Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z Challenge -- Z -- PLANTS, ANIMALS, AND STARS. OH MY!

ZODIAC -- There are many different zodiacs out there.  The Western one we are familiar with.  Gemini, Capricorn, Virgo, etc. There are also the Chinese, Celtic, and others.

The origins of Western Astrology come from the ancient Babylonian and Mesopotamian as well as Sumerian and Egyptian, but here are the mythological origins from the Greek.  Aries -- Ram of the Golden Fleece, Taurus -- Europa's ravishment by Zeus, Gemini -- the twins Castor and Pollux, Cancer -- Hera's giant crab sent to attack Hercules during the battle with the Hydra, Leo -- the Nemean Lion, Virgo -- goddess of purity and innocence, Astraea.  Last to return to the heavens when Pandora opened the box and is associated with Dike goddess of justice, Libra -- scales of Themis, goddess of divine justice, Scorpio -- the scorpion that killed Orion, Sagittarius -- Chiron the centaur, Capricorn -- goat Amalthea who fed the infant Zeus or Pan, Aquarius -- Ganymede, Pisces -- Aphrodite and Eros escaping Typhon.

There are different versions of why the Chinese Zodiac (sheng xiao) animals are in the order that they are.  Most have the a competition that a heavenly being (be it the Jade Emperor, Yellow Emperor, etc.) has ordered. The race would decide the order.  The cat and the rat were friends, and it ends up somehow the cat was left out of the race by some means by the rat, albeit on purpose or not.  So once good friends are eternal enemies.  You can go HERE or HERE or even Wikipedia even to read.  Also the animals change with the different countries.  In different Asian countries, some of the animals are altered slightly, but on the whole they are similar.

The Celtic one is fairly new.  The ancient Celtic calender was more fluid, using the lunar cycle as a guide. It is also probable they were not named for trees or animals.  Most likely they were named for the quadrants.  Samhain, "Summer's End", would be an example.

So here is a brief rundown of signs and their months/years.


Capricorn  -- The Goat - Dec. 22–Jan. 19                             
Aquarius -- The Water Bearer - Jan. 20–Feb. 18
Pisces -- The Fishes - Feb. 19–Mar. 20
Aries -- The Ram - Mar. 21–Apr. 19
Taurus -- The Bull - Apr. 20–May 20
Gemini -- The Twins -May 21–June 21
Cancer -- The Crab - June 22–July 22
 Leo -- The Lion - July 23–Aug. 22
Virgo -- The Virgin -Aug. 23–Sept. 22
Libra -- The Balance - Sept. 23–Oct. 23
Scorpio -- The Scorpion - Oct. 24–Nov. 21
Sagittarius -- The Archer - Nov. 22–Dec. 21


Zi – Rat – 1936, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, 2008, 20
Chou – Ox – 1937, 49, 61, 73, 85, 97, 2009, 21
Yin – Tiger -- 1938, 50, 62, 74, 86, 98, 2010, 22
Mao-- Rabbit -- 1939, 51, 63, 75, 87, 99, 2011, 23
Chen – Dragon -- 1940, 52, 64, 76, 88, 2000, 12, 24
Si – Snake -- 1941, 53, 65, 77, 89, 2001, 13, 25
Wu -- Horse -- 1942, 54, 66, 78, 90, 2002, 14, 26
Wei – Sheep -- 1943, 55, 67, 79, 91, 2003, 15, 27
Shen – Monkey -- 1944, 56, 68, 80, 92, 2004, 16, 28
You – Rooster -- 1945, 57, 69, 81, 93, 2005, 17, 29
Xu – Dog -- 1946, 58, 70, 82, 94, 2006, 18, 30
Hai – Pig -- 1947, 59, 71, 83, 95, 2007, 19, 31


Beth – Birch – Dec. 24 to Jan. 20
Luis -- Rowan – Jan. 21 to Feb. 17
Nion -- Ash – Feb. 18 to Mar. 17 
Fearn -- Alder - Mar. 18 to Apr. 14 
Saille – Willow – Apr. 15 to May 12
Uath -- Hawthorn - May 13 to June 9 
Duir – Oak - June 10 to July 7
Tinne – Holly - July 8 to Aug.4
Coll – Hazel – Aug. 5 to Sept. 1
Muin – Vine- Sept. 2 to Sept. 29
Gort --Ivy - Sept. 30 to Oct. 27
Ngetal -- Reed – Oct.28 to Nov. 24
Ruis -- Elder –Nov. 25 to Dec. 22

Disclaimer: None of these pictures belong to me.  I found them on Google.


