The twelve signs of the zodiac are like characters in a cosmic drama that is being played out on Earth. Here we explore the symbolism of each sign that gives it its uniqueness.


Aquarius? Go figure!

Some random facts about the sign of Aquarius:
Known as the Water Carrier.
In German it is called Der Wasserman which translates as Waterman.
In Hebrew it’s known as Dli which is the word for Bucket.

Aquarius is a fixed air sign.
The other air signs are Gemini and Libra. The element air is about ideas, thought processes and communication.
Libra the cardinal air sign looks for harmony of ideas and agreement through arbitration, mediation and compromise.
Gemini the mutable air sign deals with the play and interplay of ideas, with contradiction and generating conversation through opposing points of view. “Yes, but…”
While Aquarius, the fixed air sign looks beyond argument and agreement to a higher level of understanding. Taking one point of view (the thesis), the opposite point of view (the antithesis), to find a transcendent position that allows them both (the synthesis). To some this may appear to be paradoxical, but Aquarius never had a problem with paradox. To wit …

Aquarian paradox #1
Aquarius, the water carrier is an air sign.

Aquarian paradox #2
Aquarius is the most individualistic of the astrological signs, yet paradoxically the most sociable.

Aquarian paradox #3
Aquarius values individualism, however, it is the sign most susceptible to peer group pressure.

Aquarian paradox #4
The friendliest and most sociable of signs can also be the most detached and indifferent.

Aquarius paradox #5
Before the planet Uranus was discovered in 1781, Aquarius was under the rulership of Saturn along with Capricorn. But Saturn hasn’t gone away, it’s still there but with a Uranian overlay, taking Saturn’s structure and restructuring it.

In terms of colours, Capricorn was seen as dark brown, navy blue and black – sombre and conservative in tone. While Aquarius was grey. With the discovery of Uranus, the Aquarian colour field seems to sparkle with fluorescent flecks that are the terrestrial manifestations of astral colours that cannot be named by human languages.

The glyph for Aquarius traditionally represents flowing water. Or to put a more modern interpretation on it, radio waves, the flow of electricity. For Aquarius is the sign of technology, its ruler Uranus having been discovered at the time of the first industrial revolution. Aquarius is at home with the latest technologies, especially computers and social media and also with modernist movements in the arts.

Aquarius’ opposite sign is Leo, the king, while Aquarius is more concerned with democracy.

In medical astrology, Aquarius rules the circulation of the blood while its opposite sign, Leo, rules the heart. Aquarius also rules the shins and ankles.

Countries ruled by Aquarius include: Iran, Russia, Sweden, Syria (though some have suggested Scorpio), Ethiopia.

Cities include Bremen (Germany), Brighton (England) actually Kemp Town to the east of Brighton is ruled by Aquarius, the rest of Brighton is under the rulership of Pisces, Hamburg (Germany), Helsinki (Finland), Moscow and St. Petersburg (Russia), Salzburg (Austria)

The Age of Aquarius. Sorry, too big a topic to go into here.

What they say about Pisces

The last sign of the zodiac. Its symbol is two fish tied together by a silver chain. For non-Pisceans this is said to represent confusion. C’mon Pisces, decide which way you’re going. Get your head out of fairyland and into the real world. Pisces will nod and agree and give you the impression that you’ve caught the fish whereas you’ve only caught a glimpse of a reflection in a fast-moving stream. The next moment is different, and the next and so on. For example:

Pisceans are amazing musicians and dancers. They do more than just ‘tune in’. Their boundless spirits become the music, merging with other musicians and performers. Their innate abilities only need training to become divas or musical magicians who can communicate direct to the human soul.

Pisceans are a bunch of alcoholics and substance abusers. They can’t handle reality, so they escape into the bottle or the needle just to get away from the hassles of life. You’ll find them drunk in the back of a taxi, blissed out on some designer drug or unconscious in a public toilet with a needle sticking out of their arm.

Pisceans are fantasists and liars. They live in an imaginary world of their own creation. They can, like the White Queen in ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’, believe six impossible things before breakfast. And any Piscean will tell you that the best way to tell a lie is to believe it totally yourself. That means that they can be brilliant actors, totally inhabiting a role, utterly convincing you that they are someone else. They aren’t acting, they are the role they’re playing.

Pisceans are born victims, the patsies and easy marks of the zodiac. They are sheep waiting to be shorn. On the other hand, they are the conmen and manipulators that can convince you of anything. You will find them working as PR agents for oligarchs or dictators. Or you may find them living totally false lives, using their insights into human nature to deceive and manipulate everyone around them.

