Elements - Modalities - Astrological Signs
and what they all mean.

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Ask most people and they can tell you what sign they are. Lots of us read our daily horoscope in the papers, and are sometimes amazed at how accurate it is. As you may have noticed, the horoscopes that are available through the papers and various astrology magazines are a real hit-or-miss affair. This is because they are not based upon your own birth information.

Astrology is an ancient science, and ruins of astronomical observatories can be found all over the world, as a testimony to the importance that it held as part of most cultures. Indian, and other tribal peoples erected these structures at a time when they had no access to the construction tools of today. Even so, they continue to demonstrate an uncanny accuracy in predicting the changing of the solstices and identifying planetary positions. The ancient Egyptians constructed the Great Pyramid, and the surrounding pyramids to mirror the constellation Orion, where they believed their Kings went, to become a star in the Heavens, when they died.

Astrology has been used for guidance and counseling for many millennia. As we know that the Moon effects the tides and our emotions, it would stand to reason that other heavenly bodies could exert an influence on us, and may shape us and the expression of our personalities. Astrology has much to offer, and can lead to a clearer understanding of the patterns in our lives, and the best ways to make a contribution in the world.

Astrological counseling can be very helpful for determining the best times to start a business, take a trip, make an investment and, of course, in helping to understand one's personality, compatibility with a partner, determining one's life purpose, and even understanding where one may have been during past-life experiences. So shall we see what all the talk is about.

Signs do not change what a planet represents or how it functions. But rather, they act as filters, and help to show the motivation of the planet. The twelve signs of the zodiac each have an element and a modality associated with them. The four elements, Fire, Earth, Air and Water describe the nature of the sign. The three modalities, Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable describe how that nature will be expressed by a planet in the sign.  Below you will find some explanations as to how they all relate and tie together, we hope this helps.



The Fire signs are ,Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. The element of Fire represents life, will, and spirit. Fire is outgoing, energizing and transforming. Fire is the most self motivated of the elements, and Fire signs tend to be the most action oriented. Fire signs are the most comfortable with emotions such as anger, joy, enthusiasm and humor, and have difficulty with more subtle and receptive emotions. Fire signs are concerned with identity.


The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. The element of earth represents substance and physical form. Earth does not move; it stays in one place. Earth is practical, substantial and material, and is concerned with matter and our need to deal with it. Earth is passive and receptive: it must be acted on and formed by external energies. Earth is the most stable of the elements. Earth signs are concerned with the physical, the material and with issues of worth and value.

AirThe Air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. The element of Air represents the mental and social functions. While Fire rises, air moves horizontally, connecting things that it touches. Air adapts, transforms, reforms and changes, and expresses itself by engaging in social interaction. Air desires perspective rather than intensity, and dislikes strong emotions. Air seeks to cover as much ground as possible and to get an idea or concept of the whole.


The Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The element of water represents the emotional, spiritual and soul functions. Water is maternal and feminine, and it sinks and penetrates. Water is non-linear, non-rational and non-discriminating. Water only understands feelings and emotions, and may have difficulty communicating with words. Just as water will continue to flow unless closely contained, water signs tend to have difficulty with boundaries. 




The Cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn correspond to the beginning of the seasons Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Cardinal signs are therefore strong initiators - they begin things, they start the ball rolling. Whatever the element, when a planet is in a cardinal sign, it is motivated to start something. Cardinal signs, and planets in Cardinal signs are always concerned with the question of identity.


When the Sun enters the Fixed signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, the seasons are well under way. Fixed signs tend to stabilize and give form to what the Cardinal signs started. (Cardinal signs are great at starting things, but generally have trouble with seeing anything to completion.) Fixed signs are about putting down roots and settling in. Planets in fixed signs will gain strength and determination, but they will also lose quite a lot of flexibility. Fixed signs don't generally like to change unless the change was their idea. Fixed signs, and planets in fixed signs are concerned with the question of self-worth.


The Mutable signs, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces correspond to the times when one season is giving way to another. Mutable signs are the most flexible, the most changeable. Mutable signs are concerned with finishing up what has been started, by the Cardinal signs, and stabilized by the Fixed signs, to get ready for the next cycle. Planets in Mutable signs will become more adaptable, but may also lose some direction. Mutable signs, and planets in mutable signs are concerned with the question of completion.


The Signs


Aries is a Cardinal Fire sign, and is therefore, the sign that is the most concerned with starting things. Aries represents the first stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac: birth. Keywords for Aries are "I AM" and Aries planets typically like to shout them from the top of a mountain. Unfortunately, Aries planets are also likely to shout them in a library. Aries planets have to learn to take other people into account! Planets in Aries gain a tremendous amount of initiative, but must be careful not to burn out too quickly. Aries planets are motivated to form and express an identity, Aries is ruled by the planet Mars.  For more information on (Mars) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.


Taurus is a Fixed Earth sign; in other words, Taurus planets tend to act as if they were set in stone. Taurus is the second stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac, and begins to stabilize the new identity created in Aries by identifying with the material world. Keywords for Taurus are "I HAVE." Taurus planets become very stable, and very sensory oriented. Taurus likes comfort, and once a Taurus planet gets comfortable, they are not likely to move. Planets in Taurus are motivated to create and manifest things of value and beauty. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus, which accounts for Taurus' love of beauty. For more information on (Venus) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website. 



