Zodiac Signs

The Zodiac

Astronomically, the Zodiac refers to the part of the sky that is 8 degrees north and south of the ecliptic, which is the path of the Sun across the celestial sphere from the view of earth over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and the planets are also within the belt of the zodiac.

Astrologically, the Zodiac refers to the 12 signs that rule each of the 30 degrees that make up the 360 degree “wheel of the sky”.  The start of the astrological Zodiac begins with Aries at 0 degrees, which is the vernal or spring equinox. Aries rules the first 30 degrees, Taurus the second 30, then Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

Two Systems of Astrology (Tropical and Sidereal)

There are two primary systems of astrology that make up the bulk of astrological texts, websites, and private consultations.  One is tropical astrology, used extensively in Western culture (the United States and Europe) and the other is sidereal astrology, used extensively in Eastern culture (India) and best known as Vedic astrology.  Askastrology information is based on Tropical astrology.  Below is a succinct explanation of the two and how they differ:

Sidereal and tropical are terms used to describe two different definitions of a year. In astrology, they refer to two different systems of ecliptic coordinates used to divide the ecliptic into twelve “signs”. Each sign is divided into 30 degrees, making a total of 360 degrees.

While sidereal systems of astrology define the signs relative to the apparent backwards movement of fixed stars of about 1 degree every 72 years from the perspective of the Earth, tropical systems fix the vernal point or vernal equinox (also known as the March equinox in the Northern hemisphere) to 0 degrees of Aries and define the rest of the zodiac from this point. Sidereal astrology uses corrective systems known as ayanamsas (Sanskrit: ‘ayana’ “movement” + ‘aṃśa’ “component”) to account for the precession of equinoxes, whereas tropical astrology does not use such measures. This has caused the two systems, which were identical around 2,000 years ago, to drift apart over the centuries.

So, a person born on April 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm in Lynchburg, Virginia would have a Tropical Sun sign of Aries at 12 degrees and 10 minutes.  That same person would a Sidereal Sun sign of 18 degrees and 00 minutes of Pisces. 

House Systems

Tropical astrology divides the wheel of the sky into 12 pie pieces, called houses, which get calculated and determined by time and location on the day of birth.  If the time of birth is unknown an astrologer my choose to use 12 am or 12 pm and provide interpretations based solely on the position of the points in signs and in relationship to one another by certain angles, called aspects.  It is possible to attempt find the correct time using a complex process known as rectification, which involves taking significant events from a person’s life and then working backwards to determine which birth time would yield the outcomes from the person’s life events.

Every house system is calculated on the rotational movement of Earth on its axis, but there is a wide range of approaches based on different calculations methods to determine how the houses are demarcated.  Below is a list of the various house systems used in Tropical astrology over its inception and up to the current time:

  • Placidus (most used)
  • Whole Signs
  • Equal Signs
  • Porphyry
  • Regiomontanus
  • Campanus
  • Koch

Regardless of which system used, the position of the points will be in the same signs.

Read more in depth about the 12 houses and learn more about the 12 ascendant signs.

What is my Zodiac Sign?

Zodiac SignDatesHouse RulershipRuling Planet
AriesMar 21 – Apr 19FirstMars
TaurusApr 20 – May 20SecondVenus
GeminiMay 21 – Jun 20ThirdMercury
CancerJun 21 – Jul 22FourthMoon
LeoJul 23 – Aug 22FifthSun
VirgoAug 22 – Sep 21SixthMercury
LibraSept 23 – Oct 22SeventhVenus
ScorpioOct 23 – Nov 21EighthPluto
SagittariusNov 22 – Dec 21NinthJupiter
CapricornDec 22 – Jan 19TenthSaturn
AquariusJan 20 – Feb 18EleventhUranus
PiscesFeb 19 – Mar 20TwelfthNeptune
Zodiac Sign Dates, Natural Houses and Ruling Planets

☀ Note: If you were born within three days of a sign change there is a good chance that you were born on the cusp.

If you are not certain, you can determine your zodiac sign by entering your data in the calculator below and find out where the Sun was at the time of your birth.

Birth Date
Exact Birth Time

If birth time is unknown, check this box.*

UTC time offset:

Tip: Make sure the UTC time offset is correct. If it's wrong, you can change it.

* NOTE: If birth time is unknown, the report will not include positions or aspects for the Moon, Ascendant, Midheaven, Vertex, or Part of Fortune, nor will it include House positions for any planets.

