Many people may not be aware of this, but each of the twelve signs of the zodiac has a legitimate place in mythology and history.
Their symbolism is not accidental and all exist in honor of a mythological character who was very similar to the person of a particular zodiac sign.
Any myth itself that depicts it, no matter how impossible or fictional, is also there to expand our sense of awe and wonder.
If we ponder these myths a little longer, we also realize how universal and appropriate they are even for the times we are now living in.
There is a reason for this, too, because these fragments of our past define us and still do so in the constellation that watches over our existence and our life path.
We live and breathe under the night sky, guarded by our constellation and the epic story that created it.
From this we can draw inspiration and courage to go our own way, no matter how hard or grueling it is.
Myth of the Golden Fleece
Date: March 21st – April 20th
Athamas, king of the city of Orchomenus in Boeotia, a region in southeastern Greece, was the first woman to adopt the goddess of the clouds, Nephele.
Together with her he had two children, a son Phrixos (his name means curly – like the fur of a ram) and a daughter Helle.
Athamas left Nephele and married Kadmos’ daughter Ino.
Ina was jealous of her husband’s children from her first marriage, so she figured out how to kill them.
According to some versions, she persuaded Athamas to sacrifice Phrixus because it was the only way to end the famine in Orchomenus.
To stop this, Nephele, or her ghost, appeared before the children along with a winged ram whose fleece was made entirely of gold.
The children then fled across the sea on the ram, but Helle fell and drowned in a passage named after her, the Hellespont.
The ram eventually brought Phrixus to the safety of Colchis (present-day Georgia) on the far (eastern) shores of the Black Sea.
Phrixus then sacrificed the ram and hung his fleece on a tree (an oak tree is often mentioned in history) in a temple dedicated to Ares, where he was guarded by a dragon.
The fleece stayed there until the hero Jason took it and the Aries became the constellation of the same name in the sky.
The fleece itself is a symbol of authority and royal power , so it is no wonder that the Aries zodiac sign stands out with heroic qualities and courage.
It also appears in the story of the hero Jason, who goes in search of the fleece in order to be legitimately put on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly.
Europe’s kidnapping by Zeus
Date: April 20th – May 21st
Zeus fell in love with Europe and decided to seduce her, taking advantage of the fact that his wife Hera was absent.
To this end, he turned into a beautiful white bull with golden horns and took refuge in the herd of Europe’s father.
When Europe was picking flowers with her companions, she saw the bull and was overwhelmed by its beauty, so she stroked his side, decorated his horns with flowers and climbed on his back.
Zeus took this opportunity, ran to the sea and swam with her on his back towards Crete.
As he swam, they were joined by Nereids riding dolphins, Triton blowing his horn, and Poseidon.
Europe also realized that he was a god and implored him for mercy.
In Crete, he himself revealed his identity to her, and Europe became the first Queen of Crete.
Zeus then decided to give her three presents to appease her kidnapping, which he carried out under a cypress tree:
Talos, a bronze automaton, Laelaps, a dog that never misses its prey, and a spear that always hits its target,
Zeus later created the shape of the white bull, which became the constellation Taurus, as a representation of love, power and beauty.
Castor and Pollux the Dioscuri
Date: May 21 – June 21
The constellation of Gemini consists of two twins: Castor and Pollux.
Together, the two twins were also called the Dioscuri.
Castor was the mortal son of King Tyndarus while Pollux was the immortal son of Zeus.
Since Castor and Pollux were identical twins, they were inseparable in their looks and actions.
Castor was a great rider and Pollux was a great warrior.
But when Castor was killed in battle, Pollux begged Zeus to bring him back.
Zeus agreed to immortalize both Castor and Pollux if they would spend half of their time on earth and half under the stars in the sky.
So Castor and Pollux were transformed into the constellation of Gemini and shine brightly to this day.
The Dioscuri were also considered to be the helpers of mankind and were considered to be the protectors of travelers and especially the seafarers who invoked them for favorable winds.
Since then, seeing these two stars together, sailors knew that their voyage would go well, while seeing a star meant bad luck.
The giant crab that obeyed Hera
Date: June 21 – July 23
In Greek mythology, the goddess Hera was constantly tormented by the affairs that Zeus had, and especially by the offspring that were the result of his infidelity.
