Aries - March 21 - April 20
is the first sign of the Zodiac and marks the beginning of spring. In the 21st Century western astrology, has spread out around the world, just as the human race has, so whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, this marks the beginning of Astrological Spring. Our biological clocks, that are written into every DNA cell in our body, wakes up to this feeling of spring.
The Spring Equinox is on the 21st March each year. It is at this point that the days start to become longer and the long winter is over. Being the equinox, the days and nights are equal in length. Dormant plant life begins to awaken, buds begin to burst out on the trees. Wildlife is born and all around there are signs of Mother Nature waking up.
In the ancient story of Demeter, Earth Goddess (who we meet in Virgo), the beginning of spring marks the end of her period of mourning for her daughter Persephone. She prepares with hope, to welcome her home, something she does year after year. There is an air of expectancy. Roots are beginning to awaken and grow deep and strong beneath the surface.
New beginnings, new energy, new life is being born. It is still too early to plant yet. The ground is still cold and hard and often waterlogged with the spring thaw. But it is a time of expectancy. Optimism returns and as the days become longer, the air of expectancy grows. Grandiose dreams are born and wild speculation is rampant.
The sign that heralds the beginning of a season is known as a Cardinal sign. That is, it is a sign of initiation, ideas and plans. It is not up to a Cardinal sign to carry things through, simply to give birth to them.
Taurus - April 21 - May 21
is the second sign of the Zodiac and the second sign of spring. Here the spring thaw has finished and the earth is warming. It is time for the planting of seeds and for fertilization to begin.
This was an important time of the year in the life of the ancients and a time of fertility sacrifices and festivals. There is new life in abundance, the grasses, crops and seeds are all flourishing. The land itself is coming alive. This is a time of sowing, procreation and celebration of life.
The middle sign in each season, it is a fixed sign, it is after the initial surge in optimism of the 1st sign that the hard work begins. By now the ideas of Aries can be turned into reality. The hard work begins. It is time to get your hands dirty in the ground. Planting begins. It is time to make solid the dreams and ideas birthed at the start of spring.
Gemini - May 22 - June 21
Gemini is an air sign, ruled by the mind.
The hard work had been done by this stage in spring. The days were now much longer than the nights. With the Sun getting higher in the sky, the evenings were longer. This was a time that people sat outdoors in the evening, discussing ideas and plans. The summer solstice was getting closer and there was lightness in the air. People were out and about, walking, appreciating the flowers and the new life emerging. Nature itself was putting on a spectacular display, something Geminis' like to do.
This is a mutable sign and also the last month of Spring. That is, it is a time of transition. Spring is about to end, but not yet and Summer is about to begin, but not yet. This is a time of discussion and ideas.
There is lightness in the air and everything is buzzing with expectation for the coming season.
Cancer - June 22 - July 22
holds two distinctions; that of being the first water sign, and the first sign of summer.
Cancer begins on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. At this point the Sun is at its hottest, directly overhead. The land itself is thirsty for moisture. The most precious commodity, more precious than gold, when the Sun moves into Cancer, is Water.
As the fruit and crops ripen and the streams, ponds and rivers dry, all thoughts are turned to getting as much of this life giving elixir to the food producing plants and livestock as possible. It was a time when the home soils needed nurturing. Families worked together to bucket water from wells and water sources.
The heat of the day was exhausting and languid. Shade was sought and long summer nights enjoyed.
Being the first month in a new season Cancer is a Cardinal sign, that of initiation. It is not a fixed sign, so it does not have to do the work. This is the initiation stage in a new season. The crops are still growing it is a time of waiting and a time of expectancy.
Leo - July 23 - August 22
is the middle sign of the Summer Triad, so is a fixed sign. Here summer is at its height and the days are long. The earth is dry and often parched and the air itself is sometimes too hot to breathe. Energy is sapped and it is hard to work, so manual duties are light. The harvest will come next month. While the Sun is in Leo it is a time to have fun, play and celebrate.
Nature itself is celebrating in an array of color. Everything is full and ripe. The fruit will already have been picked, if not it will be lying plump upon the trees and vine. It is a time of enjoying the bounty of the land. Food and wine are abundant. With no hard labor needed, it is a time to party and celebrate. Dances and celebrations took place in the home and this was when couples had the time to court.
