The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 180, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guests Kelly Surtees and Austin Coppock
Episode originally released on November 13, 2018
Note: This is a transcript of an audio podcast. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio version, which includes inflections that may not translate well when written out. Transcripts are created by using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and the text probably contains some errors and differences from the audio version. Please submit any corrections to Chris Brennan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released October 11, 2021
Copyright © 2016 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Friday, November 9, 2018, starting at 5:25 PM in Denver, Colorado, and this is the 180th episode of the show. For more information about how to subscribe to the podcast and help support the production of future episodes by becoming a patron, please visit TheAstrologyPodcast.com/subscribe.
In this episode, I’m going to be talking with astrologers Kelly Surtees and Austin Coppock. This is going to be the second of our two-part series on the signs of the zodiac and the qualities and meanings of each sign. In this episode, we’re going to go through the second of the 12 signs from Libra through Pisces. So hey, guys, welcome back.
AUSTIN COPPOCK: Hey, Chris. Hey, Kelly.
KELLY SURTEES: Hey.
CB: Hey. So that last episode went over very well. I think we did a great job and everybody really seemed to enjoy it. But also it was a lot of fun, so I’ve been looking forward to this episode for a while now.
KS: Yeah, we had a good time–and I mean, I think I think we always do–but it was very warmly received, and I know there are a number of people who are waiting on the second-half of the zodiac.
CB: Yeah, we left on kind of a cliffhanger with doing part one early last month and now people have had to wait a month. But I think it’s been a good time for people to soak in the information and now we can conclude with part two.
AC: Sounds good.
CB: All right. Excellent. So preliminary stuff before we get started. So Episode 175, that was part one of this, where we dealt with the first six signs. You can access that by going to TheAstrologyPodcast.com/episodes and scrolling down to Episode 175. There we did Aries through Virgo and here we’re going to do the signs in order: Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
Other episodes that are relevant–I mentioned that we had done a previous episode on the significations of the seven traditional planets or the seven visible planets, which was a deep dive into the meanings of the planets, and that was Episode 64. So go back to that if you want to learn about the basic meanings of the planets.
Also, check out Episode 67, which was with Kay Taylor, that dealt with the outer planets within the context of relationships, but it was a really good introduction to the outer planets in general. And finally, Episode 17 for the rationale for the significations of the houses where I talked about the difference between the modern approach to the meanings of the houses and the concept of the natural rulers or natural house concept versus the traditional approach to developing the meanings of the signs and the houses and how those differ, which is kind of relevant to our discussion today.
The other major thing that we’re going to have to talk about as a preliminary thing for this episode is the difference between the traditional rulership scheme of the signs of the zodiac and the modern rulership scheme that’s used by some contemporary astrologers over the past century for the signs of the zodiac. So where should we start with that?
KS: Well, I think we should probably start by saying that that’s the method that we all use; we do use traditional or original rulerships. And not everyone has to do that but that’s how we roll, and I think all three of us just came to that individually, I don’t know. I know I was trained in modern rulerships, if you like, and then it was one of the first more traditional shifts that I made in my practice.
I was still actually using Placidus houses, but I very early on in my practice went to the traditional ruling planets. Once I saw the Thema Mundi and understood the symmetry in the way the planets were arranged around the signs in which they ruled, it was very hard for me to feel like I would want to interrupt or disrupt that system.
CB: Yeah, I also started out with the modern rulership scheme and that was a big sticking point for me originally in converting to traditional. But about four or five years into it, once I studied Hellenistic astrology and I saw, as you said, the symmetry of the traditional rulership scheme and the sort of elegance of it, that allowed me to take it a little bit more seriously and to explore it more seriously than I would have previously.
And then eventually, I did make that transition because it did make more sense to me conceptually as well as practically. What about you, Austin? Did you start modern and then go to the traditional rulership scheme, or what?
AC: Yeah, it was so long ago, I don’t even remember making the shift. I do remember thinking a few things; one, conceptually, as a schema, it’s much more elegant. And then I just remember house rulers working like they were supposed to when I switched.
CB: Right. Because the outer planets are so slow that if you use them as house rulers, they’re the same for a lot of people.
AC: Yeah, I just didn’t get the information, like the clear information that I was supposed to be able to get from looking at them as house rulers. And then, let’s see, what else? There’s one other thing. Oh, and I also felt like some of the signs made more sense, and what I thought about the signs using traditional rulers matched what I actually saw in practice better; in particular with Pisces because I was born with a couple of planets in Pisces. And suddenly when it was delineated through the lens of Jupiter rather than Neptune things became much more accurate, so that was another piece of my switching. And I think it’s worth noting that we all use Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
AC: We just don’t use them as house rulers.
CB: As sign rulers.
AC: Yeah, which makes them house rulers.
CB: Yeah. And for most of the signs, this won’t matter. But we’ve got to address it here because of course when it comes to Scorpio and Aquarius and Pisces, those are the three signs where traditionally they were assigned to Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter as the second signs, second ruling signs for each of those, but in modern times, they were reassigned by some astrologers to Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune. So we’ll talk about that more in depth obviously as we get to each sign, but I just wanted to make sure that we mentioned it briefly here at the start so that people aren’t thrown off or they don’t get confused once we get to those signs.
CB: All right, cool. Well, I think that’s it for preliminary stuff. Why don’t we dive right into it and start with our first sign of the second-half of the zodiac? So the last time, we got all the way up to Virgo. So that means that we’re going to be starting with Libra here for the very first sign of the second-half of the zodiac.
Previously, our conceptual model for approaching this was dealing primarily with the four qualities associated with each sign. So for Libra, that’s going to be Libra as a ‘masculine’ sign; in terms of modality or quadruplicity, it’s a ‘cardinal’ sign; in terms of element or triplicity, it’s an ‘air’ sign; and then, finally, in terms of planetary ruler, Libra is of course ruled by Venus. So are there any other preliminary statements we should make as a starting point for Libra before we jump into just significations?
KS: You said ruled by Venus, right? And then Saturn is exalted here.
CB: Right, that’s a good point. Saturn has its exaltation in Libra.
AC: Well, I would of course add or emphasize that Libra is represented by ‘the scales’ or ‘a figure holding scales’, and that historically it’s just as often ‘the scales of commerce’ as it is ‘the scales of justice’.
CB: Right. So Libra is the scales and that’s literally what the original term meant was ‘scales’.
AC: Yeah. And I think that there’s…
AC: Oh, go ahead, Kelly.
KS: I was going to say like weighing in the marketplace.
AC: Yeah, exactly, like, “Okay, you owe me a pound of gold for these goats. Let’s weigh it out and see that it’s a pound,” right?
AC: Those would be some really expensive goats.
CB: Right, so, okay, Libra. And that’s a good point then, Kelly. So Saturn has its exaltation there; and then, conversely, the Sun has its fall or its depression in the sign of Libra. And this is actually important because one of the few ancient authors that tries to deal with the rationale for that is Ptolemy.
He deals with it in a seasonal context in terms of the Northern Hemisphere and saying that the Sun has its exaltation in Aries because that’s when the Sun passes over the Vernal Equinox and the days in the Northern Hemisphere start increasing; whereas they start decreasing, and the night is seen as dominating and the daytime is seen as receding as the days get shorter and shorter starting at the equinox in Libra. So at least for him that was part of his rationale for the exaltation of the Sun being in Aries and its fall being in Libra, and Saturn having its exaltation in Libra and it’s fall in Aries.
KS: Yeah, I think it’s helpful to consider that when we think about, if you like, some of the characteristics of Libra; that the Sun is in its fall there and Mars is in detriment there. Because both of those planets have such a strong individual energy, the sign of Libra is very oriented to the other person. Whether it’s the other person that you’re negotiating with or doing the business deal with or debating the finer points of an idea or law with, or whether it’s another person in a relationship sense, Libra is very oriented towards that. And I think that disrupts a little bit of the natural Sun or Mars kind of qualities here.
AC: Yeah, well, one of the things that occurred to me actually, Chris, as you were saying, is that both Libra and Aries begin with an equinox, right? So we have equal day and night or as equal as it gets, and then both of those are a departure from balance. And it occurs to me that with the movement of the Sun into Aries that we’re moving towards weighing the individual and the subjective more than the social/objective.
And with Libra, we depart from that point of balance and begin weighing the social and relatively objective over the individual. It’s sort of like self/other and Libra is departing from balance to look at both all the time, and Aries is departing from balance to look at one all the time.
CB: Right. And that makes sense also in terms of the rulerships, just with Mars ruling Aries, as you’re saying, Kelly, in that sense of oneness or single-mindedness versus Venus ruling Libra and being diametrically opposite and that sense of their being ‘two-ness’. In other words, with Venus, you have that principle of unifying things, whereas with Mars, you have that principle sometimes of either separating things or going it alone; whereas Venus, it’s more social in some sense, as you’re saying, Austin.
AC: Yeah. And one of the things that we didn’t talk about because there are a lot of things we couldn’t possibly include but I want to bring up now is that Libra is included among a set of signs that are regarded as ‘human’ signs. And ‘human’ signs are thought to be more reasonable. They don’t present like a roaring beast or a slithering beast or a weird fish-beast; they present as human and reasonable.
And so, Libra is one of these ‘presenting in a reasonable form’ signs, right? Well, let’s talk about what’s fair in a business deal or in a relationship or in a court of justice. There’s the, well, you make an argument, and I’ll listen to you and take that into consideration. There’s a duality to Libra, which I feel like Gemini being represented by literally two twin humans sort of gets more share of the zodiac’s duality than it deserves. Libra is always dual; you need to weigh the things relative to each other, right? Which is why I often say that Venus, which rules Libra, is the fulcrum upon which those scales rest, right?
KS: That’s a beautiful way of encapsulating it, Austin, that Venus is at the center of the scales.
AC: Thank you.
CB: Part of that theme of weighing things, it seems like that can manifest in a personality or sometimes in a literal sense in being the counterbalance, but being the counterbalance of being almost contrarian.
AC: Oh, oh, a hundred-percent. I had that earmarked to bring up.
AC: I am related to someone with five planets in Libra who is the most contrary human I’ve ever met. It’s not mean-spirited, they’re just contrary.
KS: Yeah. It’s almost like–anyway, I know of this excessive Libran energy that you speak–and it’s almost like there’s this desire to make sure that all points of view get expressed and discussed and aired, whether they’re playing ‘devil’s advocate’ or they’re just saying let’s look at it from this other perspective. The thing I found tricky when I was first learning about Libra and getting to know people with a lot of Libra is that they will express or argue for a point of view that is not necessarily their own; they’re just trying to get everything out there into the situation.
AC: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
AC: When somebody’s embodying Libra, they want to make sure that all points of view are represented, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them. There’s a lot of natural playing devil’s advocate without even realizing it, which is funny. So in terms of things I wanted to bring up, people talk about–especially in more of a Sun sign context, but it’s not inappropriate once we take into account Moons and risings and all that–the ‘compulsory social nature’ of Libra, which can easily look like ‘codependence’, but it can be wanting to have somebody to disagree with all the time. It makes me think of a Leonard Cohen quote from a Leonard Cohen song, which is: “It’s lonely here. There’s no one left to torture.”
AC: And I’m not saying that Libras are sadists. But it’s not that the social desire that we see in Libra is only to get along, it’s still to do stuff with people. People who have a lot of Libra are happy to hang out with someone that they don’t agree with all the time. It’s not accord, it’s connection, if that makes sense.
CB: Right. That ‘social butterfly’ aspect of Libra is definitely a major theme that comes up, and sometimes the contrarian thing can be played down. Though it seems like instead they can be everybody’s friend on some level.
AC: Yeah, that’s true.
KS: Yeah, there’s like a diplomacy to the way they interact with others. I’ve always appreciated or observed that Libra has this real sense of what is appropriate from a social etiquette perspective, and they’ll sort of conform a little bit to those expectations, particularly in terms of how they deal with other people.
AC: Yeah, a hundred-percent. When I think of Libra, when I put myself in that mode, every situation you encounter fills the other side of that scale and you adjust yourself on your side so that you’re balanced with whatever that is. And that’s always changing and that’s part of Libra being a cardinal sign, right? It’s a new beginning. It’s start over; start afresh, right? It’s not dogmatic in the sense that, oh, this person’s in this mood; right now I’ll interact with them this way. The vibe at that party was kind of weird, so I played it like this. It’s coming up with new strategies and new ideas all the time.
CB: Yeah, I like that. Thanks for mentioning the ‘cardinality’ because a lot of what we’re talking about is definitely connected with it being an air sign ruled by Venus. But that idea of it being also a cardinal sign and that notion of them starting or initiating things frequently or initiating new things is definitely a major theme.
CB: But then sometimes the downside is not having a lot of follow-through like all cardinal signs sometimes have, but that might be more pronounced for Libra and maybe for Aries to a lesser extent.
AC: Yeah, I think the ‘flaky’ Libra is a stereotype that is not entirely grounded in fiction.
CB: Sure. I mean, because it’s an air sign like Gemini is, but it’s not ruled by Mercury. So it doesn’t have that intellectual flightiness, but instead sometimes it can be a ‘social flightiness’; but also sometimes just the desire to initiate lots of things but sometimes having a harder time seeing them through to completion compared to other signs.
AC: Yeah, I think you mentioned Aries. It’s a yang or active cardinal sign, and so that’s a lot of impetus or desire to go and do. But fire and air by themselves are very insubstantial when compared to water or earth, right? And so, ‘flightiness’ is literally a reference to air, right?
AC: Well, I don’t know, it’s still up in the air.
AC: Oh, so in terms of flightiness or not following through, we absolutely have to talk about the notorious Libran decision-making process.
KS: Oh, yes–or the ‘lack of decision-making’.
CB: Why do you say lack of decision-making, Kelly?
KS: Well, I mean, one of the qualities I think in all the pop astrology books Libra is an ‘indecisive’ sign, and they do seem to get stuck with having to make choices. The idea of the Mars principle of choosing one thing and sort of distancing yourself from the other, the pure energy of Libra seems to really struggle with that; and it’s the weighing of the pros and cons and the ‘paralysis by analysis’ or the overthinking, if you like.
CB: Right. The ability to see both sides of the equation means there can be an indecisiveness of choosing and finally settling on just one.
KS: Yeah, it’s indecisiveness of the situation. And I think when there’s another person or party involved, part of the motivation for Libra can be that they don’t want to upset anyone; they don’t want to rock the boat, they don’t want to put anyone else out. And sometimes the choosing or the decision-making becomes delayed because what they really want might actually upset the other person or might put the other person out a bit and they just struggle with that.
AC: Yeah, and wanting to find a solution that everyone’s happy with.
KS: Yes, that kind of win-win.
AC: Yeah. Being married to a woman with Mercury and the Sun in Libra, I have encountered this before. Anybody wants to PM me, I got some hot tips on Libra hacks. I mean, one of the things–and Kait won’t mind me saying this because she knows I do this–to help her make decisions is I don’t care about a lot of things. I’m pretty easygoing. And so, she’ll be like, “Oh, should we do this or this?” And I’m like, “Mm, doesn’t matter to me.” And I found out that that’s extremely unhelpful for her process.
AC: And so, sometimes I will just say, “Yeah, let’s do that one,” just so she has something to bounce off of. She’ll be like, “No, I don’t want to do that.” I’ll be like, “Great, now we know what to do.” That’s not a sneaky trick. She knows I do that.
CB: That’s like the setup for a joke–like a Pisces and a Libra trying to make dinner plans.
KS: Oh, my gosh, that’s a complete thing I can get on board with. “I don’t know. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t mind. Where do you want to go?”
CB: Right. The Libra says, “Where do you want to go?” and the Pisces says, “I don’t know.”
AC: Yeah, it happens about four times a week.
AC: “What do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know. I’ll just eat a can of chili.” “Well, I was thinking about making this.”.
KS: We could have a lot of jokes on this. This is great.
AC: Yeah, I don’t want to pick on Kait.
CB: Yeah, let’s…
KS: It’s the Libra vibe and she’s more than just that.
AC: Oh, yeah.
KS: I think everyone with a little splash of Libra will relate to this. Whether it’s just a Libra rising or a Libra Moon or something, they will understand that accommodating or compromising pattern, I think.
AC: Yeah. So I want to say something nice that people don’t usually say about Libras. I don’t think Libras get nearly as much credit for being curious and intellectual and seeking after new ideas. If you look at the history of thinkers, if you just look at intellectual history, you see Libra tremendously over-represented.
What is cardinal air? It’s generating new ideas. Why does someone with planets in Libra ask other people what they think? Because they want to know what other people think, right? So totally the ‘intellectual’ Libra is a hundred-percent a thing that doesn’t get talked about as much as you know ‘Dr. Indecisive’.
KS: That’s a beautiful point.
CB: Yeah, that’s really good. And there’s a term I’m searching for also that’s kind of related. I think it’s ‘social intuition’; having a tremendous amount of social intuition as a positive sort of thing that’s connected with that as well.
AC: Mm-hmm. And it’s not just intuitive, there’s usually a method. Sure, there’s an ability to pick things up, but the heavy Libra people that I know–and it’s much more than just Kait–are able to process what they pick up intuitively, and they’re able to think about and articulate why they may have taken this approach when talking to this person, on this day, in this situation. There’s that Venusian intuition, but also it’s air, right? This isn’t like ‘water’ Venus.
CB: Yeah. And I wasn’t using intuition in that psychic sense, but more like being socially adept and able to respond to social cues, which we’ve already mentioned, but also seeing and perceiving what other people are doing in a social setting and being able to adapt to that in a way that’s unique, a little bit unique, and kind of like a superpower in some sense, or could be in certain applications.
KS: Yeah. It reminds me of the cardinal. I always describe cardinal signs as being reactive and/or responsive, and I think we see that with Libra in the social, human interaction zone. It’s not adapting so much, but they’re sort of changing their strategy or their approach based on the circumstances.
CB: Yeah. And so, this is actually our second Venus-ruled sign, and we’ve already talked about Taurus. And a lot of the meanings of Libra can really be contrasted with that other Venus-ruled sign because it’s a fixed earth sign; it’s also a feminine sign. But the contrast, it seems like a lot of what’s coming out in our discussion here is Libra being an air sign and a cardinal sign and a masculine sign and the more intellectual and social dimension of that as opposed to this earthy fixed sign of Taurus, which is a Venus’ other domicile.
AC: Yeah. And I think one way to make that yin-yang/air-earth difference really clear is Libra will go out and meet new people–it’s active–or go out and find interesting stuff or new ideas or whatever; whereas Taurus is much more drawing energy, pulling in rather than going in search of.
CB: Right, like consolidating versus–what’s the opposite of consolidating? It’s not expansion because that’s more Jupiterian.
KS: Seeking or…
KS: Exploring, yeah.
AC: I think…
KS: And it’s…
AC: Go ahead.
KS: I was just going to say it’s like day/night. We talk about the ‘day’ sign of Venus is Libra and the ‘night’ sign of Venus is Taurus. And so, you get that more yang expression. What do you do in the day? You go out and meet new people. But at nighttime, you tend to have people that you know over, friends or family; so it’s a bit of that distinction too.
