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Zodiac Cycles and Signs Date Published: 11/14/2002 by Michael Erlewine
Bio: Michael Erlewine

Author Michael Erlewine Besides being the author/astrologer behind our top-selling Astro*Talk, TimeLine, and Friends and Lovers report programs, Michael is the man who founded Matrix back in the late '70s. Michael and his brother Stephen Erlewine (Stephen is still head of all astrological programming for Matrix) built Matrix into the leading producer of astrology software.

For many years Michael lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was much in demand as a counseling astrologer specializing in relationship and vocational advice. He also taught astrology at local schools and colleges, working with groups of as many as 1,200 people.

Michael is also known for his entrepreneurial drive which, in addition to Matrix, led him to create the All Music Guide - the largest music database in the world - and the All Movie Guide, as well as several award-winning websites, including

Michael also founded the Heart Center Library, the largest astrological library in North America that is open to the public. He remains curator of the works contained in this library, tapping this resource for one of his pet projects - a complete astrological encyclopedia.

Today Michael lives in the northern Michigan community of Big Rapids with his wife of 33 years and his family. He still does occasional private astrological counseling as people from around the world continue to seek his advice.

Those interested in a personal reading by Michael may contact him at:



This is intended to provide some background information for those of you interested in studying astrology. For starters, we could define Astrology as the study and practice of the cycles of life. We study to gain ideas of what is happening to us and we practice and implement in our life what we have found through our study. We will start with the study and the dictionary definition of a cycle.

The Oxford Universal Dictionary states a cycle is:

"A circle or orbit in the heavens. A recurrent period in a definite period of years. A period in which a certain round of events or phenomena is completed, recurring in the same order in equal succeeding periods. A long, indefinite period, an age. A round, course or period through which anything runs to its completion. Etc."

Cycles are so important in the study of astrology that understanding what the dictionary has to say about them is but a start. We must extend and deepen this understanding until we can see cycles at work in our day-to-day life. It could take us some time to appreciate these ideas and to experience them happening in the life around us. Without grounding these ideas in our life, we have mere abstract ideas — words empty of experience.

Yet our life is filled with cycles. There are very short cycles, short cycles, long cycles, and very long cycles. All cycles repeat or return on themselves — happen again. In fact, if there is no repetition, we have no awareness of them. Some examples of convenient sized cycles that we can understand and grasp with our mind include the cycle of our breath, the cycle of the seasons or year, and the cycle of day and night.

The cycle of our heart beating is almost too small and fast for us to keep in mind. Smaller cycles yet include cellular cycles and, of course, atomic and sub-atomic cycles. These smaller cycles happen so often or fast that they are a blur to our mind. They fall through or beneath our awareness and make up the ground of our consciousness. They are subconscious.

When we look for long cycles, the planets provide good examples. We live through and experience the two-year cycle of the planet Mars, the 12-year Jupiter cycle, and even the 30-year Saturn cycle. However, many people don't live through the 84-year Uranus cycle much less the much longer cycles of Neptune and Pluto.

There are cycles that take so many millions of years that these cycles assume the proportions of a straight line.

It is possible to grasp the meaning or import of these longer sized cycles with our mind, but very hard to bring home the meaning of the cycle — to practice them consciously. Then there are cycles like that of our Sun orbiting the Galactic Center that take so many millions of years that, for our purposes, these cycles assume the proportions of a straight line. The portion of this size circles or cycles that we can witness or comprehend in a lifetime are so small as to appear like a line.

Thus our awareness is bounded by the incessant smaller cycles on one hand and the long theme straight-lined cycles on the other.

Which leaves us with our awareness or consciousness of those cycles that we can recognize and appreciate. At this point, it is important for you to be beginning to understand that our entire life is cyclic. It is ALL cycles — nothing else.

All existence (our life) is maintained by the sum total of the endless repeating cycles of which it is composed. It is even more direct than that and I am going to get very abstract for a moment.

Our very existence IS only by virtue of our awareness of these cycles or circles. And now for the hard part: Everything IS only by returning, repeating, and restating itself.

That which does not re-instate or repeat itself (in other words, that from which we get no return) IS NOT for us. In fact, it comprises the sum total of our ignorance. Our consciousness is the returns or returning of cycles. This is not an easy concept to grasp, but it is an essential one. I will try to clarify.

