How Is Medieval Astrology Different From Modern Astrology?

It may seem like astrology as we know it has been around forever but looking at the horoscope signs in a medieval context gives us many different meanings. Medieval star signs were less about breaking down a person’s traits or personality and more about looking into particular fates during certain times of the year. Additionally medieval star signs were also used in medicine and studying the human body, with the belief that the sun’s position in the sky influenced health, wellness, and the success of different medical procedures.

When a person is born in Aries, for instance, rather than considering them a hard worker who was born to lead, a medieval astrologer may say that they are destined to travel the world as Aries is considered a safe time to travel east and that they should pursue a career in medicine as Aries lends luck to bloodletting. Medieval astrologers had certain important meanings with distinctions for all of the star signs and they’re quite different than how we look at them today.

General Meaning of the Medieval Horoscope Signs

A person born under a certain sign might carry with them certain lucks and fates as dictated by their sign throughout the year, but for everyone else, they too get to enjoy these fates during star sign periods according to medieval astrologists. The general meanings of the medieval horoscope signs are:


Aries was considered a sign that belonged to the east, so if a person was wishing to travel east, they should choose the Aries period of March 21 to April 19 to do so. Because it’s considered the “new” time of the year and the traditional start of the zodiac it was also considered a lucky time to make new clothes or get married. Those born when the sun is in Aries would be encouraged to work with fire or let blood as a profession.


Taurus was considered to belong to the south, justas Aries belongs to the east, so the Taurus period is a time when one would be encouraged to take a trip south. While the sun is in Taurus it was also considered a lucky time to build anything that they want to last a long time, so many homes would be built during this period. Because it’s a time to build things that are made to last a long time, it was considered bad form to start a war between the dates April 20 and May 20th. If a battle is started, many believed that the first on the battlefield during Taurus would be destined to die.


Gemini is the sign belonging to the West in medieval astrology, so those who planned to travel west would choose the Gemini period for good fortune. This was also considered a great time to forge new friendships and relationships as it was considered a time of unity and connection amongst people. Gemini was also considered a bad luck period for the arms, and it was suggested to not let blood from the arms or take medication for the arms from May 21 to June 20. Projects having to do with water were thought to succeed best while the sun is in Gemini, so many in agriculture or building would carry out any task that involved water during this time.


Cancer in medieval times was not represented by the crab but the lobster instead. This was considered a lucky time to travel north, but an unlucky time to marry or forge new friendships. While the sun is in cancer it was considered a lucky or healthy time to fight, so arguments or conflicts would be worked out between June 21and July 22. Because this was considered an unlucky time for the heart, one would be recommended to not take heart medicines until the sun had moved out of Cancer.


Like Aries, Leo also belongs to the east, and this would be considered a good time to travel there. It was a good time to speak with lords, monarchs, and leaders when the sun was in Leo, so individuals would wait until this position to speak with their local authorities. This was also considered to be a good time for the heart, stomach, and liver. Individuals would be encouraged to treat these organs from July 23 to August 22. Leo was also thought to be a lucky time to plant trees.


From August 23 to September 22 astrologers in the medieval period would encourage individuals to work with the earth, as Virgo was considered the luckiest time for planting and sowing. While marriage was considered lucky during Virgo, it was discouraged to consummate the marriage as it was believed that children conceived during this time would be born too small. Unlucky actions in Virgo were fighting, working with fire, bathing, and creating new clothes.


During the Libra period it was considered lucky to travel east in order to trade or do business. Medieval people were also encouraged to let blood during this time, but they should not partake in any treatments having to do with the eyes. It was considered highly unlucky to build things out of wood during Libra, so home building would often take place during Virgo or Scorpio.


The Scorpio period of October 23 to November 21 was considered a time of wickedness and suspicion, so lords were discouraged from holding court during the Scorpio period. Those starting pilgrimages during Scorpio were warned that they may face bad luck if they travelled by land or by sea, so these trips would either be started during Libra or postponed until Sagittarius. The main warning given to people by medieval astrologists during Scorpio would be to lay low and keep a watchful eye.


Sagittarius would have been considered the calm after the Scorpio storm during medieval times. A general time of good fortune, one would be encouraged to make friends, get married, travel east, bathe, or work with fire. Buying land and horses was considered particularly lucky while the sun was in Scorpio, so many would wait until this time to make these larger purchases in agricultural communities.


While the Capricorn of today is represented by a sea goat, the medieval Capricorn was represented by a horned buck. This season was thought to bring the fruit from the earth. Individuals would be encouraged to sow, yield, and take their business north. Taking medicine for the legs was discouraged, but letting blood was considered lucky. If you had projects that would last a short time, beginning while the sun was in Capricorn would be lucky.


Aquarius was considered the star sign of the Southwest, so if one had plans to travel Southwest this would be a good time to do so. However, it was considered some bad luck to travel far distances during Aquarius. Astrologers would encourage individuals to use this time to sell animals that had four feet, particularly when trading livestock. People would be discouraged from practicing skills from January 20 to February 18 as it was believed that it would do them no good.


Pisces was considered to be one of the best times to do all projects and things having to do with water. A sign belonging to the North, journeys would be safely taken if they were taken during Pisces as long as they were going northward. While travel and water projects were encouraged, it was discouraged to take medicine for the feet or work with fire.