AC: Yeah, definitely. With Taurus being earth Venus, I think of that in terms of the way mass bends space-time in the physics models, where if you just have sufficient mass then things start sliding towards you. I feel like there’s this Taurean superpower of having gravity…
KS: Oh, yes.
AC: …and then all the ice cream and the books and whatever it is that they desire starts sliding towards them; whereas Libra is much more go go check it out: see what’s good, see who’s cool, see who’s fun. It’s much more active in searching out as air searches out.
CB: Right. Air will fill up and expand to fill a room or fill whatever it’s outlying border is.
AC: And it maps it.
CB: All right…
KS: So that’s a good treatment.
CB: Yeah. Where are we? Did you guys time where we started? We usually shoot for like fifteen to twenty minutes for each sign.
KS: I think you said 5:25 was our start time.
AC: And then you said some stuff.
KS: And we did have a bit of intro.
CB: We did for a while. I don’t know if it was ten or fifteen minutes, so we might be short. But we said some challenging things. I just want to make sure we get in a few more positive things about Libra as good qualities.
KS: Yeah, there’s a couple of things, thank you, you were just reminding me. That was a very enthusiastic ‘yes’. I had some positive things to say about Libra. There’s two skills that I see come through with people who have a lot of Libra placements or prominent Libra placements in the chart, one is the ‘Venus/beauty’ side.
People with a lot of Libra can have a really wonderful eye for what is aesthetically-pleasing. So they might have skills in interior design, fashion design, architectural design, anything that involves creating a pleasant experience in a space and little touches. Whether it’s a particular color or a shape, they just seem to do that really well.
And then the second piece is more on the ‘scales of justice’ side. They can have a real passion for and for equality and for justice; it can be one thing they struggle with when they don’t meet that in other people. But I have a number of Libra Midheaven clients who work in the legal industry, so that real passion for creating equality and justice or working on behalf of justice in society can come through as well.
CB: Yeah, ‘social justice’ is a great keyword for Libra that combines those two things.
KS: Yeah, so those were some of my positives. What about you guys? What do you guys think of the high, happy parts of Libra?
CB: I like that you mentioned ‘aesthetics’. Having a really great keen sense of aesthetics and a clean artistic sense is definitely something that spills over into a number of different areas. I think of even things like architectural design and architecture and the ability to not just build a building or a space, but to know what would be pleasing aesthetically in terms of proportions and ratios and things. Like that is a very Libran thing to me.
AC: Yeah, that aspect of aesthetics I think belongs primarily to Libra. Design–design and composition are very Libra signatures. In some sense, if we’re looking at Venus, there’s Libra design and then there’s the Taurus choice of what actual materials and substances to build a thing out of, right? It’s like, oh, this is the design for a house, but what bricks do we use? What is the texture of the wall, etc., etc?
AC: And that same eye for design arrangement and symmetry I think is the same intelligence that we see in the social aptitude that many people with strong Libra display, right? Because it’s like what is the symmetry, what is the relationship between all of the pieces, right?
CB: Right. Or, what is the missing piece? What needs to be balanced in order to make it more balanced or more symmetrical?
AC: And one thing I would add is that even though Libra as an archetype is assessing and then being flexible in the sense of like, “Oh, I’ll be this,” or “I’ll take this tactic,” it’s still a cardinal sign. And Libras are like, “In order to achieve my goal, I will do this,” and I think we can contrast that with Pisces, which we’ll get to later, or even Gemini, which is like, “I don’t know, we’ll just see what we can make of the situation.”
Libras tend to come in–like Aries and Cancer and Capricorn–like all of the cardinal signs with a, “How do I impose my will?” is too strong a phrase, but there’s a, “How do I execute this given the situation?” It’s not discover the situation for its own sake; it’s a discovery to figure out how to move through it. And that goal, as we’ve stated, is probably not like a purely individual goal like, “How do we get a restaurant that we’ll all be happy with?”, but it’s like, “Okay, this is the situation. In order to do this, let’s do that.”
CB: Definitely. I love that. I’m just scanning through very quickly my list of people in my database of exact timed charts that have Libra rising to throw out some names. I know one of them that’s a famous one that I always use is the writer and the poet TS Eliot who has a Venus-Mercury conjunction in Libra, right on the Ascendant, with his Sun also in Libra in a day chart, with, yeah, Venus and Mercury exactly or very closely conjunct the Ascendant at 25 Libra. So he’s a great poet and somebody that used that Mercury conjunct the Ascendant, conjunct Venus in Libra, and is a great example of somebody who used words and had a good eye for aesthetics in terms of poetry.
KS: In terms of language.
KS: Yeah, I’m just dumbstruck that he’s one of the charts that you mentioned. Because when we were talking about this, I was like, “I just had an example chart of someone who was the Sun in Libra sextile Jupiter in Sag that I had pulled out for my Jupiter in Sag webinar,” and he was the chart; because I think he’s got Libra rising plus the Mercury-Venus is right on his Ascendant. And of course, he’s won a Nobel Prize for his writing.
KS: So he kind of knows what he’s doing.
AC: One of my favorite poet Libras is Clive Barker who has a weighty stellium in Libra. And you probably haven’t read Clive Barker, but Clive Barker is a famous horror writer, and his thing is that he writes in beautiful, poetic, lyrical language about the grossest and most horrible things ever.
KS: I’m so happy that you shared this with us, Austin because there’s no way in hell I would have ever known about such a thing.
AC: Well, so he wrote and directed Hellraiser, the first Hellraiser from back in the day. Some of his stuff has been adapted into filmic format, but really his genius is as a writer.
AC: Such classic short stories as The Midnight Meat Train.
KS: I don’t even know where to go with that.
AC: Yeah, you’re not supposed to.
KS: Okay, good. So yeah, do any more examples, Chris?
CB: Yeah, I’ve got a few more examples. So two US presidents–or no, actually three and there might be more. So John Fitzgerald–JFK, a US president, Libra rising, Venus in Gemini; Jimmy Carter, Sun in Libra and Ascendant in Libra; and more notable and maybe an even better example, Bill Clinton has Libra rising with Mars and Venus and Jupiter also in the 1st house in Libra.
And Bill Clinton of course was always known for his ability too. It’s like whether people liked him or didn’t like him, it would seem like even the opposition always acknowledged his ability to be very charming–especially on a one-on-one level–and to have a sort of charisma or something that seemed almost out of the ordinary.
AC: Yeah, among the things he was criticized for, his social intelligence was never one of them.
KS: If I’m remembering correctly, Libra rising, Jupiter in Libra, Venus in Libra, and Neptune in Libra all kind of there. I had spoken to someone at one point who had been in the same room with him at some point over the years and just said he really had that ability to focus in on you when he was talking to you, so that you felt like you were important to him, if that makes sense.
CB: Yeah, other famous Libra risings: Venus Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio who actually has a lot of stuff in Libra.
KS: He’s got a big Libra stellium, a bunch of planets there.
CB: Yeah, so Ascendant, Pluto, Moon, Uranus, and Mercury in Libra in the 1st. And Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, I have his birth time in my files as Libra rising with Uranus conjunct the Ascendant. Denzel Washington. Harrison Ford. And one other one that may or may not be interesting, but Yoko Ono had Libra rising with Venus in Aquarius conjunct Saturn in a night chart in the 5th house. And that might be an example of the oppositional thing that we were talking about earlier. And I’m not like a major in art history, but it seemed like part of her artistic project was doing things that seemed almost like the opposite of what you would do to be aesthetically-pleasing, but in that she found some sort of aesthetic appreciation of that.
AC: Yeah, I think that’s fair. You don’t have a lot of opinions of the Situationist movement, Chris?
CB: No, sorry. I wish that we did have somebody in here to expand on that point, that it might be useful. But yeah, so that’s all of my Libra rising examples. I think there’s a few more, but we don’t have to go into all of them. But I think that gives people an idea of what happens when Venus is ruling the Ascendant and therefore that zodiacal sign acts as a dominant factor or a dominant signature in the person’s life as a whole and in their personality as a whole.
CB: All right, so I think if that’s good then that concludes our first sign. You guys feel good about that?
AC: I think so. Oh, one more statement: Why is Saturn strong in Libra?
AC: Because it’s agreements and contracts. It’s mutually-agreed upon things, right? The just agreement, the fair agreement holds longer than one that’s lopsided, which contradicts itself, which will inevitably be pulled apart.
CB: Sure. And maybe that idea of law and authority and things like that as well ties into what you’re talking about.
AC: Exactly. A ‘fair’ authority will stay in power. An ‘unfair’ authority generates enemies with every one of its actions.
KS: Yeah, that’s a beautiful point.
AC: Thank you.
CB: All right, perfect. Well, let’s move on to our next zodiacal sign. So after Libra of course comes the eighth sign, if we’re starting out from Aries at the Vernal Equinox. So Scorpio is the eighth sign. It is a ‘feminine’ sign’, it is a ‘fixed’ sign, it’s a ‘water’ sign, and traditionally, it’s ruled by the planet Mars. It’s the second domicile of Mars besides Aries. So Scorpio–where should we start off with Scorpio? We’re actually in the middle of ‘Scorpio’ season right now, I think.
KS: Yes, we are. I mean, I can just make a brief point on the outer planet, the modern traditional ruler. One of the things that I struggled with with the modern planets ruling was what you guys were alluding to where if you have a Scorpio rising chart, and you’re looking to the ruling planet, and you look to Pluto as the ruling planet, it moves so slowly that everyone born over a fifteen- or a sixteen-year time frame has Pluto in the same sign. So you don’t get as much individual or differentiated, unique information, but if you look to Mars, of course every six weeks you’re going to get a different style or a different iteration of the Scorpio rising.
And then the rulership of Mars in Scorpio, I found that I had a great resonance with that because I’ve always, I don’t know, admired or watch from afar, if you like, the extreme drive and determination that Scorpio represents, which seems to be like a really focused version of Mars.
AC: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: Right, Mars with stamina versus Aries.
AC: The animal symbol is armed and armored.
KS: That’s true.
AC: It’s ready for battle. There aren’t many other animals in the zodiac or in nature that are quite as equipped for battle as a scorpion. You know, goats can ram things–or excuse me, rams can ram things, goats can chew on things. But a scorpion’s encased in armor; it’s got little controllers. Literally, its tail is solely a weapon.
AC: It’s definitely a martial beast.
KS: Yeah, there’s no cute and cuddly scorpions.
CB: And that’s part of the glyph actually, right? It’s like an ‘M’ almost with a tail, with a little spear on the end of it.
AC: Right. And you have the same pokey at the end of the glyph as you do at the end of the Mars glyph.
KS: The same poke. That’s the technical term, ‘the pokey’.
CB: That’s the ancient term.
AC: Yeah, I believe that’s the Koine Greek term.
CB: That’s actually not bad, I mean kentron…
AC: ‘Po-key’. ‘Po-key’, I believe is the original…
CB: Right. Kentron, for the angular houses, means ‘spike’, but that would be a good alternate term.
KS: And there is a spike in the heart of the Scorpio makeup, if you like.
AC: So when I think about the spike, if you will, and how to differentiate the martial quality of Scorpio from Aries and other possible positions, it comes back to the fixed water thing for me. When I think of fixed water, I think of a river, right? Because when water is fixed it’s flowing in the same direction. I think of plumbing, which takes the water on the same course every time. And of course this is borne out in practice because when there are malefic transits in Scorpio and it’s connected to the 4th, a lot of times you have plumbing issues; these kinds of things are literal as well as metaphorical.
And so, I always think of the scorpion’s tail as a hypodermic which is pushing the water into another body, which is exactly what it is; it is a hypodermic. A snake’s fangs are similar; a serpent delivers venom in the same way. It’s very fixed, it’s very directed, it’s very focused. It’s penetrative, which is different than ramming something which is external, right? If you think of when somebody gets rammed by an Aries or whatever, they might go flying and get knocked on their butt. If you get stung, you kind of crumple up. You’re like, “Oh, God, something terrible has happened.” It’s internal rather than external, which is in accord with water versus fire.
CB: Robert Zoller, when I lived with him briefly ten years ago–it’s funny–actually one of the most profound things he ever said to me was an analogy he gave or a metaphor between Aries and Scorpio. He said Aries is like a machine gun and Scorpio is like a sniper rifle.
KS: Oh, wow.
AC: Yeah, I think that’s fair–or maybe flamethrower versus sniper rifle.
AC: But yeah, that’s a good one.
KS: Yeah, there’s a stealth component to Scorpio. I mean, they’re often described as being secretive. One of my siblings–you guys know him; I’m from a big family. One of my siblings–this might be a bingo card, I’m not sure.
AC: We’ve hit three already.
CB: We already did one earlier with Austin mentioning Kaitlin.
KS: Oh, yeah, that’s true.
AC: Austin made a dark metaphor.
LS: Well, that’s the first five minutes. Everyone can bingo that.
CB: There was a bingo card that was circulated recently by Lisa–what was her last name?
KS: Ardere. We’re not sure if we’re pronouncing it right, but she’s lovely and very clever.
AC: They are lovely and very clever.
CB: We’ll pull it out on the forecast episode next week, but you can see it on The Astrology Podcast Twitter account, which I think is twitter.com/AstrologyCast.
CB: But just bingo for things that we do too much of, I think.
KS: Totally. And one of my siblings has the Scorpion Moon, and I always think about the idea of the ‘still waters run deep’. And this sibling will often repeat that phrase back to me now that they’ve heard it. They’ll often be, “Still waters,” and they’re just alluding to me that there’s a lot going on that they don’t necessarily want to get into all the details of, but it’s sort of become our code for the level of depth of perception that Scorpio has.
So I often feel a little bit like, I don’t know, I want to give the Scorpio a big hug. I know pop astrology is like Aquarius is ‘the odd one out’, they’re different, etc. I always think Scorpios are a little bit misunderstood or the Scorpio energy is misunderstood because their level of perception is kind of in this place that most of us are not even aware of. I think other water signs are like that; there is more down here, but it’s not necessarily my zone.
And so, I think there is this sense of feeling things that other people can dismiss or that other people are just like, “Oh, did that affect you?” and the Scorpio person, the person with planets in Scorpio is like, “Yeah, it did.” They may not let you know that because of course their cards are close to their chest. I’m sorry, I feel a lot of compassion for what they’re feeling that is often overlooked by the rest of us.
AC: I think that’s a hundred-percent true. I would also add that they don’t just notice things that other people don’t or won’t notice, they go looking for them.
KS: That’s true.
AC: One of the ways I think about Scorpio is ‘detective/sleuth/researcher’ images because they’re like, “Ooh, what’s under that?” They want to know what’s under that rock.
CB: So the investigator. I always saw that as an extension of the penetrative quality that you were talking about, Austin, in wanting to get to, so to speak, the bottom of something, wanting to explore and go as deep as you can into something, and the fixity of the sign adding a quality of ‘single-mindedness’ in focusing down on a single thing until you reach the deepest level of it.
AC: Mm-hmm, yeah. And you’re a great example of that.
CB: Yeah, I’m a Scorpio stellium.
AC: Yeah, a couple of weeks ago you were like, “I want to talk about cusps for two hours.”
CB: Yeah. You were like, “Yeah, it’ll be like a ten-minute, fifteen-minute thing,” something like that. And then two hours later, we’ve gotten to the bottom of it. Yeah, I got into Hellenistic astrology a decade ago and picked it up and then decided I want to learn everything I could about that subject.
KS: Well, it almost feels like that’s picking up the rock of where did astrology come from, which is a very Scorpio thing to kind of be like, “What else is under here? How far back does it go?” and just to keep going. Because Scorpio doesn’t stop until there’s nowhere else left to dig, basically.
AC: No, it’s ‘tunnel-y’.
KS: Yes, very ‘tunnel-y’.
AC: I think of it as drilling energy.
KS: And that’s the mining/plumbing kind of archetype of going in, getting what’s there, and then bringing it back out.
AC: Mm-hmm. And there’s that emotional fixity which goes with that–like you have to want to do that, right? It’s inconvenient to dig a thirty-foot-deep hole in your backyard, right? You’ve really got to want to find out what’s down there.
AC: And so, I grew up with a lot of heavy Scorpio people as friends and they’d just get on something. And they were very good at following things, maybe not to the end, because a lot of times they just had to make themselves stop. But it was definitely not, “I tried it and it was boring.” It’s like, “No, I need to know.” One of them was and still is a coder, and he would just get into like, “I’m going to code for twelve hours at a time.” Gemini Moon with a stellium in Scorpio. There’s a very special Scorpio relationship to danger, to what is dangerous, whether they’re ideas or emotions or potentially lethal creatures.
KS: Yes. Like a fascination with how far can we go or how close can we get.
AC: Yeah. Like one of my good friends I have known for twenty years, five planets in Scorpio, and he’s been bitten, stung, and mauled by more wild animals than anyone I know. He’s the kind of guy who’s like, “Oh, look there’s a snapping turtle. I bet he’d hate it if I picked him up.”
KS: Oh, my God.
AC: He got flesh-eating bacteria on his face from messing with a caiman in the Amazon. His pointer finger is kind of gnarly and mauled because he used to like to catch rattlesnakes with his hands. And a big one got him and he just calls it the ‘rattle-finger’ now, etc, etc.
KS: Yeah, I…
AC: But there’s…
KS: Sorry, go.
AC: But anyway, there’s that interest and intensity that comes from dealing with, again, ideas, situations, feelings that aren’t purely safe; and it’s worth whatever the risk is, and maybe some of the risk makes things a little bit more intense and more interesting.
KS: Yeah. Sorry, Chris.
CB: And some of that though might go back to–and this is going to get us into a side discussion–the core awareness of themes surrounding death and mortality being a potential Scorpio issue. And this brings us into a problem we haven’t fully dealt with yet, which is the ‘natural houses’.
And while the three of us don’t necessarily use that scheme to develop significations for the houses, and we don’t typically import significations from the houses to the zodiacal signs, it’s like when we get to Scorpio and Libra and some of those signs, it’s one of those instances where I feel like there is potentially still some relevance.
I mean, it’s not that you necessarily have to associate Scorpio with the 8th house in order to arrive at that. It is a fixed water sign that’s ruled by Mars, which is traditionally a malefic planet. But there are some darker significations sometimes associated with Scorpio that sort of tend in that direction, and I tend to think that things like that awareness of danger are partially due to awareness of the potential for mortality or other things like that.
KS: We’re both so excited. What you were just saying there I thought really speaks to the emotional pain combination of Scorpio because it’s a water sign, but it’s the ‘Mars’ water signs. It’s not the ‘Moon’ water sign or the ‘Jupiter’ water sign, it’s the ‘Mars’ one. Because the sibling that I’m thinking of actually has four planets in Scorpio, I forgot–Venus, Moon, Saturn, Pluto.
And this sibling had a number of friends that actually passed away in various circumstances fairly early, like teenage and early 20s. And in this particular sibling’s chart, there’s no connection to the 8th house with Scorpio; it’s like maybe the 3rd or something. But there is this real connection to the pain, the emotions that are more painful, if you like. So you can sort of get some of the grief and the death in that way, but also I guess from the destructive component of Mars traditionally being a malefic coming in there as well.
CB: Yeah, I like that.
AC: You can get most of it with Mars.
KS: Yeah. So it feels like you could end up in the same place in Scorpio without drawing on the 8th house association.
