Introduction to Zodiac Signs – 3:
Influence of the Zodiac Signs, Aries-Scorpio
– written by Philip Graves – 2 Jan 2004
– reformatted for WordPress, June 10th, 2016
Influence of each Sign
This section of the article covers the essential archetypal influence of each sign of the tropical zodiac as a filter on the character of any planet, luminary or house cusp.
Aries embodies the will to commence, and to launch new activities, without much regard for where they are leading, just following the impulse to act and to manifest in reality what is already held in potential in its inner nature. The grain springing forth from the earth suggested in one interpretation of the glyph for Aries symbolises this dynamic drive. Aries lacks moderation and focuses more on the present than the future, which often leads to reckless over-expenditure of assets.
Aries resembles its symbol of the horned ram in its forcefulness and impulsiveness, and its tendency to throw itself into endeavours with little forethought. Energy is sent forth wildly and with excitable but often short-lived enthusiasm, and flashes of inspiration and passion which are muted almost as suddenly as they are released. Centred in the assertion of the personal will, Aries can be naive and oblivious to the effects of its forward reach on others, and in the face of unexpected opposition may shrink backwards, surprised and hurt.
Viewed as a metaphysical fork in the road, the glyph for Aries illustrates choice of direction. Aries relishes its autonomy and power to freely decide upon its own destiny.
Aries rules the head down to and including the upper jaw; and the Aries glyph as a mark of the human nose and eyebrows emphasises the concentration of the sign’s energy in the front of the brain. Intelligence, and the power to forge new ideas, is key to the successful exercising of Arien free will.
Taurus forms the initiative of Aries into substance. The glyph shows a continuing upsurge in power, hewn usefully into the shape of a wheel that is able to regulate and manage this energy, and to support material weights. Thus, Taurus harnesses the Arien life force, transmuting it into practically utilisable form, and setting down firm roots with a view to durability.
The horned bull associated with Taurus holds clues to the fertility, solid physique and at times primal eroticism of Taureans. Taurus gravitates to the realm of its finely-tuned senses, yet also feels emotionally, and loves intensely but sustainedly. Straight-talking and consistent, Taurus has a strong and stubborn will, and having established an opinion or desire will persist with unflappable resolution. Faced with opposition or dissent, the normally placid Taurean spirit can slowly build up anger, which when finally released can be powerful and dramatic. Occasionally Taurus can manifest in bullying behaviour to the end of enforcing its will. However, the more bullish Taurean type is usually tameable into a peaceable family-oriented type centred in a purpose of secure homemaking.
Taurus has a careful eye and steadily motivating will for conserving and building material resources, assets and possessions. The acquisition of financial wealth is a strong and spiritually rewarding drive and natural ability.
The glyph for Taurus has also been interpreted as a crescent Moon rising above the Sun, symbolising the succession of the solar principle of vital self-expression (related by exaltation to Aries) by the lunar one of feeling and response (related by exaltation to Taurus).
Taurus rules the neck, the lower jaw, and the throat.
The glyph for Gemini evokes an integrated network or circuit forged between dual columns, representing the principle of inter-relation and interaction, with emphasis on reasonable, co-operative interpersonal communication, and more abstractly the metaphysical web of causality.
Sometimes the interconnected ‘duality’ of Gemini’s glyph, and of its archetypal ‘twins’ symbol, is interpreted as an indication of the ability of this versatile, playful sign to assume multiple identities or personalities, shifting its persona to suit the occasion; or as a reminder of its ability to spread itself across multiple fields of activity with speed and ease.
As a human sign, Gemini is unwilling to orient itself solely in primitive animal impulses, demanding a connection to the essence of spirit, which it seeks out and integrates within its world concept by applying its inherent intelligence. Thus, the connection of the divine with the material in human consciousness is highlighted.
Gemini has the inclination to study and the capability of deciphering the connections inherent in any observed phenomenon or between apparently separate entities. Logic and rational order are attributes of Gemini’s outlook, with comparison, contrast, categorisation and systematisation being natural drives, and verbal skill being pronounced.
