Archive for Beginner’s – Page 2

Beginner’s Corner with Sheridan

Send your questions to

Archetypes and Signs

Shamanic Astrology is archetypally driven. We see the signs, such as Libra or Scorpio, as an archetypal energy. What does that mean? What are archetypes? What do they have to do with you and your chart? That’s what I’m diving into today.

What is an Archetype? defines archetype in two ways: 

  1. the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or based; a model or first form; prototype.
  2. (in Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern or thought, image, etc. universally present in individual psyches.

In Shamanic Astrology we are more interested in the Jungian definition, but the first one works too. An archetype is the original pattern or prototype of an energy we all have in our unconscious. It’s a power that speaks to us inside, beyond conscious comprehension, yet we still know and understand it. Common examples include: the hero, the sage, the lover. Images and feelings immediately come to mind when you read those, right? That’s an archetype. 

We may all get a different feelings or images, but that is due to cultural teachings and overlays placed on top of the pure archetypal essence. The same happens with the signs or archetypes, but we’ll come to that later. For now, we just need to understand that there are universal symbols and spirits that speak to our Souls. We understand these energies whether we are conscious of them or not.

In Shamanic Astrology we see the twelve signs of the zodiac, as archetypes, a dozen energies we know and experience internally, often completely unconsciously. There were certain archetypal energies present when you were born, based on where the planets in the solar system were in relationship to you. Your birth chart is the map of these archetypes and these powers. It shows us the archetypes you already know or are newly learning about and exploring as part of your Soul’s evolution in this lifetime. Pretty cool huh?

If you have an Aries Moon, you have a level of expertise in the Aries archetype. You naturally know about your inner strength, your individual expression and feel centered when you have a committed path of action. If Aries is your ascendant or rising sign, then you are here to learn lessons that help you step into the Aries archetypal energy.

Each sign is an archetypal energy, not just some personality trait. It runs so much deeper than that and takes us back thousands of years in our ancestral heritage. Our mission is to simply do our best to step into the archetypal spirit we are here to investigate in this lifetime. The more we do that, the more we feel we are on our true path and experience more fulfillment in our lives. It is not always easy, but it ultimately feels good as we arrive there more and more. The trick is in discovering the true archetypal energy and not the current cultural overlay.

Archetypal Essence vs Cultural Overlay

This is a deep topic that can take us down many worm holes, so I’m going to explain the basics and keep this in our collective Beginner’s Corner language. Doesn’t all the astrology-speak in so much astrological writing frustrate you? It’s like legalese – if you’re new to the language you can easily get lost in esoteric and lofty ideas.

The gist is there is the true essence of the archetype that has existed for thousands of years, the original form or prototype (if we go back to the dictionary definition). After that comes the culture’s interpretation or biases overlaid on that original pure essence. We could instead say the culture’s misinterpretation. 

Let’s take the sage archetype example from above. The essence is wisdom, elderly, profound knowledge, been around the block. The current cultural overlay is old, crone, used up, out of touch, dispensable. We feel the beauty of the sage within us, but as a culture we do not value the elderly. How often over the past year have you heard, “Well, it’s just killing the elderly” like that’s ok or not a big deal? 

Getting into the astrological archetypes, let’s use Virgo as an example. Virgo’s archetypal essence is the earth priest or priestess in service to Gaia, sensing and showing us all the patterns of the sacred wheel of life in nature. The current cultural overlay is nitpicky, anal-retentively organized, great at being accountants. When did the druid become a CPA? I saw a post from my stepson once around his Virgo-ness, assuaging people of their fears that he won’t be coming over to organize their sock drawers. It’s funny, but demonstrates society’s misunderstanding around the deepest earth-connected archetype.

Certain archetypes or signs are in fashion in a culture and some are not. Take Pisces for instance. We love Pisces-type women who are healers, have compassion and hold space for our pain, even to their own energetic detriment. But, we run from Pisces men, saying they’re weak or overly emotional. This is all about cultural overlay and nothing to do with the incredible power of the archetype of Pisces. We need more men to step into their healing power, completely communed with Spirit in our world. Or the reverse, we love a stereotypical Aries man, grunting warriors who sacrifice themselves for our protection, but an Aries woman is just flat out a b*!&#. Again, cultural overlay on the beautiful protector archetype who is all in committed to a mission and purpose to make this world a better place. 

