Astrology

Starstruck Astrology is written by Zorian Cross ♥

Welcome to the wonderful and fascinating world of Astrology!

Hold on to your seats, because we’re going to be going on some fascinating journeys. From the scorching flames of the dazzling Sun to the loony hollows of the tender Moon, we’ll spin around with the whirling dervishes of Mercury, and ride on Uranus’ twisted loopy roller coaster. We’ll be charmed by the lovely lady Venus, while enjoying a deep dip into Neptune ’s mysterious trenches. We’ll slay fire breathing dragons on Mars, and rescue the lovely Prosperina from Pluto’s dark dungeons. And finally, we'll have a jolly old giggle with gigantic Jupiter after a hard day’s work on Saturn’s stony field. All you need is an open mind and heart.

You see, Astrology is the study of the effects the sun, the moon and the wonderful yet crazy planets mentioned above, have on the earth. These planets not only affect us humans, but our animal friends, plants, and even our faeries, elves, and pixies. It's special because it is both a science and an art; a science, because it involves precise calculations and has certain base principles, and an art because it is a means of divination which relies on how we interpret the result of all the ‘scientific’ calculations.

Astrology is one of the oldest sciences. In fact, it is also known as the mother of all sciences. Some people believe that astrology existed before history was even recorded. Archaeologists have discovered reindeer bones and mammoth tusks from as far as 25,000 BCE that contain marks depicting the phases of the moon. The marks were made by ancient hunters who relied on the moon phases to determine whether it was a good day to hunt or not.

Houses and Planets by Robin Ator

Hindu temples in Ancient India were constructed around and dedicated to the planets. In Egypt, Imhotep, the architect of the great Step Pyramid in Saqqarah, used astrology to determine when and how to build his creations. A horoscope cast by him dating back to 2767 BCE was recently discovered--he even drew up his own star charts!

In Ancient China (and sometimes even now) a person would introduce themselves by their name and the sign they were born under. In Ancient Babylon, farmers planted their crops based on the moon and planets, while in Ancient Greece, astrology helped inspire art, philosophy, and medicine through the healing powers of Hippocrates. Ancient mythologies from cultures like these may have been a means of explaining the workings and the relationship of the planets and their characteristics. Perhaps that’s why the planets are named after fabled gods.

Yes, astrology has indeed come a long way, and its importance and accuracy have withstood the tests of time. Like man, astrology has also evolved over time, making it all the more versatile and easy to understand by all of us.

I do hope you enjoy this magical ride, and I look forward to seeing you next time when we'll take our first steps through the cosmos!

Whenever we hear the word ‘horoscope,’ the first image that comes to mind is that of the daily column in the newspaper which contains a few lines about how the day will be based on under which sign you were born. Although such columns do ‘spread the word’ about astrology, they actually run astray from the path of awareness. There are twelve signs of the zodiac, but more than six billion people in the world. If we limit ourselves to only that bit of information, it’s like saying all Leos in the world--roughly half a billion people--will have the exact same day today. Now doesn’t that sound silly? Surely an esoteric science and art like astrology that’s lasted since 5000 BCE is way deeper than that.

Horoscopes--right next to the comics!

The Horoscope is a map of the sky which displays the position of the sun, moon, and the planets in their respective zodiac signs at the time you were born. Every horoscope is as unique as every person. In order to create a horoscope, you'll need your exact date, time, and place of birth. I will refer to your unique celestial map as a ‘birth chart’ or 'natal chart.' These two terms are used by most astrologers, and will differentiate your true horoscope from those generic newspaper columns. As you will see, the preciseness that is Astrology will show you how unique you are. You were born with a personal path to follow, along with tools and guidance to help you along the way! Now around the world there are many astrological traditions, and each one of them has their own unique version of presenting a birth chart. I'll be talking about the most common kind that is practiced the world over. But first, a little exercise to enhance your understanding of your birth chart. 

Imagine at the time you took your first breath of life, that time stood still. At that moment, a silver ray beamed out from you in the four directions: North, South. East and West. The rays extend deep into the skies, till they reach the belt of the zodiac, stars that divide the sky into twelve equal parts, each being dedicated to an astrological sign. The ray that moves towards the East is your Ascendant, the starting point of your birth chart. The sign that it connects with is your Rising Sign (the sign on the eastern horizon). 

Now imagine a golden ray forming from the tip of the Ascendant line. It follows the the curve of the zodiac belt, and connects to the silver beam moving below you. It goes through the earth’s core, and out the other side. This is your Nadir (or Imum Coeli, the lowest point in the sky at the time of your birth). 


This blank natal chart is from an article by Amy Herring at the examiner.com and shows the position of the four rays.

The space between these two lines is divided up into 3 portions called ‘Houses.’ Each House represents different areas of your natal chart. I'll talk more about this later. This golden ray moves from your Nadir, all the way to the silver ray that beams towards the West. This ray is your Descendant, and the sign it falls upon is your Setting Sign (the sign on the western horizon). Once again, the space between the Nadir and the Descendant is divided into 3 Houses. 

Now imagine your golden ray moving from the Descendant, all the way up towards the silver ray that beamed above you towards the center of the sky. This ray is your Midheaven (or Medium Coeli, the middle point of the sky). Again, the space between divides into 3 Houses. Finally, the golden ray comes back to the Ascendant from the Midheaven, forming a complete circle that’s been divided into 12 houses. 

Want to see what your birth chart looks like? Visit Astrolabe and follow the simple instructions by providing your date, time, and place of birth and the site will generate your unique birth chart for free. 

Last time, we learned that your birth chart is a celestial map of the heavens that shows the positions of the planets and stars on the day your were born. Like all maps, your birth chart is full of signs and symbols that at first glance aren't easy to read. Let's take a look at those symbols and get an idea of what they mean.