Gemini rules the human nervous system, conferring a strongly mental orientation and acute nervous sensitivity to the sign, and a rapid speed of thought and movement. It also rules the arms, hands and lungs.
Cancer’s glyph, with its strategically placed curves to front and rear, shielding the womb-like circles in which the vulnerable inner self is symbolically wrapped up, evokes the defensive self-containment for which the sign is noted, and its preference for what is securely known and trusted, with roots in the past. The crab image also evokes Cancer’s self-defensiveness and tough outwardly projected manner, with its hard shell concealing and protecting a soft inner core.
The two curves are snugly locked together (likened thus to male and female partners) as though in mutual support and protection, and exclusion of the outer world, which fittingly describes Cancer’s instincts to gravitate closely towards loved ones, and especially family, while keeping outsiders at bay. Cancer invests a great amount of motherly, caring interest in every detail of the lives of those it takes under its wings. Indeed, once something or someone is accepted as an insider to its realm, tenacious emotional attachment sets in, often manifesting in clinging and possessive orientations, as symbolised by the crab’s claws. When its feelings are denied, Cancer can suffer but persist unrelentingly. But if they are injured beyond a certain point, it may withdraw intractably and close off its vulnerability from further exposure to hurt.
The symbol has additionally been perceived as two bowls or receptacles, the upper one of which, upturned, releases its contents, while the lower one holds its contents. This describes the sign’s observable polarity of inclination between tenacity and self-centred acquisition, on the one hand, and giving and self-denial, on the other.
Cancer is subjective, responsive, anxious, maternal, sheltering, domestic, tenderly feeling, in contact with the unconscious self and with the sentiments of the masses, and naturally attuned to the rhythms of the Moon and the waves of the sea. It associates food with love, spends cautiously, is inclined to hoard keepsakes, and has the ability to magnetise dependents.
Not especially noted for its physical strength, Cancer rules the chest and stomach, which are connected with the sign’s natural functions of feeding, nurturing and general physical sustenance.
The outward-facing curved glyph for Leo, evoking the sun’s rays coursing out liberally, or an upturned cup releasing all its contents, symbolises free, extroverted self-expression.
Leo is concerned with individuation, establishing itself with a distinct identity, and then seeks uncompromising self-mastery without interference, pursuing its personal goals and interests wilfully.
Leo is proud, has a flair for dramatic self-projection, thrives on admiration and attention, possesses a regal air, demands respect, likes to be looked up to in status, and manoeuvres itself by instinct into positions of influence and power over others. It follows its feelings, but those feelings are referenced back to self-esteem and how that is supported, glorified or contradicted by the apparent perceptions of and responses to it by others. It thus expresses generosity and magnanimity to those who show respect and support its vulnerable ego, and can indeed be genuinely very warm to them, but tends towards chilly exclusion of those who do not. It can also extend this behaviour on behalf of friends, loyally pitching in to defend their interests and reputations from perceived threats.
Leo’s attitude to finances would be considered reckless by some. Given a choice, it veers towards the upper end of the price range, seeking out what it regards as of high quality in preference to economy.
Leo rules the heart and spine.
Virgo’s glyph, in addition to representing female virginity generally, marks out the letter ‘M’ in representation of the Virgin Mary. These associations are symbolic of Virgo’s aspiration for purity, refinement and perfection of adherence to its own self-set ideals (which rarely literally include sexual abstinence: on the contrary, Virgo will simply apply high and particular standards of expectation to the sensual areas of life as all others). When a tempting relationship prospect does not quite adhere to Virgo’s ideals, Virgo will typically be self-denying although its desires can be strong and its emotional sensitivity acute. Yet it can often seem one small step away from letting go of inner guilt and totally immersing itself in its wilder impulses.
The picture of the virgin holding a sheaf of wheat is an indication of Virgo’s powers of fine discrimination: it harvests only the best according to its particular self-programmed criteria. Indeed, Virgo is sharp-minded, alert, highly observant of detail, meticulous, analytical, organisation-conscious, and impeccably orderly, with a very precise sense of timing and the mental power to discern the component factors underlying every observed phenomenon, and the rational flaws and weaknesses in any theory, argument or proposition.
