There are twelve Houses in the art of Astrology. Each House is associated with one of the twelve Sun Signs, as well as one or two of the astrological planets. In a birth chart or other astrological reading, the Houses are arranged in a circle, and the depending on the date, the Sun Signs revolve around them, influencing them. The planets are also each placed in one of the Houses, further affecting them. The Sun Signs and planets represent the influences and actions in a birth chart or other astrological reading, and the Houses are the fixed points representing the areas in which these influences create actions to affect them. For example, if Mars is in the Second House, it means that the war god’s intense activity and driving identity manifest themselves in one’s personal possessions, perhaps indicating that one prides oneself in their material possessions, is a collector of goods, or use their personal possessions in ways suiting the war god.
The Twelve Houses are below:
The First House: The House of Self
The First House of Astrology is known as the House of Self. It bears the greatest resemblance to the Sun Sign of Aries, and the planet Mars. It is associated with identity, with an emphasis on how others perceive you. The House of Self is one’s identity projected outward onto others, and when planets and Signs appear in this House, they are acting in the realm of appearance, image, and one’s personality as perceived by others. This House governs the affairs of personal interaction and the image one projects onto others.
The Second House: The House of Value
The Second House of Astrology is the House of Value. It is associated with the Sun Sign Taurus and the planet Venus. When Sun Signs and planets appear in this House, they are acting in the realm of material possessions and resources, such as money, belongings, houses, and the like. The House of Value is focused, like its associated Sun Sign, on the material, and represents actions in terms of physical resources owned personally by the querent.
The Third House: The House of Communications
The Third House of Astrology is the House of Communications, associated with the Sun Sign Gemini and the planet Mercury. This House is associated with interpersonal interactions on a larger scale; social connections and networking, learning, and giving out information. It is the sum of and the parts of one’s communications and interactions with others. Any Sun Signs or planets found in this House are acting in the realm of interactions between people, and the exchange of knowledge and ideas.
The Fourth House: The House of Home and Family
The Fourth House of Astrology is the House of Home, or the House of Family, or the House of Home and Family. It is associated with the Sun Sign Cancer, as well as the planets of the Moon and Ceres. Actions in this House take place in the sphere of one’s home and family, as well as the deepest levels of oneself. While the First House of Self is associated with one’s outward self, the House of Home and Family is associated with one’s inner self, as seen by one’s family in the home, where one is most comfortable. Planets and Sun Signs acting in this House make actions in the realm of one’s personal space, family members, and one’s inner self.
The Fifth House: The House of Pleasure
The Fifth Astrological House, the House of Pleasure, is associated with the Sun Sign Leo and the planets of the Sun and Pallas. Actions taking place in the Fifth House are taking place in the realm of creativity, entertainment, and luxury. This is the House of the arts, as well; Sun Signs and planets in this sphere act in the realms of creativity, children, entertainment, and leisure.
The Sixth House: The House of Health
The Sixth House of Astrology is the House of Health. It is associated with the Sun Sign of Virgo and the planets Vesta and Mercury. Actions taking place in this House take place in the spheres of one’s daily well-being, the services and actions one performs on a daily basis, and one’s own state of mental and physical health. In these ways, the House of Health also covers those areas associated with one’s own sense of belonging and integration, as those are important aspects of mental health.
The Seventh House: The House of Partnerships
The Seventh Astrological House, or the House of Partnerships, is strongly associated with the Sun Sign Libra and the planets Juno and Venus. Like the name implies, the House of Partnerships covers the realms associated with one-on-one interactions and relationships. While the House of Communications focuses on social interactions on a broader scale, this House focuses on communication among individuals, but in terms of an aspect of one’s relationship (as opposed to interactions only) to others. The actions of the planets and Sun Signs in this House affect relationships between significant others, close friends, business associates, and, of course, diplomats and other meetings of equals.
The Eighth House: The House of Reincarnation
The Eighth House of Astrology is known as the House of Reincarnation, and is associated with the Sun Sign of Scorpio and the planet Pluto. Actions taking place in this House affect the realms of shared physical, emotional, and elemental possessions and resources. While the Second House of Value covers personal possessions, this House focuses on communal ones, such as shared homes, community parks, pooled resources, and the like. Planets and Sun Signs in this House also affect deep unions between multiple people with the potential to transform them; the act of sex, marriage, close friendships, monetary unions, and the like.
The Ninth House: The House of Philosophy
The Ninth Astrological House is associated with Sagittarius and the planets Jupiter and Chiron. It is known as the House of Philosophy, and actions taking place in this House cover the realms of mental unions and the development of one’s mental faculties and viewpoints. The House of Philosophy is concerned with the development of the mind and the broadening of one’s viewpoints through any means available, including spirituality, travel, academics, and asking questions.
The Tenth House: The House of Social Status
Associated with Capricorn and the planet Saturn, the Tenth Astrological House is the House of Social Status, and is concerned with, unsurprisingly, one’s social status and place in life and society. Events occurring in this House affect the realms of one’s occupation, social class, respectability, public image, and role in society.
The Eleventh House: The House of Friendships
The House of Friendships is the Eleventh Astrological House, and is associated with Uranus and the Sun Sign of Aquarius. This House covers the realm of social relationships on a broader scale than covered by the Seventh House of Partnerships, and also includes in its spheres social goals and group memberships, such as those in clubs, worker’s unions, and the like. Actions taking place in this House also affect friendships that are not close enough to be included in the House of Partnerships.
The Twelfth House: The House of Self-Undoing
The Twelfth House in Astrology, the House of Self-Undoing, is associated with the Sun Sign Pisces and the planet Neptune. It is the House of the mystic, and is associated with actions taking place in the realm of spirituality, the powerful influences of the past, the collective world/universe/community as a single soul, one’s devotion to higher realms of thought, existence, and being, and service done for others or higher goals. Actions in this House are in the realm of the universe as a whole, and spirituality and higher ideas.
The Astrological Houses have the same progression as the Sun Signs they identity with. For more on this, see my post on Astrological Progression.
So, after going through all of the astrological Sun Signs, I realized that the way I had approached them had been sequential in terms of their zodiacal progression, i.e. how they were ordered along the Zodiac. This led me to interpret the progression of Sun Signs as they were divided into groups of three by Modality, but not in the “standard” way, but in terms of Zodiacal progression.
This meant that I interpreted them like so:
-Aries initiates action and identity, that is then stabilized and made secure by Taurus, who takes the action of Aries and turns it into something more lasting. This action is then adapted by Gemini, who applies logic and reason to the action to better suit it to surviving the changes of time.
