The Symbolism of the Zodiac Signs
Understanding the symbolism of the zodiac signs offers the opportunity to learn more about the specific characteristics that are associated with each astrology sign. From Aries and its Martian ready-to-fight energies to Pisces and its laid-back, go-with-the-flow vibe, knowing the zodiac symbols and their meanings is important for anyone that really wants to delve deeper into astrology. The following is an overview of the 12 astrological signs and their associated symbols.
As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries is represented by the ram. A ram is an animal that is known for its rambunctious, headbutting behavior. Being ruled by Mars, Aries is all about taking forceful action that allows it to move ahead. If Aries should encounter an obstacle or anything that was to get in its way, it is not above forging forward just like its associated symbol the ram. Similarly, Aries energy is associated with being brash and even sometimes aggressive just like its animal totem, the ram.
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The third sign of the zodiac, Gemini, is represented by the twins. Gemini is both the first mutable and air sign of the zodiac. The twins represent the duality that is found within Gemini’s nature. There is a duplicity in dealing with this energy where you’re getting more than one manifestation of the same energy. Although people think twins are exactly alike, Gemini energy also shows us that there are differences even within sameness. Ruled by Mercury, Gemini is always ready to be on the go in its local community acting as the local messenger of information while also being the trickster of the zodiac.
As the fourth sign of the zodiac, Cancer is the first water sign. Its symbolism is represented by the crab. The crab embodies several facets of Cancer energy from his association with water as well as the appearance of having a tough shell while being soft on the inside. The pinchers of the crab also represent Cancer’s affinity for clinging to people, places, and things for emotional connectivity. The hard shell of the crab represents Cancer’s ability to take home wherever it goes.
The fifth sign of the zodiac is none other than the brilliant Leo which is represented by the lion. In the animal kingdom, the lion is considered the king of the jungle which is quite fitting for the royal sign of Leo. One aspect of the lion representation of Leo is its association with the huge mane of hair. Many Leos are known for having distinctive hair whether it be a hairstyle or the color of the hair. The lion totem is also associated with Leo’s bright, sunny personality as well as the focus on the self and ego identity.
As the sixth sign of the zodiac, Virgo is represented by the virgin archetype which is holding wheat in her hand. This is associated with the groundedness of purity and order. It also represents the ultimate expression of Virgo being whole and complete unto the self. Virgo energy aligns with the virgin association with being pure and untouched. Virgo energy focuses on eliminating anything that could disrupt its sensitive disposition, and this is done through the practice of discernment similar to a virgin protecting its purity and sanctity.
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The seventh sign of the zodiac is none other than Libra which is represented by the scales. Libra is an air sign that is associated with relationships in the balancing of the self against the other. There is always a desire to seek balance which is represented by the scales. In tarot, Libra energy is represented by the Justice card. When noting this specific card, it becomes very clear that the scales are actually unbalanced with one being higher than the other. This represents the constant changes of Libra energy in its quest to obtain equilibrium.
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As the eighth sign of the zodiac, Scorpio is one of the more complex zodiac signs as it has more than one symbol. Ruled by Pluto, Scorpio is all about transformation that occurs by leaving behind the old self. Thus, Scorpio has several archetypes which include the spider, the snake, the scorpion, the wolf, the Eagle, the Dove, and the Phoenix. As Scorpio moves through each of these archetypes, it leaves behind the old to become something new. It is for this reason that Scorpio has more than one archetype because the ultimate goal is to work through the lower expressions of itself to ultimately reach the highest state of the Phoenix rising from the ashes of its old self.
Sagittarius is the ninth zodiac sign represented by an arrow which is associated with the archer. Sagittarius is also associated with the mythical creature the centaur which is half man and half horse. The centaur was known to be a very effective archer propelling its arrows to specific targets. Similar to the nature of Sagittarius, this zodiac sign is always seeking targets in its immediate environment. The arrow symbolism of the archer represents a desire to go beyond its immediate position. The only thing about the arrow is that no one really knows where it’s going to land, and this represents the mutable adaptable energy associated with Sagittarius and its desire for environments that are foreign to itself.
The tenth sign of the zodiac is the Saturn-ruled Capricorn. Its associated symbol and animal totem is the goat. Goats are known for being very active animals who live in hilly or mountainous environments. Similar to Capricorn, they are always climbing up the mountain reaching for success. The goat symbolism aligns with Capricorn’s desire to put in the effort and hard work that is associated with reaching goals and making accomplishments. However, it’s important to note that climbing up a mountain is not easy work. Capricorn knows that any solid path to success requires a plan and practical steps forward.
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For the eleventh sign of the zodiac, Aquarius is represented by the water bearer. It is an image of a human being holding a barrel of water that is being poured out for everyone. This is associated with Aquarius’s link to mankind, and its ultimate goal of sharing its insightful revelations with everyone. In order to do this, Aquarius has to be willing to march to the beat of its own drum, and its Uranus rulership allows them to embrace its uniqueness and share it with the world. When this energy is channeled positively, Aquarius is able to use its humanitarian nature to bring revolutionary leaps in consciousness to all of mankind.
The twelfth and final sign of the zodiac is none other than Pisces, and it is represented by two fish connected at the tail swimming in opposite directions. The two fish of Pisces represent the duality and mutable, adaptable nature of this sign. Pisces has the innate understanding that separation is an illusion and that the opposites that are used to create separation are actually in all of us as we are all One. As the most spiritual sign of the zodiac, Pisces energy is a physical manifestation of having one foot in the physical realm and the other foot in the spiritual, hence the connectivity between the two fish that are moving in opposite directions.
From the Libra and its scales consistently seeking balance to the Capricorn goat using all of its effort and hard work to climb up the mountain to success, the associated astrological symbols of each of the zodiac signs offer a nonverbal, imagery expression of zodiac energy.
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