Characteristics of Zodiac Signs

Patricia Lantz C.Ht.
Astrological chart

"I am large, I contain multitudes" is a line from Walt Whitman's Song of Myself that reminds people they are never just one thing. There are many facets of "you." Astrologically, this is revealed by the differing characteristics of the 12 signs of the zodiac. Every birth chart contains all 12 signs. The various planets and placements in your birth chart express themselves according to its placement in one of the 12 signs, and they speak of the many different facets of "you."

The Zodiac Signs and Your Natal Chart

Your horoscope contains much more than just your Sun's sign. In addition to your Sun, it also contains your Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as well as the 12 houses, and many other important points. Each is associated with an astrological sign.

The sign, planet, and house combinations are the most basic statements astrology can make about an individual. While the sun shines its light on everything and gives it life and vitality, in one way or another, all 12 signs are represented in every individual's horoscope.

If you're unsure of your natal chart positions, you can look them up at CafeAstrology on their free Natal Chart report.

The Zodiac Signs

In Natal astrology, the 12 signs of the wheel of the zodiac represent the developmental cycle of selfhood and the processes of life.

Aries - I Am

Aries is the archetype of the Warrior. It's masculine (outgoing), cardinal (initiating), fire (passionate), and the first sign of the zodiac. On the most basic level, Aries is about the development of self and is inextricably connected with the concept of beginnings and charging full speed at life. It is about the physical "you," the excitement of being alive, and the desire to get started with creating something new.

Positive Aries is:

  • Pioneering
  • Fearless
  • Versatile
  • Passionate
  • Courageous

Negative Aries is:

  • Insensitive to others
  • Difficult to deal with
  • Lacking in follow through
  • Confrontational
  • Inpatient

The house and planets defined by Aries in your birth chart gift you with the energy, enthusiasm, will power, and ability to make a personal impact.

Taurus - I Have

Taurus is the archetype of the Farmer. It's is a feminine (receptive), fixed (unmovable), Earth (practical) sign, and the second sign of the zodiac. On the most basic level, Taurus is about the survival of self and acquiring all the practical resources necessary to ensure that survival. Taurus is concerned with finishing, holding onto, and maintaining whatever is started or acquired. It's the epicurean "you" and your ability to thrive in the material world and enjoy all the richness and pleasures it has to offer.

Positive Taurus is:

  • Dependable
  • Generous
  • Down to earth
  • Patient
  • Persistent

Negative Taurus is:

  • Stubborn
  • Plodding
  • Self-Indulgent
  • Materialistic
  • Possessive

The house and planets defined by Taurus in your birth chart gift you with the opportunity for personal stability and prosperity.

Gemini - I Think

Gemini is the archetype of the Jester. It's the third sign of the zodiac, masculine (outgoing), mutable (changeable), and air (mental). At its most basic, it involves acquiring whatever information is necessary to further the personal impulse "to be." It's Gemini that encourages you to circulate and collect experiences and information that aid you in intellectually defining yourself. Gemini is the curious "you" and your ability to be in touch with who you are on an intellectual level by the mental examination of alternative thoughts and ideas.

Positive Gemini is:

  • Versatile
  • Sociable
  • Open minded
  • Intelligent
  • Witty, lively, and Fun

Negative Gemini is:

  • Scattered
  • Superficial
  • Inconsistent
  • Gossipy
  • Two-faced

The house and planets defined by Gemini in your birth chart gift you with the ability to process experience and information mentally and give it personal meaning.

Cancer - I Feel

Cancer is the archetype of Mother. It's the feminine (receptive), cardinal (initiating), water (emotional) sign. At its most basic level, it's charged with creating a sense of security for the self through the sensitive attunement to emotions. Cancer is the emotional "you," your sense of belonging and connection to mother, family, culture, and heritage.

Positive Cancer is;

  • Sensitive
  • Protective
  • Supportive
  • Empathetic

Negative Cancer is:

  • Clinging
  • Dependent
  • Suspicious
  • Insecure
  • Moody

The house and planets defined by Cancer in your birth chart gift you with the capacity to deal with others up close and personal on the feeling dimension of human experience.

Leo - I Will

Leo is the archetype of the Hero. It's masculine (outgoing), fixed (unmovable), fire (passionate), and the fifth sign of the zodiac. At its most basic level, Leo represents the individual human shining in its own glory and becoming intensely self-aware and self-conscious. Leo is the loving "you." It's your capacity to love yourself and share that love with others.

Positive Leo is:

  • Generous
  • Determined
  • Confident
  • Loyal
  • Magnanimous

Negative Leo is:

  • Arrogant
  • Selfish
  • Intolerant
  • Pretentious
  • Authoritarian

The house and planets defined by Leo in your birth chart gift you with the motivation to shine and dramatically express your talents and specialness to others.

Virgo - I Analyze

Virgo is the archetype of Craftsman. It's a feminine (receptive), mutable (changeable), Earth (practical) sign and the sixth sign of the zodiac. At its most basic, Virgo is about the sacredness of the human experience and becoming an expert technician of the earthly skills you've chosen to master. It's the humble doer "you" that enables you to cope skillfully with and organize your mundane life, point out errors, fix situations and things, and be of service to others.

