Western Tropical Astrology is geocentric. That means that we look at the placements of the planets and calculate them based on where they are relative to where you are standing on the Earth right now or at the time of your birth. Of course we know that the Sun is at the center of the solar system. Tropical Astrology is all about perception. Each person on the Earth is at the center of their natal chart. Everything in that chart surrounds that person. The Signs of the Zodiac are also based on this concept.
There are 88 constellations in the sky that are visible from Earth. We use the archetypes from 12 of them to make up the Signs. The Signs are actually 30 degree sections of sky that surround the Earth to make a 360 degree circle. The Signs are in a rough area of where those constellations are, but it isn’t exact. You see, we stopped using the constellations a few thousand years ago, and the Signs are based on the where the Sun is during different seasons in relationship to the Earth in our Western geocentric system. This works better than the constellations because it takes the planet we stand on and its own vibe into consideration.
How Do We Determine The Sun’s Zodiac Sign Dates?
The astrological New Year begins at the March Vernal Equinox. On that day, the Sun enters the Sign of Aries. Each time the Sun “travels” by 30 degrees, it moves on to the next Sign. On the day of the June Solstice, the Sun enters Cancer. On the day of the September Equinox, the Sun enters Libra. On the day of the December Solstice, the Sun enters Capricorn. Those are the four Cardinal Signs that kick off the seasons, and the rest of the Signs and their qualities of Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable are determined by their order.
- Aries is a Cardinal Sign that the Sun is in from the Vernal Equinox from about March 21 to April 19.
- Taurus is Fixed and runs from about April 20 to May 20.
- Gemini is then a Mutable Sign that the Sun is in from May 21 to June 20.
- Cancer is the Cardinal Sign that the Sun enters on the June Solstice on June 21 and stays until about to July 22.
- The Sun goes into Fixed Leo on July 23 until August 22.
- Mutable Virgo is next from August 23 to September 22.
- The Sun enters Cardinal Libra with the September Equinox on about the 23rd to October 22.
- Scorpio is Fixed and the Sun stays in that sign from about October 23 to November 21.
- Sagittarius is a Mutable sign that the Sun goes through from November 22 until December 21.
- Capricorn is the last Cardinal Sign that the Sun enters on the December 22 Solstice until January 19.
- Fixed sign Aquarius is where the Sun goes next from January 20 to February 18.
- Finally, the Sun enters Mutable Pisces to round out the year from February 19 to March 20.
See how that’s a cycle? Once you begin to understand how important cycles are in astrology, things begin to become easier to understand and it all begins to fall into place.
Are The Astrology Sun Sign Dates Always The Same?
So — the fact that this is based on the seasons and the earth’s tilt means that the Sun Zodiac Sign dates can vary a little from year to year as years are not exactly 365 days. This is a great rule of thumb to determine which Sun Sign Horoscope you should read. If you are born on the day that the Sun leaves one Sign and enters another, you should have a natal chart done with your exact time and place of birth to determine which Sign the Sun was in at the moment and place you were born to determine which horoscope is right for you — along with a lot of other cool information, too.
I ought to mention, I’m using the word “seasons” to simplify — but I use the months above to describe them rather than Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter because those in the Southern Hemisphere are not celebrating the same season as those of us in the North. It is often asked by friends down under:
“It isn’t Spring here in March, so why am I the same Sign as someone in the North?”
The astronomical equinoxes and solstices still exist, regardless of where you live and which way the Earth is tilting. It really isn’t about Spring or Fall, but rather the relationship between the Sun and the Earth’s little tilt.
You can also read your Sign descriptions and get your Daily Horoscope here on Soulvibe, too!