The Zodiac Signs
The 12 zodiac signs symbolically represent models of energy: the Air, Fire, Earth or Water element each belongs to indicates the type of energy, the position it occupies in the zodiac describes the way the energy is expressed. Zodiac signs are a representation of solar time, seasons, life cycles of nature. Each month coincides with a zodiac sign to which psychological attributes in harmony with the natural cycle of that period were assigned. Seasons have an initial phase, an expansion phase and a conclusive phase.
The Cardinal zodiac signs are: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn They correspond to the beginning of the four seasons: Aries and Libra start with the two spring and fall equinoxes, March 21 and September 23 respectively; Cancer and Capricorn with the two summer and winter solaces, June 22 and December 22 respectively.
People with an emphasis in cardinal zodiac signs are, in a certain sense, "pioneers" of the zodiac because they open new roads, start, initiate but often lack in perseverance.
The Fixed zodiac signs are: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius. They correspond to the peak period of the seasons. In Taurus (April 21 - May 20), spring is in full bloom; in Leo (July 23 - August 23), summer, in Scorpio (October 23 - November 22) fall, in Aquarius (January 21 . February 19), winter.
People with an emphasis in fixed zodiac signs tend to preserve a "status quo", pursuing their goals tenaciously and fear changes.
The Mobile zodiac signs are: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces. They correspond to the end of the seasons. Gemini (May 21 - June 21), the end of spring, Virgo (August 24 - September 22) the end of summer, Sagittarius (November 23 - December 21) the end of fall, Pisces (February 20 - March 20) the end of winter.
People with an emphasis in mobile zodiac signs are very versatile and easily adapt to new situations. The risk is that they are not constructive between one change and the next.
The energy models that the 12 zodiac signs represent live in each of us. All twelve zodiac signs are in our birth chart. In some people some zodiac signs will dominate over others but obviously all of us, sooner or later, in one dimension of experience rather than another, will act under the impulse of these energies. A zodiac sign is something much more complex and deeper than a list of personality traits or behavioural stereotype. All the zodiac signs contain conflicts, ambivalence, duplicity, deficiencies. Again, the meaning of each zodiac sign cannot be understood if not included in the logic of the entire zodiac.
(December 21 - January 19) CARDINAL EARTH SIGN
When the Sun enters the constellation of Capricorn, the fully bare nature appears submerged in eternal slumber. It sleeps, striped of all its colours and fragrances. Nothing appears to move but the hope and desire of life, hidden in the depths of the earth's womb, start to stir: day after day, nights shorten and light slowly defeats the darkness. Capricorn which begins with the winter solace, symbolically represents the new seed hidden under the dry and frozen earth. As Barbault wrote, "it is the symbol of the celestial midnight. Stage of conception, root, matrix while it is an earthly noon" when the Sun reaches the highest point in the sky, the Zenith, which in astrology is called the Mid-heaven and which, in the natal chart, indicates ambitions, hopes and the realisation the individual wants to reach. It is the peak of the mountain the unrelenting, solitary and stubborn goat climbs, jumping over crags and cliffs to obtain a full view of the horizon and dominate that underneath, privileges paid with the greatest solitude. That same solitude that drowns us when our childhood dreams meet failure in real life, when we discover that the warm embrace of security conceals betrayal and disappointment and cynicism take the force and power away from our ideals since, as Liz Greene wrote, "the destiny of Capricorn is not that of Sagittarius: the Father's arms are not so welcoming to receive the prodigal son unless he has paid a pretty penny, since this Father does not live in the heavens but on earth". Thus striped of our illusions, our dreams and our foolish need to be unique, we are now ready to face the world and its challenges, conflicts and failures that await us. We are ready to fight to gain our due place in the world and offer our contribution.
The arrow shot from Sagittarius' bow has reached the sky's highest peaks and paved the way for Capricorn: in fact, based on philosophical, scientific, religious and ethical acquisitions, created by Sagittarius' mind, the concepts and organisations of the "State" and "Power" of Capricorn impressively erupt, dominating every individual from above. Rudhyar wrote: "Focused on the Ego, man is nothing more than a narrow body with limited life and awareness. On the symbolic level, man is a small tribe. Leo's pride a perpetual limit. His creative gestures are only rooted in the small reign of his personal experience and geographic surroundings. But when man stops referring every feeling, every assessment, every though to the centre of his being; when man, through a network of social exchanges and love, through education and worldly understanding, through trade, travels and foreign contacts, then the fortified castle of his Ego moves to the "Metropolis" of his greater being. In any case, it may occur that, in this move from his small centre of power, he becomes a simple servant at the court of some powerful Emperor, passively participating in the grandeur and glory of the Empire".
Capricorn challenges us to seek our our own path and fight to avoid the borders and limits set by a society that enforces the same recipe for happiness on all, without making any distinction between the goals we each want to reach to feel complete. If the "child" in us is sacrificed on the altar of a "Power" and an !Authority" whose only goal is to perpetuate itself, if we lose the enthusiasm, fervour and our idealistic drive, we become "painted tombs", unable to welcome the future, incapable of transformation and revolution because, as Rudhyar wrote: "Civilisation, the god of Capricorn, must always destroy itself to increase its range and powers".
