Zodiac Signs: Something in the way we move…

I’ve mentioned several times here that in addition to disciplines such as Tarot and Runes, with which I’m comfortable, I’ve also been intently and vigorously studying the field of Astrology for quite a few months now.  This realm is in some ways maybe the most complex out of all of the various systems I’ve studied, and I don’t imagine complete mastery of it comes lightning-quick to anyone.  But understanding and mastery do come, with concerted effort, and so while I haven’t yet achieved total domination of the subject matter, I have grasped a few things that the non-astrologer may not yet have similarly apprehended.  I thought I’d share one such kernel of knowledge today…

I present you with this seed -- may it grow well, and strong, and bear much fruit!
I present you with this seed — may it grow well, and strong, and bear much fruit!

So part of the reason that Astrology approaches Calculus in its complexity is the fact that you’re obliged to not only grasp three main symbol-sets — the Planets, the Signs, and the Houses — you then have to further go on to understand how to interpret combinations of these (e.g., Venus in Scorpio in the Twelfth House), and then even beyond that to see how combinations of these combinations interact (“Ah, this Venus in Scorpio in the Twelfth House is square Jupiter in Leo in the Ninth House — that explains everything!”).  And even that very first step is no cakewalk…

Weirdly, while you can’t really delve much into Astrology without getting your head around all three primary symbol-sets, only the set of Signs seems to have seeped out into the greater public consciousness.  Even people who sneer at the notion that there may be any kind of “Truth” to Astrology probably know which Sign their Sun is in, and they’ve probably at least heard of all the other Signs in which their Sun is not.  They may even have some inkling as to what basic traits each Sign represents.  But then ask such a hypothetical person (or a real one, if you know one…) what the Planets mean…and you’ll likely get a blank stare, or an abrupt dismissal.  Further harangue them about the Houses, and you may be treated to a stream of creative new invective you’d never even heard before!

But the thing is that even though the Signs have lodged at least to some extent in the public consciousness, a newcomer to Astrology will be hampered by the fact that the Signs have lodged kind of…well, wrong.

The general public does have an understanding of the Signs...but that understanding is a bit off-kilter...
The general public does have an understanding of the Signs…but that understanding is a bit off-kilter…

Here’s what I mean by that…

So, the non-astrologer — actually, even the astrologer! — will often say something along the lines of, “I’m a Cancer.”  They’re actually referring to the Sign in which the Sun was residing when they were born.  It would really be more accurate for a person like this to say something like, “My Sun is in Cancer.”  Saying “I’m a Cancer” is quicker and easier, but it’s misleading: it gives rise to the idea that a Sign is a noun that a person is.  This isn’t exactly accurate.

What would be more accurate, would be to think of a Sign as more like an adjective and/or an adverb.  It’s not what you are or what you do — it’s how you are, and how you do things.  If your Sun is in Cancer, you are not so much a Cancer yourself…rather, you do things in a very Cancer-ian fashion.  To paraphrase the late and very great George Harrison, a Sign is capturing something in the way you move…

That should be kind of a helpful lesson right there — I know it helped me a lot once I managed to comprehend that I’d been misunderstanding Signs my whole life!  To complete this ultra-basic notion, since I also brought up the other two main Astrology symbol-sets earlier, here’s what they represent, along with Signs:

Planets are basic drives and impulses and needs.  For example, these include the need to create an identity (which is governed by the Sun), or the need to think and communicate (that would be the province of Mercury).  The Planets are the what — they’re what we do.
Signs are how we do these things.  If your Mercury is in Aries, you might communicate impulsively, maybe even in a challenging manner, without too much self-censoring…but if your Mercury is in Capricorn, you might be more inclined to be very grounded and structured and practical in your communication.  Signs are the how — they’re how we do things.
Houses are where we do these things — the areas of our lives, the “arenas,” essentially, where we act out our drives and needs.  Mercury in Aries in the Seventh House could mean that the person’s drive to communicate (Mercury) which often gets expressed in that impulsive, possibly even aggressive manner (Aries), might most primarily manifest in the realm of strong, personal, one-on-one relationships, like with, say, a spouse or with a business partner (these are the elements of the Seventh House)…but if that same Arian Mercury is instead in a person’s Tenth House, then that impulsive communication might most often and strongly appear in the sphere of that person’s career, their life’s work, their public standing and reputation (these make up the Tenth House).  Houses are the where — they’re where we do things.

An analogy I found useful with all of this was to think of yourself as a grand drama playing itself out…the Planets are the actors…the costumes they wear are the Signs…and the sets where they perform are the Houses.

The actors are like the Planets: all different, performing unique functions.  What they're wearing -- pirate clothing or a parrot suit -- would be like Signs, or that which they dress themselves up in, though underneath the clothing, they remain what they are.  And the set -- a sailing ship here -- would be like one of the Houses -- it's where the action is unfolding...
The actors are like the Planets: all different, performing unique functions. What they’re wearing — pirate clothing or a parrot suit — would be like Signs, or that which they dress themselves up in, though underneath the clothing, they remain what they are. And the set — a sailing ship here — would be like one of the Houses — it’s where the action is unfolding…

So there you have a tiny bit of info on the Signs.  So you’re not necessarily a Sagittarius, after all — you do things Sagittarius-ly…

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