Reaching for the Stars

Because our StarStones kits are among the most popular things for sale on the Beyond the Rainbow web site (as they were previously at our shop in New York City), I've decided to devote some newsletter space to writing about astrological signs, with a particular focus on the energies of each element (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) and related crystals and essences.

Please note: in considering both the elements and the sign, I'm not only referring to one's sun sign. I, for example, am a Sun and Rising sign Sagittarius. I also have Sagittarius in several other planets and fire in two more. Thus, looking both at Sagittarius and fire in general is important for me.

You can benefit just by studying your Sun sign, but if you've never had your chart done and want to go a little further, you can go to and get it done for free. You can also get general interpretations of the meaning of a planet being in a particular sign. I tested this program and found it to be excellent for a free reading.

The Element of Fire:
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

All the fire signs share certain characteristics. Fire is the energy of spirit; its role in physical existence is to energize and transform. People with a lot of fire in their charts are less likely than others to operate within a previously established structure. They want to start something new and keep it moving.

For this reason, fire people don't tend to be contemplative or quiet. Nor are they generally passive. They would rather be doing anything, even if their actions turn out to be inappropriate, than do nothing.

They're passionate, intense and tend to enjoy dynamic, active emotions such as joy, anger, enthusiasm. They don't like to feel sadness or grief, and if they do, they won't express it. They also tend to be insensitive to these emotions in others and may inadvertently hurt other people's feelings. On the other hand, their ability to feel and express uplifting emotions can often lift the spirits of those around them.

In order to attain balance, fire people can benefit from bringing the other elements into their lives.

Too often, their need for action keeps them from imagining and anticipating the consequences of their acts, and their dreams may go up in smoke. Here grounding is appropriate. All grounding crystals: black tourmaline, onyx, smoky quartz, hematite, tiger's eye, are beneficial. Also consider rhodonite for patience and red jasper to connect to the earth's rhythms.

Their relationships may suffer from lack of sensitivity. Here the element of water is helpful. I think especially of green stones such as emerald for compassion and aventurine for balance. Aquamarine, which among other meanings, symbolizes a sense of oneness, is also valuable.

Being able to think calmly and rationally also benefits fire people. Sodalite for mental/emotional balance, amethyst for tranquility, and clear quartz (especially a point) for focus. Azurite and lapis, which help us to understand the beliefs that shape our dreams and decisions, are also helpful.

Aries: Beginnings
(March 21-April 20)

For many, the astrological year begins with spring (that is, spring in the Northern Hemisphere). As the earth awakens from its sleep, spring is a time of beginnings, of abundant and often rampant growth. Early spring is energy gone wild, and Aries aptly symbolizes this stage of the rebirth of the year.

Aries symbolizes the birth of the individual, the heady (and Aries rules the head) sense of one's uniqueness and the passion to express oneself. I have two Aries cats (siblings) who play with the exuberance and tirelessness of kittens, chasing each other, dashing up and down stairs, and turning somersaults in the air for the sheer joy of motion.

More than the other fire signs, Aries falls low on the scale of planning and timing. This sign cares little about the results of self-expression. The 60s motto, "Do it!" perfectly describes their general approach to life.

Also "Say it!" Honesty is part of the Arian code of self-expression, and considering how another experiences that honesty is not. with an Aries' suspicion that a relationship might limit her freedom, the determination to be honest at all cost, relationships, and impatience with those who are cautious or whose enthusiasm dips below the high Arian level, relationships can be a challenge.

In its evolved state, Aries comes to know that the natural extension of demanding one's own freedom is to allow that freedom to others. In this state, Aries embodies this quote by Shakespeare (in Hamlet):

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou can not then be false to any man.

The Essential Aries:

Though every astrological sign may have its moments of impatience (I certainly do, and I don't have a trace of Aries in my chart) the Rams can benefit more than most from the calming and cooling influence of the beautiful Impatiens flower (Bach).

