Capricorn Mountains
Capricorn Mountains

The Signature of Thought

Each and everything will have its own signature. The signature being the impression a thing has upon us. Or to put it another way, ” The signature of a thing is how we identify with it.”

The signature of a thing is usually a very subjective categorization, making it difficult to share a valuation for a thing. For instance, a plant with thorns and bitter berries surely is displaying signatures corresponding with Aires, while at the same time possessing healing virtues that are signatures of Jupiter, and perhaps a fragrance that is a signature of Venus. The overall signature of a thing will be depicted by its chief features, for everything will have in some amount each signature.

Applying Astrological signatures to things according to how we identify with them, as a simple ontological experiment, is the foundation of the Signature of All Things.

signatures – book list

The Signature of Things is not a new premise. Around 1600 mystic Jacob Boehme expounds eloquently on the subject in, named appropriately, “The Signature of All Things.” The signature of plants for food and medicine are found often in scientific works well into the 19th century. Over the centuries various terms have been used for the term signature. Some are still in use today like “governance” and “rulership.” Invariably all are rooted in astrological associations to express the particularities of the thing in question. Off my bookshelf I have four titles worth suggesting

  • Ptolemy – Tetrabilbos – this second century work gives a peak into the distant past. Signatures were used to classify all things for a very long time apparently. It is a short but fun read. This work makes it to Europe by 1100 or so.
  • The Signature of All Things – Jacob Boehme – In 1650 Boehme had printed this beautifully written book that describes the signature of all things form the view of a Christian mystic. A man worth reading a bit of and learning a bit about, Jacob Boehme is not the average mystic of his time.
  • The Christian astrologer – William Lilly – William Lilly was a peer of Jacob Boehme, their two works published just a few years apart. Lilly less a mystic and more an astrologer discusses many signatures in his works as he teaches astrology. A wonderful book which is surely the bedrock upon which all of Western Astrology is founded.
  • Culpepper’s Complete Herbal and English Physician – Nicholas Culpepper – A classic text, this encyclopedia of herbal usages for plants from 1826 more often than not has the “governance,” of each plant specified. The art is beautiful another wonderful book to own.

As scientific method took hold using the signature of things to describe anything became pseudoscience. Scientific method does not have a measurement for the feeling of the interaction with the object observed. It may measure an object in space and time, but one cannot verify the object’s impression on the observer. Mystics and physicists alike are still tangling with this conundrum.

Astrological Signatures

By leveraging the archetypical categories of the zodiac and the planets, we can easily give a value to anything. Whether it is a person, place, thing, an event, thought, or a time the essence can be noted using these 22 values. 

Below I have assembled abbreviated lists which attempt to label each zodiac and the planets with their two chief features each using one word.

zodiac Table of signatures
zodiacpositive featurenegative feature
Aires ♈LeadershipOfficiousness
Taurus ♉StabilityObstinacy
Gemini ♊VersatilityChangeableness
Cancer ♋TenacityTouchiness
Leo ♌KindnessDomination
Virgo ♍AnalysisCriticism
Libra ♎AffabilityApprobative-ness
Scorpio ♏ResourcefulnessTroublesomeness
Sagittarius ♐LoyaltySportiveness
Capricorn ♑DiplomacyDeceit
Aquarius ♒AltruismArgumentativeness
Pisces ♓SympathyWorry
table of planetary Signatures
Sun ☉LeadershipOfficiousness
Moon ☾StabilityObstinacy
Mercury ☿VersatilityChangeableness
Venus ♀TenacityTouchiness
Mars ♂KindnessDomination
Jupiter ♃AnalysisCriticism
Saturn ♄AffabilityApprobative-ness
Uranus ♅ResourcefulnessTroublesomeness
Neptune ♆LoyaltySportiveness
Pluto ♇AltruismArgumentativeness

The Faces – what they are and how to find them

Astrology offers a number of layers of signature and interrelationships between them to take advantage of.

  • The first signature are the planets.
  • Another signature are the emanations. Each emanation is comprised of one each of the four Zodiac.
  • The signatures of the Zodiac are a combination of their own signature harmonizing with their ruling planet’s harmony combined with the emanation level.
  • Another signature are faces, which are even small division of the signature of each Zodiac The faces are also known as decan or decanate.  A face is a 10-degree section of zodiac. There are three faces for each Zodiac sign.
How to find the face

How the Signature of a Face is Derived


Finding the signature of a face is fairly straight forward

First set aside the three zodiacs of a single element. Above are the zodiacs of fire


Second note the order of the faces in the First emanation zodiac. The order of these faces will match the order of the zodiac.


Third at each successive emanation the faces initiate their new order with the sign for the zodiac it resides in, but the order stays the same.