Among all his children who were the result of infidelity, the great hero Hercules was also the one she hated the most.
To make him pay for it, she got him to kill his own wife and children in a fit of obsession.
After regaining his sanity, he made his way to the oracle in Delphi to find a way to atone for his sins.
There he was assigned to serve King Eurystheus and to fulfill 12 tasks that will undo his sins.
During the second task, Eurystheus sent Hercules to kill the hydra, which Hera had created only to kill Hercules.
But this monster was not up to the power of Hercules and Hera, angry about it, sent a huge crab to distract him.
There has never been a more pathetic figure in Greek mythology who he simply crushed after pinching his toe.
But Hera rewarded the crab for its obedience and sacrifice and placed it under the stars as the constellation Cancer.
The bravery of the Nemean lion
Date: July 23rd – August 23rd
Just like in the myth about the constellation Cancer, the Nemean lion was the first beast that the hero Hercules had to slay.
In the town of Kleonae he also met a boy who said that if he did not kill the lion within 30 days and came back alive, he would sacrifice himself to Zeus, but if he did, he would
Leo to be sacrificed to Zeus.
The lion Hercules fought was also immune to any type of weapon because its fur was protective.
After realizing this, he strangled the animal with his hands and skinned its fur with his own claws.
When he returned on the 30th day with the lion’s carcass on his shoulders, King Eurystheus was both amazed and terrified.
Hercules also keeps his fur as his personal armor and a sign of his strength.
After all, either Hera or Zeus create the constellation Leo as a tribute to the work and sacrifice of Leo.
The kidnapping of Persephone
Date: August 23rd – September 23rd
The zodiac sign Virgo is represented by the fertility goddess Demeter and other fertility goddesses.
In her honor there is the constellation Virgo, which stands for fertility and motherhood and not for the purity of innocence.
In Greek mythology, the story of Demetre and Persephone is one that tells the deep connection of a mother and daughter.
When Persephone comes of age, the god of the underworld, Hades, notices her on a rare occasion when he leaves the underworld.
Fascinated by her beauty, he falls in love with her and asks her father Zeus for her hand.
Zeus agrees, but Hades knew that Demetre would not agree because she loves her daughter dearly, so he kidnaps her.
Angry about this, Demetre takes out her wrath on mortals by neglecting her duties to tend the earth in order to sustain it.
The mortals, tormented by the death of plants and hunger, asked Zeus for help and he ordered Hermes to bring Persephone home.
Hermes believed he would find her tormented in the underworld, but to his surprise, Hades treated her with respect, loved her, made her a garden in the underworld, and she really blossomed through his love.
She didn’t want to return home and wanted to stay with her husband, but she also missed her mother very much.
So Zeus decided that Persephone should split her time between her mother and her husband.
Persephone would spend half of the year with her mother on Mount Olympus and the other half with Hades.
So during the time she is with Hades, autumn and winter are caused by Demeter, but when she comes back home, spring and summer bring fertility and happiness again.
Lady Justice the goddess of justice
Date: September 23rd – October 23rd
The constellation Libra exists in honor of Justitia, the goddess of justice.
However, unlike the other myths from which the zodiac signs arose, she is a Roman goddess.
In ancient times, people lived happily and in peace, but as they got smarter, they began to develop negative traits, to kill, and to start wars.
The gods could not bear this, many left the earth and returned to heaven.
On the other hand, Justitia stayed with them, hoping that they would return to their old ways.
Nevertheless, every day she was more and more disappointed in her dark deeds and also returned to heaven, but in the foolish belief that one day they will be clean and good again.
To this day, she is a symbol of those who blindly believe that one day humanity will wake up and that justice will come slowly and surely.
So maybe one day humanity can actually become the way it once was, at least Justitia will always foolishly believe that.
The myth about Orion
Date: October 23rd – November 22nd
The constellation Scorpio represents a figure in Greek mythology that was irresistible to many goddesses.
This passionate, handsome, and skillful man was the son of Poseidon, named Orion.
He was celebrated among men and gods for his skillful hunting skills, but received most of the attention for his lustful nature.
