We all know about zodiac signs and how they correspond to our birthdates. But did you know that the zodiac system we know and use today originated from early astronomers tracking the movement of the sun?
It all started in Babylon, the capital of Mesopotamia (roughly where modern-day Iraq is). In the 1st millennium BC, Babylon was home to the Babylonians. This thriving civilization was renowned for their advancements in various fields, including literature, mathematics, and astronomy.
The Babylonians were skilled observers of the night sky, and were fascinated with its movement. They discovered that the moon had 12 complete cycles, or phases, and that the pattern would repeat after about 12 months. This was the basis of their yearly calendar, which is very similar to the one we still use today.
As they studied the moon's phases, the Babylonians also noted that patterns of stars would shift ever-so-gradually each night. This is caused by the Earth's orbit around our sun; constellations appear to move from east to west, essentially moving opposite of earth's rotation.
Did you know that the Earth orbits the sun in an almost perfect circle? The name for this is called "the ecliptic" or ecliptic plane. In basic terms, this is the projection of the earth's orbit on the sky. If we could see the stars in the daytime, we would actually see the sun crossing in front of them! How cool is that?
We now know the Earth orbits the sun in an almost perfect circle. A full circle is 360 degrees. There are 365 days in a year, so we can estimate that the sun moves about one degree in the sky every day. After discovering this, the Babylonians divided the sky into 30-degree sections, roughly translating to how far the sun moves in 30 days (aproximately one month).
If we divide 365 by 30, we get 12. See where this is going? The Babylonians named each of these 12 sky sections after the constellation that was most visible in that slice of pie, er, sky.
From there, the zodiac system as we know it today took shape. As our busy Babylonians were developing this star system, word of this concept began circulating worldwide, and it took hold most prominently in ancient Greece. Their names for the 12 constellations remain today!
Capricorn: Determined, resourceful, resilient
Aquarius: Creative, intelligent, progressive
Pisces: Intuitive, compassionate, adaptable
Aries: Independent, energetic, motivated
Taurus: Passionate, honest, steadfast
Gemini: Playful, social, quick-witted
Cancer: Selfless, nurturing, trustworthy
Leo: Bold, charismatic, big-hearted
Virgo: Thoughtful, problem-solver, loyal
Libra: Genuine, expressive, caring
Scorpio: Courageous, protective, hard-working
Sagittarius: Open-minded, direct, fun-loving
Each of our zodiac pendant charms are created one-by-one; hand textured with our stardust texture and hand-stamped with shimmering stars. Each one is completely one-of-a-kind, and made just for you. Zodiac signs offer a way to connect with others and form meaningful bonds. They provide a common language and shared understanding, allowing us to celebrate our similarities and appreciate our differences.
No matter if you're seeking a piece of jewelry that reflects your own zodiac sign or looking for a meaningful gift for someone special, our zodiac pendants are always the perfect fit. Grab your bestie and find your signs at any one of our upcoming shows!
The English word "zodiac" derives from the Latin "zōdiacus", which comes from the Ancient Greek term "zōdiakòs kýklos" meaning "cycle or circle of little animals".
Is that not the cutest? Tell us your "little animal" sign in the comments!