Astrology is one of the most ancient practices. People have understood there is a correlation between the cycles of the celestial bodies, planets and stars, and cycles on the earth. The Moon and the Sun regulate our calendars, and the map of the sky has guided sailors and travelers across times.
Civilizations have used astrology for thousands of years all over the world. Greek, Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, and Native American cultures, to name a few, all have their own forms of astrology. No one can truly explain exactly how it works, but evidence is undeniable that there is a direct correlation between our lives on earth and celestial patterns. Today we use astrology to identify personal development processes, influences on a collective level, and trace celestial patterns of influences into the future. Astrology is a symbolic language that combines astronomy references with mythology and archetypes.
We create an astrology chart with the exact time and location of birth, looking at the positions of the planets at that time, as the influences of that very moment will reflect the course of the person's destiny. This can also be applied to the birth of a new business or a marriage. While we can never change our astrology chart and must work within its parameters until our last breath, we have the free-will to use the influences of our chart constructively or destructively.
Astrology has many uses, from timing important processes in our development, to understanding our true nature and essential needs, or timing financial or agricultural cycles, assessing medical vulnerabilities, or tracing the dynamics of world nations. Every aspect of life can be studied through the lens of astrology. In a nutshell, astrology is a tool that provides perspective on our processes and helps us know ourselves and better understand life as a whole.
The SIGNS in Astrology are in fact the constellations through which the Sun travels in the course of one year. This band of the 12 signs is called the Ecliptic, or the Zodiac. What is known as your sign, is actually the placement of the Sun at the time of your birth. Each of these signs captures a primal force of life, and the sum of the 12 signs represent the totality of life - everything can be associated with the signs, from objects, to natural tendencies, or professions.
Each sign is ruled by a planet and carries the energy of that planet. The twelve signs break down into the four elements –
Fire, Earth, Air, Water. Thinking about these elements and how they influence each other will help you understand the signs. For example, fire makes water boil, needs air and fuel (earth) to burn. Air moves when there is temperature or pressure differences, it helps pollinate plants (earth) and stimulates water currents. Earth builds a structure around water so that can be made useful, like in a well or bathtub.
Fire: The spark of life, the ignition and creative principle.
Earth: Embodiment, measure, resources.
Air: Balance and connectivity through motion.
Water: Assimilation, intimate processes, development/growth.
The signs have 3 modes of energy: Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable
Cardinal: beginning a new cycle, process of actively becoming.
Fixed: solidification, creative tension, concentration.
Mutable: Union of the parts to create the whole, integration, dissolution of individuality.
Aries Fire, Cardinal (ruled by Mars). Aries is the first sign and that says a lot about it. Aries likes to blaze a new path, it represents the effort to be born, and push out to become an individual. They like thrills, challenges and feels the need to take action. Aries will want to take charge of their destiny, and not wait for others to initiate - they follow their course. It is hot fiery energy that put their all into getting the job done but moves on to the next challenge once the adrenaline is gone.
Taurus Earth, Fixed (ruled by Venus). Taurus solidifies and connects with the earth, like a tree rooted into the ground. Tauruses interface with the world through the senses, love of food, art, and sexuality. They seek comfort and stability, and therefore will resist change.
Gemini Air, Mutable (ruled by Mercury). Gemini is a mental sign that seeks understanding and finding logic in existence. It will be flexible and adaptable to pursue learning. Gemini can multitask and is happiest when mentally stimulated - see easily bored. Gemini represents intellectual exchange, and so they have a way with words, and learn languages easily. Its symbol is the twins, which corresponds to the multiplicity.
Cancer Water, Cardinal (ruled by the Moon). Cancer is emotionally responsive and seeks to receive/provide support in the big vast world. Cancer is associated with mother, mothering, nurturing, and providing a sense of security in life.
Leo Fire, Fixed (ruled by the Sun). Leo represents the life force and the need to create so that life goes on. It works from a love of life and all livings, though can get self-absorbed with this strong passion. Leo is dramatic, creative, optimistic, and generous. It is the sign that represents children (continuation of life) and they have themselves the childlike ability to find joy in the moment.
Virgo Earth, Mutable (ruled by Mercury). Virgo represents the essence of work, the need to contribute and do our share. Virgos have a critical mind and will focus on details to improve things to make them more efficient and healthy. Virgos are very skilled and have fine taste. They are health conscious and will commonly take care of their bodies and diets.
Libra Air, Cardinal (ruled by Venus). Libra represents the aspiration to find balance, and fairness. They look for their other half and seek exchange and relationships. They are considerate, and inept at mediation, negotiation, and finding compromise because they yearn for balance and harmony.
Scorpio Fixed, Water (ruled by Pluto and Mars) Scorpios only reveals a small segment of themselves, like an iceberg, so there is usually more than meets the eye. Scorpios see weaknesses and seek empowerment, transmuting darkness into light. They are brutally honnest with themselves and others, because they search for the hidden truths.
Sagittarius Fire, Mutable (ruled by Jupiter). Sagittarius believe in the greater potential of life. They know "there is more to life than this," and will be adventurous in discovering new horizons. Sagittarius can be wild and raw, but often are scholars, teachers, and travelers. They search for meaning and can be drawn to religion and spirituality in general.