Finding a mate was important during this time, for once the Sun moved on into Autumn and then winter, survival itself depended on banding together in a family unit. Love was in the air and so was optimism and warmth. Leo is the sign that rules conception, with a lot of baby making going on while the Sun is in Leo.
Virgo - August 23 - September 23
is the last of the summer signs and as such a mutable sign. The long summer is drawing to an end, the days are getting shorter and the Sun is declining. Soon the Constellation of Virgo will disappear from the skies and will not be seen until spring. Demeter herself is preparing to go into mourning.
Throughout the world homage is being paid to the Great Earth Goddess and thoughts are turned to the land.
Virgo is an earth sign. Here there is work to be done; hard work. The harvest must be gathered and the time for play and frivolity is over. The land needs to be cleared, crops harvested, fields ploughed.
There is great need for organization, planning and preparation for the long dark winter ahead. The harvest has to not only be collected but it has to be carefully stored, workers must be fed.
As a mutable sign it is a sign that looks at both the present and the future. The harvest is plentiful now, but it must last through to the coming year. The decisions made now would mean life or death. This is a time of great seriousness, of planning and great forethought. Great perception is called for. These are all qualities found so abundantly in the sign of Virgo.
Libra - September 24 - October 23
is the first sign of autumn, the autumn triad. The Sun moves into Libra on the autumn equinox, a time when the days and nights are of equal length.
At the autumn equinox the earth is going through a gentle transformation. It is halfway between the searing hot days of summer and the water heavy days of winter. The summer crops have been harvested and the earth itself is resting. Through the last two seasons it has been planted, given birth to new growth and ploughed in readiness for the new season. It is a time when the crops are being distributed and a careful balance is needed between what is kept for food and seed and what is given back to the earth, to regenerate new life for the coming year.
The right balance and choices would mean the difference between life and death in ancient times.
As the first sign of the autumn triad, it is a cardinal sign. It is also an air sign. There is no work to be done now in the fields. The work that needs to be done is of an intellectual nature. Discussions and choices need to be made, long and deliberate. It is the ideas and choices made in Libra that carried the ancients safely through the harsh winter yet to come.
Scorpio - October 24 - November 22
is the middle sign of the autumn triad. Therefore, it is a fixed sign that autumn is at its height. Being a fixed sign it is also only interested in the here and now. It is the beginning of the earth's journey into the long dark days of winter. The days are starting to become cold and damp. The autumn equinox has been passed.
Scorpio is a water sign and it is here that the earth itself holds onto the water, making the ground sodden and heavy. The grain that was harvested and sorted in Virgo and Libra now lies stacked in barns and in cellars, where it will be used to feed man and animals over the coming dark months. Stored away though are the seeds that will mean new life when spring emerges after the long dark winter.
Nature is losing its blanket of greenery, as leaves die and fall to the ground. Regeneration is taking place. It is through death that new life will eventually come. As the old rots in the ground, the seeds for future growth are being born. The earth is claiming back what belongs to it. The harvest has gone and nature has nothing left to give. This is a time of the year that it take backs what it needs. Up until now the earth has provided, now it claims back. To see this season as one of simply death and decay is to fail to see the true magic of life and the season. It is at this point of death that new life truly begins. Here it will lay dormant under the surface waiting for the first spring rays to bring it to life. Spring is a long way off and before then, winter has to be moved through. It is the Scorpion spirit that sees all that. Sees things more deeply and can identify the cycles of life more profoundly.
Being a Fixed Sign, Scorpio recognizes that there is work to be done, and the seeds have to be sorted and stored. The careful management of the harvested crop has to take place.
Sagittarius - November 23 - December 22
is the last sign in the autumn triad. Therefore it is a mutable sign. Mutable means the ability to change, be adaptable and to think outside the square. By their very nature, a mutable sign, coming at the end of a season, rules the transition into the next. All the lessons learnt over the season, need to now be applied to the coming one. While still in one reality, they are already planning for the next.