(January 20 - February 18) FIXED AIR SIGN
When the Sun enters the constellation of Aquarius, new energies take form and strength in nature. The light of the sun slowly staves away the shadows which, slowly, become less threatening. The rains nourish the earth and the new seeds gain strength and energy. Nothing reveals nature's awakening. There is only one particular atmosphere, a will for something new in the sparkling air, small premature hints that forebode the nearing new spring. Similarly, in the individual, Aquarius' energy is expressed through intuition and the discovery of new values and ideas, ready to be realised.
Aquarius is represented by the image of a man who pours water from an amphora. Water, symbolically tied to the unconscious world, emotive, emotions, and its journey towards the earth, comes into contact with air, the reign of ideas and thought. This is because a contact, an exchange of thought and emotion: thought grants emotion its ability to imagine and build possible worlds where the individual good coincides with the common good and emotion grants thought its ability to empathise and love. This is the water that the earth must welcome and absorb: the water carrier, symbol of fertility and love offered to humanity, represents the gift of oneself which, as Barbault said: " is a safe instinct because it does not belong to the being who feels it but to the others who receive it". In the individual's evolutionary cycle, Aquarius represents the phase when Leo's "Ego" is overcome, focused on his individuality, in favour of conquering collective conscious. The individual becomes universal in Aquarius. Man breaks down the borders of his ego and becomes aware of not only the place he occupies in society-state, but of the profound bond that units and joints him to all other men, to humanity as a whole, past, present and future, and learns to think and feel the "other" in a universal context, where sex, race and social status distinctions no longer have any meaning. Traditionally, Aquarius is associated with the mythical figure of Prometheus, the hero that stole fire from Zeus to give it to man. Prometheus, who with his altruistic gesture gave mankind the knowledge of fire, violated divine law and for this "sin" is punished by Zeus to atrocious suffering and profound solitude.
As Liz Greene wrote in "Astrology and Destiny": "We are faced with the jealous God of Genesis, who does not want His Creature to share the fruits of the tree of knowledge and life for fear that man can become like God. Man who gained the new knowledge suffers a transformation or expansion of knowledge and is no longer like his equals. He has risen above the human level of his time but, by doing so, distances himself from the human race. The pain derived by this solitude is the revenge of the gods since they can no longer return among man. All the traditional intellectual fields occupied by Aquarius (science, invention, common good, psychology and even astrology) are invalidated by this solitude which is the price to be paid for having offended Zeus. It is that secret impulse-shadow that is behind who - must - help others, since it is through this will to help that the intense solitude derived by knowledge is, albeit slightly, alleviated".
And thus the person who is sensitive to Aquarius' energy is solitary and independent in his choices, eccentric and rebellious. He cannot or does not want to be like others. He avoids the beaten track. He does not let himself be influenced by prejudice and traditions. He abhors conventions and fights against dogmas and principles enforced by morals and the society. Becoming the knight and spokesperson for Man's values, with a capital M, this is what he deems his duty. The voice he listens to is only and exclusively that of the group, of the multitudes since he does not trust in himself nor in the rigid political and economic organisations, built on Capricorn's concepts of power and control. The challenge offered by Aquarius is the ability to go beyond the confines of our small, closed, obtuse, standard world built at the top of the peak wearily conquered in Capricorn, and that arrogantly thought was the only way possible, eternal and unshakable.
(February 19 - March 20) MOBILE WATER SIGN
When the Sun enters the constellation of Pisces, the last sign in the zodiac, nature, although still silent and colourless, is ready to awake from its long winter sleep, ready to re-flourish and restart a new cycle. The earth heated by the increasingly hotter sun rays, is damp, rich and fertile. The buds are swollen with dew and close to blooming. The symbolic image that best represents this seasonal phase is that of the child about to be born. The foetus in the last months of pregnancy is able to perceive what occurs outside, hearing noise, sounds, the mother's emotions but still lives in the completeness of a perfect union with her, protected, encased by her womb. The nostalgia for that moment, the will and hop to one day find that lost unity, accompanies us throughout our lives.
The base theme is tied to the mystic Pisces sign is the pursuit of "fusion" with another and the road that will lead us to find this intimate union, is the fully unconditional "Love" for all creatures. Pisces' theme is found in Genesis, when it mentions that in the beginning, man was in perfect union with God, and only after the original sin, stopped doing God's will to assert himself, and in the figure of Christ, symbol of universal and cosmic Love: Jesus died on the cross to redeem humanity. In his extreme sacrifice, Jesus, fully renouncing himself, demonstrates his love for man who can thus reunite with God. Pisces' energy, through the experience of unconditional Love, that leads us to renounce our desires and needs to sacrifice ourselves, attempts to have us return to the time and place where the "I" was confused with the "you", and man with God. In this context, Pisces' qualities such as compassion, participation in the other's pain and ability to naturally empathise with others must be read.
However, to realise this ideal state of union with another, we must free ourselves of the conditioning and limits that our passions and society forced upon us. We must dissolve the chains of the will to succeed and power, inhibited ambition, hate and egoism in the sea of universal Love and then we must complete the work of purification and rectification started in the sign of Virgo. However, the immense task and work of purification that leads to the rejection and loss of egotistically personal and cultural values, can lead us to a state of passive acceptance, to take the tests forced upon us by life with extreme fatalism and then, resigned and defeated, under the weight of the enormous stone, it is easy to give up at every battle and from potential saviours we become victims of destiny. In extreme cases we can attempt to escape reality, hiding in the artificial paradises of drugs and alcohol. The graphic symbol of this zodiac sign are two fish who swim in opposite directions: the first downstream towards the sea, the infinite, the universal, the meeting with the absolute. The second upstream to generate a new life.