• Dr Keith Bound

Zodiac Signs Part 2: Discover Your Unique Astrological Quality(CARDINAL, FIXED, MUTABLE SIGNS)


Qualities (Quadruplicities)

As you will have learned in the previous article Zodiac Sign Elements which classify zodiac signs as being compatible when they are from the same element (fire, earth, air water) because they share the similar archetypal characteristics. Signs from the same quadruplicity (or quality) have the same mode of action but each group (e.g. cardinal, fixed and mutable) are made up of signs from each element, fire, earth, air and water. This reveals how signs can modify their mode of action by element meaning. However, quadruplicities operate under tension because the sign groups are made from each element.




The mode of action for Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn is to initiate activity (e.g. starting a new project or business). They are self-starters motivated by a challenge or crisis and have good leadership qualities. On a negative side, especially Aries (e.g. impatient) may not be good at completing long term projects. Aries fire energy is the most competitive of the cardinal signs, taking on big challenges and using their courage to overcome a crisis and barriers to success. Cancer water energy leads by intuition, compassion and nurturing a person, animal, vegetation, business idea or provide emotional support and comfort to others in a crisis or challenge. Libra air energy leads with their intellect and communication skills to overcome challenges or a crisis and their ability to negotiate with others to achieve a successful conclusion. Capricorn earth energy leads with their ability to manage a challenge and control a crisis or to achieve commercial advantage for a business venture. You can identify the four Cardinal signs by the start of the astronomical seasons the first day of spring, summer, autumn and winter.



The mode of action for Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius is loyal, consistency, being self-contained, determined and wilful. Fixed signs are motivated by building and consolidating something permanent, focussing on managing and sustaining projects that have been started by Cardinal signs, until a successful completion. Negatively they resist change and can be in denial in times of change, with the exception of Aquarius who tends to be unpredictable. Taurus earth energy acts patiently, slowly, deliberately and carefully following a plan to maintain a successful completion of a project. Leo fire energy utilises their leadership and creative abilities to shape the project while using their excellent organisational abilities to ensure successful completion of the project. Scorpio with water energy adds their passion, intensity, intuition to shape a project and tenacity and persistence to ensure the project is completed. Aquarius will bring innovative ideas to the project, a large network of contacts and collaboration to ensure a successful completion of the project. The four fixed signs begin in the middle month of each season.



The mode of action for Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces is adaptability to new situations and most open to change, operating as mediators, negotiators and communicators. However, it’s important to note that Gemini (air), Sagittarius (fire) and Pisces (water) often act spontaneously because their element energies have greater fluidity than Virgo (earth). Ideally, mutable signs act as the transitional shift between old and a new cycle of experience, opening up a new opportunity for cardinal signs to initiate a new cycle or project. Negatively, with mutable signs operating through the mind rather than the physical world they often suffer from stress and anxiety, with Virgo-Pisces polarity prone to fear, paranoia and worry. Gemini air energy uses their intellect and mental dexterity to new situations. Virgo has the stable earth energy making them great organisers and the ability to pay attention to details of a new situation or project. Sagittarius fire energy enables them to create a visionary approach and ‘big picture’ thinking to a new situation (environment). Pisces water energy applies intuition, sensitivity and self-sacrifice in the background of a new situation, making them quite elusive and difficult to pin down. The four Mutable signs are at the final month of each season.

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