Positive Virgo is:

  • Precise
  • Discriminating
  • Dutiful
  • Healthy
  • Service-oriented

Negative Virgo is:

  • Critical
  • Self-effacing
  • Nitpicky
  • Fault finding
  • Judgemental

The house and planets defined by Virgo in your birth chart gift you with efficiency and precision in action and thought.

Libra - I Balance

Libra is the archetype the Judge. It's a masculine (outgoing), cardinal (initiating), air (mental) sign, and the seventh sign of the zodiac. At its most basic, Libra is about the creation of beauty, social harmony, and the expression of fairness. Libra is the charming, aesthetic "you" that is concerned with balance and your ability to judge fairly and have a conscious awareness and consideration of others.

Statue Of Justice

Positive Libra is:

  • Cooperative
  • Courteous
  • Refined
  • Social
  • Impartial

Negative Libra is:

  • Inconsistent
  • Vain
  • Wavering
  • Flirtatious
  • Indulgent

The house and planets defined by Libra in your birth chart gift you with a set of principles that are expressed through judging outward appearances, behavior, and actions.

Scorpio - I Desire

Scorpio is the archetype of the Magician. It's the feminine (receptive), fixed (unmovable), water (emotional) sign of the zodiac. At its most basic level, Scorpio is about a knowing what is beyond intellectual understanding. Scorpio is the deeply secretive "you" that charged with investigating the pain of life, death, rebirth, and other mysteries of life.

Positive Scorpio is:

  • Magnetic
  • Fierce
  • Loyal
  • Resourceful
  • Powerfully perceptive

Negative Scorpio is:

  • Possessive
  • Obsessive
  • Controlling
  • Vengeful
  • Suspicious

The houses and planets defined by Scorpio in your birth chart gift you with the ability to move through pain, transform, and rebirth yourself.

Sagittarius - I Aim

Sagittarius is the archetype of the Explorer. It's masculine (outgoing), mutable (changeable), fire (passionate) sign of the zodiac. At its most basic, Sagittarius about the endless quest for knowledge. Sagittarius is the joyful "you." It embodies your capacity for optimism, sociability, expansiveness, and hope for the future.

Positive Sagittarius is:

  • Honest
  • Optimistic
  • Adventurous
  • Independent
  • Friendly

Negative Sagittarius is:

  • Reckless
  • Tactless
  • Irresponsible
  • Superficial
  • Over confident

The house and planets that are defined by Sagittarius in your birth chart gift you with optimism, philosophical understanding, a restless sense of adventure, and an idealistic faith in the future.

Capricorn - I Use

Capricorn is the archetype of self-mastery. It's feminine (receptive), cardinal (initiating), Earth (practical), and the tenth sign of the zodiac. At its most basic, it's about setting goals and a commitment to excellence. Capricorn embodies your ability to be devoted to duty, fulfill your responsibilities, and ultimately be successful in the material world.

Positive Capricorn is:

  • Ambitious
  • Wise
  • Disciplined
  • Trustworthy
  • Patient

Negative Capricorn is:

  • Pessimistic
  • Stubborn
  • Self-centered
  • Cynical
  • Detached

The houses and planets defined by Capricorn in your birth chart gift you with the ability to reach heights of achievement and the recognition that comes from years of work.

Aquarius - I Know

Aquarius is the archetype of the Wise Man. It's masculine (outgoing), fixed (unmovable), air (mental) and the eleventh sign of the zodiac. On the most basic level, Aquarius is the open and forward thinking mind. It embodies the ability to tap into the collective and share what's learned with the rest of humanity.

Positive Aquarius is:

  • Intelligent
  • Open-minded
  • Inventive
  • Original
  • Independent

Negative Aquarius is:

  • Unpredictable
  • Aloof
  • Extremist
  • Chaotic
  • Unreasonable

The houses and planets defined by Aquarius in your birth chart gift you with the ability to distance yourself and open your mind in a way that gives you a broad and objective view of humanity as a whole.

Pisces - I Believe

Pisces is the archetype of the Martyr. It's feminine (receptive), mutable (changeable), water (emotional), and the twelfth sign of the Zodiac. On the most basic level, it's the sign of universal peace and love. Pisces is about the search for bliss and the belief in something that connects all of life.

Positive Pisces is:

  • Compassionate
  • Understanding
  • Imaginative
  • Selfless

Negative Pisces is:

  • Escapist
  • Weak-willed
  • Over-sensitive
  • Pessimistic

The houses and planets defined by Pisces are where you have deep empathy for others and where you struggle and make many sacrifices in an attempt to connect to something ethereal.

Signs, Planets, and Houses

Like your personality and your life, an astrological birth chart contains many components. There are planets and houses, and both take on the energy of a particular sign of the zodiac. The characteristics of each of the twelve astrological signs listed above are not meant to be exhaustive; they are only a synopsis of what you can find covered in detail in many excellent books. One of the best for beginners is Steven Forrest's The Inner Sky.

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Characteristics of Zodiac Signs