SYMBOLS OF THE ZODIAC
Marcia Moore & Mark Douglas
Every astrological symbol is a bridge to universal truth. The following tabulation
and descriptions show how the zodiac derives from archetypal principles which spell out the drama of creation. The twelve glyphs with their corresponding human and animal forms are letters in the alphabet of the celestial spheres. The student who reads this "sign language" correctly can deepen their understanding of their own place and purpose within the cosmic scheme.
— April 20
Aries is the springtime sign of the zodiac. Its symbol suggests a seed shooting
out of the ground. Since the sprout has no roots and is as yet untrammeled by the earth from which it emerges, the horizon is not visible — only the new plant rising like a living fountain. Aries evokes the will to begin and to take initiative in launching new endeavors. As the cosmic principle of action, Aries signifies the drive to externalize latent possibilities and to become in actuality that which, in essence, one already is.
The symbol for Aries also represents the horns of a ram. This can be a battering ram thrusting rambunctiously, or even rampageously, forward. Anatomically, Aries rules the head and its headstrong impulsiveness often impels its natives to plunge headlong into situations without taking account of the consequences of their behavior. Their self-assertiveness can prevent them from judging the reactions of other people. If, however, the Arian constantly butts up against opposition, his spirit may be broken. Then the sign denotes not the dashing ram but the driven sheep rambling from place to place with no purpose or destination.
Metaphysically inclined astrologers see the glyph for Aries as a fork in the road, showing the opportunity to turn one way or the other. Although each sign is conditioned by and reacts against the sign which immediately precedes it, Aries at the forefront of the parade, is endowed with the relative freedom to choose either the path to the left or the path to the right. Therefore, those who personify its pioneering traits are peculiarly insistent upon exercising their powers of decision: since they cherish the spark of independence which makes them separate, self-determining individuals.
Finally, this symbol can be interpreted as representing the line of the nose and
eyebrows in the human face. The frontal area houses the forebrain which is an instrument of the higher mind and will. The spiritually evolved Arian realizes that his freedom of choice depends largely upon the range of his intellectual faculties. All things begin with ideas, and to the extent that he uses his head, he forges ahead.
Taurus harnesses the vitality of Aries. As the glyph indicates, force ceases to shoot into the atmosphere like a geyser, but is bent into the shape of a wheel which restrains and contains the energy previously unleashed. This is also a wheel which can carry loads. The boundless exuberance of Aries encounters the material resistance of Taurus and is transformed into power which can be turned to practical uses. Nature's dynamism is slowed down and channeled through biological drives.
Taurus is the sign of money and possessions, and of the values these represent.
Through careful conservation of resources the Taurean takes time to appreciate the quality of things. The driving excitement of Aries becomes intensity of feeling in Taurus. The out-rushing fires of passion are banked to produce the warming glow of steadier, more sustained satisfactions, as the desire for sensation is converted into the quiet capacity for love.
The pictograph for Taurus shows the horns of a bull, suggesting the immense fertility of this sign. In the course of the year, the Sun is in Taurus during the mating season. Bulky in build, the Taurean may also be "bullish" in his erotic instincts. He can, however, be domesticated into a bulwark of strength and security for his family.
In the body, Taurus rules the neck which supports the weight of the head. Members of this sign are often characterized by an obstinacy which results in their being called "bullnecked," but they can also be as gentle and persevering as the bullocks of the Orient who bend their necks willingly to the farmer's yoke.
The unevolved Taurean can be an insensitive "bully," insisting on his own way with "bulldog" stubbornness. His temper is aroused slowly, but when goaded past the point of endurance he will charge wildly at his opponent, or thrash about as clumsily as the proverbial "bull in a china shop."
The Taurean derives a profound satisfaction from increasing his assets. In the world of finance, a "bull market" reflects the tendency of the sign to promote growth and prosperity. Many Taureans have a knack for making money reproduce itself by leaving it alone and allowing it to breed naturally. Consequently, they often become wealthy simply by making the best use of that which has already been given.
The symbol for Taurus shows the crescent Moon surmounting the circle of the Sun. The Moon is placed in the position of a chalice which contains the overflowing energy of the preceding sign, as the lunar principle of response supersedes the solar principle of self-expression. Aries expends its resources unstintingly but Taurus receives and conserves the bountiful supply.
