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Zodiac Signs and Greek Mythology

Every symbol has a story and this is true for the different signs of the zodiac as well. Who could have thought that the symbol of the mountain goat that represents Capricorn is actually not completely a goat but partly fish and partly goat or that the fishes that represent Pisces are actually the Greek gods of love Eros and Aphrodite.

Read on to know more about these fascinating tales behind the symbol of each zodiac sign.

The golden ram which represents the first sign of the zodiac Aries is believed to be given by Nephele to Phrixus and Helle to save them from Greek goddess Hera. While Helle fell on the way and died, Nephele was able to successfully reach his destination. On reaching there, the ram was sacrificed to Zeus who placed it in the constellation.

The bull, which represents the sign Taurus, was actually Zeus, the ancient Greek God in disguise who fathered three children with Europe who he helped cross the sea while in his nonhuman avatar.

The twins symbolizing the Gemini sun sign are actually Castor and Polydeuces. Although out of the two, only Polydeuces is divine, both of them had grown quite close to each other and came to be known as the twins representing the Gemini sun sign.

A huge crab was sent by Hera to kill Hercules during his second labour to kill Lernaean Hydra, a large water snake. Though the crab eventually died, Hera in recognition of its efforts set him amongst the stars and since then it has been known as the sun sign Cancer.

Zeus had put the famous Lion that Hercules killed and skinned to wear as armor that could not be penetrated by any weapon, in the sky as a constellation, now popularly known as Leo.

Virgo, known as the sign of the Virgin, has its origins in the Greek myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone who was abducted by Hades, God of the underworld. Persephone was known for her innocence and good character and is believed to be responsible for the different seasons.

Scales, the Libran symbol is linked with the Greek God Dike who was famous for serving justice through retribution. Prior to that, there was no sign separating Virgo and Scorpio.

Gaia, is the personification of Earth in ancient Greek mythology. She sent a Scorpio to kill Orion who had become too boastful of his might and beauty. Upon accomplishing the task set out for it, Gaia placed the Scorpio in the sky as a gesture for its courage and heroism and later came to be known as the Scorpio sun sign.

Centaur, represents Sagittarius, and is a half human and half horse creature.  Cheiron was the most famous king of the centaurs and is believed to be the wisest and able of them all. The symbol of the Sagittarius was made to pay homage to him.

Partly goat and partly fish, the symbol for the 10th sign of the zodiac, Capricorn is believed to be Pan, ancient Greek God of not a very good character. He is usually portrayed as a human with tails and horns of a goat. While trying to escape Typhon, the god of winds, he fell into the river Nile and the lower part of his body developed fins while the upper took the form of a goat.

The water bearer in the Aquarius symbol is believed to be Ganymedes, who Zeus had assigned the task of being the cup bearer of the gods which infuriated Hebe, who was previously assigned the task. Zeus took offence and set Ganymedes in the sky as a constellation.

The fishes in the symbol of Pisces are love gods Eros and Aphrodite who turned themselves into fishes in order to escape Typhon, the God of strong winds.

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