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Zodiac Signs Explained: Dates, Meanings & Characteristics

Zodiac Signs Explained: Dates, Meanings & Characteristics

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Everyone has a unique Natal Chart, based on the specific time and location of their birth. But every natal chart includes a Sun Sign, which is the constellation through which the Sun was passing when they were born.

This element is not only highly influential but there are also only twelve Astrological Signs, which remain consistent from year to year. This means that it is simple to identify your Sun Sign based on your date of birth.

Astrologers use Sun Signs to give people general information about their personality, strengths, and outlooks.

While no one is suggesting that there are only twelve personalities in the world, it is uncanny how closely our innate patterns of thought align with our Sun Sign.

12 Zodiac Sign Dates, Elements, and Planets

Below is a table of the 12 zodiac signs in order and their associated dates, elements and planets. 

Zodiac SignDateElementRuling Planet
AriesMar 21 – Apr 19FireMars
TaurusApr 20 – May 20EarthVenus
GeminiMay 21 – Jun 20AirMercury
CancerJun 21 – Jul 22WaterMoon
LeoJul 23 – Aug 22FireSun
VirgoAug 23 – Sep 22EarthMercury
LibraSep 23 – Oct 22AirVenus
ScorpioOct 23 – Nov 21WaterPluto
SagittariusNov 22 – Dec 21FireJupiter
CapricornDec 22 – Jan 19EarthSaturn
AquariusJan 20 – Feb 18AirUranus
PiscesFeb 19 – Mar 20WaterNeptune

NB. The dates are based on the Tropical Astrology system.

Looking for zodiac text symbols and emojis? Check our easy copy & paste guide.


Aries Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolRam
Ruling PlanetMars
DatesMarch 21 – April 19
FlowerThistle, Honeysuckle
Lucky Numbers1, 8
Key TraitsCourageous, energetic, dynamic, pioneer, confident
Negative TraitsImpatient, moody, impulsive, short-tempered, aggressive
CompatibilityLeo (97%), Sagittarius (93%), Libra (85%) and Gemini (83%)
IncompatibilityTaurus (38%), Cancer (42%), and Capricorn (47%)
Career MatchesMilitary, Sports, Entrepreneur, Emergency Services
Physical RulingHead, Face
Symbolic AnimalRam
Keyword“I Am”
Life PursuitThe thrill of the moment
Secret DesireTo lead the way for others
ChallengesTo accept the realities of their own limitations, and not only the world’s

Represented by the Ram, Aries is determined, and often downright stubborn. They set themselves challenging goals, and are always looking for ways to improve themselves.

When they say they are going to do something, it gets done, no matter what obstacles they need to push through. Those born under this sign are hardworking and perseverant.

One of the Cardinal signs, Aries are natural leaders and tend to be control freaks. They also put their own needs and goals above those of others. They can often be oblivious to the needs of those around them.

Ruled by the planet Mars, the god of war, Aries is not afraid to fight for what they want. They also have a hot temper that characterizes many of the Fire signs.

Aries is charismatic and controlling, which means that they generally take the lead in relationships. They are open and honest with their feelings but aren’t so good at reading others.

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Taurus Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolBull
Ruling PlanetVenus
DatesApril 20 – May 20
ColorGreen, Pink
FlowerRose, Poppy
Lucky Numbers2, 6
Key TraitsReliable, patient, practical, devoted, responsible, stable
Negative TraitsStubborn, possessive, uncompromising
CompatibilityCapricorn (98%), Cancer (97%), Virgo (90%), and Scorpio (88%)
IncompatibilitySagittarius (30%), Gemini (33%), and Aries (43%)
Career MatchesBanking, Agriculture, Art, Music, Chef
Physical RulingNeck, Throat
Symbolic AnimalBull
Keyword“I Have”
Life PursuitEmotional and financial security
Secret DesireTo have a secure, happy, and wealthy life/marriage
ChallengesTo be flexible and accept change

The fixed Earth sign within the Zodiac, Taurus crave stability and security. They recognize the importance of a secure job, a stable home, and relationships built on mutual interest.

