The Zodiac Signs: 12 Developmental Paths

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For most of us, the art of Astrology has been simplified into a few “keywords” which describe personality or behavioral characteristics for each sign.

We’ve dug into Cosmo’s “Bedside Astrologer” or read Thelma Balfour’s “Black Sun Signs” and discovered valuable information in regard to how our signs operate in many different facets of life. So, we’ve learned how sexy Scorpio’s are, but never to cross them. Or, that your Cancer woman will have the house in order and dinner on the table at 6 pm. Even to never trust a Sagittarian with a secret, or to exercise extreme caution against allowing a Leo to borrow your mirror.

While all of these anecdotes have their place, it can become very deductive and limiting to human beings whose main focus consists of self-actualization and evolution. Our Sun signs are not only descriptive in the way that they offer insight into character, but they also represent twelve different paths of evolution and development.

Ladies and gentleman: your birthchart is not a mistake. Yes, we want to trade in our 12th house planets or our Moon in Capricorn, but these placements were bestowed upon us for a reason. Our charts are like a celestial toolbox. Given the situation, we need to be able to pull out the correct instrument. Life would be pretty tough if we looked in our containers and all we had was a set of twelve Ginsu knives when all we need is a hammer for that pesky nail. Our Sun represent the “skin” that we are growing into in this lifetime. The sign that we were given represents the most effective method, style or path of growth and development.

If your Sun is in Aries, you’re walking the path of the warrior. Initiating and acting courageously. Sometimes you have to embark on your journey alone. However, you’re flexing muscles that you never even knew you had. It’s not that warriors never become afraid; they just don’t allow this temporary fear from paralyzing their ability to take effective, decisive action. As an Aries Sun, you are straying from your path when you become too impulsive, acting in a “knee jerk” manner without thinking. Or, you fail to realize that the most intense competition will always be internal.

With the Sun in Taurus, you’re on the path of the builder. Stable and grounded. Using your common sense. Developing persistence to solidify and maintain a structure which “works”. Knowing that slow and steady wins the race and accuracy can never be sacrificed for speed. You have strayed from the builder’s path when you become too rigid. Using familiarity as a crutch
instead of a foundation. Making assessments of value based on how much “discomfort” or change will be involved.

If your Sun is in Gemini, you’re walking the path of the informer. The skin that you must grow into is that of a distributor of valuable information to humanity. You must “get the word” out and use a wide variety of communication methods. Network, make connections and become a “jack
of all trades”. Versatility is your middle name. The title of “eternal student” is your birthright. Your curiosity serves as a guide to keep you open to fresh ideas and perspectives. You have strayed from this path when substance regresses to gossip, trivia and idle chatter. Or, when your connections, become lost in ultra breezy superficiality. When you become compulsively addicted to skating on the surface of life because it’s so “fun”, it may be time for a self-check.

With the Sun in Cancer,  you’re on the path of the protector. Instinctively knowing what to do to make those around you most comfortable. Calming, soothing and nurturing. Letting those that you love and care about deeply know that you have their back. Creating a “safe space” for them to return to whenever they require such care. Embracing your family, whether biological or ideological and supporting your race, country and tribe. You’ve strayed from the path when the “itis” of nostalgia overrides the ability to be objective. When you become obsessed with the past and cranky because you’ve forgotten to create the same secure haven for yourself as you
have for others.

If your Sun is in Leo, you’re walking the path of the performer. Lights, camera and action. It’s time for you to shine. There is a deeply ingrained “star quality” bursting at the seams to be released. The skin that life is calling for you to grow into consists of maximizing your powers of self expression and allowing the world to stand up and take notice of who you truly are. Choosing to enjoy life in a playful and childlike manner. Exercising your sense of wonderment while maintaining a fundamental internal dignity. You stray from the path when you can no longer distinguish your true self from the “roles” that you’re playing. When you become compulsively addicted to praise and approval and your need for external stimuli has reached an all time high and you have to google “introspection.”

