The Zodiac is "an imaginary broad belt in the heavens, containing twelve constellations or signs which the Sun traverses annually." And a "constellation" is a group or cluster of fixed stars designated by some name . (Webster)
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia ("Zodiac") the findings of the ancient astronomer Hipparchus (160-125 B.C.) concerning the position of the constellations, in the cases of "those which bore the same name, coincided approximately with the signs according to Talmudic tradition." In the case of the "choice of symbolic signs ... All may be traced to Assyrian mythology and influence. The Jews during the Babylonian exile adopted . Assyrian names of the months and constellations."
To continue this Jewish Encyclopedia account:
Since each of the planets was supposed to rule a certain hour of the day, while every constellation governed a certain month of the year, the fate of an infant was predicted according to the heavenly bodies that presided over the hour and the month of its birth. The conjunction of the planets and constellations was accordingly manipulated to determine the fortunes of the person whose horoscope was thus drawn. A good planet might synchronize with a bad constellation to some extent. Both planets and constellations indicated certain characteristics in the person born at that time, and care had likewise to be taken to marry only such a mate as had been born under a harmonizing planet and constellation, since otherwise the marriage would be a failure.
Supposedly, the sun enters the section called: Aries about March
21; Taurus, about April 21; Gemini, about May 22; Cancer, about June 22; Leo, about July 23; Virgo, about August 24; Libra, about September 24, Scorpio, about October 24, Sagitarius, about November 23; Capricorn, about December 22, Aquarius about January 20; Pices, about February 19.
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