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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.

        (June 22 - July 22) CARDINAL WATER SIGN

Cancer symbolically represents the mother who just gave birth to her child and is full and satisfied by the completeness of this experience. The Sun enters Cancer at the summer solace, when the longest day of the year meets the shortest night. Nature is at the peak of its productivity. Fruit ripens slowly and grain grows verdant in the fields. In this seasonal phase there is almost a narcissistic pleasure in nature that proudly displays its fruits, full and fleshy, but at the same time there is the melancholy awareness that they will not remain like this for long. The time will come when, heavy and ripe, they fall to the ground to be gathered or eaten by animals. Cancer holds the meaning of the entire life cycle: there's birth, but also the future and erosion of life, as is taught by the Moon cycle that is born, grows, wanes and dies to be reborn again. In this phase we become aware that life is indissolubly tied to death: we enter life through birth and fatally return to the original nothingness through death.

Faced with the profound mystery of life and death, the need to give meaning to our lives grows within us. We understand that the answers to our "whys" cannot be found externally, but deep within ourselves: it is the unconscious that calls to us and asks us to return and lose ourselves in its large womb, where it all began. The desire to regress to the maternal womb, typical in the Cancer phase, does not, however, only concern the will to feel protected, cared for, embraced, but reflects the deeper need for interior research. Just like a foetus, that is nourished by the mother through the umbilical cord where it receives sustenance necessary for its growth, we seek the psychological support necessary for our inner growth within our familiar environment. Cancer's energy thus fully concerns the interior. The conscious folds in on itself. The extreme sensitivity and perception innate in this sign lets us come into contact with the exterior world but only and exclusively through our subjectivity with the result that we can only grasp that which our inner world can support. The tendency to perceive reality subjectively is undoubtedly the highest risk we run if we cannot wisely control Cancer's energy: in fact, we humour the tendency to project, without any objectivity, our crises and our anxieties on our surrounding world. We always feel like victims of aggression and provocations and, to defend ourselves from these attacks, we will tend to sediment ourselves in an exterior immobility and escape to the dreamy and imaginary world of infancy, fuelled by intense unconscious activity, further isolating ourselves from the real world.

The basic question is: should we remain attached to the dreamy and imaginary world of infancy, digging in, wasting away, dying in the past or will we be able to be born again, to open up to the unknown and face life, knowing its uncertainty and the inevitability of having to face its snares alone= In this phase we prepare ourselves for the process of individualisation through which we become separate individuals. It forces us to experience separation. If Cancer's energy is well integrated, we reach our individuality facing the fear of isolation and separation and we can realise the maternal values in the autonomy of an adult.

      (July 23 - August 22) FIXED FIRE SIGN

Leo symbolically represents the path that each person undertakes in search of their destiny. It is the period when the fruits of the earth are ripe and begin to be gathered. The sun in this sign is shown in all its generosity, shining light and heat without reserve, at times burning and drying out what it touches. It is in this phase of the year that the harvest, whether good or bad, is celebrated. There is euphoria, pride, optimism, generosity, often exaggerated to waste but no matter. For once we can let ourselves enjoy and bask in the satisfaction without worrying about tomorrow. In the animal world, it is the time of separation and autonomy: cubs, having become adults, leave their mothers and must enter the jungle alone.

The predominant power of the unconscious, tied to the world of infancy, imagination, fusion with the mother figure, to which Cancer is subject and that the Moon represents in its changes and mystery, is opposed in Leo by the power of the conscious tied to the symbol of the Sun, stable point of reference, always true to itself. Under the impulse of Leo's solar energy we are encouraged to build faith in our means, We feel the power and courage grow in us and do not fear what awaits us in the world. Rather, we can't wait, being the heroes we are, to fight a frightening dragon and prove to ourselves that nothing is going to get in the way of our need to live, shine and command. The rise, in Leo, is a job that implies continuous effort to integrate all the aspects of human nature, even the most vile and false, in a mature and knowing personality: man's eternal struggle to fight and kill the beast that roars inside him, and then wear the skin to demonstrate his victory over fear and passion. Leo's true majesty is found in the awareness of our value and our vocation, but to discover who we are and the meaning of our existence we are forced to fight our fears, our passions and our instincts. We have to face, fearlessly, the challenges, failures and suffering life forces on us. Only when we have learnt to suffer, and thus to understand others' suffering, will we gain charisma, authority and the wisdom that will allow us to be a guide for others, to be an example, and then we can generously bestow our qualities and fruits of our experience on others, just like a father does with his family.

