Astrology begins when we look at where the planets are in the sky and try to understand how that might impact upon personality and situations.
First we need to learn the qualities of the 12 zodiac signs, the types of energies that the planets represent, and how the signs change their expression. Later we can think of houses and other questions.
Follow the Zodiac Signs links for a full description of each sign, and the Planets in Signs link for how they influence planets.
The meanings of the twelve are found by studying the four elements and three qualities. So, earth, air, fire and water are expressed in three ways – initiating, sustaining, and adapting – to create a division of the full circle into 12 components – cardinal fire is Aries; fixed earth is Taurus, and so on.
It is very illuminating to tell the story, from the emergence of Aries to the surrendering of Pisces, as a sequential unfolding of the essential mystery of life. We look at each sign as a chapter in the story that tells the evolving journey of the soul. It is presented metaphorically, and needs to be grasped intuitively as well as rationally.
It begins with Aries, whose job is to develop a sufficiently well-defined strong ego to cope with the important task of asserting the uniqueness of self.
Taurus is powerful enough to use its personality to build a stable material foundation, upon which everything else rests.
Out of this, Gemini establishes a communication network as a means to link all things with all other things, creating education, trade and human society.
Cancer raises human relationship to the level of family, so that children are both safe, and faithful to the traditions that gave them their home.
Emotionally secure, Leo honours everything and anything that creatively expresses uniqueness and originality.
Virgo adapts any impractical visionary idea so that it is made to function properly in the material world.
Libra begins the process of reflexive self-consciousness by balancing my ego with your ego.
Scorpio delves deep into any hidden areas – typically taboos that show us, as a species, that of which we are in denial.
Sagittarius perpetually seeks to discern meaning in life, from which social contracts may be assembled.
Capricorn makes these higher principles work in practical terms as collective constructs that offer social security.
Aquarius idealizes humanity, and shows how we all can aspire to the greater good.
Pisces has an intuitive memory of the transcendental state that gave rise to mysticism and the religious instinct; it is the gateway to self-surrender – which is refuted by Aries as the cycle starts again.
Radiates the core truth of who essentially we are and what we stand for when pushed
Responds unconsciously and shows our need for nurturing relationships and environments
Makes mental models of our experiences and communicates that with others
Feels a sense of harmony and attraction, which informs all relationships with people and things
Projects our will to be uniquely self-expressive, articulated through the struggle to overcome
Enables us to expand our reach and awareness by giving confidence to grasp opportunity
Encourages us to cope, and come to terms with constraints, imposing order and meaning onto chaos
Guides us through a journey of suffering and release born of phenomenal life, ever shifting perception
Stimulates us to reject the status quo by offering glimpses of ultimate knowledge
Shows how we try to make sense of the mysteries, by creating our personal and collective stories
Soul evolution, how we respond to the march of history, the slowest, deepest changes of self
Shows the inherited skills and attitudes deriving from ancestral sources
Points the direction to go in order to find ultimate meaning in life