Many of the keywords used to describe Aries apply to the Impatiens personality type. Impatiens people work best alone. They are everyone's last choice for teacher (including themselves). Sharing what these quick learners know slows them down from their headlong pace.

They often express their impatience in lightning-like flashes of anger. If you're the one struck, you may be nursing a grudge long after the Impatiens inflicter has forgotten about it. They, of course, move too fast to be struck by anyone else's anger, and the weight of grudges is too heavy a burden for these fast movers. (I consider this latter trait one worthy of adoption by the rest of us.)

Taking Impatiens isn't going to turn those who need it into the ideal teacher, but they will learn to be more patient with others.

Gazelle (Wild Earth Animal Essences) can teach an Aries to think while in motion. Gazelle, the prime prey of the cheetah, can't equal the big cat's speed, but makes up for it by zig zagging. This animal's medicine helps those in motion to change their direction as needed or appropriate.

Dove (Wild Earth Animal Essences) is a symbol of inner peace. Since Aries is another name for Mars, the god of war, this sign has great need than most for the balancing effect of peaceful energies.

Aries Crystals

As explained in more detail on the Starstones web page at I've looked closely at the meanings of both crystals and astrological signs to match them. My choices may not be the same as others you've seen.

Bloodstone is an Arian birthstone. A mixture of red and green jasper, it is deeply grounding for this sign. Red jasper helps us to connect to the earth's rhythms; while green jasper has a cooling and calming effect on the fiery Aries.

Rhodonite provides an Aries with a grounding crystal that helps in the experience of unconditional love by adding a stabilizing dose of patience to their volatile emotional mix. I consider it to be the crystalline counterpart to Impatiens.

Because Aries rules the head, this part of the body tends to be an area of vulnerability and tension for them. Amethyst, often referred to as nature's tranquilizer, helps to ease stress and tension, and the headaches which can afflict Aries. As a primary meditation crystal, it may also help the Arian to relax enough to sit still and meditate.

Aventurine is a good meditational companion to amethyst, providing cooling, calming energy.

Leo: The Emergence of Identity
(July 22-August 21)

Aries, as the first of the Fire signs, is interested in getting things started. You could think of it as lighting the fire, and also as wildfire, which doesn't care what it burns, as long as it does. Leo stabilizes this energy. It is the fire that burns in a hearth.

In terms of the individual, the Aries theme is "I Am," and as long as it's free to be, it doesn't care so much what it is. With Leo, the nature of personality and identity become much more important. Leos are proud of their qualities as individuals and want others to approve of them, too. What may appear as bragging is really asking for that approval.

Another way to see this is that Leos protects their hearth, the steady flame of self that burns within it. They do this in a way that seems like boasting to others. Think, however, of Leo's symbol, the Lion. Like a roaring lion, Leos hope that if they make a big noise about who they are, others will be sufficiently impressed to allow them the free expression of these characteristics.

An evolved Leo expands her definition of both self and protection. Leo rules the heart, and the big-hearted Leo wants to protect all those she cares for÷or anyone she sees as needing her protection.

This Lion needs to learn that the world out there isn't necessarily a jungle. By fostering a deep sense of self-esteem from within, Leos find less need to roar and learn instead to quietly purr.

Leo Essences

Because of their big-hearted and protective natures, Leos can be passionate about injustice. They are thus a vibrational match for the Vervain (Bach Flower Remedies) personality, which specializes in causes.

Their particular interest is in enrolling others in their causes; they don't rest until all of their friends and acquaintances share their passions. Instead of saying, "See how great I am," they say, "See how great my cause is." Since Vervain people ARE their causes, there's essentially no difference.

Taking the Vervain flower essence helps to soften this intensity, while keeping commitment and enthusiasm in place. Once in balance, Vervain people can allow others their own passions and accept the diversity of viewpoint that makes physical existence an experience worthy of passionate involvement.

Another ideal essence choice for Leo is Lion (Wild Earth Animal Essences). It also helps to balance Leo energies, inspiring a courage that comes from one's deep sense of personal authority. Once less dependent on the opinions of others, the Lion acts purely from the heart in a spirit of leadership inspiring the accomplishments of others.

