Zodiac signs, also known as sun signs, astrological signs or star signs is a circle of twelve 30 degree divisions of the celestial longitude that are centred upon the ecliptic- the path of the Sun across the celestial sphere during the course of a year. The term zodiac is derived from the Greek term zoidiakos, meaning ‘circle of animals’. This name is motivated by the fact that half of the signs of the classic Greek zodiac are represented as animals, besides two mythological hybrids.
It is important to note that zodiac signs are closely associated with the sun and with a particular planet which is considered to be the ruler of that zodiac sign. Empedocles, who was a fifth century Greek philosopher, identified fire, earth, water and air as four elements. He described the universe as being created by the interaction and interplay of all these four elements and stated that these four elements were all equal, of the same age, each ruling its own province and each possessing its own individual character. Accordingly, different mixtures of these elements produced the different nature of things. Each zodiac sign is associated with one of these four elements, and these can also be grouped according to polarity. Fire and Air signs are considered positive or extrovert, masculine signs. Water and Earth signs are considered negative or introvert, feminine signs.
In addition to this, each of the four elements manifests itself in three modalities, namely, cardinal, fixed and mutable. As each modality consists of four signs, they are also known as Quadruplicities. This combination of element and modality provides a basic sign characterization. Thus, each zodiac sign has got its own characteristics, making it unique. Understanding your zodiac sign gives you an insight of yourself, the reason of your actions and why do you behave in a particular manner. This information about the various characteristics of zodiac signs can also be used to understand the nature and behaviour of people of a particular zodiac sign, providing a valuable hint in knowing them. In the similar fashion, compatibility between various zodiac signs is also explored in astrology, and its generally observed that people having Fire element in their zodiac sign get along well with people having Air element in their zodiac sign. Similarly, people with water element in their zodiac sign will get along well with people having earth element in their zodiac sign.
The order of the zodiac signs is Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
04 Sep 2012