Classifications of Signs · Astrological definition of Classifications of Signs · Astrology Encyclopedia  ·  July 22, 2024, 13:27 GMT
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Classifications of Signs

Classifications of Signs - Astrology Encyclopedia

Definition of Classifications of Signs There are many groupings and classifications of Signs according to a variety of characteristics and effects. It must be emphasized that these are not based solely on the presence of the Sun in the Sign, but may be evidenced in greater or lesser degree by virtue of any accent in the Sign; such as the presence therein of the Ascendant, Moon, several planets, or a strongly aspected planet. Some of the following classifications are ignored by modern authorities:

ASCENDING :: DESCENDING. The Ascending signs are those from Capricorn to Gemini, inclusive, proceeding counter-clockwise in the order of the signs. These are the signs through which the solar sys- tem bodies approach the North celestial pole, and wherein the declination of the Sun is increasing.

The Descending signs are those from Cancer to Sagittarius.

ASCENSION - LONG :: SHORT. The Signs of Long Ascension are those which, due to the obliquity of the Ecliptic, require more than two hours to rise over the Eastern horizon. The Signs of Short Ascension are those which rise in Less than two hours. For example, in Latitude 40N, approximately that of New York, Leo may require as much as 2h 45m to rise, while Aries and Pisces may rise in 1h 10m. In the Northern hemisphere, the Ascending signs are the signs of Short Ascension; the Descending signs, those of Long Ascension. In the Southern hemisphere, these are reversed. Thus by the law of averages the majority of birth maps in the Northern hemisphere have an Ascendant in an Ascending sign; while in the Southern hemisphere the majority of Ascendants are in a Descending sign.

BARREN :: FRUITFUL. The so-called Barren or Sterile signs, are Gemini, Leo and Virgo; and by some authorities, Aries - with a mild tendency attributed to Sagittarius and Aquarius. Generally classed as the Fruitful signs are those the Water triplicity, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, in that the Lord of the Ascendant or of the Fifth house in a fruitful sign, or such sign on the Asc. or the cusp of the Fifth, are taken as an indication of the probability of offspring. Taurus and Capricorn, and by some Libra and Aquarius, are classed as Moderately Fruitful.

BESTIAL :: HUMAN. The Bestial Signs are those named after animals: Aries, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Capricorn and the last half of Sagittarius; also spoken of as feral, or four-footed. The Human Signs are Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius, and the first half of Sagittarius, so-called to distinguish them from Signs named after animals. Sepharial insists that the first half of Sagittarius is the animal portion and that the human portion is the last half, and cites in proof Jacob's words concerning Dan. (Genesis 49:17) In a different sense Ptolemy rated Libra a humane Sign, since he discovered that the Lord of the Ascendant posited in Libra conferred a humane disposition.

BICORPOREAL. The Double bodied, or dual Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

BITTER :: SWEET. Older authorities classed Aries, Leo and Sagittarius as hot, fiery and bitter, and often referred to them as the Bitter Signs. The Sweet Signs, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, were presumably sweet-tempered.

BOREAL. From Boreas, the north wind. The six northern Signs: Aries to Virgo inclusive.

BROKEN AND WHOLE. Perfect :: Imperfect. Signs deemed more likely to produce distortions of the body or limbs, when in the Ascendant and unfavorably aspected, are variously known as Broken, Mutilated, or Imperfect Signs. These are Leo, Scorpio and Pisces, to which many authorities add Capricorn and Cancer. Any rising Sign may have its defects if severely afflicted planets are posited therein. The Whole or Perfect Signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius because those born thereunder are said to be strong, robust and less liable to accidents.

BRUTISH. Leo and the last half of Sagittarius were so classified, because unfavorable as cots accenting these arcs appear to produce savage, coarse mannered, intractable and inhuman traits.

CHANGEABLE. Certain Signs were so classed because they are said to change their natures according to their positions. These are:

.........................In the East.......In the West


...Gemini................Hot and dry.......Cold and moist

...Leo...................Hot and dry.......Hot and Moist

...Virgo.................Hottish Cold......Moist

...Sagittarius...........Cold and moist....Hot and dry

...Capricorn.............Cold and dry......Cold and moist

Wilson in his dictionary calls these foolish distinctions.

CHOLERIC: said of the Fire Signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

COLD::HOT. THE COLD SIGNS: The ancients classed all the even-numbered Signs as Cold Signs, but most modern authorities list only Cancer and Capricorn in this classification. The odd-numbered Signs were termed Hot Signs. The modern terms Positive and Negative have largely displaced the designations Hot and Cold.

COMMANDING. v. Northern.

COMMON. v. Mutable.

CONCEPTIVE. The four Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

CROOKED. Taurus, Capricorn, Pisces are listed by Wilson as liable to produce crooked legs or arms when an afflicted Moon is posited in one of them; yet he scoffs at the classification.

DESCENDING. v. Ascending.

DIURNAL. v. Positive.

DRY AND MOIST. The Dry Signs are Aries, Taurus, Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius and Capricorn; the Moist, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, and by some, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

DUAL, or DOUBLE-BODIED. v. Bicorporeal.

DUMB. v. Mute.

EFFEMINATE. The Sign Pisces is so characterized by Wilson.

EQUINOCTIAL :: TROPICAL. The Equinoctial Signs are Aries and Libra: those marked by the Sun's passing of the Equinox at the beginning of Spring and Autumn. The Tropical signs are Cancer and Capricorn: so called because they limit the course of the Sun, which reverses its direction after entrance therein, and thereafter diminishes in elevation. The Sun's passing over the Tropic of Cancer announces the beginning of summer; and of Capricorn, winter.