While Taurus are creatures of habit, you won’t find them flummoxed in a crisis. This sign thinks long term, so they can see the little bumps in the road for what they are.

Taurus’ focus on material security can make them seem superficial, but they are in fact incredibly generous and empathetic, and are most at home in natural settings.

This sign simply appreciates the freedom that comes along with having all your ducks in a row. They prefer to follow long term plans than take risks.

When it comes to love, Taurus is looking for both chemistry and compatibility.

They want to be with someone whose life goals align with their own. They prefer to take things slow and be certain.

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Gemini Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolTwins
Ruling PlanetMercury
DatesMay 21 – June 20
BirthstonePearl, Alexandrite, Agate
FlowerLavender, Lily of the Valley
Lucky Numbers3, 8
Key TraitsGentle, affectionate, curious, adaptable, ability to learn quickly
Negative TraitsNervous, inconsistent, indecisive
CompatibilityLibra (93%), Leo (88%), Aquarius (85%), and Aries (83%)
IncompatibilityScorpio (28%), Taurus (33%), and Pisces (53%)
Career MatchesSales, Writer, Interpreter, Reporter, Marketing
Physical RulingArms, Hands, Lungs
Symbolic AnimalTwins
Keyword“I Think”
Life PursuitTo explore a little bit of everything
Secret DesireTo be ahead of the crowd
ChallengesTo be more decisive and take one thing at a time

One of the Mutable signs, Gemini is constantly changing. An intellectual Air sign, they are interested in everything, so they are always moving their attention from one thing to the next, and changing their opinions and perspectives as their interests develop.

While their knowledge is wide, it can be shallow, as they move on too quickly to go deep.

Ruled by Mercury, Gemini loves to talk and loves getting to know people. They are a good and genuine friend, though they tend to be flaky.

They often forget plans with their nearest and dearest in the excitement of meeting a new acquaintance.

Highly adaptable, this sign is good at adjusting to new situations and meeting new challenges.

Gemini can fall in and out of love quickly as they search for the right person. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t picky.

Gemini is attracted to interesting and witty conversation and someone who can keep up with them.

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Cancer Zodiac Sign Symbol and Dates
Zodiac SymbolCrab
Ruling PlanetMoon
DatesJune 21 – July 22
ColorWhite, Silver
FlowerWhite Rose, Acanthus
Lucky Numbers2, 7
Key TraitsTenacious, highly imaginative, loyal, emotional, sympathetic, persuasive
Negative TraitsMoody, pessimistic, suspicious, manipulative, insecure
CompatibilityPisces (98%), Taurus (97%), Scorpio (94%), and Virgo (90%)
IncompatibilityAquarius (27%), Leo (35%), Aries (42%) and Libra (43%)
Career MatchesSocial Work, Human Resources, Gardening, Child Care, Nursing
Physical RulingChest, Breasts, Stomach
Symbolic AnimalCrab
Keyword“I Feel”
Life PursuitConstant reassurance and intimacy
Secret DesireTo feel safe (emotionally, spiritually, romantically and financially)
ChallengesTo come out of their shell and show the world their true self

Family and friends are at the center of Cancer’s world, and they know how important it is to cherish the people in their lives.

One of the Water signs and ruled by the Moon, they are also highly intuitive. They always seem like they know exactly what to do and say. This helps them form new bonds quickly, and they often have a very spiritual side.

Cancer’s emotions run near the surface, so they are easily hurt. Not that they would let anyone know, they can be secretive.

On the flip side, they can also be very suspicious. They read more into situations than is there, and have a tendency to snoop.

But Cancer is just scrupulously honest, and expects the same from others.

Cancer loves deeply, but is cautious and will often keep the true extent of their feelings to themselves.

When they do start a relationship, they quickly become a member of the family, calling their partner’s mother daily just to chat.

