If you spend any amount of time on astrology TikTok or get your daily horoscope via Co-Star, you’re probably aware of how essential it is to know the facts around your zodiac sign. After all, in this day and age, getting asked about your sign is as common of an icebreaker as getting asked what you do for work. But whether you’re an astrology expert or novice, you’re most likely familiar with your Sun sign, a.k.a the zodiac sign you are based on your birthday.
ICYDK, your Sun sign denotes which zodiac constellation the sun was in when you were born. But it's more than a cosmic coincidence. “The sun in your birth chart represents your vitality and will to live,” says astrologer Ryan Marquardt.“It’s a fundamental way of how you identify with yourself and shows you how to express yourself and shine your light in the world.”
Think of your Sun sign as your core essence, though it's worth noting that this isn’t the only point in your astrological chart that determines your personality. Take your big three, for example—which includes your Moon and rising sign. These placements reflect your emotional temperament and your self-expression, respectively. That’s why astrology is so nuanced and why you might not agree with some of your Sun sign’s traits, or why you might identify more with your Moon sign.
Meet the Experts:
Ryan Marquardt is a professional astrologer and cosmic messenger based in West Hollywood, California.
Valerie Mesa is a Miami-based intuitive astrologer, writer, and visual storyteller.
Narayana Montúfar, is a senior astrologer at Horoscope.com and Astrology.com, as well as author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power.
Imani Quinn is a Quantum Mystic Oracle, speaker, and artist.
Kerry Ward is a tarot reader and columnist at Cosmopolitan.
If you want to know even more about your sign’s characteristics, look no further than “triplicities” and “quadruplicities,” two important tenets of astrology. Each zodiac sign falls under one of four triplicities, a.k.a elements (fire, earth, air, or water) and one of three quadruplicities, a.k.a modalities (cardinal, fixed, and mutable).
What are the four elements of the Zodiac?
“Elements show essential overarching qualities and where the signs within each element are compatible and have similar traits,” says Marquardt. For example, fire signs—Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius—tend to be action-forward and rely on their passion and creativity. “They gain and lose energy easily because fire is a motivating force,” he says.
Meanwhile, earth signs—Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn—are pragmatic, hardworking, and down-to-earth. “They seek success through their ambitious nature and prefer to be sustainable in their approach,” Marquardt explains.
As for the water signs—Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces—they're known for their emotional awareness and intuitive approach to life, says astrologer Valerie Mesa. This element is symbolic of emotion, dreams, healing, and intuition, as well as the cycles of death and rebirth, she explains. They also tend to have an affinity for spirituality and healing.
And air signs—Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius—have earned the reputation of intellectual socialites, and as Marquardt puts it, use their communication skills and curiosity to gain new ideas. They all approach life from a logical standpoint, though at times can be indecisive and fickle, Mesa adds.
What are the three modalities of the Zodiac?
Unlike the triplicities, the three quadruplicities explain how the signs express themselves as well as the challenges they might need to face in order to grow, says astrologer Narayana Montúfar. They consist of cardinal signs, fixed signs, and mutable signs. “Quadruplicities show how the signs approach the world and interact with it,” explains Marquardt. “These are action-oriented [traits].” They also coincide with the respective seasons where each zodiac sign occurs.
Cardinal signs—Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn–kick off each season and are known to take charge, says Montúfar. Fixed signs—Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius—denote the midpoint of a season and tend to be unwavering, loyal, and stable. While mutable signs—Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces—end each season, making them flexible, versatile, and resourceful, Montúfar explains.
Now that you’ve got the gist of these astrology fundamentals, keep reading to gain a better understanding of your specific zodiac sign. Here’s everything to know about the 12 zodiac signs' dates, personality traits, ruling planets, symbols, and more, according to expert astrologers.
Aries: March 21 - April 19
Ruling Planet: Mars
Aries signs are symbolized by the ram, and they loooove being the leader of the pack. “Because they’re ruled by Mars and are the first fire and cardinal sign, Aries prefer to initiate rather than to complete,” says Montúfar. Basically, if you’ve got a project you need to get done or a recipe you’ve been dying to try, call an Aries for a kick-start.
