The elements fire, earth, air & water form the basis of all life in many belief systems. Each sign in the zodiac has both an element and a modality. The element and modality work together to give each sign its own unique energetic signature.
action • energy • warmth • light • being • impulse • combustion • masculinity • rebirth • creation
work • practicality • stability • home • reality • tactility • foundation • material • possession
intellect • relationship • compromise • sociology • community • knowledge • communication
emotion • mystery • spirituality • sensitivity • intuition • complexity • depth • femininity • belief
The cardinal modality represents beginnings, action and initiation. The cardinal signs form the main axis on the zodiac wheel. People born under cardinal signs can be more traditional or conservative than others. When imbalanced, cardinal energy can manifest as being too cautious or getting hung up on the “right” or socially acceptable way of doing things. Cardinal signs are generally more fond of institutions, customs, systems and establishments. In friend circles cardinal signs often play the part of counselor or mediator because they have a reputation for being centered and reasonable. Think of the cardinal modality as a solid foundation: a sturdy base, something that speaks to what is essential and principal. Cardinal energy rests in the middle between the two extremes: fixed and mutable.
The fixed modality represents the power of sustaining. Generally speaking, the role of fixed signs is to secure and stabilize whatever was initiated by cardinal signs. Fixed energy is resolute and forceful but can also be stagnant, obstinate and unforgiving. People born under fixed signs like to do things their way, do not like to be told what to do and have very strong opinions. It is extremely important that fixed signs have things a certain way or they will not feel comfortable or happy. Fixed signs are slow to change but often spend a lot of time trying to change other people and circumstances. When balanced, fixed energy is highly dependable, loyal, hardworking and strong.
The mutable modality represents endings and change. Mutable signs adapt what was initiated and stabilized by others. Unlike fixed energy, mutable energy is not sustainable. It is fast, versatile and very flexible. When imbalanced, mutable energy is inconsistent, vague and unpredictable. People born under mutable signs require a lot of stimulation and change to be happy. They do not like to stay in one place or do one thing for very long. Their interests are seemingly endless. These are the types of people who are constantly juggling many projects, relationships and ideas. Mutable signs know how to roll with the punches and quickly let things go. They do not like to be put in situations that make them feel trapped – but it doesn’t take much to make them feel this way.