Our consciousness is (in fact) the endless returns we can realize in our life. When we reach the 'point of no return' in any project, we abandon that direction. Our life can be viewed as a process of investment and returns, giving and taking, and this process endlessly repeats itself and can be studied in the form of cycles.

A Second Approach

Our heart beats, cycle after cycle. Our lungs open and close our whole life. These cycles last as long as life. They return or repeat each second. We live on their returns. We count on them for life.

In a similar, but more abstract, way, our whole life depends on this kind of return or repetition, the return of the sun to the eastern horizon each morning, the return of the springs rains each year, the return of youth in the form of the next generation.

As you study astrology, you will find that we 'are' these returns. We are conscious only of what returns on itself or restates itself. Anything that does not return or repeat itself is soon forgotten and (from our point of view) is not — has no reality.

For example: investment and returns. If we make investments which bring us no return, they are lost to us. In fact, we cease investing when? At the point of no return, of course. We are habituated to investing in something (even a friendship) and receiving some return, sowing and reaping. If nothing comes back, we stop investing. We invest in our life in the very same manner.

The situation we face in living follows all the laws of cycles — of investment and returns. It is very important that this be perceived and understood.

You are investing time in reading these sentences. You are looking for a return of some sort. You want to get something out it, something back. You are creating a body of knowledge, called astrology, through your efforts.

The concept of bodies, how they are made and unmade, is important. We are used to thinking of a body as the physical body, the body of a cat, a dog, etc. And yet, we often speak of a body of knowledge or a body of thought. We may feel that this or that idea embodies our hopes and dreams, and so on.

We need to recognize that there are many different kinds of bodies...

These alternate uses for the word 'body' are very important for our work here with astrology. We need to recognize that there are many different kinds of bodies, that bodies are created with the mind as well as the flesh, and that these bodies (all bodies) hold together for a while and then come apart.

Learning to see these many kinds of bodies in their creation, duration, and eventual dissolution can provide meaningful access to such difficult to understand concepts as re-incarnation, karma and the like.

When we try to understand everything in relation to our physical body, our personal life and death, we are biting off a very large chunk. Since most of us can't seem to remember life before our birth and have trouble grasping what life after death might be, we can be left with some very large questions — some real doubts.

The very same process of birth, life, death is happening all around us in countless examples, but on a smaller scale. In fact, there is nothing else.

We can be said to have lifetimes within lifetimes within our personal lifetime. And it is possible to examine these smaller lives or cycles in their entirety and, by analogy, to get a picture of how our personal lifetime too must be like. If we spend considerable time now on these concepts, it is because any real understanding of astrology depends upon grasping the essential nature of these cycles and lifetimes. Without this understanding, we are left with rote memorization. The primary goal of these articles is to enable you to generate the details of astrology rather than to memorize them.

The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac

One way to study astrology is to memorize all of the different attributes for each sign, planet, aspect, etc. without understanding how they are related or fit together, how they correspond. This is a traditional method, but very slow and prone to misunderstanding. A better way to approach learning the signs is to learn about the concept of the zodiac itself, just what it is. Once you can grasp the concept, you can generate all the keywords, attributes, and what-not for each zodiac sign yourself, because you grasp the root principles. It is not difficult.

The 12 signs of the zodiac (in order) together make a circle or cycle. They follow one another in a strict order and each is a phase in the circle or cycle of the zodiac. These twelve signs make up the whole circle or cycle and they should be studied in their order in the sequence of the zodiac. The meaning of each sign leads to the next, and on around.

If a picture helps, the whole circle or cycle can be pictured as a circle with Capricorn at the top, Cancer at the bottom, Aries on the left, and Libra on the right. When reading the signs in order, the movement is counter-clockwise, going from sign to sign and starting with any sign. Here we have started with Capricorn, at the top of the diagram.

The whole cycle, like any cycle, has a point of greatest expansion (like blowing up a balloon) and a point of greatest inwardness (letting all the air out). In the zodiac scheme presented here, Cancer is the point of greatest expansion and outward-ness while Capricorn is the most inward part of the cycle, the point of least expansion, the impulse or idea.