AC: Well, that whole sign house thing, it’s great about half the time, and it’s extremely misleading and distorting the other half, but that’s one of the points that I think it coincides pretty well.
CB: Yeah, well it just gets abused and it gets used as a crutch, so that people don’t know how to do anything without it. And that ends up being like the only conceptual model that they have when there’s so much other richness that they could rely on to get to the core symbolic meanings as we’ve shown so far, but there’s still something useful.
Another one that was useful, and this is a whole separate conceptual issue, but we’ve been going through the fall over the past month or two here. And at this point in the Northern Hemisphere, all of the leaves start changing colors, which is very beautiful, but then they’re also dying. Like the trees are going through this period of death and decay and all the leaves fall on the ground, and then eventually there’s a rebirth later in the year, in the springtime.
But there is some element of this part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when we’re in the middle of the fall season, which Scorpio coincides with–the tropical zodiac was developed in the Northern Hemisphere–where you do get some sense of death as like a natural cycle. And while I realize that brings up all sorts of conceptual issues with the Northern/Southern Hemisphere thing and the extent to which the tropical zodiac is connected in any way to the seasons, it’s something I have been thinking about over the past month or so.
KS: Yeah, it definitely corresponds because in the garden it is a time for death and dying and composting. So the symbolism is definitely there, and so there’s a fascination I guess in Scorpio. The other thing I think about Scorpios, they like to go right up to the edge, to the coal face of where life and death intersect, essentially.
AC: Yeah. Well, one thing I would add, just looking at it from a Southern Hemisphere perspective, you also have with Scorpio, like you were saying, ‘life and death’. The fierce will to live and the fierce will to succeed on whatever terms is absolutely that fixed water Scorpio. And on the other side of the world, right now, all the life is pressing up after being dead. “You thought you killed me? Oh, no, I’m back again this year,” says the flower.
KS: That’s beautiful.
AC: Thank you.
KS: At least you got flowers in, Austin. I’m so proud of you.
CB: I mean, that idea of, I don’t know, those things of death, for example, as a natural cycle and sometimes seeing the beauty in that, or seeing the beauty in something that other people would see as negative or morbid or something like that seems like it comes up. And sometimes that’s why you get weird, interesting, aesthetic manifestations of that with Scorpio, like a ‘goth-type aesthetic’ or something like that, for example.
KS: Or the ‘tattoos’.
CB: Right, Scorpio tattoos are a funny…
KS: It’s just a thing, isn’t it?
KS: It’s just a weird thing. I mean, the other thing too, to add something to our conversation that isn’t quite on these topics about Scorpio, I always think of Scorpio as a very strategic sign, that it’s playing a long game. And I do think again of course this is the fixed sign of Mars, so it is that kind of endurance; like this is the marathon not the sprint. They sort of seem to understand if we do these things now, this is where we’re going to end up, and I’m always quite taken by how far into the future the Scorpio mindset will often be considering and planning for.
AC: I agree a hundred-percent. One of my friends growing up, one of the stellium in Scorpio people that I hung out with, we would play strategy games against each other which would sometimes take ten hours. And what I learned was that, one, he was always thinking like seven steps ahead, but everything was carefully arranged; and if I could just frustrate the master plan, so he couldn’t do the thing he’d been planning for four or five hours, he couldn’t handle it emotionally and I could win. So my anti-Scorpio approach was always find the master plan and just disrupt it to throw the other person off-balance because they’ve been trying so hard to make this one outcome work.
KS: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I mean, Chris, do you have any thoughts on this? Secret insider thoughts?
CB: On the strategic component of Scorpio?
CB: Yeah. I mean, it’s probably just a manifestation of the fixed idea and the idea or the extension of sometimes seeing the weaknesses in something and learning from one’s mistakes, and therefore trying to improve in the long-term, so as to both be very aware of other people’s weaknesses or the weaknesses in other people’s strategies. But also, due to an intense awareness of one’s own weaknesses and the desire to want to avoid that, or maybe going back to what you said, Kelly, maybe it’s coming from the awareness of potential emotional pain or emotional weaknesses, and therefore, an active decision not to have the same experiences from the past and then projecting that forward into the future or something like that.
KS: Yes, it’s almost like a preventative strategy–perhaps like having felt things that have been quite difficult in the past, seeing how that’s come about, and then taking steps to prevent that or not be in that same situation again.
AC: Yeah. And one thing I would point out is that Scorpio and Cancer are the two signs whose animals are armored. The crab in the scorpion have exoskeletons, they’re armored, and both of those signs generate armored, careful personalities.
CB: Right. There was a tweet actually a few weeks ago that I thought was really good. It was from EV Starling on Twitter @TheAstrolarium. It was posed in the form of a question, but she said: “Does the suspicion and distrust that often comes with Scorpio placements make them better learners because they tend to question the material they’re referencing rather than just accepting everything it’s gospel?” And I thought that was an interesting point, and I had a reply about the downside of that. I said: “Yes, but the shadow side of that tendency was Scorpio can lead to extreme paranoia, bordering on delusions.” So manifestations like extreme conspiracy theories and things of that nature, where the questioning faculty malfunctions and gets out of control.
AC: Yeah, I think that’s a very good, balanced response, so I agree with that.
CB: So that’s like a whole other aspect of this I’m not sure if we’ve fully gotten into, but the idea of being suspicious or distrustful in connection with that, and sometimes that being a positive thing of them being perceptive and on their toes, which can be useful if it’s done in more of a defensive posture, so that somebody doesn’t pull something over on them. But on the other hand, if it’s misapplied, it can sort of go on the fritz and become extreme paranoia or something of that nature that’s unwarranted and that is just applied indiscriminately.
AC: Yeah, well, it depends. So Scorpio is ruled by Mars; it has a malefic orientation. If they’re out to get you then being on your toes is the right response, but if they’re not out to get you, then you’re just kind of being a weirdo. Here’s an example. If I offer you a piece of cake, and you’re like, “No, I don’t trust you to give me cake,” and it’s just a delicious piece of cake then you missed out. However, if that cake is poisoned cake then your suspicions protected you.
KS: Yes. I think the suspicion is definitely an important piece of the Scorpio approach, and it has a value, it has a place. I mean, the Scorpio risings or people with Scorpio planets, they have that wary, watchful observer where they don’t rush in. They’ve got to assess and figure things out a little bit. And as long as that doesn’t become a preventative, like you said, Austin, where they’re just declining to participate because they’re so suspicious. Because it can go into a paranoia, which is obviously a disturbed, Mars emotion Scorpio, and that’s where we’re getting the manifestation of paranoia.
AC: Then you end up with a ‘cake-less’ life.
KS: Which we all know is horrible. I’m not sure if I could survive without cake.
AC: So I think we’ve been talking about Scorpio for like half-an-hour.
KS: Yeah, I think we’re done with it.
AC: We went ‘fixed water’ on it.
CB: And very last thing–fixed water. And I always liked the analogy, the elemental analogy, of like an ice cube. So what were you talking about?
KS: An ice cube?
CB: So what were you talking about?
KS: An iceberg.
CB: Yeah, like an ice cube because it’s water. But what is fixed water? How do you stop water from moving? You freeze it.
KS: Oh, yeah, that’s true.
AC: Well, my answer was that you fix its direction, right?
AC: A river–it’s always going in the same direction. The pipes in my house–they’re carrying the water in a fixed manner.
KS: Otherwise, you have a big problem.
AC: The plumbing in your body works similarly, right? Arteries take blood away from the heart, veins bring it back. They’re one-way streets. They’re not ponds. They’re not oceans. They’re not springs.
CB: And one last thing–because I know we got stuck on this–but this is one of the few signs where I think the bodily parts actually become relevant in some of the interpretive stuff. So of course Scorpio…
AC: This is the body’s production of fixed water.
CB: Right. Well, no, I wasn’t actually talking about that, but I was just saying we forgot to mention the body parts. And I think it’s kind of weird or I don’t have a good way of accessing the symbolism of why Aquarius being associated with the shins is in any way useful most of the time, at least from an interpretative standpoint. But if you start with Aries as the head and work your way down the body, eventually you get to Scorpio as being associated with the ‘genitals’.
AC: And don’t forget the ‘anus’, Chris.
KS: The plumbing parts too.
CB: Right. In the Hellenistic texts, they say ‘the secret’ or ‘the private parts’ or something like that.
AC: Yeah, it’s your ‘downstairs’.
KS: Yes, how you get the poop out.
AC: In the end the fixed water.
KS: That’s true, Austin. This cannot be denied.
AC: It’s only supposed to flow in one direction.
KS: That’s true. But, Chris, were you going to say more on the sexual organs or the reproductive piece?
CB: I was just going to say always thought that was the traditional way that you could get to Scorpio being associated in some sense with ‘sex’ and reproduction, or at least with sex because of the connection with the genitals through the traditional body-part assignment scheme.
Because there are some traditional astrologers who reject that Scorpio has anything to do with sex because they’re trying to reject the twelve-letter alphabet scheme of associating the 8th house with sex and Scorpio therefore with the 8th house and with sex. But I think the body part scheme is the alternative and still the traditional method of getting there.
CB: Any disagreement? No?
AC: It’s very difficult to have sex without genitals. I’m sure it’s possible and depends on your parameters for sex, but the vast majority of sex involves genitals, and Scorpio rules the genital part of the body. It’s interesting by the way–it doesn’t rule the womb, but it rules sex.
AC: That’s a different thing.
KS: Well, that may be the difference between the sexual intercourse act versus fertility and conception or what have you, because the womb is more implicated in the baby-making. I mean, obviously one can lead to the other but they are sort of two different processes, and one doesn’t necessarily lead to the other.
CB: Right, that’s a really good point. The process of creation and the 5th house following after the 4th house and being the continuation of one’s family lineage or other things like that versus, yeah, just sex for the sake of sex.
KS: Yeah. So I guess it almost sounds like we’re saying that we could have sex through the 5th house in the chart because that’s where we get babies or that’s where we look to for fertility and children. We could have sex through the sign of Scorpio because of the organ correspondence in the body. We’ll get babies from Jupiter just because Jupiter helps with fertility. I think it’s good for people to hear that there are distinctions and that the reason that these topics are associated with these things in astrology may not be the reason they think, even though you end up at the same place with Scorpio being about sex.
CB: Yeah, there can be alternate paths of getting to the same place, but what’s important is trying as much as you can to have some sort of either astronomical thing that you’re drawing on and interpreting symbolically or some other conceptual premise that you’re using in order to derive the significations consistently across the board.
AC: Yeah, totally.
CB: All right, cool. Well, we can leave it at that, if that’s good. If you guys feel good about our coverage of Scorpio, we can move on to the third sign.
KS: Yes, let’s do this.
CB: Okay, so third sign. Not the third sign, so the ninth sign overall.
KS: And our third sign today.
CB: Third sign today. We now move on to Sagittarius, which is a ‘masculine’ sign, it is a ‘fire’ sign, it is ‘mutable’ in terms of its quadruplicity or modality, and it is ruled by the planet Jupiter. It’s the first actually of our Jupiter-ruled signs.
CB: So where do we start with Jupiter? We talked about Jupiter actually quite a bit recently or Sagittarius quite a bit because Jupiter actually just ingressed into Sagittarius, and it’s at like 0 degrees of Sagittarius right now as we’re recording this episode.
AC: Yeah, it’s a mutable fire sign. It’s represented usually by a ‘half-horse/half-man’ with a ‘bow and arrow’, sometimes simply by an ‘archer’. So what’s interesting with Jupiter is that Jupiter is associated with ‘bigness’, with ‘expansion’. And what I would add to that that I think people miss a lot is that Jupiter is ‘inclusive’ by nature.
It’s big. It’s a, “I can hug four people at once.” And Jupiter likes ‘coherence’ of all of the things within the scope of vision or the scope of the arms. And so, you say, “I’ve got a horse and a guy, which one do I pick?” and Jupiter says, “Horse/guy, you get both,” right? It’s both at once. Do I go with the bestial or the human? Both at once.
AC: And the bow and arrow is also a two-piece thing. And then if you look at the bow and arrow as a mechanical device versus the organic centaur, you have the harmonious relationship between the organic and the mechanical, so that’s sort of both/and. Both/and but for a purpose echoes throughout Sagittarius because you need a horse body so you can go fast in a particular direction, and the bow and arrow is to be able to hit precise targets. So it’s traveling and hitting goals, which is, I think, a really good set of images for understanding what does mutable fire do. It’s changing and it’s traveling, but it’s goal-directed. Fire is always goal-directed.
CB: It’s expanding constantly.
KS: Yeah. And I think the movement is really key with Sag, whether you think of wild horses running across the paddock or the centaurs moving or the bush fire. Because I always think this is our one mutable fire sign, so it’s different from Aries, which is cardinal fire, more short bursts, and it’s different from Leo, which is more that sustained fire. This is wide-ranging.
I always think of an Australian bushfire, which can just go in many directions at once. And because it’s mutable, it does change with the wind to a certain extent. So there’s that adaptability that we might start off going in one direction and then we’re going to end up going in other directions. Just because we start thinking we’re going to end there, we might take the scenic route.
AC: Yeah, I think that’s the perfect natural phenomenon parallel to mutable fire.
AC: Like that’s exactly right. And…
KS: And you–sorry. You said something about Jupiter. I can’t remember exactly what you said, Austin, but you made me think of the fact that the innate nature of Jupiter is this hot, moist planet, and this is the ‘day’ house or ‘day’ sign, if you like, of Jupiter. So we’re getting a really expressive version of Jupiter here around wanting to lift up, wanting to raise energy or spirit. And that could be done in a way where there’s a sort of a judgmental tone or a preachy tone, or it can be done in a way where there is an inspirational, motivational, uplifting tone.
AC: Yeah, for Sag I think of ‘crusaders’, I think of zealots. I also think of ‘motivational speakers’. I think the capacity to inspire is very important, and I think the inspiration that passes between people is almost like a fiery infection; it’s viral in nature: “Oh, my God! Have you heard the good news?”
AC: I mean, that’s literally proselytizing. Like the people who come to your door, they’re like, “Have you heard the good news? The Lord Jesus Christ is risen?” It’s an attempt to spread that fire, to spread that vision of things.
And so, I don’t know, I find Sagittarius to be very polarizing depending on whether you like what they’re selling. You’re like, “Oh, that’s inspiring,” or you’re like, “Oh, that’s so dumb, please stop trying to convince me of it.”
CB: Right. Although what matters though is that they’re really into it, and they’re trying to share that with you because they view it as positive and they can help you improve your life. Let me show you how this thing I’ve discovered is going to improve your life and make it better.
AC: Yep. Absolutely. And so, it’s positive in orientation. I’m going to share this thing with you. I’m going to light your fire. I’ve learned something wonderful that you don’t, that you don’t know yet, etc., etc. And that’s why Mercury doesn’t do well in Sag.
KS: This is big picture, not a lot of details.
AC: And it’s much more about fire is not an inherently rational element. It’s a visionary element, it’s motivating, and may or may not intersect precisely with what is logical and rational–or provable. It might be true, but not provable, too.
KS: Yes, that’s a really beautiful point.
CB: Sure. But it’s more the inspiration that counts and that’s more of the motivating factor. I mean, we talked about this a lot recently when we were talking about Jupiter moving into Sag and just the idea of the underlying energy carrying you, even if there was not necessarily a lot underneath it. That it could just be an idea, but the optimism pushes them forward regardless of whether or not it’s a well-thought-out-plan necessarily.
AC: Yeah, I think it’s more than optimism, as I said back then. It’s not success through careful, structured, step-by-step planning. It’s…
KS: No, it’s–sorry, Austin.
AC: Oh, I was just going to say I think it maps well onto ‘hero quests’ and ‘heroine quests’, you know, ‘mythic quests, where you’re given a divine mission. The chimera is about to eat your face, but then Athena drops a sword down or whatever. All those quests have this very mutable nature where it’s like, “Oh, and then this happens, and then this god stepped in, and then this demon or goddess (or whoever) stepped in on the other side,” and it’s crazy.
KS: Just in the nick of time.
AC: Yeah, it’s always changing. As far as signs that correspond with just the layer of reality that is the mythic, I think Sag is aimed right at the mythic. And I think a lot of the heavy Sag people I know are sort of, even if they won’t admit it all the time, trying to become mythic, trying to achieve epic level, a mythic level. It’s important to note that most of the things in the zodiac are real. Scorpions are real, scales are real–I guess virgins are real–but centaurs are not real.
AC: So they’re represented by something that everybody knows is not real, but there’s a certain power that comes from aiming at that which is more real than what can exist literally.
CB: ‘Larger than life’ is I think a keyword.
AC: Yeah, yeah. So a good friend of mine has Sag rising and five planets in Sag. And he told me, “I’ve only been depressed once in my life, and it was when I was 13, and I didn’t get any X-Men powers.” Because he had been reading X-Men for like five years, and it’s when you go through puberty, you get your mutant power. And he was legitimately depressed when he realized he wasn’t going to get any mutant powers. He talked about literally trying with all his might to make his Wolverine claws come out of his hands, just like, “Ur, if I just will it, it’ll happen,” and it didn’t happen.
KS: Yeah, you guys are making me think of the technical definition, Sagittarius is a bestial sign and part of it is technically feral. Do you guys know of what I’m speaking?
AC: Yeah, a lot of texts are like it’s both human and bestial.
KS: Yeah, it’s definitely got the human element. It’s ruled by Jupiter, which I think is sort of the supreme, thinking ideas; it’s the sanguine planet. I think the centaur is a great thing, but this is the sign where the primal animal vibe or instinct interacts with the human intellect. And with strong Sag charts or planets with placements in Sag, you’re often being called to trust that animal instinct, where it’s like I can’t prove this to be true; I may not have the facts to back it up. But there is like a ‘Spidey-sense’ or an instinct, that lizard brain, if you like, that calls them on the quest and they can’t not go.
AC: Yeah, I would say that I would agree with that. When I think about it, I think there are sort of pre- and post-rational faculties. There are some things which have a lot of truth value and they’re not rational, but they’re not biological, not rational yet. We can almost call them the ‘psychic layer’, which I would differentiate from a medulla oblongata, lizard brain layer, but there’s that, too. When I think of Sag, I think about trying to bring together the human in the bestial, the intuitive with the instinctive with the rational to make that impossible creature, right?
KS: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s that movement. I mean, we talked about it symbolically in terms of fire and the centaurs and the horses, but you see this in the lives of people who have strong Sag placements where they are in motion more often. They travel or they relocate. They move around.
They don’t stay still, whether it’s because they’re consciously searching for the quest, or they’re just restless and they want something more because they think the grass is greener elsewhere. Because not everyone who’s got a lot of Sag planets is going to have that conscious awareness that they’re on the quest or that’s part of what’s motivating them, but they do have that desire to be moving around and experiencing things.
AC: Yeah, it’s so connected with ‘mobility’ and ‘speed’.
AC: I’ve just seen that over and over and over again. I would also say that if somebody’s got important planets in Sag, without a quest, without a meaningful thing that they’re chasing–whether it’s to become something or to accomplish something–is not a happy creature. Sag planets need their mission.
