The natural wheel of the zodiac progresses through all twelve signs beginning with Aries and ending in Pisces, with each sign occupying 30 degrees within the 360 degree circle.
Take a look at the natural wheel and you’ll see that the zodiac always progresses from Fire (Initiation), to Earth (Grounding), to Air (Connection), to Water (Integration), and back to Fire again… repeating a cycle that exists on ever-increasing planes of existence. For example, Aries can be thought of as the Initiation into the Personal sphere; while Leo can be thought of as the Initiation into the Social sphere; and Sagittarius can be thought of as the Initiation into the Collective sphere.
Together, the signs tell the complete story of creation from conception, to birth, to awareness of self, to awareness of others, to awareness of the collective, to awareness of God/Goddess/Divinity/All That Is, and to birth once again.
Each sign is a continuation of the process, and picks up where the previous one left off in a continuous and unbroken spiral of energy that manifests within us and around us according to the cycles of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon.
This regular pattern of the zodiac gives rise to several relationships between the signs of the zodiac that are worth taking note of. These include Quadruplicities, Polarities, and Triplicities.
Signs are said to have the same quadruplicity when they are of the same mode. So – all of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn); all of the Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius); and all of the Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) are of the same quadruplicity.
Take a look at the natural wheel and you’ll see that all of the signs within the same quadruplicity are either 90 degrees or 180 degrees apart from each other.
These signs tend to create natural lines of tension with each other that manifest through challenge and resistance – challenge and resistance that foster growth, dynamic change, and creative release.
Besides sharing the same quadruplicity, signs that are directly opposite each other also represent a polarity. Intimately understanding the polarities within the zodiac is the key to understanding the significance of each Full Moon, since Full Moons occur when the Moon sits directly opposite the Sun, in the opposing sign. For example, the Libra Full Moon occurs when the Moon sits in Libra, directly opposite the Sun in Aries.
Signs in polarity can be thought of as representing opposite sides of the same coin. Often, the strength of the opposite sign represents the greatest challenge to the other. Spend a little time meditating on each polarity, and you’ll begin to understand why each sign has an invaluable lesson to teach the other.
The polarities of the zodiac are:
Aries – Libra
Taurus – Scorpio
Gemini – Sagittarius
Cancer – Capricorn
Leo – Aquarius
Virgo – Pisces
Signs are said to have the same triplicity when they are of the same element. So, all of the Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius); all of the Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn); all of the Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius); and all of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) are of the same triplicity.
Take another look at the natural wheel. You’ll see that all of the signs that are within the same triplicity (of the same element) are 120 degrees apart from one another.
These signs tend to create natural lines of ease with each other that offer little resistance and can be a source of comfort and support.