Understanding Egyptian Astrology: What Is Your Egyptian Zodiac Sign?

The Egyptians had a unique stellar constellation system and zodiac under the rulership of their gods. Discover your zodiac sign in Egyptian astrology.

Jun 24, 2024By Jessica Suess, MPhil Ancient History, BA Hons History/Archaeology

understanding egyptian astology zodiac sign

 

While different cultures have all looked to the sky and celestial bodies to understand their place in the universe, the resulting astrological systems look very different. Modern Western astrology is largely based on ancient Greek astrology, which was in turn greatly influenced by Babylonian traditions. Vedic astrology emerged in India and is closely linked to the Sanskrit Vedas. Chinese astrology is based on the principles of yin and yang.

 

Until the Macedonian conquest, when Greek astrology was adopted enthusiastically, the ancient Egyptians had a unique approach to astrology. Egyptian astrology identified 36 small constellations, each of which was ruled over by an Egyptian god.

 

Ancient Egyptian Astrology

Relief showing the Greek zodiac in the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, Egypt, c. 1st century BCE, Source: Louvre Museum, France

 

When the Macedonian-Greeks under Alexander installed themselves as the rulers of Egypt in 323 BCE, they brought their system of astrology with them. Modern Western astrology is closely linked with Greek astrology and uses the same twelve signs of the zodiac. However, in the 4th century BCE, this system was completely new to the Egyptians.

 

The Egyptians were great astronomers. In the fifth millennium BCE, they had already built stone circles to track the stars at Nabta Plata, not too different from Stonehenge in England. The Great Pyramids at Giza were perfectly aligned with the pole star, and the Temple of Amun-Ra at Karnak is aligned with the rising mid-winter sun. The Egyptians watched for the heliacal rising of Sirius, known as Sopdet, to determine the coming of the annual Nile flood.

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The Egyptians brought their astronomical knowledge to Greek astrology and became the leading astrologers in the Greco-Roman world. Many of the famous astrologers that served the Roman emperors hailed from Egypt. They also produced sophisticated natal charts to track the fortunes of individuals. The Egyptian astronomer and astrologer Claudius Ptolemy (90-168 CE) wrote several important works that were the standard texts in European and Islamic astronomy until the 16th century. But did astrology exist in the Egyptian world before the arrival of the Greeks?

 

The Book of Nut

An image of the sky goddess Nut encloses an astronomical representation, from the Tomb of Ramses VI, Egypt, c. 1137 BCE, Source: The Theban Mapping Project

 

While the Egyptians did not use the zodiac constellations we know until the arrival of the Greeks, they did have their own native constellations. They identified 36 small star clusters that divided the elliptical sky into ten-degree sections called decans. These rise consecutively on the horizon, functioning as a kind of star clock.

 

Every ten days, a different decan appeared helically on the horizon at dawn just before sunrise, making it the ruling constellation of the day. The passage and character of these decan constellations were recorded by the ancient Egyptians in the Book of Nut. Nut is the ancient Egyptian goddess of the sky. As well as the apparent movement of the constellation, the book tracked the movement of the “lights” (the sun and the moon) and the “wandering stars” (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury).

 

A detail from the ceiling illustration at the Dendera temple in Egypt featuring the sun barge and the gods who protect the sky, c. 1st century BCE, photo by Kairoinfo4u, Source: Flickr

 

The decan constellations were also associated with twelve ancient Egyptian gods, who seem to have ruled over three decan groups each, forming something similar to the modern zodiac. But rather than overseeing consecutive decan periods, their decan groups were spread throughout the year.

 

Significantly, copies of the Book of Nut tend to be found in association with the dead. A copy dating to the 13th century BCE appeared on the Cenotaph of Seti I at the temple of the god of the underworld Osiris at Abydos. It also appeared in the tomb of Ramses IV in the 12th century BCE. Similar star calendars were drawn inside the lids of several coffins almost a millennia later.

 

These calendars are clearly meant to show what the heavens looked like at a certain moment in time. While there is insufficient evidence to call them horoscopes, they clearly show that the Egyptians believed in correspondence: as above, so below.

 

The Egyptian Zodiac Signs

Astronomical ceiling from the Tomb of Seti I, Egypt, c. 13th century BCE, Source: The New York Public Library

 

Based on this information, modern astrologers have turned the ancient Egyptian decan constellations and their ruling gods into a kind of Egyptian zodiac. You can learn about those zodiac signs below.

