There are times when all of us would like to be able to look into the future to find the answer to a particular problem or to get guidance from a greater power when deliberating over a major decision.
In today's society where career paths, homes and relationships often no longer follow a traditional trajectory, more young people are looking to the stars for advice and reassurance.
Most of us are familiar with the zodiac largely from the back of magazines pored over as teens or as a titbit shared during ice breaker activities, however, the signs of the zodiac have their roots deeply embedded in human history.
But where did these symbols originate, what is the meaning of each sign and just what does it mean for you?
Where did it all originate?
Back around 1500 BC, the Babylonians popularised the concept as a means of dividing the seasons. Also known as the creators of the basic concept for the modern time measurements of minutes and seconds, they decided that the path of the sun and planets could be used to measure time when divided into 12 equal segments represented by constellations.
They noted that certain weather conditions occurred when the sun was nearer to certain constellations and that it took 12 lunar cycles for the sun to return to the same position in the sky. Back then the zodiac was used more as a measurement of time than of a prediction of destiny.
Being able to divide a year into measurements of time was useful in terms of predicting weather patterns which in turn helped with farming and food production.
However, it is thought that the Babylonians initially borrowed the concept from the Egyptians who linked the appearance of certain stars as a sign of impending weather conditions.
Regarding the links with human destiny, we have the Greeks to thank for that as they later used astrology as a means of reading an individual’s trajectory and popularised the zodiac names we have today.
The term zodiac has been interpreted as meaning "circle of animals" or "sculpted animal figure" given that so many of the star signs such as Taurus, Leo and Scorpio take the form of animals.
A horoscope is a reading of the zodiac with earth at the centre and the relative position of the sun, planets and stars at a particular point in time.
In more simple terms this has been described as a line stemming from earth through the sun and out the other side which points to different constellations at different times as the earth orbits the sun. The sun stays in each constellation for about a month giving us the modern zodiac signs. This snapshot is then interpreted by astrologers to offer insight into the impact of celestial movements on the existence of those born under the various signs.
What signs get along best with each other?
It is said that the best relationships are forged between the star signs that are most compatible. Fire signs (Aries, Sagittarius and Leo) are supposed to get along best with each other or air signs (Libra, Aquarius and Gemini). Meanwhile, the earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo) are said to get on best with water (Cancer, Scorpio and Pieces).
Why do some people vary between star signs depending on where they read them?
Some people are born on the borderline between a change in signs, known as being 'on the cusp’ of the sun’s rotation from one sign to the next. The sun moves through the zodiac at slightly different times every year which in turn affects the time at which each sign is considered to be to the fore.
Apparently, you can get a more exact reading based on the time of your birth but I prefer to think of it as having the best of two signs rather than being stuck in between them!
What does my star sign say about me?
January 20th - February 18th
Aquarians are known to be fiercely independent, intelligent and a little temperamental.
Public figures with this sign include Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey and Christian Bale.
February 19th – March 20th
Those born under Pisces are said to be sensitive, kind and compassionate.
Famous Pisces include Justin Bieber, US Olympic gymnast Simon Biles and Rihanna.
March 21st – April 19th
Ariens are considered to be ambitious, brave and risk takers.
Famous Ariens include YouTuber Zoe Sugg, Emma Watson and Kourtney Kardashian.
April 20th – May 20th
Those born under Taurus are reliable, loyal and a bit stubborn.
Channing Tatum, Travis Scott and Adele all share the star sign Taurus.
May 21st – June 20th
Geminis are outgoing, adaptable and curious.
Gemini celebrities include Kayne West, Donald Trump and Marilyn Monroe.
June 21st – July 22nd
If you’re a cancer you’re likely to be creative, empathetic and a tad nosy.
You’re in good company, as Ariana Grande, Lionel Messi and Khloe Kardashians also share your sign.
July 23rd – August 22nd
Leadership, faithfulness and arrogance are all traits of Leos.
Famous zodiac lions include Barak Obama, Daniel Radcliffe and Jennifer Lopez.
August 23rd – September 22nd
Virgos are hardworking, logical and self critical.
Beyonce, Niall Horan and Prince Harry are all well-known Virgos.
September 23rd – October 22nd
Libras are charming, fun and often perfectionists.
Leading Libras include Eminem, Gandhi and Carrie Fisher.
October 23rd – November 21st
Scorpios are passionate, ambitious and can be secretive.
Famous Scorpios include Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hilary Clinton.
November 22nd – December 21st
Sagittarians are honest and joyful but can be blunt at times.
Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora and Tina Turner are all Sagittarians.
December 22nd – January 19th
Persistence, determination and patience are all traits of Capricorns.
Well-known Capricorns include Zayn Mallik, Bradley Cooper and Dolly Parton.
Despite all these readings it’s probably best to make your own decisions irrespective of the zodiac as waiting around for the stars to align is more likely to lead to procrastination than productivity.