Astrology Essentials

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The Modalities

The three modalities in astrology (aka
, as there are four zodiac signs in each group) are cardinal signs, fixed signs, and mutable signs. These classifications represent the unique ways each group of signs expresses their energy, reacts to different circumstances, and operates in the world as they move through life.They describe the mode in which these signs do things and the general methods they use in their approach.
Modalities are not to be confused with (which are fire, earth, air, and water), although these are both classifications used to categorize the 12 signs. Elements represent certain qualities and motivations attributed to a group of zodiac signs, while modalities represent the manner in which those particular qualities are expressed. That said, each modality contains one sign from each of the four elements and each element contains one sign from each modality — meaning that the energy is evenly distributed across both systems.

All fire zodiac signs are known for being passionate and action-oriented, but they'll each express that vibe differently based on their modality — that’s why cardinal sign Aries’ strengths include being a motivated self-starter, while fixed sign Leo’s strengths are in channeling its passion into hard work and loyalty. mutable sign Sagittarius, on the other hand, is more go-with-the-flow.

visionary initiates acts gets things moving
stable laser-focused stubborn hardworking
adaptable flexible hard to pin down go with the flow
Aries ♈
Cancer ♋
Libra ♎
Capricorn ♑
gets things moving

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