The 12 signs of the zodiac are the most popular aspect of astrology these days, by far. There is some deal of good reason why: The signs give the planets resources to work with. So they are very important. Let’s say you are a fantastic guitarist, but you are stuck in the military on operations. You find a gun in your hand far, far, far more often than a guitar. That environment denies you the resources you need to express your inherent talent with a guitar. In fact that environment might even bring out very subtle and otherwise hidden aspects of yourself which you never before knew were a part of you.
This is pretty much exactly what the signs do. They provide the environment in which the planets operate. They give the planets resources to do certain things, but not others. Jupiter, for example wants to help you grow and expand your horizons. But in some signs, Jupiter finds himself in an environment which makes this difficult or even impossible. There are no resources for him to complete his normal tasks. In such situations he will take up other avenues to express his inherent nature, ones that are less characteristic or “normal” for him.
So we have to get to know the 12 signs and the environment that they present to the planets who occupy them.
Getting back to popular astrology: People have gotten into the habit of saying “I am a Taurus” or what-have-you – identifying themselves completely with the sign that was the home, usually, of the Sun when they were born. This is not completely useless, at all. But it has huge limitations and flaws in comparison to more complete forms of astrology. True astrology considers all 12 signs to be active in different roles in each individual person.
The most useful “sign” I have found (as a result of both the logic of theory and the tangible results of practice) is the “sidereal rising sign” – the sign that was really rising over the eastern horizon when you were born. Knowing your sidereal rising sign will give you very solid and reliable information about yourself, but only about the generic trends or potentials. As we discuss the signs, never forget that every individual is an individual with a completely unique individual placement of planets throughout the 12 signs.
– Vic DiCara