Have you ever wondered where your sign came from? Well now is your chance to find out as we delve into Greek mythology with Claire Petulengro to find out just how your star sign came to be and the story behind the zodiac!
ARIES (March 21st-April 20th)
A winged golden ram was sent by Hermes to fly Phrixus and his sister Helle away from the evil designs of their stepmother to sanctuary in the city of Colchis. Helle fell off into a river en route, at a place that became Hellespont and Phrixus sacrificed the golden ram in the Grove of Ares, hanging the Golden Fleece there. This, in Greek mythology, is the story of Aries.
TAURUS (April 21st-May 21st)
The God Zeus, was in love with a beautiful princess called Europa. Zeus could change himself into anything he wanted so he turned himself into a beautiful white bull and mingled with the rest of Europa’s herd. Europa was immediately attracted to this beautiful beast and became very friendly with it. One day she went for a ride on its back and the bull travelled away over the seas with her, where he revealed himself as the handsome god Zeus. This form of Zeus was placed in the skies as a constellation, now known as Taurus, the bull.
GEMINI (May 22nd-June 21st)
Gemini represents according to Greek mythology the twin gods Castor and Pollux, sons of the great god Zeus. They were the friends and protectors of all seamen. Because of all the work they did to protect men of the sea they were immortalised as a constellation.
CANCER (June 22nd-July 23rd)
Cancer the crab originates from a crab who nipped the foot of the great Hercules who, at the time, was fighting a snake in the marshes. Hercules crushed the crab under his foot but Hera picked it up and placed it amid the stars.
LEO (July 24th-August 23rd)
Leo the lion's name derives from when Hercules fought a lion that haunted the forests. Hecules killed the lion and then the great god Zeus placed its body amid the stars for all to see. The lion of course has a great link with royalty. The royal standard bears the lion and many members of the royal family are born under the sign of Leo including Princess Anne and Princess Margaret.
VIRGO (August 24th-September 23rd)
Virgo was named for the virgin goddess Astraea and is associated with purity. She found earth so imperfect that she fled to the heavens to live.
LIBRA (September 24th-October 23rd)
Libra holds in her hands the scales of justice. She represents for eternity the virtues of Themis, goddess of justice, who was also the mother of Astraea, who became Virgo. Side by side they represent equity in the heavens.
SCORPIO (October 24th-November 22nd)
A scorpion stung and killed the great Orion, the mighty hunter, as a result of a plot hatched by Apollo, who was jealous of Orion’s friendship with his sister Artemis, as well as Orion’s good looks. Both now immortalised in the heavens. Orion now flees Scorpio for eternity, dipping below the heavens when Scorpio rises.
SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd-December 21st)
The horseman or centaur, Chiron, was in Greek mythology the tutor to many heroes and the friend of Hercules. He was also famous for his knowledge of medicine, music and archery and he is usually shown bearing a bow and arrow. The gods immortalised him as a constellation, known to us as Sagittarius, Latin for ‘the archer’.
CAPRICORN (December 22nd-January 20th)
Capricorn the goat is the great god Pan in another disguise. He was once attacked by a giant, and turned himself into a goat in order to escapee. This is how he has been immortalised in the heavens.
AQUARIUS (January 21st-February 19th)
Greek mythology has it that Aquarius was the Water Bearer to the deity Zeus. In life he was the beautiful Ganymede, he now lives on in the heavens as cupbearer to the gods. PISCES (February 20th-March 20th) The two fishes were at one time Venus and Cupid. They turned themselves into fishes to escape Typhon the giant, and were placed in the heavens, their constellation becoming part of the zodiac.
PISCES (February 20th-March 20th)
The two fishes were at one time Venus and Cupid. They turned themselves into fishes to escape Typhon the giant, and were placed in the heavens, their constellation becoming part of the zodiac.