Pisceans are Christ-like figures, bearing the pain of the world. Totally selfless and self-abnegating and boundless in their compassion for the suffering of man or beast. They will listen to the despairing, sit with the dying. You’ll find them working in refugee camps or in palliative care.

Pisces is all of these and none of them. They will allow you to form your own impression and then swim away to be something else for someone else who will have caught a different fish.

Remember too that as the last sign in the zodiac Pisces can be any of the other signs, at the click of a finger, the rub of a lamp or the wave of a wand. Pisceans can be as decisive as Aries, as cool and detached as Aquarius, as courageous as Scorpio or as structured and practical as Capricorn – to name but a few.

In medical astrology, Pisces rules the feet. Sounds strange until you bear in mind that the feet are in touch with the earth and are constantly (consciously or unconsciously) feeling the vibrations of the earth and the subtle changes in energy.

Countries and regions ruled by Pisces include: in North Africa: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Mauritania; also, Portugal, Scandinavia, Normandy and Namibia.

Cities include: Warsaw, Alexandria (Egypt), Grimsby and Bournemouth (UK), Jerusalem, Seville (Spain).

The Age of Pisces is coming to an end. Read the article here.

Neptune is the ruler of Pisces. Read about Neptune’s importance in the world of fashion here.


The leader, the pioneer, the decision-maker. The ram butting ahead. Gone is the nuanced complexity of Pisces, everything with Aries is simple and straightforward. No games, just the pure childlike ego that goes for it because it has no doubt, and because its own needs are the only thing that matters. You dance because it feels good to dance. You say what you think. You fall in love a dozen times a day because that’s how it is. You go for the limits in order to go beyond them.

Pure Aries lives in ‘the now’. It has no past and no future, no memory and no anticipation, only a sense of identity, of who/what they are and the urge to act.
In medical astrology, Aries rules the head and the teeth.
Countries ruled by Aries include Palestine, England, Germany, Poland, Syria, Israel, Lithuania, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.

The four nations that make up the United Kingdom are traditionally ruled by the first four signs:
England: Aries
Ireland: Taurus
Wales: Gemini
Scotland: Cancer
Cities that are ruled by Aries include Birmingham and Leicester (UK), Florence and Naples (Italy), Krakow (Poland), Utrecht (Netherlands) and Marseilles (France).

Facts about Taurus

Taurean love of the earth is legendary. Earth here means not only the mucky brown stuff where plants grow, but also the planet we find ourselves on. The Taurean focus is on practicality. They’ll listen patiently to the endless discussions of the air signs, and the fantastic plans and proposals of the fire signs. But they’ll offer practical help to the water signs as they swing through their moods (Cancer), emotional overwhelms (Pisces) and intrigues (Scorpio).

Patient and practical, determined and stubborn but alive to the richness of sensory experience. All the senses in fact. The feeling for colour, the beauty of the singing voice and the sensuality of words (Taurus rules the throat and the vocal cords); the love of perfumes: lavender, rose, sandalwood, citrus, musk, ylang-ylang, vanilla, jasmine; fabrics of all kinds , both coarse and fine: silks, satins, chiffon, velvet, velour, damask, brocades and tweeds – loved for their texture and their feel against the skin; a good hearty meal that sticks to the ribs accompanied by a robust Sicilian red and finished off with a wee dram of Laphroaig or a glass of Armagnac. All ideally natural, for Taurean closeness to nature means that the artificial is disdained.

Countries and regions ruled by Taurus include Ireland, Switzerland, The Greek Islands (though there may be individual mythological associations with other gods), Cyprus (the birthplace of Venus, ruler of Taurus), Cuba, Serbia, Tanzania and Yemen.

Cities include: Lucerne (Switzerland), Lewes and Hastings (England), Palermo (Sicily), Leipzig (Germany – associated with many famous composers), St Louis (Missouri) and Dublin (Ireland).

Several points of view regarding Gemini

The exchange of ideas is everything – sharing, juggling, throwing and catching – opinions, points of view. But on the other hand… So what if there’s a contradiction! Geminians live in the space between the extremes of ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

Gemini is the sign of the twins. As twins, they share a womb. For Gemini, sharing means communication of ideas, the whole process of debate, ‘those for, those against’, agreement or disagreement. With Gemini there can be no abstentions and no middle ground. Geminians can get carried away in a whirlwind of discussion. Can sometimes miss the big picture (that’s more the province of its opposite sign, Sagittarius). Can forget to eat (that’s more Virgo’s department, the sign square to Gemini). Gemini is associated with the world of fashion. What’s in and what’s out. Constantly changing. Sparkling with wit and ideas. Flirting with everyone.
London for example, is a Gemini city ruled by Gog and Magog, the twin giants who are the guardians of the City. The real treasure of London is the training courses it provides, learning skills, languages, getting academic qualifications or just for the fun of it. The contradictions of the city sparkle and glitter and Londoners wouldn’t have it any other way, even though it drives us mad at times.

