Archive for category Leadership Through the Signs

Taurus Leadership – The Builder

Hello, everyone.

The Sun is in Taurus and we move on in our Leadership through the Signs series.  In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’ll explore and uncover the essential leadership qualities for each sign.  We’ll do this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’ll test the principles of textbook astrology and add a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the authentic leadership qualities we naturally possess and allow them to come forward in our business lives. It’s also to better understand others we meet and work with in business.

First let’s define what we mean by a leader.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others.  For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business.  In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.

What the experts tell us about Taurus

Many of the Taurus traits below were gathered from Bil Tierney’s excellent All Around the Zodiac:  Exploring Astrology’s Twelve Signs.

  • Taurus, as fixed earth energy, pulls together and organizes resources.
  • Contained energy.

    Taurus deals best with practical tangible issues in the here and now.

  • Taurus is methodical, taking time to build structures that ensure durability.  Taurus is known for achieving superior results over a sustained period of time
  • When change is afoot, Taurus needs to ease in at a relaxed pace and consider all of the issues carefully.
  • Taurus leaders have a steady and confident presence. They do not show up as one person one day and another person the next.
  • Taurus is smart about conserving strength and doesn’t waste vitality on inconsequential issues.
  • Unlike Aries, Taurus is a patient planner who can wait for the tide to roll in before taking action.
  • Taurus recognizes and develops others’ raw talents.
  • Taurus understands that to motivate and inspire people a leader needs to satisfy basic human needs for achievement, a sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, and the ability to live up to one’s ideals.
  • Taurus brings a stabilizing influence to an organization, carefully building, brick by brick, frameworks of lasting durability.
  • Taurus has stamina and focus, and will not quit a project until it is satisfactorily completed.
  • Beauty in form.

    Taurus hates pressure or doing things it really doesn’t enjoy.

  • Taurus wants to be self-directed and rejects other people’s interference.
  • Taurus is a hard worker and wants to be paid well for that work.

The Bull

Can you feel the essential energy of this sign of the Bull?  Look at the photos and the Taurus glyph:  the strong, contained energy of the bull represents the creative essence of Taurus well.

Before we get into specific examples of Taurus leadership, think about the list above and the images.  What would you say is authentic leadership for a Taurus?  Have you known leaders who embodied these attributes?  What was their management style?  How did they accomplish their goals?

Are you a Taurus?  How well do the above traits represent your essence?  Are you steady, dependable, and self-directed?  Are you patient and practical?  How do you handle pressure?

Remember to leave your comments as we begin our discussion of Taurus Leadership.

The Gentle Face of Taurus

For previous posts in this series, see

Aries Leadership – Let’s Get Started!

Aries Leadership – Nancy Pelosi

Aries Leadership – Maya Angelou

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

Pisces Leadership – Albert Einstein, in his own words

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin
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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Aries Leadership – Maya Angelou

Hello everyone.

Aries Maya Angelou is an American author and poet who has been called America’s most visible black female autobiographer.  Let’s look at the leadership qualities of Aries through the words of Maya Angelou.  First an overview from Wikipedia:

Maya Angelou at the groundbreaking for the African Burial Ground, 2007. (Source:Wikipedia)

Maya Angelou is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences.   Angelou  was active in the Civil Rights movement in the United States in the 1960s and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  She was a friend of and worked with Malcolm X.

Since 1991, she has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. In 1995, she was recognized for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou was heralded as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African American women able to publicly discuss her personal life. She is highly respected as a spokesperson for Black people and women.

In addition to a National Book Award nomination for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Pulitzer Prize nomination for her poetry volume, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie, Angelou received a Tony Award nomination for her role in the 1973 play Look Away, and three Grammy Awards for her spoken word albums.  In 1998, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.  She has served on two presidential committees, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008.  She has been awarded over thirty honorary degrees. [1]

What the experts tell us about Aries

  • The most important task for an Aries is to recognize that they have a separate, independent existence from the whole.  From the unity awareness of Pisces, Aries re-establishes the spark of the individual self.  Aries is sometimes seen as self-involved and self-referential.  Aries people can seem to take credit for others’ efforts and are impatient with those too recessive to keep up with them.Maya Angelou explains it this way: “Modesty is a learned affectation, put on from without, and very dangerous.  Life will slam a modern person against a wall and the modesty will drop off faster than a g-string will drop off a stripper.  Humility is the thing one wants, because humility comes from within out, not out on.” [2]

    (Source: Wikipedia)

    She goes on to say, “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves.  Love liberates.” [3]

    And, “I’ve never felt the need to prove anything to an audience. I’m always concerned about who I am to me first—to myself and God. I really am. So I never have been very concerned about the world telling me how successful I am. I don’t need that.[4]

  • All of the fire signs are likely to be lively, outgoing, action-oriented, and warm.  When challenged they can be hot tempered and determined but their anger flares up quickly and burns out just as quickly:

    “I always knew that fury was my natural enemy. It clotted my blood and clogged my pores. It literally blinded me so that I lost peripheral vision.” [5]

    But she goes on to say, ”Bitterness is like a cancer; it eats on the host.  It doesn’t do a dern thing to the object. Anger is good. It burns things up and leaves nutrients in the earth. You should be angry at injustices and angry at brutality. We should be, so we can be angry enough to stop it.” [6]

  • Cardinal signs posses an ability to set specific goals and to go after them with all the strength at their command.Here’s an example from Angelou’s life:“I’m the first black female director in Hollywood; in order to direct, I went to Sweden and took a course in cinematography so I would understand what the camera would do. Though I had written a screenplay, and even composed the score, I wasn’t allowed to direct it. They brought in a young Swedish director who hadn’t even shaken a black person’s hand before. …So I thought, Well, what I guess I’d better do is be ten times as prepared. In every case I know I have to be ten times more prepared than my white counterpart.” [7]

Castle Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A. (Source:Wikipedia)

  • Aries is perhaps the most cardinal of all the cardinal signs with its strong, vital energy.In 1998, Dana Kennedy of The New York Times wrote, “The door opens into the apartment of Maya Angelou, poet, professor, best-selling author, actress, playwright, producer and now, at the age of 70, first-time feature film director of ‘Down in the Delta,’’ which opens on Dec. 25.   ‘I don’t need much sleep,’ she explains, settling into an armchair.  ‘Four, maybe five hours is about it and then I’m ready to go’ [8]
  • Aries is the warrior/hunter archetype:  fundamentally aggressive, courageous, and risk-taking.“All my work, my life, everything I do is about survival, not just bare, awful, plodding survival, but survival with grace and faith. While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated”. [9]

    But she gives us an insight into this type of courage which is echoed in many Aries:  “I often rushed toward holocausts with an abandon that caused observers to think of me as courageous. The truth was, I simply wanted an end to uncertainty.” [10]

    And in one of her most famous statements she explains:  “[Courage is] the most important of all the virtues. Without that virtue you can’t practice any other virtue with consistency.” [11]

  • Aries seek constant challenges, big and small.Angelou gives us a hint of the idealism and fervor which drives Aries into challenging themselves throughout their lives when she says: “The dread of futility has been my lifelong plague.” [12]

    Fountain Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A. (Source:Wikipedia)

    The Achilles heel of an Aries is their inability to back down from a challenge.  This was the impetus for Angelou’s initial and acclaimed first autobiography.  As she tells the story, an editor at Random Books had repeatedly called her inviting to write the story of her youth.    “The next time he called, he said, ‘Well, Miss Angelou. I won’t bother you again. It’s just as well that you don’t attempt to write this book, because to write autobiography as literature is almost impossible.’  I said, ‘What are you talking about? I’ll do it.’ I’m not proud about this button that can be pushed and I will immediately jump.” [13]

  • Aries people are the high-energy, high-impact movers and shakers of this world.When I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was published in 1969, Angelou was hailed as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African American women who was able to publicly discuss her personal life. Up to that point, black female writers were marginalized to the point that they were unable to present themselves as central characters.  [14]

