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Throughout the year, the sun passes among the constellations on a huge circled path called an ecliptic. The zodiac, according to astrologers, is a belt that exists on either side of this circled path. Within this belt, the sun, moon, and planets move on their paths through the heavens. According to manuscripts from the Middle Ages, the Greeks divided the zodiac equally into 12 signs, each occupying 30 degrees or 1/12th of the circle. Every sign corresponded with specific constellations, based on the dates that the sun passed through them. The numbers and sizes of the zodiacal constellations varied until the Mesopotamian and Babylonian civilizations developed mathematical astronomy and created fixed calculations for the zodiac signs we recognize today.

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Aries (March 21–April 19)

As far as this fire sign is concerned, being the first sign on the zodiac wheel is the rightful place for Aries. No matter how challenging a situation is, you can count on courageous Aries to dive into it without hesitation. With the planet Mars ruling, these individuals are excellent leaders and have a keen instinct for organizing groups. But Aries isn’t all business and no fun: the ram is upbeat, positive, and playful when the time is right.

aries brave adventure Jodie Griggs / Getty Images
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Taurus (April 20–May 20)

Hardworking, focused, tenacious, and decisive, Taureans choose security and the long game over quick-and-easy ventures. Although they have a gentle nature, don’t make the mistake of pushing them into a corner or challenging their strong opinions; they can be fierce and stubborn when tested. Venus rules this earth sign, so it’s not surprising that these individuals love their home and all things beautiful, luxurious, and serene.

fierce hardworking taurus MoMo Productions / Getty Images
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Gemini (May 21–June 20)

One of the most recognizable zodiac signs, the twins symbolize Gemini’s need for a kindred spirit capable of a worthwhile meeting of the minds. Quick-witted, charming, curious, and vibrant, this energetic air sign was blessed with the gift of gab. Their communication skills are second-to-none. The downside is that they also love to gossip. With Mercury as its ruling planet, a Gemini’s always-active brain loves the latest technological gadgets. They’re also most likely to come up with ways to improve them.

conversation communicator gemini Kathrin Ziegler / Getty Images
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Cancer (June 21–July 22)

Kind, imaginative, and dedicated, Cancer is a highly intuitive water sign. They connect with both the emotional and material realms, making them the zodiac’s ideal nurturer. Some may see Cancers as moody individuals, but there's a reason for their ups and downs. The cyclical Moon rules this sign, which influences the way these crabs process their feelings. For those who can get past their tough outer shell, Cancers prove to be loyal and committed friends and lovers.

couple hugging kind loyal cancer Oliver Rossi / Getty Images

Leo (July 23–August 22)

Much like the planets revolve around this sign’s ruling planet, the Sun, the flamboyant Leo prefers that others revolve around them. They’re also a fire sign, making them perfectly content to be in the limelight. Leos are an energetic combination of passion, courage, and creative flow. Warm-hearted and genuine, they’re able to bravely face any adversity. Normally, these individuals are generous and protective, yet on their bad days, the Lion can become jealous, aggressive, and somewhat cold-hearted.

man painting creative passion Trevor Williams / Getty Images

Virgo (August 23–September 22)

Mercury, the planet of the mind, expression, and communication, rules Virgo. Their strength lies in processing communications rather than expressing them. This earth sign has a reputation for being a critical perfectionist. But Virgos are always willing to lend a nurturing hand when needed. They exhibit an innate ability to multitask and possess impeccable planning abilities. Stress is a real problem for the meticulous Virgo, and downtime is a crucial part of their self-care. A maiden carrying a shaft of wheat symbolizes this zodiac sign.

office planning virgo Tom Werner / Getty Images

Libra (September 23–October 22)

Venus rules Libra, an air sign who is happiest in a harmonious environment. They appreciate beauty, culture, good food, and expensive things. Libras are true romantics and the social butterflies of the zodiac who love being around other people. The scales symbolize Libra, whose influence brings balance and fairness to their endeavors. Their instinct is to see both sides of a situation; however, Libras sometimes use their charm to manipulate others to do their bidding.

good food culture family Drazen_ / Getty Images

Scorpio (October 23–November 21)

Independent and fiercely determined, Scorpio’s primary life goal is to uncover the truth in all things while keeping their own lives extremely private. The scorpion symbolizes this water sign, and its ruling planet is Pluto. Scorpios tend to be a bit mysterious, appearing cold, intimidating, or stand-offish, yet they are intensely passionate people who have a great deal of self-control. As friends, these protective individuals offer great advice, are extremely trustworthy, and are second-to-none at keeping secrets.

man independent mysterious Morsa Images / Getty Images

Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)

Knowledge is a primary motivator for Sagittarius, a fire sign who thrives in philosophical, spiritual, and intellectual endeavors. These individuals are the travelers of the zodiac. Much like their symbol, the archer, they have a target: to discover the meaning of life. Sagittarians are comedic, enthusiastic extroverts. Freedom is crucial to their happiness and well-being. Although honest to a fault, they become impatient and tactless when they feel drug down by those around them. Jupiter, the planet that is synonymous with big goals and passionate pursuits, governs Sagittarius.

knowledge extrovert woman pixelfit / Getty Images

Capricorn (December 22–January 19)

An earth sign, Capricorn holds family, tradition, and craftsmanship in high regard. Saturn guides those born under this sign, and the planet’s influences intensify Capricorn’s ability to be practical and responsible. They are excellent leaders who make well-thought-out, realistic plans and follow through with them, but they often become workaholics who forget there’s more to life. Capricorns lean toward a more conservative nature, but they still enjoy a good party. A mythological creature, the sea-goat, symbolizes Capricorn.

leader woman business Morsa Images / Getty Images

Aquarius (January 20–February 18)

The visionary of the zodiac, Aquarians tend to be shy and quiet deep thinkers who love helping others. They are especially skilled at problem-solving. Aquarius-born individuals love mental stimulation and using their intellect, possibly due to their air sign influences. Retreating from their world long enough to restore their power is essential for their physical and mental health. Uranus rules Aquarius, which ignites these individuals' visionary qualities but also stimulates abrupt or timid behavior, which sometimes leads to insensitivity. Throughout their lives, Aquarians seek freedom in all that they do, fending off-limits that constrain them. The water bearer represents the sign.

Father and son putting together a puzzle together. FatCamera / Getty Images

Pisces (February 19–March 20)

As the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces has learned all the universal lessons passed to the other signs. Pisceans are the "old souls" of the cosmos. They're intuitive, compassionate, and empathic. Their biggest challenge is to stay grounded. As the sign's ruling planet, Neptune's influences are both magical and inspiring. Piscean energy is artistic, imaginative, helpful, and wise. Two fish swimming in opposite directions symbolize the sign. They represent the lifelong Pisces challenge to bridge fantasy with reality.

Business people compassionately holding hands at office room. wutwhanfoto / Getty Images

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