Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Polar Opposites


I was in the middle of preparing a blog entry on the similarities and differences between opposition pairs (Aries-Libra, Taurus-Scorpio, Gemini-Sagittarius, Cancer-Capricorn, Leo-Aquarius, Virgo-Pisces) when I came across an article in the latest issue of Mountain Astrologer, written by the British astrologer Frank Clifford, also discussing opposition pairs, but in relation to the purpose of Sun signs. The article made such an impact on me for it systematically answered one of the queries I have had since studying astrology - What does it really mean when you're not typical of your Sun sign?

It's very well hearing 'You're not typical of your sun sign' as an answer to not behaving like a typical Virgo or Aries. I have even mentioned this in a previous blog entry ('Why Astrology Doesn't Work') possible reasons for that. Those were valid reasons, but somehow, they felt incomplete. However, Clifford neatly filled in the gap for me.

The Sun sign is what you are here to develop into (I have heard this many times too). You pick-up the traits of Aries by being thrown into situations where you are forced to be assertive and have to 'find' the courage within you to stand up to others and extract the leader in you. Clifford went on to explain that if you are not in touch with your solar energy, then chances are that you are displaying shadow qualities of the opposite sign. Hence, in the case of our Aries, s/he is acting like a Libra (Clifford termed it 'the polite Aries'), wanting to please others and keeping the peace wherever s/he goes. Even though other chart factors do affect the expression of the Sun sign, it is well worth considering the corresponding polar opposite sign too.

(Destiny = purpose of the Sun sign in question; Shadow = negative traits of the polar sign)

Aries/Libra
Aries
Destiny - to develop courage and leadership qualities, fight for the underdog and walk where there's no path
Shadow - afraid to upset the balance, people-pleaser, retreating into a subordinate role, following in other people's footsteps instead creating own path

Libra
Destiny - to develop diplomacy, to play the role of the mediator ('middle person'), to act like bridges between people, removing disharmony with fairness and justice
Shadow - feeling superior, being insolent, disruptive, a 'stirrer' (i.e. creating conflicts in order to be the one to resolve them)

Taurus/Scorpio
Taurus
Destiny - to provide a platform for others to depend upon (Clifford described it as the 'rock'), creating objects with material value which will stand the test of time, to appreciate the luxuries of life
Shadow - appreciation of beauty turns into an obsession, using other people's dependency on them as a way of controlling others

Scorpio
Destiny - to delve deeply into the mysteries of life by becoming a healer/'alchemist', to investigate the meaning of life and to explore the darker side of life
Shadow - getting stuck in a comfort zone, unwilling to take risks and see the bigger picture of life, building security on material wealth, fearful of codependency from self and viewing weaker individuals with contempt

Gemini/Sagittarius
Gemini
Destiny - to connect people through communication, to identify patterns in life, to offer own perspective on life by amalgamating an assortment of existing philosophies
Shadow - embracing superstition instead of hard objective facts, being a 'know-it-all' equipped with answers to everything

Sagittarius
Destiny - an eternal student to learn all there is to know about the meaning of life, asking big questions and being open-minded to their possible answers
Shadow - becoming superficial and getting caught-up in gossips, overlooking the true underlying meaning of life

Cancer/Capricorn
Cancer
Destiny - helping others (and self) to appreciate one's own past instead of falling victims to it, providing love and nurture to those in need of emotional support
Shadow - using emotional blackmail to get what they want, disregarding the past, becoming jealous of other people's success, resenting own bitter past

Capricorn
Destiny - to climb to the summit of their life target/chosen field of career with sheer determination, pushing aside obstacles strewn in their path, fighting against adversaries while holding firmly onto their morals and principles
Shadow - pitying the self, losing sight of their goals, afraid of achieving success

Leo/Aquarius
Leo
Destiny - to allow their individuality to blossom, to get touch with their inner child and being creative (e.g. via music, art, healing)
Shadow - seeking external approval, being envious of attention received by others, rejecting arts over science

Aquarius
Destiny - to be aware that everyone is equal in society, to be comfortable exerting one's authority over others without becoming egocentric, 'to provide a clear, original perspective on social issues of justice and responsibility'*
Shadow - craving attention, wanting to be the 'special one', fighting for a good cause but secretly feeling superior

Virgo/Pisces
Virgo
Destiny - to create order from chaos, to work out the crux of problems, to filter out the junk and extract the essence from situations, to gain a healthy body-mind-spirit balance
Shadow - to be 'lost at sea'; drifting aimlessly; not knowing where to go or what to do, to run away from life's responsibilities, to feel victimised

Pisces
Destiny - to be on the spiritual path, offering help and compassion to those in need, to be aware of the interconnectedness of life
Shadow - disrespecting other people's religious/spiritual faith, making mountains out of molehills, becoming ritualistic

* Clifford, F. C. (2011) What Lies Beneath: The Hidden Side of Your Sun Sign; Mountain Astrologer; Issue #160 Dec/Jan 2012 p10-11

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Mars transiting Virgo 2011-2012

Mars has begun its transit in Virgo and will be traversing back and forth until early July 2012. This is a rather long period to have Mars, the planet of action, motivation, aggression and assertion in skilful, service-oriented Virgo.

(Other keywords for Virgo: critical, attention to detail, health-conscious, organised)

This Mars transit from 11th November 2011 to 3rd July 2012 can manifest in a myriad of ways. From being motivated to start a new exercise/diet regime to perfecting a skill through diligent practise, or being irritated by external criticisms to offering one's service to help others, the exact nature varies from individual to individual depending on the sign and house placement of natal Mars, which is further complicated by aspects to other planets in the chart.

I looked up the dates for transiting Mars in Virgo for the past 15 years and found that, for me, every time when Mars transits Virgo, issues relating to the assessment of my skills would crop up, from sitting major exams as a student to being inspected by Ofsted as a teacher! In recent years though, the emphasis has shifted to my health, from researching food and beverages which are beneficial for my physical body to hunting down beauty products to improve my skin. With Leo rising, Mars transits my 2nd house of income, material possessions, self-worth & physical body. For some with Virgo on their 2nd house cusp, money issues could surface, but personally, it affects my self-worth the most (which can just be as devastating as not having material security). I also become extra sensitive to criticisms on my skills.

Life is never straightforward. I also have Saturn in Virgo in the 2nd house so having t. Mars conjunct this solemn planet once every two years is not something I particularly look forward to. However, Saturn does become 'easier' to handle with age and I can certainly begin to understand that. Getting old isn't so bad after all.....