Signs of the Zodiac


There is a short poem which helps to remember the signs of the zodiac. It is two short couplets that include all the signs, albeit not in proper order:

The ram, the bull, the heavenly twins,

And next the crab, the lion shines,

  The virgin and the scales,

The scorpion, archer, and the goat,

The man who holds the watering-pot,

  And fish with glittering scales.

In astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude that are centered upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. Historically, these twelve divisions are called signs. The signs are named after the major constellation in each division.

Astrology is the belief in a connection between the cosmos and terrestrial matters has played an important part in human history. It’s bunk, of course. Western astrology is based on ancient star tables, and gives us these twelve signs and symbols:

The dates of the astrological zodiac do not correspond to astronomical observation; the traditional star charts are horrible out of date.

Due to the constellation boundaries being redefined in 1930 by the International Astronomical Union, the path of the ecliptic now officially passes through thirteen constellations: the twelve traditional 'zodiac constellations' plus Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer), the bottom part of which interjects between Scorpio and Sagittarius. Ophiuchus is an anciently recognized constellation, catalogued along with many others in Ptolemy's Almagest, but not historically referred to as a zodiac constellation.

Based on actual celestial observation and astronomical redefinition, these are the actual modern dates of the zodiac:

Capricorn: Jan. 19 – Feb. 15

Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11

Pisces: March 12- April 18

Aries: April 19 – May 13

Taurus: May 14 – June 21

Gemini: June 21 – July 20

Cancer: July 21 – Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 11 – Sept. 15

Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 22

Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 18 – Jan. 18

Ukrainians were not believers in astrology, but did follow the constellations and have their own names for them.

(Translations below.)

According to my handout and the Brody book, zodiac symbols can also be placed onto a Brody pysanka. The symbols used are not the western ones used by the Romans, but the Ukrainian ones that represent their names for the constellations.  Which calendar you choose to use is up to you.  In Ukrainian, Ophiuchus is Змієнесець: I do not know if he has his own symbol.

I have listed here, for each sign/constellation, the following information:

  1. Latin name (English name)

  2. Ukrainian translation

  3. Ukrainian name

  4. (English translation)

and included a medieval representation of the zodiac sign, as well as the Brody symbol. SOme names are fairly similar, while others are hugely different. Then again, the Roman’s Great Bear (and English Big Dipper) is our Big Wagon.

The Zodiac



Aquarius (Water carrier)



(Male water spirit)



Pisces (Fish)



(Water nymphs)



Aries (Ram)






Taurus (Bull)






Gemini (Twins)






Cancer (Crab)



(Grandfather, old man)



Leo (Lion)






Virgo (Virgin)



(Miss, young lady)



Libra (Scales)



(Fate, destiny)



Scorpio (Scorpion)






Sagittarius (Archer)



(Master, host)



Capricorn (Sea Goat)





  Previous Page        Next Page

Back to MAIN Brody Pysanka home page.

Back to MAIN Pysanka home page.

Back to Pysanka Index.

Search my site with Google


Brody Zodiac Symbols