Capricorn Earth, Cardinal (ruled by Saturn). Capricorns are the keepers of the laws who yearn to become authority figures and role models and educate people about what is right and what works - they also seek reliable leaders themselves. They are ambitious, and patient to get to their goals, and traditional in their approach.
Aquarius Air, Fixed (ruled by Uranus and Saturn). Aquarius seek to find solutions to existing problems, so they detach themselves in order to gain perspective on a situation. They like heights to get the vantage point, and will often see what is coming ahead of everyone else. They have unique minds, sometimes genius, and can feel that they do not fit in as a result. They are social and seek the company of their friends and peers.
Pisces Water, Mutable (ruled by Neptune and Jupiter). Pisces is the last sign and represents the return to the greater force of life, surrending of self to a higher cause. Pisces can identify with the whole, and feel connected with the force of life. They are passive, and so they either feel blessed/supported by the universe, and are happy-go-lucky, or can fall into victim modes where they feel people give them a hard time and life ain't fair. Pisces likes simplicity and nature.
The PLANETS of our solar system are mostly named after the Gods of Greek and Roman mythology. However, newly discovered planets have been given names from other cultures, such as the inuits (Sedna), the Hawaiian (Haumea), or the Easter Islanders (Makemake). As a whole, the meanings associated with their names capture the archetypes of the energies of life.
Here are some of the definitions of the main planets and celestial points:
The Sun (rules Leo) is the filter our soul chose when we were born in this lifetime. It shows our sense of purpose and how we go about serving as co-creators in life. How we shine our light and keep the flame burning, providing a fulfilling life. It shows who you are. The Sun represents children, as well as the men in our lives – the father in particular.
The Moon (rules Cancer) is another filter through which we connect emotionally with life. It reflects the lens through which we experience things. It represents the great mother archetype, including our feminine side and how we porcess and respond emotionally to what life send us. Moon is symbolic of mother, home, and family.
Mercury (rules Gemini and Virgo) is the planet of mind. He shows how we mentally figure things out and find our way. Its position shows how we think, write, and communicate to collect data from life around us. Mercury is youthful and represents siblings and cousins. It represents literacy, common knowledge, as well as mobility, transport, and the media.
Venus (rules Taurus and Libra) represents our values and general sense of satisfaction. How we relate to ourselves, and then to others and how we prioritize our values. Venus shows what we love, whom we relate to, and what our relationship needs are. Along with relationship dynamics, Venus also indicates where we find pleasure in life, the senses, and our attitudes and management towards finances.
Mars (rules Aries, and secondary ruler to Scorpio) represents the raw and primal vitality of being; assertiveness, and defense. Mars describes our mode of action and the strength we have to get to our goals. It is a masculine force, describing our sexual drives and needs, and how we defy and overcome obstacles. Mars can show how we handle anger when there is injustice and the courage fight for rightful causes, or run into a building on fire to save a child.
Jupiter (rules Sagittarius, and secondary ruler to Pisces) is the largest physical planet of the solar system, and indeed it represents growth both in size and spirit. Jupiter is the expansive mechanism of life, and can expand our horizons through travel, enthusiasm, spirituality, and plain good luck. Jupiter represents the opportunities we have in life and how to create abundance. Jupiter also represents the need to find meaning, and our belief systems which serve as our guiding references when proceeding with life.
Saturn (rules Capricorn and secondary ruler to Aquarius) is the great teacher, it is the keeper of the higher laws. Saturn represents the need for alignment, to make the difference between what works versus wishful thinking. Its influence represents important life lessons and higher wisdom. Saturn may contract and limit, impose obligations and responsibilities, and then reflects the rewards that come with time from the fruits of our labor. Saturn represents authority figures, structures and reliable frameworks. Spiritually, Saturn represents the law of Karma.
Uranus (rules Aquarius) connects earth with the sky, and represents the higher mind; both sciences and spiritual channels. Uranus always brings a impulse to UPgrade our lives, both practically through new technology, or mentally with higher awareness. Uranus also represents friendships, social connections, and team work. Uranus can trigger changes in sudden ways, quickly, bypassing emotional attachments.
Neptune (rules Pisces) is the planet of spirituality, reminding us of the principles of unity in the universe. Thus it represents our greater sense of service and capacity to emphathize with all livings. Neptune represents what is greater than the ego, what may be beyond control and comprehension. Therefore it can bring confusion and chaos, but also higher guidance and inspiration - a thin line between madness and genius. Neptune represents the intangible, and can dissolve material attachments.
Pluto (rules Scorpio) is Shiva. The force of destruction and regeneration to create transformation. Pluto represents the world of shadows, and the courage to confront our limitations so we may evolve our consciousness.
Chiron represents the paradox between the master and the wounded one. Chiron captures the theme of the maverick, but also the healer who could not heal himself and chose to accept death over immortality - a theme of humility and acceptance of imperfection. Such placement can shows you where you feel inadequate but in fact are quite adept at assisting others with similar problems.
The North Node shows our dharma, the path we must follow and what needs to be masteredin this lifetime. It can be outside our comfort zones, but it is rewarding when learning these lessons.
The South Node shows what we know from past lives, and so this is a placement that represents our asset, skills, and inborn capacities. However, it must be balanced by the North Node, otherwise there is a risk of stagnation in this placement.