In fact, in symbolic terms, the search for the ego is similar to the search for the father figure that each child must find to become an adult and, in turn, a father. If Leo's energy is expressed alternately, we will be driven to overestimate our potential and consider ourselves exceptional with the risk of a true inflation of the ego which, in its exaggerated ambition, will demand personal success at all costs and for him only. Undoubtedly, vanity is the highest risk we run if we do not learn the limits and fallibility rooted in human nature and this is mandatory in the growth that this zodiac sign symbolically represents.

       (August 23 - September 22) MOBILE EARTH SIGN

Virgo coincides with the end of the summer, the fields mowed, seeds gathered and the yellowing leaves begin to fall with the first September winds: it is harvest time. Nature provides its fruits, everything sown in the spring and ripened in the summer. In this period of the year, when the earth seems sterile and unproductive, the conditions for the next cycle are prepared: the earth must regain its virginity awaiting to rebuild the humus suited to later receive new seeds. This sign includes both the symbols of sterility and fertility. In fact, the symbol of the virgin is associated with the abundance of the harvest, the mowing of the fields that it, on the one hand, strip the earth of its fruits, leaving it bare, on the other it allows new seeds to form and the cycle to continue. Each fruit, flower, every element in nature is a single and essential note in a larger harmony, participating in a larger order where everything has its place, its time, its function, its cycle. In nature, what never changes and remains permanently the same, it is the process of transformation that cyclically repeats itself in the same way for each of its creatures. In this endless repetition of the same process is the inalterability, immobility of nature. This is what remains at the end of all its changes, countless and transitory displays its creatures bring to life. This is somehow its essence.

The subjective and highly individual view of existence in Virgo, typical of Leo, must give way to a more objective and universal perception of reality, to the awareness that our individuality must be sacrificed in favour of a greater good, the community, all of humanity whose essence or inalterability is found in the persistent and identical events of the single and transitory lives of each of us. Virgo, stated Barbault, concerns "the smallest part of oneself", meaning that in the time we face up to our limits we must understand that the only way to give meaning to our existence is to make it useful. We stop feeling "unique" to become, each of us, a member of society where there are organisations that have a name and rules. Organisations where to be recognised as individuals, you must play a role that requires you assume responsibilities and a sense of duty. But to discover what role we must play, we must look within ourselves with humility and impartiality, become able to see and accept our limits, learn to judge ourselves only and exclusively based on the results we are able to achieve with our hard work.

In this phase, a strong desire for mental purity and integrity grows within us. We want to cast off any prejudice and past conditioning that could alter the true nature of what we analyse. We want to see clearly and know how to make distinctions, systematically sifting through all our experiences and situations, to understand their essence. However, if the desire to correct and question everything is exasperated, we will be induced to excessive rationalisation, the cold analysis of facts, striped of any emotion and empathy for others. We will appear to be too critical, hard and cynical, even if our criticism is always driven by the noble desire to help both us and others to reach perfection. The risk we run is to feel rejected since considered over critical and perfectionists. In this case isolation could change us into terribly sour and sullen people.

If instead we are able to recognise that others are not the reflection of ourselves, the weaknesses we perceive in others' behaviours can lead us to intense personal improvement, developing an exceptional sense of self-criticism that allows us to recognise our true identity striped of all the false illusions and useless masks created by our needs and ungrounded ambitions.

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