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The Quality of Your Zodiac Element

Keen Category: Astrology Advice

Four quadrants, one of the sky, one of a fire, one of a pool of water, one of dry earth

Every zodiac sign has an element attached to it. Your sign is one of these: Fire, Earth, Air or Water. But the quality of that element changes as the signs change. There are three qualities in the zodiac: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. Only one of them applies to your sign's element and this combination is the essence of your zodiac sign, giving a great personality description about the fundamentals at the core of your being.

The Three Qualities

  • Cardinal Quality
    Cardinal signs like to start things. They are first, often by accident, but also by design. They tread off the beaten path and make it a new highway. Cardinal individuals may get lost as they go off on their own, but the discoveries they make benefit everyone. These are the trailblazers and the visionaries, but they don't necessarily stick around to enjoy what has been established.

  • Fixed Quality
    Fixed signs are steady. They learn how to do something and stick with it. They take orders well and delegate along a systematic line. Leadership is their specialty when the rules are known. A person born under a fixed sign may strike others as rigid, but sticking with what is known and making discoveries by following a method is safe and guarantees that what is learned is certain.

  • Mutable Quality
    Mutable signs are always changing. They have an experimental nature that plays with the information codified by the Fixed signs and brings along the improvisational zeal of a Cardinal sign. Always free to try new things, they are dogged by inconsistencies that are part of their free-form nature. Putting it all together, they soar with masterpieces of creativity. Pulling it all apart, and they swoon with confusion.

Element Qualities of Each Zodiac Sign

Each sign of the zodiac has a unique combination of one quality and one element – no two signs carry the same two of these together. Read below to see what your sign promises to deliver at the core of your personality on the drive toward understanding yourself.

Aries March 21 – April 19

This Cardinal Fire sign is known as "The Spark" – it uses the Cardinal quality of starting new things and the Fire element of spreading energy quite fast. This might be perceived as an avoidant personality, always off to new things.

Taurus April 20 – May 20

This Fixed Earth Sign is known as "The Stone" – it relies on the Fixed quality of stability and the Earth element's natural pragmatism to stay consistent. Some might even call this stubborn.

Gemini May 21 – June 21

This Mutable Air sign is known as "The Cool Breeze" – it embodies the Mutable quality inherent in a refreshing shift of consciousness. This burst of insight is the core nature of the Air element. Some might consider this a personality that is a lot of flash and no substance.

Cancer June 22 – July 22

This Cardinal Water sign is known as "The Rain" – it manifests the Cardinal quality's invigorating nature with the nurturing possibilities inherent in Water signs. Others could consider the drenching of an otherwise good day to be more like it.

Leo July 23 – August 22

This Fixed Fire sign is known as "The Bonfire" – the Fixed quality's stationary nature enlightens all those that gather around the warmth of its Fire element. A difference of opinion with a Leo could lead one to believe that the lion never wants to leave its throne.

Virgo August 23 – September 22

This Mutable Earth sign is often referred to as "The Landslide" – the Mutable quality's nature of change and motion make a real impact in the Earth element's material world. Another viewpoint could see this as a capitulation to the elements.

Libra September 23 – October 22

This Cardinal Air sign is best described as "Exhaling" – the Cardinal quality of putting new energy out into the world combines with the Air element's nature of shared consciousness. Others might insist that it is all talk and no action.

Scorpio October 23 – November 21

This Fixed Water sign can only be thought of as "Ice" – The Fixed quality of a certain position is manifested by the solid nature of the Water element. Others will, of course, point out that this very consistency can be … oh, so cold.

Sagittarius November 22 – December 21

This Mutable Fire sign is understandably referred to as "The Wildfire" – the Mutable quality of raging unhindered energy manifests in the Fire element as a sudden engulfing sensation. Others might note that the unbridled energy of the wildfire burns itself out.

Capricorn December 22 – January 19

This Cardinal Earth sign is commonly called "The Meteor" – the Cardinal nature of flying independently into new worlds manifested in the Earth element's solid, absolute nature. It could be pointed out that many look at a meteor and say, "You're not from around here, are you?"…

Aquarius January 20 – February 18

This Fixed Air sign is referred to as "The Deep Breath" – The Fixed quality holds in that which the air element has shared with the people. The Aquarian nature for knowing what the masses want is often derived from being among, but not of them.

Pisces February 19 – March 20

This Mutable Water sign is best described as "The Flood" – The Mutable quality manifests as reaching everywhere without regard to convention. The Water element leaves its mark here long after it appears to have receded. Some people might call this behavior mass codependency, but some floods do have a nourishing nature amidst the chaos.

Interactions Between Element Qualities

Shared Elements are what attract us to others, but shared qualities have a friction and tension that make animosity a likely outcome. If you are in a relationship with someone whose zodiac sign carries the same quality as yours, you might share some similar attributes that actually upset you. The tension between signs of the same quality is a natural manifestation of seeing what we don't like about ourselves embodied in someone else.

  • Cardinal Sign Tension
    If you were born under a Cardinal sign, you might notice that others who share this sign's quality will challenge your originality and question the premise of why you are doing what you are doing.

  • Fixed Sign Tension
    Two Fixed signs will inevitably butt heads over protocol, regulations and other ways of doing things that might be open to interpretation. The danger is when one Fixed sign lets the other feel too in control and applies late pressure to release or share that control. Tension flares indeed.

  • Mutable Sign Tension
    Two people born under mutable signs may work at cross-purposes so independently of each other that they will not realize how sabotaged their efforts are until they see the progress each other has made. There must be a cosmic reason the letter M starts off both the words Mutable and Mess.