It is the archetypes we’re trying to embody, and ultimately heal from the cultural overlays. It feels like swimming upstream if the archetypes on your chart are out of the current fashion, but WOW when you embrace the essence of your archetype, you feel like you’re floating back home on the lazy river. It is the feeling of, “Oh, there I am!”

For more Information on your individual archetypal energy, check out The Shamanic Astrology Handbook by Daniel Giamario with Cayelin Castell.

Sheridan Semple


Beginner’s Corner with Sheridan – February 2021

Send your questions to

Basics: Elements and Modalities

If you’ve been around the astrology block for a while, you will be familiar with the elements and the modalities. All astrological signs can be divided into these two categories. There are four elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Conventional astrology names the three modalities: cardinal, mutable and fixed. What do those even mean? Shamanic Astrology, instead, calls these modalities Householder, Self- Interest and In Service to Spirit. Those are more descriptive, don’t you agree? The point is Shamanic Astrology has a different take on these two topics; our view of the elements was directly inspired by Carl Jung’s concept of the “Four Functions” (Jung’s theory on psychological types). 

Shamanic Astrology evolves the four elements from simple personality traits into the deeper realm from where their power arises. If you have mostly fire signs in your chart, you aren’t just a “fiery” person. You are motivated from or learning about the intuitive side of life. You get a spiritual download and then take action on it. I find that to be much more empowering than simply writing yourself off as “fiery”, which kind of sounds like you’re angry. After the element, add in which modality your fire is in and we see in which area of life you take this action. It is a dynamic flow of energies and intentions that you are playing out for the evolution of your Soul.

4 Elemental Realms

Earth is concerned with the physical aspect of life. Earth walks within the sensation realm, where we experience the physicality of living with our five senses: touch, sight, smell, hearing and taste. Solid and tangible, that’s earth. Practical, realistic, stable and “of this world”. To get all ‘70’s, Earth is “down to earth, man”. Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn make up the earth signs. Taurus enjoys the body through all the senses have to offer. Virgo connects spiritually to Gaia herself and sees the patterns and cycles of the natural world. Capricorn manages and directs the energy of the physical realm with the wisdom of our elders.

Water floats in the feeling realm. This often an unconscious area for many of us dictates our lives. Water lives in this emotional realm, either excelling at it or studying it anew. Water feels deeply and is sensitive to those feelings, whether inside or in others. Like the ocean, water can be a gentle lapping at your feet or drown you in scary fifty foot waves. All the elements experience emotions, but the water signs are particularly attuned to them. Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are the water signs. Cancer feels for and nurtures the needs of its young. Scorpio goes to the depths of its feelings, riding those huge waves. Pisces feels everyone and everything’s emotions.

Air flies high in the mental realm, within the head. Air is the opposite of the new age mantra to be more in your heart and less in your head. Air is all about being in your head and beyond! It is interested in thoughts and communication, in consciousness and awareness of ourselves. The air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Gemini wants to shift our consciousness. Libra discovers awareness of itself through its relationships. Aquarius wants to expand consciousness itself.

Fire burns bright in the intuitive realm, where it instinctively knows something and takes action it. Fire is energizing and activating. It is spontaneous and acts from those internal understandings, just knowing what is right and going from there. Fire is of the spiritual realm. All the signs have a spiritual path, but fire acts within that realm of knowing. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are the fire signs. Aries takes action on what it knows is right. Leo knows it is Spirit and acts from that place. Sagittarius seeks the knowledge and truth of Spirit itself.

3 Modalities

Shamanic Astrology sees the modalities differently from mainstream astrology. We call the cardinal signs, Householder or Culture-Bearer. These signs serve the culture in some way. I think of these signs as being in service to the community. Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are the Culture-Bearer signs. They each support the creation and maintenance of the community in some way. Aries does this through protection. Cancer through nurturing the seeds. Libra through personal relationships. Capricorn through grandmotherly knowledge and direction.

The mutable signs are In Service to Spirit signs. Isn’t that much cooler than mutable? In Service to Spirit is pretty self-explanatory. These signs are always looking through the lens of serving Spirit or Great Mystery. Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces are the In Service to Spirit Signs. Gemini serves Spirit by playfully breaking us out of our limited boxes. Virgo serves by attuning us to the patterns of the earth and sky. Sagittarius explores the higher truths and meanings of the universe. Pisces holds space for us to heal collectively.

