What Are Cardinal, Fixed And Mutable Signs in Astrology?

Find out more about Cardinal, Fixed And Mutable Signs!
By Steph

Published: Sep 03, 2021

Everything you need to know about Cardinal, Fixed And Mutable Signs

Understanding modes in Astrology can provide a new depth to the knowledge we already have of astrology. Each mode represents different characteristics and styles of behavior in the signs it embraces. Four of the signs sit in each modality. 

Cardinal signs have infectious personalities and live for thrills
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Cardinal Signs

People with this placement can be seen as more intense individuals, very active, and forward-thinking. 

  • Aries' placement makes them unpredictable, given they are also a fire sign. Combining the bold pattern of fire signs with the charisma of an active cardinal placement, they can be hard to handle but are naturally the best of sidekicks in both celebration and crisis. 
  • Cancer uses its mode to draw others towards intimacy, whether that be with others or themselves. People tend to gravitate towards the Cancer spirit for this reason: there is something infectious and inspirational about their emphasis on relationships. 
  • Libra's primary trait is sociability — they enjoy any event, which means they can interact with new people, introducing their friends to one another. They prefer to do these things on their own terms, shying away if they haven't instigated a situation. This is key to the Libra outlook. 
  • Capricorn is less energetic in outlook than other cardinal placements but, in being so forward-thinking, might come across as more organized and controlled. There is a maturity to the Capricorn approach, a reticence that other signs of this mode have struggled at times to find. 
Fixed signs are relaxed people who love nature and the world around them
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Fixed Signs

Comparatively, these signs have more reservation, take life at a slower pace, and think a lot about their actions.

  • As a fixed earth sign, Taurus manifests as a homebody, someone who is entirely devoted to the comfort of their own pace of life. They are interested in the simple things of life, but they wish to experience it on their own terms. 
  • Leo manifests in such typical traits of this mode as loyalty, generosity, and at times dominance and judgment. Maintaining a positive outlook is key to Leo's harnessing their modality for good. 
  • Scorpio has a reputation for being the harshest, most intense water sign. This is likely because of their fixed modality, which provides depth to their highly emotive, devoted character. 
  • Aquarius is a very stable air sign, never taking things too deeply and having overwhelming level-headedness. Others can struggle to relate to the Water Bearer sign for this reason; their rigidity and rationality are surprising. 
Mutable signs can adapt to all sorts of lifestyle, whether it is a quiet wintry village or a bustling city
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Mutable signs

Mutable people are a more intuitive sort, adaptable but mostly focussed inwards in their day to day lives. 

  • Gemini's mode, paired with the sign's emphasis on thinking and communication, means it is thoughtful yet understated. Often, Geminis are severely preoccupied and have a daze-like quality about them. 
  • Virgo is the primary thinker of the Mutable signs, intuition often manifesting itself into academic curiosity and practical pursuits. This makes them not only helpful but engaging to be around, despite often enjoying their own company.
  • Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign, has a paradoxical veneer. They are brazen yet selective in self-expression, perhaps one of the most nuanced and complicated signs in the zodiac. Combining self-assurance with restraint means Sagittarius can make great speakers and teachers. 
  • Pisces is so highly mutable that they can adapt to almost any situation placed upon them. They have a large number of transferable skills. 
Finding out modal compatibility can help make sense of your personal relationships
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Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable signs compatibility

  • As a rule, people who share a modality will understand each other's mindset, which doesn't necessarily guarantee a strong connection, but it certainly helps!
  • Cardinal signs are rather go-with-the-flow, meaning they have a spontaneity and joy that is infectious, but their free-loving nature might be too crazy for other signs who value steadiness and peace.
  • Alternatively, fixed signs are great partners because of their reliability and understanding, but for cardinal signs, this may not engage them enough, and mutable signs might find the regimented nature of a fixed sign quite intense.
  • Mutable signs have a relaxed quality which others certainly gravitate to, but ultimately, cardinal signs might find themselves craving something more dramatic, while fixed signs require more outward and responsive people in friendships and relationships.

While this might sound scary, it's important to remember that anybody is made up of many placements astrologically, and no one sign is a deal-breaker. These tips may indicate more about the approach signs have to relationships, but it is by no means one-size-fits-all. 

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