Their boldness is one of many strengths that has earned them their rebel reputation. “Aries zodiac signs are willing to try new things and take risks,” explains astrology expert Imani Quinn.
But the ram’s fearlessness can be a double-edged sword. “Their passion and fire energy can also make them very aggressive, with a hot head, which can wound others because of their hasty and impulsive actions,” explains Quinn. Not to mention, they usually have to be entertained or they can get restless pretty quickly, says tarot reader Kerry Ward: “Aries see everything as a competition, and they can fight in an empty room.” Their overcompetitiveness is a major downside as striving for first place puts a ton of pressure to win, adds Marquardt.
Aries is associated with the first house of self, which reflects identity, drive, and ego. Perhaps it's no surprise then that the fire sign is determined and eager to be the best version of themselves—no matter what it takes.
Taurus: April 20 - May 20
Ruling Planet: Venus
Taurus is an earth sign whose mantra is “slow and steady wins the race,” says Montúfar. They’re naturally grounded, dependable, and hardworking. These qualities make Taurus built for stable, long-term relationships, adds Ward. Ruled by Venus, Taurus is also a big lover, pleasure seeker, and money magnet, thanks to their incredible manifesting skills.
Besides being a huge lover, Taurus’ strengths lie in their pragmatism and resiliency. “They’re able to bounce back in the face of challenges,” says Marquardt. No matter the weather, their dutifulness and ability to rationalize helps them find a solution.
On the flip side, their unwavering loyalty can sometimes manifest in stubbornness. “It can be difficult to try and change a Taurus’ mind,” says Quinn. “Try to avoid arguments at all costs—you won’t win.”
Taurus is associated with the second house in astrology, which rules values and money. That likely explains why Tauruses gravitate toward the finer things in life.
Gemini: May 21 - June 20
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Gemini’s curiosity, social charm, and ability to communicate are only a few of the air sign’s superpowers. Because the multitasking queen is a mutable sign, they’re multifaceted and live outside of the box, according to Quinn. “Recognized as the sacred duality present in the universe, Gemini is an intellectual and versatile sign with an endless curiosity and a bright, quick-witted mind,” notes Montúfar.
While you most definitely want a Gemini on your trivia team, “Geminis change their minds frequently,” says Marquardt, which can make them flighty and unreliable at times. “It takes them a while to settle down because they’re so social and can’t bear to be restricted,” Ward adds. Not only that, but their quick wit can backfire during moments of conflict—rather than deal with confrontation, they prefer to go M.I.A.
Gemini is associated with the third house of communication and thought processes—totally on brand for the chatty and inquisitive air sign.
Cancer: June 21 - July 22
Ruling Planet: The Moon
One of Cancer’s strongest assets is their capacity for love—and the lengths they’ll go to for the people they care about. In other words, they’re very loyal. “Intuitive and tenacious, this sign sticks to their roots and excels at getting what it wants to protect their family and loved ones,” explains Montúfar. When a Cancer loves someone, they will protect them at all costs, Marquardt adds. In romantic relationships, a Cancer sign will give you the world, as long as you give it right back, Ward notes.
Because Cancers are water signs, they tend to be very well-spoken and in touch with their emotions. But being in tune with your feelings can have its downsides, too. “Because [Cancer signs] feel so deeply, they tend to have large mood swings,” Quinn explains. “And when they feel scared, they go into their shell.”
Cancer is associated with the fourth house, which rules over home, family, and origins. That makes sense, given their unconditional love and protectiveness.
Leo: July 23 - August 22
Ruling Planet: The Sun
King of the jungle, Leo’s lust for life and natural courageousness are one of the lion’s many superpowers. “Leo can be bold and fearless, allowing them to take risks and pursue their dreams with vigor,” says Marquardt. Oh, you can add charisma and confidence to their long catalog of strengths, too. If you know a Leo, then you probably also know that making a good impression is their number one priority. “This sign’s creativity and fiery magnetism puts them at the center stage of life,” Montúfar explains.
But even sparkly things have their weaknesses, and Leo is no different. For one, their self-assuredness can easily come off as cockiness. “They can place too much emphasis on material wealth and status, giving them a sense of entitlement and greed,” Marquardt says. They also tend to be the jealous type, adds Ward. But she notes this isn’t out of malice; it more so stems from their natural desire to be in the spotlight.
