Do you ever feel like your sign doesn't really describe your personality? Are you a stoic Leo? An emotional Capricorn? A Gemini with an uncompromising regard for the truth? Sun-sign astrology can be fun and illuminating when it speaks to our reality but boring or alienating when it misses the mark. Why does it resonate so profoundly for some people and not at ALL for others?
Before you quit the zodiac party (or give up on getting someone else to join in), consider this angle: If you're sooo not identifying with your Sun sign, it could be that you're a lot more like your opposite sign. The zodiac is a wheel cut 12 ways. Each bisection is an axis, and the entire axis means something as a whole. Basically, your opposite sign sits at the farthest point from you on the circle, representing the same energy but inverted. Aka it shares your essential qualities and desires but approaches them in divergent ways. Taken as a pair, your Sun sign and opposite sign generate a fuller spectrum of meaning, and their relationship can light up what's missing in the solo read of your Sun sign.
Even the most Scorpionic Scorpio will have traits informed by Taurus, their astrological other half. The extent to which that is true varies according to the influence of other elements in our charts (which, ask your mom for your exact time of birth if you haven't generated a natal chart yet) and our individual personalities. Astrology is like cosmic DNA—not every piece of genetic material finds expression during our lifetimes, but the potential is there!
Looking closely at opposite signs as a pair is one way to unlock a new dimension of interpretation when you're trying to find yourself among the stars. So find yours below (and share this with whoever in your life keeps saying astro isn't real).
Aries and Libra: War and Peace
As the zodiac's newborns, Aries are independent and headstrong. They see themselves as superheroes versus the world, and they don't shy away from confrontation. They are quick to anger and even quicker to get over it. They move fast and always prefer even a bad decision to indecision. Because of their ingenuity and resourcefulness, they can usually clean up any mess they make.
On the other side, Libra represents the instinct to attach. They are the sign of partnership and collaboration, and they celebrate love in every form. They instinctively get that what we can do together is going to be way more fulfilling than whatever we could accomplish alone. While they are infatuation prone and eager to be liked, they can also be quite aloof and reserved in demeanor. Still, they are usually quite popular even if they have only a few truly close friends.
If you're a Libra, your Aries side might make you quite invested in your own independence. Perhaps you've never understood the hearts-and-flowers descriptions of your own sign because you proudly wear your edges and are not easily seduced. Actually, you're not so keen on wooing anyone else either. Anyone worth your time will be able to see your unique charms without you doing a whole song and dance. (But you do have those moves, if it came to it.)
And if you're an Aries with Libran qualities, your aggressive superhero energy might translate into that of a romantic lead. Maybe you're extremely susceptible to love at first sight—could be a hobby, a friend, or a potential partner. When you know, you know, and you live for those adrenaline moments of connection. And if there's a little tension up top, all the better. No one has a more innate rhythm for simultaneously roasting someone while flirting like you do.
Taurus and Scorpio: Needs and Wants
Taurean energy is naturally retentive—they know how to accumulate things over time. They radiate elegance and understated power. A Taurus is possessive and self-possessed, and they take it easy because there's no need to rush. With enough pressure and time, they can turn anything into a diamond. They come from a place of abundance, and as the sign of money, luxury, and art, they certainly know how to attract all the lovely things they want.
While Taurus is about holding on, Scorpio is about (eventually) letting go. The energy of Scorpio is powerful and transformative—they rarely change, but when they do, it's monumental. Their reputation for being sexy comes from their connection with the dark hunger that underpins all existence. Scorpios are more in touch with their needs than any other sign, which in turn enables their unparalleled capacity for healing and regeneration.
For you Scorpios with strong Taurus overtones, maybe you're quite cuddly with friends and partners. Unlike the tropes of your sign, you may rarely experience jealousy (like twice a year), and you tend to give people in your circle a lot of room to make mistakes. After all, you trust them, and that's that. You're not necessarily ambitious, although you're quite content to be very successful, and you find that you are the more you simply follow your own good taste. It usually leads to gold.
A Scorpionic Taurus is placid on the surface but roiling with emotion down below. Although you let nothing shake your composure, you may feel acute waves of betrayal when someone you've opened up to displays carelessness or—worse—a contrary point of view. Look, you can never be too careful. So you'll keep up your manners but internally keep your distance until you know you can trust them. But once you do? You're the most fiercely loyal friend in the zodiac, and they are damn lucky to have you on their side.
Gemini and Sagittarius: Student and Teacher
Geminis love to gather facts (as many as possible) and figure out what it all means later. They are driven by a deep, inherent curiosity, creating a little bit of expertise about a little bit of everything. This makes them engaging conversationalists but can leave others wondering about their core beliefs. Do Geminis contradict themselves? Yes and no! (Or neither and both, if it suits the mood.) As an air sign, they like to stay intellectually light, moving wherever the breeze (and their capricious interests) takes them.
Sagittarius, on the other end, is more intrigued by the principles than the proofs. While Gemini is the ever-questioning student, they are the teachers handing down wisdom. They want to inspire! Motivate! Open hearts and minds! They bring the same curiosity, intellectualism, and desire for multiple perspectives but in the service of assembling a coherent theory they can actually pitch to the rest of the world. For Sagittarians, the truth of the details is less important than the resonance of the framework.
