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Unread 11-04-2008, 01:52 PM
Shining Ray Shining Ray is offline
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Classification of Signs

Classification of Signs

Sign Classification:

In astrology each of the 12 zodiac signs can be classified according to it's Element (Fire, Earth, Air and Water) Mode (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) and by it's Gender, (feminine or masculine qualities). The Masculine elements are (Fire & Air) the Feminine elements are (Earth & Water). Within each individual natal chart we contain ALL of the elements and modes. However, some natal charts have an overemphasis in an element/mode or an under-emphasis,or the chart may be considered "well balanced". A good way to start any chart interpretation is to start by counting the chart...

Lets start with the Elements:

Astrology divides up the 12 signs into Four elements - Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Each of the elements contains three signs and they are also referred to as the triplicities. The four elements are known in psychological astrology as the 'four functions' which govern the human psyche. Each element has a specific way of manifesting energy. Four ways of understanding the world, and four ways of perceiving life. The element of Fire is 'intuitive', it symbolizes the initial spark of inspiration, creativity, and future vision. Earth rules the 'senses', and concerns itself with maintaining and organizing the material aspects of life. Air is the 'thinking' element, it can logically analyse information and develop a theoretical understanding. The Water element dominates 'feeling' and is the nurturing and caring component in life, it also refers to the spiritual aspect of life.

The elements in astrology correspond to the basic temperament or the "psychological makeup" of an individual. When a planet is in one of the elements (Fire, Earth, Air, and Water) the planet will express itself through that element. We form ourselves through Earth, and we find our vitality, optimism, and aliveness through Fire. Through Air is how we socialize and 'circulate' and communicate. The emotional and spiritual connection to life is symbolized by Water, and here we can nourish and heal our souls from within. No person is 'wholly' one element we are all a mixture of the different elements. We will view the world from our own unique elemental makeup contained within the natal chart.

The Fire signs

Aries, Leo, Sagittarius: The fire signs respond to life in active, outgoing, confident, spontaneous, energetic, and enthusiastic ways. A joy for life! Fire signs inspire others with their own optimism. Fire is direct, honest, warm, and self interested. the element of Fire is volatile and unpredictable. Fire embodies strength of purpose or meaning in life. Planets placed in fire signs symbolize energy that is incautious and impels the individual to constant movement and action.

The Earth signs

Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn: The Earth signs respond to life in a practical, physical, enduring way, they are concerned with the material aspects of living. Earth signs provide the foundation needed to establish something tangible. Earthy individuals are patient, responsible, and they work hard and plan carefully. Planets placed in earth signs will express themselves in a grounded way. Earth holds firm and gives form to the spirit, it takes no risks and resists change. Earth takes comfort in what is known and dependable.

The Air signs

Gemini, Libra, Aquarius: The air signs respond to life by accumulating information, and appear detached because they are analytical rather than emotional in situations. The air group are intellectually orientated. The Air signs direct by interaction, circulation, socialization. Planets in Air relate intellectually even the Moon (a water planet) in air will talk about emotions rather than actually feeling them. The element of Air represents the universal mind, facts, observations, rationalizing, and making judgements.

The Water signs

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The water signs respond to life in an emotional, sensitive, and instinctive way. Water 'feels' and are oversensitive and overprotective. A planet in water is subdued, the planet becomes more inwardly directed, and is emotional in expression.

Moving on to the Modes

The mode is the signs way of behaving or operating. The term mode originates from the Latin word modus (way of). There are 3 modes in astrology - Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Each Mode has one of the 4 elements (Fire, Earth, Air and water). No element and mode is repeated in the zodiac, there is only one Cardinal fire sign -Aries, one fixed earth sign - Taurus, and one Mutable air sign - Gemini and so on...

The best way to understand Modalities is through understanding the four season's of the year. The four seasons demonstrate the unfolding development of the modes. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. When the Sun enters into a cardinal sign, it initiates the beginning of a season. As the Sun moves into the Fixed signs the season is firmly established,and astro-logically we tend to think of the fixed signs in the zodiac as having a lasting and permanent nature. Finally, as the Sun moves into the Mutable signs it symbolises the seasonal change, and hence it's restless nature.

1. Cardinal signs represent the equinoxes and solstices - the start of the seasons, because they begin when the Sun enters these signs corresponding to the changes of a season.