Zodiac Signs: Astrology Qualities, Modalities, and Elements

Other than the four astrology elements (Water, Fire, Earth, and Air), the twelve signs of the Zodiac are also classified through the zodiac qualities. There are three qualities in astrology: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. These qualities are also called Quadruplicities, and they have a significant effect on a person’s general outlook and attitude, and indicate how they function in their daily life. The qualities represent how a person with a certain sign interacts with their environment, how they respond to situations, and how they interact with other people. Every person plays a different role on a team, some are starters or initiators (Cardinal), some are the hard workers (Fixed), and some are the connectors (Mutable).

The twelve houses also have a quadruplicity in their modalities: Angular, Succedent, and Cadent, which correspond to the three qualities.  The first house is Angular and ruled by a Cardinal sign (Aries), the second house is Succedent and ruled by a Fixed sign (Taurus), the third house is Cadent and ruled by a Mutable sign (Gemini), and so on around the wheel.

The Fire and Air signs are Masculine and the Earth and Water signs are Feminine.

HouseModalitySignQualityGender
1stAngularAriesCardinalM
2ndSuccedentTaurusFixedF
3rdCadentGeminiMutableM
4thAngularCancerCardinalF
5thSuccedentLeoFixedM
6thCadentVirgoMutableF
7thAngularLibraCardinalM
8thSuccedentScorpioFixedF
9thCadentSagittariusMutableM
10thAngularCapricornCardinalF
11thSuccedentAquariusFixedM
12thCadentPiscesMutableF

Air: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius

Air is the element associated with thought, communication, and social connection. At their best, Air signs can be open-minded, communicative, and connecting; they love learning (Gemini), fairness (Libra), and improving society (Aquarius). These qualities not only let them think with fresher perspectives, but also lets them understand the other person very easily. The highest expression of the Air element helps people with these signs learn the deeper meaning of life by being open to all kinds of ideas where others might draw a line.

Water: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces

Water is the element associated with emotions, intimacy, and dreaming.  At their best, Water signs can be nurturing, intense, and loving; they excel at caring (Cancer), transforming (Scorpio), and imagining (Pisces).  These qualities shape our inner being and help us connect with others at an emotional and intimate level.  The highest expression of the Water element helps these people learn the deeper meaning of life through feelings and intuition.

Fire: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius

Fire is the element associated with independence, creativity, and exploration. At their best, Fire signs can be exciting, playful, and maverick; they excel at initiating (Aries), entertaining (Leo), and discovering (Sagittarius).  These qualities help us keep life exciting and challenging.  The highest expression of the Fire element helps these people learn the deeper meaning of life through action and competition.

Earth: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn

Earth is the element associated with needs, practicality, and productivity.  At their best, Earth signs can be reliable, inventive, and successful; they excel at gathering resources (Taurus), problem-solving (Virgo), and prospering (Capricorn).  These qualities help us survive, get our needs met, and feel safe.  The highest expression of the Earth element helps these people learn the deeper meaning of life through hard work and persistent effort.

12 Zodiac Signs: Meanings and Characteristics

A zodiac sign (also called a sun sign) indicates the place where the Sun was located at the time of your birth. The characteristics of your astrological sign unveil your strongest personality traits. The 12 zodiac signs in order are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

Aries

Aries_icon

People born between March 21 to April 19 have an Aries Sun sign. The symbol for Aries is the ram.  As the Cardinal Fire sign, these individuals initiate by taking action; they lead by doing.  They are at their best striving to be free, acting independently, and pursuing maverick opportunities.  They need to learn self-discipline to make the most of their life journey.

Taurus

Taurus_icon

People born between April 20 to May 20 have a Taurus Sun sign. The symbol for Taurus is the bull.  As the Fixed Earth sign, these individuals work hard to establish traditions, security, and reliability; they form the bedrock of society.  They are at their best in routines, taking care of necessities, and making sure their needs and the needs of others are met in practical ways.  They need to learn some degree of flexibility to make the most of their life journey.

Gemini

Gemini_icon

People born between May 21 and June 20 have a Gemini Sun sign.  The symbol for Gemini is the Roman numeral II, which represents twins.  As the Mutable Air sign, these individuals adapt using their intellect, curiosity, and skill as communicators.  They are at their best learning new information, sharing ideas, and interacting socially with the people around them. They must learn how to focus-on-demand to manifest their best results.

