The Tropical Zodiac

The Tropical Zodiac

There are two main zodiacs, the tropical and the sidereal. The Sidereal zodiac is based on the constellations and is adjusted for the stars’ precession over the centuries. 

The Western or Tropical zodiac is based on the Solstices and Equinoxes. While the Solstices and Equinoxes are opposite in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the symbolism of dark and light still remains valid, regardless of which hemisphere you live in. 

Solstices & Equinoxes, Light & Dark

Infographic from NASA outlining the seasons and solstices and equinoxes

The start of Aries (00° 00′) is synched to the Spring Equinox when there are equal amounts of light and dark. From that point onward, the light starts (cardinal) to increase and dominate the dark. Taurus is when the domination of light over darkness is maintained (fixed). 

The time of Gemini is flexible (mutable or double-bodied). The light is still increasing but will soon reach its apex and then start decreasing. The end of Gemini (29° 59′) hands over to Cancer (00° 00′), which is synced to the Summer Solstice.  

The first half of Gemini (00° 00′ – 14° 59′) maintains the buildup of light. The second half of Gemini (15° 00′ – 29° 59′) is anticipating the change of season and levels of light and dark.  

The beginning of Cancer (00° 00′) marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, with the most light. From this day forward, the light starts (cardinal) decreasing. While the light is still more dominant than the dark during Summer, the amount of light is actually decreasing. 

The time of Leo is when the decrease of the light is maintained (fixed). Virgo marks the upcoming change (mutable) of season. The end of Virgo (29° 59′) hands over to Libra (00° 00′), which is synced to the Autumn Equinox. 

The first half of Virgo (00° 00′ – 14° 59′) maintains the decrease in the light. The second half of Virgo (15° 00 – 29° 59′) anticipates the change of season and levels of light and dark. 

The start of Libra (00° 00′) is synced with the Autumn or Fall Equinox when there are equal amounts of light and dark. From that point forward, the dark starts (cardinal) to increase and dominate the light. Scorpio maintains (fixed) the increase of the dark over light. 

Sagittarius marks the upcoming change (mutable) in seasons. The dark is still increasing but will soon reach its maximum and then start decreasing. The end of Sagittarius (29° 59′) hands over to Capricorn (00° 00′), which is linked to the Winter Solstice. 

The first half of Sagittarius (00° 00′ – 14° 59′) builds on the darkness. The second half of Sagittarius (15° 00′ – 29° 59′) is anticipating the change of season and levels of dark and light. 

The start of Capricorn (0° 00′) marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, with the least amount of light. From that point onward, the darkness starts (cardinal) decreasing. While the dark is still more dominant than the light during Winter, the dark is actually decreasing. 

The time of Aquarius is when the decrease of the darkness is maintained (fixed). Pisces marks the upcoming change (mutable) of season. The end of Pisces (29° 59′) hands over to Aries (0° 00′), which is synced to the Spring Equinox. 

The first half of Pisces (00° 00′ – 14° 59′) is about maintaining the decrease of the darkness. The second half of Pisces (15° 00 – 29° 59′) anticipates the change of season and levels of light and dark.  

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Lynda

Born and bred in Brisbane, Australia, I have had a fascination with astrology since I was a child. Currently studying Hellenistic Astrology and incorporating it with modern astrology.