Category: Astrological News Written by Robert Wilkinson
In Astrology, we have three modes of action. There are signs which initiate activity, signs which consolidate and stabilize activity, and signs which are interactive and look for ways to “spread the word.”
As we have all 12 signs in our charts, we have all of these in our own unique combination. When we see our natural skills and strengths, then we naturally become the function we need to be in any circumstance. Today we look at the qualities of our actions from the angle of mastering all the modes of expression.
In all of Esoteric Philosophy we find a natural 3-fold division of energies in how humanity does things. Some are better at beginning things, some are better at stabilizing things, and some are better at transforming things via the interactions between those things and the world. Knowing the qualities of which signs activate, consolidate, or distribute is one of the keys to “right function” as we move and groove at the intersections of Fate Street and Freewill Street dancing down Eternity Boulevard. So what are the forces we all learn to use throughout our lives?
The Three Modalities
In the Vedas, the ancient Holy Books of India, it is said there are 3 gunas, or "tendencies,” “qualities,” “attributes,” or “virtues." They are called Rajas, Tamas, and Sattvas, and manifest as modes or forces of operation. In astrology we call these Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable sign energies, where each plays its part in initiating, stabilizing, or distributing energy.
These gunas, seen from an astrological angle, represent the 3-fold process by which everything is expressed. We all have all the signs in our charts, so we are all familiar in one way or another with these three energies expressed through the elements of Fire (inspiration), Earth (practicality), Air (associations), and Water (feelings and experiential awareness). That gives us the 12 qualities of 4 Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable signs operating through their elements.
Though we experience all of these through various transits during our lives, because we each have a unique chart, our planetary positions naturally incline us toward being more naturally adept at one or more of these functions. Knowing our particular astrological "formula" is key to understanding our strengths and how we naturally play life's choices and changes.
Influences Affecting How We Relate To Areas of Life
First, some basics. In the zodiac, there are 12 signs. We all have all the signs somewhere in our chart. Not only that, even when we don't have a planet in a sign, a sign is still active in the area shown by the house with that sign on the cusp, or edge, of that house. Even if a sign is “intercepted,” meaning the entire sign is within a house with different signs on each side of that house, it is still active, if hidden, within that house.
The sign on a cusp shows us both how we approach the affairs of that house, as well as what lessons we're learning about those life affairs. When we don't have a planet in a house, the planet that rules the sign on the cusp is the primary significator of what and how we're relating to those life affairs.
Thus we always have at least two signs at work influencing how we do what we do in any life area; the sign on the cusp, and the sign of the planet that rules the sign on the cusp. The only exception is when the planet is in the sign it "rules" or its "home." Then the sign on the cusp is the same sign as its ruling planet occupies. Venus rules Taurus and Libra. So it always rules those signs, but expresses itself differently when it’s in another sign. This is a very powerful influence, and usually exerts an influence on other planets and houses as well through dispositorship. Thus a house with Libra on the cusp will function differently if Venus is in Gemini as opposed to Leo, but will function in harmony with itself when the cusp is Libra and Venus is in Libra.
Each of the twelve signs has an energetic quality of being an activator, consolidator, or distributor. One initiates, one stabilizes, one transforms. These Gunas are considered qualities of the Three-In-One "Godhead" that pervades our system. Sort of like the Trinity of "God the Father," "God the Mother," and "God the Creative Offspring," or Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. These three modes of action infuse all types of behavior, activity, and processes.
Differences in How the Signs Express their Energies
In Astrology, the activating, initiating, Rajasic signs are known as Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. These signs initiate activity, are self-reliant in their movement, and show how we approach new possibilities in the material, emotional, mental, and inspirational levels of life. These signs are said to be "moveable" and thus can be destabilizing and disruptive even as they open doors and directions through a new focus.
The stabilizing, consolidating, Tamasic signs are known as Fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. These signs stabilize conditions, organizing any process into reliable self-perpetuating forms that are resistant to change. Though Tamasic energy is given a very bad rap in Hinduism, they are also the signs governing the 4 "Holy Creatures" of the ancient prophets, the Ox, Lion, Eagle, and Angel, and show the way to liberation for all disciples on any path to Truth. When we can move that which does not move, and can stabilize that which is unstable, we are on the way to realizing the secrets of Life.
The distributive, fragmenting, Sattvic signs are known as Mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. These signs distribute the energies stabilized by the Fixed signs that will eventually be picked up by the Cardinal signs in new forms. Though Sattvic energy is considered most "spiritual" in Hinduism, they can also be deflective, dissolving, and unfocused. However, they do show the way to fracture old inert forms to achieve movement, and mark the end of old ways and methods.
