There are numerous ways to divide and subdivide an astrological chart, and each method adds more understanding to the entire system. One of the simplest and most basic divisions is via the elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Each element symbolizes a certain basic motivation, and as we move through the Zodiac from sign to sign, we can see those motivations adapt and evolve. The pattern of fire, earth, air and water repeats three times, in sequence, and each third of the chart shifts the focus further outside oneself. The first four signs are self-oriented, the next four relate the self to one other person, and the final four relate the self to the world.
Aries, the first sign, and beginning at the start of Spring, is Fire. Fire represents action, and Aries wants to do whatever it wants to do, now, with little consideration for others. Earth embodies the desire for the practical and physical, and Taurus, the first Earth sign, is sensual and possession oriented in a self-centered way. Gemini is the first Air sign, and Air symbolizes thinking and talking, and Gemini wants to think and talk about any topic that interests it. And Cancer wants to feel its feelings, as water represents the emotions, the heart. And Cancer’s feelings matter more than anyone else’s.
Now take these same desires and motivations and add the concept of involving someone else. Leo, the next Fire sign, still wants to do whatever it wants to do, but it wants someone to watch. Leo needs an audience of at least one. And Virgo, the following Earth sign, wants to help others one by one to be more efficient, healthier, and more practical in a physical way. You can find Virgos as accountants, nutritionists, healers and similar professions. Libra, Air, thinks of itself as half of a couple. The Libran qualities of balance and harmony always involve thinking of the other half. And intense Scorpio wants to feel as one, and share emotions, with another person.
And so we move on to the next four, the signs that relate to the entire world. And so Sagittarius, the third fire sign, still wants to do what it wants to do, but travels the world to do it. And Sag also travels philosophically too, involving it with higher education and higher justice. And Capricorn, the final Earth sign, applies the practical and physical to the world by guiding and organizing large groups of people into common goals. The Air in Aquarius is the world thinker, often associated with new ideas and concepts to improve the world, and represented by the pharmacist, the scientist and the new age mystic. And Pisces, empathetic and compassionate Pisces, is the Water sign that feels the world’s emotions.
And so from Aries to Pisces, we follow the cycle of life, from self-oriented birth, growing onward to notice other people and finally maturing and entering the world. And once you become “at one” with the world, we merge back in and then start all over again, just like the seasons of the year.
Additional ongoing blogs about chart patterns will follow in the upcoming weeks.