The signs of the zodiac are twelve in number, and the entire sequence of these signs begins at the time of the vernal equinox (on or about March 20th), when the longitude of the Sun is 0º Aries in the Heavens. Three signs are allotted to each season throughout the year. This system, in contrast to the civil calendar – which arbitrarily designates January 1 as the beginning of the year – uses only astronomical points of time. Therefore the increase and decrease of natural light in the day is inherent, as are the seasonal groups. The life rhythms of plants, animals and humans are all adjusted to these timings, and one of the most important functions of the calendar is to allow man, the rational animal, to be aware of these changes in rhythm, so as to not only be in tune with his immediate environment, but the entire Universe as well. This is not only true for those who farm or dwell in the rural areas, but also for those who live in the metropolitan areas. Each sign throughout the year is representative of a pursuit that is integral and natural to that time. Thus in the spring it is obvious that beginnings are the keynote, and hence farmers plant, people become more gregarious and extroverted, and the natural clime is outward. Likewise, in the autumn season the opposite functions are true. The farmers harvest, and the world in general prepares for the introversion and storage functions of the winter season. The signs of the zodiac are anthropomorphic representations of these qualities. For example: Aries the Ram is aggressive in the spring; Taurus the Bull follows him in the earthly functions of plowing and building; Gemini the Twins corresponds to the ensuing diversification in nature; Cancer the Crab relates to the fecundation and mothering of crops; Leo the Lion to the exteriorization at the peak of the summer season; Virgo the Virgin sees the work of the harvest and the in-gathering of the crops; while the Scales of Libra relates to the quiet aftermath during which storage is put away and preparations are made for the coming winter season. The life cycle is completed in Scorpio, when the earth lies fallow once more, and the bleakness of the winter season begins. By the time of Sagittarius the Archer nature is in full hibernation, and compensation is made for the more severe lifestyle by a concentration on the inner life – on dreaming and reflection. Capricorn the Goat represents the darkest time of the year, because it creates an extreme introversion and seriousness in man that mirrors the torpidity of organic life; Aquarius the Water Bearer represents the time for the planning of the New Year. The keynote features of this time are the feelings of waiting and expectancy; during the rains of Pisces the Fish the earth begins to swell once more with secret life. It is almost the end, yet not quite the beginning; it is an intermediate state of receptivity to all cosmic forces. Seen in this way, the cycle of the zodiac signs can be extremely valuable as a guide to the structuring of our lives toward maximum usefulness and complete satisfaction.