AC: I would say that they need to let themselves be a little bit silly in the way that they think about it; like it’s okay if it’s a little bit like a horse-man. It’s the ‘aim for the stars and you’ll hit the Moon’, right? I think that that’s important for planets in Sag to remain healthy.
CB: One of the archetypes of Sag that sometimes gets talked about is the idea of like ‘the sage’ or ‘the wise man’ in some sense that I think might be connected with some of these things that you guys are talking about in terms of the expansiveness and wanting to broaden one’s horizons, and sometimes that resulting in encompassing a lot of things or encompassing a field, for example.
So one of the examples of Sagittarius energy that I always think of is Rob Hand, for example, who’s often regarded or well-regarded in our field over the past few decades as being a very well-read astrologer, who’s encompassed and studied from a very early age large parts of the entire field of astrology, and that people would approach as a sort of wise man for his knowledge in many different parts of astrology; and when he speaks, it would sort of command authority in some sense as a result of that.
KS: Yeah, that’s a really appropriate Sag metaphor, the idea of ‘the sage on the stage’ or ‘the teacher/preacher’ archetype. I always think of the giving or the generous nature of Jupiter infused through that more masculine tone of the fire sign here, of wanting to put out the things that they have come to know to be true or helpful for themselves. They’re not necessarily absolute truths, but they will be things that the person is quite passionate about or quite genuinely motivated to share.
AC: Yeah, there’s ‘projecting’, right? Just like an arrow is projected from the bow. That makes me think of Nietzsche, a philosopher who had a Sag Moon. I remember there’s a big chunk of one of his books that’s called Maxims and Arrows, and it’s just a bunch of aphorisms, but he conceived them as arrows that he was firing; pithy, little arrows.
KS: That’s really appropriate for a Sag Moon, isn’t it?
AC: Yeah, one of them was: “The formula for my happiness: a yes, a no, a straight line.”
CB: Einstein was actually another Sag Moon. For him, actually, the Moon is ruling the Ascendant.
KS: Yes. And there’s a beautiful quote, and I’m going to be paraphrasing here, but you can Google it. It’s on the floor–on the floor. It’s on the ground outside the Science Museum in Washington, I think. And he basically says something like one has a duty to truth, that one must never conceal any part of what one discovers to be true.
CB: That’s great.
KS: And his Sag Moon is in the descending phase, if I’m remembering correctly. It rules his Cancer Ascendant. Yeah, it’s in that descending face. So it’s like when you find things out that are true or knowledgeable wisdom, you must share them. There’s no point of knowing it if you hold on to it. You’ve got to put it back out in the world.
AC: That’s perfect. That can be very meaningfully contrasted with the Libran approach that we mentioned earlier.
CB: How would you contrast that?
AC: I do not think that planets in Libra function with the idea that if you think something is true then it is your duty to tell everyone.
AC: That is sort of the opposite of being diplomatic and seeing where other people are at and arriving at consensus and reading a situation thoughtfully.
CB: That is a great point.
CB: Which then sometimes, in its most extreme manifestation, can become like ‘dogmatic-ness’, or like a ‘religious fervor’.
KS: There’s a zealotry.
CB: Yeah, ‘zealotry’–that’s a really good keyword. We’ve talked about the more positive ones of “let me tell you the good news,” about whatever gospel or something, which is a more positive or benefic manifestation.
AC: That was meant to be a negative example.
CB: Okay. Well, I mean, from the subjective standpoint, they’re trying to save you.
AC: Yeah, but we’re talking about being around people who are doing this.
CB: Yeah. But in terms of the more extreme versions of that, that can be the religious zealotry, or the person that’s so convinced and so wanting to share that they’re like oversharing when it’s inappropriate or when it’s off-putting to other people. And it can come off as off-putting because it’s almost too much or they’re going too far.
AC: Yeah, it’s like I’m glad that you think that’s the truth.
KS: I say that it’s like ‘getting on your soapbox’, basically. The Sag energy can be a little bit like, “I’ve just got to tell you,” and in the negative, they’re just at you, talking at you on whatever their mission is to share at that point.
CB: All right. Yeah, these are all pretty good. I’m glancing through my lists of any good ones for this placement. I mean, I’ve mentioned this like a few times on other shows, but you mentioned the mythic component of things, Austin, and it made me think of George RR Martin who has Jupiter in Sagittarius.
KS: Do we have a birth time for him?
CB: We actually do. I was surprised to find that we have. He’s the creator or writer of the books for the TV show Game of Thrones and the Fire and Ice series. But we actually have a time–it’s September 20, 1948 at 9:25 PM, in Bayonne, New Jersey.
KS: 9:25 PM.
CB: Taurus rising. And he has that Jupiter…
KS: He’s totally at Taurus rising if you look at him.
AC: Well, and if you’re familiar with the pace of his work.
CB: Yeah, I think we’ve actually talked about that, maybe with Taurus when I was going through those signs. But he has it in the 8th house, which is kind of a curious placement; but it’s Jupiter in Sagittarius, in the 8th.
KS: Well, I think it’s because he kills off a lot of people. That seems to make sense given the content of his stories.
AC: There’s a lot of exciting death.
KS: Yeah. It’s funny you mentioned George RR Martin because one of the other examples I had looked up for Jupiter in Sag, Hans Christian Andersen. If you’re not necessarily a book nerd, you might not know, but he was the person who wrote stories that are commonly thought of as Disney stories nowadays. But things like The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, even The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Ugly Duckling, these kinds of classic fairy tales were his creations. So he’s a Sag rising with Jupiter in Sag.
AC: Yeah, that works.
CB: That’s a great one. And he also did A Christmas Carol, right?
KS: No, that was Dickens, I think.
CB: Oh, right, Dickens.
KS: No Jupiter there.
KS: That would be like Saturn. I’m not sure what Dickens’ chart is.
CB: Yeah, for a lot of those older ones, we don’t have times, but Hans Christian Andersen is like one of the few that we actually do have a relatively reliable time.
KS: Yes, yes.
CB: All right, other things about Sag. Have we done a good, balanced…
KS: Well, ‘the storyteller’. I mean, we’re kind of alluding to it without actually saying it, the storyteller.
CB: Yeah, definitely, the storyteller. I mean, we’ve talked about it a little bit with the mythic side of things, but part of that can be sharing a story or sharing a long-form story.
AC: Yeah, the epic.
KS: The epic.
AC: Reciting the epic. Almost the vast majority of the old stories are stories of epic adventure, which are myths, and there’s heroes and monsters and heroines and gods and goddesses.
CB: Somebody that’s a good example of that, a contemporary example, is our friend Adam Sommer who does the Exploring Astrology Podcast. And he recently kind of rearranged his podcast in order to do a more epic storytelling-type scenario, and he has Jupiter in Sagittarius conjunct the IC in his chart, in a day chart.
AC: There you go.
CB: All right, any other things about Jupiter or about Sagittarius that you guys want to mention before you move on? I mean, did we correctly balance the negative and positive things? Did we say enough positive things and enough negative things?
KS: We did talk about the negative, like the judgmental, the zealotry type of qualities.
CB: Right. Yeah, the zealotry. I mean, sometimes there can be a sort of ‘flakiness’ as a mutable sign. We see that a little bit in Gemini, in being very short in terms of its things, and Sagittarius is the natural opposite because it’s more ‘big picture’. But there’s some side of that that can also get so caught up in the big picture that it loses track of the details and that’s kind of the short end of that.
AC: Yeah. It’s so active though and goal-oriented. I would say that Sagittarius is way less flaky than either Gemini or Pisces.
KS: I would too.
KS: And I think that’s the fire that gives it a little bit more focus, a little bit more drive, a little bit more momentum than Gemini or Pisces. I think Sag and Virgo are probably the least flaky two of the mutables.
CB: Right. We’re going to have to create some rankings at the end of this because we’ve actually implicitly done a pretty good job mentioning those in passing where we have a keyword and we’re like, well, that quadruplicity–this is the most of that, this is the second, this is the least of that. We’ll have to think about that at some point in this summary.
KS: Well, I’m glad that we have mentioned that as we go because when you’re new to astrology, this is part of how you come to understand the signs. Yes, they’re all mutable, but there’s only one mutable of each element, so that’s sort of how they are subtly different.
KS: So these are good points for people to think on, chew over.
CB: And that’s basically what a lot of Twitter lists and stuff are, which could initially look almost kind of flaky or something, but there’s a core usefulness or truth to that that can still be very useful.
AC: Fair enough.
AC: One thing, one final thing I was going to say about Sag which connects to the ‘storytelling’ and the ‘mythic’ side and the enthusiasm is also a lot of times people with planets in Sag are super fans. They watch everything in the Marvel Universe, so they think Spider-Man is the greatest thing on Earth, or they’re a huge fan of Peyton Manning or Ronda Rousey or whoever it is. They also see that mythic element enacted either by others’ creation or enacted literally, like in a sporting competition; they’re like, “Yes!” They receive that as well as try to become that; that kind of stuff pings that in them.
CB: Yeah, definitely. I’ve noticed sometimes Sag stuff with Jupiter and the benefic and the ‘giving’ quality. Sometimes when it’s caught up with the financial sector of the chart, it can indicate a tendency towards being very ‘generous’ or sometimes being very gift-giving-oriented or sometimes showering other people with gifts as a tangible manifestation of being tied into the financial sector of the chart, like the 2nd and especially the 8th houses.
AC: Yeah, definitely.
KS: Yeah. And that’s maybe one piece we haven’t said a lot, the ‘generosity’ side of Jupiter–of Sag, sorry. And I actually see this in other areas in the chart too. Like if someone’s Sag Descendant, they may not be financially generous, but they tend to be quite generous and giving towards a partner, for instance, whether that’s emotional support. It’s not always money, but it’s just that sense of encouragement or the giving or “let me help you with that.”
It’s not quite the sacrificial, potentially ‘martyr-y’-type way that Pisces does it, but there’s a generosity in Sag. It’s like, “Let me give you this.” It’s, okay, let’s just give it away, or let’s give it because we can basically or because it’s there and we can give it; we don’t have to hold on to it.
CB: Right. Yeah, that’s a really, really good point.
CB: All right, shall we move on? Any final thoughts, Austin, before we move on to our next sign?
CB: Okay. And I’m scrolling through examples, but I don’t have a lot of good–I completely skipped Scorpio rising examples which is fine, even though I had some good ones. There’s not as many great Sagittarius rising ones, so I’m going to skip that here as well.
KS: Oh, here’s one–Oprah.
CB: Oh, Oprah’s Sagittarius rising?
KS: I’m pretty sure she also has a Sag Moon.
CB: Okay, that’s great. That’s a very good example of the thing we were just talking about, and especially in the last decade, there was a meme of her giving everybody gifts in the audience.
KS: Yeah, she’s a late Sag rising. Yeah, so she’s giving the gifts. I guess she does a lot of that promotion. Oprah’s amazing, but she has that kind of larger-than-life quality to her as well..
AC: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: Right, totally. Warren Buffett’s actually a Sag rising with Jupiter exalted in Cancer in the 8th house.
KS: That makes sense.
CB: Famous financial investor and billionaire.
KS: Yeah. There’s a wonderful documentary on him, I think that’s on Netflix, and he’s just like a ‘money’ nerd. Like we’re astrology nerds and he’s just a money nerd, and he is just so happy reading his stock things. But he’s a very conservative investor, so that makes sense with Jupiter in Cancer.
CB: Well, yeah, that’s interesting and it’s opposite Saturn in Capricorn in the 2nd. And then it’s like Sag rising, Jupiter’s exalted in Cancer, but then it’s actually exchanging signs with the Moon, which is in Sagittarius itself in the 1st or at least in the rising sign.
KS: Yeah, perfect.
CB: Yeah, good times. All right, let’s move forward to Capricorn. So our next sign after Sagittarius of course is Capricorn which is a ‘feminine’ sign, it is an ‘earth’ sign, it is a ‘cardinal’ sign in terms of modality, and it is the first sign that we’re dealing with that is ruled by Saturn, both in the modern and traditional rulership schemes.
All right, so we’ve reached the final cardinal sign. And yeah, I’m talking about Saturn-ruled sign. This coincides with the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Any other main, underlying points that we need to mention about this sign?
KS: Following in our trend of exaltations and detriments and falls and things, Mars is exalted here and the Moon is in detriment, Jupiter in fall. So we’ve got Saturn and Mars both strong in this sign and then the Moon and Jupiter, and I think this is of course tied to the Northern Hemispheric season correlation.
In nature, in December and January in the Northern Hemisphere, we don’t have life, so we’ve got the two planets that wouldn’t be associated with life, Mars and Saturn gaining strength here, and then two planets that are strongly associated with fertility and growth and gardening stuff, the Moon and Jupiter, having some limitations in this sign.
CB: Right. It’s during the coldest and the darkest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere where the days are the shortest, and it’s ruled by Saturn, which is the furthest and the slowest and the dimmest of the seven traditional visible planetary bodies.
KS: Absolutely. I mean, as soon as you started prepping to introduce this, I thought, “Oh, gosh, yeah,” because in the Thema Mundi we’re now opposite the signs ruled by the lights. And so, we are now with the planet that is furthest away from the Sun and Moon having its rulership here.
CB: Yeah. And that theme of darkness is actually one of the core things that Rhetorius of Egypt in the 6th or 7th century talks about in contrasting this sign–Saturn’s two signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, with the two signs opposite, which are Cancer in Leo. It’s the notion of Cancer and Leo being about either emitting light or reflecting light and these two signs being more about this idea of darkness.
KS: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: So how does that contrast…
KS: Austin, you’re strangely quiet. What do you want to say on this?
AC: Oh, just keep going. I’ll say stuff, I promise.
CB: So one of the things I’ve always found useful is there was a conceptual model that Robert Schmidt came up with. So he saw Rhetorius has these keywords, and he contrasts the planet that rules a sign with the planet that rules the opposite sign. And he went through them and a lot of these worked out really well, where the Venus-ruled signs were about unifying and reconciling, the Mars signs which are opposite that were about severing and separating. But with the luminary signs the idea was that Leo emits light and Aquarius and Capricorn, the two Saturn-ruled signs, reject and exclude things.
And a lot of Saturn significations, especially traditional ones, get associated with this sort of discriminatory tendency and the ability to say ‘no’ to something. And ‘no’ seems like a very big Saturn keyword that can have both positive and negative manifestations because sometimes you need to know when to say ‘no’, you need to know when to turn something away. And other times it can be in a negative sense like saying ‘no’ to something prematurely or saying ‘no’ to something based on, let’s say, prejudice or something like that.
KS: Yeah, there’s almost a cautious or a conservative quality to Capricorn–particularly, this is the ‘night’ sign of Saturn–whether it’s hesitation or just a stronger protective kind of instinct. I often see this with Capricorn rising charts. I talk to them about do they often feel that they’re mislabeled as somebody who is ‘aloof’ or a little bit ‘standoffish’ when really there’s more of a ‘shyness’ or a ‘reserved energy’ inside the person. So there is a ‘coolness’ here, and there is a ‘holding back’ before coming forward.
I often, funnily enough, see some weird correlations between Scorpio and Capricorn, even though they’re not necessarily connected by planets or what have you, but that sense of ‘wariness’ for sure. And we’re doing things in a ‘methodical’, ‘slow’ way here in Capricorn; it’s the cardinal quality. So it’s not slow like Taurus, but there’s definitely the eye on the long term. Capricorn is very interested in not just what we’re doing today, but how that’s going to set us up or give us a problem in the future.
AC: Yeah. So a couple things, one, both Scorpio and Capricorn together have the distinction of being the two yin signs that are ruled by malefics, so they’re careful. If you’re a yin sign, you know that you can be affected, that there are potential vulnerabilities. And it shares that same hesitancy with the other cardinal yin sign, which is Cancer, which doesn’t come at things head-on.
AC: It has to sit all around the side. And when I think of Capricorn and these fundamental qualities, it’s the beginning of earth; it’s cardinal earth. And so, how do you achieve things on a material and concrete level? How do you navigate that? I always think of, first, you get to know the environment.
You get to know the lay of the land first because that’s the theater of any action successful or unsuccessful. “Where should I build a house?” “I don’t know. Let’s survey the land.” We don’t want to just start building a house, right? “Oh, it looks like the soil’s not good here. Looks like that river is going to flood and get us if we build here.” There’s a seeing what the rules are and what the advantages and disadvantages of the different positions in a particular reality or world are.
And so, it’s very ‘battlefield’ and it’s part of why Mars is exalted there. It’s like, “We want a position over there,” right? So if they come from that angle, we have the high ground. They can’t cut through that angle because there are trees blocking them, etc., etc.
CB: There’s like a ‘methodical-ness’ to it, but it’s not like the ‘methodical-ness’ of Virgo. It’s more in a strategic or long-term sense is almost what you’re describing.
AC: Yeah, it’s much more a ‘whole battlefield’ or ‘whole map’, whereas I think Virgo is much more focused. Virgo can tell you more about the soil in that one area, but Capricorn, there’s a wider viewpoint. And I agree that it’s longer term because it’s ruler is Saturn, right? So whatever the ruler, all the planets move at different paces. Mercury is always doing different things, right? It’s forward/backward, bright/dark morning/evening, whereas Saturn’s just kind of there slowly trudging along.
And so, as far as positive things that Saturn does, ‘building things’, ‘constructing things to last’. And so, if you’re going to spend a hundred years building a cathedral, or a pyramid, you need to be very thoughtful about where you start building, so you don’t have to, “Oops,” forty years later.
CB: Right. I just looked up ‘methodical’ and it brings up a bunch of different related keywords that are all great Saturn and Capricorn ones. So it says: “Methodical: Done according to a systematic or established form or procedure.” And it says: “Synonyms: orderly, well-ordered, organized, well-planned, efficient, businesslike, systematic, structured, logical, analytic, disciplined.” So a lot of that becomes really good Saturn keywords.
And I like that thing you’re talking about, of building a temple, because Saturn–or Capricorn–has that an initiatory quality where it starts something; but because it’s Saturn, it’s something that’s planned out well ahead of time. It does initiate things, but it also has a lot of forethought that goes into the planning stages in initiating it.
AC: Yeah, like you need a blueprint.
AC: And just drafting good blueprints takes forever, right? You can’t just be like, “Dude, I feel like building a temple today.”
KS: No, that’s Sag winging it; here we’re planning.
CB: Yeah, or Ares also, which is much more cardinal, but just off-the-cuff and just starting it, initiating it for the sake of and not necessarily having a plan going into it.
KS: Well, with what you guys were just saying, it’s almost like expressing that combination of Mars and Saturn being strengthened by sign here. And Mars, the cardinal, can bring that initiative, “We’re going to take action,” but Saturn there and even the earth element, both of those things, have that longer term view. So it’s almost like within the one sign, we can both have the starting, initiatory process but then the follow-through to bring it to completion no matter how long it might take.
CB: Right. The earthiness brings a groundedness to it that really helps to balance out the cardinality of the sign.
AC: And so, with people who have significant Capricorn in their charts, one, I see a significant amount of master planning of drafting blueprints for how this part of their life is going to go, whether those blueprints get executed or not. And then I also see on the negative side, something that seems to get in the way of a lot of people who have heavy Cap is a fastidious mapping out and detailing of all the reasons that they can’t, like a laundry list of obstacles which might be accurate.
