Sun Signs: General Introduction
April 19, 2014

Sun Signs: General Introduction

Recently, I have had many conversations where the astrological signs have snuck in, one way or another. As I thought about this, I thought perhaps a series on the astrological sun signs would be a fun one for redOrbit. So about once a week, expect an article.

Before jumping into the individual signs, I thought just a general breakdown of astrology would be useful. First of all, as explains, astrology is not a new, modern concept. “Astrology has been studied for millennia, and it dates back as far as recorded history. The original astrologers were priests and scholars, and they were looked up to as doctors and learned men. According to modern speculation, the Three Wise Men of Christian belief were astrologers! At that time, astrology was the same science as astronomy and psychology, whose modern descendants arose from astrology. In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans based their system of gods on what they believed was up in the sky. Zeus, who equates to Jupiter in Roman myth, and the other gods and goddesses were based on the planets visible to the ancients. Astrology was similarly popular in Babylon and Egypt, and it also rose in the Middle East, India and China.”

Though it is no longer considered a science nor does it have the same religious contexts, many still believe in its philosophical truths and influences. The idea is not to tell the future; rather, astrology believes in focusing on how the planets and signs explain who we are.

More generally, astrology focuses on the interactions and relationships between planets and the signs, and these relationships are based in mathematical cycles. Many believe that the force of gravity influences these relationships. “The Sun has the greatest gravity and the strongest affect in astrology, followed by the Moon, the Earth’s satellite. The other planets are not truly satellites of the Earth, but nevertheless, they have gravity and so affect the Earth. The Sun controls the Earth’s motion and the Moon controls its tides, but the other planets have their own effects on the Earth — and on the people who live on Earth.” Everything is connected to everything in astrology.

Additionally, it is important to understand that in astrology, each of the signs is a combination of one of the four Elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and one of the three Qualities of Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Both the Elements and the Qualities show that we are part of the environment thus we are part of the connection of all things.

Finally, there are twelve sun signs in the zodiac:

  1. Aries
  2. Taurus
  3. Gemini
  4. Cancer
  5. Leo
  6. Virgo
  7. Libra
  8. Scorpio
  9. Sagittarius
  10. Capricorn
  11. Aquarius
  12. Pisces

Each one corresponds with certain days of the month. On the whole, they start in the toward the end of one month and run to about that same time of another month. For instance, anyone born from December 22-January 20 is considered a Capricorn. My own sign of Virgo runs from August 24-September 23. This also means that those born on the turning day may favor characteristics of both signs. So, if one is born on September 23, he may be a little bit Virgo and a little bit Libra, which would be awfully interesting.

In the next article in this series, I will talk in more depth about the Elements and Qualities. After that, though, we’ll dig deeper into each sign’s individual characteristics.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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