The division of the ecliptic into the zodiacal signs originates in Babylonian " Chaldean " astronomy during the first half of the 1st millennium BC. The zodiac draws on stars in earlier Babylonian star catalogues, such as the MUL. LUL "The Crayfish," among others. Around the end of the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers divided the ecliptic into 12 equal "signs", by analogy to 12 schematic months of 30 days each.
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According to calculations by modern astrophysics, the zodiac was introduced between BC and probably within a very few years of BC. The divisions don't correspond exactly to where the constellations started and ended in the sky; this would have resulted in an irregular division. The Sun in fact passed through at least 13, not 12 Babylonian constellations. In order to align with the number of months in a year, designers of the system omitted the major constellation Ophiuchus.
Changes in the orientation of the Earth's axis of rotation also means that the time of year the Sun is in a given constellation has changed since Babylonian times. However, Babylonian techniques of observational measurements were in a rudimentary stage of evolution. In Babylonian astronomical diaries , a planet position was generally given with respect to a zodiacal sign alone, less often in specific degrees within a sign.
Knowledge of the Babylonian zodiac is also reflected in the Hebrew Bible ; E. Bullinger interpreted the creatures appearing in the book of Ezekiel as the middle signs of the 4 quarters of the Zodiac,   with the Lion as Leo , the Bull is Taurus , the Man representing Aquarius and the Eagle representing Scorpio. Martin and others have argued that the arrangement of the tribes around the Tabernacle reported in the Book of Numbers corresponded to the order of the Zodiac, with Judah , Reuben , Ephraim , and Dan representing the middle signs of Leo, Aquarius, Taurus, and Scorpio, respectively.
Such connections were taken up by Thomas Mann , who in his novel Joseph and His Brothers attributes characteristics of a sign of the zodiac to each tribe in his rendition of the Blessing of Jacob. Hellenistic astrology derived in part from Babylonian and Egyptian astrology. The Dendera zodiac , a relief dating to ca. The earliest extant Greek text using the Babylonian division of the zodiac into 12 signs of 30 equal degrees each is the Anaphoricus of Hypsicles of Alexandria fl. Hipparchus's lost work on precession never circulated very widely until it was brought to prominence by Ptolemy,  and there are few explanations of precession outside the work of Ptolemy until late Antiquity, by which time Ptolemy's influence was widely established.
The Hindu zodiac uses the sidereal coordinate system , which makes reference to the fixed stars. The Hindu zodiac, being sidereal, does not maintain this seasonal alignment, but there are still similarities between the two systems. The Hindu zodiac signs and corresponding Greek signs sound very different, being in Sanskrit and Greek respectively, but their symbols are nearly identical. This included magical uses of the zodiac, as found, e. Mughal king Jahangir issued an attractive series of coins in gold and silver depicting the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
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An example of the use of signs as astronomical coordinates may be found in the Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris for the year The "Longitude of the Sun" columns show the sign represented as a digit from 0 to and including 11 , degrees from 0 to 29, minutes, and seconds. The zodiac symbols are Early Modern simplifications of conventional pictorial representations of the signs, attested since Hellenistic times. But note that the Sanskrit and the name equivalents after c. Also, the "English translation" isn't usually used by English speakers.
Latin names are standard English usage. The zodiacal signs are distinct from the constellations associated with them, not only because of their drifting apart due to the precession of equinoxes but also because the physical constellations take up varying widths of the ecliptic, so the Sun is not in each constellation for the same amount of time. The zodiacal signs are an abstraction from the physical constellations, and each represent exactly one 12th of the full circle, or the longitude traversed by the Sun in about The path of the Sun passes through 13 constellations recognized by ancient Babylonian, Greek, and Roman astronomers including in Ptolemy 's Almagest   and the modern International Astronomical Union.