ESTIVAL (aestival) :: HIEMAL (Hyemal). The Estival Signs are those belonging to the Summer; the Hiemal, the Winter.

FEMININE. v. Negative.

FERAL. v. Bestial.

FLEXED. Applied by Sepharial to the Mutable Signs (q.v.).

FORTUNATE. v. Positive.

FOUR-FOOTED: Aries, Taurus, Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn.

FRUITFUL. v. Barren.

HIEMAL, or Hyemal. v. Estival.

HOARSE or MUTE. According to Manly Hall these are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

HOT. v. Cold.

HUMAN. v. Bestial.

IDLE. Pisces is so classed by Wilson.

LONG ASCENSION. v. Ascension.

LUXURIOUS. Aries is so classed, because of a propensity to luxury and intemperance.

MASCULINE. v. Positive.

MELANCHOLY. The Earth Signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are so classified by Wilson.

MOIST. v. Dry.

MOVEABLE. The Cardinal Signs.

MUTE. The Signs of the Water element, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Also termed Dumb Signs, in that afflictions to planets therein often produce speech defects.

NEGATIVE. v. Positive.

NOCTURNAL. v. Positive.

NORTHERN :: SOUTHERN. Northern, or Commanding Signs constitute the first six, Aries to Virgo inclusive since planets posited therein are said to command, while those in the opposite Signs obey. They are considered to be more powerful because nearer to our Earth, hence by some are presumed to confer the ability to command. The scientist who first applied the term possibly and perhaps properly assumed that this portion of the Earth's orbit lay above the plane of the Sun's orbit. The Southern, or Obeying Signs are those from Libra to Pisces inclusive.

Strictly speaking, the Northern Signs are those in which the Sun has North declination from March 21 to September 23; the Southern Signs, those in which the Sun has South declination, from September 23 to March 21. The commanding and obeying appears to apply more properly to Houses than Signs. v. Ptolemaic Astrology.

OBEYING. The Southern Signs. v. Northern.

PERFECT. v. Broken.

POSITIVE :: NEGATIVE, or MASCULINE :: FEMININE. The odd-numbered Fire and Air Signs are considered to be more fortunate when rising, and are spoken of as the Positive, Masculine, Diurnal or Fortunate Signs; while the even-numbered Earth and Water Signs are termed the Negative, Feminine, Nocturnal or Unfortunate Signs. For some untenable reason the ancients deemed the Negative Signs to be unfortunate in the general tenor of their lives; Capricorn, particularly, possibly due to its Saturn rulership. The extent to which good aspects from well-placed planets, and the reverse, can overbalance the intrinsic nature of the Sun Sign has largely thrown these classifications into the discard. Nevertheless it can readily be seen that for objective results, public acclaim and personal glamor the Fire and Air Signs hold a certain advantage over the more self- contained and introspective Earth and Water Sign groups. An ancient aphorism held that the first half of each Positive Sign and the last half of each Negative Sign is dominated by the Sun and thereby has a tendency to lightness of complection; while the reverse half is dominated by the Moon and tends to the brunette types.

RUMINANT. Those named after animals that chew the cud: Aries, Taurus and Capricorn. Some authorities advise against the administering of drugs during the Moon's transit through these Signs.

SHORT ASCENSION. v. Ascension.

SOUTHERN. v. Northern.

SPEAKING. v. Voice.

STERILE: v. Barren.


Cancer, Capricorn and Pisces are termed Weak Signs; and Scorpio and Aquarius, said to give strong, athletic bodies, are termed Strong Signs. One can see why Cancer and Pisces, which compare to the Fourth and Twelfth Houses, might be reckoned weak and unfortunate, but why Capricorn should be so classed is less apparent unless because of its rulership by Saturn. These terms are little used by modern authorities. Some class all of the Fixed or Foundation signs, as Strong Signs, in that they confer strength of character, fixity of purpose, and general ruggedness of constitution.

SWEET. Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. v. Bitter.

SYMPATHETIC. Those of the same polarity, consisting of each opposition Sign: Air and Fire, or Earth and Water. Some confine the term to those Signs which together form either a trine or a sextile. Planets in trine are always in the same element; those in sextile, are in elements that are sympathetic.

TROPICAL. Cancer and Capricorn. v. Equinoctial.

VIOLENT. Those ruled by the malefics, or wherein the malefics are exalted, viz: Aries, Libra, Scorpio, Capricorn and Aquarius; also applied to parts of Signs in which are any remarkably violent stars, such as Caput Algol in 25 Taurus. v. Stars.

VITAL. The Fire Signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius; so termed not because they have more vitality, but because they spend it to excess - hence are often prone to anemia and nervous debility. Since the measure of lung capacity in actual use is the index to vital energy, one must limit this classification to a certain psychological quality of vitality or "punch."

VOICE. Gemini, Libra, the latter part of Virgo, and the first part of Sagittarius; so-called because when posited upon the Ascendant, with Mercury or the Moon well placed and unafflicted, it is deemed to indicate one with the capacity to become a good speaker or orator. Some authorities include Aquarius.

WATERY. The Signs of the Watery Triplicity: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

WHOLE. Taurus, Gemini, Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Aquarius; also termed Strong Signs, by Alvidas, since the Sun in these Signs, unafflicted or rising, gives a strong body and greater powers of endurance.

(Nicholas deVore - Encyclopedia of Astrology)

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