While Aries surges forward, Taurus stabilizes. In Aries, the sprout shoots toward
the Sun; in Taurus, roots reach down through the soil in the endeavor to establish a durable organism. In the natural order of the zodiac, each sign represents the assets, resources, and values of the preceding sign, and this process begins with the emergence of selfhood in Aries and the accumulation of possessions in Taurus.
GEMINI, the TWINS
In Gemini, the circle which in Taurus appeared as a wheel, becomes a circuit. Action and reaction give rise to interaction. Out of the archetypal opposition between subject and object, knower and known, represented by the first two signs, there emerges a third factor which is the relationship between these two, and this comprises the field of knowledge and communication.
Gemini signifies not only the duality implicit in the upright lines of its symbol, but also their union. Parallel columns are connected top and bottom, suggesting a grill or web of interwoven strands. This network is indicative of the nervous system, and also of the fabric of cause and effect which underlies the phenomenal world. The Geminian capacity for awareness enables an individual to perceive meaningful designs in a previously incoherent jumble of sensations. Insofar as isolated objects are studied in terms of their relationships with one another, they become intelligible and therefore subject to analysis and discussion.
If the vertical bars are slightly lengthened, the glyph becomes the symbol for numbers (#), indicating the propensity of people born under this sign to enumerate facts, list particulars, and reduce them to a system. The Geminian's world is composed of numerous discrete parts which he feels compelled to arrange according to a rationally demonstrable order. His incessantly active mind brings things together for comparison, but it also holds them apart for contrast, as he classifies items into logical categories. The intellectuality of this sign is suggested by the glyph's resemblance to two books on a shelf, a reminder that almost all Geminians love to read.
Anatomically, Gemini's dualism is reflected in its rulership of the two arms and hands, and of the two lungs which, by alternately expanding and contracting, allow oxygen to pass through the membranes separating the interior of an organism from the outer atmosphere. Gemini also rules the nervous system which is subdivided into central and autonomic branches. The former relates man to the external world, the latter to the visceral realm of his own body.
The pictogram for Gemini depicts the door or portal leading from one state to another. Its twin pillars connect heaven and earth within the consciousness of man. This is the first sign to be associated with a human form (the twins) rather than with an animal form. It represents the peculiarly human quality of intelligence which links man's baser instincts with his divine essence. Thus, reasonable people can work side by side, joining that which is above with that which is below, and bringing heaven and earth together through the ability to draw connecting lines between innately related factors.
CANCER, the CRAB
— July 23
In Cancer, the Sun reaches its highest point of northern declination and then retreats, crablike, backward toward the ecliptic. It has gone as far as it can go. Cancer connotes containment. The duality of Gemini lingers in the matching whirls of its symbol, but the reciprocal relationship of the two curves forms a more dynamically integrated unit.
The bi-polar circular glyph suggests the breasts and stomach. These Cancer-ruled
organs are concerned with the functions of nourishment and bodily sustenance. As the representative of the negative, responsive principle in nature, Cancer is associated with housing, motherhood, the masses, the unconscious, all life-giving fluids, and the sea. The in-turning spirals show the Cancerian proclivity to return to the womb, revert to the past, and retire into the subjective spaces of the psyche.
The two vortices of this pictograph also represent male and female parents complementing each other within the sanctuary of the home. The domestically inclined Cancerian is vitally interested in all that occurs within his family environment and in the sphere of his special sympathies, even while presenting a hard shell of indifference to whatever transpires outside that charmed circle. His motto is, "Charity begins at home." He is aptly characterized by the crab which carries its "shell-ter" wherever it goes. Prone to anxiety because of his inner vulnerability, he compensates by withdrawing into himself and reinforcing his outer defenses. It can be said, therefore, that members of this sign have two seemingly contradictory sides to their personalities. They can be avidly acquisitive and simultaneously self-sacrificing for the sake of those they love.
