In This Article
- Introducing Aries
- Looking at Leo
- Getting to know Sagittarius
The first of the four traditional elements is fire, and you don’t need to be an astrologer to guess what it means. Ancient astrologers linked fire with the vital force of creation. (Think of the original fireball: the Big Bang.) This association stands. Fire generates heat in the form of excitement, activity, and desire. People born under these dynamic, extroverted signs are vigorous and volatile, enterprising and courageous. They’re also restless and impatient, with a ready supply of creativity and vision. But they have trouble accepting limits — which may be why they’re prone to burn out.
In the cycle of the zodiac, every element has its function. Earth offers stability. Air communicates. Water imparts emotion. But only Fire can provide the initial burst of energy — the creative spark that sets the world in motion.
Figure 4-1, which combines the circle of potential with the dot of individuality, represents the Sun. The Sun’s placement in the sky at the moment of your birth determines your sign. If you have any doubt about your Sun sign or were born at the beginning or end of a sign, check out Chapter 1.
Figure 4-1:The symbol of the Sun.
Astrologers allot three signs of the zodiac to each of the four elements. The fire signs, which are known for their energy and drive, include the following:
- Aries the Ram (March 20 to April 18), the sign of cardinal fire. It’s impulsive, daring, and gifted at setting things into motion.
- Leo the Lion (July 23 to August 22), the sign of fixed fire. It’s vibrant, confident, and brimming with determination.
- Sagittarius the Archer (November 22 to December 21), the sign of mutable fire. It’s independent, adventurous, and spontaneous.
Even though these signs differ in many ways, they share the life-affirming vitality that fire brings. In this chapter, I discuss the fire signs. If you were born under one of them, you’re in the right place. Here I present your good traits and your not-so-good traits, as well as information about work and relationships.
Each sign has an element (fire, earth, air, or water), a polarity (positive or negative), and a quality or modality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable). For more on those terms, turn to Chapter 1.
Aries the Ram: March 20-April 18
The astrological year starts on the spring equinox, which is the first day of Aries, the sign of the Ram. Because you’re ruled by Mars, the planet named after the Roman god of war, you’re spirited, straightforward, courageous, and enterprising. Yours is the sign of new beginnings.
The glyph (written symbol) of Aries appears in Figure 4-2. It signifies the head of the ram, a gushing fountain of energy, or the eyebrows and nose of a human being — a part of the face that’s well-defined and graceful on a typical Aries.
Figure 4-2: The symbol of Aries the Ram.
The Sunny Side
Enthusiastic, inspiring, and exhilarating, Aries is a force of nature like no other. Blessed with boundless energy and a bold, appealing personality, you have a zest for life that other signs can only envy. You’re intrepid, passionate, and courageous — a firebrand, glowing and full of flash. Unconventional and joyously individualistic, you display a robust sense of who you are and an eagerness to follow your own intuition. You have a sense of purpose and a distinct personal style, and you refuse to let others define you. Often a creature of extremes, you react quickly and make instantaneous decisions. You believe in action and proudly stand up for what you know is right, even if it conflicts with commonly held notions. Neither a joiner nor a follower, you’re a natural-born leader because you have a clear, decisive mind combined with total faith in your own reactions and plans.
At your audacious best, you’re untiring, ardent, and thoroughly original. You’re an activist on your own behalf, and you have initiative. A risk-taker with a pioneering spirit, you have a deep need to prove yourself. So when a fresh idea or a groundbreaking mission captures your imagination, you rush in. Later on, if your interest falters or your hopes don’t pan out, you move on, undaunted. Life is too short to waste on anything that fails to please you.
