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Horoscopes are always fun to delve into but they can be confusing at first if you’re just now getting into astrology. It’s perfectly natural to wonder how astrologers have arrived at these exact personality traits and predictions for each zodiac sign and why they recommend the things they do.
The twelve zodiac signs are a fundamental aspect of astrology and have been used for centuries to understand and predict human behavior. Each sign is associated with a particular set of personality traits and characteristics, and understanding these can help us gain insight into ourselves and those around us.
In this article, we’ll explore exactly what the twelve zodiac signs mean and how astrologers believe they inform people’s personalities.
What are the Twelve Zodiac Signs?
As you probably already know, there are twelve zodiac signs, each named after a prominent star constellation visible in Earth’s night sky.
The people of the ancient world could see many other stars and constellations aside from these twelve, but chose them to use in astrology because of their proximity (roughly 8 degrees) to the ecliptic belt of the sun – this is the path of the sun’s orbit across the sky as seen from Earth.
Another thing to note about the twelve zodiac signs is that they are divided into four groups, named after the 4 basic elements of Aristotelian physics – earth, fire, water, and air.
This grouping can seem illogical at first. For example, Aquarius is an air sign while Scorpio is a water sign. The reason for this apparent discrepancy isn’t a mistake but it’s due to the four elemental categories being intentionally metaphorical and representing the personality traits of the people born under each zodiac sign.
This means that while the sign Aquarius – named after the constellation Aquarius – sounds like it should be a water sign due to the prefix ‘aqua’, it’s actually an air sign because people born under the Aquarius sign have personality traits that are better described with the metaphorical air elemental symbol.
Naturally, as any astrologer would tell you, this form of divination doesn’t make its predictions solely based on the twelve zodiac signs. Astrologers also use additional factors such as your exact time of birth, precise location, the ascending celestial body on the night sky at the time of your birth (known as your ascendant), whether certain celestial bodies’ orbits were in retrograde, and more.
To get back to the zodiac signs, however, let’s go over each one individually and see what they mean.
What Personality Traits Do the Twelve Zodiac Signs Point To?
We’ll cover the twelve zodiac signs in their chronological order rather than in their elemental groups as the latter are largely metaphorical. As the chronological order of the signs always goes in the following pattern – first fire, then earth, followed by air, and lastly water before cycling back to fire again – you’ll quickly start noticing and anticipating the personality characteristics associated with each sign.
Starting on March 21 and lasting until April 19, Aries is considered the first sign of the zodiac. This goes in line with its nature as a fire sign as Aries love being first in everything they do. People born under this zodiac sign are always expected to be competitive, fiery, passionate, and impulsive – often to a fault.
Aries are natural leaders and tend to be independent and confident. They’re driven by their passions and are always up for a challenge. Aries are known for their bold and impulsive nature, and they are not afraid to take risks. They’re also known for their quick tempers and can be quite headstrong at times.
Despite their fiery nature, Aries are also deeply loyal and protective of those they care about. In relationships, they’re passionate and affectionate, and they value honesty and commitment.
The next zodiac sign, from April 20 to May 20 is the earth sign of Taurus. A Taurus always knows how to wait and be patient, but to also enjoy the moment while doing so. Taurus people are thought to be pragmatic and soothing but to know how to enjoy life as well.
Those born under the sign of Taurus are known for their practicality, stability, and determination. Taurus are hardworking and reliable, and they value security and comfort. They’re patient and persistent and are not afraid to put in the effort required to achieve their goals.
Taurus is also known for their love of luxury and material possessions, and they have a strong appreciation for the finer things in life. Despite their reputation for being practical and down-to-earth, Taurus also has a strong artistic streak and appreciates beauty in all forms. In relationships, Taurus is loyal and dependable, and they value stability and commitment.
The first air sign, the month of Gemini takes place between May 21 and June 20. Those born under this air-headed zodiac sign are enthusiastic about life, and love meeting new people, but can also get a little too over their heads with all the things they try to do at the same time.
Gemini is known for its adaptability, intelligence, and communication skills. They’re curious and love to learn, and are always seeking out new experiences and knowledge. They’re known for their quick wit and ability to think on their feet, and are skilled at adapting to new situations. Gemini is also known for their love of socializing and communication and is also a natural communicator who enjoys being around others.
Despite their outgoing and social nature, Gemini can also be restless and prone to boredom, and they need to have plenty of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and fulfilled. A Gemini in a relationship tends to value honesty, communication, and intellectual connection.
A true water sign, Cancer governs the period between June 22 and July 22. People born in this period are characterized by powerful emotions and a unique outlook on life. Cancers are also thought to be able to seamlessly weave between the emotional and material worlds in ways others may find peculiar.
Cancer is deeply sensitive and caring, and they often put the needs of others before their own. They’re deeply connected to their families and tend to have strong bonds with the people they love. Cancer is also known for its intuition and ability to understand the emotions of others and is skilled at providing emotional support.
Despite its nurturing nature, Cancer can also be moody and sensitive, needing a lot of emotional support and understanding to feel happy and fulfilled. In relationships, Cancer value intimacy, emotional connection, and security.
Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac, associated with the element of fire. Those born under the sign of Leo are known for their confidence, creativity, and leadership skills. Leo is a natural leader and is often the center of attention wherever they go. They’re confident and self-assured, and they are not afraid to take the spotlight.
Like Aries, Leo is passionate and impulsive, however, here the focus is much more on chasing the spotlight rather than chasing first place in a competition. People born under Leo are spirited, theatrical, and full of life.
