Astrological Qualities

Astrological qualities describe more ways that the signs and houses are categorized and interpreted. Knowing these qualities ensures a far better interpretation. There are several different ways that they can be categorized and I've tried to give all of the main ones in here.

In the first table, we'll see the division of the signs broken into their elements; fire, earth, air and water. You'll notice that 4 elements are used, there are 12 signs, thus there are 3 signs for each element. These combinations are called the triplicities for that reason. Following the table is a description of the personality traits associated with each element.

Fire

Earth

Air

Water

1st House/Aries

2nd House/Taurus

3rd House/Gemini

4th House/Cancer

5th House/Leo

6th House/Virgo

7th House/Libra

8th House/Scorpio

9th House/Sagittarius

10th House/Capricorn

11th House/Aquarius

12th House/Pisces

Notice that as you read the table from left to right, the signs and houses are in their natural order. This isn't a coincidence. Here are the descriptions of the elemental qualities:

Fire

Impulsive, temper, energetic, passionate

Earth

Grounded, practical, cautious

Air

Thinking, talking, in motion

Water

Emotional, visual, psychic

 

Do you recall our discussion of the "trine" in the aspects page? The trine is a very easy aspect, the energy flows quite smoothly. This is because in a trine, the planets are of the same element. For example, Jupiter in Gemini may trine Saturn in Libra.

Also, in romantic astrology a quick and dirty way of determining compatibility is to note the elements of the two Suns involved. This part is really easy and here are the pairings:

  1. Air & Fire
  2. Earth & Water

As you can see, these elements are compatible, they feed each other. Other combinations are certainly possible, however the results are predictable. Earth tends to smother fire, air carbonates water, etc. An interesting note here is that you can see why astrologically, opposites attract. They are of complimentary elements, even though in opposition. For example, Aries (fire) and Libra (air).

Next, we move into an arena where the terminology is a bit less familiar. These are the qualities of the quadriplicities. As the word implies, this categorization breaks down the signs and houses into 3 groupings of 4 each. Look at it and then I'll explain it.

 

Cardinal

Fixed

Mutable

1st House/Aries

2nd House/Taurus

3rd House/Gemini

4th House/Cancer

5th House/Leo

6th House/Virgo

7th House/Libra

8th House/Scorpio

9th House/Sagittarius

10th House/Capricorn

11th House/Aquarius

12th House/Pisces

Again, reading from left to right, you'll notice that all are in their natural order. You may want to refer back to the aspects page again here, to see that the signs of the same quality are not complementary in this case. In fact, they will form either a 90 degree angle to one another (square) or a 180 degree angle (opposition). Now, what do these qualities mean?

 

Cardinal

Active, starting things, impatient

Fixed

Stable, stubborn, powerful

Mutable

Changeable, adaptive, communicative

 

One final categorization. We can differentiate the polarities of the signs and houses into masculine and feminine. Politically correct astrologers (I'm one on alternate days), are more likely to label these positive and negative as with electrical polarities, or active and passive, etc. An interesting point however is that even in today's "enlightened age" a man with his Sun in a feminine sign or a woman with her Sun in a masculine sign are likely to be somewhat uncomfortable with their gender. I have seen that they just don't seem to "fit in their skin" quite so well. Here's the breakdown, they simply alternate.

Masculine

Feminine

1st House/Aries

2nd House/Taurus

3rd House/Gemini

4th House/Cancer

5th House/Leo

6th House/Virgo

7th House/Libra

8th House/Scorpio

9th House Sagittarius

10th House/Capricorn

11th House/Aquarius

12th House/Pisces