Tarot-strology: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?



So let me tell you a little story about a Gemini girl, her Taurus friend, and a weeklong trip to the beach. These two girls had been very good friends who saw each other occasionally as they attended different schools in the same town, and they were pretty excited about vacationing together.

The week started off great, with trips to the beach and long conversations. But by day three, the charm had begun to wear off. By the end of the trip, both the Gemini girl and her Taurus friend were really tired of each other. The Gemini’s constant chatter and chaotic energy annoyed the Taurus, and the Taurus’s methodical nature frustrated the Gemini. When the vacation was done, they were both really relieved to be apart for a while.

This story is true. That Gemini was me, and the Taurus girl was my friend Janna. The trip was in the early 1980s, and I think we’re both lucky we survived it without killing each other. 40 years later, we are still friends, still happily living separate lives, and still incredibly fond of each other.

The moral of the story? While it may be a challenge, there’s no truth to the rumor that astrological “neighbors” can’t get along.

A Tale of Tauruses

As a Gemini, I am pretty much the opposite of every Taurus I’ve ever known. I’m crap at money, I don’t give a hoot about luxurious things, and I never met a detail I wasn’t tempted to skate over at light speed.

Obviously, this was a sign to the universe to throw a whole boatload of Tauruses my way. From Janna (my “Starter Taurus”) forward, the universe seemed determined to send me Taurean friends to force me to slow down, pay attention, develop patience, appreciate and notice the material world around it—you name it. To a certain extent, my entire life from the 80s on featured at least one token Taurus, usually my significant friend and then, when I met Kathryn in 2000, my significant other.

And in every one of these relationships, whether platonic or romantic, a recurring theme was how much we could drive each other crazy. This seems to be a trend in astrology, people born in the sign either before or after your sun sign will often have personalities that clash. Flamboyant Leo and Fastidious Virgo, or Tender Libra and Mysterious Scorpio, for instance, can be highly incompatible for long-term relationships.

Start, Steady, Stop

The key to this friction seems to be in the mutability factor of the signs. Every sign has one of three mutability factors: Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable. These factors go in order, separating the year into four sets of three.

Aries (Cardinal), Taurus (Fixed), Gemini (Mutable)
Cancer (Cardinal), Leo (Fixed), Virgo (Mutable)
Libra (Cardinal), Scorpio (Fixed), Sagitarius (Mutable)
Capricorn (Cardinal), Aquarius (Fixed), Pisces (Mutable)

Another way of putting these terms is Beginning, Middle, and End, or Start, Steady, and Stop. So as you follow these triads through the year, you have four cycles that mimic the seasons.

Each Cardinal sign marks a beginning, the start of the season. These signs tend to be more active, goal-oriented, and extraverted.

The Fixed signs are the steady ones, the middle part where skills are developed and mastery is gained. These are the folks who show up and make things happen. They may not be innovators, but they are the ones who follow-through once the initial excitement has worn off.

The Mutable signs usher in the transition between the end of one phase and the beginning of the new. They can be seen as flighty in some cases, fidgety in others, or even down right mysterious! They understand instinctively the nature of change, because it’s built into their astrology.

Push-Me, Pull-Me

When you put a person who is strongly influenced by one mutability factor with a person strongly influenced by another, there is bound to be friction. Kathryn, for instance, is a Taurus (Fixed) with Leo Rising (Fixed) and Leo Moon (Fixed). So of course, life sent her a whole slew of Geminis to drive her crazy, mess with her sense of stability, and completely unsettle her orderly life.  To the steady Fixed person, a friend or partner who is Mutable might seem exciting, but also irresponsible or a dream-chaser. They will pull that person forward, trying to keep them from starting endless projects without follow through. They might be frustrated by their Mutable partner’s inability to focus on one thing, always looking for the new thing that is on the horizon. The Mutable partner skates through life in a hurricane, careening from one thing to another and making their poor Fixed partner very, very nervous.
You can go through all the signs and see how contact with other signs can force them out of their comfort zone. In the worst cases, they can drive each other crazy. Cardinal types find Fixed types plodding, Fixed types find Mutable types superficial, and Mutable types find Cardinal types pushy.
But in the best case scenarios, these different factors work together in sort of astrological dance, mimicking the cycle of life itself. Like the Moirae in Greek mythology, each cycle spins the thread of life (Cardinal), measures it (Fixed), and then cuts it at the end (Mutable). This continual revolution is the engine that generates growth, and every sign plays a part. Each sign tempers the other, balancing the positives and negatives until the very differences become a life-giving force.

The Wheel on the Chart Goes Round and Round

We all like to feel like we belong, that we are understood by the people we love. But the benefits of interacting with someone from a different mutability factor are great. My beloved fixed wife has taught me to be more stable, to become comfortable with and even appreciate the steady rhythm of life. I on the other hand have taught her to lighten up, to be accept and even (sometimes) anticipate change.
When it all works as it should, our negatives and positives balance out, and we become so much more than the sum of our parts.
So who’s your mutability neighbor? Have you ever found a person who, on paper seems incompatible, but in actuality balances you and motivates you to grow?
Let us know in the comments.
Peace and Love,
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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

One thought on “Tarot-strology: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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