Signs of Letting Go, the Mutable Signs

2017-06-12 08.07.00

As I have previously discussed, the tropical zodiac is based on the seasons. Each season begins with a cardinal sign and deepens with a fixed sign. Yet, all good things must end, and so must every season. Spring gives way to summer, summer gives way to fall, fall gives way to winter, and winter gives way to spring. So it has been for thousands upon thousands of years before, and so it will be for thousands of years to come. In Japan, the Ise Jingu shrine is torn down and rebuilt every 20 years. In this way, the skills and technology necessary for building the shrine are passed down from generation to generation. It is this impermanence that allows the shrine to endure into perpetuity. As of today, this shrine has endured for around 1,500 years. In a similar fashion, it is the mutable signs that end each season and allow the cycles of time to turn.

The mutable signs are the adaptable and yielding signs of the zodiac. They neither initiate change nor resist it. In the past, they were known as the common signs, and in Japanese, they are called 柔軟宮, juunan kyuu, or flexible signs. People with a predominance of mutable signs are curious and easy going. They like many different types of experience. They are able to “go with the flow.” People lacking in mutable signs have trouble adapting to change and to circumstances outside of their control.

Now that we have talked about the mutable signs as a group, let us look at them individually.

Gemini the Twins

双子座 (Futago Za)

Mutable Air

Gemini

Human Archetype:

The Student

Sect:

Day

Planets Dignified in Gemini:

Mercury, Ruler and Night Triplicity Ruler*; Saturn Day Triplicity Ruler; Jupiter, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planet Debilitated in Gemini:

Jupiter, Detriment**

Parts of Body:

Arms and hands

General Characteristics:

Gemini is the Jack of All Trades, Master of None. She wants to try everything. Gemini is interested in any subject and wants to get involved in anything that is going on. Gemini is talkative and busy. Gemini is quite fond of words and will often play with them. At best, Gemini is open minded, friendly, and curious. At worst, Gemini is flighty, fickle, and indecisive.

Virgo the Virgin

乙女座 (Otome Za)

Mutable Earth

Virgo

Human Archetype:

The Secretary

Sect:

Night

Planets Dignified in Virgo:

Mercury, Ruler and Exalted; Venus, Day Triplicity Ruler; Moon, Night Triplicity Ruler; Mars, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Virgo:

Jupiter, Detriment; Venus, Fall**

Part of Body:

Stomach

General Characteristics:

Virgo is meticulous and precise but has a tendency to miss the forest for the trees. Despite Virgo’s meticulous nature, sometimes she will be untidy, because if she cannot do something perfectly she will not do it at all. At best, Virgo is conscientious, detail oriented, and precise, with a sharp intellect. At worst, Virgo is a brutal perfectionist, ruthlessly finding fault in self and others.

Sagittarius the Archer

射手座 (Ite Za)

Mutable Fire

Sagittarrius

Human Archetype:

The Explorer

Sect:

Day

Planets Dignified in Sagittarius:

Jupiter, Ruler and Night Triplicity Ruler; Sun, Day Triplicity Ruler; Saturn, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planet Debilitated in Sagittarius:

Mercury, Detriment

Parts of Body:

Hips

General Characteristics:

Sagittarius is the Archer, and her motto is, “I shot an arrow into the air, where it landed, I know not where.” Nor does she care. Sagittarius is enthusiastic and engaging. What Sagittarius lacks in manners, she makes up for in charm and sense of humor. Sagittarius likes to expound and pontificate, but can be over confident at times. Sagittarius’ charm and friendliness allow her to get away with gaffes and social blunders in a way that no other sign can. At best, Sagittarius is optimistic, generous, and friendly. At worst, Sagittarius is pompous, over confident, and bold to the point of rashness.

Pisces the Fish

魚座 (Uo Za)

Mutable Water

Pisces

Human Archetype:

The Dreamer

Sect:

Night

Planets Dignified in Pisces:

Jupiter, Ruler; Venus, Exalted and Day Triplicity Ruler; Mars, Night Triplicity Ruler; Moon, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planet Debilitated in Pisces:

Mercury, Detriment and Fall

Parts of Body:

Feet

General Characteristics:

Pisces is a very sweet, gentle, compassionate, and self-sacrificing sign, but is the sign least suited to the modern world. Practicality and terrestrial matters are often quite beyond Pisces, and she tends to float away in her watery dreams. Pisces will see the big picture easily, but has no understanding or head for details. Although Pisces must be careful of getting lost in her fantasy life, she absolutely needs to have time to retreat from the harsh realities of everyday life. At best, Pisces is gentle, kind, loving, and compassionate. At worst, Pisces is inconstant and impractical, with escapist tendencies.

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*There are several different versions of Triplicity Rulers. I use the Dorothean Triplicity Rulers.

**Sometimes planets are both dignified and debilitated in the same sign. There do exist quantitative methods of analyzing dignity and debility in which they cancel each other out; however, I prefer a more qualitative approach that considers both.

Signs of Stability, the Fixed Signs

As I have discussed before, in Western Astrology, the zodiac is based on the seasons rather than on the constellations. Each season begins with a cardinal sign. In the Northern Hemisphere*, Spring begins with the sign of Aries, Summer begins with the sign of Cancer, Fall begins with the sign of Libra, and Winter begins with the sign of Capricorn. As the seasons progress, the Sun moves into the fixed signs.

2017-05-11 14.30.38The fixed signs are the anchors of the zodiac. It is during the time of the fixed signs that the seasons deepen and grow. The fixed signs build upon the changes made during the time of the cardinal signs and develop them to their fullest potential. In the article about the cardinal signs, I discussed that in earlier times, the cardinal signs were called moveable signs. There is a third grouping of signs  known as the mutable signs. These signs were called common signs in the past. Fixed signs, however, were called fixed signs in the past, they are called fixed signs now, and they will likely always be called fixed signs. In Japanese, they are called 不動宮, fudou kyou, unmoving signs.

People who have a predominance of fixed signs in their chart are notoriously resistant to change. They tend to be dependable and loyal, and they are stalwart friends.  Once they start something, they will keep going to the bitter end. Those who lack fixed signs tend to have a great deal of difficulty in finishing what they start.

Now that we have talked about the fixed signs as a group, let us look at them individually.

Taurus the Bull

牡牛座 (Oushi Za)

Fixed Earth

Taurus

Human Archetype:

The Farmer

Sect:

Night

Planets Dignified in Taurus:

Venus, Ruler and Day Triplicity Ruler**; Moon, Exalted and Night Triplicity Ruler; Mars, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Taurus:

Mars, Detriment***

Part of Body:

Neck and throat

General Characteristics:

Taurus is calm and plodding.  She is slow to anger, but when roused her anger is formidable.  She is stable and persistent.  Taurus is happiest when surrounded by natural beauty.  Possessions and money are quite important to Taurus, and she is quite fond of good food. At best, Taurus is patient, steadfast, kind, and pleasant mannered; at worst, Taurus is lazy, dull, stubborn, and closed minded.

Leo the Lion

獅子座 (Shishi Za)

Fixed Fire

Leo

Human Archetype:

The Queen

Sect:

Day

Planets Dignified in Leo:

Sun, Ruler and Day Triplicity Ruler; Jupiter, Night Triplicity Ruler; Saturn, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Leo:

Saturn, Detriment***

Parts of Body:

Heart and back

General Characteristics:

Like the Lion, Leo is Royalty, and she will never let you forget it.  She is charming, engaging, and larger than life.  She has a Sunny disposition and always wants to be the center of attention.  Despite an ego that needs plenty of massaging, Leo is loving and magnanimous. At best, Leo is generous, fun loving, confident, and loyal; at worst, Leo is egocentric, bossy, and needs endless attention.

