Each of the Zodiac signs have a mode of behaviour; Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable.
Cardinal energy is based in survival. It is a driving force that asserts energy to achieve its goal, with an underlying fear of failure. It is active, sets things in motion, has initiative, leads others, is restless.
Fixed signs are the cornerstones of support in society. They represent humanity’s transition from hunter gatherer to farming, agriculture, and building civilisation as we know it. It is the wisdom & resources we find with stillness and steadiness. It is everything that is required for civilisation to become. It is what we unconsciously rely on daily for life to be functioning at a regular, reliable rhythm.
Mutable signs are all about information gathering and processing. The element is going to point out what you do with it. Mutable energy is adaptable. Changeable. It can shape shift. It can leave a problem and leave a problem and leave a problem and then solve it creatively, instantaneously. It’s malleable, fusing to its environment and learns by adapting.
The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn
Aries is the hunter; always on the chase, always striving forward. It is the survival of the I. Aries has the bad wrap of being labelled selfish due to its innate need to be driven independently of anyone else, or anyone else’s needs. There is an underlying survival fear that if it doesn’t reach its goal, it may not survive. Being a fire sign, it needs inspiration and spark and has a lot of energy. It needs a challenge and to be on the go.
Libra is the opposite sign to Aries. Its survival instinct is based in maintaining rapport with others. We need each other to survive. Together we are are stronger. At its core, Libra does not want to rock the boat, because rocking the boat means destabilisation. Libra is always seeking balance of the scales, but as we cannot control others or the influx of feelings and emotions, the scales are constantly being tipped in one direction to the other. Being an air sign, Libra loooooves to talk about all the ways and all the ideas and think of all the ways we could have harmony…but the deep fear of disharmony creates challenge in Libra.
Cancer is the home maker. If Aries is out hunting for our food, and Libra is making sure we’re all together and getting along, then Cancer offers us safe space to be, to sleep, to heal and be nurtured, knowing who we are and where we come from. Destabilise Cancer’s foundations and home base and you will see the cardinal energy of Cancer come out. Cancer is both maternalistic and paternalistic, protective of the group and offering nourishment to sustain us all. As a water sign, Cancer will act when it feels right, it will empathise, be intuitive to your needs and will be at the whim of the changing tides of the Moon.
Capricorn is on a mission. Before it even sets out it can see the finish line. In this, Capricorn holds wisdom. It knows. It can see, and because of this it has a plan. Capricorn holds the torch of wisdom for us to follow. As an earth sign it understands rhythms and cycles. It has the staying power to weather a storm, or two. Always having the end in sight, Capricorn is driven to succeed, but as much as it can see the goal, it knows that it could slip down that very steep cliff of fear that would set it back enormously. Ruled by Saturn, Capricorn sets out with caution, a firm sense of responsibility and the readiness for steep learning curves.
The Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius
Taurus represents the building blocks of society, the foundation stones that we can all build upon. In having such a secure base, we can flourish. We can build a home, we can multiply, we can have safe haven & a place to cook & eat. When we feel safe and secure, we feel we can do anything. Taurus nourishes from the ground up. We need these things to be unchanging so we can rely on them, and Taurus is the steadiest of them all. Fixed Earth means that there is an emphasis on physical pleasures, sensuality, practicality, rhythms and cycles and an understanding of the material world. Venus is on her throne in Taurus, ruling without obstruction. There is an ease and belonging with this placement and appreciation stemming from of all the senses.
Scorpio represents the emotional bonds we make with others for better or for worse. When we form an emotional connection with someone, there is an immediate dynamic. By forming a connection with someone more powerful than us, we are “holding the tail of a tiger.” By aligning with something more powerful than us, we are closer to benefiting from them. In so doing, it’s neither safe to hold on, nor let go, and hence we meet Scorpio’s dance with the threshold between life and death. The intensity and power with which Scorpio lives everyday is a constant culmination of the deepest depths and blinding, illumination.
As an air sign, Aquarius is all about communication and ideas. We need Aquarius to log all of our information, to not waver in its opinion and to have concrete views that can be materialised. Aquarius is the Greenpeace activist out in a boat stopping a whaling ship; its conviction is so strong that it will put its life on the line for its ideals and beliefs. Aquarius is up on all of the social gatherings, knowing who’s dating who & what’s happening where and when, and once upon a time would have represented the person in our community who recorded all the births, deaths and marriages. Aquarius sees and understands the connections between us all and functions with the underlying understanding that a rising tide lifts all boats.
The warm steady fire of Leo represents the divinity of humanity; the fire that never goes out. It’s the sacred hearth fire. Leo knows what it is to warm you with its power & love. It is not the red~hot, impulsive fire of Aries, or the fire of familiarity that warms when you’re in a foreign place of Sagittarius, it’s the fire in the self that has a knowing and longevity. Leo’s quest is to come back home. It needs to leave the nest and experience the accolades for how great it truly is, but it can not find the validation it’s looking for until it sincerely offers it to itself. Leo is ruled by the Sun, which all of the planets revolve around. It has a generous, gravitational pull that is warming to everyone in its orbit. It’s the outward, individual journey that shines light inside.
The Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces
Gemini is curious. Information gathering is its jam. Being represented by the Twins, Gemini has one twin conversing with the Gods, while one is laden with the task of dealing with the daily realities of this earthly existence. They switch. They change. And at the threshold of interchange they pass messages to each other. The landing back in this mundane world can be a hard landing, often triggering a quiet, internal process. But Gemini is rarely still, both physically and mentally. It is the butterfly, always ready to be stimulated and ready for change and variety. Being an air sign, ruled by Mercury, the mental processes of Mercury can fire in many directions at once and will still be ready to go when no one else is around to listen!
Sagittarius, represented by the Centaur, is half human, half horse; it has its head in the clouds and feet on the ground. It needs to dream, but it needs its dreams planted firmly in reality ~ often via adventures that spark their curiosity and thirst for information. Sagittarius loves travel of the physical and/or mental variety; whatever expands its world view and teaches it something new about that which is foreign. Being a Centaur armed with a bow & arrow, Sagittarius looks out to the distant horizon and shoots its arrows of truth in search of knowledge and a good time! Arriving at that particular arrow is not always the destiny of Sagittarius, as it is prone to being distracted by something else that catches their interest and sparks their enthusiasm.
It can be hard to think about earth in a mutable sense, because the thought of the Earth actually moving is not something that most of us want to experience. Virgo, however, has the innate ability to hold many realities at once, to discern what is of value and what will harm, and to make something with what is left. Also ruled by Mercury, the researcher of the zodiac is no stranger to an insatiable busy brain and the deep rabbit hole of analysis of detail. Virgo understands the rhythms and cycles of the body and the benefits of repetition and routine.
Pisces is symbolised by two fish swimming in opposite directions, connected by a never ending tether of consciousness. Pisces fuses into its environment because there is no boundary between it and others. ‘If you’re feeling something and I can feel it, then it’s also mine, and I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.’ Just like that Walrus! Pisces contains the all; the mundane reality, the highs of consciousness, the depths of depression and all the places above, below and in-between. Being a water sign, Pisces feels its information, and it brings us messages from the other worlds back into this one.