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While the word Zodiac and Astrology are closely related they are not interchangeable, as some people might believe.  The Zodiac is merely a part of astrology, and while most cultures astrological tradition hosts some sort of zodiac, it is by no means exclusive to any one culture.

The Zodiac ("Circle of Animals") is the name given to the band of the ecliptic encircling the earth. It is like a belt in space, about 15 degrees wide, across which the planets move and form their geometrical relationships. The Zodiac forms the stellar backdrop for the apparent path of the Sun, called the plane of the ecliptic.

Astrologers divide the circle of the ecliptic into twelve parts, each subdivided into 30 degrees, making 360 degrees in all. The twelve divisions are called the Signs of the Zodiac. These signs are related (but not exactly identical) to the constellations (star groups) of the same name.

The position of the sky at the time of your birth decides which zodiac sign you belong to, and as many believe, what characteristics you will carry with you for your entire life.