Astrology Basics Workshop | RECAP

Welcome to our Kismet blog! Here we will be posting our current musings, thoughts and mystical pursuits.  Most importantly, we will publish summaries from our workshops, so that we can share our most of-the-moment knowledge with our entire Kismet community--even those who may not have been able to make our in-person meetups.

Last Sunday we held our very first Kismet workshop at As Quoted in San Francisco, Astrology Basics. Although we would consider ourselves amateur astrologers at best, our little understanding of our own signs and those of our loved ones has helped us gained so much insight into why we operate the way we do, how we’re wired, and what we can work to improve. The session was led by Lillian So, the most high-vibe Bay Area-based personal trainer, group fitness instructor, yoga therapist, healer and coach.

In our workshop we covered three main topics: the four elements, the three modes, and the 12 sun signs. Please find a summary below, and feel free to bookmark, share and re-post!


Note, when we use the word “shadow” below, we are referring to the darker side of something -- the side of one’s nature that she should not necessarily resist, but pay close attention to and maintain awareness of.


What are the 4 elements?

The twelve zodiac signs are grouped into four elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. All four elements speak of certain tendencies that each zodiac sign possesses, summarized below.

FIRE: “The leaders and cheerleaders of the zodiac”




Key Qualities: Passion, spirit & energy. Very creative and inspirational. Make great leaders. Contain a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of faith.

Shadow: Can burn out quickly -- lots of immediate action but lack follow through. Explosive in nature; uncontrollable temper.


EARTH: “Two feet on the ground”




Key Qualities: Reliability, practicality, dependability. Builders of long lasting structures. Loyal and stable.

Shadow: Slower to do things. Can get stuck and lack momentum. A tendency towards materialism.


AIR: “Drawn to the abstract”




Key Qualities: Love learning & communication. Social creatures. Provide the ideas that make things happen. Drawn to abstract ideas and can be “in their head”.

Shadow: Can lack grounding or be flighty - “air headed”. Try to do many things at once.


WATER: “Intuitives of the zodiac”




Key Qualities: Emotions and feeling first. Nurturers and caretakers by nature. Psychic and intuitive —highly tapped into how other people are feeling.

Shadow: Can be overly sensitive to a point that it holds them back. Boundaries can be a struggle. May be detached or aloof and want to shut off from the world.

What are the 3 modes?




The three modes in astrology are a way to determine how the energy flows — in other words, how you operate as a sign.

The three modes in astrology are a way to determine how the energy flows — in other words, how you operate as a sign.

CARDINAL: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn

This is the most traditional of the three modes. Since these signs fall at the start of each season, they are the starters, the doers. These signs will lead us in the direction that we are going next. Energized by new beginnings, these signs tend to be the “do-ers”, more actionable and dynamic. On the shadow side, they need to make sure that they get enough rest, for fear of burning out or putting other’s needs before their own.


FIXED: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius

The fixed signs are the most stable and unchanging of the modes. They are loyal, dependable and persistent. On the flip side, they can be stubborn to a fault, and their unwillingness to change can cause them to get stuck in a rut.


MUTABLE: Gemini, Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius

The most adaptable of the three modes. Able to go with the flow, be in the moment, and easily can multitask. Able to shift and change with ease and flexibility. The shadow side to these signs is that they can be scatterbrained and distracted.


What are the twelve zodiac signs, what is the shadow side of each and what should each sign “own”?



ARIES: March 21 – April 19

Fire • Cardinal • Ruled by the Moon • Fountain of Youth

Summary: The Aries woman has to be first: Think warriors, pioneers, founders. Enticed by the thrill of the moment. Extremely independent. Arguably the most fiery sign of the zodiac. The bravest; knight in shining armor. Assertive and highly competitive. Self-expression is paramount. Highly energetic. Always exploring and trying new things.

Shadow: Self-centered and pushy. “Me me me me me.” Quick to start but lacks follow through. Can have difficulty seeing how their actions can affect others due to rash impulsivity.

Own it! Make moves and embrace your proclivity to being first. Be fierce because someone’s got to do it!


TAURUS: April 20 – May 20

Earth • Fixed • Ruled by Venus • Bull

Summary: Security, security, security. Emotional and financial. Values material things and will prioritize and seek out a life of wealth. Loves the good life. Sky-high standards. Collector of treasures and sentimental pieces. Strong values and extremely loyal. Above all else, loves to feel comfortable.

