Sunday, August 9, 2009

High Signs 2: Living on the Upside of the Zodiac

Leo through Scorpio

© 2009 by Joyce Mason

Part 1 of High Signs, we covered Aries through Cancer. The purpose of this three-part article series is to identify some of the best ways to express each of the twelve signs in our charts and lives. As I explored the signs with this goal in mind, a natural process of inner evolution became obvious in the 12-stage cycle of the zodiac. I also began to notice key issues that, when resolved, unlock a higher expression of each sign.

To recap, the initial third of the zodiac wheel represents the following aspects of inner growth process:

~ Conception in Aries
~ Rooting in Taurus
~ Growing conditions in Gemini
~ Protection of seedlings in Cancer

Now we move onto the next third of the cycle from Leo through Scorpio—into the blooming, harvesting, and sharing phases of our growth process.

Leo – Don’t Just Catch the Rays; Channel Them

The sign of Leo brings the process of individuation to its exciting first bloom. “Look at me!” Leo says, as he exudes the rays of the Sun and selfhood with no Ray-Bans or sunscreen. It’s a sight to behold; a once drab and scrawny seedling has grown up. It has burst into vibrant color and first flower, reverberating the very Sun that helped make it so.

Here is both the danger and the cure. Leo must avoid believing she is the Sun itself with all its power—and around which the rest of us mere earthlings are lucky to revolve, if she deems us worthy. Creative spark is the ultimate drug, and if Leos hold onto the Sun energy with possessiveness, they become mean kings of the jungle: self-centered, proud, overbearing, bossy, intimidating, grandiose, and demanding of constant flattery (kiss my ring or whatever!).

To be the self-expressive, generous, vital, playful, childlike Lion to whom the rest of us don’t mind giving center stage much of the time, Leos have to let go. I know it’s a fixed sign. If you can resist so well, you can turn it around and resist doing what harms you. You can’t hold the Sun. You’ll get burned. And by the way, letting sunshine flow through you is like a fabulous energy-recycling loop. The more you let the sun come through you without clutching it, the more others beam back your solar energy, recharging your batteries and sense of connection to the sun in the sky. (If we could bottle the beams from all Leos in the world, there would never be an energy crisis. One of my favorite Leos always says she’s sending me “sparkles.” They truly energize!)

Leo brings the inner growth cycle to first bloom, the one that’s most impressive in contrast to the previous stages of seed, seedlings and budding. Leo assures us there’s been a whole lot of energetic shakin’ goin’ on beneath the surface, and now you can see it in living color.

Virgo – Bloomin’ Complete (Well, Almost … )

If Leo is the first bloom of the flower of inner growth, Virgo takes the bloom to fullness and the edge of harvest. Perhaps the Virgo obsession with perfection comes from an innate sense of this “last chance” before the flower is picked, the grain is harvested—choose your favorite plant allusion—and his true usefulness falls into the hands of others in the second half of the zodiac from Libra onward.

Virgo is the last chance for self-possession. (See
The Radical Virgo and Wholeness and the Inner Marriage.) If some of the Virgos you know seem a little control freakish to you at times, they are simply worried that the growing season ends and soon the harvest will be upon us. Virgo is the sign of late summer. Virgos see all they could be—and want it!

To express Virgo in a higher way, the Virgin flower has to tune back into life’s cyclical nature with a view from the mountaintop. You don’t get just one season or one lifetime to become the best you. You get seasons and lifetimes. Don’t make everyone miserable with nitpicky perfectionism, faultfinding, and slavery to jobs or service in an “off” attempt to grasp the usefulness of your Self that you fear you will lose control of, starting in Libra. Helping others is Virgo’s prescience of the next season and sign, but unless you are also blooming your Self, you will have defeated your purpose to be the best you—this time around.

Leo brings the inner growth cycle to first bloom; Virgo completes the blooming before harvest.

Libra –Beauty and the Bounty, Share But Eat Something Yourself First

At the Autumn Equinox, when the sign of Libra starts, we begin the process of sharing the wealth of the inner growth process. No man is an island, and once a person has fully bloomed the Self in Virgo, it is time to share the bounty with another in Libra.

The wheat, grain, or flowers are weighed on Libra’s scales of balance. She hopes for beauty, harmony, justice, and pleasure from her interactions, the fruits of others’ growing. If it starts with “co,” she’s “in”—cooperate, coexist, codepend.

