Page 18 - Talented Astrologer • Volume 1 Number 12 • November/December 2017
P. 18

While the elements de ne the realm of a planet’s expression, the modalities describe how that planet expresses. Planets in Cardinal signs initiate; planets in Fixed signs sustain and maintain; planets in
Mutable signs adapt and complete. But there’s more to the modalities than this.  e modalities reveal the motivation of the planet; they show how the planet processes information; and they describe how the planet behaves when triggered or placed under pressure.
When you combine the element and modality, you can appreciate both the language the planet speaks and how it expresses. But to understand the meanings of the elements and modalities, you have to move beyond keywords and explore the qualities.
Qualities are more dif cult to work with than keywords because they require you to think for yourself.
 e appeal of keywords is that they appear to be quite speci c. Some of the higher-consciousness keywords for Cancer include loyal, supportive, and compassionate.
But what do these keywords mean in practice?
By contrast, the qualities are broad. One of the qualities of the element of Water is “subjective.” You can describe a client as “loyal, supportive, and compassionate,” and then move on to another topic, but if you describe a
client as “subjective” they’re going to need to know what you mean by that.
As a quality, “subjective” means that you’re in uenced by personal opinion and bias; the opposite quality is “objective” which means you’re free from personal
opinion or bias. What this means is that when a planet in Cancer exhibits loyalty, support, and compassion, it’s doing so subjectively. Outside observers may not view the behavior as loyal, supportive, or compassionate, but
that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the person with the planet in Cancer personally believes they are being loyal, supportive, and compassionate. Planets in Water signs care about inner experiences, not about outer
appearances.
When you understand the qualities, the keywords take on new dimensions.
Foreign language phrase books are so valuable because they contain the phrases you will use when you visit a foreign country. Even if you’re  uent in the language, you’ll  nd that you use many of the phrases in the phrase book on a regular basis. But when you’re  uent in the language, you’re not limited to only those phrases. You can understand variations and shades of meaning. And beyond asking for directions to the library, you can explain why you want to go there and what it is that you hope to see.
Even when you become  uent in the language of astrology you will still use keywords in your interpretations.  e keywords are so valuable because they do an excellent job of translating the symbols of astrology into plain English, giving the client a speci c, relatable reference for how a planet or sign might express. But when you understand the qualities,
you’re no longer limited by the keywords. You have the ability to explore nuanced expressions of the chart.  e qualities help you to go beneath the surface appearance and connect with the essence.  is makes it possible for the client to experience a profound understanding of his or her chart.
We’ll take a closer look at the qualities of the elements, modalities, and signs in the next article.
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