The Twelve Zodiac Symbols

The twelve symbols of the Zodiac, as we known them today, have their origins from the times of the ancient Greeks. The word Zodiac is derived from the Greek Zodiakos Kyklos, or "circle of animals" and represents the twelve heavenly positions of the constellations during the astronomical year. The ancient Greeks, as well as other peoples believed that these constellations had great influence on peoples' lives, and those born during various months of the year under which a particular constellation was represented, would be influenced by it.

The twelve symbols each represents symbol relating to an important earth or heavenly element: air, earth, water, or fire. Classical astronomers also believed that the symbols of the Zodiac corresponded to the alignment of the planets such as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, etc. with that of the earth. This combination of beliefs of planet alignment, and earthly/heavenly elements give people certain characteristics if they are born under a particular zodiacal sign. For example, persons born under an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) are said to have free, independent spirit, and are talkative and intellectual in nature. Those born under a fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) are said to be leaders and have enthusiasm and confidence. Earth sign people (Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo) are said to be practical, stable, and patient. The last group, water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pices) are emotional, sensitive, are intuitive and may also have psychic personalities.

The symbols of the Zodiac are also said to correspond with the four main earthly seasons, which are related to the rotation of the earth in its journey around the sun. This is another reason for the astronomical symbols as each season corresponds to the position of particular astronomical constellations of "animals" in the heavens during this time. Zodiac gifts are found often in the shape of charms and amulets that are worn by the person who is born under a particular zodiacal "sign".