With the Sun in Virgo, you’re on the path of the perfectionist. You excel at being able to view the whole and dissect the parts. Amazingly adept at separating the genuine from a” fugazi”, you’re being called to step into any situation and use your powers of observation and analysis and improve the status. You stray from your path when others become “fix it” projects. Or, when you become self critical because you’re so obsessed with what you’re not, or what you “should be” instead of using your energy to actually become that.

If your Sun is in Libra, you’re walking the path of the moderator. You’re a natural at building bridges and alliances. Always appearing in your best light. The ultimate diplomat and “representative.” Charm and grace will never be strangers to your door. You possess extraordinary and refined aesthetic taste.Your’re being called to serve as a artistic authority in whatever area of life that you choose. You stray from your path when you become a chronic ‘fence sitter” when it’s time to choose sides. Or, when an unpleasant truth is necessary and you become too much of a “TACT-ician” instead of offering valuable assistance.

With the Sun in Scorpio, you’re on the path of the healer. Innately equipped for heavy, intense emotional experience. You eat realities for breakfast that would make the hardest thugs crawl up in a corner with a baby bottle. You’ve been through the trials of fire and have emerged reborn and ready to school these mere mortals on “transformation 101”. Life is calling you to fly at your highest heights because you’re well versed in the lowest depths.You stray from your path when you use your piercing insight to sting, manipulate or indulge in power games or emotional blackmail. When you use knowledge to “devour” rather than feed others.

If your Sun is in Sagittarius, you’re walking the path of the wise teacher. You are the embodiment of a true “Renaissance Man” or Woman. Your eclectic telescopic worldview is something to behold. Well-traveled and thirsty for all of the knowledge and experience that life has to offer, you turn expansion into an art form. Your guru-like ability to see the wholeness of life and the big picture deserves a round of applause that would make your Leo cousins blush. However,  you stray from your path when you think you have the copyright on truth. Yeah, you just know it all, don’t you? Well, let’s talk with your friends who paid for your bail. Or, your cousin who wired that money to Vegas so you could get back home to be at work on Monday morning. Dogmatism should not be your forte. Yes, Sadge you can get off your soapbox now.

With the Sun in Capricorn, you’re on the path of the achiever. You have a natural gift for organization which allows you maximum productivity. Because of your capacity for discipline and restraint, getting work done has never been an issue. In fact, you assume a natural executive like authority that makes it extremely easy to respect you. You are being called to embody timeless principles which are revealed in your outward status and success. The skin
you’re supposed to grow into is that of one who produces a tangible product that is worthy of his or her ambitions. You’re deviating from your path when you allow yourself to become cold, controlling and unfeeling in order to become “somebody” in the eyes of society. So, you’ve climbed that mountain and reached the pinnacle. Sadly, you’re all alone. Where did all the “slackers” go?

If your Sun is in Aquarius, you’re walking the path of the revolutionary. You’re being called to shake humanity out of their comfort zones. It’s you who needs to pose the questions regarding if people think and act the way they do because of societal dictates. Testing others and reminding them that walking familial, racial, political and social “party” lines can be poisonous to their mental health and registers at “rock bottom” on their freedom meter. Your skin is that of the catalyst and reformer. Forming perspectives to liberate those stuck in a proverbial rut. You’ve strayed from the path when true change becomes a novelty and you advocate being different just for the hell of it. When you’ve become a slave to rebellion and can’t recognize that your bondage is just as problematic as the person who’s constrained by the chains of convention.

With the Sun in Pisces, you’re on the path of the mystic. There is an ethereal quality that colors your aura so richly that when people ask you where your from, they’re not expecting to receive your answer in the form of a city, state or country. You have access to realms of the mind and spirit that most of us can only read or speculate about. Highly intuitive, you’re being called to be “above the clouds”. Your skin is comprised of exercising your gifts in selfless service to humanity and checking your ego at the door. Through your super powers of imagination and visualization, you can create in solid form. Dreams and symbols are as comfortable to you as that old faithful pair of slippers. You stray from your path when the world you create is mired in deception, haziness and smokescreens. When you choose to be the victim rather than the victor and use your fingers exclusively as pointing instruments in order to relinquish ownership for negative situations which are clearly of your own making.

