Both astrology and mythology have captivated people for thousands of years. Though some connections between the zodiac and the Greek gods might be easy to guess – given that the Greeks themselves practiced a form of astrology with 12 signs – there are also some surprises to be found. While Artemis, Zeus, Apollo, and the rest of their kin were certainly deities, they were also uniquely human in their faults. When people look to those gods for inspiration or connection, they find not just aspirational figures, but also the acknowledgement that flaws, too, are important for a person's character. What count as values and flaws may change over time, as they do with any historical figure's character traits, but our ability to identify with them, especially through the zodiac, transcends time.
Aries (The Ram) - Ares, God of WarThe first sign of the zodiac, Aries is ruled by the planet Mars. Ancient Greeks were amazed by the red color of this planet and they attributed it to Ares, the child of Zeus and Hera, and the God of war. Ares represents masculine fire energy and competition, just like Aries who is also fiery and very competitive. Ares was the son of two of the most powerful gods in Greek mythology, but he did not get along well with either parent. He was known for his chaotic, impulsive behavior, and his tactless aggression. These characteristics are often attributed to those born under the sign of Aries. These individuals are leaders who need mental stimulation to feel happy and fulfilled. Maybe they don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones they do have think of them as their closest companion. Aries people may be impulsive and stubborn, but they’re also fiercely loyal, caring, and bold. They always fight for what they love and they’re not afraid of challenges; that’s why they’re able to achieve whatever they set their minds to.
Demeter is perhaps most famous for her connection to her daughter, Persephone, but Tauruses are likely to feel a deeper connection with her. Both Tauruses and Demeter are famed for their patient, devoted natures, though those traits can turn into stubbornness and possessiveness if left unchecked. In Greek myth, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, fertility, and the cycles of birth and death. The fall and winter are her seasons of grieving her daughter; her heartbreak over Persephone's union with Hades causes her to neglect her duties as nurturer. Likewise, the intense devotion that Tauruses feel can turn sour and their world can go dark when they feel abandoned. But Demeter and Tauruses have wonderful traits, as well. There are few figures in Greek tradition as nurturing as Demeter, and the practicality and stability of Tauruses makes them wonderful partners and friends – just try not to leave them for somebody else for half the year.
Taurus (April 20–May 20): Demeter, Goddess Of The Harvest
Gemini (The Twins) - HermesThe third sign of the zodiac, Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury. Mercury is actually named after Hermes, the winged-helmeted messenger of the gods who moved quickly across the sky at the command of other gods. Hermes was also the god of herds and flocks, of communication, language, and writing, and that’s why he is usually associated with social and talkative Gemini. Hermes was the herald and the personal messenger of the powerful Zeus, but he was also the guide of the dead and he led souls down into the underworld. Geminis are witty, intelligent, resourceful, charming, and versatile much like Hermes. On the flip side, they can also be two-faced, judgmental, and restless. They have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a very lively imagination which makes them one of the most creative zodiac signs. They’re quick-witted and thanks to their gift of gab, they can talk their way out of everything.
Cancer (The Crab) - Artemis, Goddess Of The Moon And WildernessCancer is often associated with one of the fiercest, most widely respected Olympian goddesses, Artemis. She was the goddess of Moon, the ruling planet of Cancer, but was also known as the goddess of hunting, wilderness, childbirth, virginity, and as a protectress of young girls. In Greek mythology, Artemis was usually portrayed as a young maiden with a hunting bow and arrows. She was a virgin and afraid of men, that is why she used to live in the woods and only went for walks at night. Artemis is similar to people born under the sign of Cancer, who are also very modest, shy, extremely emotional individuals who love children and their home. Those born under this zodiac sign are kind, calm, maternal, compassionate, dedicated, rough and yet nurturing at the same time. They’re fiercely loyal and protective of their home and family, so anyone who messes with their loved ones will certainly feel their wrath.
Leo (July 23–August 22): Apollo, God Of The SunLeo's ruling sign is the Sun, so it's no surprise their closest Greek god equivalent is Apollo, the god of the sun. But the sun isn't this god's only domain – he's also connected with various forms of art, archery, oracles, and medicine. Like Leos, his passions are connected with warmth and creativity, though they're not without a dangerous edge. Leos are generally generous and cheerful, but it's not a coincidence that they're the sign of the Lion. Anger them and you'll find arrogance and stubbornness; they often have a high opinion of themselves – lions are the kings of the jungle, after all. Likewise, Apollo's vengeance was famed. Each of his skills could be reversed to wreak great harm. The sun is warm and life-giving, but its absence or abundance can cause pain. Archery can provide, but it can wound. Medicine heals, but can cause illness. Leos would do well to remember this, as the traits that make them great can have alternate effects if not wielded responsibly.
