The zodiac sign Aries, a fire sign, symbolizes effectiveness and ambition, while the earth sign Taurus symbolizes patience and strength. Gemini, an air sign, represents mutability and inquisitiveness, and water sign Cancer represents intensity and emotion.
The 12 signs in the Western zodiac are grouped according the four elements of identified by the ancient world: cardinal fire (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), fixed earth (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), mutable air (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) and cardinal water (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces).
In Western cosmology, the zodiac represents the totality of nature and existence, and accordingly each group of signs represents spiritual and intellectual qualities common in people born under them. Therefore, the fire signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius generally symbolize fiery, self-assured personalities who need a calming influence. Earth signs symbolize practicality and patience, while the air signs symbolize curiosity and perception. Water signs embody intuition.
Each individual sign also embodies elements of the cosmos that translate to physical qualities and personality traits. For instance, the earth sign Taurus the bull, known for being dependable, peaceful and methodical is ruled by the planet Venus, associated with amorous love, and is often represented by copper and by the colors green and brown. In the body, Taurus rules the throat, vocal cords and other anatomical structures associated with the head and neck.