Other cities ruled by Gemini include: Nuremberg (Germany), Plymouth (England), San Francisco (California), Melbourne (Australia) and Cardiff (Wales).
Note also that although the United States was born on the 4th of July and has many of the qualities you would expect of the sign of Cancer: home loving, a bit isolationist, but the intellectual dynamism of that country cannot be anything other than Gemini – exciting, dynamic, bubbling with ideas. But is there a country more riven by contradiction? For example, while abortion is a no-no, gun deaths are apparently accepted. For many countries this side of the Atlantic it’s a blatant contradiction. But for the Geminian USA, it’s what they live with. Go figure!

Other countries and regions ruled by Gemini include: Armenia, Belgium – in particular Flanders, Lower Egypt, The West of England and Wales, Lombardy and Sardinia (Italy).

What I feel about Cancer

Cancer the crab. Hard shell outside. Soft body inside. Cancer is connected astrologically with the emotional need to protect. To protect our young, to protect the home. In physical terms, Cancer is associated with the belly and the womb – with motherhood, and also the male’s instinct to protect his family.

The moon is the astrological ruler of Cancer. She is the celestial body that connects us to the tribe, to our sense of belonging, and in modern terms, to public life or the collective. In some ways, she is to do with the herd instinct, the unconscious following of the forces of nature, our belonging to the earth. In closer focus her rulership of Cancer is associated with our collective memory, our history.

Cancer’s influence is emotional, helping us evaluate a situation; it is the ‘why’ behind an action, while the rational process is the ‘how’. The crab moves with the tides of the moon.

Cancer is home-loving. The opposite sign, Capricorn is to do with the construction of a building, but Cancer makes it into a home. By extension the love of home means care for the environment.
Countries that are ruled by Cancer include the USA (See note in Gemini above), Paraguay, Scotland, Holland, the Bahamas, Bahrain Belize, Burundi, Cape Verde, Columbia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Djibouti, Kiribati, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia and Algeria.
Cities that are ruled by Cancer include Manchester and York (England), New York, Stockholm (Sweden), Tokyo, Venice and Milan (Italy), Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

Leo rules

After caring Cancer comes the fire of Leo. Leo the lion, the king of the beasts, shining with the energy of the sun. Physically, Leo rules the heart. With Leo, what you see is what you get. Warm, friendly, welcoming and open.
Countries that are ruled by Leo include Afghanistan, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Sicily, Ecuador, Zanzibar, Bhutan, Bolivia, Central African Republic Chad, The Ivory Coast, Gabon, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Mongolia, Seychelles, Singapore, Ukraine, and Madagascar.
Cities that are ruled by Leo include Bristol and Bath (England), Bombay (India), Chicago (Illinois), Madrid (Spain), Los Angeles (California), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) and Rome (Italy).

Virgo gets it straight

Leo throws the wild party and Virgo clears up afterwards – enjoys clearing up afterwards. In other words, after the regal Leo, we have the humble servant.

But Virgo knows that to rule truly is to serve. We can go further than that. According to the I Ching, hexagram 42, Increase:

… the superior man:
If he sees good, he imitates it;
If he has faults, he rids himself of them.

In other words, what we’re looking at in Virgo is the process of discrimination and purification.

Virgo’s concern for health is also well-documented. The discriminating Virgo may not be vegetarian or vegan but will certainly be careful regarding what they eat. And drink. Well maybe a small glass of sherry will be alright, but just this once.

Countries ruled by Virgo include Brazil, Greece, Turkey, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vietnam, Venezuela.

Cities include Basel (Switzerland), Paris, (although France itself is ruled by Leo), Lyon (France), Brindisi and Padua (Italy) Cheltenham and Maidstone (UK), Jerusalem (Israel/Palestine), and Los Angeles (California).

