About Modes and Qualities – Our Approach to Life

The mode or quality (sometimes called quadruplicity) of a sign describes how someone approaches life and deals with its challenges.

Nobody acts in just one way all of the time, but based on a person’s horoscope a tendency can easily be identified.

According to Jonathan Tenney in The Motherpeace Tarot Playbook a person’s principal mode is usually determined by their sun sign. In most cases the supporting mode is either someone’s Moon sign or their Ascendant especially if the personal planets are in the same mode. In case of the Ascendant determining the supporting mode it also helps if the planet that rules the sign of the Ascendant is in the same mode.

Broadly speaking there are three modes or qualities a person may operate in – Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable mode.

* Cardinal signs tend to face challenges by doing something about them.

* Fixed signs tend to face challenges by remaining strong and perservereing.

* Mutable signs tend to face challenges by circumnavigating them.

Cardinal Mode

Signs that operate in the Cardinal mode are those that start off the seasons, i.e. they are those signs the Sun enters at the equinoxes or solstices. [1]

For that reason they are all about beginnings, initiations and fresh starts.

Someone operating in this mode who is faced with a new situation will do something about it. They will grab the proverbial bull by the horns.

Cardinal signs deal with things in an outward-facing, dynamic way.

Their approach to life is vibrant, spontaneous, impulsive, self-motivated and goal-oriented.

Aries (Sun in 1º at spring equinox)
Nature: Idealist (Fire)
Approach to life: do something about it (Cardinal)

Aries is an idealistic “go-getter”, a pioneer

Cancer (Sun in 1º at summer solstice)
Nature: Empath (Water)
Approach to life: do something about it (Cardinal)

Cancer actively protects all that she loves.

Libra (Sun in 1º at autumn equinox)
Nature: Analyst (Air)
Approach to life: do something about it (Cardinal)

Libra is an engaged diplomat.

Capricorn (Sun in 1º at winter solstice)
Nature: Realist (Earth)
Approach to life: do something about it (Cardinal)

Capricorn is a hard-working organiser.

Fixed Mode

Signs that operate in the Fixed mode are those the Sun enters in the middle of the seasons. The cross-quarter days – Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain – fall at the time when the Sun is in 15º of the respective Fixed signs. [1]

For that reason they are all about maintaining, perservering and remaining steady.

Someone operating in this mode who is faced with a new situation will stay solid and continue as before. Fixed signs are in it for the long haul and continue what Cardinal signs started. They are the ones that say “the show must go on”.

Fixed signs deal with things in an inward-facing, persistent and constant way.

Their approach to life is steady, loyal, determined, intuitive and self-willed.

Taurus (Sun in 15º at Beltane)
Nature: Realist (Earth)
Approach to life: get on with it (Fixed)

Taurus is a steady creatrix.

Leo (Sun in 15º at Lammas)
Nature: Idealist (Fire)
Approach to life: get on with it (Fixed)

Leo is an honest dependable leader.

Scorpio (Sun in 15º at Samhain)
Nature: Empath (Water)
Approach to life: get on with it (Fixed)

Scorpio is about intense emotional strength.

Aquarius (Sun in 15º at Imbolc)
Nature: Analyst (Air)
Approach to life: get on with it (Fixed)

Aquarius is a persistent revolutionist.

Mutable Mode

Signs that operate in the Mutable mode are those the Sun enters at the end of the seasons when its energies are dissolving. [1]

For that reason they are all about change and transition.

Someone operating in this mode who is faced with a new situation will attempt to go around it. Mutable signs are adaptable and elusive. They don’t like conflict and strive to lead a peaceful life.

Mutable signs deal with things in a flexible, easy-going manner.

Their approach to life is fluid, adaptable, elusive and, whenever possible, avoiding of trouble.

Gemini (late spring)
Nature: Analyst (Air)
Approach to life: adapting to life’s circumstances (Mutable)

Gemini is a versatile communicator.

Virgo (late summer)
Nature: Realist (Earth)
Approach to life: adapting to life’s circumstances (Mutable)

Virgo is a versatile professional.

Sagittarius (late autumn)
Nature: Idealist (Fire)
Approach to life: adapting to life’s circumstances (Mutable)

Sagittarius is a freedom-loving adventurer.

Pisces (late winter)
Nature: Empath (Water)
Approach to life: adapting to life’s circumstances (Mutable)

Pisces is an adaptive and elusive empath.

NOTE

[1] According to Geraldine Thorsten in God Herself until the arrival of the patriachs the first sign of the zodiac at the spring equinox was Taurus and the last one just before that date Aries.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Verlene Idemoto
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 13:55:23

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