2. Fixed signs represent the mid season when all is steady and growing.

3. Mutable signs augur endings and preparation for change.

The seasons & the Zodiac


Aries (Cardinal) Spring begins.
Taurus (Fixed) We reach the height of spring, where the energy is most focused, intense and sustained.
Gemini (Mutable) We now reach the transition phase, when the weather is about to change in to Summer. Gemini's mode is Mutable and thus we can understand it's nature more clearly by observing the seasonal changes.


Cancer (Cardinal) Summer begins. The children break up for 6 weeks.
Leo (Fixed) is when the Summer reaches it's height and the weather is very hot.
Virgo (Mutable) the season is beginning to change again, the family is preparing again, children will be back at school, everything needs to be ready. Colleges, University, are preparing for the schools re-opening.


Libra (Cardinal) Autumn begins.
Scorpio (Fixed) Right in the middle of Autumn, the trees are bare, and the leaves are dead. Scorpio brings in the darker nights. The kiddies and adults look forward to Halloween, the witches, ghosts, and goblins can walk the earth with no hassle. The Darker side of life is enjoyed.
Sagittarius (Mutable) Again we are ready to change and here is the month of thanksgiving, and there is an anticipation and restlessness as the winter is coming near... and we are busy preparing for the Christmas period.


Capricorn (Cardinal) Winter begins.
Aquarius (Fixed) Winter is in full force now with rain, and extreme cold.. (the sign of Aquarius is opposite to Leo in the horoscope which is the hottest month!)
Pisces (Mutable) the weather is still cold but we are ready to move into spring, cleansing and cleaning out the closets ready for a new beginning in Aries....and we begin the new cycle all over again.

As you can see through the cycle of the four seasons we can understand why the Modes in astrology describe the signs activity. The season's elemental change reflects the nature of the 12 zodiac signs.

Mode & Personality: The effect of the Modes upon the individual

Cardinal corresponds to the signs Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Traditional astrology also calls them the 'movable signs' because they mark the change of the seasons. The term cardinal is used because of the position of these signs on the angles of the horoscope (1st, 4th, 7th & 10th houses). The Cardinal signs are active and self motivated. Cardinal are also known as self starters, something new always begins in Cardinal and their energy can be described as being initiating and leading.

Fixed signs correspond to Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. The energy of the fixed signs is powerful, willful and determined, inflexible, hard to move. Fixed energy is sustaining. These types tend to be 'immovable' and stay with their decision once made. Fixed signs tend to be dependable and persevering.

Mutable signs relate to Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. Versatility, on the move, restless and adaptable. Mutable energy is 'changeable'. Often these signs can be referred to as the mixed type, meaning it has influence of both Cardinal and Fixed. Mutable types can be more unstable under pressure, but they are mobile and versatile signs.

Yin and Yang

The signs can also be classified using genders.

All the Fire and Air signs are masculine, and all the Earth and Water signs are negative, we have 6 feminine signs and 6 masculine signs representing the polarity of opposites. When we use the term Feminine or Masculine to describe a sign we are simply referring to qualities such as outgoing active (yang) or receptive and receiving (yin). These equate directly with the traditional astrological terms diurnal (of the quality of day) and nocturnal (of the quality of night). Yang means Sun and Light in Mandarin and Yin means Moon and shade. While opposite in meaning the two principles interact and are dependent on the other for existence. This principle of opposites applies throughout cosmic philosophies and is fundamental to the life force of the universe. The signs beginning with Aries alternate from Yang to Yin, adding a further layer of meaning to their differences, the planets are further modified in their expression.

by Hajo Banzhaf - Tarot and the journey of the hero ~ Black and white represents the duality with which our conscious mind perceives reality. Whether the reality actually is like this cannot be said with certainty. We only know that our consciousness is incapable of perceiving anything for which it cannot think of an opposite pole as a reference point. We would not recognize masculine to be masculine if there was no feminine, there would be no relaxation with the tension, without an image of the devil, we could not imagine God to be the sum of everything good; and if there was no death, we would not know that we are alive. In this light life only becomes meaningful.
Yang = These individuals are inspired by future visions and need to actively analyse information and form a theoretical framework for understanding life. The driving Yang principle of outward conscious life.

Yin = Yin qualities are more introverted and receptive and they have a re-active response. They need impulse from the outside before they react, and function by developing their practicality and emotional needs. The unconscious balancing side of Yang the unconscious feminine soul.

Last edited by Shining Ray; 07-25-2009 at 11:00 AM. Reason: My bad writing needs improvement