Astrology is defined as the study of heavenly cycles and cosmic events as they are reflected in our earthly environment. And Astrology is as old as measured time. For thousands of years man has recorded the relationships and patterns between the planets and the earth. It is a well-known scientific fact that the gravitational forces of the moon create the rise and fall of tides of the oceans. The Farmers Almanac uses astrology to determine growing cycles and the best time to plant and harvest. From the spawning salmon to the return of the Monarch butterfly, all of these cycles of nature are influenced by the stars and planets – aspects of Astrology.
True Astrology is a science based on mathematics and astronomy. It tells the story of where the planets, sun and moon were at the exact moment of our birth and how these placements affect our lives. With extreme accuracy, it is able to break down ones personality, strengths, challenges, potential and more, and give an insight as to what lies ahead. Astrology provides an attitude or approach to life that can allow us to maximize or get more out of it. It can help us to see ourselves and our lives in a greater perspective—the “big” picture that we sometimes only get a glimpse of.
The Twelve Zodiac Signs
There are twelve signs of the zodiac, namely, aries, taurus, Gemini, cancer, leo, virgo, libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Dependent upon the school of astrology an astrologer may follow, your sign may either be a Sun sign or a Moon sign. In Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States, Sun signs are commonly followed; whereas in Asia, the Moon sign is followed. The position of the Sun or Moon in your zodiac chart at the time of your birth will determine your zodiac sign in either schools.
These twelve zodiac signs represent conditions or fields of operation, and have no power in themselves. The signs are thought of as areas of action, and the planets are the action. Also, no one sign is better or worse, nor more or less evolved than another. They are all different and unique.
The individual signs achieve their prominence in an individual chart because of the planets and the lights (the sun and moon) which lie within them. The attributes held by each sign are due to its rulership. Each sign is ruled by a planet, and some signs have a second or co-ruler. The co-ruler has a definite influence on the particular sign, but not as strong as that of the ruler. Each sign additionally has characteristics derived from its element, its quality and its polarity. These characteristics are listed below:
Aries 21st March – 21st April
Energetic, dynamic, enthusiastic, active, self-willed, creative, strong will-power, courageous, brave, strong sense of identity, initiating, assertive, adventurous.
Rash, impatient, egocentric, over-powering, domineering, pushy, foolhardy, undisciplined, short-tempered, choleric, tactless, naive, aggressive, arrogant, impulsive.
Taurus 22nd April – 21st May
Easy-going, friendly, patience of nature, value conscious, sensual, pleasure orientated, ability to generate material wealth, stable, realistic, practical, reliable, enduring.
Pragmatic, unadventurous, insecure, possessive, conventional, materialistic, inert, reluctant to change, sceptical, stubborn, slow, idle, calculating, obstinate, inflexible.
Gemini 22nd May – 20th June
Mentally agile, intellectual, rational, scientific, academic, interested in all and everything, flexible, adaptable, eager to absorb knowledge, witty, funny, light-hearted, playful, don’t take themselves or life too seriously.
Absent minded, superficial, chatterbox, gossip, mentally unstable, uncommitted, gets easily bored, too much width with too little depth – spreading themselves too thinly, incoherent, unconcentrated.
Cancer 21st June – 23rd July
Sensitive, caring, nurturing, awareness of needs of others, feeling orientated, loving homely, supportive, creative, in touch with subtle energies, charitable, productive.
Over-concerned, emotionally insecure, clingy, dreamy, lazy, jealous, smothering, manipulative, undaring, dependant, possessive, moody, touchy, indirect, fussy, oversensitive
Leo 24th July – 23rd August
Warm, generous, creative, supportive, fatherly, self-confident, idealistic, romantic, honourable, optimistic, source of creative energy, inspiring to others, loyal.
Bossy, authoritative, arrogant, self-centred, stubborn, self-righteous, fixed attitudes, wants to be admired, exhibitionist, indulgent and hedonistic, extravagant, insensitive, proud.
Virgo 24th August – 23rd September
Conscientious, perfectionist, precise, thorough, analytical, discriminative, critical, cautious, strategic, foresight, independent, sharp mind, realistic, sensible, health-conscious, body-mind connection.
