by Robert Wilkinson
The answer to the title is probably all of the above, just at different times. Knowing your particular astrological "formula" is key to understanding your strengths and how you naturally play life's choices and changes. Today we'll take a brief look at the way energy cycles through our lives and interactions with others.
First, some basics. In the zodiac, there are 12 signs. We all have all the signs somewhere in our chart. Not only that, even when we don't have a planet in a sign, a sign is still active in the area shown by the house with that sign on the cusp, or edge, of that house. The sign on a cusp shows us both how we approach the affairs of that house, as well as what lessons we're learning about those life affairs. When we don't have a planet in a house, the planet that rules the sign on the cusp is the primary significator of what and how we're relating to those life affairs.
Thus we always have at least two signs at work influencing how we do what we do in any life area; the sign on the cusp, and the sign of the planet that rules the sign on the cusp. The only exception is when the planet is in the sign it "rules" or its "home." Then the sign on the cusp is the sign the planet rules. This is a very powerful influence, and usually exerts an influence on other planets and houses as well through dispositorship.
Each of the twelve signs has an energetic quality of being an activator, consolidator, or distributor. One initiates, one stabilizes, one transforms. In the Vedas these three energy forms are called Gunas. They are considered qualities of the Three-In-One "Godhead" that pervades our system. Sort of like "God the Father," "God the Mother," and "God the Creative Offspring." They infuse all types of behavior, activity, and processes.
In Astrology, the activating, initiating, Rajasic signs are known as Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. These signs initiate activity, are self-reliant in their movement, and show how we approach the new in the material, emotional, mental, and inspirational levels of life. These signs are said to be "moveable" and thus can be destabilizing and disruptive even as they open new doors and directions through new focus.
The stabilizing, consolidating, Tamasic signs are known as Fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. These signs stabilize conditions, organizing any process into concrete self-perpetuating forms that are resistant to change. Though Tamasic energy is given a very bad rap in Hinduism, they are also the signs governing the 4 "Holy Creatures" of the ancient prophets, the Ox, Lion, Eagle, and Angel, and show the way to liberation for all disciples on a path to Truth.
The distributive, fragmenting, Sattvic signs are known as Mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. These signs distribute the energies stabilized by the Fixed signs that will eventually be picked up by the Cardinal signs in new forms. Though Sattvic energy is considered most "spiritual" in Hinduism, they can also be deflective, dissolving, and unfocused. However, they do show the way to fracture old inert forms to achieve movement, and mark the end of the old.
By seeing which planets you have in which signs you can understand how that planet naturally expresses itself. A Sun in Gemini is illuminated by distribution, multiplicity, and fragmentation, as are Virgo, Sag, and Pisces, each in their own way. A Mars in Leo efforts in stable consistent ways, and can be annoyed by too much resistance. A Jupiter in Aries finds opportunity in new beginnings, and initiating some self-reliant pioneering expansion in whatever house it's in.
By knowing where the transits are working in your chart, you can see whether you're initiating, stabilizing, or fragmenting any given area of your life. This can help explain why we are letting go of some things while other parts are moving along smoothly and other things are emerging. The trick is to see the whole picture so you cooperate with your natural process rather than resist it or fear it. A more thorough analysis of how things work in your specific chart can be discovered by studying the qualities of the signs and/or scheduling a session with a professional astrologer.
This is fairly basic knowledge, but crucial to understanding our place in the larger scheme of things, as well as knowing whether to begin something or not, hold on to something or now, or redistribute what has been to recombine the pieces in a new initiative to come. Sometimes we do have to "break up to unite," as our old friend the I Ching puts it. Other times we must leap empty handed into the void, knowing the pieces will be there when we arrive. It all depends on us knowing what's up in general and what's up in our charts as shown by whether we're initiating, consolidating, or distributing in any area of our life. A small but important piece of our reality puzzle.
© Copyright 2007 Robert Wilkinson