Any birth chart consists of three major components: The Planets (the nine planets of the solar system and the Sun and Moon), The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, and the Twelve Celestial Houses. If your Birth Chart was a celestial DVD of a movie, the planets would be the actors, the Signs of the Zodiac would be the roles that they play, and the Houses would be the scenes they appear in. Each planet has a specific function, the Sign represents how that planet functions, and the House represents the area within our lives that planet functions.


Although the Sun and the Moon aren’t technically PLANETS, they both appear to move in a circular path around the earth, and so are considered planets in astrology. When we look into the skies, it seems like the Sun is moving along a path that starts from the eastern horizon, and ends at the western horizon. The imaginary circular path created by the sun is called the elliptical belt, and is divided into 12 equal parts. These are the Zodiac SIGNS. Each of these twelve Signs contain thirty of the 360 degrees of a circle. The Signs are divided in three ways. The first means of division is called Triplicity--the Signs are split into four groups of THREE signs each based on the 4 elements of nature—Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The second means of division is called Quadruplicity--the Signs are divided into three groups of FOUR based on their qualities—Cardinal (Initiatory, leadership), Fixed (Organizers, structured), and Mutable (Communicators, flexible). It is interesting to note that Cardinal signs mark the beginning of seasons, the Fixed signs mark the middle of the season, and the Mutable signs mark the end of the seasons. Last of all, the Signs are also based on their polarity—Masculine (active), and Feminine (passive) energies.


Then there are the CELESTIAL HOUSES. Like the Signs, there are twelve houses which divide the birth chart into various functional areas for the planets, and represent various areas within our lives. The signs that fall on the cusp of a house represent how we view the area the house rules, and the planet within the house represents how we act and handle ourselves in that area. The Sign that falls on the cusp of your first House is your Ascendant, and denotes the first impression you'll make on other people as well as the motives behind your actions. 


That's a lot of information—and there's more! You're probably excited and keen to learn how to interpret your own chart and unlock the various secrets of the universe that are hidden within! But just like we need to learn the alphabet before we can construct sentences, we need to understand the various components of a birth chart--all those signs and scribbles and crisscrossed colorful lines that are scattered around--before we can begin interpretation. Keep track of your Astrological exploration by making a special section in your Book of Shadows just for Astrology. CLICK HERE for a printable version of the charts to paste into your Book of Shadows for easy reference.


♥ Exploring the Signs of the Zodiac ♥

ARIES
Positive Traits ~ Innocence and wonder, faith, enthusiasm, and raw courage
Negative Traits ~ Selfish, egotistic, thoughtless, and impulsive

  • Ruling Planet: Mars 
  • Color: Red 
  • Dates: 21 March - 20 April 
  • Polarity: Positive 
  • Duality: Masculine 
  • Element: Fire 
  • Quality: Cardinal 
  • Body Area: Head 
  • Direction: East 
  • Countries: Denmark , England , France , Germany , Japan , Poland , Syria Cities Birmingham ( UK ), Brunswick , Florence , Krakow, Leicester, Marseilles , Naples , Utrecht , Verona 
  • Trees: Holly, fir, thorn-bearing trees or bushes 
  • Flowers and Herbs: Arnica, bayberry, broom, bryony, furze, honeysuckle, hops, geranium, juniper, leeks, milk, thistle, mustard, nettle, onions, peppermint, rhubarb, tobacco, witch hazel 
  • Foods: Beer, leeks, onions, tomatoes, most strong-tasting foods.
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People born under this sign are leaders with a natural, positive and enthusiastic energy that allows their auras to shimmer in a dazzling ruby shine. Lovers of life in the fast lane, they possess a high physical energy level, which they need to express without any bounds. However, it’s important for them to realize that there is a world of a difference between aggression and assertion, the later being a more constructive way of releasing excessive energy. Their high ambitions and ideals often allow them to become pioneers in their respective fields, forever willing to take on every challenge head-on, for Aries knows no fear, and never shies away from achieving their biggest and wildest dreams.

To understand more about the sign of Aries, we must take a look at the myth of the Golden Ram of Ancient Greek legends. Phrixus and his sister Helle, the children of the Boeotian King Athamas, were quietly walking in the woods one day when they met their mother, Nephele, leading a majestic golden ram by the horns. She revealed that the ram was really the child of the beautiful maiden Theophane, who was the daughter of Bisaltes and Poseidon, the god of the sea. Nephele ordered Phrixus and Helle to ride the ram to the kingdom of Colchis, by the Black Sea , and sacrifice it to Ares, the god of war. The children did so, and the ram’s golden fleece was hung in Ares’ temple at Colchis, where it was guarded by a dragon that never slept. Many years later, Jason, the rightful king of Iolcus in Thessaly, could only claim his throne if he recovered the famed golden fleece. He led the Argonauts, a group of heroes, to Colchis, where, after performing a number of seemingly impossible tasks, took the Fleece. Jason also won the heart of Medea, the daughter of the king of Colchis. From Jason’s story we find many of the qualities that are associated with Aries such as courage, adventurousness, energy, and the need and ability to triumph over adversity.

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The soul's birth in Aries is symbolic of dawn, sunrise, spring, and in some ways, resurrection. Like a new-born infant, those born under the sign of Aries always seem to have an air of innocence about them. No matter how strong, bold, or defiant they act, deep within they are innocent babies who truly feel they can do no wrong. Observe how an infant delights itself by looking at it's fingers and toes and all that is around it, just like an Aries absolutely loves everything about themselves in an unabashed manner. Whenever an infant requires any need to be fulfilled, all it needs to do is let out a loud scream, summoning all the elders around them to tend to them ASAP. Those with Aries siblings and friends might recognize this trait in more ways than one. In general, Aries people are known for doubting and fearing nothing. Like infants, they truly are fearless because they never face denial. They are born with the important spiritual lesson many of us seem to forget: "ask and you shall receive." You'll often see an Aries person questing away for "unattainable" goals, only to surprise everyone by achieving them. Aries is often the pioneer who is the first in their circle to do a whole lot of things. They dare to live life to the fullest, without fearing the consequences. No matter how old they are, they always seem to retain a heart tugging innocence and purity about them. This is an endearing quality--and also a reason why all their wishes seem to be magically granted. The Motto of Aries is What you see is what you get. They truly are who they say they are, and have such a strong sense of self-love that they feel there is no need to pretend to be someone they are not. After all, isn't the first step towards being 'cool' and 'popular' is being yourself? Remember, we are human beings, not human doings.

Like infants, Aries people also have an undying belief in the goodness of others. Even though they anger quickly, they are always (well, most of the time) the first to try to make up. When someone seeks their forgiveness, they readily do so, rapidly forgetting about why they fought in the first place. And like infants blindly trust the "grown ups" around them, so does Aries tend to trust in an open and earnest manner. It is truly heartbreaking to see an Aries who has had their trust betrayed; it's almost like seeing an infant being deserted by those it believed would take care of it. And like an infant that is shocked beyond comprehension when its abandoned, all the Aries can really do is scream even louder for attention. An Aries will keep on moving ahead, because they refuse to accept defeat of any sort. Their ego and their innocence don't understand the meaning of defeat. No matter what pain or what amount of heartache they endure, this Ram of Mars manages to fight its way through, winning no matter what the cost. You might notice it's always the Aries student or colleague who shows up despite having a harsh cold and fever, and persists on with their work without any complaints (and probably forgetting to take their medication!). They expect the "adults" around them to remember such mundane details that they can't be bothered with. Are they selfish? Well, you can't really blame infants for being that way. However, when it comes to their loved ones, Aries can be the most generous, often getting gifts and goodies, without expecting anything other than love and loyalty in return.

The Karmic Lesson for Aries is to learn to balance themselves and channel their "aggression" into positive "assertion." They need to handle their fiery tempers that really fly off the handle at a moments notice, and learn how to initiate and be spontaneous without trampling on too many people in the process. Their goal is to become aware of the Self without ignoring the needs of others. The destiny of this sign in many a ways is TRUTH.


TAURUS
Positive Traits ~ Purposeful, Patient, Steadfastness, Conviction
Negative Traits ~ Obstinacy, Prejudice, Unreasonableness, Possessiveness
  • Ruling Planet: Venus
  • Colors: Pale Blue, Green, and Pink
  • Dates: April 21 to May 21
  • Polarity: Negative
  • Duality: Feminine
  • Element: Earth
  • Quality: Fixed
  • Body Areas: Neck, Throat, and Thyroid Gland
  • Direction: South by East
  • Geography: Capri, Cyprus, Egypt, Greek Islands, Iran, Ireland, Switzerland Cities Bologna, Dublin, Eastbourne, Hastings, Mantua, Palmero, St, Louis
  • Trees: Almond, Apple, Ash, Fig, Pear, Vine
  • Flowers and Herbs: Alder, Artichoke, Brambles, Cloves, Columbine, Elder, Foxglove, Marshmallow, Mint, Poppy, Primrose, Rose, Sorrel, Violet
  • Foods: Cereals (particularly wheat), Apples, Berries, Grapes, Pears
A sharp contrast from Aries, those born under the sign of Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, are steadfast, stable, and conventional in outlook. One of the most reliable and charming signs of the zodiac, they possess an ability to inspire confidence in others, and impress everyone with their genuine sincerity. Although they rarely lose their tempers, once roused, their rage knows no bounds. This can cause them to hold on to a lot of resentment, which can be overcome by learning to be a little more magnanimous (accepting) in life. Lovers of luxury and the ‘good life,’ they are blessed with natural good tastes, preferring classical conventional styles to funky new fads that are ever changing. Although known to be stubborn and lazy, Taurus needs to keep a healthy balance between working hard to afford the lifestyle he desires and pursuing indulgent hobbies of leisure.

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An extraordinary creature famed for its contradictory traits of fearsome strength, great passion, and graceful gentility, the bull has been quite a popular character in various myths throughout the world, and almost all have been associated with the sign of Taurus.

Ishtar, a goddess who was infamous for getting rid of her lovers in various unpleasant ways, fell madly in love with Gilgamesh, who rejected her advances numerous times. Not one to take rejection well, Ishtar appealed to her father, Anu, the king of the gods, to create a Giant Bull of Heaven that would kill Gilgamesh. This bull was Taurus.

Another myth concerns the white bull mentioned by the Roman poet Virgil, which was known to "open the gates of the year with his golden horns.” Some believe he was inspired by the Babylonian custom of sacrificing a white bull on the night the new moon appeared in the sign of Taurus to signify the start of the new year. This is what Taurus looks like in the sky. One of the most famous myths about Taurus comes from Ancient Greece. Zeus, the king of the gods, fell in love with Europa, the beautiful daughter of the king of Phoenicia. To get her attention, Zeus turned himself into an incredibly majestic bull and set himself to graze in the same field as her father’s herd. Enamored by the bull, Europa abandoned her friends to make a wreath of beautiful flowers to place upon his head.

Once he succeeded in tempting Europa to climb on his back, Zeus sprang to his feet and swam across the sea to Crete. Europa bore Zeus three children, and Zeus immortalized his bull-form into the fourteen-starred constellation of Taurus.