Leo is associated with the fifth house of pleasure, creativity, and children. So, that’s why they never take life too seriously!
Virgo: August 23 - September 22
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Symbol: The Maiden
In astrology, Virgo is “the maiden” or “virgin,” representing the ideal of wholeness and perfection, Montúfar says. They’re literally designed to be industrious, methodical, and efficient.
You can count on a Virgo for anything from planning your birthday party to coaching you through your next presentation—and their resourcefulness is easily one of their many special strengths. “Virgo is capable of taking on high levels of responsibility, which fills them with a great sense of duty in the world,” says Marquardt. They’re used to wearing multiple hats at the same time and are often under the impression that they’re the best person to do it all. And if that belief gets challenged, they’ll push back and become stubborn (non-Virgos, you’ve been warned!).
On the other hand, striving for perfection can often wear this sign down. “Virgo is extra hard on themselves because they know how much they’re capable of accomplishing,” Marquardt says. If you misstep in front of a perfectionist Virgo, Quinn adds, you’ll never be able to live it down.
Virgos are associated with the sixth house of wellness and routine. (Ah, their detail-oriented nature and knack for scheduling makes sense now.)
Libra: September 23 - October 22
Ruling Planet: Venus
Symbol: The Scales
Sure, Libras are experts at keeping the peace (they are represented by the scales of justice, after all), but there’s nothing stronger than Libra’s congeniality. This sign aims to make a positive and meaningful impression in the world “and seeks to be a source of joy for others,” Marquardt explains. An intellectual sign ruled by the planet Venus, they’re basically the epitome of beauty, balance, harmony, and a sense of fair play. (Well, consider myself charmed!)
However, being a people-pleaser can render Libras defenseless as they try to make everyone happy (pssst, you can’t). “They always want to play the devil’s advocate and sometimes need a nudge to choose a side,” says Quinn.
They’re also natural flirts and love to be loved, adds Ward. “Many people can get burned by thinking they were special to a Libra…only to discover they were one of several!” she says.
Libras are associated with the seventh house of partnerships—of course they are, given they’re the socialites of the Zodiac.
Scorpio: October 23 - November 21
Ruling Planet: Mars (traditional astrology), Pluto (modern astrology)
Scorpios are the femme fatale type, and their borderline psychic ability is one of their strongest assets. “They have a keen intuition as a water sign, and their intuition is highly focused,” explains Marquardt. They also have a knack for “zeroing in on essential questions and gleaning the secrets that lie within,” says Montúfar. Oh, and they’re ruled by Mars and Pluto (which might explain why they can be kinda hot and cold.)
And while Scorpios love unraveling mysteries, they tend to withhold sharing secrets of their own. Being mysterious and elusive comes with its own set of issues, however. Scorpio’s unwillingness to be vulnerable makes them prone to holding grudges, Marquardt explains. “Scorpio knows how to trigger other people and push their buttons behind limits.” Yet, they also love hard, so you can expect a Scorpio to fight till the end for the people they care about.
As a water sign, Scorpios are eloquent, intellectual, and curious. Plus, as a fixed modality, they tend to be determined and stable. These qualities make Scorpios super independent. They won’t ask for help—mostly because of their pride—which can get them into trouble, explains Ward.
Scorpios are ruled by the eighth house of sex and taboo—totally appropriate for this sensual water sign.
Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
When it comes to strengths, Sagittarius is wise, open, and unfailingly optimistic. These thrill-seekers rely on their luck and natural positivity to move them from one adventure to the next, “because they’re so focused on seeing the benefits of exploring new places and trying new experiences,” explains Marquardt. They’re also truth-seekers, and the best way for them to get answers is to seek out tons of connections with others.
However, the nomad life can have a few, ahem, detours of its own. Quinn explains that Sagittarius is extremely noncommittal because of their need for freedom, which can clash with their other responsibilities. If you’re looking to tie down a Sag and get them to commit to certain plans or dates, good luck! “But if you satiate their need for change and expansion, then they will take to you well,” says Quinn.
