There are those who swear by the influence of the stars on the fate and personalities of humans. Others are unconvinced. Still, others read daily horoscopes for amusement. Historic figures have consulted the stars when faced with major decisions. Ancient Babylonians developed the practice, which they handed to the Greeks, who passed it along. The Greeks gave the twelve constellations with the name of Zodiac, derived from a Greek word. It means a circle of animals. They divided the twelve constellations into groups of three, Fire (Aries, Sagittarius, Leo); Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces); Air (Gemini, Aquarius, Libra); Earth (Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo). True believers hold that the position of the stars at birth is reflected in an individual’s personality.
The calendar comes into play when determining the sign of the Zodiac under which some historical figures were born. For example, George Washington was born on February 11, 1731, under the Old Style calendar used at the time. In 1750 Parliament passed the Calendar Act, which pushed dates back eleven dates and added one year, making his date of birth February 22, 1732. February 11 falls under the sign of Aquarius, February 22 under Pisces. Though both are Water signs according to astrologers, different personality traits are assigned to them, reflected by those born under them. Benjamin Franklin on the other hand (January 6, 1705, O. S., January 17, 1706) had both dates falling within the sign of Capricorn. Here are some of the signs of the Zodiac for historical figures and the personality traits which they presented.
1. Thomas Jefferson, born April 2, 1742 (April 13, 1743), under the sign of Aries
Aries is both a fire sign and a cardinal sign, meaning it is the first sign of a new season of the year. Aries is also the first sign of the zodiacal calendar. People born under Aries are said to be passionate, like to be first, and are usually ambitious. They are also said to be easily bored with details, have a tendency to be selfish, and possessed of a violent temper. Optimism is a feature of their personality. Few such traits were evident in the personality of Thomas Jefferson, at least not openly displayed. Jefferson was obsessed with details, painstakingly recording the activities on his farms, the weather, and the state of his crops.
He was certainly passionate in all of his pursuits, in architecture, education, music, languages, and his correspondence, which was extensive for all of his life. Perhaps he was most passionate over his home at Monticello. He was also known throughout his life for his measured responses to things which displeased him, rather than an eruption of temper. When he first went to France to serve as Minister there, a role Benjamin Franklin had previously filled, the French Minister Comte Vergennes said, “You replace Franklin, I hear”. Jefferson responded “I succeed. No man can replace him”, hardly the response of a man who liked to be first. It would seem that Aries had little influence on the personality of Thomas Jefferson, at least not as much as did the writings of John Locke and Isaac Newton.