Zodiacs from around the World

Let’s face it: the zodiac is just plain fun.

You may be most familiar with the zodiac that has its roots in ancient Greece and Rome.

The one that tracks the sun across the sky and associates the movement with constellations and their signs like Pisces and Gemini.

It was around the Middle Ages that this was developed into the star signs we know and love today.

But did you know there are other zodiacs?

Most of us, whether we really believe in the zodiac or not, know our star signs and a few of the traits that are linked to those signs.

However, if you were born somewhere else in the world, you might have called yourself something very different.

You could have been calling yourself a rat, a sea monster or even a tree!

Isn’t that amazing?

Let’s look at some of the zodiacs around the world to see where (and when) you’d be a willow or a knife.

Chinese zodiac

chinese-zodiac

After our own Western zodiac, the Chinese one is probably the best-known zodiac here.

You probably already know a lot about it.

It is based on the year you were born, rather than the month, and uses 12 animal signs like the rat, horse and dragon.

But it can be very complicated:

Years alternate between yin years and yang years.

They cycle through the Five Elements (earth, metal, water, wood and fire), and they also go through all the animal signs.

That means that, if you are a rooster, you can be a yin water rooster, a yang metal rooster, a yin fire rooster and so on.

This entire cycle can take 60 years to complete.

Each of these have their own characteristics, but since we all have slightly better things to do than go through each of the subtle differences between the 60 different signs, we’ll just look at the main twelve signs.

table of chines zodiacs

Hindu zodiac

hindu-zodiac

Hindu astrology, also called Indian and Vedic astrology, is inexplicably linked to India’s historic astronomy.

As a result, it is quite mainstream in India.

It has three branches: Siddhānta (astronomy), Saṁhitā (which predicts major events and determines the best time to have elections, build houses and other events) and Horā (more detailed predictions).

Here’s the deal:

The signs of the Hindu zodiac are linked to our own signs, as Greek astrologers and Indian astrologers shared knowledge as far back as the third century BC.

Despite these associations, the meanings the ancient Hindu astrologers gave each sign are very different to the ones we know.

Sign

Our sign

Meaning

Meṣa (ram) Aries Round eyes, mysterious, sexy
Vṛṣabha (bull) Taurus Strong thighs, self-sacrificing, happy in middle/end of life
Mithuna (twins) Gemini Loves dancing, being indoors, indulgent
Karkaṭa (crab) Cancer Lots of friends, wealthy, somewhat submissive
Siṃha (lion) Leo Large chin, obedient, likes long walks
Kanyā (girl) Virgo Drooping shoulders and arms, sees opportunity
Tulā (balance) Libra Spiritual, brave, argumentative
Vṛścika (scorpion) Scorpio Ill in early life, honourable, lotus marks on feet
Dhanus (bow) Sagittarius Short, hardworking, determined, loves kindness
Makara (sea monster) Capricorn Has vitality but is sometimes lazy, lucky, shameless
Kumbha (pitcher) Aquarius Likes perfumes, voracious and eager, finances fluctuate
Mīna (fish) Pisces Scholarly, loves spouse, grateful, lucky, drinks a lot of water

 

Celtic tree zodiac

 celtic-tree-zodiac

Like the zodiac we’re familiar with, the Celtic tree zodiac is based on the date of your birth.

Your sign is associated with a tree, as Celts believed trees held sacred knowledge.

The day you were born means you can tap into the knowledge of that particular tree, and this in turn helps shape your personality.

There’s a little more that that:

We don’t actually know that much about early Irish astrology because many of the ancient texts haven’t been translated, but it forms the basis of this astrology.

The Celtic tree zodiac was born out of Robert Graves’ extensive studies of the ancient Celtic script called ogham.

Funnily enough, the signs do seem to line up a bit with our own zodiac signs.

Sign

Born

Meaning

Birch – The Achiever 24 Dec – 20 Jan Driven, tolerant, tough, a leader, quick witted
Rowan – The Thinker 21 Jan – 17 Feb Cool exterior, thoughtful, original, motivated
Ash – The Enchanter 18 Feb – 17 Mar Imaginative, easily inspired, artistic
Alder – The Trailblazer 18 Mar  – 14 Apr Passionate, charming, gregarious, focussed
Willow – The Observer 15 Apr – 12 May Very creative, intuitive, mystical, patient
Hawthorn – The Illusionist 13 May – 9 June Creative, passionate, curious, great listener
Oak – The Stabiliser 10 June – 7 July Champion of the underdog, nurturing, generous
Holly – The Ruler 8 July – 4 Aug A natural leader, noble, confident, intelligent
Hazel – The Knower 5 Aug – 1 Sept Academic, organised, detail-orientated
Vine – The Equaliser 2 Sept – 29 Sept Unpredictable, empathetic, refined
Ivy – The Superior 30 Sept – 27 Oct Smart, compassionate, loyal, graceful, spiritual
Reed – The Inquisitor 28 Oct – 24 Nov Easy to talk to, love stories and finding meanings
Elder – The Seeker 25 Nov – 23 Dec Thrill seeker, thoughtful, honest, a bit wild

There are many other zodiacs out there which we may explore later on – for now, why not check out our dedicated horoscope section for even more zodiac information.