AS ABOVE, SO BELOW: YOUR SUNSIGN QUALITY
By Christine Broadbent
That which is above is as that which is below
And that which is below is as that which is above
For performing the miracle of the One Thing.
This much quoted phrase from the ancient ‘Emerald
Table’ of Hermes Trismegistus, captures the astrological worldview.
It doesn’t mean that astrology is about making divisions like “good
signs/bad signs”. On the contrary, astrology is about integration
and understanding. Those large cosmic beings above - the planets, and
the small cosmic beings below - humans, are all part of ‘the One
Thing’. Astrology helps us understand the threads of inter-connection.
The Emerald Table goes on to outline the path of progress,
for “performing the miracle” of consciously integrating the
spiritual and physical dimensions of life. This famous document is at
once an astrological template and a guide for personal transformation.
Progress could be defined as refining your astrological substance. Understanding
what you have to work with, is a good beginning.
Let’s now explore the three astrological
qualities of cardinal, fixed and mutable. These are three different modes
of action. Examine the lists below and see which quality your Sunsign
ARIES: Cardinal Fire
CANCER: Cardinal Water
LIBRA: Cardinal Air
CAPRICORN: Cardinal Earth
TAURUS: Fixed Earth
LEO: Fixed Fire
SCORPIO: Fixed Water
AQUARIUS: Fixed Air
GEMINI: Mutable Air
VIRGO: Mutable Earth
SAGITTARIUS: Mutable Fire
PISCES: Mutable Water
The Quality that Makes the Difference
Are you cardinal, fixed or mutable and how does
this show? If your astro element describes your kind of energy, your astro
quality shows how you use it. Read your Sunsign below, then read your
Moonsign if you know it. In fact, why not get astro savy and check out
all your planets on the net.(1) Count how many fall into each quality
group, noting any clusters. You might get a surprise, like Jan, the so
called ‘easily influenced’ Pisces, who suddenly discovered
why this rarely applied to her. Pisces is a mutable, receptive sign, but
Jan found that a large group of her other planets fell in fixed Air Aquarius
and her Rising Sign was fixed Water, Scorpio. Jan’s dominant quality
is therefore fixed. She is fiercely independent, with fixed likes, dislikes
and beliefs which are not easily influenced. Based on this understanding,
she has learnt to concentrate on letting her Pisces Sunsign shine by holding
firm to her highest spiritual aspirations. Meanwhile, she has moved on
from her once favourite Pisces trap of getting depressed when some people
react to her strong opinions and willpower.
You may have a birth pattern which contains two dominant
quality groups, or all three relatively balanced. Or you may be a Jan,
whose Sunsign stands alone in its group. In any case, understanding your
own patterns and those of the people in your life will increase your appreciation
of the “One Thing”.
Different qualities within yourself and your differences
from others are just some of the “wonderful adaptations” that
the Emerald Table refers to. Since “The father of it is the Sun
and the mother of it is the Moon”, pay particular attention to Moon
and Sun in your chart. No matter how different these might be, their free
balanced expression is the key for your happiness.
Since sexual relationships frequently bring together
two opposite types, use this information to help you strengthen your relationships.
When you understand and adapt to the quality of energy of your lover,
mistaken resistances and futile frustrations begin to disappear.
IN CARDINAL DRIVE
You cardinal signs are the drivers of the zodiac who
like to direct the action. The cardinal gift is an initiating spirit which
drives you towards your goals, but if you become excessively tunnel-visioned,
its easy to drive people away! Your quality expresses itself through the
energy of your element, thus Water sign Cancer is less obviously a ‘driver’
than Fire sign Aries. Yet Cancer is just as initiating as Aries, except
with an emotional focus and more subtlety. Since you are all quite different
in the way you initiate action, your attraction to each other can mean
some interesting lessons! Your happiness depends on each partner encouraging
the initiatives of the other.
Cardinal Fire, sign of the ram and spontaneous
Self starter of the zodiac, there’s very little you won’t
initiate - it’s completion of the boring details that challenges
your patience. Your courage and vivacity win you success when you hold
them as inner strengths, instead of ramming everything that opposes you.
Joyful action is your speciality, but excessive self-importance can spoil
it for everyone concerned.
Cardinal Water, sign of the crab, of security,
family and home. Instinctively canny and nurturing, you drive yourself
relentlessly to protect everyone that you care about. Your bonding needs
are primal and like the crab, you don’t let go! Beware emotions
that pull the plug on you and let all your energy drain out. The way to
recharge is to renounce worry and open your heart to a wider kind of love.
Cardinal Air, sign of the scales, of balance and
Charming behaviour and gracious words help you initiate relationships.
Dipping your scales, you dispense checks and balances to partners, making
advances then drawing back to even things up. This can get you a reputation
as being indecisive or slippery. You seek harmony and beauty, only finding
true peace when you recognise them in everything.
