Modalities in Astrology


Zodiac signs fall into one of three modalities: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Each modality has certain characteristics in common.

Generally speaking:

  • Cardinal signs initiate action
  • Fixed signs maintain stability
  • Mutable signs are flexible and adaptable

The modalities mirror the seasons of the year.

Cardinal signs start (initiate) each of the four seasons, which begin on an equinox or solstice.

In the Northern hemisphere:

  • Aries – Spring equinox
  • Cancer – Summer solstice
  • Libra – Fall equinox
  • Capricorn – Winter solstice

Fixed signs fall completely within (maintain) their respective seasons.

  • Taurus – Spring
  • Leo – Summer
  • Scorpio – Fall
  • Aquarius – Winter

Mutable signs fall toward the end of a season when the weather is changeable. Examples include snowfall just before the start of  spring or summer-like weather right before autumn.

  • Gemini – spring into summer
  • Virgo – summer into autumn
  • Sagittarius – autumn into winter
  • Pisces – winter into spring

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