Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

The imagined circular belt in the sky against which the Sun and planets are seen to move; Western Astrology divides it into 12 "signs", which have acquired some symbolic force: Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the crab, Leo the lion, Virgo the virgin (see Virginity), Libra the scales, Scorpio the scorpion, Sagittarius the archer, Capricorn the goat, Aquarius the water-carrier and Pisces the fishes. John Crowley's Little, Big (1981) has an effective moment of Wrongness when the painted zodiac in the dome of New York's Grand Central Station reverses so that its signs run at last in the correct direction. Rudyard Kipling's strange fable "The Children of the Zodiac" (1891) brings the signs to life (omitting Capricorn, since Gemini is taken as two) as Gods, of whom only the death-gods like Cancer are truly immortal. [DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.