He was so persistent in his pursuits that he even lost his sight for molesting Merope.
But with the help of Hermes, he regains his eyesight after looking directly into the face of the sun god Helios during a journey to the east.
With his eyesight regained, his lust begins to boil again, this time for Artemis, the goddess of the moon and the hunt, who was very indifferent to men.
She even swore that she would never marry and was worshiped as a virgin goddess by many men.
But only Orion won her heart and was the only one who could get under her skin.
However, Apollo did not like this idea and he wanted to get rid of Orion, so he asked the goddess Gaia to send a scorpion to scare him into the sea.
While he was in the sea, Apollo told Artemis that there was a spot in the sea that she should hit with her arrow to prove her skills.
Vain about her hunting skills, she does so only to realize that she has killed her beloved Orion.
Artemis was so heartbroken about this that Zeus put Orion and Scorpio in the night sky.
Together, so that they never meet again, because Orion only appears in the night sky when the Scorpio disappears.
The myth about Chrion
Date: November 23rd – December 22nd
The constellation Sagittarius represents Chrion, who was the wisest and most righteous of all centaurs.
Chiron was the son of the Titan Kronos and the Ocenaid Philyra.
However, because of its origins, Chiron was different from all other centaurs, who were known for their vocal nature.
Chiron was born half human and half horse while the other centaurs were born of the sun and rain clouds.
He was wise, intelligent and kind thanks to Apollo who taught him the art of herbs and medicine.
One day, however, Chiron was accidentally shot by Hercules with a poisoned arrow.
Although he was a great healer, Chiron could not heal himself.
Since he was immortal, Chiron could not die either, but was tormented daily by the poisoned arrow.
In order to die in peace, Chiron therefore offered to replace Prometheus, who was punished by the gods for giving fire to humans.
When Chiron gave up his immortality to free Prometheus from his chains, Zeus saw the kindness of Chiron and immortalized him in the stars.
Pricus, the father of all sea goats
Symbol: sea goat
Date: December 21st – January 20.
In Greek mythology, Pricus was the father of all sea goats, an intelligent race that lived deep in the sea.
They were admired and favored by the gods, and since Pricus was also created by Chronos, he was able to control time.
Nevertheless, many of his children were drawn to the coast and, out of curiosity, left the deep sea where their father Pricus wanted to keep them.
The more time they spent on the rocky shore, the less gorgeous their fins looked, and slowly they began to transform into normal goats.
Pricus was very upset about this, because not only did they lose their beauty, but they also became headless animals with no connection whatsoever to the sea.
To prevent this, he turned back time every time his children went ashore.
But no matter how many times he turned back the clock, his children kept coming back to the coast.
In order not to have to suffer this fate and to be the only sea goat left, Pricus asks Chronos to let him die because he was made immortal.
Instead, Chronos lets him live immortally in the night sky as the constellation Capricorn.
The myth about Ganymede
Symbol: water carrier
Date: January 19 – February 18.
In Greek mythology, the constellation Aquarius stands for Ganymede, who was kidnapped by Zeus.
Ganymede was known for being the most beautiful of all mortals and for Zeus wanting him to be part of Olympus.
He kidnapped him and gave his father horses as compensation, which he agreed to.
Because he became the cup holder for the gods, Zeus also gave him immortality.
In another version of the myth, Zeus also comes to him in the form of an eagle and takes him to Mount Olympus.
But after a while Zeus got tired of him and placed him under the stars as Aquarius.
The myth about Aphrodite and Eros
Date: February 18 – March 20.
The constellation Pisces was created by the goddess Aphrodite and Eros.
In Greek mythology, the gods did not get along well with the god Typhon, who was purely destructive and sinister.
One day he got tired of being an outcast and so he climbed Mount Olympus to threaten all gods.
The gods knew what he was capable of and what powers he possessed, so they decided that they would keep trying to escape him.
To do this, they turned into animals to gain speed and agility.
The only ones who did not take the form of an animal were Aphrodite and Eros and thus in danger of being injured.
While Typhon was still chasing after them, two fish appear and carry them to safety on their backs.
In order to honor this noble deed, the two fish were placed in the sky by the Greek gods and there they became the constellation Pisces.