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).