True and False Selves Through the Zodiac

One of the doctrines of Deanism and Filianism is the doctrine of our True and False Selves.  I believe this doctrine is found in many religions; however, different religions have different terminology for the same concept.

The basic doctrine is that a person’s True Self is the part of her that is aligned with the Divine.  Her ultimate True Self is actually One with the Divine, but on a mundane level, her True Self is her best self.  Everyone has a True Self.  Opposed to a person’s True Self is her False Self.  Her False Self is aligned with the Dark and is opposed to the Light.  Often one’s False Self acts in a subtle way, whispering thoughts of fear, ego, and selfishness.  Our False Selves are always a twisted mirror of our True Selves.  Within this thealogy, it is our True Selves that are real.  We are our True Selves, not our False Selves.

Cure Moonlight and Dark Precure

Interestingly enough, a common theme in Japanese media shows this struggle between our True and our False Selves, and often the heroine must defeat her own False Self before she can continue to fight evil.

One of my personal stumbling blocks when studying Classical Astrology has been that many of our source teachers can be rather harsh and a bit negative, particularly about certain signs.  Water signs, in particular, tend to get rather harsh treatment.  As a Pisces Sun, with a Scorpio Moon and Ascendant, you can imagine that I am a bit sensitive about these things.  Aside from my personal feelings, though, I have noticed that when one applies axioms and rules directly from Medieval or Classical authors, one gets a rather negative reading.

In some ways, it is a bit refreshing to move away from the over-positive readings one can get with Modern Astrology, but I will admit that the harshness of Medieval and Classical Astrology sometimes made me quite uncomfortable.  I think that one of the difficulties may be a different philosophy.  I think that Medieval and Renaissance Western philosophy tended to be quite harsh as well, with a belief that human nature was intrinsically bad.   Modern New Age astrology tends to be a bit overly optimistic, assuming that everything about us is good.

I think that the doctrine of True and False Selves has been helpful for me in finding a balance between these two ways of looking at a chart.  Everyone one has a True Self, and everyone has a False Self.  Whether we operate out of our True Selves or our False Selves is a day by day, and sometimes even moment by moment decision on our parts.  The doctrine of our True Selves is part and parcel with the doctrine of Free Will and the Cross, which is discussed here.

Nativity Charts are quite valuable in discerning the True Self and the False Self of a native.  One can read a chart in its most positive light to see the person’s True Self and look at the chart in the most negative possible light to see her False Self.  Sometimes the native will let her True Self shine through, sometimes her False Self will take over.

One can apply the doctrine of True and False Self to the zodiac signs.  The zodiac signs are the 12 Archetypes of humankind.  None of us reflect any of these Archetypes purely.  We are all a mixture of these archetypes, and no two charts are exactly alike.  Yet, in each of these Archetypes, we can see the operation of the doctrine of True and False Selves.  We are often taught that the zodiac signs have positive and negative traits.  The negative traits of each of the signs are always a twisting of the positive traits, just as the False Self is always a twisting of the True Self.  With this thought, below I have made a humble attempt to show this doctrine in the 12 Archetypes or Signs.