    Scholar Sondra O’Neale insists that Angelou’s autobiographies present black women differently than literature had portrayed them up to that time. O’Neale goes on to state that “no Black  woman in the world of Angelou’s books are losers”, and that Angelou herself is the third generation of “brilliantly resourceful females” who overcame the obstacles of racism and oppression. [15]

    Her screenplay, Georgia, Georgia (1972), was the first original script by a black woman to be produced.   At the age of seventy, Angelou was the first African American woman to direct a major motion picture, Down in the Delta, in 1998. [16]

  • Aries people will speak out for everyone, especially the underdog.“Once I got into [writing autobiographically] I realized I was following a tradition established by Frederick Douglass—the slave narrative—speaking in the first-person singular talking about the first-person plural, always saying I meaning we. And what a responsibility!” [17]

A few more insights into Aries

  • Aries are often criticized for being impulsive.  But Maya Angelou gives us her own assessment of this trait:  ”I know I’m a workaholic.  It’s got to be some kind of compulsion or impulse. I don’t know where it comes from. Mostly I just think of it as a gift given to me.” [18]
  • Aries have confidence in their own abilities and in the best case this spills over into confidence in others:  “My son turned out to be magnificent,” she says. ”But then I learned about mothering from my own mother. And Guy says he learned how to raise his stepson from me. This works with family — it even works with my actors. Hands off. Just tell someone you love them all the time and leave them alone.” [19]
  • The Aries is often an independent thinker, someone who takes her own counsel.  ”I was once told that I shouldn’t [publish a line of greeting cards for Hallmark] because the person said, ‘You are the people’s poet, the most popular poet in the United States, and you shouldn’t trivialize your work.’   So when I hung up the phone and thought about it, I said, ‘If I’m the people’s poet, then my work should be in the people’s hands. There are many people who will never buy a book, but who would buy a card.’ So I thought no, no. I’m going to do it.” [20]

Still I Rise

Aries.  The fountain of life force, the flame of individuality.  The calm sea erupting into a geyser of thrust, intention, will.  The courageous warrior.  The spokesman for the downtrodden, the one with something to achieve, something to gain, something to prove, something to accomplish.

Aries leadership carries a strong individual stamp.  This is full, vital, energetic leadership with no ambiguity about who is in the lead.

Glyph for Aries (Source: Wikipedia)


Throughout my research on Maya Angelou I kept seeing the glyph of Aries in my mind.  The Aries glyph, shown at right, represents the horns of the Ram, but it also represents the uprushing fountain, rising from the waters of the previous sign, Pisces.  Out of the collective, the individual.  Out of sleep, wakefulness.  Out of dormancy, renewal.  Out of surrender, idealism.  Authentic leadership for Aries embraces these qualities.

The poem, Still I Rise, is one of Angelou’s most famous.  It has this same sense of energy.  To all of the Aries leaders, if this poem resonates with you, if you can sense these fountains within you, you are in touch with your authentic Aries energy, a gift to the world.

Still I Rise[21]

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Grand Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)


Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

"El Tatio" in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

For two more studies on Aries Leadership see:

Aries Leadership – Let’s Get Started!

Aries Leadership – Nancy Pelosi

*******************************************************
For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.


[1] “Maya Angelou,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Angelou

[2] “Dr. Maya Angelou,” National Visionary Leadership Project, http://www.visionaryproject.com/angeloumaya/

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Maya Angelou, The Art of Fiction No. 119,” the Paris Review, http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2279/the-art-of-fiction-no-119-maya-angelou

[5] All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, Maya Angelou, Vintage eBooks

[6] “Public Lives; At 73, a Robust ‘People’s Poet’ Embraces the Prosaic,”  Lynda Richardson,  The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/01/nyregion/public-lives-at-73-a-robust-people-s-poet-embraces-the-prosaic.html?ref=mayaangelou

[7] “Maya Angelou, The Art of Fiction No. 119,” Ibid.

[8] “HOLIDAY FILMS; A Poet, at 70, Ventures Into the Unknown,” Dana Kennedy, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/15/movies/holiday-films-a-poet-at-70-ventures-into-the-unknown.html?src=pm

[9] “Maya Angelou,” Wikipedia, Ibid.

[10] Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, Maya Angelou, Random House Trade Paperbacks

[11] “Maya Angelou, The Art of Fiction No. 119,” Ibid.

[12] I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, Random House Trade Paperbacks

[13] “Maya Angelou, The Art of Fiction No. 119,” Ibid.

[14] “Maya Angelou,” Wikipedia, Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] “Maya Angelou, The Art of Fiction No. 119,” Ibid.

[18] “HOLIDAY FILMS; A Poet, at 70, Ventures Into the Unknown,” Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] “Public Lives; At 73, a Robust ‘People’s Poet’ Embraces the Prosaic,” Ibid.

[21] “Still I Rise,” Maya Angelou, POETS.org., http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15623 Read the rest of this entry »

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Aries Leadership – Nancy Pelosi

Hello everyone.

Nancy Pelosi, first woman, first Italian-American and first Californian to lead a major party in Congress. (Source:Wikipedia)

Today let’s continue our look at the leadership qualities of Aries by looking at Aries Nancy Pelosi, the current Leader of the Minority Party in the U.S. House of Representatives and former Speaker of the House. And in honor of powerful women everywhere, I’ve gathered a photo gallery of woman warriors for you to enjoy.

First let’s review a few textbook attributes of the cardinal fire sign Aries.  (For citations and a more full description, see Aries Leadership – Let’s Get Started!)

What the experts tell us about Aries

  • The most important task for an Aries is to recognize that they have a separate, independent existence from the whole.  From the unity awareness of Pisces, Aries re-establishes the spark of the individual self.
  • All of the fire signs are likely to be lively, outgoing, action-oriented, and warm.  When challenged they can be hot tempered and determined.
  • Fire signs have a genius for enrolling others in their enthusiasms. They can be  inspiring leaders who know how to make things happen.
  • Cardinal signs posses an ability to set specific goals and to go after them with all the strength at their command.
  • Aries is perhaps the most cardinal of all the cardinal signs with its strong, vital energy.
  • Aries is the warrior/hunter archetype:  fundamentally aggressive, courageous, and risk-taking.
  • Aries seek constant challenges, big and small.
  • Aries becomes insecure if dealing with a string of failures.
  • Aries people are the high-energy, high-impact movers and shakers of this world.
  • Aries people want to get things started and to keep things moving, and they can come across as demanding and pushy.
  • Aries people will speak out for everyone, especially the underdog.

Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret by William Etty, 1833. (Source:Wikipedia)

Let’s see how Nancy Pelosi exemplifies the traits of Aries Leadership.

(Much of the material below was found in the book Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics by Ronald M. Peters, Jr. and Cindy Simon Rosenthal.  The rest was gathered from Wikipedia, WikiQuotes, The New Yorker and The New York Times.)

  • Aries reestablishes the spark of the individual self. For Nancy Pelosi and many Aries there is a strong streak of independence, a penchant for swimming against the current.  Even though she came from an established political family steeped in Eastern-style liberalism, Pelosi always positioned herself as bringing a Western, entrepreneurial perspective to the Democratic Party.  She was the “outsider” running against the “Washington Establishment.”

    In the House of Representatives she was an outspoken critic of fellow Democrat President Bill Clinton on the subject of free trade and the World Trade Organization.  She was one of the few in Congress who opposed President Bush on the resolution to invade Iraq, and she declared her independence from President Obama from the beginning. She defined her own political persona rather than allowing it to be defined by others, including her family or political party.

  • Aries can be an inspiring leader who knows how to make things happen.   Much has been made of the loss of Democratic seats in the 2010 election under Pelosi’s leadership.  However as Minority Leader in 2006 she led the House Democrats to their first majority in 12 years.  Under her Speakership she tackled and passed legislation including health care reform, energy and environmental policy, restructuring the financial services industry, and addressing student loans, food safety, technological innovation, highway and transit funding, all amid a war and an economic disaster.

    Oil painting on silk, "Hua Mu Lan Goes to War." (Source:Wikipedia)

    She was also an excellent coalition builder, seeking as many cosponsors as possible for many bills.  She was known on Capitol Hill as a Speaker who went to extraordinary lengths to build bridges across Democratic Party divides and to foster consensus within it.

