Each of the 12 astrological signs belongs to a certain element in one of its states. This gives us twelve quite different basic types. These varying qualities provide the “backdrop” to the planetary positions. As each horoscope has different planets in different signs, there can never be a “pure” Aries or a “pure” Gemini. Each horoscope is a highly individual, very complex and usually also very varied combination of parts.
In order to understand the signs, we must take into account the typical expressions of the elements, as well as the characteristics belonging to the planets associated with the signs.
Aries – (March 21 – April 19)
Cardinal fire; ruled by Mars
Willpower, impulsive, initiative, courage, energy, activity
Often rushes headlong into things
The ram is used to describe the sign of Aries because it is always full of energy and life, always on the move, and always looking for a challenge. A typical Aries person is usually full of vitality and courage. He enjoys challenge, and can often be found excelling at sports and other competitive games. He will try anything if there is a chance to win. Many people who have the Sun in Aries, or perhaps some of the other planets in Aries, are natural leaders. They have plenty of new, creative ideas. They may get impatient when they must follow a routine, or do what they think are boring things. The Aries person does not like being told what to do. He likes to make his own way in life.
Aries belongs to a group of Zodiac signs which astrologers call fire signs. By this they mean that people born under these signs remind them of a warm, bright, crackling fire. They have a fiery, impulsive quality. They tend to be outgoing and sometimes have hot tempers, but they forgive easily as well. They are optimistic and rarely remain sad for long. Leo and Sagittarius are also fire signs.
If you are an Aries think how good you feel when you are first at something, and when you can invent new ideas or activities which your friends enjoy.
Taurus – (April 20 – May 20)
Fixed earth; ruled by Venus
Sensual, pleasure-seeker, steadfast, strives for security
Sees red when provoked for a long time
The bull is used to describe the sign of Taurus because he usually is plodding and peaceful in his movements. He is deliberate and relaxed and enjoys his food. A typical Taurus person likes comfort, and is willing to work hard for the things that make him happy. Like a bull he does not easily lose his temper, but when he does get angry it is best to stay out of his way!
The most important thing to Taurus is stability. Many Taurus people love beautiful things. They may also love the land, and be happiest in the country. Some Taurus people have fine voices and a talent for music, or they may be good at sculpture or woodwork. Others are practical and can be excellent accountants or bookkeepers. But sometimes Taurus people take a long time to decide what they are best at, because this is a patient sign and Taurus people are in no hurry.
Taurus belongs to a group of signs which astrologers call earth signs. By this they mean that Taurus people have a solid, reliable quality which reminds them of the earth itself. Virgo and Capricorn are also earth signs.
If you are a Taurus your special gifts are your reliability, and your ability to bring peace and stability into other people’s lives.
Gemini – (May 21 – June 20)
Mutable air; ruled by Mercury
Mental type, witty, communicative, mobile, takes pleasure in learning. Rarely touches down
The twins are used to describe the sign of Gemini because typical Gemini people love to share ideas with someone else. The most important thing for a Gemini is communication. Gemini people are almost always curious about lots of different things. A typical Gemini person usually enjoys being with other people, and loves to talk about the latest thing he is doing. People usually like their Gemini friends, because they have something interesting to share with everybody.
Many Gemini people are talented at writing, teaching and public speaking. Some are gifted dancers. Many of them work in the fields of radio, television and newspapers because they love to be around when news is being created. It is especially important for Gemini people to travel and meet new people.
Gemini belongs to a group of signs which astrologers call air signs. By this they mean that Gemini people have a sparkling, changeable, light quality which makes them think of the light and refreshing breeze of a spring day. Libra and Aquarius are also air signs.
If you are a Gemini think about how good you feel when you are right in the middle of exciting things and can tell your friends your own story of what happened. You can brighten up a whole room full of people, and teach them something new at the same time.
Cancer – (June 21 – July 22)
Cardinal water; ruled by the Moon
Emotional type, stubborn, seeks safety and closeness
Very much a family person
The crab is used to describe this sign because it carries its own house with it. It will also move sideways instead of in a straight line, and although a crab cannot really hurt you with its claws, it can hang on very tightly to something it wants.
A typical Cancer person is home-loving and fond of his family. At the same time he is often quite subtle in his behaviour and may approach people and situations indirectly if he cannot get what he wants by going straight forward. And when he loves someone or has something which makes him happy, he will hang on very tightly and not let go.
Cancer people want to be needed, and it is important to them to be around people who love them and help them to feel secure. They are also often shy and sensitive, but they can be brave and courageous about protecting their friends and loved ones. Many Cancer people also have wonderful imaginations, and can create fine stories and paintings.
Cancer belongs to a group of signs which astrologers call water signs. By this they mean that Cancer people have a deep, mysterious, gentle quality which makes them think of gazing into a cool, deep pool or into the flowing waters of a river. Scorpio and Pisces are also water signs.
If you are a Cancer think about how good you feel when you are close to your family and feel safe and secure in a warm, happy home.