Because the Babylonians had a month lunar calendar, they chose and divided up the year evenly. The 13th was left out: Ophiuchus , the bottom part of which interjects between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Occasionally this difference between the astronomical constellations and the astrological signs is mistakenly reported in the popular press as a "change" to the list of traditional signs by some astronomical body like the IAU, NASA , or the Royal Astronomical Society. For example, in drawing a distinction between astrology and scientific astronomy, NASA notes that "No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based on their birth dates.
Some "parazodiacal" constellations are also touched by the paths of the planets, leading to counts of up to 25 "constellations of the zodiac". Some other constellations are also mythologically associated with the zodiacal ones: Piscis Austrinus , The Southern Fish, is attached to Aquarius. In classical maps, it swallows the stream poured out of Aquarius' pitcher, but perhaps it formerly just swam in it. Aquila , The Eagle, was possibly associated with the zodiac by virtue of its main star, Altair. The following table compares the Gregorian dates on which the Sun enters:.
The theoretical beginning of Aries is the moment of vernal equinox , and all other dates shift accordingly. The precise Gregorian times and dates vary slightly from year to year as the Gregorian calendar shifts relative to the tropical year. Except for and , the vernal equinox has started on 20 March since , and is projected to until Because the Earth's axis is at an angle, some signs take longer to rise than others, and the farther away from the equator the observer is situated, the greater the difference.
Thus, signs are spoken of as "long" or "short" ascension. The zodiac system was developed in Babylonia , some 2, years ago, during the " Age of Aries ". Contemporary use of the coordinate system is presented with the choice of interpreting the system either as sidereal , with the signs fixed to the stellar background , or as tropical , with the signs fixed to the point vector of the Sun at the March equinox.
Western astrology takes the tropical approach, whereas Hindu astrology takes the sidereal one. This results in the originally unified zodiacal coordinate system drifting apart gradually, with a clockwise westward precession of 1. For the tropical zodiac used in Western astronomy and astrology, this means that the tropical sign of Aries currently lies somewhere within the constellation Pisces " Age of Pisces ".
The sidereal coordinate system takes into account the ayanamsa , ayan meaning transit or movement , and amsa meaning small part , i. It is unclear when Indians became aware of the precession of the equinoxes, but Bhaskara 2 's 12th-century treatise Siddhanta Shiromani gives equations for measurement of precession of equinoxes, and says his equations are based on some lost equations of Suryasiddhanta plus the equation of Munjaala.
The discovery of precession is attributed to Hipparchus around BC. Ptolemy quotes from Hipparchus' now lost work entitled "On the Displacement of the Solstitial and Equinoctial Points" in the seventh book of his 2nd century astronomical text, Almagest , where he describes the phenomenon of precession and estimates its value. The principle of the vernal point acting as the first degree of the zodiac for Greek astronomers is also described in the 1st century BC astronomical text of Geminus of Rhodes.
Geminus explains that Greek astronomers of his era associate the first degrees of the zodiac signs with the two solstices and the two equinoxes, in contrast to the older Chaldean Babylonian system, which placed these points within the zodiac signs. Ptolemy also demonstrates that the principle of the tropical zodiac was well known to his predecessors within his astrological text, the Tetrabiblos , where he explains why it would be an error to associate the regularly spaced signs of the seasonally aligned zodiac with the irregular boundaries of the visible constellations:. These events can be useful, for example, to estimate the cross-sectional dimensions of a minor planet , or check a star for a close companion.
The Sun's placement upon the vernal equinox, which occurs annually around 21 March, defines the starting point for measurement, the first degree of which is historically known as the " first point of Aries ". Zodiac signs have never been used to determine the boundaries of astronomical constellations that lie in the vicinity of the zodiac, which are, and always have been, irregular in their size and shape.
The use of the zodiac as a means to determine astronomical measurement remained the main method for defining celestial positions by Western astronomers until the Renaissance, at which time preference moved to the equatorial coordinate system , which measures astronomical positions by right ascension and declination rather than the ecliptic-based definitions of celestial longitude and celestial latitude.
