air element, Aquarians are assumed to be detached from the world with their head in the clouds, but in reality, they just need space and time on their own to reflect. Similar to the other fixed signs of the zodiac (Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio), they tend to have a stubborn personality trait, which is considered their ultimate weakness. The typical source for this Achilles heel is that Aquarians become so transfixed on implementing reforms by themselves that they may neglect their loved ones, fulfilling their reputation of being distant and aloof in relationships. Regardless of these negatives, they are compassionate individuals who bring out the best in others and are simply unique in their own way. 

  • Element: air (even though it represented by the water bearer)
  • Recommended Netflix show: Black Mirror and Russian Doll
  • Recommended love interest: Sagittarius and Libra
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, Shakira, Oprah Winfrey, Galileo Galilei, Charles Darwin, Alicia Keys, The Weekend, Rosa Parks

Pisces (Feb. 19 to March 20) With a reputation for being emotional, sensitive, and psychic, these intuitive fish of the zodiac are bestowed with the gift of easily judging the sincerity of others. In fact, a phrase that one might say is “I’m so understanding that nobody understands me.” They possess a natural born empathy that makes them likable but perhaps also hard to open up to. They tend to be so selfless that they can feel the suffering of others and put their needs before their own. Pisces also have an active imagination and take pleasure in reading, writing, creating art or music, or expressing their emotions through the arts.  

  • Element: water   
  • Recommended Netflix show: The Hook Up Plan and The Good Place
  • Recommended love interest: Virgo and Cancer
  • Celebrities/historical figures under this sign: Albert Einstein, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Becky G., Simone Biles, Carrie Underwood, Adam Levine, Steve Jobs

Pop culture and literature has always had a special place in its heart for the stars above. This is a list of some books, movies, and television series that reference the zodiac signs/horoscopes:

  • All My Sons by Arthur Miller (play)
  • My Little [insert zodiac sign] by John Astrop (book series)
  • Zodiac Mystery Series by Connie di Marco 
  • Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
  • Zodiac Sign (movie)
  • The Parent Trap (movie)
  • Gemini Man (movie)
  • Leo the Lion: King of the Jungle (short animated film)
  • Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (anime)
  • And many more…

May the cosmos shine bright and our futures shine even brighter!