Astrology- The Signs (part 1)

As a writer, one of my methods is to give many of my central characters exact birthdays, down to the time and place that they were born. This allows me to utilize their astrological charts to help me more clearly define their personalities and motives. When I brought up this method of character development to beta readers of my novel, not all of them were familiar with the workings of astrology and wanted to know more. 

Astrology is a multifaceted discipline. This brief series attempts to clearly explain the basics over a few blogs, starting with an explanation of the ten primary planets and celestial bodies that astrologers consider when reading a chart. 

This post will give you a clearer understanding of the first four signs of the zodiac—Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer.

Read the first article in the series—Astrology- The Planets

Categorizing the Signs

The astrological signs of the zodiac are represented by constellations in the night sky. Each is affiliated both with an element (earth, air, fire, or water) and with a modality (fixed, cardinal, or mutable).

The sign’s element gives you an idea of its motivating force. Earth signs are motivated by practicality and air by information and communication, while fire signs are driven by passion and power and water tends to focus their attention on emotional and spiritual concerns. Cardinal modalities tend to push things into motion, but often fail to complete projects, while fixed modalities tend to need the pushing, but are generally more successful at staying the course. Mutable signs flit from one experience to another, learning, adapting, and modifying things along the way.

Each sign also has a ruling planet, which astrologers use to describe its underlying essence, as well as a symbol meant to represent their character. When studying astrology, remember that these are archetypes and no one individual will perfectly embody any of these signs.

Aries Horoscope


  • Element: Fire
  • Modality: Cardinal
  • Ruling planet: Mars
  • Symbol: The Ram
  • If you were born between March 21st and April 19th, your sun sign is Aries.

    Ruled by the planet Mars, Aries—the first sign in the zodiac—is the cardinal fire sign, and an inferno of forward motion. This sign was named in honor of Ares, the Greek god of war and lust, and the archetypical Aries will have a powerful lust for life, a protective nature, and an explosive temper with a very short fuse. Individuals who embody the spirit of this sign are daring, bold, and relentless, often leaping before they look. Those driven by the energy of Aries tend to start a lot of projects but finish only those that grab hold of their passion, letting the others fall to the wayside without a second thought. People with a strong Aries influence in their charts will usually have an optimistic outlook on life and make confident, dynamic friends and leaders, but they are also capable of great callousness and violence.


  • Element: Earth
  • Modality: Fixed
  • Ruling planet: Venus
  • Symbol: The Bull
  • If you were born between April 20th and May 20th, your sun sign is Taurus.

    The second sign in the zodiac, Taurus, introduces us to the element of earth in its fixed state–think a boulder or a mountain. Individuals who are strongly influenced by this sign tend to be slow-moving, deliberate folks who always look and rarely leap. This sign is ruled by the planet Venus, named after the Roman goddess of sex, love, and fertility. Taureans, like Venus herself, tend to revel in sensual pleasures, including pleasant textures, smells, and flavors, and can be very capable of coaxing growth out of even the most fragile of seedlings, both literally and figuratively. Those who embody the spirit of Taurus often exemplify the nature of fixed signs. The archetypical Taurus is a dependable, loyal, and practical person, albeit a touch on the stubborn side. They are difficult to incite into action, but once moving towards a goal, they are even more difficult to stop.


  • Element: Air
  • Modality: Mutable
  • Ruling planet: Mercury
  • Symbol: The Twins
  • If you were born between May 21st and June 20th, your sun sign is Gemini

    Gemini, represented by the twins, is the third sign in the zodiac. It is both an air sign, all about thought and communication, and a mutable sign, all about changes and transitions. Ruled by the planet Mercury, Geminis are all about getting and disseminating as much information as possible. From important platitudes to trivial tidbits, these chatty chameleons will almost always have something to say, and they are likely to switch their attention from one topic to another at lightning speed. People heavily influenced by Gemini tend to be quick-thinking and intelligent, able to manage multiple tasks with relative ease, although they may appear somewhat thoughtless or careless and they are more prone to telling untruths than other signs.


  • Element: Water
  • Modality: Cardinal
  • Ruling planet: Moon
  • Symbol: The Crab
  • If you were born between June 21st and July 20th, your sun sign is Cancer

    The cardinal water sign, Cancer, is the fourth sign in the zodiac. The symbol of the crab is a particularly apt symbol for these individuals. Like those who embody the nature of Cancer, crabs have a soft and vulnerable center, well-protected by a hard outer shell and capable claws. Water, in astrology, symbolizes our emotional life. Those who are heavily influenced by water in their charts tend to have deep emotional ties to the people and objects they value, and archetypical Cancers will use extreme measures in their fight to hold on to them. Cardinal signs, more than either fixed or mutable signs, are driven to move forward. However, like the crab who moves forward by moving side-to-side, Cancer uses a more indirect route when pursuing their goals.

    In Astrology- The Signs (part 2), I will introduce you to the next four signs in the zodiac—Leo, Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio.

    *All zodiac images created by Numerology Sign at

    Astrology- The Signs (part 2)

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