Some sign combinations that have traditionally been considered to be stress-producing: signs that square. These are the pairs that often rub each other the wrong way,until they realize that they can also produce energy-releasing sparks. Any two signs that square each other are actually dynamic duos that help us powerfully grow,once we learn how to consolidate their energies better in a self-directed manner. After all, they represent two essential parts of our developmental process,and thus they each need to be validated and supported. We shouldn’t let them pull us apart or make us feel split from within.
Squaring signs must find smart ways to get along. They need to help—not thwart—each other, even though they may start out assuming that they have absolutely nothing in common. In truth, they
possess valuable resources that can be shared effectively. Yet to successfully do this will prove challenging. It seems the Cosmos loves to bring together such “odd couples” in our charts, perhaps just to see what transformative potential will be actualized by such frictional stimulation.
Each sign squares two other signs of the same mode in the zodiac. Squaring signs—like signs that oppose one another—are traditionally considered to be tensional. Unfortunately, traditional astrology believes in sidestepping conflict at all cost. However, twenty-first-century astrology acknowledges that a little creative friction can become the driving force that helps us bring out our best. Still, these signs are said to work at cross-purposes and are thus assumed to be incompatible and even combative.
Naturally, then, they are primarily the signs that mass-market astrology paperbacks eagerly tell us to avoid if we wish to stay happily married. The seemingly sensible advice here, for example, would be for Taurus to stick to its own kind—Virgo or Capricorn—but never to stray, let’s say, into the stranger pastures of Aquarius. Yet what if we were born with a mix of Taurus and Aquarius in our own chart? Well, we’ll just have to make this combo work for us, since these energies will be part of our makeup for a whole lifetime!
Any two signs share a few things in common—yes, even Taurus and Gemini—traits that materialize once these signs are pressured to interact. Even ifthey don’t share many commonalities, each sign has qualities that could benefit the other. Any two signs also have dissimilar features that require a more tolerant, cooperative spirit on our part if they are to blend well. This applies even to signs of the same element, those that naturally trine each other. The standard line is that trining signs imply nothing but harmony and mutual understanding —let’s even throw in good karma from past lives.Yet, since no two signs are exactly alike, attitude adjustments will be needed (for example, we shouldn’t assume that time-efficient Virgo is always thrilled by the sometimes lethargic way Taurus can waste a whole day “relaxing”).
Generally speaking, squaring signs don’t easily understand why the other acts the way it does—feisty Aries is baffled by Cancer’s moody behavior, showy Leo can’t fathom secretive Scorpio, gung-ho Sagittarius finds wishy-washy Pisces too lacking in enthusiasm, and so on. Yet a wise and perhaps mischievous Cosmos seems to draw these signs to each other, again and again, to help them iron out their differences and instead capitalize on what they can effectively combine and make work. No sign is forever to avoid—or engage in battle with—another sign, since, as said before, all twelve signs comprise the essential parts of the ideal whole. Nonetheless, it will take effort and patience to learn the secrets of healthy integration.
Will these two signs ever get along? At first glance, you’d think, “Not a chance!”Aries rides roughshod over most tender feelings, while the Crab is already quite touchy about the least little disturbance in its atmosphere, especially the noisy kind that the Ram easily creates. Cancer doesn’t like direct, forceful approaches to conflict solving, yet Aries has no time or patience to gently wade through emotional waters, so as not to create too many ripples. It faults the Crab for taking everything too darn personally, and in ways that hinder effective action (and when Cancer gets its feelings hurt, things can come to a halt as it withdraws to brood). Yet Aries also takes things very personally— something they both have in common—although the Ram never slows its momentum, and it certainly doesn’t retreat when it’s upset. It instead comes on even stronger, impetuously pushing its way forward to knock down immediate obstacles.
Still, Aries and Cancer—both being headstrong cardinal signs— are impelled to attract or even create minicrises, if need be, since cardinality operates best when it can quickly clear the air and start over, once an issue has been resolved.Signs ofthis mode don’t like feeling stuck in predicaments for too long. Things are not to drag on. Actually, Aries and Cancer are self-absorbed once problems arise, plus they certainly aren’t the most objective of signs to deal with when things are going badly for them. When situations get too uncomfortable, they seek instant relief by letting off a little steam. At least they both are alert and responsive to what’s happening around them (Cancer more deeply so, of course, being a water sign). They each also know a thing or two about getting defensive (the Ram is a notorious head-butter, while the Crab can threaten would-be intruders with its snapping claws.
Nonetheless, Aries is teaching us to pull away from others so that we can retain our independent identity, while Cancer is all about gathering people closer to us for long-term security and deep bonding. Perhaps this is precisely why they rub each other the wrong way at times. Aries barks at Cancer, “Stop with the hugs and kisses, you’re suffocating me, and I’m gonna be late!” To this,Cancer weeps, “You’re so selfish and ungrateful. I’ll never cook dinner and clean the house for you again ...oh, here’s your lunch bag—eat everything, don’t forget to bring back that spoon, and how about buying me another box of tissues on your way home?”
It would appear that life is never dull for these two signs, yet such a volatile mix ofemotion and adrenaline could easily prove to be too much. If we have Aries and Cancer highlighted in our chart, we’ll need to learn more about the benefits of composure and of thinking things through before letting our strong, impulsive feelings get the better of us. When Aries and Cancer don’t work well together, it’s panic time, when our overreaction to current situations keeps us from thinking straight and making wise moves.
In general,one problem that gets in the way of smoother interaction is that the element of fire (Aries) is pitted against the element of water (Cancer). Water is too sensitive to withstand the seemingly abusive treatment that Aries can dish out (the Ram’s brusque ways, alone, can jar the Crab’s more delicate sensibilities). However, cardinal-water Cancer implies emotions that quickly surface, which for Aries is good, since the Ram doesn’t deal as well with signs that keep too much within for too long.It knows how to fire up the Crab and get it to respond openly—actually, “lashing out” is more what occurs. Aries thinks fights are healthy and honest ways to use up any overflow of passion—now, if it could only convince Cancer that this is true.This combo may appear stormy and discontent at times, but we get to learn the psychological value of getting things off our chest instead of letting issues fester.
Aretha Franklin, singer: (Sun in Aries, Moon in Cancer)
Dennis Quaid, actor: (Sun in Aries, Moon in Cancer)
Emma Thompson, actress: (Sun in Aries, Moon in Cancer)
Arlo Guthrie, folk singer: (Sun in Cancer, Moon in Aries)
Barbara Cartland, romance novelist: (Sun in Cancer, Moon in Aries)
Bob Fosse, choreographer: (Sun in Cancer, Moon in Aries)
From All Around the Zodiac, by Bil Tierney