Leo – (July 23 – August 22)
Fixed fire; ruled by the Sun
Glamour, generosity, organizer, the centre of attention
Likes to take the lion’s part
The lion is called the King of the Beasts, and astrologers think that this animal is a good symbol to represent the kind of personality which seems to belong to most Leos. If you watch a lion you will see that he is always dignified, proud looking, and relaxed. He seems to know that he is king.
Sometimes he also enjoys being lazy and lying around in the sun. All this means that if you are a Leo you probably need plenty of time and opportunity in your life to do the things you want, things that give you joy and allow you to express yourself in a pleasurable way. Leos always like to think big, and do not enjoy things which are too detailed, or too dull. They also like to lead, and don’t like being ordered around.
There is another thing which is important to a Leo, and that is love. Leo people need plenty of love and attention. They can feel hurt if they are ignored, or if someone else takes the credit for something they have done. They love to have an audience, and even a fairly shy, quiet Leo might secretly look to see if anyone is watching when he is doing something.
Leo is a fire sign, like Aries and Sagittarius. If you are a Leo, think about how good it feels to create something which is uniquely yours, something artistic or something exciting like a new invention, which everyone admires and which also brings pleasure to other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for the attention and love you need, but remember that other people like to be loved and admired in return.
Virgo – (August 23 – September 22)
Mutable earth; ruled by Mercury
Precise, differentiates, does what is necessary, utilitarian
A critical point of view
The symbol of Virgo the Maiden was chosen by astrologers to represent people born under this sign because there is a cool, clear quality to the way that a typical Virgo person thinks.
Virgo people are usually very gentle and quiet, and love small animals and growing things. Many Virgos love to do detailed things and are talented at crafts like dressmaking. They will work hard to create something which is beautiful and useful at the same time. People born under the sign of Virgo are often happy to be alone, providing they know that they are needed and appreciated by others. In fact, the most important thing to Virgo people is service. They are always ready to help others, and are very sympathetic to their friend’s problems. Often they are shy and sensitive, but deep down are generous with their love and their talents.
Virgo is an earth sign, like Taurus and Capricorn. If you are a Virgo, you will know how good you feel when you have been able to help somebody else in some way. Also you will get great pleasure from making something with your own hands. You will probably find that as you grow up the kind of work you do will become very important to you, for you need to feel you are contributing something worthwhile to life. Don’t ever feel that noisier, bossier people are better than you, because your special gentleness and quietness is much needed in this world.
Libra – (September 23 – October 22)
Cardinal air; ruled by Venus
A sense of beauty and proportion, tactful, seeks balance and harmony. Sometimes hovers between the scales
When you use a pair of scales you must get exactly the right amount on each side to make them balance. If there is too much on one side, or too little on the other, the scales will tip.
Astrologers think this is a good symbol for Libra people because they seem to need equal amounts of everything in their lives to be happy. Libra people need to keep a balance between work and play, and between their thoughts and their emotions. Sometimes they seem to have trouble making decisions, but this is because they must consider all sides of a question first. They are always striving for perfection and balance, and love beauty and harmony around them.
The most important thing for a Libra person is this idea of harmony. Libra people love to have people about them and to feel that they are appreciated. They usually get very interested in the opposite sex early in life, because they need love and companionship. Lots of Libra people are artistic and appreciate beautiful things. Sometimes they are talented at music or singing, and often dress well. But they may also be good at mathematics and science, because there is a clear, logical quality to the way they think. Usually Libra people are well liked because they are charming and easy to get along with. When a Libra person argues or behaves badly, it is usually because he feels that something is unfair.
Libra is an air sign, like Gemini and Aquarius. If you are a Libra, think about how good you feel when everything in your life seems to be harmonious and well-balanced, and when you have friends to go places or do things with.
Scorpio – (October 23 – November 21)
Fixed water; ruled by Pluto
Corrosive, passionate, piercing, extreme situations
Frequently quarrels with the spirits he called
The scorpion is a solitary little animal which likes to hide under stones. He can be dangerous, but he is never aggressive by himself and will only harm someone if he is disturbed. Astrologers think that the scorpion is a good symbol to represent those born under this sign because Scorpio people usually need plenty of time by themselves to think deeply about things they feel.
Scorpio people are sometimes very quiet, shy and sensitive and like to keep secrets. They can feel things very intensely. Scorpio people are also often very good at seeing the good and bad points in other people. The most important thing for Scorpio is self-understanding. They are not afraid to try things other people are frightened of, if it will help them to learn more about themselves. At the same time, they do not like to be taken advantage of or injured, and many Scorpio people have a very strong sense of justice. This can make life difficult for Scorpio children if they think they are being unfairly punished. Scorpio children are often much wiser and more understanding than other children, so they should always be given reasons when they are told to do something.
Many Scorpio people are good at things which require deep thought and understanding, like psychology. Some of them become fine doctors and surgeons, because they are interested in the mysteries of life and like to heal.
Scorpio is a water sign, like Cancer and Pisces. If you are a Scorpio, your special gifts are your insight and sensitivity, and your strength of will, which can achieve anything in life.