While the Sun is moving through Sagittarius, the cold weather of winter is on its way (Astrology is birthed in Northern hemisphere seasons and although we live in a global world, we may be experiencing Southern hemisphere energy in our daily lives, but deep down in our primordial genes, we are still conditioned to our North Hemisphere ancestry). Deep down inside, the earth still holds onto the last of the summer heat jealously, unwilling to yield it up just yet. It wants to wrap the seeds planted in spring and keep them warm until gestation is well under way. It needs to protect and keep the seeds alive and warm. These seeds do not just contain new plant life, they contain the promise for the future,
just as we hold the secret seeds in our soul that Prometheus stole from the heavenly forge on our behalf. Wood is being collected and stockpiled for the coming winter months and all thoughts are turned to fire. For mankind knew that it was fire that would ensure their survival through the cold months. Without it they would die. In the same way, Sagittarian energy tells us, without spiritual fire, our souls will die.
This is also a time of generosity and hospitality. People are drawn together out of necessity, often around the fireplace.
Sagittarius energy, although marking the end of spring, is about the celebration of life. Rather than mourning the end, a time of light and warmth, people are drawing those very things into their souls, in order to sustain them during the dark months ahead.
Capricorn - December 23 - January 20
is the 10th sign of the zodiac, the 3rd earth sign and the first sign in the winter triad. There are no fire signs in the winter triad and the earth itself has no warmth.
The Sun moves into Capricorn on the Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. It is a time of darkness. The leaves have been decaying in autumn and at last they re-enter the ground, where they will wait, suspended in the cold earth, ready to be reborn in the spring. The cold settles in and starts to penetrate the earth itself. Life below and above the surface goes into hibernation. People stay indoors, animals either go into hibernation, find shelter or were housed out of the cold by farmers. It was a time to go within and wait. Here Mother Nature has to be respected. It is a time to plan for survival. Food had to last the long cold winter months.
On the surface this can be seen as a time of isolation, death and being stalled. Yet it is part of the natural cycle and here death does not mean the end, rather the beginning. Just as a circle continues to go round and round and round, so does life, year after year after year and Capricorn is the sign that watches over that cycle.
Aquarius - January 21 - February 19
is the middle sign of the winter triad, so is therefore a fixed sign. When the Sun moved through Aquarius, it was the coldest time of the year. Cold winds and rain swept the land, so people stayed indoors. However, as the earth reaches its darkest point, it holds the promise of future life. Underneath the ground, the roots are starting to prepare for new life.
Everything in nature has to be self-sufficient. Man, beast and nature itself has to focus on itself. Aquarius is a sign of individuality and of looking to the future. The past has gone in exactly the same way as the old year has gone and Aquarian energy can only look to what is happening now and what will come in the future. With activity limited and Aquarius being an Air sign, it was a time to discuss ideas, plans and goals for the future. It was a time of imagining and wondering what if.
Nothing practical can be done, but it is a time to give birth to ideas. It was a time when innovations and inventions were devised. During the darkest part of winter, the light comes from within. Anything that did not serve them would show itself and would be noted for correction in the coming spring. One of the greatest qualities of Aquarian energy is independence and it is during the middle month of the winter triad that life itself is developing independently.
Pisces - February 20 - March 20
Of all the water signs, Pisces
is the sign that runs the deepest. As the last sign of the Winter Triad, it presides over the end of one year and the preparation for the new solar year that will soon begin in spring.
By the time the Sun reaches the constellation of Pisces, the days are already starting to get longer and as the temperature starts to rise, so do the hopes and optimism of humans. It is often a time to give thanks to the gods that protected them through the long, dark winter months. Underground, the frozen earth begins to thaw and water begins to flow as the water tables once again find their balance.
Deep within the ground, the dormant planet life begins to stir and deep within the ground, growth is taking place that will not show itself in an outer form until spring. Rivers start to flow as ice melts. Moisture is so abundant you can smell it in the air, with damp soil giving up its hold on this essential life force.
As a mutable sign, it is a time of change and of the changes of season, this is the one that is most pronounced. The old year is in its dying phase and the New Year is tantalizingly close. Life goes on.
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