Astrology Symbols 🌛

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Complete list of astrology and astronomy symbols of Unicode 11 (released in 2018-06).

🌑 🌒 🌓 🌔 🌕 🌖 🌗 🌘 🌙 🌛 🌜 🌝 🌚
(60°) (30°) (135°) (cross in square position )


Note that there are 2 symbols for earth: {, }. the one with cross on top of circle came from stylized globus cruciger (Latin, “cross-bearing orb”).

globus cruciger

The globus cruciger (Latin, “cross-bearing orb”), aka orb and cross, is a Christian symbol of authority since the Middle Ages, used on coins, in iconography, and with the sceptre as royal regalia.

Imperial Orb of the Holy Roman Empire 30172 s
Imperial Orb of the Holy Roman Empire, in Schatzkammer in Wien (Austria).

The symbol for Venus is also the female sign in biology. The Venus symbol ♀ used as female symbol began with Swedish botanist, physician, zoologist Carl Linnaeus around 1750s.

Venus is the Roman goddess of sex, from Greek's Aphrodite. See also: the Story of Cupid and Psyche.

The origin of the Venus symbol seems to be the goddess's necklace, later envolved to be taken as a hand mirror.

The symbol for Mars became male sign. Mars is god of war in Roman mythology (from Greek's Ares).

The origin of the Mars symbol is from the weapon spear.

Today, Pluto is no longer considered a planet, but a dwarf planet, alone with other dwarf planets discovered recently. One of them is Eris (dwarf planet), but it doesn't have agreed-upon sign, and no Unicode symbol dedicated to it. (Eris is goddess of strife. She tossed a golden apple with inscription “for the most beautiful” in the midst of the feast of the gods at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis as a prize of beauty, thus sparking a vanity-fueled dispute among goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite that eventually led to the Trojan War. )

The BLACK MOON LILITH is a hypothetical moon proposed in 1918 by astrologer Walter Gorn Old. It's not recognized in astronomy today or in the past. Though, there is a asteroid named 1181 Lilith.

Lilith is a figure in Jewish mythology, a “night monster”. Lilith

Venus and Mars Symbol Origin

It's said that Venus symbol came from the shape of a hand mirror, and Mars symbol came from shield and spear.

It takes a lot research to find their origin, and there does not seem to be nice concise reason of origin. These are ancient symbols appearing in as early as Roman era.

The Mars symbol based on spear, seems to be valid. And symbol of Venus may came from a depiction of goddess venus with necklace.

The written symbols for Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn have been traced to forms found in late Greek papyri.[2] Early forms are also found in medieval Byzantine codices in which many ancient horoscopes were preserved.[3] Antecedents of the planetary symbols are attested in the form of attributes given to the respective classical deities, represented in simplified pictographic form already in the Roman era, as attested in the Bianchini's planisphere (2nd century, Louvre inv. Ma 540)[4] where the seven planets are represented by portraits of the seven corresponding gods, each with a simple representation of an attribute, as follows: Mercury has a caduceus; Venus has, attached to her necklace, a cord connected to another necklace; Mars, a spear; Jupiter, a staff; Saturn, a scythe; the Sun, a circlet with rays emanating from it; and the Moon, a headdress with a crescent attached.[5]

A diagram in[clarification needed] the astronomical compendium by Johannes Kamateros (12th century) shows the Sun represented by the circle with a ray, Jupiter by the letter zeta (the initial of Zeus, Jupiter's counterpart in Greek mythology), Mars by a shield crossed by a spear, and the remaining classical planets by symbols resembling the modern ones, without the cross-mark seen in modern versions of the symbols. These cross-marks first appear in the late 15th or early 16th century. According to Maunder, the addition of crosses appears to be “an attempt to give a savour of Christianity to the symbols of the old pagan gods.”[5]

The modern symbols for the seven classical planets (with an additional crossbar in the symbol for Mercury) are found in a woodcut of the seven planets, represented as the corresponding gods riding chariots, in a Latin translation of Abu Ma'shar's De Magnis Coniunctionibus printed at Venice in 1506.[6]

[2017-07-08 Wikipedia Planet symbols]

The citation given by Wikipedia are:

  1. The IAU Style Manual (PDF). 1989. p. 27.
  2. Jones, Alexander (1999). Astronomical papyri from Oxyrhynchus. pp. 62–63. ISBN 0-87169-233-3.
  3. Neugebauer, Otto (1975). A history of ancient mathematical astronomy. pp. 788–789. ISBN 0-387-06995-X.
  4. “Bianchini's planisphere”. Florence, Italy: Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (Institute and Museum of the History of Science). Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  5. Maunder (1934)
  6. Maunder (1934:239)

the “Maunder (1934)” refers to “The origin of the symbols of the planets” by Maunder, A. S. D. Published by The Observatory, Vol. 57, p. 238-247 (1934) in 1934 See link


origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934 35574
“The origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934”. illustration of parts of Bianchini's planisphere.

“Bianchini's planisphere” is dated 2nd century. Planisphere is a star chart on disk.

origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934 98438
“The origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934”.
origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934 23747
“The origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934”. Here, the symbol of Venus began as a necklace attached to another. From Bianchini's planisphere.
The origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934 01146
“The origin of the symbols of the planets by Maunder 1934”

Here's a publication from 1842. Says the origin of symbols: “Venus a circular looking-glass with a handle”. Or “others have thought that Mercury was designated by putting a and together, the initials of ariNBov; Venus, from the first and last letters of twoodpoc”

venus sign Penny Cyclopedia of the Society v22 p197
“The Penny Cyclopedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful, Volume 22, p197.” by C Knight?. 1842?

The symbol for the Sun is all that modern abridgment has left of a face surrounded by rays: Mercury has the caduceus, or rod, entwined by two serpents: Venus a circular looking-glass with a handle: the Earth (a modern symbol) has a sphere with an equator, and also (with some), an in: verted symbol of Venus. Those who first used it did not, we presume, know that they might be making a looking-glass turned upside down represent their planet. The symbol of the moon is obvious: Mars has what remains of a spear and shield: Westa, an altar with fire on it; Juno, a sceptre; ceres, a reaper's scythe: Pallas, the head of a lance: Jupiter, supposed to be a symbol of the thunder (arm and handholding thunder?): Saturn, an altered form of a mower's scythe, the emblem of time: Uranus, the initial letter of Herschel, the discoverer's name, with a symbol of a planet attached. But others have thought that Mercury was designated by putting a and together, the initials of ariNBov; Venus, from the first and last letters of twoodpoc; Jupiter, from the first and last letters of Zetc. These signs are found on very old manuscripts and gems, variously figured, but all with some general resemblance to the modern printed forms. - -

[from “The Penny Cyclopedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful, Volume 22, p197.” by C Knight?. 1842? at ]

Here's a textbook from 1857. Saying Venus symbol came from hand mirror.

venus symbol origin 08306 mars symbol origin 43615
[A High-School Astronomy By Hiram Mattison. At , accessed on 2017-03-22 ]

A High-School Astronomy: in which the DESCRIPTIVE, PHYSICAL, AND PRACTICAL ARE COMBINED, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE WANTS OF ACADEMIES AND SEMINARIES OF LEARNING. By Hiram Mattison, A.M. late professor of natural philosophy and astronomy in the fallex? seminary. 1857

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