A balanced approach to Libra

Libra, the only sign in the zodiac represented by an inanimate object, namely a pair of scales. There can be no doubt that this represents the principle of harmony and balance. In particular, we’re talking about harmonious personal relationships aka love. And sometimes, in my more lucid and less cynical moments I know that restoring the balance of the world through love is the greatest magic there is.
Countries that are ruled by Libra include Tibet, Argentina, Austria, Burma, Canada, China, Japan, Siberia, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Iraq, Israel, Lesotho, Nigeria, Palau, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Tuvalu and Uganda.
Cities that are ruled by Libra include Lisbon (Portugal), Frankfurt am Main (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Johannesburg (S.Africa), Vienna (Austria), Nottingham (UK) and Antwerp (Belgium)

The secret life of Scorpio

“Astrologer, are you? Bet you can’t guess what sign I am…” And the answer is of course Scorpio. Scorpios love their secrets. They love to keep the image of mystery and danger. It’s a no-brainer.

But before I start getting death threats, let me say this: Scorpio is the most courageous and loyal of all the signs. Their ability to go into the most hostile and life-threatening situations, to penetrate into the darkest of dark places of human emotion and life experience. To literally or metaphorically rescue the child from the burning house.

How? By their incredible ability to freeze their feelings. And this for one of the signs that feels most deeply. But all this must stay hidden you understand. As Sun Tzu says in “The Art of War”: “Know your enemy’s shape but hide your own shape”.

Scorpio, the code-breaker, the secret agent, the undercover operator, the plain-clothes detective. The lesson for those with Scorpio well-figured in their chart (sun, moon or ascendant) is to know the karmic cost of the use of power, and if necessary, to be prepared to pay that cost.
Countries and regions that are ruled by Scorpio include Angola, Morocco, Queensland (Australia), Syria, Norway, the Transvaal (Republic of South Africa), Bavaria (Germany), Antigua, Barbuda, Cambodia, Dominica, Latvia, Lebanon, Micronesia, Panama, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Zambia.
Cities that are ruled by Scorpio include Cincinnati (Ohio), Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne (England), Washington DC, Baltimore (Maryland) and New Orleans (Louisiana).

Go Sagittarius!

There’s a horse and a rider. But the horse and the rider are one. It’s a centaur. It has two natures, man and animal, intelligence and instinct. Then once you’ve got them working together, it has to go around shooting arrows. Definitely doesn’t belong indoors! This one needs the wide-open spaces. Sagittarius is not concerned with your boundaries of this country/that country. Has to explore. Needs adventure. Relationships? OK, if you’re a fellow-traveller. Sex? A great way to keep fit. Older Sagittarians have perhaps come home to their Ithaca. Their explorations are now to do with knowledge and philosophy and the meaning of it all.

Alice Bailey, the great theosophist makes perhaps her only joke when describing what drives Sagittarius: “I see the goal. I reach that goal. I see another goal.”
Countries and cities ruled by Sagittarius: Spain, Australia, Chile, China, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Singapore, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cameroon, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Libya and Mauritania.
Cities that are ruled by Sagittarius include Toronto (Canada), Budapest (Hungary), Naples (Italy), Nottingham, Sheffield and Sunderland (England) and Stuttgart (Germany).

Matters relating to Capricorn

Capricorn means business. It’s one of the earth signs along with Taurus and Virgo and earth signs are connected to material reality. To give an overview: Taurus is involved in production – growing, farming, care of the earth herself. Virgo is involved in distribution – harvesting, taking the goods to market, trading, also nutrition and waste recycling. While Capricorn provides the finance – the business structure, the loans, the investment, allowing it all to happen.

The key word for Capricorn is structure. Looking at medical astrology, Capricorn rules the skeleton and the joints (in particular the knee joints). The basic structures of the body.

If you look at the astrological image for Capricorn, it is the sea-goat, a mythological chimera that’s at home from the depths of the sea to the heights of the mountain. What range it has!

It has an interesting relationship to its opposite sign of Cancer. Capricorn provides the structure of the house: the roof, the walls, the insulation (not tot mention the planning permission!) while Cancer turns this structure into a home, something that nurtures and protects.

Note too that the civil year begins on January 1st, when the sun is at roughly 10 degrees of the sign of Capricorn. How many organisations and treaties have their birthdays on January 1st? Among them, the World Trade Organisation, the European Central Bank.

Regarding countries, India is the classic Capricorn country dominated by the structure of its caste system and its inflexible, hierarchical bureaucracy. Other countries traditionally ruled by the sea-goat include, Albania, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Greece, Mexico, Lithuania, The Orkney Islands, Australia, Cuba, Cameroon, Burma, Haiti, Lebanon, and Sudan. The United Kingdom while traditionally ruled by Aries, also has Capricorn as a ruler – William the Conqueror being crowned in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.

Cities include Brandenberg (Germany), Brussels and Ghent (Belgium), Oxford (England), Delhi (India), Mexico City, Port Said (Egypt).


More about the zodiac signs from the point of view of the elements – Fire, Earth, Air and Water – go here.

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