The Sorry Side
Like a child, you can be self-centered, inconsiderate, and intent on doing things your way. Your determination is often unbreakable. When you really want something, you can be combative, brash, and even ruthless in your efforts to get it. You’re willing to take risks and you do a lot of rule breaking, a trait that doesn’t always work to your benefit. Rather than bending to someone else’s requirements, you prefer to simply obey your instincts. At times you exhibit a woeful lack of foresight, and you often lack diligence. Although your enthusiasms are many, you easily become restless and your initial interest soon fizzles. Your impatience is legendary. For that reason, you find greater satisfaction with short-term ventures than with lengthy ones.
Emotionally, you find it difficult to imagine how other people feel. You can strike people as insensitive, egocentric, and self-absorbed. And there’s no avoiding the fact that you have a white-hot temper: It comes and goes in a flash, but when it appears, you’re terrifying. You hold strong opinions, and you’re not afraid to express them, no matter how impolitic (or impolite) they may be. You figure it this way: If expressing your views causes others discomfort, let them nurse their fragile sensibilities on their own. You have too much to do to sit around obsessing over hurt feelings, criticism, or the sorrows and injustices of the past.
Anyone who knows you — from friends and family to the most casual of acquaintances — knows where you stand. Outspoken and direct, you don’t hesitate to express yourself, and you have little patience for those who can’t take the heat. Besides, you enjoy your own company entirely too much to tolerate anyone who requires coddling. Self-sufficient and independent, you prefer your friends to be as on-the-move as you are, and you can’t bear whining. As for love, you’re an exciting person to be around, overflowing with enthusiasm and joie de vivre. Although you suffer from jealousy and can be competitive, you enjoy the chase — not that you let it drag on for too long. You’re not a game player. You know what you like, and when you find it, you go for it. And did I mention that you’re sexually ravenous?
At the same time, you’re an idealist who’s fully prepared to hold out for the real thing. You demand equality, and if you don’t get it, you make your displeasure clear. With Mars, the warrior planet, as your ruler, you seldom shy away from confrontation. And even though you don’t mean to be contentious, at times you can’t help yourself. You’re not one to suppress your feelings or to spend endless hours delving into the intricacies of your own — or anyone else’s — psyche. You’d rather face the issues head-on. Your combustible, intimidating exterior may mask feelings of inferiority, but most people won’t realize that. All they know is that you’re a force to be reckoned with.
With your executive decision-making ability and general verve, you’re a self-starter and an effective leader who likes to initiate change. Ambitious and competitive, you rise to a challenge. But you’re a sprinter, not a long-distance runner. You love the unmistakable thrill that comes at the beginning of an undertaking, when creative momentum is high and the possibilities are wide open. You’re delighted to experiment and innovate. But once things have settled into a routine and the endeavor becomes weighted down with procedures, precedents, and supervisors, your excitement wanes. You find it irritating and dispiriting to spend time focusing on details and loose ends or doing standard maintenance tasks. Not surprisingly, quitting too soon is one of your worst — and most frequent — mistakes.
You’re happiest working on your own or being the boss, preferably in an enterprise that allows you to be in charge of your own schedule. Physical activity is a definite plus, as is the opportunity to participate in a variety of tasks. You’re easily bored, and your need to express yourself is stronger than your need for security. Pie-in-the-sky careers for Aries include being a film director like Francis Ford Coppola, an action star (or motorcyclist) like Steve McQueen, a military leader like General Colin Powell, or a talk show host like David Letterman. Surgery is said to be an Aries profession, as is anything that involves fire (including cooking) and anything with a high risk quotient. Whatever your true vocation, it’s not something you choose for money or prestige. Instead, you’re drawn to it because it offers you a way to make an impact on the world — and at the same time to express your incomparable, amazing self.
If you work for an Aries, your boss will most likely be assertive, enterprising, and impatient with anyone who can’t keep up or who requires a lot of supervision. Your best move is to work independently — and don’t take those angry outbursts personally.
