Western astrology has evolved immensely over the past few centuries but its core principles are deeply rooted in the Babylonian philosophy. The 12 zodiacs form the foundation of Western astrology and are heavily influenced by nature’s forces. Seven of these zodiacs are symbolised by animals, which implies they are highly regarded in the astrological world. Additionally, experts often compare some zodiacs with animals other than the symbols they are denoted by. These are known as spirit animals, and based on this theory, there is an ideal spirit animal for each zodiac sign.
Considered to be the father of Western astrology, Ptolemy came up with the idea of 12 zodiac signs for the 12 months of the Gregorian calendar. Based on certain calculations, he documented that the year began on the first day of spring in the constellation of Aries, which is the first zodiac sign. Interestingly, the word ‘zodiac’ is loosely translated from Greek, which means “sculpted animal figure.”
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Zodiac signs’ spirit animals: Meaning and effect
It is said that human beings have evolved from animals, and they carry most of their karma and past-life wisdom as well as a few intriguing traits. It is believed that every zodiac sign is associated with a spirit animal that is lucky for them and reflects their core characteristics and temperament. Director of Citizen Science at the NASA Space Science Education Consortium, Sten Odenwald claimed that our ancestors evoked the spirits of certain lucky animals to get secret messages and wisdom before going hunting or taking up an important task or setting on a journey.
Here are the 12 zodiac signs and their lucky spirit animals
Aries (21 March – 19 April) — hawk
Strong, fiercely independent, driven and extremely ambitious, the red-hot and fiery Aries, denoted by the ram, finds a perfect match with the inherent qualities of a hawk. They are very confident, albeit a bit impatient in their dealings. This sign is influenced by the planet Mars, which symbolises passion and ambition. They are, hence, born leaders, and hawks embody similar attributes.
Taurus (20 April– 20 May) — bear
This earth sign is symbolised by the celestial bull and driven by the planet Venus which represents love and money. They love all things luxurious and are sometimes perceived as very stubborn. A bear personifies these qualities accurately and denotes physical and mental strength, which is again a typical Taurean attribute.
Gemini (21 May– 20 June) — butterfly
Aptly dubbed as the ‘social butterfly’ of the zodiacs, this amiable, relentlessly innovative and positive air sign is ruled by the planet of communication Mercury and denoted by the symbol of twins. A butterfly is its perfect spirit animal as it is light, colourful and always buzzing around to begin new endeavours or be a part of it.
Cancer (21 June – 22 July) — Moose
This fourth sign of the zodiac is influenced by the water element and is considered extremely sensitive as well as distant and moody, too. The sign is driven by the moon and its spirit animal is a moose. Cancerians are quite elusive and shy to show their true selves and retreat into their shell to avoid uncomfortable situations. However, they hold on to the people and situations they are attached to.
Leo (23 July– 22 August) — lion
What better spirit animal can denote this fire sign than its own symbol? Leo’s spirit animal is a lion, and the beast internalises the spirit of this sign like no other animal can. Ruled by the Sun, Leos are ambitious, fiercely protective, popular, regal in every way, generous and have a heart fit for a king. The flipside of possessing these attributes is that the people belonging to this sign are perceived to be a bit narcissistic, but they are warm in reality and love giving and attracting attention everywhere they go.
Virgo (23 August – 22 September) — fox
Sharp, agile and steadfast, the fox is associated with the qualities of being the smartest animal in the jungle. The earth sign of Virgo is denoted by The Virgin or Maiden and is influenced by the planet Mercury. They are known to take in all the information and use it for their betterment. Well-suited to live in the material world, they are rooted in their beliefs yet are very adaptable, as their modality is mutable exactly as a fox.
Libra (23 September – 22 October) — swan
Elegant, beautiful and equally vain, the intelligent, charming and sociable air sign of Libra could be compared with a swan on many grounds. Librans are connoisseurs of beauty as they are dominated by the planet Venus which influences beauty and wealth. They love to be liked and appreciated and are quite popular too.
Scorpio (23 October– 21 November) — snake
This water sign is often misunderstood and wrongly perceived as dreaded, vengeful and dangerous. But, it is not the case, as their deep emotional mindset is not everyone’s cup of tea. Known to be highly perceptive and wary of the people around them, this cardinal water sign could be best represented by a snake. They share similar qualities and are both gentle and inward-looking as well as vengeful and hurtful if the situation demands. This sign is influenced by the planet Pluto, which is all about destruction and regeneration — some capabilities that Scorpios share with their spirit animal snake.
Sagittarius (22 November – 21 December) — red panda
Free-spirited and organically adventurous, this last fire sign in the zodiac is ruled by the planet of exploration, Jupiter. The mutable sign is always keen to learn new things, as those belonging to it often get bored with routine. A red panda is the spirit animal for the Sagittarius because they share similar sensibilities when it comes to their core nature. Endearing, having contagious energy and smart enough to survive in adverse circumstances, though a bit inconsistent in their dealing, a Sagittarian showcases these qualities like its spirit animal.
Capricorn (22 December – 19 January) — wolf
The last earth sign of Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn, which lays a special emphasis on following rules and regulations in life. Similar to its spirit animal, this fixed sign roams in packs, gives great importance to family, is governed by rules and is known to be solid in its dealings. The downside is that the Capricorn is slightly rigid and is often perceived as too boring because of their interest in adhering to routines.
Aquarius (20 January – 18 February) — rabbit
This last of the air signs in the zodiac system, Aquarius, is denoted by a water carrier. Ruled by the planet of Neptune, this fixed sign seeks revolution in every sense of its being. The witty rabbits embody these qualities perfectly. Like rabbits, Aquarians seem to be a part of their surroundings yet detached at some levels, always thinking of a new journey to embark upon.
Pisces (19 February – 20 March) — fish
The last zodiac sign is a water sign and quite aptly, the best spirit animal for this is fish, the same as its symbol. Imaginative, cut from reality and very creative, this sign is the most peaceful and meditative of all. The fish exudes spiritual energy and calmness, which is exactly what a Pisces personality is all about.
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(Main and featured image credit: Courtesy of Rodnae Productions/Pexels)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Experts often compare some of the zodiacs with animals other than their symbols, which are known as spirit animals. And, based on this there is an ideal spirit animal for each zodiac sign.
Answer: All you have to do is check your sun sign according to your birth month, and you will see a corresponding spirit animal associated with your zodiac sign.
Answer: The seven zodiac signs that are symbolised by animals are Aries — ram, Taurus — bull, Cancer — crab, Leo — lion, Scorpio — scorpion, Capricorn — sea goat and Pisces — fish.