What are the twelve signs of the Zodiac?

twelve signs of the Zodiac
The 12 signs of the Zodiac
Image courtesy Skyscript

Each sign has certain characteristics; but the signs are also categorized in several ways. First, they are grouped by element:

  • Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) are associated with action, enthusiasm and leadership, as well as an openness to change.
  • Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) embody emotion, sensitivity and compassion.
  • Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) symbolize practicality and a focus on material goals.
  • Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) are the signs of the intellect.

Here are the typical symbols used by astrologers to represent the sun signs:


Signs can also be cardinal, fixed, or mutable, which are related to movement, resistance to change and ability to change freely, respectively. And finally, each sign is either masculine or feminine, alternating around the zodiac. This designation is not related to what most of us think of as gender, but instead to the Chinese concept of Yin and Yang, in which, to oversimplify a complex subject, opposing forces or traits both define and create one another.

  • Aries - The Ram March 21 - April 20 Cardinal, Fire, Masculine Proud, youthful, impulsive, brave, competitive, arrogant, violent
  • Taurus - The Bull April 21 - May 21 Fixed, Earth, Feminine Conservative, loyal, stubborn, materialistic, resistant to change, possessive, sensual
  • Gemini - The Twins May 22 - June 21 Mutable, Air, Masculine Persuasive, concerned with information, highly literate, curious, adaptable, absent-minded, loves to travel
  • Cancer - The Crab June 22 - July 22 Cardinal, Water, Feminine Cautious, family-oriented, romantic, domestic, imaginative, shy, thorough, interested in the past and tradition
  • Leo - The Lion July 23 -August 21 Fixed, Fire, Masculine Proud, courageous, stubborn, extroverted, vain, ambitious, optimistic, open, associated with royalty
  • Virgo - The Virgin August 22 - September 23 Mutable, Earth, Feminine Conservative, shy, prudish, kindly, uptight, skeptical, concerned with health, often introverted and melancholy
  • Libra - The Scales September 24 - October 23 Cardinal, Air, Masculine Extroverted, analytical, unbiased, secretive, tactful, concerned with harmony but prone to collapse in the face of conflict
  • Scorpio - The Scorpion October 24 - November 22 Fixed, Water, Feminine Vengeful, sarcastic, courageous, tenacious, protective of itself, known for survival in the face of disaster
  • Sagittarius - The Archer November 23 - December 22 Mutable, Fire, Masculine Daring, proud, impatient, dual-natured (refined and intellectual as well as bestial and passionate), extroverted, looking to the horizon, progressive, eclectic
  • Capricorn - The Goat-Fish December 23 - January 20 Cardinal, Earth, Feminine Neurotic, introspective, inhibited, conservative, fatalistic, methodical, practical, concerned with detail, a good planner
  • Aquarius - The Water Bearer January 21 - February 19 Fixed, Air, Masculine Intellectual, connected to civilization, rational, individualistic, iconoclastic, concerned with science, tolerant
  • Pisces - The Fish February 20- March 20 Mutable, Water, Feminine Emotional, self-sacrificing, adaptable, empathic, religious, versatile, talkative, often takes on the behaviors of others, creative, impractical

For more information on horoscopes and astrology, see How Horoscopes Work.

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