Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Qualities

The Qualities

The three Qualities defined in Astrology are, after the Elements, the second major classification that defines the nature of the Signs. The Qualities assign the Signs into Quadruplicities, groups of four Signs each that reflect the three common modes of Signs.

Signs that are 90 degrees apart or opposite each other -- 180 degrees, also known as Signs in Polarity -- have the same Quality. The Signs that belong to the same Quality generally do not function smoothly together, despite their likeness -- or perhaps because of them. They are often uneasy with one another, but those in polarity complement each other, even though tension sometimes exists between them.

Within an astrological chart, the Quality describes a person's attitudes in life and the way they approach projects. The three Qualities are Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable.

The Cardinal Signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These four Signs are the initiators of the Zodiac. Their common characteristics include action and drive; they have initiative and strong motivation. On a team, Cardinal Signs are the people who come up with ideas and get the project moving, but they are not very good at completion and follow-through. The Cardinal Houses are the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth; if a chart has a number of Planets in these Houses, the chart is weighted toward Cardinal energy.

The Fixed Signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. These four Signs are the members of the Zodiac who dedicate themselves to seeing projects through to completion. Their common characteristics include determination and persistence; they are stable and self-reliant. On a team, Fixed Signs are the people who keep a project going and see it through to the end, but they can also be stubborn and inflexible. The Fixed Houses are Second, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh; if a chart has a number of Planets in these Houses, the chart is weighted toward Fixed energy.

The Mutable Signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. These four Signs are the flexible members of the Zodiac, happy to fill an assigned role. Their common characteristics include adaptability and changeability; they are flexible and versatile. On a team, Mutable Signs adapt easily to changing conditions, and they don't have a particular agenda. They can, however, be wishy-washy or inconsistent. The Mutable Houses are Third, Sixth, Ninth and Twelfth; if a chart has a number of Planets in these Houses, the chart is weighted toward Mutable energy.

Many people don't realize how important the Elements and Qualities are in true Astrology. It's the combination of Elements and Qualities that makes the Signs what they are; they combine in twelve distinct ways, one for each Sign.

Sign Quality Element
Aries Cardinal Fire
Taurus Fixed Earth
Gemini Mutable Air
Cancer Cardinal Water
Leo Fixed Fire
Virgo Mutable Earth
Libra Cardinal Air
Scorpio Fixed Water
Sagittarius Mutable Fire
Capricorn Cardinal Earth
Aquarius Fixed Air
Pisces Mutable Water

Learning the Elements and Qualities can help you a great deal when you read a chart. In fact, the Elements and Qualities form the basis of chart reading, enabling you to understand what motivates a person. Together, they are a quick reference for Astrology.


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