Western & Chinese Zodiac Astrology Tattoos: Meanings & Design Ideas
The word "zodiac" comes from the Greek words "zoe" (meaning "life") and "diakos" (meaning "wheel"). Together, they refer to the wheel of life for animals and humans. Although the zodiac has Greek origins, it is also believed to have roots in Egyptian, Arabian, and Babylonian times.
"Zodiac" also refers to the belt of constellations that are centered evenly on the elliptic path of the earth around the sun. There are 12 constellations and each one is divided equally into 12 separate sections. Each sign and constellation is represented by an image.
Zodiac designs are a popular tattoo choice with many people. They can be unique, mysterious, and creative. In this article, we discuss all the different meanings associated with each symbol as well as what they represent. To understand these tattoos, we have to study each zodiac sign.
The Signs in Western Astrology
- Aries, the ram (March 21-April 19)
- Taurus, the bull (April 20-May 20)
- Gemini, the twins (May 21-June 20)
- Cancer, the crab (June 21-July 22)
- Leo, the lion (July 23-August 22)
- Virgo, the virgin (August 23-September 23)
- Libra, the scales (September 24-October 22)
- Scorpio, the scorpion (October 23-November 21)
- Sagittarius, the archer (November 22-December 21)
- Capricorn, the (sea) goat (December 22-January 19)
- Aquarius, the water bearer (January 20-February 18)
- Pisces, the fish (February 19-March 20)
You would use your birth date as reference. For example, if you were born on June 6th, your zodiac sign would be Gemini. Each sign is associated with one of the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Below are their meanings.
- Air: Pervasive and everywhere. Creation and unity.
- Earth: Use of physical body to make things happen. Hard-working and goal-achieving.
- Fire: Independent element of self. Expressive of self; fearless.
- Water: Self-reflective and fluid; emotional and sensitive.
The Traits and Meanings Associated With Each Sign
- Aries. The symbol of Aries is the ram. Aries is a fire element ruled by the planet Mars. Aries make good leaders, but they can be impatient at times. They can be outgoing, idealistic, inspirational, active, and courageous. They can also be selfish, overbearing, impatient, sarcastic, and jealous. The body part associated with this sign is the head. The color is red. The metal is iron. The flower is buttercup. The gem is sapphire or diamond. The food is tomatoes.
- Taurus. The symbol of Taurus is the bull. It is an earth element, ruled by the planet Venus. Tauruses work well with money and like to eat. They hold anger very well, but when they are mad, stand clear. They are sincere, productive, loyal, and practical, but also slow, overbearing, violent, and possessive. The body part associated with Taurus is the neck. The color is orange. The metal is copper. The flower is daisy. The gem is amethyst or emerald. The food is celery.
- Gemini. The symbol of Gemini is human twins. It is an air element, ruled by the planet Mercury. Geminis are usually curious and very adaptable. They also enjoy traveling. They are intellectual, alert, versatile, and instinctive, but also restless, impatient, unstable, and difficult. The body parts associated with Gemini are the shoulders and arms. The color is orange. The metal is mercury. The flower is the Lily-of-the-Valley. The gem is emerald or pearl. The food is cauliflower.
- Cancer. The symbol is the crab or crayfish. Cancer is a water element and is ruled by the moon. Cancers are devoted to family and marriage. They often are collectors. They are frequently emotional, family-oriented, romantic, and cautious but also tend to live in the past and be timid, stubborn, and moody. The body part associated with Cancer is the chest. The color is orange-yellow. The metal is silver. The flower is the moon flower. The gem is aquamarine or ruby. The food is watercress or milk.
- Leo. The symbol of Leo is the lion. It is a fire element and is ruled by the planet Saturn. Leos are drawn to beautiful things. They have difficulty in relationships and are easily hurt. They are active, creative, good leaders, and generous, while also being demanding, dignified, selfish, and uninspired. The body parts associated with Leo are the heart and spine. The color is yellow. The metal is gold. The flower is marigold. The gem is ruby or sardonyx. The foods are oranges, plums, and peas.