  • Aries seek constant challenges, big and small.   As the first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi reached the highest position of any female in United States history.  Third in succession to the President, she gained the seat amid the still-prevalent doubts in the U.S. about whether women are suited to the task of political and military leadership.  On her way to the seat she skipped over the “lesser” party offices for which female members of the house historically competed.

    Once she gained the Speakership she revamped the committee selection process and put herself in direct charge of committee assignments, the first Speaker to do so in over a hundred years.  Her current challenge, with the Democrats in the minority, is to unite the Caucus, move it to the center to gain seats in the next election, and focus on protecting Social Security, Medicare and health care reform.

  • Aries people are the high-energy, high-impact movers and shakers of this world.  Under Nancy Pelosi Congress spent more time in session, cast more votes, passed more legislation, and conducted more oversight hearings than the prior Republican-controlled Congress, while functioning as her Party’s leader and representing her San Francisco constituents.  The metaphor used for Pelosi to describe her energy and drive is the “Energizer Bunny.”

    She works from early morning to late at night and is famous for the efficiency with which she uses her time.  Over 70, staff members have to run to keep pace with her.

  • Aries is the warrior/hunter archetype:  fundamentally aggressive, courageous, and risk-taking.  Pelosi’s opposition to the Iraq invasion shouldn’t fool us about her Warrior energy.  Opposing the war on ideological principle, she took a political risk which most of her peers were unwilling to take.  Had the war been a success, her political rise would have been doomed.

    Bronze statue of Jeanne Hachette by Gabriel-Vital Dubray. (Source: Wikipedia)

    The Legislature itself is a battleground and it takes an aggressive personality to lead it.  One Speaker described it this way:  “Traditionally, legislatures have fostered the spontaneous generation of conflict and competition.  Members are taught to look out for themselves.  Protocol and titles are considered of central importance.  The victor in any given struggle is often the one who pushes the hardest and the longest.”

    The strategic acumen of the successful warrior comes through in Nancy Pelosi’s leadership style.  She is known as a shrewd legislator, able to reach compromise on important issues.  Against her party’s more passive style, she argues that the only way to defeat the Republicans is through active and aggressive leadership.  She is happy to debate the Republicans over values and to define the differences between the two parties rather than blur them.

    She has an instinct to go on the attack, which she demonstrated numerous times against President Bush and the Republicans.  Her “rally the troops” leadership style has led her to some of the lowest approval ratings of any member of congress and to be the particular target of negative campaigning by the Republicans in the 2010 election.  As the minority leader, she continues to challenge Speaker Boehner on issues such as the decision for the House to hire private lawyers to defend the Defense of Marriage Act cases after President Obama declared the Justice Department would no longer hear them.

    We learn from Pelosi that loyalty, collaboration, and coalition-building are also part of the warrior style.  Pelosi has been criticized for placing too high a premium on loyalty and at times it has worked against her.  She can foster unneeded conflict to defend those loyal to her.  But loyalty on a battlefield can mean the difference between victory and failure and Pelosi seems to understand this.  Her one aim is that the Democratic agenda be accomplished.

    Collaboration and coalition-building may seem at odds with the independent spirit of the Aries temperament but in studying Nancy Pelosi we understand that no battle is won with one warrior alone; it takes a regiment of committed soldiers to succeed.  She places a premium on listening, consultation, and consensus and her leadership on the Hill included numerous meetings:  planning strategy, consulting with members, debriefings, meetings with the Democratic Caucus, and at least three meetings a week with her leadership team.  One of her major goals was to keep the Democrats unified in their assault against the policies of the Republicans.

  • The Goddess Durga slaying the forces of ignorance. (Source:Wikipedia)

    Aries people will speak out for everyone, especially the underdog.  Nancy Pelosi’s political record shows her support of the disenfranchised including AIDS funding in the early years, health care reform, the first minimum wage hike in a decade, student loan reform, stem-cell research, etc.

    In 1991, on a delegation to Beijing, she challenged protocol by displaying a sign commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre.  While the Bush administration urged quiet diplomacy, she argued for legislative restrictions to force the Chinese government’s hand.  She has become identified with the issue of human rights in China.

As with every leader we study, there is so much more that could be said about the Aries leadership style of Nancy Pelosi.  She is an excellent example of how the Aries energy can be applied to real-life leadership situations.  I’ll leave you with a quote from her that sums up her style and that of Aries:

“Think of me as a lioness- you threaten my cubs, you have a problem.”

For the first post on Aries Leadership, see Aries Leadership – Let’s Get Started!

For posts about Aquarius and Pisces Leadership styles, see the side bar “Leadership Through the Signs.”

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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Aries Leadership – Let’s Get Started!

Hello, everyone.

Aries, by Jacob Jordaens ca. 1640. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

The Sun has moved into Aries and we move on in our Leadership through the Signs series.  In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’ll explore and uncover the essential leadership qualities for each sign.  We’ll do this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’ll test the principles of textbook astrology and add a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the authentic leadership qualities we naturally possess and allow them to come forward in our business lives. It’s also to better understand others we meet and work with in business.

First let’s define what we mean by a leader.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others.  For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business.  In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.

What the experts tell us about Aries

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase that captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Aries is “I am.”    In the developmental cycle of the zodiac, Aries follows Pisces, the most undifferentiated sign.  The most important task for an Aries is to recognize that they have a separate, independent existence from the whole.  From the unity awareness of Pisces, Aries re-establishes the spark of the individual self.
  • Every sign is comprised of an element, earth, air, fire, or water and a mode, cardinal, fixed, or mutable.  Aries is the cardinal fire sign.  From Donna Cunningham at SkyWriter we learn that all of the fire signs are likely to be lively, outgoing, action-oriented, and warm.  (Are You a Fire Type? Here’s the Score!)
  • Fire signs can have a genius for enrolling others in their enthusiasms, being an inspiring leader who knows how to make things happen.  (Ibid.)
  • When challenged, [fire signs] can be hot tempered and determined to win you over to their point of view.  (Ibid.)
  • Cardinality brings additional traits to Aries.  Per Donna Cunningham, cardinal signs posses an ability to set specific goals and to go after them with all the strength at their command.   (How Cardinal are You? Here’s the Score!)
  • Aries is perhaps the most cardinal of all the cardinal signs in its strong, vital energy.  (Ibid.)
  • Aries, by Giovanni Maria Falconetto, 1515-1520. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

  • Gunzberg and Brady at Astrologos tell us that Aries is the warrior/hunter archetype:  fundamentally aggressive, courageous, and risk-taking.  (The Zodiac – Urban Tribes, Astrologos Studyshop)
  • Aries are strongly focused, highly motivated, and quick tempered.  They seek constant challenges, big and small. (Ibid.)
  • Aries needs to win and becomes insecure if dealing with a string of failures.  (Ibid.)
  • Debra Silverman describes Aries as the high-energy, high-impact movers and shakers of this world.  (A Fun Look at Aries Zodiac Sign in Action )
  • Debra says Aries people want to get things started and to keep things moving, and this sometimes gets them into trouble with others, as they can come across as demanding and pushy. (Ibid.)
  • Aries people are so outspoken that they’ll speak out for everyone, especially the underdog. If something’s wrong or someone’s being hurt, Aries is the first one to stand up and put their foot down. (Ibid.)

These excerpts really give us a sense of this hot, generating Aries energy, don’t they?

Before we get into specific examples of Aries leadership, think about the list above and look at the images.  What would you say is authentic leadership for an Aries?  Have you known leaders who embodied these attributes?  What was their management style?  How did they accomplish their goals?

Are you an Aries?  How well do the above traits represent your essence?  Are you action-oriented and warm?  Are you hot-tempered and determined to win?  How do you handle failure?  Are you a mover and a shaker?

Remember to leave your comments as we begin our discussion of Aries Leadership.

For previous posts in this series, see

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

Pisces Leadership – Albert Einstein, in his own words

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

*******************************************************

For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see Astro4Business Month Ahead – March 2011

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Pisces Leadership – Albert Einstein, in his own words

Hello everyone.