Aries the Ram

The Warrior


True Aries:  Strong, courageous, optimistic, friendly, decisive

False Aries:  Impulsive, rude, brazen, foolhardy, selfish

Taurus the Bull  

The Farmer


True Taurus:  Patient, stable, kind, pleasant-mannered

False Taurus:  Lazy, dull, stubborn, closed minded

Gemini the Twins

The Student


True Gemini:  Open minded, friendly, curious, interested in almost anything

False Gemini:  Flighty, indecisive, duplicitous, inconstant

Cancer the Crab

The Mother


True Cancer:  Nurturing, loving, attentive, caring

False Cancer:  Clutching, unforgiving, mean

Leo the Lion

The Queen


True Leo:  Generous, fun loving, confident, charming

False Leo:  Narcissistic, overbearing, attention seeking

Virgo the Virgin

The Secretary


True Virgo:  Conscientious, detail-oriented, precise, intellectual

False Virgo:  Hypercritical, unkind, paralyzed by perfectionism

Libra the Scales

The Diplomat


True Libra:  Diplomatic, pleasant, artistic, strong interpersonal skills

False Libra:  Indecisive, manipulative, dishonest

Scorpio the Scorpion

The Martial Artist


True Scorpio:  Passionate, determined, perceptive, loyal

False Scorpio:  Possessive, jealous, stormy, vengeful

Sagittarius the Archer

The Explorer


True Sagittarius:  Optimistic, philosophical, enthusiastic, generous, friendly

False Sagittarius:  Pompous, over-confident, judgmental, ill-mannered

Capricorn the Goat

The Governess


True Capricorn:  Organized, efficient, practical, ambitious

False Capricorn:  Overly ambitious, cold, unfeeling, miserly

Aquarius the Water Bearer

The Truth Teller


True Aquarius:  Curious, intelligent, friendly, sociable

False Aquarius:  Defiant, eccentric, immovable

Pisces the Fish

The Dreamer


True Pisces:  Gentle, kind, loving, compassionate, ethereal

False Pisces:  Gullible, overly sensitive, escapist, prone to addictions

Author: Cynthia Thinnes

I am an Essentialist Astrologer and a housewife. I enjoy studying and discussing matters related to philosophy and religion. I also knit, crochet, and I am beginning to sew. I speak Japanese (although not very well), and I am studying Swedish, Latin, and Classical Greek. In addition to all of this, I am also learning about gardening. はじめまして。元型的な占星術師や主婦です。哲学を勉強しています。趣味は編み物や庭いじりです。下手でも日本語が出来ます。スウェーデン語もラテン語も古典的なギリシャ語を勉強しています。よろしくお願いします。

13 thoughts on “True and False Selves Through the Zodiac”

  1. As a Filianic astrologer, do you have a developed view on the macro-cosmic significance of the zodiac? From my very limited understanding, the zodiac signifies the wheel of time, at any scale. I believe the ancients were very aware of the precessional great year (though this would have be sacred knowledge). From the standpoint of the precessional year, Pisces (descent into the ocean) seems to refer to the lowest point and Virgo (the ripeness of the grain) to the highest point. Indian and western religions are replete with zodiacal images. Just two examples are the virgin mounted on the lion (Sri Durga) who defeats the asuras in the Satya Yuga. Or the virgin carrying the sword (Leo) and Scales (Libra) representing justice. That Virgo represents the top-most as well as the central point of the zodiac seems to me also indicated in the image of the Virgin with a crown of twelve stars.

    The personal archetype of the Virgo as analytical seems to disguise the higher association of Virgo with buddhi, or true intellectuality (Mercury rulership).


    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Mr. Philemon. Before I answer your direct questions, I will put in a disclaimer that I should probably have written in the text of the article. My simplistic description of the zodiac signs was in no way intended to be a full rendition of the signs or the Archetypes. A full book could be written on each sign alone. My descriptions were written as illustrations to assist an astrologer in using these principles to identify the characteristics of a native’s True and False Selves. Even in this context, the descriptions were very simplistic.

      From what I can tell, the specific zodiac that is used by Western astrology is not universal throughout cosmic economies. The concept of the 12 Archetypes of Humankind seems to be, though. The 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 disciples, the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are all examples of this. To our knowledge, Chinese astrology does not use the same zodiac; however, we do not know the astrological economy that was used for royalty or by the temples. This knowledge may be lost, or if it is preserved, it is certainly not accessible to the uninitiated. The Chinese astrology that we are familiar with was an astrology for the common person.

      Vedic astrology uses the same economy of signs as does Western astrology; however, it is my understanding that Vedic astrology uses a form of sidereal zodiac, or a zodiac based on the actual position of the zodiac constellations in the sky, Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac, which is based on the Sun’s position by season, and is not related to the actual position of the constellations in the sky.

      The fact that different economies use different zodiacs does not need to concern us in terms of which form is right, and which is wrong. I tend to think that any of the systems that are derived from deeper tradition are “right.” On the other hand, we really need to be careful of “mixing and matching” economies. There are times I am treading on shaky ground in the work I am doing of nestling Classical Astrology within the Filianic tradition; however, I have been doing so with the help of some very good mentors, past and present, and I spent about a year ironing out wrinkles before I started this blog. Even so, there are traps and pitfalls whenever one does this type of work, so it is good to proceed with caution.

      Yes, the precession of the equinoxes has been understood since Ancient times. That is a topic in and of itself, which is beyond the scope of this article, but it is one that I may address at a future date.

      Your comments regarding the mythical imagery are a bit beyond what I was attempting to discuss in this article, and are probably beyond what I would want to take the time to write in a comment. I may treat the mythology of zodiac symbols at another time in a full article. The one thing that I do wish to address is that we must be careful of interchanging the Janyati with the signs. Each Janya (and her planetary representative) rules one or two signs; however, that is as far as the association goes. Sai Mati (Mercury) *rules* Gemini and Virgo; Gemini and Virgo are not the same as Sai Mati.

