Astrology Basics
Astrology Basics
Getting Started
Chart Structure
Types of Astrology
Planet Characteristics
Planet Characteristics
Visiting Dignitaries
Personal, Social, & Transpersonal
Essential Dignities
What is Retrograde?
Sign Characteristics
Sign Characteristics
Ambience in the Room
Constellations vs Signs
House Characteristics
House Characteristics
What's the Subject
"Self-Confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings"
-- Samuel Johnson --
"If you are not too long,
I will wait here for you all of my life"
-- Oscar Wilde --
"I try to take one day at a time, but
sometimes several days attack me at once"
-- Jennifer Unlimited--

Qualities -  What They Are

There are three kinds of people; those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those who don't know what's happening.

-- American Proverb


The Qualities of astrology refer to three basic modes of operation:
Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable.

Three Stooges Football

They are also called Modalities and Quadruplicities.  Each mode of expression operates on the same vibrational level in every fourth sign, which form stressful square aspects to each other.

The Cardinal Signs:  Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.

Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC
Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC

The word "cardinal" relates to anything that is of prime importance.  The cardinal signs are associated with starting new things.  In nature, each of these four signs serve as the beginning of a new season.

During Aries, we experience the Spring Equinox, when the Sun is over the equator on its way north.  In Cancer, we have the Summer Solstice when the Sun has reached its most northerly point and is turning back southward. 

Libra gives us the Autumn Equinox when the Sun is again at the equator, but still heading south.  And Capricorn covers the Winter Solstice when the Sun is as far south as it will go before once again heading north

The four cardinal signs are associated with an urge to get started on things, to initiate change. They don't always finish what they start, but at least they get us moving. Whenever there are a lot of planets in these signs, you will not feel satisfied with the status quo. You will burst at the seams until you start something new.

The Fixed Signs:  Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius

Half Dome - Yosemite National Park
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

These are the signs that happen in the middle of the season, when the essence of the season is at its fullest.  They are not being pulled toward either end of the season when things change.  And, as the name of this quality  implies, they do not accept change very well.

These signs relate to all that is solid and stable -- the earth, our egos, our deepest secrets, what we "know". 

They are associated with dependability, stability, and deep concentration.  When a lot of planets are in fixed signs, you will find yourself standing your ground, right or wrong, and just plowing on through.

The Mutable Signs:  Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.

Autumn Leaves Autumn Leaves

The keyword here is variety. As the last sign of each season, these signs represent times when we are finishing up one set of activities and planning for a new set.  As such, they are associated with being able to handle a wide variety of things.  In fact, they need a wide variety of things to feel complete.

All of these signs thirst for more -- more ideas, more details, more knowledge, and more love.

These are the ones who can easily adapt to change, who in fact love it!  A heavy emphasis on mutable signs is like a meeting of the United Nations all talking at once.