When friends and clients express curiosity as to how they can better understand the Zodiac I suggest that the simplest way I've found is to observe how the people in their lives display the traits ascribed to their Sun signs. We're living in an age when even the least Zodiacally inclined folk may very well know their own Sun sign aka Zodiac sign aka Star sign, and the signs of those close to them. A Scorpio may be skeptical, but proud nonetheless of the popular notion that Scorpios possess a little extra sexual prowess; the most down to earth Taurus will often solidly identify with the symbol of the bull siting patiently (until it charges), and I've met many a Virgo who. confesses to being a perfectionist. Popular culture nowadays is saturated with boiled down basic astrological insight and simplified explanations of the various characteristics which go along with each of the signs are available to anyone on the internet.
My next favorite way to familiarize oneself with astrology is Following the Phases of the Moon. Getting into the habit of knowing the phase of the Moon and which sign it’s in is a wonderful way to tap into the rhythm of the Cosmos. Full Moons are easiest to spot and they come around every few weeks -- there is usually one Full Moon each month (once in a BLUE Moon there'll be two), and when there is a Full Moon, the Moon is in the Zodiac sign OPPOSITE the sign through which the Sun is transiting, which brings me to my 3rd favorite way to deepen your understanding of astrology - oppositions.
If you are born during the Sun's annual transit of Libra, happy birthday!! And in case you didn't know it (pardon my astrosplaining if you do), every year during Libra season, there is a full moon in Aries. This is because Aries is the sign of the Zodiac opposite Libra -- opposite on the wheel, opposite in the sky and opposite in meaning. Aries is me, myself and I, and Libra is just the two of us.
All of which brings me to a living example of today’s Full Moon in Aries, SMOOTA, my good friend and musical partner, born under the Libra Sun and Aries Moon. There is a dualism to people born under Full Moons. The duality lies in the opposition, of the Sun, which represents the essential self and the Moon which speaks to the emotional nature. The axis of polarity between Aries, a fire sign which is the first sign of the Zodiac, and Libra, an air sign which is the 7th, is concerned with relationship. Smoota, in fact, has a song called Our Relationship on his first solo album, Fetishes. The solo project in which he writes, produces and performs the music has been an ongoing expression of his Aries Moon, Aries being a sign of self initiation and self-reliance.
The Libra part of Smoota is relational – we are most often a horn section of 2, Smoota is the trombone to my baritone sax. Libra in fact specializes in one on one relationships, dynamic duos, the pas de deux and dialogues. Ruled by Venus (which is currently also at home in the sign of Libra), there is an inherent elegance to people with the Sun or multiple planets in Libra. In conversation they are non confrontational and great listeners, seeking balance (as symbolized by the scales) and equilibrium (the word contains the same root as Libra). Lovers of ideas, Libras are often at home in the library and/or have a library in the home.
Aries is ruled by Planet Mars, mythologically the assertive warrior. On the bandstand you can hear the fire in Smoota’s trombone playing push/pulling with the polite listening and responding. It’s an immense luxury to be in musical dialogue with him week after week at the Reverend Vince Anderson & His Love Choir show at Union Pool in Brooklyn, as well as in many other bands in which we play together.
Aries and Libra are both CARDINAL signs. The transit of the Sun through each begins with an Equinox, heralding the beginning of a new season, Spring or Autumn, depending on which hemisphere you’re in. Each of the Zodiac signs, in addition to corresponding with one of four elements (fire, earth, air or water), is said to have one of three qualities, Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable. Each of the four seasons begins when the Sun is transiting a Cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn), is at its height and most consistent when the Sun transits a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), and is winding down and beginning to change into the next season when the Sun transits the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces).
I can attest that Smoota is indeed a Cardinal man. He’s always the one in the band who will take the initiative, which is really great, because somebody has to and most of us won’t. He loves to take action rather than waiting around for someone else to, and that is a hallmark of the often impatient, urgent Aries personality. And while Libra natives are generally said to be indecisive, the relational part of them turning to a trusted friend or several to talk them through any decision making process, the Libra/Aries combination ensures that a final decision is reached and executed before too long.
Smoota is a complicated man and there is much more to his astrological typology than that described by the luminaries. For example, his rising sign is on my Uranus, but that’s a story for another blogpost.
Under tonight’s Venus infused Aries Full Moon, the Hunter Moon, I’m wishing Smoota a happy Solar Return, a happy Lunar Return and listening to an All Smoota Zodiac Soundtrack to celebrate the occasions. - I hope you'll join me!