Using the four-phase approach, Capricorn represents the idea phase, Aries the attempt to get the idea across into practice, Cancer the material result of the idea in manifestation (the experience), and Libra, the point where we begin to learn or get something out of the experience, and back to perhaps a new or better idea at Capricorn again. And so on around the cycle, endlessly.

Below are descriptions of the twelve signs of the zodiac showing how each zodiac sign represents a phase in this process and leads to the next sign. If you can grasp the concept, you will be able to understand in short order why this or that keyword fits this or that sign. Instead of memorizing endless lists of zodiac correspondences, you will be in a position to understand all the standard terms and generate new ones at will.

A Brief Overview of the Wheel of the Zodiac

The wheel of the signs follows this general scenario. I may not be able to say it well, but try to get the idea. If you do, the rest is easy.

Every so often in life we get a moment (or day) in insight, some personal revelation that lifts us out of our day-to-day workings and allows us to survey the landscape of our life. These high moments of clear-seeing represent the Capricorn experience, the insight point in the cycle. Given a new insight, the first thing we tend to do is to want to hang on to it, to not forget it, and to see that it matters in our lives. This resolve to not forget and to put our insight to work is Aquarius. Armed with a new insight and the resolve to implement it, we come down from any high experience and back into the same old personality we left when the insight came. It can be hard to go back. This re-entry requires acceptance of our situation and the ability to put up with whatever inequalities we might find for the sake of bringing some of our new-found insight across in our actual life. This is Pisces, accepting, surrendering.

Much of our insight is invariably lost in our attempt to bring it across in our personal life. Whatever new impulse or idea that we do manage to get across into our life is Aries. This is the new 'word' or seed impulse that we are trying to bring across through our personality to make a difference. Anytime we manage to bring something new through the hassle of our personality into real manifestation, it draws reaction. Taurus is the reaction to whatever is stated or brought across at Aries. Taurus draws around the Aries impulse an appropriate response or body. Once that body is formed, we begin to feel for its limits. This search (investigation) for limits is Gemini, reaching to find what in fact we are. When we reach the end of our search energy and can search no farther, we, by definition, find our limits. This is Cancer, the physical (Full Moon) of our experience. This is the fullness of the experience itself.

Nothing lasts forever. All experiences end and the end of the feeling or experience at Cancer, when we begin to come out of it or become aware or self-conscious of it, is Leo. Leo is the dawn of personal awareness, that we have been through something, thus pride. The awareness in Leo is the first sign that the experience part of the cycles is ending. As the experience continues to wane, what was the rush of self-consciousness at Leo turns to an attempt to preserve and hang onto whatever remains of the experience. This is Virgo, an attempt to salvage or hold back the inevitable end of what was experienced at Cancer.

At Libra, all attempts to hang onto the personal end of the experience (or lifetime) is abandoned). Libra is the exodus from the physical, the acceptance of our personal situation in its entirety. It is clear at this point that the personal part of the experience has no future. We must accept our personal situation in its entirety. This is the "I do" of Libra. Once we accept this situation, we set about actively removing and stripping away whatever excess is of no use to us. This is Scorpio. And last, the stripped down remains of what was our lovely fat experience at Cancer is Sagittarius — the essence. And this is the seed for the next illumination or insight at Capricorn.

The cycle of the signs is an endless cycle that, like breathing, expands and contracts, forever. We pop out of our bodies, have and insight, and dive back in to put that new idea to work. The idea results in an experience or body, which expires and we withdraw from it, taking with us whatever we can glean. This whole process goes on.

Capricorn and the Tenth House


Capricorn is the light of spiritual realization. Capricorn is the clear-white light of spiritual realization as it comes to us in flashes, moments, and even days of our lives. In these moments we find ourselves outside the body of our day-to-day experience and able to see clearly exactly where we are in the working through of the difficulties of this particular life. It is in these moments of clarity that we take vows, make resolves, and commit ourselves to change. For in these moments of clarity we can see what is to be done and we deeply desire to do all we can, to be used up.

The use of matter is the Capricorn's greatest gift: practicality. This is an earthy or practical sign because, being free of the body, the Capricorn experience has the greatest ability to see clearly the form of the body and the use for which it was intended and can be put. In Capricorn we get far enough outside the body to remember why we got into a body in the first place and we want back in. In those good or high moments, we clearly see the value of this life. We burn with light and with clairvoyance can see what at other times has been occulted or hidden from our view. Thus we desire to re-enter or re-incarnate once again. We desire life and more of it. We reincarnate whenever we truly see the nature of our life and, armed with this clear light, we resolve to really fulfil and make this life matter. We constantly re-incarnate every day of our lives with every wish we make.

