top of page
Search

Simplifying the Wheel into 4 Angular Quadrants


Fully understanding the 12 signs of the zodiac can seem like a daunting task to many, with each sign having so many of its own unique characteristics. However, if one is able to boil things down to examine the core nature behind 4 central positions, which is also essentially representative of two distinct polarities at play, it can be a bit easier to grasp the fundamental nature behind all 12 signs. Starting with a circular wheel that stands for one complete whole, consider two primary divisions, which would create an intersecting cross. On one end, signified by the Ascendant, there is the idea of the active SELF, while directly on the other side is the Descendant, which is the idea of our interactive response to all OTHERS. At the bottom of the chart, the I.C.(Imum Coeli)/Nadir signifies one’s INNER life and roots, or the way “I see” myself, one might say. Opposite this, at the top of the chart is the Midheaven/Zenith point, which is the heights of what one is compelled to accomplish in the OUTER world. These four points establish the 4 angles of a chart, which constitute the 4 primary archetypes of Life that then multiply through 3 modalities (cardinal, fixed, and mutable—beginning, sustaining, changing--the creator, preserver, and destroyer) to a total of 12, while energies circulate around the spectrum of the whole wheel throughout various cycles of processing. (Depending on what house system is used, these four points also establish the cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses, respectively corresponding to the Ascendant, Nadir, Descendant, and Midheaven point of a chart, even though those points can also be said to exist in neighboring houses through some approaches. Regardless, these points then also correlate to the parts of oneself that are essentially SELF, INNER, OTHERS, and OUTER, with the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th signs—all cardinal--being those that initiate and exemplify each of those four core archetypes. From there, the fixed signs—number 2, 5, 8, and 11 (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius)—deal with the “heart” of each of the four core quadrants formed, representing a midpoint that pulls evenly from both of the 2 angles it’s then equidistant to. Finally, the mutable signs—number 3, 6, 9, and 12 (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces)—each “hug” whichever angle is next in sequence of the four angles as well, closely aligned to those points, yet also still held in the inertia of the prior fixed sign (and theme of the prior quadrant), while indicating a point of shift where the previous focus is waning to become what’s emerging beyond. Before getting into what this expresses like for each of the 12 signs, let’s return to that circular whole of a wheel and explore the 4 quadrants that form when we divide it horizontally (across the Ascendant/Descendant axis of SELF/OTHERS) and vertically (across the Nadir/Midheaven axis of INNER/OUTER). What forms is 4 “slices” of the whole, where each is a blended overlapping of those two divisions. As such, each establishes a section of 3 signs that deal with the following: 1st quadrant (Aries, Taurus, Gemini)= “How I affect myself”… the overlap of SELF and INNER…this portion deals directly with oneself localized from the inside primarily 2nd quadrant (Cancer, Leo, Virgo)= “How others affect me”… the overlap of INNER and OTHERS…this portion deals directly with how one’s inner reality is “impressed” by being in juxtaposition to others 3rd quadrant (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius)= “How I affect others…” the overlap of OTHERS and OUTER…this portion deals directly with “transversing” interactions with others out in the world 4th quadrant (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces)= “How I affect the world”…the overlap of OUTER and SELF…this portion deals directly with one’s role out in the world as it pertains to oneself It’s important to note how the first sign of each quadrant is represented by the four angular points of a chart (Ascendant/SELF, Nadir/INNER, Descendant/OTHERS, and Midheaven/OUTER), so while various systemss will make those points the starting degree of the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses, and others will divide houses equally, by whole signs, or by some other system of division, the entirety of “space” from one angle to the next can best be generally contemplated as the area pertaining to the theme of the QUADRANT it then is, and the 3 signs contained are simply a progressive “spreading out” of the initial angle’s impetus, eventually concluding as the entry point into the theme of the next angle (and quadrant), as the prior activity fully wanes through its quarter-spectrum to completion after the 3rd/mutable sign of each section begins anticipating and employing the next quadrant’s focus. Just like signs are sometimes split into 3 decans of 10 degrees each for more specificity within a sign, the 3 signs of a single quadrant can be thought of as one cohesive “chunk” together also, where the 3 distinct signs are