-Cancer initiates care and nourishment that is stabilized by Leo, who provides children to accompany this care to apply to others and is appreciated for what he does, and uses his creativity to turn Cancer’s care into something that can last. Virgo then applies her own earthy analysis of the situation, and allows the family to adapt so that it can survive, and maintain its own identity as created in the first progression.
-Libra initiates balanced social interactions (made possible by the previous progression), which Scorpio stabilizes and allows to last through his flexibility and ability to transform itself. This, in turn, is modified even further by Sagittarius, the philosopher and teacher, who allows Scorpio’s transformations to occur in a logical fashion, better suited to the changing nature of human relations, and also allowing for a closer relationship with the universe.
-Capricorn initiates the pursuit of material success, and Aquarius stabilizes this success through his own originality and deeper connection to the universe (a result of the previous progression). Pisces then allows for one to adapt in order to keep lasting by merging the material with the universe all around them, which in turn can produce a new identity to initiate in the first progression.
By interpreting them in this way, four interconnected cycles are produced. The first creates an identity which allows for the creation of a caring family, which in turn creates the potential for social interactions outside of that family, and that in turn allows for one to succeed in the world, which sows the ground again for the creation of identity.
Each progression contains one of the three Modalities, in order; Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Each group, however, only has three elements. The first has only Fire, Earth, and Air. The second has only Water, Fire, and Earth. The third has only Air, Water, and Fire. The last has only Earth, Air, and Water. This means that the creation of identity lacks overly much emotion, the opposite of the Cardinal Sign of Fire. The creation of family lacks Air, keeping rationality and logic out of the creation of strong emotional bonds. The creation of social relations lacks Earth, indicating that the relationship between people is something above the material, and happens on a higher plane. The creation of material success lacks Fire, indicating that the excessive pursuit of the material causes one to lose their spirit as represented by Fire.
Interestingly, looking at the Sun Signs in this way produces the more traditional order of elements when looking at the cardinal element of each group, such as seen in the Tarot: Fire first, Water second, Air third, and Earth last.
Another way to look at the progression of Sun Signs is by the Orientations, which progress in order throughout the Zodiac. The first four signs are personal, the second four interpersonal, and the final four transpersonal, and each group of four represents the creation of each orientation.
-This means that Aries creates a personal identity, Taurus stabilizes and lets one’s personal identity grow, Gemini creates logic and allows for one’s identity to transcend the physical, and Cancer creates a sort of self-centered ideal of caring and an idea that you are one person, and there are others who might need you.
-Leo then provides care on an interpersonal level (for most interpersonal relationships are about care or lack thereof on some level), Virgo takes that care and makes it logical (like a triage nurse), Libra directly then uses this logic to help improve diplomatic relations, and Scorpio transforms interpersonal relationships and allows them to survive, and also hints that there might be something larger out there.
-Sagittarius allows one to then understand to and relate to the universe on a deeper level, transcending the social, Capricorn translates this deeper awareness into something material, relating the abstract to the concrete, Aquarius channels this metaphysical knowledge into originality, and combined with Capricorn’s materialism is able to invent and create, and finally Pisces allows one to be at one with the universe, and this start the process again by creating a personal identity more in tune with one’s surroundings.
This progression I also briefly covered in my overview of the Sun Signs. Each group of four begins with Fire, which is then made material by Earth, which is then connected to the abstract by air, and which is then given a soul by water. Looked at this way, the traditional astrological progression of the elements is observed in each Orientation.
The final way of looking at the progression of the Sun Signs as groups is one I did not cover in my overview. When grouped together by element, each element has three Signs: one of each Modality (Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable) and one of each Orientation. The differences in each Sun Sign are a result of the three different ways of expressing the associated element, like so:
–Fire: Fire is initiated by Aries, who creates an identity and initiates all actions. He is the cardinal force of cardinal forces, and is intensely personal. He is the manifestation of activity and identity. Fire is then stabilized by Leo, who turns this identity and action into creativity (note how above I had been emphasizing the familial aspects of Leo; in this progression his more fiery side is needed), which he can then show to others, emphasizing his interpersonal nature. Sagittarius completes the progression, by taking the creativity and identity of before and tying them together to create an active manipulator of the universe who relates to it on a transpersonal level, in the process allowing it to adapt to change through his wisdom. Fire takes one’s personal energy and expands it until it can be connected to the rest of the universe.
–Earth: Earth is initiated by Capricorn, who is the earth of earth, and seeks to gain material wealth through his practical and cautious ways. Materialism and a connection to the physical world are brought into being by the cardinal Earth, who also represents a transpersonal level of the element, indicating the high degree of connection between this element and the universe. Capricorns begin the cycle by bringing the energy of the universe down and translating it into the material. Taurus takes these material and practical concerns and makes them into something more enduring, making them something more practical. Taurus helps to develop a sense of self-possession and care for oneself, and it is Taurus that allows one to see that their own needs are met so that they may continue to survive, making Taurus a stabilizing sign and of the personal level. Virgo finishes off the progression by extending this personal practicality to others, and helping to care for their health (much like Cancer, though on an interpersonal level), and by creating communities of people working together for the common good, creating an interpersonal community able to adapt in order to survive by including many diverse members. Earth takes the energy of the universe and transforms it into something bonding people together, creating communities made up of individuals.
–Air: Air is initiated by Libra, who creates the abstract ideals of justice and equality, and seeks immediately to create good relations between other people, making it impersonal and cardinal. This diplomacy is then stabilized by Aquarius, who takes the energy of the universe and uses his originality to relate these abstract ideals created by people for people to the greater universe as a whole, making it transpersonal and mutable; after all, what better way to strengthen something than tie it to the fabric of the universe itself? The abstract nature of Air is finally brought to a personal level by Gemini, who turns deeper connections to the universe and other people into something easily understood by a single person, allowing for clear and effective communications for one’s own gain. This allows one to maintain their abstract principles by adapting them into something every person can use for themselves. Air takes the social energy of interactions and transforms it into something personal, using the universe as a conduit.