I hope you’ll enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  It’s a continuation of our Leadership through the Signs series featuring Piscean Albert Einstein.  From our past posts we’ve gleaned some essential qualities of the Piscean temperament which I’ve listed below.  For each of these Piscean qualities I’ve included a quote by or about Albert Einstein which elucidates the keywords.

Albert Einstein in 1931. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

Most of the Einstein quotes I found in Wikiquotes and are sourced there.  There are a couple of other sources I’ve cited as well.  Have fun with this look at this fascinating Piscean.

1.  Pisceans operate from an instinctual, connected space, tapped right in to the wisdom of all.

I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of sudden a thought occurred to me: If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight. I was startled. This simple thought made a deep impression on me. It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation.

2.  Pisceans find freedom through spiritual orientation.

Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

3.  Pisces is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac, emotional and introspective.

I was particularly won over by his sweet disposition, by his general kindness, by his simplicity, and by his friendliness. Occasionally, gaiety would gain the upper hand and he would strike a more personal note and even disclose some detail of his day-to-day life. Then again, reverting to his characteristic mood of reflection and meditation, he would launch into a profound and original discussion of a variety of scientific and other problems. I shall always remember the enchantment of all those meetings, from which I carried away an indelible impression of Einstein’s great human qualities. Louis de Broglie, New Perspectives in Physics.

Einstein in 1921. (Source:Wikipedia)

4.  Pisceans need to retreat from contact with the world in order to retain their equilibrium.

Bear in mind that those who are finer and nobler are always alone — and necessarily so — and that because of this they can enjoy the purity of their own atmosphere.

My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities.

Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

… apartness became a practical  necessity to him, in order to  protect his cherished privacy  from a world hungry for legend  and charisma. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

5.  Like all mutable signs, Pisceans display a desire to find knowledge and with their flexible and adaptable approach, they are not only able to find new knowledge but also have the ability to use it.

I want to know how God created this world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.

6.  Pisces can empathize and understand, blending their energy with all things.

The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshiper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.

7.  In their highest state, Pisceans operate without limitations, distinctions, or judgments.

I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.

People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

I have only two rules which I regard as principles of conduct. The first is: Have no rules. The second is: Be independent of the opinion of others.

Special Relativity. (Source:Wikimedia Commons)

8.  The glyph for Pisces signifies the world of duality and the Piscean constant intention to find unity.

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.

Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies.

I have found no better expression than “religious” for confidence in the rational nature of reality, insofar as it is accessible to human reason. Whenever this feeling is absent, science degenerates into uninspired empiricism.

His analysis of [the] fluctuations in blackbody radiation led him to become the first to state, in 1909, long before the discovery of  quantum mechanics, that the theory of the future ought to be  based on a dual description in  terms of particles and waves. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

9.  With their ability to look in two directions, Pisceans build bridges from the past to the future.

…nearly a decade before the discovery of modern quantum mechanics, he had been the first to understand that the nineteenth century ideal of causality was about to become a grave issue in quantum physics. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

10.  Pisces are consistently humble and sometimes self-deprecating.

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.

Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

11.  Pisceans understand that power is not personal, and it comes from the seat given by the public.

Einstein’s company was comfortable and comforting to those who knew him. Of course, he well knew that he was a legendary figure in the eyes of the world. He accepted this as a fact of life. There was nothing in his personality to promote his mythical stature; nor did he relish it. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

Einstein in 1904. (Source:Wikipedia)

12.  Pisces has a reputation as the dreamer, the artist, someone who hears distant chimes from the ethereal world.

I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.

When I examine myself and my methods of thought I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap.

The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them.

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I do know that I get most joy in life out of my violin.

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

13.  Pisces, the synthesizer:   In the words of Piscean Steve Jobs, “Creativity is just connecting things.”

A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.

14.  Many Pisceans exhibit an intoxicating charisma.

Genius.  Absent-minded professor.  The father of relativity.  The mythical figure of Albert Einstein – hair flaming in the wind, sockless, wearing an oversized sweatshirt, puffing on his pipe, oblivious to his surroundings – is etched indelibly on our minds. Michio Kaku, Einstein’s Cosmos, How Albert Einstein’s Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time.

15.  Pisceans have a natural aversion to hierarchies.

Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. …Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment — an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections.

However, in his personal and scientific conduct, he was not a rebel, one who resists authority, nor … a revolutionary, one who aims to overthrow authority. Rather, he was so free that any form of authority but the one of reason seemed irresistibly funny to him. Abraham Pais, Subtle is the Lord: the Science and Life of Albert Einstein.

16.  Pisceans have the gift of recognizing the simplicity which undergirds the apparent complexity in the world.  They can often see right into the heart of a matter.

It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.

17.  Pisceans have faith in human ingenuity.

The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Beautiful, right?  He exemplifies these Piscean qualities so well.  And that last quote puts into words the reason for this series – finding the authentic qualities of each sign so each of us can bring our best to leadership.

So now it’s your turn.  What would you tell a Pisces just stepping into a position of leadership?  And remember, leadership can be from the team captain on the softball field to the CEO.  What do you think is the one essential point a Pisces needs to remember to be true to their most authentic leadership style?

If you missed the prior posts for Pisces leadership, here are the links:

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

*******************************************************
For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see Astro4Business Month Ahead – March 2011

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Pisces Leadership – Steve Jobs

Hello, everyone.

Steve Jobs with iPhone, 2010. (Source:Wikipedia)

Part savvy businessman, part artist, Steve Jobs is an excellent example of the Pisces attributes in a leadership role.  An iconic figure, we’ll look at his leadership style in our evolving study of the zodiac signs for leadership.

In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’re exploring the essential leadership qualities for that sign.  We’re doing this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’re testing the principles of textbook astrology and adding a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the leadership qualities we naturally possess and to recognize those qualities in other leaders.

This month we’re exploring Pisces.  If you missed the earlier entries on Pisces Leadership, view them here: Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water;   Pisces Leadership – George Washington. These posts outline the essential qualities of Pisces and what we’ve learned so far.  And don’t miss the comments.  Readers have made astute observations of the Pisces style at work.

There are so many signs and signals of Pisces in Steve Jobs’ career, it’s hard to narrow them down to just a few.  We’ll focus on these:

  1. Pisces, the artisan
  2. Pisces, the synthesizer
  3. Pisces, the collaborator
  4. Pisces, from complexity to simplicity

Note:  Many of the points in this piece I have gleaned from the excellent Inside Steve’s Brain, by Leander Kahney.  Other sources will be noted at the end.

Pisces, the artisan

Pisces has a reputation as the dreamer, the artist, someone who hears distant chimes from the ethereal world.  Jobs, born “in San Francisco, California, USA, planet Earth, February 24, 1955” (1) puts his artistic qualities to work with an obsessive love for design, keen attention to advertising, and an unparalleled focus on the customer experience.  Yet obviously, his deep artistic nature is balanced by his ability to capitalize on his creative inspiration.

He brings his artistic touch to each product Apple produces.  He is minutely involved in every aspect of the product, paying attention to all of the details such as the color, the feel, and the function. (2)

And yet it is not the product which is the primary focus, it is the user’s experience of the product.  Jobs is uncannily perceptive about the needs of the customer.  He doesn’t sell a product; he sells a fantasy lifestyle, augmented by a cool technological gadget.  He even involves himself with the design of the packaging materials, believing that the feeling a customer has as he opens the box to set up the new machine is a vital part of the overall experience.

The Piscean love for theater and drama show up in Jobs product introductions:  savvy, much awaited theatrical events, full of fever, anticipation, and Jobs’ stage presence which easily eclipses any of his competitors’ product introductions.

Pisces: two fish swimming in opposite directions. (Source: Wikipedia)

Pisces, the Synthesizer

Along with the other mutable signs, Pisces has the reputation for being scattered and far-flung, lacking focus, accountability, and direction.  Jobs’ leadership style demonstrates the advantages which come from this variety of experience.

