Astrology is most often approached like reading a map.
Astrologers like me can look at your birth chart and better understand who you are based on where your planets, houses, and signs fall and how they interact.
You have Neptune conjunct your Sun? You must be dreamy and connected to a higher power.
You have Venus in Scorpio? You value depth in relationships, and you’re probably not great at casual dating, despite the fact that you love sex.
Astrologers can also look at the current planetary transits and tell you how they may impact your feelings and experiences on any given day.
Jupiter is moving into your 2nd house? Expect luck in creating financial stability.
Saturn is squaring your Moon? You might feel like things are harder than usual.
This traditional approach to astrology can feel deeply supportive, because it helps you understand yourself. At its best, it can give you permission to be more of who you are, while providing a path for you to evolve into the best version of yourself.
However, it can also be limiting.
You are given a chart and told, This is who you are. Respond as you will. Or, This is what’s going on in the cosmos, so be prepared.
In my astrology practice, I do look at birth charts, transits, and progressed charts to help my clients better understand themselves and their experiences. But I believe that the signs, planets and houses are so much more than markers on a map or fated parts of your personality.
Astrology can feel like yet another force in the world that’s happening to you. But I view it as a set of tools that you can use to support your multifaceted self and business.
I believe that the signs and planets live within each of us. We can therefore befriend them and create personal relationships with them. This process of befriending the zodiac turns the signs from forces beyond our control into supportive allies.
Befriending the zodiac empowers us to:
- Draw on the strengths of the signs and planets to help us in our lives and businesses. This also applies to the signs that aren’t prominent in our specific birth charts or activated by a current transit.
- Understand our multifaceted natures with our whole beings, including our bodies and spirits, rather than just intellectually.
- Create our own definitions for how the signs and planets work in our lives.
Well, that sounds great (I hope), but how does it work? How do you “befriend” the zodiac?
Here are a few ways to forge deep personal relationships with the signs:
1. Understand the elements and modalities and how they work together.
Did you know that each sign has a modality and an element?
The modalities are:
Cardinal – Initiating
Fixed – Maintaining
Mutable – Transforming
The elements are:
Fire – Creativity, energy, inspiration, heat, alchemy
Earth – Sustenance, solidity, physical resources, practicality, presence
Air – Relationships, ideas, thoughts, stories, communication
Water – Emotions, the past, spirituality, psychology
If you put these modalities and elements together, you can begin to feel into each sign intuitively.
Here’s a list of the signs with their elements and modalities:
Aries: Cardinal Fire
Taurus: Fixed Earth
Gemini: Mutable Air
Cancer: Cardinal Water
Leo: Fixed Fire
Virgo: Mutable Earth
Libra: Cardinal Air
Scorpio: Fixed Water
Sagittarius: Mutable Fire
Capricorn: Cardinal Earth
Aquarius: Fixed Air
Pisces: Mutable Water
Try this: Write down your Sun sign (what most people think of as their sign) and then feel into the modality and element.
For example, I’m a Gemini. Mutable air. Changeable relationships. Changing thoughts. Transforming ideas. I am constantly thinking and exploring new things.
Getting down to the bones of each sign helps strip away the thoughts and ideas surrounding it and helps you connect to the sign directly.
2. Create a mental image about what each sign and planet might look like. Then draw it or create a collage or Pinterest board of it.
Let’s take Taurus. Fixed Earth. Slow, loves nature, practical, frugal. Wants to luxuriate in the physical world.
What might Taurus look like? How might it move?
You can use a person you know who is a Taurus and then go from there. My mom is a Taurus. She has a huge garden, full of tomato plants, strawberries, herbs, and flowers. She is annoyingly practical and frugal. She loves sitting in the sun with her eyes closed.
Those are some Taurus qualities that can help me create a mental image of a Taurus character.