–Water: Water is initiated by Cancer, who sees himself as the saviour of all others, and goes out of his way to care for them, even if they don’t need it, because he himself feels that they do. He as cardinal because he actively goes out and seeks to nurture, yet his care is based on a personal level, and he does not always empathize fully with his charges. Cancer initiates feelings and emotions, and is the water of water. Scorpio transforms this nurturing and caring, and allows for regeneration and healing to occur between peoples, and the emotional bond between people becomes stronger on an interpersonal level. Pisces then finishes this process by adapting this caring and nourishment to a transpersonal level, in which not only are other people cared for, but the entire universe; the world becomes one’s charge, and it is one’s duty to then care for it. Water takes one’s personal feelings and changes them into a deeper care for the Earth and the universe, by caring for others first and then transposing this care onto everything else.
One can also take these signs and look at them as they progress by comparing the three Orientations associated with each sign, yielding an interpretation out of order to but similar to those found above.
In conclusion, then, one’s interpretation of the Zodiac can vary wildly depending on which order you believe to be most relevant to what you are doing – and there are a lot of ways to view the progression of the Zodiac (I won’t even get into the astrological Ages here).
So, I was thinking again (dangerous, I know), and I noticed that the order of the elements in Tarot and Astrology are different! This might seem minor to some, but for people who base part of their conception of the Tarot on the order of the elements (that would be me), this is shocking! The traditional elemental order in the Tarot is Fire (Origin), Water (Potential), Air (Thought), and then Earth (Realization). In Astrology, Fire (Origin) is first, followed by Earth (Realization), then Air (Thought) and Water (Potential). Water and Earth are switched in the astrological system!
After a few moments of panic, I began to rationalize this, and came to the conclusion that both orders are logical. The Tarot order makes sense because it starts off with a spark (Fire), which then gains potential (Water) and is defined then by thought (Air), which results in its manifestation in reality (Earth). An order of creation, based on the Tree of Life.
On the other hand, the astrological model is not one of creation, but of cycles. Fire begins as an initiator, providing activity to start things off, and is followed then by a manifestation on Earth. This manifestation is then observed and rationalized by Air, and after that it gains new potential through Water, which allows for another spark to ignite and carry on the cycle. This model makes sense for astrology, as there is an emhpasis on the cyclical nature of the Zodiac and similar, cyclical changes.
Pisces – ♓ – Fish – Self-Undoing – February 19/March 20 – Water – Mutable – Yin (-) – Transpersonal – Neptune
Scary as the name of its associated House may sound – “The House of Self-Undoing” – the final Sun Sign of the Zodiac, Pisces, is not any more negative than its associates. Pisces is associated with ideas of mysticism and isolation, in many ways like the Hermit of the Tarot (though “officially” the two are not associated with each other). The House of Self-Undoing is also associated with these mystic ideas, and is also directly associated with isolation, hermeticism, reflection, sacrifice (primarily of self), and the unconscious (which is reinforced by Pisces’ association with Water). The idea of “Self-Undoing” is directly related to the Sun Sign’s Transpersonal Orientation. Pisces is concerned with knowledge of the larger universe, and seeks this knowledge by looking so deep into oneself that that self is lost, subsumed by the larger universe. Many mystics and hermeticists believe that this is the goal of existence, and Islamic Sufis (and early Islamic faylasufs) tried to completely lose themselves in the glory of the larger universe, or God, depending on the symbolism you choose. Once they found God, their self would burn away and they would become on with him (many of them, of course, later reconsituted themselves, but as an appendage of sorts of God). It is then fitting that Pisces is the last Sun Sign, as Pisches finishing what Aries started, and allows the self to become one with the universe. Pisces’ association with unity reinforces this idea greatly.
Pisces is also of the Mutable Modality, meaning that it adapts and changes as it learns. More specifically, the new order created by Capricorn and reproduced by Aquarius is adapted and changed by Pisces until ultimate enlightenment can be reached. Pisces also is associated with the element of Water, reinforcing ideas of passivity within Pisces; the mystic generally does not interfere, and cuts himself off from society in order to understand the universe, and so is, in a sense, the ultimate in passivity (which goes along with its Yin Polarity). Pisces is also symbolized by the fish – two fish, actually, which associate it in turn with rebirth and resurrection, such as that which comes through being reborn with the knowledge of the universe in your head.
Pisces is ruled by Neptune, which is associated with idealism, intuition, and healing – qualities of the mystic and also strongly associated with Water, emphasizing Pisces’ watery nature. Neptune is also associated with unification, just like Pisces.
After finishing my recent Astrology post on Capricorn, I thought for a long while about the parallels that can be drawn between the Sun Sign of Capricorn and the Tarot Card of the Devil. The Devil is a rebel, a destroyer of order, and a god of wild, uncontrolled fertility. Capricorn is associated with order and discipline, and social status and hierarchy. At first glance, the two seem to be opposites, yet Capricorn is the Sun Sigh associated with the Devil.
This could be because of the symbolism. The Devil is a goat, and often represented as Pan. The same holds true of Capricorn, so on this superficial level the two have some parallels. However, the parallels do go deeper, even if you have to think about them.
Capricorn is associated with social class and order, yes, but not necessarily the accepted, established one. Capricorns are, like the goat, often thick-headed and sometimes confrontational, and will try to change the society around them to fit their view of what order looks like. Capricorns are associated with the Yin Polarity, making them passive and introverted, but that does not mean that they cannot initiate change and flip the order of things head-over-heels. One’s sheer force of personality can be enough to initiate an action to change the world.
When looked at that way, suddenly the parallels between Capricorn and the Devil become clear. The Devil tried to overthrow the old order in an attempt to establish his own order, and his sheer force of personality turned many angels to his side. In the end, his new order didn’t fully establish itself, but it did create some very large changes in the universe.
Capricorn and the Devil are also both associated with virility (Pan) and fertility (Earth), but in different ways; the Devil with wanton creation, and Capricorn with ordered reproduction. The two don’t exactly match up, but Capricorns are still associated with reproduction, in the sense that they reproduce their own values in order to spread them and establish their own order; just not in the same wanton fashion as the Devil once did.
So, though some of the meanings of the two symbols may differ at a glance, they are more closely related than one would think. And thus concludes my thoughts on the matter!
Aquarius – ♒ – Water Bearer – Friendships – January 21/February 18 – Air – Fixed – Yang (+) – Transpersonal – Uranus
Aquarius the water-bearer is a Sun Sign of the Air, associated with abstract principles and rational thought. It is also associated with the Astrological House of Friendships, which brings with it an association with ones’s hopes, as well. This association with the House of Friendships also makes Aquarius associated with, as the name implies, friendships and close relationships between similar people, as well as groups, clubs, and relationships on higher levels. Aquarius is of the Transpersonal Orientation, meaning that Aquariuses are concerned with their relationship to the universe as a whole. Aquarius does this by interacting with others, pouring down rivers – as is associated with its symbol, the Water Bearer – to others. Aquarius is a source of water and nourishment for others and serves to bring the energy of the universe down to others by using its lofty understanding to act as an intermediary with the universe. As such, Aquariuses are often considered strange, different, or weird by others, and they embrace this difference, viewing it as a positive thing, which sometimes can lead to rebellion and nonconformity for the sake of itself.
