That sounds like a funny question, doesn’t it? But have you ever noticed that your sign doesn’t really get along with the two signs next to it? In fact, they may seem to be about as opposite as possible. This may seem like an odd way to have the zodiac work, but it’s true and actually, it’s part of the design.
So let’s think about this for a minute. If you’re a Cancer, aren’t you secretly repelled by all those superficial Geminis out there? It’s ironic, because you could have a little Gemini in you if you are a Cancer, but the pure, watery nature of Cancer itself is very uncomfortable with Gemini logic and Cancer’s intuition feels that it’s beyond that. Similarly, after Cancer we come to Leo, the star of the show, who deplores Cancer’s introversion. Why hide behind Mama’s skirts when you can shine? And Virgo, the next sign, looks at Leo with annoyance, “why can’t Leo tone it down a little?” Earthy Virgo takes pride in delivering substance, not just fiery bluff and bluster. All of the signs have attitude about the sign just before them and the sign after them is, well, beyond them. So each zodiac sign is as different as possible in its basic nature from its neighbors. But why should that be?
It’s because the zodiac is not just a collection of disconnected signs, but a holistic rhythm. This may seem obvious to you if you’ve been reading astrology books for ages, but I remember when I was first starting to study astrology, and I encountered the writings of Dane Rudhyar (a great astrological thinker), who was the first to put forth this idea around the turn of the 1900s, and it was a new idea then. The zodiac is a rhythm. For a rhythm to flow, it needs to pulse. It needs to incorporate contrast, differentness and complementarity. For every up there is a down; for every “this” there is a “that.” So we have blustery, excitable Fire always followed by staid, solid Earth, which is always followed by cerebral, theoretical Air, followed by emotional, intuitive Water, followed by blustery, excitable Fire again. And this is how the signs are arranged, so the result is, the zodiac pulses, kind of like a heartbeat. It has rhythm through the contrasting traits of signs as different as possible following each other.
There’s another nice side-effect to this rhythmic arrangement, which is that it allows human beings to be quite complex. That happens because Mercury and Venus can always be found just a sign or two away from the Sun. Astronomically, that’s because they orbit the Sun more closely than the Earth does. So you’ll never find Mercury in opposition to the Sun in a birth chart. And this means that Mercury and Venus may be in signs with natures very different from the Sun sign, adding complex layers to a person’s personality.
So the zodiac signs hate their neighbors. And that benefits us, because we human beings are vast. We get to encompass strong contrast inside a single human personality. We get the opportunity to integrate greatly differing traits inside ourselves. This makes us, and our lives, very, very interesting.