Understand the Elements & Modes in AstrologySep 14, 2020
What are the elements in astrology?
The four elements in astrology are air, earth, water and fire. Each element describes the general nature or quality of a person or place. The Zodiac contains 12 signs, and the 12 signs are divided into four parts, which represent the elements. There is also a division into three parts, which each contain four signs. These are the modes. The three modes in astrology are Cardinal, Mutable, and Fixed. Each element contains three signs, one being the cardinal sign of that element, one being the mutable sign of that element, and one being the fixed sign of that element.
Your own astrology will be a mixture of elements and modes. You might be predominantly water and earth but lack fire, or you could have planets in all four elements but all primarily in the fixed mode. This unique energetic architecture represents you, your life, and the journey you are on in life.
The cardinal fire sign is Aries. “I am.” Ruled by Mars, Aries has a strong desire to express the self. They can get accused of being self-centered, but are at their best when they use their head-first zest for life in service of a higher calling. This usually requires them to leave behind the part of their ego that is leading them astray so that they are able to serve from their highest integrity and finish what they start.
The fixed fire sign is Leo. “I will.” Ruled by the Sun, Leo enjoys taking what is inside and putting it out into the world. While they enjoy an exchange of admiration, they are also willing to look at what is holding them back and face their limitations in order to reach new audiences. Their journey is about developing their ego and sense of creative self-expression. They defend what is in their heart and are likely to be confident, which can sometimes be read as arrogance.
The mutable fire sign is Sagittarius. “I perceive.” Ruled by Jupiter, Sagittarius is open to all that life has to offer. They value new and different perspectives and experiences. Trial and error is a part of their process, and they go through stages in life as they seek deeper knowledge and wisdom. Their ability to see the big pictures sometimes prevents them from seeing smaller details—which means they might be missing the integral information that they crave. Part of their journey is learning that true wisdom comes from the heart, and that there are limits to what we can complete.
The fixed earth sign is Taurus. “I have.” Ruled by Venus, Taurus has a nurturing, physical expression. As an earth sign, Taurus rules over rocks and minerals. Their fixed nature might make them more traditional and they can be messengers for strongly held visions. They seek security and prefer a steady life, but looking at things for new and different perspectives is healthy for them. There can be a tendency towards a look good, feel good approach to life. Being stubborn leads to impatience and inflexibility.
The mutable earth sign is Virgo. “I analyze.” Ruled by Mercury, Virgo seeks to bring the self closer to the idealized self through an enduring process of self-perfection. Their brutally honest perception of themselves can make them overly critical. They can be impatient if their plans are not living up to their perfect dream and have a tendency to blame themselves for not being disciplined enough. The reality is that they are probably plenty disciplined, as they are only unlikely to do work if it is not meaningful to them. They are at their best when their work is in service to both themselves and the greater good. As an earth sign it rule over plants.
The cardinal earth sign is Capricorn. “I use.” Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn is very ambitious and desires peak life experiences. As the sea-goat, they know that they are only able to reach the highest mountain peaks by swimming to the deepest waters of the self. Their reality needs to be questioned so that they can leave the past behind—they can only carry so much weight on their journey to the top. Capricorn needs to enforce boundaries with themselves and others from time-to-time, learning their boundaries and remaining optimistic. They learn how to play over their life, and know that life is only fulfilling when your work is aligned with your feelings and thoughts. As an earth sign it rules over animals.
The mutable air sign is Gemini. “I speak.” Ruled by Mercury, Gemini seeks to understand the mechanics of what they enjoy learning about. There is always deep desire for knowledge, for expanding the self through exposure to new information and new ideas. It is requirement for them to experience doubt, although they can sometimes be overly analytical. This is part of their process, which leads them to wake up to an ultimate belief or conclusion, only to start the process again. They can change their mind or flow with the information they receive, moving from one idea to the next.
The cardinal air sign is Libra. “I balance.” Ruled by Venus, Libra can be a paradoxical sign. Harmony between people is important to them and relationships play a significant role in their lives. They seek to find the ultimate truth of what is happening and balance differing opinions, but can sometimes be challenged when the reality of a situation has everyone frustrated. They can struggle with indecision, especially when they feel the need to keep the peace or protect themselves. Once they see the truth of a situation they’ll feel called to do what is right.
The fixed air sign is Aquarius. “I know.” Ruled by Saturn, Aquarius wants to expand their knowledge and come up with new solutions that serve their community. They can feel like they are outside of society or detached from others but also care deeply about the world around them. Going within and seeking fewer outside opinions is part of their process, and they really value things that will support them in reaching the truth or ultimate knowledge. A deep healing process helps them integrate their wisdom so that it can be shared with others
The cardinal water sign is Cancer. “I feel.” Ruled by the Moon, Cancer has an active, nurturing quality. As a water sign, Cancer is like the tides of the ocean. It is consistent, but also ebbs and flows. Their cardinal nature makes them goal-oriented, especially as the seek security and comfort. They are prone to seeking validation and acknowledgement, and typically need to detach their protective shells from time to time in order to grow into new things. Following their heart makes them vulnerable but they know that expressing your raw, emotional truth is the only way to create a life where your inner and outer worlds are aligned.
The fixed water sign is Scorpio. “I create.” Ruled by Mars, Scorpio is driven by a deep need for depth in some or all aspects of their lives. As a fixed sign, they are devoted and able to stand with others through very difficult experiences. There might be more going on than other people know about, depending on how private the Scorpio is. Trust is something that you earn and if you are in the inner circle of a Scorpio then you know that it was a hard battle fought. There is a tendency to love things that are ancient or ancestral.
The mutable water sign is Pisces. “I believe.” Ruled by Jupiter, Pisces seeks growth and expansion in their life. Boundaries are something that they are learning about. They are changing, moving water. They are the end of the ocean. They can be optimistic, especially when they feel connected to the truth of who they are and secure in themselves. What they believe in is built on their many experiences, their dreams, their failures, and all of their wisdom needs to be honored. Inner strength is required to build a foundation from within themselves, which helps them meet limitations with grace.
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