Through this deeper connection to the universe, Aquarius is often able to experience Afflatus Divine – or, in less fancy terms, Divine Inspiration. Aquarius is able to take brilliant ideas from the universe and pour it down into the world, making them amazing inventors, creators, and people who make society and technology move forward. Aquarius is of the Yang Polarity, which is not surprising, given the fact that they influence others by actively doing (and even in its symbol, the Water Bearer is pouring water, not accepting it). Aquarius is also of the Fixed Modality, meaning that Aquariuses maintain the order laid out by Capricorn through the inspiration they receive from the universe.
Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, who is associated with originality, progress, and innovation, emphasizing the creative aspects of Aquarius.
Capricorn – ♑ – Goat – Social Status – December 21/January 20 – Earth – Cardinal – Yin (-) – Transpersonal – Saturn
The Sun Sign of Capricorn is associated with the oft-overlooked goat. The goat is an animal of the Earth, and its horns can either represent fertility or, if they spiral, infinity. Due to its association with Earth, Capricorn is a very practical and materialistic Sun Sign, and Capricorns tend to be concerned primarily with the everyday world and physical things. Because of this elemental association, Capricorn is also of the Yin Polarity, and so is introverted and often passive. Capricorn is also a Cardinal Sign, however, meaning that initiates action, and the actions that it initiates are associated with order. It is associated with the House of Social Status, representing authority, hierarchy, ambition, appearance, and drives. Capricorns are very concerned with how they appear to others and are concerned with finding out how and where they fit into the grand scheme of things. Capricorns are also of the Transpersonal Orientation, and so while they might be introverts and keep to themselves, they are also seeking to connect to the universe on a deeper level. In Capricorns, this manifests in trying to place themselves in an ordered world, and then presenting themselves to others as belonging in that position. They seek to ground their connection to the rest of the universe in reality by figuring out where they fit in. However, Capricorns don’t necessarily have to be content with where they are, and may try to move up in the ranks.
The goat is often thickheaded, and is associated also with virility and fertility, and reproduction as a whole, through the guise of Pan (and reinforced through its association with Earth). Capricorn represents Pan in the Zodiac, and the influences of the natural world upon us all, again combining the universe’s grand plan with more practical concerns, and initiating actions to shape the world more to their liking, not necessarily through active actions, but just by being who they are. They initiate, but do not start out trying to change the world; by nature of who they are, it just happens. Capricorns have strong personalities, can be confrontational at times, and have very clear ideas of their role in society, and seek order and the reproduction of said order. That being said, Capricorns are also great adapters, and do not usually seek to create new things completely out of nothing; rather, they adapt what they have before them using pre-existing concepts of order and discipline in order to build their new models. This then leads to Capricorns as being, interestingly, in the Cardinal Modality, but whose Cardinality is defined by Mutability.
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which reinforces the ordered nature of Capricorn with its association with discipline, responsibility, and thoroughness.
Sagittarius – ♐ – Centaur – Philosophy – November 22/December 20 – Fire – Mutable – Yang (+) – Transpersonal – Jupiter
Sagittarius is the learned centaur, educated on the ways of the world and wise. His wisdom comes not only from learning, but also from personal experience – the Centaur has lived extensively and learned from his experiences. He is not afraid to try out what is new, and is a pioneer and explorer. He is associated with the element of fire, and the courage and initiation (such as that associated with exploration) that go along with it. However, the Centaur is not of the Cardinal Modality; rather, Sagittarius is of the Mutable Modality. It takes the ideas put forward by Libra and stabilized and emotionalized by Scorpio and brings them into a whole new plane, where they can be applied to everyone, revolutionizing thought. It is only appropriate that the pioneer is also the first Sun Sign to be of the Transpersonal Orientation. Sagittariuses identify themselves by their relationship to the universe at large, and are the ones who make Libra’s ideas more related to the laws of the cosmos. The Centaur’s wisdom also reflects a deeper understanding of cosmos, and can be somewhat of a mystical teacher (just like the centaur Chiron).
Sagittarius is associated with the Astrological House of Philosophy, again giving the Sun Sign an association with higher learning, wisdom, complex thought, and new ideas. However, Sagittarius also reminds us that we all “[stand] on the shoulders of giants,” as Newton said, and that new ideas do not come about in a vacuum. Rather, most new ideas are merely new ways of looking at and adapting the old. The Centaur and his House is also associated with long journeys – both physical and spiritual – and cultural interactions. Sagittarius is the “meta” Sun Sign, and most associated with the mystic.
Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius, and is associated with optimism and open-mindedness; Sagittarius is open to any and all new experiences, and seeks to do the best that he can with what he has. He is also generous and kind, as exemplified in Sagittarius’ abilities as a teacher. Sagittarius is also of the Yang Polarity, and is associated with activity and action.
Scorpio – ♏ – Scorpion – Reincarnation – October 23/November 21 – Water – Fixed – Yin (-) – Interpersonal – Pluto
Scorpio is the Scorpion. He is strongly associated with the thirteenth Trump of the Tarot deck, Death. It is this association with Death that comes out most strongly in Scorpio’s association with the House of Reincarnation, as Reincarnation and the Cycle/Circle of Life is the meaning of Death in most Tarot readings. In its association with this House, Scorpio represents cyclical change, sexual relationships, rebirth, and hidden meanings and transformation. Scorpio is a complex Sun Sign, as in many regards by its nature it is the Sun Sign of complexity and inner meaning.
Scorpio is also in the element of Water, meaning that it is a passive Sign that deals with emotions (its passivity, of course, best exemplified by its Yin polarity). Scorpio transforms and renews, but it does not initiate this action; rather, it transforms and renews once a cycle is completed. In this way, Scorpio is of the Fixed Modality, representing stability through movement (similar to the meaning of the Tarot card the Two of Disks/Pentacles/Coins, or Change) and cycles. It takes the new ideas thought up by Libras and transforms them into something more accessible to others, making them more emotional, in keeping with Scorpio’s watery theme. At the same time, however, the original meaning of these ideas are not lost, and a deeper level of understanding always exists in whatever a Scorpio might say. They have deep personalities and complex emotions, but do their best to maintain the status quo by constantly transforming the situation around them.