By seeing which planets you have in which signs you can understand how that planet naturally expresses itself. A Sun in Gemini is illuminated by distribution, multiplicity, diversity, and fragmentation, as are Virgo, Sag, and Pisces, each in their own way according to their element. A Mars in Leo puts for effort in stable consistent ways, and can be annoyed by too much resistance. A Jupiter in Aries finds opportunity in new beginnings, and initiating some self-reliant pioneering expansion in whatever house it's in.
Those with a Moon in a Cardinal sign can be restless, but quick to respond to the immediate moment. Fixed sign Moon are strong personalities who have no problem standing up for themselves, but sometimes get into “ruts of habits.” Those with a Moon in a Mutable sign are emotionally adaptive, and show many personalities to their world, often shaped by their immediate environment.
Different Times of Life Require Different Responses
By knowing where the transits are working in your chart, you can see whether you're initiating, stabilizing, or fragmenting any given area of your life. This can help explain why we are letting go of some things while other parts are moving along smoothly and other things are emerging.
The trick is to see the whole picture so you cooperate with your natural process rather than resist it or fear it. This is fairly basic knowledge, but crucial to understanding our place in the larger scheme of things, as well as knowing whether to begin something or not, hold on to something or not, or redistribute what has been so we can recombine the pieces in a new initiative to come. Sometimes we do have to "break up to unite," as our old friend The I Ching puts it. Other times we must leap empty handed into the void, knowing the pieces will be there when we arrive.
It all depends on us knowing what's up in general and what's up in our charts as shown by whether we're initiating, consolidating, or distributing in any area of our life. A small but important piece of our reality puzzle.
Beyond the Modalities
On a final note, the first time I gave you this material 15 years ago, a friend of the site raised an interesting point I’ll address here. He offered that the term "traigunatitya", literally meaning "beyond the three gunas" or "transcending the three gunas" must have “a parallel paradigm in astrology as integrating the clustered/differentiated energies represented in the natal chart, fulfilling our soul potential and then transcending the natal chart with which we are born.”
This addresses the spiritual dimension of our charts. We are not trapped to eternally repeat the instinctive mode of expression of our planets. One way we break free of our natal responses is how we learn to adapt our responses during the progression of our planets out of one sign and into the next one, as well as through their transits through various signs. For example, I have Saturn in Virgo, and Saturn’s transits through the other signs helps me adapt my natal response to the circumstances indicated by transiting Saturn. I have Jupiter in Pisces, but have been learning how to utilize Jupiter in Pisces and Aries energies in 2022, and will learn how to utilize Jupiter in Aries and Taurus energies in 2023. Wherever a transiting planet is helps us expand our tool kit relative to that planet, regardless of our natal and progressed positions.
We also transcend those modes through higher awareness, since the higher our awareness, the greater ability we have to use energy appropriately to the moment. Anyone who would become an Arhat or Paramahamsa must become adept at using all the energies at their disposal at any given point in life.
While we may have our inclinations about how to use and express the energies of our planets, we also are not bound to those forms. Our Eternal Self is always beyond the binding force of the material world, except as those binding forces show us Dharma as we live it within the Ring-Pass-Not. Even then, we may view all the modes of force as tools with which to express our Dharma and highest expression in that moment.
You can find out more about embracing Dharma and becoming your “perfect function” within your ever-changing Ring-Pass-Not in my book Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend. I have an entire section devoted to understand various types of karma, Karma, and Dharma, and the value of the mysterious binding force known as the Ring-Pass-Not, so if you’re interested in taking command of which karmas you’re dealing with to re-shape your future, please get your copy from amazon or your local bookstore.
From one point of view, astrology helps us learn to be the expertise of our innate forms of expression while also learning to transcend the limitations of those forms of expression. By learning to use all the modes of expression on our path to Self-realization, we are able to use the appropriate type of energy to express the truth of what we’re there to BE and do in that moment.
I found a great quote from the legendary Sage Sri Aurobindo on the subject. It expresses what we all are learning as we grow from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and from death to Immortality.
“Traigunatitya, transcendence of the Gunas, is the unperturbed spirit’s superiority to that flux of action of the modes of Nature which is in its constant character perturbed and unequal; if it has to enter into relations with the conflicting and unequal activities of Nature, if the free soul is to allow its nature any action at all, it must show its superiority by an impartial equality towards all activities, results or happenings.” - Sri Aurobindo
Being with no intention, doing with effortless perfection, transcending the fluxes of personality and the world of the 5 senses and the mind, we learn to be the perfect equilibrium of the moment expressing all the modalities as needed. That is why we’re not trapped by our astrological configurations as we learn how to be the perfection of our cosmic pattern. There is no planetary position which cannot be turned to good; there is no astrological configuration which impedes our quest for Truth and Self-realization. Everything serves to bring forth the flower of Consciousness and our true spiritual function on Earth.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected.
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson
© Copyright 2022 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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