Aries: The Basic Facts
Symbol: The Ram Ruling
Opposite Sign: Libra
Favorable Colors: Red and white
Lucky Gem: Diamond
Part of the Body: The head
Key Phrase: I am
Major Traits: Energetic, impetuous
Leo the Lion: July 23-August 22
I used to imagine that I was somehow unique in having so many Leo friends. I have come to understand that Leos are so outgoing and warm that they accumulate friends the way other people collect shoes. Fact is, I’ve met very few people who don’t have a Lion or two among their closest companions.
The swirling glyph of Leo (see Figure 4-3) represents the lion’s tail, the lion’s mane, or the creative force of the Sun.
The Sunny Side
You’ve got flair. If you’re a typical Leo, you’re outgoing, loyal, determined, cheerful, and likable. You’re active, with an astoundingly busy social calendar and a pile of responsibilities. Whatever you may do for a living, your schedule is crammed full. You aim to live life to the fullest — and have a good time while you’re at it. Even in ordinary conversations, you fall into the role of entertaining other people because you love to be the center of attention — and with the Sun as your ruling planet, you really do light up the room. Equipped with a lively sense of humor, vividly rendered opinions, and the ability to have fun even under adverse conditions, you present yourself with confidence and pizazz. Radiant and proud, you have charisma to burn.
You also have a king-of-the-jungle sense of dignity — and an equally regal sense of entitlement to go with it. You appreciate luxury and glamour in all their forms. (Your color is gold, your metal is gold, and your aura is gold.) Yet despite your aristocratic ways and your need to be pampered, you respect hard work and are willing to shoulder more than your share of the responsibility. Although you can be demanding, you value loyalty and return it in kind. You’re helpful and generous, a staunch supporter of an underdog or a friend in distress. And you bring the party with you. Naturally, you want to be acknowledged. What’s wrong with that?
The Sorry Side
Beneath your flamboyant exterior, you would be humiliated if anyone ever knew how hard you try or how vulnerable you feel. In your desperate efforts to get people to like you, you hog center stage, sometimes reducing everyone around you to audience members. (You should know that most people don’t enjoy that role.) You’re inclined to tell people what you think they want to hear, even if it means weaseling out later when the truth is revealed. You tend to exaggerate, partially because you want to tell a riveting story and partially because you want to cast yourself in a flattering light. It’s a matter of strategy: You figure that if you play your cards right, you’ll triumph.
Figure 4-3: The glyph of Leo.
You can also be arrogant, overbearing, vain, self-aggrandizing, and histrionic — a real drama queen. You can be dogmatic about the tiniest things — shampoo, say. Or barbecue sauce. Or what other people ought to do with their lives. I don’t mean to be harsh, but your urge to give unsolicited advice gets old, even though your motivation is noble. An idealist of the first order, you know what life ought to be. If only you could figure out how to make it happen — and how to convince other people to play their parts. You’re more demanding than you realize — and more controlling. And you find it difficult to admit mistakes. When you calm down and stop manipulating, your warmth and generosity come through, and you command the adoration that you crave.
Your self-assurance and easy-going humor draw a crowd. The center of any social scene, you’re an accomplished party-thrower and a sought-after dinner guest. Although you like to maintain the upper hand in a relationship, and you rely on the attentions of others to keep your ego in shape, you also know how to bestow affection and admiration. People feel privileged to be your friend.
As for romance, Leo loves to be in love and believes in everything symbolic of that state — from Saturday night (which is sacred) to flowers, phone calls, breakfast in bed, loads of sex, and plenty of bling. (I’ve known Leos to leave dog-eared copies of the Tiffany catalogue on the breakfast table, just to make sure the message comes across.) You’re definitely high maintenance, though you undoubtedly think otherwise. When times are good, you’re passionate, accommodating, supportive, and adoring. When things are falling apart, you do too, becoming domineering, arrogant, and jealous. Should a hot affair cool into dull predictability, you may even stir things up, just to keep life interesting. And when your beloved disappoints you, you’re devastated, even if you don’t let it show. For all your bluster, you have a tender heart.
