Capricorn's pheasant is a social bird that flies short distances and roams large open spaces on the ground, flamboyant yet smart enough to know when to scatter and lay low. Pheasants are hunted for game and in the symbol must feel safe, otherwise they would scatter and hide in bushes. There is a sense of the collective.
Aries’ president is a ruler, elected,
chosen to represent the collective.
Cancer’s clown grimaces—is this mockery? Maybe the clown cannot pretend their feelings anymore? The grimace is an exaggerated facial expression of negative emotion.
Libra’s professor is a teacher, peering over his glasses, most likely his students. Someone who spends time reading texts and studying for the subject, to teach, is likely to be short-sighted. There is a sense of checking on his students, expecting them to study or pay attention to him, and making sure they are. In effect, he studies the students.
The cross has opposing pairs: the president (Aries) and the collective (Capricorn); the observant professor and the [class] clown.
In terms of the dynamic of the classroom—the authority out the front (Aries), mocked by a class clown (Cancer) who dislikes school, checks on the students (Libra) and all he sees is the collective safely (Capricorn) in front of him.
Another interpretation: Aries’ authority, Libra's professor and Cancer's clown are the same person. Teachers need to perform (Cancer) their threats and encouragements to engage students (Capricorn) in the learning. The professor observes student reactions (Libra) for what works or doesn't, feeding into his performance (Cancer) in front of the students (Capricorn) to control the class (Aries).
Yet another angle is that the preening, self-conscious, flamboyant, teenage students (Capricorn), vie for popularity (Aries): one way being to impose their judgements or lampoon (Cancer) the professor (Libra), while mindful of his watchful eye.
If we choose to think of the cross
politically: out of the collective (Capricorn) comes the elected leader (Aries)
who reluctantly performs (Cancer's grimace), checking for validation (Libra)
from the collective (Capricorn) to whom the leader must answer to if s/he wants
to hold onto power (Aries).
This cross describes how much power and efficacy relies on controlling opinion.
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