Wasn't sure where to put this, because it isn't natal in particular, and it isn't 'astrology now', so here goes:
The zodiac can be divided into different segments, three ways of doing this are as follows:
Masculine and feminine signs.
Cardinal, mutable and fixed signs.
Fire, Earth, Air and Water signs.
These three ways are divisions of the zodiac according to an alternately repetitive system, first by a division of two, then by three, then by four.
Then there are another three ways of dividing the zodiac, in this case, not by an alternately repetitive system, but by dividing the wheel into two, three and four equal 'chunks', which are as follows.
Commanding and Obeying signs (first six and last six).
Primitive, social and universal signs (first four, middle four, last four).
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter signs (first three, second three, third three, last three).
Is there a better terminology that we could use, than 'masculine' and 'feminine' signs? I say this because in observing the charts of various celebrities, I have noticed in some of the charts of famous women, who typify our modern idea of femininity, they actually have more 'masculine' planetary placements, than 'feminine' ones. The same can be said of many men, who typify our modern notion of masculinity, but yet have an emphasis upon 'feminine' placements in their charts.
This got me thinking. In the days when these terms were being formulated, I would imagine that the ancients had a much more widely encompassing view of what 'femininity' and 'masculinity' meant. For example, a man, while not being effeminate in any way might have been described as 'feminine' because he was meditative and layed back, but this would not have been a slur upon his masculinity as it might be viewed today, where we use the terms 'masculine' and 'feminine' to define gender orientated appearance and behaviour alone. To us in the modern world, 'masculine' means the same as 'butch', and 'feminine' means the same as 'girly'. I have the notion that it was not so in days of old, where the terms had much broader applications.
When looking at the charts of celebrities, I feel that those women with greater 'masculine' placements in their charts, while not being in the slightest bit 'butch', the 'masculine' emphasis is a reference to their dynamism, strength of will and self promotion, having nothing to do with gender. The same can be said for the men, who while having an emphasis upon 'feminine' planets were not at all effeminate, but were layed back, reserved and calm people.
Due to the equation in our modern times with the words 'masculine' and 'feminine' in reference purely to stereotypical gender attributes, then is a renaming of the 'masculine' and 'feminine' signs, to something more universally applicable in order?
How about 'penetrating' and 'yielding' signs? 'Active' and 'passive' signs? These terms sound okay, but then, they sound too similar in meaning to the terms, 'commanding' and 'obeying', which is a different divison of the zodiac all together.
If you were to substitute the terms 'masculine' and 'feminine' signs, for something more appropriate in our age, then what terms would you use? Remembering of course, that the terms shouldn't be confused with 'commanding' and 'obeying'.
Perhaps the 'masculine' and 'feminine' terms should just be left as they are, as long as they are used alongside an awareness that they do not mean the same thing as 'butch' or 'girly'?
About the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter signs. Are there other terms that we could use which would be more descriptive of the functions of these groups, other than terms which are only associated with the Sun's movement through the zodiac, irrespective of the other planets?
How about 'innocent', 'youthful', 'mature' and 'wise'?
To me it seems that this division of four, could symbolise a journey through the human life. In Spring we are children, entirely naive and enthusiastic, until we become more mature, sexual and independant in Summer but still we are youthful. In Autumn we are aware of the approach of old age, mature, but no longer young, and in Winter we are finally old, not longer young nor particularly sexual, but very wise.
What words could summarise these stages of the cycle better than Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, which are names based totally on the cycle of the Sun, which is only one planet?