Within the astrological Tradition the zodiacal signs are classed as Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable and Postive or Negative. Taken together these create six pairs of signs, but the principles themselves provide the basis for a developmental structure - to develop Mind.
In this article Mind is the whole of our non-corporeal existence. It incorporates our physical, psychological and spiritual levels of experience or, our physical, sidereal and galactic bodies. In other words, Mind is both internal and external corresponding to the Positive and Negative principles. It also possesses three innate qualities which may be brought to bear in any situation, namely Will, Being and Mindfulness. In astrological terms these can be thought of as the Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable aspects of Mind.
Will is the Mind directed. It manifests as innate curiosity, creativity - the ability to solve problems and abstract. Will can be regarded as Length of Mind. Being is the nature of Mind when it is not concerned with its contents - quality of Mind. The aim is to foster a good quality, brightness of mind or well-being, a state that is neither excited nor dull, neither active nor passive. This is Depth of Mind. In our normal state Mind is usually full of stuff, but if it is attending to something it is directed. Mindfulness is an expansive state; it must be able to expand beyond what it is - Breadth of Mind.
The development of Mind's external Cardinal aspect (Will) can be achieved by applying the mind to learn something, such as the various techniques of astrology. Internally, Will is strengthened by 'prayer' (not necessarily religious prayer) or meditation in its early stages. In this state one's attention is directed toward something be it a mantra, the breath or an image. Hence the object is the development of attention - to place the monkey-mind under control and attend to the matter in hand. Mind's external Fixed aspect may be developed by practical work where the aim is to produce understanding. It is not theoretical, but is concerned with qualities. This develops experience. It may be ritualistic, leading to insight into the qualities involved. Internally, Meditation will develop quality of mind. It should not be exciting: ordinarily we experience many states of mind from very happy to very sad - meditation does not aim to produce another one of these states, but something underlying them, for example, when the mind is still. Development of Mindfulness externally is fostered by observation of astrological principles at work, which most astrologers do a great deal of. Observation involves looking outside oneself, making no judgments, rather, letting a Leo tell you he's a Leo by what he does. Internally, Mind's mutable aspect is contemplation. When directed and at rest the mind can become non-attached. In this state there is no judgment nor interference - identification does not arise since there is no observer; things arise as they are (truth).
Working on the Cardinal aspect should develop creativity, working on the Fixed should develop well-being and working on the Mutable should develop integrity. But a balanced approach is necessary: If will is not sufficiently developed there is no creativity and no ability to act even though the individual might have well-being and insight into others; without well-being the individual may know a lot and be capable of doing much, but has no quality of life; and if mindfulness is not developed the Mind is little more than a trained monkey having no greater stand-point and little insight.
A little progress at a time in each of the three areas outlined above will lead to a general balance. However, it is well to be aware that the developmental process works against the grain of normal life; the monkey-mind is habitual, its sources of stimulation are many - TV, radio, hifi and advertising are just a few of the external distractions that can maintain its habitual activity. This is not to say that these things should be removed from life, rather the Mind should free to give its attention to whatever requires it.
© The Astrological Society