Cancer

Cancer_icon

People born between June 21 to July 22 have a Cancer Sun sign.  The symbol for Cancer is the crab.  As the Cardinal Water sign, these individuals initiate using their emotions, their caretaking instincts, and their desire to heal.  They are at their best leading people who share strong emotional bonds (first and foremost, the family), need to be nurtured, and who need to develop emotional intelligence. They must learn “emotional balance” to manifest their best results.

Leo

Leo_icon

People born between July 23 and August 22 have a Leo Sun sign. The symbol for Leo is the lion.  As the Fixed Fire sign, these individuals work hard to be creative, playful, and recognized.  They are at their best performing, competing, and acting heroically. They must learn self-discipline to manifest their best results.

Virgo

Virgo_icon

People born between August 23 and September 22 have a Virgo Sun sign. The symbol for Virgo is the young woman or maiden.  As the Mutable Earth sign, these individuals adapt by solving-problems, being inventive, and acting through service.  They are at their best following instructions, paying attention to details, and fixing what is damaged or broken. They must learn to “see the forest for the trees” to manifest their best results.

Libra

Libra_icon

People born between September 23 to October 22 have a Libra Sun sign. The symbol for Libra is the scale.  As the Cardinal Air sign, these individuals initiate through analysis, decision-making, and judgment.  They are at their best negotiating, balancing/re-balancing life circumstances and relationships, and creating harmony where there is disharmony. They must learn to be assertive to manifest their best results.

Scorpio

Scorpio_icon

People born between October 23 and November 21 have a Scorpio Sun sign. The symbol for Scorpio is the scorpion; older symbols include the eagle and the snake.  As the Fixed Water sign, these individuals work hard as change agents, transformers, and power brokers.  They are at their best dealing with intense situations, people in crisis, and issues involving sexuality and intimacy. They must learn “playfulness or lightness of heart” to manifest their best results.

Sagittarius

Sagittarius_icon

People born between November 22 to December 21 have a Sagittarius Sun sign. The symbol for Sagittarius is the centaur (half man/half horse) archer.  As the Mutable Fire sign, these individuals adapt by deepening their knowledge, committing to a belief, and exploring the world.  They are at their best developing expertise, being the authority regarding knowledge or skills, and teaching others. They must learn to “map their travels” and record their knowledge to manifest their best results.

Capricorn

Capricorn_icon

People born between December 22 and January 19 have a Capricorn Sun sign. The symbol for Capricorn is the goat, and more traditionally, a half goat, half fish (goat head, fish tail) creature.  As the Cardinal Earth sign, these individuals initiate by taking responsibility, setting lofty goals, and producing for compensation.  They are at their best testing themselves against standards, pursuing achievements, and getting results. They must learn compassion to manifest their best results.

Aquarius

Aquarius_icon

People born between January 20 and February 18 have an Aquarius Sun sign. The symbol for Aquarius is a woman pouring water from an urn, which often leads people to think that Aquarius is a water sign; it is not.  As the Fixed Air sign, these individuals work hard to find their role in community, to bring ideals into the world, and to connect people into cohesive groups.  They are at their best finding their niche, socializing, and visualizing the future. They must learn quiet fortitude to manifest their best results.

Pisces

Pisces_icon

People born between February 19 to March 20 have a Pisces Sun sign. The symbol for Pisces is a two fish chasing each other’s tails.  As the Mutable Water sign, these individuals adapt by being intuitive, sensitive, and flowing.  They are at their best dreaming, imagining, and tapping into the collective conscious. They must learn toughness to manifest their best results.

13th Astrological Sign

Modern astronomy has recorded 88 constellations covering the southern and northern hemispheres of our sky. 13 of these constellations cross or touch the ecliptic – the trajectory of the Sun’s apparent path across the sky as seen from Earth.

These include the constellations that inspired the names of the 12 Tropical astrology signs, plus a thirteenth constellation – Ophiuchus sign (Oaf-ih-YOU-kus), which was known but not included in the Tropical zodiac.

Is Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign?

No. In astrological terms, this sign would only be meaningfully significant if Tropical (western) astrology was still tied to the position of the constellations. It is not, and your zodiac sign, also known as your sun sign is one among the twelve most everyone knows.