Therein lies the rub, a sign so focused on harvesting others’ gifts, he often forgets who he is. Dependence on approval and the need to partner in all things leads to imbalance, indecisiveness (what will she think?), fawning behavior, and a rash of inconsistencies that can be maddening to the other he is trying not to alienate. Too often, he succeeds just the same. A Libra out of balance is a scary thing.

How to avoid tipping the scales? One plus one equals two. You can’t co-create without maintaining the individuality that is part of the 1+1 = 2 equation. Libra easily falls prey to the misconception that she can rest on her inner growth laurels and coast, now that two have become one. Mergers must create synergy to survive and thrive. This does not occur when Self is absorbed into Other, but rather when two selves interact and create a constant growth dynamic. I suspect the legendary Libra laziness is merely this misconception. If you love relationship as much as you claim, Libra, don’t forget to bring your Self forward—the previous lesson of Virgo. Then Us will rock in a whole new way, where pairing is a preference and vibrant, not a fix.

Inner growth cycle recap: Leo brings the inner growth cycle to first bloom; Virgo completes the blooming before harvest. Libra harvests and shares the beauty and bounty of the inner growth crop.

Scorpio – Chemistry Experiments, But Don’t Blow Up the Lab

Like Libra, Scorpio is an autumnal and “other” sign, one of deep merger and mining the mysteries of life. Scorpio doesn’t take the blooms of others just at face value. She finds out how to mix them up in her chemistry lab to create new by-products, often explosions that run the gamut of pain and pleasure. Then, she might even transmute them into gold.

Scorpio seeks to merge and meld into the other’s experience to see how it can transform them both. It is the alchemical mixing of two selves into Love Potion #9—or whatever happens to come out of the mix.

Much like Leo’s Sun fix, this is potent energy—pure power formed in dark places and so electrifying and life-creating, possessiveness and compulsiveness can take over like a bad spell. The image that comes to mind is Dr. Frankenstein raising the monster to the skies for a lightning bolt of life.

Now, not all Scorpios are mad scientists. Some don’t even obsess over people, but rather work, causes, or other power rides that get their juices flowing. Still, the science metaphor stands. Scientists must remain objective and at least somewhat detached from the outcome of their experiments or the results are biased and invalid. To insist on the outcome of the trial (you will love me or else!) is not exactly good science or good romantic chemistry. Like the other fixed signs, there is a letting go required that is the antithesis of what feels natural to a Scorpio clinging for dear life to his beloved or project.

The saying comes to mind (paraphrased), If you love someone (or something), let it go and if they really belong to/with you, they’ll come back on their own. Of course, you’ve probably heard the less than evolved Scorpionic response to that old saw:
And if they don’t come back, I’ll hunt them down, drag them back, and kill them.

You cannot own the life force. The force must flow through you and those who enter your orb of influence, similar to the Leo admonition not to hold onto the Sun. Whether it’s the Sun or the lab chemicals of love or other volatile combinations, burn happens if you clutch them. Scorpio’s realm, from high to low, is the stuff of magic and medicine—or explosive Pluto-nium. Birth, death, sexuality—Scorpio’s realms are the ultimate extreme of matters that matter most. The life force that joins you willingly creates a powerful resonance for you and everyone in your sphere. Otherwise, you’re living on the Death Star.

Scorpio is the part of the inner growth cycle where we don’t just mix the flowers of self with those of another to form a bouquet. Here we understand the pure creative potential of combining energies to form something bigger and synergistically more potent. This is the same alchemy that will turn plants into medicine or other powerful products. It benefits not just the donors, but has the potential to change everyone and everything their merger touches.

Final recap: Leo brings first bloom; Virgo completes the blooming before harvest. Libra harvests and shares the beauty and bounty of the self-development crop. Scorpio combines energies to make medicine and other potent by-products of energetic mergers.


Next week: High Signs, Part 3: Sagittarius through Pisces and conclusion of the series.



Susannah said...

Another good post Joyce, I love what you say about 'not holding the Sun' very good advice with any energy - let it flow!

Eileen Williams said...

Thank you, Joyce, for this fascinating and informative series. My daughter is a Scorpio and your description of her sign has helped me to understand her much better and why we sometimes clash. I can't wait for your next installment-- I'm a Capricorn and it will be so helpful to compare and contrast the energies of our sun signs.
This is GREAT!

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks, Eileen. Glad you're finding the High Signs series helpful! Astrology casts so much light on personal and interpersonal understanding. I'd still be scratching my head over some of my most challenging relationships if I didn't have help from astrology to realize why we didn't mesh. One of the most interesting classes I ever took early in my studies was Family Astrology. We compared the charts of everyone within our families and found amazing themes, some passed down the generations!