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Astrological Compatibility & The “3 Dynamics” : A Broader View

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When traveling the road of Astrological compatibility, much of the writing I’ve read implies a point of view which excludes what I would call “holistic energies”, from the picture.

There seems to be more of an emphasis on whether “this sign works with that sign” rather than how intimate relationships can be part of a gateway which serves our total development.

So, the focus becomes whether Scorpio and Sagittarius “get along” versus what types of relationships are necessary to grow into the type of people we’re supposed to become.

One of the things I discuss frequently with clients are three dynamics, which are simultaneously individual, yet inseparable.

When considering what a truly “compatible” union actually means, all of these passages must have the potential to flourish:

(1) The dynamic of personal development– When we’re dealing with questions of compatibility. It’s essential that we ask about our own potential to develop within the framework of the relationship. Often, we find ourselves wildly attracted to the prospect of being involved with a partner only to discover later on that the coupling stifles, rather than nurtures the person we’re aspiring to be. In essence, we find ourselves trapped. While one part of the relationship may be “adequate”, we feel a certain discontent which could possibly morph into animosity, because we’re well aware that we want to maximize our gifts on a wider scale.

(2) The dynamic of the “other’s” development–  Much of what was just said now applies to the other person (or people) we may be relating to. The questions we must ask ourselves now center around if we’re providing adequate space and support for our partner(s) to grow. Due largely to our conditioning, we may feel that we should now receive exclusive “priority” in every possible situation because we’re in a relationship. However, the fact remains that our partner had goals and objectives which were completely outside of us before we met, and it’s most likely that they still do. We now have to question our capacity to develop strategies which make room for and encourage them in their pursuit of self-expression.

(3) The “shared” dynamic – This ebb and flow deals with synergy. Everything we are as a “couple”. Our collective philosophy and mission statement of the relationship. It’s what we wish to produce as a “team”, and the energy we enjoy when both people have been pursuing their self-actualization and bring it back into the fold as a tool for learning and instruction, as to strengthen and expand the union. Also, questions emerge as to what type of relationship we’re expressing to the community at large. We ask how us being together helps to affect the lives of others, and what our aims are, if any, for adding to the advancement of the collective.

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I’m putting forth the idea that compatibility be viewed in a much wider context than it has been, or else we’re most likely selling ourselves short from a holistic view.

When we ignore the totality of our being, we can easily create room for significant imbalances to creep into our relationships. We may love being with our partner, but suddenly realize we have “no life” outside of her/him.

Or, we may become so caught up in outside pursuits that we don’t effectively prioritize that special time needed for cultivation of our relationship.

In addition, we could become so engulfed in presenting a “front” to society as a “power couple”, managing our image to appear in a certain light, and forget all about the larger purpose of why we came together.

Truly effective astrology produces many more questions for further exploration than hardcore answers. I’m inviting all of you, who may be involved with a partner(s), or thinking about embarking on the journey of an intimate relationship, to carefully consider this food for thought and digest what you see fit and eliminate what doesn’t serve you at this time.

 

Virgo Sun, Scorpio Moon

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once remarked: “If we live truly, we shall see truly.”  Such a sentiment is vividly illustrated in the Virgo/Scorpio Sun/Moon blend.

To become self-actualized as the ultimate “efficiency expert” and a useful servant to humanity, it’s essential that you purge the toxins which have accumulated in your heart;  eliminating emotional responses which are obsolete and no longer serve you.

The precision of your perception can split hairs. Within you, boils an innate desire to improve anything you come into contact with, focusing on how it may operate more skillfully.