really just expressing the thematic changes that unfold as one quadrant’s “season” moves into the next. From here, let’s unpack what can be determined as some of the core focuses of each sign, with just a consideration of the quadrant it’s in, its position relative to the 4 angles, and the nature of its two neighboring signs, which indicate where the spectrum of energy has been and is next going… Aries: Symbolic of the Ascendant angle, representing SELF. As such, this sign is all about one’s raw, assertive, independently active nature. It’s the model sign of one’s initial, animated, conscious identity. It’s the energy of doing whatever one wants to do themselves for the sake of simply desiring to do it. As the first sign of the 1st quadrant (SELF/INNER), it has just finished the 4th quadrant (OUTER/SELF), so the surplus of self-initiating impulse may still be subconsciously influenced from the collective “residue” and reflective impressions lingering from Pisces, which could be responsible for some of the existing desires that remained from the collective unconscious to then propel one’s direct, conscious identity into action via Aries. This might then translate into whatever sharp, visceral instincts one is then inclined to move forward with enacting. From here, one’s direct desire to act boldly is primarily concerned with oneself moving through the experience, while any emotional fantasies and imaginings of related “longing” to do something would be what precipitate such. The next sign, Taurus, then becomes where the ego activity is slowed down to hold onto and “own” more of the experiences previously determined to be enjoyed by SELF. Taurus: Midway between the Ascendant angle, representing SELF, and the Nadir angle, representing INNER. As such, this sign embodies a strong sense of self-value aligned with one’s inner feelings and tastes. It’s the midpoint of one’s self-referential identity and subjective reality. As the middle position of the 1st quadrant (SELF/INNER), this is the model sign of that section, representing the richest extent of self-definition and ownership saturating and attached to one’s inner life. Hence, this is a sign that’s very much about the self (growth extending from the 1st angle of Ascendant/SELF), while being a bit “slowed down” towards holding and appreciating those experiences that align with one’s inner world (taut between and approaching the 2nd angle of Nadir/INNER), perhaps even more than the direct rush of self-activity from Aries prior. Aries wanted to rush itself out into all modes of activity, but Taurus has found what it likes and doesn’t want to budge from what “tastes” the best. Basically, the actions from Aries condense at this point, and those determined within to have the most value and enjoyment are accumulated further for prolonged development and ownership. The next sign, Gemini, then becomes where all the things that one comes to hold/own are “dissected” and analyzed for greater information about such, so as to becoming more knowledgeable and communicative about such. Gemini: Closest to the Nadir angle, representing INNER life. As such, this sign has a lot of pull towards one’s world within as the focus. However, as a part of the 1st quadrant (SELF/INNER) still, right before this shifts into the 2nd (INNER/OTHERS), there is a toggling between how one’s inner world relates to both oneself and others, while the primary focus could still be seen as more self-oriented. From this position, upon finishing with Taurus, the energy has come to see and know a lot more of the diverse components logically associated with whatever is “owned,” as well as having acquired favored opinions regarding such, learning to move and manipulate information into a variety of arrangements, fluently conversing about such as well. As the energy of OTHERS approaches from the next quadrant, there is also an appreciation for how other people may have differing ideas, opinions, or perspectives, which could agree with, or potentially clash with, one’s own. One then becomes more articulate at navigating impasses with others so as to maintain the values/resources of ONESELF (or acquisitively inquire towards adding to one’s own existing information), wittingly minimizing any unpleasant interference from others, or even acting so as to persuade others into adopting and supporting one’s own stance. Then next sign, Cancer, maintains the inner focus on what one holds dear to themselves, while the self-preservation instinct of Gemini from the 1st quadrant must then also flip into more concern for/towards others, considering their role in nurturing us and how that is mirrored with how we then nurture ourselves and others. (With Gemini, the focus is more on the ideas and options one has access to themselves, with others as a mere curiosity that can be learned from or circumnavigated as needed, while for Cancer, the offerings and demands of others becomes more directly applicable to one’s inner world, so appeasing or buffering against such becomes the operation.) Cancer: Symbolic of the Nadir angle, representing INNER life. As such, this sign is all about one’s intimate, subjective reality and