The Zodiac


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Analogies with Nature

The Star Sign qualities mentioned above are derived from traditional astrology. Although these qualities, like those of the planets, are not founded on any concrete, physical basis, once again (14.2) we can find many analogies that support these core meanings. In the case of the Zodiac, however, these do not correspond to the XXsubtler human bodies, XXas was the case with the planets, but to the realm of tangible, objective reality and its natural processes, visible for all.


Succession in time

Apart from their crossing over in the Center, reflected in the three Crosses, the Signs of the Zodiac also show a succession in time. The passing of the Sun along the firmament reveals the Zodiac as a cyclic, yearly procession of the seasons with their increasing and decreasing lengths of day and night. In the succession of the rising Signs in the Ascendant, we again see all Signs emerge one by one within twenty-four hours. Together they reflect a progressive development over time.


Arising, existing and perishing in the objective realm

So the Signs of the Zodiac are not isolated phenomena, but develop from each other. In their sequence, they give shape to a complete cycle of arising, existing and perishing.
In the following description of the Signs, we will consider them not as separate entities, each with its own Self (-willed) charge, but as an interrelated series of stages, where each next stage (Sign) follows from its predecessor in the progression of time (24.2). In this approach, we actually see the Zodiac as an emanation that naturally uncoils itself (24.3).



The assumptions that in ancient times formed the foundation for the traditional meanings of the sidereal Zodiac, are difficult for us to trace. The legends and imageries involved are legion; they speak to underlying potentials in the human soul.

Of course, the cold logic of the link with the angle of inclination of the Earth’s axis does break that ‘magic spell’ around the Tropical Zodiac (2.1). Yet, to keep in step with our line of reasoning, we are now forced to redefine the belt of the Zodiac as a coherent system of progressive stages which arise from Earth itself.


From seed to plant

In one of his courses (no reference available), Th.J.J. Ram compared the developmental character of the Zodiac with the successive stages of growth in the life of a plant. This example may serve us well in further distinguishing the essence of each Sign, just as we did for the planets (18.4.a). I will limit myself to that essence here. Any good textbook can complete this brief description of the Signs.

figure 24.4 The Zodiac’s relation to the development of a plant


A plant’s development through the Houses

Figure 24.4 illustrates the development of a plant in twelve stages.

1. The first foursome

In the First House, corresponding to the Sign of Aries, there is only a seed. In the Second House, corresponding to Taurus, the seed falls into the earth, and in the Third House, corresponding to Gemini, it develops tiny roots that find their way through the soil. By sucking up moisture and nutrients, the seed swells up and increases its volume in the Fourth House, corresponding to Cancer. In these first four Houses, the process is taking place underground.

2. The second foursome

In the Fifth House, corresponding to Leo, the first stem rises above the surface as a central axis, growing leaves and branches in the Sixth House, corresponding to Virgo. In the Seventh House, corresponding to Libra, the plant starts to flower, so that in the Eighth House, corresponding to Scorpio, fertilization can take place. In this second phase, the plant experiences its most individual phase of existence.

3. The third foursome

In the third and final phase, all the plant's functions are focused on the survival and dissemination of the species. In the Ninth House, corresponding to Sagittarius, the seeds mature, while in the Tenth House, corresponding to Capricorn, the shell of the fruit dries up, so that in the Eleventh House, corresponding to Aquarius, it can burst open and relinquish its many seeds to the environment. In the Twelfth House, corresponding to Pisces, having completed its final task, the plant dies. 
Based on this image, we will now discuss the characteristics of the twelve Signs of the Zodiac in a nutshell. 


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