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Once the soul has learned its lessons and fulfilled its goals in the infancy stage of Aries, it evolves to the next stage, Taurus, in the symbolic form of a healthy, chubby toddler. Like a human toddler, the soul in this stage is now comfortable in its surroundings, able to recognize its parents and loved ones, and is on a fixed schedule of eating, sleeping, and playing. Unlike earlier in the Aries-infant stage where it needed to scream whenever it had a need to be fulfilled, the Taurus-toddler staged soul just needs to sit on a high chair and wait patiently until it's time to get served. This is a quality you might notice in many a Taurus--things seem to be handed to them without them really doing anything about it. 

The toddler's senses develop; he can now feel how the world around him feels, grabbing onto every toy, and at times refusing to let go of them (a Taurus can be very possessive of his possessions--and that includes people in his life). He can see everything and everyone clearly which is why whenever a Taurus looks at you, you feel his presence and wonder if he can see into your soul. He has managed to speak a few words here and there, and learns how to charm people. He can smell his mother's fragrance, and hear her lullabies as she rocks him to sleep (Taurus is especially sensitive to smells and sounds, and love natural earthy scents and soothing music). And especially, he can now get a taste of what life has to offer (which leads to a reputation for being a connoisseur of life, and having a classical sense of "good taste"). 

The motto of this sign is I HAVE, reminding us of a trait Taurus is known for--possessiveness. Remember, they are toddlers--they need their security blanket and teddy bear to keep them comfortable and allow them to sleep peacefully. Notice the moment you take away a toddler's favorite toy, they let out a loud tirade of tears. As soon as you give it back to them, they're happy and content, but hold onto it tighter, making sure it's not taken away again. Routine is something that’s defining for the toddler. Once mom has put him on a fixed schedule of eating, sleeping, and playtime, changes will really disturb him, and in more ways than one! This is one reason why Taurus is notoriously stubborn. He is so used to having things his way that any changes really tick him off. To many folks, doing the same thing day after day may seem boring, but for Taurus, it's stability in its purest form. After all, one can only be stable when they're secure in their surroundings. Yet, the toddler hasn't seen much of the outside world. In this sense, Taurus tend to be limited. Introducing him to something new and unusual can indeed be a Herculean task. 

Like a Toddler, Taurus needs lots of hugs and kisses and kind words to promote understanding and acceptance. This is the bull of Venus, and Venus only responds well to sweet and kind gestures, not harsh slaps and prods (do this and you'll get a taste of his horns!). Unlike his predecessor Aries, Taurus has mastered the art of controlling his temper, but even though his fuse is long, when it's reached explosion point... well, let's just say nothing is spared when an angry bull stampedes! And it occurs swiftly and without warning. As a Taurus, the soul is still very young, and there are still many lessons it needs to learn. Taurus' Karmic lessons revolve around materialism and sense perception--what they value, what they protect, what is theirs, and what they will fight over. Part of this lesson is learning to let go gracefully. Their Karmic goal is a slow steady evolution and development of inner security, and a sense of being shakily rooted in a piece of eternity within their own Inner-Self. The destiny of this sign in many ways is OBEDIENCE.


GEMINI 
Positive Traits ~ Versatility, mental alertness, quickness of perception, deductive reasoning and flexibility
Negative Traits ~ Restlessness, glibness, shallowness, double-talk, unreliability, and self-deception
  • Ruling Planet: Mercury 
  • Color: All bright colors especially bright citrus shades 
  • Dates: May 22 - June 21 
  • Polarity: Positive 
  • Duality: Masculine 
  • Element:  Air 
  • Quality: Mutable 
  • Body Areas: Arms, Nerves, Shoulders 
  • Direction: West 
  • Geography: Armenia, Belgium, Lower Egypt, Sardinia, Wales 
  • Cities: Bruges, Cardiff, Cordoba, London, Melbourne, Metz, New York, Nuremberg, Plymouth, San Fransisco, Versailles 
  • Trees: All nut bearing trees 
  • Flowers and Herbs: Aniseed, azalea, balm, bittersweet, bryony, caraway, elfwort, fern, haresfoot, lavender, lily-of-the-valley, maidenhair, myrtle 
  • Foods: Most nuts, especially Hazel and Walnut 
Natural born multi-taskers, Geminis are known to possess numerous talents and minds that function like hurricanes. Although known to be "two-faced," Geminis are actually adrenaline junkies that need to be excited and stimulated (intellectually) all the time. If not, they switch off and focus on something that catches their fancy. Fueled by an endless supply of nervous tension, a Gemini's need to be "informed" about everything and anything going on around them--which might bring upon the reputation of being a gossip--is why they love the old saying, "don’t shoot the messenger." They work hard, and party hard, and can switch roles at the drop of a hat. When inspired and motivated, they can achieve great heights, hence, it’s important that they nourish their versatility, yet make sure they don’t fall into the category of ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’.

Gemini has always been symbolized by as a pair of twins due to the two bright (and identical) stars that shine brightly within its constellation. This is what Gemini looks like in the sky. The ancient Greeks associated the sign of Gemini with the myth of Castor and Pollux. Their mortal parents were Leda and Tyndareus, but Leda also had a relationship with Zeus, the king of the gods (he appeared to her disguised as a swan). Leda gave birth to two eggs. In some versions of the myth one egg was white and other was black. Pollux and Helen (later to be known as Helen of Troy) were hatched from the white egg and were said to be the children of Zeus. Castor and Clytemnestra hatched from the black egg and were assumed to be the mortal children of Tyndareus. In fact, some claim that this myth was inspired due to the fact that in ancient civilizations, it was common practice to claim one child from a pair of twins was of divine origin!

