I am an amateur astrology nerd and a Buffy fanatic, and the following is my humble attempt to illustrate my opinion of how the show’s twelve major characters (except Dawn, for several reasons) could each personify a sun sign archetype. Of course I know it’s a lot more complicated than that, but this is just for fun.
PART 2: Virgo | Aries | Capricorn | Pisces | Taurus | Scorpio. Read part 1 here!
Rupert Giles — Virgo
If anyone can be counted on in a pinch, it’s Giles: organized, dependable and erudite. Call him up and he’ll be there, with love and support and an impressive base of information on any number of topics. Bespectacled and British, Giles is forever looking something up or counselling Buffy on the backstory of the evil she’s fighting. The Virgin is a lifelong student, not sexually virginal but untainted by things not related to the pursuit of knowledge. Giles isn’t a prude — courting Jenny, having a fling with Olivia, rolling around on a cop car with Buffy’s mom (Band Candy, S3E6) — but he does keep his romantic needs neatly in check, as he’s mostly focused on education and training. As an earth sign, Giles is a grounded and practical Watcher, and a benevolent father figure. He’s the one to hand Buffy a check when she becomes destitute after her mother’s death (Life Serial, S6E5). But as a mutable sign, Giles is not afraid to break with Council custom when it no longer serves him or his Slayer. Virgo, governed by communicative Mercury, rules the sixth house of work and health, and Giles is strong in both respects — always dutifully tending to necessary tasks, and rarely under the weather (except when he gets knocked unconscious).
Faith — Aries
There are a lot of words to describe Faith — tough, intense, fearless, arrogant — but the most accurate one may be hot-blooded. The darker Slayer flies by the seat of her leather pants, often running to or from something without worrying about where she might end up. She’s the devil on Buffy’s shoulder, goading her into blowing off training, dirty dancing, and petty vandalism. Despite her bad-girl exterior, she does have strong feelings and deep-seated vulnerabilities, but as the first sign of the zodiac, this Ram is primarily concerned with her independence, getting her way, and getting away with it. As a fire sign, Faith can change anyone’s life in a day, and blow their whole world wide open. When the Mayor calls her a “firecracker” in Graduation Day: Part One (S3E21), she admits it was a nickname her mother used. And as a cardinal sign, Faith is fierce and assertive. When she has her sights set on something, she gets it — her “Want. Take. Have” juxtaposes Buffy’s “Wait. Stop. Think.” (Bad Girls, S3E14). Faith takes orders from no one, and would rather commit murder than be put in prison. “We don’t need the law; we are the law,” she declares in Consequences (S3E15). Aries, governed by ambitious Mars, rules the first house of self and ego, and that’s basically Faith’s middle name.
Riley Finn — Capricorn
Reliable, sincere, disciplined and determined, Riley gives and follows orders with equal aplomb. At best he’s a rock for Buffy, at worst he pushes her too hard to need him. The Goat sees a mountain and puts one foot in front of the other; Riley does pushups and gives debriefs, arrives on time and loves without guile. His character’s growth is fueled by his rebellion against the Initiative after Maggie Walsh’s death, but even after he goes rogue, he’s still a soldier at heart. And he doesn’t stay broken for long; after Buffy lets him fly to South America in Into the Woods (S5E10), he privately mourns and then moves on when it’s time. As an earth sign, Riley’s a strong and steadfast trooper, with upward mobility and a sturdy Midwestern foundation. As a cardinal sign, Riley gets it done, straight and direct. And Capricorn, governed by structured Saturn, rules the second house of status and authority. Riley is the first to marry, returning to Sunnydale with all the hallmarks of traditional success: a good job, a loving spouse and financial security (As You Were, S6E15). He’s a generally decent guy who wants to do right by his girl, but the thing Buffy initially likes about him — his apparent normality, and the conditions that come with it — is what, more than anything, tears them irreparably apart in the end.
Tara Maclay — Pisces
The dreamiest member of the group, Tara flows through the river of life as an ethereal, intuitive Fish. Often in tune with what others are thinking before they know it themselves, Tara can pick up on subtle energetic cues and adjust her response in kind, as she does in almost every scene in New Moon Rising (S4E19). As a water sign, Tara will always show up for her friends with kindness and compassion, acknowledging difficult feelings without giving false reassurance. As a mutable sign, Tara possesses quiet empathetic depths, which is what attracts Willow to her, and she’s the perfect person to provide Willow with solace and devotion after the devastation of Oz’s departure. The final sign of the zodiac, Pisces can be said to encompass all the others; certainly Tara is wise about emotional and mystical matters, as a gold-star lesbian and powerful witch. And Pisces, governed by spiritual Neptune, rules the twelfth house of psyche and subconscious. So it’s no surprise that Tara is the one targeted by Glory in Tough Love (S5E19), and that after her brain is scrambled she speaks in riddles because she sees and feels things others cannot. She also understands the many consequences magic can have, because she recognizes that it comes from an unknowable place no practitioner can entirely control.
Anya Jenkins — Taurus
It’s been over a thousand years, and the tenacious vengeance demon is still standing. Anya likes stability, and she’s determined the order in which she’d prefer her adult events to occur (“When do we get a car? And a boat […] I mean a puppy. Or a child! I have a list somewhere,” she says to Xander in The Replacement, S5E3). As an earth sign, she’s fond of beautiful, tangible things. And despite her male-punishing past, the physical pleasure of sleeping with Xander surprises her, so she rallies the patience of the Bull and sticks around for more. But before long, her desire for security takes over and she needs to know where the relationship is heading. As a fixed sign, Anya’s happy to put down roots once she adjusts to her new way of life — mortal, engaged, working at a magic shop, contributing to society. Taurus, also governed by Venus, rules the second house of income and resources, and while Anya’s regard for money is played for comic effect, its ability to be counted and exchanged grounds her, and it’s understandable why she finds it so comforting. She also keeps giving Xander chances, even after he abandons her at the altar, right up until he admits he’s still not ready to marry her in Entropy (S6E18). This girl’s got standards, and she isn’t going to settle for less than what she deserves.
Spike — Scorpio
The show’s resident Scorpion, Spike loves to plumb the depths and dig up hidden truths. Nobody gets under Buffy’s skin like he can, with his piercing gaze and his way of telling it like it is. Dangerously sexy and charismatically sinister, he’s a true creature of the night. But underneath the sneering demeanor, this vampire is an emotional water sign. Spike falls fast and he loves hard; he’s possessive and volatile and he’ll lash out when provoked, but he’s also sensitive and perceptive and he almost always regrets it immediately. “I may be love’s bitch, but at least I’m man enough to admit it,” he declares in Lovers Walk (S3E8). As a fixed sign, Spike’s boots are firmly planted in the shadows, even after he gets his soul back. And Buffy is drawn to his unholy magnetism despite her better judgment, as his presence engages the darkness she feels after being pulled from heaven. Their relationship may be poisonous and untenable, but it’s full of an animalistic, otherworldly attraction. Scorpio, governed by mysterious Pluto, rules the eighth house of sex and death; the undead Spike and Buffy literally bring the house down when they finally allow themselves to get together (Smashed, S6E9). Cold showers all around!
Curious about Buffy, Willow, Angel, Xander, Cordilia and Oz? >> Check out part 1! >>
An earlier version of this piece appeared in issue 8 of my personal zine You Know Better in February 2015.