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.
(September 23 - October 22) CARDINAL AIR SIGN
Libra coincides with the beginning of fall. The days are now as long as nights, slowing becoming longer. Nature, until now focused on its vivacious external manifestation, tends to fold in on itself: leaves yellow, branches become bare, everything slowly withdraws upon itself. Nature's great regressive cycle begins. In this period, vegetation moves towards death and the transformation to regenerate in other forms. In the animal world, birds group to migrate and some mammals prepare for hibernation. Libra, opposite Aries in the zodiac, represents the absolute balancing point between the beginning of evolution and regression. In Aries, driven by the affirmation of the ego, symbolically represented by nature's spring reawakening from the long winter hibernation, wins. In Libra, the principle of mediation emerges, symbolically represented by nature's fall twilight, lacking the light and heat needed to fight against nature's disruptive forces.
Under the influence of Libra's energy, we discover that it is easier to "agree" with the "other" than provoke him, in the continuous search to establish a harmonious balance between the different forces and elements. We learn to cultivate values such as those required by ethics, harmony, aesthetics, charm and diplomacy. In reality, the balance is, by definition, always unstable and precarious. Thus the two plates of the scale are never perfectly balanced. In fact, behind the great desire and harmony ideal that animates Libra hides, still pressing, Aries' need for affirmation, now expressed in different ways. Libra honours the agreements, even if the "agreement" between two people can never be equally profitable for both. No matter, once signed and aware that one person inevitably accepts to compromise something for the good of the other, it is respected and honoured.
Thus Libra, like Gemini, confronts us with duality but while this duality represents a step in the learning process in Gemini, in Libra it is expressed on the social level as a choice. Faced with each situation that requires a choice, we tend to meticulously weigh the pros and cons before making any decision. In reality, behind this scrupulous evaluation, there's the desire to have everything in equal measure instead of one despite the other. The the famous "indecision" that characterises the Libra is not triggered by the inability to choose but by the fear of the consequences of this choice. There is thus the tendency to smooth over, pacify and reconcile the differences, to reduce the distances that each of us is inclined to propose when brought up against another. We minimise and shelve all the elements that can lead to conflict and fights, emphasising those that can unit: the truth is that we are not yet ready to compromise the priority of our individuality. The desire for harmony, when excessively expressed, may lead us to hide our true nature which is muted to please others, generating an inner conflict that we have difficulty masking. Harmony, in fact, when created and based on Libra's great power of seduction alone, whose weapons are charm, style, allure and the sense of balance, rests on extremely precarious and insubstantial bases. The desire for harmony and communion with others, in this sign, is still "in the heart", an abstract idea, intangible like air, Libra's element. It is a desire that materialises in either a formal agreement or on the aesthetic level, in the attraction for everything that is "beautiful" like art, painting or music. True communion with another is only built after experiencing emotional involvement, intimacy, trust and fusion with the other. But for this to happen, we must be ready to "die" as single individuals to be "reborn" in a couple as complete individuals.
(October 23 - November 21) FIXED WATER SIGN
Scorpio coincides with the peak of fall. The days are increasingly shorter, the colours of nature are dulled and dark, the animals withdraw in their caves or shelters. All is quiet. Nature's disruptive forces are at work. The fulfil their task. Dead leaves cover the ground merging with the mud from rain, crumbling and decomposing to become earth's rich and fertile humus. In fact, nothing disappears in Scorpio. Everything that dies changes and is reborn in a new form. As Sicuteri wrote, Scorpio returns us to the "mystery of the caterpillar, the silk worm that encloses itself in darkness, in the absolute silence and immobility of the cocoon and evolves into a pupa where substance is shapeless, informal, apparently lifeless for a long period of time". In this phase there is a significant tendency towards introversion. We are driven to dig within the deepest depths of ourselves and face the terrible monsters that live in the darkness of our souls such as the fear of death, separation, inability to peacefully accept the flow of life and thus the desire to control, for security and possession. These demons live in and around us. We are confronted with them on a daily basis. They look like Evil with Suffering etched on their faces. We cannot defeat them since they are part of life but we can transform them into a power purification tool for us and others. The wealth and power of Scorpio are found in this ability to transform and regenerate.
