Editor’s Note: This article appeared in The Mountain Astrologer December 2012 and is reprinted with permission.
In this column, I’ll be looking at the first degree and, in particular, the last degree of a sign and their significance. I've chosen three examples where the Sun is at 29° of that most enigmatic sign, Scorpio.
When a planet is at the very beginning of a sign, it has moved into new territory (a new element and mode) and is in dialogue with that sign's planetary ruler.
In the natal chart, planets or points at 0° of a sign take a stance that either indulges in or embraces the very pure, undiluted nature of the sign. There's a fresh, unstudied quality to a planet at this degree. Some of the most familiar, prima facie traits linked to that sign will be obvious in the person's nature, but the sign's true essence and the challenges the planet must face and embrace on its journey are just being discovered and are yet to be mastered. Simply put, there's a new language to learn and much work to be done. Embarking on this voyage, the planet at 0° appears highly eager to encounter that which it will become.
When a planet Solar Arc directs to a new sign, this indicates a "year of getting to know and beginning to experience the essence of that sign In some ways it's a portent - a signpost indicating much of what we can expect for the next thirty years condensed (and intensely heightened) into the first twelve months." (1) Astrologer Fernando Guimaraes suggested to me that the first degree is like an "operatic overture," an introduction that sets the mood for what will follow.
The Middle Degrees
Planets or points at the middle degrees, from 14° to 16°, appear to be truly entrenched in that sign's raison d’être. When in a cardinal sign, the planet/point is fully engaged in the process of moving forward and encountering challenge and conflict. In mid fixed degrees, the planet is at its most permanent, solid, and durable but sometimes becomes stagnant or stuck. In mutable, it is at its most versatile and diverse but precarious, scattered, and prone to fluctuation and instability.