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Ken Ward's Astrology Pages

Astrology: the Zodiac.

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Page Contents:

  1. Odd and Even Numbers (Positive and Negative) Signs
  2. The Element (Triplicities)
  3. The Quarters of the Circle (Quadruplicities)
  4. Upper and Lower Hemispheres (Personal and Social)

The zodiac is the circle of signs (literally of animals) used in astrology. In its natural state, the zodiac appears as follows:

zodiac.gif (55169 bytes)

The first sign is Aries (ariesS.bmp (3862 bytes)) and the last one is Pisces (piscesS.bmp (5430 bytes)). Each sign is naturally associated with a number. Aries is associated with number one, and Pisces with number 12.

The following is a summary of aspects of the zodiac.

Odd and Even Numbers

The odd numbered signs are "positive" or "electric", that is they project energy, and the even numbered signs are "negative" or "magnetic" in that they attract energy. In another sense, the odd numbered signs are Yang, and the even numbered signs are Yin.

The Quarters of the Circle

Each quarter of the zodiac begins with an active or enterprising sign that is prepared to make the first move and initiate or start things. So Aries (ariesS.jpg (863 bytes)), Cancer (cancerS.jpg (1002 bytes)), Libra (libraS.jpg (988 bytes)) and Capricorn (capricornS.jpg (937 bytes)) are such signs. They are the signs that begin a quarter. These are called cardinal signs. 

The next sign in each quarter is called a fixed sign because it tends to develop and change that which was created by the first signs (or cardinal signs). Taurus (taurusS.jpg (1046 bytes)), Leo (leoS.jpg (1026 bytes)), Scorpio (scorpioS.jpg (856 bytes)) and Aquarius (aquariusS.jpg (956 bytes)) are fixed signs. The first sign is the pioneer who makes the first steps. The fixed signs are the settlers who develop and build on the work of the pioneers.

They are called "fixed" signs because they maintain the status quo, or build upon that which has been established by the pioneers. The change what exists in the sense of maintaining it. The pioneers find the new land and the fixed-sign farmers build the farms and grow the crops. They change and change to keep things the same or in keeping with what has been established. With this metaphor of the farmer the farmer changes the land so that it grows the crops and he changes by harvesting them, etc. Without constant change, the farm would revert to the wilderness. So the fixed signs continually change to keep things as they are.

The last sign in each quarter is called a mutable sign. These are Gemini (geminiS.jpg (946 bytes)), Virgo (virgoS.jpg (930 bytes)), Sagittarius (sagittariusS.jpg (890 bytes)) and Pisces (piscesS.jpg (1012 bytes)). They mark the end of the quarter. They are signs that bring about the end of that which was created by the cardinal signs. They change things into something else and therefore end one thing and set the seed of something new.

This cycle proceeds through the zodiac in four groups of three signs, which are called quadruplicities.

See also: the Quadruplicities

The Elements

The signs proceed through the zodiac from one element to another. The first sign, Aries (ariesS.jpg (863 bytes)) is associated with the element fire. The second sign, Taurus (taurusS.jpg (1046 bytes)) is associated with the element earth. The third sign, Gemini (geminiS.jpg (946 bytes)), is associated with element air. And the fourth sign, Cancer (cancerS.jpg (1002 bytes)) is associated with the element water. Fire is enthusiastic, Earth is practical, Air is intellectual, and Water is emotional. The elements are also called the triplicities.

See also the triplicities for more about the elements.

Upper and Lower Hemispheres

The signs in the upper part of the circel can be considered "social" signs, in the sense that they relate to interpersonal and group interactions, and those at the bottom are "personal".

Aries (ariesS.jpg (863 bytes)) concerns the self, while Libra (libraS.jpg (988 bytes)) concerns other people. Taurus (taurusS.jpg (1046 bytes)) refers to personal wealth, while Scorpio (scorpioS.jpg (856 bytes)) refers to other's wealth. Gemini (geminiS.jpg (946 bytes)) refers to personal communications, while Sagittarius (sagittariusS.jpg (890 bytes)) is concerned with public communications. Cancer (cancerS.jpg (1002 bytes)) is concerned with the family matters, while Capricorn (capricornS.jpg (937 bytes)) is concerned with the group matters. Leo (leoS.jpg (1026 bytes)) is concerned with personal influence, while Aquarius (aquariusS.jpg (956 bytes)) is concerned with the influence of the group members. Virgo (virgoS.jpg (930 bytes)) is personal service, whereas Pisces (piscesS.jpg (1012 bytes)) is social service.

Left and Right Hemispheres

The left-hand semicircle of the chart refers to the East. It tends to indicate independence. The right-hand semicircle of the chart refers to the West. It tends to indicate dependence. In other words, the lef-hand suggests doing it yourself, whereas the other side indicates doing it with, or through, other people.