The two boys fell in love with two sisters, Hilaeira and Phoebe, who were already betrothed at the time. When the boys carried them off, Castor was tragically killed in the ensuing brawl. Pollux couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from his brother, and wept over his body. Touched by the sight of such brotherly love and devotion, Zeus allowed Pollux toshare his immortality with Castor leading the twins to spend half their time in the Underworld with the spirits of the dead, and half with the gods on Mount Olympus. This is why Geminis tend to possess two distinct sides to their natures, enabling them to do two things at once. Duality, therefore, constitutes a strong part of their personality.

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After the sheltered toddler-like existence in Taurus, the soul evolves over to the next phase of Gemini, where it's an active child. No longer dependent on its parents for everything, the child is now able to do things on its own. It can eat its own food, brush its own teeth, and certainly speak its own mind without any hesitation. Unlike the Taurus toddler who only managed to repeat the words he was taught, the Gemini child picks up more fluency of speech and discovers the joy of expression. This is why Gemini people always have a childlike twinkle in their eyes whenever they narrate an interesting story.

In Aries the soul screamed, in Taurus it waited patiently and listened, and in Gemini, the soul talks. Like all children, Gemini is forever curious about what’s out there in the world. In Taurus, the soul has spent so much time stuck in familiar surroundings, that when it reincarnates as Gemini, it's itching to go out and explore. This is why so many Geminis enjoy traveling and trying out new things; curiosity is something that may have killed the cat, but it drives the Gemini child soul insane! Ever notice how children are so inquisitive and openly ask question adults find difficulty answering, like, "Why is the sky blue?" or "Why is the grass green?" or "Why is fire hot?" or "What color is water?" and "Where do babies come from?" (I dare any adult to explain that to a child without flinching on the details!). Gemini seeks to satisfy their inbuilt curiosity and discover all the answers out there in the world in much the same way. This is why Geminis often have a Peter Pan quality about them, refusing to ever want to grow up and retain their childlike wonder and fascination for the world.

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Gemini's motto is "I THINK," for unlike earlier, where the infant and toddler could easily be molded by the whims of their parents, this child develops the ability to think for herself to a certain extent, and learns to say the word "No" without even flinching. Such independence is intoxicating for them, and allows them to experiment in areas that parents might deem taboo--like learning how to cuss, or playing in the dirt, or stealing cookies from the cookie jar before dinner. This causes them to develop a dualistic nature (Gemini--The Twins). A Gemini can exhibit one persona of the angelic child who can do no wrong, and another--a mischievous brat that's always up to something. With that gift of free speech, they also get the curse of fibbing (so that they can cover up their ill deeds and get spared from any kind of punishments!) This is why many Geminis have trouble with authority-figures and boundaries.

Yet this new-found independence isn't experienced on a complete level. Remember, the soul is still a child. It still needs its parents to take care of its basic necessities. Even though they are gifted with incredibly versatility, they find it difficult to focus on one thing, and at times it is hard for them to be truly dedicated or devoted. This doesn't mean that they will be unfaithful; they require plenty of space and freedom for a variety of pursuits. But like the child, they always end up coming back home.

The soul doesn't crave routine anymore; it finds a peaceful harmony in chaos--enjoying a fast-paced jet-set life filled with thrills and spills. And here the soul also realizes the power of creating magic just by thinking, and allowing those thoughts to manifest into reality (after all, Gemini's ruling planet is Mercury--The Magician). So even though you might find a Gemini not telling you the whole truth, you need to understand that one man's truth isn't neccessarily another's. One man's right can be another's wrong. The world is not black and white the way the soul observed it in Taurus. In fact, in Gemini, the soul can clearly see all the shades of gray, and all the hues of the rainbow as well.

The Karmic lessons for souls born in Gemini are in communication and truth; they need to learn how to express their "Self." The issue of what truth is is important to them, as their Karmic goal is to express their "Self" clearly and openly. The inner nature or destiny of this sign is MOTIVE.


CANCER
Positive Traits ~ Imagination, tenacity, tenderness, sensitivity, care, and caution
Negative Traits ~ Stinginess, irritability, melancholy, clinging and cowardice, possessiveness and moodiness.
  • Ruling Planet: Moon
  • Colors: Pale blue, silver, smoky gray 
  • Dates: June 22 - July 22
  • Polarity: Negative 
  • Duality: Feminine 
  • Element: Water 
  • Quality: Cardinal 
  • Body Area: Breasts, chest 
  • Direction: North 
  • Geography: Algeria, Holland, New Zealand, North Africa, Praguay, Scotland, West Africa 
  • Cities: Algiers, Amsterdam, Berne, Cadiz, Genos, Istanbul, Magdeburg, Milan, New York, Stockholm, Tunis, Venice, York 
  • Trees: All trees which are rich in sap 
  • Flowers and Herbs: Acanthus, convolvulus, geranium, honeysuckle, lilies, saxifrage, waterlilies, white poppy 
  • Foods: Fruits and vegetables with a high water content, such as cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, melon, mushroom, pumpkin, turnip
Kind and sensitive, Cancerians are known to be private, moody, and blessed with a fertile imagination. However, they don’t respond well to strangers, and often put up a defensive shield (shell) for protection, often unconsciously giving out ‘stay away’ vibes. However, with the right amount of tact and patience, Cancerians will open up to you--in their own time of course--and you'll realize what warm and caring individuals they can be. Eternal mothers, nurturing their friends and family, Cancerians go to lengths to make sure every need is taken care of. However, like the phases of the moon, their moods are changeable. When joyful, they exude a silver radiance, when sad, a bitter gray cloud blocks their auras. While they are easily hurt by the strangest things, Cancerians are unaware of their own insensitivity to others. However, born with a tendency to hoard, saving odd things like old letters, papers, empty bottles (they never throw things out), they will always hold onto friends and loved ones.