Fussy, over-critical, pessimistic, overwhelmed by detail, cynical, hard hearted, pedantic, ruled by own routines, intolerant of others imperfections, self-inhibited, uptight.
Libra 24th September – 23rd October
Fair, uniting, harmonising, idealistic, romantic, perfectionist, graceful, diplomatic, reasonable, cooperative, compromising, gentle, communicative, intellectual, strategist, thinks things through.
Emotionally dishonest, judgmental, pursuing unrealistic ideals (the good, the true and the beautiful), indecisive – makes decisions dependant on others, dazzled by appearance.
Scorpio 24th October – 23rd November
Determined, self-sufficient, penetrating, self-disciplined, sensitive to undercurrents, all or nothing – mentality, self-controlled, ambitious (motivated by emotions), persistence, insight, commitment with heart and soul, seeker of truth, introspective.
Extreme, jealous, possessive, domineering, stubborn, intolerant of weakness, manipulative, secretive, cynical, broody, pessimistic, ruthless, self-destructive, defensive, takes things too seriously, arrogant, fierce, proud, neurotic, suspicious.
Sagittarius 24th November – 20th December
Optimistic, enthusiastic, visionary, intuitive, adventurous, mystical, independent, lucky, easily excited, freedom loving, inspiring, jovial.
reliable, insensitive, blunt, explosive temper, doesn’t keep promises, gets easily bored, uncommitted, melodramatic, self-righteous, prejudiced, exaggerates, opportunist.
Capricorn 21st December – 20th January
Reliable, hard-working, initiating, persistent, self-disciplined, conscientious, realistic, calculating, dutiful, responsible, cautious, ambitious, spirit of mastery, determined.
Shrewd, too serious, emotionally inhibited, untrusting and suspicious, pragmatic, ruthless, fanatic, pessimistic, materialistic, craving for worldly status and power, intolerant.
Aquarius 21st January – 18th February
Idealistic, optimistic, believes in the best potential of humanity, selfless, scientific mind, seeks new approaches and solutions to problems, determined against all odds, curious, individualistic, hopeful.
Opinionated, stubborn, believes in unrealistic ideals, ignores the negative, hypocrite, ideals remain in the realm of ideas, lives life by principles, preaching others how to live their lives.
Pisces 19th February – 20th March
Sensitive, humble, gentle, selfless, inherent spiritual understanding, mystic, sympathetic with those who suffer, wisdom of the heart, imaginative, changeful – chameleon of the zodiac, emotional, creative.
Pessimistic, oversensitive, victim consciousness, unrealistic and dreamy, escapist, wishy-washy, unorganised, passive, inert, indulgent, in-discriminative, doesn’t know own limits, undisciplined, easily overwhelmed by other peoples feelings.
The Four Elements
Fire, earth, water and air are the four elements, and three signs are associated with each element giving rise to the term triplicities. The three fire signs are: aries, leo and Sagittarius. The earth signs are: taurus, virgo and Capricorn. The water signs are: cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The air signs are Gemini, libra and Aquarius.
The Three Qualities
The three qualities are cardinal, fixed and mutable. Four signs share a quality. Cardinal signs are aries, libra, cancer and Capricorn. Fixed signs are taurus, Scorpio, leo and Aquarius. Mutable signs are Gemini, Sagittarius, virgo and Pisces.
Qualities of the cardinal modality are:
|Skillful – beginning, initiating, originating, enterprising, direct and active; Unskillful – impatient, dissatisfied, does not finish what it starts, forceful.|
Qualities of the fixed modality include:
|Skillful – stabilizing, focused, resolving, constant, determined; Unskillful – stubborn, rigid, obsessed, stuck.|
Qualities of the mutable modality include:
|Skillful – adaptable, flexible, adjustable, changing, versatile; Unskillful – scattered, unfocused, inconsistent, indecisive and unfinishing.|
The twelve signs are alternately positive and negative, beginning with the first sign, aries, which is positive. These are known as the polarities.
