Using Horoscopes for Characterisation

Hello SErs. Harmony here. Today I wanted to look at characterisation. Making my characters look, sound, and feel different has always been a challenging part of writing for me, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to show the many personality types that make up the human species.

I don’t read horoscopes (or horror-scopes, lol) or put much credence in them, but the many star signs do give us a good pointer for personality types we can use for our fictional characters. Depending on where you look, the lists read differently, but they all hold the same core points. Here’s one example of characters related to star sign:

(I took this from https://www.horoscope.com/zodiac-signs)

The above gives you an at-a-glance run down of each characteristic per zodiac sign. If you want to click the link and check this out further, you have the ability to click on each sign image, and this will take you to that sign’s specific page, which gives you much more detailed information.

Just for fun, I clicked on Cancer (my sign), and here’s what it gave me …

-ooOoo-

Element: WaterPolarity: Negative
Quality: Cardinal
Ruling Planet: Moon
Ruling House: Fourth
Spirit Color: Violet
Lucky Gem: Ruby, pearl
Flower: Orchid and white rose
Top Love Matches: Taurus & Pisces
Cancer Zodiac Sign

Emotional, intuitive, and practically psychic; ruled by the moon and characterized by the crab, Cancer has so much going on in its watery depths. Cancers may seem prickly and standoffish at first meeting, once they make the decision to become friends with someone, that person has a friend for life.

Most Cancers have been called psychic at some point, and with good reason—Cancer can often intuit relationships, ideas, and motivations before anyone has actually spoken. That can make for challenging interactions with this sign—Cancer hates small talk, especially when it contains white lies (like saying, “How nice to see you!” when it’s clear that both parties would rather avoid each other). That’s why social gatherings can be overwhelming for Cancers. They’d much rather spend time in small groups where everyone is on the same page.

In romance, Cancer is a giving and generous lover and expects the same in return. The Crab is above mind games and hates the thrill of the chase—if you love someone, why not say it now? It’s not uncommon for Cancer to fall into committed love after just a few days or weeks, and even though that decision is sudden, it can easily last a lifetime. Cancers tends to be happiest when they’re part of a pair, and the best relationship brings out their greatest traits. But even though a Cancer thrives in a duo, he or she also has an independent streak, and needs plenty of time to do things solo. This sign has an active internal life, and is often are happy living in the realm of imagination. Sometimes Cancers need help from one of the more grounded signs to make their dreams a reality.

Cancer loves creating and needs some type of creative outlet, whether it’s painting, writing, or even just reading. Cancer also loves connecting to a higher power, and may find comfort in religion or spiritual practices. And even though Crabs can be intense, they also have a funny side with a wry sense of humor, and they’re adept at observing and mimicking people around them.

Finally, Cancer is incredibly loyal, sometimes to a fault. Cancers will go to the ends of the earth and even against their own beliefs to help someone they love. Learning how to step up for what they believe in—even if it means turning down or against a friend—is a lifelong lesson for Cancer. As the emotional heart of the Zodiac, this sign teaches everyone else that, while there’s so much in life that we may not be able to see, we should still pay attention to the unseen because it does exist—and we do need it!

Cancer’s Motto

“I feel, therefore I am.”

Cancers are amazing! Their name says it all:

C for caring
A for ambitious
N for nourishing
C for creative
E for emotionally intelligent
R for resilient

Cancer’s Greatest Gifts

With off-the-charts emotional intelligence, Cancer quickly cuts through the BS and noise to the heart of an issue. Crabs don’t need all the facts and figures to know the right course of action, and their ability to trust intuition without judgment can aid them well. This gift is one that other Zodiac signs can learn from and be inspired by.

Cancer’s Greatest Challenges

While Cancer easily and accurately reads situations when they’re presented, he or she may not share those opinions with others. Speaking up is key, because turning inward with emotions means that those emotions may erupt unexpectedly. Crabs also expect others to know what they’re thinking, which is another source of pent-up frustration. Learning to voice opinions, even if it leads to conflict, is a lifelong lesson for Cancer.

Cancer’s Secret Weapon

Emotions. While many Cancers probably get the message to “be less emotional,” the huge range and depths of Cancers’ emotions may in fact be their secret weapon. When this sign is happy, the world knows it; when they’re unhappy, the world will work to shift their situation. In general, a Cancer’s mercurial moods do a better job than a long speech, and by sharing their emotions with the world, Crabs help other signs tap into theirs as well.

The 5 Top Reasons to Love Being a Cancer

  1. Practically psychic, Cancers can take the emotional temperature of almost every room they’re in, and can intuit whether a situation is good or bad before anyone says a word.
  2. Passionate lovers, Cancers are adept at throwing both mind and body into over-the-top relationships. They absolutely adore letting go and totally connecting to their body in bed.
  3. Ruled by the moon, Cancer is incredibly in tune with the earth’s rhythm, and finds solace and pleasure in nature. More than many signs, Cancers intuitively know that tuning into the natural rhythms of the earth, the moon, and the planets can help when they have a problem.
  4. Incredibly loyal, once a Cancer chooses to become friends with someone, he or she will have that person’s back for life, and won’t let judgment get in the way of an amazing friendship.
  5. Creative and resilient, Cancers can always find pleasure in their own company and their own mind, and they can make anything—even jury duty or a trip to the DMV—a fascinating story.