AC: Yeah. You talk to a Cap person, a strong Cap person, and be like, “Well, why don’t you do this?” and they’re like, “Here’s the laundry list of reasons I can’t.”
AC: And it’s not that it’s all negative fantasy, but part of the lens of Capricorn shows you all of that. And because it’s earthy and solid, it’s very easy to be caught up in the spell of what hasn’t worked before; because earth looks to the past, it looks to what has already been done. And Saturn itself is very historical, and so you get a doubling-up of those qualities in Capricorn where sometimes people can be too ‘stuck in the past’ or too stuck on what didn’t work before or what might not work, so why bother.
CB: Yeah, that’s a definite shadow side, especially if Saturn is a pessimism or fear of what might happen or the reasons why something might fail leads to inaction and never trying.
AC: Yeah, yeah.
KS: Yeah. I mean, there’s the ‘fear’ component or there’s potentially, at least initially, a ‘paralyzing’ quality with that Capricorn energy because of the Saturn component. Because I think with Capricorn there can be a ‘rigidity’ because of Saturn, although then there’s that internal tension about wanting to move or to achieve or to hit some of those targets.
But one of the things I always appreciate about Capricorn, maybe more on the positive side, is the ‘dependability’ and the ‘reliability’. I always think of a rock-type energy of Capricorn; that sort of really solid stone and that sense of it’s there in a crisis you know. If I had an emergency, I’d love to call someone with a lot of planets in Capricorn because I feel like they’d have this really clear plan. The cardinal can have them react a little quickly, and then we’ve got this sense that this is how we’re going to maybe solve the problem or get through this; how to weather the storm.
AC: Yeah. So case in point, my brother who has the Sun in Capricorn just did me a gigantic favor two days ago.
AC: It was ‘no questions asked’. He was like, “I’ll do it.”
KS: Yeah. You almost think the qualities of Capricorn are kind of opposite because it’s the cardinal, but it’s Saturn.
KS: Yeah, there is a weird duality there that they can respond very quickly in a crisis and they’ll step in. One of my besties way back in Australia, she’s still a very dear friend now, has got some Capricorn vibes in her. And she’s like, “In a crisis?” Call her. She’ll be able to fix or solve in the same way your brother helped you, Austin. It’s amazing.
AC: Well, we were talking about ‘cold’ in a negative sense earlier with Capricorn, but the ability to ‘go cold’ is very important when it’s way too hot around you. When everybody’s freaking out, it’s invaluable to be able to just ‘do ice’ for a second.
CB: Right, to stay cool. Although the downside is that sometimes that comes off–I guess as we said in passing–it can be off-putting or cold emotionally from an external standpoint, which can be a little bit more challenging sometimes in a social context.
AC: Yeah, definitely.
AC: And so, one of the things I want to bring up–we’ve got the ‘goat’ as the symbol for Capricorn. You definitely get some ‘skepticism’ from goats, “Maa.” And this is funny because you know you have the goat as the Saturnian animal, but then, also, if you look at the Greek god Pan, who was the satyr–half-man/half-goat–he was also the hardest partier in the world. And this is something I have seen of almost everybody I know who has multiple planets in Capricorn. It’s very much business during daylight hours, and then you know ‘goat-god’ time once the Sun sets.
KS: That makes me think of that haircut that’s like ‘business in the front, party in the back’.
AC: Yeah, it’s exactly that. It’s ‘the mullet of signs’. Sorry, Capricorn.
KS: Didn’t want to repeat saying that. But didn’t the Babylonians have a ‘sea-goat’ that they used for Capricorn?
AC: Uh, they had a goat.
KS: Like a mystical sea-goat-type thing.
AC: Yeah, I think that that would make more sense within the context of the original myth. Also, in the Greco-Roman stuff, there’s a myth about how Pan, I don’t know, angered somebody and he was running away, and he jumped in a river and changed his lower body into fish to get away or hide or whatever, which might be just a Greco-Roman echo of an earlier myth that they inherited.
CB: Well, and the Greek term for Capricorn is like this weird grammatical construction. They didn’t know what to do with it when they were translating whatever the Mesopotamian term one, and it means something like ‘goat-horned one’.
AC: Right, right, capra, that makes sense. Corn is ‘horn’ and then capra is ‘goat’, I think.
CB: Yeah, in Latin.
KS: Yeah, I guess something about the mystical sea-goat-type thing–I don’t see this with everyone who has planets or placements in Capricorn–but I do occasionally see this idea of real respect or value or passion for ancient wisdom, like pagan-based timing systems, earth- or nature-based kind of philosophies, if you like. I don’t know if you guys have ever seen that, but I always sort of linked it to the mystical sea-goat. Because I’ve always felt there’s the Capricorn, but there’s also this other inside, very hidden bit of Capricorn that not every Capricorn planet gets to, I don’t think.
AC: Yeah. I have encountered ‘hippie’ Capricorns as a subspecies who want to ‘feel the earth’. It’s the same downward, earthy, reaching of consciousness and whatever. It’s the pulling from below and going down below, which can turn into hippies and it can turn into other things.
CB: I always associated that partially with the rulership of Saturn and Saturn’s association with ‘time’ and with that which is ‘old’ or ‘ancient’ and sometimes literally manifesting as ‘older people’, but also sometimes manifesting as ‘reverence for that which is old or ancient’.
AC: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: Or like that which takes a lot of time, which can sometimes indicate things like mastery over technique and craftsmanship as being a real tangible example of a combination of those factors.
AC: Yeah. And generally speaking, Capricorn planets in a chart don’t bloom until a person’s 30s.
AC: Like whatever those placements are, they’re ‘late bloomers’.
KS: Absolutely. They get better with time, like a fine wine.
CB: Yeah, that’s something that’s true for Saturn in general, but especially Saturn signs. And when people have heavy placements in Saturn signs, it’s something that tends to get better or easier with time. Because initially, sometimes with Saturn stuff, it starts out as a shortcoming or a sore spot or a spot where there’s errors or problems, but then eventually the person through repetition and through pushing through it can sometimes develop mastery over that, or it can become a surmountable difficulty and then almost the cliche ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ type scenario.
AC: Yeah, definitely. Again, I think that’s more true of Capricorn than Aquarius because Aquarius is a little bit more forward-looking and a little bit more exploratory. Earth is the most conservative and past-oriented of the elements, and Saturn is the most conservative and past-oriented of the planets.
KS: Yeah. So we get a love of ‘vintage’ things or a love of things that are old or like ‘antique’ furniture. I guess the sentimental side of what’s old is a little more Cancer, like the family mementos-type thing, but there is a love of old things or old stuff that comes with Capricorn for sure.
AC: Well, I would say ‘time-tested’ methods.
KS: That’s a much more eloquent way of putting it. Yes, objects or things that have stood the test of time.
AC: Yeah. I have several friends who have Mars in Capricorn who I’ve met through martial arts, and they’re very like, “Well, just learn from somebody who knows how to do it right and learn how to do it right.”
KS: Yeah, because they know how to do it right.
AC: It’s not creative or experimental. It’s like, well, no, just find somebody who knows how to do it right and then do it right.
KS: Do whatever they’re doing.
AC: Yeah, because that’s how you do it right.
KS: Yeah. There is a real ‘adherence to the rules’ with Capricorn placements, and as you say, the definition of rules in Capricorn is basically what has stood the test of time.
AC: One of the things I would add to that is that I don’t think that means that people with Capricorn planets always enjoy following the rules, but they’re like, “Well, if you’re going to do this that’s the right way to do it.”
AC: And so, it’s not really the most fun way to do it, but we’ve got to do it that way. And so, I think there’s a little bit of a resentment of, “Why don’t you be more fun and flexible about this?” and they’re just like, “Well, I’m just trying to do it right. It doesn’t mean I like it.”
CB: And then do you guys remember when we did our planets episode, we talked about James Earl Jones as being a really famous example of somebody with Capricorn rising? And not just Saturn in Capricorn, but also Mercury, the Moon, and the Sun there as well, and how in his early life, he actually had a major stutter and he couldn’t talk.
So his first year of school, he supposedly didn’t talk the entire year, all the way through until he got to high school, but then later eventually was able to overcome that. And then of course ironically, much later in his life, he becomes very famous for having this deep, rich, very booming voice, and of course which was most famously on display as the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars series.
AC: Yeah, he’s perfect.
CB: Yeah, so that’s that example of sometimes Saturn getting better with age, or Saturn in Capricorn especially starting off as a challenge or an obstacle or a block, where something’s being negated or said ‘no’ to; but sometimes that ‘no’ can be negotiated through ‘hard work’ and through ‘perseverance’ which are also Saturn keywords or themes.
AC: I think his gravitas is also Saturn/earth, right? It’s like when you’ve taken the time to actually learn how to do it, right? And when you do that there’s a confidence you have in knowing that you’ve built that; you’ve built that temple or that skill, stoned by stone. You know where every stone was because you had to carry it.
And so, there’s a gravitas and a power to people who have done things that way and learned things that way where the structure is somewhat unassailable, right? It’s not loosely thrown together.
CB: Right. Yeah, I love that. And also, due to making mistakes sometimes. That’s one of the things that probably also ties it into the Scorpio is just awareness of the faults or of the potential mistakes because they’ve made those mistakes in the past, but they’ve learned from them and then grown as a result.
AC: Yeah, totally.
AC: Doing it the right way means doing it the wrong way a hundred times.
CB: Although one of the funny things about Saturn stuff is sometimes it can result in seeing the mistakes that other people are making and sometimes that can come off or can manifest as an extreme ‘criticalness’ in other people when it’s projected outwards rather than inwards.
AC: Yeah, definitely. There’s seeing failure everywhere.
CB: Right, or just being really negative or ‘pessimistic’ about that, or critical in pointing out the fault in others, but not necessarily in oneself.
AC: I don’t know. To be fair, a lot of the people I know with a lot of Cap are super hard on themselves.
CB: Yeah, I guess I don’t want to emphasize that too much. I just know one of the Saturn things is sometimes it can get projected outwards. And it’s interesting to see that in the instances where it does because you sometimes realize that it’s also happening inwards, but it might not be as visible if you’re the subject of criticism, let’s say.
KS: Yeah, I think one of the things Capricorn does is it’s constantly kind of measuring itself against whatever the standard structure or benchmark might be. So if in society this is accepted or these are the goals, Capricorn is often very aware about how they measure up or how they might be kind of critiqued against some kind of cultural or social or even a family-type yardstick, and that’s where I think some of their internal ‘self-criticism’ comes from as well.
AC: A hundred-percent.
CB: Have you guys noticed–I don’t know if we talked about this already–where sometimes that perception can sometimes lead to–I guess we have–inaction? Because they’re so aware of the potential faults in something, especially if it’s like a creative endeavor, it stops them from releasing something or not wanting to put something out until it’s perfect. But then sometimes they can never reach that point because they never reach the point of feeling like it’s good enough what they’ve done.
AC: Yeah, that’s what I was saying early on about ‘the list of reasons not to’, ‘the list of can’t and shouldn’t’.
KS: Yes. It’s that sense of, “Yeah, if we put this out there, how is it going to be perceived or received?” and it can be that paralyzing; and I’m thinking specifically of the generation of people who would have had Saturn in Capricorn and are also Capricorn Ascendants. And I remember studying with some of this generation when I was taking my first classes in astrology, and they described it as this big boulder, whether it was a ‘lack of self-confidence’. I’m not sure whether it was ‘insecurity’ or internal criticism; it was very hard for them to get over in terms of putting their stuff or themselves out in the world. And as a result, they would often defer to safer choices that were more certain because they could rely on it.
CB: Mm, interesting.
AC: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
CB: Yeah. All right, have we done a good job of balancing out positive and negative stuff? We’ve said a lot of positive: ‘constructive’, having ‘good foresight’, good ‘planning ahead’ of time. We’ve said some negative things like being ‘overly-critical’. I mean, Saturn and Virgo, to me, are the two more critical signs, and as a result of that, Virgo seeing a lot of the details in things, the small details and being able to sometimes nitpick things, but Saturn also can sometimes be very critical in seeing the errors and things and having some similarities there. So we’ve said some negative things–are we balanced there?
KS: I think so.
CB: Did we mention Jupiter having its fall, or its depression?
KS: We basically just said it at the start. I don’t know that we said a lot about it. I think I made this seasonal correlation about things don’t grow at this time of year. But what else would you guys want to add on that?
AC: Well, I think it’s pretty clear from what we’ve said about Capricorn that it’s not a place where optimism or inspiration or belief will get things done because the Capricorn things require the Capricorn attitude, right? Jupiter is great for Sag things, right?
AC: But again, you can’t build the pyramids based on enthusiasm, right? You can’t do any really long thing because enthusiasm comes and goes, whereas Capricorn planets are aiming to ‘create and connect’ with and make their way through much more ‘enduring’ and ‘less forgiving’ structures.
CB: It’s hard for Jupiter’s growth, optimism, expansion thing to operate in an environment that’s a little bit more pessimistic and a little bit more conservative in some ways.
AC: Yeah, well, and just unforgiving. Cardinal earth–how will you survive with your body in the world, right?
AC: Okay, we’re going to throw you out in the woods. I mean, say your prayers and work whatever luck or mojo you have, but you should probably get to know the woods and what you could eat and be fed by and what plants will kill you. That earthy orientation–it brings a different set of rules to play.
KS: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: All right, well, I think that’s good then for Capricorn. So we’re moving on to our final two signs finally. Our next sign, the eleventh sign starting from Aries is Aquarius. Aquarius is a ‘masculine’ sign, it is a ‘fixed’ sign, it is an ‘air’ sign, and traditionally it’s the second sign that is ruled by Saturn. So we are still doing Saturn, but now we’ve switched to a fixed sign instead of a cardinal sign, and we’ve switched to suddenly an air sign instead of an earth sign.
AC: So I’ll start.
AC: Oh, go ahead.
CB: I was just going to say one of the things I noticed when I switched to traditional astrology and having to let go of Uranus as ruler of Aquarius is a lot of the things I think that modern astrologers associate with Uranus and Aquarius can be rationalized just through it being an air sign that’s fixed, a fixed air sign. And a lot of the intellectual stuff that gets wrapped up in Aquarius is sometimes just a component of it being an air sign.
AC: Yeah, absolutely. And also, you’ve probably heard me say this before because I said it on one of the podcasts before, but the way that I think about Saturn ruling Aquarius and Capricorn is that Saturn is the wall and that everything that’s inside the wall is Capricorn, and everything that’s out there and the unknown, that’s on the outside of the wall, is Aquarius.
And we have a lot of associations traditionally with Aquarius and ‘exile’ and being in ‘port cities’ and ‘liminal places’. Once you get out on the ocean, you’re on the outside of the human world. And so, some of that ‘inventiveness’ and ‘exploration’ and ‘discovery’, that stuff that you see associated with Aquarius through Uranus, you can totally get by being outside the wall, right?
You’ve got ‘known’ and ‘unknown’, and so Aquarius is the unknown half, but it’s discoverable, right? You can bring the means of science to bear on it–it’s still Saturnian. There are rules, but there are rules to be discovered, whereas in Capricorn, it’s much more about rules to be learned. You’re like, “Oh, that’s how my society works. And so, if I want this outcome in this society, I do it this way.” Whereas Aquarius being an air sign, he is much more discovering new stuff and also I would say much more interested in imagining how things could work. It’s Saturnian, right?
One of the ways that I think about the Aquarian revolution is it’s imagining society, it’s imagining different rules for society, but it’s imagining rules for everybody–it’s the Saturnian imagination. I think Lenin had an Aquarius Moon. And so, he spent most of his life imagining rules for people. They were totally different rules, and he thought they were better rules and there was a reason to imagine them, but it was imagining a system. it wasn’t imagining a…
KS: A free-for-all.
AC: It was like, “Well, we can get the best possible outcome if we design the system in this way.”
CB: Well, as an air sign, Aquarius is social. But because it’s Saturn-ruled, it’s not afraid to go outside of the convention or go against the convention, and that’s what makes it sort of weird as a manifestation of an air sign.
KS: Yeah, that it is kind of going outside the convention. But I guess it’s that air–it’s bringing in the ideas or the imagination of air. I mean, the example Austin mentioned of Lennon, he has that beautiful song called Imagine; ‘Imagine all the people’ type of thing.
I actually came to understand the sign of Aquarius better once I had the ruler of Saturn, once I picked that up in my training. Because there is a ‘firmness’ or a ‘structure’–there is a solidness to Aquarius that I could never quite get my head around with Uranus as the ruler. My experience of Aquarius people or people with a lot of planets in Aquarius was that they were a lot more stable than the Uranus association seems to indicate.
They’re thinking ‘outside the box’. Once people with a lot of Aquarius planets have kind of made up their mind about something, they can be quite ‘rigid’ about changing that. It’s like, “This is the way I think. You can tell me how you think, that there could be other ways to go,” but we do tend to see that ‘fixedity’ coming in there at that point.
CB: Yeah, that rigidity is a really good point because it’s a fixed sign, and it’s a Saturn-ruled sign. So you could double the themes of rigidity compared to Capricorn, which is just Saturn but it’s cardinal, or compared to other fixed signs like Scorpio being ruled by Mars, or Leo being ruled by the Sun, or Venus ruling Taurus; we get Aquarius, which is ruled by Saturn.
KS: Absolutely. And you make a really good point there, Chris, about that double-rigid energy between the Saturn and the fixed, so there isn’t a lot of give in Aquarius. There’s a lot of thinking, but they’re very forward-looking, if you like.
AC: Yeah. And what I find with people with a lot of Aquarius is that they have what people would call ‘a castle in the sky’ that they’re building out of ideas and their map of reality and what a human being is. And they’re actually very interested in taking in new information and getting confirmation of old ideas, and it’s being updated, but it’s the same structure, right?
AC: It’s like slowly being built out here or maybe a piece gets taken down there, but it’s a fixed structure. I have a good friend who’s a Sun and Moon in Aquarius and pretty much whenever we have a good hangout after some time has passed, and he gives me all of the updates to the ‘sky castle’. He’s like, “Well, I learned this and that intersects with all these other things that I’ve been working on for twenty years. And then there’s this, and this is a confirmation; and then I think I might need to adjust this one thing,” but it’s an update on that process.
KS: Absolutely. When we were talking about the Saturn-Capricorn association with winter in the Northern Hemisphere, I did think it was interesting that Saturn gets both signs basically that take us through the deepest part of the northern winter. But as we come into the sign of Aquarius, the Sun has moved right away from its solstice standing point and we’re starting to get that first awareness that the days are getting longer. So it’s like a slightly brighter version of Saturn, if you like. And I love of course the more masculine tone of Saturn here where, as you said before, we’re going out there to look for new ideas, rather than in Capricorn, we want to learn what’s been done before.
AC: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, just being a yang sign. Air is more mobile, more buoyant than earth. You don’t have the double-heaviness of Capricorn.
KS: No. And Austin, you used the word ‘humane’ or ‘human’ signs when we were talking about Libra earlier tonight. I mean, that’s a term that typically summarizes all the air signs and some authors say Virgo as well.
AC: Yeah, that’s what I’ve always heard is air signs plus Virgo.
