The precession of the equinoxes

Astrology is an ancient practice devised well over 2000 years ago by the Babylonians in the area once known as Mesopotamia. The constellations after which the signs of the Zodiac are named reside on the elliptical orbit on which the major planets revolve around the Sun. However, in those times it was believed that the sun revolved around the Earth, and that its light in the course of one year, on its apparent path around the Earth, roughly coincided with the changing seasons of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, Aries was ordained as the first sign, as it coincided with the vernal equinox, and marked the beginning of Spring.


The original Zodiac signs continued around each month of the year, roughly falling in line with the agricultural calendar. However, the constellations which bear the same names as the Zodiac signs with which we are familiar in Western astrology, originally appeared during the tenure of these signs. Now, due to the precession of the equinoxes (an explanation follows), the constellations have moved almost a whole sign away from their original sign, so the sun may have risen in a different constellation from your Zodiac sign on the day you were born! This is because the Earth’s orbit is elliptical, not a perfect sphere, so it ‘wobbles’ along its celestial path, causing a slight slippage each year, and in the course of over 2000 years this slippage is now considerable!


Precession can be explained as the movement of the celestial equator (the projection of the Earth’s equator into space) in relation to fixed stars and the ecliptic, which is the apparent path of the Sun’s motion as viewed from Earth. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) demonstrated that precession results from the non-spherical shape of Earth, causing it to rotate in an oscillatory fashion. This ‘wobble’, called precession, is caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon on the Earth’s equatorial bulge.

Your true Sun Sign

Your Sun sign is defined as the position of the sun on the date of your birth, which may be different from your Zodiac sign. Your basic character and your physicality are defined by your Zodiac sign, but your Sun sign describes your essence, and your true personality. You have the Sun in these signs, if born between the dates which follow. This means that your Zodiac sign may differ from your sun sign, and you will need to look up two different combined signs to find out the full picture of your personality. Some people may have the Sun in their Zodiac sign, making them a ‘true’ native of that sign, for example, if you were born on 14 th August, then you are a ‘true’ Leo, as you were born under the Zodiac sign of Leo, and the Sun also rose in Leo on the day you were born.

Sun inIf born between
Aries18th April and 12th May
Taurus13th May and 20th June
Gemini21st June and 19th July
Cancer20th July and 9th August
Leo10th August and 15th September
Virgo16th September and 29th October
Libra30th October and 22nd November
Scorpio23rd November and 17th December
Sagittarius18th December and 19th January
Capricorn20th January and 16th February
Aquarius17th February and 10th March
Pisces11th March and 17th April