Shadow: Resistant to change. Can be stubborn to fault. Loves to feel comfortable but at risk of getting stuck in a rut. Be wary of materialism and placing too high a value on physical goods.

Own it! Love all the things, eat the foods, smell all the flowers. Enjoy all the riches that life has to offer. Show others how to level up and how to enjoy themselves as that is your biggest gift of all.


GEMINI: May 21 – June 21

Air • Mutable • Ruled by Mercury • The Twins

Summary: Wants to explore everything and do it all. A social butterfly. Highly intellectual; constantly needs stimulation and lots of new info and news. Multi-faceted and hyper-curious. Can walk into a room and hold a conversation with anyone. Best multitaskers of the zodiac; can pivot easily. Leads a unique and usual life; loves to chat, process, write and read.

Shadow: Can get too scattered or spread too thin.  Prone to assuming too much responsibility, which can lead to being scattered or procrastination. May feel misunderstood or under-appreciated by others. Can come off as detached.

Own it! Explore and learn–the world is truly your oyster–and then teach and talk about your findings. Great in communication, you are here to spread the word.


CANCER: June 22-July 22

Crab •  Water • Cardinal • Ruled By the Moon

Summary: Most nurturing sign in the zodiac: divine caretakers. Born to mother others and sees everyone as their babies. Lovers of old and antique things, traditional things and family–either their birth family or a family unit that they have created of loved ones. Highly sensitive creatures in need of large amounts of emotional security. Strong need to feel safe. Hard exterior (shell) but very soft on the inside. Moody; change with the moon.

Shadow: Can scare people with their capacity for intimacy. Have the potential to smother. Can nurse old grudges and hold on to old pain. Often will collect hurts; can be too shy to speak up.

Own it! Own your empathic nature, your capacity for sympathy, loyalty and tenacity. Your sensitivity and nurturing nature is your greatest gift.


LEO: July 23–August 22

Lion •  Fire • Fixed • Ruled By the Sun

Summary: The performers of the zodiac (think Madonna–she’s a Leo). Self confident, artistic, radiant. Known to latch onto an idea and hold onto it until it is fully expressed. Ruled by the heart; love is everything. Take deep pride in their “squad” i.e. the leader of the pack. Crazy loyal.. Most creative sign in the zodiac. Ability to survive and withstand many ups and downs.

Shadow:  Highly prideful stubborn. Braggadocious; teller of tall tales. May play things up to make them look shiny. Struggles with withstanding criticism because of their pride.

Own it! Be creative, be bold. Run the world but do so with grace. Put yourself out there; love hard and love often. Put your passion forth.


VIRGO: August 23–September 22

The Virgin (pure)  •  Earth • Mutable • Ruled By Mercury

Summary: Task masters with two feet on the ground. Can take care of multiple things at once. The polish of the zodiac; the refiner. Love to organize and make things neat and clean (if you need to untangle a necklace–give it to a Virgo). Superb craftsman; excellent in the arts and healing professions. Will stay in the background and make sure everything is getting done and getting done well. Not lovers of the limelight. Precision people; work miracles in helping and healing. Doers that don’t miss the details. Need to feel like there is a lot of meaning in their lives. Always wants  to do the right thing (purity). Overwhelming desire to be productive; will polish their work until it shines.

Shadow: Proclivity towards neuroticism may stifle progress. Self-sacrificing to a fault. Can become victims of mistreatment when people take advantage of the fact of their tendencies towards perfection.

Own it! Get it done in the background. Go after your meaning. Do the right thing and make things sparkle. You are the polish of life!


LIBRA: August 23–September 22

The Scales  •  Air • Cardinal • Ruled By Venus

Summary: Loves partnerships; loves other people. Was not put forth on this planet to be alone. Happiness can be found amidst relationships–great matchmaker and teacher. Really wants to get to know other people on a very deep level. Strongly dislikes being alone. Lovers of beauty and harmony. Let’s be equal, let’s be fair. Likes for things to be easy and peaceful. True essence is to discover oneself in connection with another.  

Shadow: Can become entangled in triangles or become too co-dependent. May neglect to speak up in effort to be accommodating at the expense of oneself. Can be overly worried about what others think. Indecisive tendencies can make it hard to move forward.

Own it! Find your partners, find your person. Bring harmony and beauty into this world.


