Breaking Down the Zodiac’s Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable Signs

Are you a cardinal, fixed or mutable sign?

There are twelve signs in the zodiac and each falls into one of four elements: fire, earth, air and water. But did you know that aside from a sign’s element, there’s another way we categorize the signs? Each sign is divided between three qualities, with one sign from each element representing either cardinal, fixed or mutable. No sign has the same element and quality, meaning that there’s only one cardinal fire sign (Aries), one fixed earth sign (Taurus) and one mutable air sign (Gemini). The quality of your sign tells you a great deal about your characteristics, as well as things you have in common with other signs in your group. Take a look at the gallery below to find out your sign’s quality and let us know if you think this accurately describes you in the comments section on social media.


Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. They’re characterized as reacters and doers, who thrive in positions of leadership and pursuing new experiences. They perfectly fit in positions of power, whether that be a high ranking executive, a social media influencer of a kindergarten teacher. Each of the cardinal signs begins at the start of one of the four seasons, with Aries kicking off Spring, Cancer summer, Libra fall and Capricorn winter.

Aries is the cardinal fire sign and leads with energy by bringing courage, determination and enthusiasm.

Cancer is the cardinal water sign and leads with the heart by bringing warmth, vulnerability and compassion.

Libra is the cardinal air sign and leads with balance by bringing cooperation, diplomacy and an open mind.

Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign and leads with rules by bringing responsibility, discipline and control.

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Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. They’re characterized as being stable, unchanging and rooted in the stereotypical qualities of a given element. Fixed signs are known for finding stability in their element, which means they most clearly represent the given characteristics of a fire, earth, air or water sign. They’re often the sign that people can spot off the bat or at least guess within the proper element. While cardinal represents the beginning of a season, fixed is the middle and it’s firmly set in it’s ways.

Taurus is the fixed earth sign and finds stability as an earth sign through reliability, practicality and stubbornness.

Leo is the fixed fire sign and finds stability as a fire sign through self-expression, generosity and creativity.

Scorpio is the fixed water sign and finds stability as a water sign through passion, bravery and resourcefulness.

Aquarius is the fixed air sign and finds stability as an air sign through progression, originality and independence.

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Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. They’re characterized as being adaptable, flexible and changing. While it’s easy to spot a fixed sign or at least guess their element correctly, mutable signs make it harder as there’s more diversity of behaviors, perspectives and characteristics within these signs. Mutable signs fall at the end of the season, representing both an end and a new beginning to come.

Gemini is the mutable air sign and adapts to their surroundings through curiosity, affection and sociability.

Virgo is the mutable earth sign and adapts to their surroundings through practicality, hard work and communication.

Sagittarius is the mutable fire sign and adapts to their surroundings through idealism, humor and optimism.

Pisces is the mutable water sign and adapts to their surroundings through artistry, intuition and selflessness.

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