the “within” domain of life. It’s the model sign of one’s domestic “nest” and family “roots.” It’s the energy of everything being subjectively about oneself, and how that “home base” is affected by others, with what and how it offers of itself. As the first sign of the 2ndquadrant (INNER/OTHERS), it has just finished the 1st quadrant (SELF/INNER), so a sense of one’s self, including the diversity of actions, values, and thoughts/opinions that more distinctly represent one’s mind, has been firmly established as a soul “foundation” at this point and may bleed over into how one embraces towards or buffers against others, relative to one’s own, inner, personal world via Cancer. This might translate to how one timidly chooses to snuggle up closer to others, providing them soothing care, or to retreat within and protect oneself against the diverse demands that others might try to insist upon in relation, accentuated prior in Gemini. From here, one’s personal, inner security must regard others as either “family” to include or “not family” to insulate away from, both in order to maintain the best inner self-care that’s also hospitably considerate of others equally. The next sign, Leo, then becomes where the ego activity steps out further to express its central essence with more radiant grandiosity to reflect the strength of its specialized INNER nature. Leo: Midway between the Nadir angle, representing INNER, and the Descendant angle, representing OTHERS. As such, this sign embodies a strong sense of inner importance aligned with one’s interactive considerations regarding others. It’s the midpoint of one’s subjective reality and dealings with others. As the middle position of the 2nd quadrant (INNER/OTHERS), this is the model sign of that section, representing the richest extent of one’s personality nature attached to how one relates to and with others. Hence, this is a sign that’s very much about the inner life (growth extending from the 2nd angle of Nadir/INNER), while being a bit “slowed down” towards holding an aware regard for the influence and reception of how others “appreciate” one’s special presence (taut between and approaching the 3rd angle of Descendant/OTHERS), with greater focus on appearance in the eyes of others than the heightened, “younger,” even more subjective concerns of Cancer prior. Cancer was more willing to “cry out” for its needs to be met, while Leo might rather creatively “roar” for attention to assure you that you “need” them, while still being largely “impressed” by what others seem to playfully enjoy the most. Basically, the inner gestations from Cancer formulate to “hatch” at this point, and those determined via others to to be most praised and applauded are enhanced further for more outgoing expression. The next sign, Virgo, then becomes where all one’s creative flare/flair is “fine-tuned” to perfection, so as to practically improves one’s service through performance. Virgo: Closest to the Descendant angle, representing OTHERS. As such, this sign has a lot of pull towards interacting with and respond to others, particularly via work and service. However, as a part of the 2nd quadrant (INNER/OTHERS) still, right before this shifts into the 3rd (OTHERS/OUTER), there is a toggling between how one’s inner world impacts, and is impacted by, relating to others and the effect relations with others can catalyze in the outer world, yet the primary focus could still be seen more as pertaining to the dimension of one’s inner life and personal perspective. From this position, upon finishing with Leo, the energy has come to catalyze a large self-awareness of oneself and how others may see oneself, learning to project a dominantly bold presence that’s sure of oneself in a fun, playful, and well-received manner. As the energy of the OUTER world approaches from the next quadrant, there is a humbling subservience realized that must sometimes submit to serve others, with an appreciation for how the engagements with others may affect dealings outside of and beyond that of our own inner life, and so one becomes more discerning about making sure that the inner conditioning of oneself is balanced with positive effects in the life of others, instead of focusing solely on one’s own INNER position, and “having it our way.” All the attempts to improve one’s one efficiency (within) are then being more and more done so with the goal of yielding pleasant results through service to/with others. The next sign, Libra, maintains the focus on others related to how one engages and responds to them, but the inner concern of Virgo from the 2nd quadrant must then also flip into more pleasantly diplomatic handling of interactions, so as to generate more harmony rather than greater, sometimes subjectively “better” systems of “perfection.” (With Virgo, the focus is more on self-improvement relative to how one functions and could operate better with greater practice, while for Libra, the part such service plays for other external characters out in the world is becoming more central than the quality of work being performed from the locus of one’s inner ability, so working well must balance with remaining fair.)

