7 Four elements Three qualities Twelve signs.

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Hello there! There are four elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water and three qualities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable.

Four times three are twelve, there are twelve signs in the zodiac. Each sign belongs to an element and expresses a quality...

 

Let's start with the qualities.

 

Everything in life grows, reaches maturity and stability, before declining, disintegrating... and turning into something else.

Do you remember the riddle of the Sphinx in Greek mythology?

"What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?"

The answer is: Man. A human being starts a child, then becomes an adult and eventually an old one. 

The day starts with the morning, reaches an apogee at noon, and declines when it's the evening...

In Hinduism, Brahma creates the world, Vishnu maintains it and Shiva destroys it.

In the zodiac, signs will be Cardinal if their energy is an energy of beginning, Fixed is their energy is an energy of stability and maintenance, and Mutable if the energy is an energy of mutation. 

 

Before combining these qualities with the elements, let's understand the elements! 

 

Let's start with a few key words:

 

Fire is about Spirit, Passion, Intensity, Action. Energy... 

Water is associated with feelings and emotions, dreams, imagination...

Air has a lot to do with thinking and communication. The mind, the intellect, logic, reason...

Earth is the down to Earth element (no surprise here!) Common sense, Pragmatism, life of the body, sensations... 

A usual, symbols mean much more than what can be said with two or three key words. We need to follow them like threads running throughout our lives....

How to know more? Let me give you a few examples. You just met someone really hot. If you say "hot" it's fire. Burning desire is fire as well. You will never talk about "flowing desire" or "compact desire" You need Fire to talk about it.

Then you take action, and in the "heat of the moment"... you make a mistake. It's still Fire. Fire signs are impulsive... A lot of knowledge can be found in language. 

 Cool is not Fire. Someone cool is like a breeze of fresh air...

 If you "float" like in a dream, you're living something of the Water element...

 It's all poetry actually!  

Let's now review the signs in the light of their element and quality. 

Aries is Cardinal Fire, a key word is "Initiative"  It's the energy with which it all starts. Imagine a spark, an ignition, a eruption... Strike a match and light a fire: Here is Aries energy. It's strong, powerful, assertive, dynamic etc... 

Cancer is Cardinal Water, a key word is "Fecundation". Another is "Childhood".  With the energy of this sign, you're likely to start a family. It's all emotional and sensitive like a baby here. Or caring like a mother. Or whimsical like a pregnant woman asking for strawberries in winter... It's the beginning of life. 

Libra is Cardinal Air, a key word could be "Introduction" as in: "Let me introduce you to my friend Charlie, she is single and blah blah blah...) Libra is a sign of social intelligence. All relationships start with Libra energy!

If you have a lot of Libra energy you hesitate a lot before you commit. It's not only because you're scared of making the wrong choice. It's because you love the beginnings. You love charming, dating, being attractive and all that. You don't want the beginning to end. 

Capricorn is Cardinal Earth,  key expressions could be: "Starting at the bottom"..or "Starting from scratch". Ambition is what makes you start... and keep going. 

Leo is Fixed Fire. A key word is Will power: that's what is needed to maintain the action initiated by Aries. Other key words: Creation, Achievement, Honors. Self expression. Performance. Art. Forget about the match box, look at the Sun at Noon, or at the big bonfire. Brilliant, no? 

Scorpio is Fixed Water. This is a little bit ambiguous, as Scorpio is the sign associated with death and transformation. However, Scorpio is also the energy that welds two individuals together. This verse of the Gospel expresses the deepest aspiration of Scorpio and its ultimate take about sexuality:

"So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19 -6

...Don't worry I am not preaching! You believe whatever you believe! All I wish is to give you a feel of how Fixed the sign of Scorpio is, as a Water element. Scorpio wants to die in another's arms and fuse. Scorpio wants to live the story of the spermatozoa and the ovule. Scorpio energy makes you want to die to yourself and become one with another. 

 Aquarius is Fixed Air, and oh my God, they have Fixed Ideas and Visions these Aquarians! You can't remain an eccentric for very long without being fixed enough in your own ways..

 Taurus is Fixed Earth. Taurus is the Farmer of the zodiac. Strong and stable. Physically involved with reality. Sensual but not metaphysical... 

 With the Mutable signs, movement resumes, but unlike Cardinal signs, there are no clear goals. That's why Mutable signs are very more adaptable to circumstances.

 Sagittarius is Sacred Fire. Here is the sign of the quest for meaning. Here, the journey is the destination...  After striking a match in Aries and dancing around the bonfire in Leo, put a kettle on the embers and meditate or patronize your fellow human beings with deep wisdom. Or walk on the embers if you can... 

 Pisces is Mutable Water. It's the sign of dissolution of anything than can be dissolved, be it your liver in alcohol or your soul in the Great Mystery.... or simply the boundaries of your own identity.  Pisces merges... Pisces feels what others feel without knowing who is feeling what...

 Gemini is Mutable Air. Gemini people are so adaptable they may forget they have a personal identity. With Gemini energy, you are captivated by the multiplicity of all that exists, things and people. Gemini marvels at diversity. 

 Virgo is Mutable Earth. Here we split hairs and put things away in well labelled little boxes...We make lists. Virgo is the sign of service, not of personal ambition.. Virgo is skilled and useful. The body is useful. Virgo knows about maintaining it in good health... 

These few lines are of course far from saying everything that can be said about the signs.

What I suggest in these "Astrology for Beginners" posts is to go beyond what can be learned reading books or watching videos.

Let's daydream and follow poetically the symbols. Let's them teach us...

 Jean-Marc Pierson

And now... how about a little click here:   Astro Stories