Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's Your Protagonist's Astrological Sign?

What's Your Sign? Part IV

In this ongoing series of using astrology and the Tarot to find the archetypes for our story characters, we need to pause briefly. Up until now I haven’t mentioned the additional elements that affect each zodiac sign; the four elements that the Greek philosopher Empedocles first mentioned—the elements of earth, air, fire and water.

Each sign of the zodiac is aligned with one of the elements. To date, I have skipped around the zodiac to give you one of each (Libra-air, Pisces-water, Taurus-earth) and now we add Leo-a fire sign.

Air signs will be more concerned with insubstantial, etheric or creative impulses, water signs concentrate more on the hidden, dark watery world of the subconscious-more slippery impulses to nail down and earth signs are more concerned with the concrete rather than the abstract. (Keep in mind these are broad generalizations for our purpose of character construction. Individual horoscopes contain other elements that mold a sign, but on the whole these will aid you in building your character so that he/she rings true.)

As you might guess, the astrological sign of Leo signifies the strength of a lion, but also the warmth of the sun, because this time our sign, Leo, is aligned with two cards of the Tarot-The Sun and Strength, and is influenced by the fourth element, fire. Fire heats and gives warmth but can burn when out of control.

The Star IQ website references some myths and legends of Greek heroes and Christian saints revealed by this sign and these cards. 

So, when building your Leo character he may have to deal with the dilemma of using brute strength or inner strength. Leos tend to have outgoing personalities and leadership qualities. They need to shine and seek validation and admiration from those around them (think of the male lion in a pride) and they love to bask in the limelight.

The positive qualities of Leos are exuberance, passion and creativity and include a generous and caring nature. On the negative side (there is always at least one) the Leo faces aspects of pride and vanity.

The Tarot Reader  website explains the Tarot cards in relation to Leo this way:
Strength (Leo) is often depicted as a maiden gently subduing a lion. The card stresses the need for discipline and control, the taming of our desire natures, known as the id, as represented by the lion. The woman represents the ego, the higher mind, and the knowledge of what is right and respectable. The two can be in constant battle and it is this inner battle which is the theme of the Strength card.
The Sun (The Sun) provides us with warmth and life and symbolizes the need to shine. The Sun represents vitality, consciousness, potential and the essence of self, very much the traits of our warm, fiery Leo and themes of our Sun card in the Tarot.
The Sun asks us to become conscious of self, the pure essence of our being, our true identity, and to express ourselves accordingly. The Sun is also representative of the ego, individuality, the power of self and the conscious will and so also urges us not to ignore the power within us.

I hope this suits one of the characters you are building or will build. Leos are not boring and can be colorful characters to use in your story. If you need a leader, this is your sign.

Has this astrology/tarot information helped you think of character in a new way?

Do you think you might use it to help you develop a character in the future?

Are you a Leo or do you know some? Does this sound like them?


Gloria Getman said...

Cracker-Jack idea there. I hadn't thought about looking at a character's sign to help build her/his back story, but it's a good idea. Somehow I accidently did that for my protagonist, Deena Powers, in my book Lottie's Legacy. But then I picked my good friend's birthday and some of her personality, so it fit.

Cora said...

I think many of us pick a person we know, or a combination of people we know for our characters. If you take it a step further and check out the astrological sign, you will know the deeper aspects of the person in the situations you put them in; what tempts them, where their weaknesses lie and what strengths they can draw from. Thanks for your comments.

Unknown said...

Despicable! If you showed some respect to person who made this GREAT article, maybe there would be some credibility to your claims!!!!