The twelve signs of the zodiac are archetypes of human experience. They help us to be objectively aware of our attitudes and behaviors, our drives and motivations. Each individual natal horoscope is a picture that comprises many of those archetypes. All ten planets and some combination of signs and houses forge the road map that represents the fundamental patterns of options and potentials, possibilities, and probabilities available to each person.
To understand this system, to speak its language, and to work with its variables is to become clearer about who you are. It?s also possible, however, to get lost in the map. You can be limited by your present level of awareness and fail to penetrate the essential truth of your chart to the point that it helps you to expand your perspective and to become more self-actualized. You can become limited by the distinctions between yourself and others and fail to notice the similarities. You can even become so tantalized by the chart itself that you become trapped in the world of polarity and relativity.
The Vedic scriptures claim that Truth and Ultimate Reality is unindivididuated Spirit. When Spirit becomes form, it creates a material manifestation through the illusion of duality called Maya. You become totally focused on the day/night, male/female, birth/death combinations, and fail to transcend your awareness by perceiving the Unity behind these apparent differences. When awareness is limited to only that which is perceivable through the senses you have become tricked into thinking that the illusion is real. You identify with many and forsake the One. You are limited to the field of opposites and fail to notice the stadium within which the game is being played.
Life is a clear, radiant endless mirror. From our perspective on the earth, that mirror is shattered into uncountable shards. To discover your true nature implies seeing the self reflected in as many of the pieces as possible. Through that process you can learn how to reintegrate yourself into the human family, seeing yourself reproduced in varying combinations in all your brothers and sisters.
Similarly, you can see how you are expressed through each of the zodiacal archetypes. Some will be more obvious, others barely noticeable at all based on their presence in your natal horoscope. As you become more familiar with all the options, you can begin the process of identifying with the Whole of Life, the Oneness that is contained within and represented by all things. This is literally the process of learning who you are.
Whether we are in an adolescent phase, in a mid-life transition, or just beginning the process of self-discovery, the first question is, ?Who am I?? Each sign provides a different answer. Each is a part of the total answer. By learning how to identify with each one, noticing how each is manifesting in your life, where or at what time period, you can use astrology as a method of expanding your consciousness to a point of self-realization.
Instead of asking, ?Who am I,? make the investigation a series of declarative statements and include keywords from each of the signs. Use all the archetypes in your life in ways that are appropriate and balanced. The statements are affirmations.
I know who I am by:
What I do and how I act (Aries).
What I value and what I have (Taurus).
What I think about and how I communicate (Gemini)
How I feel and how I relate to my home and family (Cancer).
What I love and how I creatively express myself (Leo).
What I am devoted to and how I serve (Virgo).
How I relate to others and create harmony (Libra).
What I seek to transform and how I do it (Scorpio).
What I understand and my vision for the future (Sagittarius).
What goals I establish and what I achieve (Capricorn).
The company I keep and the expression of my uniqueness (Aquarius).
How I relate to all things and the feelings of love, joy, and bliss that flow through me (Pisces).
Seeing yourself in each of these ways prevents the projection of those that you don?t like, or that you feel uncomfortable with, on to other people. You will no longer have the desire to be critical or judgmental of those signs that don?t conform to what you think life is.
The earth plane is a very special school. We are given endless opportunities to learn about who we really are so that we can eventually graduate and evolve to more exalted states of being. As you are working to integrate the twelve basic archetypes, strive to perceive them as different aspects of the same thing. In order to do so, it may be helpful to meditate on the five divine qualities, love, joy, light, peace, and wisdom. As you embrace and embody these states, it becomes easier to see yourself manifesting in each of the signs and to see yourself reflected by each person you see.
If you have few planets in fire signs, or if you are called upon to do something that requires courage and self-confidence, focus on the quality of light. Observe sunsets, stare deeply into a fire, or notice the light mirrored and waving to you by every leaf of every tree. Light is less dependent upon material form than any other natural manifestation. It is the energy that pervades all substance and is the essence of Life itself. It is the spark that generates and sustains creative manifestation.
If you have little energy in earth signs, or if you are confronted by a situation that requires equanimity and patience, meditate on peace. This is the first divine quality through which your connection to and relationship with Spirit becomes obvious. You can experience peace when you let go of your burdens of worry and fear. It?s as if you literally relax into an ocean of constancy and stability. Peace enables you to identify with that which is eternal and unchangeable.
If you have few planets in air signs, or if you are required to look beyond yourself and your previous understanding of things, strive to develop the quality of joy. This is a subtle state that is often overlooked and undervalued in a culture based on Puritan values of hard work and solemnity. Joy is a feeling that quickens the pulse, that enables you to feel full from the inside out, bringing a radiant smile to the face for no apparent reason. Mark Twain said that joy must be shared. When you experience that feeling, the most obvious course of action is to be open and interactive with life.
If you have few planets in water signs, or if you are confronted by emotional pain and psychological confusion, meditate on the sublime state of wisdom. This quality unfolds within you as you consistently and actively participate in two experiences. One of these is meditation. By meditating daily you tune into the vibration of Higher Being. You discover an inner directive that impels you to do that which is right and proper for you at all times. Through meditation, your intuition about life and your place in it becomes clear.
Meditation also helps improve your ability to concentrate. This enables you to develop wisdom through another modality of being: paying attention. Notice everything about where you are and what is going on around you and how you feel about those experiences. To be part of the eternal present, feeling the flow of creative energy manifesting within and through you is to function as a centered person in the ever-changing play of life. From that perspective you acquire subtle understanding about the nature of life and a deep compassion about other people.
To combine, feel, and identify with all four of these qualities is to also feel Divine Love flowing around and through you. You transcend the habit of seeing life from the various perspectives of each of the twelve signs and hence you break free from the constraints of illusion producing Maya. No longer bound by duality, you can achieve the highest goal of human experience: to perceive the Unity of Creation from the point of view of the Creator. You grow beyond identifying as a self and realize that the truth of your true Self is as a limitless being of radiant light, peace, joy, and wisdom. This is your birthright and the result of striving and response to all challenges. It is the purpose and lesson of life.
This article was excerpted from:
Astrology & Consciousness - The Wheel of Light
by Rio Olesky, M.A.
About The Author
Rio Olesky has been a professional astrologer since 1976 with an extensive and loyal following throughout the world. He teaches both college and private classes in astrology, writes for national magazines, and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. He holds a masters degree from San Francisco State University. This article was excerpted with permission from his book "Astrology and Consciousness" published by New Falcon Publications, Tempe, AZ. http://newfalcon.com