The sign of Cancer can be traced to Ancient Egypt, where the constellation was first known as "the sign of the Stars of the Water," and later on, "Two Turtles." (River turtles are found in the Nile and have a hard shell). The Ancient Babylonians called it “the wicked or rebellious one” based on a water creature called Al lul, and later on, the Crayfish.

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Hercules, immortalized as the greatest hero of Grecian Mythology, also figures prominently in the mythical origin of the sign of Cancer. The second labor of Hercules (one of twelve assigned by King Eurystheus) was to kill the Hydra, a gruesome monster with the body of a dog, nine serpent-entwined heads, and breath so poisonous that anyone who came close would die from just a single whiff. Hercules had trouble slaying the Hydra. Every time he cut one head off, two more grew in its place. The Goddess Hera sent a giant crab to attack him while he was fighting the Hydra. Hercules crushed the crab underfoot and went on to dispatch the Hydra. Despite the crab's failure, Hera was grateful for its help, and placed it in the sky as the six-starred constellation of Cancer.

After the carefree sojourn as a child in Gemini, the soul evolves into the confusing and somewhat scary phase of adolescence in Cancer. The soul experienced its share of fun and frivolity earlier. It got the thrill of being a naughty child and breaking rules. The confusing and sometimes mortifying phase of adolescence is difficult for anyone to transition through. The rapid changes that occur within our bodies due to puberty, the way our voices begin to crack and develop, new growth of body hair, the start of the menstrual cycle in young girls, the burst of testosterone flowing through boys--so much can be confusing for the being that once was a child. The soul experiences similar changes when it evolves into the sign of Cancer.

Like the phases of the moon rule the cycles of the body, the soul now is easily swayed by Lady Luna and her cycles of lunacy. Unpredictable and dramatic mood swings (courtesy of the moon cycles), and powerful dreams, cause the Cancerian child to cry out aloud in the middle of the night (even when they're octogenarians, Cancerians will always be children). They need tender yet secure bear hugs from their mothers, and their teddy bears to hold onto. This is because all sorts of terrors--real and imaginary--are very real to the emotionally fragile Cancerian, who, like an adolescent, fears what’s out there in the big-bad-world. How they will survive without the security of their mother to protect them? If you ever meet a man who measures every woman in his life against his mother, and his mother always wins, rest assured, he's probably a Cancer (by sun, or other heavy chart influences).

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Unlike their Gemini predecessors, Cancerians find it difficult to express their feelings and apprehensions verbally, causing them to turn secretive--dreaming, alone, hiding and pouting, crying in a lonely corner a la Cinderella--imagining that no one understands them, now, or ever. Cancerians, like Cinderella, feel like they are lonely damsels waiting for Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet and provide them a life of love, security, and mutual understanding. Trouble sometimes arises with young Cancerian girls who devote themselves to the first man who pays them the slightest attention, leading them to a downward spiral of dysfunctional relationships. All this internalization and heightened inner-drama can lead Cancerians to be (like other water-signs) delusional. It is always wise to encourage young Cancerians with means to express themselves through creative pursuits. This way they can flourish as individuals and get rid of the majority of their pent up fears and frustrations.

The motto of Cancer is I FEEL. This sign is all about feelings. Being the first sign of the element of water, Cancerians experience feelings in ways the signs before it (and most after too) cannot even fathom. Don’t be fooled by their initial shyness. Like Aries, Cancer is a cardinal sign of leadership. What other people might consider illogical fears, a Cancerian treats as sensible caution--a trait impulsive Cardinal leader Aries needs to learn time and again.

The emotions of astrology’s adolescent need to be handled with care; they are fragile. Masters of hiding their true feelings, they crack jokes and mimic friends and family superbly, creating laughter all around them. But only if you stare into their wet dewey eyes, would you be able to see whether that jovial Cancerian is secretly frowning. It’s not what they say, but how they said it that matters. And it’s not just what you say to them, but the way you say it, that they watch. Actions do speak louder than words to them, and gentle gestures of affection and appreciation meet with generous rewards. True, Cancerians can stretch a dollar, and love saving for a rainy day, but they’ll always surprise their loved ones with their abundant generosity.

The Karmic goal of Cancer is to nurture one’s Self and others. The maternal instincts in those born under this sign are extremely high, and they need to learn the difference between clinging to others (for fear of losing them), and nurturing them to be independent. They can’t help but care for the people around them, perhaps because a part of them feels that no one was around to take care of them. The inner nature or destiny of this sign is POWER.


LEO
Positive Traits ~ Warmth, generosity, nobility, strength, loyalty, leadership, and a soothing, gentle tenderness.
Negative Traits ~ Arrogance, false pride, vanity, tyranny, haughtiness, and sometimes, romantic promiscuity.
  • Ruling Planet: Sun
  • Color: The color of the Sun from dawn to dusk.
  • Dates: July 23 -  August 22
  • Polarity: Positive 
  • Duality: Masculine 
  • Element: Fire 
  • Quality: Fixed 
  • Body Areas: Heart, spine, back 
  • Direction: East (tending towards the North) 
  • Geography: Czech Republic, Italy, Lebanon, Romania, Sicily, Southern Iraq, South of France 
  • Cities: Bath, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Chicago, Damascus, Los Angeles, Madrid, Philadelphia, Portsmouth, Prague, Rome, Syracuse 
  • Trees: Bay, citrus, olive, palm, walnut 
  • Flowers and Herbs: Almond, celandine, helianthus, juniper, laurel, marigold, mistletoe, passion flower, peppermint, pimpernel, rosemary, rue, saffron, sunflower Foods Meat, and all vegetables with high iron content
Gregarious and generous, and forever loving the spotlight, Leos enjoy taking center stage. Nothing satisfies them more than to sit back at the end of the day and admire how well their tasks have been executed (with flair and finesse, of course!). Excellent organizers, Leos have a way of knowing how to get things done, and things are always done their way. However, it’s important for them to balance their egos when they are in charge of people; they might come across as bossy and domineering, and often unbearable. It’s important for them to learn how to delegate with charm and warmth, remembering that other people thrive on encouragement and praise just as they do. They love drama, and display a flair for theatrics, for Leos are the picture of extravagance and magnificence, and hence do everything ‘king size.’