“Creativity is just connecting things,” Jobs told Wired magazine. “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. . . . Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” (3)

Like the Pisces symbol of two fish forever connected, Jobs thinks technological creativity and artistic creativity are two sides of the same coin.  When asked by Time magazine about the difference between art and technology, Jobs said, “I’ve never believed that they’re separate.  Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist and a great scientist.  Michelangelo knew a tremendous amount about how to cut stone at the quarry. The finest dozen computer scientists I know are all musicians.” (4)

Pisces the Collaborator

Jobs’ business processes are highly collaborative.  At Pixar, which Jobs bought from George Lucas in 1986 and served as CEO until 2006 when it was sold to Disney, there are no cubicles or offices.  The studio is a large open space with communal design areas.  Adverse to hierarchies, if a script isn’t working, the whole team works together to fix it.  In fact, the Latin inscription of the crest of Pixar University says, Alienus Non Diutius, Alone No Longer.  Could there be a better statement to reflect the unity awareness so common with Pisces?

One of Jobs’ most outstanding traits as a leader is his ability to pick the best people to work with him. The dean of Pixar University says, “[With Jobs leadership] we’ve made the leap from an idea-centered business to a people-centered business.  Instead of developing ideas, we develop people.  Instead of investing in ideas, we invest in people.”  Jobs has an uncanny ability to recognize who are the primary contributors in an organization, no matter what their place is on the hierarchical ladder.

His legendary charisma has allowed him to collaborate with Disney, the record labels, and AT&T to push inventive solutions out to the public domain.  John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple Computer, says Jobs is capable of persuading people to do almost anything.  Jobs sounds like Pisces’ ruling planet, Neptune, when people say that he emits a “reality distortion field,” a ring of charisma so strong it bends reality for anyone under its influence.

Steve Jobs holding a MacBook Air, 2008. (Source:Wikipedia)

Pisces, from Complexity to Simplicity

The interests and abilities of a Pisces spread far and wide but in the best case scenario Pisceans have the gift of recognizing the simplicity which undergirds the apparent complexity in the world.  They can often see right into the heart of a matter.  Jobs begins each new product exploration with many, many brainstorming sessions, gathering reams of ideas and inspiration.  Then the winnowing process begins, basically reaching a more and more simplified state as an idea evolves.  He pares the products down to the essential so they are as simple and easy to use as possible.  They are designed to please the customer rather than to impress with technology, bells, or whistles.

Jobs is not an engineer or a programmer himself, nor does he have a business degree or any college degree.  His talent is to truly understand and think like an average customer.  He guides the company to create products which are instantly usable by anyone, which he achieves by meticulous attention to design.

When Jobs was a child he would take complex pieces of machinery, like televisions, and break them down into their simplest components.  He says, “These things were not mysteries anymore.  It became much more clear that they were the results of human creation, not these magical things.” (1)  Jobs has the knack for turning mysteries and magic into beautiful, simple, and overwhelmingly popular products.

What do you see?

As I said, this is a brief overview of the Piscean qualities Steve Jobs brings to the business world.  I think he’s an excellent example to anyone who thinks that the Pisces emotional and spiritual nature precludes business accomplishment.  Like each sign, authentic leadership seems to spring from adhering to the essence of the Sun sign:  to imbibe the qualities more and more rather than reach for those which are more natural to other signs.

Have you seen these qualities in Pisces leaders around your workplace?  If you’re a Pisces, do you identify with these traits of Steve Jobs?  Share your experiences and comments with all of us in the comments section.  You’ll help us gather a complete profile of the Pisces style of leadership.

To see the other posts in this series, see:

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

Sources:

(1)Smithsonian Institution Oral and Video Histories:  “Steve Jobs,” by David Morrow.

(2) Inside Steve’s Brain, by Leander Kahney.

(3) “The Wired Interview:  Steve Jobs,” by Gary Wolf, Wired Magazine.

(4) “Steve Jobs at 44,” by Michael Krantz, Time Magazine.

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For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

To get an overview of the year, check out these posts:

Pluto’s Journey through 2011

Neptune Swimming through 2011

Uranus Flashes through 2011

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Neptune

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Pisces Leadership – George Washington

Hello, everyone.

We’re continuing our series on Leadership through the Signs with Piscean George Washington.

According to Wikipedia, George Washington:

This 1772 painting by Peale of Washington as colonel of the Virginia Regiment, is the earliest known portrait. (Source: Wikipedia)

… was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775–1783, and he presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States (1789–1797), he developed the forms and rituals of government that have been used ever since, such as using a cabinet system and delivering an inaugural address. As President, he built a strong, well-financed national government that avoided war, suppressed rebellion and won acceptance among Americans of all types, and Washington is now known as the “Father of his country”.

Pisces Attributes

George Washington is a fascinating study in Piscean leadership.  This is a list of the textbook attributes of Pisces we are using as our springboard for our learning and discovery.

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase which captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Pisces is “I believe.”    At the highest level, Pisceans operate from an instinctual, connected space, tapped right in to the wisdom of all.
  • “The only true freedom for Pisces comes through spiritual orientation.  When they are true to their real nature Pisceans have a high and holy destiny and are the true saviors and servants of mankind.” (Isabel Hickey, Astrology A Cosmic Science)
  • “Pisces is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac and emotions are strong and deep in this sign.  They are moody and introspective and hard to understand.” (Ibid.)
  • “Pisceans need to be alone and …retreat from contact with the world in order to retain their equilibrium.” (Ibid.)
  • “[Pisceans] never feel that they do enough so they often overwork, putting stress and strain on the physical body.” (Ibid.)
  • “The mutable signs (Pisces is the mutable water sign) express themselves as a desire to find knowledge; and with their flexible and adaptable approach, they are not only able to find new knowledge but also have the ability to use it. They bring new ideas, new facts and new ways of seeing things into the world view of the tribe.” (Bernadette Brady, The Zodiac:  Urban Tribes)
  • “Pisces is a water sign, thus [they are] empathic, [they feel] the emotions of others or of patterns. They can empathize and understand, blending their energy with all things. To them the world and its events are a feast of omens and signs.” (Ibid.)
  • Mutable water indicates the quality of…nourishment – flowing everywhere, without limitations, distinctions, or judgments. (Eric Meyers, Elements and Evolution)

(The sources cited in this post are listed at the bottom of this article.)

Depiction by John Trumbull of Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief. (Source: Wikipedia)

“Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country”

The first two points on our list above were certainly true for Washington.  Washington’s life was devoted to service, much of it in opposition to his personal desire for the life of a planter and farmer.   He believed that, “There is a destiny which controls our actions, not to be resisted.”  (1)  He forever characterizes the Pisces willingness to subordinate narrow, personal interests to a larger cause.

He also expected the same of his countrymen.   In his Farewell Address announcing he would not seek a third term of presidency, he pled for a politics of consensus and warned against single-issue political movements and against the separation of America into racial, ethnic, or gender-based constituencies. (2)

“I had rather be in my grave than in my present situation”

Washington also had his share of the third point, the point about being moody, introspective, and hard to understand.  He was a sensitive, complex figure, full of pent-up passion. (3) He was also consistently self-deprecating.  When he accepted formal command of the Army in 1775, he said, “I beg it may be remembered … that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.” (1)  In his final two years after retiring from the presidency he lived with the fear that his vision for the country for which he had sacrificed his life would be undone by sectional interests and the union would fail. (2)

He was known for his rare, but unassailable, temper and for depression during command of the army. (4)  You can hear his weariness as well as a measure of self-pity while addressing his officers, “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.” (1)

Biographer Joseph J. Ellis says that Washington was “an inherently stiff and formal man who cultivated aloofness and possessed distancing mechanism second to none.” (2)  And Biographer Ron Chernow adds, “From boyhood, Washington had struggled to master and conceal his deep emotions. When the wife of the Brit­ish ambassador later told him that his face showed pleasure at his forthcoming departure from the presidency, Washington grew indignant: ‘You are wrong. My countenance never yet betrayed my feelings!’” (3) This is a common face of the Pisces character:  the ultra-sensitivity masked by aloofness and practicality.

“To quit a peaceful abode”

The fourth point about the need to retire periodically was a very strong feature of Washington’s life.  He retired to his farm several times after accomplishing a duty for his country’s cause, and he regularly swore not to return to public life.  His fellow countrymen constantly drafted him back to service.  He finally retired only two years before his death.

Portrait by Gilbert Stuart. (Source: Wikipedia)

As he was about to assume the office of President for the first time, he commented to General Henry Knox, “My movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution: so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an Ocean of difficulties.” (1)

“To compare the opinions of those in whom I confide”

The last three bullet points above are illustrated by Washington’s reliance on collaboration.  From his earliest days in the Army he developed a methodology of gathering contributions from his advisers as a means to decision-making.  The Cabinet still used today in the U.S. Presidency was established by Washington to pursue his familiar method of information gathering and decision-making.  He said, “I am anxious, always, to compare the opinions of those in whom I confide with one another and these again with my own, that I may extract all the good I can.” (2)

And this reliance on collaboration formed the bedrock of his belief in the ability of thirteen separate states to operate as a union.  He wanted Americans to think of themselves as a collective unit with a common destiny.  In Piscean fashion, he could see that the nation’s “essential interests are the same…its diversities arising from climate and from soil will naturally form a mutual relation of parts” and serve as the formulation for “an affectionate and permanent Union.” (2)

“The external trappings of elevated office”

Now we’ll start to develop some other attributes which are clear from Washington’s leadership style and test them against the subsequent Piscean leaders we will study.

One of the most interesting aspects about Washington was his deep understanding of himself as a symbol for the country.  In his day, he was the most popular and familiar face in the country.  His image was everywhere, in paintings, prints, lockets; on coins, silverware, and plates. (2)  He “clothed the revolutionary rhapsodies in flesh and blood, American’s one and only indispensable character,” and he knew it.  He drove around Philadelphia in an ornate carriage drawn by six cream-colored horses. (1)

He completely understood though that his power belonged to the office the people had given him and not to him personally.  Because of his periodic retirement from public life, he was a “leader who could be trusted with power because he was so ready to give it up.” (2)  In his own words he demonstrates his understanding that his life is a symbol for the collective consciousness of the people when he says, “All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the luster which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity.” (1)

He did not use the power of the office to seize personal power as he could have.  As Scott Simon of NPR says, “George Washington could have been a king. He decided to be a citizen. No crowds massed. No bands played.” (5)

Thank you, George

A life like George Washington’s cannot be summed up in a few bullet points.  But I think we can begin to see Piscean leadership in action:  spiritual orientation becomes the willingness to operate within an institution to serve the whole; sensitivity and need for retreat becomes the need to harness emotions and retire often to places of refuge; the flexibility inherent in all of the mutable signs becomes collaboration; the ability to blend with everyone and everything becomes the ability to carry a position of authority without personal interest.

Please leave your comments, questions, and further points on Pisces leadership.  I’d especially love to hear from Pisces people as to whether you resonate with the qualities above.

Readers made excellent points in the introductory piece of this series.  If you missed them, be sure to check them out.  Here’s the link to that post.  Piscean Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Sources:

(1)   Wikipedia, “George Washington”

(2)   Founding Brothers, The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis

(3)   Washington, A Life, by Ron Chernow

(4)   “’Washington: A Life’: The Person, Not The Persona” by Glenn C. Altschuler, NPR

(5)   “George Washington:  Strong Man, but No Strongman” by Scott Simon, NPR

To see the other posts in this series, see these links:

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

***********************************************************************

For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – February 2011

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

Tags:

Pisces Leadership – Dipping our Toes in the Water

Hello, everyone.

Pisces: two fish swimming in opposite directions. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Sun has moved into Pisces and we move on in our Leadership through the Signs series.  In this series, as we progress through each month’s zodiac sign, we’ll explore and uncover the essential leadership qualities for each sign.  We’ll do this by looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’ll test the principles of textbook astrology and add a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the leadership qualities we naturally possess and to recognize those qualities in other leaders.

First let’s define what we mean by a leader.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others.  For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business life.  In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.

This month:  Pisces

I had an interesting experience searching for leaders born under the sign of the fish, Pisces.  Don’t worry; I found plenty.  But it wasn’t easy.  First I looked in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list.  Out of all the birthdays I could find, only one was a Pisces, Michael Dell.  Then I checked The New York Times website for their Corner Office series, in which they interview CEOs and other business leaders each week.  Out of all the interviews there, I found 25 birthdates.  Not one was a Pisces.  I searched my astrology program, Solar Fire, for famous people with Piscean birthdays.  I found lots of politicians, very few business people.

What is this saying?  Stereotypically, Pisces are supposed to be more interested in the realm of spirit and vision than mundane achievement and business.  But I’m sure there are many, many people in leadership positions born under the sign, Pisces.  Perhaps they don’t aspire to the upper echelons of power that would position them for a New York Times or Time Magazine article.  Or perhaps their leadership style doesn’t make them good candidates for interviews.  I’m not sure.

But there are still plenty of examples to work with.  Here are a few Pisces leaders:  Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Edward Kennedy, Andrew Jackson, Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Alexander Graham Bell.  I’m sure we can mine some gold from this cast.  I’m sorry they are all white males so far, but I will keep looking.  If you know of anyone who would be a good candidate, let me know.

We’ll start with George Washington, the first president of the United States.   But first, let’s list some primary traits of the Pisces nature.  (*See the excerpt at the bottom of this post for more discussion of the sign Pisces.)

What the experts tell us

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase which captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Pisces is “I believe.”    At the highest level, Pisceans operate from an instinctual, connected space, tapped right in to the wisdom of all.
  • (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

  • “The only true freedom for Pisces comes through spiritual orientation.  When they are true to their real nature Pisceans have a high and holy destiny and are the true saviors and servants of mankind.” (Isabel Hickey, Astrology A Cosmic Science)
  • “Pisces is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac and emotions are strong and deep in this sign.  They are moody and introspective and hard to understand.” (Ibid.)
  • “Pisceans need to be alone and …retreat from contact with the world in order to retain their equilibrium.” (Ibid.)
  • “[Pisceans] never feel that they do enough so they often overwork, putting stress and strain on the physical body.” (Ibid.)
  • “The mutable signs (Pisces is the mutable water sign) express themselves as a desire to find knowledge; and with their flexible and adaptable approach, they are not only able to find new knowledge but also have the ability to use it. They bring new ideas, new facts and new ways of seeing things into the world view of the tribe.” (Bernadette Brady, The Zodiac:  Urban Tribes)
  • “Pisces is a water sign, thus [they are] empathic, [they feel] the emotions of others or of patterns. They can empathize and understand, blending their energy with all things. To them the world and its events are a feast of omens and signs.” (Ibid.)
  • Mutable water indicates the quality of…nourishment – flowing everywhere, without limitations, distinctions, or judgments. (Eric Meyers, Elements and Evolution)

Before we get into specific examples of Piscean leadership, think about the list above and look at the symbols.  What would you say is authentic leadership for a Pisces?  Have you known leaders who embodied these attributes?  What was their management style?  How did they accomplish their goals?

Are you a Pisces?  How well do the above traits represent your essence?  Do you overwork?  Are you sensitive to patterns around you?  Do you bring new ways of looking at the world to your team?

This will be a really interesting sign to explore for business, don’t you think?  Remember to leave your comments as we start our discussion of Pisces Leadership.

For the posts on Aquarius Leadership see:

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

*******************************************************
For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – February 2011

*More on Pisces

Pisces is a water sign, concerned with emotional connection. The glyph for Pisces is two fish swimming in opposite directions but tied together, signifying the dual worlds we all inhabit: our interior reality and our external experience.

Pisces is the stage of development in which we have become completely immersed in and identified with others. Our individual spark of ego has become swallowed by the collective whole. In the life cycle of a business, this is a key transition phase when the business either declines or finds a way to begin a new cycle of innovation. The business may retreat from the public eye to retrench, restructure, or terminate.

Pisces is constantly trying to unify; to merge the inner with the outer world. Pisces oversees mysticism and art, as well as humanitarian pursuits. Retreat experiences, such as a cruise or spiritual retreat, are favored by Pisces as well as hospitals, prisons, and other institutions in which individuals withdraw from daily life.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Aquarius Leadership – Sarah Palin

Hello everyone.

