The Modalities: How does your Sign Move?

To help remember what each sign energy is it helps to know the different groups you can divide them into. I talked about the dualities here (masculine and feminine), but there is also the modalities and the elements.

I like to describe the different modalities as the way a sign’s energy moves through time. There are three different categories: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable.

Cardinal signs are the signs that mark the beginning of the seasons. Aries brings in spring, Cancer brings in summer, Libra brings in fall, and Capricorn brings in winter. These are the signs that are going to rise up to meet time. They tend to have a lot of initiative to do. You can also take in the connotation of the season to understand the sign’s energy. Aries is all about going out and meeting life with a fresh excitement. Cancer seeks out the warmth of the summer sun. Libra seeks out the process of death balancing out Aries’ life. Capricorn leaves us bare like the trees in the winter so we can really evaluate our structure before we embark on the next cycle.

If you remember that Masculine energy is outward, you can draw the connection that Aries and Libra are outward doers. Aries is the energy that goes out and explores life independently. Libra is the energy that actively seeks out balance in partnerships. Cancer and Capricorn are feminine and are inward doers. Cancer inwardly creates and spread emotional support. Capricorn seeks out the discipline needed to build an empire of the self.

The fixed signs are those that fall in the middle of a season. Taurus is the middle of spring, Leo is the middle of summer, Scorpio is the middle of fall, and Aquarius is the middle of winter. Because it was the same season it was when the sign started as when they end, fixed signs tend to be stubborn. They often don’t like change, though they seem to attract it plenty enough. Often times you may find they fight against the constant change of time, but it’s the whole idea of energy in motion tends to stay in motion. They don’t want to switch things up if everything is perfectly fine as is. Taurus wants stability in life. They want to embrace the earthy fertility of the world and create something that will stand forever, embracing the spring energy in their headstrong fashion. Leo is the sun, unyielding with its brightness and light, and all the life that celebrates under it. Scorpio is death and transformations, relentlessly purging what is no longer necessary, whether they like it or not. They are determined to bring about fall, because they know you must go through fall and winter to get to spring. Aquarius is very radical in the structure changes it brings. It has seen what Capricorn has stripped bare and is prepared to make the necessary changes, so that spring can bring the best life possible. It is uncompromising in its innovation.

The masculine fixed signs are Aquarius and Leo. They are very outwardly stubborn. Leo is adamant about the light they shine, giving them their stereotypical characteristic of being egotistical. Aquarius is not going to back down with their ideas, no matter how uncomfortable they make you. They take their fixed nature and use it out in the world. Taurus and Scorpio are the feminine fixed signs. Taurus builds internal life and stability. Scorpio purges the internal energy that is holding you back. They turn their stubbornness inward.

The mutable signs are those that finish up the seasons, and make way for the new ones. Gemini is the end of spring, Virgo is the end of summer, Sagittarius is the end of fall, and Pisces is the end of winter. These signs tend to be very go with the flow, moving well with the flow of time. There can be a tendency to leave things unfinished, but it’s just because they found somewhere else better to be. Gemini finishes out the growing and learning energy of spring. They are very quick witted and their energy bounces around a lot, but they are taking in everything they need to know before finishing the rest of the journey. Virgo represents the harvest time, when we begin to reap all that came from the bright summer sun and the work we put in. Sagittarius finishes out the dying process of fall and embraces the adventure of what comes next. Its energy tends to be higher truth seeking, wanting to know what else is out there. Pisces finishes up the entire cycle, acting as a sort of karmic cleanse. It is also a time to start thinking about the new life ahead of us, and where we want to go. Wrapping up the winter cleanse, it is anything else we must let go.

The masculine mutable signs are Gemini and Sagittarius. Gemini is very outward in its learning, seeking out experiences. Sagittarius is the same way, but rather than basic, more ‘lower’ learning, it is very passionate about expansion and higher learning.  The feminine signs are Virgo and Pisces. Virgo is what we harvest from our internal work, and how we can use that in our day to day lives. Pisces is when we go into our subconscious energy and explore what we find.

Keep an eye out for a post on the how the signs divide up by element. Feel free to explore your own understanding of the seasons as well when you apply them to the signs, and if you see any interesting connections, let me know in the comments. Also, if you are looking at your full birth chart and trying to learn it, practice applying what you know here to what you know about the planets. Do you have a stubborn, headstrong, yet innovative mind like me (Aquarius Mercury) or perhaps my go-getting, ambitions sense of partnership (Capricorn Venus)? Fill free to let me know!

Also, I’d like to point out that no modality is better than another. We need cardinal people to be go getters, we need fixed people to stick with things, and we need mutable people so we can learn to go with the flow.

Positive energy and love!



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