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Sign Language 01 - the Zodiac

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In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And those who wantonly converse with the asteroids - the heavenly Babelfish logging, defining, translating our incarnations - delight in the happy corollary to John's sound assertion - God puns! Only take the sine qua non of Astrology, the Zodiac Signs. Of course they are sines. A 12-fold sine-wave dominates the Ecliptic. Take the first Sign, Aries the Ram: this cosmic stud is a star tup (ask any Dalesman) and heaven's elected seasonal/zodiacal startup....

Joking aside,  in the asteroid/information explosion, 20th-century Zodiacal Man swallowed a dictionary - ever-expanding, since language evolves as we evolve. And Astrology evolves as we evolve. So, by the early 21st century, what have we come to understand? ... that Somethingness is fractal and multi-dimensional; it manifests in a dance of polarities - light & dark matter, positive & negative charge, left- & right-handedness, wave & particle, being/not-being, macro- & microcosm, time in forward gear & reverse, matter & anti-matter, complexity & singularity, creation/extinction from the infinitesimal to the Infinite. Of all this, we and Astrology are composed! We go back to the future. We remember things from next time. We are I and not-I, reality and illusion, mortal and eternal.

Current thinking in physics is that the most fundamental energy-structures in the heart of the atomic nucleus are something akin to vibrating strings - and in the macrocosm these may be invisibly echoed on a massive scale. What is the ecliptic in the astrologer’s experience, but a super-string? Just as the harpist’s finger stops a string half-way to play its octave, or unequally to pluck a different note, so our cosmic strings are stopped by the fingers of focused energy pointed by planet or star, and the living music which we are, and all creation is, swells on and on in all its rhythmic beauty and complexity.

In the beginning was the Ram. In local astrological structure, a beginning is commonly marked by a node, an intersection between two great circles. The nodal point of the spring equinox is the most familiar to us in the West, but wherever on the ecliptic any other cosmic node may fall, a 12-sine-wave zodiac is generated, and its nodal beginning is 0º Aries. The best-known of these (its node as yet undiscovered and thus hotly contested) is the Sidereal; another increasingly familiar is the Draconic, starting at the Moon’s ascending node. Yet others are the 12 fractal zodiacs generated by the Zodiac sine’s own 12 nodes with the ecliptic, and these take two forms: one readily identifiable as the 12th Harmonic, and the other known as the Dwad (a special variable, of which much more later.) Each of these zodiacs is distinguished from all others not so much by meaning as by context: whatever cosmic phenomena generate an ‘Aries’ node endow its zodiac offspring with their own significance. All the variables of astrology form a complex, elegant gestalt, in which context is everything.

It is possible that zodiac sine-waves also spring from energy-points created in the ecliptic by the varying alignments of planets, even comets, and the steadier gaze of great stars - this last being the favoured origin of the Sidereal signs. Whatever the chosen origin, from it is born their 12-fold wave-form. The positions of the planets, asteroids and angles  relative to each add more and more vital information to our study of splashes in time.

Splashes in time? A frog jumping in or out of his pool sends harmonic ripples before him, behind him, on every side to the farthest bank, down into the waters below his feet, and up into the air that receives or yields him. By converse progression our final years stretch as far back over the days before our births as afterward. Time is now said to have as many as eleven dimensions (any bets on twelve?), and to flow at varying speeds depending on the speed and distance from origin of the time-traveller. Gestalt Astrology needs to be understood not only as multi-dimensional but multi-directional, comprising all possible properties of the knowable and unknowable universe and of ourselves. As Above, so below.

Therefore there is no ‘either-or’ in Astrology, only ‘both-and’. Choosing which dimensions and directions to work in, and therefore which contexts to prioritise, rests with the individual astrologer; your choice or mine does not invalidate, conflict or even compete with anyone else’s. Even the endless argument over Ayanamsas and house systems may be resolvable; each favoured reference point may define a real, distinguishable context of meaning, validating its system of spatial division alongside any number of others.

We are adventurers in paraphysics. Each of us is part of an advance guard reconnoitering, mapping, claiming or settling territory that even the sceptical and defensive in science are inexorably backing into as they refuse to confront it. We are a team. Every member has a particular job to do according to their priorities and their skill, just like the limbs and organs of a body. Just because we are distinguished from each other in our practice, we need not make the mistake of thinking we are divided; we are all on this real, epic  and exhilarating star trek together, and we all speak Sign Language.


At each birth a biography is written. Your biography, or mine. Like all Life’s infinitely creative paradoxes, it is both complete and a work ever in progress. There are many chapters and themes. If you choose to concentrate on the Tropical chapter, you will read about the physical circumstances of your birth and upbringing, the opportunities, challenges and illusions thrown up by everyday life so you may grow as a human being, learn from mistakes, balance desire with need and rights with responsibilities. Unconsciously seeking our own reflections we are drawn over and over again into synastries that school us in wisdom and in love. Even in the most private of lives, behind the most closed of doors, this growth we share with the Spring of the world goes on till we leave this world behind. In the individualised West, this is favourite reading!

The abiding interest of the Eastern hemisphere however has been the Sidereal. The context shifts from the combination of incarnate and personal (ecliptic/Equator) to incarnate and collective (ecliptic/stars.) Sidereal cultures place far more emphasis on the position and role of the person in society, as one unit of a greater ethnic or spiritual whole than westerners are inclined to do. Yet, individualists as we may be, we still are parts of the Whole: and with global networks now knitting together at an exponential rate, we ignore the Sidereal chapter of our story at our peril!- because it places us uniquely in the context of our collective role. The language of the Sidereal signs tells us how to behave when we close our front doors behind us and go out to help shape the history of the world; it shows us how we change, the different ‘hats’ we wear, how we appear and relate to other people on this very different and often very public stage. You can imagine, therefore, how very important it is to skip to this chapter when studying the life of any public figure, whether their fame comes through status, accomplishment, current events, or popular culture. Their personal lives are subsumed under the public persona; their incarnation has a greater public than private purpose. Therefore the sidereal patterns of the Royal Family, George Bush or Winston Churchill, Bill Gates, Leonardo Da Vinci or Adolf Hitler, Tony Blair or Dolly Parton, and their interactions with all the other natal and transiting zodiacs, will tell you far more about that person’s track record than any amount of delving into the private world of their tropical charts.


In the early days of publishing you had to cut the pages of a book yourself once you had bought it, and it is still as if we only slit open a few chapters of Astrobiography as we come to them. The Draconic chapter of our life-story has only opened up over the past few decades, its context (ecliptic/Moon) specific to the long history, principles and karmic purposes of the incarnating soul. The Heliocentric chapter, also under-explored, gives us the least sparing god’s-eye view of our deepest truths. Then, raising the vibration of any radix chart by 12 to create its natural fractal, the Dwad, we at last come to a huge section of autobiography where for the first time the hidden, surprising, inward ‘I’ is free to speak.

In this column over the coming months, we’ll get to grips with the zodiacs. We’ll separate twins, probe some mysteries of time, fly our colours, choose our words, and practise cosmic snooker...!