KS: Plus Virgo, yeah. And I always think of air signs with that humane quality, and even Virgo coming in too. It really speaks to the human function of intelligence and thought and planning and reflection and all of those things which kind of separate us from the animals, if you like.
AC: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.
KS: And we see it kind of come into its maturity in Aquarius because this is the Saturn air sign.
AC: Yeah. And also, I find Aquarius to be very ‘paradigmatic’ in an orientation, like let’s think about the whole system of thinking. I think of Aquarius as very ‘anthropology-oriented’, and the Aquarius native is sort of a natural anthropologist where they feel outside of the culture they’re in.
They’re like, “I’ve been a participant/observer since I was four.” They’re like, “Hmm, I think the rules of this society are that, which I can compare to these people who live over there. And what does it mean?” and then searching for universals through comparing examples. “So what are human beings and how do they work? And how does reality work?” but through comparing data about the humans which they got.
CB: Carl Jung is a great example of what you’re talking about right now with Aquarius rising and Saturn in Aquarius.
AC: Yeah, yeah, that is a good one.
KS: That’s a great example–being outside, kind of observing and comparing.
CB: Right. And also, he’s talking about creating universals as well. And of course, Carl Jung is famous for taking Plato’s theory of archetypes and updating it in a modern psychological context in modern times as a sort of explanatory mechanism for these different structures in the psyche and in behavior and in the world in general.
AC: Yeah, totally. And Carl Jung is such a good example of somebody who’s got heavy Aquarius/Leo stuff, right? Coming up with an inspiring, spiritual, universal system versus Freud who was heavy Scorpio/Taurus, and he’s like, “Nah it’s all sex.”
AC: It’s all sex and biological needs. That’s the Scorpio/Taurus looking down and then the active fixed signs Leo and Aquarius looking up.
CB: And Freud was actually one that I brought up, but I didn’t mention with Scorpio rising.
KS: For Scorpio.
CB: Yeah, good times. All right, what else? Oh, yeah, with Aquarius, I wanted to mention that you have to be really careful. Like new students of astrology have to be careful with Aquarius because a lot of modern interpretations over the past century have been really influenced by the New Age movement.
And so, it became something where a lot of presumptions were being formed about Aquarius before the astrology. It was like something separate was happening where in the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was this new idea that came about that we’re on the cusp of a new golden age where it was a great period of enlightenment and very positive. We were about to move into a new long era of peace and prosperity, and that was almost like a religious or a philosophical notion.
And because they believed that that was about to happen and that it was a good thing, they started taking some of those positive religious ideas and then projecting it onto Aquarius of what they wanted the upcoming new age of Aquarius to look like. And that ended up influencing and then altering the interpretation of the signs, so that a lot of the interpretations of Aquarius after that period in the 20th century became much different than if you look at interpretations of Aquarius from prior to that time where they were more about it being a Saturn-ruled, fixed air sign, basically.
AC: Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah, that’s absolutely true. I will say though that there is something about the Aquarian vision which is both ‘utopian’ and ‘dystopian’, which is like, “Oh, it could be so much better if we just did it like this, but we’re doing it so stupid.” The present is dystopia and a future which has never quite arrived is the utopia. But there’s this contrast between the real and the ideal or the current reality and the possible that seems very core to the Aquarian perspective, and also to the Aquarian heart. There’s a little bit of a like, “Oh, but it could be better, but it’s like this. Oh, but it could be better.”
CB: I mean, I think that’s an outgrowth of that thing I was talking about with Capricorn in the Saturnian criticalness, the ability to be very critical of things being projected in a societal context, of being critical of societal structures and things like that.
AC: Yeah. It’s just that I don’t think Capricorn has the same insistence on imagining a totally different alternative.
AC: It’s more like the pain of dealing with this in Capricorn, whereas in Aquarius it’s more the pain of spending so much time seeing/thinking how it could be better and it could be different–but it’s not.
CB: Yeah, the tangible reality of the earth sign versus the more ‘abstract airiness’ of Aquarius.
AC: Right. Yep.
KS: Yeah, I think too that this is almost striking me as one of those signs where you can sort of see how a little bit of the alphabet connection of Aquarius to the 11th house might cross over a little bit from the ‘social collective’ or ‘humanitarian’ focus, if you like, which is so present in what you guys are discussing around Aquarius and how it kind of wants to move everyone towards this sort of utopian ideal. And we’re going to fall short because we don’t live in utopia, we live in the human, kind of fallen world, if you like. But it’s that striving or that sense of holding the idea of what it could be like and at least maybe trying to move closer towards it.
AC: Yeah. Yeah, there’s definitely a more collective, universalizing thought process with Aquarius. There are a lot of things in the 11th that are very non-Aquarian and non-Saturnian.
KS: Yeah, absolutely.
AC: None of that’s very fun. Mostly in the 11th house, I go hang out with my friends, right? That’s social. I guess it’s collective and that we collect, but that’s a non-hit. But yeah, just the wider orientation I think is a shared characteristic.
KS: Yeah, the collective piece. I mean, I didn’t want it to seem like the 11th and Aquarius we’re exactly the same thing–in the same way Scorpio and the 8th are not the same thing–but you can see how you might end up with a couple of those pieces.
AC: Yeah, yeah. I think Scorpio and 8th I would say is a slightly better match, which is not to say I don’t think there’s any relationship between Aquarius and the 11th. But if I had to rank those, I’d probably ranked Scorpio/8th higher.
KS: Yeah, I would agree. I would agree.
CB: So other Aquarius stuff. I’m trying to look through my list of both Aquarius rising–go ahead.
AC: I was just going to say in addressing the ‘quirkiness’ of Aquarius or the ‘offbeatness’ or whatever, it takes fixity to be different when there is plenty of pressure to be the same.
AC: As a–I was going to say ‘former’ weird kid, but I don’t think it’s former. But as a weird kid, it takes work.
KS: Well, actually I was going to say we can probably all relate because I think we each have a personal planet in Aquarius.
AC: We do, yes.
CB: What do you have there again, Kelly?
KS: I’ve got Mars.
CB: Okay, right.
KS: Chris, you have the Moon…
CB: Yeah, I’m Aquarius rising, with Moon in Aquarius.
KS: …as well. And Austin, you’re Venus is there.
KS: Yeah, it’s the ‘weirdness’. But I totally agree with what you’ve just said; I don’t know that I’d ever quite thought about it that way. But you do have to be fairly certain of yourself or your conviction or your point of view to hold to it when everyone else will try and make you be just like them.
AC: Yeah, you’ve got to be a little stubborn and a little arrogant to be like, “Nope, the music everybody else is listening to is stupid. I know what the good music is.”
KS: Yeah. No, that’s giving me great insight there, totally. Because there is an absolute stubbornness, stubborn resistance in Aquarius, I find.
AC: And it’s funny. There’s a funny ‘aloofness’. There’s this particular flavor of Aquarian dismissal. Because I can feel that in myself and I’ve seen it outside myself where they’re just like, “No, I don’t need to think about that. That’s stupid.” It’s not like a vitriol, like, “That’s stupid and should be destroyed.” It’s like, “Um, that’s not worth taking into consideration, I’m going to continue doing things the way I was. I’m going to continue along my not necessarily merry, but my ‘weirding’ way.”
KS: Yeah, that’s fantastic.
CB: Yeah, I like that. I’m trying to think of where to go from here. I’m a little lost for words because I think we’ve been at this for a little while.
KS: We have. What else about Aquarius?
CB: Have we done enough positive/negative things?
KS: Well, we haven’t actually touched on one of the most common things that people read about with Aquarius, which is the ‘detachment’ or the ‘coolness’ or the ‘aloofness’. Have we talked about that yet?
CB: We have a little bit, but I have an example of that because Patrick always cited it back when we were doing the political astrology blog, but Obama has Aquarius rising, with Jupiter in Aquarius and Saturn in Capricorn. And one of his nicknames was like ‘No Drama’ Obama and having this sort of coolness or like aloofness that was something that worked for him in a way.
KS: Like an unflustered kind of thing maybe.
AC: And that’s that same sort of, “Yeah, I’m not going to engage with that.”
KS: Yeah, it’s coming from the same place, Austin. You’re totally right.
AC: That can also be like, “Your feelings aren’t real. We don’t need to take that into account.”
KS: Yeah, it doesn’t always feel good on the receiver’s end.
AC: It’s not always right either.
KS: No, it’s not. Yeah, so what else do we want to say about Aquarius, if anything?
KS: I think it’s hilarious that this is the one sign none of us have anything to say.
CB: Right. Other things–I mean, we’ve talked about social. I mean, there’s the ‘mad scientist’ aspect of it, which we touched on a little bit indirectly.
AC: That’s funny, I was just thinking about that. I was thinking about how a really crucial satisfaction for Aquarius planets is to intersect with the unknown and to ‘science’ that into the known. They like not knowing everything yet, but they like converting unknowns into knowns. You get that discovery and then understanding and adding that to the science project of the known.
CB: An example of that is actually Carl Sagan who had Saturn in Aquarius in the 10th house, and that was like the ruler of his 10th and also the ruler of the 9th. And he of course became a famous astronomer and science promoter and everything else.
AC: Yeah, that is a good example.
KS: That’s a really good one.
CB: Although the opposite of that that I also have in my files–there is a famous skeptic who I believe also had Saturn in Aquarius, and I’m trying to find him really quickly. I just had it and then I lost it. You guys say something until I find it.
KS: I was going to say something about the ‘odd-one-out/black sheep’ experience for planets in Aquarius. When talking with clients about this there’s often, particularly if there is a personal planet–I’m not necessarily saying that any of us have specifically had this–but something I do associate is the idea of feeling like you don’t belong in your family or your community, that idea of being aware of your differences.
And Austin, we kind of alluded to this earlier around how you’ve got to be quite strong, like the fixed air, to hold to that. But there’s often a real awareness that you are, whether it’s on the outside looking in, or you do feel that disconnect that one of these things is not like the others, and that’s often the Aquarius kind of approach or take or perspective.
AC: That’s interesting. One of the things I’ve seen in clients’ charts who had an immigrant experience–they were foreign and didn’t speak the same language as the people around them–is very often there would be Aquarius stelliums describing being an outsider in a very literal, obvious way.
KS: Yeah. And sometimes it’s as obvious as that, and others it’s sort of just like, “I’m not like my siblings or my parents,” or “We don’t see things eye-to-eye. We see things differently,” which is the utopian take. Did you find your example, Chris?
CB: Yeah. I mean, it’s not a great example. It’s Michael Shermer who is the publisher of a famous skeptic magazine, but he has Aquarius rising with Saturn in Scorpio in the 10th house. And so, he ends up manifesting some of that Saturn and some of the skepticism, but also the ‘intellectualism’ of the Aquarius through the other side of Scorpio that we were talking about, which is the distrustfulness that turns into more skepticism or questioning is that valid, is that true in an interesting way and applying it in a science context.
AC: That’s really funny. So he’s your evil doppelganger, Chris.
KS: I was going to say, “I wonder why that example appealed to Chris?”
CB: Right. Well, yeah, I mean, I’m interested in that because it is, like you said, my doppelganger with Aquarius rising and Saturn in Scorpio in the 10th whole sign house. But also, sometimes just looking at the charts of other skeptics if we have a birth time is sometimes useful and illustrative in different ways.
AC: And again, with Aquarius, there is a fixed preoccupation with what is true, which can look like being a skeptic, or it can look like being an astrologer; it1 could look like being a lot of different things.
CB: Right. You get the idea of that objective notion of measurement from Saturn, but it’s being applied intellectually through the air sign. And so, you get ‘the market of ideas’ and measuring up ideas and trying to figure out what is correct and what is not, or to say very explicitly what is not true versus what is.
AC: Yeah. And so, it’s worth noting this is the last air sign. Aquarius isn’t necessarily less verbal than the other air signs, but it is less interested in dialogue than Libra or Gemini. Aquarius is like, “I can explain this to you,” or “Hmm, I would like to read your paper on this,” or “Could you explain your hypothesis?” It’s got that cold, Saturnian ‘science-y’ feel to it. It’s much less banter than Gemini and Libra.
CB: Less chatty.
AC: Yeah, it’s still interested in ideas.
KS: Yes. Well, and one thing I don’t know that we’ve touched on that might be worth a quick mention is the image of Aquarius which is the ‘water-bearer’, if you like, pouring out the waters of reason. And it’s often something that confuses people thinking, “Oh, isn’t Aquarius a water sign?” when they’re new to astrology. It’s one of those things you have to perhaps clarify for people.
But I think that’s part of what you’re speaking to there, Austin, that there’s less dialogue. I always think that symbol is like Aquarius trying to put out into the world something that they think is the ‘water of reason’. They’ve come up with an idea, or they’ve got this logical take or this rational point of view and they’re trying to put it out into the world in some capacity.
AC: Yeah, that works. That makes sense. I also think–oh, actually I just lost my thought. We have been talking for a while.
CB: Yeah, so it’s not a water sign; it’s the ‘bearer of the water’. It carries or transmits the water in some way, but it’s not a water sign itself; it’s an air sign.
AC: Yeah. So here’s the mnemonic for everybody whose new: Clouds are fixed air. They are vapor that pour water down onto the earth, but they are vaporous. They are not liquid, they are gaseous. They’re up in the sky and then they get rid of their water.
CB: When the water molecules become too dense and then it rains.
AC: Right. Aquarius is like, “We don’t need all this emotion. Let’s pour it down on earth. We’re trying to maintain our lofty perspective.”
AC: But a cloud is a ‘water bearer’, literally…
KS: It is.
AC: …and it’s air up in the sky.
KS: Yeah. Well, and the air signs have the qualities of heat and moisture in them. And that’s part of I think how they get their connective qualities is from that moisture; because that’s what wetness does, it brings together.
AC: So quick side note, my double-Aquarius friend just texted me for the first time in several days.
KS: Love it. We’re invoking it.
AC: We summoned him.
KS: That’s fantastic.
CB: All right, I think that brings us about then–unless there’s anything else to say–to the end of Aquarius. Are you guys good? Did we say enough positive things? Enough negative things?
KS: I’m like, the Aquarius’ are going to make up their own mind anyway–that was my first thought.
AC: They were correct in what they said about this, but…
KS: Not sure about the rest.
AC: Yeah, exactly.
CB: Perfect. All right, then we need some sort of drum roll, but it brings us to our final sign, which is Pisces, the 12th sign of the zodiac when starting from Aries. Pisces is a ‘feminine’ sign, it is a ‘mutable’ sign, it is a ‘water’ sign, and it is traditionally ruled by the planet Jupiter.
CB: So Pisces.
AC: Can we do a Pisces gang sign here? Does that work?
CB: I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to get much into this, much insight into this sign due to the lack of anyone with those placements on this episode.
KS: That’s true. I don’t know if any one of us knows what Pisces is like on the inside.
AC: I don’t even know a Pisces.
KS: I was going to be tongue-in-cheek, like, well, it’s the most wonderful sign of all.
CB: Right. Clearly.
KS: But actually there’s a fact, an astro-factoid that backs this, not necessarily, but we’ve got both the benefics in some lovely condition here. We’ve got Jupiter ruling and Venus exalted in Pisces. So there’s definitely a lot of the Sag themes but kind of directed into a different format–to the emotional realm or the intuitive realm or the healing realms–that is very much a sign about connection because of the water and because of Venus, I think.
AC: Yeah, Pisces is like Sag with ‘emotional intelligence’.
KS: That’s great.
AC: That’s good. That’s a good one.
KS: That’s a really good summary.
AC: But with a much ‘poorer work ethic’.
KS: Way poorer work ethic and I think probably less ability to focus too, because I think the Pisces does get a bit more ‘scattered’.
CB: Yeah. And let’s talk about that because a lot of that comes out of the fact that it’s a mutable sign, which we’ve already said is kind of diffused, and then it’s a water sign and of course water doesn’t keep its form. If you just place water on a floor, it just spreads out until it hits a boundary, and if it never does it just keeps going.
CB: So it’s like you get both of those things, which are similar qualities, all condensed into this sign.
AC: Yeah. When I think of water changing, water mutating, I also think of the process of evaporation sometimes. I also think of rivers returning to the ocean. But there’s definitely a ‘diffusion’, right? And when water evaporates, it gets bigger, and obviously when water from a river goes back to the ocean, it joins a much larger mass. And so, we have the Jupiterian themes of an expansion of scope, but it’s such an expansion that things can become confusing or get lost, which is why Mercury has a very tough time in Pisces.
KS: The toughest of all its times.
CB: Right. So Mercury has its fall or its depression in Pisces, whereas its exalted and has its domicile in Virgo.
AC: Yeah, it’s the ‘double-detriment/fall’ combo in Pisces.
CB: So it exalts or it does its best on some level when it has the groundedness of Virgo, of that earth sign, which is still a mutable sign, but it’s a tangible, more sort of concrete or stable earth sign. But in Pisces, where it’s mutable and it’s water and it’s diffused, it has a little bit more problems.
AC: Yeah, that…
AC: Go ahead.
KS: I was just going to say the dryness of Virgo is just much more comfortable, familiar, and compatible for Mercury. In Pisces, there’s so much about the ‘connection’ and the ‘togetherness’ and the ‘feeling’ that Mercury’s like, “I don’t know what to do with this.”
AC: Right. Well, and if you think of typical mercurial tasks, like counting, it’s difficult but you can count the number of grains of sand in a dune. You cannot count the number of drops of water in an ocean. Drops don’t have a uniform size.
AC: And they disappear as soon as you put them with the other drops. You’re like, “Well, I put thirty drops in there; there should be thirty discreet drops.” Nope. It’s just one volume of liquid now.
CB: Well, and Virgo, there’s an easier time counting discrete quantities and breaking things up into discrete principles, whereas with Pisces, it would be more wanting to look at the qualitative significance of each one, like what is the meaning of each of these things not looking at it as a discrete quantity.
KS: That’s a really great distinction because I do think in Pisces there’s a real sense of not so much how many are there, but what does it mean that there is a group of this size basically rather than the specific individuals.
KS: And that’s what Mercury must do, while any planet in Pisces is trying to find like ‘a felt sense’ towards the meaning of it, if that’s not too abstract to say.
CB: No, I think that’s good because it ties back to where we’ve tended to treat the water signs as more emotional or dealing with emotional things more I think relatively consistently so far here. And I think that tracks with also switching that out and talking about qualitative things rather than quantitative things as being more relevant here in terms of this sign.
AC: Yeah. Well, so one of my go-to teaching metaphors for the Jupiter-ruled signs is for Sagittarius I have ‘the preacher/the proselytizer’, that this is the way, and then for Pisces I have ‘the confessor’–the person who listens to other people’s experience and tries to extract meaning, or pattern and meaning from it. And they’re both Jupiterian, but one is obviously yin in that it’s taking in; one is projective or radiant.
KS: And that’s a really good distinction that we are dealing with Jupiter, but a receptive style of Jupiter here rather than an expressive style of Jupiter.
AC: Yeah. Strangely enough, there are a lot of Pisces planets when you start looking at the charts of artists and writers, especially poets, right? Because they’re trying to drink it all in and say, “Okay, so all of this is experience; it’s one thing,” but then trying to make sense of, find patterns, find redemptive meaning or whatever in ‘the big drink’. It’s a big scope of ‘drinking in’. And so, planets in Pisces can sometimes ‘take on too much’ or ‘take in too much’ rather than Sag planets, which might project out too much.
