Your Zodiac Sign, Explained: What It Means for Your Personality and Who You're Compatible With

Your zodiac sign is “you at your core,” according to astrologer Gogo Akopyan

<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p>

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Your zodiac sign can tell you a lot about your personality, from what you need to shine your brightest to how you go after your goals.

Determined by the constellation the sun was positioned in when you were born, your zodiac sign — also called your sun sign — is considered the main piece in your birth chart and the one most closely connected to how you behave.

“It’s you at your core,” says California-based astrologer Gogo Akopyan of Lilith on Top Astrology, who has been practicing for more than 11 years. “It’s working in the background always.”

Related: The Ultimate 2024 Horoscope Prediction Guide, According to Celebrity Astrologer Kyle Thomas

Your zodiac sign may also give you some insight into your love life. Los Angeles-based astrologer and author Chani Nicholas warns against choosing a partner based on sun sign compatibility, however, saying that it’s not an accurate way to determine whether or not you’ll click with someone.

“You have to look at [each] person’s whole entire chart,” she tells PEOPLE, which includes their moon and rising signs too.

Still, she notes that the element that your sign corresponds to — Earth, Air, Fire and Water — may hold a clue as to the sign you might click with most strongly.

As Akopyan and Nicholas both note, your zodiac sign isn’t the deciding factor for your personality: your sun sign is merely “one fraction of many different things” that an astrologer might look at when doing a reading.

Keep reading to find out more about the 12 zodiac signs, including the birth dates for each one, their personality traits and their potential compatibility with other signs.


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Aires Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Aires Constellation.

Dates: March 21 to April 19


Think of Aries as the “doers” of the zodiac. “Aries people are here to initiate action,” Nicholas tells PEOPLE. Because of this, she says those born under this sign tend to act with urgency.

“People with the sun in Aries will shine when they take appropriate risks that help them to grow,” she says. “They need a challenge to dig into and they will always be pushing the envelope.”

Related: What Are the Personality Traits of an Aries? A Complete Guide to the Zodiac Sign

Emotionally, Akopyan says that Aries signs are ruled by Mars, the Roman god of war and agriculture, a fact that may lend itself to the fiery nature of this zodiac. “They’re the red planet, so they can be temperamental ... but usually, when they do erupt, it’s pretty quick, and they get over it just as quickly as it began,” she says.

Akopyan points out that those with Aries signs may also be athletically inclined. “They like to be in movement,” she says.


Since Aries falls under the element of Fire, Nicholas says they may go well with the Air signs of Gemini, Libra or Aquarius.

Related: Here’s How Compatible Aries Is with Each Zodiac

These signs not only balance out their fiery temperaments, according to Akopyan, but work to keep the risk-taking Aries on their toes.

“Air is intellectualism, so they stimulate their minds, but they’re also lighthearted in nature,” she explains, adding, “The highest ... marriage rate compatibility for an Aries would be an Aquarius.”


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Taurus Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Taurus Constellation.

Dates: April 20 to May 20


According to Nicholas, those in the sign of Taurus are characterized as “being productive, being steady, being generally focused on things that are pleasing [and] sharing the sweet and simple pleasures of life.”

In their relationships, Akopyan says the Taurus is “loyal to a fault,” though they may be seen as shallow due to what she calls their “need for security.” Akopyan attributes this to the fact that Taurus is ruled over by the second house, which relates to finances.

Related: Which Sex and the City Character You Are, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

Houses represent where the sun, moon and the planets were in the sky when you were born and “set the stage” for your astrological chart, according to Akopyan. What’s more, she says each sign will bring out themes that accompany each house.

“Money is very practical [and] they’re super practical people,” she says of those born under Taurus.


As Nicholas explains, the Earth sign of Taurus may find their perfect match in a Water sign (Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces).

Akopyan points out that a Taurus, who is ruled by the planet of Venus, may also be intrigued by an Aries. “It’s because in mythology, Venus [had a relationship with] Mars, and Mars rules over Aries,” she explains.