      I have done my best to answer your questions in this comment, but I know that my answers have been rather cursory. These questions may be the subject of future articles over time.


    2. Unfortunately you appear to have little to no understanding of or exposure to Psychological Astrology. Liz Greene’s writings are widely perceived to be depressing and bleak, infused with psychodynamic conceptions of the human being, and world, which are certainly not optimistic, Realistic perhaps, some might argue.


      1. Thank you for your comment.

        Psychological astrology quite broad, of course, but no, I no longer study it, although, there was a time that I did. The difficulty with psychodynamic conceptions of the human being is that they have lost the understanding that humans are first and foremost spiritual beings.

        It is not surprising that a study of these psychodynamic conceptions would be rather bleak, though, in that they really study the Lower Psychic Spheres, which may be our lower selfish urges or may actually be our False Selves.


      2. Psychological Astrology is sympathetic to a Neo- Platonic Cosmology, the Anima Mundi,. and Post Jungain Archetypal thinkings. As such they appear to view human beings as containiers of what you might call a spiritual quality I don’t see any ”lost understanding” in the literature, quite the opposite. As you may be aware conceptions such as ”lower psychic spheres or false selves” would be perceived as psychobabble by both Psychologsts and Psychologial Astrologers


      3. The very fact that such one speaks of Neoplatonic cosmology and the anima mundi in the same breath as Post-Jungian archetypal thinking really shows the problem. Jung used the word “archetype” with absolutely no understanding of the traditional meaning of the word. To him it was merely a psychological phenomenon. Archetypes do not proceed from human minds. Human minds proceed from Archetypes.

        And yes, as you rightly suggest, the ignorance of modern Psychologists and Psychological Astrologers in all matters genuinely spiritual or qualitative is not unknown to us.


      4. I don’t see a ”problem”, can you expand? I’m curious about this traditional definition of archetype? and how it can appear from somewhere other than the mind. It seems philosophically and psychologically untenable to suggest an idea is not created by, or in if you like, the brain, as is Astrology or any other belief presumably. I don’t know who you refer to as this ”us” is either, and I was not suggesting this


      5. The traditional meaning of “Archetype” is a Form that has been created by the Divine, and is Divine in and of itself. These Archetypes flow through people. An example is the Archetype of the Mother, which can flow through through earthly mothers. Some mothers let this Archetype flow through them more than others, and actually, in order to truly manifest a Divine Archetype, one must let one’s small self make way for the Divine to flow through. When that happens, the earthly mother is letting the Divine Mother work through her.

        The psychological model of mothering would be that it was a survival instinct, and that it evolved out of a need to protect young to survive to adulthood.

        The we that Tadashiku-san is referring to are Traditionalists and Feminine Essentialists. We do believe that there is a Divine Source that is much higher than the human mind, and we think that the Enlightenment in the West was in error. The tagline of this blog is “a discourse on feminine essentialist science and metaphysics.”

        I do not want to be dismissive of honest inquiries, but on the other hand, I do not want to go around in circles endlessly. If the idea that there is a Divine Source that is higher and above the human mind and that created the human mind is untenable to you, I really do not think that we are going to come to any agreement or harmony.


      6. As an educated 21st century person living in the age of blood tests, the genome project, mapping of brain signals and so forth one can’t state, and expect to be taken all that seriously in sophisticated company, that there is some kind of ethereal teleology at play in the universe. However if one is sympathetic to, as I am, the possibility that a semantic geometric construct like the Greek Horoscopos appears to resonate with one’s life experiences, reason unknown, if not unknowable, then it might be disingenuous to say one was not open to this possibility.
        In any event I was not seeking to discuss the merits of a belief in the divine mind or female essentialism or Platonic/ Jungian archetypes. Simply noticed a factual error in your article about positvity in psychological astrology which it appears you have now acknowledged to be the case Perhaps it might be an idea to replace psychological with modern? , dependent on what kind of reader you wish to attract or engage with of course,

        Jung defined himself as a Christian, he believed in ‘God’ yet was also it would seem a physicalist. I’m not sure how your concept of Archetype differentiates from, if it does, his ?
        ‘’ Carl Gustav Jung developed an understanding of archetypes as universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct [1] They are autonomous and hidden forms which are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given particular expression by individuals and their cultures. Being unconscious, the existence of archetypes can only be deduced indirectly by examining behavior, images, art, myths, religions, or dreams. They are inherited potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness as images or manifest in behavior on interaction with the outside world.[2]


      7. Upon reflection, you are probably correct with respect to the terminology. It *is* probably more accurate to say I was referring to modern New Age astrology, rather than specifically psychological astrology. I have corrected that.