Finally, I want to add a note about animals. In traditional astrological lore, pets aren’t associated with Leo. But I have noticed that the people I know who treat their pets like family, cart them around in Louis Vuitton cases, purchase wardrobes for them, publish books about them, or appear on television with their squirming bulldogs on their laps to protest against puppy mills, are overwhelmingly Leos. Not every Leo has a pet, and some wouldn’t dream of it. (They don’t want to be upstaged.) But those who do value their four-legged friends invest themselves fully in the relationship.
Because Leos enjoy basking in the limelight, people occasionally assume that you aren’t hard-working. This judgment couldn’t be further from the truth. Leos are hugely ambitious and somewhat opportunistic. You’re resourceful and productive, a skilled organizer with a sharp business sense. Many Leos speculate with abandon. You seek recognition more than most, fantasize about fame, and are willing to work at maximum intensity. If you’re at the top of the heap, even in a tiny, home-based business, you feel powerful and magnanimous. You happily make room for others, both as partners and as employees, and you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty or to share a pizza with the part-time staff.
But no matter how gratifying your job may be in other respects, you can’t exist without a little razzle-dazzle. Ideal careers are musician (Madonna), actor (Halle Berry), clothing designer (Coco Chanel), politician (Bill Clinton, Barack Obama), and anything that’s likely to put you in front of a group of people. Fifth-grade teacher? Fine. Lawyer? Sure, especially if you can strut your stuff in court. President of anything? Absolutely. Star of screen and stage? Now you’re talking.
If you work for a Leo, be prepared to work intensely (except when your boss is in the mood to talk), to shower him or her with respect and compliments, and to step politely aside whenever the spotlight is turned on. Your allegiance and your skill will be privately recognized — and rewarded. Leo is warm and generous. But remember, Leo rules. The term of art here is “benevolent despot.”
Leo: The Basic Facts
Symbol: The Lion
Ruling Planet: The Sun
Opposite Sign: Aquarius
Favorable Colors: Gold and orange
Lucky Gem: Ruby
Parts of the Body: Heart and spine
Key Phrase: I will
Major Traits: Extroverted, demanding
Sagittarius the Archer: November 22-December 21
Independent, lively, and brimming with an irrepressible sense of possibility, you feel most vibrantly alive when you’re having an adventure in the world. For that you can thank Jupiter, your ruler, the planet of expansion and good fortune.
The glyph of Sagittarius (see Figure 4-4) represents the centaur’s arrow and your high aspirations.
Figure 4-4: The symbol of Sagittarius.
The Sunny Side
At your happiest and best, you’re a free spirit, a cheerful wanderer, an honest and intelligent companion, and a philosopher who likes to ponder the big questions — preferably with a few pals and a plentiful supply of snacks. You see life as an ongoing quest for experience and wisdom, not as a search for security. Restless and excitable, with a rapid-fire wit, you chafe under restriction and demand autonomy, which you happily extend to others.
In your eternal quest for experience and knowledge, you pursue a multitude of interests and you set ambitious, wide-ranging goals for yourself. You want to see the world and understand it, which is why your sign rules travel, philosophy, religion, law, and abstractions of all kinds. Sagittarius is free-thinking, casual, open-minded, and optimistic (though a couple of planets in Scorpio can dampen your spirits and add a touch of melancholy). You connect easily with all kinds of people and are said to be lucky. The truth is that your spontaneous decisions and out-there gambles occasionally pay off, but what benefits you the most is your fearless attitude. Sure, troubles may come. No one is immune to that. But ultimately, buoyed by your curiosity and belief in the future, you bounce back. You look at it this way: What other choice is there?
