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Astrological Signs and Names

Name Dropping

Everyone has more than one astrological sign, as there are two different forms of astrology – Western, or occidental, and Eastern, or Chinese. Occidental astrology is the method we're most familiar with and is related to the month of birth. Oriental astrology is based on signs related to the year of birth. If astrology has you intrigued, you may want to learn more about each form as they both can yield different clues to your child's future as well as the name you choose.

People have always looked toward the heavens for clues to what may be happening around them, and it stands to reason that the stars have also influenced the giving of names throughout the centuries. Many cultures have believed, and some still do, that names based on the positions of the planets and stars at birth carry great luck and would forever place their bearers in harmony with the universe. Astrologers then and now have often been employed to help parents select favorable names, recommending monikers based on a sign of the zodiac or related to the celestial elements that govern the sign.

In China, astrologers are often used to determine the influence of the basic elements – earth, fire, air, water, metal, and wood – that are related to the planets that are in place at a child's birth. These astrologers cast a horoscope on the third day after the baby's birth and look for a balance of these elements. If the elements are out of balance, they may recommend a name that will align them more favorably for the child.

Star Gazing

Alphabet Soup

A natal chart is an astrological chart that shows where the planets were located at an individual's birth.

Since you probably haven't had your baby yet, it would be impossible to predict all of the elements that would be in place on the day of his or her birth. Frankly, if you have a strong belief in such matters, you'd be better off consulting with an astrologer who can draw up a natal chart after your baby's birth.

But since you do have a general idea of when your baby will be born, it's possible to think about names that will relate to the zodiac sign that governs the birthday. Take a look at the following table, which shows all the zodiac signs, their planets, and the elements associated with them, and see what might inspire you. You'll also find a brief description of the general personality traits associated with each sign.

Sign Planet Element Personality Traits
Aries: The Ram, Mar. 21-April 19 Mars fire confident, independent, bold
Taurus: The Bull, Apr. 20-May 20 Venus earth stubborn, determined, devoted
Gemini: The Twins, May 21-June 21 Mercury air intelligent, ambitious
Cancer: The Crab, June 22-July 22 Moon water sensitive, moody, sympathetic
Leo: The Lion, July 23-Aug. 22 Sun fire generous, enthusiastic, temperamental
Virgo: The Virgin, Aug. 23-Sept. 22 Mercury earth calm, intellectual
Libra: The Scales, Sept. 23-Oct. 23 Venus air orderly, just, sympathetic
Scorpio: The Scorpion, Oct. 24-Nov. 21 Mars water philosophical, loyal, strong-willed
Sagittarius: The Archer, Nov. 22-Dec. 21 Jupiter fire imaginative, practical
Capricorn: The Goat, Dec. 22-Jan. 19 Saturn earth loyal, ambitious, blunt
Aquarius: The Water Carrier, Jan. 20-Feb. 18 Uranus air giving, idealistic, creative
Pisces: The Fish, Feb. 19-Mar. 20 Neptune water sensitive, timid, sympathetic
What's in a Name

The well-known Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung was a strong believer in the messages brought by signs, and strongly supported such divining systems as the I Ching, an ancient Chinese system for interpreting signs based on the patterns created by tossing a series of coins.

If you decide to use the zodiac to help you choose a name, don't take the symbolism represented by these signs too literally – in other words, don't name your child "Fish" or "Piscene" if he or she is born in March. Look instead at the characteristics represented by these elements, and consider how they may relate to such things as the names of gods and goddesses. Study the traits of each sign. Do they represent virtues or characteristics that could be represented in a name choice? Even the earthly elements related to zodiac signs can be used to guide a name choice.

For example, if you're anticipating a girl born under the sign of Cancer, Diana might appeal to you as it's the name of the Roman goddess of the moon, which is the planet that relates to this astrological sign. Selene (or Selena) may be another choice, as this Greek deity name also relates to the moon. Leo is the astrological symbol for babies born in July, which makes Leonardo or Leonard obvious names to consider. If you have an earth sign to work with, maybe Blair ("child of the fields") or Eartha ("child of the earth") appeals to you.

Other names inspired by the zodiac that you may want to consider:

  • Terra ("ground")
  • Ursula ("bear")
  • Leonardo ("Leo")
  • Sunny ("of the sun")
  • Clay ("of the ground")
  • Adana ("red earth")
  • Adrianna or Adrienne ("black earth")
  • Chandra ("moonlike")
  • Eldora ("gift of the sun")

More on: Choosing a Name

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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