If conscious attention and effort is applied to recognition and development your talents, the skills are present to leave this world much better than you found it, and you should never forget the fact that THIS STARTS WITH AND INCLUDES YOU.

Think of yourself as a jigsaw puzzle which you constantly take apart, but it becomes less tedious and more natural to reassemble every time you do it. Although it may seem like a “trial by fire”, understanding the way you tick at your deepest, most ‘raw” level is how you feed yourself. When you clean out the clutter, starting at the root,  you prosper.

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Cancer Sun, Virgo Moon : The Helping Hand

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Healing and helping.

These are two words and concepts which are no stranger to your vocabulary.

Emotional connections ignite your life force, and you have the potential of being able to offer warmth and tenderness with precision; in the EXACT manner required for the moment.

You can not only be considered a useful person, but also a trusted confidant.

When you help make situations better, your work is evident by the reactions of others and how they rave about the many positive changes in their lives- all because of you.

What you seek is the “soft spot” in others in order to support them in the most efficient manner possible. To soothe the heart and feed the intellect.

However, one of the questions that this combination produces is: with all of this service to humanity, how do I navigate my own self-care?

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Venus in Sagittarius, Mars in Virgo

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With this Venus/Mars combination at the helm, questions immediately arise regarding wise and discriminate use of one’s energy in reference to the ideals which they espouse. A vast appetite for personal growth is evident. There’s the thought that the “bigger” you allow yourself to be, the better.

However, concerns should be raised as to your overall level of effectiveness in your pursuits. Does your actual efficiency and production match the grandeur of your aspirations? Your bow and arrow requires precise direction, as you don’t want to be stuck on a rudderless ship with nothing but “good intentions.”

Also, it’s important for you to understand that your plan doesn’t have to be perfect in order to execute it. Your capacity to act and adjust to changing circumstances coupled with your faith is enough to get you moving. From there, you’re charged with making steady improvements.

There’s a natural square relationship between the signs of Sagittarius and Virgo which means that there’s tension present with their interaction. To navigate this terrain, pursuing constant refinement of the specific parts while never losing sight of the holistic view, is the path of development.

While your relational urges can be both expansive and hedonistic, you’re offered an anchor to ground you and enhance your staying power. One of the most valuable lessons you can learn is the dignity of finishing what you start. In doing this, your free-spirit is satiated because you’re using your freedom in a way which liberates you even more versus promoting unhealthy and overindulgent scenarios.

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Virgo Sun, Scorpio Moon, Gemini Rising

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If there ever was a need to dig deeply AND penetrate precisely into this thing called life, it’s reflective of this Sun/Moon blend.  Your fuel is efficiency and analysis. You’re energized by being able to size up a situation or person and instantly conclude what can be “tightened up” or made better.  In short, you have the potential to be the ultimate efficiency expert. However, that’s not all.

Your emotional needs call for deep involvement and depth exploration. After all, you want to be regarded as significant and in control of your environment. What sustains you is knowing that there’s an opportunity to go beyond the superficial gloss and get right down to the nitty-gritty of something, even if it has repugnant undertones. The gifts of tremendous focus and intensity are your birthright.

Your perception of life is multi-faceted and curious. The lens through which you process experience can be adjusted to fit the specific circumstance of the situation. Intellectual inquiry is the vehicle which allow you to better serve humanity, which is what you’re here to do. it’s important that you make the distinction between service and servitude, for you are no one’s slave and not to be taken advantage of, and woe to the person who makes attempts to do so.

If you’re self-aware, your level of psychological sophistication tends to be well-developed. But, there’s a deep fear of losing control and becoming vulnerable which can lead to an obsessive need to control the elements around you through the same manipulative means that you despise in other people.

At your best, you have an incredible versatility and others feel deeply understood by you because of your blend of razor-sharp logic and emotional intelligence. At your worst, you have a slick tongue that plays mind games and there’s a private enjoyment in withholding your true thoughts and feelings as a control mechanism.

