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What Do You Know?

By Natori Moore

From secrets passed in back alleys to pronouncements made from mountaintops, many methods exist for transmitting information and knowledge.  Knowledge itself can also vary widely by type, as symbolized in astrology by the mutable signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

Gemini is all about curiosity.  It’s about seeking to know more beyond one’s current sphere of information.  Watch any four-year-old at play for the delight Gemini takes in experimenting with possibilities and trying new ideas on for size.  At any age, this inquisitiveness can be a plus for moving into new stages of life.  Gemini’s key question is “What if?”   We might say Gemini’s mascot is the grade school math teacher or the game show contestant.  Neither is involved with higher philosophies, heavy meanings or abstract concepts, but both enjoy using and sharing new bits of information to answer questions and solve puzzles and problems.

Virgo is about applied knowledge, technology and classification systems.  This sign takes the information Gemini has gleaned and applies it in a practical way.  Engineers, craftspeople, skilled medical professionals and those who think in detailed structures live in the realm of Virgo.   Virgo’s key question is “How can it work?”  Virgo especially loves to troubleshoot and find flaws when something doesn’t work right.  In the context of knowledge, Virgo’s mascot might be the computer programmer, since these technically adept persons use applied information and skills to create functional software for the modern computer economy.

Sagittarius takes us a leap beyond pragmatic Virgo by asking questions of meaning.  Priests and pundits, judges and sages and all those who ponder life’s broader ethical and philosophical questions live in the realm of Sagittarius.  Sagittarians want to know WHY.   And once they think they know, they usually want to tell others!  As symbolized by the arrow, a key Sagittarian question might be “What is the point?”  Sagittarius is a broad sign that can symbolize many things in astrology -- religion, sports, long-distance travel, law, higher education, and financial gain to name a few.   The Sagittarian mascot might be the college professor, representing one who aspires to learn and teach higher knowledge in the context of a revered cultural institution. 

Moving from Sagittarius to Pisces on the knowledge cycle, we take a leap of faith.  Pisces is not about knowing in the Gemini or Virgo sense of having the facts in line and drawing a conclusion.   Pisces represents intuition, symbolic languages, dreams, synchronicity, psychic ability, spirituality and dimensions of knowing beyond the rational mind.  Pisceans seek an all-inclusive awareness that dissolves boundaries and links apparently disparate things together.  A key Piscean question might be:  “What is the full picture here?”  The Pisces mascot might be a great mystic like Theresa of Avila or Sri Chinmoy.  Often these seekers after wisdom have many talents such as poetry, art, music, gardening and even athletic prowess that they combine into a beautiful and unique expression of their love for God.


It’s certainly possible with each of these knowledge-based signs to absorb or express too much of one sign at the expense of the others.

With Gemini, we can gather too much data or information without applying it.  We can have many superficial friendships without getting to know people more deeply.  If we’re suffering from an over-abundance of Gemini, we might want to stop talking, listening to TV or radio and running errands for a day and only speak when we’ve thought through what we are going to say. 

With Virgo, we can collect too many details, or perform too much critical analysis, so that we don’t see the bigger reasons for our skills or effects of our actions.  We can wear ourselves out judging others or ourselves as imperfect.  Those with an over-abundance of Virgo may want to relax and find the usefulness in art projects, crafts, daydreaming or even “doing nothing,” as well as get past logic alone as a basis for decision making.

With Sagittarius, we can suffer from grandiosity, arrogance and know-it-all tendencies.  We may overlook important details or consider the opinions of others as irrelevant.  Despite the far realms into which this visionary sign can reach (and Star Trek notwithstanding!), Sagittarius does not represent the boundaries of what it is possible to know.  Those with excess Sagittarius might want to put themselves into situations where they must receive from or listen to others.  They may need to be willing to chat about mundane matters with people close to them and stop judging small talk as meaningless.  Chances are the sun will rise again whether they figure out why or not! 

With Pisces over-emphasized, we can experience weakness of will, confusion and self-sacrifice.  We can experience high highs and low lows -- big ideals as well as big disillusionments.   We can be too easily led astray.  Those with too much Pisces may need to come down to earth for a while, do some healthfully mundane tasks (a.k.a., clean a closet or get a job!) and realize that not everything has to have profound beauty or meaning.  The Pisces-prone may also need to toughen up, be more discriminating, and realize that sometimes it’s okay to put their needs first.

We may think we know a lot, or not much at all, depending on the types of knowledge valued by our social group or culture.  Consider the breadth of knowledge we might hope for in at least one profession, the medical doctor.  Some would suggest that doctors only need technical skill (Virgo) to be successful.  Yet we would probably hope that doctors have good intuition and bedside manner (Pisces) as well.  We would also hope that doctors stay current with plenty of information (Gemini) and have a breadth of knowledge and a concern with ethical applications (Sagittarius).  Likewise, we would hope that a good doctor is curious (Gemini), discriminating (Virgo), wise (Sagittarius) and compassionate (Pisces). Whatever our walk of life, it can be useful to look at where our gifts are on this mutable sign wheel of knowledge, and where we could use some growth.  Ideally, though we may never be as strong in some types as others, we can come to experience enough of each knowledge type to respect them all. 


As far as preferred knowledge sign expressions, most people fall into either the Gemini-Virgo camp, ruled by verbal and pragmatic Mercury; or the Sagittarius-Pisces camp, ruled by visual and philosophical Jupiter.  Western culture these days tends to support the Gemini-Virgo emphasis on mathematical and technical education.  Yet it was no less than Albert Einstein who famously said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  Einstein probably meant that we can get caught up in the limits of the logically-based signs Gemini and Virgo, and even in the higher knowledge of Sagittarius, and forget the Piscean world of the imagination and spirit.  No surprise, then, that the visionary Einstein was a Pisces.  As the final sign of the zodiac, Pisces can be the most complex and hardest of the knowledge signs to grasp, but may ultimately be the most fulfilling and ecstatic.  Only Pisces has the inclusivity to potentially appreciate, understand and encompass the wisdom of all signs.  Yet even Pisces can get water-logged in heavy questions of meaning, and need to start the cycle again with the light-hearted curiosity of Gemini.

So the next time someone asks, “What do you know?”, you’ll have a question to throw right back: “What type of knowledge do you mean?”  Each of the mutable astrological signs has contributed something to exciting breakthroughs of awareness in science, education, the arts and human relationships.  With Gemini open-mindedness, Virgoan attention to detail, Sagittarian sense of adventure and Piscean faith, all things are possible.

© 2001 by Natori Moore
All rights reserved
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