Virgo (The Virgin) - DemeterVirgo is connected to Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, grain, and bread. In astrology, Virgo is often depicted as a woman carrying grain, just like Demeter, the goddess of the harvest and one of the most powerful figures in Greek mythology. Demeter was the daughter of Kronos and Rhea, and is usually portrayed as a mature woman, wearing a crown and bearing sheaves of wheat and a torch. Demeter’s name literally translates as “Mother Earth”. She was seen as a mother figure and a caretaker because she was very involved in the growth and harvest of the food from the Earth. Demeter is related to people born under the sign of Virgo who are also resourceful, hardworking, clever, and helpful. On the flip side, they can be preachy, critical, anxious, and extremely observant, but they’ll always be there to help out a friend in need. Virgoan much? The goddess Demeter is a pure representation of Virgo's fertility and harvest.
Libra (The Scale) - AphroditeThose born under the sign of Libra are ruled by the planet Venus which is associated with Aphrodite, who was the goddess of love, pleasure, beauty, and procreation. She was portrayed as a beautiful woman accompanied by the winged and mischievous god of love, Eros. Many gods believed that Aphrodite’s beauty and charm could spark a war of the gods. Because of that, Zeus married Aphrodite to Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths who was very ugly and deformed. However, despite her marriage to Hephaestus, Aphrodite had many lovers, both gods and men. Libras are charming, lovable, romantic, graceful, compassionate and fair, much like Aphrodite. This goddess was known to be quite vain which is also one of Libra’s worst traits. Even though these people are lovable and charming, they also have trouble finding the right companion in life, just like the goddess of beauty.
Scorpio (The Scorpion) - Hades, God Of The UnderworldScorpio is associated with Hades (Haides), the god of the dead and the king of the underworld. Scorpio is very mysterious, powerful, seductive, and the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac. Hades was also known as evil and mysterious, which is a huge misunderstanding because he was only the ruler of the underworld. He was often misunderstood just like Scorpio, and was the only god who never cheated on his bride, showing loyalty and commitment, which are some of well known Scorpio traits. Hades was responsible for the funeral rites and defended the right of the dead people. In Greek mythology, he was always shown as a regal god with a dark beard. Just like Scorpio, Hades was intense, trustworthy, passionate, and caring, but he was also extremely protective, possessive and had no mercy for those who tried to hurt his loved ones.
Zeus is the ruler of the Greek gods, husband of Hera, overseer of earth and sky, and notorious cheater. His flaws are part of what makes him such a compelling figure; just like Sagittarii, his power and wisdom are offset by indulgence and boisterousness. Zeus's duality – he's both the leader of the Greek gods and famed for his infidelity to his wife, the goddess of marriage – likely sits well with Sagittarii. They, too, love the world and all its indulgences, which can get them in trouble on occasion. Their idealism and desire for complete freedom also mean they can sometimes isolate others. Both Zeus and Sagittarii have to be cautious so that their desires don't supersede their relationships; their ambitions often override their consideration for others. Still, Zeus is patriarch for a reason. He gets things done – just like a modern Sagittarius, those big ideas can sometimes translate into big action. Without godly powers to back them up, Sagittarii would do well to keep their ambitions high, but also work on those planning skills.
Sagittarius (November 22–December 21): Zeus, King Of The Gods
Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire, metalworking, and sculpture, is known less for his own exploits and more for his treatment at the hands of others. Famed for his many talents rather than his beauty – Hephaestus was said to be the only ugly god of the pantheon – he crafted many of the gods' most important weapons and armor. Capricorns can likely identify with these traits. One of the most hardworking signs of the zodiac, Capricorns are disciplined and resourceful, even when surrounded by chaos. Like Hephaestus, they do have a tendency to be unforgiving – one of the god's most famous stories concerns him trapping his wife in a cage for her infidelity so that all the other gods could laugh at her. What modern Capricorns can take from their connection with Hephaestus is to not let their work become their whole life. There's plenty of life to see beyond what they create – spend a little time indulging as the other signs do and live life a little fuller.