Sagittarius – (November 22 – December 21)
Mutable fire; ruled by Jupiter
Free spirit, carefree, love of movement, cheerful
Wanderlust, often seems to be elsewhere
The centaur is an imaginary creature who is half horse and half man. In the stories of mythology he is full of adventure and will gallop to the ends of the earth just for the joy of finding something new. In his hands he carries a bow and arrow. He shoots his arrow at some distant goal, gallops off in pursuit, and when he finds his arrow shoots it again, always keeping on the move. Astrologers think the centaur is a good symbol for those born under this sign, because they generally love travelling, seeing new places and meeting new people. They are always ready for a new adventure and always ready to learn something new.
Sagittarius people need plenty of freedom, because they want to experience as much of life as they can. They are unhappy when tied down to a routine, and happiest when starting off on something new. Walking is a favourite Sagittarian pastime, and many excel at sports. Sagittarians also have restless, adventurous minds, and like to take up new studies. Many Sagittarians are keenly interested in philosophy and the world of ideas, and they also love to have a good time and are fun to be with.
Sagittarius is a fire sign, like Aries and Leo. If you are a Sagittarius, you will probably find that as you grow older you want to travel. You should have a lively and inquiring mind, and will always be asking questions about everything. Above all, you should have great faith in yourself, and your special and unique gift is this ability to wish upon a lucky star and believe your dreams really will come true.
Capricorn – (December 22 – January 19)
Cardinal earth; ruled by Saturn
Enduring, has a sense of purpose, proud, ambitious
Can get stuck in craggy heights
The mountain goat is always climbing higher and higher toward the summit. He is sure-footed and never falls, and knows where he is going. Other animals cannot catch him because he simply climbs higher and looks out over the world from a safe and secure place on the mountain top. Astrologers think that the mountain goat is a good symbol for those born under the sign of Capricorn because they are the type of people who have a goal towards which they will work hard and long. Capricorn people usually have plenty of self-discipline and are successful in what they do.
The most important thing to a Capricorn is achievement. He will tend to take life seriously, and it is important for him to be good at something. He needs to feel that he has a skill, something he can do better than anyone else. Capricorn people are hard workers and many of them make excellent teachers, lawyers and statesmen. They are also quiet and diplomatic and know how to be subtle and tactful in their dealings with others. It may take a long time for you to get to know a Capricorn person, because he is often serious and shy by nature.
Capricorn is an earth sign, like Virgo and Taurus. If you are a Capricorn you will probably find that as you grow older it will be more and more important for you to achieve success in something and earn recognition for your abilities. Work is very important to you. Family life is equally important, and you may have a love of history and tradition. Your special and unique gift is your inner determination to succeed at what you want in life, and that means you probably will.
Aquarius – (January 20 – February 18)
Fixed air; ruled by Uranus
Communicative, humanitarian, progressive, fraternal
Universal spirit with occasional astonishing obstinacy
The man who carries the pitcher of water freely shares his water with all those who are thirsty. Astrologers think this is a good symbol for people born under the sign of Aquarius, because they are generous in sharing their gifts with other people. Aquarians are often humanitarians. This means that they are interested in people and will feel concern for people as a group. They believe that everyone is their friend, whether they are black or white, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly. Aquarius is a friendly sign.
Many Aquarians have excellent minds. They are very clever at science and are especially interested in anything which can help people. They are often fascinated by gadgets and inventions, and some Aquarians become great inventors themselves. Others may support political movements concerned with questions of freedom and justice. Aquarius people, are often not very emotional, because they are more interested in exchanging ideas and helping others.
Aquarius is an air sign, like Gemini and Libra. If you are an Aquarian, your special and unique gift is your tolerance and understanding of other people. You have the gift of being able to perceive what people really think and feel, no matter how they are dressed, or what walk of life they come from, and people feel you are their friend because you are truly interested in them. With this gift you can help people to make the best out of their own lives.
Pisces – (February 19 – March 20)
Mutable water; ruled by Neptune
Sensitive, compassionate, helpful, sociable
Very adaptable, hard to get a hold on
Life under the sea is very different from life on land, and the fishes live in a world where there are many secret and hidden things, mysteries and strange beauties. They are also graceful creatures who swim and glide through the gentle currents of water. Astrologers think that fishes are a good symbol for Pisces people. They often seem to flow through life in a graceful way. They love music and poetry and frequently daydream. They often have a private inner world which is a very special and precious place to them, but they can be deeply compassionate towards other people who are unhappy.
Other people sometimes find Pisces hard to understand, because they feel so deeply and see many things in life which they cannot share with more practical types. They love the magic and mystery of the ocean, and wild, unspoilt scenery. They often need to be on their own, but always return to the company of others, for they are happiest when they have someone or something to be devoted to. There is a great deal of love in Pisces people. Many Pisces people become writers, artists and musicians. In addition, Pisces people are often deeply religious.
Pisces is a water sign, like Cancer and Scorpio. If you are a Pisces, you may find that it becomes important as you grow older to find some kind of spiritual belief or faith. You may have a vivid imagination, and others who do not share this gift may think you daydream too much. But these daydreams are important to you, and you should never be afraid to have special times when you can withdraw into your private world.