Taurus may also find themselves attracted to an Aquarius, but that love may be unrequited. “[Taurus is] probably the most conservative sign,” she says. “if you’re more of ... a progressive sort of sign, like Aquarius, you’re not gonna like that.”


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Gemini Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Gemini Constellation.

Dates: May 21 to June 20


“Gemini shine through being able to exchange interesting tidbits, through conversing, communicating [and] writing,” Nicholas tells PEOPLE. She adds: “[They] need a lot of variety in their days and in their life. They need to follow their [curiosity].”

As with the other signs, Akopyan points to Gemini's ruling planet to shed light on their standout traits. “They’re ruled by Mercury, the god of communication, so it’s very important for them to communicate [and] to have an outlet for communication,” she says.

Related: Which Taylor Swift Era You Are, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

It should come as no surprise that this talkative sign also loves going out. “They’re social creatures, they’re social butterflies, they like to meet new people,” Akopyan shares.

They’re also gifted when it comes to adapting to new environments. Represented by twins, which can sometimes be misinterpreted as having “two faces,” Gemini “can change their personality type based on who they’re talking to,” says Akopyan. “Their ability to relate to anybody is just exceptional. ... They can wear many masks.”


According to Akopyan, the Air sign of Gemini is “one of the most noncommittal signs in astrology” because they tend to bore easily. The signs that will keep them on their toes may include their Fire counterpart of Aries, per Nicholas, but also other Geminis.

“That’s the one sign that can date their sign effortlessly,” Akopyan says. “They’re ... the twin, in search of the twin — that’s when that comes in.”

Given their sociability and need for communication, Gemini may also connect with a partner-driven Libra. “They get married to Libras,” Akopyan tells PEOPLE.


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Cancer Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Cancer Constellation.

Dates: June 21 to July 22


Cancers are the nurturers of the zodiac, according to Nicholas. “Cancer shine when they can care for and nurture ... [the people in their life],” she says. “They need to find a place in the world where that is valued.”

Ruled by the moon, which changes quickly and has different phases, Akopyan says Cancers “can come off very emotional — moody, even.”

Related: What the Year of the Dragon Means for You, According to Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

Don’t mistake this sign for a pushover, however: “People tend to underestimate them because they’re so sensitive, but then the crab legs come out,” she says. “They can be a very passionate people.”


Earthy Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn may be compatible with Cancer signs, per Nicholas.

Akopyan suggests that the fellow water sign of Pisces might make a better match. “Pisces would be a really good match for a Cancer,” she tells PEOPLE. “They’re both water signs, they’re both emotional, they’re able to both be there for each other.”


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Leo Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Leo Constellation.

Dates: July 23 to August 22


Per Nicholas, Leos “lead and shine when they find places in their world [that] they can demonstrate their confidence, pull focus and get attention for being themselves.”

As she points out, the Leo sign is “one of the strongest places the sun can be in besides Aries. [Leo] needs to be a bold, confident leader.”

Like the luminary sun that rules them, Akopyan says Leos “crave that sunlight." She adds, "When they walk in a room, [they tend to] be that sunlight for people, and they radiate this … sunny disposition."

According to Akopyan, Leos are one of the more creative signs of the zodiac. “They’re very theatrical and passionate and dramatic, so they really do well in ... theater arts and acting, where they can let these passions fly.”


The Fire sign of Leo could go for the Air signs of Gemini, Libra or Aquarius, based on Nicholas’ analysis of the elements’ compatibilities, particularly with regard to the latter sign, which Akopyan says can fan Leo’s fiery flames.

They also have a surprising match in the other Fire signs of Aries and Sagittarius. “Fire signs are different. They like to ignite the fire and they need that sort of ignition from another Fire sign,” she shares.


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Virgo Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Virgo Constellation.

Dates: August 23 to September 22


Nicholas says that Virgos shine “when they are working at developing their skills and applying those skills toward being useful in the world." She explains, “They [excel] at understanding why a system functions, how it functions and how to work with it efficiently."