If you're a Gemini-flavored Sagittarius, you might be a little more easy come, easy go with smaller issues. Maybe you live your life through phases (this week it's oat matchas, last week it was striped shirts) or perhaps you adore the trivial and consequential with equal affection. It may seem like you can shift opinions on a dime, but you simply appreciate the nuances in others as much as you appreciate them in yourself.
And for the Geminis with an extra shake of Sagittarius seasoning, you might find all the stereotypes of an ever-changing mercurial creature baffling when you've been a passionate advocate for your beliefs your whole life. Some may even accuse you of pontificating or blowing hot air, but here's the thing: Hot air rises to the top, and you are trying to make an impact. For every critique, you have five devastating responses and zero apologies.
Cancer and Capricorn: Private and Public
Cancers tend to the homestead, represented by the Crab who carries their house (and emotional baggage) with them everywhere they go. They are sensitive and defensive, reserving their sometimes overwhelming warmth for their inner circle only. Cancers can communicate more with a look than with words, and they detect and interpret emotional shifts with the accuracy of a meteorologist. This endows them with a preternatural and omnipresent sense of worry, which at least endears them to their friends and family.
Meanwhile, Capricorns are all about the public. They aim to scale the highest heights, which invites the strictest of scrutiny. It takes serious dedication to achieve and maintain a position of authority, and their reputations are everything to them. That doesn't leave a lot of room for messy displays of emotion—the journey to the top is a slow, delicate ballet of a thousand potential wrong moves. But it’s worth it because there's no satisfaction like getting it right.
If you're a Cancer-esque Capricorn, you might feel disconnected from the descriptions of your sign that paint you as ruthless or cold. Au contraire, your intuition is incredibly sharp, and you are highly attuned to not only your own emotional needs but also those of the people around you. That sensitivity is exactly what makes you such a trustworthy and grounding force, and it genuinely makes you happy to care for those in your life. Far from the workaholic stereotype, you wouldn't compromise the quality of your relationships for all the success in the world.
And for the Cancers out there who inch a little closer to the Capricornian mountaintop, you know that staying soft and sensitive requires the sturdiest of walls to protect what you've built. You’re ambitious but driven by integrity and responsibility as much as the need to build things and win. People who sleep on your work ethic will find themselves marveling at all that you accomplish, and from the outside, it will look very buttoned up and strategic. But those on the inside will know (and cherish) your mushy heart.
Leo and Aquarius: Self and Society
Leos are constantly answering the question, "Who am I?" (even if no one but them asked). They are reflective and expressive, continually reinventing themselves to get at yet another layer of their truth. They live for the joy of sharing themselves with others and are guileless, straightforward people. Although they can be a bit dramatic and preoccupied with themselves, they genuinely want to see other people shine as brightly as they do.
Conversely, Aquarius is all about the collective rather than the individual. What's good for them is what's good for the world. They are the self-situated in the context of society, and they are hyperconscious of the laws and rules that create the border between "us" and "them." The central Aquarian anxiety is one of alienation and belonging, and they like to rebel against society's rigidity by exaggerating their oddities. In making more room for themselves, they do so for all weirdos everywhere.
For a Leonine Aquarius, the personal is political and vice versa. Your approach is first person, and your magnetic presence and deeply rooted convictions always make for a persuasive combination. Some may see you as a little myopic, however, because you’re always your most trusted point of reference. But your sincerity and inner warmth can win over the frostiest of audiences, because no one can deny someone who loves themselves as fully as you do.
If you're a Leo with a twist of Aquarius, you might be a little less eager to grab the spotlight. If it comes to you naturally, fine, but counter to the typical Leo narrative, you're not so needy of other people's attention. In fact, you may enjoy alone time just as much as a group hang, as it allows for a deeper exploration of your niche fascinations. And if you ever meet anyone as interesting to you as they are, you'll be glad to spend a Friday evening with them too.
Virgo and Pisces: Reality and Imagination
Nothing is perfect, but Virgos never stop perfecting. Life is a series of Sisyphean to-dos, and they are achingly aware of the eternal work—like eating breakfast, doing laundry, wiping down surfaces—that can never be done once and for all. Virgos are remarkably durable, converting the chaos around them into order. They don't do it for the glory but out of a sense of duty. That's not to say they wouldn't accept a trophy for all their hard work...as long as it's clean.
Pisces, on the other hand, live far away from reality. They tend to inhabit worlds no one else can see, and their rich imaginations make them the most skilled storytellers in the zodiac. But as compelling as they are, they can be a bit inscrutable. The moods of a Pisces fluctuate like weather, and whole seasons can turn over in a matter of minutes. But very few are invited to witness the inner workings of a Piscean mind, and whether or not it makes sense, it's undeniably art.
If you're a Pisces with a touch of Virgo, you might be a little more persnickety curmudgeon than mysterious mermaid. The world is quite loud, and you're going to need people to keep it down while you're existing. Pisces have a reputation for being nonconfrontational, but you're not shy about letting your nearest and dearest know what glaring personal flaws they need to fix. It doesn't matter that they didn’t ask your opinion—that's what friends are for.
And for the Virgos who sing in the key of Pisces, you might be quite a tornado of disorganization. When you're focused on something, it's easy to forget basic chores or what day of the week it is. You have a talent for finding little wormholes through which you can temporarily escape your life. You're a little bit too beautiful for this world, but your unique magic makes things extremely interesting for everyone stuck on Earth.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.