zodiac


zodiac

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The astrological images and symbols of the zodiac.—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Belt around the heavens extending about 9° on either side of the ecliptic. The orbits of the Moon and the major planets lie entirely within the zodiac. In astrology, each of 12 constellations along this circle is considered to occupy 1/12 (30°) of it. The positions of the Sun and planets when a person is born and their motion through these constellations are said to exert influence on his or her life, though precession of the equinoxes has shifted the constellations eastward, and the Sun no longer passes through them on the traditional dates: Aries, the ram (March 21–April 19); Taurus, the bull (April 20–May 20); Gemini, the twins (May 21–June 21); Cancer, the crab (June 22–July 22); Leo, the lion (July 23–August 22); Virgo, the virgin (August 23–September 22); Libra, the balance (September 23–October 23); Scorpius (see Scorpio), the scorpion (October 24–November 21); Sagittarius, the archer (November 22–December 21); Capricornus (see Capricorn), the goat (December 22–January 19); Aquarius, the water bearer (January 20–February 18); Pisces, the fish (February 19–March 20).

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on zodiac, visit Britannica.com.

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