A Guide to the Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable Signs of the Zodiac - By:
Looking at the balance of the quadruplicities in a chart can give a general feel for how an individual utilises the energy
available to them. For example, a person with cardinal signs heavily emphasised but with very little fixed sign focus, and
no mutable sign activity at all. This person would most probably be full of enthusiasm for life and could have many new projects
and ideas to work on at any given time. The lack of other qualities (fixed & mutable) could indicate that the person has
difficulty in following through on these plans and ideas, and possibly finds it difficult to adjust these plans to suit reality
and challenges. In many cases that I have been involved with, a lack of a quality is often compensated for within a relationship
where the other person has a heavy emphasis on the missing quality.
Generally speaking the quadruplicities represent
the three basic qualities of life: cardinal (creation); fixed (preservation); and mutable (adjustment).
In other words a project, phase, or relationship begins, then takes on form or structure, and finally needs to be reorganised
as circumstances change and begin again. So the cardinal, fixed, mutable process continues as a time goes on.
(Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn)
Those heavily influenced by the cardinal signs tend to be full of initiative,
have no problems in beginning new projects and are usually quite busy with new plans. Within a group setting, the cardinal
signs are most likely to lead others through their enthusiasm for the group's aim. The energy expressed through this quality
is powerful, but usually short lived - a bit like when a match is struck - there is that initial burst of flame that is big
but dies down quickly.
Aries tends to express it's cardinality through the world of firsthand experience and
pioneering activity. Cancer seems to be motivated by activities that satisfy their moods and emotional needs. Libra
tends to be motivated by the need for inspiring communication between both individuals and groups. Capricorn tends
to express itself through achieving material rewards and be motivated by results.
energy drive not sustained for long enterprising use direct approach initiate change uncooperative assertive aggressive creative
self-conscious independent self-seeking impatient with others unaware of desires outside of self ruthless opportunist.
Fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius)
Those heavily influenced by the fixed quality are great at using
their energy to keep long term projects running smoothly and for situations that require patience. These people also find
change difficult, even when they consciously know they need it! Using the match example again, I would see the fixed signs
representing the flame that slowly but steadily burns through the matchstick until it reaches the end.
seems to have a need to hold on to it's resources and material possessions. Leo tends towards having a very strong
style of self-expression and fixed image of themselves. Scorpio usually has very strong, fixed feelings about people
and ideas. Aquarius can be unusually fixed in their opinions about anyone or anything.
used to keep something going persistent staying power solid determined doesn't know when to stop not good at starting things
resists change great power can withstand great pressure stable long-lasting slow reliable preserver of traditions inflexible
Mutable (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces)
Mutable people are normally flexible, adaptable and great at
changing to suit their circumstances at various points in life. Their resourcefulness and versatility are a couple of mutable
signs' skills, although if taken too far can swing towards being scattered and disoriented. This quality seems to need the
direction and/or structure of the cardinal and fixed qualities to give it direction. Using the match example again, once the
fire reaches the end of the matchstick and the fire extinguishes this process produces smoke - the fire has changed form once
it has met a change in circumstances.
Gemini tends to display it's versatility and adaptability through a constant
change of mind and ideas. Virgo may spend it's mutable energy on finding the 'right' occupation or service that
allows the use of it's many talents. Sagittarius tends to seek adventures in life that will satisfy it's philosophical
or religious questionings. Pisces seems to constantly change in trying to adapt to it's own changing feelings and
the moods of others.
adaptable flighty weak-willed less likely to confront easily copes with
change flexible learning through change involved with serving evasive can make the most out of the least can see all sides
to issue loses sense of self and purpose can exaggerate lack of perseverance sees details, but not whole.