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Leo Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolLion
Ruling PlanetSun
DatesJuly 23 – August 22
BirthstonePeridot, Ruby
ColorGold, Orange
FlowerMarigold, Sunflower
Lucky Numbers1, 3
Key TraitsCreative, passionate, generous, warm-hearted, cheerful, humorous
Negative TraitsArrogant, stubborn, self-centered, lazy, inflexible
CompatibilityLibra (97%), Aries (97%), Sagittarius (93%), and Gemini (88%)
IncompatibilityVirgo (35%), Cancer (35%), Capricorn (35%) and Pisces (38%)
Career MatchesEntertainment, Politics, Art director, Hospitality
Physical RulingHeart, Spine
Symbolic AnimalLion
Keyword“I Will”
Life PursuitTo lead the way
Secret DesireTo be a star
ChallengesTo keep their ego in check and learn to share the limelight

Leo, the lion, is probably one of the most stereotyped signs, but there is some truth to it. Highly confident and ambitious, Leo loves to be in charge, and to be in the spotlight. Plus, they usually have quite the ego!

There is no question in their mind that they deserve to be at the top of the food chain.

Leo can prioritize style over substance, and can seem superficial as they bluff their way through situations. But their charisma and confidence mean they tend to succeed anyway.

Leo is also incredibly caring and generous. They also have no problem supporting others.

They are confident enough that they aren’t threatened by the success of others.

While Leo loves admirers and can be a flirt, they are also incredibly devoted and generous in their relationships.

While they want someone to worship them and reinforce their ego, they also enjoy being pushed and challenged.

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Virgo Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolMaiden
Ruling PlanetMercury
DatesAugust 23 – September 22
ColorGrey, Beige, Pale-Yellow
FlowerMorning Glory, Pansy
Lucky Numbers5, 14
Key TraitsLoyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, practical
Negative TraitsShyness, worry, overly critical of self and others, all work and no play
CompatibilityCapricorn (95%), Taurus (90%), Cancer (90%)
IncompatibilityAquarius (30%), Leo (35%), and Sagittarius (48%)
Career MatchesEditor, Medicine, Accounting, Science, Writing
Physical RulingDigestive System, Intestines
Symbolic AnimalMaiden
Keyword“I Analyze”
Life PursuitTo do the right thing
Secret DesireTo love and be loved in return
ChallengesTo loosen up and have fun

Virgo are often characterized as perfectionists as they have incredibly high standards, so they are very hard to please.

Even when their achievements are incredible, they always believe that they could have done a little bit more.

Represented by the Maiden Astraea, the last of the Greek immortals to abandon the Earth, Virgo shares her dedication and will power.

Virgo is highly self-aware, and they know both their value and their weaknesses. This can give them a unique mix of confidence and insecurity, which can put them on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Not that others would know.

Virgo are excellent actors and prefer to hide their true selves behind a perfect suit of armor.

Virgo’s confidence means that they have no trouble attracting admirers, but they do have trouble letting others behind their barriers.

Their expectations for love are as high as everything else in life.

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Libra Zodiac Sign Symbol and Dates
Zodiac SymbolScales
Ruling PlanetVenus
DatesSeptember 23 – October 22
ColorBlue, Green
FlowerRose, Hydrangea
Lucky Numbers6, 15
Key TraitsCooperative, diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, social
Negative TraitsIndecisive, avoids confrontations, will carry a grudge, self-pity
CompatibilityLeo (97%), Gemini (93%), Aquarius (90%), and Pisces (88%)
IncompatibilityScorpio (35%), Cancer (43%), and Capricorn (55%)
Career MatchesDiplomat, Judge, Personal stylist, Art dealer, Wedding planner
Physical RulingKidneys
Symbolic AnimalScales
Keyword“I Balance”
Life PursuitTo be consistent
Secret DesireTo live an easy, uncomplicated life
ChallengesTo take a stand and make up their mind

Libra has the unique ability to truly empathize with others and understand their perspectives.

This is the sign you want around when you need a kind ear, or a mediator.

Ruled by the balancing force of Venus, Libra’s biggest problem is that the understand everyone’s points of view so well, that they can end up sitting on the fence when it comes to their own opinions.

Innately social, Libra thrives off the energy of being around others, and always injects positivity into a group.

They can struggle to be alone, and have a tendency to develop co-dependent relationships.

They also invest a lot in their appearance and the material things, and like to follow the latest trends. But Libra has a deep soul for what really matters.

