Before we dive into each of the signs, let’s unpack what a star sign, or zodiac sign, actually is. There are 12 signs in the zodiac, each of them a constellation that resides in its own 30-degree portion of the sky. All together, the zodiac fills up the 360-degree chart that is Earth’s orbit around the sun.

Each of these signs has a corresponding element (fire, earth, water, or air), modality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable), polarity (yin or yang), symbol, archetype, house, ruling planet, and more. When you understand all these little details about the things that make a sign what it is, understanding all 12 becomes that much easier.

In terms of the history of the signs, the AstroTwins previously wrote for mbg that the Sumerians noted the journeys of planets and stars as far back as 6000 B.C. Then, around 3300 B.C. the Babylonians (aka the Chaldeans), began expanding upon what the Sumerians started, developing the first astrological system over thousands of years. “They created the zodiac wheel that we use today (with planets and houses) around 700 B.C. The oldest known horoscope chart is believed to date to 409 B.C.,” the twins add. Here’s what to know about the signs as they exist today:

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