Libra: Symbolic of the Descendant angle, representing OTHERS. As such, this sign is all about one’s relationships with important, key figures in life. It’s the model sign of one’s partnerships and social engagement. It’s the energy of taking action out in the world to have an effect on/with others. As the first sign of the 3rd quadrant (OTHERS/OUTER), it has just finished the 2ndquadrant (INNER/OTHERS), so a sense of one’s complete inner nature has been firmly established at this point and may bleed over into how one interfaces either pleasantly or critically with standards of love, beauty, and fairness in Libra. This might translate to how one graciously chooses to cooperate with others, coordinating enjoyable interactions and putting others first, versus sticking to some ethical standards and ideals that prompt us to be less agreeable potentially, reminiscence of Virgo’s persnickety-ness. From here, one’s priority of serving others as a means to demonstrate excellent work must shift to see others as equals, regarding a smooth connection to supersede a more nit-picky adherence to a particular mode of personal behavior. The next sign, Scorpio, then becomes where the relationships to OTHERS are intensified to show greater shared business beyond the surface interactions initiated. Scorpio: Midway between the Descendant angle, representing OTHERS, and the Midheaven angle, representing OUTER. As such, this sign embodies a strong sense of how we involve ourselves with others in the outer world at large. It’s the midpoint of one’s dealings with others and our mark made out on the world at large. As the middle position of the 3rd quadrant (OTHERS/OUTER), this is the model sign of that section, representing the richest extent of one’s relationships to others attached to how those are engaged to affect our position and experiences out in the world. Hence, this is a sign that’s very much about others (growth extending from the 3rd angle od Descendant/OTHERS), while being a bit “slowed down” towards holding and appreciating how those joint involvements deepen and complexify so as to have other external results (taut between and approaching the 4th angle of Midheaven/OUTER), moreso perhaps than any frivolous concerns about the superficial dimensions of relating in immediate harmony via Libra prior. Basically, the back-and-forth dialogues of interaction from Libra merge two parties’ interests together at this point, where those values that are similar are combined for greater power, and values that are misaligned get confronted through various points of crisis, as the uneven power dynamics boil down to their core differences for transformation. The next sign, Sagittarius, then becomes where whatever essential “bottom line” that’s uncovered as part of the deepener business to any fused unions is used to inspire a grander, empowered aim, so as to expand the reach of what such interpersonal discoveries could explore next. Sagittarius: Closest to the Midheaven angle, representing OUTER life. As such, this sign has a lot of pull towards one’s intention and role out in the world. However, as a part of the 3rd quadrant (OTHERS/OUTER) still, right before this shifts into the 4th (OUTER/SELF), there is a toggling between the collective aims and desires of others out in the world and what desires and aims of oneself that might be similarly aligned, while the primary focus revolves around expanding one’s range of learning via active exposure to others of a “foreign” nature. From this position, upon finishing with Scorpio, the energy has contended with how any convoluted enmeshments with others can produce positive or negative effects in the world, learning to stay poised about such dealings to eliminate those that are non-beneficial while enhancing those that are. As the energy of the SELF approaches from the next quadrant, there is also an appreciation for what’s learned via others, and what/how we can teach them as well, which can inspire a renaissance of direction (both for ourselves and for others) through further explorations interwoven with “foreign” mingling, while then refining one’s more personalized sense of desire and philosophy related to one’s “aim” towards the heights of an aspiration in the outer world through the experience. One then becomes more inclined to see how the attitudes of others that have been encountered can become inspirational towards setting a goal for oneself, while also catalyzing us to similarly inspire others, instead of just overly focusing on indulging the values, interests, and aims of others. All the excursions into the nature of other people and cultures are then done with the intent of revving up a more personalized sense of mission to life. The next sign, Capricorn, maintains the focus on the outer world department of life, and the monumental testament of attainment raised there, but the explorations of others with Sagittarius from the 3rd quadrant must then also flip into how what’s learned through those nomadic wanderings can be applied as a target for the self to aim towards for greater identity satisfaction, so as to actively take concrete steps related to one’s then enlarged vision. (With Sagittarius, the focus is more on how the collectively inclusive similarities across cultures can coagulate to inspire further, far-reaching plans, while for Capricorn, the actual accomplishments of a set goal out in the world is becoming more central than the meaning or ideal attached to the attempt, so a zealous endeavor must balance with practically tangible and objective results. Capricorn: Symbolic of the Midheaven angle, representing the OUTER life. As such, this sign is all about one’s objective attainment of goals out in the world. It’s the model sign of one’s career mastery and worldly reputation. It’s the energy of acting with obedient regard for the “rules” and standards of the collective world engaged. As the first sign of the 4th quadrant (OUTER/SELF), it has just finished the 3rd quadrant (OTHERS/OUTER), so a sense of one’s learning related to dealings with others has been firmly established at this point and may bleed over into how one practically wields traditional authority in order to accomplish and complete a task with integrity in Capricorn. This might translate to how one strictly adheres to the social norms and status quo of a process for getting a job done, remaining