The word "zodiac" is also used in reference to the zodiacal cloud of dust grains that move among the planets, and the zodiacal light that originates from their scattering of sunlight. In Unicode, the symbols of zodiac signs are encoded in block "Miscellaneous Symbols": .
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 5 October For the East Asian zodiac based on the Jovian orbital cycle, see Chinese zodiac. For other uses, see zodiac disambiguation. Further information: Former constellations. Further information: Babylonian star catalogues and MUL. Main article: Astrological sign. Further information: Axial precession , Epoch astronomy , Sidereal and tropical astrology , Astrological age , and Ayanamsa.
Astronomical symbols Chinese zodiac Circle of stars Cusp astrology Elements of the zodiac. Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 September The Signs of the Zodiac. It may be a hectic time, but it's also a period of discovering feelings that have been building or that you've avoided and kept at bay, and then embracing them.
Now that you know what's in your heart, you're ready to make better decisions.
You'll feel inspired and confident on the Even so, Mars heads into your privacy sector on the 31st, and you end the year with a greater need to rest your body and review your strategies. Until December 21st: The Sun continues to highlight your solar eighth house. Your attention turns inward, as well as to close personal relationships on a deeper level. Personal transformations, personal power, and intimate matters fulfill you most during this cycle. There may be a strong focus on other's money, such as the resources of a partner, inheritance, banking and loans, or taxes.
You are more intense in your mood and disposition, and perhaps even secretive, at this time of year. You are more in touch with the deeper and even primal elements of your own personality, and more able to see these things in others. This can be a determined and personally powerful time of year if you apply the energy of this transit constructively. From December 22nd forward: This month, with the Sun spotlighting your solar ninth house, your focus turns outward, away from the more personal concerns that have occupied your thoughts in the last months.
More than any other time during the year, you are feeling most adventurous and willing to take a leap of faith. Anything that broadens your experiences attracts now. A lack of superficiality finds you straight to the point, interested in the truth of things. It would be wise for you to consider scheduling a vacation, adventure of sorts, or a course that expands your mind. These don't have to happen now, but taking the time to recognize your needs for escaping the daily grind, taking a few risks, and feeding your spirit for self-expression through some form of adventure or higher learning, will help you to feel good about yourself.
The only caution with this cycle is that you could lose touch with managing everyday affairs and important details.
Taurus Daily Horoscope Today Tuesday 12th December 2017
From December 2nd forward: Venus graces your solar seventh house during this period. This is a time for extra attention to a partner or significant other, as well as from that person! You are more inclined to flatter and charm others during this cycle. One-to-one relating appeals to you more than group activities or more casual connections. Smoothing out your close personal relationships is what makes you happy during this cycle.
If single, you are more willing than normal to enter into a committed relationship. In general, you are adaptable when it comes to your affections--very willing to compromise, negotiate, and make peace. Mercury is retrograde until December 6th While Mercury is retrograde, it's better to review, revise, and refine rather than push things forward, particularly related to communications, contracts, and transportation.
Misunderstandings and delays are more likely. Occurring in your solar seventh house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to negotiations and one-on-one communications. Be as non-judgmental as you can with a partner. There may be the need to revisit old issues in a partnership, or there could be some communication problems with a partner. An ex-partner may resurface during this cycle. Misunderstandings with your partner now can do some damage if you or your partner focus on the choice of words instead of the meanings behind the words.
If you need to talk through problems, try not to over-react to what your partner has to say. Mixed messages coming from a partner, or a disappointment, could occur now. You may not be as adept at mediating disputes for the time being, but it's a good cycle in which to reflect upon your negotiation skills with the goal of improving them. Re-thinking a partnership arrangement is possible now, but you should avoid jumping to any premature decisions. It would be wise to be especially clear when it comes to communicating with partners; or take this time to re-examine issues rather than communicating about them prematurely.
