Animals of the Zodiac by Astrological Sign

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: May 27, 2022
Image Credit Tanya Antusenok/Shutterstock.com
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astrology zodiac
The Symbols of the Western Zodiac represent many animals and constellations.

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A constellation is a grouping of stars that exhibits a recurring pattern. Based on the night sky’s many constellations, astrology has been interpreted in many ways by cultures across the globe. Some constellations are named based on their appearance, while some names are derived from mythical beings and animals rooted in tradition. In Western astronomy, there are various Greek myths that can be traced back to their constellations. ‘Zodiac’, for example, is a Latinized version of the Greek word ‘Zoidiakos,’ which means “circle of animals.'” Many animals or “hybrid” creatures are used to represent the zodiac’s twelve signs, as well. Some interesting connections can even be made between the animal’s qualities and the personality of the person born under its corresponding zodiac sign.

In this piece, we shall examine the symbols of the zodiac according to western astrological signs, which include many animals! The western zodiac signs and their corresponding symbols are listed here in astrological order below, beginning with Aries!

1. Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Beautiful rocky mountain bighorn sheep ram in the snow.
The Ram

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The Ram

The zodiac’s “head” sign, Aries, is the first of the zodiac’s 12 signs. Symbolic of the horoscope is the ram, a sheep with curved horns. The ram’s head is commonly depicted as a simple graphic in the symbol. It’s no coincidence that Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, as spring officially begins on March 20th, thereby connoting new beginnings and the advent of new life. When the Romans started their calendars, March was the first month. In 46BC, Julius Caesar changed the month to January.

Meaning

Passionate and self-reliant, Aries don’t follow the herd simply because it’s the popular thing to do. As an astrological representation of Aries’ strength and fierce tenacity, the ram serves as the sign’s official emblem. Aries embodies the qualities of leadership, new beginnings, vigor, and transformation. However, when not in touch with themselves or their needs, they can easily become co-dependent and reclusive in nature.

2. Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

steer vs bull
The Bull

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The Bull

Second, in the zodiac, Taurus governs the period from April 20 to May 20 in the astrological calendar. The bull represents this sign. According to Greek mythology, Zeus disguised himself as a bull to kidnap the daughter of Zeus, Europa.

Meaning

The bull was a symbol of many things in ancient cultures, including love, conflict, and power. Taurus is an Earth sign, and it’s no surprise that a bull would be the animal associated with this zodiac sign. Bulls, despite their strength, are known for their stubbornness, which is said to be fitting for Taurus. Like the bull, they are strong minded, yet graceful. They tend to enjoy their isolation and get irritated easily if bothered or uneasy. It is when you allow them to do their thing, they are most happy.

3. Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

baby dolphin swimming on top of mommy dolphin
The Dolphin is commonly associated with the Gemini. This is because of their reputation for being friendly, cute, and curious creatures, while also being extremely vicious if need be.

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Twins

Geminis are considered to have a dual character, which is why twins are a common emblem for them. Even though this is not an animal depiction, many animals, such as the deer, are thought to mirror the characteristics of a Gemini. This is because of their outgoing and social personality, but also their tendency to be a little timid. The dolphin is thought to be compatible with Gemini as well.

Meaning

The Gemini’s dual nature symbolizes the importance of communication and cooperation. The Gemini zodiac sign is closely linked to the interchange of ideas, dialogue, and commerce. Those born under the sign of Gemini are sometimes described as extremely adaptable yet versatile, even to the point of having two distinct personalities at once. This is also much like the dolphin!

4. Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

The Crab

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region / Creative Commons – License

The Crab

Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiac, and it governs the period from June 22 to July 22 in astrology. The crab (or lobster or crayfish) that nipped Heracles when he was fighting the Lernaean Hydra in Greek mythology is the source of its crab emblem. An opponent of Heracles gave the crab an unusual reward for defeating him: he was placed in the skies by Hera!

Meaning

Cancer is a solitary creature who craves the security of a safe environment at home. The Crab, like the other cardinal signs, is aspirational, but it’s also persistent when it comes to achieving its goals. What these symbols also tell us about a Cancer is that they’re tough and stubborn as well as self-protective, ferocious, and formidable opponents. They are typically intelligent and on a mission to create their best “environment” for daily living.

5. Leo (July 23 – August 22)

The Big Five
The lion

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The Lion

Leo is the 5th sign of the zodiac and represents the time span from approximately July 23 to August 22. In mythology, Leo is often shown as a lion, in reference to Heracles’ killing of the Nemean lion.

Meaning

Natural leaders of the zodiac, Leos embody the Lion, as the animal that represents their sign. People born under the sign of Leo have an exuberant zest for life and a generous sense of generosity. They are incredibly self-assured and proud. To them, living life to the fullest is most important.

6.      Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Virgin Maiden

Earth sign Virgo ushers in the fall harvest and the second half of each year. Although the official Virgo symbol is a virgin maiden, numerous animals, such as the fox, are linked with this sign. Like a fox, they are observant and alert, spotting even the tiniest of movements in the room. Like virgin maiden, they are self-sufficient and poised.

red fox wandering in field
The fox is both alert and action-oriented, much like the Virgo.

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Meaning

A Virgo’s purity is not found in their sexuality, but rather in their ability to generate fresh ideas. Virgos also pride themselves on their impeccable personal order and cleanliness. Their symbol represents a person who can be anything they want to be in terms of their feelings and expressions. They are perfectionists who put in a lot of time and effort.

7. Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Scales

Libras are represented by scales, due to their balance and fairness. They are also alluring yet independent in nature, much like the panda. The name may stem from the fact that the Sun crossed over the constellation around the autumnal equinox in September when day and night are nearly equal in length. They are alluring to many due to their magnetic personality. However, they are solitary in nature and enjoy being alone.

The Panda often represents Libra as a spirit animal because of its appealing yet solitary nature.

Meaning

Libra symbolizes balance, fairness, and equilibrium; hence its symbol is scaled. Venus-ruled Libras are terrific lovers and tend to enjoy music, the arts, and travel. A cute and appealing animal, the Panda commonly represents Libra. Although many desire their presence, they like to be alone. This does not make them cold, as Librans are typically pleasant and fun to be with.

8. Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Animals That Molt - Scorpion
The Scorpion

Scorpion

Those born between October 24th and November 21st are known as Scorpius (or Scorpio). This is the 8th astrological sign of the zodiac, represented by the scorpion. There’s a connection between the scorpion and Orion, it being the scorpion that killed him. Consequently, the constellation Scorpius rises in the night sky, while Orion is said to set.

Meaning

This sign is known for its enigmatic quality since Scorpios tend to be deep thinkers. They also tend to keep their innermost thoughts and feelings to themselves. Scorpios are typically calm yet direct in their demeanor. They are passionate, and typically make good lovers. Scorpion-like because they tend to lurk in the shadows, they’re ready to administer fatal stings, if necessary. In other words, you do not want to disrupt this signs balance. It can set off a reaction you might not be prepared for! With its barbed tail pointing upward, the symbol for Scorpio reflects its natural capacity for both creation and destruction.

9. Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

Archer / Centaur

Sagittarius the Archer, the ninth tropical zodiac sign, loves adventure. From Nov 22 to Dec 21, the Sun passes through Sagittarius on its annual voyage. The archer represents Sagittarius. The archer is sometimes represented as a Centaur, a mythological creature with a horse’s body and a human’s head and trunk. Although not an actual horse, Sagittarius is said to have horse-like qualities.

Shire Horse Vs Clydesdale- Shire Horse
The Horse is said to represent many characteristics of Sagittarius. This includes their wild nature and a strong pursuit of adventure.

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Meaning

Sagittarius is a trine sign, which means it possesses both a positive and a negative aspect. These represent the pursuit of truth and knowledge, as well as a never-ending search for innovative ideas and adventures. The Horse-Sagittarius is a smart, clever, and sensitive individual that prefers to live life at 200 miles per hour. They have an eager and daring nature, which prevents them from being too stable.

10. Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Alpine Goat standing among rocks in the mountain.
The Moutain Goat is commonly said to represent Capricorn, with its energetic nature and hard work mentality.

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Mountain / Sea-Goat

As the tenth sign in the horoscope, Capricorn is derived from the constellation Capricornus or the mountain goat. These are the people born between December 21st and January 20th. The Sea-goat, whose mythology dates to the Bronze Age, is also associated with the constellation Capricorn. This is because Babylonians believed that the sea-goat was a god of water, intelligence, and the formation of the universe.

Meaning

Capricorns are known as “master planners,” and they have a lot of energy, just like a goat would have. They value hard effort, but they also have the foresight to look at the big picture. Assuming they will have to work hard for their success, persons born under this sign are not afraid to work long hours to get the job done. Life is one big project for the Capricorn, and they approach everything with a structured mindset while enjoying every minute of it!

11. Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Water / Wisdom Carrier

As the eleventh zodiac sign, Aquarius hails from the constellation Aquarius. Its Latin name translates to “bearer of water” or “carrier of cups,” and its ancient astronomical emblem depicts water. Even though this isn’t an animal symbol, water carriers are thought to have many animal features, especially those of the owl. This is because Aquarius is unpredictable and independent, while also being a symbol for humanitarism and wisdom.

spotted owl
The Owl is much like an Aquarius; they are independent and a beacon of wisdom.

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Meaning

Consider the water or the owl as representing collective wisdom, for example – the Aquarius soul is the one responsible for carrying the collective wisdom of humankind to those who need it. Original, creative, independent, and intelligent, Aquarius is a water sign that moves with the tides and against them if necessary to make changes.

12. Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

two barb fish
Pisces are represented by two fish. This is based on greek mythology and also represents their graceful, yet dual nature.

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Two Fish

In Western astrology, Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac. The constellation of Pisces depicts a large and small fish entwined amid the stars. When Zeus changed Aphrodite and Eros into fish to allow them to jump into a river and escape Typhon, the two fish in the Pisces emblem were considered to symbolize the two lovers. This is just one take on the story.

Meaning

Pisces’ symbol is typically two fish swimming in opposite directions, joined by a cord. This shows Pisces’ dual nature. They are a passionate and emotional water sign, yet they also tend to hold a lot in which can make them appear distant. Pisces are alluring and gracefully flow through people’s life, making lasting impacts. However, due to their sensitive nature, Pisces often feel every sad thing at once when life doesn’t seem to be going their way. This can make it difficult for them to heal from impactful experiences.

In Conclusion

There are many animals represented in Western Astrology, and many of its contellations are based on ancient folklore. For those interested in astrology, it is fascinating to see how astrologists have used the zodiac signs to “define” personalities. It’s important to note that the animals discussed in this article are distinct from those of the Chinese zodiac and from “spirit animals” that are based on primitive or cultural beliefs. One person can have a plethora of “spirit animals” based on a personal interpretation of your own personality or traits. Regardless of the origins of these symbols or the science behind them, it’s certainly fascinating to see how they can correspond to the characteristics of those born under a particular sign!

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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