disciplined about the sturdiness of one’s approach, versus letting the ever-expanding scope of philosophical possibility remain the reference frame for how we could eventually aim our worldly efforts from Sagittarius. From here, one’s priority of having “big plans” that seem the most all-inclusive for a societal whole must shift to focusing on what one actually wants to, and feasibly can, accomplish themselves, regarding the tangible completion of hard work above any lofty aspirations that may be more ideal than practical. The next sign, Aquarius, then becomes where the OUTER focus into the world is fortified further to have a larger impact of elevation and upliftment. Aquarius: Midway between the Midheaven angle, representing OUTER life, and the Ascendant angle, representing SELF. As such, this sign embodies a strong sense of collective outer efforts in the world related to our own individualized uniqueness. It’s the midpoint of one’s mark they make out in the world at large and one’s sense of personal identity and action. As the middle position of the 4th quadrant (OUTER/SELF), this is the model sign of that section, representing the richest extent of one’s outer societal accomplishments attached to how we personally resonate to such ourselves. Hence, this is a sign that’s very much about outer life (growth extending from the 4th angle of Midheaven/OUTER), while being a bit “slowed down” towards holding and appreciating how such attainment can be networked into like-minded collaboration that represents our own individual hopes and wishes for collective fulfillment (taut between and approaching the 1st angle of Ascendant/SELF), moreso perhaps than any overly rigid climb to the top of some already set, traditional expectation of success indicated via Capricorn prior. Basically, the structured foundation for objectively handling authority from Capricorn extends to innovatively collaborate with other successful operations, where the group synergy becomes capable of upgrading what’s possible beyond that which any less cohesive part or unit could make happen on its own, often with an unusual, avant-garde, or “surprise” twist to how such occurs. The next sign, Pisces, then becomes where the status of what’s inventively brought together as a sense of communal camaraderie is surrendered to and reflected upon, so as to release any aspects that were not working well and simultaneously imagine exciting new possibilities for further creation.

Pisces: Closest to the Ascendant angle, representing SELF. As such, this sign has a lot of pull towards how one is personally oriented to be affected, while also inadvertently and “invisibly” generating an effect. However, as a part of the 4th quadrant (OUTER/SELF) still, right before this shifts into the 1st (SELF/INNER), there is a toggling between receptivity to the collective activity out in the world and how such personally ties in to one’s identity, while the primary focus revolves around an immersion in the outer workings of the societal world, including charitable contributions of time, service, and energy to such. From this position, upon finishing with Aquarius, the energy has circuited into its most exciting and “upgraded” version, centering its focus on collective, worldly achievements that will support the greatest whole in new and unexpected ways. As the energy of INNER life approaches from the next quadrant, there is also an appreciation for how worldly systems can directly impact one’s inner personal life, for better or worse, then making one more sensitive to the effects one might experience (or cause) privately as a singular self entity, apart from (but part of) the collective, while paradoxically “plugged in” to those larger movements. As such, one becomes inclined to see, and sometimes retreat away from, the societal structures that may not “roll over” as fittingly for one’s personal life, opting instead to dream of new potential in more personally intimate seclusion, fantasizing of how the self could wield more direct independence (later in Aries) instead of being washed about by the collective tides of the outer world.


From these descriptions, I hope it is helpful to understand the 12 signs as combinations expressing various orientations to those 4 central themes—SELF, INNER, OTHERS, OUTER. Each sign basically has a different position relating two of those themes together, where one of the two has more “sway” or the two are equally yoked, making those fixed signs the anchor of their corresponding quadrant. In a similar, yet different, manner, the 12 signs can also be divided into 3 sets of 4 elements, where the order of such an energetic cycle repeats, spiraling up and out to a grander level, as the “ground floor” dimensions of one’s personal “self” next engages with others and then eventually unifies with a larger collective. There is some overlap between this consideration and that of the 4 angles and quadrants, while the signs that are on some “cusp” between the two perspectives can simply be regarded through both lenses for greater insight. In a nutshell, this breakdown would simplistically suggest the following:

SELF Aries: personal identity and actions of self Taurus: personal values, tastes, and efforts done for self Gemini: personal thoughts, ideas, and mind Cancer: personal emotions and feelings OTHERS Leo: how one’s identity is viewed by others Virgo: how one works to serve others Libra: introducing ideas to be attractive/pleasing to others Scorpio: emotional entanglements and situations among/between others COLLECTIVE Sagittarius: extent of one’s broader cultural/collective identity Capricorn: reputation of work accomplishment out in the collective society Aquarius: social groups and organizations of collaboration within the collective Pisces: immersion in the collective, coagulated astral/emotional state of all beings Ultimately, there is a beautiful, multi-dimensional symmetry of order and reason that establishes each of the 12 signs as it is, which then can become more particular with distinct specifications when each is considered to be its own holographically holistic whole as well. Regardless, some concentrated contemplation of the “why” to how various ideas are signified by each sign will continue to yield even more connective correlation among the system altogether 😉

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page