You've heard that Capricorns are cut-throat social climbers, Virgos are obsessive-compulsive neat freaks, and Libras can't make a decision to save their life. Where do these stereotypes come from, and what's the real meaning behind the zodiac signs' stereotypes?
Each one of us is way more complex than just our Sun sign, but that doesn't stop people from typecasting us! Here's what people assume about you and why...
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Stereotype: Impatient and impulsive, the Ram jumps head-first into whatever seizes their attention in the moment -- often hurting themselves or someone else in the process.
Source: As the first sign of the zodiac, Aries is here to get the party started. They serve as the catalysts and instigators, inspiring others into action. Aries is supposed to be constantly starting new things and taking risks -- that's how they develop courage, find out who they are, and discover their inner warrior. As they get older, Rams are more likely to settle down and stick with a plan long-term, but to stay youthful and energized, they still sometimes need to play the fool and leap into the unknown.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Stereotype: The stubborn, bull-headed Bull gets stuck in a rut and can't be swayed.
Source: The higher side of stubbornness is persistence, endurance, and stamina -- all of which Taurus has in spades. The maintainers and builders of the zodiac, they're slow getting started, but once they've set a plan into motion, there's no stopping them. Yes, a little flexibility and change are sometimes in order, and the Bull can benefit from taking in other people's recommended adjustments, but when you need to get something done, be grateful for their perseverance!
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Stereotype: The Twins confound you with their multiple personalities and constantly changing version of "the truth."
Source: The most inquisitive sign of the zodiac, Gemini's function is to explore different ways of thinking and being in the world. Ruled by mercurial Mercury, these chameleons can adapt to any situation and connect with anyone, no matter how different from themselves. They offer a variety of perspectives, recognizing that "the truth" depends on where you're standing. But underneath all those personalities and opinions, there is a real person with their own beliefs -- you just have to be persistent in pinning them down.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Stereotype: The Crab is moody and hyper-sensitive -- why do they have to take everything so personally?
Source: Ruled by the ever-changing Moon, Cancer is here to flow with the tides. The emotional realm is often misunderstood and undervalued, but the Crab is charged with the important job of feeling it all -- the highs, lows, and everything in between. Just as the Moon visibly changes every day, Cancer's emotions follow this same cycle. It's true that they can sometimes get stuck in wallowing, but they need to be feeling deeply, so pass the tissues and accept their waves of emotion -- it's sure to change soon!
Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Stereotype: Proud and egocentric, the Lion is a self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing show-off.
Source: Ruled by the Sun, the center of the solar system, Leo possesses the appropriate desire to shine brightly and be recognized and appreciated for radiating light and warmth. But Leo also rules the heart, and the truth is that Leo is also one of the most generous and giving signs ... when they express themselves from the heart. There's a fine line here, but many Leos are able to walk it beautifully, while the less evolved Lions sometimes need a reminder to share the spotlight!
Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
Stereotype: Compulsively clean, Virgo keeps her home in perfect order at all times and freaks out at the slightest speck of dust.
Source: Virgo is the servant in Astrology, charged with creating order out of chaos and cleaning up the other zodiac signs' messes. But you just have to drop in on your Virgo friend to discover that they are not, in fact, always neat and tidy -- and some are real slobs! The point of the Virgin's purity is not to drive everyone crazy but to simplify and eliminate the excess in order to get to the essence of what is truly important. Virgo's world doesn't have to be spotless, just organized enough for efficient functioning.
Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Stereotype: Will they ever make up their minds? Wishy-washy Libras drive you crazy with their inability to commit.
Source: Libra is represented by scales -- they're here to weigh all the options and make choices that result in maximum balance, harmony, and justice. This takes time! Of course, there's a point when Libra needs to commit to a course of action. Most of them eventually get there, but aren't you glad that someone is considering all the points of view and potential impact on everyone involved? You know that when they do finally commit, they're likely to stick with their decision.
Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Stereotype: They're too intense! Can't they just take a chill pill and lighten up?
Source: As the sign associated with sex, death, and the underworld, Scorpio is here to delve beneath the surface of life, discover what is hidden, and bring to light what the other astrological signs are too afraid to acknowledge. The ultimate purpose of all that intensity is healing and transformation at the deepest level. They might need a reminder to look on the bright side from time to time, but if you want superficiality and frivolity, look to another sign!
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
Stereotype: The flighty Archer is always ready to jump on the next plane to anywhere if things get too "heavy."
Source: Sagittarius is the adventurer of the zodiac, here to expand beyond limits and borders and explore unknown territory. Travel equals freedom in the mind of many a Sag. Sometimes they forget that they're responsible for creating a sense of freedom from within and can use a reminder that "wherever you go, there you are." As long as they're finding some way to indulge their adventurous spirit, there are plenty of Archers who settle down and stay in one place or with one partner.
Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Stereotype: Ruthlessly ambitious social climbers, Capricorns will step on anyone who gets in the way of their ascent to the top.
Source: Instead of the Mountain Goat, Capricorn was originally represented by the Sea Goat, with the front body of a goat and the tail of a fish. Water represents consciousness and mysticism, signaling that, contrary to popular stereotypes, Capricorn is actually a deeply spiritual sign -- or at least has the potential to be. Although some Goats seem to only be concerned with getting to the top, they do have a profound inner life, and many devote themselves to the mystical path, especially later in life.
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
Stereotype: Cold, detached, and hyper-rational, these walking computers are devoid of human emotions.
Source: Aquarius is the sign of the humanitarian, but oddly is often accused of not liking other humans ... or of not being human themselves. Like all Air signs, Water-bearers do tend to rationalize their feelings and are generally uncomfortable with messy emotional displays. But that doesn't mean they don't feel deeply or that they're not sensitive to other people's feelings. Just observe an Aquarian mom with her kids, and you'll see the other side of this stereotype.
Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
Stereotype: The Fish is escapist and spaced-out -- and often found downing one too many at the local bar.
Source: Pisces is on assignment to transcend everyday reality. Their job is to communicate with the imagination and unconscious and report back what they've discovered. Often when they appear not to be doing anything "useful," they're actually serving their higher purpose. Because of their sensitivity to others' thoughts and emotions, they need lots of rest and retreat time. Consciously traveling to parallel universes -- with a spiritual practice or creative outlet -- helps them avoid falling into escapist habits.
While you may sometimes embody what most people think of when it comes to your sign, that's not always the case. This is why it's important to look at all of the placements in your astrology birth chart if you want to get a true picture of what makes you -- or someone you know -- tick.