The Zodiac is illustrated by symbols that represent the sign meanings through their pictography. Though the line drawings are simple, they carry a lot of meaning. Here are the symbols (also known as glyphs) used to represent the signs of the Zodiac and the planets in astrology.
The Earth is grounding point of a chart, for a specific location and time. This is the symbol used for Earth in astronomy and alchemy, and by some astrologers.
Earth is a planet but doesn’t come up much in astrology. John Lash calls this a “terrestrial blindspot” in his groundbreaking book Quest for the Zodiac. He says the key markers of destiny are found in the Sun and Earth’s position in the actual constellations (not the signs).
This is not sidereal astrology since it’s not going one sign (or 26 degrees) back. It’s Star (or Stellar) Zodiac, from his research on placing planets in the constellations.
Aries is the sign of the Warrior, the first sign of the astrological calendar, and its symbol shows the Ram’s horns. The fiery Aries forges ahead with great courage as an initiator and pioneer. Aries dates are in the Spring from March 21st to April 20th.
Taurus is the first of the Earth signs and the sign of the Bull, with horns from that imposing animal. The resourceful Taurus approaches everything with caution, taking deliberate and sure-footed steps toward success. Dates for the Sun in Taurus are from April 21st to May 21st.
Gemini is the sign of the celestial twins and has a curious duality to its nature. Often called mercurial after its ruling planet Mercury, the Gemini is rarely at a loss for words. The dates for the Sun in Gemini are from May 22nd to June 21st.
- The first of the water signs are Cancer, which is ruled by the changeable Moon and associated with the Crab. The Cancer has a nature that is both sensitive and strong, an imaginative mind, and a nurturing attitude toward loved ones. The dates for the Cancer Sun are from June 22nd to July 23rd.
The sign of Leo is ruled by the mighty Sun and its astrological creature is the Lion. The Leo is proud, expressive and optimistic with a need for adoration and respect from those they love. The dates for the Sun in Leo are from July 24th to August 23rd.
Virgo is ruled by Mercury and associated with the Virgin because of its qualities of physical purity and chastity. Many are admired for their healthy ways and ability to cover all the bases. The dates for Sun in Virgo are from August 24th to September 23rd.
Libra is often symbolized by Scales to represent the innate qualities of fairness, balance, and partnership. The dates for Sun in Libra are September 24th to October 23rd.
Associated with life and death, as well as sexuality, the namesake for Scorpio is the scorpion, and its deadly tail is shown in its symbol. The Scorpio is the fixed water sign, and has the focus and drive to dig deep below the surface of any area of life. The dates for Sun in Scorpio are October 24th to November 22nd.
Sagittarius is the Archer that is also a Centaur, and its symbol shows its fiery arrows of truth. The Sagittarius is swift and covers a lot of ground, whether by traveling or through artistic and intellectual pursuits. The dates for the Sun in Sagittarius are from November 23rd to December 21st.
Capricorn is the sign of the Goat in astrology and ruled by the disciplinarian Saturn. As a Cardinal Earth sign, Capricorn embodies ambition and a love of enduring traditions. The dates for the Sun in Capricorn are December 22nd to January 20th.
Known as the Water Bearer in astrology, Aquarius is actually an Air sign. It is ruled by Uranus, and its qualities are rebelliousness, originality and perhaps more than just a touch of genius. The dates for the Sun in Aquarius are January 21st to February 19th.
As the last of the Zodiac signs, Pisces is said to contain qualities of them all. It is often depicted as two fish swimming in opposite directions, which sums up the enigmatic and multi-dimensional Piscean nature. The dates for the Sun in Pisces are February 20th to March 20th.
The Sun is a star both in astrology and in real life, and its sign in your chart reveals a lot about your basic nature.
The Moon represents your instinctive nature and mysteries of the self that often remain hidden. Just as the Moon passes through phases of hiding and revelation, so too do these deep emotional truths within each of us.
For the Greeks, Venus became Aphrodite, and so was associated with love, relationships and the feminine side of the psyche. In astrology, her influence is greatest in the intimate realm and in the Arts.
Mars is associated with the Greek God Ares and known as the God of War. In astrology, Mars influences all things masculine, and filtered through its particular sign reveals how anything is pursued, from a potential sexual partner to a career.
Mercury influences communication, and the mental filters through which information is channeled.
In astrology, Jupiter points the way to expansion and good fortune. Look to Jupiter’s sign and house position for clues to fulfilling your highest potential.
Saturn brings hard-won lessons and shows areas where only discipline and perseverance will hold sway. Its lessons are tough and could also be called karmic, but the long path to overcoming them is what builds character.
Uranus is the Great Awakener, credited for the sudden and disruptive changes in our lives, both personally and collectively. The Pluto-Uranus alignment in the late-60s is said to have triggered the unsettling hippie revolution, many of the values of which have been integrated into the mainstream.
Now considered a “dwarf planet,” Pluto retains its power as a transformer with the ability to burn away what has been outgrown.
Neptune claims kinship with the Greek god Poseidon, and both rule the vast oceans. Its influence in astrology is in areas of spirituality and creativity, and it can sometimes create confusion between the real and the imagined.