Clairvoyance (clear seeing) is the experience of Capricorn. The spiritual eye of Capricorn fills the entire body of our life experience with light and we realize the wholeness of our life in and through all of its manifestations. Remembering these spiritual moments and making them matter in the routine of daily life becomes the challenge of Aquarius, that is; to incorporate spiritual experiences into the body of our life's existence.

Aquarius and the Eleventh House


Aquarius is the first step to carrying the light experienced at Capricorn into manifestation, putting the idea to work or practice, for the slogan of Aquarius is "SPIRIT MUST BE MADE TO MATTER." Making the spirit or clear insights we have matter is the experience of this sign. Aquarius remembers the clear vision of the Capricorn experience and wants to carry this light into every part of our body and life, literally to build this new light into us and to make our vision permanently matter and forever a part of our conscious experience. Here is a fixed sign, a power or warrior sign, and it is deaf and dumb to anything outside its total urge to DO and make something important matter.

Aquarius is the first step toward manifestation and really getting something done. This broad intention to affect all and every area of our life with this new message has made this sign the symbol of all broad or collective and group work. Aquarius is the great desire we often have to make a recent spiritual experience or insight matter in our day-to-day life, to mean something from that time forth. We seek to build thee insights into the fabric of daily life before the freshness is gone, before we forget. Aquarius is the spreading out of the light to unrealized areas of our life, sending this light into every body we contact. The Aquarian wants to raise the entire body of man to a more fully realized level and it is not particular who should be reached first, for he knows that: ALL THE CELLS IN THE BODY ARE FILLED WITH LIFE. Aquarius looks through our imperfections with the power of its new vision and calls us to overcome our inertia and rise up.

Pisces and the Twelfth House


Pisces is the sign of the initiate. After our insight or any high experience, we start to come down and re-enter the body of our daily life, ordinary experience. We carry within us the new light that we experienced in Capricorn and we are armed with the Aquarian resolve to do something about this vision, to not forget it.

However, as we return to our ordinary consciousness, we each meet what has been called the guardian on the threshold, our old set of habits. Although we have now had new insight on how to improve our situation, we have yet to carry this into practice. In order to make any difference in our life, we have to first pick up where we left off before our mini-revelation. We must come down and re-enter our life, with all the same old personal habits and traits, unchanged and still not unresolved. They are just where we left them.

This takes courage and the ability to put up with or suffer this situation for the sake of bringing new light to our life. Pisces is willing to put up with going back into our personal situation for the sake of the difference the new insight can make once it is brought through into practice. This is the test of Pisces and the twelfth house: surrender, forbearance.

To surrender means to cease struggling with something, to cut off the energy being fed to it that keeps it alive, and to allow it to become separated or detached from us. Without our attention and energy, our old habits and self will starve, shrink, and detach itself from us, free to pass from our life system.

We surrender our past to be absorbed and used as food for the present. Pisces has got to do one of two things: drop the light it is carrying from the Capricorn experience to fight with these old habits and devils, using in this process all of its energy (and have that energy absorbed by the past) or hold tight the light and absorb or put up with the past within our new realization. Pisces cares more for the truth that it carries than it cares to argue over anything.

We have all had this experience, often when we return to visit our friends or parents. We come filled with new confidence and yet are received and perceived as we used to be, with no recognition of any new growth and light. Right there we have the test of Pisces: we can react to the unfairness we perceive, lose all that light in argument, and be told that: "See, you are the same. You have not changed!" Or we can suffer this slight, absorb their criticism, and surrender it. Let it pass. An through that surrender or acceptance will flow the new light that we bring to the situation and than is good. The twelfth house is the house of self-undoing, for here we undo and absorb all our old habit patterns. We surrender them to the powers of non-manifestation for a change. We undo ourselves and let our hair down.