Like the Crab of Cancer, the Lion of Leo is associated with one of the twelve labors that the hero Hercules was made to perform. A ferocious lion, born of Echidna (the snake-woman) and Typhon (a monster with a hundred eyes), was sent by Hera to wreak havoc upon the land of Nemea that was sacred to Zeus, king of the gods. First Hercules tried shooting it with arrows. Then he attacked it with a sword and a club, but the lion barely batted an eyelid. Eventually, Hercules resorted to choking the lion with his bare hands while it was resting in its cave. However, when he tried to skin it, he discovered that its hide resisted all knives and swords. Hercules used the lion's own claws to cut the hide, and then used the hide as an impenetrable suit of armor, with the head as a helmet. The lion itself was set in effigy among the stars by Zeus.

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From the tears of adolescent Cancer, the soul is now transformed with brilliant swiftness into the symbolic teenager--Leo. Gone are the insecurities and extreme sensitivities. The soul has now returned to the element of fire (first being in Aries) for its second run through the elements. Because of this, the soul now knows (or thinks it knows) its true identity. Then again, don’t all teenagers believe they know everything there is to know about themselves and the world around them? Being in a ‘fixed’ sign, the soul experiences the powers of Masculine forces and the element of Fire a whole lot more than what it felt during its infancy in Aries. Now that summer has finally settled in and is in full bloom, Leo abandons all things that made his predecessor Cancer self-conscious into a blissful state of SELF consciousness.

Like the various planets and celestial bodies revolve around the sun, Leo souls believe the world revolves around them. Like all teenagers, they are self-involved and believe everything (even the small stuff) is all about them. This belief causes those born under this sign to gaze into the mirror and admire their reflection with an air of noble pride, but underneath this pride remains the memories of all the pain the soul experienced from its infancy in Aries to its painful adolescence in Cancer. No matter what, any weaknesses remain well hidden beneath brilliant smiles and twinkling eyes. Like every teenager, Leo needs reassurance in the form of flattery, and declarations and displays of love and affection (this soul still secretly cringes when ridiculed). After all, a teenager isn’t really the man or woman it believes it is, despite all the surface sureness.

The ruling Sun cleanses the soul of all grudges, tears, fears, and everything else it clung onto while under the influence of lunar Cancer, so Leo learns to forgive and forget easily on all levels and leads with sympathetic consideration for those who are more vulnerable. Leos truly believes that their presence in the lives of those less-fortunate can actually bring joy, just like the Sun brightens the world after a cold dark night. This is why Leos, despite their moments of diva-tyranny, have no real desire to crush the helpless, and love giving their friends and family a ‘make-over’ as a way of expressing their love--just like G(a)linda took it upon herself to make Elphaba popular; she believed that she had all the answers to everything life had to offer. No wonder her means of transportation was a bubble as she graced the citizens of Oz with her glorious leonine smile.

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The sun, being the ultimate source of light has a powerful presence. When it glows gloriously in the sky, it nurtures plants, brings cheer and joy on a lovely summer day, nourishes our bones with Vitamin D and kisses our skin with a glorious healthy tan. However, this same sun, when taken in large doses, can be dangerous. Like the sun, it’s always advisable to take Leo in small, yet necessary doses. A word of advice to those living with a Lion--give them plenty of personal space and never disturb their beauty sleep. Clinging to them might get you a burn from their solar fires. Try to control them with rules and discipline, and they’ll let out ferocious roars that will send shivers down your spine. This is why, despite being the first to forgive and forget, Leos still have trouble obeying orders and at times respecting the wisdom and concern of their elders--just like your typical teenager.

Leo souls admire and are admired, love and are loved. Their motto is I WILL and go through life with an ever sunny disposition, leaving behind all their forgotten fears and insecurities. Despite their self-centeredness, they are incredible romantics, and take full pleasure in the joys love has to offer. They live in the relaxing joys of the present, for the past is behind and forgotten, and the future is still ahead and will unravel when it has to. One of the most creative of the signs, they’ll always add that extra shine to everything they put their heart and will to.

The Karmic goal of Leo souls is to express the life force creatively from the heart to empower themselves and the souls of those around them. If lead and prodded with tender love and care, they’ll quickly transform from ferocious kings and queens of the jungle, into playful kittens (just like the Strength Card in the Tarot). Once they learn the difference between empowering others and having power over them, they’ll blossom into wise leaders with a magnanimous loving spirit. An aware Leo naturally radiates warmth out to the cold world, and holds and binds all by the power of love. The inner nature or destiny of the sign is HARMONY.


VIRGO
Positive Traits: Clarity of Thought, courtesy, service to others, practicality, and self-honesty.
Negative Traits: Critical, crankiness, timidity, pessimism, inferiority, and hair-splitting.

  • Ruling Planet: Mercury 
  • Colors: Brown, dark grey, navy blue, green, wheat and colors of a farm. 
  • Dates: August 24 - September 22 
  • Polarity: Negative/Yin 
  • Duality: Feminine 
  • Element: Earth 
  • Quality: Mutable 
  • Body: Nervous System, Stomach, and Intestines 
  • Direction: South-West 
  • Geography: Brazil, Crete, Greece, Iraq, Mesopotamia, Turkey, Virgin Islands
  • Cities: Athens, Boston, Corinth, Heidelberg, Jerusalem, Lyons, Paris Trees~All nut bearing trees Plants: Aniseed, azalea, balm, bittersweet, bryony, caraway, elfwort, fern, haresfoot, lavender, lily-of-the-valley, maidenhair, myrtle 
  • Foods: All kinds of nuts and root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. 