KS: Yes, and I think that’s a really great point because Pisces planets/Pisces placements can really struggle with ‘overwhelm’. And I think people often think that’s a Neptune thing, but as we’ve described it’s like this diffused water, that if you get it moving out in so many directions, it can’t keep track of itself, if you like.
And that’s a great way of what you described there, Austin. It takes in too much and then it has to–I call it ‘the Pisces vanishing’, where it just isn’t there for a while while it’s recalibrating, and then it can be ready to receive again.
AC: Yeah, that makes sense. Pisces vanishing makes sense to me too. So the symbol is really interesting because, well, one, it’s odd, right? It’s two fish chained together at the mouth, often envisioned looking a lot like the Chinese Tai Chi symbol or the yin-yang as it’s popularly known. And Pisces being mutable is also a dual-bodied sign just like Gemini or Sagittarius or Virgo.
And the differences in the two bodies in Pisces are contradictory, right? There are two fish swimming in opposite directions. Whereas the centaur is two bodies squished together, and they’re going to go run around and shoot stuff together, like that works…
KS: Yeah, they’re moving as one.
AC: …whereas the symbol for Pisces is basically an internal contradiction. And as far as I’ve experienced–myself and other people with lots of planets in Pisces–Pisces, suffer from trying to figure out self-contradiction. If all of these things are one, if I am ‘me’ and ‘me’ is one, then how can there be so many contradictory elements? But through that orientation, people with a lot of Pisces are also good at listening to, accepting, and understanding contradictions within others and within systems in the world.
KS: Yeah, that’s an absolutely accurate point. They can sort of hold, if you like, the tension of opposites because of these two fish swimming in different directions; that we can have this and that at the same time; that these two things are not exclusionary.
AC: Yeah. And we might not understand how both of those things work together, but we start by accepting that both of these things are real, and we make space for it first and then try to figure it out.
KS: Yeah. And that really speaks to the faith of Jupiter. I think Jupiter is maybe slightly more ‘trusting’, or we are taking it on ‘faith’ in Pisces. And Mercury just doesn’t do well here because we’re not necessarily looking for proof. We don’t need evidence or data, we’re going to start from that place of acceptance, and that I think is almost a very specific Piscean thing.
CB: No, I like that because that then leads over to a bunch of other qualities, which can be positive sometimes like ‘taking people for their word’, but then sometimes that can lead to negative things sometimes like ‘gullibility’.
KS: A hundred-percent. I mean, we’ve alluded to this, but I would say I’m one of the most gullible people in the world. My husband can tell me almost anything and I’ll be like, “Oh, my God, wow!” We’ve been together long enough now that I’m like, “I think you’re shitting me.” But in the first few years of our relationship, I would just believe it, and I do think the problem of accepting things on faith is that you’re taking things on blind faith that maybe you shouldn’t be. You should actually question or be a little bit more discerning, and that’s where that Piscean quality of ‘being taken advantage of’ or ‘giving out more than one gets back’ can come into play.
CB: Maybe it’s almost like an extension of the affirming or the saying ‘yes’ of Jupiter, that sometimes it’s saying ‘yes’ to everything or saying ‘yes’ to too many things, and it doesn’t have that discriminating quality of Saturn. Pisces is like if you removed all the discrimination or the discrimination qualities that come from Saturn, and instead all you have is the saying ‘yes’ to things and the enveloping of things of a water sign.
AC: Yeah, kind of. What I get from Pisces people is it’s ‘yes’ to everything, but it’s ‘yes’ to contradictory things. Like if somebody tells you, “Okay, the world was created in seven days,” you’re like, “Hmm, that’s an interesting story.” And then somebody else tells you that dinosaurs are 65 million years old, and you’re like, “Okay, that’s interesting,” but there’s not a ‘this is the one truth’, right? When people talk about belief, there’s an investment that this story is right and that the other stories are wrong, and I don’t get that with Pisces. It’s like, “Okay, probably that too. We’ll see. I’ll think about it.”
And the Pisces are good at, sometimes to their detriment, absorbing contradictions. With Sag, they’re looking for the ‘one’ thing that they can live on and act in accordance with, whereas Pisces is like, “Yeah, that’s great. All we do is tell stories about reality. Some stories are better and more functional than others. You can tell me your story. I’m not going to on shit on that. I’m interested.”
CB: I like that keyword you used of ‘absorbing’. Because I think, Kelly, you had already used something like that, but a good keyword for Pisces is ‘absorbing’.
KS: Absorbing. I think Austin had used ‘receiving’ earlier…
KS: …when Austin was talking about ‘the confessor’, the idea of taking in, which I think that’s really relevant. But I think ‘the accepting’–there is a trusting. I think there’s a willingness to move forward from where they are or meeting people with where they’re at, essentially.
AC: Yeah. Well, that’s mutable water adapting to the situation emotionally.
KS: Yeah, and adapting in a way that’s going to create or enhance connection, given it’s water and it’s the exaltation of Venus.
AC: Yeah, I find with the fishes resemblance to the yin/yang, I think with Pisces there’s an attempt to always try to move towards a state where the opposites are reconciled and in balance, like socially and emotionally, but also with the state of the world. It’s like, “Well, these things are true, and these things are true. How do I get these to balance out?”
And there’s an interesting relationship to the Libran balance. It’s a totally different type of balance, it’s a different method of obtaining balance or reconciliation–I guess that’s the difference. Libras are interested in reconciliation, whereas Pisces wants it to all be one. It’s just primarily Jupiterian even, but there’s trying to move a discordant experience or world into a state of harmony.
CB: I like that. That’s great.
KS: Such a beautiful point.
CB: I was looking at synonyms for ‘absorb’ and there were things that were interesting like: “incorporate, assimilate, integrate.” It has ‘appropriate’, but I don’t know if that’s a great one.
AC: Let’s leave it off the list.
CB: ‘Subsume’ and ‘include’ were also ones, which I think is interesting when you start going into the ‘subsume’ direction. Because if you were to talk about ‘subsume’, we talked about Virgo as being helpful and playing a support role, but there’s something about Pisces and the ‘subsuming of the ego’ that sometimes comes up as a common theme in discussions about Pisces.
KS: Yeah, I think it speaks to some of the things that often get said around the ‘surrender’ or the ‘personal sacrifice’ of the ‘self-sacrificing’ tone that can come through from this sort of idea of wanting to support the other person and not going about it in such a practical way, which is what Virgo might do, like here’s sort of a tangible thing. But it’s almost like trying to absorb whatever the problem might be, if that makes sense, but getting lost in the process or potentially doing some energetic or emotional damage to themselves.
AC: Yeah, there’s a lot of Pisces people out there who try to ‘digest’ things for other people.
CB: Right, or the other direction, when it gets manifested negatively, can sometimes be like the ‘martyr-type complex’.
AC I think it’s people doing too much of that and then resenting other people–resenting the people that they’re doing that emotional labor for.
KS: Yeah, which sort of speaks to the fact that with water and with Jupiter and with Venus here, we don’t have a lot of inherent or intrinsic limitations or boundaries. And so, that’s one of the things that when you’re working with someone with a lot of planets in Pisces and they’re expressing frustration, or they’re feeling taken advantage of, it often comes back to their instinct to step in and want to help at personal cost, or in a way where the other person actually might not want the help or might not be ready to receive what they’re trying to give.
CB: Sure. ‘Lacking of boundaries’ is a good keyword.
KS: Yeah, Austin has his ‘thinking’ face on.
AC: That’s true, but also a lot of people with Pisces placements, they’re half-hidden inside themselves a lot of the time; it’s like you’re only seeing one fish. And it’s not like the strategic Gemini turning the right face to the social world. I think a lot of people would say a lot of the Pisces they know are kind of only half here; they’re like off somewhere else most of the time.
KS: That is definitely true. I mean, that’s where we get the ‘flakiness’ and the ‘vagueness’, right?
AC: Yeah. There’s a certain ‘half-evaporated’ quality.
KS: Like the heat of Jupiter is somehow lifting something.
AC: Yeah, which in some ways can be a defense mechanism to just not be fully–to have a piece of yourself that’s just somewhere else. But yeah, I mean, Pisces are not, as some authors say, a combination of the rest of the signs, but the sign does love to embrace contradictions.
AC: And so, I think a lot of Pisces people are hard to pin down and that goes for their own experience of themselves.
KS: Yeah. I mean, and I always think of the ‘slippery fish’ energy, if you’ve ever gone fishing; and my Dad always used to take my brother’s fishing and they’d come home. And fish are very slippery, and so you try and hold on to that, and I think with Pisces it is trying to hold on to something that is hard to put your hands around, basically. It’s like trying to hold water in your hand. You can’t really keep a hold of it; it’s going to fall.
AC: That’s great.
CB: That’s great imagery.
AC: Yeah, that’s a good one. And that’s why tridents or fishing spears have up to seven tines because you’ve got to fork them; you can’t just stab them with a single point.
KS: Well, yeah. And a fish hook–it’s a lethal weapon because it’s got that little extra bit on it. So once it goes in, you can’t just back up and take it out; it won’t work.
AC: Right, you’ve got to hold it. And I would say also a lot of Pisces are interested in what’s deep and mysterious. And it’s kind of like Scorpio in that sense that there’s like, “Ooh, what’s at the bottom of the ocean?” Scorpio’s more like, “What’s under your house, motherfucker,” right? But Pisces wants to know what’s out there in the vast depths of space, what’s under the ocean, what’s deep inside my psyche. And if you’re in that kind of terrain, you do need specialized tools to hook and hold what are inherently slippery truths.
KS: Yes, very ephemeral-type things.
CB: It’s the other side of the ‘big picture’ thing that we saw when we first encountered Sagittarius, but here, it’s almost taken to another level in Pisces.
AC: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
KS: Yeah. And I do think the internal/external is appropriate. That instead, we’re kind of looking at the whole world out here, but in Pisces we’re looking at the ‘interiority’. We’re looking at, if you like, those ephemeral things. We’re not looking at our actual organs, we do in Virgo.
But in Pisces, we’re looking at ‘the unseen’, ‘the feeling’, ‘the ideas’, ‘the sensing’, ‘the intuitive’; it’s those completely ‘intangible things’. Because I think that’s part of what you kind of hold on to, that slippery fish, because it’s not meant to be held on to, if that makes sense. It’s like you feel it go by, or you sense it, but then it’s gone, and you’re trying to figure it out from whatever you can recollect.
AC: Yeah, you need a net.
KS: You need a net, at the very least.
AC: I think some of our difficulty–not our difficulty. I think we’ve made indirectly an excellent case as to why Mercury has a hard time in Pisces.
KS: Austin, I was just thinking that. I’m like this is why it’s hard to describe Pisces because it’s not ‘a land of words’.
AC: Yeah. You will grab it, you know, you grab the water, and then you’re like, “I got it!” and then the water’s somewhere else because you tried to get it.
AC: But Pisces…
CB: I think I used the keyword ‘squishy’ on a recent episode that people liked or laughed at.
KS: That’s true.
CB: But it is like the ‘softest’ of all the signs, if I were to try to find a keyword.
KS: I feel like the softness is relevant based on the element involved, the mutable quality, and then the fact that we do have Venus and Jupiter, which are both moist planets. So we just keep getting more and more moisture in here, so there is a softness to that.
AC: Yeah, definitely. We should talk about the notorious Pisces’ ‘flakiness’. It’s a thing.
KS: Let’s do that.
KS: It totally exists.
CB: It’s hard having a lot of Saturn placements and Capricorn and stuff like that. I find it hard sometimes, while I have a lot of interactions with Pisces, it can be frustrating, the ‘mutable-ness’. Sometimes there can be a perception of a lack of reliability or lack of sticking to schedules because that’s like a structure thing, and structure sometimes is not a Pisces-type thing.
KS: I think you can make a hard statement there that structure is not a Pisces thing ever.
AC: Chris is just trying not to…
KS: I know you’re trying to be very diplomatic, but it’s all coming from ‘it takes one to know one’ perspective, I feel like I can speak for my tribe.
AC: Oh, God, and I mean, and you and I both have Saturn in Virgo staring down the barrel at us.
KS: But honestly without that, Austin…
AC: That’s what I’m saying. Imagine me without that–like how would I get anything done? It’s hard enough as it is.
KS: Yeah, it is. Then my husband will say, “What have you done today?” And I’ll say, “Well, I’ve had three or four clients,” which is a full day for an astrologer. And he’ll laugh at me and go, “So you worked for four hours today,” and I’ll be like, “Well, no, there’s more than that,” but there’s just a different sort of perspective. Obviously, if you have four clients, you’re doing more than four hours of work, but he likes to tease, as I said.
AC: That’s better than me. I’ll be like, “I had three or four good ideas.”
KS: Well, I don’t have the three–I mean, that’s the thing. I mean, we’re both Pisces, Austin, but we’re different kinds of Pisces, and your brain is phenomenal, phenomenal.
AC: I think your brain is ‘under-sung’, Kelly.
KS: It’s just hard for me to get the damn words out. Like you have a much better Mercury.
AC: Eh, I don’t know.
KS: It’s not mute, at least.
AC: It’s usually a huge struggle for me, it’s just Mercury’s in my 10th and that’s my calling or whatever.
CB: That’s actually a good point.
KS: So we get to see the best of your Mercury, I guess. Sorry, Chris.
CB: We’ve talked about Libra–and maybe even Taurus to a lesser extent, some Venus stuff–and the idea of poetry or music. I don’t know if you would necessarily jump to Pisces for music, but there’s something about poetry.
KS: Firm ‘yes’. ‘Poetry and music’, a hundred-percent.
CB: Right. Because it’s like an aesthetic appreciation for something almost transcendent that goes beyond words due to the ability to appreciate it on an almost emotional level. Yeah, there’s something there.
KS: Are you talking about music right now or poetry? I mean, I feel like equally both could apply, but I just wasn’t sure which one.
CB: Either one.
AC: Those are, how should we say, both very evocative mediums.
AC: If we look back to the roots of music and poetry then we’re looking at people doing ritual for a practical or transcendent purpose or a mixture of the two. And you evoke the experience of the invisible using poetry, using lyrical language, using sound, etc., etc. They’re religious technologies or spiritual technologies or magical technologies.
KS: Completely. And I think one of the magical things music does is it moves our mood. Music can motivate you. It can help you cry if1 you need to. Hello, go and listen to the soundtrack of A Star is Born if you want to cry. But you can put on a really great pop song–I mean, my friend Cassandra that you guys know would put on some heavy metal rock that I wouldn’t be able to listen to. But music is very personal, but it’s incredibly evocative, so I think I would give an absolute firm ‘yes’ on the music.
And it’s also the exaltation sign of Venus. So we’re going to have some of these artistic expressions that are not just beautiful, but they’re evoking emotion and feeling. And poetry does that as well. It’s also a use of language that is not necessarily conforming to the normal structures and rules of language; it is literally a free-form use of words to paint pictures or ideas that is more flowing. Even if it’s like a sonnet, or it’s a haiku and there are specific rules, it’s still incredibly creative, if you like, compared to writing a structured essay or doing a dissertation.
CB: Yeah, definitely.
AC: Yeah, it’s not a laundry list.
CB: Something that can be appreciated on an emotional level, even if you can’t articulate why specifically that is.
KS: Yes. And that’s I think why things like music and poetry are so personal because it’s kind of beyond the rational part of ourselves. You either kind of like it or you don’t like it, and that’s a very instinctive kind of place to operate from.
KS: Yeah, I laughed when you said laundry list, Austin. So my husband and I take turns each week to write out the shopping list, and he’s got a bit of Scorpio, a bit of Virgo. So his list is like when we’re in the produce section of the supermarket, we’re going to buy these things, and then when we’re in the dry goods section, we’re going to buy these things. And then when I write the list, I fill up every single available piece of white space on the page, and some words are sideways and some are around this way, and something that’s in the same section of the store, we’ve got one word up here.
And when I do the shopping, we sometimes have to go around the store a couple of times because of the list. And his is like we go in and we go from A to B, and mine is like we’re going to go here, oh, I forgot this one thing, let’s go back and let’s get this. So you get the vibe of the circular, musical sort of poetry approach.
AC: I’m in the same boat, which makes sense because we’re talking about the ocean. So when I write lists, I come up with fun, new ways to spell or refer to things every time. And so, sometimes I, and especially Kait, will look at a list that I wrote, and like what are, I don’t know, ‘shilboz’? What is that?
KS: So you don’t even use real words.
AC: I’ll abbreviate and put the words together in a way that’s fun and creative and entertains me while I’m writing the list.
KS: Oh, my God, this is fantastic.
CB: It’s really entertaining and amusing to me seeing your phrase, which I swear I heard you utter like ten years ago for Jupiter. Your nickname for Jupiter has caught on on social media recently, Austin. I think you called it ‘Jupe’.
AC: No, that was Kait. That was Kait.
CB: That was Kait’s keyword? Okay.
AC: It was a keyword Kait made up at Project Hindsight in like 2007. Yeah, ‘Jupe-Jupe’.
AC: And we all started using that around the house. We were looking for where ‘Jupe-Jupe’ was in someone’s chart.
KS: I love that. And definitely it’s a social media phenomenon in the last 24 hours. I’m like, “Oh, there’s a new phrase for Jupiter.” It’s been very popular. But that is a Piscean approach to language, to make up your own words, I, even now–well, not now, but I used to call sweeping the floor ‘brooming’ as a child. I’m ‘brooming’ the floor. And is it ‘coat hanger’ or ‘hang-a-coat’?
AC: It’s ‘coat hanger’.
KS: Coat hanger. I always called it a ‘hang-a-coat’; I still to this day can’t remember exactly. But it’s that idea of you’re not conforming to the rules of language, you’re getting creative with it.
AC: They’re ‘fluid’.
KS: They’re very fluid. We could just move these pieces around.
AC: As long as it conveys meaning.
KS: As long as the point comes across. And I1 mean, sometimes it doesn’t and there is a failure, so that happens too.
CB: Right. And so, at the beginning, one of you said that water, when it doesn’t have any boundaries it’s kind of like the ocean, and ‘the ocean’ is probably the best analogy. Is that a best analogy for what Pisces is as a water sign? Mutable water without boundaries, like the ocean?
AC: Yeah, I think in terms of naturalistic bodies of water.
KS: Well, yeah, the ocean. I often think of ‘a little stream’, which kind of meanders. And what I would often say about Pisces is it is looking for the path of least resistance. It’s kind of that more gentle flowing water. It’s not cardinal, which is a kind of water that might be gushing with a purpose. It’s not the Scorpio that’s got a specific purpose, like the river is going from A to B. The Pisces water doesn’t know where it’s going, I don’t think.
But I think the other thing with the Pisces style of water, if you like, is it’s what Austin alluded to about the drops going into the ocean, that you can’t really pull one piece out. It all goes together or it doesn’t go at all.
AC: Yeah. Once you put that drop in, you’re not getting it back.
KS: No. And I think the point of Pisces is you can’t actually pull really. I mean, I know you can cup your hand or whatever, you can scoop up ocean water in a glass, but I think the key symbolically is that you can’t really separate it. There is too much cohesion here in this particular water sign.