Libra is the type of person to become stressed when they are between relationships, but their outgoing nature means that they are always meeting new people.

They can have a tendency to change themselves to please their partner.

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Scorpio Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolScorpion
Ruling PlanetPluto, Mars
DatesOctober 23 – November 21
BirthstoneTopaz, Opal
ColorScarlet, Red, Rust
Lucky Numbers8, 18
Key TraitsResourceful, brave, passionate, stubborn, a true friend
Negative TraitsDistrusting, jealous, secretive, violent
CompatibilityPisces (97%), Capricorn (95%), and Cancer (94%)
IncompatibilitySagittarius (28%), Gemini (28%), and Libra (35%)
Career MatchesSurgeon, Scientist, Detective, Lawyer, Research
Physical RulingReproductive System, Sex Organs
Symbolic AnimalScorpion
Keyword“I Desire”
Life PursuitTo survive against all opposition
Secret DesireTo triumph
ChallengesTo use their powers of perception and not be judgemental

Named for the creature with the burning sting, Scorpios tend to have a sharp tongue, a suspicious nature, and to be highly unforgiving. But this is just because, as a water sign, their emotions run near the surface.

When something pinches them, it is hard for them not to react. Their sharp outside shields and endearing sift interior.

Scorpio likes to be in control. They aren’t happy with a decision unless they made it, but they also have the courage to take responsibility for their actions and choices.

Highly rational, they always trust the evidence over their gut.

A fixed sign, they are so confident in their own thoughts, that they can be a bit dismissive of the ideas of others.

When it comes to love, Scorpio loves to be pursued. They like to play games and get a thrill out of over the top romantic gestured.

When it comes to relationships, it is all of nothing. They are highly devoted, and expect the same.

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Sagittarius Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolArcher
Ruling PlanetJupiter
DatesNovember 22 – December 21
BirthstoneTurquoise, Blue Topaz
ColorBlue, Purple
FlowerCarnation, Dandelion
Lucky Numbers3, 12
Key TraitsGenerous, idealistic, great sense of humor
Negative TraitsPromises more than can deliver, very impatient, will say anything no matter how undiplomatic
CompatibilityAries (93%), Leo (93%), and Aquarius (90%)
IncompatibilityScorpio (28%), Taurus (30%), Sagittarius (45%), and Virgo (48%)
Career MatchesTravel Agent, Photographer, Ambassador, Artist, Researcher
Physical RulingHips, Thighs
Symbolic AnimalArcher
Keyword“I See”
Life PursuitTo live the good life
Secret DesireTo make a difference in the world
ChallengesTo be more realistic and take on responsibility

Sagittarius is represented by the swift-moving centaur, and this is perfect for this sign, which is incredibly hard to pin down.

They constantly crave new adventures and new experiences, and they can quickly get stressed if they feel like they are stuck in a certain place. For this reason, Sagittarius shy away from commitments, whether it be a relationship or a long-term contract.

Ruled by Jupiter, Sagittarius need to be active at all times: they are runners, thinkers and doers! This does mean that they often act before they think. They can also get impatient and frustrated easily.

But this sign has a growth mindset and always sees failure as an opportunity to grow and learn.

They are also quick to forgive, as they know life is a journey.

Sagittarius is wary of commitment, and while they aren’t the type to betray a partner, they prefer to keep things casual rather than put a label on it.

You can’t push them. They need to decide that they want to make space for someone else in their lives.

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Capricorn Zodiac Sign Symbol and Dates
Zodiac SymbolSea-Goat
Ruling PlanetSaturn
DatesDecember 22 – January 19
ColorBrown, Black
FlowerIvy, Pansy
Lucky Numbers4, 8
Key TraitsResponsible, disciplined, self-control, good managers
Negative TraitsKnow-it-all, unforgiving, condescending, expecting the worst
CompatibilityTaurus (98%), Virgo (95%), and Scorpio (95%)
IncompatibilityLeo (35%), Aries (46%), and Libra (55%)
Career MatchesManager, Administrator, Banking, IT, Engineering
Physical RulingKnees, Skin
Symbolic AnimalSea-Goat
Keyword“I Use”
Life PursuitTo be proud of their achievements
Secret DesireTo be admired by their family and friends and the world at large
ChallengesTo let go of the past and forgive

The saying “stubborn as a goat” was probably coined to describe Capricorn, which is represented by this animal.