Virgo has a strong work ethic and drive, and is comfortable with positions of juniority to others, and willing to undertake persistent, routine tasks as an ethically sound means to the end of subsistence and financial security, regarding work as a moral duty, and service as being next to godliness, although any status and recognition conferred in the work arena will be much prized by it. Interpersonal communication is second nature to Virgo.
One manifestation of Virgo’s detail-consciousness and desire to be of service is its attraction to medicine. It also has a strong interest in diet, health and hygiene; and it is drawn to nature as adapted to human needs and desires.
Virgo rules the stomach, pancreas, intestines and digestive system.
Libra’s glyph, showing the Sun half-set below the horizon, represents the Autumn equinox when the Sun enters Libra and days and nights are of equal length. Yet symbolically it describes the sign’s sense of balance, fairness and equality, which is more directly shown by the picture of the scales held by Justice in one hand, through its association with the weighing up of opposing interests.
Yet, Justice holds in its other hand a sword. Indeed, in the absence of its sense of justice being fulfilled, Libra suffers integral distress and disharmony, and holds out strongly on the position it advocates until the matter is put right. Tranquil and conciliatory when all is well in its world, Libra will not shy from the war-path when faced with opposition to its ideals; and its strong debating skills, aided by its objectivity, will stand it in good stead for victory.
Libra’s leaning to harmony and balance and sensitivity to feeling out of balance confers it also with fine artistic sensibilities, a love of beauty, and a keen awareness of social decorum and propriety.
The parallel lines of Libra’s glyph are a reminder of Libra’s strong attraction to relating and partnership, and frequent idealisation of love and marriage. Libran identity is bound up with the idea of connection to another or others in general. Yet Libra will not enter into partnerships lightly, regarding them as important commitments, and often exercising its right to choose at the outset not to get involved.
Libra rules the kidneys and endocrine system, both of which serve in their essential function the regulation of balance within the organism.
The glyph for Scorpio shows the legs and tail of the scorpion, signifying the power of the sign to suddenly and fatally (often with a hint of wilful cruelty or vindictiveness) ‘sting’ whatever and whomever may have hurt its feelings or denied its strong-willed desires. The glyph has also been interpreted as a modification of that for Virgo into a symbol of male sexuality and generative power; and in this regard the scorpion image evokes the baser, more sensual and selfish instincts of the sign; but on a psychic level Scorpio possesses penetrating insightfulness.
An alternative image connected with Scorpio, that of the eagle, describes its potential for applying its creative energies to higher and wiser and more universal purposes. The eagle holds aloft symbols of war (arrows) and peace (an olive branch), representing Scorpio’s choice between the two, yet fixes its eyes firmly on the peace symbol.
The sign’s capacity for the regeneration and resurrection of viable vital states from the waste of the past is symbolised by its further association with the image of a phoenix rising from ashes; and dramatic self-transformation is no stranger to this sign, often following the realisation that its current state or situation is not affording the fulfilment of its deepest desires and needs.
Scorpio, like Virgo, is highly discriminating and selective; and it will often quite brutally reject what does not meet its demanding self-set standards. Yet its key criteria in discriminating are perceived usefulness and depth. Its eye for usefulness makes it an unrestrained destroyer of all that is obsolete and an efficient handler of finances, particularly funds owned by others; and like Taurus it has an acquisitive drive. Its fascination with depth of experience and understanding interests it in psychology, sex, danger, death, and theories of an afterlife.
Scorpio has a potent and mysterious charisma that operates below surface consciousness and polarises others into strong feelings of attraction or repulsion. It admires intelligence, strength of character and a forthright manner, is fiercely loyal to friends, and can be a very unforgiving foe once offended.
Scorpio expresses itself directly, to the point, without regard for others’ sensitivities; sometimes with a barbed wit. It will hold forth on its ideals and beliefs with consistency, and fight to the bitter end. Yet it also is a master of reserve and control, and can hold back from speaking its mind when appropriate, then release its contents for maximum effect at the most timely moment.
Scorpio rules the reproductive organs.