Gemini is a Mutable Air sign and is by far the most mobile of any of the signs. Gemini is the third stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac, where we begin to explore our immediate environment and make sense of it. Keywords for Gemini are "I THINK." Planets in Gemini become more social and tend to move more quickly. Gemini is never happy staying in one place, and always wants to learn and to explore. Gemini planets know that there is always more than one way of looking at the world, and they want to find it. Planets in Gemini are motivated to connect the higher and lower mind, to understand and explain reality, and to recognize and blend opposites. Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury, which also rules our communication and reasoning functions. For more information on ( Mercury) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.


Cancer is a Cardinal Water sign, and is the fourth stage of the evolutionary process of the zodiac. Cancer initiates (Cardinal) emotions (Water) and is the sign where a planet recognizes emotional needs and seeks to find ways to meet them. Keywords for Cancer are "I FEEL". Planets in Cancer become more nurturing, more receptive, and more emotional. Cancer Planets are motivated to sustain themselves, to survive, and to identify and find a connection with the source, either indirectly, through family, or directly, through spirit. Cancer is ruled by the Moon. For more information on the (Moon) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.



Leo is a Fixed Fire sign. Like all Fire signs, Leo is concerned with expressing identity. Being a fixed sign, Leo is pretty sure that it knows who it is, and now it wants to be able to show other people and gain approval for it. Planets in Leo become more creative, warm, generous, and outgoing, as long as other people appreciate them for it, that is! Keywords for Leo are "I WILL." Leo planets are motivated to shine, to express their truest essence, and to gain approval from others for doing this. Leo is ruled by the star of the solar system (no pun intended), the Sun. For more information on the (Sun) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.


Virgo is a Mutable Earth sign. As a Mutable sign, Virgo is concerned with completion and adaptation; as an Earth sign, Virgo operates on the physical and material plane. Virgo represents the sixth stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac. Where Leo seeks to have its needs met by others by being special, Virgo seeks to be accepted by working to improve things for everyone. Keywords for Virgo are "I ANALYZE." Planets in Virgo become more precise, more service oriented, and more critical. Virgo is ruled by Mercury. For more information on (Mercury) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.



Libra is a Cardinal Air sign. As the seventh stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac, Libra is the first sign that projects itself over the horizon, and the first sign in our development where we can recognize another individual on a one-to-one basis. Being Cardinal and initiating, and Air and social, Libra is motivated to initiate one-to-one relationships. Keywords for Libra are "I BALANCE" and Libra planets are also motivated by harmony and balance. Libra is also ruled by the planet Venus. For more information on (Venus) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.


Scorpio is a Fixed Water sign; in other words, ice. Actually, Scorpio is more like an iceberg, because planets in Scorpio may not show much on the surface, but there is a lot more going on down below! Scorpio experiences emotions at a deeper level than any other sign. Scorpio is the eighth stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac, and the first time that we can encounter and experience the death of the ego. Keywords for Scorpio are "I DESIRE." Scorpio is about transformation, about death and rebirth. Planets in Scorpio are motivated by all facets of transformation, and planets in Scorpio gain depth and intensity. Scorpio is ruled by the planet Mars. (Modern Astrologers also associate the planet Pluto with Scorpio). For more information on (Mars) and (Pluto) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.



Sagittarius is a Mutable Fire sign, and is concerned with exploring, and with all forms of growth that can help to adjust, and complete (mutable) a sense of identity (fire). Sagittarius is the ninth stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac, and it is the point were we seek to understand our place in the universe. Planets in Sagittarius are motivated to express personal freedom within the confines of human and universal law, and to be honest and seek the truth at all cost. Keywords for Sagittarius are "I UNDERSTAND." Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter.  For more information on (Jupiter) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.


Capricorn is a Cardinal Earth sign. Capricorn is motivated to initiate and manifest a tangible expression of identity, and to create and enhance the security and integrity of the group. Capricorn motivates planets to create and maintain structure, both physical, and social. As the tenth stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac, Capricorn is concerned with implementing the laws and truths of the universe discovered in Sagittarius, in society. Planets in Capricorn become more practical and methodical, but also very motivated to manifest something tangible. Keywords for Capricorn are "I USE." Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn. For more information on (Saturn) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.



Aquarius is a Fixed Air sign. Representing the eleventh stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac, Aquarius builds on the laws and structure formed in Capricorn and seeks to create an ideal (or idealized) society. Planets in Aquarius are motivated by what is best for the group, at least in their opinion. Aquarian planets will not hesitate to try and change things that they feel no longer serve the best interest of the group that they identify with. Keywords for Aquarius are "I KNOW." Planets in Aquarius become more humane, more humanitarian , more detached and more fair minded. Aquarius is ruled by the planet Saturn. (Modern astrologers also assign the planet Uranus to Aquarius.)  For more information on (Saturn) and (Uranus) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.


Pisces is a Mutable Water sign, and the twelfth and final stage in the evolutionary process of the zodiac. (Pisces represents the completion of one cycle and the preparation to begin the next.) Keywords for Pisces are "I BELIEVE." Planets in Pisces are motivated to lose their sense of self, to transcend the ego and the illusion of separation, and surrender to the greater force of the universe. Pisces tends to make planets more spiritual, more psychic, and more idealistic. Pisces increases the receptivity and empathy of planets, but it also can reduce a planets ability to act directly. Pisces is ruled by the planet Jupiter. (Modern astrologers also assign the planet Neptune to Pisces.)  For more information on (Jupiter) and (Neptune) click here and open a new window to Lady Dancing Elks website.


*Note: A very special thanks to 'Lady Dancing Elk' for the information provided here about Astrological Signs and their meanings. For more information please click (here) to visit her website. 

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