The strength of the crab's attachments is shown by the size of its claws in proportion to the rest of its body. The tenacity of this crustacean is so compulsive that it will suffer destruction rather than relinquish its grip. Such indomitability is a close cousin to the stolid stubbornness of Taurus, but is more passively resigned. The difference is that earth (Taurus) holds together through sheer bulk and by pressing toward a gravitational center, while water (Cancer) yields unresistingly to every blow, flows into any container, yet remains as it always was.
Cancer is a paradox of strength through surrender, and its persistence makes a
fair substitute for bravery. Although women have been called the weaker sex, the influence of the female parent is remarkably enduring, and the fortitude of a mother protecting her child is well documented in nature's annals. Cancer is not generally regarded as a sign of abundant vitality. However, its biologically based responses to the emotion-fraught situations of family living draw in and hold others in a firmer grip than could be attained by the exercise of physical force. The endeavor to resist its oceanic maternal instinct can be as futile as fighting the waves of the sea, and those who have mastered the art of floating gently upon the ever changing tides of time and circumstance are generally willing to allow Mother Nature to have her way.
LEO, the LION
July 24 — Aug 23
The symbol for Leo, like that for Cancer, comprises a double curve. However, the figure is unitary and opens out instead of closing in. Leo is self-expressive; Cancer is self-repressive. The former is extroverted; the latter, introverted.
Leo's glyph is drawn with a single bold stroke. Similarly, his character is all of a piece. In the evolutionary process, Leo represents the stage of psychological integration called "individuation." It confers the ability to assert one's own will and to proclaim, "I want to be me!" The Leonian is determined to be his own master and does not take kindly to those who impinge on his prerogatives. Having established himself as a separate entity, he endeavors to relate all that he perceives back to himself and to the circle of his personal interests.
This circle is analogous to the nimbus of the Sun rather than to the shell of a crab. Leo's power is that of the solar fire which streams out into space without reservation. Its symbol suggests an upturned cup pouring forth its contents. Seasonally, Leo rules during midsummer when the Sun's rays are most intense.
Lordly Leo loves to exhibit his generosity with grandiose gestures. His sovereign
spirit can be characterized by the words magnanimous, magnificent, and magniloquent. The Latin root magna is reminiscent of the magi who were kings bearing gifts for the Christ child. Financially, the Leonian likes to think in terms of large round sums, and he often becomes a magnate in business and industry.
The pictogram for this sign has been compared to the proudly swishing tail of the lion, king of beasts. It also resembles the curve of his sweeping mane. (Leo people like to cultivate mane-like heads of hair.) A group of lions is called "a pride," and pride is one of Leo's outstanding traits. The Leonian often becomes "a social lion," and is seldom averse to being lionized by his admirers. His regality may be displayed by the grand manner in which he wields his influence over the subjects he rules. His real mission, however, is to exercise the will to attain dominion over his own instincts and desires.
The Sun is the heart or core of the planetary scheme. Similarly, Leo, the sign of the Sun, is associated with the heart in the body, the nucleus of a cell, and the pivotal point in any system. The word "courageous," which epitomizes the indomitability of Leo, derives from the Latin cor, meaning heart. Most Leonians like to behave in a hearty or heartfelt way. If not duly appreciated they will feel "heartbroken" or overcompensate by showing off. This glyph has been likened to a heart, but it also suggests the idea of centrality which makes these individuals the most intensely self-aware members of the zodiac.
VIRGO, the VIRGIN
— September 23
Each sign contrasts with its predecessor. Where Leo is outgoing and demonstrative, Virgo is introspective and discreet. Its assets are modesty and chastity, its liabilities fussiness and prudishness.
The glyph for Virgo represents the female generative organs, closed as in the virgin state. It resembles the letter "M" which stands for Mary (the Virgin), maiden, medicine, measure, and meticulousness. "M" also stands for mind, showing that the major purpose of this sign is to submit all matters (and matter) to a scrupulous analysis, with refinement and purification as the goal. Hence "the virgin" is remarkable for her highly developed faculty of discrimination, which can manifest itself less agreeably as aloofness, squeamishness, and pettiness - all undesirable attributes of the proverbial old maid. Virgo aspires to a standard of purity and perfection which few mortals can hope to attain.
