One of the most helpful things for me to learn the zodiac signs was by learning the different categories they can be grouped in, because this helped me break down their energy. If you know what it means to be a feminine sign, a water sign, and a cardinal sign, you know what it’s like to be a cancer.
You can break down the signs into dualities: masculine and feminine, the elements: fire, earth, air, and water, and the modalities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. When it comes to the masculine and the feminine, I don’t mean pick versus blue. Masculine energy is what we have to project into the world. Masculine strength comes from what we physically do. Masculine signs are much more extroverted in nature. Feminine energy, on the other hand, is much more introverted. It is our energy that lies within. It is our inner strength. These signs usually need down time in order to recharge.
The masculine signs are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius. The Feminine signs are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces. By understanding which duality the sign is in, you can understand on what field the energy works. If we are talking Capricorn we are talking about inner discipline that will take you to the top, but if were talking about Sagittarius we are talking about outer exploration of the world.
Everyone has both masculine and feminine energy in them whether you are male, female, both, or neither. We all have outward strength and inner strength. We all have the ability to have an inner and outer world, and we have the energy needed to explore both.
Many people ask if gender plays a role in astrology. A lot of people are quick to say that gender doesn’t really matter, however this is ignoring how the gender we are raised as impacts how we express our energy.
Think of a Pisces man for instance. Growing up, he would have been very vulnerable to negative energy around him. Pisces energy is sensitive. It feels and understands subconsciously and that is it’s inner feminine strength. When a Pisces Sun learns how to master this energy, it is wonderful. However, if growing up a Pisces boy was always told to toughen up and quit being so sensitive, he will grow up learning to suppress his feminine energy. Rather than using his gift of understanding to help others, he begins to use it in a more negative expression. He learns to use manipulation, even if on a subconscious level, to get what he wants. You could also find drug use or alcohol as a form of escapism in unhealthily expressed Pisces energy. Rather than embracing his feminine energy, the Pisces man tries to fit it into a masculine mold and it just doesn’t work.
I think the clash between the female gender expectations and masculine energy is a little easier to deal with then a male as a feminine sign. Most women will find that they are perfectly happy as a Gemini or a Sagittarius, however there is still some room for tension. The one sign that may have the most problems is Aries. Aries is ruled by Mars and represents pure masculine energy. Think of a young Aries girl with a mother who tries really hard to get her to be feminine. She signs her up for cheerleading, buys her lots of dresses and make up, and nothing. The Aries doesn’t want to be dainty, she wants to be competitive and passionate. If the Aries finds resistance, she will learn to use her Aries energy for war. Aries will use anger to get what they want, and this child would learn to be aggressive with her wants so that she can be heard.
This doesn’t mean of course that every female masculine sign and every male feminine sign will express their energy negatively, it’s just something that they may need to consider. Feminine energy will have a better chance at expressing the positive traits when allowed to show its strength in a feminine manner. At the same time, masculine energy shines best through a masculine outlet.
Again, this doesn’t mean that you should exclude yourself to only feminine energy if you are a Cancer and only Masculine energy if you are a Leo. We all have a mixture of energy within us. You may be a Leo Sun, so your ego expresses itself in a masculine way, but you have a Scorpio moon so your emotional strength will be feminine. You like to be the life of the party usually, but when it comes to your emotions you like to be very private.
I find that men have more struggles relating to integrating their feminine side. In today’s society it is okay for a women to wear pants or a skirt, but a man must only wear pants. Because we live in a society that values masculinity, men are expected to act like men. Think of how many insults that come from feminizing a man. Men are expected to only rely on their masculine energy. This can cause problems when there is an imbalance. The universe will keep sending obstacles their way until they learn to embrace the feminine energy as well. For women, it’s becoming more acceptable to embrace both sides so there tends to be less complications here.
If you don’t identify as the gender you were raised, you may be wondering how gender and astrology plays out for you. Don’t be quick to discredit any influence on your biological gender. Even though you don’t identify and express yourself as that gender now, it still influenced how you were raised. If this conflicted with the energy you express now, you would experience similar conflicts to that of the Pisces man or Aries woman example. If you identify as female now, but were raised as male then you may have struggled with how you expressed your feminine energy. If you identify as male now, but were raised as female your struggles may have been with masculine energy.
If you don’t identify with either gender, or both, that’s fine too. It’s important to focus on how the masculine and feminine energy express themselves, not what gender norms are associated with words masculine and feminine. I do find that people who transition or are gender fluid usually have influences of Neptune, Pisces, or the twelfth house as indicators. Neptune tends to blur boundaries and creates a fog, so that people see what they want to see, not what is truly there. Look for Mars, Venus, AC, or DC if you are interested.
I’ll explain the modalities and elements next time!