Classic (Famous) Cancers

Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, King Bach, Lionel Messi, Luke Bryan, Kevin Hart

-ooOoo-

As you can see, this goes pretty in depth. And now I have to eat humble pie, because –for the most part — this star sign … er … ahem … sums me up in a nutshell, lol. But I still don’t believe in the horoscope predictions! 😉 … Oh, and umm … my fiancé is a Pisces! (Oh dear. Can I possibly put myself any further into this corner?!)

Have any of you used horoscopes to help you in your characterisations? I’d love to hear what other tools you might have come across. Please let me know in the comments below. (And if you’re feeling brave, you can tell us all what your zodiac sign is, lol.)

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Harmony Kent

50 thoughts on “Using Horoscopes for Characterisation

  1. I love horoscopes, not necessarily daily horoscopes but the overall connection between the stars and the psyche. I am a true Pisces through and through, BUT I am also a lot of the air signs. That never made sense to me until I came across someone who explained to me that your personality evolves depending on where your different moons have aligned. There is an app on iPhone called Co-Star. As long as you know your birth time, it can tell you where you align based on each moon. It is actually VERY accurate for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That makes sense, Yvi, and reminds me of the Chinese system where you’re not just an animal but also a type of location. For example, I’m not just a rat but a rat on the mountain (if I remember correctly), so the time of birth and what moons were aligned explains a lot. 🙂

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  3. I’m a practical, down-to-earth, scientific sort (degree in social work and psychology)… but I DO believe there’s some correlation between horror-scopes 😉 and people. I would be classified as a Cusp scope – between Aquarius and Pisces – and weirdly, that describes me to a tee. Sometimes dreamy and sensitive like the quintessential Pisces, other times a cold, quirky, know-all (that would be the Aqaurius). So… yeah. I DO think there’s something to it.

    I also follow the Myers-Briggs Personality Types (being an INFJ, of course I do) and I tend to use this Type Indicator when creating characters. In the back of my mind, I think to myself… would he be an INFP or an ESFJ? It amounts to the same thing though – a 3D character instead of a 2D one 🙂

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    • Yep the Myers-Briggs and lots of others are all great for developing characters. Thanks for mentioning those, Jessica! I know exactly what you mean about the traits seeming to match our signs; it’s the predictions I think they fall short on, lol. Still all good fun and good fodder 🙂

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      • That’s why I like being on the cusp… of the Pisces daily horoscope prediction is rough (you’ll fall in a well today), I switch to Aquarius (you’re going to find love and win the lottery today)!

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  4. That would add some depth to a character very true. I do enjoy astrology and have noticed people seem to fit their signs fairly well. As a fellow Cancer it certainly fits me but I’ve been married to a Sagittarius for a long time which has never been the match sign. Although so think there more to it with the time your are born and stuff. I also enjoy the Chinese years born in where I am the tiger:) Great idea to add another layer to charcters through their signs.

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Harmony. With my fiction characters, I have always determined their birthdate as I start to imagine them and do use astrology to help define them in more layers. This is an excellent resource and I am pinning to my Author Board for future reference!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love horoscopes, read Oscar Cainer almost every day and Susan Miller at the beginning of every month. I like the idea that the heavens were laid out with a plan–a journey for each of us. How we respond to that journey is up to us. And I swear that all of the Capricorns I know (and some of the other signs) have some similar core traits. So using them to create characters is a fun idea. Fun post!

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  7. I haven’t read my horoscope in ages. Since I was a teenager, maybe. I never put stock in them, but some of my traits rang true. And my husband and I are the same sign (both of us are Aries), a match that isn’t recommended but has worked for us through 8 years of dating and 23 years of marriage.

    I think this is a clever way to create a character, though. And did you know there’s now a 13th zodiac? NASA found it. (https://nasa.tumblr.com/post/150688852794/zodiac) The story is kind of interesting.

    It might be fun to create a character who lives by her zodiac sign, learns her sign has switched, then tries to be what her new sign suggests.

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  8. I’m not a believer in horoscopes, but there are excellent characterizations here. You could even mix and match from various horoscopes. Definitely an interesting source for fleshing out character traits!

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  9. I think any of these compilations can help when creating a character. I’m Year of the Rat, by the way. (Oops) I mean Scorpio. How come these zodiac things only include good to moderate things? Why don’t they use words like “caustic, abusive, rude, or conniving?” Those traits help with characters too. Aside from the juju that goes with zodiac signs, they are great sources of traits we can work into a character.

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  10. I never thought of using horoscope as a way to find out about characters’ personalities. Thank you for suggesting that!
    It can also be a way to check if you have given your characters the right birthday 😉
    I don’t believe in daily or monthly predictions too, but somehow the general personality traits associated to a sign are often accurate.
    I’m a Scorpio and surely I’m stubborn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stubborn, lol … the same could be said for me, for a while at least! ha ha. Good point about checking your character’s birthday. Glad you liked the post, Irene 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Like you, I don’t put stock in horoscopes, but this interesting. I do think there are certain characterizations and events that are dependent upon moon phases (what sign the moon is in on a certain day, etc.) Good idea to use this for characters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol, ole Julias and Alexander would definitely fit the classic bill 🙂 What I find so amusing is that at first glance, I’d say each of those people you’ve mentioned have/had vastly different characteristics, lol 🙂 Like I said, I take horoscopes with a pinch of salt! Still, it gives us a useful list of traits 🙂 Thanks, Charles

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