Here is a question I just got:
I need reassurance please that astrology is valid in southern hemisphere. In Australia the 4the of June is winter, not summer. Astrology seems so northernhemispherecentric, a real elephant in the room. Should not tropical signs and their sybmolism be reversed here down under. Have yet to here an argument that seems valid as to why not. Have i missed something?
Here is my reply:
The symbolism of the zodiac is not determined by seasons. You may have heard people explain it that way, but those explanations are faulty. Zodiac symbolism is determined by three things – the planet who rules a sign, the element of the sign, and the way the sun behaves in that sign (which does have some relationship to weather). Let’s look at these three, and how they are relevant to your question.
The majority of the symbolic meaning of a zodiac sign comes from the planet who owns that sign. The Sun and Moon own the signs where the Sun is furthest north of the equator (“highest” – the highest ground, ideal place for royalty) the rest of the planets own one sign on either side, in order of their speed (Mercury first, Saturn last).
The next most important factor in a sign’s symbolic blueprint is the element. Elements have to do with the cardinal directions, and cardinal directions have to do with the cardinal signs. It is not hemisphere specific. I explain this fully in my book, but for now suffice to say that Aries is celestial East because the sun “rises” above the “horizon” of the equator at the beginning of Aries. Libra is West because the sun “sets” below that horizon. Cancer is North because the sun is furthest north of of the equator at the start of Cancer. Capricorn is South because the sun is furthest south of the equator there.
The Sun’s position north or south of the equator is irrespective of whether you are north or south of the equator, therefore it is not hemisphere specific. Yes, if you are in the North, then when the Sun is furthest North it is Summer, and if you are in the South, when the Sun is furthest North it is winter. That is interesting, but it has nothing to do with how the elements are associated to signs. Therefore the elements of signs are not hemisphere specific.
The third major consideration in the symbolic blueprint of a sign is the “modality” – the way the sun behaves in that sign. This does affect weather, but it is not season specific. In the first month (sign) from a solstice or equinox weather progresses steadily in a new direction – it is “cardinal.” In the second month (sign) it deepens in the same direction, becoming fully manifest. It is “fixed.” It stays on the same course. In the third month it flips back and forth from the old season to the new season, it is “dual.” The specific type of weather is not important, just the character of change in weather. Therefore it is not hemisphere specific. Further this is caused by the direction the sun moves relative to the equator, which is not hemisphere specific. The whole thing can be seen without relation to the weather at all, just from the direction of the sun. After a solstice or equinox the sun sets off in a new direction – it is “cardinal.” In the next month it stays dedicated to the same direction – it is “fixed” finally it slows and prepares to change direction, it is “dual.”
– Vic DiCara