Scorpio the Scorpion

蠍座 (Sasori Za)

Fixed Water

Scorpio

Human Archetype:

The Martial Artist

Sect:

Night

Planets Dignified in Scorpio:

Mars, Ruler and Night Triplicity Ruler; Venus, Day Triplicity Ruler; Moon, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Scorpio:

Venus, Detriment***; Moon, Fall

Parts of Body:

Reproductive and elimination organs

General Characteristics:

Scorpio is the sign of extremes.  Her lower nature is the scorpion, but her higher nature is the eagle.  She can be the worst of sinners or the greatest of saints, and she never does anything half-way.  Scorpio can pierce through lies with sharp accuracy, but she will never reveal a confidence entrusted to her keeping.  Scorpions are known to sting themselves before being eaten by a larger animal, and Scorpios will likewise destroy themselves before admitting defeat. At best, Scorpio is passionate, determined, perceptive, and loyal; at worst, Scorpio is temperamental, possessive, cruel, and has stormy emotions.

Aquarius the Water-Bearer

水瓶座 (Mizugame Za)

Fixed Air

Aquarius

Human Archetype:

The Prophet

Sect:

Day

Planets Dignified in Aquarius:

Saturn, Ruler and Day Triplicity Ruler; Mercury, Night Triplicity Ruler; Jupiter, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Aquarius:

Sun, Detriment

Parts of Body:

Ankles

General Characteristics:

Aquarius is the most difficult sign to describe, because she tends to eschew convention.  She can be conservative or progressive, but she is her own person.  Aquarius is the most immovable of the fixed signs, and when she has made a decision or set her mind on something, there is nothing that will change it.  She will listen to the ideas of others in an open and pleasant manner, but they will not impact her ideas at all.  At best, Aquarius is curious, intelligent, friendly, and sociable; at worst, Aquarius is defiant for the sake of defiance and immovable.

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*In the Southern Hemisphere, the correspondences between the seasons and the signs are reversed. Libra is at the beginning of Spring, Capricorn is at the beginning of Summer, Aries is at the beginning of Fall, and Cancer is at the beginning of Winter.

**There are several different versions of Triplicity Rulers. I use the Dorothean Triplicity Rulers.

***Sometimes planets are both dignified and debilitated in the same sign. There do exist quantitative methods of analyzing dignity and debility in which they cancel each other out; however, I prefer a more qualitative approach that considers both.

Signs of Change, the Cardinal Signs

Western Astrology is based as much upon the seasons as it is upon the movement of the celestial bodies. This is because the zodiac that is used in most Western astrology is the tropical zodiac. The tropical zodiac is not based on the actual constellations along the ecliptic but upon the four seasonal turning points, which are the two equinoxes and the two solstices.

Spring DaffodilsThe equinoxes are the two times during the year in which the length of day and night are equal. The Spring Equinox is when day becomes longer than night, and this is the beginning of the astrological new year. The sign of Aries begins at the position of the Sun at the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere* is where. The Fall Equinox is when night becomes longer than day, and in the Northern Hemisphere,* is where the sign of Libra begins.

The solstices are the times of the further extremes of day and night. The Summer Solstice is the longest day, and in the Northern Hemisphere,* is where the sign of Cancer begins. The Winter Solstice is the longest night, and in the Northern Hemisphere,* is where the sign of Capricorn begins.

The signs at the equinox and the signs at the solstices are collectively known as the cardinal signs, because these also directly correspond with the four cardinal points. The Spring Equinox corresponds with the East, the Summer Solstice corresponds with the South, the Fall Equinox corresponds with the West, and the Winter Solstice corresponds with the North.

In earlier times, the cardinal signs have been called the “moveable” signs. In Japanese, these signs are the known as 活動宮, katsudou kyuu, action signs. As these names suggest, the cardinal signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, are the movers and shakers of the zodiac. People who have a predominance of Cardinal signs in their chart tend to be active, busy people who are “self-starters” and like to initiate projects and change. They often find themselves in leadership positions, and they enjoy being in control.

People who lack cardinal signs have difficulty with initiative and with starting projects. They often need an outside force to get them moving; however, once they are in motion, they tend to stay in motion, unless something causes them to stop.

