As we have discussed in part one of the Beginners Guide to Astrology, Astrology is an ancient and complex system that may be used in a variety of ways. The Zodiac is divided into several categories and classifications, and learning the basic principles makes it much easier to learn when you break it down into certain types of groups.
In part two, we will discuss the three categories (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) of the Zodiac, which are also known as ‘modes’ or ‘qualities’. These three basic classifications group the signs together by their qualities which influences the signs in a different way. Each of the three groupings contain a sign with one of the four elements (Fire, Water, Air and Earth), which were also covered in part one.
The three classifications (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) offer insight into our general attitude and perspective, as well as the way we engage with the world. They reveal how we tackle projects and how we handle ourselves overall. Cardinal signs represent beginnings, such as in a new season. Fixed signs represent mid-season energy, and Mutable signs represent the culmination, or end, such as the end of a season.
The Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) are enterprising, and have a dynamic energy that drives them. They know how to put their ideas into action and lead the charge on projects. These signs inspire and motivate others with their energy and drive. They are the fearless, ambitious leaders in their home and work environments. Cardinal signs really know how to take charge of any situation, whether it be a board room negotiation or coaching a little league team. They attract others who will follow their lead and support their endeavors.
Each of the Cardinal signs project themselves in a unique way. The Fire sign Aries is a catalyst for inspiration. They drive forth with a sense of urgency and enthusiasm; they are the initiators of the Zodiac. The Water sign Cancer represents Motherhood, and leads with a palpable emotional assertiveness that attracts others; they are the nurturers of the Zodiac. The Air sign Libra pioneers into new ground while creating a balanced environment. They represent one-to-one relationships as well as the basis of relating; they are the harmonizers of the Zodiac. The Earth sign Capricorn offer a solid foundation for others to build upon while maintaining a grounded presence. They are driven to achieve and aim to succeed; they are the architects of the Zodiac.
All the Cardinal signs are outgoing, active and competitive. They have a take-charge personality and set the tone for others. They have strong initiative, but can often lack the follow-through required to bring things into fruition. The Fixed and Mutable signs provide them with the support and flexibility required to complete their projects and initiatives.
The Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) build upon the energy created by the Cardinal signs. Fixed signs are determined, committed and persistent. They love to sink their teeth into the fine details of a project. They thrive in pursuit of challenges that offer rewarding results. These signs have a focused concentration and work steadily toward goals. Fixed signs love to go through things with a fine toothed comb, whether it be an accounting ledger or planning the perfect event. Their cautiousness causes them to take things at a slower pace to keep from missing any important details. They take only calculated risks and can be counted on to stick to a plan, for which they have the discipline to follow through.
Each of the Fixed signs create stability in a unique way. The Earth sign Taurus is fixated on building financial stability. They are extremely reliable; they are the most pragmatic of the Zodiac. The Fire sign Leo is fixated on projecting their personal power and self-expression. They are loyal and dedicated to an ideal; they are the performers of the Zodiac. The Water sign Scorpio is fixated on working toward and achieving goals in a steadfast manner. They feel more stable when they know where they stand in all situations; they are the detectives of the Zodiac. The Air sign Aquarius is fixated on their own belief-system, as well as their innovations. They are logical and objective; they are the revolutionaries of the Zodiac.
All the Fixed signs are patient, self-reliant and resolute. Since they are reluctant to change, they provide stability to any plan or project. They are loyal and supportive to all of the signs. They provide support to complete any task or event, and provide a strong shoulder to cry on when needed.
The Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) are the most flexible and adaptable of the Zodiac. They bring others together and can often see things from multiple perspectives. These signs synthesize ideas and bring them into fruition. The adaptability of these signs make them extremely resourceful. They are observant, sharp and intuitive. Mutable signs have the ability to see the silver lining of any situation. They are light on their feet, and can become quite restless with schedules and routine. They feel most at home amidst chaos and can be counted on to keep a level head throughout a crisis. They provide a constant exchange of ideas, and are popular for their flexibility. They love stimulating, new environments and love to travel and experience other cultures.
Each of the Mutable signs transform themselves in a unique way. The Air sign Gemini collects and assimilates ideas and information. Their mental flexibility allows them to grasp new ideas and information at a very fast pace; they are the communicators of the Zodiac. The Earth sign Virgo transforms with an energy of purification that inspires others to heal. Their discerning ability allows them to deal with the reality of a situation; they are the most analytical of the Zodiac. The Fire sign Sagittarius evolves through learning, seeking knowledge, traveling and through self-transformation. They have the ability to see the ‘big picture’ of a situation, and can be inspirational to others; they are the seekers of the Zodiac. The Water sign Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac which transcends with a collective energy. Their emotional flexibility allows them to tap into the feelings and moods of others; they are the unifiers of the Zodiac.
All the Mutable signs have the ability to adapt to deviations of a plan or project. They are shape-shifters, or chameleons, who require exciting new experiences and thrive on change. Mutable signs are team players that are most interested in the creative flow of ideas than sticking to a set plan. Their creativity and flexibility provide another layer of support to the Cardinal and Fixed signs.
The Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs each have characteristics that support and complete each other; the three groupings work cohesively together. The Cardinal signs initiate or create an idea or project, and lead the way. The Fixed signs provide the stability and support that is required to maintain an idea or project. The Mutable signs offer the versatility to fine-tune and complete a task or vision. A balanced birth chart consists of planets that are spread evenly among Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs.