Carole Taylor very effectively introduces the signs of the zodiac by reminding us that we all have each sign in our chart to some degree or another, helping students to understand zodiac signs as a “cycle of development.” The generative, impatient energy of Aries settles down in Taurus and digs in. Restless, curious Gemini gets Taurus out of its rut. Cancer brings wandering Gemini home and establishes emotional bonds. Leo reminds Cancer that we aren’t just are family, we are unique individuals and look at me shine! Virgo helps Leo hone its performance and reminds us that we are also here to serve.
Libra brings all work and no play Virgo to the party, where beauty and the arts and the importance of human connections are celebrated. Scorpio reminds Libra that a life of ease is not the goal of life. We are here to struggle and to transform and to do hard things. Sagittarius brings faith to this struggle, however, and a sense of optimism that all will be well in the grand scheme of things. Optimism is well and good, Capricorn instructs, but one needs a plan, a strategy, and some responsible steps to accomplish our goals – and to meet whatever setbacks we may encounter. But we can’t do this alone, Aquarius tells us, we get by with a little help from our friends. The greatest accomplishments in life occur when we put aside petty differences and strive together as a team.
After the strong drive through Capricorn and Aquarius, though, we coast a bit in Pisces. It’s time to recharge with a dive into a good movie, a bubble bath, a seaside retreat, or even by taking some time to pause and meditate. And while we are there, we can begin to sense just how vast and unknown life truly is, and how our imaginations can perceive boundless possibilities. And then the cycle begins again as Aries strikes a match to light up a new adventure.
We can see how we experience this cycle though our own chart, then, by looking at the signs on our house cusps. Using the birth chart of Dolly Parton as an example, we find Aries on her 8th house cusp, giving her fire and independence when dealing with joint resources. To survive and thrive early in her career, she had to break up her partnership with Porter Waggoner and took on years of law suits and settlement payments rather than continue as his “girl singer.” Taurus on the 9th reveals her strong, settled religious views with roots that go deep into her childhood. Gemini on the 10th of career indicates her lively and fun public persona, her quick-witted ability to tell hundreds of stories through her songs, and the youthful joy in life that has kept her popular with each generation as it comes along.
Moon-ruled Cancer on her 11th house of audience shows the emotional connection she establishes with her fans. People don’t just love her music; they love Dolly. It is interesting that Leo, where she shines as an individual, is on her 12th house cusp. While she has the ability to tap into the collective with her performance, she also shines as someone who has great empathy for others and is actively engaged in philanthropy. She also is a bit of an enigma. While we know the very public “Dolly Parton,” she is very careful not to share details about her personal life or her political views. With Virgo, the craftsman, on her Ascendant, we have to be in awe that she has crafted her personal appearance so brilliantly that she has looked pretty much the same for over 50 years. She makes no bones about her “look” being the result of beautifully crafted wigs and stunning makeup techniques – plus some rigorous health regimes and the help of the occasional plastic surgeon.
With the balance of Libra on her 2nd house of money, she has attracted millions of dollars during her career, but she has given away millions as well. She loves beautiful things and has several lovely homes, so she enjoys her wealth. It is also important to her that children have access to books and learn to read so that they have the opportunity to advance in life. With Scorpio on her 3rd house of communication, she does play her cards close to her vest in expressing her views in public. She stays on message and on brand. With the intensity of Scorpio, she has maintained close bonds with her numerous siblings and also has a fairly close circle of those she trusts. Sagittarius on the 4th explains her big, sprawling family and early, boisterous home life, rooted in the teachings and beliefs of her parents and their church.
And what in the entertainment world of her 5th house is more Capricorn than Dollywood? She built this theme park in the mountains and woods where she grew up, giving back by establishing jobs and bringing in tourist dollars to an area that has always suffered economically. Dollywood also reminds visitors of our American pioneer roots, celebrating the tradition of the self-reliant people who built a life in the wilderness. In her work ethic of the 6th house, Dolly has kept herself firmly in the community of country music, often performing with other singers and helping to make country music mainstream. She has also carried her work into technological mediums of television and the movies. Her commitment to medical research was highlighted recently when her contribution to vaccine research led to one of the coronavirus vaccines. With her 7th house cusp in Pisces, she connects with others through love, acceptance, and universal goodwill. While she will make fun of herself, Virgo Ascendant style, she resists making unkind or critical comments of others. She puts out into the world a positive energy which reflects back on her and fills her with light.