Now that we have talked about the four cardinal signs as a group, let us look at them individually.

Aries the Ram

牡羊座 (Ohitsuji Za)

Cardinal Fire

Aries

Human Archetype:

The Warrior

Sect:

Day

Planets Dignified in Aries:

Mars, Ruler; Sun, Exalted and Day Triplicity Ruler**; Jupiter, Night Triplicity Ruler; Saturn, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Aries:

Venus, Detriment; Saturn, Fall***

Part of Body:

Head

General Characteristics:

Aries is a bold and courageous sign. Aries likes to be at the forefront of change and does not flinch in the face of danger. Aries welcomes any challenge and is known to “rush in where angels fear to tread.” Aries has no patience for fear or for apparent weakness or cowardice. At best, Aries is a fearless hero and protector; at worst, Aries is a controlling and violent bully.

Cancer the Crab

蟹座 (Kani Za)

Cardinal Water

Cancer

Human Archetype:

The Mother

Sect:

Night

Planets Dignified in Cancer:

Moon, Ruler and Night Triplicity Ruler; Jupiter, Exalted; Venus, Day Triplicity Ruler; Mars, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Cancer:

Saturn, Detriment; Mars, Fall***

Parts of Body:

Breasts and stomach

General Characteristics:

On the surface, Cancer may seem shy and retiring, but this appearance is somewhat misleading. Cancer is a nurturer and protector, and just as there is nothing fiercer than a mother protecting her young, Cancer can be quite courageous when defending anyone or anything in her care. She actively nurtures and grooms her charges, whoever they may be. At best, Cancer is a devoted and selfless caregiver; at worse, Cancer is clingy and smothering, and she can become mean and cruel.

Libra the Scales

天秤座 (Tenbin Za)

Cardinal Air

Libra

Human Archetype:

The Peacemaker

Sect:

Day

Planets Dignified in Libra:

Venus, Ruler; Saturn, Exalted and Day Triplicity Ruler; Mercury, Night Triplicity Ruler; Jupiter, Participating Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Libra:

Mars, Detriment; Sun, Fall

Parts of Body:

Lower back and kidneys

General Characteristics:

Libra is the sign of balance and harmony. Like all Air signs, Libra enjoys being with many different people from all walks of life; however, Libra is the only sign that would expect them all to get along. Libra can sometimes be seen as indecisive and weak willed, but that is a bit of an illusion. Libra is just as much an agent of energy and change as any other Cardinal sign; she takes charge in a polite and indirect manner. At best, Libra is a charming diplomat, hostess, and keeper of the peace; at worst, Libra is manipulative and controlling in a passive-aggressive manner.

Capricorn the Sea-Goat

山羊座 (Yagi Za)

Cardinal Earth

Capricorn

Human Archetype:

The Manager

Sect:

Night

Planets Dignified in Capricorn:

Saturn, Ruler; Mars, Exalted and Participating Triplicity Ruler; Venus, Day Triplicity Ruler; Moon, Night Triplicity Ruler

Planets Debilitated in Capricorn:

Moon, Detriment***; Jupiter, Fall

Parts of Body:

Knees, bones, and teeth

General Characteristics:

Capricorn is a practical and responsible manager. She is strict and orderly and likes to be in charge. No matter how much or little responsibility she has, anything in her care will be governed well and efficiently. Although she often desires to climb in rank and social status, she believes in hierarchy and social order and will rise by conventional means. At best Capricorn is an efficient and highly competent supervisor; at worst, Capricorn is miserly and mean and can become cold and cruel.

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*In the Southern Hemisphere, the correspondences between the seasons and the signs are reversed. Libra is at the beginning of Spring, Capricorn is at the beginning of Summer, Aries is at the beginning of Fall, and Cancer is at the beginning of Winter.

**There are several different versions of Triplicity Rulers. I use the Dorothean Triplicity Rulers.

***Sometimes planets are both dignified and debilitated in the same sign. There do exist quantitative methods of analyzing dignity and debility in which they cancel each other out; however, I prefer a more qualitative approach that considers both.