Fixed signs are considered Self Interest or Self Exploration in Shamanic Astrology. They are not in service to anyone other than their own exploration and seeking. These are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Each of these signs are the deepest expression of their element. Taurus is the most embodied, earth. Leo is the most fire, knowing it is Spirit. Scorpio the deepest feeling water. Aquarius is universal or cosmic consciousness.

Putting them together

Depending upon where the elements show up in your chart, you can either be learning about these realms or are already an expert in them. Same for the modalities. If your Moon sign is in air then you are an expert in the mental or consciousness realm. If it’s your Venus or Mars then this is new information you are studying or trying on. There is a need to synthesize all these parts of yourself. For example, if your Moon is Cancer and your Ascendant is Aquarius, you are moving from a deep knowledge of the feeling realm in service to the community into the widest expanse of air as an exploration for its own knowledge and experience. These two might not flow naturally from one to the other. That is where your unique alchemy comes into play. How will you learn to make all of your parts work together? That is your individual evolutionary journey.

Thankfully, there are no “shoulds” in Shamanic Astrology, so it is not better or worse to have certain elements or modalities on your chart. It is not better to have all the elements equally represented, nor all of the modalities present. From a Shamanic Astrology perspective, your birth chart is your unique Soul’s journey to evolve in this lifetime. We all trust your Soul knows exactly what it is doing and what it came here to learn. It has its own intended path, that doesn’t include every element equally, nor every modality. We would never say, “Oh wow, your Soul should have more water in its chart.” How ridiculous would that be?!? Your Soul’s got this and you are definitely up for the challenge or you wouldn’t be here!

Information taken from the Scripts and Archetypes class with Daniel Giamario and Cayelin Castell.

Sheridan Semple

Beginner’s Corner – January 2021

I didn’t receive any questions this month, so I will dive into another fundamental topic to SAMS… the importance of ceremony.

Ceremony is a foundation of Shamanic Astrology

One of the reasons you were probably drawn to Shamanic Astrology is to learn more about yourself and why you are here. Another reason most likely is to better understand what is going on in the world around you. Both are excellent reasons, as the planetary alignments in the sky give us much more information than we have simply floundering around in the dark. Awareness of the cosmos supports us deeply. Read More

2021 Schedule of Events


  1. Monthly Vlogcasts with Daniel Giamario at the Full Moon…with various guests from SAMS
  2. Monthly calls at the New Moon for SAMS members, usually with Daniel, Mary Kern, and Erik Roth.
  3. Quadrant Zoom calls for members at the Cross Quarters, with the Founders.  Next call is the Air Quadrant on January 31, 2021 at 5:00pm PST.
  4. Special presentations for everyone at the times of the Equinoxes and Solstices.  There will be one at this coming March Equinox with Daniel and Cayelin with a deeper dive into the Jupiter/Saturn in Aquarius “Great Mutation”; as well as the Age of Aquarius deception.

Traditionally, SAMS does a free presentation at the June Solstice, and a fundraiser at the December Solstice.

  1. Regular Mentoring Zoom classes with Daniel Giamario, for everyone, at the First Quarter Moon times, each month, starting in February, at first quarter Moon.  This first one will likely happen February 18th.  Stay tuned for details.  These zoom classes will alternate between chart analysis mentoring and specific topics for inquiry.  The February class will be on the challenges presented by Saturn and/or Pluto to a man’s Venus or a woman’s Mars, either nataly or by transit.


Over the course of the year, SAMS will present special events, special zoom classes and teleclasses.

So far, one is scheduled: A Mars Synodic Cycle seminar with Daniel Giamario and Erik Roth coming up on January 19th at 5:00pm PST.  Information on this is in the current newsletter.  

Others coming up will include classes on the Mars/Venus Sagas.  Also more on the Nodal Cycles and Eclipse Cycles of 2021.

Beginner’s Corner – December 2020

Email me your questions at 

We have two questions this month! Thanks to you two for submitting your questions!

#1 Could you please list in order the steps to look at a chart?

Yes! This is an excellent question!

In Shamanic Astrology, the birth chart is broken down into three acts. You could think of it like the three movements of a symphony. The first act is the lineage. The second act has to do with your tools and strategies. The third act concerns your current life purpose.  Read More