The challenge that this sign offers us is to die to "be more", die to "exceed ourselves". There are four symbols linked to Scorpio: the snake and scorpion that slither on the earth and represent the earthly dimension of the sign, the eagle and phoenix that fly high in the sky to represent the spiritual dimension, earth and sky, matter and spirit, and thus death is the bridge that unites them. If in Libra, meeting the "other" is a desire, an ideal to be achieved, in Scorpio this union becomes real, material: in fact, dying means breaking down our borders to join with "another" body and soul. Sex, in this sense, is nothing more than the total breakdown of our defences and the complete and trusting abandonment to the powers of the other. Only the other's unconditional love, in fact, can break down the barriers of our pride, egotism, jealousy and desire to manipulate. These are the demons we have to face to be reborn in a new life where our individual desires and needs can transform into social desires and needs.
(November 22 - December 20) MOBILE FIRE SIGN
When the Sun enters Sagittarius, vegetation is already dead, the earth bare and dry. It prepares for a long winter nap, readying to face the onset of cold and frost. Silence reigns everywhere and life seems missing in nature. It is invisible. It lives and breathes under the earth's crust. We can't see or touch it but only imagine it, in the same way, as Sicuteri wrote "Sagittarius cross the threshold to a world that only Scorpio indicated with his Guardian; from here on, the individual runs towards a destiny that leads him "out of himself", "beyond himself".
Traditionally, Sagittarius is tied to the mythological Centaur, a being half horse, half man. Specifically, Sagittarius' centaur is an archer aiming his arrow high because, on the one hand, he is inviting us to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground, to actually participate in life and, on the other, to look towards the sky, to follow the arrow, symbol of the path we must take to free us of the chains that keep us prisoners of the narrow and limited dimension of our subjectivity and materialism. The sky is the reign of the invisible, the reign of the gods and ideas, a place where everything is possible: in the rarefied world of ideas, the harshness and differences between men, which often become insurmountable obstacles in life, can be solved in a single great idea that everyone understands and integrates with a single vision that drives us to bring it to life in our communities. As Barbault said, "Sagittarius' fire can reject (contrary to Leo) the magnificence of the Ego to touch the trans-individual experience".
Under the influence of Sagittarius' energy we become able to combine our experiences, small scattered pieces of life often without meaning, under a single common denominator that summarises and provides meaning. We are driven to rise over the inexistent reality to create categories able to understand our experiences beyond the value that they represent for each of us. In Sagittarius' view of the world, the individual's good is irrelevant faced with the common good. It can be sacrificed, oppressed and even nullified for the good of humanity. With Sagittarius we discover the power of ideals and principles that guide us from above and feed our hopes. Every man has his own ideals. They may be justice or equality, fraternity or other. To each his own according to the need for redemption we each have when faced with a life that often appears unfair, without meaning and painful, but the ideal described by Hillman "never materialises and is not made to be materialised. The ideal is something to aim for with a dose of desire. It is the emerald city that shines on the mountain peak. It is not something real. It informs the practice, directs it like a faraway star, but cannot be literally followed. When we tell ourselves: this is how we should do it, only then will we be happy, when we state the plan, process, the ideal becomes ideology. An fanatic devotion begins. Always remember that the ideal is a failure. We have have a fervent desire for the ideal in our hearts, be we know it will never materialise on the Earth. This is the Sky's strength. This is the strength of all ideals: they have no place on the earth". The risk we run, if we are not able to wisely control Sagittarius' energy, is of falling into ideology and fanaticism, slaves of our dreams and our visions, losing all contact with reality. In the mercy of a delirium of grandeur, we will use all our means to only and exclusively grow our individual power.