I’ve just spent the afternoon with Sarah Palin.  Not literally of course, but for our leadership study on Aquarians.  Sarah is an Aquarian to the max:  Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn.  The two remaining inner planets, Venus and Jupiter, are in Aries.

One of Time Magazine's 2010 World's Most Influential People (Source:Wikipedia)

I really enjoyed my research on Palin.  I started with Wikipedia, then went to AstroDataBank to get her chart.  I read several articles on her from news magazines.  I found my way to her “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” show for The Learning Channel and watched the first episode.  Then I must have watched 20 YouTube videos on her, from the early Katie Couric Interview when Sarah was a Vice-presidential candidate to the recent comments she made regarding the Arizona shootings.

I wanted to write about Palin because we’re looking at Aquarian leadership qualities and the two I’ve covered so far, Yoko Ono and Franklin D. Roosevelt, are firmly in the liberal end of the spectrum.  I wanted to see how these same qualities apply to someone on a different square in the political landscape.

As I listened to super-Aquarian Sarah Palin, I recognized many of the traits we’ve discovered in the last two posts.

Let’s review the Aquarian qualities we’ve developed in this series and round them out with Palin’s interesting personality (in bold):

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase which captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Aquarius is “I Know.”  Aquarians know what they know and they’re certain they’re right!  It is striking how confident Palin is.  Katie Couric called her “cool, calm, and collected.”  There never seems to be a moment of doubt.  Regarding the Israel/Iran conflict she said with absolute certainty, “I know who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are.”
  • “Aquarians are the mental pioneers, the forward thinking individuals who live in the future and not in the past.” (Isabel Hickey, Astrology A Cosmic SciencePalin comes off as impatient; exasperated by lack of progress toward her goals for the country. It’s also fascinating how she seems to have completely dropped the past, her governorship, her vice-presidential run, as if they are an annoyance. Her gaze in firmly toward the future.
  • “Aquarians are inflexible in their ideas and cannot be pushed into anything they do not want to do.” (Ibid.)  Aquarians can become trapped in their ideology.  Palin gives the sense that she believes what she believes because she believes it, and there is no need to contemplate it any further.
  • “They are rebels and individualists [who] have to go their own way.  Independent, imaginative, creative and inventive, there is a genius about them if they are evolved.” (Ibid.)  I have to admire her spirit.  Her life in Alaska as a hunter, fisher, hiker shows the independent spirit that draw so many to that state.  She obviously followed her own winding path as she gained her education, attending six universities in five years.
  • Ruled by two planets, Saturn and Uranus, Aquarians can be progressive in some ways and conservative in others.  With Saturn in Aquarius, she tends toward the conservative side of the spectrum.  But I noticed contradictions in her thinking about government.  As an example, when talking about the banking crisis she said she favors government-led “reform” but not regulations.  She wanted more oversight, but she wanted government to stay out of the crisis.  This seems like her Aquarian nature is split between liberalism and conservatism.
  • In Aquarius, “the individual loses himself in the group and shoulders his responsibility as a cell in the larger body of humanity.” (Liz Greene, SaturnI see this in Palin.  It’s like she has become a spokesperson for a certain part of the collective.  It’s hard to discern her feeling nature.  Her personal life has become a vehicle for her political message.
  • The Aquarian support for the disenfranchised often stems from personal experience.  This lends authenticity to their deep compassion for the downtrodden.  This one doesn’t seem to fit.  However, I don’t know much about her early, more personal life.
  • As an air sign, Aquarians lead primarily with ideas.  They are often thought leaders, out in front, pulling the public into new perceptions.  I think Sarah pulled many of us into a new perspective, a dawning of new consciousness about what was happening in the American zeitgeist.  I once heard it said of Newt Gingrich that he was like a bird flying in formation, and all of a sudden he realized the flock had all lined up behind him.  That’s how Sarah seems to me.  A certain political attitude was ready to erupt and she put a face and personality to that fervor.
  • Aquarians have been called “stubbornly liberal.”  There is a fixed nature to Aquarius, the persistence and determination to right the wrongs they perceive in society.  Perhaps not stubbornly liberal, but you can feel her persistence as she keeps herself in the forefront of the political discussion.
  • Searing intelligence is a common trait of Aquarius.  I think Palin demonstrates her intelligence in her knack for self-promotion.  She gains support through appealing to the protectionism of common people and to a sense of patriotism.  Brilliant!
  • Aquarians carry an inborn conflict.  They are often fiercely independent yet committed to humanitarian causes, which brings them into necessary contact with groups.  When I watched her in her “Alaska” show, I could sense that this was a woman who is truly at home in the wilderness, in spending time outdoors, writing and researching on her porch.  She has built a television studio at her home, conducting her many appearances against the backdrop of staggering natural beauty.  I think she displays this trait well.
  • Devotion to the common man is a standard trait of most Aquarians.  Yes, definitely.  Her “common man” may not be yours or mine, but she does seem sincerely devoted to “the people’s movement.”

    Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate (Source:Wikipedia)

  • There is often seemingly unflagging energy and a huge quantity of output.  This deep reserve of energy is a feature of all of the fixed signs and it shows itself here in fixed-air Aquarius.  You should see her hiking over glaciers!  And she does seem to have loads of energy, never tiring in what was obviously a grueling campaign which she was unprepared for in many ways.  And she has continued to produce, writing two books in the last two years, producing a television show, appearing at numerous Tea Party and Republican Party events, raising children, being a commentator on Fox News, and more.
  • The Aquarius does not generally think he/she has all of the answers.  They are open to input from various sources.  They enjoy a good debate and willingly engage with opposing points of view.   Uhhh.  I don’t know about this one.  She does say she receives and appreciates advice from her husband.
  • Alliances based upon and supported by friendship are deeply important to Aquarians.  A community brings out the best of their traits and they are loyal to others over the long-term.   This makes me think that her alliance with the Tea Party is stronger and more permanent than I had thought.
  • Aquarians “sacrifice their private life to a public cause.”  Becoming obsessed with that cause they can fall into workaholism and forfeit their own health for others.   Even while riding in a float plane above Alaska on her way to see grizzlies, she was working the entire time on her Blackberry.  I get the sense that her private life has been completely sacrificed to a cause.  I had thought that cause was Sarah Palin.  But after seeing her chart with all of the Aquarian influence, I now think she may be authentically working for the public interest.  Rhetoric is real in her case.
  • Aquarians tend to be “ahead of the curve” with technology, early adopters of the latest breakthroughs.  They have an intuitive resonance with the future and an uncanny ability to foretell the direction of coming change.   I think she was well positioned to bring excitement to the Republican Party when they needed it most.  And resigning from the Governorship of Alaska just as her poll numbers began to drop was probably a wise move for her future life in the public sphere.
  • Aquarians have a natural facility with words and can be excellent communicators.  They have an informal, casual conversational style which conveys confidence and garners trust.   I heard an interview with a presidential speechwriter the other day who said that Sarah Palin will have to drop her folksy idioms to be taken seriously.  I’m not sure.  Her way of speaking is one of the things which endear her to her supporters.  Her “don’t retreat; reload” comment, which was so disparaged in light of the Arizona shootings, actually has great appeal to her fans.
  • Aquarians have great courage when defending the rights of others.  She says that she can handle the mocking and criticism because she’s fighting for democracy for her country.  There’s no doubt it takes massive courage to survive on the stage she has set for herself.

What do you think?  A good example of Aquarius, right?

The Sun moves into Pisces soon and we’ll move our study into that sign.  But now it’s your turn.  What is the one essential piece of advice you would give to an Aquarius just stepping into a position of leadership?  What do you see as the most authentic trait of an Aquarian leader?

Thanks for participating!  I look forward to your comments.

In case you missed them, here are the first two posts in this series:

Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono

Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

*******************************************************

For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – February 2011

For more info on the business descriptions of the planets mentioned in this post, see

Saturn

Uranus

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Aquarius Leadership – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Hello, everyone.