SCORPIO: October 23–November 21

Scorpion • Water • Fixed • Ruled By Venus

Summary: Incredibly resilient; survivors. Secretive, passionate, mysterious. Intense survivors. Cryptic; hard to read. Love to dig deep, always looking for the truth. Hesitant to show too much of themselves; they want you to figure them out. Coy, subtle and a little sneaky. Will reveal themselves slowly if you earn their trust. Strong desire to go deep, to transform. The oldest souls of the zodiac.

Shadow: May say “no” when they mean “yes”. Can send false signals; like to “test”. Like revenge; can be sneaky, manipulating or calculating. Will go through hell and back with you because they can withstand it.

Own it! You are feelers; deeply psychic. Lean in to your feelings deeply. Dig for the truth and keep your standards and ideas. It’s important to get what you want.


SAGITTARIUS: November 22–December 21

The Archer • Fire • Mutable • Ruled By Jupiter

Summary: Craves the good life. Flexible; wants to do it all. Will talk to anyone and make them feel comfortable and at ease (at a party, always good to have in the room!). Always optimistic. Likes to create magic; dreamers, can make something out of nothing. Curious and proactive: Love to debate hypothetical situations. Free-spirited. Super loyal and super generous. Grows more responsible with age.

Shadow: Can be hard to commit. May get lost easily and want to do it all or miss some of the details. Can lack tact or be super blunt; may say things off the cuff. Freedom and responsibility are not mutually exclusive; you can have both.

Own it! The dreamers, the free spirits, the travelers–embrace it all! Find your truth and enjoy the journey.


CAPRICORN: December 22–January 19

The Goat • Earth • Cardinal • Ruled By Saturn

Summary: Strong, resilient, achievement driven. Focused on the bottom line. Wants to be admired by family, friends and the world at large, because this admiration is a testament to how much they are achieving in life. Fixated on maintaining and improving their reputation. Love being respected for their work; if their name is on something, it has to be the best work they could produce. Prestige is candy. Will rise to any deadline or any occasion and willing to try unique approaches on their road to success. Will grind and push their way to the top. Very reliable and the most loyal of friends–the most stable shoulder to lean on. Affection is very important; need to find a partner that can supply the affection they crave.

Shadow: Fear is at the root of all Capricorn troubles. Money can become a constant concern. Can come off as pushy or opportunistic. Always looking for a new opportunity to get to the top. Can be power hungry or name drop excessively. Preoccupation with being admired and adored can impede true happiness.

Own it! Embrace your imperfections and keep working hard. Allow yourself to have it all, because you earned it!


AQUARIUS: January 20–February 18

Water Bearer • Air • Fixed • Ruled By Uranus

Summary: Zodiac’s most mysterious and unusual people; no two are alike. March to the beat of their own drum. Non-conformists; ruled by innovation. Desperate to understand life’s mysteries. Important to be unique and original. Need to break status quo and be the trendsetters of the future. Very futuristic and intellectual. Rules the collective and involved in social practices. Other may think of you as eccentric or off the wall. Quick mind; always thinking. Take friendships and community very seriously. Loved by the public.

Shadow: Intensity can cause both pleasure and pain. So much going on in the mind it can become exhausting. Can be hard to connect with others or get personal. May be missing capacity for intimacy or even project a bone-chilling detachment.

Own it! Think outside of the normal structure. Be a trendsetter; start a revolution. A good exercise for Aquarians is to stop and ask yourself how you feel, to bring oneself out of the mind and back into the body.


PISCES: February 19-March 20

Twin Fish • Water • Mutable • Ruled By Neptune

Summary: Most flexible, dreamy, adaptive sign. Can turn dreams into reality. Strong manifestors. Fantasy, illusion, dance therapy, music. Posses a deep empathy; selfless to a fault. Highly concerned about others. Very healing and giving. Chameleons and adaptors; magic makers. Intuitive and empathetic. Love to fantasize and feel. Incredibly creative.

Shadow: Because they adapt so well and are so empathetic, they can become one with the person that they are helping or healing. Struggle with boundaries. Such strong mergers that one can become who they surround herself with. Be aware of losing yourself in the process. As lovers of the dream world, there is a proclivity towards depression or substance use. Wallowing, depression or self-pity. Can be gullible or naive.

Own it! You are magic, you are what dreams are made of. Tap into your intuition. You are a super strong manifestor and can make all the things that you desire come true if you hone in on them. Lean in to your psychic intuition and it will take you very far.