Astrology goes way beyond the Western Zodiac signs and traditions. Learn more about astrology from around the world before you get a Psychic Reading to dive deeper.
Whether you've mapped out your own birth chart and started a deep dive into astrological compatibility with your crush or you just casually check on your horoscope when the mood strikes, you're likely at least a little familiar with Western astrology. The "traditional" Zodiac we know and love has 12 signs, each with distinct personality traits and characteristics. The date and time of your birth determines the sign that influences you most in Western astrology.
The Western Zodiac signs have corresponding symbols and elements, and each star sign matches up with a period of about a month each year. Here's a traditional Zodiac cheat sheet:
- Aries: The Ram, a Fire sign, occurs March 21 to April 19. Your typical Aries is bold, ambitious, and competitive.
- Taurus: The Bull, an Earth sign, occurs April 20 to May 20. Taureans are serene, loyal, and a little self-indulgent.
- Gemini: The Twins, an Air sign, occurs May 21 to June 20. Geminis are spontaneous, curious, and playful.
- Cancer: The Crab, a Water sign, occurs June 21 to July 20. Your regular Cancer is caring, emotional, and highly intuitive.
- Leo: The Lion, a Fire sign, occurs July 21 to August 21. Like the symbol implies, Leos are loyal, passionate, and oh-so-dramatic.
- Virgo: The Virgin, an Earth sign, occurs August 22 to September 22. Typical Virgos are perfectionists, practical and logical in everything they do.
- Libra: The Scales, an Air sign, occurs September 23 to October 22. Balanced and fair, Libras also tend to be indecisive.
- Scorpio: The Scorpion, a Water sign, occurs October 23 to November 22. Scorpions are mysterious, passionate, and more than a little complicated.
- Sagittarius: The Archer, a Fire sign, occurs November 23 to December 20. If your sign is Sagittarius, you're likely adventurous, independent, and detached.
- Capricorn: The Sea-Goat, an Earth sign, occurs December 21 to January 19. Capricorns are patient, dedicated, and resourceful.
- Aquarius: The Water Bearer, an Air sign, occurs January 20 to February 18. Aquarians are progressive, innovative, and the quirky folks of the Zodiac.
- Pisces: The Fish, a Water sign, occurs February 19 to March 20. As the last sign in the Zodiac, Pisces is Western astrology's most intuitive and empathetic sign.
Ready to shake up the way you understand your horoscope? That horoscope you may think of as traditional is just the go-to in the Western world. You'll find a variety of astrology traditions hailing from other places.
Case in point: Vedic astrology, or Hindu astrology, first appeared in an ancient Indian text known as the Rigveda. Some think this astrological tradition has been around even longer, since 10,000 B.C. Vedic astrology incorporates rich spiritual traditions of ancient Indian culture and is still a part of everyday life for many people throughout India.
As with Western astrology, Vedic astrology creates a roadmap for people to better understand their emotional, spiritual, and physical experiences. Hindu astrology is linked to other ancient practices like Ayurveda and yoga. Unlike modern Western astrology, which is geared toward psychology, an individual's karma forms the basis of Vedic astrology. Vedic astrology also approaches rising signs, sun signs, and retrogrades differently, with your rising sign considered more important than the sun sign.
The Vedic Zodiac also includes 12 signs, and the Vedic astrology signs' characteristics are pretty much in line with their Western counterparts. However, a different calendar comes into play with Vedic astrology. Compare Western astrology signs with Vedic astrology signs:
- Mesha: Corresponds to Aries, occurs April 13 to May 14.
- Vrishaba: Corresponds to Taurus, occurs May 15 to June 14.
- Mithuna: Corresponds to Gemini, occurs June 15 to July 14.
- Karkata: Corresponds to Cancer, occurs July 15 to August 14.
- Simha: Corresponds to Leo, occurs August 15 to September 15.
- Kanya: Corresponds to Virgo, occurs September 16 to October 15.
- Tula: Corresponds to Libra, occurs October 16 to November 14.
- Vrishchika: Corresponds to Scorpio, occurs November 15 to December 14.
- Dhanus: Corresponds to Sagittarius, occurs December 15 to January 13.
- Makara: Corresponds to Capricorn, occurs January 14 to February 11.
- Kumbha: Corresponds to Aquarius, occurs February 12 to March 12.
- Meena: Corresponds to Pisces, occurs March 13 to April 12.
Chinese Zodiac and Chinese Astrology
Chinese astrology also shares some similarities with the Western tradition, though there are some key differences as well. The Chinese Zodiac is defined by years, and an animal represents each year. In other words, though there are still 12 Zodiac signs, everyone in a given year has the same sign. So, if you were born in June of 1996, your Chinese Zodiac sign is the Rat. Your bestie born a few months later in November of 1996? Also a Rat.
However, Chinese astrology doesn't exactly follow the Western calendar. The Zodiac year either starts on Chinese New Year (somewhere between January 21 and February 20) or the Start of Spring (beginning around February 3 or 4), depending on the school of thought. That means if you were born in January or February of 1996, you might actually be a Pig.
People believe that folks born in a given year have that year's animal's personality traits. Here are the Chinese zodiac signs, recent years, and some traits:
- Rat: 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020; kind, resourceful, quick-witted.
- Ox: 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021; dependable, diligent, strong.
- Tiger: 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022; kind, resourceful, versatile.
- Rabbit: 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023; elegant, responsible, quiet.
- Dragon: 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024; confident, enthusiastic, intelligent.
- Snake: 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025; enigmatic, intelligent, wise.
- Horse: 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026; active, animated, energetic.
- Goat: 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027; calm, gentle, sympathetic.
- Monkey: 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028; curious, sharp, smart.
- Rooster: 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029; courageous, hardworking, observant.
- Dog: 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030; honest, lovely, prudent.
- Pig: 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031; compassionate, diligent, generous.
Get an Astrology reading at PathForward to learn more about the Chinese Zodiac and Vedic Astrology. Our intuitive Psychics can help you explore the different Zodiac traditions and how they impact your life.