- Virgo. The symbol of the Virgo is the virtuous maiden. Virgo is an earth element. It is ruled by the planet Mercury. Virgos are usually balanced. They like balance in their life. They have great decision-making abilities. They are clever, intelligent, alert, graceful, and perfectionistic, but also tend to worry and be nervous, timid, and critical. The body trait associated with Virgo is the abdomen. The color is yellow-green. The metal is mercury. The flower is azalea. The gem is sapphire. The food is lemons.
- Libra. The symbol for Libra is the scales. Libra is an air element. It is ruled by the planet of Venus. Libras believe in doing things correctly. They also like balance in their lives and enjoy others well. They are orderly, peaceful, gentle, helpful, and spiritual but also lazy, dependent, and unorganized. The body part associated with Libra is the lower back. The color is green. The metal is copper. The flower is violet. The gem is diamond or opal. The food is strawberries.
- Scorpio. The symbol of Scorpio is the scorpion, but it has also been an eagle. Scorpio is a water element. It is ruled by Pluto. Scorpios make decisions very easily. They have good memories and are good with money. They are also determined, confident, emotional, and inspirational (and cruel, sarcastic, secretive, and selfish). The body part associated with Scorpio is the lower abdomen. The color is green-blue. The metal is iron. The flower is the honeysuckle. The gem is topaz and the food is prunes.
- Sagittarius. The symbol of Sagittarius is the archer. It is a fire element. Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter. Sagittarians are seekers of peace. They are active and like to travel. They are social, independent, honest, loyal, and enthusiastic, but also overconfident, self-indulgent, and conceited. The body parts associated with Sagittarius are the thighs and hips. The color is light blue. The metal is tin. The flower is goldenrod. The gem is turquoise. The foods are cucumbers and asparagus.
- Capricorn. The symbol for Capricorn is the goat. It is an earth element. It is ruled by the planet Saturn. Capricorns are very ambitious, outgoing, and dependable. Traits include honesty, patience, trustworthiness, and responsiveness, and they are also fearful, selfish, suspicious, and secretive. The body part associated with Capricorn is the knees. The color is deep blue. The metal is lead. The flower is the poppy. The gem is garnet. The foods are cabbage and kale.
- Aquarius. The symbol for Aquarius is a man pouring water into an urn. It is an air element, ruled by the planet Uranus. Aquariuses are lively and have a good attitude. They enjoy helping others and are artistic, creative, independent, friendly, and wise. They're also perverse, erratic, emotional, and overly sensitive. Body parts associated with Aquarius are the ankles and shins. The color is blue-violet. The metal is lead. The flower is tulip. The gem is jade or amethyst. The food is pomegranates.
- Pisces. The symbol of Pisces is two connected fish. It is a water element, ruled by the planet Neptune. Pisces have two-sided thoughts. They find it difficult to make decisions. They are open-minded and peaceful, emotional, artistic, imaginative, poetic, and kind. They can also be insecure, weak, unstable, and restless. The body part associated with Pisces is the feet. The color is violet. The metal is tin. The flower is violet. The gem is pearl, jasper, or bloodstone. Foods include raisins, dates, and cereals.
Chinese Zodiac Signs
The meanings and symbols are completely different from the Western ones, but the Chinese zodiac also has 12 signs that circulate every twelve years. To find your sign, locate your birth year. Each new sign starts on the Chinese new year near the end of January and lasts until the next Chinese new year.
- Rat: 1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032
- Ox: 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033
- Tiger: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034
- Rabbit: 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035
- Dragon: 1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 3036
- Snake: 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037
- Horse: 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038
- Sheep: 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039
- Monkey: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040
- Rooster: 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041
- Dog: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042
- Boar: 1911,1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043
These are the following traits that each sign has:
- Rat: Intelligent, charming, and artistic.
- Ox: Loyal, strong, and determined.
- Tiger: Leader, courageous, and energetic.
- Rabbit: Trusting, sincere, and loyal.
- Dragon: Lucky, artistic, and imaginative.
- Snake: Organized, smart, and intuitive.
- Horse: Loyal, ambitious, and adventurous.
- Sheep: Warm, calm, and sensitive.
- Monkey: Lucky, versatile, and decisive.
- Rooster: Honest, confident, and intelligent.
- Dog: Loyal, courageous, and adaptable.
- Boar: Determined, optimistic, and sincere.