Astrology for Beginners: Elements & Qualities

Astrology can be overwhelming for beginners who are trying to organize a mass of information all at once. This is a simple guide to creating a foundation for understanding zodiac signs. The following four facts will be the building blocks of learning about the zodiac.

  • There are twelve signs of the zodiac. They are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
  • There are two ways to organize or understand the signs of the zodiac: by element and by quality.
  • There are four elements of the zodiac: fire, earth, air and water. There are three signs for each of the four elements. All together, they make up the twelve zodiac signs.
  • There are three qualities: cardinal, fixed and mutable. There are four signs for each of the three nodes. All together, they make up the twelve zodiac signs.

Therefore, each sign belongs to a distinct astrologically makeup. Each sign belongs to a specific node within an element.

Aries is the cardinal fire sign. Taurus is the fixed earth sign. Gemini is the mutable air sign. Cancer is the cardinal water sign.

Leo is the fixed fire sign. Virgo is the mutable earth sign. Libra is the cardinal air sign. Scorpio is the fixed water sign.

Sagittarius is the mutable fire sign. Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign. Aquarius is the fixed air sign. Pisces is the mutable water sign.

Notice that there are two repeating patterns on the astrological wheel, which begins with Aries and ends with Pisces. There is a pattern of nodes: Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable, Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable…etc. Notice, there is also a pattern of elements: Fire, Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Earth, Air, Water…etc.

The distinct astrological makeup of each sign gives each zodiac different strengths, weaknesses, personality characteristics and character predispositions.

Elements Describe the Characteristics of Four Basic Types of Zodiac Signs

Fire signs are energetic, inspirational, enthusiastic, spontaneous and creative. Like the element fire, they often transform situations with their optimism.

Earth signs are practical, stable, conventional and dependable. Like the Earth, they are well-grounded and quite sensical.

Air signs are communicative, social, curious and intellectual. As with the element air, air signs’ lofty nature allows them to have dynamic and analytical natures.

Water signs are sensitive, nurturing, sensual and have strong instinctual feelings. Like water, they absorb their surroundings and are often tuned in a situation with an unmatched insight.

Qualities Describe How the Sign Tends to Act

Cardinal signs are initiators. They take charge and are always starting new projects. They are the doers and inventors of the zodiac.

Fixed signs are stabilizers. They build on what has been done before and are typically unchanging. They bring continuation to the zodiac, and often work in managerial positions.

Mutable signs are transformers. They are communicators and open (and usually quite interested) in changing. They are the chameleons and rebels of the zodiac.

Having identified and described elements and qualities, each sign can now determine their basic characteristics according to traditional astrological study. It is always advisable for those interested in astrology to have a natal chart made to better understand the influences of their chart.

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