In the various applications of Astrology, the faces can appear to be quite a bit different. Some practitioners use the planets that rule the zodiac rather than the zodiac themselves. To compound this some types of astrology do not incorporate all of the planets. Some forms of astrology break the faces down into individual days. Some forms of astrology start the year in different places. One can easily imagine the myriad of different forms the faces could take depending on the methods one chooses to use to construct them.

Inanimate Signatures

Applying a signature to an inanimate thing, is a matter of reflecting upon how we identify with a thing.  A thing creates an impression upon us that corresponds to the signatures of a planet or zodiac

A person may take a trophy and associate that trophy with a signature of Aries, that person feels that trophy expresses determination and willpower to succeed and overcome their adversaries. Another person may associate that trophy with Saturn, they perceive injustice since only certain people are allowed to partake in that event.

Objective signatures – archetypes

The signature of some things are so fundamental that it seems as if we all perceive the same thing when we experience them. These are things that we would consider archetypal, for they are things that trigger the same shared experience with all people. An archetype is a state of identification that all people share.

The signature of these things would be objective. This means that anyone anywhere no matter their culture will recognize that thing as having that signature.

Subjective signature – direct observation

The signature of most things though is not as obvious. There are entire books written on the subject of the rulership of things. There are encyclopedias, cross references, even concordances of astrological writings with references to rulership or governance. None of them agree at best they kind of, sort of, intimate a direction that one may take…

The signature of a thing is relative to the person observing it.  A signature is not a label that can be slapped on a thing like the ingredients on a soup can. We’ve labeled our signatures using the zodiac. By taking the zodiac we have little containers that we can put things in.

But what is the signature? The signature is how we identify with that thing right at that moment.

Thoughts and thought complexes

In a very real way, the Signature of All Things is actually the Signature of our Thoughts. The signature of some “thing” is how we identify that thing to be. This is a no single arbitrary thought either. This is a gestalt of thoughts and identifications. A confluence of hundreds maybe thousands of separate thoughts in a seemingly endless chain.

A thought complex is comprised of anything that comes to mind (past, present, or future) that is associated with the focus. A thought complex is the signature of a long chain of thoughts and identifications that are connected through associations with an object of attention.


Upon seeing grandma’s pie….I recalled memories from my childhood. Warm kitchens. laughing. Holidays.


Even now I like the smell and count with the sound of the oven cooling and behind it all I can hear grandma in the next room talking to the baby.


I imagine how long it’s been since I was a child and wondered how many more years will grandma be here making her pies?

In the example above this person may assign a melancholy signature to the moment if they gave the thoughts of the future precedence.

What we experience as the “now,” is a number of complexes of thoughts compressed together. Many thoughts are combined in our brain as we experience the moment. This process of compression brings all of our experience, senses, and thoughts into a single gestalt of experience. Our brain automatically compresses and filters out most what is actually being thought, the end result is our experience of the moment.

Zodiac Structure

Three Types of Astrological Signatures

There are three levels or types that our signatures fall into. These three categories correspond to the emanations. The emanations are easier to understand in the realm of thoughts, for the emanation represents more of a tendency than an attribute.

  • The first emanation – are signatures that are emotional, impulsive, and overpowering. Thoughts that are almost primal. These are like solids.
  • The second emanation – are signatures that have to do with our moving about in the world. Making sure we don’t get killed making sure we succeed in our environment. This are like liquid they can mix well with other signatures.
  • The third emanation – are signatures that are thinking; pondering concepts, reflecting on the past, predicting the future, all juxtaposed against the present. These are like gas. They can fully integrate themselves into other signatures.

Time for Thought

Signatures need time in which to express in. When we start trying to define an event, a situation, or a group of thoughts with a signature the relationships between the past and the present show themselves to be key ingredients to the signature.

Any sort of experience is signified by memories combining with the present and some intimation of the future. The simplest thought complex, the most basic signature, must be composed of at the very least three different signatures. A signature that expresses the past experience, a signature of the current moment, and a signature of the future anticipated.

By applying a signature to something, we are taking a snapshot in time of that moment of experience. This frozen moment is likely gone the moment it is observed. There is endless feedback that takes place. As the world around impresses upon us and affects our signature which we in turn react outwardly and affect the signature world around us.

All the things that happen that are rooted in the lives of humans, are brought about by our thoughts. What kind of thoughts these are, has a direct bearing on the events that we are forced to live through be they good or bad. The signature of thought has to be just right to bring a person to the point of proposing, throwing the first punch, to step out onto the stage for the first time, or decide today is going to be a brand new day.

The Signature of Thought

The only thing we can do about the world around us is change our perception of it. The only thing we have real control over is the signature of our thoughts. It is only through the signature of our thoughts that we can do anything in the world around us.

By taking notice of the signature of our thoughts, we begin to affect the nature and subsequent signature of the events that we become involved in. Taking notice of the signature of our thoughts, becomes a process of self-awareness, an experiment in self-observation, a tool for the valuation of our mindfulness techniques.