History Of The Zodiac Signs

Around the whole ball of the sky there extends a mainly important band of stars. The stars in the band form, roughly twelve groups, which man call groups. Centuries ago star gazers thought all these groups except one looked like men or women or animals and so they called the group the zodiac. The word zoo comes from the same Greek source. The gatherings of the zodiac are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Through this narrow band of stars the planets, the moon and the sun take their way.

 Some 2000 years ago the great Greek astronomers made a chart, dividing the zodiac into twelve divisions which he called signs. And these signs had the same names as he grouped we know today. He had noted, as astronomer that the sun stays, roughly in one of these divisions during one month of the year. When an astronomer in those days,  for some time latter, said that the sun or a planet was in a particular sign, he means that it was in a certain group. A certain group of stars, the planets and the sun are much closer then any of stars.

 However after passing centuries there have been changes in our sky. A strange, slow shaking motion of the earth as it turns on its partnership is continuously leaning the axis. Because of this the north and south poles of the earth describe little circles on the sky over a period of 26000 years. This changes the position of the gathering and seems to twist the sky around. We who are living now do not see the heavens from the same angel as old astronomers did.

 The signs in old astronomer’s chart of the zodiac no longer agree with this view of the group, which seem to slip west-ward. So the sign of Aries, the ram, for example is no longer in the group of Aries, but in the gathering of Pisces, the fishes to the west of the group Aries. After the passing of 26000 years the signs come back, more or less to their original positions in the constellation which stand the same names.

 Modern astronomers do not use the signs for references in scientific astronomy although the signs are still used by those who believe in astrology. The different peoples of the world have through the centuries developed their own signs or symbols for the zodiac. The Chinese and the Egyptians for example have different signs from us. The twelve zodiacal signs of the Chinese are the rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, serpent, horse, sheep, monkey, hen, dog and pig. Most of the groups are seen as animals.

 By Rehana khan(111/10)


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