Cardinal Earth, sign of the goat and the ambition
Capable, cautious and strategic, you master the serious business of life
by leaving little to chance. You work hard to keep fate at bay by staying
‘in charge’ of your life and sometimes that works against
you. In relationships the best things happen when you aren’t in
charge, just following the flow. This also regenerates your awesome energy.
You are fixed in your purpose and proud of it, when
you belong to this group. Your mode of action is the most stable and settled
of the qualities. It is for this reason that the four symbols which represent
the fixed signs - the bull, lion, eagle and human - are depicted in many
ancient diagrams as the four sacred forces which hold the universe in
place. Yet your fixed nature can bring you power and success or simply
incline you to ‘get stuck’. Your quality expresses itself
through your element. Thus earthy Taurus will be most attached to physical,
material needs, while fiery Leo gets attached to ideas and concepts. When
two fixed signs end up together, their happiness depends upon sharing
Fixed Earth, sign of the bull, the fertile earth
and material values.
You lovingly design your personal habits and like to keep it that way,
thank you very much! Others discover that your serene manner masks a rigid
inner stance, if they try to introduce change. Sort through your stash
of essential values and see if you’re holding onto a few that weren’t
even yours in the first place. Let go and notice the renewal - like a
tree outgrowing its bark.
Fixed Fire, sign of the lion and the search for
Your creative goals and loyalties burn steadily in your heart and mind,
producing a warm blaze of activity. Your fixed need is to shine and be
acknowledged for your worth. If you become too intent on this, you roll
right over lesser mortals and don’t even notice the bump. Shine
some light on the little insignificant things when you feel stuck.
Fixed Water, sign of the scorpion/eagle and the
Your passions simmer beneath an exterior that can be deceptively quiet.
Hidden fixed desires plus the willpower and tenacity to reach them, can
make you a mystery even to your nearest and dearest. This gives you magnetism
and strength. Beware desires that have any taint of payback or jealousy.
These are the blindspot that can bring you undone.
Fixed Air, sign of the waterbearer and the human
Sociable yet cool, you set your sights on high ideals, using your keen
mind and people know-how to get there. Your fixed opinions, no matter
how well researched they are, get you into sticky situations. They can
blind you to the emotional dimensions of an issue and hurt people’s
feelings. Try saying “how do you feel about it?”, every second
time you say: “I think”.
You live to mutate, exist to relate, when the mutable
group is your camping ground. Two fish, two twins, virgin and her sheath
of wheat and the composite horse/human archer - all your symbols speak
of duality. While flexibility and powerful relationship skills are mutable
gifts, too much duality comes out looking like flakey and uncommitted.
Different signs of the mutable group can find it hard to understand each
other, since you are the group constantly trying to understand yourself.
Thus while watery Pisces juggles numerous emotions and visions, Air sign
Gemini might twist into a mental pretzel trying to figure out their logic-defying
fishy friend. Happiness between mutable signs depends on regular debriefing
and effective communication.
Mutable Air, sign of the twins and the curious
You communicate and connect, as easily as you breathe. Absorbing information
and experiences, you move on quicker than most. This agility and speed
is both your gift and your curse. Usually your work and relationships
benefit from more attention to the larger issues and simply staying put
long enough to just be. Try meditation to balance your information overload..
Mutable Earth, sign of the virgin and the harvest.
You are the raunchy virgin, sensual yet choosy, quite capable of playing
ice queen or king when it suits you. Your strategies and plans change
frequently - only because they ‘have to’ of course! Bear this
in mind the next time you mutate between the ever-helpful one and harsh
critic of human failings. Beware the danger zone of “holier than
Mutable Fire, sign of the archer and the spirit
Your half-human, half-horse symbol symbolises your dual needs to extend
your knowledge and to roam the plains of your life free from restraint.
Your ability to roam between assorted ideas, gives you mental flexibility
and a philosophical mind. Unless you sort out the unworkable ideas before
making suggestions, people stop taking you seriously.
Mutable Water, sign of the fish and the unconscious
Most mutable of all signs, you flow between inner emotional states and
outer tasks. A sense of service drives you on, but sometimes you get confused
as to who or what you are serving. If you become self-serving, it usually
turns against you. Daily affirm your highest vision, set priorities, then
make a detailed plan. This way you weave your dreams – then you
can step into them..
Christine Broadbent is a full-time astrologer who loves her work. Christine
is currently in Auckland and will be available for personal consultations
in Sydney from mid April to early June. She will also offer consultations
in Melbourne in late June. Please phone +61 402 664 101 to make a booking.
Christine also offers telephone consultations, which are taped. Or you
can order printed astrological profiles or transit reports as an unusual
You can also leave a message on 0402 664 101. Printed or email reports
detailing your personality patterns or the influences of the coming year,
are also available.