AC: Okay, I have to report the Pisces synchronicity that just happened. I usually close Skype down, but I just got a message from a friend saying that he just bought ten cases of wine.
KS: Yes. And that’s actually one thing we haven’t talked about with Pisces where they do like ‘sweet indulgences’, and they do happily have no boundaries in that department either.
CB: Right. Well, and sometimes that in the extreme sense can be like ‘escapism’ as a sort of tendency as well, which can sometimes happen through substances or through other things that allow for…
KS: That definitely happens–’drugs’ and alcohol’ and then certain types of foods, things like ‘sugars’, anything that will give you a little bit of an altered mental state. Because we don’t have any earth here, we don’t have any Mercury; we’ve got no Saturn. Sometimes all those real ‘deadline-y’, specific things just get a bit overwhelming.
CB: Yeah, and this longing to not have the boundaries and to escape the boundaries or the things that are keeping you tied down in some sense, and to go off and float somewhere in a place that is not holding you back in some way, the sort of desire or longing for that.
AC: Absolutely. No, Pisces escapism is real. Although I will add to that there was a quote by–oh, it was a female science fiction author whose name is escaping me, ha. But basically, she was critiquing people’s critique of escapism. She’s like to escape means to move towards a state of freedom.
AC: She’s like is that really a pathological desire for people.
CB: Mm, interesting. ‘Freedom’ is a core Jupiter signification.
CB: Go ahead, Kelly.
KS: And I do think in Pisces there is that sense of ‘not wanting to be bound’ by anything, as we’ve talked about with our water analogies. Which means things like time, things like having a physical body–these things are binding. These are Saturn things and they’re very binding, and then they’re very grounding, but they’re heavy.
KS: And I think in Pisces because it’s a Jupiter sign it is looking to be, as you said, Austin, freed from that or liberated from that to flow without being bound down. And that’s not how real life works, which is why, depending on placements of Pisces in your chart–whether it’s an angular or whatever planets you’ve got–that can be a real struggle.
CB: ‘Liberation’–that was a good keyword you just used.
KS: Yeah. I mean, the ‘transcendence’ piece is there, I think the desire to feel connected not just with other people. But this is Jupiter’s water sign, so we want to feel connected to something that has that wisdom component too, all that kind of higher, divine piece.
AC: Yeah. I think of Pisces–as well as the other water signs, but I would say more so Pisces–as very ‘soul-oriented’. And I wouldn’t say that the soul is a transcendent thing, but it’s as far down as you can go into the individual, to the point where it interfaces with what’s transpersonal but is still personal. I feel like that’s a very Pisces place; that’s an important depth.
And Pisces people, when they’re not either at peace within their soul or their soul’s not a peace with their life, when there’s that sort of friction between the visible and the invisible, there’s a very special Pisces–a patented Pisces form of misery that comes about from that.
CB: Then is ‘soulful’ a good keyword for Pisces?
AC: I think so.
KS: Absolutely. I mean, it’s water and it’s Jupiter. That feels like a really appropriate combination.
CB: Some of the synonyms for ‘soulful’ are: “emotional, deep, profound, heartfelt, sincere, etc.
KS: Yeah. And it just reminded me that when I was at SOTA this year, I met a gentleman, who obviously was also there, who had this massive Pisces stellium in his chart. And I won’t really say exactly where it is because I don’t want to be divulging things, but he’s an artist, and he said, “The only thing I can paint is waves.” And his waves are phenomenal. He’s on Instagram; his artworks are on Instagram.
I mean, I’m an ‘ocean’ girl–I grew up on an island in the Pacific, because that’s what Australia is, but I also lived in Fiji–and his waves are like the most realistic. You can almost reach out and touch them; they’ve got that kind of evocative thing in there. And that was probably not actually related to what you guys were just talking about, but it just occurred to me.
AC: I mean, a guy who has a bunch of planets in Pisces, who only paints waves is pretty good.
KS: I mean, it’s on-topic and on-theme, at least.
AC: Is he also an alcoholic?
KS: No. I mean, look, I didn’t spend that much time with him, but he seemed quite functional. And it’s a funny thing, like when you talk about the fish going in different directions tied together. And I appreciate that there’s a lot more to addiction than what I’m about to say, sometimes, in some iterations of Pisces placements, when there is a little bit of drug and alcohol stuff going on–not necessarily in like serious addiction–but when it’s maybe just a little more than could be considered functional, there’s often a craving for that ‘spiritual togetherness’ or that ‘soulful fullness’ that is missing, and the drugs and alcohol become these escapist behaviors to kind of dull that emptiness at that very soulful, spiritual level. And so, the filling up, there are different ways to fill up, basically–some that are more productive and some that are less.
AC: Yeah, definitely.
CB: Right. But there’s a tendency for Pisces to gravitate towards finding something to fulfill that, whatever it is.
KS: Yes, exactly.
AC: Well, and I would also say that even if the soul is relatively in order and things are all right down there, there’s also just a kind of a great love of ‘overdoing it’.
KS: Well, yeah! Hey, Venus-Jupiter, more, more, more.
AC: I don’t think I could say I’ve ever struggled with addiction, but I’ve definitely been like, “Dude, you’re overdoing it.”
AC: And it’s not like it’s to kill the pain. I’m like, no, it would be more fun if I had another drink, right?
AC: And so, you can still struggle with drinking too much, or drink too much coffee, drinking too much alcohol–whatever, whatever–without having to necessarily place yourself in that more intense category. You can be like, “yeah, I tend to overdo it, I like to overdo it,” which is very Jupiter, right?
KS: Yes. And I think that’s…
AC: And Sags overdo it too, but in a different way. Pisces likes to take in things.
KS: I love it. So @GeorgeHLewis is his Instagram handle. I mean, I feel like I have to pay homage to him. I know we’ve looked at charts of different people, and you’ve probably got some great ones, Chris, but these waves are like nothing I’ve ever seen before, out of being in the ocean with the waves. basically.
CB: So it’s instagram.com/GeorgeHLewis.
CB: Got it.
AC: Yeah, those are some very impressive waves. They really are.
KS: I was like if anybody needs Neptune in Pisces or just needs to feel Pisces, you can check out his Instagram.
CB: Well, and it’s that sense of realism. And it’s conveying realism even though it’s something where it’s actually just two-dimensions. It’s an image. It’s being painted on a flat surface, but it looks as if it’s real.
KS: Yeah. And that speaks into the echoes and the hints, that in Pisces it’s not a photograph necessarily; we’re kind of capturing the feeling or the essence of something.
CB: Right, but it’s an element that’s almost hard to articulate because if you tried to write down exactly how to do it, it would be difficult. There’s some other element there that’s hard…
KS: Yeah. And this is what we struggle with in Pisces is putting it into words.
AC: Well, and you can, they just have to be poetic words.
CB: And looking at this, this makes me circle around to a point that I was almost going to make earlier. I can understand through the idea of affinity why modern astrologers would get really hung up on tying Neptune to Pisces because there are overlaps there between some of the things that we’re talking about. And even if we’ve demonstrated I think pretty conclusively at this point that we can come to a lot of Jupiter–or Pisces significations through these other means of it being a mutable water feminine sign that’s ruled by Jupiter, you can still understand why they would have said that.
Neptune as, mythologically, the god of the sea, has some similarities to Pisces, even if that’s not an interpretive framework that we’re using or even if we think that rulership is based on a different symmetrical framework based on the luminaries being assigned to Cancer and Scorpio and then the other planets flanking out. Yeah, I just wanted to mention that here at the end of this whole discussion.
KS: Yeah. I mean, it is a water sign. And if you bring in an archetype or a god that is linked to the ocean, there’s definitely going to be some crossover.
AC: Yeah, that’s a good, clear point, Kelly. What I was going to say is that astrologically-speaking, Jupiter, as big, expansive, can do watery. But Jupiter cares about coherence, whereas Neptune is dissolution and absorption without a real limit. With Jupiter, you have a vessel. And so, yeah, I put a bunch of weird stuff in this stew, but it’s all going to cook together, whereas there’s no container with Neptune. And so, you just kind of keep getting further and further out in a way that you don’t get with the Jupiterian frame on Pisces.
And despite everything that we’ve said, there are reams of Pisces who are extremely ‘imaginative’, but in a way that’s successful in real world people. Like the Pisces thing doesn’t just work for poets.
KS: Yeah. Case in point, Rupert Murdoch.
AC: Yeah, there you go.
KS: Not saying we agree with his views or anything, but he’s been exceptionally successful.
AC: Yes. He’s like, “I understand the toxic fantasies that take seed in this culture, and I will harvest them, repackage them, and sell them back to people.” A lot of this Pisces ‘psyche smarts’ is super useful. It works better in practice than you would think.
AC: And that’s Jupiter. Jupiter is all about success–understand and succeed. And so, another thing is that Pisces people in general, I remember reading all of these descriptions that were based on the idea that Neptune ruled Pisces, and it was all about how weak and without will Pisces people are, and that didn’t work for me, but I have Mars in Pisces, right?
But I’ve met a ‘bajillion’ other people with strong planets in Pisces and that like ‘weak-willed-ness’ thing, like that ‘floppy noodle’ portrait is not accurate at all. They might be subtle and squishy, but there’s not the, “That’s cool, I’ll just melt into a pile of goo.” Whereas if I believed Linda Goodman that’s what I would expect from Pisces and I’d be very disappointed when I met them.
KS: Well, I think the amount of times that people will say something like that to me, or you might have heard this too, Austin, I think if you’ve got any bit of Pisces in your chart and you’re a functional human being, it seems to surprise people to a certain extent because of the, if you like, pop portrayal of Pisces as just being either weak-willed or completely a flake. There is maybe a bit more of a driving force inside them than people give them credit for.
AC: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Just one example, Sigmund Freud, a famous example of Jupiter in Pisces, as the founder of the idea or initial pioneer of the theory of the unconscious as a sort of developmental model in modern psychology and psychoanalysis.
AC: Yeah, that’s a good example of discovering the ocean.
KS: The ocean within.
AC: His Scorpio in Taurus planets looked at it and were like, “That ocean’s full of sex.”
KS: Right. Well, he did have Scorpio rising.
AC: I mean, there is sex in that ocean; it is a Venus exaltation sign.
KS: It is Venus.
AC: But there’s other stuff too.
AC: Freud, you dirty dreamer.
KS: Oh, gosh.
AC: All right, well, one of these days I want to circle back around to the modern and traditional rulership discussion, but I’m glad that we were able to create a strong foundation here by primarily approaching this from the perspective that astrologers would have for most of the past 2,000 years of just looking at those core qualities of the signs in terms of gender, modality, element, and traditional planetary ruler.
KS: Can I mention one Pisces example?
KS: Anais Nin? Do you guys know who that is?
AC: Anais Nin? Yeah.
KS: Anais Nin, sorry.
AC: Yeah, she’s a Pisces favorite. I was actually going to mention her earlier.
KS: Yeah, Sun, Jupiter, Venus in Pisces. I don’t know how we’ll describe her to our audience. She’s an author, and she wrote a lot about romance and sex; I guess erotic literature domain.
AC: There’s a very strong mythic, soulful quality to her romance and sex stuff too.
KS: Yeah. So she definitely has the Pisces vibes, or the Jupiter. She does have Jupiter and Venus in Pisces.
AC: And famously linked to Henry Miller who’s another early 20th century…
KS: Amazing playwright. So sorry, Chris, you were summing up. And as true mutables, we did not respect the boundaries, which must be very difficult for you a lot of the time.
CB: No, no. Are there any other major Pisces examples that you guys want to mention that you can think of offhand? I’m trying to look through my list really quickly just to make sure there’s not any that I meant to mention. I mean, the most famous Pisces example of course–I use this as like a trivia anecdote sometimes–but Kurt Cobain referred to himself in his suicide note, sadly, as “a sad, little Pisces.”
AC: It happens.
CB: So that was an example. He was a Sun-Saturn conjunction in Pisces actually.
KS: Yeah, that’s more of a different–that’s very sad.
AC: I see George Washington…
AC: George Washington.
AC: The first President of the United States of America. Let’s see, Flavor Flav is a Pisces, Billy Corgan–these are Sun in Pisces. Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins who now owns a professional wrestling organization is a Sun in Pisces. I think the same generation, maybe even the same year as Kurt Cobain.
CB: Yeah, he was born within a month of Kurt Cobain.
AC: Let’s see, what other…
CB: A famous astrologer–this is a good one–Richard Tarnas is a famous Sun in Pisces in the 10th house.
KS: Is he?
AC: And he’s a Saturn in Virgo, isn’t he, like Kelly and I?
CB: Yeah, Saturn at 17 Virgo. Gemini rising in Mercury. He has this great packed 9th whole sign house.
KS: So does he have a Moon-Neptune opposition then?
CB: Yeah. It’s within, I don’t know, 6 degrees…
AC: I’ve got one of those.
CB: …with the Moon in Aries..
KS: I forgot that he was a Pisces. Oh, I keep losing this example. Elizabeth Taylor…
AC: Yeah, that’s a good one.
KS: …is a Pisces.
KS: “I’m in love with everybody. I want to get married to everybody.” The only reason I remember her–well, she’s just a Pisces.
CB: All right, I think that might be it then.
AC: There’s a whole ocean of them out there.
CB: Right. I mean, Einstein of course was another famous Sun in Pisces.
KS: That’s true.
AC: He’s pretty good for Pisces stereotypes.
AC: Like, “I am a genius who forgets about pants.”
KS: Yeah. “I’ve come up with the theory of relativity, but I’m not sure what to do with these things that have a zipper on them.”
AC: Yeah, that’s like ‘file under Pisces’.
CB: Definitely. And then finally, Alexander Graham Bell.
KS: Oh, yes.
CB: If this is correct, he was a Pisces rising, with Sun, Saturn, and Mercury in Pisces.
KS: I’ve used his charts to teach off of before. He’s amazing. I think he was born just to run a Full Moon, but the Sun and Moon are both just the horizon, so he’s got sort of that maximum celestial light. He basically developed the telephone, and what a lot of people don’t know about him is that he actually did a lot of work creating devices to help people who were physically impaired to communicate.
KS: So people that were deaf or that were mute, because his wife and his child I think had disabilities along those lines. And so, part of the reason the telephone came about was he was actually trying to make devices to help people with some limitations express themselves and communicate.
AC: That makes sense.
CB: Yeah, that’s brilliant.
KS: Yeah, and I think the Moon applies to a tight opposition to Mercury in the chart. So anyway, I forgot that he was a Pisces too. So he’s a very productive Pisces, a bit mad though as well. Like he moved from Scotland to live on some island off Canada and had patents on so many things; so he was a bit of a ‘Mad Hatter’ inventor himself.
CB: Right. He’s a Pisces rising with that Jupiter in Gemini, and then the Moon is in Virgo. So he’s got some heavy Mercury/Gemini/Virgo stuff going on, and then it gets tied back into the Pisces stuff.
AC: Makes sense.
KS: Yeah, very mutable.
AC: Pisces is good for imagination.
CB: And that’s a good example to close down with. Primarily, when I’ve brought up examples, I’ve often looked at the Ascendant being there, but then the Ascendant gets modified by the sign that the ruler is in.
CB: So he’s a great example of Pisces rising and a bunch of planets in Pisces, but then Jupiter is modifying that by being placed in Gemini itself.
AC: Well, if we ever want to do a thirty-hour podcast, we can go through the signs again with the rulers in all 12 signs.
CB: Right. All of the manifestations, one of these days.
KS: Yes, one of these days. Well, we could break it into chunks. We could maybe do three signs at a time and that could be our 2019 project, because it’ll probably take us that long to do all the recording.
AC: Oh, just one more Pisces, Mikhail Gorbachev. We were talking about Pisces ‘seeking harmony’ to try to balance or harmonize polarities. And if any one person was responsible for the end of the Cold War, it was probably him. Oh, and Johnny Cash is another good one.
KS: Oh, yes. How could we forget him? Yes, he’s got some of the classic–I think he’s a Scorpio Moon, or he’s got a couple of planets in Scorpio.
AC: He’s a Sun/Mars in Pisces, Taurus Moon, but Scorpio something.
KS: Taurus Moon. I’m sure there’s something in Scorpio there. He recorded his first album in a prison, he had his own issues with addiction, but he was also this wonderful musical talent. So you sort of get both ends of the fish, if you like.
AC: Yeah, he’s a good Pisces cliche, and he also was a very spiritual man.
AC: One of the last things he put out was him reading the entire Bible.
KS: Oh, wow, yeah.
CB: We’ll I’m going to have to…
KS: Obviously, Austin and I can keep going. You better shut us down.
CB: Yeah, I’m going to have to exercise silence here and say we are at about three-and-a-half-hours, so I think we’re going to have to cut it off. I can’t believe we did it. Thank you guys so much for joining me for this. We’ve completed our two-part series on the meanings of the signs of the zodiac. I feel like we deserve a round of applause, but sadly we don’t have a live audience.
KS: There’s no one here to give us that.
AC: I’ll settle for a drink.
KS: Yeah, I think it’s definitely drink time, Friday night. No, that was really fun. Thank you for having us, Chris, that was great, and always so good to chat with you guys.
AC: Yeah, it was good.
CB: Yeah, this was awesome. So both of you teach intro to astrology courses, as well as intermediate and advanced courses where you actually go into and you deal with some of this stuff more in-depth. Kelly, what’s your main astrology course, if people want to learn more about your approach to some of this?
KS: Yeah, absolutely. The best one to start with if you’re completely new is my Practical Astrology for Beginners class, which is a six-week online program. If you feel like you’ve got the basics down pat, or you want to know what you would do after that then I have a series of chart interpretation classes. Three modules each with four classes in them that’ll take you through planets, chart interpretation, aspects, a lot of what we were kind of touching on tonight. And obviously, it’s a bit more than three hours even though we did give it a good treatment today. So they’re all on my website KellysAstrology.com, under the Study tab.
CB: Brilliant. And I’ll put a link to that in the description page for this episode on TheAstrologyPodcast.com. And then, Austin, what’s your main intro to astrology course that would be good after people have listened to this.
AC: Oh, The Fundamentals of Astrology course, which is cut up into seven month-long units, and the second month-long unit is on the signs. And so, you can buy the whole thing, or you can just get the zodiac month. It’s available–little modular chunks of four weeks each.
CB: Brilliant. All right, and people can find that on your website which is AustinCoppock.com, right?
CB: Cool. And as for myself, my main course for intro, intermediate, and advanced stuff is all packed into my Hellenistic astrology course, where I deal with the foundations of Western astrology and take people from the basics all the way through intermediate and advanced concepts. And that is available at TheAstrologySchool.com.
All right, guys, we did it. Thank you everybody for listening. We will be back again next week for the forecast for December. And then we’re getting ready pretty soon here to do our yearly forecast for 2019 before too long as well.
AC: Hope you liked hearing us talk.
KS: Yeah. Hours and hours a head.
CB: Definitely. Well, thanks, everyone. Thanks to all the patrons and all the people that support and listen to the podcast, we appreciate it and you guys make this happen. So that’s it for this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Thanks for listening, and we will see you next time.