Leo is also known for their creativity and love of the arts and is often drawn to creative pursuits. Despite their confident and outgoing nature, Leo can also be prone to pride and ego, and they need to be careful not to let their ego get the best of them. In relationships, they tend to value loyalty, respect, and appreciation.
The sixth sign of the zodiac, Virgo governs the period from August 23 to September 22. These folks are believed to be empathetic and loving but also focused on intellectual pursuits that they use to help those around them. Practical and logical, like the other earth signs, Virgo is usually a materialist and a perfectionist.
Virgo is detail-oriented and highly organized, and they value efficiency and order. They’re also known for their reliability and dependability, and they’re often trusted with important tasks.
Despite their practical and organized nature, Virgo can also be perfectionists and can be quite critical of themselves and others. They need to be careful not to let their perfectionism hold them back or cause them to be overly critical. In relationships, Virgo value honesty, loyalty, and dependability.
Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac (September 22 to October 23), associated with the element of air. Those born under the sign of Libra are known for their balance, fairness, and harmony. Libra are natural mediators and are skilled at bringing people together and finding common ground. They value justice and fairness and often strive to create balance and harmony in their personal and professional lives.
Despite their desire for balance and harmony, Libra can also be indecisive and may have a hard time making decisions. They need to be careful not to let their indecisiveness hold them back or cause them to miss out on opportunities. When in a relationship, Libra values partnership, communication, and mutual respect.
Scorpio, the eighth astrological sign in the zodiac, governs the period from October 24 to about November 21. People born under this water sign have a reputation for being fiery and even aggressive toward others. As such, Scorpios are emotional and usually introverted, wise, and self-sufficient. Their “bad” reputation usually comes from people misunderstanding them and stepping over their emotional line.
Those born under the sign of Scorpio are known for their intensity, passion, and determination. They’re deeply emotional and are known for their ability to feel things deeply. They’re also fiercely independent and are not afraid to go their own way, even if it means going against the grain.
Scorpios are also known for their intense and passionate nature, and they can be quite intense and driven when it comes to achieving their goals. Despite their passion and determination, Scorpios can also be prone to jealousy and possessiveness, and they need to be careful not to let these negative traits get the best of them. In relationships, they value honesty, depth, and loyalty.
Back to the fire signs, Sagittarius governs the period from November 22 to December 21. Sagittarius is different from the other two fire signs in that person born under this zodiac are expected to direct their boundless energy toward intellectual and spiritual pursuits rather than toward popularity and prizes.
Sagittarius are natural explorers who are always seeking out new experiences and knowledge. They’re curious, love to learn, and have a natural thirst for adventure. Sagittarius is also known for their optimistic and positive outlook on life, and tends to see the best in people and situations.
Despite their positive and adventurous nature, Sagittarius can also be impulsive and may act without thinking things through. They need to be careful not to let their impulsive nature lead them into dangerous or irresponsible situations. A Sagittarius in a relationship values honesty, independence, and intellectual connection.
This earth sign sees the changing of the year and the winter holidays between December 22 and January 19. This doesn’t mean that Capricorns are always festive and joyous, however, but rather that their focus is usually on time, patience, dedication, and all practical matters.
Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn is driven and ambitious, and not afraid to work hard to achieve their goals. They’re also known for their practical and realistic approach to life and are skilled at making careful and calculated decisions. Capricorns are also known for their discipline and self-control and have a strong sense of responsibility and duty.
Despite their disciplined and ambitious nature, Capricorn can also be prone to worry and insecurity, and they need to be careful not to let these negative traits hold them back. In relationships, they value loyalty, commitment, and stability.
This air sign governs the period from January 20 to February 18. Those born under it are believed to be boundlessly emotional but also full of fire-like energy. Aquarius people focus this energy on all types of fascinating pursuits, usually with social or healing purposes, but they can have a hard time sticking to one thing for long enough to see it through.
Aquarius are independent and unconventional and often think outside of the box. They usually come up with creative and innovative solutions to problems. They’re also known for their eccentric and unique personality and aren’t afraid to be themselves and stand out from the crowd.
Despite their independent and innovative nature, Aquarius can also be detached and aloof, and they may have a hard time connecting emotionally with others. They need to be careful not to let their independence and aloofness hold them back or cause them to miss out on important relationships. An Aquarian in a relationship values honesty, freedom, and intellectual connection.
Pisces is the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac, associated with the element of water. Those born under the sign of Pisces are known for their creativity, intuition, and emotional depth. Pisces are deeply sensitive and emotional and known for their ability to feel things deeply.
They’re also highly creative and artistic, and they often have a natural talent for the arts. Pisces are also known for their strong intuition and ability to understand the emotions of others. They’re skilled at providing emotional support.
However, despite their sensitive and emotional nature, Pisces can also be prone to insecurity and may have a hard time dealing with their own emotions. Therefore, they need to be careful not to let their insecurity and emotional turmoil hold them back. A Pisces in a relationship values emotional depth, intimacy, and compassion.
Zodiac signs and astrology as a whole may be largely controversial, but there’s no denying that they are also quite fascinating.
Much if not all of the meaning behind each zodiac sign is a matter of past observations and guesswork on the part of the astrologer but the people who swear by this form of divination cite its thousands of years of history as justification for why each zodiac sign is ascribed its personality traits.
Even astrologers agree that the above personality descriptions aren’t set in stone, of course. As we said earlier, there are many other factors in astrology that go into the prediction of one’s personality traits and destiny. This makes horoscopes controversial even among some astrologers but it doesn’t make them any less fun to read.