The Sorry Side
Like the centaur, your half-human, half-horse symbol, you’re divided. Part of you aspires to party into the night (that’s the quadruped half). The other part of you aims high, longing to expand your mind and explore the infinite reaches of the spirit. Sounds good, but you can be a blowhard — and without a target, you flounder. Impractical and disorganized, you’re easily sidetracked and must battle a tendency to procrastinate. You fritter away endless amounts of time and energy (and money). Moreover, you can be unreliable, with an unfortunate tendency to promise more than you can actually deliver. You don’t mean to misrepresent yourself; it’s just that your innate optimism causes you to overestimate your ability.
A peculiar fact about Sagittarius is that although you supposedly love the outdoors, you may not spend much time there. (As Sagittarian Woody Allen said, “I’m at two with nature.”) And though you thrive on exercise, you can be physically clumsy. More significantly, you can be dogmatic and fanatical, with an exasperating propensity to preach. Finally, there’s your legendary tactlessness. You haven’t learned to lie, even when it’s a kindness to do so. A friend shows up with badly cropped hair or a hideous new outfit? You blurt out the unflattering truth. It’s the flip side of your honesty — and it’s nothing to be proud of.
Funny, generous, enthusiastic, and direct, the Archer loves to talk and makes friends easily. Stimulating conversation and a clever sense of humor carry a lot of weight with you. You also prize personal freedom, making romance much trickier than friendship. Despite a tendency to take risks in other areas, you tend to hold back romantically and are famous for being resistant to commitment. Whether you come across as a Don Juan, an inconstant lover, or a monk-in-training, you usually manage to maintain your independence, even at the cost of occasional loneliness. Besides, you’re an optimist (though you may think otherwise). So why settle for someone who’s less than perfect when Match.com alone offers thousands of eligible soul mates at the click of a mouse? No wonder it’s hard to choose. Denizens of other signs may rush to the altar, anxious to pair up and settle down. You have fantasies aplenty — but they’re not about weddings, gift registries, mortgages, or twins. You’d just as soon see the world and develop some of your own talents.
When you do ultimately connect (and fear not, it happens all the time), you sincerely hope that the relationship will lead to a larger, more fulfilling life — not a more constrained one. You have nothing against domesticity, but it is not your dream, and stability is not your guiding principle. Instead, you seek a life of adventure, be it literal, intellectual, or spiritual, with plenty of laughs along the way — and an active, accomplished companion who doesn’t mind being with someone as independent as you. Even in a fully committed, deeply passionate relationship, Sagittarius always needs some space.
Sagittarius is the sign of higher education, and the professions associated with the sign reflect that. Blessed with a love of learning and a yearning to do something that matters, you’re well suited for teaching, publishing, journalism, law, religion, communications, and anything involving international relations or travel. You dislike bureaucracy and grow restless in a rigidly structured organization. Whatever you do, your intellect needs to be engaged. Versatile and quick, you’re easily distracted and may accept a hodgepodge of assignments just to keep things interesting. Big projects and high ideals excite you. Bookkeeping doesn’t. Financial management doesn’t. Indeed, it’s the small stuff that trips you up — and yet your professional success depends upon your ability to handle the details.
Learning to delegate is another one of your challenges. A natural egalitarian, you hate to request assistance and are uncomfortable asking others to perform the dull tasks you’d just as soon dodge yourself. Finally, you may face issues of time management. In a world full of fascinating distractions, it’s essential to use your time to advantage. But you already know that.
If you work for a Sagittarian, your essential task is to keep the big picture in mind and make sure things are moving forward. If your work is generally on target, the Archer won’t nitpick you to death. Sagittarius isn’t a micromanager. On the other hand, if you need help with something specific, you may not get it. After all, you already received a rundown of the situation — right? And be prepared: Detail-averse Sagittarians don’t object to working overtime. If you’re a strict 9-to-5er, the Archer may question your commitment.
Sagittarius: The Basic Facts
Symbol: The Centaur
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Opposite Sign: Gemini
Favorable Colors: Purple and blue
Lucky Gem: Turquoise
Parts of the Body: Hips and thighs
Metal: Tin Key
Phrase: I see
Major Traits: Adventurous, independent