Wisdom of the Astrological Modalities: Cardinal, Fixed & Mutable

To birth, sustain, and transform – a cycle of three that seems to be found in all of nature. Seen through the seasons of the Earth and across the human lifespan. Seen in the beginning, middle, and transition of each calendar month that passes us by. And, seen in our own inner and outer life chapters.

In Astrology, a mirror to both the inner experience and life itself, this cycle is reflected in what’s called the Astrological Modalities.

Welcome to the vast world of Astrology.

Where we seem to be gifted layer after layer of insight that some could argue, will never end. Just like life itself, just like ourselves, astrology seems to always have more to share, more to explore, more doors to open and mirrors to observe ourselves through.

What are Modalities in Astrology?

The Modalities, also known as quadruplicities, reveal a certain energy type that we each hold. It brings awareness to the way in which we move through the world and the three stages of this cycle that seems permeate all of existence.

Do we thrive within new beginnings and initiations, or are we in our magic when sustaining and deepening roots? Or do we find ourselves flowing freely from space to space, adapting and shifting between the tides?

Grouped into the 3 Modalities of Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable, each are made up of 4 zodiac signs and all 4 elements.

For example, Cardinal signs are Aries (fire), Cancer (water), Libra (air), and Capricorn (earth).

Throughout the sequence of the zodiac wheel this cycle of birthing (cardinal), sustaining (fixed), and transforming (mutable) continues to present itself over and over – a fixed sign will always be found after a cardinal sign, and a mutable sign will always follow a fixed sign.

Learn Astrology Girl and Her Moon

But what does this mean for you?

Within us all lives each of the 12 zodiac signs and all 4 elements differing in balance, prominence, and proportions. The same is true for the modalities.

While looking to the modality of our Sun sign can be deeply insightful on its own, calculators like this will take into account our entire astrological make up, considering our Moon sign, rising sign, and so much more. While your Leo Sun might be fixed in nature, there may also be an emphasis on mutable energy in your birth chart, with different planets and placements in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, or Pisces.

Similar Read: How Your Opposite Zodiac Sign Can Bring You Into Your Purpose

Cardinal Zodiac Signs

Aries | Cancer | Libra | Capricorn

To initiate, begin, breathe new life into something, and get the wheels turning – this is the role of the cardinal zodiac signs. Those of us with an emphasis of cardinal energy are the spark of a new idea, and the spur of energy that comes with leaping into it. There is an aura of leadership within the core of these archetypes, a visionary capacity that taps into inspiration, alongside the force to create those very visions.

If you find yourself rich with cardinal energy, give yourself permission to be in experiences and roles that allow you to begin, over and over again. Spaces that allow you to spark new ideas and express the inspiration, excitement, and energy of those ideas to those around you. And, give yourself permission to dream often. New beginnings, new doorways, new chapters, even if they are simply new chapters within a larger vision, are where life force seems to flow in abundance.

Each season of the Earth coincides with the beginning of the astrological season of a cardinal sign, speaking to their capacity to initiate. As Aries begins Spring with the March Equinox, Cancer begins Summer with the June Equinox, Libra Fall with the September Equinox, and Capricorn Winter with the December Equinox.

Fixed Signs

Taurus | Leo | Scorpio | Aquarius

To maintain, sustain, stabilise, and put down roots. The fixed zodiac signs offer a beautiful opportunity to sink into a space, to dedicate, nurture, and stabilise the continued growth of the new beginning as offered by the cardinal signs. Those of us with an emphasis of fixed energy are gifted an incredible focus, loyalty, and devotion to deepening into the current season or chapter, a stability of self, and ability to bring that same energy into our dream or vision.

Found within the middle of each season, an abundance of fixed energy shines when offered the opportunity to build continued and sustained momentum within a space, dream, vision, or project. To look to the long term vision and steadily see that vision into reality through dedication, focus, and step by step building.

If you are one with much fixed energy, give yourself permission to sink into the big visions, trust in your capacity to continue with them long term, allow patience to be your ally, and bring discernment to the spaces you bring this superpower. Having a sense of stability within these chosen pathways will also allow the ever-changing seasons of life to be met with more grace and ease.

Mutable Signs

Gemini | Virgo | Sagittarius | Pisces

If there is any constant in life, it is change. And it is the role of the Mutable signs to act as the pathways between these changes, between the shifting of moment to moment, season to season, chapter to chapter, self to self. These signs embody the space of transition and transformation, bringing a beautiful energy of adaptability, flexibility, openness, and flow – not just to life around them, but to themselves, too.

Those of us with an abundance of mutable energy thrive when in spaces of variety, spontaneity, and movement. And if you are one of them, allow yourself to see the magic in your gift of acceptance. To accept the inevitable changes of life and ride those waves with an openness and curiosity to the opening found only within a closing. To shift as easily, openly, and naturally as the Earth shifts through her seasons, and to not become too attached to any one way of being, doing, perceiving, or living – for you are the embodiment of the truth that everything is in a state of change.

Mutable signs teach us that we are not here to control or hold onto, either around or within us, that is no longer in its state of alignment, or season of life.

A Path to Wholeness

Like many other categories and layers within astrology, the modalities, when placed together, complete a cycle. Independent in their role, yet each contributing to a larger eco system. They work together, support one another, and build one another up.

We all hold each of these modalities within ourselves and it is when our modalities are in balance that we can build and persevere just as we can begin and adapt. We can flow through the waves of change, breathe new life into spaces, and create stability.

We can find this balance through intention, through leaning into and exploring the modalities that we hold less of, or often, and often unintentionally, choose people around us that bring that modality.

And while finding our own balance will support and nourish us through the vast experiences that this life presents us with, so will leaning into and owning the role and energy that we uniquely come alive in – for perhaps, it is entirely on purpose that you are you.

Read Next: The Sun in the Houses in Astrology

Jordane Maree

Jordane Maree is Girl and Her Moon’s founder.

A devotee to the mystery and wonder of life, Jordane is a life-long learner and explorer, allowing each moment to be her greatest teacher.

From astrology, psychology, symbolism and energy work, to ancient teachings and poetry, she is here to sink into all that the divine human experience encompasses and connect with magical humans (you) along the way. Connect with Jordane in our Flow with the Moon Membership and Podcast.

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