When Capricorn dig their heels in about something, there is no moving them. This makes them one of the most diligent signs.

When they set themselves a goal, they have no problem sticking to the steps to get it done.

Capricorn is also one of the most reliable and trustworthy signs, as they are always true to their word. But they don’t give it out lightly.

They have their own priorities which they put first, and have no problem saying no.

It can be hard to catch Capricorn’s attention, because they are so focussed on their own things.

When they do lift their heads up, they can fall in love hard and fast, but do struggle to make genuine compromises to make a relationship work.

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Aquarius Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolWater Bearer
Ruling PlanetUranus, Saturn
DatesJanuary 20 – February 18
ColorLight-Blue, Silver
Lucky Numbers4, 8
Key TraitsProgressive, original, independent, humanitarian
Negative TraitsRuns from emotional expression, temperamental, uncompromising, aloof
CompatibilityLibra (90%), Sagittarius (90%), and Gemini (85%)
IncompatibilityCancer (27%), Virgo (30%), Pisces (45%), and Aquarius (45%)
Career MatchesScientist, Inventor, Astrologer, Artist, Performer
Physical RulingAnkles, Circulatory System
Symbolic AnimalWater Bearer
Keyword“I Know”
Life PursuitTo understand life’s mysteries
Secret DesireTo be unique and original
ChallengesTo find a balance between their need for independence and closeness

Ruled by Uranus, Aquarius tend to be original and innovative with their own unique interests.

They are happy to do their own thing and follow their own noses, not really concerned with what other people think or conforming to shared ideas and rules.

They don’t need others to validate their talent and choices, they don’t need to prove themselves to anyone.

This can make Aquarius seem arrogant, and they can sometimes be dismissive of those who don’t share their views on the world.

Aquarius is highly intellectual and loves learning about the world and traveling, especially to places that are less reliant on technology.

They aren’t the type of people that have their cell phones in their hands all day.

Independent souls, Aquarius is rarely looking for love.

Stimulating conversation is their aphrodisiac, so they will often find friendship connections evolving into something deeper.

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Pisces Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates
Zodiac SymbolFish
Ruling PlanetNeptune, Jupiter
DatesFebruary 19 – March 20
ColorSea Green, Lavender
FlowerWater Lily, White Poppy
Lucky Numbers3, 9
Key TraitsCompassionate, artistic, intuitive, gentle, wise, musical
Negative TraitsFearful, overly trusting, sad, desire to escape reality, can be a victim or a martyr
CompatibilityCancer (98%), Scorpio (97%), Virgo (88%), Capricorn (88%), and Libra (88%)
IncompatibilityLeo (38%), Aquarius (45%), and Gemini (53%)
Career MatchesArtist, Doctor, Clairvoyant, Musician, Veterinarian
Physical RulingFeet, Lymphatic System
Symbolic AnimalFish
Keyword“I Believe”
Life PursuitTo avoid feeling alone and instead feel connected to others and the world
Secret DesireTo live their dreams and turn fantasies into realities
ChallengesTo differentiate between helping and meddling

Represented by two fish, just like fish, Pisces likes to travel in a group. They are extremely social, and love being surrounded by like-minded people.

They don’t crave to be the leader of the pack, but they do like to be the center of attention.

However, they will sometimes go to quite extreme lengths to ensure that they are getting attention.

Ruled by Neptune the planet of connectivity and psychic receptivity, Pisces tend to be creative and love making things, especially with their hands.

They also tend to be in tune with their spiritual sides and interested in the metaphysical.

Generous sorts, they are always the first to lend a helping hand when they see another person in need.

Pisces can be a little over the top when it comes to romance, but that is because they enjoy the thrill of the game.

They are looking for a genuine connection and genuine compatibility.

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Also, read our in-depth guides on zodiac sign love compatibility and friendship compatibility.

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