Signs of the Zodiac
When the word astrology is mentioned most people immediately think of the signs of the zodiac. Usually they will think of their "star sign" which is the sign that the sun was placed in at birth. Astrologers use the term "sun sign" instead as all the signs play a part, however small, within everyone's natal horoscope. The signs of the zodiac come from the constellations of the same names. Each sign is represented by some kind of living thing with the exception of Libra. Libra is the only inanimate object in the zodiac. The zodiac signs respective representations are drawn from the pattern that the constellation makes in the sky, although some are very difficult to appreciate.
The zodiac signs in a birthchart are like the stage where the actors (the planets) play out their roles. The particular sign sets the scenery, the backdrop. The sign's associations and traits are already there, but influenced or blended with those of the planet posited there. The signs begin with Aries (the point of the Spring Equinox) passing through the summer solstice point of 0 degrees Cancer, then on to the Autumn Equinox at 0 degrees Libra to the Winter Solstice at 0 degrees Capricorn, and end with Pisces. They go round the chart anti-clockwise so that each sign rises over the eastern horizon in its natural order. Each of the equinoxes and solstice points are the start of the signs of the cardinal quality or quadruplicity.
Each sign covers 30 degrees so making up the full circle with twelve signs making 360 degrees. Each sign is further broken down into three segments called decans and each of these is jointly ruled by another planet. The first decan of any sign shares its ruler with that of the sign. For example, the first ten degrees of Aries is in the decan ruled by Mars, which is also the natural ruler of Aries.
Each sign also contains some Fixed Stars. When a planet is posited within 1 degree of a Fixed Star the characteristics of that particular star are blended in too, just like any other celestial body being so close.
Arabic Parts or Lots fall into the signs according to the placements of certain other planets or points of the horoscope. These parts will take on the background of the sign they fall into in much the same way as a planet or star.
For information on each sign, please use the links in the top right hand corner.
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