“Once upon a time” is perhaps the most enchanting, whimsical, and promising word in the English language. Jack Zipes, author and academic at Gemini, asserts that fairy tales have served as metaphors for conquering mankind’s afflictions since the beginning of recorded history.
The 26th of February is National Tell a Fairytale Day, an annual celebration of turning nightmares into happily ever afters. Several of the tales we know are credited to Aesop, a Greek slave, and storyteller who created ethical guidelines for his fellow man through oral tradition.
It’s no secret that OG fairy tales were darker than Disney portrays them; filled with allegory and cannibalism, gruesome deaths and unheeded warnings. Fairy tales are replete with symbolism and archetypes, which make them a great match for astrology.
Here are some fairy tales based on the zodiac signs in honor of National Tell a Fairy Tale Day.
ARIES (March 21 – April 19)
Rapunzel: According to the Major Arcana of the Tarot, Aries represents the Tower card and governs the head and hair physically. The story of Rapunzel tells of a beautiful girl who is imprisoned in a tower with nothing but her hair for company.
The prince that rescues Rapunzel is undaunted by heights and witches and like most Aries folk I know, is more than comfortable with a little hair-pulling. Aries is ruled by Mars, and at their best embody the archetype of the fearless hero and recklessly romantic.
TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)
Beauty and the Beast: Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and value. Taurus folk are hedonists at heart and can mistake good looks for strength of character and ugliness for weakness. Because of his superficiality and licentious nature, the Beast is cursed by the Devil as punishment for his cardinal sins.
When the witch in question turns the prince’s servants into household items and symbols of the aristocracy, she is conflating Taurus with the second house of values and possessions. It is evident that the servants of Taurus are loyal AF, as demonstrated by the candelabra’s fisticuff posture and the teapot’s scalding spout of hot tea.
This sensual homebody enjoys throwing dinner parties and dressing up so he doesn’t have to leave the house. It’s a very “be our guest” vibe. The rose bloom serves as the curse countdown in this story, representing Taurus in flora and fauna.
The Taurus trajectory teaches self-love and the importance of trout as autonomous as individuals, not possessions.
GEMINI (May 21 – June 20)
Rumpelstiltskin: mutable air sign is clever, curious, a master of wordplay, and smart enough to get someone else to do the work for them. Rumpelstiltskin and this mutable air sign have much in common. As a symbol of the dual nature of all things and all people, Gemini is embodied by the immortal and mortal twins Castor and Pollux.
We can read Rumpelstiltskin and our heroine, the miller’s daughter, as two sides of the same coin and a complete representation of Gemini energy, which is at its most basic a trickster thief, and at its highest form a clever, cunning messenger.
CANCER (June 21 – July 22)
Cinderella: During the month of Cancer, the lunar luminary represents the divine feminine, the archetype of the mother, and the fourth house of roots, home, and ancestry. As with most fairy tales, Cinderella has both a wicked stepmother and a magical mother, making it one of the oldest and most universal stories ever told.
A precursor to the fairy godmother character, some versions see Cinderella being helped by an animal incarnation of her dead mother or even an enchanted tree that grows from her grave. Matrilineal heritage and reverence for the magic it produces are the common threads in all of these tales.
LEO (July 23 – August 22)
Leo is ruled by the sun, and its power color is gold, and this story begins with a princess losing her gilded ball. The sign of Leo is unquestionably the most regal of the zodiac, and it demands recognition as such. Our frog protagonist, in spite of his humble appearance, insists on pillows and a seat at the table.
Leos are masters of PR, and in the OG version of the story, the princess hurled the prince’s amphibian body against the wall, returning him to human form. Leonine rebranding is characterized by narrative gloLeonine puckers.
In the Grimm’s fairy tale version, the frog prince is attended by a loyal servant who fixes three iron bands around his heart to keep it from breaking under the unbearable sadness of his prince’s plight. It is the frog prince’s return that causes the servant’s joy, which breaks the bands and frees his heart. The joy of hearing applause, having someone follow their advice, or forming and/or an impromptu circle is similar for Leos.
VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)
Little Red Riding Hood: The Virgo sign rules the bowels, and in some versions of this fairy tale, Little Red is swallowed whole by, and eventually rescued from, the hungry wolf’s belly. Virgo is associated with a tarot, it a card in the major arcana of the Tarot, which depicts a hooded figure holding an enlightening lantern. In this sense, Little Red Riding Hood is the hooded feminine hermit and a force for awakening in the tale of retreat, initiation, and consciousness through trial.
LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)
The Princess and the Pea: The seventh house of partnerships is ruled by Libra, the sign of scales and balances. A native’s ability to mirror others and maintain an enviable skin makes them diplomatic, pleasant, terminally indecisive, and highly adaptable to shifting social dynamics and expectations. There is a story called “The Princess and the Pea” about a momma’s boy prince who cannot find a suitable wife everywhere he goes.
There is a rainy evening when an alleged princess comes knocking on the castle door looking for shelter from the storm. Venus-ruled Libra is a good host, willing to open the door and prepare the guest room even if they are being ripped off. Librans are capable of intuiting when things are out of alignment as shown by the princess’ ability to find the pea amid a fat stack of mattresses.
There is of course the possibility that the princess was never actually a princess, but rather a highly skilled social climber who used charm, sensitivity, worldly wiles, and an ability to meet expectations to succeed. Libra is an ace at velvet-handed manipulation, as well as mattress stacking, which is so smooth that it’s hardly noticeable.
SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)
Sleeping Beauty: The eighth house of Scorpio is ruled by sex, death, and regeneration, all of which are portrayed in Sleeping Beauty. Babies are cursed at birth, destined to enact themselves when they reach the age of sexual maturity.
Only a mouth kiss from the right suitor can cure death by turning it into a century of sleep. The wrath of a Scorpio is its favorite sin, and transformation is its preferred modality, making Maleficent’s hex and Aurora’s awakening a perfect fit.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)
Jack and the Beanstalk: Despite bottoming out, I’ll be back on top after a dicey decision. Sagittarius is the gambler of the zodiac. He’s ready to bet the family cow on some sketchy magic beans. Dumb luck and aggressive optimism help make the wager pay off, as it so often does for archers who follow Jupitercount the abundant star.
CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)
Three Little Pigs: As a cardinal earth sign, Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of lessons and legacies, both the hard and the right way. The Three Little Pigs is, in a way, a parable about the importance of diligence, hard work, and building a strong and lasting foundation while illustrating the dire consequences of shortcuts.
Its chinny chin chins are also covered with hair, which symbolizes Capricorn. It makes sense that this holy trinity of piglets would boil and eat the wolf who had sought to make them his dinner as Capricorn is a cunning and vengeful sign.
AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)
The Ugly Duckling: Aquarius stands out from the rest of the signs. The Aquarius archetype is that of the outsider and the other who must overcome doubt in order to fulfill their weirdo water bearer destiny. This trajectory is easily seen in “The Ugly Duckling,” in which a fledgling swan believes himself to be inferior to ducks.
Uranus’ energy encourages radical individualism in service of the collective, and the moral of this fixed air sign is that fitting in is futile and belonging to yourself is the only thing that matters. Moreover, swans and Aquarians are both difficult to deal with because they are otherworldly.
PISCES (February 19 – March 20)
The Little Mermaid: Neptune rules Pisces, named after the god of the sea and represented in “The Little Mermaid” by the straight-up zaddy King Triton. Pisces is the zodiac sign who will brave the greatest depths and the rockiest shores in the name of love.
Sacrificial AF seems to indicate that Ariel might trade her clearly superior fish tales for mute bipedalism. That’s so sad. Despite being attracted to broken people and bent forks, Pisces sees the beauty in everything.