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Venus in Virgo : “Discriminating Love”

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“Everything keeps its best nature only by being put to its best use.” – Phillips Brooks

As we explore the method that’s Venus in Virgo, we do so with the understanding that Venus can’t be reduced or limited exclusively to “love” in one’s birth chart. There are far more associations which accompany the planet. However, for the purpose of this particular article, one’s idea of love, as viewed through the Venus in Virgo lens, will be emphasized.

For those with Venus placed in Virgo in the natal chart, Love is utilitarian. Love is continuous improvement. Love is pragmatic.  Love is service. Love is efficiency. Love is careful and continuous analysis. Love is health. Love is selective and discriminating. Love is paying attention.

With this arrangement, love needs are sought to be fulfilled in an environment which calls for the use of one’s faculties of discernment. While Virgo’s complementary sign, Pisces, is geared toward merging and unification, the Virgin’s direction consists of recognition and understanding of the difference between on thing and another.

For Venus in Virgo individuals “relationship competence” is of utmost importance, as a healthy developmental direction to which to proceed in puts emphasis on doing whatever is required to make relationships the best that they can be and operate in a healthy manner. These actions include picking the relationship apart, examining each facet thoroughly and determining its overall usefulness. As time goes on, the conclusions that one draws about what’s helpful and necessary for their partnerships will most likely change as a matter of principle and as an indicator of striving toward excellence.

One’s growth is naturally enveloped in the process of employing sound judgment in partnerships, and using these same unions as a vehicle for one’s own refinement and the betterment of the partner. Ideally, one’s relationships should work efficiently, like a well-oiled machine.

When placed in action, Venus in Virgo correlates well with the love language that Gary Chapman refers to as “Acts of Service” in his bestselling book “The 5 Love Languages”.

“Acts of service” consists of doing things that you know that your partner would want you to do or appreciate; seeking to please her or him by serving them. One would naturally know what their partner wanted after careful listening, analysis and observation which are all mercurial functions that are “at home” with the sign Virgo.

Also, as Chapman emphasizes, these acts of service would require thought, planning, time, effort and energy and if they’re done with a positive spirit, they would be expressions of love.

In regard to this placement “discrimination” is a key phrase. And, depending on our life circumstances, we may have only been exposed to the negative connotations associated with this term, which deal with the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, gender or sexual orientation.

However, there’s another side to discrimination which indicates one’s ability to choose and make distinctions with care. Refinement of this faculty will most certainly be connected to one’s ability to maintain and execute relationships in a healthy and functional manner.

Potential challenge areas emerge for individuals with Venus in Virgo when their analysis goes too far, in that they attempt to answer every question: past, present and future – in order to account for every possible scenario without taking the actual plunge with their feelings in relationships. In essence, an self-inflicted paralysis and a robbing oneself of the right to possibly experience the love and relationship that you deserve.

Astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green elaborates on this:

“Venus in Virgo people are plagued by a deep sense of inner doubt which is caused not only by the desire to deflate their egos, but also by the excessive inner analysis that creates a diversity of competing thoughts and perspectives. In turn, this can lead to an inner paralysis of their ability to take action as necessary. When these individuals consider some new project, or some new direction, or some new strategy leading to self-improvement, they will make these new ways seem so big and complicated that it reinforces their sense of personal inadequacy. Thus, they can defeat themselves before they even start. The way out of this self-defeating dynamic is to realize that the path to perfection, self-improvement, or the actualization of their abilities occurs one step at a time”

An important lesson for you to learn is: as efficient as you may be, there are no guarantees. You must take the initial steps involved in risk taking, and when you find yourself in the midst of a relationship, you must wholeheartedly INVOLVE yourself as opposed to consciously distancing yourself and playing the role of “remote tinkering technician”.