 

For each sign, you will find the name of the god and the dates for the decan constellations over which they rule. You will find a historical description of the ancient Egyptian god and a brief description of what modern astrologers suggest are characteristics that people born under that god’s dominance might share.

 

Hapi: January 1-7, June 12-18, September 1-7, and November 18-26

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Sagittarius. This constellation is ruled by the Moon and Uranus.

Bronze statuette of Hapi, Egypt c. 664-343 BC. Source: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

 

Hapi is the Egyptian god that embodies the source of the Nile River, the life-giving waterway. He was most closely linked with the moment of inundation that blessed the land with fertility. His critical role meant that he was sometimes presented as the father of the gods and as the god who maintains balance and harmony in the cosmos. He was represented as an intersex person, with a woman’s breasts and a man’s beard.

 

People born under Hapi tend to be logical and practical. While their emotions run deep, they are good at keeping them in control. They trust their intuition to guide them.

 

Amun-Ra: January 8-12 and February 1-11

Linked to the Western Zodiac sign Taurus. This Constellation is ruled by the Sun and Saturn.

Gold-plated silver figure of Amun-Ra, Egypt, c. 664-525 BCE, Source: British Museum

 

Amun was one of the gods of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. A mysterious deity of hidden places, he became the patron deity of Thebes. He was one of the most important gods in Ancient Egypt when Thebes was the political center of the Kingdom. Amun was later fused with the sun god Ra to become a super-powerful, self-generated, creator deity. He became an object of personal piety and was considered a champion of the underdog.

 

People born under Amun-Ra are confident and optimistic. They know their strengths and they are confident in their ability to shape their world as desired through positive action.

 

Mut: January 22–31 and September 8–22

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Scorpio. Constellation ruled by the Sun. 

Limestone statue of the goddess Mut, Egypt. Source: Pointe-a-Calliere Museum, France

 

Mut is one of the deities considered to have emerged from the primordial waters and to have given birth to the world, making her a primordial mother goddess. She was considered the wife of the creator deity Amun-Ra, and the mother of the lunar god Khonsu. She is depicted as a woman with the wings of a vulture and is invoked as “Lady of Heaven and Mistress of All the Gods.”

 

People born under Mut are sensitive and affectionate and are considered the lovers of the zodiac. They are easily hurt and can be overprotective of themselves and others.

 

Geb: February 12–29 and August 20–31

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Libra. Constellation ruled by the Earth. 

Extract from Book of the Dead of Henuttawy, showing Geb on the far right beneath his wife Nut, Egypt, c. 1070-664 BCE, Source: British Museum

 

Geb is the Egyptian god of the Earth, which is often referred to as the House of Geb. A member of the Ennead of Heliopolis, he is one of the creator gods within that tradition. The laughter of Geb creates earthquakes, and he is also the god that allows crops to grow. Nevertheless, Geb was also feared as the father of snakes, specifically the mythical primeval snake Nehebkau. He was also associated with the ram, bull, and crocodile.

 

People born under Geb tend to be emotional and allow their feelings to lead them. They are highly intuitive, but also lack self-control. While they can be shy, they are the most reliable and loyal friends.

 

Osiris: March 1–10 and November 27–December 18

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Aries. Constellation ruled by Pluto and the Sun.

Papyrus showing an enthroned Osiris, Egypt, c. 713-332 BCE, Source: Liverpool Museums

 

In the Ennead of Heliopolis, Osiris was originally the king of the mortal realm until he was killed by his brother Set. He was brought back to life by his sister-wife Isis, but it was a half-life. The underworld was created for him, and this allowed others to live there for eternity after death. Osiris is depicted with green skin to represent that he is no longer among the living. He is the god of the afterlife, but also of the eternal cycle of birth, death, and renewal.

 

People born under Osiris are intelligent and independent, but they aren’t good at reading other people and tend to put themselves first. They are persistent and dedicated towards their goals, which they usually achieve.

 

Isis: March 11–31, October 18–29, and December 19–31

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Pisces. Constellation ruled by the Moon, Earth, and Uranus.

Statue of Isis with her baby son Horus, Egypt, c. 332-30 BC, Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

Isis is the divine sister-wife of Osiris. A powerful magic worker, she created the afterlife after her husband was killed. As the mother of the new king Horus, she is always seen standing just behind him with her hand on his shoulder. Isis was considered such a powerful magic worker that she was the mistress of fate itself. She soon became the most worshiped goddess in Egypt, absorbing the attributes of many other goddesses.

 

People born under Isis are honest and straightforward with a genuine sense of humor, making them excellent company. They are intelligent and skilled but may not realize how capable they are until tested.

