We’re just entering the run-up to Christmas, a time of multiple events and celebrations. Christmas means many things to many people, including joy, spirituality, giving and sharing.
However, every year I hear people bemoaning its commerciality and watch them become increasingly stressed, as events and tasks get piled on over the weeks and days. There comes a point when I get just as swept up in all the madness as the next person and by the time Christmas Day comes it’s a wonder if there haven’t already been several almighty rows at home or heated moments in shops and car parks, as some sort of fever to have a happy time reaches a crazy pitch, and the happy time seems suddenly out of reach.
It occurs to me that we each bring certain, individual behaviours towards how we handle big events and celebrations that require some preparation and that what is in our birth charts – the mix of the 10 planets in the 12 zodiac signs – often describes these quite well.
Positive and negative traits in the signs
As regular readers of these columns will probably already realise, I subscribe to the idea that there are positive and negative traits in all of the signs and the planets that have rulership over them. By rulership, I mean that each zodiac sign has one or two planets naturally associated with it, which have a special relationship with the sign and which we might describe as its guardians or keepers.
Astro-logic goes that those planets are extra important for the person with the related signs more predominant in their chart – and those will often be planets that I focus on more in an individual astrology reading. When we know about the qualities associated with the planets we can often understand the signs at a deeper level, too.
Sometimes, it’s enough just to know what the sign traits are, in order to grasp what’s going on within ourselves in a specific situation – and to pinpoint ways in which we can enhance our best characteristics and let go of anything that’s making our lives difficult. It may depend on accepting that – unless we have had an astrologer pinpoint the key signs in the chart – we don’t already know which sign traits are operating so spectacularly, although we may all know our ‘Sun sign’ (our birth sign) because it is easy to work out so long as we know our birth date. In the table below I lay out the corresponding dates, signs with some of the key, trickier traits, along with suggestions of alternative approaches/antidotes that can provide relief from those tougher aspects – the bits that can sometimes get us into trouble.
Discover the antidote for your traits
Traits, in and of themselves, can be helpful in the right context, of course, and usually if not overdone. As an example, the Sun was in Virgo when I was born and, like many of my Virgo friends, I have a tendency to go into perfectionist overdrive. This is ok where it makes sense, but it can also mean that I get lost in details around larger events. My perfectionism can also put everyone around me on edge if I’m not careful, because they get nervous about getting things wrong under the gaze of my high standards.
If I’m honest, I can be quite temperamental with my pickiness. It’s then so easy to lose the bigger picture and for the spirit of the event to vanish, when I fuss too much over every little thing. So, to make things calmer, more pleasant and more fun, I’ve been experimenting with relaxing more, trusting that the event will come together and handing over certain jobs to others – whilst stopping insisting they do them all perfectly.
Whilst the Virgo part of me might still want to veer into being critical of the outcome, what I think of as the ‘fuller’ part of my nature – which can be described by a broader mix of sign and planetary characteristics in my chart – can see that events do indeed come together just fine without all of my fussy intervention. That they automatically take on the nature they are supposed to have and that people usually enjoy them just as they are.
Letting go of worry and perfectionist obsession has been giving me a greater sense of inner satisfaction and I’ve had more chance to indulge an inner need for calmness, composure, pleasure and appreciation. When I come from that place in my approach to life, everything seems to go so much better.
I can’t absolutely promise that this will work for every single person, but perhaps, in the list below, you will recognise an approach that you secretly sense makes life more complicated or painful and perhaps the antidote will appeal.
|Sign||Birth Days||Tricky Issues||Alternative / Antidote|
|Aries||20 MAR – 19 APR||speed, innovation, impatience||keep spontaneous, buy traditional gifts|
|Taurus||20 APR – 19 MAY||procrastination, over-providing||set a budget, keep it simple, start sooner|
|Gemini||20 MAY – 20 JUN||packing in multi options, exhaustion||pick a number of events, stop spinning|
|Cancer||21 JUN – 21 JUL||worrying about everyone els||focussing on own needs and preferences|
|Leo||22 JUL – 21 AUG||over-dramatising, panicking||envisaging happy outcomes, relaxing|
|Virgo||22 AUG – 21 SEP||perfectionism, cleaning obsession||doing things reasonably well, hiring help|
|Libra||22 SEP – 22 OCT||anxiety or irritation over appearances||keeping to simple regimes, connecting|
|Scorpio||23 OCT – 21 NOV||getting lumbered with people’s mess||ducking and diving, sidestepping any mess|
|Sagittarius||22 NOV – 20 DEC||entanglements in grand schemes||handing over and moving on to freedom|
|Capricorn||21 DEC – 18 JAN||never giving up, even on bad situation||invest in a white flag and have a decent rest|
|Aquarius||19 JAN – 17 FEB||aiming for the win-win in all directions||letting people fight their own battles|
|Pices||18 FEB – 19 MAR||losing track of the plan, time, space…||making lists, seeking and setting reminders|