The 12 signs

The signs as polar pairs

In esoteric astrology it is necessary to assess the signs as members of one of the three crosses, and also as polar pairs that complement each other:

Cardinal
Life: points of crucial synthesis leading to breakthrough
Axis one: AriesLibra Equinoxes representing critical points of balance
Axis two: CancerCapricorn Solstices representing points of abundance
Fixed
Consciousness: conflict or intensification leading to harmony
Axis one: TaurusScorpio Self-worth and shared worth: clearing emotional resistance to growth
Axis two: LeoAquarius Defining the self; locating that self within the group/society
Mutable
Form: periods of change and re-orientation
Axis one: GeminiSagittarius Relation of the personal to the transpersonal self: personal integration
Axis two: VirgoPisces Love and nurturing of the self, strength to care for others

Viewing at least the three personal points (Ascendant, Sun, Moon) as pairs of opposite signs, the complementaries indicate qualities that have either been integrated, or require integration, into the developing personality. Alice Bailey refers—crucially, considering the psychological nature of the process—to a fusion in consciousness where the ‘twelve opposites… become the blended six’, and through which we discover the ‘freedom of the two’:

For instance, the Leo subject… preserves the individuality, developed in Leo, as well as the universality of Aquarius [and] can function… as a fully self-identified individual, yet possess simultaneously a fully awakened universal awareness; the same thing can be said of balanced activity and consequent fusion in all the signs. (347-8)

New planetary rulerships for developing consciousness

As shown in the main navigation diagram (top left), each sign is the vehicle for between one to three of the 7 Rays. However, the influence of each sign and the rays working through it is also accented at various states of evolution by three sets of planetary rulers:

These three rulerships correspond to the triple model followed throughout esoteric astrology—for instance, the three crosses of activity, intensification and synthesis or the material, emotional and mental facets of personality. Rather than ‘grades’ of development with neat ‘upward’ progress, we tend to cycle through these three, or dip in and out during peak or trough moments in life.