  1. I didn't realise there was a Celtic zodiac, most interesting - thank you :). Also thanks for all the interesting and informative posts this month - it's been a great AtoZ.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    1. yep, but it's really new in comparison to the others.

      thank you for stopping by all month!

  2. I've always thought the zodiac signs were so cool. I love that mine is the archer.

    Congrats on making it to the end of the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

    1. Me too!

      Thanks for stopping by. Loved yours and congrats on finishing!

  3. Hi there - Great post. I'm a Leo, but my personality has never really matched it. :)
    BTW, I'm dropping in from a shout out to your blog from Rosie Amber's blog
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

    1. thank you for stopping by! Rosie posted a comment and told me.

  4. I am a Capricorn, a Birch, and an Ox (I just slipped into the end of that one, since Chinese New Year is later than ours, and I was always angry because I'm an ox and not a tiger... Of course my little sis is a dragon... Pfft). I love zodiacs not as much because I believe in them, but because I LOVE star stories, and well, they are related :)
    I really enjoyed your theme this year, and thank your for all the visits! Congrats on completing the challenge! Reflection linky will be up on Monday on the main blog :)

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

    1. I'm a Gemini, purple serpent, and the oak.

      Me too. I like the stories attached as well. My personal favorite is the snake since it's apropos. One of my many nicknames as a kid was jake the snake! Sorta going with the American wrestler from the 80s.

  5. It's fun to look at those and find the similarities, and see if they are at all like our personalities.
    Congrats on completing the challenge!
    Play off the Page

    1. It would be, but I was more interested in the histories and meanings than comparing.

      Thank You! And congrats to you too!

  6. I didn't know there was a Celtic zodiac. I'm Ngetal.
    Congratulations on finishing the challenge.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

    1. It's lesser known than the others because it is so new in comparison.

  7. I've always been intrigued by the Zodiac signs. Even though they're not supposed to mean much, the description of Gemini suits me pretty well, down to the careers I've chosen.

    1. The stories behind them are more interesting. The Chinese one is a great story. I watched an anime that took the story and created a cursed family. It even included the cat. It's called fruits basket.

  8. I didn't know about the Celtic zodiac! I am Ivy! My Irish family members will be very interested to see the symbols.
    Congratulations on finishing the challenge!

    1. This one is realise ly a baby and isn't from ancient times. But I thought to include it because some people use it or the animal version of it.

  9. I had no idea I was born under the Ivy symbol in the Celtic calendar (Gort haha! If I ever get a turtle, that's what I'm naming him). That's in addition to being a Dragon in the Chinese calender, and being a goddess' instrument of divine justice for the Greek. All in all, I'm pleased. I'll try not to let it go to my head.

    Great post. I've often wondered where the zodiac (Greek) symbols originated, and now I know. Woot!

    I really enjoyed your posts, Djinnia. Thanks for a great month and congratulations on surviving the challenge! :D

    1. Every time I see gorgeous I think of day the earth stood still. Got was freaking awesome in the b&w version.

      Thank you for stopping by and congrats too! Loved your posts so much.

  10. I don't know much about the zodiac, as my Z-Day poetry post on my Nickers and Ink site indicates. But this post of yours provides interesting comparisons.
    Congratulations on completing the A to Z challenge for 2015.
    We made it! (I did 5 blogs this year for the series - all on different topics. Whew.)
    Thanks for stopping by at
    The Mane Point: A Haven for Horse Lovers . Hope you will visit again.

  11. So that's why there's no Year of the Cat. Fascinating posts this month, I learnt a ton. Congrats on finishing!

  12. This is incredibly informative! WOW. Who knew about the Celtic? So cool.