What’s Your Quality: Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable?

“Remember, Elements describe the general temperament of your personality. Qualities describe the general modus operandi of your personality…”

Did you realize there is more to an astrological profile than the Star Sign (aka Sun Sign, Birth Sign) you were born under? In fact, your astrological profile is a complex and multi-layered, making you unique. In basic terms, it involves a Sun, Moon and Ascendant Star Sign, with each equally important. Then you have your planets, each with an astrological sign. Plus, all of these signs have characteristics assigned to what are called Elements (see our post, What’s Your Element…) and Qualities. We have written about the Elements, but here we want to give an overview of the Qualities. Remember, Elements describe the general temperament of your personality. Qualities describe the general modus operandi of your personality: There are three Qualities in total (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) with four signs assigned to each.

Cardinal is the Quality for the Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn astrological signs. Cardinal signs represent the cardinal points on a compass, with Aries representing East, Libra/West, Cancer/North and Capricorn/South.  Note, that on a birth chart,  the “compass” points are opposite of what we normally consider north, east, west, south directionally). This Quality and its associated Signs  corresponds with the Natural Houses, which are angular (remember from our Basic Architecture of a Birth Chart post that there are 12 Houses), of the Zodiac Wheel:  Aries in the 1st House of You; Cancer in the 4th House of Home, Libra in 7th House of One-on-One Relationships and Capricorn in 10th House of Career. They also herald the beginning/end of each of the four seasons…making way for change, new life, possibility. Generally, folks with Cardinal quality are self-starters, leaders, and dynamic. if they’re not careful, they can run roughshod over others.

Fixed is the Quality assigned to Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. These folks tend to be very stable with depth of purpose, but sometimes they can lose sight of flexibility in situations that actually warrant (and succeed with) a change of opinion or approach. This Quality represents the “middle” of each season, or the “stable” part or the status quo/routine of a season. If you change the routine for some of these folks, they can dig in their heels like no other! The best thing is to ease them into a change, or make it seem like their own idea! That said, you’d want these folks on your side in any battle. They can be stalwart champions.

Mutable is the Quality assigned to Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. Mutable signs change “with the wind,” able to adjust to whatever the demands are of the moment.  They also can take on characteristics of the other two Qualities, making them highly adaptable to situations. Because of this adaptability, they often can offer the remedy that is called for in a particular situation. On the job they can be excellent managers. This Quality corresponds with the end/beginning of each a season, a time of transition and acceptance that it’s time to move on to what’s next.

To determine what your personality’s Quality actually is not just about your Sun Sign (Birth Sign) is. A birth chart analyses should take into account the Qualities of your Sun, Moon, Ascendant and planets, and then tally them in total (For more on what makes up a birth chart, read Basic Architecture of Birth Chart). You could have a Cardinal Sun but Mutable Moon and Ascendant, and planets having all three Qualities. In that case, with your Moon and Ascendant and several planets of Mutable Quality, it’s likely you’d exhibit more Mutable Quality characteristics that that of the Element of your Sun Sign, Cardinal. So you see,  there is much more to your Star Sign—and you’re a complex and unique individual, maybe similar to others in some ways, but truly with your own birth personality.

Shown: Seasons /Annual rings by Meinolf Wewel