Virgo is symbolized by a maiden carrying a sheaf of wheat - a reminder that people of this temperament are adept at separating the wheat from the chaff. Wheat cannot be eaten in its natural form but must be threshed to detach the particles of grain which are then ground and cooked. Although wheat grows in all parts of the world, it has never been discovered in its wild state and has defied every attempt to trace its origin. Similarly, most Virgoans love nature, but only when cultivated and not in its primeval luxuriance.
The segregated compartments into which this pictograph is divided suggest the
sign's tendency to fractionalize every aspect of life, an inclination so pronounced that Virgo has been called "the filing clerk of the zodiac." Anatomically, the principle of analysis describes the function of the pancreas, intestines, and digestive organs, which split up and reduce food to its elementary components in order that the body may select that which serves its requirements and reject whatever it deems unfit for consumption. These assimilative occupations may seem humble when compared to the central task of the pulsating heart, but they are essential in maintaining the general well-being of the organism.
The Sun is in Virgo during the growing season when the fruits of the earth are garnered, processed, and stored. This is the busy time of year, and no one toils more diligently than the Virgoan workers of the world. As the sign of employment, Virgo is associated with diet and health, serving as a reminder that most people must undertake some form of daily labor in order to feed themselves and survive. Virgoan jobs can be repetitive and dull, but the industrious attention to duty fostered by this sign anticipates the possible privations of the long winter ahead. Proletarian and utilitarian though it may be, it opens the way for a fresh cycle of experience in the second half of the zodiac.
Libra is the sunset sign. Its glyph represents the Sun sinking below the horizon, half seen and half unseen. As the Sun passes through this midway zone at the autumnal equinox, days and nights are of equal length. Literally, nature reaches a point of balance. Libra deals, therefore, with the complementary halves of life and their joining in partnership.
Libra's symbol is the scales — the balance of justice which weighs and considers the demands of opposing factions. Scales represent the laws of society which conciliate contending parties and effect compromises based on the principle of equal rights. Libra's balance also refers to the laws of harmony and proportion which make this the sign of artistic sensitivity. Ideally, culture-conscious Libra reaps the benefits for which Virgo was willing to work and serve. When the Libran energies are misused, they show the disharmony which results when justice has not been done. Therefore, the sign rules war as well as peace, and enemies as well as friends.
In Latin, the word "liber" means book. This indicates the tendency of justice to operate "by the book." The pictograph for the sign resembles an open book lying face down. At first, Libra seems contradictory since it refers to the regulation of conduct and also to the social graces. It denotes both law and love. Ultimately, however, it shows that the deeper purpose of all relationships is to demonstrate that love is the law of the universe.
Anatomically, Libra refers to the endocrine system which serves as lawgiver for the entire organism, holding all parts in balance and keeping them proportionate to one another. Libra also rules the kidneys which mediate between Virgo's assimilative and Scorpio's eliminative functions, while regulating the liquid content of the body.
Libra's symbol is shaped like a yoke, a reminder that this is the sign of marital and professional partners who must function as a team if they are to accomplish their purpose. Marriage is a union sanctified by formal decree. Leo would as soon have a love affair. Virgo knows better. But ceremonious Libra feels compelled to dignify its liaisons with legal contracts officially signed and sealed.
While the first half of the zodiac deals primarily with individual unfoldment, the second half concerns the evolution of the collective consciousness and emphasizes the structuring of relationships. Libra introduces this social side of the zodiac with fitting decorum. Being new to the rites and rituals of the organized establishment, Libra can overdo its insistence upon the amenities of behavior. Yet this desire that convention be honored ensures the peace of mind and harmony of surroundings which the Libran holds so dear.
When the Sun enters Libra, the year is half gone. Time is becoming more valuable.
Therefore, the native of this sign takes special care not to waste his precious hours and days making mistakes which will ultimately have to be rectified.
SCORPIO, the SCORPION and the EAGLE
— November 22
Scorpio's symbol is unabashedly phallic. The generative organs represented by its pictograph are no longer closed off, as in Virgo, but are potent and active. In contrast with Virgo's preoccupation with propriety, and Libra's need for the niceties of life, Scorpio ruthlessly eliminates nonessentials and penetrates to the depths of things. Natives of this sign have a profound interest in the fundamentally mysterious issues of sex, death, and the afterlife. They harbor strong subterranean drives which set up powerful currents of attraction and repulsion, and this energy must find an outlet. The dual symbolism of the crawling scorpion and the soaring eagle suggests the different levels of expression of the Scorpio-ruled libidinal forces which underlie the sexual instinct.
Scorpio resembles Virgo, not only in the way its glyph is drawn, but also in its predisposition to take things apart and extract the vital element. The signs diverge in that Scorpio is capable of relentlessly eliminating as waste whatever Libra has weighed in her scales, judged, and found superfluous. Virgo, on the other side of the scales, is consummately careful to avoid offense and often prefers to skirt issues that might prove controversial. As an autumnal sign, Scorpio is associated with the dying part of the year when the life-force of the plant retreats to its roots and into the seed.
Scorpio has a grim reputation because of the death-dealing sting in the scorpion's tail, and also because it rules the organs of sex and elimination at the tail end of the body. Excrement is the despised refuse of the body, while the seminal fluid is its most precious product. Similarly, there are two contrasting types of Scorpians. Those who respond to the coarser vibrations of the sign can be cruel, selfish, and sensual — "stung" by their own passions — while evolved types are represented by the eagle which soars higher than any earthly creature. Mythologically, this bird is portrayed by the phoenix which, after a period of self-immolation, rises reborn from its ashes. Scorpio denotes degeneration and regeneration, death and resurrection.
The glyph for Scorpio, like that for Virgo, resembles an "M." This "M" stands for money. Scorpio, like its polar opposite Taurus, concerns basic resources, being representative of the finances of the partnership entered into in Libra. The Scorpian's resourcefulness and reserve make him an excellent businessman. He is often an efficient manager of other people's funds, for he respects money as one of the fundamental powers of the social organism. (Appropriately, groups which handle large sums of money are called foundations.) Therefore, the eagle of Scorpio is imprinted on every United States dollar, half-dollar, and quarter.
Libra, sign of war and peace, is symbolized by Justice holding a pair of scales in one hand and a sword in the other. The sword implies that even the conciliatory Libran will take aggressive action when affairs slip too far out of balance. Scorpio's eagle also carries the symbols of war and peace in the form of a sheaf of barbed arrows and an olive branch, but the eagle looks away from the arrows and toward the branch. Thus, the transformed Scorpian will struggle to the death for the sake of the values he espouses, even while his eyes are fixed on the ideal of peace.
November 23 — December 21
In Sagittarius, life opens out in a new dimension. As winter closes in and nights outlast the days, a man must seek new vistas of the mind. He may turn to religious and philosophical pursuits in compensation for his less frequent contact with nature. If not intellectually inclined, he may engage in sports, games, and travel. These characteristically Sagittarian activities imply goal-directedness. Therefore, the symbol of this sign is the upward-pointing arrow of the archer with a piece of the bow included. This is the shaft of aspiration directed by understanding.
Sagittarians have a reputation for being high-minded, just as Scorpians have a
reputation for getting down to the gritty facts of life. Although no sign of the zodiac should be considered superior to any other, the Sagittarian virtues of devotion to truth, pursuit of knowledge, and the maintenance of elevated moral standards are popularly admired. The faults of the sign stem from an excess rather than a deficiency of exuberance and may include a tendency to proselytize. Over-optimism, especially with regard to enterprises of a speculative nature, such as horse racing or playing the stock market, can scatter the resources so jealously guarded in the previous sign.
Sagittarius is both teacher and preacher. As a teacher, he tries to raise his students'
sights to higher verities; as a preacher he realizes that men must be motivated to follow the paths of righteousness. This underlying motive power is symbolized by the equine body of the horse. In mythology, the sign is represented by the wise centaur, Chiron, said to have been the teacher of Achilles, Asclepius, and other ancient heroes. The centaur has immense power in his loins, but he looks forward and aims his bow toward the heavens. The flight of the arrow is but the final outcome of a series of actions. The horse's body, the man's arm, and the bow are all engaged in releasing the shaft which flies out of sight.
Like the arrow, Sagittarians want to ascend, and like the bow, they can be high-strung. As soon as they spy a new vision, they shoot forth a volley of enthusiastic words in order to attract attention to their discovery. Unlike Scorpians, who keep their ideas private until they have been thoroughly substantiated, Sagittarians make the transition from fact to theory with lightning speed and, once the lightning has struck, they listen eagerly for the thunder of applause.
Sagittarius rules the thighs which constitute man's primary means of locomotion.
Virtually all members of this sign love to walk, run, or travel. New scenery brings them new ideas. The centaur's four legs enable him to move about freely, while his modern counterpart may be almost as attached to the four wheels of his automobile. Wherever he ranges he wants to journey with a destination in mind. First, he must gain mobility, but his ultimate purpose is to achieve the wisdom to understand whither he goes.
— January 20
Ideally, Capricorn practices what Sagittarius preaches, for its purpose is to concretize abstract ideas and give tangible expression to the centaur's vision. As the last of the trinity of earth signs, it signifies the completion of earthly experience.
Capricorn's glyph is obscure, although some see in it a resemblance to the rounded
kneecap, the part of the body this sign is said to rule. Despite his ambitious nature, the Capricornian cannot reach his goal until he learns to acknowledge something higher than self. He must bend his knees to a mightier power, even as he would have others kneel before him. Kneeling is the posture considered most suitable for prayer in many religions, while curtsying and other forms of genuflection are all manifestations of the principle of obeisance implicit in Capricorn.
In addition to the knees, Capricorn has general dominion over the skin, ligaments,
joints, bones, nails, teeth and other ossified parts of the body. But the knees and backbone are particularly characteristic of this sign because they enable a man to raise and lower himself at will.
Capricorn is the sign of the executive who is determined to rise to the peak of his profession. He will work unremittingly until he has reached the summit — or the end of his tether. The manner of a Capricornian who is not expressing the better side of his nature can be cold, superior, and patronizing toward those he considers beneath him, and overly solicitous and obsequious toward those he acknowledges as his "betters." Even the more evolved types are notable for their cool and controlled self- containment. This is truly a Janus (January) sign, representing a summation of the achievements of the past, on one side, and serving as a point of departure for greater things to come, on the other. Chronologically, Capricorn links the old and new years.
Both Christ and Caesar are said to have been born in Capricorn. The Caesar image signifies the triumph of the old order when the year is at its end. It represents the ultimate crystallization of the social system into rigidly structured institutions enforcing duty and discipline. The child in Mary's arms holds the promise of the new year, a promise substantiated by the fact that after the winter solstice on December twenty-first, darkness is no longer victorious. The days have started to lengthen and will continue to increase until nature bursts forth once more in springtime splendor. Although Capricorn is reputed to be a wintry, pessimistic sign, its natives have an abiding faith in themselves and in the outcome of their endeavors.
Capricorn's mascot is the mountain goat who sure-footedly ascends the crags where others dare not venture. He can also be the long-faced scapegoat tethered to a peg, patient and persevering, but bound by inexorable fate. This sign's durability includes the ability to endure prolonged hard work. Eventually, however, persistence is rewarded and obstacles are overcome. The well- prepared Capricornian knows that his organizing talent is needed, that he can deliver the goods, and that in time he is bound to achieve the position he deserves.
AQUARIUS, the WATER—BEARER
When a climber has scaled the heights, he is obliged to look around for a broader
field of endeavor. A radically new program must be sought, preferably one which involves the opening up of more subtle dimensions of being. The "atom-splitting" potential of the Aquarian mind instigates the development of scientific techniques which release unsuspected radiations out of the heart of matter and enable man to transcend previous accomplishments.
The study of vibrations and electrical force fields has revealed the permeability of a world previously assumed to be solidly material. The parallel lines, symbolic of Aquarius, indicate its association with the dawning "new age" of scientific enlightenment in which people are becoming increasingly conscious of the invisible waves that pervade the body of space.
Although Aquarius is an air sign, its true nature is sometimes misunderstood because it is depicted by a man carrying an urn of water which he offers to all who will receive it. In ancient times, when astrology was formulated, the concept of radiations and oscillatory impulses passing through the atmosphere and even through solid matter was impossible to convey graphically. The only way people could imagine the existence of such subtle vibratory energies was by thinking of waves on the surface of a lake or sea. Thus, the image of a man with a vessel of water was used to suggest the fluid quality of nature's finer forces.
The generosity with which the water-bearer pours out the contents of his urn shows the liberality with which these vibratory energies are distributed throughout the cosmos. Having ascended the mountain peak of Capricorn (a stage of attainment depicted literally by the placement of Capricorn at the summit of the zodiacal wheel), the Aquarian is less concerned with climbing an executive pyramid than with bringing down and distributing the gains achieved. Thus, where Sagittarius aspires to reach a higher position, Aquarius inspires the multitude below.
Knowledge of the truth is not enough to satisfy the spiritually awakened Aquarian. He wants to make his ideas available to all who strive to uplift mankind. He believes that people everywhere should benefit from the miracles of technology, not merely the privileged few who have achieved material success in the Capricornian phase of development. The true Aquarian is a universalist, as indifferent to social distinctions and prejudices as are radio waves to the walls of buildings. The danger is that he may overreact to the conservatism of the previous sign by becoming rebellious, eccentric, or perverse. On the other hand, if he has failed to develop a social conscience, he may be aimless and ineffectual — up in the air.
Aquarius represents the ankles, the circulatory system, and the aura. The aura is the matrix of electromagnetic emanations which envelops all living things and interfuses them with vitality. When, through the radiatory potency of his subtle psychic force field, an individual serves as a broadcasting center for the energies of will, love, and intelligence, he expresses the highest side of the Aquarian urge to transform the quality of life on this planet.
The sign Pisces is frequently portrayed by two fishes tied together but swimming in opposite directions. This "fishes circle" describes the contradictory nature of the unevolved Piscean whose tendency to work against himself has sometimes caused him to be described as "a poor fish" or "a fish out of water." He may be confused or deceptive, in which case people will suspect that there is something "fishy" about him. But the two fishes may also complement each other as in the Yin-Yang symbol of the ancient Chinese. The enlightened Piscean understands intuitively how to create a meaningful synthesis out of apparent contradictions.
The fish is a symbol of Christ. Images of fishes were scratched in the sand by the
early Christians as identifying marks because the Greek initials I. CH. TH. U. S. —
standing for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior — made an acronym that spelled "fish." Scholars who are knowledgeable in the field of astrology believe that the symbol was adopted because the vernal equinox was moving into the sign of the fishes, ushering in the Piscean Age.
Although some of his disciples were lowly fishermen, Jesus promised to make them "fishers of men" if they would renounce the world and follow him. He also fed the multitude with loaves and fishes, the loaves representing the opposite sign of the Virgin with her sheaf of wheat. Like the disciples, Pisceans are capable of renouncing their material goods for the sake of spiritual gain. They hold fast to the faith that they will be replenished by some mysterious act of grace — and surprisingly often they are.
The two semicircles have also been likened to crescent Moons representing real
and imaginary worlds, even as the Moon on the sea mirrors its counterpart in the sky. Pisceans are intrigued with illusions which may take the form of imaginative creations or escapist fantasies. The more dynamic exponents of this sign are drawn to the arts and enterprises connected with pleasure and entertainment. Their less-realistic brethren succumb to a variety of delusions, refusing to "face facts," and withdrawing into a private world of fantasy, addiction, or obsession.
A vivid sense of the dramatic lures many Pisceans into the theater and show business. Pisces rules the feet and, literally or figuratively, the dancing feet of the elusive Piscean scarcely touch the earth. This sign also rules the astral body whose existence has been denied by science, but which clairvoyants register in terms of shifting color tones surrounding the physical form.
Pisces completes the round of the zodiac. The two sides of its glyph can be recombined to form a circle as complementary halves of life are placed back to back and linked by the line of the horizon. In this manner, opposing aspects of the self pull away from each other, yet are deliberately conjoined. While Aquarius produces fission (which carries over into the duality of Pisces), members of this final sign yearn for fusion. Pisceans must realize, however, that this is a fusion which occurs in consciousness even while the external world remains divided as before.
Astrology, the Divine Science