Aries and the Frist House


Aries is the birth of the head: a burning mass of light drawing the reaction of form, that is: contracting or drawing a body about itself. Aries is the herald of the coming of the body, the word or Logos, the "Good News" that will become flesh and dwell with us. Aries is a new message or word that demands incarnation demands a body to bear it out into manifestation. Aries is the product of the Pisces surrender, the overcoming of the past. The tide is turned and the love reaches through the past and pours forth a fountainhead in Aries. We have overcome our old self and something new exists within us, an impulse that will draw to us fresh experience through which we can grow. Aries is the first house and the Ascendant or rising sign. When we ask "What is rising?" we mean: what is freshly uncovered and just coming into view. A person's rising sign is where they pour out unconsciously a fountain or source of light to all who contact them.

What is life-giving about a person? Aries in daily life or in a person (like the rising sign) is the fountainhead or outpouring source where all may drink that flows despite all resistance, shining light in the darkness. Aries has overcome all resistance of the past, paid all dues, and still it shines and pours forth. Aries is the strong impulse, unknown and undifferentiated, that we can feel as our source and from which all else flows. And it draws to us all new experience. Aries and the first house are where we posit or strike light and where we draw reaction most impulsively toward us. Aries is a light, alone shining in the darkness of the past overcome, a voice crying in the wilderness, a lamb.

Taurus and the Second House


Taurus is the definition of Aries. The field. The ear. Aries draws forth Taurus as a reaction and we have a relationship. Taurus is HAVING. Taurus draws around us all the material through which we will have to pass to know ourselves. Here we make a splash or reaction to the Word or impulse of Aries. Taurus possesses position. Taurus holds all position or advance and keeps it fast from retreating or vanishing back into the unknown. It locks Aries into life. Taurus is resistance, but also containment. Any new impulse that we succeed in bringing through into our life forms and draws slowly about itself a body of manifestation in reaction. At first just a feeling, it gradually grows stronger and shapes this feeling into something more definite.

Taurus is the machine or vehicle through which the Aries impulse becomes effective, where Aries energy is footed, confined, and made useable. Any impulse or idea held firmly will draw about itself the response in proportion to its purity and that response will be determined as perfectly as the it original impulse is maintained. Taurus and the second house are concerned with how we have or possess something, how we receive and hold or field an action. Taurus is the value of any action in that it is the re-action or sum of what that action has called into being or manifestation. In Taurus we begin to feel for our limits since the walls of our action is the Taurean a response to it. At first just a vague feeling, it grows more definite as we move toward the nadir of the chart. Events in our life come from deep within us. Taurus is the great womb of the zodiac in its powers of conception and it is here and not Scorpio that the mystery of generation is to be found.

First: An impulse (Aries) becomes a feeling (Taurus), becomes a thought (Gemini), becomes a fact (Cancer), becomes a conscious experience (Leo), becomes a memory (Virgo), becomes a past life (Libra), etc.

Gemini and the Third House


Gemini is the endless search for the experience of the Self. I search. Gemini is the last step into the body before we begin to evolve out of that body at Cancer. Gemini is the eye's SEEING, searching but not finding. Cancer is all finding. Gemini cannot find it's limits. Gemini is fine search or scientific investigation. Gemini is the last push into something before the resources are exhausted. Unlimited. Limits can't be found because they happen. Limits are the product of expended effort, the end of effort.

If I give you a full tank of gas and you start driving, you reach the limits of the gasoline when you run out of gas. Our life is the same way. We reach our limits when we stop trying, when we have no more energy to give, when we have given all. At that point we have gone as far as we can go and cannot proceed farther. At that point only do we find our limits.

People think of limits as an outline or form (like the city limits), when they are more like: how far can you get before you run out of gas. If I am pushing into something and I reach the limit of my strength, I am no longer pushing farther. For a while, I may hold my position but, as my strength fails, I begin to withdraw like the tide coming into a cove and turning, begins to go out. When the tide turns, we are in a flash: limited. You know your limit when your tide turns and you find yourself going the other direction. What was always there before, driving you, is exhausted. You've gone about as far as you can go. You remain as far as you got in whatever you were doing and from here you will have to work your way out. When you exhaust your forward motion, the situation that develops limits you. In that you are stuck and must work.

The big artery of Aries becomes in Taurus smaller arteries and Gemini arterioles, the finest tubes, reaching ever deeper, searching. When the artery becomes a vein we have reached the limits we searched for: Cancer.