FDR during Fireside Chat. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Today we continue with our new series:  Leadership through the Signs.  In this series, following each month’s zodiac sign, we’re exploring and uncovering essential leadership qualities for each sign of the zodiac.  We’re looking at real life examples of established leaders whose birthdays fall into each particular sign.  We’re testing the principles of textbook astrology and adding a few guidelines of our own as we discover them.  The purpose of the project is to recognize the leadership qualities we naturally possess and to recognize those qualities in other leaders.

First let’s define what we mean by a leader.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines a leader as 1) a person who leads others along a way; a guide, and 2) one in charge of or in command of others.  For our purposes, we’ll take both definitions and apply them to business life.  In this series we’ll look at thought leaders, political leaders, business leaders, sports figures, and a few of us regular people too.

This month:  Aquarius

There are many interesting leaders born under the sign of Aquarius.  Today we’ll continue our exploration with Franklin D. Roosevelt.  First, though, let’s list the primary traits of the Aquarius nature we’ve already discovered and then add bullet points as we examine FDR and his leadership attributes.  (*See the excerpt at the bottom of this post for more discussion of the sign Aquarius.)

The experts tell us:

  • Each sign has its keyword, a phrase which captures the essence of the sign.  The keyword for Aquarius is “I Know.”  Aquarians know what they know and they’re certain they’re right!
  • “Aquarians are the mental pioneers, the forward thinking individuals who live in the future and not in the past.” (Isabel Hickey, Astrology A Cosmic Science)
  • “Aquarians are inflexible in their ideas and cannot be pushed into anything they do not want to do.” (Ibid.)
  • “They are rebels and individualists [who] have to go their own way.  Independent, imaginative, creative and inventive, there is a genius about them if they are evolved.” (Ibid.)
  • Ruled by two planets, Saturn and Uranus, Aquarians can be progressive in some ways and conservative in others.
  • In Aquarius, “the individual loses himself in the group and shoulders his responsibility as a cell in the larger body of humanity.” (Liz Greene, Saturn)

What we’ve discovered in this series so far:

  • The Aquarian support for the disenfranchised often stems from personal experience.  This lends authenticity to their deep compassion for the downtrodden.
  • As an air sign, Aquarians lead primarily with ideas.  They are often thought leaders, out in front, pulling the public into new perceptions.
  • Aquarians have been called “stubbornly liberal.”  There is a fixed nature to Aquarius, the persistence and determination to right the wrongs they perceive in society.
  • Searing intelligence is a common trait of Aquarius.
  • Aquarians carry an inborn conflict.  They are often fiercely independent yet committed to humanitarian causes, which brings them into necessary contact with groups.
  • Devotion to the common man is a standard trait of most Aquarians
  • There is often seemingly unflagging energy and a huge quantity of output.  This deep reserve of energy is a feature of all of the fixed signs and it shows itself here in fixed-air Aquarius.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

If you have ever studied the life and work of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, you can immediately recognize the traits of Aquarius.  See if you see the traits listed above as part of his story.  At the end of this short study, I’ll bullet leadership qualities which add to our list.

(I compiled the following from Franklin and Eleanor:  An Extraordinary Marriage, by Hazel Rowley; the Wikipedia article, “Franklin D. Roosevelt”; and the “Fresh Air” Interview with historian Jeff Shesol , author of Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court.)

Franklin Roosevelt surrounded himself with a loyal, intimate group of advisors, naming them the “Brain Trust.”  He gathered these men and women to the governor’s mansion when he was governor of New York, the White House when he was president, and to his home and retreat sites, as well.  They were university professors, lawyers, and financiers from the left and right.  He had a talent “for selecting colleagues, and knew instinctively who would make loyal, hardworking, good-humored members of his team.” (Rowley)  His group would “bat ideas around,” as he put it.  There were discussions about policy, as well as swims, receptions, movies, and picnics.

People working for Roosevelt found their work deeply rewarding.   They were invited into the most important discussions about the biggest issues of the time, and often met with the President while he was shaving or eating breakfast.  In fact, he made the biggest mistake of his presidency, in which he tried to pack the Supreme Court with his own appointees, when he kept the project unusually secretive, vetting it with only one key member of his cabinet.

Both he and his wife, Eleanor, enjoyed communal living and often had ten or more advisors and friends living with them.  “They liked to have friends sleeping across the hallway, who wandered into their bedrooms in pajamas to discuss urgent matters.”  (Rowley)

Even when his health was failing in his 4th term of presidency, FDR travelled internationally to negotiate wartime alliances with Russia, Britain, and China.  Eleanor Roosevelt said of him that “he had chosen to sacrifice his private life to a higher cause and he must do everything in his power to fulfill his promise to the people.” (Rowley)

A wealthy New York aristocrat from one of the earliest U.S. families, he brought the five-day week, old-age pensions, farm relief, cheap electricity to rural areas, unemployment relief through public works, social security benefits, disability benefits, minimum wage, and aid for dependent mothers and children.  He worked with the Boy Scouts his entire life.  He spent his life in political opposition to most of his relatives and people in his class and they were convinced he was going to turn the country socialist.

Roosevelt also fostered artistic creativity and through various Federal Arts Projects employed artists, writers, and actors.  Through the Works Progress Administration, he led the construction of public buildings, roads, bridges, parks, schools, and housing, which provided employment for millions of Americans.

FDR was one of the first politicians to recognize the importance of radio as a tool of communication.  At the end of his first week in the White House, he initiated his “fireside chat.”  During these radio addresses, he explained “simply and without condescension” why he and his advisors were taking the actions they were taking to address the worst economic conditions the country had ever faced.  “As he talked his head would nod and his hands would move in simple, natural, comfortable gestures.  His face would smile and light up as though he were actually sitting on the front porch or in the parlor with them. People felt this, and it bound them to him in affection.”  (Rowley)

The Four Freedoms engraved on a wall at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington. (Source: Wikipedia)

In the early affronts of Nazi Germany, Roosevelt was the only major world leader to condemn Hitler’s actions publicly.  Under his leadership, the United States surpassed Britain as the most powerful nation in the world.  At home, as well as in international relations, FDR proposed “the policy of the good neighbor—the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and…respects the rights of others.”

Among his many firsts, he was the first candidate to make a campaign trip by airplane.  He was the first president to put a woman in charge of the Department of Labor.  He was the first American president to travel to Africa.

Aquarian Leadership Qualities

What can we add to our list of Aquarian Leadership from this story?  This is what I see:

  • The Aquarius does not generally think he/she has all of the answers.  They are open to input from various sources.  They enjoy a good debate and willingly engage with opposing points of view.
  • Alliances based upon and supported by friendship are deeply important to Aquarians.  A community brings out the best of their traits and they are loyal to others over the long-term.
  • Aquarians “sacrifice their private life to a public cause.”  Becoming obsessed with that cause they can fall into workaholism and forfeit their own health for others.
  • Aquarians tend to be “ahead of the curve” with technology, early adopters of the latest breakthroughs.  They have an intuitive resonance with the future and an uncanny ability to foretell the direction of coming change.
  • Aquarians have a natural facility with words and can be excellent communicators.  They have an informal, casual conversational style which conveys confidence and garners trust.
  • Aquarians have great courage when defending the rights of others.

Now It’s Your Turn

Did you pick up anything I didn’t note?  Are you familiar with an Aquarian in a leadership position who reflects the qualities above?  What would you counsel a young Aquarian just stepping into a position of leadership?

We’re not done yet!  While the Sun is in Aquarius, I’ll feature more profiles of Aquarian leaders to teach and inspire us!  Stay tuned.  If you missed the first post in this series, use this link:  Aquarius Leadership – Yoko Ono.

*******************************************************

For an Intro to Sun Signs and Leadership see this link to my other blog!

Have you seen my new blog? Discussing all things astrological, for anyone interested in real-life astrology, check out Ellen Longo’s Astrology Blog.

Do you have a question for Ellen? See the “Work with Ellen” tab at the top of this site for my Straight to the Point Response service.

For an overview of the month, see the Astro4Business Month Ahead – February 2011

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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