The physical zodiac is comprised of 12 main constellations also known as signs or rashis ( Aries – Taurus – Gemini – Cancer – Leo – Virgo – Libra – Scorpio – Sagittarius – Capricorn – Aquarius – Pisces). The zodiac is a band of stars surrounding the earth like a ring. There are 12 main constellations that form this ring around us. The stars that we see in the night sky are mostly very far away. Among the millions of stars in the night sky, the 7 planets and 2 invisible planets in Vedic Astrology also exist, although they are much closer and they move. Besides these few, very few moving planets, all the other stars are fixed out in space.
The zodiac is comprised of a band of these fixed stars, very far beyond the planets that form our immediate solar system. So you could say that the fixed stars of the night sky, which includes the band called the zodiac, altogether form the “back drop” of the sky or the back drop against which our solar system is moving. For example, in astrology, we always speak of which sign a planet is in. The planets are not actually mixing in the stars at the sign, it is just that because the planet is circling with us around the sun, looking from earth towards the planet in question, we always see some sign of the zodiac as the back drop of that planet.
In this way, the various heavenly bodies known as Grahas, or Planets, are always, in relation to our vision, situated in front of one of the signs of the zodiac which is behind them. Thus we say that the planet is in a certain sign. It does not mean that the planet is actually in those stars at this time, but simply that the constellation (sign) is the back drop far away behind the planet as we gaze upon it.
Vedic Astrology regards the planets as living entities, understood as demigods, whose energies influence our planet Earth, the 12 divisions of space surrounding it (the houses) and the other floating planets in our solar system, which are all actually a reflection of the dance of various demigods during the minute fraction of their day that passes while we have an entire lifetime. Their thoughts (energies) at a moment reflected in the planets, influence our lives.
A real astrologer looks at the planets in a chart and having already become familiar with the nature of them and what each represents, can immediately tell the effect upon the person whose chart it is. Vedic Astrology is actually a system of reading the effects of the planets (also known as demigods) based on their positioning within a chart.
These three elements — the planets, signs and houses — are the most important fundamental building blocks of Jyotish. An astrologer must become intimately familiar with the nature of these 33 items. Namely, 9 planets, 12 signs and 12 houses. Then there are 27 special stars, or Nakshatras. The 27 Nakshatras are the most important stars in the zodiac. They are spaced roughly evenly around the zodiac and they control 13 degrees and 20 minutes of the zodiac each.
|Period *||Element||Quality||Gender **||Ruler|
|Aries (Mesha)||Apr 15 — May 14||Fire||Movable||Male||Mars|
|Taurus (Vrisha)||May 15 — Jun 14||Earth||Fixed||Fe male||Venus|
|Gemini (Mithuna)||Jun 15 — Jul 14||Air||Dual||Male||Mercury|
|Cancer (Karka)||Jul 15 — Aug 14||Water||Movable||Female||Moon|
|Leo (Simha)||Aug 15 — Sep 14||Fire||Fixed||Male||Sun|
|Virgo (Kanya)||Sep 15 — Oct 14||Earth||Dual||Female||Mercury|
|Libra (Tula)||Oct 15 — Nov 14||Air||Movable||Male||Venus|
|Scorpio (Vrishchika)||Nov 15 — Dec 14||Water||Fixed||Female||Mars|
|Sagittarius (Dhanu)||Dec 15 — Jan 14||Fire||Dual||Male||Jupiter|
|Capricorn (Makara)||Jan 15 — Feb 14||Earth||Movable||Female||Saturn|
|Aquarius (Kumbha)||Feb 15 — Mar 14||Air||Fixed||Male||Saturn|
|Pisces (Meena)||Mar 15 — Apr 14||Water||Dual||Female||Jupiter|
- Per Vedic Astrogy. Read more about the Zodiac Signs here.
Aspects of the Signs in Jamini Astrology
|Aries (Ma)||Taurus (Ve)||Gemini (Me)|
|Cancer (Mo)||Leo (Su)||Virgo (Me)|
|Libra (Ve)||Scorpio (Ma)||Sagittarius (Ju)|
|Capricorn (Sa)||Aquarius (Sa)||Pisces (Ju)|