The Sun Sign of Scorpio is also of the Interpersonal orientation, meaning that Scorpios define themselves in terms of their relationships to other people. Indeed, Scorpios transform the ideas of the Libras for the sake of others, and do their best to create security for those around them by their constant adjustments and renewals. Terr Pratchett best expressed this idea of constant renewal to create stability in his book Thief of Time, with the idea that at the hypothetical smallest possible unit of time, the universe is destroyed and then created, constantly in a cycle of destruction and creation. Scorpio represents this idea astrologically.
Scorpio is ruled by the planet of Pluto, which reinforces its association with the spirit of Death, representing renewal and transformation.
Fairly straightforward: a reading done with the Celtic Cross spread on the Occupy Movement sweeping the world (this spread has been sitting on my Tarot Table, unread, for a good while. Now that I have the time, I figured I’d get around to doing it!). The question was:
What aspects surround and influence the Occupy Movement across the world?
Due to my bias – living in the United States – my answer will focus on movements here, that I am more well-informed about, but I will attempt to cover all movements. The spread visually:
Position 1 (Central Aspect): Queen of Vessels (Salmon)
The Queen of Vessels in the central position of the Celtic Cross to me seems to indicate that this card is acting as a personality descriptor summing up the whole movement. The Salmon is famous for the journey it makes upstream each year to spawn, going through countless obstacles in order to reach its goal. In this regard, I believe that the Salmon reflects upon the tenacity of the Occupy Movement, and the deep devotion of many adherents to its cause. This Movement is not something that will go away, and no matter how many waterfalls and hungry bears you throw at it, it will keep on growing and moving forward. If we carry the comparison even further, the Movement might be weakened by the hardships it faces as a whole as people back out, but those left behind will be stronger and in the end will triumph, as the Salmon always does. It isn’t extinct yet, right? In the near future we will see if this holds true, following intense police crackdowns across the world, which have the potential to either shut down or inflame the movement. Let’s hope it’s the latter.
The Salmon can also represent virtue and caring, indicating that perhaps the Occupy Movement is right in what it is doing (I personally believe in it myself, which doubtlessly influences my reading). The Salmon is also associated with cherishing things – such as the ideals of freedom from corporate domination and economic inequality that the Movement is protesting. The Movement is also seeking to recover from the terrible downturn the world plutocratic society has taken, again putting it in harmony with the Salmon.
The Queen of Vessels also calls to mind self-sacrifice in the name of the future – what else is the Salmon’s journey upstream a prime representation of? Many have sacrificed much in the Occupy Wall Street Movement – pepper-spraying, arrests, and beatings – in order that they and their descendants do not have to deal with plutocratic oppression. The Salmon also represents honesty and generosity. Generosity can be seen in many of the camps, who provide for their members’ needs, and the message of honesty resounds on the Movement, though critics have pointed out – sometimes with merit – that some (but not all – not nearly) of those joining the Movement do so purely out of personal gain, and there are some horror stories of crimes committed in the camps. This brings perhaps a shade of dishonesty to the movement, possibly a cause for Mourning the loss of the Occupy Movement’s original integrity, as reflected in the next card.
The last important aspect of the Salmon as it applies to the Occupy Movement is its association with simplicity. Many critics have… well, criticized the Occupy Movement for having no clear message. In fact, the message of the Occupy Movement is very clear and very simple; so simple, in fact, that it seems to go right over many peoples’ heads. The message is thus: End corporate power and return democracy to the people. It is a very broad message, yes, but that simple statement incorporates all that the Occupy Movement is about.
Position 2 (Opposing/Supporting Aspect): Seven of Vessels (Mourning)
While the Salmon indicates that the Occupy Movement is virtuous and persevering, the Seven of Vessels – Mourning – has some contradicting messages, indicating that the Movement is not as simple as it may at first appear. As mentioned above, some of the initial spirit of the Movement has been lost – some of its integrity has been destroyed by those abusing it, the media, and, of course, its opponents – and it is no longer quite as spontaneous as it had once been due to its growing size. The time of those aspects of the Movement are past, and this card indicates that it is time to move on from them.
The Occupy Movement also has met with fierce resistance from law enforcement, and has had to recover many times from clashes with the police. Mourning is the first step to this recovery, and as protestors and occupiers mourn the loss of their encampments and the support of the law, they move on forward, putting the past behind them.
On a very broad level, the entire Occupy Movement can be seen as representing a reaction to mourning the loss of a true democracy in the United States, and in many other areas of the world, where corporations have taken control of political and economic power (look at Greece, for example, where this is most overt). The people have seen democracy fail, especially in the United States, due to corporate power, lobbying, and an ill-and-mis-informed populace, and mourn for the death of what was once a country where everyone mattered (this in itself is, of course, a fiction, but the idea of the past is almost always more important than its reality). The Occupiers have finished the worst part of their mourning, and are recovering – but not by moving on, as the Seven of Vessels urges you to do, but instead by embracing their grief and sense of loss, trying to restore that which they have lost. The entire movement, then, is a way of embracing what was lost and not letting themselves move on until the problem causing them to mourn is fixed.
Position 3 (Unconscious Influence): Knight of Bows (Fox)
The unconscious influences on the Occupy Movement are best represented by the Knight of Bows, or the Fox. This is very interesting, as the character of the fox is a strange mixture of wisdom, cunning, and playfulness. Certainly, the mischievous nature of the Fox is absent in many regards, but that character has come out in a few regards – emphasizing the fact that this is the unconscious influence, so is beneath the surface. One thing influencing the Movement is a desire to change the current system – and some might even go so far as to say “upset” or “overthrow.” This mentality represents, I think, the hidden influence of the Fox, and perhaps a mischievous desire to upset the anthill and see what comes out. Some members of the Movement are doubtlessly in this mindset, and this card is perhaps telling us that they wield more influence than we have been led to believe – or maybe it is telling us that the troublemakers that critics of the Movement are quick to point out do have influence beyond their numbers.
