Everyone has seen their horoscope in the newspaper. We know that those born between March 20th and April 20th are born under the sign of Aries; those born between June 21st and July 22nd are Cancers and so forth. But what does this really mean? What is the true significance of the signs of the Zodiac? To answer these questions we must consider some basic concepts….
The word “Zodiac” is derived from the Greek word for “circle of animals” and may also be related to the Sanskrit word sodi for “path”. It refers to the Sun’s yearly path as it appears to move through the twelve constellations that encircle the earth in a kind of band. This band is divided into twelve sections; and each section contains one astrological constellation which gives its name to one of the astrological signs. The Sun takes approximately 30 days to move through each sign or one year to move through all twelve constellations.
Please note: The Zodiac constellations do not look like the creatures or the objects they represent. Each constellation was invented and designed to suggest a particular creature (or in Libra’s case: an object, the Scales). And each constellation displays the length of time it takes for the Sun to move through the entire constellation; thus indicating when and how long a particular astrological influence begins and ends. Some feel that the constellations act as a celestial teaching aid – meant to communicate the fact that the character of those who are born under a particular astrological sign express a character similar to the constellation-creature / object that is associated with their astrological sign. To illustrate this we can consider the constellation Virgo (left) as it appears in the night sky.
We can see that the stars in this section of the sky (above) do not resemble a “young girl”, “virgin” or “harvest-maiden” at all. Why then was the image of Virgo, the virgin (right) superimposed on this group of unrelated stars, linking them intentionally into a constellation?
Daily Planet Astrology studies suggest that the stars were intentionally linked together in order to communicate something. And the most obvious piece of information conveyed by the size and shape of each astrological constellation is the length of time it takes for the Sun to travel through it.
Because it takes about 30 days for the Sun to enter, pass through, and exit the Virgo constellation we might say that the size of the Virgo constellation indicates that its influence lasts for 30 days. And, when the Sun appears to be moving across the Virgo constellation, there is a transmission of qualities that are associated with the Harvest-Maiden.
N.B. To understand the nature of the Zodiac constellations – like the (Gemini) twins, the (Pisces) fish with their tails tied together, and the Centaur (Sagittarius), it is important to consider the lives of the gods found in Greek Mythology. For example, the legends of the goddess Demeter (Ceres), her daughter Persephone, and the god of the Underworld, Hades (Pluto), reveals the natures of the adjacent astrological signs Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio. The pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses can be understood to represent, in detail, the planetary influences on the earth and in the lives of humankind.