How Modalities in Astrology Define Your Zodiac Sign

The modalities in astrology describe three different ways of taking action or reacting to change. The twelve Zodiac signs are divided into cardinal, fixed, and mutable modes.

What can the modality of your strongest signs say about how you approach change?


  • The 3 modalities represent different approaches to change or taking action.
  • Each of the signs falls into the cardinal, fixed, or mutable mode.
  • Understanding the mode of your strongest signs can help you recognize how you adapt.
a photo of three people and words that read "modes in astrology"

Meaning of Modality In Astrology

The modalities in astrology also called the quadruplicities, describe three distinct qualities of energy that relate to how each zodiac sign adapts to changing circumstances or how they adjust to their environment.

Understanding the modality of your strongest signs can help you gain a better understanding of your ability to adapt and how you take action in life.

Cardinal Mode: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn

The cardinal modality starts things and takes charge.

This mode encompasses the signs that are at the beginning of the season when everything is fresh and new with Aries in spring, Cancer in summer, Libra in Fall, and Capricorn in winter.

Cardinal signs are really good at getting things going, but sometimes they can be impulsive and not think things through all the way. It’s all about that go-go-go energy!

Learn much more about the cardinal mode here.

Fixed Mode: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius

The fixed modality in astrology is all about sustaining and holding ground.

It includes the zodiac signs that land in the long and enduring middle part of each season with Taurus in spring, Leo in summer, Scorpio in fall, and Aquarius in winter.

Fixed signs are known for their dependability and reliability, and they’re great at following through and getting things done, but, they can also be stubborn and resistant to change.

If you want to learn more about the Fixed modality in astrology, check out this article!

Mutable Mode: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces

The mutable modality symbolizes being content with change and adaptability.

These are the signs that come at the end of each season when one is transforming into the next with Gemini in spring, Virgo in summer, Sagittarius in fall, and Pisces in winter.

Mutable signs are flexible and resourceful, as they can easily flow into different circumstances and environments. But struggling with commitment and restlessness may be a struggle.

Click here to learn much more about the mutable modality!

What do fixed, mutable, and cardinal mean in astrology?

In astrology, fixed, mutable, and cardinal are the three modalities, also called the quadruplicities, that represent how a sign takes action or adapts to change. Fixed signs are known for their endurance and steadiness, mutable signs are adaptable and flexible, while cardinal signs initiate and start new things.

What does your modality say about you?

The modality of the strongest signs in your natal chart could show you how you may approach change and adjust to changing circumstances.

How can you tell what modality a sign is?

The cardinal signs are the first sign of each element (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn). Fixed signs are the middle sign of the elements (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), and the last sign of each element is mutable (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces).