From Rosa Parks to Anne Frank to Emily Dickinson, we've picked our favorite hisorical women of the zodiac to honor Women's History Month in March, and International Women's Day on March 8.
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Fannie Farmer: March 23, 1857
No one is more fearless than Aries, and Fannie Farmer proved it. Even after suffering a paralytic stroke at a young age, she pushed right through her physical handicaps. She ultimately defied doctors' expectations by becoming the Boston Cooking School's most outstanding student, and eventually, its director. Fannie was an expert in the art of cooking, and mastered methods and recipes ranging from the plain and simple to the intricate and luxurious. In true Aries spirit, she pioneered the use of precise, standard level measurement and revolutionized recipe writing. Her expertise in nutrition carried her on to a career as a cookbook author and a lecturer to nurses and women's clubs, and even at prestigious institutions such as the Harvard Medical School.
Taurus (April 20 to May 20)
Catherine the Great: May 2, 1729
This determined czarina showed Taurus' ability to protect the status quo, even though the spirit of her times was characterized by sweeping change. While America and France struggled through wars resulting from incendiary demands for personal liberty, Catherine expanded Russia's empire, incorporating westernization and modernization into her vision of empire -- which she controlled autocratically with an iron hand. While she was an advocate of education among Russia's elite, Catherine's policies strengthened the hold of the landed gentry over the lower classes. Ruled by Venus' earthy side, she is also known for her various romantic indiscretions. Taurus does have a small bit of trouble resisting such delicious, sensual pleasures, after all.
Gemini (May 21 to June 20)
Anne Frank: June 12, 1929
Anne Frank's painful account of hiding from the Nazis in a secluded attic above her father's store displays Gemini's compulsion to gather and disseminate information, even under the most austere conditions imaginable. It is also interesting that Anne gave her diary a name, Kitty, so that she felt as though she was confiding to something more animated than a mere book filled with blank pages. This could be one way that she displayed Gemini's desire to have a mirror, or "twin" to share life with. Her particular distaste for isolation, and her ambition to one day become a writer, are further testimony to her Gemini nature.
Cancer (June 21 to July 22)
Helen Keller: June 27, 1880
For Cancerian Helen Keller, it was never enough to simply overcome her own blindness and deafness. She took her strong nurturing instincts and turned them toward a very wide audience, advocating for others who needed the same kind of education she was given as a young girl. After graduating from Radcliffe College with high honors, she set out to describe her difficult path so that the public might understand it more fully. Her consciousness-raising efforts made it possible for people with disabilities to bring equality closer to reality. An important member of the suffrage movement, a pacifist and a Socialist, Keller was also a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Leo (July 23 to Aug. 22)
Madame Blavatsky: Aug. 12, 1831
It would take a Leo's courage to believe she can psychically foresee the future, travel out of her body, levitate and manifest objects through materialization. Madame Blavatsky, born Helena von Han, founded the Theosophical movement in the late 1800s. Proud and courageous, Leos enjoy bringing out the best in the people they meet, so it's no surprise that Blavatsky inspired her readers and followers to seek their own connection with spirit through esoteric studies. She traveled the world to learn about religions, concluding that they have a common, seminal essence that binds all of humankind together. Her leadership toward this truth has helped many to understand that the world's peoples really are of one divine nature.
Virgo (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Elizabeth I : Sept. 7, 1533
The fact that she is known as "The Virgin Queen" is not the only indication that Elizabeth I of England displayed sound Virgo credentials. The last regent of the Tudor Dynasty, she survived the indignity of being declared an illegitimate child of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, waiting in the wings patiently while her brother and half-sister did fast crash-and-burn stints on the throne. Elizabeth reigned for 44 years with what most would have characterized as an even hand and an adaptable, Virgo-like spirit. She also allowed others to shine, as evidenced by the great dramatists and seafarers that thrived during her reign.
Libra (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
Eleanor Roosevelt: Oct. 11, 1884
Diplomacy is Libra's strong suit, and Eleanor Roosevelt had more than enough to get her through a challenging lifetime. From managing her marriage after it had been tainted by her husband's affair to acting as one of the country's first delegates to the United Nations General Assembly, she always had a knack for creating a peaceful atmosphere. Her co-authorship of The UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights was testimony to her commitment to the liberties of all individuals, as was her participation in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. Leave it to a Libra to understand both sides of every sort of dispute and make heroic efforts to bring them together.
Scorpio (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
Marie Antoinette: Nov. 2, 1755
No one really knows if she ever uttered the words "let them eat cake," but Marie Antoinette would have been unabashed by the accusation. Scorpio is always intent on having the best of everything, and she certainly tried to secure a prosperous state of being for herself as well as her family. Married at the age of 14 to the man who would later become King Louis XVI, she was a loyal wife and protective mother. Marie embodied Scorpio pride and dignity when she stayed true to her family and maintained a brave front -- until the time that she perished, shortly after watching her husband die during the Reign of Terror, by losing her own head to the guillotine.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
Emily Dickinson: Dec. 10, 1830
Emily Dickinson may not have been a typical Sagittarius in every way, as she was known to be somewhat of a social recluse. When it came to the life of the mind, though, the Centaur's compulsion to share her truth with the rest of the world was obvious. She carried out many of her friendships through writing letters, and spent a lot of her time writing poetry. By refusing to conform to traditional poetry formats, she made her own rules when it came to writing, and since her death scholars continue to marvel at the deep richness of her works.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
Joan of Arc: Jan. 6, 1412
Capricorn's fixation on the big picture and appetite for achievement were certainly some of the forces that drove St. Joan of Arc to her acts of bravery. No matter how discouraged people might be, particularly in a situation as bleak as the Hundred Years' War, miracles can happen once a Capricorn arrives on the scene with the ability to go from the deepest lows to the highest of heights. Of course she had to fight to overcome the resistance of cynical French commanders, but eventually they allowed her to act on the visions from God that she claimed. Ever since her grizzly death, many French citizens have spoken of their gratitude for Joan's faith in God -- and herself.
Aquarius (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18)
Rosa Parks: Feb. 4, 1913
Being famous for an act of defiance seems to be every Aquarian's dream, and Rosa Parks (image above) achieved it by refusing to move to the back of the bus. Not only did she stand on her own against the prejudice and ignorance that surrounded her, but she wound up sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a key component of the Civil Rights Movement. Working with Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders, Rosa helped people find peaceful ways to fight against racial segregation and social injustice. More than just her independent streak, it must have been her Aquarian sense of making the world a better place for everyone that gave her the courage to stop giving in to racism.
Pisces (Feb. 19 to March 20)
Harriet Tubman: March 10, c. 1820
Wherever selfless acts are found, so too is probably at least one Pisces. Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, so it was easy for her to understand why it was necessary to help others escape this inhuman condition, as she had done. As a result of a brutal accident caused by an irate slave owner, Harriet suffered a head injury which was said to have caused her to have visions -- vivid dreams and claims that she was receiving message from God. Given that she was born under the most visionary sign in the zodiac, it could be that Harriet truly was inspired by a power greater than anyone on the earthly plane.
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