The Glyphs for the Zodiac Signs

Astrology uses a lot of little symbols called Glyphs. If you want to be able to read a chart, it is imperative that you learn to read the glyphs. When memorizing something new it helps to make a lot of little associations to other things. This will give you more trigger points to recall the information.

Here are a few personal examples from my own palace of memory to give you some ideas.

My grandmother on my dad’s side was an Aries. She had this giant bronze key hook hanging on the wall that was shaped like an old-tyme skeleton key. As a child I thought that was so clever, a place to put your keys that looked like a key! When she passed away, the only two items that I asked for were that key hook and her Jesus painting. When I think of Aries, I think of her and that key. To me the glyph looks kind of like a little key.

This helped me to differentiate the symbol from Taurus which also has horns. I can also remember that Taurus likes to eat, so its symbol is the fat one.

My mom is a Gemini. When she was in high school, she had a Gemini pendant. Someone asked her “what’s that.” “That’s Gemini!” She proudly informed. The person looked shocked. “What? I thought you went with Pat?” So, now when I look at the numeral two that is Gemini, I remember it stands for the two of us, Jim and I.

The first association my puerile sense of humor glommed onto when learning this stuff is that the Cancer glyph looks suspiciously like a soixante-neuf. This has nothing specifically to do with Cancer, but I never forgot it.

Again, with the same sense of humor, Leo looked like a little sperm. Again, not directly related, but still never forgot it. Just think of a Leo you know, now picture his face swimming around on a little sperm body. Is it burned into your memory now?

Aries and Taurus are not the only two easily confused. Virgo and Scorpio both have M shaped glyphs. How to avoid confusion? Modest Virgo is the one reaching around to cover her crotch, like Michael Jackson, who just so happened to be a Virgo.

I’m a Libra, so that was the first one I learned. I remembered that one because it was the glyph repeated on my collection of mugs, necklaces and t-shirts. You’re gonna have to come up with your own thing for that one.

Scorpio is the other M one. It has a pointy stinger on the end. This one isn’t hard, or is it?

In my opinion Sagittarius is the most obvious one. It’s looks like an arrow. Sagittarius is the archer, duh! Has arrows, will travel. Maybe you can remember it because Sagittarians have perfected the “Duh” face.

Me: Hey look, it’s raining.

Sagittarius: Really? (Makes “Duh” face)

Me: This is all a joke to you isn’t it?

Capricorn is the hardest to remember. Sometimes it looks like a little N with a tail, sometimes an Z, sometimes a C depending on the artist who draws it. I had to learn this one the hard way, through practice and rote memory.

Almost everyone in my family is an Aquarius. I have had a long recurring argument with my sister over whether or not Aquarius is a Water sign. I told her it was an Air sign, but you know how it is when they get their minds made up. Her reasoning: it’s the WATER bearer and the symbol looks like waves of WATER! Ergo… I tried to tell her it doesn’t work like that but she already has a tattoo that says “water” in some language she doesn’t speak, so…

Pisces is the fish. And the last sign. And the last letter of “fish” is H. The two tied together fish of Pisces look like a curvy H.

Those are a few of my personal mnemonics. Please share with us! What are some of your little idiosyncratic ways you remember certain glyphs?

14 thoughts on “The Glyphs for the Zodiac Signs”

  1. sometimes in the glyphs it is hard for me to tell pisces from gemini

    i also have to think about scorpio and virgo..but the pointy tail thing eventually reminds me 🙂

    Great post Nota

  2. I’ve always thought that the Aries glyph was shaped like ovaries, which I relate to spring. On that same line of thinking, I also relate to Leo looking like a little sperm 🙂

  3. I used to get Virgo and Scorpio mixed up too, until I realized Virgo has her legs crossed, and Scorpio is going to get you. HAHAHAHA

  4. Avatar

    “Modest Virgo is the one reaching around to cover her crotch”

    Really? I like that!

    Mine may sounds adolescent but Cancer’s got that 69 looking thing going on, and most Cancers I know are very sexual or in touch with the sexuality. As with the rest of water sign, in my experience. Sorry, that’s all I really got.

  5. I’ve had that Aquarius water/air sign argument with people too. Good thing I’ve learned to just leave their knowledge as is since I’m now married to an extreme Aq.

  6. Huh! I haven’t had too much trouble with any of them – Aries looks like a ram’s head with looped, curling horns. Taurus looks very much more like bull horns to me. I’m a scorpio, so I don’t have trouble with that one, but I love the modest virgo mnemonic! Leo looks like a lion’s tail to me. Aquarius, water. Sagittarius, the arrow is a giveaway. (clearly, remembering whether it is double g’s t’s or r’s is more of a problem according to spellcheck! :D) Pisces and gemini take a second to figure out, and if I saw pisces alone, I might mix it up. I like the H thing. Libra again, looks like the hinge of a scales to me. Cancer looks like the way a crab holds it’s two claws in defense.

    The only one I have a hard time figuring out a reminder actually works out perfectly… WTH is a capricorn!?…. Perfect! Matches that WTH is this symbol!!

    Now, Planets on the other hand…. I got yer sun, moon, Venus and uh… Mars, right? The rest of them….?

  7. Agree with Josi about pisces and gemini glyphs. I can NOT tell them apart in some fonts. Finally have to focus on whether there’s only one, or two, horizontal lines… Rather than the vertical ones.

    The Capricorn glyph I always thought was an ornate V, for the horns. And then the curly-q added on is the scruss. This cap has a long and fulsome beard!

  8. Hey, just noticed your comment H.

    Yes, I have been thinking about videos. We have been doing some work on the house, so my workspace got all jumbled up and my camera got put away for a while. I actually unpacked it today so I could skype my dad. So, yes, more videos, soon.

  9. Aries to me looks like a ram with the long curly horns. Taurus looks like the Texas longhorn things that I have seen on a couple cars. (like this )

    Gemini is easy, double pi. (I’m a double Gem so you know … this double thing is working for me.) Cancer is a crab with two claws hiding its face.

    Leo is the one I had just just memorize. Virgo – m is for maiden, and she’s curtsying. Or covering her lady bits, if you prefer. Reminds me of the Venus on the half-shell. (Botticelli – here )

    Libra I remember by the etymology – it means “pound” like the weight, so that’s a one pound weight sitting on a flat scale. Scorpio has a stinger on its tail, so does the glyph.

    Sadge is easy – as you say, the arrows! And Capricorn to me looks like one of those mountain goats (smaller horns than the ram) with a big curly tail.

    Aquarius is waves of water, simple enough. Pisces looks like fish scales – and again with the etymology. So many fish-related words have the same root (in all the languages I know) so it’s easy for me.

  10. Im so happy now I have a way to tell Virgo and Scorpio apart. Brilliant! I’m struggling with Capricorn, but staring at it, I started to see a little bunny that has half his ear and body erased. 1 1/2 bunny ears and a bunny cottonball tail next to it. Im imagining the mountain goat chasing the bunny. Hehe. Maybe its a stretch but whatever works.

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