Cancer and the Fourth House


Cancer is the living end of spirit, the physical part. Cancer is experience itself as we are in it, feeling our way through, completely lost in involvement. Cancer is the mother of the Zodiac and the living end of life, like the end of a finger marks the extremity of the hand. Cancer is the mother who holds us tight, giving us time, as slowly we struggle to evolve and escape her grasp. Cancer holds the down-rushing force generated in Capricorn, holds it and makes it last long enough for us to feel, know it, and experience it as our own. Cancer holds us to our points of greatest extension and deepest involvement. It is Taurus squared when it comes to having. This is now our temple, with the spirit securely inside matter looking out. Here is the tarot card 'The Chariot', the sluice gate, the narrowness that makes the way felt. The ball of spirit is caught and clings to the glove. Cancer is the reversal, where outstretching ends and in-stretching is. Cancer is the realization that marks the end of Gemini. The force is spent, the world described or circumscribed and it is within these particular physical limits that the drama of life will now unfold. Here is the difference between seeking and finding. "I feel," says Cancer, because here we are lost in the total involvement, the nadir of the cycle, the thick part, the Body.

Cancer marks the experience itself out of which we will evolve. Involve means to wrap or fold something up. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, for the Moon is the life wrapped up in form, lost in feeling its own self. From this point in the zodiac cycle we begin to unwrap or evolve out of what we find ourselves involved in. We have reached the point of return and we begin to get ourselves out of what we are into. We start to rise from the body and have an out-of-the-body experience.

Leo and the Fifth House


Express: to press out of. Emotion (emote): to move or migrate out from. Offspring: to spring off from or out from. Leo is the first step out of the body of feeling that is Cancer. Leo, unlike Gemini is no longer anticipating the event, but rather is the bearer of the first news, the first one to come directly from the experience, the dawning of consciousness, self-consciousness. Leo is the outpouring of joy at knowing that life is possible. "I LIVE," says the Leo. Leo is the first move to leave the body of experience itself that is Cancer. Here the experience starts to pass and we get a handle or perspective on it. WE KNOW WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH SOMETHING, that we have some real experience.

Here is the certainty that experience occurred and the pride that goes with it. Here the first flush of pride, the proud father who has given birth or had an experience. Offspring: sprung off from, the roar of the lion and the chariot ride. The experience that we were totally lost in begins to come apart or break up, fracture. The form within which we were locked (Cancer) begins to un-last and dissolve and we are getting out of this form. We are returning from and through (out of) this form. We live through and beyond form. Leo is the pride of the discovery that we survive embodiment, that we live in, through, and because of form and not in spite of form. Leo is the first dawn of this message: that this world is our world and we are a full or equal part and can treat it like our own. Here is the full flush and power of a new experience, when we proclaim and show our fullness to everyone we meet. We share with everyone because we have so much to share. We are so full of life and so certain. We overflow, pouring ourselves out to everyone, proclaiming the greatness of what we have just been through. The pride of ownership. the fullness of the life lived in the body, self confidence, and assurance without reserve. Leo the Lion.

Virgo and the Sixth House


Virgo represents the harvest and gleaning time of our personal experience. Here is the cracking and drying of the fruit ready to open to the seed. "I salvage," says Virgo. The burst of power that drives the self as felt in Leo, in Virgo begins to fade. One feels the force fading and the first impulse is to try and go back the way we came, back to the fullness consciousness of Leo. But this is impossible, for this is just what is fading.

Next we try to save and salvage what we can, to cap up the open source points of Leo that flowed so luxuriously, but now are ebbing and seeping. We try to conserve and purify and concentrate what we have, to re-live again that old glory. No good. Every experience, every body fails and passes. Virgo is the time in life when we realize that we won't have forever that first burst of zip, when we've told our experience to everyone we know and it begins to stagnate and lose its attraction for us. Now what do we do?

It's clean up time after the party is over and life does not end, but goes on. Leo has the correct understanding that life is forever but has not grasped the idea that the form is ever changing. Virgo is aware that the personality or personal body is not the end of life and begins to explore beyond the body for the answer. The Hermit. This is a difficult stage for us all and another mutable sign (like Gemini) means all that we know is that we are changing. We don't yet know to what. For most of us this means transferring our allegiance from our old fat personal self to some greater concept that fits the facts. Here for sure is the realm of doubt and worry and analysis, for there is something we had better figure out and get right. Virgo is the great healing sign as it tries to save and salvage whatever is possible from the old form and put it to the best possible use. Here we concentrate and purify our sources. The Virgin.

