Astrology when interpreted in its literal form means the study of the stars. Unlike Astronomy, it focuses on the celestial bodies in conjunction with human events on this planet. More than 3000 years ago, astronomers marveled at how the sky would actually look if the stars were visible during the day. They have their observations. And some came to the conclusion that the Sun seemed to “enter” or go through various constellations every calendar month. This is how the different types of Zodiac Signs came about.
The study of the zodiacs began in ancient times, their roots dating back to the early days of Mesopotamia. The twelve signs were named after the Greek gods who adopted Astrology from the Romans and Babylonians. In this article, you will not only learn the different types of Zodiac Signs around the world and their point of origin. You’ll also pick up a thing or two about the following:
- What are the different types of zodiac signs around the world?
- How many different types of zodiac signs are there in existence?
- How do these types of zodiacs differ depending on their point of origin?
The Different Types of Zodiac Signs Around the World
The Chinese Zodiac
First off on the different types of Zodiac Signs around the world- the Chinese Zodiac. They are famous for breaking down births according to the year you were born. The signs begin and end depending on the Chinese calendar. Their New Year usually starts in late January up to early February.
Yes, they also classify the zodiacs by month, day, and hour of birth. However, it does not give the same emphasis on month the way the other zodiacs do, like the Indian and Western zodiacs. The Chinese zodiac constitutes twelve animal signs depending on the year you were born. These are pig, dog, rooster, monkey, goat, horse, snake, dragon, rabbit, tiger, ox, and rat. They also rotate between the yin and yang and also have five elements namely earth, water, metal, wood, and fire.
Combinations can have wide variations. For instance, an individual can either be a yang metal rabbit, a yin water rabbit, a yin fire rabbit, and so forth. All of the Chinese zodiac cycles entail sixty years to complete them.
The Western Zodiac
Among the other types of Zodiac Signs around the globe is the Western Zodiac. In Europe and America, and other countries influenced by western culture. The most frequently used Zodiac is the Western calendar of Astrology. Here, there are twelve signs which are equally divided throughout the year. This starts approximately on the 21st of every month.
The twelve signs consist of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo. Then there are Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. All of them got their names from star formations as well as the Sun’s position during an individual’s time of birth.
Just like the Chinese Zodiac, multiple characteristics are designated based on their birth month and day. But unlike Chinese Astrology, your birth year is not considered in Western Zodiac.
The Indian Zodiac
Next on the list of the types of Zodiac signs is the Indian Zodiac. Jyotisa, Hindi, and Vedic systems in Astrology have a few differences among them. However, they still have enough resemblance to each other. So much so that they are commonly labeled with the umbrella term Indian Astrology. Just like the Western Zodiac, it also has twelve signs stretched throughout the entire year. All of them are closely tied to the signs available in Western Astrology.
For instance, the Indian zodiac Mesa, which translates to “ram”, is basically the same as Aries, which is also known as “the ram”. Another example is Mithuna or the “twins”. This corresponds to Gemini. Then there’s Dhanus or “bow”, corresponding to Sagittarius.
The characteristics linked with the Indian signs still correspond with their Western equivalent. It is only the positioning of their star signs because of the movement and location of the person observing, that differs. This is because the star’s positions differ depending on their latitude.
The Tropic Zodiac
Some people are not very familiar with some types of Zodiac Signs. Tropic Astrology is one of those. It is basically a subset within both Indian and Western Astronomy. Tropic signs have a specific day where they change over.
Usually, it’s the 21st of the month, and does not matter when its star sign changes. It does not focus too much on the Sun’s actual positioning at birth, rather on the defined date for each sign.
This allows for easier classification of people born on that day. And because Tropic Astrology revolves on a standardized calendar. Plus, it is not on an annual basis, the most vastly distributed horoscopes utilize the Tropic Zodiac compared to Sidereal Zodiac.
The Sidereal Zodiac
Sidereal is Tropic Zodiac’s counterpart. It focuses on the Sun’s daily positioning on the time of birth and not on the dates assigned to the various signs. These signs change in the middle of the month, usually between the 13th and 16th. There are some exceptions though because of the annual differences. Tropic and Sidereal astrologers to this day debate regarding which is more accurate between these two.
In January 2011, the debates intensified when some astronomers made a proposal to add a 13th zodiac sign. They would name it Ophiuchus and its position will be between Sagittarius and Scorpio. They argued that changes in the Earth’s rotation make it necessary to alter the zodiac.
This type of addition will change the entire zodiac by shortening each zodiac sign’s period. Ophiuchus will also end up splintering the use of the Sidereal zodiac. To those people using 12 signs and those who are using 13 signs. The differences are so massive. That someone who is born between November 29 and December 15 could either be a Scorpio. They can also be a Sagittarius, even an Ophiuchus depending on the Zodiac used. if it’s Tropic or Sidereal Zodiac.
The Celtic Zodiac
Included in one of the most curious types of Zodiac Signs is the Celtic Zodiac. Just like the Western zodiac, the Celtic tree zodiac uses a person’s date of birth as a basis. History dictates that this held an enormous amount of respect and a sacred mindset towards nature. This is evident in their actual representation. Depending on the day you were born, you have the right to knowledge of that sacred tree. Thus, giving you your unique personality.
The Celtic zodiac correlates your date of birth to one of these thirteen tree types. Thirteen is used instead of twelve. because they utilize the lunar calendar system which follows the moon’s thirteen phases.
It is during this same period that the Druids existed. They happened to be expert observers as well. Extremely popular for their ability to decipher omens and divine events. How do they do this? From the rustling of leaves. Yes. They conduct intense divinations and invocations by meditating upon the moon and its movements.
The Egyptian Zodiac
Since time immemorial, the Egyptians have sought answers from the night sky. They look to the sky for knowledge, for advice, for determining their own destiny. They believed that their life, personality, and destiny have their link to the heavens.
Egyptian astrology comprises twelve constellations. These form 36 star groups or decans. Every one of these decans has its own ruling planet. They last for ten days.
The signs are based on gods and goddesses from the great Egyptian mythos. They are Anubis, Amon-Ra, Horus, and Osiris, among many others. An individual’s sign is the representation of their character, skills, and behavior. Every sign is equal to three decans. This gives a total of thirty days. It is not enough that two people share the same sign. Their unique decan, and various ruling planet. These are going to influence their personalities immensely.
The Native American Zodiac
Last on our list of the various types of Zodiac Signs is the Native American Zodiac. Native Americans are well-known for using nature as a great source of inspiration. Almost every aspect of their lives, including birth symbols of living creatures surrounding them. An integral part of their culture is their vivid representation of animals. Especially those associated with their zodiac.
The animals are very much associated with their birth months. They believed that the time of year you are born would affect their characteristics. The Native Americans had a deeply spiritual connection with nature. It played an important part in their understanding of the cosmos.