 

Thoth: April 1–19 and November 8–17

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Virgo. Constellation ruled by the Moon and Mercury.

Papyrus depicting the weighing of the heart ceremony showing Thoth with an ibis head at the far right, Egypt, Source: Hunt Museum, Limerick

 

Thoth is one of several Egyptian gods associated with the moon and is also the patron of learning and wisdom. He is a great teacher and may even be the patron deity of astrology. In mythology, he is responsible for maintaining the universe and resolving divine disputes. He was partnered with Ma’at, the Egyptian goddess of truth, balance, and justice, and was often depicted with the head of an ibis or a baboon.

 

People born under Thoth tend to be wise beyond their years and quick learners. They adapt to new situations with ease. They can be relentless self-improvers who are never satisfied unless they are challenging themselves.

 

Horus: April 20 – May 7 and August 12–19

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Capricorn. Constellation ruled by the Moon and Sun.

Statue of Horus in Falcon form, Egypt, c. 1427-1401 BCE, Source: The Egypt Museum, Cairo

 

Isis brought Osiris back to life so that she could become pregnant with Horus, who avenged his father and succeeded him as divine ruler. He is a god of the sky, and the Pharaoh was considered an incarnation of Horus. Horus was usually depicted as a falcon or a man with a falcon’s head.

 

People born under Horus are brave, optimistic, and ambitious. They believe that there is nothing they can’t do and sometimes tackle big challenges without sufficient preparation. They are action-oriented and problem solvers.

 

Anubis: May 8–27 and June 29 – July 13

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Leo. Constellation ruled by Mercury.

Statuette of Anubis, Egypt, c. 332-30 BCE, Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

Anubis is the jackal-headed deity associated with embalming and considered a protector of graves. He accompanies people as they travel into the underworld and he places their hearts on the scale to be weighed against the feather of truth. While Anubis is one of the most frequently depicted Egyptian gods, no specific myths survive about him.

 

People born under Anubis tend to be introverted but still effortlessly confident. They know their worth, but don’t feel the need to prove themselves to others. They are willing to work hard for what they want and believe the best things are earned.

 

Set: May 28–June 18 and September 28–October 2

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Gemini. Constellation ruled by Mars.

Set depicted in funerary temple relief, Egypt, c. 2465-2325 BCE, Source: University of Pennsylvania

 

Set is most often cited as the god that killed his brother Osiris because he was jealous of his power. But he is also the god that protects the sun barge from Apophis, ensuring that the sun rises each day. He is the god of foreign lands, the desert, and natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms. He represents threat, but also opportunity. Set was not feared by the Egyptians but rather was thought to represent necessary balance.

 

People born under Set are perfectionists, which makes them both ambitious and hard working. They can put a lot of pressure on themselves and always take the time to plan and prepare.

 

Bastet: July 14–28, September 23–27, and October 3–17

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Cancer. Constellation ruled by the Sun and the Moon.

Bronze figure of Bastet, Egypt, c. 900-600 BCE, Source: British Museum

 

Bastet is the Egyptian cat goddess, and she is associated with ideas of both protection and pleasure. She can also bestow good health. She is closely associated with the domestic world, but also has hidden, wild, and feminine attributes.

 

People born under Bastet are good at maintaining balance in the different parts of their lives. They are naturally charming and have a way of avoiding conflict and remaining friends with everyone.

 

Sekhmet: July 29–August 11 and October 30–November 7 

Linked to Western Zodiac sign Aquarius. Constellation ruled by the Sun.

One of at least 600 statues of Sekhmet, around two meters tall created during the reign of Amenhotep III, Egypt, c. 1330-1352, Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

Sekhmet’s name means “she who is powerful” and she is a goddess of war and chaos, the hot desert sun, plague, and healing. She was created when Ra looked upon the earth with his burning eye and created a burning fire. She represents unexpected consequences and opportunities from adversity.

 

People born under Sekhmet seem to have two opposing personalities. One minute they are serious, dedicated, and hard-working, and the next they are happy-go-lucky adventurers. Which you will meet is hard to predict, but they are always fierce.

Author Image

By Jessica SuessMPhil Ancient History, BA Hons History/ArchaeologyJessica holds a BA Hons in History and Archaeology from the University of Queensland and an MPhil in Ancient History from the University of Oxford where she researched the worship of the Roman emperors. She worked for Oxford University Museums for 10 years before relocating to Brazil. She is mad about the Romans, the Egyptians, the Vikings, the history of esoteric religions, and folk magic and gets excited about the latest archaeological finds.