According to the You Were Born For This author, Virgos are “phenomenally hard-working people.” Nicholas adds, “They make hard work look easy."

A grounded Earth sign, “Virgos have this exceptional ability to focus and hone in on ... any craft they’re doing,” Akopyan explains. “They’re super successful, super strategic [and] very routine-oriented."


Nicholas says a Virgo might be a good match for a watery Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces, though they may initially be attracted to those in need of more personal growth. “They’re a service sign ... so they tend to go for people who need fixing,” Akopyan says.

The Californian spiritual guide has also seen successful Virgo/Taurus pairings in her practice. “I’ve seen them with Taurus for long periods of time, because they share the same Earth element and they’re very similar in that sense,” she shares. "They go after their goals, they’re very successful and practical.”


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Libra Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Libra Constellation.

Dates: September 23 to October 22


Unlike the other signs, Nicholas says that Libras “struggle to sometimes shine on their own.” That’s because the romantic Libra is hyper-focused on relationships.

“[They] genuinely find [a sense] of self ... being a partner, through being a friend, [a romantic] partner, [or a business partner],” Nicholas explains. “[They are] always looking to balance the situation [and] be in balance with other people.”

Related: What Is a Libra? The Dates, Personality Traits and Compatibilities of the Zodiac Sign

While this makes them great harmonists, Nicholas says it can be tough for Libras to get out from under their “people-pleasing habit.” That said, she calls Libra “one of the most charming, likable, pleasant sun signs out there.”

As both Nicholas and Akopyan point out, Libras are also great lovers of beauty and art, which is no surprise when considering that the sign is also ruled by the planet Venus, which rules the arts. “Libra is another very creative sign because of this,” Akopyan says.


Libras crave relationships and may be generally drawn to the Fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, based on the elements Nicholas cites.

Akopyan says that as such great lovers of beauty and companionship, some Libras may struggle to choose just one partner. “They have love to give to everybody,” she says.

Intellectually, she says, “they go for Geminis and Aquarius” — two signs that share their mental capacity.


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Scorpio Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Scorpio Constellation.

Dates: October 23 to November 21


Nicholas states that Scorpios “shine [by] being mystical and intense and focused and determined. These are folks that are silent warriors." Oftentimes, they may be in a state of change. “It’s really important for them to go through the necessary self-transformations their life will bring them through,” Nicholas cautions.

Ruled by Pluto, which Akopyan points out is the furthest planet from the sun, the shadowy Scorpio may be more guarded than other signs of the zodiac.

“They’re able to tap into the dark recesses of the mind more easily than others,” Akopyan says, adding, “That also makes them very secretive in nature.”


Though Earthy Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are billed as top partners for the water sign of Scorpio, Akopyan says this sign in particular loves a good chase. And much like Pluto, the ruling god of the underworld, “They don’t take no for an answer” once they’ve set their sights on a target.

Related: Scorpio Compatibility: How the Water Sign Pairs with Each Zodiac

“They have that [Pluto-like] obsessive quality to them that could be entrancing and magnetic to the partners,” she notes.


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Sagittarius Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Sagittarius Constellation.

Dates: November 22 to December 21


Hailed as “the nomads of the zodiac” by Akopyan, the wandering Sagittarius sign can be a hard one to control. “[It’s] like trying to corral a goldfish,” Nicholas says in agreement.

These outgoing adventurers tend to move with whatever inspires them. “They need to explore, they need freedom,” Nicholas elaborates. “They’re generally really interested in [big, huge, philosophical] questions, [like] ‘What is the meaning of life?’ ”

Avid fans of travel, fantasy and spirituality, Akopyan says the Sagittarius is a refined, philosophical type — something that fits right in with their ninth ruling house of higher knowledge.


A fire sign like the Sagittarius needs to be regularly stimulated. Air elements, like Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, are most apt to provide this, per Nicholas.

According to Akopyan, it also helps that Geminis are extremely similar in nature to Sagittarius. “I see that a lot in my practice, Geminis and Sagittarius partners,” she says. “It’s like they like dating themselves. ... Both signs will keep each other stimulated and energized. They [also] like to travel together.”