All Mercury retrograde cycles particularly affect you in terms of communications with lovers or children, and regarding financial affairs, because Mercury rules these areas of your life. Your judgment with regards to personal finances Gemini-ruled for you as well as romantic partners and creative endeavors may not be up to par just now, so do avoid "signing on the dotted line".
Speculation is not advised during this cycle. You tend to weigh the pros and cons of every issue during this cycle, taking into account others' needs as well as your own.
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Some indecisiveness is possible now, simply because you naturally entertain opposing viewpoints. You have a strong desire to cooperate and communicate with others now. You feel most comfortable spending time with people on a one-to-one level, or with those with whom you share a personal history. Your own thoughts become clearer through dialogue with others. You may be doing public relations work, counseling, negotiating, or arbitration during this cycle. There is a lot of emphasis on communications with partners and best friends at this time. You can use the power of words to advise others or to make peace with people in your life.
You are more diplomatic than usual during this transit. You are more intuitive now than usual, picking up all of the hidden cues from people around you and reading between the lines. This is an excellent cycle in which to do some financial planning and strategizing. Research is also highly favored. It's also easier for you to approach sensitive, intimate, and personal matters with rationality and logic.
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As such, this is a great time to open up conversations about topics that normally might cause waves, such as those revolving around the sharing of power, intimacy, and finances. Until December 31st: Mars continues to activate your solar eleventh house. You take a more direct approach to realizing your dreams now, rather than simply hoping and wishing. You might find that you have more energy and enthusiasm for spending time with others, but arguments now may be with or on behalf of friends.
You can be especially effective at encouraging others now, as well as at leading or organizing a group. From December 31st forward: With Mars moving through your solar twelfth house, this is the time to research and reflect upon your goals. It can be a time when past actions catch up with you--and this is not necessarily a bad thing! It could also be a time when much of your energy is channeled into private matters, or when you prefer that others not observe what you are doing.
This is natural--you may just as well do your best work alone for now. Unconscious behavior patterns could influence the way you assert yourself.
Some may experience insomnia during this phase, especially if they are not allowing themselves the chance to recoup and if they are not letting their intuition serve them. Others may enjoy a more active dreaming life this includes day-dreaming , and, if allowed to run free, the imagination can serve them very well, especially with regards to goals and new concepts.
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Love outlook for the year ahead. Romantic Compatibility Reports. Try Cafe Astrology's in-depth romantic compatibility reports , including the Synastry and Love Ties reports. See also general trends for Taurus in All month: The Sun energizes your sector of transformation, change, sexuality, personal growth, regeneration, others' money and resources, addictions, and taxes. As a result, this is not the most gregarious of months for you. You take a step back, focus on intimacy with a partner, or simply retreat a little from the hectic pace of life.
This is an excellent time to create a budget or financial plan, or to rid yourself of bad habits that undermine your sense of personal power and self-mastery. All that is deeply personal comes into focus now. Intimate matters are especially important to you during this cycle. Just how well you are handling your life comes up for inspection. Your self-mastery skills and psychological predisposition matter to you more than usual.
This is the time of year when you are most desirous of change on a deep level. Clearing out psychic "junk" or ridding yourself of bad habits may be part of the picture now. You are more willing than usual to explore life's secrets. This cycle brings greater in-depth understanding and an inclination to delve beneath the surface of matters to get to the bottom of them.
Research uncovers new material that allows you to develop a better overall picture of the year's events. This is an especially introspective cycle during which you have the chance to truly uncover your personal strengths and talents. On a more practical level, you may be dealing with joint finances and shared resources now more than usual. Until December 17th: Venus continues to move through your solar sixth house now. You might find more opportunities to socialize with co-workers, perhaps even meeting a new friend through your work or health routines.
You are likely to bring more tact and diplomacy to your relations with the people you work with now. You may not be as productive as usual during this period, as the focus is more on social relationships and pleasure than on getting the job done. Improving health and vitality through pleasurable activities such as massage might be in focus now.
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