Modes and Elements refer to certain inherent traits of a similar nature to be found in the various Signs.  Depending on what a person’s Natal Chart indicates, there may be more influences in a particular Mode or Element than others, giving that individual stronger tendencies in one direction than another.  For example, someone with most of the planets resident is Earth Signs would be very practical and probably have a strong need for security.  If a person had a bit of each, i.e. a chart with the planets evenly spread across the Zodiac, it could make them either more balanced on the positive side or unpredictable on the negative side.  Like all character traits, there's a positive and negative manifestation for each of the modes and elements as well, both of which will be demonstrated at one time or another.

Modes

Each sign is one of three modalities, i.e. Fixed, Mutable or Cardinal.  These signs square one another and often do not get along too well because they tend to be too much alike.  See our Compatibility Section for more information.

Cardinal

Cardinal signs like to make their own decisions and thus tend to be leaders.  On the positive side they are just that, leaders, and on the negative side they’re bossy and opinionated.  Cardinal signs include Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

Fixed

Fixed signs tend to be just that—fixed—and do not like change.  On the positive side they are stable, on the negative side they are stubborn.  If you think they're ever going to change, think again.  They are what they are; love 'em or leave 'emFixed signs include Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

Mutable

Mutable signs tend to be more flexible and adapt well to change.  On the positive side they are flexible, on the negative side they are so busy examining all the options that they tend to be indecisive (though the real champion of indecision is often Libra because they try so hard to be fair).  Mutable signs include Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

Elements

The elements in ancient times were considered Fire, Water, Air and Earth.  Zodiac signs are associated with these elements as well, the traits of which also tie in to the characteristics and tendencies of their associated signs.  For a figurative look at how the elements interact with one another, check out our compatibility section.

Fire

Fire signs tend to be bubbly and enthusiastic, enjoy the public eye and need attention.  They include Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.  Fire signs tend to have tempers and discernable attitudes of aggression, royalty, and academia/snootiness, respectively.  They tend to make decisions based more on their emotional needs than logic, especially if and when their head and heart disagree.  These emotions usually run true to what you'd expect from a Fire Sign, i.e. a bit of fiery temper and hot verbal expression.

Air

Air signs are good communicators and like to talk.  And talk and talk and talk.  They include Aquarius, Gemini and Libra.  They like to learn as much as possible about any given subject, particularly those associated with their individual signs, i.e. unique/ nonconformist ideals, general learning and relationships, respectively.  Aquarius and Gemini tend to be more logical than emotional and Libra tries to be a little of both.  Generally, however, if their head and heart don't agree, they'll go with their head, i.e. logic.  (Thus, these are not the classic "air heads.")

Water

Water signs tend to be emotional and will react to situations and make their decisions based on what they feel more than what they think.  They are prone to allergies and vague diseases, which are usually physical manifestations of unresolved emotional issues.  Please note, however, that when I say "emotional" that I do not mean to imply that men and women manifest emotion in the same way.  This should be intuitively obvious, but I want to make sure everyone understands.  Everyone pretty-well knows what it means when a woman gets emotional--it will probably mean tears and various other female-specific mood swings.  You know, like going from zero to bitch in 7 seconds....  Men will manifest emotions in a different way, most commonly by being grumpy, perhaps a bit whiney or, depending on their other elements, maybe just sullen and quiet.  However, just because a guy is ruled by emotion rather than logic doesn't mean he's a wuss.  These folks often have highly developed intuitive powers, sometimes to the point of being psychic.  Water signs include Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.  As being a Water Sign implies, the women are likely to cry when emotionally affected, which is often, though Scorpios are likely to swing that scorpion's tail around while they're at it.  Bear in mind that being ruled by emotion doesn't equate to being weak in any way.  If you think Water is weak, take a look at the Grand Canyon.  Water signs can be extremely persistent in getting what they want and can wear down any of the other signs as necessary to get what they want.

Earth

Earth signs tend to be well-grounded, practical and stable and will use logic in their decisions more than emotion.  If their head and heart don't agree, they'll go with their head.  They are good with money and usually have assets accumulated in land interests, collectibles of all sorts, and stocks and bonds respectively.  If you need advice on your finances, investments or how to handle a situation in the most sensible way, these are the ones to ask.  They are dependable, almost to a fault, and will rarely, if ever, let you down.  They include Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

 

Element Mutable Fixed Cardinal Driver
Air Gemini Aquarius Libra Communications/Data
Water Pisces Scorpio Cancer Emotions
Fire Sagittarius Leo Aries Excitement
Earth Virgo Taurus Capricorn Common Sense
Reaction to Change ADAPTS RESISTS INITIATES  

The above table shows how the modes and elements line up and which sign is the epitome of a particular mix.  For example, if a person has planets in their Natal chart that reside in several Air and Fixed signs they will probably show many of the same traits as an Aquarius, regardless of where the Sun is located.  Likewise, if they have several Fire and Cardinal signs, they will act very similar to an Aries, and so forth.

 

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