In astronomical terms, Mercury is the closest planet to our solar system's sun. As such, it moves around the sun faster than any other planet in the system in what is known as an eccentric orbit. About Mercury The speed at which this planet moved across the sky at night was noted by ancient Roman astronomers, who subsequently named it after their swift-footed messenger god (which is why it is often referred to as the ‘planet of communication’ in astrology). Until NASA's Messenger space probe reached and completely mapped this rather elusive planet before impacting on its surface in April 2015, very little was known about it. Today, we know that this celestial body is far more dynamic and complex than its eccentricity and swiftness previously allowed us to discover. Mercury in Astrology mercury Every astrological sign has a planetary ruler, and most ruling planets reign over a single sign. Mercury, however, is the planetary ruler of both Gemini and Virgo, making it one of only two planets that divide their attention between two signs (Venus, which reigns over Libra and Taurus, being the other one). Mercury's Rule There are some basic similarities in the way Mercury rules over Gemini and Virgo. People born under both of these signs are, for instance, exceptionally intelligent. They can also be very flexible and capable of 'changing like the wind', although this is mostly due to the fact that both Gemini and Virgo have a 'mutable quality'.

Having introduced the concept of 'Qualities' in 'Astrology Reports: Qualities, an Introduction (Part 1 of 13)', I will endeavour to show how the different qualities, cardinal, fixed and muted, affect each individual sign over the next 12 parts of this series, starting today with the first of the cardinal signs, Aries. Cardinal Signs Astrology's cardinal signs, their seasons and elements are Aries (Spring, Fire), Cancer (Summer, Water), Libra (Autumn, Air) and Capricorn (Winter, Earth). As I mentioned in Part 1, these signs occupy each season's first month. Also known as the Zodiac's 'scout signs', they have the role of bringing forth new seasons. Governing creativity and often respected as leaders within their communities, people born under these cardinal signs are typically self-motivated; ambitious, active and often restless individuals. Occasionally misinterpreted as domineering, cardinal sign natives have some outstanding qualities, including being enterprising, creative and independent; spontaneous and, yes, sometimes forceful. cardinal signs The Cardinal Quality of the Fire-Sign Aries The role of the Aries individual is to use his or her first-hand experiences to project themselves onto the world. Self-expression is, in fact, of paramount importance to the pioneering sign of Aries, and natives love to see just how far they can go in the exploration and discovery of and experimentation with the world surrounding them.

Astrology Reports consider, among other aspects, human traits as they follow nature's natural rhythms. This is nowhere more perceptible than in the manner in which the different characteristics of the so-called Qualities are adopted.

Astrology qualities

Qualities in Astrology Reports

There are three Qualities, Cardinal, Fixed & Mutable, each with four assigned signs. Astrology assigns the signs of the Zodiac to these qualities based on their positioning within the year's four seasons. 

Cardinal Signs

The signs occupying the first month of a season are Cardinal signs. These signs are, for autumn, winter, spring and summer respectively: Libra, Capricorn, Aries and Cancer. People born under Cardinal signs are the leaders, their role is to initiate and bring forth the new season. Governing creativity, Cardinal signs are occasionally referred to as 'scout signs'.

Active and ambitious; self-motivated and restless, these signs are often community leaders. At times, they may come over as a little domineering, but this comes as part of the package with their most admirable qualities, which include being creative, enterprising and forceful; independent and spontaneous.

Buddhists around the world will be celebrating the birth of Buddha either this month or in May. The traditional date this important event is celebrated on is April the 8th, although the precise date may vary according to region (April 8 or May 8 in Japan; second Sunday in May in Taiwan; 8th day of the 4th lunar on the East Asian mainland, and the official date set for this year is the16th of May). While most people are aware of how Prince Siddhartha Gautama became the ‘holy man’ he is today known and revered as, few (especially non-Buddhists) are aware of the fact that his life’s path was accurately predicted by astrology shortly after his birth in 563 BC.

 Buddha’s Birthday and Astrology

The Prediction According to legend, an astrologer by the name of Asita visited King ?uddhodana, Prince Siddhartha Gautama’s father, and predicted that the young prince would either turn out to be a great king or, if allowed to see what life outside palace walls was really like, renounce wealth and the material world in general and become a holy man. The Fulfilment of the Prediction Determined that his son would one day be king, ?uddhodana subsequently prevented the prince from venturing out of palace grounds. In spite of his father’s efforts, Gautama managed to leave the palace several times at the age of 29.