Other supporters of the movement – particularly Facebook groups such as the Coffee Party and The Other 98%, and of course Jon Stewart’s Daily Show – embody this playful nature in a less harmful way, making their point stronger through the use of wit (again the domain of the fox) and humor. These voices are perhaps the most influential (especially Mr. Stewart), even though they are not the official spokespeople of the Movement, making them, in a sense, “unconscious” influences. Jon Stewart in particular I feel is a good archetype of the Fox – using wit, humor, and playfulness in order to cunningly expose the ridiculousness of the system, and in his own way provide us with wisdom. Though not explicitly connected to the Movement or even to activism, really, Jon Stewart has been a rallying point for liberals, whether he wanted to or not, and a sworn enemy of many conservatives. The Occupy Movement, while not belonging to any political party, is generally more liberal than conservative (many have compared it to the Tea Party, but I believe that this comparison has no real merit), and so Jon Stewart I believe has served as a rallying point for the Movement as well, and his words have probably influenced a large portion of them – the Fox’s hidden influence becoming plain.
The Fox is also known for its stealthy qualities, further reinforcing the idea of hidden influences. Perhaps this card is hinting that the Occupy Movement has goals that even most of its members don’t know, or are being influenced and run by people that hide their ties to the movement. I’d like to believe that this is not true, but this card hints at the possibility, and I think acts as a warning to Occupiers as well, telling them to watch out for pranksters and those who hide stealthily among them in order to change their course.
The Fox also, however, represents cunning and wisdom. This indicates that perhaps the Movement is using underhanded tactics – something which I have seen for myself at my university, when Occupy protesters interrupted a lecture being given on what one scholar thinks of capitalism, heckling him and in some cases abusing their status; definitely not something admirable, and in the end something which might undermine the movement. On the flip-side, however, the Movement is also in many ways putting forth its own wisdom, pointing out the flaws in the current world plutocratic capitalist system. The first step to true wisdom is realizing what is amiss in life, and the Occupy Movement has, I think, realized this.
Position 4 (Past Influence): King of Vessels (Heron)
Next to his wife is the King of Vessels, the Heron, representing the influences of the past – whether these influences be receding ones or those influences that have been in effect for a long time. The King of Vessels is a court card, so I feel that this influence is one of strong personalities. The Heron is a symbol of the gatekeeper to the Celtic Otherworld, and often is seen as having uncanny, nearly psychic abilities of observation. He is calm and possesses extreme self-control, but when he is forced to take action, the Heron can be unstoppable and willful. Certainly, the latter part of this description made itself known in the initial stages of the Occupy Movement, when a group of people who had previously been (mostly) calm, going about their daily lives, trying to earn a living, finally felt compelled to do something about the inequalities caused by corporate greed around the world, and using a depth of character found in the Heron, managed to begin a global movement to change things, that may or may not be unstoppable.
Looking even further back into the past, the inspiration for the Occupy Movement can be, I think, be traced back to the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring came to the world’s attention first through Egypt’s example, although there have also been protests in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, and ongoing ones in Iran (although the protesters there are not Arab, but Iranian, similar ideas prevail). Of course, there is also the first country to overthrow its corrupt leader and the only Arab nation to have had any real success with its revolution: Tunisia, beginning with Mohammed Bouazizi’s setting himself on fire to protest the confiscation of his wares, bringing to light the oppression of the Tunisian government. Bouazizi is here, I think, the Heron that started the international idea of liberation in 2011: a street-vendor trying to make a living, harassed by officials and yet not resorting to violence against them (for whatever reason, ethical or practical), who when finally made to act, did so in a spectacular way displaying a real level of martyrdom and death that has significantly changed the country, and perhaps the entire world.
Taking this analogy further, Bouazizi is, as a result of his self-immolation, no longer among the living, his martyrdom making him a possible gatekeeper between worlds: while physically dead, his actions continue to play out in the real world, making his influence that of something between life and death, like the Heron of Celtic mythology. Bouazizi’s actions also demonstrated great integrity and honesty, and he fought for ideals of fairness – all aspects of the Heron as well. He also possessed extreme amounts of self-control: he did not attack officials, and it takes extreme self-control to set oneself on fire in a public space. He deliberately made a statement in the hopes of bringing equality, caring for his subjects like a good king should.
The suit of Vessels comes into play here as well, as the impact of his self-immolation was a result of the emotional trauma associated with such an event – something in the area of Vessels. This can also be tied to Mourning, the Seven of Vessels, as the Arab Spring began with the mourning of this man, and was a way of dealing with what he had done. Some people have claimed that Bouazizi’s story is not real, and was just a symbol. I personally doubt this, but even if it is true and it did not actually happen, that does not make the story any less powerful or influential.
In turn, the Arab Spring spread the idea of liberation to the rest of the world, and the Canadian group Adbusters adopted the Arab Spring’s revolt against political oppression into ideas of economic oppression, and thus began to movement. Whether or not the influence of the Heron is still strong, we shall see, but it seems to me as if it is, as the Movement still seems to have, as a while, the honesty and integrity of the Heron (though the rigidity associated with the Heron certainly does not seem to manifest itself in the Movement, other than in its unbending message). Additionally, the Heron stands beside his wife, the Salmon, whose perseverance will help the Heron keep his standing.
Position 5 (Conscious Influence/Thoughts): The Seer
This is a very interesting card to have here. The Seer is a card of wisdom and oracle, representing an inner journey and prophetic visions. While her counterpart, the Shaman, is an active manipulator of events, the Seer is passive and imparts guidance upon those who seek it. In this position, the Seer is representing the prominent position of the wisdom of the Movement. Indeed, the Movement is wise, I think, as the current state of world affairs cannot be allowed to go on for much longer. This card in its position as the conscious influence also indicates that perhaps the Movement wishes it had a guide, an oracle, or a leader of some sort, instead of being the supposedly leaderless Movement it is – or that it has one. This guide and imparter of wisdom is, I think, liberal philosophy and, frankly, common sense. Life is unfair, and something can be done about it, so why not do it? That is the Oracle of the Movement.
The Seer is also associated with an empathy towards nature, which can manifest itself as a part of the Movement. The corporate world economy has done lasting harm to the environment, which in turn has harmed the people, and a return of power to the people will hopefully begin to reverse this process. Nature can also refer to the environment surrounding people, which has definitely been harmed as a result of the world plutocracy, and this Movement empathizes with the environment, and seeks to heal the world spirit – another aspect of the Seer. If you look at my Personality of the World Spread, I think you will notice that a lot of the themes I discussed there appear here as well – as well as many of the same cards.
