Change often occurs in cycles, and often includes a beginning, middle and end.
The concept of "modality"
corresponds directly to the idea of cyclical phases.
|Cardinal||Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn|
|Middle||Fixed||Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius|
|End||Mutable||Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces|
Elements | Modalities | Planetary Rulerships
The Cardinal Signs align with the beginning of each of the four seasons, and with the starting points of four of the major phases in life - Birth, Home, Partnership, and Career.
The astrological calendar begins with Aries and aligns with Spring, the season of planting and birth, of starting over after the long winter. Aries is a sign of taking action, initiation and leadership. The Aries emerges headfirst, like the ram - energetic, fearless and impulsive.
The warmth of the Summer begins with the sign Cancer, the emotional core of the zodiac. Cancer is the sign of the mothering spirit, the source of safety, protection and unconditional love.
The Fall brings cooler temperatures, the harvest and the first days of school. The lessons of Libra point to balance and partnership - the need to connect with others and to experience community.
The challenges of Winter call for resourcefulness, discipline and an increased awareness of the basic structures that we depend on for survival and growth. Capricorn is the sign of the emerging adult who has a role in society and learns to accept responsibility for his actions.
Once the initial charge of starting something new has worn off, the chore of maintaining focus and staying on course surfaces. The Fixed Signs represent this middle phase of any activity, project, relationship or journey. We are motivated to stay with something (or someone) because it is important or of value to us.
Taurus represents the value of material things, starting with the physical nature of the human body.
Leo is about the joy of play, and the drive to feel good about yourself though creativity and performance.
Scorpio represents our primal instinct to survive in the world, as individuals and as members of the specie.
Aquarius is connected to our desire for knowledge and ultimate truth.
We are all familiar with the downside of each of these forces, when these basic motivations transition into rigidity, attachment or obsession.
The Mutable Signs represent the completion phase. Once a lesson is learned there is a readiness to move on, to incorporate the learning as part of the growth process and to get on with the next phase whatever that might be. There is a flexibility and comfort with change associated with these signs, a distinct reaction to the signs that came before them.
In Gemini we learn to name things, we acquire the abilty to communicate and to function as brothers and sisters in the community of family.
Virgo is where we begin to discern between what we like and dislike. We have learned what makes us feel good. These choices and judgements form the basis for our daily routines.
Sagittarius is the sign of higher learning. Here we make the connections that form our greater understanding of the way things are.
Pisces is the twelfth and final sign of the zodiac, the culmination of the journey. This is the seat of our belief systems. Intuition is directed to sense what has endured and repeated, and to recognize these dynamics as real and true.