The pattern of elements and qualities in the astrological signs is constant – every third sign has the same element. Every fourth sign has the same quality. So, each of the twelve signs represents a different combination of element and quality. Signs associated with the same elements are in trine with each other (one hundred and twenty-degree angles between them) which is seen as being in harmony with each other. While signs of the same quality are “squared” meaning there is a ninety-degree angle between them. This traditionally has been termed “out of sympathy” with each other.
The Astrological Planets
The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto are the astrological planets. The planets provide the power, the energy and the principles while the signs are the areas, circumstances and conditions through which they operate.
Planets are coloured by the signs they are in, as well as by that sign’s ruler and co-ruler. When a planet is in the sign that it rules, it is said to be in dignity, and when it is in the opposite sign, it is in its detriment.
The Astrological Houses
The horoscope’s division into twelve segments – the twelve houses – represents the twelve departments of life:
|The First House takes its meaning for the ascendant and represents the self, the people and their behaviour, your appearance, your personality, your drive, your ambitions, your priorities, your energy, your vitality and your deepest desires. It is ruled by feisty, energetic, entrepreneurial Mars and individualistic Aries.|
|The Second House represents all financial affairs, desires for stability, constructive talents, financial independence, your values, your earned income, your financial obligations, your material possessions, your sense of security and your self-confidence. It is ruled by the planet of love and finances Venus and practical and stability-minded Taurus.|
|The Third House represents travel, communications, trade, the media, the mind, writing, intellectuals, education, ideas, relatives, speech, your intellect and academic skills. It is ruled by intellectual, communicative Mercury and versatile Gemini.|
|The Fourth House house represents home, family, ethnic pride, the land, wealth, the personal and national soul. It is ruled by the nurturing Moon and sentimental Cancer.|
|The Fifth House represents self-expression, creativity, youth, romance, pleasures, financial speculation, sports, games, children, royalty and nobility. It is ruled by the fun-loving, life-giving Sun and creative Leo.|
|The Sixth House represents public health, your health, your work methods, service industries, civil and military service, labour unions, employees, charities and welfare. It is ruled by intellectual, news-gathering Mercury and meticulous, service-oriented Virgo.|
|The Seventh House rules international relations, business patnerships, agents, politics, war, disputes, legal affairs and contracts, marriage, divorce, contracts and public scandal. It is ruled by gentle, refined Venus and by partnering Libra.|
|The Eighth House rules financial dealings, corporations, taxes, insurance, mortgages, communes, stock markets and debts. It stands for death, rebirth, renewal, regeneration, transformation of energy and the occult. It is ruled by Mars, co-ruling catalyst Pluto and intense Scorpio.|
|The Ninth House rules foreign affairs, trade, distant travels, higher education, philosophy, the law, the courts, the church and prophecy. It is ruled by fortunate Jupiter, and philosophical and scholarly Sagittarius.|
|The Tenth House rules fame, promotion, honors, career rewards, professional opportunities, professional status, the government, the executive and public life. It is ruled by hard-working, serious Saturn and hard-working, focused Capricorn.|
|The Eleventh House represents group co-operation, idealistic associations, government finance, social programs, theater, friends, profitable inventions and hopes for the future. It is ruled by creative and scientific Uranus, and idiosyncratic Aquarius.|
|The Twelfth House rules karma, the subconscious mind, dreams, intuition, instincts, secrets, enemies, prisons, monasteries, hospitals, spirituality, exile, and the search for self-renewal. It is rules by spiritual, self-sacrificing Neptune, and compassionate Pisces.|
Astrology is certainly not all things to all people, but it is not the one paragraph about your horoscope on the comic page of the newspaper. It can and should be used as a helpful guide as we live and make decisions about our life path.
More Info: Beginning Astrology
Beginning astrology was a talk delivered to a number of Gnostic priests who were assumed to have a fairly well developed knowledge of the esoteric. However, this talk was focused I’m giving it a bit of history, both ancient as well as modern with recent advances in our understandings of classical astrology from translations done in the last 25 years or so from the Latin and Greek. The class is aimed at giving a good idea of the breadth of different topics in astrological studies as well as their influence on the western esoteric tradition. This is a good introduction to astrology whose only experience has been sun sign astrology in newspapers or magazines.