Sagittarius is associated with the ninth house of travel and spirituality, which perfectly suits these adventurous optimists.
Capricorn: December 22 - January 19
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Symbol: Sea Goat
Ever heard of a “sea goat”? You have now—it’s a mythological water creature that represents the Capricorn sign. “Ruled by Saturn, Capricorns are ambitious and determined initiators,” says Montúfar. If you’re a Cap, you’re definitely super tough. (Like, you’re at your best when facing the biggest obstacles.)
If commanding a room with their authoritative presence alone isn’t Capricorn’s biggest strength, their self-discipline just might be. This diligent earth sign embodies responsibility, “which allows them to stay focused and achieve their goals over time,” Marquardt explains.
“They comfortably and successfully know how to delegate to others and with the vision to lead,” adds Quinn. But the caveat with a hardworking and overly-determined Capricorn is their ruthlessness on the way to the top. They have no issue throwing people under the bus to get what they want, according to Marquardt. While Caps enjoy surrounding themselves with people who are as ambitious as they are, their desire for success can get in the way of their personal relationships, so balance is a must.
Capricorns are ruled by the tenth house of career and reputation, so it totally makes sense why the hardworking earth sign would want to protect their public image at all costs.
Aquarius: January 20 - February 18
Ruling Planet: Saturn (traditional astrology), Uranus (modern astrology)
Symbol: Water Bearer
Ruled by Saturn and Uranus, people born under this sign are often humanitarian-focused, visionaries, and progressive souls interested in making the world a much better place. (Can ya blame ‘em?)
Aquarius’ innovative mind and courage to be weird (and they can get really weird) are some of the water bearer’s major strong points. As Marquardt puts it, they don’t care about what’s socially acceptable—they’re all about squashing the norms and progressing forward.
On the other hand, these revolutionaries tend to be hyper-independent, creating a distance between themselves and others. In romantic relationships, they value their alone time and won’t tie their partner down, which can be frustrating for a QT-loving S.O. But “where they lack in one-on-one dynamics, they make up for in their passion for the larger global community,” explains Quinn.
Aquarius is also very honest—almost to a fault. “Aquarians don’t like conflict, but will speak their mind, often with powerful honesty,” says Ward. “They won’t hold back to spare others’ feelings.”
Aquarius is associated with the eleventh house of community and friendship. Suddenly, their rebel-with-a-cause energy makes so much sense!
Pisces: February 19 - March 20
Ruling Planet: Jupiter (traditional astrology), Neptune (modern astrology)
“Dreamy and spiritual, this sign represents the end of the zodiacal journey,” Montúfar says. “Pisces wraps up the qualities of all the previous 11 signs to bring the spirit into a perfect state of wholeness.” Not a bad sign to be, amiright?
Pisces is intuitive, empathetic, and an expert in daydreaming, says Quinn, but these qualities only scratch the surface of their strengths. “They feel not only their own feelings, but those of the people around them as well,” she explains. Pisces is the dream partner for their fellow signs due to their caring, loyal, and loving nature, adds Ward.
However, letting their imagination run wild can manifest in unrealistic expectations and extra scatter-brainedness, according to Marquardt. “Pisces is sometimes forgetful because their own fantastical thoughts can be distracting from their real-life obligations,” he explains.
Pisces is associated with the twelfth house of the subconscious and dreams—and yup, that totally checks out.
Sabrina is an editorial assistant for Women’s Health. When she’s not writing, you can find her running, training in mixed martial arts, or reading.
Brittany Beringer-Tobing is a freelance writer, mystic, creator, and full-time Aquarius based in San Diego, CA. Her bylines have appeared in POPSUGAR, Bustle, Well+Good, Frenshe, Thought Catalog, and more. She was formerly an astrology writer at Bustle where she covered all things mystical—from lunar forecasts and numerology to manifestation rituals and retrograde dos and don’ts. Outside of writing in the cosmic realm, you can catch Brittany casting spells, listening to true crime, and dancing the night away.
How To Avoid Unexpected Health Bills
Why You Should Wash Cast Iron With Soap And Water
Kelly Clarkson Addresses Toxic Workplace Rumors
Fans Have Thoughts About Kylie Jenner's New Home