Elements and Modalities

Zodiac_symbols_painted_Relief_on_the_terrace_of_a_Gopuram_at_KanipakamThe 12 zodiac signs have different qualities. Certain groups of signs share similar qualities. The two most popular methods for sign grouping are elements and modalities. Astrologers like to see which of the groups their natal planets fall in and add them up to produce counts, or totals. It’s fun to tally up your Sun, Moon, and planets and check out your elemental and modality balance. The basic thing to keep in mind while doing this is that we become what we want (or lack) and we do what we can (or have to do). Our highest totals, which show what we can or have to do, are often not held dear. Most people are obsessed by what they lack or want — their lowest totals. They tend to study their wants, imitate, and even fake them. They become or turn towards what they want or lack.
Elements. A very popular grouping of the signs is that of the four elements — fire, earth, air, and water.
Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. People with lots of fire in their chart are very active and involved and “can do” all kinds of things. Those with little fire can’t get started and may need someone to light a fire under them.
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn. People with lots of earth are very practical. They can see how to do and use things. Those with little earth can’t be objective, aren’t grounded or practical.
Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius. People with lots of air are analytical; they are able to resolve and draw conclusions. Those with little air have trouble with abstractions and ideas — getting the “big picture.”
Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. People with lots of water are very feeling and “sense”-ative. Those with little water can’t get a feel for things; they run cool.
Modalities. Another popular way of grouping the zodiac signs is by cardinal, fixed, and mutable.
Cardinal Signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn. People with a heavy emphasis in cardinal signs are self-starters, doers. They initiate and get things moving. Folks with few planets in cardinal signs may have trouble getting the ball rolling.
Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius. People with a heavy emphasis in fixed signs hang onto and preserve life. They are at the center of things and are hard to budge. Folks with few planets in fixed signs may have trouble persevering and lack stick-to-it-ive-ness.
Mutable Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces. People with a heavy emphasis in mutable signs are on the move and transformative. They communicate and assist things to change. Folks with few planets in mutable signs may have trouble adapting or being flexible.