|Lesson Six: Introduction to the Signs of the Zodiac|
Each one of us is unique - we have our own individual way of seeing ourselves, of perceiving the world, and of reacting to particular circumstances. And yet, in spite of this uniqueness, there are also recognisable and predictable patterns within the human psyche. The fascination of astrology is that, once we have an individual's birth chart in front of us, we can assess how that particular individual is likely to react to certain situations.
An example of this which I often use is to imagine twelve people, each representing one of the twelve signs of the zodiac, waiting at a bus stop. They are on their way to work but the bus is late. How does each of these signs react? Obviously, the descriptions below are only caricatures, since nobody is a pure representation of only one sign, but the fact that these caricatures are so often recognisable illustrates the fact that there are certain inherent behaviour patterns which we all share to some extent. To begin with, we would only expect there to be ten people in this bus queue, because Aries and Sagittarius are likely to be missing.
Aries has probably never waited for a bus in his life. He simply can't bear to wait or to be dependent on other people or on situations outside his control. He needs to be in the driving seat himself. He has a set of rollerblades, a bicycle, a motorbike or a fast car to take him wherever he wants, whenever he needs, so that he can be independent and free to act instantaneously.
Taurus is realistic, practical and normally placid. She knows that everything takes time and that the bus will eventually arrive. She has a remarkable ability to live in the present. There is no point getting stressed or worried. After all, it is a beautiful day - the sun in shining, the grass is green, the trees are in full leaf, the flowers in the nearby park are blooming and their smell fills the air. Life is good, as she breathes deeply, taking it all in.
Gemini is flexible and adaptable. He can use the extra time to do those hundred things that need catching up with. Using his mobile phone, he telephones work to let them know he will be late, speaks to his work colleague about his diary and meetings and makes alternative plans. While he is about it, he phones a friend to make plans to see the latest film that night, catches up by phoning his mother back, rings his sister or brother for a chat, makes changes to his diary, and finally takes out one of the two books or magazines he always carries with him for situations like this.
Cancer, on the other hand, feels personally let down, and can be thrown into despair and a curious depression by the late arrival of the bus. Retreating into her shell, she remembers clearly what it felt like in her childhood when her mother was late picking her up from school. Her stomach churns at the memory, and she remembers clearly the feeling of abandonment as she waited, all alone, in the deserted playground at the end of the school day. How typical it is that, while she is always there for other people, she can't rely on anyone else being there for her.
For Leo, on the other hand, this is an unexpected opportunity to gather an audience - a crowd of admirers whom he seeks to entertain with some kind of drama or performance.
Virgo is becoming increasingly anxious and has noticed that her blood pressure is rising. Delving into her organiser-briefcase, she extracts the stress pills from one pocket and the digestion pills from another. All the jobs she had set himself for the day have been thrown into chaos and, like Gemini, she phones the office to reorganise things, trying to keep the rising panic and tension out of her voice.
Libra springs into action and tries to calm Virgo down with reassurances and logical thinking, explaining that nobody will blame Virgo for being late since it is not her fault.
Meanwhile, Scorpio is planning what to do to the bus driver when the bus finally arrives. Under her calm exterior, Scorpio is an unexploded bomb which, if the other people in the bus queue are lucky, will not go off. Nevertheless, at some point this anger will inevitably be detonated, possibly later in the day towards an unsuspecting work colleague.
Like Aries, Sagittarius is also absent from the bus queue. It is possible that he jogs to work, in order to use up some of the enormous physical energy which is a feature of this sign. Alternatively, Sagittarius is just as likely to travel to work by chauffeur-driven limousine, or has hailed a passing cab - and to hell with the expense.
Capricorn waits with a grim sense of satisfaction and validation. She knew the bus would be late, since it validates her world-view that everyone else is incompetent and irresponsible. She decides that the bus driver must have been late in turning up for duty and, because she is head of department at her work, she also decides to do a survey of her subordinates' arrival times at work to see how much time is being wasted by the employees through this kind of irresponsibility.
Aquarius sees this late arrival as an opportunity to plan how the public transport system could be restructured. There must be a better way of managing this system, to enable ordinary people to get to work and contribute to the greater needs of society.
Pisces hasn't noticed that the bus is late, because she has drifted off into a world of her own.
Although these are, of course, gross caricatures of the signs, it may be that you can recognise the themes either in yourself or in people you know. What is also interesting is the way we react to each other, and how easy it is to blame or judge people for not responding to situations in the same way that we do. For example, Taurus may have no idea why Virgo is so tense, and considers this to be a complete waste of energy to no effect. Gemini has no idea why Cancer has become so emotional since, after all, the lateness of the bus has provided several opportunities to catch up on bits and pieces, which would not otherwise have presented themselves. Libra, who doesn't know what he feels about the situation personally, will do whatever he can to calm the situation for everyone else, since that will make him feel much better. Capricorn doesn't know why Leo is showing off so much; this kind of behaviour is unnecessarily attention-seeking and childish. Aquarius blames Taurus for taking the situation so philosophically - only by being public-spirited and joining the cause for better public transport can the situation be improved.
Copyright ©2005 by Clare Martin.
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