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The Three Qualities or Modes in Astrology

The Qualities in Astrology Blog Post


Each Zodiac sign falls under one of four Elements that were covered in a past blog post. (Click here to read). They also fall under one of three qualities or modes. A sign can either be Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable. These three qualities indicate how one will respond to stimuli, especially when under stress or tension. The Qualities further demonstrate how each Zodiac sign expresses their Element or the mode of behavior they use to express the element needs.

The three Qualities are also called "quadruplicities" because there are four signs per group. Each Quality is represented by one Zodiac sign from each of the four Elements. In other words, there will be one Fire, one Water, one Air and one Earth sign that fall under each of the three Qualities. In addition, there is a correlation between each Quality and one of the four Seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall that we will be covering as well.



The Cardinal signs include Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Aries is a Fire sign, Cancer a Water sign, Libra an Air sign and Capricorn an Earth sign. These four signs begin each new season. Capricorn starts winter, Aries starts Spring, Cancer starts Summer and Libra starts Fall. Cardinal signs tend to be most interested in initiating change. They are natural born leaders. Their Element shapes their particular leadership style. They are assertive, self-starters with new ideas and are motivated by crisis. They achieve control by remaining a step ahead of everyone else.

Aries exert leadership and strive to control any situation they are in. They inspire others through their commitment and vision.

Cancer controls through emotions. They lead with their hearts as an unmistaken emotional force that pushes into new territories.

Libra controls partnerships. They initiate new ideals and remain a balancing force among those they lead.

Capricorn uses and capitalizes on the material environment to exert control. They have a formidable, grounding presence that leads with natural authority in the physical plane.


Cardinal Quality in Astrology characteristics, traits, associated Zodiac signs and Elements.
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The Fixed signs include Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus. Leo is a Fire sign, Scorpio a Water sign, Aquarius and Air sign and Taurus an Earth sign. These four signs fall in the middle of a season. Leo is in the middle of Summer, Scorpio is in the middle of Fall, Aquarius is in the middle of Winter and Taurus is in the middle of Spring. Fixed signs are the most stable and independent. They can be passive, yet stubborn, determined and steadfast. Their strengths lie in their loyalty and consistency. They follow through on their commitments while managing and sustaining what the Cardinal signs began. However, they can be resistant to change and are often late as they need to take time to prep themselves.

Leo creates stability through self-expression and respect. They enjoy making a grand entrance as to be seen.

Scorpio finds stability through their achievements. They explore mysteries, dreams and imagination. They use their tardiness as a subtle power struggle.

Aquarius reaches into the future to push for new reforms and with new ideas. They like to do things on their own terms. They are always late, but one they are there, they will stay forever.

Taurus digs deep into the ground and finds stability using natural elements to build upon. They move slow, but with resolve.


Fixed Qualities of Astrology including characteristics, Zodiac signs and Elements
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The Mutable signs include Sagittarius, Pisces, Gemini and Virgo. Sagittarius is a Fire sign, Pisces a Water sign, Gemini an Air sign and Virgo an Earth sign. These four signs fall at the end of a season. Sagittarius is at the end of Fall, Pisces the end of Winter, Gemini the end of Spring and Virgo the end of Summer. Mutable signs are naturally able to let things go. They are extremely flexible and tolerant individuals. Whereas Cardinal signs begin new things and Fixed signs sustain things, Mutable signs loosen the structures put in place in order to transition out of the old and into the new. They are the most unstable mentally of the signs and tend to be easily influenced by their environment. They have many things running through their head and can be prone to suffering from fear, anxiety and mental anguish. However, their ability to adapt always sees them through in the end.

Sagittarius is continually changing their view of the world and the possibilities it holds for them. They evolve through seeking knowledge and learning all they can. They use their intuition to find the truth.

Pisces are like chameleons that adapt to the changing circumstances around them. As the last sign in the Zodiac they encompass the collective energy of all signs which can cause them to compromise their own self interests and identity.

Gemini can easily change its wave of ideas. It takes them all in and spreads what it collects with others.

Virgo is dominated by the environment. They evolve through purifying their body, mind and spirit often times become a force of healing for others.


Mutable Quality characteristics, traits, associated Zodiac signs and Elements
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This concludes our post on the Qualities or Modes of the Zodiac. Next time we will dig deeper into Astrology by looking at the Ruling Planets and how they can influence our lives. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email us at or leave them below!

Until next time!!!

Nicole and Sandy


Works Cited

Campbell, Elizabeth Rose. Intuitive Astrology: Follow Your Best Instincts to Become Who You Always Intended to Be. Random House Ballantine Pub., 2003.

“Cardinal, Mutable & Fixed Signs: The Qualities in Astrology.” Astrostyle,

Lane, Corrine. “12 Astrological Houses- Astrology Lesson 4.” Astrology Library, Astrology Library, 4 June 2019,

Lane, Corrine. “Planets in Astrology- Lesson 5.” Astrology Library, Astrology Library, 18 Jan. 2018,

O'Connor, Terry. “You Searched for Modes.” Astrology 42,

“Ruling Planets: Learn Astrology: Astrostyle: Astrology and Daily, Weekly, Monthly Horoscopes by The AstroTwins.” Astrostyle,


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