        The comment you made about the modern scientific “discoveries” of the physical world is rather complex, and I think it may be time to address it in another article, rather than write a treatise that is buried in the comments.

        Tadashiku-san did an excellent job of explaining the difference between Traditional Archetypes and Jungian Archetypes, and explained the concept far better than I ever could. You may want to re-read her comment again. In a nutshell, though, the difference is that the Jungian archetypes come from the human “collective unconscious.” This is actually below the level of physical existence, rather than above it. The Traditional understanding of Archetypes is that they come from Divine Intelligence, that they are above human consciousness, and that human consiousness derives from these Archetypes. Basically, the Jungian understanding of Archetypes reverses the order.


      8. As an educated 21st century person living in the age of blood tests, the genome project, mapping of brain signals and so forth one can’t state, and expect to be taken all that seriously in sophisticated company that there is some kind of ethereal teleology at play in the universe.

        So by “sophisticated company” we mean people who are so overawed in a vague, superstitious way by the volume of material research that they feel the wisdom of the ages has – in some fuzzy, illogical manner – been replaced by something of an entirely different order that has no direct bearing on it?

        Is that what passes for “sophisticated” in modern West Telluria? I suppose it is. I hardly dare to think what “unsophisticated” might look like!


    3. We can and do state precisely that there is an “etherial teleology” (if one wishes to put it that way) at work in the universe.

      I have no idea why you imagine that the genome project – or any other material investigation – could in any way disprove or discount this. Material science is limited to the purely material aspect of being. It is therefore like plane geometry in that it deliberately and by definition does not deal with anything beyond its scope. Just as plane geometry does not deal with the third dimension. This is perfectly legitimate, but to claim that plane geometry can in any way “disprove” the third dimension is absurd. And to say that “science” (the very use of the term “science” for physical science alone is tendentious) can in any way disprove the metaphysical basis of being is an absurdity of precisely the same order.

      The genome project is concerned with the mechanics of the manifestation of a particular axial species (the human). It is a worthy project in itself, certainly. But to say that it replaces the far deeper science of metaphysics is like saying “Now that we know all about the chemistry of the paint used in classical paintings, we can dispense with the idea that they were painted by artists. We can stop talking about their subjects, the trees and rivers that they painted, the houses and the stars. We now know that their paintings were not “of” anything. We now know that it was all chemistry. And in case you doubt it we can tell you the exact chemicals used in each stroke and the precise amount of each down to the last molecule. You can’t possibly argue with that.”

      This non-sequitur is essentially the core of the modern materialist outlook.

      This article may explain the situation further.

      Your explanation of Jung’s view of the archetypes is excellent and I thank you for it. The Jungian “archetype” is not an Archetype at all in the Platonic or otherwise traditional sense (all cultures have their equivalent of the Greek concept of Archetype). It is merely seen as something happening in the physical brain of a particular being. This is precisely the point I was making. The ambiguity of much of Jung’s language at times confuses people into thinking that he really is speaking of Archetypes in the true sense, but as you so clearly explain, he is not.


  2. The idea that all consciousness is restricted to individual brains is precisely the cardinal error that this site would combat. If that were indeed the case, what possible meaning could the term “anima mundi” actually have?

    The error of rationalism – which is in fact based on irrational premises – is the dogma that all knowledge comes to individual brains via the five senses and is processed by the brain itself. All traditional thought (including Plato and the classical neo-Platonists) is based on the idea that consciousness is universal and the human – and indeed material – reflections of it are secondary.

    The Archetype of the mother existed long before there were any human mothers. The lunar and solar principles existed long before a particular ball of gas and a particular ball of rock represented them to a particular planet. Music existed in potentia before there was physical sound. Numbers were before there were things to be numbered. The archetype of the Tree predates biological life – and so forth.

    This is the traditional idea of the Archetypes. It is what Plato meant by them and what all traditional cultures – in their different cultural languages – have assumed. Only the post 17th-century West with its highly eccentric doctrine of rationalism has ever thought otherwise.

    Of course it is difficult now for Western people after nearly three centuries of indoctrination even to imagine that there is another way of looking at the world – far less to realize that theirs is an historical oddity. But that is in fact the case.


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