Position 6 (Future Influence): The Pole Star
This card tells us that the Pole Star will influence the Movement in the future – or is it telling us that the Movement will act as a Pole Star in the future? The Pole Star is a guide, shining its light down from above. This indicates to me that something – perhaps the collective energy of the world – is guiding this Occupy Movement (after all, it seems to have advanced very far for being ostensibly a leaderless movement), and will continue to influence it in the future. At some point in this future – and perhaps even now – the Movement will begin to guide the rest of the world, by exposing the corruption of the system in which we live and ushering in a new cycle – something else that the Pole Star represents. To me, this card is very optimistic about the future of the Occupy Movement, representing as it does renewal and hope: perhaps it can save society and guide it out of the darkness we have found ourselves sliding into. The Pole Star represents universal law and spiritual order, and the Occupy Movement will eventually come to represent this law and order, bringing harmony back to the world. This card also represents the calm after the storm, and indicates that perhaps it is this Movement that will end a lot of the conflict on the planet if it can succeed.
Position 7 (Occupy’s Perception/Presentation of Self): The Wanderer
Not a surprising card at all. The Occupy Movement is presenting itself as the first phase in a new journey, and heading towards a new society. While the Occupy Movement is advocating for a return of democracy to the people, this sort of thing is actually, in reality, quite unprecedented in the world (if you want to dispute this with me, I’d be more than happy to talk about it, as I study both sociology and history). As such, the Occupy Movement presents itself as, much like the Wanderer, stepping out into the unknown, having faith that its foot will fall on the rainbow bridge, and won’t touch nothing and cause them to fall to their deaths below. Reinforcing the idea of the simplicity of the message brought out by the presence of the Salmon, the Wanderer/Fool is often portrayed as simple and naive. While the Occupy Movement itself does not try to portray itself as naive, that is how the Occupy Movement is seen by many. However, its message is simple (though not in the sense normally assumed of the Wanderer/Fool), as I explained earlier, reflecting the simplicity of the Wanderer’s mind. The Occupy Movement seeks to make the first step into creating a new society in which the power of the corporations are shattered and democracy belongs again to the people.
Position 8 (Other’s Perception of Occupy/Influence of Environment on Occupy): The Mirror [Reversed]
This is very interesting, at least to me. The Mirror in this position, I believe, has two meanings. The more obvious of the two meanings is what this card represents: patiently waiting for initiation into hidden knowledge. This card’s meanings in this regard seem to fall short here (there’s one of these cards in every spread), and that certainly does not seem to be how others perceive the Movement. Interestingly, though, many people initially skeptical of the movement, after visiting the actual sites, become involved in it and begin to support it strongly (one example of this is here). In this sense, there does appear to be a kind of initiation, but it is more similar to the Hermit’s initiation than the Mirror’s, as there is a conscious move to the sites of the Movement. However, the visitor does not often intend to “convert” to the Occupy Movement by attending, but is taken by surprise when this happens, indicating that perhaps the Mirror is at work here through her unconscious initiation into the inner knowledge of the Occupy Movements. Additionally, due to the way the media covers the event, it is often impossible for viewers to really know what the Occupy Movement is like without going there oneself (regrettably, I have not been able to make it to one, though I have searched out obscure articles by Occupiers on it), which in itself makes the Movement similar to the unconscious initiator of the Mirror. It is also important to recall here that the Mirror is, in fact, reversed, so the characteristics we see here are less obvious than normal – which is good, because some of those explanations are a little bit of a stretch!
I believe, however, that a second interpretation of this card is better. The Mirror initiates by letting one see oneself through one’s reflection, allowing for better self-awareness and an inner, spiritual journey. Many Occupiers no doubt see their own struggles reflected in the Movement, which in turn leads them to become better people and to understand themselves more. However, the still water that reflects can also distort, and the mirror is sometimes cracked. The fact that the Mirror is reversed to me indicates that this reflection might not be as pure. This card is not how Occupiers see themselves – it is how others see them. The most vocal speakers on the Occupy Movement are its critics (aren’t they always?), who, I think, like a Mirror, reflect the face the Occupy Movement puts forward (that of the Wanderer) back at them and distort it. The simple message of the Movement is criticized by its opponents as being too broad and ill-defined. The Movement is portrayed as being naive, and taking foolish actions filled with risks in order to gain something that critics argue was never lost in the first place. Many others view the Occupy Movement’s face and see a twisted and distorted version of it. Due to the influence of the corporate-dominated media (again, if you dispute this, tell me – I argue that the idea of the “liberal media” is a myth), no one truly sees the Occupy Movement for what it is, and instead receives a twisted picture of it.
Position 9 (Hopes/Fears/Advice): The Shaman [Reversed]
The Shaman appears with his counterpart, the Seer, indicating that two types of guidance are present in the Movement. The Shaman in particular is positioned in the position of guidance itself within the spread, indicating that while the Seer’s oracular guidance may be more visible, the Shaman’s influence is perhaps greater. This card is also, however, blocked, indicating that perhaps the Shaman’s influence has the potential to be greater, and perhaps is the best course of action, but something stops it. The Shaman is a manipulator and a liaison between the ancestral memory of the world and the current world. To me, this seems to mean that the Shaman here is telling us that we should look to the past for lessons, drawing upon our ancestral memory. History has a tendency to repeat itself, and the Occupy Movement could probably look for past precedents to determine what the most effective course forward would be, manipulating the world in order to achieve its ends. Examinations of the South African anti-Apartheid Movements, the Black Power Movements, the World Social Forum, and no doubt a large amount of other movements I am less well-informed about.
However, this possible influence is blocked; perhaps actively by the media and the corporations providing access to information about the past, or more likely, by people’s lack of knowledge of or motivation to look at the past for examples – the Movement is very liberal, and looking to the past is primarily a conservative idea, even though it is often helpful for liberals as well. Perhaps the Movement has been looking in the wrong places for its inspiration, or is unwilling to look back, instead preferring to look forward. It is foolish to forget that which proceeded you, however, and by doing so one turns one’s back on a wealth of useful knowledge. This card could also represent a lack of active manipulation of the world around them, and advises the Movement to take an even more active role in making its own terms.
