Signs of the Zodiac (Astrology – 12 Constellations) – Ravensburger Jigsaw Puzzles
The Zodiac, the twelve signs listed in a horoscope, is closely tied to how the earth moves through the heavens. The signs are derived from the constellations that mark out the path on which the sun appears to travel over the course of a year. In principal, dates in a horoscope should correspond to when the sun passes through each constellation. But they don’t much of the time. On examination of the motion of the earth, the sun and the stars show the Zodiac to be more complex than we imagined.
The Sun, the Moon and the Planets travel on a set path through the sky known as the ecliptic as the earth rotates. The thirteen constellations they pass through are known as the Stars of the Zodiac. Astrologers use twelve of these constellations omitting “Ophiuchus”.
During the course of one year, the earth orbits around the sun. From the Earth’s point of view, the sun appears to shift through a background of many different constellations. This apparent path of the sun is called ecliptic and the constellations along this path define the circle of the Zodiac. They are Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the Crab, Leo the Lion, Virgo the Virgin, Libra the Scale, Scorpius the Scorpion, Sagittarius the Archer, Capricornus the Goat, Aquarius the Water Bearer and Pisces the Fish.
The division in twelve signs of the Zodiac was probably already introduced 3000 years ago in Babylonia. Following the Moons phase, the year was divided into twelve months. For each month an equal zone along the ecliptic was defined as a sign of the Zodiac to create the first known celestial coordinate system and the predecessor of our modern Calendar.