Astrology and myth

by Jeanne Cordua

Why do the star signs have the meaning we say they do?

Are the various star signs just diffuse “energies”, or have they had a very real meaning once?

What do the “houses” mean?

These questions bothered me for a long time, until I found a plausible answer. Here below I quote from an article by the astrologer, Birgit Bertelsen, in which she explains the possible origins of the various star signs.


Aries 21/3 – 20/4 

The entrance of the month of Aries marks a turning point – Spring Equinox. (cardinal). Now the sun is really gaining power (fire), and the foundation is made for an active and busy period. The earth must be prepared to receive the seed, that later this year will be crops. (masculine principle). The planet Mars, ruler over the month of Aries, expresses will, initiative and energy. The sign of Aries may refer to day and night being of equal length at Spring Equinox.

Taurus 21/4 – 21/5 

In the month of Taurus it is spring (fixed). At the sound of chirping birds and buzzin of bees Nature clothes in its green summer splendour (earth). Harrowed areas of the earth will be sown, and soon the plants will germinate and grow (feminine principle). The planet Venus, ruler of the month of Taurus, expresses fertility, expectations and beauty. The sign of Aries makes reference with the circle to fertility, and with the arc on top to receptivity / readiness.

Gemini 22/5 – 22/6 

In the month of Gemini the story is about growth (mutable). An interaction between the four elements is of essential importance to the further growth and thriving of the young plants. A somewhat vulnerable and hectic period (air) where consideration and action can improve the later outcome of harvest (masculine principle). The planet Mercury, ruler of Gemini, expresses exchange of new ideas and thoughts. The sign Gemini may refer to creation of unity, as the 2 masculine elements fire / air and the 2 feminine elements earth / water are combined with each other in the sign itself.

Cancer 22/6 – 22/7  

The entrance to the month of Cancer marks a turning point – Summer Solstice (cardinal). Nature shows its generous face in this time of the juicy berries (water), but just like the crayfish withdrawing into its shell – light will from now on slowly starts its retraction (feminine principle). The sign of Cancer may refer to the fact that the first half of the increasing of light between Winter and Summer solstices has ended; but second half with the decreasing is waiting ahead.

Leo 23/7 – 23/8 

The month of Leo is the month of harvest (fixed). The “mane” of rays of the sun makes the air quiver and the crops ripen (fire). The busy activities of harvesting are begun (masculine principle). The sun, the ruler of the month of Leo, expresses life force and strength. The sign of Leo may refer to lust for life, as the crops of harvest turn into food, which later becomes energy.

Virgo 24/8 – 23/9  

In the month of Virgo the crops are being harvested, and the results may change from year to year. (mutable). The fields are now barren and “virginal”, and nature is slowly preparing for the coming period of rest / hibernation. (feminine principle). The planet Mercury, ruler of the month of Virgo, expresses analysis and meditation. The sign of Virgo may refer to rebirth / resurrection, as seed from the harvested crops will give life to new plants in the summer season to come.

Libra 24/9 – 23/l0 

The entrance of the month of Libra marks a turning point – Autumn Equinox. (cardinal). At Autumn Equinox day and night are of equal length, but after this the winter half of the year will weigh more heavily on the scales. The weather becomes cooler and more unstable (air) as nature explodes in an orgy of colors (masculine principle). The planet Venus, ruler of the month of Libra, expresses excitement, “colorfullness” and joy. The sign Libra may refer to balance – as nature will always try to maintain balance.

Scorpio 24/10 – 22/11 

In the month of Scorpio the winter half of the year truly becomes a fact (fixed). Rainy autumn storms rip the last leaves off the leafy trees – frost and hail storms can be expected (water). The last birds migrate towards milder climates and certain animal species have gone into hibernation (feminine principle). The planet Mars, ancient ruler of the month of Scorpio, expresses passion, courage and determination. The sign Scorpio may refer to rebirth / resurrection, as the summer generations of animals will give life to the next summer generations of animals. Procreation – Scorpio / the Phoenix bird.

Sagittarius 23/11 – 21/12 

In the month of Sagittarius the first flakes of snow can be seen falling (mutable), Life in the “shadowy period” of sun light makes harsh demands (fire), as the hunt for food can mean a hectic fight for survival for animals (masculine principle). The planet Jupiter, ruler of the month of Sagittarius, is the rhytmic pulse of the solar system, expressing optimism and hope. The sign of Sagittarius may refer to the fact that time does not stand still – the summit and climax of the winter period is approaching. 

Capricorn 22/12 – 20/1  

The entrance to the month of Capricorn marks a turning point – Winter Solstice (cardinal). The white snow may be the highlight of this period, where biting frost makes water assume firm shape (earth). The snowy silence of the winter landscape – with picturesque sunsets, makes an almost devout atmosphere (feminine principle). The planet Saturn, ruler of the month of Capricorn, expresses patience and concentration. The sig of Capricorn may refer to the fact that a year’s cycle has now been completed, an another one is ready to begin.

Aquarius 21/1 – 18/2 

IIn the month of Aquarius the first signs of the retreat of winter become visible (fixed). The days become visibly a bit longer, and the weather may change character (air), which may get frostbound areas to thaw and crackle (masculine principle). The planet Uranus, ruler of the month of Aquarius, foretells about changes and departure. The sign of Aquarius may refer to cleansing, as frost and cold limits bacteria and keeps parasites and harmful animals at bay.

Pisces 19/2 – 20/3 

In the month of Pisces king Winter loses his strength (mutable). Gentler weather creates thaw (water) and the earth becomes soft and yelding. Nature wakes up slowly, marked by little green germs and the blossoming of some hardy plants (feminine principle). The planet Neptune, ruler of the month of Pisces, expresses inspiration, insight and understanding. The sign of Pisces may refer to initiation, as the increasing strength of the light initiates / opens up for the life giving processes of summer.


Going through the 12 months of the Zodiac, it will be comparatively easy to analyze the 12 areas of life / astrological houses.

1. Which month relates to the external behavior?

2. Which month shows the attitude to values? This may be either the personal self esteem – but also relating to the more material parts of life?

3. Which month relates to communication and the mental evolution?

4. Which month relates to the private and homely atmosphere?

5. Which month shows relationships to sex, children, hobbies and pleasures in general?

6. Which month relates to health and daily routines?

7. Which month relates to cooperation / partnership, also in connection to marriage?

8. Which month relates to the inherited and social sides of the structure of the personality?

9. Which month relates to view of life and life philosophy?

10. Which month relates to the opportunities and interests of career?

11. Which month relates to social engagement and partnerships in general?

12. Which month relates to the more concealed and unconscious sides of the personality?

Birgit Bertelsen, 1999

A little foot note: The true date for the start of the Age of Aquarius as seen in the sky,
will not be before Spring Equinox in the year 2800! Only then will the sun enter the sign at sunrise, marking the actual passing.

However, another very significant event happened in the year 2000 at Summer solstice. The sun was then standing on the cusp of Gemini and Taurus, near the “outstretched hand ” of Orion.

This position and its counterpart, in Sagittarius near the sting of the Scorpion, were both thought to be “star gates” in Ancient Egypt, marking the crossing of the ecliptic across the Milky Way. Source: Program Skyglobe, v. 3.6 or Skyglobe for Windows, v. 2.02.

A more modern program is Stellarium, both on PC and apps for your phone.