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The Astrological Zodiac

Because this is a well-known subject, I will just quote from Wikipedia. I've included a few notes in each case. Although in astrology the Zodiac signs and the planets are distinct, they clearly embody the same psychological or psycho-social archetypes. Thus there is a sort of redundancy in modern astrology.

From the Wikipedia page Wikipedia link "Astrology"

The zodiac

The zodiac is the girdle or band of constellations through which the Sun, Moon, and planets transit across the sky. Astrologers noted these constellations and so attached a particular significance to them. Over time they developed the system of twelve signs of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces), based on twelve of the constellations they considered to be particularly important. The Western and Vedic zodiac signs have a common origin in the tradition of horoscopic astrology, and so are very similar in meaning. In China on the other hand, the development of the zodiac was different. Although the Chinese too have a system of twelve signs (named after animals), the Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle, as there are no equivalent constellations linked to it like the Western or Indian zodiacs. The common choice of twelve zodiac signs is understandable considering the interaction of the Sun and Moon was central to all forms of astrology.

The majority of Western astrologers base their work on the tropical zodiac which divides the sky into twelve equal segments of 30 degrees each, beginning with the first point of Aries, the point where the line of the Earth's celestial equator and the ecliptic (the Sun's path through the sky) meet at the northern hemisphere spring equinox. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the slow changing of the way Earth rotates in space, the zodiacal signs in this system bear no relation to the constellations of the same name but stay aligned to the months and seasons.

Practitioners of the Vedic astrological tradition and a minority of Western astrologers use the sidereal zodiac. This zodiac uses the same evenly divided ecliptic but approximately stays aligned to the positions of the observable constellations with the same name as the zodiacal signs. The sidereal zodiac differs from the tropical zodiac by an offset called the ayanamsa, which steadily increases as the equinoxes drift further. Furthermore, some siderealists (i.e. astrologers employing sidereal techniques) use the actual, unequal constellations of the zodiac in their work.



From the Wikipedia page Wikipedia link "Astrological sign" (with comments added; also, some paragraphs edited or deleted)

The twelve signs

In Western astrology the zodiac of twelve sign represents twelve types of personality. The zodiac traditionally begins with Aries. The following are the twelve zodiac signs in order.

The Zodiac Signs and the elements

The Zodiac Signs and the elements (I can't recall where I found this graphic)

The four elements

Each sign is associated one of the classical elements (water, fire, earth and air.) [3] Fire and Air signs are positive or extrovert, masculine signs; while Water and Earth signs are negative, introvert, feminine signs.

The Three Qualities

The Qualities assign the Signs into Quadruplicities, three groups of four. [8] They are occasionally referred to as crosses because each quality forms a cross when drawn across the zodiac. Christian astrology relates the three qualities to the three aspects of God in the trinity.





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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 3 November 2009