The E-Mail Astrologer, copyright Sherrie Nist, 2012
As Above, So Below
The Structure of a Chart:
Signs, Part One
by Sherrie Nist
        Signs are the component of a birth chart that most people are at least a little
bit familiar with. If someone knows only one thing about astrology, it is their Sun
sign.  That's very important, and says a lot about you, but it's not even close to all
there is relative to signs operating in your birthchart.
        Every planet is in a sign.   Some of them will be in the same sign as your Sun,
some of them won't.  Maybe none of the other planets are in the same sign as your
Sun.  Whatever sign a planet is in, that sign describes how that particular planetary
energy is acted out.  Last month we looked at the function of each planet.  The sign
the planet is in influences HOW that planet's function will be performed.
        Aries is first in line in the zodiac, and if it isn't first in line everywhere else,
Aries leaves.  Or at least complains loudly.  Aries is impatient, impulsive, and action-
oriented.  Aries is courageous, going boldly where others fear to tread (the others
probably have good reasons; Aries just never stops to think), egotistical, and self-
centered.  Aries is a pioneering sign, loaded with initiative and the spirit of
adventure.  They are always starting some kind of project.  However, good luck
trying to get Aries to FINISH anything.  As soon as they lose interest, they're done
and moving on to the next thing.  Whatever planets you have in the sign of Aries,
that's the way those planets behave.
        If your Sun's in Aries, the above describes your basic nature.  If your Mercury
(communication function) is in Aries, you tend to shoot off your mouth without
stopping to think.  If your Moon is in Aries, you NEED to be first, and are emotionally
invested in winning.  Instant gratification is the name of the game.  Venus (the
attraction function) in Aries jumps from one relationship to another; love 'em and
leave 'em!  Mars (the planet naturally correlated with Aries) in Aries is competitive
and combative.  They need a way to work off all that excess energy, like sports, so
that they aren't always fighting with someone. Jupiter (the expansion function) in
Aries can be a difficult energy to control. Saturn, the structure planet, in Aries,
produces a lot of frustration; all that energy feels like it is being held back!
        I'm not going to go into Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in this discussion,
because the signs they are in natally are generational, meaning that everyone in
your age group will have those planets in the same signs (this explains why each
age group seems to have a collective personality and a common experience, like
the people that came of age in the 60's).
        Taurus is a completely different type of energy than Aries.  Taurus is steady,
reliable, practical, and hangs in there, often beyond reason.  They have a strong
values system.  Taurus likes to possess stuff, be it material goods or people,
because that is what makes them feel secure.  They’re stubborn, and resistant to
change.  Anyone with Sun in Taurus will identify with this.  If your Moon’s in Taurus,
you don’t like to take emotional risk risks.  Mercury in Taurus is hesitant to accept
new ideas; they are conservative thinkers, and they don’t jump to conclusions.  
Venus in Taurus is attracted to relationships that will add to their material wealth.  
They are also very concerned with appearance (theirs and anybody they are seen
with), and often collect fine art.  In Taurus, the energy of Mars becomes much more
focused; people with this placement don’t waste their energy on things that are not
going to get them anywhere. Jupiter in Taurus has less of a tendency to overdo
than it does in most of the other signs, and Saturn in Taurus people expect
recognition and they measure themselves in relation to the rest of society. They
want to be more spiritual, but are not willing to give up anything to get there.
        Next up: intelligent, witty, versatile, excitable Gemini.  Gemini is all over the
place. Interested in everything, Gemini finds it difficult to focus energy in one
place for very long.  Gemini craves intellectual stimulation, collects information,
and seeks diversity.  Gemini is an objective sign. Gemini can also come across as
scattered, nervous, frivolous, indecisive and gossipy. Sometimes it is difficult to
figure out which side of an issue Gemini is really on.  If your Sun is in Gemini you
talk all the time. Communication is what you do, and you readily adapt to new
people places, and situations. Gemini Moons have the ability to remain detached
from their emotions.  They take an intellectual approach to everything.  Mercury in
Gemini (it’s natural sign) brings even more emphasis to the intellectual and
communication functions of Mercury.  Venus in Gemini uses their communication
skills to attract relationships; they are huge flirts!  Their attractions are primarily on
a mental level.  Mars in the sign of Gemini is able to organize their energy and
really get things done!  Jupiter here expands on the energy and enthusiasm of
Gemini, and will go about presenting their ideas with extraordinary zeal.  Saturn is
uncomfortable in Gemini, and does not verbalize ideas without careful