Libra and the Seventh House


In Libra we are married forever to the body. Marriage is a natural act or function, a natural result of growth beyond the personality. In marriage we have accepted the total vehicle or body in its entirety including all its imperfections and draw to ourselves an accelerated growth rate by taking our opposite into eternal union close forever to ourselves. The personaity seen in Virgo must drop or fall within and turn to repeating itself in its conscious patterns as the soul turns to other affairs. We let go our personal considerations, not because we are not personally interested, but because we have fulfilled ourselves personally as much as possible. And this fulfillment becomes a constant in our experience.

We are personally continually filled with spirit and satisfied with the course of our life. In a sense we have achieved salvation, that is: we have salvaged what we can from our personal vehicle and, having this under control, we go beyond the personal in impersonal work. For many people Christ led the way for us to complete the circuit of our lives and go beyond the personal, to transcend. When we transcend, we do not do away with it, but only work upon it from a higher level or plane. The seventh house and Libra mark the enlightenment of the body as we pull away from our personal considerations, expanding to identify with eternal life. We work outside the body from this point and we have crossed over and become one with the Great White Brotherhood or brothers in the light. We are illumined and our past loses its grip and falls within our vision. We treat our personality as we would treat any other person. We allow it to change naturally, while we go on into the work of the Spirit. We are called.

Scorpio and the Eigth House


The furnace. The phoenix. Purgatory. Scorpio is the response to our enlightenment and marriage at Libra. The responsibility that comes with knowledge. The reaction. The personality is exposed at Libra for exactly what it is: whatever we have made it. If we had good training and guidance forming our personality, we will have a good response to it. Most personalities formed today are encrusted with excess. Excess is any part of our habits or personality that is untrue, that is: has no future. We no longer have the energy or life to support these extras and it is in the eighth house of Scorpio that these are removed.

This house has to do with inheritances, debts, and death. The only inheritance most of us get is the responsibility to clean up our act and do something with our warped personality. This becomes our inheritance and the debt we must pay. Scorpio is the stripping down to bare essentials, exposing the spirit to light. Scorpio is not a sex sign. The reason people go "ooh" and "ah" when Scorpio is mentioned at this time in history is that we are about to undergo a mass purging of our personality, as a country. This destruction of nonessentials and the exposure of essentials is thrilling to our spirit. Here are our "secrets," but not as we have imagined them. The sign of fertility is Taurus and spring surge. Scorpio is very late fall, the last of it. It is said that Scorpio is as far as the great beast or dragon reaches into spirit. This is the last stand of the personality and here is removed and burnt away all the dross and webbing that covers or hides our deeper spirit. This is the furnace.

Sagittarius and the Ninth House


The Seed. The Relic. Sagittarius is the seed essence of what remains after the furnace of Scorpio, the extraction or clarified remains. It is that which can defy the test of time, having lost what within it was subject to change. The Relic and thus, the ninth house of religion, from that Latin word 'religare,' meaning to bind back and to last (lash) something together, to make it hold. Religion literally is the study of how things hold together and last. Sagittarius is the power of the thing to endure or last, the concentrated or one pointed thing. The seed-essence. It is the symbol or code or formula or crystal that is the essence, that which collects or holds light.

Sagittarius is the final winding of the spring, forcing spirit completely (by this force) beyond the confines of the body until it can see at Capricorn through this binding down. Here is the arrow in flight, the severed sting of the Scorpion, the last leg out of the body before we begin a return, all that remains of our experience back at Cancer. What was a long story then is now but a reference, a symbol, a seed. We have kept the essence. This is the ark where life lasts. This is all spirit but the symbol or trace that holds us still to matter, the code or law that binds. We become the essence of matter, the purified body of light set spinning by the power of Scorpio, whirling faster and faster, tighter and tighter, until within that ball of fire slowly out spreads the deeper light of the soul embracing, step by step, every form within itself. This dawn of light sees the end of the end and opens out into the full light of Capricorn.


© Copyright: Michael Erlewine





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