Also, it’s essential to understand that the same time and care that one puts in dissecting the relationship must be invested in considering the feelings of one’s partner. People aren’t “projects” and using your aforementioned powers of discrimination, to make the fine distinction between the two will benefit you greatly in the long run.

Understand that the pursuit of the ideal in relationships is both a natural and honorable inclination for you. To relinquish the belief that these aspirations must be accompanied by the excessive criticism of yourself and others, or that to be content and satisfied with what you have is accepting mediocrity is to invest in the breaking your own psychological and emotional chains.

References: “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman

“Pluto Volume 2: The Soul’s Evolution Through Relationships” by Jeffrey Wolf Green

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Astrological Compatibility: We’re PEOPLE, not Signs

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Every now and then, I have to remind people: any two people, irrespective of their Sun signs are capable of having a successful relationship.

No matter what the chemistry (or synastry) looks like between the birth charts of two individuals, chances are, we’ll find ourselves having to make some adjustments when it comes to learning another person.

If we’re constantly going on and on about how we’ll never date a person of a certain sign or we “just don’t get along” with Scorpio’s or Capricorns, we may find that we create a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Especially, if we have no desire to do the work which will actually help us arrive at the root of our issues.

Here are the facts; when it comes to ANY sign of the zodiac, they have their functional, or constructive expressions, as well as their dysfunctional or maladaptive ones.

If both parties are willing, and committed to aspiring to the highest expressions of what their signs (and entire birth charts) have to offer, then it’s entirely possible to have a fulfilling relationship.

Granted, there are definitely some relationships which may pose more of a challenge when it comes to day- to-day living.

Sometimes, in Astrological chart comparisons, we tend to forget about the actual PEOPLE involved and obsess over planetary placements, measurements, etc. It’s important to remember that everyone is bringing their unique histories and experiences to the party.

Family dynamics, cultural factors and environment also have to be considered along with the Astrology to identify the potential for compatibility.  We also must remember that despite the “shared” dynamic, the two individuals are still on their own distinct growth journeys.

More on this topic later…..

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Virgo Sun, Aries Moon : “Represent”

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To be precisely who and what you are without fear, doubt or trepidation is a major part of your life’s work. As we examine your Sun/Moon blend, we realize that you require those experiences which activate your courage and self-assertion. Deep down inside there’s a feeling of wanting to be “on top”. In fact, the adrenaline rush that comes with testing yourself is a form of nutrition.  Warrior-hood is embedded in your emotional framework, and it’s important to generate that part of you without thinking that the “product” has to be finished even before it starts.

With a Virgo Sun and Aries Moon, the work of personal improvement is done through resolute action and exposing oneself to challenge. When you engage life “head to head”, you actually have the opportunity to refine your mission and sharpen your steel.  In your maladaptive form, the thought of initiating something brings on anxiety and you leave yourself vulnerable to being “other” directed.

Your theme song is : “Represent” by Nas

You can listen here:

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Sagittarius Sun, Virgo Moon : “Don’t Sweat the Technique”

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The practical application of knowledge and the efficient use of your philosophical understanding are two areas of irrefutable importance in your life. One of the largest questions for you becomes: “How can I make the best of what I have?”

When releasing your arrows of thought into the universe, having a precise direction or location is something that has the potential to benefit you greatly.

While the desire to see the big picture fuels your lifeblood, there is also a need to pick things apart and get down to the minutiae. Always asking what life is all about in the larger sense, while simultaneously figuring out how to refine its processes, and combining your insights and offering them as service to humanity.

To know that you’re making a difference strikes a major chord in your psyche. You’re rewarded by the feeling of catapulting yourself into a situation where throughout the process, there are obvious signs of continuous improvement. On the flip side, if you’re operating dysfunctionally, you may be inclined to shout a sermon from the rooftops on everything that’s “wrong” with someONE or something both morally and structurally.

” And now, I stay on target and refuse to miss”. 

Those words were uttered by the legendary Rakim, in your theme song: “Don’t Sweat the Technique”

You can listen here :

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