Practical and pragmatic, with plenty of common sense, Virgos are the ‘workers of the zodiac.’ They have a need to always keep busy as they often find it hard to sit and listen; they're worrying about numerous tasks that are yet pending! Nevertheless, they can be surprisingly good listeners and wonderful speakers (if given the opportunity). Excellent at expressing their opinions, they often tend to be a tad too critical, often over analyzing everything. This is only because they are critical of themselves, and criticize everything else to mask their own flaws. Once they’re able to curb the self criticism, Virgos can carve out successful careers, often becoming ‘self-made-millionaires,’ who never lose their humility and self-effacing charm. Dedicated and loyal, they always lend a helping hand when asked politely, and always make sure that every task done by them, is done as close to perfection as possible. 

Virgo is one of the few zodiac signs that is represented by a human figure rather than an animal or mythical beast, and her legacy of being the sole virgin of the skies is bestowed upon her from various cultures. In Babylonia, she was Nidaba (or Shala), the goddess of the grain, depicted with a whip that trailed out over the tail of Leo in the constellation--hence we get the phrase, "beauty tames the savage beast. " Here's what Virgo's Constellation looks like In Greek Mythology, Erigone, was the mortal daughter of the King of Attica, and associated with the sign of Virgo. When her father was killed by a band of drunken shepherds, Erigone lamented his death so deeply that Zeus placed her within the 13-starred constellation of Virgo, along with her faithful dog Maera, now referred to as the Dog-star. Some believe Virgo was Astraea (the ‘starry maiden’), the goddess of purity and innocence, who was long associated with justice, and was known as the last god to leave the Earth. Soul Journey. The idyllic youthful Summer of Leo comes to an end as the crops of the field are ready to be harvested before the Fall sets in. In its second sojourn into the night forces of Earth--the first being Taurus --the teenage soul blossoms into an adult, matured by the practical and pragmatic element of Earth. The Virgo soul lets go of the carefree indulgent Summer and takes upon itself the duties and responsibilities of ‘adulthood’ while defensively striving for perfection.

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Unlike the Leo soul that bravely rebelled against orders, the Virgo soul complies with society’s rules and regulations by submitting itself gracefully and courteously, despite being frustrated by them. Here the soul learns the values of hard work and dedicated service, often putting playtime aside. And since this is a Mutable Earth sign, even versatility and flexibility become traits carefully measured by clocks and schedules. This happens to such an extent that the Virgo soul can forget the importance and power of dreams, dismissing them as hallucinations that distract from more ‘important’ matters like school and work. Like the new adults symbolized by them, Virgo souls see much to criticize: the traffic, the pollution, what their friends are wearing, or if you're late for a get together with them. However, it's important to understand that this soul secretly resents the loss of childhood innocence. As it has always faced and witnessed criticism from others and itself, so critical thoughts are all that it knows. They believe their value increases with the amount of responsibility they can take on their steady yet nervous shoulders. So when you see a Virgo criticizing and complaining, whether it's about something important or futile, realize that it's merely their way of masking their own self-criticism. 

While all the other signs frolic and bask in the Summer of life, Virgo frets and worries about how to warn everyone of the approaching Winter. Life is a very serious matter for this soul. They spend their time planning ahead for a happier and comfortable tomorrow and can forget the virtues of living in the moment and enjoying it. Virgos yearn for something better, and feel that this can only happen for them if they push themselves beyond their limitations. Virgo souls must embrace their flaws wholeheartedly and learn the power of gratitude. Achieving their desires will only occur once they ask and receive graciously, and be willing to spend without pinching pennies and budgeting every area of their life. It does pay to be cautious, but abundance and prosperity like everything else are forms of energy, and need to ‘circulate’ in order to reach their full power. These are life-long lessons for Virgo. Virgo, like Cancer, is often driven by fear, but unlike the moody crab that hides in its shell and wonders who will take care of them, Virgo is fearful of dependence, and determined to live a life where they'll be self-sufficient in every way. This is one of the main reasons why Virgo is symbolized by a Virgin--not for the purity, but for the fact that they are happy leading a life in which all their basic needs and wants are met by themselves (Think of the Hermit from the Tarot, who lives high in his mountain in solitude and is happy and complete from within.). Don’t be fooled by this: Virgos need love. When they let their guard down, Virgo souls make the most devoted and dedicated partners, even if they do criticize and complain. 

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The motto of Virgo is “I ANALYZE,” and it is through their carefully fine-tuned analysis that can we discover the best in ourselves. However, for this soul to truly experience love at its deepest and purest form, the Virgo soul needs to love itself, and only then can they give and receive true love from the world around them. The Karmic goal of this sign is to give dispassionate, altruistic service as an expression of Divine energy at work. Their quick minds and their ability to see patterns and understand (and obsess) over the finer details, allows Virgo souls to plan things in the most functional and efficient way. Creativity within this sign can be channeled towards practical undertakings, allowing them to create brilliant masterpieces either on canvas, film, stage, or even in the kitchen and backyard. However, it's important that along with seeing the trees, the Virgo soul doesn’t miss the ‘forest,’ and appreciates the grander scheme of the Universe’s workings. They can only have true control of their lives once they learn to trust and believe in process of life and thank the Universe for everything they receive. The inner nature or destiny of this sign is DISCRIMINATION.

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