Position 10 (Sum): The Wheel [Reversed]
This certainly seems fitting here. The Wheel is one of those cards that sums up things, lying as it does at the end of the first decade of the Major Arcana. The Wheel is also a representation of the entire structure of the Wildwood Tarot Deck: the Wheel of the Year. To me, this overtly suggests that the Occupy Movement will be defined by the cycle of time: rising in the Spring (interesting that the Arab Spring began in the Spring…), flourishing during the summer, and then becoming more cautious in the fall as reactions to the Movement increase, until finally being forced to go almost underground by repression. I believe that the first cycle of this has already happened, with an initial strong movement flourishing for a while with support, until the crackdowns began, scaring many off, and then finally winter began with the forced evictions across the world. This card to me indicates that this cycle will continue on and on, persevering due to the influence of the Salmon/Queen of Vessels, and that soon winter will end and the Movement will come back stronger than before: perhaps in the reaction to the evictions, or perhaps later. Only time and the turning of the Wheel will tell.
This card also can indicate karma and the balance of the universe through the actions of fate. The plutocratic system has created drastic imbalances in the world, and this Movement may the karmic force to restore that balance. Interested at the lack of Balance in this reading – which is what I believe the entire Movement to be about – I drew another card here to see if perhaps Balance would modify the Wheel. Instead, I drew the Five of Stones: Endurance. To me, the message here was clear. As a card in the Suit of Stones, Endurance represents Winter. As a Five in a Tarot deck, this card represents a destabilizing force. The Occupy Movement has been destabilized in the recent past – in the “Winter” phase of the Wheel – and Endurance will be necessary to get through it. This seems to indicate that the Winter of the Occupy Movement has only begun, and this it will go through difficult times before it triumphs.
This card’s position as the sum also inspired me to look more closely at how the Wheel of the Year played into the Occupy Movement. Most of the cards in the spread are Majors, and those Majors – and the Court Cards, which consisted of two Vessels – tend to concentrate in the Vessels area. I rearranged the cards in the spread to their positions according to the Wheel of the Year below:
This makes the heavy weighting on the side of Autumn extremely apparent. The Wheel and the Mirror (Reversed) are both at the Autumn Equinox, and the Seven of Vessels is also well into the season. The Heron and Salmon are also cards of Autum. This, to me, seems to indicate that at the current time, the Movement is currently in Autumn, which is disturbing to me on some level, as this implies that the worst is yet to come – the evictions of late are not the Winter of the Movement. However, it could be that there are smaller cycles of the Wheel, but that in terms of the overall Movement as a whole so far, it has entered Autumn – and has done so extremely quickly, if the Autumn of the Movement is also the Autumn of the first cycle. I do believe that this is the best interpretation of this; that in the overall cycle of the Movement the plutocracy’s oppression is just beginning to make the movement cautious, but that smaller cycles exist within the movement as a whole, and that this is a moment of winter for the Movement. I just hope we have the Endurance necessary to survive the coming Winter. Also, there are no arrows at all in this spread (initially there were no stones either, until I drew clarification card, indicating that Winter is Coming). Spring is currently long gone, and it will be a long Winter before it comes again.
Also interesting to note is that three out of the four cards at the hub of the Wheel of the Year are present: the Wanderer, the Shaman, and the Seer. Both the querent and his two initial guides are present in this spread, which to me seems optimistic; if the Wanderer (the Occupy Movement itself) can find the guidance of the Shaman and combine it with that of the Seer, the Wheel will continue to turn and Spring will come again, as the Hub of the Wheel is practically whole, allowing it to turn. This also, I believe, emphasizes the cyclical aspect of the Movement. The one element of Spring in this reading is the Pole Star. While still in Winter, the Pole Star is a guide that will lead us eventually to Spring and our rebirth, advising us that we should use the world’s guidance to succeed.
However, despite all of this, we should not forget that the Wheel is reversed. This is most definitely not a good sign. The shirt that the loom is weaving is uncompleted, and something is stopping its progress. Time is not moving as it should. This seems to reinforce the idea that the cycle is askew, and that Autumn – and perhaps Winter – will last longer than they should at the expense of Spring and Summer. While all seasons are necessary for renewal, giving too much time to one season can ruin the world. The corporate plutocracy of the world has cast us all into Autumn, and we will have to struggle to survive the Winter and emerge into Spring.
Reflections on the Spread as a Whole
The most striking thing about this spread was the large degree of Major Arcana – seven of the ten cards were Majors! Of the remaining cards, only one was a numbered Minor, the other three cards being Court Cards. As mentioned above, Vessels also dominated this spread, though there was a single bow present, indicating that the cycle has advanced on from Summer. There were also no bows available for the Arrows, which perhaps hints that the Occupy Movement will have trouble obtaining its goals – it’s hard to use a bow without arrows. However, through the tenacity of the salmon, the guidance of the Seer, Shaman, and Pole Star, the integrity of the Heron, and the passage of time (the Wheel) will in the end help the Occupy Movement succeed.
I would also to take this space to point out that many of the cards in this spread were the same as in my Personality of the World Spread, which either indicates that I need to learn to shuffle better or that the Occupy Movement is the face of the world right now. Indeed, in that reading, I brought that point up several times, and I believe that this reading then reinforces that idea.
That was long, I know, but hopefully illuminating and/or thought-provoking!
Libra – ♎ – Scales – Partnerships – September 23/October 22 – Air – Cardinal – Yang (+) – Interpersonal – Venus
Libra is represented by a pair of scales, very blatantly representing justice (hence this Sign Sign’s association with the Thoth tarot card of Adjustment [VIII]). In this sense, a Libra is concerned with fairness and equality, and in many ways is the most “airy” of the Sun Signs. Libras are often objective and fair, but can also be uncaring, distant, or cold. Their orientation is interpersonal, and they are focused on others. The relationships that they seek to form are, however, fair, equal, and balanced; Libras are concerned with equality. They are also of the Yang polarity, indicating that they seek to actively bring their ideas about the world – that they think up using their Airy thoughts – to other people. This is reinforced by Libra’s Cardinal Modality; Libras are initiators, beginning new actions and change. They think up new, abstract ideas, and seek to apply these ideas to others – whether or not they successfully translate into the real world (in this way, Libras can be similar to Cancers).
Libra is associated with the astrological House of Partnerships, meaning that Libras commonly form close relationships with others (emphasizing the Sun Sign’s Interpersonal Orientation). These relationships are not necessarily built on love, though they do typically involve degrees of trust. Diplomats generally exhibit Libran ideals very well, as they forge (hopefully) close bonds between countries, based (hopefully) on principles of equality and mutual benefit. The House of Partnerships also represents the good qualities we admire about other people, and exchanges of confidences.
Libra is ruled by the planet of Venus, associated with harmony, grace, and refinement. The particularly important association here that Venus shares with Libra is that of harmony; Libras seek to bring harmony to others, and their harmonious nature is why they are able to form close relationships.