Astrology IloveIndia
In each of the traditions of astrology, there are twelve zodiacal signs only. Read on to explore the zodiacs in astrology.


Zodiac is basically the belt or band of constellations through which the Sun, Moon as well as the planets pass. The astrologers used to make their readings as well as their predictions on the basis of these constellations only. With time, the constellations started gaining more and more importance. Gradually, a whole system, based on the twelve important constellations, was developed, comprising of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The three traditions of the modern astrology, namely Western, Indian and Chinese, are also based on the twelve zodiacal signs.

The Western and Indian traditions share a common origin and are very much similar in their meaning. The Chinese astrology, though based on twelve signs, developed on an entirely different basis. Their signs are named after animals and they refer to a pure calendrical cycle. All the three forms make use of the same number of zodiac signs, since they are all based on the interaction of the Sun and the Moon. The twelve cycles of the Moon i.e., the months, coincide with one solar year, thus the number twelve.

Western Zodiac
The western astrologers mainly base their calculations on the tropical zodiac, in which the sky stands divided into twelve equal segments of 30 degrees each. The first point of the zodiac is Aries and the last point comprises of Pisces. The zodiacal signs in this system have no relation to the constellations of the same name; rather they stay associated with the months and seasons. This is because of the slow changing of the way Earth rotates in space. The tropical zodiac is also used as a historical coordinate system in astronomy. The twelve signs are:
  • Aries - The Ram (0 deg)
  • Taurus - The Bull (30 deg)
  • Gemini - The Twins (60 deg)
  • Cancer - The Crab (90 deg)
  • Leo - The Lion (120 deg)
  • Virgo - The Virgin (150 deg)
  • Libra - The Scales (180 deg)
  • Scorpio - The Scorpion (210 deg)
  • Sagittarius - The Archer (240 deg)
  • Capricorn - The Sea-goat (270 deg)
  • Aquarius - The Water Carrier (300 deg)
  • Pisces - The Fish (330 deg)
Indian Zodiac
The Indian astrological tradition is based on the sidereal zodiac, which makes use of the same evenly divided ecliptic as the western tradition. However, in this case, the zodiac signs stayed aligned with the position of the constellations bearing the same name. The names of the Hindu zodiacal signs (rashis) are similar to Graeco-Babylonian signs. These twelve signs of Indian zodiac are:
  • Mesha "Ram" (Aries)
  • Vrishabha "Bull" (Taurus)
  • Mithuna "A Pair" (Gemini)
  • Karka "Crab" (Cancer)
  • Singha "Lion" (Leo)
  • Kanya "Girl" (Virgo)
  • Tula "Balance" (Libra)
  • Vrashchik "Scorpion" (Scorpio)
  • Dhanus "Armed with a Bow" (Sagittarius)
  • Makara "Sea Monster" (Capricorn)
  • Kumbha "Pitcher" (Aquarius)
  • Matsya "Fish" (Pisces)
Chinese Zodiac
Chinese astrology is also based on twelve signs, which correspond to the twelve months of a year. The extent of a zodiacal sign is related to the path that is covered by Sun between the two new moons. Chinese zodiac also consists of animals and each of the animals is linked with one month as well as one solar year. The animals of the Chinese Zodiac are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit (or hare), dragon, snake, horse, sheep (or goat), monkey, rooster (or phoenix), dog and pig (or boar).