Crystals for Leos

Peridot is a traditional birthstone for this sign. A yellow green, it relates both to healing and the will. Thus, I see it as healing the wounded ego.

Leos can also be among the most generous of signs, and they are easily hurt when either their generous or protective impulses go unappreciated. Placing a peridot on the solar plexus and meditating with it can help to ease the tension and stress of feeling rejected.

I favor combining this crystal with a rose quartz on the heart. Thus, one heals the wounded ego with the vibrations of self-love, particularly the awareness that the most enduring source of love and appreciation comes from within oneself.

In the real world lions and tigers aren't usually found in the same place, but the Lion can benefit from the quiet self-confidence engendered by tiger's eye.

Since Leo rules the heart, aventurine, the heart balancer, is of particular value.

Sagittarius: To the Stars
(Nov. 22-Dec. 20)

Aries is committed to personal expression without much caring what others think of it; whereas Leo, while equally committed to self-expression, seeks approval for its uniqueness. Sagittarius, the last of the fire signs, and as freedom-loving as the other two, loves to explore how to maintain one's uniqueness while being part of All That Is.

In understanding Sag, it's helpful to think about its dual nature as the Centaur, half-horse, half-human. The horse represents the need for freedom and the urge to explore. The human aspect, the Archer, fires arrows into the heavens in order to bring down truth.

As with the other fire signs, practical details tend to escape a Sagittarian's notice. They want to explore and understand philosophies and patterns and leave the grappling of all it all works on the earth plane to others (usually Capricorns). Speaking as a Sagittarius with a Capricorn partner, I can only say it works for me.

Sagittarians understand relationships in an abstract sense, but have a problem similar to Aries when it comes to one-to-one. They often value the truth more than the feelings of others. They have a particular need for communication crystals and essences. With these softening effects, their opinions can come across as helpful rather than hurtful, and those around them can benefit from the wisdom available to those with their eyes on the stars. (See

The Essential Sagittarius

Like the Arimony (Bach Flower Remedies) personality, Sagittarians tend to be outgoing, cheerful, good company, and fond of group activities. They sometimes focus on the world of ideas in order to avoid upsets in their inner emotional world.

Another, more subtle, similarity relates to the Sagittarian tendency to be attracted to so many paths that it's difficult to choose one. At times this indecision stems from the fear that one path will limit their freedom. They may also, however, fear the possibility of disappointment and failure to achieve a particular goal. Often they wish someone would encourage them to reach for one special star, but they rarely ask for help.

Taking Agrimony can help them to realize that exploring the riches of their emotional worlds can lead to a wisdom as deep (or deeper) as that which comes from exploring the world of thought.

Wild Horse (Wild Earth Animal Essences) helps the heart chakra to gently open, leading to a sense of belonging and connection with others. While the Sag will never be much of a herd animal, (s)he will be enriched through a deeper connection with others.

Sag Crystals

Turquoise, which several cultures believe bridge heaven and earth as well as helping the human mind to become one with the universe, seems to have been made for Sagittarius. On a practical level, it is believed to protect Sagittarians, whose heads are so often in the clouds they trip over their feet, from accidents. As a stone of clear thought and communication, it also helps Sags to sort out their priorities.

Though Sagittarians have their eyes on the stars, often the truths they seek to understand are too deep for words. Aquamarine can help them feel at home in the realm of wordless wisdom and help to cool the fire of this sign.

The sharpness of the Sagittarius tongue can be softened with liberal applications of rhodonite for patience. Carrying or wearing rhodonite can help the Sag to pause long enough to remember that honesty is not always the most loving policy.

Of all the fire signs, Sagittarius most needs grounding, but is also most likely to resist it. Smoky quartz, a translucent light brown, however, generally appeals to them, especially when they learn it helps their dreams to manifest.

Bach and Other Flower Essences
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