So I envision Taurus as a woman with long, thick dirty blonde hair in braids. I imagine her barefoot in the soil, digging a hole in the dirt to plant some tomatoes. She doesn’t want to go anywhere – just to stay here in her garden. She wants to smell the flowers and taste the sweet peas. She is present and immovable.
Now it’s your turn. Choose a sign and create a character from it. This can be based on yourself or a person you know, but it should be a separate character that you can get to know on its own.
3. Go on a date with the sign.
Steven Forrest wrote in The Book of Earth that the instinctual animal of Taurus helps us choose which goals to pursue. As a business owner, a deep relationship with Taurus means I can connect to that intuitive animal inside when making the myriad of decisions that face me on a daily basis.
Last week, I decided to plant tomatoes in my garden, both because I love homegrown tomatoes and because I have been wanting to better understand Taurus. I weeded, dug in the dirt, took the rocks out, created deep holes in the rich soil, and put handfuls of mushroom compost into the holes. Then I gently placed the plants into the dirt before covering them again.
Taurus is planting things and patiently tending to them. In my date with the tomatoes, I wasn’t trying to understand Taurus – I was doing Taurus.
This embodied practice of Taurus helped me bring grounding, present energy into my life, which is supportive when my Gemini brain just wants to live in ideas and thoughts. Taurus also reminds me to stop and savor my life when my inner taskmaster is yelling at me that I’m never productive enough.
Just like you forge closer relationships with your friends by spending time with them, you can befriend the zodiac by having experiences with the signs – not learning about them, but doing them. If you want to get to know a sign better, do things that connect to that sign. The more you experience the energies of a sign, the more you can draw on it for support.
4. Have a conversation with the sign.
You can also get to know a sign better by having a conversation. Ask them questions. Listen for the answers. Find out what that sign feels like and means for you.
When I do this, I write my question, then close my eyes and listen for the answer. Here’s my conversation with Taurus.
Me: Hi Taurus! What do you want me to know about you?
Taurus: I am the part of you that wants to be barefoot in a garden, to feel the wet soil on your feet. The part of you that thanks the worms for aerating the soil to grow the plants. The part of you that recognizes that the world was built to help you grow things, so you don’t need to make it happen yourself.
Me: How can I trust that the world will collaborate with me, that I don’t need to make it happen?
Taurus: Till the soil, make sure it’s rich in nutrients, and then water and wait.
Me: How does this apply to other areas in my life, not just gardening?
Taurus: Before you try to grow something, ask what it needs to thrive. Create fertile ground and then plant it.
Me: What does that mean for my business?
Taurus: Trust that you don’t need to make it grow. It will grow if you plant it in the fertile ground of your values. It will grow if you can be patient and present. It will grow if you create a business that’s built to thrive in the environment of your needs and lifestyle.
By writing to Taurus, I got deeper into the gifts of the sign. Now I can use its wisdom in my business. Because we all have all 12 signs in our birth charts, bodies, and lives, you can do this with any sign if you want to be supported by its energies. It just takes a bit of imagination and trusting your intuition.
5. Connect to the sign by writing your own stories.
One of the best ways to connect with the signs is to write personal stories that connect with their energies.
What’s a time you were courageous? Writing that story will help you connect to Aries energy.
What’s a time you were fully present, luxuriating in an experience? That will help you connect to Taurus energy.
When you connect your memories with the zodiac signs, you will better understand how they’ve functioned in your life. Then when you ask the signs for support, you can also ask your past self – the version of you that embodied the sign – for help as well.
Learning astrology, at its core, is learning about yourself.
Learning astrology is learning how courage, presence, curiosity, and emotional resilience (among many other qualities) show up in your life. It’s understanding and embracing all of your complex and exquisite parts.
That’s why I take a full-bodied, holistic approach to understanding the signs.
Don’t just learn what the signs mean with your mind.
Instead, befriend the zodiac.
For more information on all of the signs, including their modality, element, myth, needs, and so much more, click the button below to download my Notion zodiac signs template.