In addition, she says Sagittarius signs may find luck with Aries matches. “Sagittarius are the one other sign that likes to fight and argue as a ... means of avoiding boredom in the relationship,” she explains. “I think Aries provides that very effortlessly for them.”


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Capricorn Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Capricorn Constellation.

Dates: December 22 to January 19


According to Nicholas, Capricorn is known for being really hard-working. “[They’re really goal-oriented,” she says. “[They’re] also known for being highly productive.”

Still, Nicholas says, “[there’s] quite a mystical quality to this sun sign.” After all, as she points out, the symbol for the Capricorn is a half goat, half fish creature. “The goat in the Capricorn will climb to the highest peaks of the mountain, while the fish will swim to the deepest depths of the sea. Integrity is the key [for folks with this sun sign],” she tells PEOPLE.

“From a young age, they just naturally take on responsibility,” Akopyan says of the Capricorn. “They’re very practical in nature.”


As for their mates, Akopyan says Capricorns need a partner who can keep up with — or at the very least, tolerate — their schedules. “They’re workaholics, so they like a partner that’s kind of similar to them,” she says.

Related: Capricorn Compatibility: How the Earth Sign Pairs with Each Zodiac

Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are their corresponding water signs, but according to Akopyan, Capricorns will sometimes avoid a water-based sign, deeming them too “emotional.”

“They like a straightforward partner, very practical, very down to earth,” she says. “Scorpio is an exception, because Scorpio’s ruler is Mars, so Scorpio isn’t as sappy as the Pisces and Cancer.”


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Aquarius Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Aquarius Constellation.

Dates: January 20 to February 18


“The Aquarius is focused on the group,” says Nicholas. “[They’re] really good at ... being on the outskirts of society, so they can look in and understand the system and how everything is operating and how that impacts [others]. They’re really good at shining light on the whole and the collective.”

While she notes that they “can be a little remote,” they’re also “incredibly intelligent people.”

Akopyan adds, “They’re more collective-based, they’re more humanitarian-based, so they’ll help the community versus closer relationships. They see the bigger picture moreso. A lot of them work in social work.”

According to Akopyan, the intellectual Aquarius is also quite humorous. “Because they’re ruled by Uranus, they have this eccentricity about them, and they have this very keen sense of humor. It’s unmatched with the other signs, so they’re probably the funniest sign of the zodiac,” she says.


Going off of the elements, a good match for an Aquarius would be an Aries, Leo or Sagittarius. “[Sagittarius is] also intellectually and philosophically based, and so they make a really good match with Aquarius,” Akopyan says.

Related: Aquarius Compatibility: How the Air Sign Pairs with Each Zodiac

She believes that fellow Air signs Gemini and Libra might be even better partners. “Geminis are perfect for them,” she tells PEOPLE.


<p>Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE</p> Pisces Constellation.

Chloe Jeong/PEOPLE

Pisces Constellation.

Dates: February 19 to March 20


As Nicholas explains, “Pisces shine by being poetic, altruistic, compassionate — they need to extend themselves out to others. ... I call them [the] Florence Nightingale of the zodiac,” she says. “[They are] the person [who] will take in every stray cat and goldfish ... and want to nurture. [They have] great empathy for suffering.”

Related: What Is a Pisces? The Dates, Personality Traits and Compatibilities of the Zodiac Sign

Ruled by Neptune, which governs dreams, Akopyan says that Pisces is “very emotional [and] sensitive in nature. They can tap into their imagination very easily,” she adds.


“I would say the most romantic sign of all is Pisces,” Akopyan says, noting that they’re even more romantic than the Venus-ruled signs of Taurus and Libra.

Related: Pisces Compatibility: How the Water Sign Pairs with Each Zodiac

As such, they’ll find themselves in harmony with a nurturing partner, like a Cancer, though their element would suggest an Earth-based sign that will complement their water, such as the Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn.

”They need someone gentle,” Akopyan stresses. “Fire signs are too brash for them.”

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